Thursday, October 22, 2015

Build a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with a Scarf: Pigs on the Wing by wrq.e.d. Version 2

While the first colors that I saw in the scarf were greys and black, there's definitely enough beige and brown here to work with; maybe I see black and grey first because that's my personal capsule wardrobe focus?

But this time, this is the color scheme. I like giving myself the full range of the blues and browns as options, I think it works well with the scarf, and makes the blending of different shades of one color possible. While there are a few colors that need to be matched pretty closely, others can blend all over the place and work well - I think brown is one of those!

I didn't mention this, but the border of this scarf reads:

my song was out of tune, my voice was cracked,
but at least no chorus can ever sing it back.

Imagine having that reminder of your own strength and originality draped around your neck all day...

Pigs on the Wing scarf from wrq.e.d, with a color scheme graphic in blues, browns and grey
Pigs on the Wing scarf – wrq.e.d.


No More Skirts for Me, Thanks...

She's worn pantyhose, for decades.

She even wore the little silk bow at the neck of her cotton shirt, back in the 80's...

Now, she's finished with all that!

four garments in light brown and cream, to make two outfits
Cashmere cardigan – Ann Taylor;  turtleneck – Lands’ End; 
 Jeans – L.L.Bean; corduroy pants – L.L.Bean

If she needs to look dressy, she has a cashmere cardigan. Silk pants and a silk blouse. She ever has a sweater with sequins!

two tops and two bottoms on shades of beige and brown, to make two outfits
Turtleneck – J. Crew; tee shirt – Lands’ End; 
 Silk pants – The Row; trousers – Lands’ End

She really doesn't enjoy shopping, and she really doesn't NEED to do much. Mail order seems to take care of her occasional wardrobe gaps.

four tops in teal blue:  a blouse, a cardigan, a fleece top and a tee shirt
Silk blouse – Ann Taylor; cardigan – L.L.Bean;
 fleece top – L.L.Bean; tee - Aeropostale

She's happy dressing this way. Frankly, her knees are no longer anyone's business...

four pieces of clothing, in teal and brown, to make four outfits
Plaid shirt jacket – R13; sweater – Oasis;
teal cords – L.L.Bean; maple brown cords - L.L.Bean

She does enjoy finding the occasional perfect accessory, of course. But there will never again be a high-heeled shoe in her closet. We all knew that...

accessories in teal and shades of brown; shoes, scarves and jewelry
Stud earrings – Shana Gulati; brushed gold ribbon ring – Linnie Mclarty; resin
 and horn bracelet – Marni; square earrings – Ashley Pittman; pendant – Chico’s;
wool scarf – Missoni; necklace – Nest; Pigs on the Wing scarf – wrq.e.d.
Colliers de Chiens scarf – Hermes; suede booties – Lucky Brand
penny loafers – Cole Haan; metallic flats – Vince Camuto

This is her very tidy fall and winter wardrobe:

a 16-piece wardrobe in teal and shades of brown, along with shoes, scarves and jewelry

Although her outfit options number more than a dozen, I'm sharing 12 combinations, ranging from casual, through "Friday-night dinner" dressy, to legitimately "night at the opera" worth. Note how the variety of colors in the necklaces help tie together the different shades of tan and brown in the outfits.

4 outfits in teal and shades of brown

4 outfits in teal and shades of brown

4 outfits in teal and shades of brown

This kind of efficiency is clearly the product of some careful planning:

16 pieces of clothing - a 4 by 4 Wardrobe - in teal and shades of cream and brown


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  1. Wow, that is my wardrobe sorted. I am in love with my "pig" scarf I will definitely be working around it

  2. Gosh, you must have had me in mind! No skirts or heels in my closet (since my 30s), and I loathe pantyhose - I also love mixed browns! Definitely one to bookmark.

  3. This is my kind of wardrobe! Gorgeous and not fussy. Love. Thank you!

  4. And you hit the nail on the head for me, too! I would be happy with every item here. And, yes, I once wore those silk bows with cotton shirts and skirt suits. Kinda wish I'd held onto those silk ties now!

  5. I echo everyone's comments here, even though I still wear skirts and dresses. Maybe my knees warrant closer inspection. :))

  6. Janice,
    You must have listened in on my brain workings with this post ! The colors, the no heels, no showing of knees anymore, or upper arms for that matter ! It's me, it's me !

