Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe Starting With Art: A Porcelain Figurine Version 2

Today's capsule wardrobe is a bit more casual, with a bit of influence from the aesthetics of the figurine; these kinds of things have to be approached carefully, because I don't want to do any egregious cultural appropriation! It's sort of like when people would visit Ireland (when I lived there) and dress all in green, and walk around saying "top of the mornin' to ya...." 

So I took notes from the fluidity of the figure for some more draped and/or wrapped garments, shamelessly grabbed some pearls, tossed in a really amazing brooch, and included a very origami tote bag. This would be a great addition to the earlier wardrobe - most of these pieces would blend seamlessly with the other garments. Having a unifying "theme" or inspiration makes shopping and getting dressed SO much easier!

In keeping with the swirl and the flow of the figuring, I chose the softer accent colors this time:

I kept the original trousers and skirt (I love a good pleated skirt - talk about swish!), but substituted a cuddly cardigan and a draped top for the more strict blazer and sweater from before.

navy Core of Four with cardigan, draped sleeveless top, trousers and skirt
Cardigan – Dorothy Perkins; pants – J. Crew
wrap top – Joanna Hope; skirt – J. Crew

No need for a 2nd skirt, so jeans! Another fluid cardigan, and a simple wrapped tee shirt.

Grey Core of Four with a hooded cardigan, wrap tee shirt, jeans and trousers
Cashmere cardigan – Chinti and Parker; jeans – L.L.Bean
tee – L.L.Bean; pants – J. Crew

A basic white top is still here, but much more unstructured than a button-front shirt. I LOVE the blush top with the strange waistline - I can so easily imagine this coming from a Japanese designer! The sweater has gorgeous texture, and another pretty pink top is never wrong.

a Mileage Four in white, soft blue and blush pink
White tee - Uniqlo; blue sweater – L.L.Bean
blush top – Viktor & Rolf; tee – J. Crew

This steps includes one more pretty, somewhat dressy, top, a nice basic navy tee - long enough to wear as a tunic, a great long cardigan, and an unstructured dress. Even though this is indeed a dress, with opaque grey tights and short grey boots, it's far from stuffy.

an Expansion Four with a blush blouse, navy tee and cardigan, and grey dress
Pink top – 3.1 Phillip Lim; navy top – Uniqlo;
 long cardigan – Uniqlo; dress - Uniqlo

The blank template, just in case you want to see it again. 

The 4 by 4 Wardrobe template

I'm already liking the looks of this one:

a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in navy and grey, with blush and soft blue accents

Just as I did before, I started with the outfits - four weeks worth - and then chose accessories to "finish" the looks. I deliberately tried to keep a few of the accessories from the first version of a wardrobe with this figurine, because I like to show that simple, classic pieces have a lot of versatility. 

four outfits taken from a 16-piece travel capsule wardrobe in navy, grey, soft pink and light blue

four outfits taken from a 16-piece travel capsule wardrobe in navy, grey, soft pink and light blue

four outfits taken from a 16-piece travel capsule wardrobe in navy, grey, soft pink and light blue

four outfits taken from a 16-piece travel capsule wardrobe in navy, grey, soft pink and light blue

four outfits taken from a 16-piece travel capsule wardrobe in navy, grey, soft pink and light blue

(I hope you noticed that the very work-ish computers from the first post have been replaced by lovely fans; these sorts of details are the things in which I delight!)

Watercolor scarf - Nordstrom; rose scarf – Echo; square scarf – Hermes Bateau 
Fleuri; tote bag – Tsatsas; pink earrings – Vera Wang; grey pearl earrings – 
Majorica; opal earrings – Kendra Scott; mother of pearl ring – Kabana; navy 
baroque pearl bracelet – Jordan Alexander; stork brooch – Jean Vitau; silk 
clutch bag – Megan Park; grey suede boots – Sam Edelman; penny loafers –  
David Tate; platform ballet flats – Summit; booties – Blondon
suede boots – Sesto Meucci

All together, with everything. Wear one of these outfits, pack the rest, and you're set for almost anything!

Just for my own delight, I think I'm going to take a look at this year's Pantone colors, and source out some lovely accessories.... When the weather is this cold (at least in Chicago), and you know that you don't really need new clothes, a pretty accessory is a nice indulgence!




  1. this is me!!!!just love the colours and choice of clothes.....theses must have been oicked for me......just perfect x
    And the sky when i was walking my dog this morning was rose quartz and serenity.......now i know where Pantone got the idea :)

  2. That softer feel is so nice for bony people. Janice you truly are a temptress! I really thought I had my wardrobe under control...
    X Chris from Australia.

  3. Great job! Well you've already got a headstart on the two Spring colours Serenity and Rose Quartz...

  4. Nice blog i like it.

  5. Janice, this post is sheer wizardry! I love the way you translate the porcelain here--breezy garments and all. I wish every one of these lovely things were in my closet.

  6. Very in-tune with Pantone's Colors of the year! Nice :)

  7. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of respecting culture when desiring to emulate it. This a lovely way of paying respect. The grey purse is particularly special along with the pink blouse.

    Deb from Vanouver

  8. I made a top using a beautiful floral fabric- not traditional oriental fabric but it somehow had that oriental feel to it as well- it would fit that description of emulating a culture but in a respectful way.

  9. I love the two interpretations of my figurine - I hadn't noticed the blush pink (rose quartz) before, as I am always drawn to bolder colours like the burgundy. I will use both templates to build my 16 piece office capsule and will definitely be sourcing some fluid, wrap blouses/tops as I think they're so flattering. Many thanks Janice for all your hard work and continued inspiration.
    Sharon from Plymouth, England.

  10. Would you describe the jumper as 'denim'blue?

    1. I don't remember what L.L.Bean called it, except now I think we can all call it "sold out!" But yes, I think denim is a fair description of the color...

  11. Love the idea of having a business and casual wardrobe in the same colour palette, so everything in my closet matches. No morning headaches !

  12. I love this version! Much more my style! This is dressy enough for my office too. So many great pieces.

  13. When I first saw the Pantone announcement, I just could not imagine how this would work. A single post from you and now I see a path for rose quartz and serenity. And the path seems like more fun that the names rose quartz and serenity would suggest-thanks!!!