Friday, January 20, 2017

This is such a lovely painting, and such a truly simple and straightforward color-scheme:

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette

When we first visited this painting, it was to help inspire a cold-weather long weekend in the country. This was the wardrobe (minus the nightgown!) that our heroine packed. Many of you asked me if it would be possible to expand this wardrobe a little bit, into a more complete winter wardrobe; I'm ALWAYS happy to try to oblige!

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette

That translates into half of a Four by Four Wardrobe, arrayed this way:

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette

As much as that star cardigan could be worn every (cold) day for a decade and not grow old; it only makes sense to have at least a couple of cardigans for the colder weather. A zipped black cashmere sweater is warm and cozy:

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette
cardigan - L.L.Bean

And while we're reinforcing the black segment of this wardrobe, another pair of pants is a smart thought:

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette

But it's always fun to break up the solid colors with a nice classic striped tunic...

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette

The only real shirt in this wardrobe, so far, is the denim one, so it's time to bring in another. If you absolutely positively can't wear beige near your face, consider substituting a black shirt, or maybe a pink accent...

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette

So long as you have tall boots and fleecy tights, there's no reason not to wear dresses or skirts in the winter. (well, maybe not in single-degree weather...) I love a simple denim shirtdress; I wonder why I don't own one?

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette

On really cold days, you can legitimately wear a down vest indoors, and on those intermittent mild winter days, it might be all of the outerwear you need:

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette
vest - Uniqlo

That poor white turtleneck is going to get REALLY worn out if we don't find another white top of some sort. I always like a classic button-front shirt (these from Lands' End are very nice - I own FIVE of them...) but if you don't wear button-fronts, you could always get a black cotton turtleneck, or a denim-ish blue one...

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette

And since all of our core garment basics are here, it's time to break out one more fun sweater - this time, with gold trim!

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette

This is a pretty well-balanced assortment of pieces; you could get dressed through the winter without much trouble here:
How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette

Monday, I'll add some accessories!

love,
Janice

How to Expand a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in a blue, white, black, and beige color palette



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Such an interesting email....

Say you live outside the United States. You're retired. The weather's always reasonably warm and nice. You only shop every year or two, when you visit in the US...

And THIS is your inspiration:


Dragonfly with Red Wings Hunting a Snake by Joan Miro
Dragonfly with Red Wings Hunting a Snake by Joan Miro

I'm really liking these colors, and this WHOLE scenario!

Color Palette inspired by Dragonfly with Red Wings Hunting a Snake by Joan Miro

In the interests of establishing a solid basis upon which we can build, I'm going to assume that our heroine either owns or already plans to purchase these pieces:

Started core capsule wardrobe items in a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

At this point, we've got a solid starting point, and a lot of fun things to find!

Started core capsule wardrobe items in a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

I'm ALWAYS going to recommend that you buy the sweater or tee shirt or top that goes with your cardigan. Even if you aren't the sort to wear a twinset, having pieces in the exact same color means that anything that goes with ONE thing will go perfectly with the other. It's just faster and simpler, in the long run, to take advantage of items manufactured to match, rather than scrambling around trying to match things on your own.

How to Build a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

Living in a warm climate suggests to me a LOT of tops, because they're the pieces that are going to need to be laundered most frequently. They're also the garments that usually cost the least, and make the biggest difference in your appearance, since they're so close to your face. So let's start loading up on those glorious accent colors, eh?

How to Build a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

When it's warm, I want my knees to get some air! You can always wear a special garment under your skirts to make your thighs more comfortable, if that's a concern. This skirt is such a perfect embodiment of the colors of this capsule - I wasn't going to resist...

How to Build a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

Another accent color? Sure! I've chosen a variety of necklines for these tee shirts, but you can stick with just one style if you have a favorite.


How to Build a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

If you don't wear shorts, a pair of capris, or another skirt, would also make a lot of sense here. This is such an excellent neutral color with which to work in warm weather - it's classic, and it's easy to find.

How to Build a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

Okay, here's the point at which the concept of "Whatever's Clean" might fall apart. Some people will absolutely NOT wear a striped tee shirt with a floral skirt, and that's fine. I'm assuming that my heroine is a little bit adventurous, or at least willing to bend the rules...

How to Build a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

I frankly didn't expect to find anything at all in the color - but this tunic is SO perfect. It would make a great short dress, if that's something you do, or a tunic over pants or capris. What a glorious shade of marigold!

