Monday, September 08, 2014

A 4 by 4 Capsule Wardrobe in Teal, Wine, Olive and Camel

Camel and olive are pretty versatile - here's a much more subtle use of these two neutrals, compared to the vivid gold and red from last week.

But let's talk teal for a second:  If you look around for things which claim to be "teal" in color, you get a range anywhere from an almost emerald green, all the way over to an almost navy blue.  That's annoying when we're trying to describe colors, but in the case of this capsule wardrobe, this flexibility was useful for me. 

When I initially started working with a couple of tops closer to green than blue, I found that I had all kinds of clashing nastiness when putting the teal garments next to olive.  It was basically trying to blend cool green with warm green, and it was pretty difficult - almost icky.  But when I migrated toward the more blue versions of teal, everything seemed to work much more nicely.

What do we learn from this?  I learned that one has to be a bit flexible when working with four colors; in order to make all four of them dance nicely together, it might be necessary to "tweak" one of the colors one direction or the other on the color wheel.  An open mind in working with colors is the most useful skill of all, I'm starting to believe!

I think this turned out rather nicely.
olive jeans – Dolce and Gabbana, olive crew sweater – Marc by Marc Jacobs
olive cropped trousers – Isabel Marant, olive cotton and cashmere tee shirt – Majestic 
Sweater – Weekend Max Mara, jeans – Viyella, shirt – Mauro Gasperi, camel trousers
 – Dorothy PerkinsCamel cardigan – Jaegerstriped sweater – Tulchan, sleeveless wrap top
 – Desigualolive cardigan – BalmainWine turtleneck – Uniqlo, teal tee shirt – 
White Stuff, floral scarf – Molly and Pearl, brushed gold stud earrings - Marco Bicego,
 teal silk earrings – Doris Mhor, chevron scarf  - Missoni, leather wrap bracelet –  
Hariyonotan booties – Aquatalia byMarvin K., loafers – Sperry Top-Sider
satchel handbag – Fossil
Jeans – Dolce and Gabbana, crew sweater – Marc by Marc Jacobs
cropped trousers – Isabel Marant, cotton and cashmere tee shirt – Majestic
Sweater – Weekend Max Mara, jeans – Viyella
shirt – Mauro Gasperi, camel trousers – Dorothy Perkins

Yes, I got a little bit nutty with the patterned top, but it included three of our four colors, it's really cool looking, and I like to show that there's a wide range of possibilities when it comes to building a personalized wardrobe.

Camel cardigan – Jaeger, striped sweater – Tulchan
sleeveless wrap top – Desigual, olive cardigan – Balmain

These deep red/burgundy/wine colors - the names get muddled together, but the colors are lovely.

Wine turtleneck – Uniqlo, teal tee shirt – White Stuff (sold out), 
wine shirt – Timeout, teal cardigan – Oasis

I can't suggest it often enough - if you're really stuck finding a scarf that combines unusual or uncommonly mixed colors, look at Missoni.  I'm not say that you should BUY one - I don't ever tell you what to buy - but their way with combining colors might spark your imagination.  And if you do want to buy one, The Real always has tons of them 2nd hand...

Also, I found a cool new site for accessories - Not on The High  It's fun to see some brands other than the same FOUR PEOPLE that are on every department store site...

floral scarf – Molly and Pearl, brushed gold stud earrings - Marco Bicego,
 teal silk earrings – Doris Mhor, chevron scarf  - Missoni, leather wrap 
bracelet – Hariyono, tan booties – Aquatalia by Marvin K.
loafers – Sperry Top-Sider, satchel handbag – Fossil



  1. I am loving this teal, camel, olive plan. I have teal and camel in my palette (Taupe, black, brown with teal, camel and rose)

    AS you describe teals are hard to match and I could not trust my eye so I took my favorite teal scarf and tank to the paint store and got paint chips to carry in my purse. Now my teals are "my" teal:)

    1. This morning I was thinking about where to get color swatches that are easy to carry around. You just gave me the solution; Paint chips!!
      Great idea! I was so into cloth samples that it didn't occur to me.

    2. You, madam, are a genius. I can't wait to borrow this idea.

    3. I've always used embroidery floss, but paint chips would travel much more easily - genius, indeed!
      thanks for sharing,

    4. What a great idea on the paint chips! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I really love this wardrobe. Very nice.

  3. This is gorgeous! Add in a camel or cream turtleneck and a skirt or two and I could be all set!! :)

  4. I don't know why I didn't think to put these colors together. But I just LOVE this!!! Thanks <3

  5. Lovely! You have me toying with warm and cool mixtures. Would love to see what you could do with pale gray, rust, plum and green inspired by this scarf:

    I was going to ignore the rust and use gray and black as my neutrals. Now I am seriously considering gray and rust. BTW, the background of the scarf is a pale gray, not white as it might appear in the photo.

    Thanks for all you do. I would never have considered some of these combinations and I am loving them.

  6. I just ordered the Desigual sleeveless top the second I clapped eyes on it. I have this whole khaki, olive, loden, burgundy, wine, plummy collection going and this pattern the pattern is so gorgeous. It will be a great layering piece and the price made it impossible to pass up. The Power Pause had to be turned off on this purchase. What a great, great layering piece!

  7. I don't like to wear light colors on my bottom half, so which color, teal or red, would look better as a column of color?

  8. I really enjoy reading your blog. I'm a fair bit younger than you, but I work in a very conservative environment so I found your blog more useful than a lot of the street fashion blogs that are geared for my age group. My only friendly comment is that you almost never feature belts. Maybe just not your accessory of choice, but would love to see them in the mix on the integration segment sometimes.

  9. Feel free to talk about teal for more than a second, it is one of my favorite accents! I like variations of teal mixed but usually reserve it for tops with a camel, navy or grey bottom. Olive I can wear as a column of color because it feels softer and more muted than most teals so it seems to mix as a bottom with nearly everything so it is a good accent with or substitute for some camel bottoms to mix in a heavy camel capsule.

  10. I love your web site - and especially this colour combination. Usually fashions and combining clothes leaves me stymied - but since I discovered your website it starts to make sense to me.
    Thank you so much