Thursday, February 25, 2016

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe One Piece at a Time, 3 Accent Colors with Navy and Beige

If you want to include 3 accent colors in your wardrobe, this is for you!


Tee – L.L.Bean; cardigan – IDLF Uniqlo; pants – IDLF Uniqlo

Please note that, although there are a lot of accent colors here, I've tried to keep them all in the same range of intensity and saturation, so that they will all "behave" in the same way when paired with neutrals. It's a hard concept to explain, but I find that it makes a lot of different in keeping things versatile and harmonious.

(yes, there are 4 accent colors shown here, in keeping with the original request. I didn't have a lot of luck finding the raspberry color...)


Tee – L.L.Bean; cardigan – IDLF Uniqlo; pants – IDLF Uniqlo

 Many of these steps will look painfully familiar, as I build a base of neutral colors upon which you can use accents as the embellishment. I know I harp on this a lot, but it's hard to overestimate the degree to which a solid core of  neutral pieces will make your "getting dressed" life easier.


Tee shirt – IDLF Uniqlo

cardigan - L.L.Bean

pants - Michael Kors

Here's where the fun starts! Introducing a new "top" into your wardrobe, in the same color intensity and the same general "cut" as one of your favorites, is an easy way to know that your purchase will be useful. Realistically, it wouldn't be crazy to buy 4 tee shirts, one in each of your accent colors...

Tee – Uniqlo

Cardigans can be more difficult to find, so if you find one at the same time that you're purchasing your tee shirt(s), grab them. You may never wear them together, as a twinset, but it doesn't hurt to have that option! Plus, any accessories that you find to go with one item will immediately work with both?

Cardigan - Viyella

skirt - J. Crew

While this might not be your kind of tee shirt, I like to include things like this from time to time, just to show the possibilities for a garment to bring some whimsy to your wardrobe!

tee shirt - MSGM

If a cashmere cardigan isn't in your budget, or you can't wear wool, or you can't stand the idea of anything "fluffy" in the hot weather, look for a nice cotton cardigan. These, from Lands' End, come in a ton of colors!) (the cardigan shown below, in "featherweight" cashmere, comes in 20 colors, too.)


cardigan - J. Crew

skirt - Neiman Marcus

tee - Isabel Marant

Including a couple of different silhouettes of cardigans in your wardrobe can give you a feeling of variety, even though you're sticking pretty closely to a uniform of "cardigan, tee, pants or skirt." If anybody comments that you wear cardigans a lot, compliment them on their observational skills, and then help them find a hobby...

cardigan - L.L.Bean

THIS is the reason that you're careful to always carry swatches (or pieces of embroidery floss) in "your colors" with you. When you see something like this, your heart says YES, but your brain says "are you sure?"

And, in fact, you are sure! This tee is almost a perfect match for the cardigan we just added to this wardrobe...

tee - Ted Baker London

shorts - L.L.Bean

For me, personally, this wardrobe still needs a navy tee shirt... but this still gives you a ton of options, and a lot of ways to indulge your preference for pretty accent colors. On days when you need or want to dress more soberly, you can do that, too!




The browns are up next, and I'm going to tack the concept of putting accessories, 1 piece at a time, with some of these wardrobes. Cross your fingers that I don't get too confused...

love,
Janice

UNIQLO Shop Spring New Arrivals


21 comments:

  1. "If anybody comments that you wear cardigans a lot, compliment them on their observational skills, and then help them find a hobby..."
    Pfffffthihihhihihi!!! Love that comment!
    I wear cardigans all the time, because I think I look shapeless in pullovers and well-fitting blazers are hard to find. No one has complained yet but now I know what to reply if they do. :-)

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  2. Janice, I love these colors. You are really teaching the importance of having 8-10 core basics and then being able to change your look by adding just a couple of pieces in an accent color. A few weeks ago you included a scarf called "Hiroshima" in one of your wardrobes. It has so many lovely spring colors. Maybe you could use it as a "spring"board for a spring wardrobe?

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  3. Beautiful as always - this pale oatmeal/cream is gorgeous!! And thanks for having so many accent colors in the color wheel. I just bought a sweater in exact shade of lavender, and any blue is my friend. The soft blue/green It's harder to find, but I've got plenty of raspberry/plum items. Thanks!! Sue

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  4. From Margie in Toronto - I was just going through the new Talbots catalogue last night and they had a lot of the green with lavender/mauve in both solids and various prints - most often paired with navy or grey so if anyone is looking for items in those colours they might want to check out their website. They also had a few pieces in what I would have called that raspberry you were looking for - although they call it something else. I am definitely going to buy a few pieces to go with navy for the Spring,Summer - it just looks so crisp and fresh.
    Also loved the cardigan comment - I am known for my cardigans at my office - I have tons both in summer and winer weights. As my Head Office environment became a bit more relaxed over the years I switched from ill fitting - very warm - and very expensive suit jackets (I'm short & busty and they rarely fitted properly) to my lovely, comfortable - and much more reasonably priced cardigans. I find they are a perfect way (with the addition of accessories) to change up all my neutrals and give me many more options.

