Thursday, July 09, 2015

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Bright Women in Front of the Hat Shop by August Macke

This painting is great - I want to revisit this one with a more fall/winter orientation. For warm weather, my first thought was that the shades of blue reminded me of denim and chambray, accented with that YELLOW, the rose, and some acid green (which I didn't address here, but might in the future!)

So this is my warm-weather color scheme:

Everyone is at the lake but you...

Yes, everyone else went to the cabin last night. But you KNEW that you had to go into the office this morning - that client report wasn't going to write itself!

But if you put your head down and WRITE, you can be out of the office by 2:00 or so - in time to get to the lake for cocktails...

Since you never know who might be in the office on weekends, you chose NOT to wear yoga pants and a tee shirt. Yes, they will be impressed that you're there on Saturday, but they'll be MORE impressed if you don't look like you just rolled out of bed.

Print cardigan – Barrie, necklace - Carolee, tee shirt – J. Crew,  
trousers – J. Crew, watch – Burberry, loafers – Armani Jeans, 
tote – Longchamp

Your plan is to spend all day Sunday doing nothing more strenuous than the crossword puzzle, and maybe take a nap. And if you can muster the discipline to get up between 4:00 and 5:00 Monday morning, you can stay over Sunday night and drive to work Monday morning. It's worth it...

So you just need something to lounge in on Sunday, and something to wear to work on Monday. It never hurts to have a skirt or dress with you, just in case someone flames out the barbecue, and you have to go to a restaurant Sunday night. (It HAS been known to happen, no matter how bad your brother's memory is...)

yellow tee– Uniqlo, scarf – Jane Carr, white cardigan – Theory
pink chalcedony earrings – Julie Aylward, jacket – J. Crew
necklace – Charm & Chain, chambray skirt – J. Crew, blush tee shirt – 
Uniqlojeans – J. Crew,yellow pumps – Geox

Isn't this pretty?

A simple, pretty outfit for Sunday - a cardigan if it's cool, as it can often be at the lake. And nice earrings, just because you can!

And for Monday morning, even though you will have been awake for HOURS before anyone else gets to work, you will look sunny, but still office-worthy. Yellow pumps make ANY day better!

The plan gives you lots of options - if the white cardigan gets grimy, you have options. If a tee shirt falls in the lake, you're still okay. The point of having 27 different combinations is NOT that you can travel for almost 4 weeks, it's that "wardrobe malfunctions" don't slow you down.

Chicago gets empty on weekends - half the city seems to go to Wisconsin, the Indiana Dunes, or Michigan. Thinking about how to be prepared for invitations to these destinations wouldn't be wasted energy...


Donna Karan


  1. Beautiful pastels. I actually like blue, yellow and white for my summer stay-at-home colours with a bit of light camel (beige) thrown in. Spring in the old language. Pale pink doesn't do it for me but your capsule wardrobe is lovely. We are in winter here so thinking about how to keep warm rather than how to be cool. Thanks Carol S

  2. It's very chilly here is New Zealand tonight, but we can look at these lovely colours and dream of warm sunny days...... :) Jazz

  3. Captures the ease of summer beautifully. And I love the story. I'm the woman stuck working while my family plays during the summer, so I really relate to her. :)

  4. I am looking forward to seeing how you interpret this painting for thru fall winter. This is a great interpretation for the summer. Tailored chambray and linen jackets always appeal to me but I rarely find them in a decent price range and fit for me. Love the yellow pumps. Your blog is an art appreciation site as well as a necessary style site.

    Deb from Vancouver

  5. I have a pair of yellow shoes, and they always make everything better. They are good for my soul. Pun not intentional.

  6. Janice,
    I am enjoying your scenarios as much as the illustrations, with all the various potential clothing needs. Just yesterday, I was hoping for more colored tops in your posts and voila --there they are ! Another creative post --well done ! It would take nine wearings of each top to get 27 outfits, which I wouldn't do without doing laundry, but the potential for all of those outfits is there with just 9 pieces. Pure genius !

  7. I love this! My capsule wardrobe colors are sky blue, yellow, white, and dove gray. I just realized I'd love to buy myself yellow ballet flats when one of my pairs of gray flats wears out.

  8. I love this capsule and am looking forward to seeing how yu "winterize" these colors.

  9. Lovely . . . and a weekend at the lake sounds pretty good, too.