In At Work, Capsule Wardrobe, Discussions, In my closet, Minimalism, Style, Style, Wardrobe Help, Women

What does minimalism look like for a professional working woman? Part Two – 16 Actual Outfits (MM Lafleur Lenox Skirt)

Previously, I talked about the pieces in my wardrobe, some details on them and my rationale, let’s now look at some outfits I whipped up on the fly.

All of these looks below are based around one piece in the original capsule list – 18 pieces!

….& 3 pairs of shoes

…featuring the MM Lafleur Lenox Skirt which I love.

Capsule Wardrobe in action

Here, out of my wardrobe, is what I would choose if I had to pare down to a capsule.

Let’s say I take the magenta skirt bottom and work out a few outfits.

I get 16 different outfits (technically)… some of them may look similar but I have layered some items, and switched toppers:


Outfit 1 Outfit 2 Outfit 3


Outfit 4 Outfit 5 Outfit 6



Outfit 7 Outfit 8 Outfit 9


Outfit 10 Outfit 11 Outfit 12


Outfit 13 Outfit 14 Outfit 15


Outfit 16

What tops didn’t work with this particular skirt:

The first top is a light pink linen button-up from Banana Republic

It was too loose and not tight enough as a top for such a skirt, too blousy, and it was linen, which didn’t look right when tucked in.

I know it sounds strange but the linen bunches out more and doesn’t look as nice as the other button-ups that are made out of Tencel and drape more like silk top rather than being bunch-y.

The second one is from The Fold London (Belleville EC1)

It was also too large for the skirt itself, and with the draping on top, and the peplum on the bottom, it covered the beautiful draping of the skirt. It looked so clunky when I wore it, and the whole point of the skirt is the draping.

Also, the navy cardigan won’t work over button-ups:

I tried putting the navy cardigan over the button-ups but it is too delicate and light, and the shirt peeks through because it is tissue-sheer which I don’t like.

The cardigan would only work if it was a thicker and larger size to go over the button-ups comfortably.

Cardigan double-duties as a top & topper

The cardigan works as a top for 3 reasons

  1. Higher neckline so it doesn’t look scandalous when worn alone
  2. Tissue-weight so it looks more like a top rather than a thick fabric
  3. Button-up rather than a pull over so it can be worn as a topper too

Layering with toppers & tops

I got 2 outfits out of the turtleneck – once by itself, and another with a cobalt blue topper:

Or here, I have a top alone by itself, and I also got another look out of it by having a turtleneck underneath:

Turtlenecks can be worn alone, or underneath a topper, or a top

I never liked turtlenecks before until I realized that they had to be a certain weight – tissue thin or like this one, opaque but very fitted and slim so I could use it in different ways without adding bulk.

I also don’t like the necks when they are too tight so I stretched this one out a bit before I wore it.

They can be worn..

  1. alone
  2. underneath a topper
  3. underneath another blouse that is a lower cut front

You could even roll up the cuffs on the blouse and let the turtleneck’s sleeve show in the third look, for a bi-coloured top.

Versatile Tops that can be worn differently

I chose the Derek Lam top with the tie in the front as one of the toppers because I knew I could tie it in different ways to make two different looking tops:

In pictures, it looks a bit “messy” because it isn’t as sleek as the other two tops, but that’s the beauty of this Derek Lam striped top – it was draped in front and a little interesting in terms of volume and the tie.

In the first – I let the tie hang down.

In the second – I tied the tie back behind and around my back to make it a belt of sorts.

Simple button-ups work great

They look wonderful tucked in but only if the top is less stiff in its fabric and becomes more like a silk/drapey sort of fabric that blouses out so the skirt takes center stage:

These button-ups work because they’re drapey and are easily tucked in.

You can also wear turtlenecks under the button-up shirts to give it some dimension:

To be truthful it isn’t my favourite look because I feel like the button-ups are not dark enough and/or I need a lighter turtleneck to “blend’ in with the button-ups, but it does give a different look to each outfit.

You don’t have to button up the button-ups!

In the first shot, I just wrapped it around my front rather than buttoning it up, which gives it another look.

You could also do this with the cardigan, by wrapping it around a top, and then pinning with a brooch.

You can leave the sleeves covered rather than rolled up or cuffed

In the second shot — tt makes the turtleneck more of a base layer look to showcase a statement necklace.

Or you can cuff up the turtleneck over the button-ups

In the third one — I like how it brings the turtleneck into the look by adding the colour to be the cuffs to tie it all in and makes a different kind of top, or even over a topper as in one of the other photos, it made the topper look a little different.

Switching the Toppers

What is a cobalt blue jacket can also be worn with the navy cardigan as shown below:

I’ve done this with all of the tops I could above, and it gives a different colour story to each, just by changing the outside.

Necklaces make a huge difference

If you can see in the images above, the necklace grounds the look. Instead of a base dark topper, it is now a showcase for a nice necklace, which becomes a nice counterpoint to the look rather than just the skirt standing on its own.

Or maybe I am just super partial to necklaces…

In short..

Lots of ways to wear different things, with accessories, or with tucking or untucking.

Would you like to see more? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

P.S. All of my other capsule wardrobes (but none with real-life shots like this yet), are here.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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  1. Sarah

    Who knew a magenta skirt was so versatile! Every single outfit is fabulous!

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Thank you <3 I get more creative in the following weeks... 😉


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