How to Build a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

This dress isn't going to really "mix and match" with the rest of this wardrobe - I suppose you could wear the tan cardigan... but a simple dress is such a nice thing to own when you live where the weather's pleasant. If this is completely out of the question, tan capris would be very useful, and might be substituted here.

How to Build a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

More stripes! But these are so subtle, even I would wear them with the floral skirt, just to see if anybody was paying attention...

How to Build a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

Doesn't this put you in the mood for warm weather?


How to Build a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

Just to envision the way in which these pieces can be worn, I've pulled together 6 outfits, with some appropriate accessories. This wouldn't be a bad way to live, would it?


2 outfits in a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

2 outfits in a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

2 outfits in a Whatever's Clean 13 capsule wardrobe

What made this even MORE fun was remembering that, just outside my apartment windows, is a shattering ELEVEN degrees Fahrenheit....

love,
Janice

Build a Whatever's Clean 13 Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Dragonfly by Miro
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Monday, January 16, 2017

This swatch is VERY similar to the one that I used Friday, but there are subtle color differences that I really wanted to explore. The subtle details can make all of the difference!

velvet fabric - Mathevon & Bouvard
velvet fabric - Mathevon & Bouvard

If You're SURE You Want Me To Go Too...


A travel capsule wardrobe in an olive, gold, and purple color palette
earrings - Wild Lilies; scarf - Echo;  
sweater - L.L.Bean; bracelet - Kendra Scott; watch - Kate Spade
 trench – Etoile Isabel Marant; pants – Alexander Wang;  
duffel - Fjällräven; loafers - Hush Puppies

Every year, after the new year, when all the kids are back at school and the house quiets down, her spouse wants to go golfing...

A long weekend at the most talked-about golf resort of the current season. 

A travel capsule wardrobe in an olive, gold, and purple color palette

She hates golf.

A travel capsule wardrobe in an olive, gold, and purple color palette

But she likes to sit in the garden and read. The staff keeps her well-supplied with drinks and tasty snacks...

A travel capsule wardrobe in an olive, gold, and purple color palette

She likes to walk around the neighborhood and take in all of the flowers, and the trees that still have leaves. It's a nice break from winter...

A travel capsule wardrobe in an olive, gold, and purple color palette

And she likes to take a nap every day!

A travel capsule wardrobe in an olive, gold, and purple color palette

"You're such a good sport about these trips..."

Being a golf widow isn't so bad....

love,
Janice

A travel capsule wardrobe in an olive, gold, and purple color palette inspired by a swatch of velvet fabric
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Friday, January 13, 2017

The Art Institute of Chicago currently has an exhibit of velvet fabric, tucked away in the basement rooms that seem to be reserved exclusively for fabrics. It's a small exhibit, but SUCH beauty...


Velvet Fabric by Matheon & Bouvard
Velvet Fabric - Matheon & Bouvard

Mental Health Break


Velvet Fabric by Matheon & Bouvard with style guidelines and color palette

It sounds terribly dramatic, but she really just wants to see her toes... with polish, if possible!

travel outfit in olive and ivory with coral accents

So a long weekend away, at a very un-chic beach. Renting a very un-chic suite with a kitchenette...

She wants to wear something on her lips that isn't Carmex or ChapStick...

warm weather travel capsule wardrobe in ivory, olive, coral, blue and gold

She doesn't want to "dine." She wants to walk, on sand, maybe in her bare feet!

warm weather travel capsule wardrobe in ivory, olive, coral, blue and gold

She wants to carry a tote bag with a snack, something upon which to sit, and maybe a book.

four travel capsule wardrobe outfits including an olive green skort

She wants to sleep with the window open. She wants to take a nap - maybe outdoors!

four travel capsule wardrobe outfits including ivory cropped pants

Evenings might be quite cool. She'll stay in, eat take-out, and read. She'll make her own coffee and toast in the mornings, and watch the sun rise...

four travel capsule wardrobe outfits including olive pants

She's almost excited to shave her legs - she hasn't done so since Thanksgiving!

love,
Janice
How to build a summer travel capsule wardrobe for warm weather in ivory, olive, coral, blue and gold
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Monday, we pulled together a wonderful wardrobe for the reader with a new job, but let's get her some accessories too!


