Friday, December 09, 2016

Ah, artists seem to do some of their very best work when painting women and girls...

Marie Laurencin is one of my very favorite artists; were I ever to branch out from a back and white wardrobe, this color scheme would be perfect for me..

I think this post might have been one of my first forays into the idea of a story to accompany the wardrobe; it all just seemed to work together so well!


The Vivienne Files July 3, 2015

Working with wardrobes in brown might be the most difficult task of The Vivienne Files. But this came together nicely, with an attention to detail that pleased me tremendously!

The Vivienne Files May 28, 2016

A wardrobe of warm-weather, soft pastel colors, based on another work from my favorite: 


The Vivienne Files July 13, 2015

This glorious painting served as the basis of a casual, but richly-colored wardrobe:


The Vivienne Files March 5, 2016

What a beautiful, unusual color scheme. And this post was another of my early "stories"... 


The Vivienne Files July 31, 2015

She was such a glorious artist - please tell me she wasn't this beautiful...


The Vivienne Files July 8, 2015

If all goes according to plan, I'm back from vacation tomorrow!

love,
Janice


Italist - 728x90 New arrivals Fall winter 16 17

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The wardrobe is as far from colors that I wear as is physically possible, but I still think it's really  nice - very well-balanced, lots of attractive choices, and a wide range of ways to pull outfits together.
capsule wardrobe based on olive and beige

I'm always surprised to see how organized these wardrobes turn out to be, even though I made choices for a lot of months based on things that just interested me, or that I found attractive. In this wardrobe example, the Four by Four wardrobe possibilities were really easy to find:
Four by Four capsule wardrobe in olive, beige, ivory and turquoise

When we look at this wardrobe in terms of how well it serves the owner for a range of activities, through a full year of weather, the only real "blanks" I see are in the area of very dressy activities. This heroine might need to look seriously for something like a sequined tank top in her colors, or some silk separates that could take her to summer activities. I would have liked to include those here, but I'm keeping my options open because warm-weather pieces aren't easy to find in November!

capsule wardrobe in olive and beige evaluated on functionality

Here's where my real lesson was learned - normally, I like these wardrobes to contain at least 3 or 4 pieces that can be worn on their own, OR layered over something else. In this wardrobe, right now, there's just the one v-neck sweater. Of course both the turquoise and the camel cardigan can be worn on their own, but I just feel like I want something more.

And there's also that "gap" in the area of cold-weather dressy clothes that might be filled by a pair of wool trousers in a "non-utility" color, like ivory. Gold silk would be pretty - in either a top or a bottom... Some olive velvet? There are a lot of possibilities...

capsule wardrobe in olive and beige evaluated on type of garment

And shoes.... That upper-left corner looms large in its emptiness... dressy flats or loafers for cooler weather are a possibility here. Gold? Olive suede with gold trim? One could go quite off the rails if a pair of olive brocade smoking slippers turned up, eh?

capsule wardrobe of shoes evaluated for weather and dressiness

After much deliberating, this was where I settled. The pants can be worn with almost any top, and the color can be dressed up quite a bit! Either of the sweaters chosen can be worn with these pants, or with most of the skirts and pants that are currently in the wardrobe.

As much as I could have gone really crazy with a pair of gorgeous dressy shoes, I thought that these were much more moderately priced, and could be more versatile than something more "over the top." (but a pair of silk brocade in gold and ivory???)

capsule wardrobe additions of ivory pants and sweater, olive cardigan and gold loafers

This is the updated wardrobe - it feels very complete, doesn't it?

30 piece capsule wardrobe in olive, ivory, beige and turquoise

And these might be my favorite accessories, in some ways. I'm still completely smitten by that fringed cape, and the beaded bracelet is just wonderful...

accessory capsule wardrobe in olive, beige and gold

These outfits that I show with the new garments are not nearly all of the options possible; this middle outfit would be so much fun for a cool-weather dressy occasion...

three new capsule wardrobe outfits including ivory wool trousers

This simple top is a great base for accessories:

three new capsule wardrobe outfits including ivory sweater

And a classic cardigan is never a bad idea!

three new capsule wardrobe outfits including an olive cardigan

Olive is hard to find in stores, but it's so lovely that it's well worth waiting for!

love,
Janice

p.s. Just in case you need to go back and catch up on earlier posts, check here:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.



How to Evaluate a capsule wardrobe in an olive and beige color palette
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Ah, this one is closest to my normal capsule wardrobe, and to what I would buy if I had to start all over...

Remember, we left this wardrobe on the first of November like this:
How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

You can see the outfit-by-outfit progression of this wardrobe here: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.

Because this wardrobe is so close to my own, I wasn't really concerned that things wouldn't be reasonably well balanced. The easy assembly of a "Four by Four" capsule wardrobe supports my thoughts:
  
How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette using the 4X4 wardrobe

I wasn't quite as certain that things would be as well-balanced for seasons and dressiness - I tend to love cold-weather clothing more than warm, and to like dressier things more than casual. You can see that here - the upper-half of the graph is somewhat more populated (the dressy things), and the left half - the cooler weather half - is also more filled in. 

This would be a clear indication as to what needs to be purchased, but of course in November in North American, the shorts and tee shirts that would be most logical aren't going to be easy to find.

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

I like to look at the array of clothing collected this way too - it gives me a sense of whether or not I need another cardigan or jacket, or maybe another skirt... This wardrobe seems okay in most respects, I think.

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

The shoe wardrobe could use something more dressy for cold weather, and also a pair of more dressy sandals - both of the top corners are empty:

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

In the interests of cool-weather dressy, but not TOO dressy, I'm suggesting a nice pair of wool pants. While I manage to get through most of my life in jeans, and in the cold weather - corduroy pants, wool pants change everything.

