14 In Getting Dressed

Working a Beauty Bundle into Multiple Outfits

A brown beauty bundle pulls this outfit together

A yummy brown Beauty Bundle pulls this outfit together


Sometimes I discover that I’ve been working the same beauty bundle into nearly every outfit I’ve worn in a week’s time. With beauty bundles at the ready–those few pieces that combine well together and can switch from one outfit to another–they make dressing so easy that it hardly requires any thought. So I hadn’t been thinking about what I’d been doing until I looked at a few outfit pictures on my iPhone. One after the other, I could see three pieces were pulling outfits together and I hadn’t really noticed!

What were those pieces? It centered around toasty shades of brown. In most outfits I was wearing my Lucky Brand Basel Toffee booties, my gingerbread colored bison leather belt and my walnut colored Botkier cross body bag. When I wasn’t wearing the Lucky Brand booties I was wearing a platform sandal that was black on the top but had a thick toffee-colored base. So shoes, belt, and bag were all in similar, but not matching, colors.

Where I really noticed the bundle was when I was wearing my white linen pants the other day (sandal substituting for bootie). How cool is this? I said to myself. My beauty bundle was working with a non-jean outfit just as well as it had worked with jean outfits. But isn’t that the beauty of Beauty Bundles?

Love the contrast of the toasty accessories with my stripes

Wearing my toffee-gingerbread-walnut bundle with stripes

Beauty Bundle meets stripes!

There was a day last week that called for stripes. I opened up my closet door and it’s like there was a chorus singing out to me: Wear stripes! Wear stripes today! I obliged and decided to not hold back. I’d wear double stripes! I wore my Chico’s navy and white striped jacket that I picked up this spring with a black and white striped T-shirt that I picked up about six years ago. Some of you may scratch your heads and wonder why I mixed a black and white stripe with a navy and white stripe. Let’s just get that out of the way.

I’m not often a matchy-matchy person. The main thing I was going for was using different widths of stripes together. The T-shirt stripe is thinner than the jacket stripe. Success! And I found that having the colors be off a little gave the outfit more depth, more interest. But here’s the groovy thing about Beauty Bundles. When you’re focusing on a color in your beauty bundle, it’s that color that pulls the whole outfit together. My toffee-gingerbread-walnut beauty bundle connects the dots in my outfits. From toes to hips to waist, I’m wearing shades of brown that don’t match exactly, but live in the same general family. These browns are warm browns, rather than cool browns. I love how they warm up the stripes and denim.


Adding a belt to this beauty bundle

My gingerbread colored belt travels with this bundle


I’ve had these booties for nearly two years. They come looking a bit beat up and mine have only gotten more beat up which makes them kind of funky. They are still available at Lucky Brand. Here’s a link to my tried and true booties. And here’s a link to the perforated version in toffee. I think these may have to hit my shopping list. They’d be cool for summer.



Wearing toffee brown booties for multiple outfits

Lucky Brand toffee booties get a workout


Lucky Brand booties in a beauty bundle

Toffee perforated Lucky Brand Basel booties

Beauty Bundle meets double denim and ruffles!


Wearing double denim with my brown beauty bundle

Toasty Beauty Bundle loves denim!


In this double denim outfit (I just learned that term from my Aussie friends!) I am wearing denim jeans, my Chico’s denim blazer and my ruffled burgundy blouse by J.Crew. What initially inspired this outfit? The ruffled blouse. Yes, I opened the closet doors that day and everything was pointing to the burgundy ruffled blouse: Wear her today! Wear her! said the chorus.

When I put this ruffled blouse on with my double denim I felt like I was channeling Mick Jagger. I know you think that’s a stretch but who else do you know who would wear ruffles with jeans? Anyway, I added the glittery necklace and reached for my toffee-gingerbread-walnut beauty bundle. Easy peasy! The shades of brown pull the outfit together and finishes it.


Burgandy ruffled blouse


Beauty Bundle meets linen and silk!

Toffee colors with linen and silk

Toffee colors with linen and silk


As for using this beauty bundle with my linen pants, well, you know how it started. I opened the closet door and the linen pants said, I’m ready, I’m ready! Pick me!

Goodness, I think these pants may be over ten years old. I spent many years not being able to fit in them so I’m happy to welcome them back into the rotation. I added my leopard print silk dress. I liked the full dress with the full legged pants. But when I looked in the mirror it was too much fullness. I looked like a clown, so what did I do? I added my trusty beauty bundle! Problem solved!

The belt cinched the dress in and gave some definition to the outfit while still letting it be flowy, which I liked. And the warm colors were a nice addition to the cooler colors I was wearing. It made the outfit feel more friendly. Thank you beauty bundle!

Do you have some things that would work well together and make your outfits look sharp no matter what you’re pairing them with? Start searching through your closet. I bet they’re there calling your name! Would you share? Thanks!

