Thursday, July 28, 2011

Not so crazy eights: Camel

Jacket – Miu MiuCardigan – Paul & Joe, Long-sleeved shirt – L’Agence, Tee shirt – Ralph Lauren, Dress – The Row, Sweater – Ralph Lauren Black Label, Pants – Miu Miu, Skirt – Miu Miu

I know that nobody can go out and buy twenty new items of clothing, so I've been trying to think of how someone would begin the process of building a curated, distilled wardrobe.  Of course, it really has to start with some serious thinking!  But once you've chosen a core color from which to work, you could certain do worse than carefully acquiring a basis of eight garments upon which to build.  This is how I see it taking shape...

1. Pumps – Kate Spade, Scarf – Hermès, bag - Lanvin
2. Brogues – Debenhams, necklace – Kenneth Jay Lane, square stud earrings - Topshop
3. Pumps – BCBG, scarf – Calypso, rose brooch – AZ Collection
4. Flats – Tod’s, ring – Miss Selfridge, gold lace bracelet – Aurelie Bidermann
5. Flats – Miss Selfridge, scarf – Hermès, bag – Coach
6. Flats – Via Spiga, rose opal earrings – Ylang23, brooch – Delfina Delettrez
7. Slingbacks – John Lewis, scarf – Missoni, bracelet - Oasis
8. Loafers – Tod’s, necklace – Diana Broussard, ring – Ylang23
9. Pumps – Pierre Hardy, scarf – Hermès, bag – Stella McCartney
10. Athletic Shoes – Topshop, flower brooch – Alexis Bittar, gold hoop earrings – Citrine by the Stones
11. Pumps – Valentino, scarf – Missoni, bracelets – Vanessa Mooney
12. Pumps – Prada, pearls – Kenneth Jay Lane, ring - Majorica


  1. That is a great suggestion for a working wardrobe in any neutral color. Have you considered doing the same for a work from home or retired woman who needs a pulled together casual wardrobe?

  2. I'm really enjoying these posts and want to thank you for doing them. I'll look forward to more inspiration!

  3. Now this is something different from you and I think it's brilliant! This format is so helpful. It gives us a visual of how a capsule wardrobe can be made into so many beautiful outfits. I am very excited about this post. I learned a lot today.

    Thank you!

  4. I can see this working for me in shades of gray. This is a wonderful post, and you do have a gift for this kind of work.

  5. This is fabulous> I second the request for a similar approach for those of us who love clothes/fashion and are trying to figure out how to satisfy our need for creativity and fun with a work from home/retired lifestyle.

    A Canadian

  6. What a great post! I love the idea of having essential pieces in a core color as the basis for a minimalist wardrobe. Very inspirational!

  7. I LOVE the way that you showed the mix of the 8 pieces and accessories that would help to complete the look. I can use this as a formula for creating a travel wardrobe...probably straying from the solid color concept...but still finding travel appropriate styles to fill in the spots of bottoms, tops, and over layers.

    Very helpful!

  8. Hi, I've been reading this blog for a while but not commenting. But -- I don't quite understand this post. the eight pieces of clothing, I get. But the accessories? There are 12 different pairs of camel-coloured shoes? Should they also not be distilled, or did I not understand correctly?

  9. Hi,
    These are great - both the camel and the winter white capsules. I am looking forward to Navy and Chocolate in the future! Re the accessories and shoe options - I was seeing these as the way to annually update the basic capsule. Sometimes just changing the shoe really alters the overall look, feel and function of the same mix of clothes. I hope you leave in the breadth of accessories options, although of course in practice we would select maybe just a few.

  10. Well, I guess I'm showing choices. A normal person would certainly distill the number of shoes down to four or five pair, but if you have an... issue with shoes, you could go a little bit wild! But for scarves and jewelry, I would probably eventually own all of the options. Thanks for reading, and thanks for giving me the chance to clarify.

  11. Your layout would be even more useful if it were printable: to hang in a closet for getting dressed when your brain isn't working, or included in a suitcase for ideas on maximizing an edited wardrobe on a trip.

    I love a neutral-based wardrobe. I would probably add, for fun and not adhering to the capsule concept, a pair of red ballet flats and a pair of animal-print heels to the camel wardrobe. A punch of color in an unexpected place not only adds interest, but I think it adds to your sense of mystery and may make others wonder where else color may be lurking...

  12. I was going through your old posts and spotted the pink scarf in combination #1 above. Do you know what that Hermes design is called? Thank you for such a terrific blog.

    1. Something about Gala Soiree - it's a few years old, but they turn up from time to time on ebay and other resale sites.

  13. Your choices are absolutely exquisite. I have what you may consider a silly question. I notice the sources for these items, and they usually include items from very expensive clothes brands, including several Hermes scarves.
    Is it possible to try to do this on a more moderate budget - I don't mean real budget or cheap, but something along the lines of Talbots etc. I would love to find one of these wardrobes and copy it as I best can, and for my body type. Is that missing the point? I have purchased items from Talbots, L.L. Bean, TravelSmith, and the less expensive Ralph Lauren selection. If you have some really good suggestions for finding good items for good prices, I would love to hear more. I also try to find some of my items in stores like Winners. Does this method basically defeat the purpose? Will those items not stand the test of time when putting fewer items for more frequent use?
    My budget may never allow for a real Hermes scarf but could I do it with some slightly less pricey ones as long as I stick to the same principles?
    I am referring to items made from good quality fabrics like wool suits, silk scarves, and leather shoes. I would never consider knock-offs or compromise with the fibres of the fabrics.
    Do you think such items will hold up to being basic components of such a "distilled" wardrobe?

    1. Yes, absolutely. The clothes that I choose are just meant to be examples of the sort of garment that will work in these plans, not as an absolute dictate for what one should buy. Thanks for letting me clarify that!