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A Talbots Holiday Capsule Wardrobe

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collage of clothing from Talbots to create a holiday capsule wardrobe

The holidays are right around the corner, is your closet ready? This is the time of year where your social calendar fills up. Friends from out of town are back for a quick coffee catch-up, neighbors host cookie swaps, your aunt hosts Thanksgiving, your cousin hosts Christmas dinner, your bestie has her famous New Year’s cocktail party, and your company has its annual holiday gala. It can seem overwhelming for your schedule, your budget, and your wardrobe. I believe in capsule wardrobes; they’re a way to achieve more style with fewer pieces. In partnership with Talbots, I have created a holiday capsule wardrobe. With only ten pieces of clothing (and a few shoes and other accessories) I have created 24 looks all available in Misses and Plus sizes to get you through the entire holiday season in style. 

This post is sponsored by Talbots

Last year I created a capsule wardrobe for the holidays and wore it for several events throughout the season. For that capsule I focused on blue and black; this year I chose to have a holiday capsule wardrobe based on black with red. Red is a great color all year round, but feels especially festive during the holiday season. Looking great with most any neutral and able to dress up and down with ease, red accents are good for this season and beyond, ensuring this capsule wardrobe will be practical even after the holidays are over.

A Talbots Holiday Capsule Wardrobe

This holiday capsule wardrobe is inspired by the Talbots cocktail pantsuit – their Stretch Crepe Tuxedo Jacket and Stretch Crepe Tuxedo Pants. I own this very Talbots cocktail pantsuit; you can see me wear it in this photo on Instagram to a “cocktail attire” gala (for reference I am wearing a 14 petite in both pieces). This is not my first Talbots cocktail pantsuit; you can see me wear previous year iterations of a “lady tux” in this blog post, this blog post, and this Instagram post. I am a big fan of owning a cocktail pantsuit; it’s a way to look dressy without having to wear a skirt and it’s also warmer during the winter months. Not only that, a cocktail pantsuit or lady tux is more versatile, as you can see from this capsule wardrobe.

collage of clothing for a holiday capsule wardrobe created from Talbots fashion

Shop the Talbots Holiday Capsule Wardrobe:

black tuxedo blazer | red velvet blazer | black tuxedo pants | plaid pants (plus-size option) | jeans (plus-size option) | red and black floral jacquard skirt | red cashmere crewneck sweater | black cashmere turtleneck sweater | white button-front shirt | black velvet tank | suede handbag | velvet clutch purse | pumps | ankle booties | flats | reversible plaid belt | black and bejeweled belt | earrings | necklace | bracelet | bow brooch | snowflake brooch | tights (not pictured; plus-size option)


Using luxe fabrics like cashmere and velvet, seasonal prints like plaid and floral jacquard, and plenty of sparkly accessories, this capsule wardrobe feels festive without being over the top or too Christmas-y. Each piece can be worn beyond the holidays – the plaid pants with a sweater and loafers to the office, the red velvet blazer with a graphic t-shirt and jeans with leopard-print loafers, the reversible plaid belt with a denim shirtdress and suede ankle booties, the tuxedo pants as dressy trousers (see this blog post where I styled Talbots tuxedo pants in summer).

Sample Outfits from the Talbots Holiday Capsule Wardrobe

With 10 pieces of clothing and a few accessories, I created 24 outfits for work, evening, and weekend holiday occasions. Click on any thumbnail graphic in the gallery below to see the full-size images and descriptions. Hover over the images to find arrows to advance and go back within the gallery. Click the X at the top right of an enlarged image to close the gallery and return to this blog post.

As you can see from the sample outfits, accessories really make each look. A switch from a casual plaid belt (which is reversible to solid red) to a dressy one with a bejeweled buckle transforms an ensemble from casual get together at a friend’s house to a holiday party at a nice restaurant. Jeans with booties are perfect for Casual Friday at the office; jeans with pumps are perfect for a night out. A clutch bag is an instant way to dress up a look; the two featured have optional shoulder straps so you can use them to keep your hands free for hugging or holding a cocktail. When it came to the brooches, I chose to add two because I love using brooches in place of a tie on a button-front shirt or blouse. I couldn’t resist adding the Crystal Bow Brooch for this very reason, though it would also look quite lovely on the lapel of a blazer or your winter coat. The Sterling Silver Crystal Snowflake Brooch is a simple way to make any wardrobe staple look festive for the holidays. I featured one in last year’s capsule wardrobe for the holidays and have one just like this in my jewelry collection.

