Monday, August 26, 2013

Four pack: Tan, with THREE printed items

The travel outfit is always the most important decision when packing a tiny suitcase.  In the worst travel outcomes, you can be stuck wearing this outfit for a REALLY long time.  Even if everything goes perfectly, this is the outfit in which you arrive - your first impression at the branch office, or the hotel, or with the relatives.

As much as I adore textured and patterned cardigans, for the Four Pack, I'd stick with a solid-colored cardigan.  This amazingly beautiful sweater might get a lot of action, if the weather proves to be cool, and a solid makes it easier to coordinate other items.

Blouse – Monsoon,  earrings- Alexis Bittar  pants - Coast + Weber + Ahaus,
Cardigan – Givenchy ,  scarf – Have A Nice Day,  flats- French Sole
tote – Longchamps

Here's where decisions get difficult.  I'm building on the color of the cardigan, and my first choice was to include a dress which would look perfect under the sweater, if necessary.  The beige flats from my travel outfit could be worn with the dress, but I'm also going to include a pair of pumps in black - this trip has a definite business feel to it.

Knowing that I've got black pumps, and a tan cardigan, I started looking for a skirt that would fit into the theme, and then I picked up two solid-colored tops that echo the tan and the black.  This necklace includes both of my core colors as well as a hint of the grey from my travel pants. A solid scarf in yet ANOTHER shade of tan makes it clear that I do indeed intend to mix a number of shades of one color.

Black silk pulloverProenza Schouler,  necklace – Alexis Bittar,  skirt – Marc Jacobs,
  tunic- P.A.R.O.S.H.,  dress – Diane von Furstenberg, pumps – Sofft
wool and cashmere wrap - Nordstrom

 Now you have a variety of choices!  This doesn't exhaust the possibilities - you could certainly put either of the solid tops over the dress...

Shop Stuart Weitzman SS13 Flats



  1. LOL much as I appreciate the principle, the dress brings to mind knitted snakeskin!! But great capsule...

  2. Just got back from my trip, but even my jet-lagged eyes can spot that this is beautiful. I never wear much print but purchased two printed tops that would go with pretty much everything I had already in my case.Found out that a printed top is really practical eating dinner on a bumpy ride!

  3. I love the ideas....but I, too, am scared of the snakeskin print dress. It's gorgeous. But on someone else. That said, the idea of a printed dress, in those same colors, would be very appealing to me. I don't abhor snakeskin...but I'd be more likely to use that particular print in small, a bag, a belt or a scarf.

  4. Also, I love the travel blouse's print! I have the a-line skirt in that same pattern! It's incredibly versatile.

  5. Greetings from our beach holiday in the South of France.

    Your pack tips really came in handy - especially the idea of 8 pieces plus... We're into our second week, and I still have combination possibilities.

    As it's just a beach holiday, I've not much to report... The French holiday season is winding down, as everyone is getting ready for La Rentrée. So far, I've seen lots of summer black... And lots of neon highlights- as accessories or nailpolish...


  6. I love this and, again, colors I would enjoy. I think the DVF dress would be an interesting item to wear, unexpected on a "femme d'un certain age." If I had the money to play with, I would add it to my capsule.

  7. As always: great, great, great and wearable choices! Thanks for your ideas :-)
    Have a very HAPPY week :-)

  8. I've learned so much about packing thanks to your travel capsules! Last week we took a road trip -- many hours in a car, stopping off at the in-laws/grandparents, more highway time, a couple of days in Washington, D.C. (LOTS of walking), then a couple of days at the beach. My wardrobe was a bit more casual that what you usually show, but I kept to the principles and felt comfortable and confident in all of my outfits (and had appropriate choices for all of my activities). Although I admit, it was just too hot to wear a scarf. But my straw hat did provide wonderful shade and style during our Washington tour.

  9. Love this! I have this exact Longchamp Pliage Cuir bag, and it's a great travel bag - light in weight but very roomy.

  10. I *love* the snakeskin dress! A little bit edgy and tough, just the way I like it.

  11. Love this capsule ... the principles are great. Just a heads up ... the black pullover is linked to the Marc Jacobs skirt. Might want to correct. Susan in WA

  12. I love these capsules, Janice! The top blouse and that cardigan are so much fun!! Love the colors!

  13. Aside of the fact that it REALLY suits me, I think tan is the perfect colour for accessories. It goes with practically every other colour.

    Last year, I finally found my perfect bag - tan leather, not too small, sensible compartments, well made. I have used it every day that I have left the house since I purchased it, and whilst it is no longer pristine, it still looks and feels perfect.

    And they've brought it back again for this Winter. I urge anyone except the most dainty or sporty to try it out:

  14. Thanks for another example. This is a beautiful wardrobe, and I think it really highlights just how much mileage you can get with so few garments. Sometimes, when looking at the hundreds of combinations with a 333 wardrobe, I get overwhelmed and my eyes glaze over. I seriously doubt I would ever actually try to wear a wardrobe like that in every possible combination. However, when you break a larger wardrobe down into smaller parts like this, I can concretely visualize how each piece and each variation of that piece works.

  15. Am new to the party and loving it ! But please can you explain the 'four pack' system.(apologies to all the other ladies ..I have a break planned in November to Paris and think this.may be just what I need! Help..

    1. There's really no system to speak of, beyond carefully choosing seven items of clothing that work well together: three for your travel outfit, and then four more to pack. When I build these, I look for a strong jacket or cardigan to "anchor" things, and then try to focus on 2 colors, with more tops than bottoms...

      What colors are you considering? I can ALWAYS blog about "four-packs"!