Tuesday, July 01, 2014

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe from Scratch Step 8: Two Tops, and a Necklace

One thing that I've noticed after many years of wearing clothes is that I feel like my capsule wardrobe is better balanced if I have more "tops" than "bottoms".  Two to one seems a pretty workable ratio for me, and so in search of this it's time to grab a couple more blouses, tee shirts, or sweaters.  This is an ideal time to introduce a pattern, if you wish, or to bring in more of your accent colors.  If you found that you really preferred wearing light neutral blouses, those are perfect for this step.

And a necklace... Some days when I'm walking in downtown Chicago, I make a point of looking specifically for necklaces, and I'm always kind of shocked that I don't see very many.  A semi-precious stone or fabric necklace can completely change the look of an outfit, bringing colors together, adding texture and lustre or sparkle, or reinforcing an accent color.  Bring on the necklaces!

turquoise sweater, olive green blouse, and turquoise and olive jasper and pyrite necklace

Turquoise angora sweater– Roberto Collina, jasper and pyrite necklace– 
          Nangara by Julia Fusinato, olive tee – Shu Moriyama
11 piece khaki and olive travel capsule wardrobe
wooden earrings – Hring eftir hring, zigzag infinity scarf - BrazenTurquoise angora sweater– Roberto Collina,khaki tee –
 Targetjasper and pyrite necklace– Nangara by Julia Fusinato, turquoise blouse – Ralph Lauren Black Label, tan cashmere
 cardigan – La Garconne, watch – Armani Exchange, bracelet – Chan Luu, ivory silk blouse – Jaeger, striped scarf – Missoni,
 olive tee – Shu Moriyamaolive cardigan – Merona, tan trousers – Hallhuber, beige jeans – Morgan, Olive trousers – Isabel
 Marant Etoile, bag –  Longchamp, maroon tee shirt – Linea Weekend, olive ballet flats – Chloe, penny loafers – Cole Haan
black and white striped tee, black grey silver necklace, and grey tee shirt
Striped top– Malene Birger,necklace– Lamprini, grey tee– T by Alexander Wang 
11 piece travel capsule wardrobe in grey, black, blue and red
earrings – Toosis, nautical scarf – Brooks Brothersstriped top– Malene Birger,black white red scarf – Vince Camuto, black tee
 – Hallhuber, blue shirt - Uniqlo, black cotton and cashmere cardigan – 10 Crosby Derek Lam, watch – DKNY, bracelet – Simon 
 Sebbag, white cotton shirt – Diane von Furstenberg,grey tee– T by Alexander Wang , necklace– Lamprinired blouse 
– Cutie, grey cardigan - Mango, black linen trousers – Viyella, black jeans – Current/Elliott,  grey pleated trousers – Alberto Biani,
bag – Gregory Sylvia,  grey ballet flats – Café Noir, pointed toe loafers – Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn
blue tee shirt, brown necklace, and yellow and brown print blouse
Light blue teeVelvet, necklaceGivenchy, floral blouse - Topshop
11 piece brown, beige, blue and yellow travel capsule wardrobe
earrings – Kasturjewels, square scarf – Radical Chic, brown cotton tee – Uniqlo, yellow top – Uniqlo, chocolate brown 
fleece cardigan – L.L.Beannecklace– Givenchy, floral blouse - Topshop, light blue tee– Velvetwatch – Timex, beaded bracelet –
 Chan Luu,  blue and brown scarf – Paola Pecora, blue blouse – Uniqlo,beige pants – The Row, ivory silk blouse – Jaeger, tote –
 Coet, tan marled cardigan – Junarose, brown twill trousers – Lands’ End, brown jeans – Viyella, tan ballet flats –  
Michael Michael Kors, tassel loafers – The Flexx
pink blouse, lavender blouse, and pink and lavender silk necklace
Pink top– Velvet, necklace– Saako Design, lavender blouse– Marni Edition 
11 piece grey, navy, pink and lavender  travel capsule wardrobe
earrings – Majorica, navy and grey scarf – Hingelavender blouse– Marni Editionpastel scarf – Twisted Muse,
 silver grey tee – Hallhuberpink top– Velvet lilac tee shirt – Nougat London, grey cashmere cardigan – Jaeger, watch –  
Fossil, bracelet – Majorica, navy cardigan – Dorothy Perkins, white cotton shirt – Diane von Furstenbergnecklace– Saako 
 Designpink shirt – Fenn Wright Manson, silver grey trousers – Viyella, grey jeans – Rebecca Taylor, navy trousers –
 Jacques Vert, bag – CK Calvin Klein, navy ballet flats – Geox, tasseled flats – Trotters
blue tee shirt, multi-gem necklace, and coral tunic
Blue tee Majestic Filatures, carnelian, quartz, amethyst,  
lapis necklaceRitu, coral silk blouseEquipment
caramel and black 11 piece travel capsule wardrobe
earrings – Max and Chloedark scarf – Erfurtcaramel tee – Hallhuber, blue tee – Majestic Filaturescoral tee shirt – Warehouse
 caramel wool and cashmere cardigan – Customer Loversbracelet – Tiraphan Hasub, watch – Fossil, light scarf - Play Mantero 
ivory silk top – Jaegerblack trousers – Mint Velvetbag – Dorothy Perkinsblack cardigan – Michael Michael Kors
carnelian, quartz, amethystlapis necklace– Ritublue linen shirt – Jaeger, coral silk blouse– Equipment, copper twill 
trousers – Lands’ Endcaramel jeans – Toast, black ballet flats – Armanibrown ballet flats – Frye
yellow sweater, green shirt, and yellow and green silk necklace
Yellow sweater– Woolrich, silk necklace– Saako Design, green shirt– Silvian Heach 
11-piece navy, beige, yellow and green travel capsule wardrobe
earrings – Dorothy Perkinsyellow sweater– Woolrichpastel scarf – Collection Weekend, navy silk tee – Theory, aqua tee - Reiss,
 navy wool cardigan – Miu Miu, bracelet – Brooks Brothers, watch – Anne Klein, beige and navy checked scarf 
– Aquascutumgreen shirt– Silvian Heachtan pants – Uniqlo, white silk blouse – Nic + Zoesilk necklace– Saako Design,
 yellow tee – Warehouse, beige cardigan – Marella, navy trousers – Viyella, navy jeans – Uniqlo, bag – Halogen,  ballet flats – Me Too 
, black penny loafers – Cole Haan

