Hey look! It’s another minimal holiday outfit! Something dressy enough — but not too crazy — for a chill holiday gathering. Just add a coat and you’re set. (Here’s mine.)
I’m really drawn to outfits like this these days. By the way, here’s what I mean when I dub an outfit “minimal”:
- It’s usually either monochromatic or black + white.
- There’s very little pattern.
- It’s got a good mix of masculine + feminine going on.
It’s not a scientific definition, but it’s where I’m hanging out these days.
So my secret weapon when it comes to dressing up when it’s chilly outside? These wool track pants + fleece lined tights underneath. I know, I know. I’m wearing open toed shoes, so it doesn’t look like I know what I’m talking about when I’m giving advice on staying warm. But am I the only one who tells myself to “just deal with it” when it’s cold outside + I have to dress up? Well, at least to a certain point. If it’s mega cold, you can bet I’m just going to stay in + sit under the electric blanket like a grandmother.
Maybe I should work on that and put some dress up boots in my winter capsule wardrobe. These are amazing, but triple yikes on the price.
So does anyone know of any boots that kinda look like that + don’t cost as much as a family vacation?
Rings + Bracelets + Necklace: Moulton
Seems like most of the IM lookalike boots were sold out last year, but check out the boots from ba&sh at La Redoute: http://www.laredoute.com/search.aspx?keyword=ba+sh
Oh, awesome! Thanks for sharing, Karianne! :) xo Caroline
These Steve Madden ones immediately came to mind – http://www.shopstyle.com/p/steve-madden-jannyce-taupe-suede-leather-ankle-boots/459324231?pid=iOS_app_v3
Thanks for the rec, Chrissy! xo Caroline
Lisa | Happy By says
Caroline I don’t see why your Aldo strap booties or your black ankle boots wouldn’t work with this outfit, unless you’re going somewhere with a red carpet. You can pop some cozy thin socks under them too for extra warmth and a pop of color (red or dark grey glitter maybe?). Actually, why not try put some socks under these lace up heels too? Who knows what you might come up with. Don’t fall in the trap of buying nicer boots only for occasions, unless it is already freezing where you live and you you have to go somewhere fancy 2-3 times/week until Spring.
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
Hey Lisa, I know where you are coming from and definitely agree with not buying something extra just for something fancy — unless it is FOR my fancy capsule. I actually had this idea in mind when I bought my peep toe, ankle-showing booties. I wanted to wear them in all seasons, because there are always socks. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that Texas planned to skip fall and go straight into winter and now I am scrambling to get closed toe booties/boots to hide from this piercing wind. I had to learn that socks don’t really help in winter. And I am feeling the pain of our Canadian sisters right now!
Lisa | Happy By says
Tania you are on point for your argument. I just assumed Caroline would buy a new pair of boots for the remaining of Fall capsule, but she explained she would make them part of the everyday capsule, not the fancy one only.
I am all about being warm and cozy, no matter where I go, so for a real winter climate you should totally invest in a proper shoe for going out (if that is more than once in a blue moon). And unfortunately, as you found out too, I have never had any luck with all seasons shoes until now, even for my mild climate.
Hi Lisa! I love the idea of trying socks with heels. So avant-garde, or at least in my opinion. :) I’m going to have to figure out how to make that happen. But I think I’m going for something even warmer than my Aldo + Kenneth Cole booties, like a taller boot with no skin exposed. I’d definitely go with an option that could be dressed down too, so I could wear it anytime, because I think you’re so on point about not buying super fancy items that’ll only get worn a couple of times. We’ll see … I’ll start planning my next capsule (winter capsule) in a few weeks. Excited! xo Caroline
Lisa | Happy By says
If it’s about making it part of your winter capsule wardrobe, then absolutely go for it girl. I assumed you would consider them out of a panic moment of “i have nothing to wear with this outfit” for the remaining of the season.
You gave me goosebumps now – so excited for you winter wardrobe woohoo! I hope you share some of the process (as usual, but more please) of how to choose items before you present the final result!
Hello! Great advice! Would it be possible for you to do a minimal packing list for someone traveling for a long period over the holidays? I would really appreciate your suggestions when it comes to streamlining packing. Thanks!
