Friday, September 11, 2015

Building a BUSINESS CASUAL Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Bridge in a Snowy Landscape by Utagawa Hiroshige

Yesterday, I put together what I thought was a pretty casual wardrobe, based on this painting. It wasn't the MOST casual thing imaginable - it included skirts and nice sweaters - but it would certainly be appropriate for most non-work activities that didn't include garage cleaning, painting, or basement mucking...

This is our art, and our color scheme:



In order to take yesterday's wardrobe to work, I upgraded the skirt and the pants from the more casual cotton to nicer wool pieces. Depending on how casual your office actually is, you might easily have been able to wear yesterday's pieces to work too!

Cashmere cardigan – Uniqlo; wool skirt – J. Crew
Tee shirt – not available, similar here; trousers – J. Crew

For the off white - same thing; the tops were keepers, but the skirt and pants were moved to slightly dressier fabrics.

Cashmere cardigan – Uniqlo; skirt J. Crew
Tee shirt – Betty Barclay; twill trousers - Transit

I waffled back and forth about keeping the denim shirt, but finally decided to hold it over for this wave of the wardrobe. If this shirt wouldn't work in your office, you could always find a beautiful medium blue shirt that could step in here with no problems. The really cool sweatshirt from yesterday HAD to go - I just don't ever feel like sweatshirts are appropriate for work!

Denim shirt – Uniqlo; grey sweater - Woolrich
Striped tee – ATM; orange tee – Majestic Filatures

EVERYTHING here had to go - no down vests, no jeans, no hooded sweatshirts. I might have kept the plaid shirt, but it felt casual to me, and I was really pretty smitten with this orange one!

Orange sweater – Uniqlo; grey trousers – Lands’ End
Grey cardigan – Lands’ End; plaid shirt – Elizabeth and James

I kept the same accessories to make following this process a little bit easier - too many moving parts make it more difficult to focus on the inherent versatility of this color scheme and the gradually shifting level of formality. 


Orange fringed scarf – La Fiorentina; aventurine earrings – Nareerat; silver 
pendant – Jantana; stud earrings – Vince Camuto; cuff bracelet – Achara
silk square – Brooks Brothers; chunky scarf – Free People; reversible tote –
 Street Level; tweed flats - Lucky Brand; grey flats – Taryn Rose
 boots – H by Hudson

If you didn't want to sink a ton of money into an office wardrobe, this would certainly cover you (literally and figuratively) for a long time!







Tomorrow, I'm going to dance through this one more time, and take it to a much more formal level. I haven't started it yet, and I'm really eager to see how it goes! Come join me...

love,
Janice

Annoushka

17 comments:

  1. This has been such a fun project Janice, I can't wait to see what you do with the formal set. These colours work beautifully across all seasons. I see how I can make this work for my spring and summer.

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  2. I agree with the comment above. And you never fail to come up with something that is in my closet already and that I had never thought about putting together.

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  3. This color scheme will work beautifully for people who are either part of the gator nation or for fans of the football team.

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  4. Yes...white after Labor Day! So glad those rules are gone!

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  5. If you combined the items from both days, you'd have a fabulous wardrobe that could take you from the woods to the office. One of my favorite series!

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  6. These are my favorite colors...people don't often think about using complimentary colors together..but they work..thanks! Just a question..would you use the denim shirt as a light jacket with a tee underneath, I can see that working in this group!

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  7. These are my favorite colors...people don't often think about using complimentary colors together..but they work..thanks! Just a question..would you use the denim shirt as a light jacket with a tee underneath, I can see that working in this group!

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  9. Fabulous exercise in wardrobe utilization. From casual to business casual to...can't wait to see how you take this up a notch!

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  10. Top set - the link to the Club Monaco tee is wrong; it links to the J Crew skirt.

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    1. Aaaack! It's sold out, but I found us a very similar one to take it's place. Thanks - ALWAYS - for catching these issues.
      big grateful hug,
      Janice

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  11. Great posts (today and yesterday)! I found it interesting with these colours that you can tone it down in colour (monochromatic) or tone it up or anything in between. Depends on the occasion or you mood for the day. I like the orange check shirt as it was bright in colour but subtle - in contrast to the orange jumper. Carol S

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  12. My office is casual and I could easily wear any of these outfits to work! Love it!!

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