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Saturday 29 July 2017

An Investment Dressing Capsule

Hi fine peoples!
Today I thought I would give you something a little different.  Investment dressing. 
Meaning you buy items of a classic cut, fabric and colour which can be worn time and time again over the years.  Yes, you may spend a little bit more investing in a good quality item. But because you wear the items time and time again, your Cost per Wear reduces significantly.
 However, let's not overlook the cheaper item which can also last you for years, it's the luck of the draw.
And if you are choosing your investment dressing items well, they will mix and match throughout your wardrobe. extending their CPW.

So I've put together some pics showing a practical example of investment dressing, dressing that stands the test of time.  It's also a pretty good example of a capsule wardrobe as some of the items are repeated through this post in various ways.  I've placed the outfits in style groups for ease of reference.

I hope that this in some small way may be helpful when you are choosing investment dressing items and I really do hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I did when putting it together!



Casual has got to mean jeans.  Do these ever go out of fashion?!
Back in the 60s a male friend once expressed the view that jeans and a white t shirt, worn with a navy Guernsey (a traditional oiled wool jumper) never goes out of fashion, for male or female, and if we arm ourselves with those our wardrobes are complete.  Such wise words.  That look would not look out of place today or in any of the intervening decades.

So let's have a look at a few jeans looks.

Distressed jeans, worn classically with a loose man's shirt and flip flops.

For cooler days, double denim.  Denim shirt, boots and jeans with a mufflered scarf filling the neckline.

 On warmer days, a halter-neck top with the jeans and navy cork wedges.

Classic Camel

Stone coloured Levi cords worn with a pure wool camel sweater, under which is worn a pink button-neck seersucker shirt with a neck cravat.  Accessorised with stone coloured Dr Scholls and a straw basket.  A black PVC mac peeps out from the basket, you will see it pop up in this post, in basket or over arm.

And on warmer days, the cords are seen here with a white ribbed vest top.

Smarter casual

Classic black polo neck and black trousers just never goes out of date.

Jacket and heels always smarten up a pair of jeans.

Here our model wears a stone cord jacket (which would also look pretty snazzy with the cords in the earlier photo).  Navy cork platform wedges lift the outfit and the look is followed through with a striped rust-coloured polo neck, for a cooler day look.

On cooler days still (like snow!) layers are called for.  The base for this outfit is a pair of pink/brown wool trousers and a sludgy pink loose polo neck jumper, over which is layered a jumper in blocks of black, pink and brown.  To finish the outfit, the model selected a brimmed hat and thick gloves.

This is a versatile investment piece that will see you through many years of dressing. 
It is a knee-length navy flecked wool cardi with a tortoiseshell buckled self-belt.  Here our model chose to wear it as a dress and added a scarf at the neck for extra warmth whilst watching a football match.  Sometimes she also layers this versatile piece as a long open cardi over jeans, trousers, skirts and dresses, omitting the self-belt.

Smarter Casual and Work Wear

I'm blending a few outfits here as they work equally well for a little dressier casual and for the office.

The pink button-neck seersucker blouse seen earlier, is now worn with a plum coloured wool skirt.  Tan block heels and a cravat-style neck scarf complete the outfit.  In winter this skirt doubles up with the black polo neck and knee length boots.

A nil-green and cream striped wool top, worn with green velvet trousers (part of a trouser suit the model bought in Amsterdam).

I include this look again from the capsule as it works equally well as a column with a jacket for the office, such as the capsule's beige cord jacket or the dark green velvet trouser suit jacket (not shown).

Another so-easy-to-wear smarter casual outfit which could take you so many places and could also be used for the office.  Our model wears a pair of soft mauve canvas trousers with a black wool rever-necked short-sleeved top.  Simply accessorised with a green stoned pendant and black platformed sling-backs (not shown).

A tunic is always useful in an investment capsule.  Here our model wears a t shirt-style petrol-blue jersey tunic with long sleeves over classic black jersey trousers, but the tunic can be worn with skirts and over dresses, or even as a very short dress on its own!


Dressier outfits for smarter occasions or for workwear provide a great degree of versatility.

A cotton-boucle black/white knee-length shift dress, with a toggled neckline.  The model wore this with black ankle-strap wedges.

