Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Four by Four Capsule Wardrobe in Navy, Grey, Teal and Burgundy

The Four by Four capsule wardrobe - in which you focus on four garments at a time - is a great way to move toward a complete wardrobe when you can't face a ton of shopping at one time.  The fours can easily be pulled from your Step by Step Capsule Wardrobe; this is sort of Step by Step with lots of resting in between steps!

One of the great beauties of Four by Four is that sixteen garments, plus accessories, is a great quantity of clothes for travel...

While these sixteen items could be purchased in any order or combination, I've got to admit that I would be VERY tempted to get all of the solid navy pieces at the same time, and maybe even from the same place.  Navy is not a color that can just be tossed together the way grey or black can...

This is our final product:


travel capsule wardrobe wardrobe planning minimal wardrobe

And this is the color scheme upon which it is built.  If the grey looks really brown on your monitor, I sigh deeply...
wardrobe color plan scheme palette
This was NOT a color scheme for The Vivienne Files Color Planner - it was an ad hoc request!

The navy Core of Four - simple and versatile.
Core of Four four garments in one color navy tops, pants and a skirt
Cashmere sweater – Jaeger, wool and silk short sleeve sweater – Jaeger, crepe trousers – Jaeger, skirt – Jaeger
The grey Core of Four includes a more relaxed cardigan, and a pair of jeans.
Grey Core of Four four grey garments cardigan sweater jeans and pants
Grey crewneck – Diane Von Furstenberg, jeans – True Religion, cardigan – Diane Von Furstenberg, trousers – Piazza Sempione

The Expansion Four provides items that can be worn with either grey or navy.  I would wear that patterned cardigan over the dress in a heartbeat!
Expansion Four four garments grey and navy for Four by Four Wardrobe
Turtleneck – Societe Anonyme, cardigan – Jil Sander, tunic – Chicnova, dress – Reiss
The Mileage Four - tops enough to get you through the week - introduces your accent colors. 
The Mileage Four for a Four by Four Wardrobe in navy, grey, teal and burgundy
Color-block blouse – Jonathan Simkhai, maroon tunic – Steven Alan, dip-dyed sweater – Burberry, cashmere v-neck - Uniqlo
And I know I used to include only four items in the Integration Four, but this just begged for a couple of pieces of jewelry...
The Integration Four accessories for a navy, grey, teal and burgundy Four by Four Wardrobe
Silver stud earrings – Caterina Butera, bracelet – Links of London, watch – Skagen, scarf – Etro, garnet earrings – Allurez, navy flats – Brooks Brothers, navy tote – Brooks Brothers, grey woven loafers – Bottega Veneta
Many product links lead you to retails who pay The Vivienne Files a small commission.  This commission has never been, and will never be, a factor in what items I choose to include in these wardrobes!

                        Brooks Brothers


27 comments:

  1. Core of Four would e a great title for a book on dressing your best! Hint! hint!
    Karen

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  2. Love, love. love this combo. These were my colors for my Winter 333 in 2013. (I'm not disciplined enough yet to say these will be my Winter 333 colors forever and ever, or even year-to-year.) I second the book title suggestion!

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  3. Hi I have just started to follow your site. Loving it Would black grey with camel and cream work and have you done this already? Thanks

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    1. It would work, I haven't done it, but I can bang that together quickly! As they say in advertising: watch this space...

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    2. Thank you so much Janice. This is the colour scheme I plan for my winter wardrobe instead of lots of random purchases. I would love to see your thoughts

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  4. This wardrobe should be called The Mallard Collection!

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  5. I like this one! :) I have a navy top with teal and burgundy embroidery and I wore it the other day and it always gets compliments. I would never have thought to put these colors together myself but I like them.

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  6. I am new to reading your blog but I think this is one of my favorite combos so far! Here's my question: is it possible to do a combo without collared, button-down shirts? I am just not a fan, they never look flattering on me. Thanks!

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    1. Absolutely! These tops can all be pull-over, tee shirty or sweater styles. There's no real limit to the style/cut of the garments that can be combined in this way.

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  7. Ha Margo!! I second the suggestion for black, grey, camel and cream four by four. Pretty Please. Janice, a very happy 1000+ post to you. My heartiest congratulations, and warm wishes for your continued success. I rarely miss a day, and opening your blog in the morning is second only to grabbing my coffee You inspire me to stay out of the dressing doldrums. Thank you so much.

