Thursday, October 16, 2014

The French 5-Piece Wardrobe + A Common Capsule Wardrobe: Avoiding Boredom

Let's say you have A Common Capsule Wardrobe in black and grey, and you're happy with it.  But you're concerned that you're going to get bored by wearing so many neutrals all of the time...  So one day you're browsing through the internet, and you find a whole LOT of lovely, bright, good-quality blouses, shirts and sweaters at a good price. You might have always wanted to try these brands, but always been reluctant to purchase their items at the full retail price.  (the site is The Outnet - lots of pretties at prices that still aren't small, but which are a ton better than the original retail!). 

After a bit of thought, you choose to, for one season, indulge your affection for every bright color...

5 bright tops, to add to a neutral core wardrobe
Red sweater – Marni, blue sweater – Zadig and Voltaire, pink leather-trimmed top – M Missoni
blue printed tee – Jason Wu, turquoise floral tee – Prabal Gurung

Remember, this is what we're starting with in the closet:

12-piece essential neutral core wardrobe
Grey v-neck – Uniqlo, grey turtleneck – Uniqlo, black cardigan – Uniqlo, black v-neck - Uniqlo
white broadcloth shirt – Uniqlo, denim shirt – Uniqlo, grey tee – Uniqlo, black tee – Uniqlo
black jeans – Uniqlo, grey jeans - Uniqlo,  skirt - Uniqlo, faded jeans - Uniqlo

Since you've started with your solid core of neutral clothes, your seemingly mad indulgence in bright colors and a statement print isn't REALLY extravagant - you, in fact, have a lot of different choices in how to wear your new items.  You can be quite casual, or rather dressy - you will be able to enjoy your new tops to your heart's content, and never be bored!

12 ways to wear a bright top with a neutral core essential wardrobe

12 ways to wear a bright top with a neutral core essential wardrobe

Having a planned and organized wardrobe doesn't necessarily have to mean that you have a staid or boring wardrobe; a well thought-out balance of neutral workhorse garments, sparked with bright colors and prints can still be practical and versatile.

Yes, The Outnet pays me a wee commission if you click through and purchase something.  That's not why I chose these tops, however - I chose them so that you would learn about a really cool mail order option. Even if it doesn't appeal to you, it's fun to see some of the more outrageous clothes offered...


The French 5-Piece Wardrobe + A Common Capsule Wardrobe: Add Bright Colors
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  1. Thank you, thank you! As one of the "I would be bored" commenters a week or two ago, I REALLY appreciate your taking this up seriously. Of course, the result is stunning and stylish, as always!

  2. I always to pay attention to you! Even though I could wear unrelieved black for the rest of my life and be happy, I know well that I'm not the only person in the world, and that preferences vary. And I'm GLAD that you have different tastes. Let me know what you're thinking - always. I am always listening...

  3. The Outnet is great fun to browse, and the occasional purchase can really add life and specialness to a basic "commodity" wardrobe. Thanks as always, Janice! Christine

  4. I have a wardrobe full of neutrals so this really helps.. I'm a classic style personality and a deep winter so it can all get very drab.. I have shed loads of tee shirts and plain cardigans and sweaters, some patterned wool weight skirts and black and navy smart trousers. I have tried adding in Blazers in black and navy and recently bought a grey tailored jacket. It's all getting a bit plain, would these brights help add some pizzazz?

  5. Love your blog , you have given me so many great ideas over time. Off topic - I understand you live in chicago. I am going to the USA next year - New York and then chicago as my husband will attend a convention there. I would love to see a post from you on chicagos must sees , or your favourite places

  6. Great ideas, Janice. Would love to see something similar based on the common wardrobe for those of us with warm colouring.

  7. I thought this might be a good online shopping resource for me, but as usual, the sizes do not go high enough. 16 is not a XXXL in the US. I'm sure I'm in the minority of those who follow your blog, but I would love to see you do something that might include women US size 16 and up.

    1. I'm with you, sister. It's hard to find quality 'plus' sizes in the US, well, I imagine everywhere.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I agree. I wear an 18 and this puts me out of the range for many clothing items. Finding anything other than black, white, and deep, clear, cool colors like red, blue and purple is almost impossible.

  8. I've been trying to build more neutrals into my wardrobe as I already have lots of lovely bright colours, so I'm doing this in reverse!

  9. Interesting illustrations, but I don't think it's realistic to pair every top with every bottom. Especially that a-line skirt likely won't go with the same tops as pants, in terms of cut, length, etc. If I have volume on the bottom, I don't want volume on top, and vice versa.