Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Travel Capsule Wardrobe - Packing for uncertain weather in navy, grey & purple

Stud earrings – Vince Camuto, cardigan – Ralph Lauren, striped tee shirt – Old Navy, trench – Burberry, pants – Calvin Klein, bags – Tumi, penny loafers - Naturalizer, bracelet – Miss Selfridge, scarf - Hermes

Plaid shirt – Closed, purple turtleneck – John Lewis, grey tee - Devoted, purple tee – Mtwtfss, navy cardigan – Eastex,  grey silk sweater – Barneys CO-OP, cotton turtleneck – Vanessa Bruno, paneled cardigan – Paul Smith, gray pants – Carolina Herrara, tweed skirt – J. Crew, grey jeans – Helmut Lang,  dress - Oasis

Amethyst hoop earrings – Swarovski, Beret – Hat Attack, Amethyst necklace – Debenhams, handbag – Gucci, amethyst drop earrings – Debenhams, silver chain necklace – Aurora Lopez Mejia, purple scarf – pashmina Art, Amethyst ring –, silver knot earrings – Dorothy Perkins, amethyst bracelet – Lord & Taylor, socks – Burlington, square scarf – Coco, cashmere gloves –, navy tights – Old Navy, printed scarf – Crumpet England, navy pumps – Kate Spade, silver sandals – Tod’s, navy ballet flats – French Sole


  1. Gorgeous!! Thanks so much for answering my request so quickly!! You're fantastic!

  2. Vivienne, Perfect, I love to see how others pack for travel, it really helps me to edit; also mix and match up!

    I always throw in several camis for added layer of warmth!

    Art by Karena

  3. Lovely! What are the names of Hermes and Coco scarves, please?

    1. Hermes is Au Fil du Carre by Annie Faivre. Sorry, I don't know the Coco scarf.

    2. I don't think the Coco has a name - a lot of companies don't name their designs. And Librarian, you are FAST - thanks for chiming in!
      hugs all around,

    3. Ha, ha, I recognized it. My sales assistant had it on once when I was in the Hermes boutique!

  4. Such a restful, refined and cool palette!

    Though I have cast my fate with black (which I adore with navy), in the name of a pared-down wardrobe, I still admire it. It looks best in spring, next-best in winter. Tropical temperatures (and light) and navy do not work as well, even when there's lots of white aboard. You have to really look for anything navy in India, for example.

  5. I adore this mix and would happily steal this bag of luggage. :)I have some of these pieces at home and plan to try mixing them up as you did here. Thanks for the inspiration! I also think it is quite helpful to think in terms of "how would I pack" to help develop my wardrobe capsules. Since finding your blog I really like the idea of the capsul wardrobe. My wardrobe is still quite scattered and I've been searching for a way to capsulize it.

  6. You make it look so easy! I love the navy and gray together - kind of an unexpected twist on the classic black and white. Softer, more casual, pretty. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Hello.
    I have just discovered your blog. I am enjoying reading your notes.
    I have a few questions- do you own all these clothes?
    I am just new to this- but where do you start with learning about how to mix and match? Do you have some suggestions for where I should begin?
    I always look at an outfit and think I need to copy this exactly-this is where I have problems- I end up buying exact items and no plan for how to mix and match the new item(s) into my closet.
    I have a lot of clothes!
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      I don't own these clothes - my personal color scheme in black and gray, with accents of... uh... black and gray - I'm ALL about the accessories... Most of these images come from the company websites, or from the sites of a handful of large retailers - Barney's, Net-a-Porter, etc.
      Learning to mix and match in your own wardrobe is a process that really never ends. To start, I'd take your absolute favorite pair of pants, and then try to find a way to put at least half of your "tops" with those pants (or that skirt). Sometimes a scarf or other piece of jewelry (yes, I consider scarves to be silk jewelry) is what's needed to pull it all together.
      Learning how to replicate an outfit you see without buying new things is also a learned skill - first and most important is to figure out WHY you want to replicate the outfit to begin with. Does it really suit you, or do you just admire it? If it IS a combination that would be appropriate and flattering for you, you very possibly already own similar garments. To some extent, all cardigans are basically the same; all button-front shirts might be interchangeable, pants that you don't own might be replaced by your favorites etc. But look really critically at the "target outfit"; and do a gut check about why it appeals to you.
      I have too many clothes too, so I'm going to be refining my wardrobe in the next few month - stay tuned!

  8. Ooooo, I love the violet with navy and gray! Great combos -- seeing new versions of the classic looks is so inspiring. Thank you!

