One of the downfalls of a capsule wardrobe is that, with fewer pieces, you may find yourself reaching for the same outfits over and over again. To stay inspired, challenge yourself and a friend to take a single piece of clothing and style it multiple ways. Below, Megan and I apply this thinking to our favorite pair of me-made pants…
Megan: Hey Jennifer! You know, I was totally inspired by your pull on pants pattern throwdown and just made myself a couple of pairs of Jalie Eleanore pants. It was so nice to see someone with a similar body type to mine test all those patterns so that I didn’t have to! Thanks!! However, I suspect we have really different styles so I thought I would send you a message and see how you wear them in your everyday life. Maybe we could take some photos to inspire each other and to show everyone in the CSC what an awesome wardrobe builder we have both found these pants to be?
Jennifer: Hey there, body double! I love the idea of comparing styling tips for the Eleonore Jeans. They are definitely my go-to pants. They work well in so many settings. I’ll start with my usual “travel outfit.” I’m on a plane 3-4 times a month, and I’ve found that I’m very particular about traveling in comfort. I need to look “put together” because I’m traveling for work, but I also want something comfortable — the Eleonore elastic waist is great! When I’m traveling, I keep accessories to a minimum so that I can fly through security — I will usually have a scarf tucked into my carry on bag in case I get cold, but I generally eschew jewelry of any kind. A bamboo knit Concord is the perfect top — soft and snuggly without being too heavy. And definitely closed-toes shoes that I can slip on and off without a hitch! What about you? How do you dress the Eleonore’s for travel?
Megan: That looks like a great travel outfit for your needs and I have to say I love your fireplace! I NEVER travel for work (thanks to our budget shortfall in the state of New Mexico) so I don’t have any worries about having to look too professional, but I agree that the elastic waist makes these pants perfect for the airplane. The last few times I have flown have been for holidays or friends’ weddings, so I’ve been super casual. An easy to wear t-shirt (Hot Patterns fast and fabulous shirt tail tee), a big cozy sweater, and scarf are a must for me. I always carry on a huge bag like this one my sister got me in Columbia so that I can have my snacks, water, ipad, book, pillow, etc. with me. I am not a low maintenance traveler!
Jennifer: Yes! I love how you’ve combined colors and textures in your bag and scarf. It looks so “casual yet polished”!
Megan: So would you wear your Eleanore’s to work and if so, how would you dress them up for an important meeting or presentation?
Jennifer: I like to pair my Eleonore’s with a simple RTW sweater and bright shoes for days when I’m presenting my work to the bosses. I’ve given up heels entirely, so my Eleonore’s are hemmed to work best with a flats or heels of under an inch. I love my black travel bag — it works great for business meetings (and I can get an overnight change of clothes in for quick business trips). I also love these glasses — not only can I see the LCD projector better, but they make me look smart! (Also, why am I rubbing my belly in this photo?!)
Megan: I love those glasses on you and those shoes are super cute! I have to admit that pulling together a work look with my Eleanore’s was a bit of a challenge for me- in a good way! I typically default to a dress if I’m trying to look fancy, but I’m glad I found this outfit and I think I’ll wear it next time I have to look presentable at work. Fortunately I’m a geologist, so that doesn’t happen very often. I un-cuffed the pants (that makes it fancy, right?) and paired it with a Sew House Seven Mississippi Avenue Dress in a textural, hand-woven cotton and a RTW cardigan. I added my “looks like turquoise but is actually corn” necklace, a Vera Bradley “briefcase,” and my favorite nude flats. I’m with you on the heels thing!
Jennifer: Genius! I hadn’t ever considered wearing a dress over my Eleonore’s — game changer! You look so put together — it’s the layers, I think. Adding the cardigan gets you to that Third Piece Rule that I’ve read about but never seem to make happen on my own. Maybe I need to go back and try again!
Okay, next up: running errands. If I’m being totally honest, I usually make a Target run in leggings and an old t-shirt. But I aim to improve my errands game starting now! In the photo below, I’ve paired my Eleonore’s (sporting an unfortunate bit of static cling) with a linen knit Concord top, scarf, and wool-weave clutch. Simple white sandals complete the look — easy breezy, and not too embarrassing if I run into my neighbors along the way. 🙂
Megan: You are looking good for errands, I think your neighbors will be impressed! I live in a really small town so I know what you mean about running into people. I can be sure to run into at least one person I know anywhere I go, but I do still keep it pretty casual (it’s New Mexico after all). My absolute favorite thing to pair with my Eleanore’s is this Closet Case Pattern’s Ebony Tee made out of a cozy ponte. I never leave the house for errands without my massive grocery basket, my everyday purse, and my most favorite shoes of all time! To be honest, this is an outfit I will wear for almost any occasion.
Megan: All this outfit brainstorming has me ready for a drink… what about you?
Jennifer: Finally, girls night out! We have a bunch of al fresco dining options in our historic district, and I’ve been taking advantage of warm evenings to sit outside with a glass of wine and a bit of gossip with my girlfriends. To stay cool, I pair my Eleonore’s with a black tencel Springfield top and open-toed sandals. A simple turquoise necklace and my gold-studded gray clutch are all I need. (I also threw on a watch, so make sure I don’t stay out too late!)
Megan: That sounds super fun, Jennifer. I also love to meet friends for an “al fresco” drink, however our options run more along the lines of “sitting on a bench made out of a solid log on a gravel patio” so I tend to be a bit more casual (are you sensing a theme?). This tunic is one of the few remaining items from my first year of sewing, and these Eleanore’s have allowed me to revive it. It was too short to wear with leggings, but I didn’t have any suitable pants before I made these. I think this outfit will be a summer staple now. I’ve paired it with a glass of wine, a RTW cardi, and my favorite hat. I can’t go anywhere without a hat in the summer, the sun is really intense here.
Jennifer: I adore your hat — it elevates your outfit to “bohemian cool.” And now I wish that we lived closer together so we could share a bottle of wine and talk more about style choices!
Megan: You know, one thing I noticed was that you kept the straight leg as drafted on your Eleanore’s, while I skinny-ed the legs of mine and tend to roll them up. I think both look great and definitely pair well with our individual styles. I would say that the Jalie Eleanore Pull on Jeans is a really versatile pattern for a number of styles, and it sure is comfortable! (Editor’s note: check out Yvette’s tutorial on modifying the Eleanore jeans with a higher rise and pockets!)
Jennifer: I was just going to say the same thing about the straight/skinny leg! I have another pair of Eleonore jeans on the cutting table right now, and I think I’m going to try your skinny leg approach. Stay tuned!
Megan: Thanks for playing along, Jennifer! This was fun and hopefully we gave our friends at the CSC some inspiration for their capsule wardrobes.