Shop Holiday Accessories from Talbots:


How to Extend the Capsule Wardrobe

This capsule wardrobe can easily stretch beyond 24 looks with a few additional pieces – consider a striped knit top with a holiday motif, a denim jacket, a lace pencil skirt, or a plaid shirt that would incorporate pretty seamlessly into the existing collection.

Shop Great Pieces to Add to the Holiday Capsule Wardrobe:


I hope this Talbots holiday capsule wardrobe gets your sartorial creative juices flowing. It may inspire you to see existing items in your closet in a fresh way for the holidays, or see how adding one or two new garments can create several updated looks. There is no need to buy a separate outfit for every event on your holiday social calendar, or to be bored by wearing the same look over and over. By creating a holiday capsule wardrobe, you can achieve multiple looks without requiring a large closet.  Thank you, Talbots, for sponsoring this capsule wardrobe, I had a blast creating it and you'll be sure to see me wearing some of these outfits throughout the holiday season!

Shop the Talbots Holiday Capsule Wardrobe:

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Great idea to have a special occasion capsule at the ready! I find that’s the type of dressing that ends up being the toughest/most stressful for some reason – these ideas could help cut down on that crazy getting ready time (and just get me out the door!). I was wondering if you have any pieces in your arsenal that you can wear multiple ways? I saw this article about the Morph dress, which I’d never heard of, but it looks kind of awesome. https://www.ez.insure/2020/01/morph-capsule/ Anyone seen it/tried it? Or have any pieces that you can wear in multiple ways? If it really does look good on everyone, that would be amazing! Thanks for the post and the ideas!

  2. I wish I could say that I have invites to all the holiday events you listed. The only holiday invite I get is to the party at work. They kinda have to invite me since I work there. It made me feel sad. But then I have spent years keeping a low profile so I shouldn’t be surprised that I am not on invitation lists. Perhaps I should be grateful that I don’t have to put together a holiday wardrobe.

    At any rate, I absolutely loved everything on your holiday capsule minus pumps and booties. It’s not that I think anything is wrong with those shoes. My feet can’t tolerate narrow heels, that’s all. Back to the total capsule – it is perfection, including the accessories. I wish I could purchase everything or at the very lease one thing. Wow, what super group of pieces you put together!

  3. Love! Was assessing my closet over the weekend, and some of these pieces look like exactly what I need. Any thoughts on where the Cashmere Audrey Sweater hits? It says “tunic” and “hip,” but it looks like top of hip rather than a full-on tunic.

  4. I especially like their accessories. I have two small leather shoulder bags, one red, one blush pink, that I like to take to social events. I ordered them a few years ago from your blog. Talbots’ leather bags are very luxe for less.

  5. ❤️Absolutely love this Talbots holiday capsule! It’s smart, elegant, fun and practical all at the same time. Plus, their quality is always excellent. I have a fantastic Talbots near me at the Keystone Fashion Mall. I’m heading there to check these pieces out. I am in love with the plaid pants! TY for sharing Alison Gary!

  6. Great capsule! Love all the outfits and feel so inspired to get in the holiday spirit. Thanks for sharing❤

  7. I’ve loved your previous posts showing your Talbots finds & today is terrific as well! Your ability to put together these capsule wardrobes blows my mind. So many good choices & options. It’s also nice to see pieces that can easily be worn after the holidays are over. Such pretty clothes!

  8. I love the lady tux on you! My husband and I were supposed to go on vacation in December but work demands are forcing us to cancel our cruise…boo. This means we’ll be in town for our office holiday party, so I decided to treat myself and order my own lady tux…yay! I hope it looks as good on me as it does on you. Thank you for all you do and always being real and relatable ❤️

  9. Thank you for this post! I’ll be heading to my Talbots this week to try on some of these looks. As always, great job!

  10. We shoud all live like this more often. Reminds me of my 2-3 week travel wardrobe. The right pieces keep us all looking chic easily!

  11. I’m so excited to see this capsule! Inspired by your post last year, I already ordered the cocktail pantsuit. It just arrived last week and it’s perfect. The jacket was (finally) available in a plus petite, and it fits like it was designed for me. I haven’t been this excited about an outfit in a long time. I’m going to wear it with a red satin charmeuse Talbots tank from a few seasons ago.