  7. From Margie in Toronto - even though my colour preference leans more towards yesterday's colours, the whole concept of this wardrobe and the woman who wears it is so me! I always tell friends, the minute I retire from the corporate world, my wardrobe is going to consist of a couple of "dressy outfits" and then wonderfully comfortable pants, jeans and cozy tops - just love that shade of blue!

  8. This is so lovely! I love how you show that "comfortable" doesn't have to be "slovenly." I'm drifting towards "no more heels" these days.


  9. Wow Janice, I agree with everyone too! My colors perfectly with the addition of some navy. Teal is my fav color ! Just LOVE this wardrobe!
    Janice Collins, Washington, DC

  10. Thanks for helping me re-imagine my own wardrobe I have clothes with those colors in my closet but what I lack is the one component that completes the outfit - the right accessory that pulls it all together.

  11. Love this post. Very close to my own fall/winter wardrobe but better thought out (trying to make do with what is still passable). Keep those warm color, non-black ideas coming!

  12. I used your 4 x 4 worksheet for our latest 2 week shopping trip to England and it worked perfectly. I packed lighter and more effectively. It will be part of my trip planning for years to come. Thanks for sharing your gifts. Theresa

  13. You've hit a home run with this one, Janice. This is precisely the way I, too, love to dress--no more fussy, uncomfortable clothes and no more heels, ever, in my closet.

  14. I will happily join the chorus of happy commenters. The scarf is great and the text is perfect. Blue can be so beautiful or not. These selections as shown are lovely.
    Deb from Vancouver

  15. Casual, elegant, comfortable and never've really nailed it here. I see from the other comments that I am not alone in my desire for comfort and practicality in clothing. I appreciate also that you have used reasonably priced, mail order pieces to achieve this. Mary

  16. Yesterday's colors were also more similar to mine, but I agree with the above commenters regarding no heels, and no skirts. I only break out the dresses and skirts for formal occasions; the rest of the time, comfort and elegance is key! And, not everyone will agree, but I have also written off jeans on my body: not flattering, not comfortable, and not elegant. Simple neutral pants work so much better for all the daily events in my life, and are key for traveling lightly and comfortably.

    1. Vivian,
      I, too, have recently relegated blue jeans to the jobs of gardening and house cleaning. When traveling, which is often, I wear lightweight trousers in various shades of beige, taupe, or brown in fabrics that are not prone to wrinkling. To me, denim blue is a color, not a neutral, and I kept making outfits with blue tops to go with the denim pants, but feeling dissatisfied with wearing an all blue ensemble. Somehow it just didn't work with my warm , light coloring. I agree with you also on not feeling "dressed up " in blue jeans, even they are ubiquitous everywhere you look ! I do retain one pair of dark brown jean style pant for grocery shopping or quick errand running, football games, etc.. I want to try some pinwale cords in browns and greens for casual looks. Green seems to finally be available this year.

  17. My life, my wardrobe, too. But I do have a couple of very good skirts and one dress to turn to when needed. I printed this one out, even though I wear cool colors, grey, navy, etc. The concept still works beautifully. thanks, Janice.

  18. I have to admit that yesterday's reference to the Pink Floyd song passed by me. Then this afternoon I picked up my October 2015 'Departures' magazine which features London cover to cover. There was an article titled 'Rebuilding Battersea' and a photo of the apparently iconic 'pig' balloon flying over the Battersea power station.
    The scarf is stunning and now I can appreciate some of the images it contains.

  19. Love this! I don't wear tan near my face, but I can easily adapt this with more brown and teal tops. And no more heels? Amen to that!

  20. Thanks for post in warm colours. I am retired and dumpy. I pretty much only wear skirts but not stylish skirts. I like elastic gathered short (around the knee length) comfortable skirts. If too long then material gets in the way of living. Avid leggings wearer when weather is cooler. Short socks and Mary Janes. Pants are just too restrictive for me. Shorts are OK though. I have one pair of black cargo pants for appointments. Carol S.

  21. Love the casual vibe of this wardrobe! My style too. Mostly pants and jeans for me! I own a few dresses and skirts but RARELY wear them! I like the idea of your neutrals all being in the same family. Great ideas here!