Saturday, June 27, 2015

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Flaming June by Sir Frederic Leighton

Someone particularly special sent me this painting, with a request for a Start With Art - what a wonderful idea!

These were the colors that I chose. While there's a ton more orange in this painting than anything else, only the rarest among us will be able to pull together any kind of a wardrobe, no matter how small, with mostly orange. So I gave the warm brown prominence...



I was really thinking about texture and flow here - draping was important! 

Tweed jacketAlberta Ferretti, crossbody bag – Fossil, bracelet  – Eina
 Ahluwalia, amber earrings – Liz Law, pumps – Kenneth Cole New York
dress – Michael Kors, scarf – Emanuel Ungaro Vintage, duffle bag – Bric’s

Just enough to be able to get away for a long weekend - lots of emphasis on dining-out attire! And the budget was unlimited madness for this wardrobe - suede pants and a bank-breaking dress and sweater. But very reasonably priced shoes, and a downright inexpensive clutch bag:


Camel dress – Agnona, clutch bag – Call it Spring, quartz bracelet – Khun Boom,
 orange bracelet - Caipora Jewllery, camel pumps – Andrew Stevens, scarf – Yuh
 Okano, shell earrings – Kenneth Cole, brown agate earrings – Novica, suede 
pants – Emilio Pucci, sweater – Bottega Veneta, boots – Leon Max, orange 
dress – Therapy

Wouldn't this be nice to see in the armoire of the hotel?





This wardrobe took me quite a while to put together - some of the pieces were tough to find - and so I had a lot of time to mull over how we all might handle our upcoming change of season purchases... I was actually sort of imagining a woman who took careful stock of her fall clothing situation, and had determined that the things shown above were going to be her autumn/winter shopping list. (unlimited budget, you know...)

Right now, if your email is anything like mine, you're inundated with advice about big summer sales (which are handy IF, and ONLY IF, you've trashed something in your current wardrobe to the point of unwearability), and of course the WONDERFUL PRE-SEASON sales...

But what if???  We ignored all of that?

What if, instead of looking at specific, very beautiful items, we took about 10 steps back, and thought about our color palette? the adjectives that we want to use in building our appearance and our image for the next year? the overall feeling, aura, sensibility or mood that we want to surround us?

And then looked at the stuff we already own, to see if we're already okay?

And ONLY THEN, maybe, look for the things that we need?

Our cart is very much in front of our horse these days; we get these emails, or read these editorials, about beautiful things on sale, and then we decide to buy them - we're letting the external stimulus create for us the buying decision.

Shouldn't we, as mature adults, decide what we want, and then look for it? This isn't as easy, certainly; stores aren't terribly good about carrying the things that would best suit us. But if we let the merchandise drive our choice, then we're just admitting that we're willing to settle. If you're running short of clothing, that might be necessary, but a lot of us have the time to wait...

There will be beautiful clothes in the stores next month, and the month after, and the month after. And there will always be another sale...

love,
Janice

p.s.  If you've sent me a painting request for a Start with Art in the last month, please re-send! I've lost a few emails in my pain-killer pleasure dome...



Dorothy
Perkins(US)

25 comments:

  1. What a brilliant wardrobe interpretation of that painting--drape and flow and all!

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  2. Isn't that sweater gorgeous to look with its plush two toned colour? It is extra nice when you have a clear plan and then find an item that ticks all the boxes and is also on special- I found a lovely merino balck sweater- needed to replace an item that is on its last legs. I thinkyou are right though that it can be too easy to throw money away because of the perception that we are getting a bargain when it was something that we never really needed in the first place. Jazz

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  3. Excellent advice, Janice. I spend more time lately discussing messages than anything. And this color palette is beautiful. Happy Weekend.

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  4. I have been unsubscribing like mad. I don't need the temptation of daily advertising in the inbox. I still have a little orange left in my closet. If I use more of the camel with orange as the accent, it still works as does the green. The camel dress is beautiful but too expensive for my casual/retired lifestyle.

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  5. Beautifully done as always. Your website has truly been inspiring. I discovered how motivational it was when I went to pack for vacation and nothing matched. One shirt needs black shorts and one shirt needs blue shorts. I didn't have a "Whatever's Clean 13!"

    I have taken advantage of clearance sales but as a means to build a summer core, like my foundation color shorts and tees. (And one beautiful bright bag on which to build an accessories capsule, Even that was replacing an old one in the same color!)

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    1. I just had the same issue with the trip I'm on now. Picked up 3 shirts and a cardigan all in coordinating colors and now have lots of options.

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    2. I just had the same issue with the trip I'm on now. Picked up 3 shirts and a cardigan all in coordinating colors and now have lots of options.

