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Universal Standard is one of my favorite fashion brands. High quality, great style, and inclusive sizing (sizes 00-40 with a few long and petite options). Universal Standard often has sales, but starting today the best Universal Standard sale has returned: The Universal Standard Sample Sale! And your gal Alison has made a Universal Standard capsule wardrobe from the sale offerings.
The Universal Standard Sample Sale offers wear-now fashion at up to 75% off. We're talking suiting, cocktail dresses, athleisure, weekend looks, work looks, and everything in between. Looking at the options I saw many pieces that I have in my closet and wear regularly. I also saw many pieces I have been eyeing for a while and are now at a fantastic price. If you want a vibe of the great items available, check out last year's review of the Universal Standard Sample Sale.
Know that items sell out FAST. This is no Nordstrom Anniversary Sale where they keep replenishing with new product and size offerings. Once it's gone, it's gone. If you'd like some sizing advice with Universal Standard, ask in the comments or visit the Wardrobe Oxygen Community on Facebook where there are many Universal Standard fans that are happy to guide you with this clothing brand and sale!
Universal Standard Capsule Wardrobe Based on The Brand's Sample Sale Offerings
You know how much I love a capsule wardrobe, and I decided to make one with offerings from the Universal Standard Sample Sale. This capsule wardrobe is for life in general for fall. There are looks for the office, looks for the weekend, for casual activities, dressier events, and more.
I also used this opportunity to show how black and navy together can be quite chic. There is a dated fashion rule stating the two should not be combined, but I think in the past years this color combination has proven to look quite modern and feel very chic. The key is to have contrast; you want a navy that feels more blue so it's an obvious contrast instead of two black pieces that don't quite match.
This capsule wardrobe also should have you thinking about what is already in your closet that could replace items in this capsule, or extend it beyond the ten outfits I created. Imagine if you added a pair of jeans, a Breton top, a denim jacket, a pencil skirt, a button-front shirt… my hope is this inspires you to find new outfits and capsules within your own wardrobe.
I am using six pieces from the Universal Standard Sample Sale as well as the Universal Standard Tee Rex, which in my opinion, is the best white tee shirt out there. It is opaque, the sleeves a hair longer which dresses it up (I sometimes roll them for a casual look). Not boxy but not fitted, a silky finish, washes like a dream, and a curved hem so it looks fab untucked or tucked in.
You may also like: Workwear from Universal Standard
What's In My Universal Standard Capsule Wardrobe?
I am doing a paid promotion of the Universal Standard Sample Sale on Instagram today (come over and give it some love!). As part of that campaign, I was able to select a few pieces that would be available today in the sale.
I chose items I would really want to wear more than once, not even realizing that I was choosing a capsule wardrobe of sorts. I didn't realize until I opened my delivery and saw how they all worked so beautifully together. In case you're wondering, I also got this blazer, this leather jacket, and this tunic which I plan to rock over my NTN bodysuit!
So once I saw how it was like a capsule wardrobe, I decided to go that route with the Instagram post. And of COURSE I had to share it here on Wardrobe Oxygen! For reference, the items in this capsule wardrobe:
- The Moro Pocket Ponte Pants in Black Sand (gray): I tried these pants in the old version a while ago and they weren't my jam. However, many of you have shared you LOVE these pants so I ordered them in Black Sand, one of the colors in the sample sale. I get the love for these pants! I am wearing an XS, and I really wish they came in petite. They are a bit snug on my large calves, but they are a great hybrid between trousers and leggings that could be worn to most workplaces. The zipper detail really elevates these while making them easier to slip on too!
- Shauna Merino Wool Crewneck Sweater in Black: This is a classic crewneck sweater. I own other merino sweaters from Universal Standard and like the quality and tight weave; this one is no different and I know will get a lot of wear this fall and winter! I am wearing an XS.
- Meg Short Blazer in Navy: I owned this blazer in black so I knew the navy one would work, and I was hoping the navy would match the other navy pieces I'd get in my sample sale order. I was psyched to find out I was right! This is an XS and this jacket style is great for those who are petite as well as those who find many blazers don't fit across their midsection. This is a tailored yet not fitted blazer with shorter sleeves.
- Elvo Culottes in Navy: This is something I would never have otherwise ordered, but thinking about the Meg Blazer, I thought these culottes with it would make a great late summer suit option. These are surprisingly awesome and the crepe fabric is seasonless; cool in the summer but also appropriate in fall. These are size XS and because I am 5'3″ they run longer than on the model.
- Bridget Luxe Fine Terry Jogger in Navy: The only other joggers from US that I own are the Hathaway and they didn't blow me away. The Bridget are way nicer. I like the fit, I like the drapey soft fabric, I like the waistband. I am wearing an XS and they are a bit long on me but nothing awful. I think in a relaxed or creative workplace, these could easily be worn and I like how they dress up with a blazer.
- Viva Boatneck Top in White: I didn't order this from the sample sale, it was already in my closet. You can see me wear the Viva Boatneck in this post and in this post. I did see it was part of the sale so I added it to the capsule wardrobe.
- Tee Rex in White: This is not part of the sample sale, but it is a Universal Standard staple in my closet. I actually own this tee in several different colors. I am wearing the XS regular; I like the regular versus the petite so I have enough fabric to tuck in and blouse out.