And I thought some more red would be a good idea...

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

This is the wardrobe as it now stands - I could live with this for quite a while:

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette


And I love these accessories!

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

I know I sound like a broken record, but you've got to be certain that your new purchases fit into your wardrobe in a variety of ways - this is the only way to be sure that you're going to actually wear your new clothes, and not just waste money on pretty things.

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

Whew! I fully intend to start six new wardrobes on January 1, 2017. Come along for the fun!

love,
Janice
How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016


Back on the first of November (which seems like it was YEARS ago...) we left this capsule wardrobe looking this way:


How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

If you need to track back and catch up on how we got to this point, the earlier posts can be found here:  January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.

I had a hunch that this wardrobe was in pretty good shape, and this is borne out by the way that the Four by Four Capsule Wardrobe fell into place so easily:
 
How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

I noticed something sort of interesting when I graphed the garments on the basis of season and dressiness - the cooler weather clothes were more casual, and the warmer weather items skewed a bit more dressy. 

This makes sense, when you think that a lot of us wear dresses frequently in the warm weather, but tend to layer on 37 sweaters when the temperatures drop. But it doesn't really reflect wardrobe needs - for many people, their dressiest events are in the cooler weather. So that's a possible wardrobe "gap" that could be addressed now.

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

When I sorted all of the pieces into categories, everything feels pretty well-balanced; no big absence of second layers, or shortage of tee shirts jumps out at me:

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

Shoes also feel pretty well balanced - as long as you have a pair of classic pumps, you're covered for a million dressy events! Maybe a pair of more "sturdy" boots, if the heroine of this particular story is an outdoor-ish sort?

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

When it was all said and done, and I'd looked at lots of nice things, I thought that a pair of more dressy winter pants might be a good starting point. I'm not talking tuxedo trousers here - those are too limited in usage for most of us! But a nice pair of wool trousers will dress us any simple sweater, especially in a room full of blue jeans.

And then I saw these sweaters, and just plain liked them; they will both look really great with the new pants, and will also be wearable with a ton of existing pieces of this wardrobe. A pair of sturdy, but not clunky, boots finishes out this last addition to the wardrobe:

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette
Boots - Naturalizer; sweater – Miu Miu


Here's the updated wardrobe - I sincerely believe that someone could live for a long time with these clothes. Yes, you'd have to do some laundry pretty often, and you might really want a pink tee shirt at some stage! But still, you'd be fine...

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

You know full well that I'm an accessory fan, and I particularly like the way that these all "hang" together. The little punches of turquoise brighten things up, and the central theme of "fluid" silver is well-represented.

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

Of course, we wouldn't consider buying ANYTHING without clearly and SPECIFICALLY thinking of a variety of ways in which our new stuff can be worn. Our 3 new pieces here do quite nicely:

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

Realistically, this wardrobe could have stopped at the end of November; there was really no compelling need to add to it. It's important for us all to keep in our mind's back pocket the suggestion that we don't HAVE to buy anything. Unless you're literally partly naked, you should be able to cobble together something.

Addressing your desire for something new is an entirely different question - but in the interests of our budgets, and of the environment, it behooves us all to think about our purchases, seriously, before we purchase. I'm not telling you to never buy clothes again, but I would like to lovingly suggest that you think of your real reasons for buying before you do so. Just to be sure...

love,
Janice
How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!

Monday, December 05, 2016

This seemed like it was going to be a really impractical, too pastel, too feminine exercise... but upon analysis, it's turned out quite well!

This was where we left it on the first of November:

capsule wardrobe in beige, ivory and soft blue
 
If you want to go back and catch up on earlier posts, check here:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.
 
Here was the first signal to me that this was a pretty well-constructed 11-month shopping adventure; I was easily able to pull out pieces to assemble a really functional Four by Four wardrobe:
Four by Four wardrobe in beige, ivory and soft blue
This layout, on spectrums of weather and of dressiness, might suggest that this heroine could use something dressy for cool weather...
evaluating the usefulness of capsule wardrobe pieces
And when I arranged all of the garments according to function, the only thing that really caught my eye was that there wasn't an ivory sweater that could be worn on its own...
evaluating the balance of a capsule wardrobe
The shoes also seemed to cover most of the areas pretty well. Since I knew that I was going to pay some attention to dressy cooler weather, I thought that a pair of shoes for that upper left quadrant might make sense - a dressy pair of boots? Something with a detail that's got texture, or a metallic? Hmmm...
evaluating the balance of a capsule wardrobe of shoes

These were my choices. While the ivory tee shirt isn't strictly a cool-weather garment, if it's worn underneath something, it would bring a nice touch of shine to an outfit. The ivory cardigan can be worn alone, or layered, and the striped shirt is just a really cool piece!

additions to a capsule wardrobe in beige, ivory and soft blue

As much as this is NOT a typical wardrobe, it's certainly versatile, and quite lovely...

a capsule wardrobe in beige, ivory and soft blue

I think these accessories are swoon-worthy... I'm NOT a pastel person, but I think that these have tremendous appeal:
an accessory capsule wardrobe in beige and soft blue
All of our new pieces are very versatile - I love the way this striped shirt dresses up or down so simply:
3 outfits using a striped shirt, from a capsule wardrobe

3 outfits using an ivory satin tee, from a capsule wardrobe

3 outfits using an ivory cardigan, from a capsule wardrobe

I think we've proven that, with careful planning, even the most unconventional color scheme can work for a coherent wardrobe.

love,
Janice

How to Evaluate a capsule wardrobe in a beige, ivory, and soft blue color palette
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest