Saturday, August 01, 2015

Build a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting With Art: The Boating Party, by Mary Cassatt

"Mom wants us all to come down for the Regatta... I know we said that after the kids quit sailing we wouldn't go, but I think it would really mean a lot to my mother."

Well, that's a loaded invitation, isn't it? But that's okay, you know she misses her only son, and that she cherishes her memories of Regattas from years past...

"Of course we can go. I'm assuming that we'll be there for the entire week?"

yes, you're a saint...

The Boating Party by Mary Cassatt; painting of a family in a rowboat
The Boating Party by Mary Cassatt

The Boating Party by Mary Cassatt, and a color scheme drawn from the painting

While navy isn't the color that covers the most area of this painting, it's definitely the "anchor" ***cough, cough*** color here.

A First Core of Four of navy tee, shorts, cardigan and skirt for a warm-weather trip
Linen tee – J. Crew; linen shorts – Dorothy Perkins;
Linen cardigan – J. Crew Factory; linen skirt – J. Crew Factory

Same thing with white - especially when you're thinking nautical, navy and white are your obvious bases. And there's just no combination more classic, crisp and refreshing for summer.

A Second Core of Four of a white top, skirt, tank and capris, for a warm weather vacation
White linen sleeveless shirt – Equipment; white linen skirt – Eileen Fisher;
White linen tank – Frame Denim; white linen caprisEileen Fisher

Tops for hot days, tops for cloudy cool days, tops for windy nippy days...

A Mileage Four of four tops in yellow and blue, for a warm weather vacation with cool days possible
Print shirt – Boden; CardiganBoden;
Ribbed-knit top – Boden; yellow top – Diane von Furstenberg

And dresses, because one's mother-in-law's friends always love to see a young lady in a dress. It doesn't matter if you're in your 60's, you're a young lady to them! And it's nice to be appreciated for wearing something nice...

An Expansion Four of two dresses, a pair of trousers and a tee shirt, in yellow and navy, for a warm weather vacation
Yellow dress – Basler; navy linen pants – Raquel Allegra;
Striped tee – J. Crew; navy dress – Tommy Hilfiger

If there were ever a time to pull out some marine and nautical themed accessories, this is it! It shows that you're completely in the spirit of the event. (just to tempt you, those yellow thongs come in FOURTEEN colors...)

An Accessory Four+ for a warm weather trip; a family of accessories with a nautical feeling and a color scheme of navy, white and yellow
Anchor bracelet – Humble Chic NY; sailor knot earrings – Kate Spade
braided cord necklace – J. Crew; shell earrings – momocreatura; anchor-print
 scarf – Lua; paisley scarf – Violeta by Mango; tote bag – Jonathan Adler; navy 
espadrilles – Andre Assous; white sandals – BP.; yellow 
thong sandals – OluKai

"Mother, may I borrow a handful of hangers for the guest room? I have a couple of dresses with me that will look nicer if I hang them..."

"Oh dear, let me come in with you while you unpack. You always have the most beautiful clothes, and I LOVE to see how you coordinated everything. I knew when you two got married that you were terribly clever..."

Remember, that's a compliment!

A Four by Four travel capsule wardrobe in navy, white, blue and yellow, for a warm weather vacation

two outfits from a navy, yellow, blue and white travel capsule wardrobe for warm weather

two outfits from a navy, yellow, blue and white travel capsule wardrobe for warm weather

two outfits from a navy, yellow, blue and white travel capsule wardrobe for warm weather

two outfits from a navy, yellow, blue and white travel capsule wardrobe for warm weather

Maybe, if you really love your mother-in-law, you can teach her about the 4 by 4 philosophy... and nothing makes your husband love you more than the care you show to his mother.

The Vivienne Files 4 by 4 Wardrobe Template, with a summer travel capsule wardrobe in navy, white, blue and yellow


S/S 15 Accessories at FORZIERI.COM


  1. Love to see you using some Boden offerings. I really enjoy my Boden garments!

  2. The OluKai thongs also have a built in arch support. I haven't tried them but they get great reviews online. I've been on a quest for supportive shoes lately and have seen these pop up in my research. I'm currently smitten with the Abeo brand from The Walking Company here in the US. You do need to go in and get your feet scanned to determine the proper footbed. I finally have stylish sandals I can walk in.

  3. Janice, your family values are showing and they are heartwarming!! Lovely painting.

    Deb from Vancouver

  4. Dear Janice, I am one of those colour-blind persons with a mountain of uninteresting clothes. At first I tried to create my wardrobe from neutral colors only, however I did not know how to "give life" to my appearance and I looked and felt featureless and flavourless. I analyzed with the pleasure all your posts for two years, I've tried to copy your ideas and colour combinations and finally today I have my wardrobe which I like very much, but most important I have learned how to instantly change my wardrobe with less confusion and expense. I am very very grateful for your invaluable lessons!

  5. Very nice summer wardrobe! Love the 4x4 philosophy!

  6. I am enjoying a lot the Start with art series. I have a sugestion, Echo & Narcissus from John William Waterhouse.

  7. Boating Party demonstrates a gathering of Renoir's companions unwinding and getting a charge out of sustenance, beverages and great discussion on an overhang at the Maison Fournaise in Chatou, France. Renoir regularly included dear companions is his canvases.My name is Naga raj I'm working in this website My opinion is Sculling Party was expected to duplicate ordinary present day life and Renoir was excited to show his work at the official Salon Des Arts. In any case, the popular gatherer Paul Durand-Ruel obtained the canvas for the seventh Impressionist Exhibition rather, in spite of Renoir's wishes.