And with that, let's dig into the ten outfits I created from these items from this Universal Standard capsule wardrobe! Below are the images. Click on any image and it will pop up on the screen larger. Use the arrows to scroll through the images and click anywhere outside of the slideshow to return to this screen:
I know some of you may be curious about the accessories:
- The green flats: They are from ALLY Shoes. I reviewed the ALLY Shoes Forever Flats; these are the same flats in a cheery lime green suede color! ALLY Shoes are available in an amazing range of sizes and widths and are created with a podiatrist, offering support, structure, and cushioning. If in doubt, size up with these flats. Use WO2FLATS at checkout to get 10% off!
- The white loafers: They are from Naturalizer but are at least a year old, likely two. They're well made and come in wide widths. These have the same metallic heels, but are in black. These are white snakeskin loafers from Naturalizer that have black piping and also look chic. If you want all white and widths, I found these cuties from Hush Puppies.
- The white sneakers: They are the Adidas Superstar with white on white stripes. They are a favorite of mine, I have worn this style since high school and I find them roomy for my wider feet.
- The leopard kitten heel pumps: They are from Ann Taylor and several years old. Ann Taylor no longer carries anything similar in heel height or pattern, but I found this one from Kenneth Cole at Macy's that is similar, as well as this one from Sam Edelman on sale at Nordstrom Rack.
- The gold heeled sandals: They are the Uptown Sandal from Margaux. Read my Margaux shoes review here. Margaux shoes come in a great range of sizes and widths and these ankle strap heels are some of the few pairs I find with a strap long enough for my thick ankles and some of the only heels I still comfortably wear.
- The gold hoops: Anyone who has been reading Wardrobe Oxygen lately won't be surprised to find it's these hoops from Baublebar. They're bold yet lightweight and look great for a low price.
- The gold chain: It is this one from Banana Republic and it's on sale.
- The thin gold necklace with a charm: It is this necklace from Etsy with my birth year.
I hope this capsule wardrobe gets you thinking about how you can create more style with a small closet. And if you are shopping the Universal Standard Sample Sale do share with me what deals you got! Stay tuned, you will be sure to see more of these items throughout the coming months on the blog!
I’ve eyed those culottes forever! Nice to see them on someone my approximate size.
And totally agree on the beauty of their merino sweaters. I live in the Pacific Northwest, where it’s always sweater weather so they get a lot of wear and hold up wonderfully.
And, as a PNWer, I miss the days of their on-site sample sales in which the pricing and the vibe was insane and insanely fun!
Thanks for this post! I am not an impulse buyer, but there were a few things I just couldn’t resist yesterday. Your post is making me feel more excited about my purchases!
Alison Gary says
I hope you love your purchase! And sorry about the comments, I am getting attacked with spam (like thousands a day) and to stop them a few legit comments get held up in moderation. I appreciate your feedback!
I finally joined the Geneva dress club and ordered one on sale! Go Team Geneva!
Alison Gary says
Yay team Geneva! I hope you love it!
This post could not come at a better time! I shopped the sample sale yesterday and had the culottes and blazer in my cart but then removed them because I wasn’t sure how they’d look on MY 5’3″ frame. Based on this post I just went back and purchased them.
For anyone else shopping the sale, I bought the Josie short puffer yesterday – $53 marked down from $210! They only have XS and 3XL-4XL left as of writing this. Hoping to have luck with it as a petite person who usually needs petite coats. All that to say, can’t beat some of these sample sale discounts!
I really like the Meg blazer for summer. Alas, my 2XS is too small and since I got it in a mystery box, can’t do fit liberty with it. But I like it so much, I’ll probably get another one.
Alison Gary says
Have you tried selling or swapping it? I have a B/S/T group on Facebook and there is one specifically for Universal Standard!
This is really great to know as it feels like a big risk trying final sale items.
Thank you. I bought two dresses — the Forest Green Misa and the black Tesino. I’ve been wanting them for a long time and can’t believe I snagged them today — and I love them because they do NOT have pockets! I find the US dresses to be too pear-shaped for me, and w/o pockets, they work better. And, I love the cotton fabric — amazing.
Thanks, Allie, for turning us on to US a long time ago.
Alison Gary says
Yay I am so glad! And those are two fabulous dresses!
I love the Bridget joggers on you. But looking at the product size guide, I see an inseam of 27.5 for EVERY SINGLE SIZE. As a tall person, this really bothers me, as sometimes I can size up for an extra inch in length. If you have any influence over US, please suggest they offer a tall length in one or two styles!
PS. I also bought the Rachele Lounge Robe in Flamingo! I love their soft cotton terry, and this robe looks absolutely perfect for hanging out, um, working from home. Yay!
What a fun capsule! The blue blazer + jogger outfit with the lime green shoes really stands out. It feels like what post-Covid wear to work should be.
Btw, the links for the tops you wear w the ntn bodysuit aren’t hot.
Alison Gary says
Ack, updated. Thank you!
“ I also got this blazer, this leather jacket, and this tunic which I plan to rock over my NTN bodysuit!”
The links aren’t active. I could probably figure out the leather jacket, but the other 2 not so much. Thanks.
Alison Gary says
Sorry about that, fixed!
Sorry for the duplicate post. This looked like it hadn’t posted.
Alison Gary says
My site is having trouble with comments. Some go through, some get caught in spam. I have been attacked with spam lately and it crashed my site so I’m trying to find a solution without losing valid comments like yours. Hope to figure it out 100% this week!