Thursday, September 03, 2015

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Egypt Drawing 9 by Susan Osgood

So beautiful... the depths of the black throughout the blue, the radiance of the red shining in the distance, and are those footsteps moving up off the top of the image?

Egypt Drawing 9 - Susan Osgood

A color scheme of clarity, but with dimensions of color:

Can You Play the Game?

The rules are few, simple, but rigorously enforced:
  • Either participant can initiate the game.
  • You must be ready to leave within the hour!
  • You must be able to carry (not roll) your bag...

Blue cardigan – Eastex; tunic dress – Topshop; bracelet – Aoy; cross body bag
 – Cambridge Satchel Company; red onyx earrings – Bhavesh; scarf – 
We are Owls We Are Warriors; black tightsTopshop; boots – Jack Rogers
rolling bag - Longchamp

  • The destination is not known by either participant until after arriving at the airport and talking to an airline representative to find the least-expensive flight (within certain parameters).
  • No sand, no snow.
  • Trips last at least 4 days, and no more than 7.
  • Flights are under 8 hours, unless a really irresistible offer appears and both parties agree. 
  • no "special clothing" activities - 5-star dinners, hiking etc.
  • You CAN shop, if your level of distress exceeds 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. (nobody has ever, yet, confessed to this...)

Grey tee – Uniqlo; “twilly” scarf – Hermes Mors et Gourmettes Remix; 
earrings – Wadarat Supasirisuk; necklace – Oscar Figueroa Escorcia; ring – 
 Nyoman Rena; pants – Eileen Fisher; scarf – Nordstrom; charcoal long 
sleeve tee – Uniqlo; grey shirt – Maison Margiela; striped skirt – Proenza 
 Schouler; ballet flats – Easy Spirit

This doesn't look terribly sparse, when you lay it out like this. Although if she had had a little bit more time to prepare, she would have WORN the black trousers, and packed the tunic dress. But it all still works out well...

And she will have lots of options when she gets to.... Dublin? Dubrovnik? Dusseldorf?

Could you live up to the challenge?

Would you WANT to?

This is the stuff of which MY dreams are made...




  1. Nice. I'd like a trip to Dublin, Dusseldorf or Dubrovnik, not fussy! Thank you. Your posts give me lots of food for thought - just need to put into action! I'm going to Cologne for a couple of days ...

  2. Nice. I'd like a trip to Dublin, Dusseldorf or Dubrovnik, not fussy! Thank you. Your posts give me lots of food for thought - just need to put into action! I'm going to Cologne for a couple of days ...

  3. I could and I definitely would....great rules...I know I could follow all of these rules with a back pack holding just this many items (no skirts or dresses for me though and I would probably only have only 1 pair of nice walking oxfords - Dansko - and not worry about an extra pair of shoes) and some lingerie & a small toiletries kit....what a fun challenge and adventure to dream about!

  4. A few days ago I understood that my pallete for autumn and winter will include black,grey,blue and red.It is not the first time when I feel like you read my thoughts.Thank you for the inspiration,this post expanded my wardrobe plans.

  5. Sounds like loads of fun! I would trade the booties in for a pair of black Chuck Taylor's, much easier to walk in for me!

    1. If you get the black on black chucks in leather, they'll look like boots from a distance.

  6. I could and partly would want to, but my *distress* would come beforehand, since I am a compulsive list-maker and planner. I don't need a lot of time for list making & planning, but I would feel like I forgot something (even though I wouldn't) if I didn't have my list to check off as I pack.

    However, if this were a regular game to be played, I would keep lists for just such an occasion.

    I know...I have issues lol

  7. Would love to, could keep a bag packed - but, you know, day job. Fun to dream though!
    - Kaci

  8. I love these colors! As I've pared down my wardrobe to focus on things I love to wear, these are the colors: several shades of blue, grey and black. I'm still learning to use different colors as accent pieces.

  9. These are also the colors for my trip to Italy summer 2016. :)

  10. I have ALWAYS wanted to play this game! Unfortunately, the high price of last minute airline tickets makes it no fun. I wish there was a website where one could go and plug in their origin and a price range and see options for destinations. The technology is out there and there was a site, but there is now some lawsuit that caused it to be shut down. *sigh*

  11. Love the drawing. I never thought of finding a piece of art to use for a color scheme for a wardrobe. Great idea.

  12. I wish! From the west cost 8 hours or less is a little more limiting, especially when you factor in no sand or snow. Add two small kids into the mix and the likelihood of being able to find 2 pairs of seats together last minute and... maybe London or Amsterdam? But I have always had fantasies about being about to throw a few things in a shoulder bag and go off at the drop of a hat. I remember a jumpsuit in an old J Peterman catalog that had text along those lines and it was my fantasy life. (My life now is pretty awesome, but very different from that particular fantasy.)

  13. A very inspiring game. I would love to know I was able, with plans and order and simplicity in place for all the big parts of my life, to be ready to go just about anywhere in an hour. I really want to get there. After reading you for a couple of years, I would say that my wardrobe is one of the areas that is already pretty much there!

    This fall I would wear my dark grey tweedy pants, plum tee, dark grey cardigan, plum scarf, navy cross-body, and my flat navy patent Born oxfords that are great to walk in and I like just as well with a skirt or dress. I would pack my jeans, plum skirt, grey Eileen Fisher dress, plum jacket, navy silk blouse, grey print shirt, grey tee, navy tee, navy pullover, navy and grey scarf, a few pieces of jewelry in silver and navy or plum, and no other shoes or bags besides my tote. I could do anything but the dressiest occasions and be covered for at least a week. This is all thanks to you, Vivienne. Would you care to simplify the rest of my life now?

  14. Hi Janice!

    Im a follower from England and the way I shop for clothes has been totally changed by your blog: I now REALLY look at the colours. Anyway, I have nothing to do with this firm (apart from being on their mailing list) but have you seen Kettlewell Clothes. They have a lovely range of colours and some nice simple shapes. I've just looked at their blog and I thought of you!

  15. Well, you certainly got my creative juices flowing today!

    1. Beautiful, and ibeys all of the rules!

    2. Nice one Suzyn! And thanks for alerting me to the possibility of doing this on Poly. Useful for real-life planning too!
      Janice I love your original idea and the ideas - keeping the red to a glint here and there makes it very sophisticated, I think. And what a wonderful game; it could even be played by oneself though the element of risk and the trust required in doing it together make it more fun I think.

  16. This is a fantastic travel wardrobe. One of your best!

  17. Hi, I’ve been reading your posts and just wanted to share something? Please email me back. Thanks!


  18. I will play that game with you any day!

  19. This post makes my heart sing! The colorways are me, the types of clothing are perfect and the idea of jetting off with a friend in this manner is fantastic. Thank you for all the hard work that goes into a posting like this. I always enjoy your blog. Cheers!

  20. Those are ALL my wardrobe colors!! Beautiful! I'm going to have to get that We Are Owls scarf.

  21. Love the game! Would love to play! I love these colors too! I probably would not take a dress or a stripe skirt but maybe a solid black skirt and another pair of pants.

  22. Oh my how fun! Let's put together a Vivienne Files surprise trip and PLAY this game!!
    And rather apropos it is right now, as our next trip has bumped from the Cotswolds to the Bordeaux area to Lake Como...and we're still not absolutely sure where we're going!