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  8. I do like the color combinations. I feel autumn in the air just looking at it. :)

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  9. This looks amazing, very dignified. I have a basic navy/grey/beige core to my wardrobe, and had settled on using turquoise and periwinkle as accents for autumn (as per a wonderful post you did in April). This would be lovely for the depths of winter....
    Alice

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  10. :-) Gosh, I always like your ideas - I yet have to make the time to start clearing out and sorting my clothes according to your advice :-)
    Have a very HAPPY week! :-)

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  11. Love this. I'm going with grey and black for the winter, with cobalt and burgundy accents. I can see that swapping out the navy here for black would be fairly simple.

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  12. I too look forward every day to your posts and LOVE this colour combination. As my hair is becoming more grey I am considering moving to navy from black. As I have a core of black now I would use that.
    Wonderful work Janice....

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  13. It's such a pleasure to analyse your work, everyday. I should learn so much. I would like to ask you about the scarfs. Should the accent colours of the scarf identically correspond the main accent colours? In the example burgundy is a bit darker than sweater and this scarf looks perfectly.

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    1. I don't think you have to get too matchy-matchy with accent colors. Most people aren't going to get up really close to your clothes to check that the dye lots match! It's hard to remember that when we're choosing things, but so long as the general tones blend, and then overall look is harmonious, then the colors can be cousins, rather than identical twins. Of course, if you're not comfortable with this, then you should do what makes you happiest!
      thanks for the question - I'm happy to have a chance to clarify my point of view on that,
      warmest regards,
      Janice

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    2. Thank you very much for the answer!

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  14. I love these colors, but I'm very intimidated by the navy and burgundy. My wardrobe right now is all Black, Grey, Teal, Turquoise and Cobalt Blue (with some white and denim pieces). Sounds overly blue, right? Well, I think so and I haven't come up with a way to fix it. I don't like how I look in yellows, oranges or most reds/pinks but I am desperate to add color. Do you have any suggestions?

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    1. My first thought would be to "drift" away from blue on the color wheel and move more toward forest green, pine green, or maybe a soft seafoam, and then drift the other direction toward violet, deep purple, or soft bluish lavender.

      OR... you can just embrace your love of blue and accept it as your signature favorite color. There are no rules anywhere that insist that you have the entire rainbow in your wardrobe!

      warmest regards,
      and a big encouraging hug,
      Janice

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    2. Thanks for the ideas. I think that I will take your advice and embrace the blue for now, especially since cobalt blue is so trendy these days. I do like the idea of drifting along the color wheel though. We'll see where this takes me.

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  15. Janice,

    Thank you for all the labour and love you put into this. I guess it was me who requested this combination, and I want to love it, but.... I don't.. That is, I love the two cores of four, but it stops there.

    Is that I sign that I have picked the wrong color combination? Or that I just should keep looking for other pieces? I'll keep on pondering on this..

    Anyhow, thank you for a wonderful blog which I am looking forward to reading every day.

    br,
    Gro

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    1. If a color combination doesn't resonate in the deepest recesses of your heart, and make you want to sing out loud, then you should definitely reconsider. When I left graduate school, I was convinced that I should wear navy/grey/burgundy - very business appropriate, and good colors with my personal coloring. But my heart wanted BLACK. BLACK BLACK BLACK. I was always ill at ease until I went with my instincts...
      warmest regards,
      Janice

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  16. As always, incredibly insightful...creative, yet practical. I'm leaning towards black and grey for fall (based on items I already own, but using coral/salmon and turquoise/teal as my accents. I'd love to see this as a Core of Four post....it's a pretty combination!

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  17. I am learning so much and changing my closet in the most important ways EVER! I DO have a couple of questions: would you post the philosophy/theory behind the expansion four and the integration four? What is their contribution...add more choices? Blend the two neutrals? Begin to bring the accent colors? I can obviously SEE what they are doing, but as a "rule" what do they do?

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    1. The Expansion Four is based on (1) the fact that it's hard to live in only solid colors, (2) most of us need more than 8 garments, and (3) if you don't want to wear a scarf to tie colors together, you will want other options. There's no hard and fast rule that these have to be pieces that include both of the Core of Four colors, it just seems to make it easier. Four more solid garments would be perfectly fine if you can envision how you'll wear them, and you love them.
      The Integration Four (or more) is how accessories get introduced into the Four by Four. Shoes, of course, are essential, and are always in one of the core neutrals - usually the darkest, or the one that is closest to a "natural" leather color. Scarves play the role of pulling colors together, and making clothing choices look "intentional" rather than just like you're wearing whatever's clean. And jewelry is ultimately just for a bit of sparkle or luster, an additional touch of color, or just plain fun!
      thanks for asking!
      warmest regards,
      Janice

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