Thursday, May 07, 2015

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with a Scarf: Capri Scarf from Radical Chic

Nobody wrote to me asking to have this scarf included in a post - but I was browsing Boticca recently (as I do every day, looking for gorgeous things for you), and I saw this, and I was completely SMITTEN. If this scarf bore any vague resemblance to my wardrobe, I would buy it in a New York minute! 

But I get to do this next best thing, which is to build an imaginary summer wardrobe that uses these colors are the starting point. One could, of course, include some beautiful crimson rose, or hydrangea purple, or burnished gold, if one was so inclined...

scarf - Radical Chic

scarf - Radical Chic

I'm using a nice warm light brown as my first neutral. You don't see that much of this color in the summer, and I never understand why - it's lovely...

Cardigan – East, linen shirt – East,
Tank – Dusan, linen pants – Dusan

And white linen, for summer! Nothing cooler...

White linen dress – Hobbs London, white linen shirt – Hobbs London
White sleeveless top – A.L.C., white linen cropped pants – Marni

Here's where the real fun starts! These more muted colors are difficult to find, but once you spot one, it's love at first sight.

Blue tee shirt – J. Crew, green tee shirt – Zadig and Voltaire,
Blue sweaterWrap, green sweatshirt – Max Mara Weekend

A couple of pair of earrings, a life-investment tote bag, and some simple flats are all you really need to get through a couple of weeks of summer travel in beautiful style.

Blue quartz earrings – Sarah Kosta, broken glass earrings – Alexis Bittar,
tan fisherman sandals – Timberland, white espadrilles – Halogen,
tote – Valextra, beige suede flats – The Flexx

broken glass earrings – Alexis Bittarblue sweater – Wrapscarf - Radical 
Chic, tank – Dusan, white linen shirt – Hobbs London,  blue quartz earrings
 – Sarah Kostagreen tee shirt – Zadig and Voltairelinen shirt – East
 cardigan – Eastwhite sleeveless top – tee shirt – J. Crew 
white linen cropped pants – Marnigreen sweatshirt – Max Mara Weekend 
linen pants – DusanWhite linen dress – Hobbs Londontote – Valextra 
beige suede flats – The Flexx, tan fisherman sandals – Timberland 
white espadrilles – Halogen

Here are a few of the MANY possible combinations:

Now that this is all pulled together, I see that it makes me think of sand, sky, clouds and seafoam. Did anybody else notice that?


Looking Back:

2014: Start with Art/Scarf: Dark Pool by Elizabeth Blackadder

2013: Turquoise and Orange: A Packing Capsule based on Hermes Fleuri de Provence (part of one of my favorite series of posts, where I use one scarf to build a trio of color combination wardrobes)

2012: Mother of the Betrothed in Paris - a guest post at

Oxygen Boutique


  1. Please give another color scheme using some red and purple or violet tones, with white... If I would be in position, I will certainly by this scarf.. I adore it.. but not with this color scheme, not for me, if you post with my colors, I would be grateful
    Maja, Serbia

    1. Tomorrow, just for you Maja, I will have purple and violet, with grey and white!
      thank you, so much,

    2. Super, I am expecting.. as every morning I first open your post to smell new ideas and to incorporate them here over the ocean.
      My thanks to you Janice, Maja

  2. Love it! Now (to echo Maja), can you please do the crimson rose and hydrangea purple, maybe with the blue-grey as a neutral? Those were the colors that called out to me from this scarf!

    1. Okay, it's for Maja and for you, dear Suzy...

  3. I love this wardrobe. I agree with you about that natural linen color. I am a plus size and I have a particularly hard time finding pieces. I love the combo of that with white.

  4. I adore this scarf, and these are my colors (and yes, that lovely light brown is very difficult to find). I would add a multi-strand beaded necklace with the same colors as the scarf. Today's fantasy vacation is this wardrobe and a train journey through Europe on the Orient Express. *sigh*

  5. I can see so many possibilities with the sea foam and blue tops. I own a pair of light brown linen pants and a sea foam linen dress that I bought in Paris. Whenever I read your blog, I realize that I have what I need already. It really is all about the accessories. My sea glass earrings would finish off the outfit. Merci.

  6. Yes, I noticed! And loved, loved. Muted shades are very hard to find, especially in less expensive basics (which tend to be "pops"). I have some new ideas here for incorporating soft brown into my summer wardrobe. Thanks, as ever.

  7. I like Virginia's vision of taking this collection with her on the Orient Express. I also say thank you for reminding me that you can make a different outfit by adding a pullover sweater over a sleeveless dress. Such a simple concept but one I neglect.

    Deb from Vancouver

    1. I have to admit that this was something that I NEVER did until a couple of years go, in Paris, I saw younger women (college students, I think) who were doing this to add some mileage to their summer dresses. They juxtaposed summery dresses (well, visible skirts) with bulky sweaters, and the effect was charming. I'm not sure I could mix seasons with the success they had, but staying within season is an easy option for more wardrobe usage.

  8. I also love that light brown, which reminds me of chocolate milk, and would use it as one of my basic neutrals were it not so hard to find. That is a beautiful scarf Janice, and a lovely wardrobe. Mary

  9. What a soft, cool feeling, muted color scheme ---right up my alley ! However, finding off-white anything is Summer has been a real challenge for me, as I have soft muted Autumn personal coloring. Stone is as close as I can come to it, and finding it in Summer tops has been close to impossible. Why don't the manufacturers take into consideration that we're not all color clones ? After all, isn't their objective to sell clothes ?

  10. I looked at this post earlier this morning and all day my mind keeps drifting to a trip to somewhere warm and breezy where I could wear all of these lovely outfits. I love all the muted colors.

  11. Looking forward to going on the fantasy train trip with everyone. We could all have the same clothes but everyone (every outfit) would look different. The clothes are cool and breezy in style as well. I particularly like the warm light brown as I am suited to light, warm and muted colors (Muted Spring - this doesn't exist but should!)). I know from experience too, that this color can be hard to find (agrees with Virginia, Mary and Shebee). Thanks yet again. Carol S

    1. Why all of you do not buy tickets for the ship and come to Serbia through the Danube river. You can visit so many places and cities, among them Wien, Budapest and of course my beautiful Belgrade. There are a lot of guests from USA and Canada visiting us. Charming linen clothes and flourish scarf on your had when you sit on open double decker to visit our historical places... come, You will be astonished, as so many people are... we have great places, excellent food and pleasant people.
      Warm regards, Maja