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Create A Survival Outfit Set For An Instant Put Together Look Anytime!

Updated on November 7, 2014
SheilaSchnauzies profile image

SheilaSchnauzies is a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, writer, crochet designer, gardener, crafter, wife, mom & friend living in Omaha, NE.

Nothing To Wear? Time To Make Your Survival Outfit Set!

Have you had that gosh-awful experience of standing in front of your closet staring at dozens of items yet you have nothing to wear? It's completely frustrating and depressing, isn't it?

I'm not going to suggest that you do a wardrobe inventory, catalog all your things, do a major purge, throw away everything that isn't in your color season... at least not today! What I AM going to suggest today is that you invest in one, just one, survival outfit set -just four easy pieces - just for those "nothing to wear" days. And I'm also going to suggest that you purchase (or drag out of your furthest reaches of closet shelves) some amazing scarves, two belts and one vest.

I was watching Buzz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, on Carson Daly's show recently and he made an interesting comment. He said, paraphrased, that boundaries spawn creativity. He explained that, for example - let's say you're a little kid and mom hands you a piece of paper and says "Here, draw something." You are stumped. Then mom says "OK, draw a tree." Fabulous! There are lots of trees to think about and all you have to do is decide on which one. The boundary of the tree has spawned your creativity and taken you from blank space to somewhere to go. Awesome.

I'm suggesting that same precise concept with your survival outfit! You will have three main pieces - top, skirt and pants. All of them will be in the same color! Ideally, all of them will be in the same fabrication. For maximum long-term wear and comfort, I recommend a fluid jersey knit such as that found in the Citiknits collection at QVC, Norma Kamali's jersey knit pieces, and so on. I'll make some shopping recommendations to you later on. Those are your boundaries. Once you have those pieces, you'll use accessories to make unlimited different outfits with them!

My Survival Outfit - 4 Easy Pieces - (Well, one of them:)

This dressy-casual outfit is top and pants by Norma Kamali from her Walmart collection when it existed a couple years back. You can still find these pieces brand new at reasonable prices on eBay very frequently. Just search for Kamali. What you are looking for is jersey knit. Be careful, she has a poly jersey knit and a cotton jersey knit in some pieces, and you want the poly. What I am wearing here is her boot cut pants and her long sleeved jersey knit top. I'm wearing a Norma Kamali knit vest with it.

The nice thing about Kamali's pieces from this line - they are so durable and easy care, machine wash and dry, that I wear them for just around the house all the time. I give dogs baths in them. When they clearanced them at Walmart, I nearly broke the bank collecting all the pieces I could because I knew I would love them forever!

If I were dressing up, I could toss on my long black jersey knit skirt, black stockings, heels, a glitzy belt, ditch the vest, and add dressier jewelry. I might add a pretty scarf tied in the European loop (I'll show you where to learn that easy trick in a minute!)

The Versatility Of The Pashmina Scarf!

I took this self-photo in a restroom mirror because I liked the look and wanted to remember it for later! (I know it's silly, but I do that – and I recommend you do, too!)

This is again my survival set except I was wearing a camisole top because it was warmer weather at the time.

I folded the scarf in a diagonal, tossed it over one shoulder, and tied the two ends together at my opposite side. I put a little tack-styls tiny brooch pin through the scarf and camisole strap and nothing moved on this outfit the entire afternoon and evening. I think one of these scarves always takes an outfit up about 10 notches!

If you're an ebay shopper, you can find hundreds of really nice Pashmina scarves, in every fabrication imaginable, many less than $10. The one I am wearing here is an animal print in a linen/rayon blend that is very soft and cool to wear and drapes very fluidly.

The "Wing" Scarf Is My New Best Friend!

I discovered this scarf by accident on eBay, fell in love with the fabric, and couldn't resist the $4.99 price tag!

These scarves are actually two scarves joined together, some fastened with real coconut buttons. Some are made of poly chiffon, some silk, some rayon... you can find many fabrications. Not to mention hundreds of colors and patterns!

Most of these scarves are fairly sheer, but with just enough coverage. If I'm wearing something and it feels like a "fat day," (come on girls, you know what I mean!) I will toss on one of these scarves and I instantly feel like all the problem spots (you know, the tummy and rear end) are covered up and I am golden!

Every time I have worn one of these scarves out, I receive compliments wherever I go. No exceptions. People always ask me where I got it.

Care is pretty easy too. I hand wash, hang to drip dry, and if there is any need I give it a quick pass with my hand steamer. I really don't have problems with them wrinkling, though. I have packed them for travel and they worked nicely.

One more wonderful thing - these scarves are so soft and fluid that you can fold them lengthwise in half or one-fourths and use them as you would a regular oblong scarf! Very pretty look.

I can't say enough wonderful things about these scarves, so I'll just tell you that in the next module I'll show you where to get some!

Red-Hot Fashion Tip!

Want to look 10 pounds thinner instantly? Pop on a pair of removable shoulder pads and push up your sleeves. You will look 10 pounds thinner!

KNOW your color season! 85% of the world's population is Cool – that would be Winters and Summers. Natural blondes and brunettes, for the most part, are Cool. Compare yourself to Sherilynn Fenn, a perfect Winter. Or Gwyneth Paltrow, a perfect Summer. Natural redheads are always Warm – Autumns and Springs. Think Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lopez, famous Autumns. Cameron Diaz and Nicole Kidman, perfect Springs. Later I'll show you how to get your colors done for free by a Certified Image Consultant!

Handy Accessories On Amazon

Sleeve bands are the coolest things! You pop them over your shirt sleeve, then push your sleeve up to 3/4 length and scrunch the fabric over the band. Your sleeves stay put, period. Once I discovered them, I couldn't live without them!

Scarf pins are just handy-dandy little accessories to have around.

Removable shoulder pads are nice, especially if your body type is wider at the hips than you are at the shoulders. Pop on a pair and you create the illusion of being 10 pounds thinner instantly!

One of the benefits of dressing in a monochromatic outfit is that it makes you look taller and thinner. In my case, at 5'2 and a size 16, that's a good thing:)

Norma Kamali All-In-One On eBay! - This Is One Versatile Wardrobe Piece!

For starters, you can wear this as a dress or long tunic over pants. I've also found that if you tie the sleeves around the waist as a self belt, you can wear it as a long skirt! It looks fabulous worn with one of her other long tunics over it. Also looks good with a tank top or cami tucked in with a vest. This piece is just simply lots of fun!

All photographs and illustrations on this lens are SheilaSchnauzies except as otherwise indicated.

Pause & Say Hello! - Very nice to meet you!

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