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  6. Inspired by your blog, I am becoming far more conscious about new purchases and try to ensure they will work with my current clothes and will actually be worn. I'm loving this wardrobe and would be eternally gratefully if you could use the same art to create a budget-friendly version - especially for those of us who are retired and lead a more casual lifestyle.

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    1. Bear in mind that Janice is constrained by the pictures that she can find. But for those of us with a more limited budget we can take the principle and apply it to puchase a more cost constrained woardrobe. Having decided that burgundy was a colour that I wanted to use as a key accent, I successfully bought some accessories, but couldn't even find other items in the shops. My really good buys happened as I crowsed through some second hand clothing shops and found a stunning blaser, reversible vest and summer cardigan. If warm browns, carmels, oranges and greens are the colours that suit you and you want to have a the key colours in your wardrobe , go search and see what you can find. All the best :) Jazz

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    2. I know that many of these items aren't in most of our budgets; I just want to find the most beautiful things possible to inspire us, and to set our standards really high! And Jazz is right - I've got to find really good quality photographs too!
      love to all,
      Janice

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    3. Jazz, unfortunately there aren't any second hand shops where we live in Spain. Years ago, when my three children were growing up and my personal clothing allowance was just above zero, I used to haunt the local Oxfam shop. Occasionally a work colleague would compliment me on a "new" purchase and look surprised when I said where I'd bought it. commenting that they never found anything there. My response was that I popped in every weekend.

      I do keep an eye open for blog posts such as Janice's to spot things I love that are within my budget. Janice, I'm always inspired by your blog and write down ideas for future purchases if what you show is beyond my budget!

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  7. Thank you for your stunning work. I am the color of the woman in the painting, so this wardobe has me mesmerized. Your blog and worksheets have helped me create a minimal but lovely and workable wardrobe. I am grateful.

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  8. I was at a store a couple of days ago when I found a rack of last season sweaters marked 90% off. I loaded up to go to the dressing room but halfway there thought "What would Janice say?". I looked at each piece and realized that I didn't NEED any of them (or really even want) so back on the rack they went. I'm afraid you are in my head - but in a good way. Thanks!

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  9. This is a lovely painting and you put together an inspiring group of clothes and accessories to reflect that. I am visualizing this mesmerizing long elegant titian haired woman gliding into her hotel room.

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  10. Really like that Bottega Veneta sweater.
    The thing about wearing all orange, especially if the outfit consists of tee shirt and shorts, the wearer has the misfortune of resembling a life guard at the beach or a swimming pool.

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  11. Absolutely love the Michael Kors dress! SIGH! #notinmybudget #notinmyplan

    But I do have a budget and a plan!

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  12. I love the idea of making a money-is-no-object version of a wardrobe, and then using it as a shopping guide and inspiration, but adjusting to within our budgets. Brilliant, and eye candy to boot!

    This collection is gorgeous - and captures the mood of the painting so beautifully. I would love to see you revisit this painting (same rules: money is no object), but create a casual, daily wardrobe in more comfort-driven choices. There are some beautifully dressed women who never wear heels or dresses, and I'd like to see how you think they do it.
    Sue G

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  13. This lovely palette has such a fall feel to it, while I am dealing with temps in the 90's now. My goal is to determine what I need, seasonally, based on my color palette, and then to buy only that. But stores don't always have my colors in appropriate flattering styles. I tell myself, If it's not available, wait until next year. But it's so hard to wait. I have enough for many, many different outfits, even though I don't have all the color combinations with prints and solids that I want. So difficult to be restrained. Maybe I should start shopping/looking for fall now, despite our sweltering summer temps. My shopping dilemma. But I cannot express how grateful I am to you for all the inspiration you provide.

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  14. Stunning wardrobe! Wouldn't it be fun to have a money is no object shopping trip??

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  15. Wonderful wardrobe! I am so easily amused - I love how the luggage matches... Carol S

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    1. Dear Carol,

      The luggage ALWAYS matches, in my fantasy world! But honestly, I believe that when you have chosen and truly committed to a color scheme, there's no reason that any purchases that are going to be "around" your body, like your luggage, wouldn't match or coordinate.

      big hug,
      Janice

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  16. What wisdom! Decide what you want or need and then look for it! And how obvious. It's a testament to the power of marketing that so many of us fall for sales and other marketing strategies rather than thinking about what is in our best interest.

    I live your "start with art" posts.

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  17. Wow, awesome colors and concept to "shop in my closet" - I always find wondrous things and your combos help immensely!

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  18. Beautiful as usual! I submitted a comment a few weeks back about another start with art idea: George Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on The Island of La Grand Jatte.

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  19. Wonderful post about not being lured in by the sales! I've shared this post with all my friends and family!! Thank you!

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