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  • Reply
    May 3, 2017 at 11:21 am

    What a great post to display the diversity of a single beauty bundle! I’m going to have to start using these too 🙂

    • Reply
      May 3, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      I know, isn’t that amazing? I love that beauty bundle in every single outfit. I’m glad you’re going to start using them! They’re a timesaver, that’s for sure!

  • Reply
    Cathy D.
    May 3, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    The beauty bundle seems like a great idea. Who wouldn’t like to have a group of related, complementary accessories ready to go? Unfortunately I seem to be having difficulty getting a single beauty bundle together. Yes, of course I own some accessories and can usually put an outfit together that looks OK, sometimes even better than OK. But moving those same accessories to another outfit just hasn’t worked yet. Maybe I don’t own the right accessories, or the right basics… or both. This is going to require lots of thought and practice.

    • Reply
      May 3, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      I encourage you to keep trying, Cathy. It may just happen naturally one day. You’ll look at what you’ve put together and realize, Oh my gosh, that’s a beauty bundle! I might recommend that you take some possible items that could be turned into beauty bundles and go shopping with them with the intention of coming home with a completed beauty bundle. If you try this, let me know how it goes!

      • Reply
        Cathy D.
        May 3, 2017 at 9:09 pm

        Thanks, Brenda.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2017 at 8:32 am

    That beauty bundle is a real workhorse! Those warm brown tones are very versatile, and I’ve always love brown with blue. I think these 3 outfits are my very favorites of all time that you’ve posted, especially the linen & silk outfit. Loose and flowy is my go-to style, but I often feel like I’m looking too shapeless in some of my clothes. I’m going to try belting some of my looser tops under a cardigan to see how it works on me. Thanks!

    • Reply
      May 10, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Yay, JoDi!!! I’m glad you’ll think to belt some of your flowy tops. And how great to hear how much you love these outfits! I was taken by how they were different but the beauty bundle stayed the same. You’re right, a true workhorse! (I started to say workhouse!)

  • Reply
    Cindy La Ferle
    May 4, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    I love the beauty bundle concept too — all outfits are lovely! The glittery necklace with the ruffles and denim is genius — I think those fancy statement necklaces are way cooler when they are used in a casual way. Love it!

    As for the flow-y pants … thanks for showing them and talking about this style. I have a lot of these wider pants — some are cropped — and I love the comfort factor and the elegance of the drape for summer. Ok, full disclosure: I’m getting tired of the skinny jeans I’m seeing everywhere, including on myself. Skinnies aren’t all that comfortable anymore, and I am starting to crave the look of something else … like bootcut jeans with peasant tops, and the flowing pants such as the ones you are wearing. But the wide-legged pants really do need balance, as you note, with a cropped or belted waist or something to balance them. You’ve got me thinking ….

    • Reply
      May 10, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      I wonder where your thinking took you! I’m liking the bootleg look, ’70s styles and flowy pants as well. It’s taking forever for us to have warmer weather so skinnies still are comfortable. But when it gets hot, I like flowing pants better. Thanks for your disclosure. I always like to know what you’re thinking!

  • Reply
    May 5, 2017 at 12:14 am

    The honeybrown necklace you added with your brownish beauty-bundle to the leopard print silk dress brilliantly helps to pull that outfit together – what a wonderful idea!
    Since I read about your concept of beauty-bundles some time ago I found parts of beauty-bundles amongst my accessories and can easily complete them when shopping.I hear compliments for outfits I own since years, now renewed by clever addition of – a beauty-bundle (or different ones…)!!! Thank you so much for that amazing concept!

    • Reply
      May 10, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      You are so welcome, Doris! And do you know what? I LOVE that necklace and it had been tucked away in a decorative box ever since we moved to Sonoma 12 years ago. Two days before wearing that outfit I rediscovered it. I just couldn’t wait to wear it and I thought it looked good with that outfit too. Thanks for noticing! It’s vintage and pretty delicate but I’m going to keep wearing it now that we’ve been reunited! So happy with the success of your beauty bundles!!!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Johnson
    May 5, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    OK, Brenda…this looks wonderful on you, but my weight has been going in the wrong direction and a belt is out of the question. What else could be in the bundle? And, if you would care to share weight loss ideas…I’m in. Thanks my sweet friend.

    • Reply
      May 10, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Cheryl, I would not do a belt but do a necklace instead that would relate to that color and also be semi informal like the belt and booties are. My weight loss? It was mainly to ease a digestive problem I was having and weight loss came with it! I eliminated dairy, grains, legumes…I think that’s it. It made me realize how many calories I must have been ingesting with all the crackers, rice, bread, etc. I don’t stick to it 100% but I dropped about ten pounds and it’s remained stable for many weeks now. For what it’s worth!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Just curious, how tall you are? I am only 5 foot and 122 lb can’t find any long dresses.

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