  12. Love this idea! And love that red and black full skirt. I have a similar style from Talbots from a few years ago. It’s so versatile that I found it again as I grew in sizes on Poshmark. I’ve worn it twice to different events in the last three weeks. Now thinking I need a brighter one than I have and have been eyeing this one. Love the styling ideas.

  13. I had a red blazer like that and I loved it. I was foolish enough to let it go. This one looks like a great replacement. Also loving the tux. You’ve given me some great ideas of ways to wear it.

  14. I and I’m so excited to see this partnership. One of the reasons I follow your blog was a post where you were wearing a Talbot’s outfit. Talbots is one of my go-to retailers. They have consistent sizing, quality fabrics. They design for women our age, not teenagers. The lady tux is fantastic, I always love your posts where you weave that into an outfit. Ants are my comfort zone. I wore tuxedo pants to my daughter’s wedding —-not a mother of the bride dress And that black and red full skirt looks great for the holidays. Thank you talbots for finally paying attention to a premium blog that inspires people with real outfits not fantasy waste of money outfits.

  15. Those plaid pants are divine! I hope to see you in some of these actual items too, I know you’ll look smashing in them 🙂

  16. I have been looking for a very classic-styled velvet blazer and love the one you show in the list. Looking forward to getting mine!

  17. Love this capsule and that all the pieces can be worn beyond the holiday season! Will give Talbots a try, especially those plaid pants – love!!

  18. I am REALLY into that tux combo – so many cocktail parties, but dresses just aren’t really my thing, especially in the middle of winter. Thanks!!

  19. Ally, this is amazing. I always thought of Talbots as preppy and designed for tall, slim women — definitely not me! Your picks are truly inspiring — I adore that red skirt and you’ve given me ideas for ways that I, with my short-waisted, curvy 5 ft. 2 self can wear it. I had a lady tux years ago and wore it to death. I love the way you look in yours, so maybe it’s time I bought another one. And, BTW, that idea with the brooch on the buttoned-up white shirt is brilliant. Thanks so much for your brilliant ideas to help every woman look stylish. And thanks for showcasing Talbots so well!

  20. Wow! These are fabulous and make we want to go shopping! I especially like the accessory recommendations. It’s amazing what a splash of color or a little bling can do to change a look.

  21. I love Talbot’s cashmere and I’m glad your featured it here. You are a master of accessories and I will again try to be inspired by your use.

  22. This is a great capsule for someone with a full holiday schedule. I love the quality of Talbots, have been a customer for decades! Thank you for coming up with all of these amazing combinations!

    I have my eye on those plaid pants, so festive! I wish they had a full length version, no just ankle pants, as I’m tall and plus size.

    1. I’d like that as well, and I am betting by next holiday season all stores will have a variety of lengths. Ankle is versatile for all shoe styles, but longer lengths are coming back en vogue.

  23. I am always impressed with the way you use accessories to create outfits. I usually default to a dress because it feels so much easier than figutin out multiple pieces– but you make it look easy! I also appreciate Talbots not just giving lip service to plus sizes. Nothing worse than seeing a brand trumpet “plus sizes! and then find out the items are only available in one or two colrs in plus, but in 12 colors in straight sizes. 🙁 Talbots consistently seems to offer a good range, even a few plus-only styles which always tells me they’re taking the customer seriously.

    1. Right? The majority of their pieces are available in all sizes including lengths. And while some things are just for Misses, some other things are only in Plus. I also like that I have years-old pieces from them that are still in great shape and stylish.

    2. This is an excellent capsule- realistic, versatile pieces. Love what you’ve put together, and appreciate Talbots for making good clothes for women of many ages and sizes!

      1. And styles– I have to say, I sometimes still tink of Talbots as super “preppy”— but the way Allie paired that skirt with those boties is a great example of how versatile their classic pieces can actually be.

  24. You do this so well! Need to pull out my dressy capsule and figure out what events I’ve got coming up. You’re right, I do have much of this already in my closet.

  25. Great capsule wardrobe for holiday parties! I wish I had so many fun activities going on during the month of December where I could justify buying all of it. Dreams!! That being said, I may add a few pieces.

    1. Even I don’t have all these kinds of occasions, but I have a few. And I’m so glad to have pieces like the lady tux in my closet for those random events where I don’t know what to wear and don’t want to wear heels and spanx! I’m glad you liked the capsule!

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