Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Build a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting With Art: Shopping with a Van Gogh Seascape

What a gorgeous painting! And the colors are so perfect for warm weather... (of which I dream right now, as I watch the white-out snow storm outside my window...)

A few of you have expressed a concern about wearing light colors below the waist, and so for this wardrobe I'm going to avoid that. Also, I've been asked to include a maxi skirt in capsule wardrobes, so today I've found one!

The Sea at Saintes Maries de la Mer by Vincent Van Gogh
The Sea at Saintes Maries de la Mer - Vincent Van Gogh

A dark core of four - useful for most of the year, and an essential base upon which we're going to build this plan. Navy is so perfect for warm weather; if you're concerned about the colors matching, plan to buy all four items at once, and maybe from the same place.

core of four navy garments with sandals and bag
cardigan - Dorothy Perkins (similar here), pants - Dorothy Perkins (similar here), tank top - Dorothy Perkins (similar here), tee shirt – Dorothy Perkins (similar here), navy sandals – LifeStride (similar here), navy tote bag – Solomon Appollo (similar here)

Yes, this is the second grouping of four green garments that you've seen in two days. But this is a GREAT year to buy green - if you love green, now is the time to stock up. As with yesterday's greens, they don't have to be perfectly matching - just so they are happy to hang out together...

four sea green garments with sandals and earrings
sandals – Cobb Hill (great green sandals here), ¾ sleeve sweater - Target (similar here), maxi skirt - Target (similar here), cardigan - Target (similar here); tee shirt – Target (similar here), aquamarine earrings – Julie Tuton Jewelry (similar here)

Looking back at this post, from the vantage point of 2017, the biggest lesson might be that when you see FOUR pieces from the same store that all go together, and that you love, you have to make your move! Reconstructing these pieces five years later is incredibly difficult...

If the beige capris are too light for your comfort, you can always swap them for green...

two tee shirts and two pair of capris with a scarf and canvas shoes
tee – HotSquash (similar here), scarf – Meesha (similar here), canvas shoes - Keds, capris – Kohls (similar here), floral tee – Dries van Noten (similar here)

navy and sea green travel capsule wardrobe based on a Van Gogh painting



  1. I love the painting! And the seafoam green you selected, Janice!

  2. Love this inspiration for colors. Since navy and khaki are my usual summer bottom colors, but I can't use khaki near my face, these suggestions could have been made just for me! Please check on the Dorothy Perkins and Target links which aren't working for me.

  3. Funny how we see things differently. Looking at this painting I saw turquoise and blue, you saw a more neutral palette and in fact, that happens a lot with your scarf and painting posts. These posts help me a lot, they're a great way to train my eye to see from a different angle.

  4. Pretty, practical choices for summer travel or a core summer wardrobe. Thanks, as always, Janice, for thinking of your addicted blogsters even as you are busily off in NYC having a life!

  5. Another beautiful array of pieces and outfits.

  6. I love this. I've always been a fan of seafoam and navy, and have several pieces similar to the ones you show above.

  7. The Van Gogh is absolutely beautiful! What a wonderful seascape. My favorite of all of the paintings you've featured so far.

    And as I contemplate the colors in the painting, I realize that my summer color palette, while somewhat different from the colors that you pulled from the painting, also consists of colors included there. In the summer I use navy and khaki as my base colors. I also have a couple of white items (tee and button-front long-sleeve shirt) plus lots and lots of tops in a medium-light blue, bordering on periwinkle. (Mostly L.L. Bean's "china blue.")

    As always, well done, Janet.


  8. Janice, thank you for choosing 'my' painting. Your suggestions are beautiful - those soft greens and moody greys, I'd just never have thought of these with the navy. I feel inspired. I'm grateful as always for the generosity with which you research and share your own kind of art with us.

  9. What great color combinations. I personally think every person looks good in blue and when it leans to turquoise and seafoam colors another dimension is created. As usual, great ideas and inspiration. Hope you are enjoying your trip.

  10. I do love green, but I'm more a jade green/ forest green kind of girl.

    Those are lovely aquamarine earrings, though...

  11. Nice blog. It inspires me a lot. Thanks for publishing such useful information.