Great idea! I’m leaving Friday for holiday traveling and I always over pack (and stress about it!).
These boots are very cute but still out of my price range: http://www.coclico.com/store/dore-mimetico/dp/10618
Still, maybe not as dressy as you’d like. I always tell myself I’ll buy a dressy/warmer pair of shoes & then I realize that’s so unrealistic for me. If I had to choose between going out in strappy heels or staying home I’d pick staying home. haha
I’m jealous anyone can go anywhere without socks on right now. We’re already into the teens & 20s here so there’s no leg showing anywhere till like, March, for us. ;)
Your post just made me realize why I have always had a “hole” in my wardrobe of fancy outfits. It’s because I have never bought shoes to take an outfit from fun to fancy. I know–duh, how did I not realize this sooner. Anyways, I’m loving this pair of fancy booties.
I had the same duh moment myself! I finally bought a fun pair of shoes and it instantly made it so much easier to get a little more dressed up in my clothes I already had! I actually bought some shoes on target.com I found after perusing the link Caroline has here for these strappy ones. Cute, affordable and super comfortable! :)
Those are super cool. Thanks for sharing, Audrey! :) xo Caroline
Check out Dolce Vita! The boots are so comfortable. The heels on these links are different, but it still has that black on black effect you may be looking for. :) Also 6pm.com
Ah, how I love Dolce Vita! Thanks for sharing, Christina! xo Caroline
what fleece-lined tights do you recommend? i’m looking for some help staying warm!
I just bought some fleece lined tights and leggings from Urban Outfitters. So far they’ve kept me warm in cold Chicago and they’re really comfortable.
Hi Lauren! I get mine from Target:
Cheap + comfy — can’t go wrong. You may want to start with one pair and see how it goes — the reviews say they don’t stay up. But I’ve been wearing the same pair since last year and they work just fine for me. xo Caroline
So…..a comment from a northern Canadian girl – where winters hover in the -40s and the snow is up to the hip…..
Whenever we go out somewhere fancy (special dinner, Christmas party, even church), I will wear my snow boots and put the fancy shoes in a bag to bring. Then switch when you take off your coat (or parka ;) ). Unless you’re club hopping from place to place, this works well.
Brilliant plan, Erin! Thanks for sharing. :) xo Caroline
These from Coclico have been my go-to winter party shoes for like 5 years now… http://files.fashionisspinach.com/images/0709/hannahbootie.jpg
I don’t think they’re available any more, though :( They have lasted forever because although they are comfortable for standing around they are terrible for walking, so I never wear them for anything more demanding than a party.
Stella/The Heart's Delight says
Have you tried out the IRO booties? I recommend them to all of my clients (I’m a stylist).
I love them and they are beyond comfortable. Again, not exactly a bargain, but I try to splurge on boots as they really become the workhorses of my capsule once the cold moves in. Also, Shopbop tends to run their seasonal 30% off sales which would make the price much more “do-able.” XO
Those track pants look so comfy! I love when outfits are stylish and comfy at the same time! Super cute!
The MAMA Gazette
kelly from snowy boston says
I’m looking for new shoes and boots and i stumbled upon these boots on ebay… Similar in style to the ones you liked. And, MUCH less expensive. : ) Maybe you can find something similar in your size??
kelly from snowy boston says
I absolutely love your style philosophy. I adore all of your outfits and your style. It’s perfection. I have a sort of capsule wardrobe and am just perfecting it now season by season. On here I find the inspiration that I have been lacking when I stare at my things (that I absolutely love) and think: something is missing. just what?
Natalie Melchiorre says
Ahh!! Doing searches like this is my jam!! These Steve Madden’s are pretty damn close… http://www.stevemadden.com/product/WOMENS/Booties/POWERWLK/pc/2163/sc/2212/179030.uts?sortByColumnName=Relevance&selectedColor=BLACK-MULTI&$MR-THUMB$
You found them!!! Natalie, you’re the BEST! Now I’m just trying to figure out if I want to go there with that heel. Usually I stick to 4 inches or less, but … ahh these look almost exactly like the designer pair! Thanks for sharing! xo Caroline
Natalie Melchiorre says
Glad to help a sista out! ; ) If it’s any reassurance, there’s one user review on the site that says they’re easy to walk in and have a cozy lining that make them good for winter…
You are awesome! What a skill! :)
Kate M says
I don’t do fancy very often so these are not super dressy but I had to share these black Toms wedges. I tried multiple brands of this same style and these were the best price and most comfortable by a lot. They are flannel lined so I don’t even need socks. So cute with tights. I want them in taupe as well.
