Retirement Remedies: The Fall Wardrobe Series

I really debated not doing this series at all, despite several requests last Spring for me to follow up with Fall items.   My reasons were that I have at present only about five tops and three pairs of pants...and I'm not sure how long I'll be able to continue to wear the pants.  Really how far could I possibly stretch a small and hopefully temporary, wardrobe?

Then I was reading The Listening Valley by D.E. Stevenson and one of the characters was a French girl who arrived with one suitcase and a handful of things in it.  She always looked 'smart' as it was put in the book, and managed with just a change of scarves or a sweater added to look as though she had a whole new outfit.

That put me in mind of an article from one of the vintage magazines about a French student in an American college who always managed to look chic...but when her dorm companions peeked in her closet they discovered she owned a pair of jeans, a sweater and the skirt, blouse and jacket she'd worn out that evening!

Well so what if my wardrobe is limited?  I still have to dress this fall and I might as well have a bit of fun seeing how well I can do it, right?

And then I started playing about on Pinterest Saturday evening, which is my major Pinning time and I saw an outfit that I really, really liked.  It proved to be an inspiration to me and the next thing I knew I was scanning the fashion files of Angela and Karla and a few others that I follow on Pinterest and finding more and more possibilities to use what I have to create a fall wardrobe.

So essentially I started with this photo:
 I don't have a source for this photo, it merely says uploaded by user...No info in that is there?

I loved the red and camel and immediately thought of a silk scarf I have and a red purse I'd noted I'd not carried in a long while.  I don't have boots...and while this is styled with jeans I opted for black pants, but jeans could work just as well.  I didn't bother with jewelry after I picked up some red glass earrings and discovered that the 'red' was actually paint which had peeled. ( They are now a lovely pair of frosted glass earrings!  Just a little rehab required to get them to that state.)  I'll likely use some really chic looking gold hoops with a gold drop on the end for earrings with this outfit. And possibly my cream enameled bangle with the black pinstripe.   I started with this look:

A taupe 3/4 sleeve cardigan and a cream/ light coffee colored tee shirt, black pants, a red purse and the scarf I mentioned which has black, gold, red, taupe and cream.   I was really pleased with the overall look. 

As I was pulling out the scarf to style the first outfit, I realized that my collection of vintage scarves and wraps and such was going to stand me in good stead for Fall.  Using those same two pieces above as my base, I came up with this as a second outfit:

I used the black pants (or I could use black jeans for a more casual look) and a vintage alligator purse in a rich dark brown.  The scarf here has a hunt scene in taupe, maroon, mustard and an olive gray color. The purse was Mama's a long time ago.  In an old book on good grooming written by a French woman, the reader is urged to use alligator only as a casual purse, never as a dressy one...but it does appear dressy anyway, doesn't it?

 This scarf is cream, taupe, gray, navy and mustard.  Styled here with a mustard bracelet and blue jeans.  I have a darker wash jeans now than I had on the day of the photo.  I'll likely use those.  I'm feeling the need for a purse in gray or navy...Shall keep my eyes open for that.

 This is a wrap that I often will drape over my shoulders when it's really cool as it's quite heavy and warm.  I love to layer it with a sweater anyway.  Although it's a dark brown and rust there is some black woven into this.  I chose the black pants to go with this and likely would wear a set of tiger eye and amber beads I really like, and carry my brown bag.

 When I was using this scarf in the previous look I noted the grays in the makeup of it and thought about my pinstripe gray pants.  The pinstripe is a deep teal  which the blues play up more in person.  The pants are quite lightweight really and so I thought a simple fitted gray knit top would be a good one to style a more casual outfit.

 I could easily use the scarf here with this outfit as well if I chose, but I opted for a necklace.  The Robin Egg blue knit top is one I purchased for $1 at a thrift store earlier in July.  I felt adding the jeans jacket would also help create a more casual style to these pieces, making them more versatile for my lifestyle which is far more casual than dressy.  Again, feeling a strong need for a nice gray or navy bag...

Here are the pants styled with the Robin Egg top and a gray and steel toned necklace.  I'd wear this to church I think and likely would use black bag and shoes with it.

Now that is a portion of my small wardrobe.  I have three or four more tops to share and will style them in various ways as well, many inspired by Pinterest photos which I'll also share.


