Monday, August 17, 2015

The Warm Summer Common Capsule Wardrobe + Water and Pearls

Yes, I promised a capsule wardrobe with turquoise and purple. I should have taken a look at what's still available for summer before I spoke so precipitously! 

It's kind of an unwritten policy when I'm working on The Vivienne Files that, if I show a piece of clothing, it should be available in the full range of sizes in which it was originally sold. It's no fun for anybody to go look at something that really appeals, and see that it's only available in one really peculiar size. (my favorite being 00...)

So, plan B. Stick with blue, but go softer, and to a more seasonless offering of denim and chambray. That gives us another nice "seaside" feeling, and is beautiful when paired with the mother-of-pearl jewelry that I couldn't resist looking at again.

My approach, when looking for these garments, was to find a range of shades of blue, and a range of moods from very dressy to quite utilitarian. As I've said before, since these are accent colors, and won't be worn together, the colors don't have to match. They should be in the same mood and family, so that your accessories will look good with them all. The only exception would be if you wanted to be able to layer your blue cardigan over your blue tops - that would then demand a whole new level of coordination! Possible, but much more rigorous and time-consuming.

Cut mother-of-pearl earrings – Max & Chloe; pearl pendant – Vika; lace-
trimmed top – River Island; checked scarf –Massimo Alba; cap-sleeved 
button front - Frame; bracelet – Alor; striped scarf – Gap;  ring – 
Elizabeth Showers; hexagon stud earrings – Mijav-neck sleeveless
 top – Victoria Beckham; cardigan Lord & Taylor;  light blue 
popover top – Thomas Mason for J. Crew; watch – Movado

 For the last time, we'll enjoy the versatility and beauty of our core 12 garments:

Stone metallic cardigan – J. Crew;  natural cardigan – Uniqlo; nude 
tee – Need Supply Co.; heather wheat tee – J. Crew; brown tee – J. Crew
tan linen top – Maison Rabih Kayrouz; ivory sleeveless shirt – J. Crew Factory;
 shorts – Loft; dress – Ter et Bantine; skirt – Maison Rabih Kayrouz; ankle 
pants – Uniqlo;  jeans – Lafayette 148 New York

And note with gratification how very much we were able to use and enjoy our neutral accessories:

Gold stud earrings – Kendra Scott; hoop earrings – Marco Bicego; antler and
 brass earrings – Ralph Lauren; bangle bracelets – David Aubrey; fabric wrap
bracelet – Swarovski; infinity love bracelet – JCPenney; wristlet – Purse Power;
 ring – Arabel Lebrusan; gold wedge sandals – Isola;  ombre tote – Cole Haan;
 ballet flats – Athena Alexander; beige flat sandals – Charles by Charles David

Sea and sand - pretty perfect for what I'm quite sure will be the last warm-weather post I'll do for a few months. Given the fashion cycles, we'll be back to summery garments by January...

I love fall and winter, and I'm happy to see those clothes becoming available. But am I the only person who feels a little bit bewildered that market forces make it almost impossible to buy really nice things IN SEASON?


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  1. I'm always out of sync with the shopping seasons. By the time it's warm enough outside for me to realize I need summer clothes, the summer sales are already coming to an end... Same for winter. So I end up wearing things that are available throughout all seasons -such as jeans and t-shirts with different sleeve lenghts - all through the year, only with more layers in the colder months.

  2. Thank you for this series, I love seeing how this wardrobe has worked with the different accent colors. And I especially loved this one with blue! I'm also slow to anticipate the next season when it comes to clothes shopping, especially for winter. I just don't want to think much about sweaters and coats during September when we are enjoying pleasant weather. Perhaps the above wardrobe could be adapted for cold weather by swapping out a few sleeveless tops for some pullovers? I wouldn't mind seeing an adaptation like that.

  3. The advantage of shopping on eBay is that it's pretty seasonless! Thanks, Janice, for the classy and classic pairings here. I never get tired of blue.

  4. I am really enjoying this series, since I am a "light spring" with golden blonde hair, golden freckles and teal-blue eyes. My wardrobe is based around light beige-y shades with light accent colors, and it is nice to see different options if I get tired of my current blush and aqua.
    I love how you provide watch suggestions with many of these. A watch is such an elegant and useful accessory, and much more graceful to check the time on your watch than to have to dig around in your bag for your phone to see the time.


  5. This has been an inspiring series, especially so since this limited wardrobe is practically my whole wardrobe size! I say limited because I need, in addition to your choices, garden clothes, real hiking clothes, and only an occasional dressy addition. I used your examples to put together mini-wardrobes for about a month each, selecting items from what I already own, and just wearing those things. Such fun!

  6. Ah, save the best for the last. Lovely and so easy to wear. I would add a pair of chambray pants to make this group perfect for me.

    Deb from Vancouver

  7. I totally agree about being unable to buy things in season! Come July, if I decide that my swimsuit really needs to be replaced, or I'd like another pair of sandals, it seems like the stores are full of fall boots and sweaters. I bet that a retailer that markets themselves as "In Season R Us" could make a go of it!

  8. As a sewist I have the opposite problem--it seems near impossible to get out-of-season fabric and therefore difficult to plan ahead, sigh. More and more I need to turn to the internet for fabric... my favorite fabric store just closed. I think that makes about 20 such stores closing in the past 20 years, boo hoo. From northern VA

  9. As a thrifter, I am usually behind in the seasons too. (or ahead !?) I do agree some sites like Ebay do make it easier.

  10. I love the denim with the khaki. My basics are mostly khaki, blue denim and black with an accent color here and there. I'm always behind the seasons too. Seems they change in the stores earlier every year. Thanks for all you do to help us who are wardrobe challenged! :)

  11. Oh my, that is really something I would want for my September +. Thank you so very much!

  12. This wardrobe looks so comfy yet polished. I love it. And the colors are right up my alley. We are now going into autumn but this will be an inspiration for next year's spring / summer capsule.

  13. I would gladly scoop up all the blue items and fit them into my wardrobe of greys and blacks.