Thursday, September 04, 2014

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: The Magpie by Claude Monet

In our mythical leisure, Belovedest and I watch art courses from The Great Courses. Our current course is The World's Greatest Paintings, in which we studied at some length the beauties of this:
The Magpie, by Claude Monet
Talk about mixing warm and cool colors to great effect!  I was irresistibly drawn to use this as a Start With Art subject.   

Note one really interesting innovation that I'm trying: rather than attempt to nail down two specific browns and greys, or one color to represent the damp and frozen branches, slats on the gate, and branches in the fence, I'm working with a spectrum of brown to darkest grey.  Doing this frees you up to build a wardrobe around any color that might be found in the darkest shades of the painting.  And as long as you're true to the painting (and the thought of wet, frozen branches!), your colors will work well together, creating a palette of neutrals that you don't see everyday!

Darkest grey with lightest blue: 
Grey sweater – Marni, scarf – Lieke Van Opstal, jeans – J Brand, boots – Aetrex, oxford shirt – Uniqlo, pinstriped trousers – Vanessa Bruno, blue necklace – Lee Renee, oxfords – Paul Green
Warm, faded terracotta from the building in the painting, paired with brown or warm charcoal grey:
Apricot sweater – Carven, ballet flatsL’Amour Des Pieds, cropped brown jeans – Dolce and Gabbana, charcoal dress – Raquel Allegra, organza scarf – Yuh Okano, suede pumps – Stuart Weitzman
 A touch of snow, with more warm charcoal, a softer grey tunic, and a few accessories: 
White cotton shirt – Mint Velvet, white and grey pearl necklace – Duanpen Tajunin, charcoal cardigan – Theory, tweed skirt – Planetsuede pumps – Stuart Weitzmangrey tunic – Mint Velvet, grey pearl earrings – Fermin, scarf – Roffe Accessories
This would easily work for a 3 or 4 day trip that combined business and leisure:
Grey sweater – Marni, scarf – Lieke Van Opstal, jeans – J Brand, boots – Aetrex, oxford shirt – Uniqlo, pinstriped trousers – Vanessa Bruno, blue necklace – Lee Reneeoxfords – Paul Green,  apricot sweater – Carven, ballet flats – L’Amour Des Piedscropped brown jeans – Dolce and Gabbana, charcoal dress – Raquel Allegra, organza scarf – Yuh Okanowhite cotton shirt – Mint Velvet, white and grey pearl necklace – Duanpen Tajunin, charcoal cardigan – Theory, tweed skirt – Planetsuede pumps – Stuart Weitzmangrey tunic – Mint Velvet, grey pearl earrings – Ferminscarf – Roffe Accessories
                                       Kohls Department Stores Inc         


  1. Beautiful, wearable, mindful, inspired. I've been struck, Janice, as I've paged my way through the mega-fashion magazines of September by how much more beautiful and useful your blog pages are than anything else!

    1. I agree with you Gail. Much more useful than the current fashion mags

  2. This is stunning. You find the most beautiful clothes and color combinations.

  3. Beautiful painting and amazing interpretation of course! You astound me. :)

  4. Perfect timing! My winter wardrobe colors are the gray and brown spectrum with the lighter blue, but I've been struggling with an accent color. This apricot/light terra cotta is perfect! I've always found the delicate colors of winter to be so beautiful and this painting captures that softness. (Why yes, I do actually like winter.)

  5. it is always my favorite posts of yours when you start with art! Thanks Janice!

  6. Every day you amaze me and free me from thinking that I have to purchase something. I already have so many unexpectedly lovely combinations in my closet. You inspire me to see the colours with a different,more subtle eye. That truly is art.

  7. This one is beautiful--cools and warms.

  8. I rarely comment - I don't know if I ever have actually. But this post is just amazing. I don't know how you do this. I really enjoy seeing all of the color combinations you put together and the clothes you find. Thank you so much for providing this for all of us.

  9. So elegant! The deep charcoal grey is a wonderful base colour. I also love the apricot! In fact my wardrobe is slowly evolving into a grey/brown base plus as accents any colour in the spectrum between apricot and blue-greens (so yellows, greens, aqua green, etc). This is a post I will bookmark for future reference – many thanks for the continuing inspiration!

  10. That is a truly beautiful painting and it's inspired some lovely combinations - very elegant! Your choices would work well on a cool blonde, I think.

  11. A beautiful post. I love the subtle interplay of colour. Also wanted to thank you for sharing your thought process in many posts. I would never have thought of reflecting the pattern and flow of a scarf in my jewellery if not for you.

  12. So, so beautiful. I love the painting and the clothes you've chosen to express it. This is inspiring my entire fall/winter wardrobe! Thank you, Janice.

  13. Breath-taking. I imagined different scenarios I might encounter on my own trip next week and realized, you have it all covered beautifully!