Also I buy my fleece lined tights at Nordstrom rack. They are cheap and seem good quality.
Love your blog! Just wondering if those pants stretch out because I’m debating what size to get them in (the XS fit more like leggings on me but the small has way more room in the crotch area I’m afraid of it bulging when I sit)
Hi Mary! They hold their shape really well — they don’t really stretch. Mine fit more like leggings too, which I prefer. :) xo Caroline
I also had a question – I’m in Houston, not too far from you – and I am debating adding these pants to my capsule for winter. Are they warm? It’s in the 40’s today and I am wanting to know if I can wear them without layering. And also, are they dry clean only? Love your site, you’re an inspiration! I have just started my capsule wardrobe for fall and I’m hoping to continue for a year and beyond!
Thank you!! Again love your blog and style and what you’re doing
None of these are cheap, but…
I really love the look of these, I’m not sure I could ever handle a stiletto heel myself.
Also http://www.eileenfisher.com/EileenFisher/collection/shoes/PRD_EF39941A/Ideal+Pump+in+Italian+Suede.jsp?bmLocale=en_US and http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/pdp/detail.jsp?&navAction=jump&id=33835299&cm_mmc=CJ-_-Affiliates-_-rewardStyle-_-11292623#/ could work for fancy.
Sarah Lafrenz says
Honestly, these shoes feel like I’m wearing tennis shoes. I know how heels intimidate you, but the wedge is hardly noticeable! Definitely not the price of a family vacation either!! :) They come in several colors, as well as leather vs suede. Happy shopping!
Naomi Z-B says
Hello! Thank you for the advice! Although I’m just a fourteen year old, the idea of dressing in a minimal way has been something I have had great interest in. Thank you for these tips!
So excited to see the fall to winter transition in your wardrobe. Winter has fully arrived in Canada – frigid temperatures and snow already!!
Could these work?
Sara C says
Those are some fierce heels!
Not even remotely the same, but I just bought these:
for my winter in Denver dress up days.
I used to associate Clark’s shoes with old ladies and desert boots only. Last winter I bought a pair of suede booties from them (almost identical to yours!!) and I don’t know if I’ll ever buy heels from anyone else ever again. I’m on my feet all day at work and I can wear Clark’s heels all day and not hate myself by the end. I’m glad they’ve started making more modern styles, I can’t wear uncomfortable shoes all day like I once did – but I don’t want to look like an old lady, either.
Just window shopping on the ‘net today and found these in the ASOS UK store: http://www.asos.com/Selected/Selected-Vera-Black-Leather-Heeled-Ankle-Boots/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=4624065&cid=4172&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=204&sort=-1&clr=Black&totalstyles=1936&gridsize=3
Almost exactly the same!
Btw, been a lurker for a little while – I LOVE your blog! And the idea of a capsule wardrobe of course. ;)
http://pinterest.com/pin/14988611235411141/ Not party-party but oh so pretty and classic!
I absolutely love your blog! Question about your wool joggers. Do you mind sharing the inseam length? I’m super tall and going crazy trying to find a pair of wool joggers that will work for me and these are super cute.
Update on these joggers:
Aritzia was having a sale on these joggers on Black Friday so I decided to take a chance and order them for my winter capsule wardrobe. To my delight they fit perfectly and are long enough! I ordered a size L and I’m 6ft tall and have a 35″ inseam. These joggers are a nice heavy weight and I know they’re going to be a favorite in my capsule. Thanks for introducing me to these joggers and to Aritzia. It’s now one of my favorite places to shop. I order a white shirttail tee from them as well. It’s a pima cotton modal blend and is just yummy!
I like the way you style the blouse! When I wear blouses, I always end up looking too formal…
Why don’t you wear warm boots outside and take the beautiful but too cold heels with you and change when you get inside?