Monday, August 25, 2014

A Four by Four Capsule Wardrobe in Apricot, Celadon, Navy and Brown

Sunday morning, I built a spreadsheet to analyze all of the color combinations that you've requested, and it turns out that navy is the most requested color (followed closely by brown and medium grey).  So I'm going to persevere with the various ways to use navy as a capsule wardrobe base - are you more interested in seeing dressy/conservative office attire, business casual (which to me feels like an oxymoron, even though I lived with it for decades), or casual/weekend?  Or shall I mix it up?

Let me know...

First up today is this excellent color combination:
Wardrobe color scheme of apricot, celadon green, navy and brown
The familiar brown core: 
Core of Four in brown: corduroy pants, tee shirt, skirt and sweater
Corduroy pants – Viyella, tee shirt – J. Crew
skirt – Precis Petite, sweater – Dear Cashmere
And the navy Core of Four.  Don't forget that these four items, all on their own, give you FOUR outfits.  It's easy to lose sight of the power of the solid, matching clothes in the fun of color schemes. 
Core of Four in navy: tee shirt, skirt, silk shirt and trousers
Navy tee – Lands’ End, skirt - Uniqlo,
 silk shirt – Lands’ End, twill trousers – Lands’ End
I changed all four of these items; I KNEW that there would be more things available as soon as we started looking! Some of these exceed all reasonable bounds of extravagance...
The Expansion Four in brown and navy: marled turtleneck, plaid blouse, cardigan and striped sweater
Marled turtleneck – White Stuff, plaid blouse – Isabel Marant Etoile,
 cardigan – Uniqlo, striped sweater – Daniela Gregis
And what lovely accent colors!
The Mileage Four in Apricot and Celadon: sweater, blouse, tee shirt and sweater
Apricot sweaterCarven,  mint blouse – Paisie
apricot tee shirt – Aspesi, mint sweater – Closed
I also changed all of the accessories, to reflect the wide range of options that you have with these wardrobes.  Looking for chalcedony (the pale green kind) makes finding jewelry for this wardrobe easier.  It's always worthwhile to dig through the internet and learn the names of semi-precious stones in your favorite colors.  That way, when you want to internet search for something, you have great keywords to use.
The Integration 4+ for the 4 by 4 in Apricot and Celadonl: scarves, jewelry, a bag and shoes
Floral cashmere square – Brooks Brothers, pearl stud earrings – Matta, brown pumps – 
Rose Petals, gold bracelet – Alexis Bittarpearl and chalcedony necklace – Ritu, tote bag – 
Longchamp, square silk scarf – HTC, gold hoop earrings – St. John Collection
riding boots – Franco Sarto
I really like the way this came together.  The warmth and softness of the accent colors completely change the feel of the core neutrals, but still have a definite sense of autumn about them.
A 4 by 4 Wardrobe in Apricot, Celadon, Navy and Brown, with accessories
Floral cashmere square – Brooks Brothers, pearl stud earrings – Matta, brown pumps – Rose Petals,
 gold bracelet – Alexis Bittar,  pearl and chalcedony necklace – Ritutote bag – Longchamp
square silk scarf – HTCgold hoop earrings – St. John Collection, riding boots – Franco Sarto
corduroy pants – Viyella, tee shirt – J. Crew, skirt – Precis Petite, sweater – Dear Cashmere
navy tee – Lands’ End, skirt - Uniqlo, silk shirt – Lands’ End, twill trousers – Lands’ End,  marled 
turtleneck – White Stuff, plaid blouse – Isabel Marant Etoile, cardigan – Uniqlo, striped sweater – 
Daniela Gregis,  apricot sweater – Carven,  mint blouse – Paisie, apricot tee shirt – Aspesi
mint sweater – Closed

Unique Artisan Decor


  1. I bought your Vivienne Files Color Planner and would love to see Black and Denim combinations for a casual workplace. Thank you for your wonderful ideas.
    Mary Jo

    1. I'd like to see this one too! Struggling with accessories/shoes for denim. I am tempted to use silver/grey accessories instead.

    2. The Clarks Hamble Oak Brogues in the Navy Combi Suede are great with denim -

  2. I love the Autumn feel of this one, without it being *in your face* Autumn, if that makes sense.

    I am mainly interested in dressy/office attire, but could also use some guidance in the casual/weekend area.

    I'm not sure of you are still doing the *Start with Art* type collections, but if you are, I have two I'd be interested in:

    John WIlliam Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott

    The Lady of Shalott is my very favorite art piece (I am more into photography, so paintings I like are few and far between) . I put it through the color palette generator you had posted several years ago and ironically (or, maybe not) it gave me a pallet that closely matches most of my wardrobe.