Artisan Made Jewelry Designs

How to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch - step 8 - add 2 tops and a necklace
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  1. For the past year I have been wearing scarves and love how they pull my colors together. This summer has just been too hot for scarves, so I have pulled out a couple of necklaces and been wearing those. Recently on a vacation, I picked up two more necklaces and some earrings in my favorite accent colors. I have been surprised how many of my outfits work with these necklaces and are better with the addition. I am enjoying the jewelry as much on trips to the grocery store as on fancier occasions.

  2. Just love necklaces for varying simple basics! The multistrands can be hot, though, so I wear a pendant on a long chain, or a rope of 5mm keshi pearls when the temps hit the 90s. With one long, not too heavy chain, you can add different pendants, stretching a jewelry budget.

    1. Duchesse, I hope you do a post on this idea someday. One chain, multiple pendants.

  3. I don't often wear a necklace, preferring a scarf instead. But I did today along with earrings AND a printed to. I guess I'm showing my wild side. :)

  4. Janice, your system is so wonderful. After two years of following you religiously, my entire way of looking at my closet has changed! One big change is that as I have settled on several neutral and several accent colors, my shopping has become so much more targeted. While I used to just randomly shop for whatever stuff appealed to me in the stores, now I have worked to find jewelry, scarves, shoes, sweaters and tops in my accent colors. With these additions, I now find that I always have something in my closet that will pull an outfit together. Thank you for helping me see that this is the way to go.

  5. In the hot climate I live in, I don't like anything around my neck. I accessorize with earrings and bracelets to keep cool and usually wear an accent color or patterned blouse.

  6. I've come to understand that I'm lucky enough to have the frame (tall, strong shoulders and a weightlifter) to carry off necklaces that on others would be downright overwhelming. I'm leaning into that these days. Turquoise pendant the size of a tea saucer? Sure! Collar of 3 inch long crystals? Looks just fine! 9 strand pearl necklace? Don't mind if I do.

    1. wonderful sense of humor and a gift of writing Eileen!

    2. Eileen, I'm tall and broad and maybe that is why my smallish necklaces always just look fussy to me. Thanks for pointing this out. I might try to experiment with something a bit more powerful. It's very hard for me to adjust to the visual busy-ness of a necklace though.

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  8. Janice -thank you for this wonderful series. I love it and can't wait to read the next post (and the next).

    But I'm stumped - when I think about my current wardrobe, I should probably choose the black/grey/red/white/blue scheme - and I find it a bit "cold" - I don't usually wear silver jewellery - and some of the accessories are just not me.

    What I'm really drawn to is the caramel/black/coral combos - but caramel seems so difficult a colour to find.

    What's going on? Any suggestions on how to decide, move forward & stop being a waffling, commitment-phobe, over-spender?

    1. I don't know if you'll see this or not, but...Start with an edit of things you just don't like. Take them to a consignment shop. Then shop second hand for a test piece or two in the new color. Buy the best you can find. Second hand means you won't spend a ton for a test drive. If the new color works, you're on your way with a good piece. If it doesn't, you haven't spent a lot.

  9. Thank you Janice for this series! I can finally build a wardrobe that works! I like the navy/beige capsule but I am not drawn to light yellow/ green colors. Could I use kelly green/ coral instead? Should these colors be a different shade? I don't want to mess it up and end up looking weird.

    1. Helen, I think kelly green and coral would be lovely.

  10. Although I'm a long-time reader of your blog, I don't often comment. But I think that this series on how to build a wardrobe is one of the very best on the subject I have ever seen. And I've been a capsule wardrobe dresser since the 1980's, when my primary motivation was to stretch my limited clothing budget. Thanks for this series and for a consistently outstanding blog.

  11. I find necklaces hard to wear. I put them on but usually take them off before going out of the house. I'm small, with a full bust and the distance between neck and bust is minimal. Scarves are different as they can drape over the bust so that's what I rely on for adding color and pattern. This is such a great series. Book in the works???

  12. Hi,
    How nice this post is!! Really great and osum!! I read your web details and undestood that,
    Following three months, she'll pick new pieces to add to her turn. Not just does this totally de-stretch the entire thought of getting dressed additionally spares a considerable measure of cash (no looking for three months!) and has totally changed her point of view.
    Prepared to be enlivened? We should get to it with Capsule Wardrobe 101 and our talk with Caroline on how she did it and why.
    this is the most velauble post for us.