  9. Off to Europe for two weeks this weekend!
    Lots of gray, black and camel in my closet!
    Any suggestions?
    Love all you packing suggestions of the last few days1

    1. I'm so jealous! Be sure to save space in your luggage for a couple of new scarves - depending on where you're going to be, there are beautiful scarves to be had at ANY price point in Europe. One of my favorites cost about $10, and came from a street vendor...
      And keep your eyes open, do lots of people watching, and report back on what you see.
      Smile, relax, enjoy!!!

  10. You are brilliant! The cold-warm variations are genius! :-)
    My question: I used to be an Autumn and I love its colours! But now I turned to be an "early" winter ;-) still on my 40´s but with light grey hair - I would very much appreciate your suggestions for a transitional wardrobe, sort of autumn-winter variations... I dress rather classic - guess I should start to get a more sportive look, in order to look chic but not "granny"... I have dark brown eyes, very pale skin but with warm undertones.
    Thanks for your help!
    Greetings from Germany :-)

  11. Wow. I want to take a trip just so I can pack a suitcase like this.

  12. Wonderful series, thank you for giving these great ideas. I enjoy reading your posts and if I may suggest for a future post? Would you consider using your impeccable eye to create a capsule wardrobe for the "artsy cousin" style type? Phrase artsy cousin borrowed from another wonderful blogger LPC of Privelege, btw. Thank you for considering!

  13. Duchesse mentioned that navy isn't good in a tropical environment. I find the opposite.

    I don't live in tropics, but I live in the far south, on the coast, with palm trees in my yard and a number of tee shirt days through the winter. What I find is that I want my black and grey in winter, or when I'm traveling north.

    In winter, navy and chocolate don't appeal to me. But in summer, which is tropical hot and humid here, or when traveling to even hotter places, I want navy or chocolate (along with white and other pale neutrals, of course). And I want nothing of black or, usually, grey, in the heat, unless it's the occasional black linen piece.

    Navy feels cool, nautical, and flattering in the glaring sun. It seems to go with everything in summer, and simultaneously black seems off with everything, whether it's the light quality, heat, or just a quirk of my perceptions.

    Am I the only one who wants different dark neutrals according to seasons? (It does make it harder to streamline the closet, since I try to keep as many basics cross-seasonal as I can, but then in blazing summer or chilly winter I don't want those pieces in their "off-season" colors!)

    1. beautifuldreamer1066January 28, 2012 at 8:56 PM

      Actually, no, you are not alone in this cross-season thing.

      I worked out something in a black/gray/red theme for winter and a navy/beige/shades-of-blue theme for summer. Assuming that I am already wearing the winter color theme, I'll use winter solstice (December 21st) as a starting point for the transition scheme: I add navy March 1st and delete red by March 31st, add shades of blue April 1st and delete gray by April 30th, and add beige May 1st and delete black by May 31st. (Black is last to go as it is a big staple in my closet.) When ramping up for winter again, the process goes in reverse starting in September with black and beige swapping out first.

      It also helps to think how each of the color schemes would play together during the transition months. I look fabulous in deep shades of turquoise and aqua in the summer but could not reconcile wearing them with my red wool boucle jacket in the springtime whereas a medium to dark true blue works just fine and still complements my coloring.

      As you can see, both groups use a strong neutral to anchor them regardless of the temperature outside!

  14. Absolutely brilliant, again! These pieces are becoming like a mantra -- pack 2 pants, one skirt, one dress ... and then the pieces that go around them. This is going to be the basis for the trip to England (in a warm color scheme). Love, love this! And, excellent advice to anonymous going to Europe. I always look for scarves when I'm traveling -- pack small and absolutely lovely reminders of the journey. Thanks, again. Susan (Minneapolis)

  15. Hi Vivienne,

    I fell in love in one nansecond with these boots and immediately wanted you to create a capsule around them!! Can you do that? casual and elegant with some more than casual choices for dinners out. thank you in advance.

    Deb in Vancouver

  16. Yay! I really love your capsule wardrobes. I like to wear mostly black so am starting to experiment very slightly with accessories. I really dislike statement jewelry so I'm happy to see the scarves and small delicate pieces you pair things with. Lovely!

  17. beautifuldreamer1066January 28, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Hello, Vivienne --
    This is a color scheme I can get behind! Thank you for the inspiration! I love the flexibility of the layered clothing choices and the fact that you can go crazy with accessories, which can be as trendy or expensive as you want. These wardrobes are all perfect examples of "buy the best you can afford" in basics and use most of your accessories just for fun.