    Another I would love to have you consider is Wassily Kadinsky, Yellow Red Blue

    Thank you again, for having such a wonderful and informative blog!

  3. How about some casual...scarves and big jewelry are out of place in our small community, although I have a weakness for good handbags and shoes - but not stuff like peep-toe boots!
    Would like to see some more black-grey combinations - maybe with cognac accessories?

    1. black-grey-cognac sounds great!

    2. I would love to see black-grey-denim/navy and cognac.

  4. I'd like some "recently stopped working full-time, not yet retired (freelancing)" daily clothes combinations. I can well cover the business side of my life, but what about the rest? Somehow, it feels as if it ought to be different from weekends when working full-time.............

    Colourwise, well, I am easily bored so have several different neutrals and like lots of different accents - but I don't do things in the "sugared-almond-pink" part of the spectrum, and related colours - makes me look soooo ill......

  5. So many ideas! I can wear my dark brown cashmere sweater with an integrating scarf, navy pants and brown shoes? Right now I have many pairs of brown shoes so this would work economically for me. If I use a navy Longchamps bag, will I have pulled in enough navy? Although navy is my #2 neutral, I don't own very many pieces so pants, bag and integrating scarf would certainly be a start and could be worn with my brown winter coat. You offer up so many different possibilities that I will have to be vigilant about purchasing too many accent pieces. Merci.

  6. I would never have thought to throw that mint in there...but I really like it! Thanks!

  7. I just discovered your blog, and I love it! I wear a lot of brown/navy and brown/red combinations in the fall.
    The celadon combination is an interesting addition.

  8. Very pretty colors. While I dress for office and church six days a week, it makes no difference to me which style you address. There is usually a good idea hiding somewhere. Love it all.

  9. Would it be possible to show a wardrobe with a navy base (and whatever else colors) and show how some of the same navy items can be used in a casual way and in a professional way (so they do double duty)? And with the outfits shown (in addition to the entire wardrobe)? Too much to ask? Thanks!

  10. That Daniela Gregis sweater did almost make me spit my coffee at the screen. :) It is lovely, though, and perfect for this color combo.

    I prefer a mix of business casual and casual. I see this as a core wardrobe, and feel that the mix of BC/casual allows you to build out in whatever direction you'd like. (Hope that makes sense.)

    1. I would sort of like to see that sweater in person to see what THAT'S all about... Maybe it makes you look like you're 3 inches taller and 3 inches narrower? Horizontal stripes are known to have that effect... ahem...

      Your thoughts about mixing business and casual are sort of where I've been working - our lives are so "un-pigeonholed" these days that we need to be versatile and flexible!


    2. Janice, I suspect Monica was referring to the $1200+ price tag! Right, Monica?

    3. I was too; for a months rent, I would expect a sweater that did nearly miraculous, impossible things...

      Who buys these things?

  11. This series is so good for me. I am learning what colors will work for me and what won't. I have always gone with "do I like that color?" without much planning about what it will go with. This is one of the big problems in my wardrobe, too many colors. Now I realize that I have very little navy, and I also realize I just don't like navy very much. Keep up the good work!

  12. I would love it if you could do a scheme for a friend of mine whom I have recommended your fabulous blog to. She really needs help as she freely admits she has no idea about colour schemes or putting an outfit together. She has work suits in navy and medium grey and pale cool colours suit her best. She only needs a limited wardrobe as money is tight, but wants smart work stuff combined with more casual weekend and evening wear. Comfy clothes are what she likes. Please could you help?!

  13. More art:

    John Armstrong's "The Church at Coggeshall, Essex:

  14. What a gorgeous combination! Right up my autumn color alley I have really been enjoying playing with your color planner and have recommended it to friends and clients.

    Cheers, M-T

  15. This is great! Over time I'm trying to replace black with navy & brown - I hadn't really thought of wearing them together, but with these accent colors it seems easy. Thanks again - Janice. I offer another vote for "start with art" or "start with nature" - love those novel approaches.

  16. Love your color combinations. I was hoping to ride your coattails a bit, but the navy/brown sweater I like is $1,200, so that's not happening! Beautiful, though. Since I work at home and dress for weekends on a regular basis, I vote for weekend outfits. Yay!

  17. I nominate brown, grey, wine and eggplant, for a stay at home mom who is slightly creative/edgy but not at all fussy or frilly. :)

  18. My vote is for chic casual but I also need the odd office-looking ensemble for formal business-style/fundraiser lunches.Your ideas keep me up-to-date
    with what's wearable out of current fashion selections.
    Also I now look at my wardrobe as a coordinated whole which is a much more useful approach than my previous random purchases.

  19. Lovely combinations Janice. I too would like to see double-duty wardrobes for BC/Casual.

  20. I just saw this one - oh how I love this! this might be my all time fave. Thank you!!!!