the capsule wardrobe | fall 2016: clinicals


it certainly doesn’t feel like fall at all, but my academic year starts a week from today so I had to get started on a portion of my capsule wardrobe earlier than seasonally-appropriate. for this rotation, I’ll be required to wear business casual clothing at my clinical sessions. for my program, ‘business casual’ means no jeans, closed-toe shoes (with hosiery), and a semi-dressy top with a conservative neckline. keeping these requirements in mind, I took a good look at what I had in my closet and then pinpointed some pieces I needed to buy: some dressy shells, top layer options, more professional-looking flats, and a good pair of black trousers. some of the pieces above may look familiar because I highlighted them as things I was eyeing during the nordstrom anniversary sale. obviously, some things worked out!

one | the only item I purchased that wasn’t on sale were these pants. they were more expensive than I wanted, but they fit perfectly, are machine-washable, have good stretch but still structured, and highly recommended by my boss and several friends. I had planned on buying two pairs of trousers but ended up just buying just this pair because of the price and because no other pair came close in comparison.

two | I finally found a blazer that works for my body, so I bought it in three colors! they wouldn’t work for a completely business-attire environment, but for business casual, these are perfect. the knit is comfortable, and the open front is really flattering on me.

three |┬áthese flats are fierce, and I’m so glad that I guessed the right size before they sold out. this pair was a 2-for-1: I was looking to replace my pair of smoking slippers and for a pair of dressy flats.

four | these tanks are long enough on the bottom and high enough on the neckline to be appropriate, and I plan on wearing them underneath a cardigan or a blazer. they are a bit sheer open in the lower back, but I’ll have a layer on top to cover that detail during clinical. plus, that lets them be a great going-out option, too.

five | I was so pleased to find a long-sleeved blouse in a mixed-media design – the knit back is great for comfort & ease of movement. the neckline doesn’t come down too low (no hint of cleavage), and the tunic length & long sleeves make it a great piece that doesn’t require a top layer.

six | as for this cardigan, I wasn’t sure about the ruffles (I tend to like pieces that are a little more streamlined), but I was surprised to find that it looked really good on and added just the right amount of unexpected detail. the sweater part is the perfect light grey and is ridiculously soft.


these are the pieces that I already had, rounding out my 16-piece clinical capsule wardrobe.

seven | I couldn’t find this exact turtleneck online in the black but it comes in a bunch of other colors, and this is a thicker option. I like the tissue weight because it lies flat and makes it really easy to wear under other pieces of clothing.

eight | this cashmere sweater is actually from the men’s section. I prefer the way their version drapes on me as opposed to the women’s version.

nine | this cardigan is a great basic and is a workhorse staple in my wardrobe in general. the wool is warm but thin enough to not be too bulky.

ten | this is an old pair from via spiga that I scored at a great price at nordstrom rack a couple of years ago, but this is a similar pair in classic leather with a work-friendly kitten heel.

eleven | this coach bag was a christmas present a couple of years back. it’s such a great classic shape in a not-too-big but not-too-small size. sadly, coach no longer makes this exact style, but this, this, and this are similar.

twelve | aside from a watch and my wedding band, the only jewelry I’m allowed to wear is a pair of stud earrings. these are one of my favorites. I love that the raw cut of the herkimer diamond gives a little edgy twist to an otherwise classic earring.

thirteen | every nurse needs a watch with a second hand. I prefer to wear a watch with a metal or silicone band because it’s easier to disinfect and I don’t need to worry about getting it wet every time I wash my hands. this watch has a really versatile shape, and the pink second hand is a nice touch.

are you ready for fall?

summer dressing

dresses&sandalsdresses: fit & flare | shirtdress | maxi

sandals: wedges | lace-ups | embellished

a dress & a pair of sandals is my summer uniform. there is nothing easier than a dress when it comes to putting together an outfit – no need to worry about a top & bottom; it’s one and done! this has come in handy this summer where I’ve needed to get dressed & out the door in as little time as possible. the funny thing is, dresses and I have a love-hate relationship. it takes me a whole lot of trial & error to find a dress for my body, but once I do, it becomes a classic in my closet. all three of the dresses above are in constant rotation. I wore the fit & flare dress (in a different print that’s now sold out) to a friend’s wedding with a cardigan, the shirtdress to a staff meeting, and the maxi for all the days this summer where it’s been too darn hot to wear much else. I love all three, but I have to rave a little about the maxi – it has a slit on the side, which makes walking & climbing stairs so much easier, as well as adding a little sexy detail. the petite length is spot on for me without needing alterations. when j. crew factory had a massive sale a couple of weeks back, I ordered the black, tried it on, fell in love, and then ordered it in the dusky blue and a turquoise. you know the dress is a winner when you have it in 3 colors & they all get used at least once a week.

I’m of the opinion that the more classic/basic the dress, the more liberty you have to amp it up with the shoes. I tell myself it’s ok I’ve worn all of these dresses to death this summer because 1) capsule wardrobe – go me! and 2) I change up the shoes. the wedges are so comfy (and now madly on sale!), the lace-ups are a good edgier option, and who doesn’t want a pair of embellished sandals to liven up the most basic of outfits?

what’s your summer uniform?