Here our model wears a long-sleeved black jersey above-knee dress which has a front zipper, with a cravat-style scarf and black sling-back flatties.
This dress works equally well more casually, e.g. worn over a polo neck and with the zipper opened to mid-chest level.

A shirtdress is always a useful wardrobe item.  This madras cotton shirtdress can be worn for smart casual and office wear.

This is again a super-versatile dress. A navy pinstripe shift dress.  It comes with a matching frockcoat, which in itself can be worn with other items in the capsyle. 
 A paparazza snapped our model wearing it with sling black black flatties (seen for beach wear later).  Black with navy was OK as our model is carrying the black PVC raincoat with white trim over her arm.  Accessories, darling!

For smart occasions and for the office, this look works well.  Well-cut ivory gabardine trousers, worn with the nil-green striped top and the beige cord jacket from the model's capsule.

Dressier Still

It's always useful to have an easy-fit go-to dress for those dressier occasions.  Here we see a nil-green soft jersey knee length dress which falls in a trapeze shape from the bust.  The mutton sleeves are finished off with same coloured ball-bearing style buttons at the cuff.  Worn with nude suede block heels (not quite in picture).


If your life style requires you to have something special tucked away for the very dressy occasions, it's best to have a couple in your wardrobe that cover the seasons.  Spend wisely and these could last you for years.

Here, a soft purple silk dress accessorised with a ivory fabric gardenia.

This 40s style ankle length crepe-de-chine silk is a real asset to any girl's wardrobe.  The base colour is a forest green with a putty coloured flower print.  It has a tie neck that looks equally good tied formally or untied and the neck left more softly open.
The model often wears the green velvet jacket from the trouser suit to ward off chills on cooler days.


Here we see our model wearing a navy serge coat.  It is, in fact, a Salvation Army coat which was gift to her from a school friend, the only modification being to lop about 12 inches off the length to make it fall to the knee.  The coat can be worn with the rever opened at the neck or buttoned up fully on colder days.   Brown leather flat-heeled boots complete the outfit.


It is worth bringing attention to the versatile stone-coloured Dr Scholls seen in the photo above.  These can be worn throughout spring and summer with jeans and shorts, skirts and dresses and as the construction is of wood and leather, these shoes should last you for years to come.
Sweet Susan recently featured her Dr Scholls here.


Our model is a lover of vintage clothes from the 30s 40s and 50s period.  A great source is her aunty, another is church hall jumble sales.

Here our model again wears her stone cord levis, this time with a plum coloured short sleeved wool jumper.  Although it can't be seen in this pic, the left shoulder is fastened by a line of mother of pearl buttons and the bottom of the jumper has a wide ribbed welt.


Our model is not a handbag gal, per se.

She likes practical bags, like this straw basket seen throughout this post.

When it comes to regular handbags, our model again prefers vintage to modern-day and has a fine collection of bags given to her by an aunty.  Although you can't see the detail here, on this day she teamed her cardi-dress with the brown leather knee boots and this rather beautiful brown leather clutch, ca. 1940s.


The lovely Laurie recently wrote a piece on body confidence.  Our model decided to grab the baton and include a section on investment beach wear.

Investing in black beachwear will see you through many summers to come.  Here our model used the straw basket as her handbag accessory and black sling back flatties to finish her beach outfit.

An interesting point to note is that this bikini started off its life as a swimsuit a few years earlier. The outer layer is a lycra lace and the panel around the tummy was unlined.  Rather than buy a new black bikini, our tight frugal model cut out the middle panel and simply hemmed the loose ends in around the bra and pants and inserted a bra fastening at the back. Et voila! 

Another classic for beach wear is black and white jersey.  Just visible here is a Swedish jersey halter-beck bikini. 

Beauty Routines

Looking after one's skin is an investment in itself.

The gorgeous Gail recently tried out a face mask.  However, whilst our model follows a rigid plan of cleansing and moisturising, she is not a great fan of facials.  On this very rare occasion she tried out a face mask during a pamper evening at home.  Just in the shot you can see a friend pouring shampoo over her shower cap as our model blindly poses.

And finally ...

Here our model takes a selfie!  Is this the first recorded selfie, I wonder?!
Yes, maybe the first blog selfie EVER, taken in 1968!