Very nice! You have some nice outfits. Such pretty scarves and I really like that brown vintage purse. I wear scarves very often when the weather is cooler. They add such a nice shot of color and interest to our outfits. For years I have looked for some really nice red earrings, I'm still looking. Sorry to read about the paint peeling off the ones you found. At least you have some frosted glass earrings now.

It looks like you are getting in the mood for fall.
Terri, what lovely outfits. You are so talented to do this.. Love your scarves..
Happy fall..
Tammy said…
I'm so glad you decided to put together this post, even with a limited wardrobe. How fun to use the same basic outfit and get so many different looks just by switching out scarves!
Between Jess and I we have a nice collection of scarves and now I'm curious to see what I can do with them.

doe853 said…
Amazing how totally different each outfit looks with just a few pieces. I'm going to have to try this. They are all great. Dale
Sparkiedoll said…
Lovely post! I'm so glad you took the time out to do this and share. I'm glad it's Autumn (almost) as I find summer dressing really difficult. I can't wait to get back into boots, opaque tights, leggings, tunics, scarves...thanks for the reminder to think more about outfits rather than individual pieces. I wear a uniform for work most days so like to feel like I look like 'me' when I'm off duty. Off to play in my wardrobe! Rose x
Karla Neese said…
What lovely outfits! I never look this put together. At least I feel I don't. And honestly I have too many items that I don't wear. Time to get some things put together and get rid of others that are simply not flattering, not my style anymore or I just never feel right in.

I love seeing the outfits you put together on Pinterest!
Anonymous said…
Oh my goodness! You did it again.. You pulled a rabbit...I mean outfits out of nothing!! Wow I love these looks. I mean I Love them! They look so put together and expensive and! Wow!!! Sarah
JoAnn Baker said…
I'm glad that you decided to share this with us... it really gives me the inspiration to go look in my closet and start putting outfits together! It is amazing the amount of looks you get with only a few items!
Janell in Georgia said…
Terri, I need you to come visit when you are in town. I have no idea how to mix and match. I go for either a skirt or a pair of jeans. I'm short but can't find pants short and wide enough for me. I love the outfits you have put together. I also have no idea how to wear a scarf. I always feel like it makes my face look fatter. I am very curious though if you would be willing to share a before and now picture of yourself. I changed my eating habits June 28 and started the treadmill July 23. I'm very discouraged because I've only lost 7 pounds.
Anonymous said…
Your fall outfits look lovely. Fall clothing has been on my mind as well, I added five new to me tops from the half price color tags at goodwill just yesterday. I usually just wear solid colors but I branched out with a blue printed three quarter length top from Chicos, a purple trendy billowy long sleeve, a vintage print heavy buttondown longsleeve that needs a button on one sleeve that I hope looks good with a tshirt underneath as I plan to use it for a jacket and a red and black new looking very dressy shirt from Dressbarn that looks to be appropriate for black dress pants and one more that has some green in it but I have forgotten exactly what it looks like. I spent around $10. I should be all set now for fall. I am looking forward to some cooler weather. It has been around 100 degrees again here today and very humid. Thanks for the outfit ideas, I don't often accessorize and detest changing handbags, you give me some inspiration to try to look nicer. Kip
Lana said…
Try for petite plus size pants at great prices.
Rhonda said…
Wow! You sure put together some stylish pretty outfits!
Anonymous said…
Great outfits. I love all your scarves.
Leigh said…
These are wonderful! I love how you swapped accessories to change up the look of your basic pieces. You have such a knack for it! Thanks for sharing.
Anonymous said…
I'm so impressed! I love what you've done. You will be one well-dressed chic gal!

I've been making purses. I went looking with my daughter and even a less expensive purse was $30. Nope, won't spend that. So Pinterest, here I come. I found a cute idea that I've used over and over making it different every time. I cut off 10 inches of jean leg and sew the cut part closed keeping the hemmed part for the top and then decorate. One is a fold-over, one is a button top with short handles decorated with gold/black jewelry. I made a bright yellow purse from old curtains and I've got a moose tapestry purse that I'll use for September. I've gotten so many compliments on them. Pam

Popular posts from this blog

Frugal Friday: Savings At Home

Frugal Friday: Upside Right

The Not Quite Bare Cupboard Update II - Plans and Substitutions