Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Toasting Friends Version 2

Many people wanted me to revisit this painting, and many of you are interested in seeing posts with warmer colors, and many of you are looking for lower-contrast wardrobes. I'm tackling a lot of ideas in one lovely painting!

One of the fun things about this painting is the range of lovely colors included. I've madly exaggerated the amount of camel included in the painting, but I'm going to use shades of camel, beige and coppery brown as neutrals... 

The most difficult thing about writing The Vivienne Files (well, except for having dozens of ideas, and not enough time!) is choosing a color scheme and then realizing that the colors I love and want to use aren't necessarily available in beautiful clothing! Patience is SO necessary when shopping - I think you should always remember how long it took to EARN your money, and then not be terribly rushed to buy the first thing you see that's acceptable. You NEVER have to settle, unless you're in a situation of having to go to some event nude... (okay, I exaggerate...)

Rose quartz and pearl earrings – Saranarat; hinged iridescent drusy bracelet –  
Kendra Scott; camel dress – J. Crew; off-white cardigan – L.L.Bean; pearl cuff 
bracelet – Nadri slingback pumps – Trotters; cream and camel dress - Carven;
 camel cardigan – 81 Hours; rutile quartz earrings – Khun Boom; “Taupe Pearl”
 nail polish – Formula X; bag – Sophie Hulme; flat sandals – Jimmy Choo; 
 off-white dress – Uniqlo; square silk scarf - Hermes Panthera Pardus

I liked to think that the woman packing this travel wardrobe is someone who wears dresses for dressing up, and the rest of the time is casual. She likes earth tones - all of the browns and beiges and coppers and khakis, but livens them up with beautiful pinks and a snazzy blue.

Pink tee – J. Crew; gold tee – J. Crew; blue tee – J. Crew; gold stud 
earrings – Alexis Bittar; pink checked shirt – Uniqlo; opal earrings – Wwake
blue Henley – Uniqlo; cropped pants – L.L.Bean; shorts – L.L.Bean; suede 
 loafersPrada; camel corduroy shirt – L.L.Bean; ballet flats – Born

Even though it seems that there's a lot of distance style-wise between the dressy and the casual, the cardigans from the dressy clothes would be wonderfully useful with the more relaxed clothes. And the corduroy shirt-jacket could easily be belted over the off-white dress - maybe the other two also? - for a relaxed, cool evening.

It's so easy to feel relaxed and comfortable when your suitcase contains a well-chosen range of goodies - you have lots of options, no matter the event, or the weather.

This is the original template - I've taken some liberties here; I don't remember EVER using three dresses in a wardrobe before!

A pretty nice option, for our dress-wearing traveler!

Tomorrow I'm going back to visit that Cheval Surprise Remix scarf, with some different color choices in my scheme...


UNIQLO Shop Spring New Arrivals


  1. I love the simplicity and elegance of that first frame. Mixed with grey, black and navy, and I would be happy for a very long time.

  2. Janice,
    You do provide ! Warm -- darker, lighter, warmer, cooler, and varied needs ! For me, I would have to make the pink a bit warmer, more of a coral color, and the blue would be a bit greener, but then, you are following the colors in the painting ! I would love to wear dresses and change toppers and accessories, which would give me a column of color all in one garment, but not at my current weight, so for now, it's pants, capris, and tops. Thank you again for responding to the requests and preferences of your readers !

  3. I haven't finished the post yet, but I can't help but express my dismay that the beautiful white wrap blouse is actually a beautiful cream and camel dress (that is well out of my price range, and camel isn't my color anyway). I would love to have just the top for my basic white blouse! Button-ups look professional, but they are always challenging (tiny ribs, big bust) and I love wraps; this is the best of both worlds!

  4. "The most difficult thing ... is choosing a color scheme and then realizing that the colors I love and want to use aren't necessarily available in beautiful clothing!" The story of my sartorial life. And it always happens that an item of clothing is wearing out, I need to replace it, and can't find it in the chosen color. Which is probably why my favorite wardrobe "scheme" is the common core. I know I can always find khaki pants and white button shirts.

  5. The off white dress is beautiful and so affordable. It is also available in grey, my favourite neutral. I guess I have some shopping to do.

  6. Hi Janice, this travel wardrobe is so pretty! I love the idea of off white in the cooler weather! I rarely wear dresses or skirts and pants flatter me more (heavy legs) but I've taken your dress ideas and simply used matching pants and top for a long column of solid color.- then added the cardi or accesdories. It's a very dressy look if the fabrics are nice and items fit well . I think I will expand my wardrobe with some off white pants/top. Such beautiful combos you achieve! Thank you so much , Janice Collins, Washingtin, DC

    1. KUDOS for adapting Janice's inspirational work to your own needs.

  7. I read your entry today before I got out from under my down comforter (it was quite chilly this morning!), and I've been thinking about it all day.

    I'm revamping my style and thinking about a simple but beautiful capsule wardrobe. It's a big departure so I've been looking at lots of style blogs. Women talk about their recent binge shopping.

    And then I read you this morning: Your money is hard earned. Wait, don't shop.

    It was pretty fantastic. I love that I can come here for beautiful historic textiles, art inspiration and, yes, discussion of style.