For our model is, of course, me, and this post came about through a rather circuitous route.
My friend of 50 years has a special birthday coming up and whilst hooking out a few photos of her BITD, I stumbling upon these.

And as I flipped through the photo albums I started to see before me an investment dressing capsule.  I started to realise that any of these outfits, indeed any of these hairstyles, would not look totally out of place in 2017.  But the pics were taken between 1966 and 1974.

So, technically, if these items had not worn out in the past 50 years, then these really are IRL investment dressing.  In retrospect, half a century later! Choosing items to stand the test of time.

The only fly in the ointment I see is this.  Long term investment dressing means you have to stay the same shape, the same dress size. 
And that, dear reader, is where my plan comes tumbling down to the ground!

I really hope you enjoyed this post because I had an absolute blast going down OOTD memory lane.

Well ... did you?
And have you ever looked back on photos from your youth and discovered today's capsule wardrobe?
Outfits that, subject to fit, you would happily wear today?
And which would not look out of place today, in your view at least?!
Investment dressing, through the looking glass?
I'd love to know ...

A la perchoine.

Linking up with notdressedaslamb


  1. What a fun post, I love all the pictures! Especially love the selfie from 1968!!!!

    1. Aw thanks, Kellyann, I'm glad you appreciate the fun aspect of this post. And I really surprised myself when I found the selfie in the album!

  2. Hi PP. I really enjoyed traveling through time with you and seeing what we got up to, fashion-wise. My favorite is the 'biker girl' photo, as, to me it exudes a somewhat 'tough edge' to the very feminine Mary that I have got to know on this fashion blog. This look would not look out of place in 2017, I think.

    1. Hi LD and thanks for your sweet words. So pleased you enjoyed your time travel with me!
      That's why I compiled the pics as there is nothing there I wouldn't wear now. Except the short skirt. And the bikini! For I have to work within the constraints of my present day body, sadly.

  3. Such an interesting read Mary, I often think about outfits I worn over the years, should have kept them because they would look fabulous and right on trend now-a-days! Jacqui

    1. Thanks so much, Jacqui. I wish someone had told me 50 years ago, just keep what you've got right now. And don't go over 8.5 stone :-)!

  4. Investment dressing YES Bargain finds YES But to be honest Mary I enjoyed flicking through your years far more than the story of the clothes! I do so love your blog Mary! Thank you for the shout xx

    1. Glad you enjoyed the year flick, Laurie. I built the model's story around the treasure trove of photos I chanced upon, but as you note, it's the flicking through time that's the fun bit. Thanks for your very kind comment.

  5. Thanks guys for your support �� PP x

    1. Special thanks to my little assistant for posting this note of gratitude! Approved by me, I should add.

  6. Such a fun way to talk about investment dressing-thanks for sharing so much with us! I think I have some similar photos somewhere(or my mom does)but many aren't flattering- flowered hot pants and matching short sleeved jacket anyone?! My mother sewed many of our clothes during the 1960-1970's and living in a rural area WAY before the Internet, access to fabric was limited. Oh well, we were kids-what did we know? I appreciated your comment about staying the same weight-ugh. I fondly remember a skirt I made in a high school class that fit me for 5 years -that would never happen now:( One last thought, I just saw a full page advertisement for Guernsey tourism in UK Country Living-it looks like a gorgeous place for a vacation-lucky you to live there every day! Have a wonderful week and thanks for a delightful post.

    1. Davs, Jules! Thanks for your sweet kindness. Like you, living on an island I made a lot of my clothes back then as often the shops didn't have what I saw in the magazines.
      So glad you liked the tourist board promo - of course, the sun is always shining in adverts!
      Wishing you and all out there a fabulous week.

  7. Loved this! what a dear time travel piece. I understand about the weight and shape thing. Even though I can't part from some of the things I made in the 80's (my skinniest), I can't get into them!

    1. Thank you so much, Terri, I thought this retro vintage post might appeal to a lady of similar heart. And you look beautifully slim and trim, unlike this writer who probably would struggle to squeeze her arm into her 70s trouser leg now!

  8. What a fun post. Certainly takes me down memory lane. Thank you for taking us on this journey with you.

    1. Thanks, Christy, not much has changed ... appart from the bikini body!

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