A 4 by 4 Wardrobe based on a navy suit, with accents of white, emerald and amethyst

Obviously, she had shoes on when she interviewed, but let's add a beautiful pair of black pumps, with comfortably low heels, to her wardrobe first:


How to add black kitten heel pumps to a business capsule wardrobe

And I always want earrings, sooner than later. I know women who never wear them and who look just fine, but I always feel more... complete? finished? when I get my earrings on...

How to add amethyst earrings to a business capsule wardrobe

While it's entirely possible to carry everything you need in your pockets when you're just banging around town, for work, a nice bag is essential. I didn't try to get navy leather goods for this wardrobe, because they are much harder to find than black, and because virtually all of the men in any workplace will wear black (or brown) shoes with a navy suit. Why should women make it harder for themselves?

 
How to add a black tote bag to a business capsule wardrobe


I love bracelets, and I thought that a cuff that didn't jangle around and make a lot of noise could be a big addition to this wardrobe. For someone who works on a keyboard constantly, this is going to depend on how to rest your arms/hands to type. If you hang off the edge of the desk, as I do, you can wear bracelets any time, but if you're using a "wrist rest" kind of gizmo, a bracelet might be uncomfortable...

How to add a gold cuff bracelet to a business capsule wardrobe

One of the joys of a relatively dressy job is that you can wear beautiful scarves without any fear of damaging them - no splashing foodstuffs, no messy hands, no constant exposure to damaging chemicals. So let's pick something truly special:

How to add a silk scarf to a business capsule wardrobe

The pants have belt loops? That means a belt is required! You don't need a million belts; I suspect most men only own/wear 1 or 2...

How to add a black leather belt to a business capsule wardrobe

Everyone needs more than 1 pair of shoes for work, and when I saw these purple pumps, I knew that an accent shoe might be a fun idea! If you don't like to wear bright shoes, you can try to scare up a great pair of dark navy pumps (like the ones in the middle). But always try to have 2 pairs; shoes last MUCH longer if they're given a rest (with shoe trees in them, of course) between wearings.

How to add accent shoes to a business capsule wardrobe

For days when a scarf just isn't in the cards, a fun necklace is a great alternative. This simple silk top just cries out for something lovely hanging on it...

How to add a green pendant to a business capsule wardrobe

For a second pair of earrings, you might want to make more of a statement, in a small way. I love the mix of colors in the middle pair of earrings:

How to add creative earrings to a business capsule wardrobe

One does NOT need to carry a tote bag or briefcase every day; if you're not literally carrying "briefs" (as in documents, NOT undergarments...) you don't need a big bag. There are so many lovely handbags in the world... sigh...

How to add a black handbag to a business capsule wardrobe

Since you're going to be working and won't be hanging on your phone, a watch might be a good idea. For people who aren't parked in front of a computer all day, knowing what time it is (and being able to tell others, when they ask you) can be pretty important!

How to add a feminine watch to a business capsule wardrobe

More scarves! In this case, I was looking for something that had lots of navy...

How to add a silk scarf to a business capsule wardrobe

Yes, this outfit in no way supports the wearing of a scarf, but I really wanted to bring another scarf into this wardrobe in order to brighten up the large amounts of navy and white. Choosing from among these 3 scarves was really difficult...

How to add a silk scarf to a business capsule wardrobe

And after you've become really familiar with the overall feel of your workplace, you might find that a good-quality pair of ballet flats will be appropriate. I'm assuming that nobody will notice that you're not wearing high heels, if everything else about you is dignified and appropriate. Somehow, someday, we've got to completely eliminate the requirement of pumps from dress codes - it's terribly unfair to those among us who can't wear them comfortably, nor walk in them gracefully!

How to add black ballet flats to a business capsule wardrobe


I don't wear navy at all, but I could grow to love this wardrobe:

a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in navy, with accents of white, emerald and amethyst

In addition to the outfits that we saw yesterday and today, there are lots of lovely ways to wear these pieces. If you want to emphasize the emerald accent, you can:

Three outfits from a business capsule wardrobe, emphasizing the accent color emerald

If you are in an amethyst mood, you have lots of choices:

Three outfits from a business capsule wardrobe, emphasizing the accent color amethyst

And for those times when simple navy and white is quite enough, you'll still look professional and beautiful:

Three navy and white outfits from a business capsule wardrobe

Were you surprised to hear that this dress code prohibited skirts above the knee, sleeveless tops, and any sort of cleavage? I wasn't, but I think some people might consider this very old-fashioned...

love,
Janice
How to Choose Business Accessories for a work capsule wardrobe in a navy, green, and purple color palette
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