Rainbow Striped Capsule Wardrobe Outfits + DIY Paper Beads
I had promised more colorful outfits from the fall/winter capsule wardrobe, and today I have two of them to share...one that is well-suited to warm fall weather and one that is more layered for a bit crisper weather. Even if you're not wearing capsule wardrobe outfits in particular, I hope these rainbow-inspired looks provide some outfit inspiration for this late summer/early fall season.
To give you a sense of the multi-colored outfits to come, here are the two paper bead bracelet sets I'll be featuring in this post, both designed to coordinate with my circus striped skirt (that is part of the capsule). The skirt has so many colors in it that it's a real pleasure to draw inspiration from for both outfit and jewelry creation.
For capsule OOTD #5, we are still working with pieces from the warm temps part of our wardrobe, circled in green down on the blue row.
This one is another late summer outfit that would still be appropriate as-is for early October in warmer climates. Those in cooler climates could add a topper layer: the blue vest or cardigan, the red cardigan, the denim jacket...there are several options that would work. Tying a button up shirt as the waist is not a go-to styling approach for me, but I did like it in this outfit. My layered necklace has two longer glass bead necklaces under the collar and a shorter pearl necklace worn above the collar. The DIY bracelet stack is based on the paper bead bracelet set I made in a pink/red/blue/silver colorway inspired by the striped skirt. I also added a navy paper bead bracelet with white glass pearls and several glass or metal bracelets to finish the stack.
The top bracelet with the dog charm was made using this cover from a Christmas Lands End catalog. I loved the combination of pink and red in this illustration and knew that the bits of black, dark green, and golden yellow would look fine for a circus-striped-skirt-inspired bracelet. I covered the white paper core with silver marker before rolling the beads so they have a bit of silver striping on them.
The bottom bracelet started from a full-page drawing in an alumni magazine that has the desired blue, red, and (very pale) pink colors. The brown is significant and off-palette but...I don't know, I mostly just thought it would be interesting to see how the beads turned out! So I decided to leave the strips unchanged other than covering the white paper core with silver marker and rolled them up. My one surprise was how much the green shows up in some of the beads, given how little there is on the paper. But it's a good reminder that whatever color appears at the pointy end of your strips is going to have a large visual impact! Although these were not beads I would have immediately picked out for this set, I liked them well enough to use them in making my second bracelet. The small amount of tan/brown was not jarring or "wrong" looking with the other bracelet.
Capsule OOTD #6 incorporates a couple pieces from the mid temps section of the capsule with my selections circled in gold.
This is a very colorful, high drama look that's perfect for weather that will tolerate layering well but doesn't demand fully covered legs (although of course it could be worn into colder weather with tights and boots instead of ballet flats). It's a mostly-thrifted outfit, too; the scarf and vest (ThredUp) and the skirt and flats (Goodwill) are secondhand with only the top being retail (JCP circa 2017). The total current cost per wear (CPW) for these 5 pieces is only $4.21, which meets my average CPW goal of under $1 each.
I used one of my favorite genuinely easy scarf styling techniques with this outfit (Method #4: Loop to the Front with Ends Loose in this post), and it worked extremely well to showcase the gorgeous rainbow colors of the fabric. I purchased the scarf with the intention of wearing it with this skirt, and I have not been disappointed by the combination that has reached Pleasing Pairing status in my wardrobe. Of course the scarf works well with many things given its array of colors, but it has easily earned its place in my wardrobe simply on the basis of its wonderful pairing with the skirt. Don't you love it when you order something online, thinking it will be great with a piece that you already own, and you're 100% correct?!
Given how much was going on in this outfit, and the volume of scarf at my neck, I added simple little faux pearl studs with rabbit ears for my earrings and my go-to low contrast gold sparkly headband.
As for my shoes...ugh, these shoes. I like the pointy toe, the two-tone faux suede, and the neat gold detail. But standing in these shoes, it feels like they are made of a particularly flimsy cardboard or something. I bought them for $2.79 in summer 2015, and I have worn them a grand total of 6 times! Because they were so cheap to buy, the CPW is down to $0.47, so I could remove them from my closet having more than met my CPW goal...yet I still struggle to make that decision because I really like how this style looks! On this particular WFH day, the comfort level wasn't a factor because I wasn't on my feet in them a lot so I'm feeling like holding on to them even though I had been planning to make this outfit their last. I know that most women's category of "sitting shoes" includes high heels, etc., but for me, it's this pair of attractive-but-flimsy flats. I keep coming back to that nice gold stripe at the toe that is just so appealing. So I might be waffling on this decision for a while yet (ridiculous, I know).
My all-DIY daily bracelet stack started with the gold metal paper bead bracelet set I made for the striped skirt. To this I added the two black glass bead bracelets that I wear all the time and two recently-made bracelets using red glass beads with the AB ("aurora borealis") finish that gives them that prismatic shine.
The top bracelet with the adorable rabbit charm originated from this colorful illustration in The Economist magazine. Aren't the colors a great fit for the skirt? I love how using a page with a drawing like this, with blocks of color that are not evenly distributed on the paper, creates a set of beads that coordinate well with each other but are all distinctly different based on what sections of color happened to be on the individual strips. In addition to how good it feels to upcycle trash into jewelry, how much cheaper it is than buying new scrapbook paper (or whatever), and how fun it is to see how a page turns into a finished bead, upcycling magazine and catalog paper results in truly unique paper beads which add another dimension to the jewelry made with them.
The middle paper bead bracelet with the black focal bead also started out as an illustration in The Economist, this time a whimsical robot being kissed drawing. I thought this was a good page to pick to complement the previous one, and I really liked the dominant pink background with bits of red and golden yellow. The beads coordinated well the previous set but has a more limited color palette, which I liked because it differentiated them.
The bottom, mostly black paper bead bracelet came from this full-page photo from an alumni magazine. I wanted a darker bracelet that would help balance the two more colorful ones, and I liked how well the green plants and her floral print clothing worked within the color palette the other two pages had established. This was a thicker paper so I covered the white core with gold marker before rolling. These beads did a great job of grounding this bracelet set, adding some depth and a more organic appearance to counter the colorful cartoon vibe of the other two groups of beads.
The two colorful bracelet sets and the rainbow striped scarf really add some delightful punch to our accessory capsule. However, I've gotten into a bit of an "interesting black shoe" rut, and I would like to see an accent color pair get added to the mix before boot season is underway.
Do you like to wear rainbow striped clothing or accessories? Have you tried styling a button up shirt by tying the tails together at the waist? Do you have difficulty making decisions about whether or not to remove items from your wardrobe? Do you ever like to add whimsical touches to your outfits?
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