top of page
  • Writer's picturesallyinstpaul

Building an Accessory Capsule Naturally + Blazers for Fall + DIY Painted Paper Beads

As you can see from the title, I have set myself three items on my agenda for today's post! So let's get to it.

We are revisiting the color lover's capsule wardrobe that I put together in my previous post with this floral print top as the inspiration and these 7 colors as the palette.

Fall/Winter Wardrobe Capsule Color Palette
Fall/Winter Wardrobe Capsule Color Palette

In that post, I shared an approximately 70 garment capsule that would cover the weather range of October-March but I didn't include any accessories with the capsule. For a long term (6 month), non-travel capsule, I'm never sure whether having a specific capsule of accessories makes sense or not.

So I decided that instead of creating the accessory capsule upfront or not creating one at all that I would see what happened if I took the accessories from a number of capsule outfits and added them to a capsule over time. This is one way to develop a capsule in a natural, organic manner based on what accessories from a person's entire collection get used in outfits. I thought it might be interesting to how this gradual accessory capsule development process played out.

To start us off, here are the accessories from the first outfit (shared in my bead soup earring project post).

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Capsule OOTD #1: 9/18/23 + Accessories

I also thought it would be interesting to track which clothes from the capsule are worn in outfits. The garments from the above outfit are circled in blue with the "1" for Outfit #1. The items circled in orange with the "2" are for capsule Outfit #2.

Capsule Wardrobe
Garments for capsule OOTD #2

I had briefly shared Outfit #2 in the first capsule post because it was the second inspiration for the capsule, but I didn't have the room to discuss it in any detail or share all the accessories in it. So we'll take a bit of time now to talk more about Outfit #2 with the short-sleeved red top, black linen skirt, and tipped check blazer...which I'm happy to do because I LOVED how this one turned out. Part of it is that I really liked how the silhouettes and proportions played out in this outfit. The skirt has a pretty, feminine A-line cut that with the linen fabric gives it an almost flouncy look. I used my "front tuck with the fabric blousing over the waistband" trick to shorten it up from the hemline while not showcasing just how high on my torso my natural waist is. The blazer is a tailored fit (but not tight/"shrunken") with princess seams that create gentle shaping at the waist.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Capsule OOTD #2: 9/21/23

No surprise, this blazer is a thrifted item that dates to a time when clothing was actually tailored to fit. (The skirt is also thrifted.) While I love a pair of comfy stretchy pants as much as the next woman, and I have no desire to live in the restricting clothing of the 1940s no matter how beautiful it looks in movies, I am sad that it's become so hard to find quality tailored pieces in my own lifetime. But that's a rant for another day.

Today I want to say...Blazers: does it get more fall than that? I know the blazer isn't right up there with pumpkin spice lattes, ankle boots, and sweaters when people think of prototypical autumnal things, but I love pulling out blazers again after the summer is over. I do have a couple lightweight blazers/jackets I wear during the summer, but here I mean a more traditional long-sleeved blazer like this one. I like many different types of topper layers, but I have enough "classic" in my personal style that a tailored blazer is a great piece for me.

Another thing I loved in this outfit? The black and white rabbit scarf that was a gift from my husband. And it makes a nice subtle print mix with the pattern of the blazer.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

Continuing the subtle print mix theme are my other pair of Cole Haan wedges in a black and grey leopard print. These are a surprisingly versatile pair of shoes because they are easy to wear with bare legs in warmer weather and with tights in cooler weather (though once the snow starts, they're worn only indoors of course!). So I am happy to see them joining the accessory capsule.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My daily bracelet stack is based on a recently-made paper bead bracelet set in a color palette of red, dark green, black, and grey. I supplemented the set with a silver bracelet from Amazon and four DIY glass bead bracelets. I made the light grey glass bead bracelet last winter when I realized that all of my other grey bracelets have silver in them, and I thought it would be good to have one that doesn't have any metal beads.

DIY paper bead bracelet set

What differentiates these paper beads from many that I've shown is that I did a good amount of painting on the paper prior to making the beads. For both of these bracelets, I used beads made from painted pages taken from a Coldwater Creek Christmas season catalog.

The top bracelet started out as this page with a large striped shirt against a light grey background and four colorful folded shirts against white. I used grey acrylic paint to extend the grey background behind the colorful shirts as well and to cover up the white text on them.

DIY Paper Beads

This wasn't a drastic change to the paper but I liked that it reduced the overall amount of white on the strips (since the striped shirt had plenty of white) and bolstered the grey that was part of my desired color palette. In the rolled beads, the grey nicely tones down the contrast between the white and the green and red colors, and I always enjoy the visual texture that paint introduces.

DIY Paper Beads

The bottom bracelet was made from this page featuring Christmas-y shirts on a pale grey background. I wanted darker beads so I used a metallic black acrylic paint to cover the background. I could have used a regular black paint instead, but I've found that the metallic paints go on with less opacity so for a softer, less stark appearance. In practice, the metallic black looks a lot like charcoal grey on the paper.

DIY paper beads

I was very happy with how these beads turned out too. Don't the white with green stripes bits pop nicely against the darker background?

DIY paper beads
DIY Paper Beads Page to Bead Examples

Did I make any bead soup earrings to wear with this bracelet set? I did not. But I was happy to pull out a pair of earrings that I like but don't wear terribly often, purchased on sale a few years ago from Charming Charlie (I think). The red/grey/silver color combo was a great fit with this outfit. Of course, there will be bead soup earrings for this set eventually! It would make sense for me to play up the green, black, and white from the bracelets for that pair, since this one has the red and grey covered.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

So with two capsule outfits, this is how the "build-as-you-go" accessory capsule looks right now. Red and black are extremely well represented, and we already have both gold and silver metals in the mix. You may recall that grey is not one of the four neutrals in the wardrobe capsule's color palette, but here it is, in small amounts, in the accessory capsule.

Accessory capsule to date
Accessory capsule to date

This is probably the first obvious difference between creating an accessory capsule upfront based on the color palette and letting one develop naturally as items are chosen to complete outfits: you might end up with a broader range of colors in your final accessory capsule. And I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with that! Now if you want to keep your capsule as minimal as possible or capped to a specific number of items, having things that don't align perfectly to the color palette might not be your optimum choice...although I still say there's a lot to be said for using colorful accessories to add interest to neutral looks! But if you aren't primarily playing a numbers game, a "build-as-you-go" process could introduce some really interesting pieces that you might not have realized would work in your capsule...and/or could mean you end up some random things you only ever wear with the capsule once. It could go either way (or both). We'll have to see how that plays out for this capsule as the fall/winter season moves forward.

For more blazer outfit inspiration, I recently enjoyed seeing Di showcase two different types of blazer as the perfect "bridge to fall" solution. And Rena is showing off an oversized blazer (and collared cardigan that looks a lot like a blazer) in her style remix update.

Do you like to wear blazers? Do you have a preference for oversized vs. tailored blazers? Do you ever miss the marks of quality construction that clothing (it seems to me) used to more routinely have? Have you ever put together a wardrobe capsule of accessories? Would you be more likely to plan that accessory capsule out in advance or let it develop naturally over time?

Blogs I link up with are listed here.

bottom of page