3 In Getting Dressed

The making of a Beauty Bundle

I am a big believer in buying what you love and wearing what you love — as often as you can! Skinny jeans? They are a no-brainer for me. It’s a shape that suits my shape and the base for many of my casual outfits.

But once I leave my comfort zone, I get nervous about trying new things. Sound familiar? This half leather/half knit taupe jacket by Per Se was a splurge for me. I tried it on, loved it, but it was a “new” color for me. I have clients who wear this color and have for years. It’s their “skinny jeans” no-brainer equivalent!

Here’s the back story: I cut off my long locks and headed toward my natural hair color a few months ago. I discovered a BIG change in my color palette and I’m still adjusting. That red hair I used to have wouldn’t have liked the yummy neutral shade of this jacket. But as time went on and I got more comfortable with my natural hair color I wanted to find the shades that supported it. This jacket offered me a new neutral to work with. I was shopping with my Bellas at the Carlisle trunk show (which also carries Per Se) and they encouraged me to go for it.

More back story: earlier in the winter I had purchased the taupe/cement colored boots by Paul Green. They seemed like a great neutral to wear with shades of gray as well as my jeans.

Within days I opened the box that had the Per Se jacket in it and it took me about a minute to realize that the boots and the jacket were a perfect pairing. I started to see a Beauty Bundle coming together!

In early spring, I found this handbag on the sale table at Nordstrom: large scale polka dots printed on a textured faux croc leather by Marc Jacobs. The colors were taupey-gray. Now I had three things that blended well in my new neutral. They wanted to play together-the jacket, the boots, and the bag. And before my eyes, a Beauty Bundle was born. I could take this bundle and pair it with jeans, a skirt, a trouser, even a dress and it would pull the whole outfit together. That’s the beauty of a Beauty Bundle. When you find three or more things that love each other and like to travel together as a team, that bundle can support many different outfits in your lifestyle.

In the outfit above, the cement colored ruched tee (by Etcetera) and my layers of silver textured chains were already in my closet. I put them with the Beauty Bundle and my jeans and I’m good to go.

And where do I go in this outfit? To the movies, to the Sonoma Square with Russ for coffee or lunch on the weekends, to a closet shopping appointment with a casual client, to lunch with girlfriends, and this summer, I’ll wear it in San Francisco when it’s freezing in July!

I like to name my Beauty Bundles. Do you have ideas for a name for this one? Do you have the makings of a Beauty Bundle in your closet? Please share!

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  • Reply
    July 4, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    I keep thinking about this – your beauty bundles are wonderful and I am going to do this! They seem very matchy to me but I’ve decided to think of them as coordinated, simple and easy and – more importantly – as a starting point! Thank you lady.

  • Reply
    Linda Williams Willis
    October 1, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Hi Brenda. I am a retired 62 year old university Dean. During my work life my wardrobe consisted primarily of St John suits. Since retirement I have acquired tons of NYDJ skinny jeans and many oversized tops. I always dreamed of pairing my St John jackets with rows of pearls and gold necklaces and skinny jeans that I see on pinterest. I need to lose about 30 lbs. I guess I am trying to merge some things I loved from my working days with my more laid back retirement lifestyle. I recently started following you and have been inspired again, Any suggestions you have would be most appreciated

    • Reply
      October 2, 2017 at 9:34 am

      Well, I totally love where you’re going with this! I too could see a St. John knit jacket paired with jeans. I’d keep the top simple like a t-shirt and wear a bootie. Is the losing 30 pounds about fitting into the St. John knit jackets? If so, don’t wait to try a version of this in current time with current fashion with price points that are low, low, low. It would be fun to create the look and see if you like it. I’m excited! I’d love to see it!

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