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    1. Thanks, I'll check out Talbots!
      Sue

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  5. These one-piece at a time are helpful to us visual learners. Simple to put together and cohesive. I hope you will consider adding a tab to the top of the page, so we can easily locate these in the future.
    And if you are taking "brown" requests, I'd like turquoise and coral.
    Theresa

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  6. I know exactly what you mean about matching saturation/brightness when the colors are a very different hue. (Similarly, you can have a hue the same and change up the saturation/brightness). And I actually do have 4 v-neck t-shirts that are identical except for color - they get a ton of use! I've probably had them for getting on 10 years now.
    - Kaci

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  7. Love this set! I and love you add it in piece by piece and include some pattern/texture. Beautiful grouping!

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  8. You commented: "For me, personally, this wardrobe still needs a navy tee shirt..." In building the wardrobe, you did include a navy T - it was the first purchase. In the 4x4 template, you have a navy button down top, which is not in any of the steps above. I think that's where the navy T would go... nancyo

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  9. I got all my clothes out last night and grouped them together because I want to get rid of or put away some of them but wasn't sure which ones. I had one pair of cinnamon pants that I love left over from a core of four brown garments that I realized didn't work, a beige cashmere sweater, and a bunch of burgundy things also left over from a burgundy phase... when voila! I realized that the cinnamon pants were the same value as a pair of very very dark burgundy pants and T that was the same color. Add the beige sweater (which goes with all of them and EVERYTHING ELSE in my gray, black, and navy staples) and I suddenly had an accent set... all because of the value. I don't think I would have picked that up without your post yesterday! Even though they are warm colors they go with gray, navy and black, similar to the clothes inspired by your cardinal photos. I happily donated and put away some of the other garments because these looked so lovely with the group and could combine endlessly.

    If anyone is in doubt about color combinations, I recommend getting all your clothes out and grouping them. When you can see them together, they either harmonize... or they DON"T.

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  10. I noticed you use a lot of T shirts from Uniqlo and they are very reasonably priced. Has someone tried them? I'm just wondering how well they wear.

    Thanks,
    Kandace

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  11. After studying yesterday's post and today's post, I realized that while I think of my neutrals as black, navy, tan/taupe, and brown, I really don't use brown as a neutral - for me it is an accent color. This might not seem like a huge difference, but when I started thinking about how to coordinate outfits, the whole process became easier with this realization. So thanks!

    Also, in reply to Kandace: I have quite a few Uniqlo tees and I love them. They fit nicely, and they hold up to frequent washing without shrinking or fading. Some of mine have been around at least 3 years, have been worn constantly, and still look good. Also, when they finally do wear out Uniqlo offers a recycling service.

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    1. Thanks Murphy! I'll give them a try.

      Kandace

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  12. With Autumn just over the horizon here in Australia, I did a wardrobe review last night using these principles. Moving a few hot-weather items out and some cool-weather tops/cardies in. The process was a revelation! I thought I knew my outfit possibilities well but by building up from a core travel outfit And adding one item at a time, discovered both a whole different range of outfits and that my colour schemes aren't at all what I'd thought. Actually, it's down to pretty much one scheme - navy/denim and black as the neutrals, with cream, light blue and teal as the accent colours. A couple of 'outliers' in other colours for fun and of course heaps of scarves.

    I had the fun of building a travel wardrobe (even though I'm not going anywhere, it's a motivating start) combined with the savings derived from shopping my own wardrobe. It's small enough for easy dressing in the mornings but varied enough to feel interesting. As ever, big thanks, Janice!

    Robyn in Tasmania

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  13. I live in New Zealand, and have done a similar exercise to Coco Colmani. I found I had few pale neutrals but I like lots of colours in the medium clear range, particularly in blue,blue/green and green.

    I get great pleasure in seeing all of the colour combinations develop, even if I would not wear them myself. I have new enthusiasm for wardrobe planning, and where to target my spending and not get bored with the clothes I have.

    Many thanks.

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  14. As always, a great compilation. These colors are perfect for the season and giving me good ideas. I really appreciate the way you have formatted this grouping. Makes it easier for the fashion challenged to understand!

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  15. Your cardigan comment was too funny! I wear a lot of cardigans myself. This year I added in a couple of vests for variety. LOL! I am on the heavy side and very busty so a cardigan looks much nicer on me than a fitted blazer, so bring on the cardigans!!

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  17. Bug cheer for your note (uner first photo st) re saturation. That's where so many ensembles and purchases go adrift. Someone convinces you to add a "pop of colour" (my nomination for worst fashion cliché) and then you're stuck with a shade that makes you feel off, and you wonder why it never works. So (onto my soapbox) dye quality is for me paramount. Too many American clothes (even designer labels) use flat, monochromatic dyes; too many sweaters (that's you, Lands' End) think a shreiky green is OK. This is why I spend double- but less than half as often- on, for example, a Brora cashmere that contains four subtle flecks of different saturation and even different colour (yet reads as 'blue') than the Lands' End.

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  18. This one at a time method is a great way to shop your closet if it's overstuffed and you think you have nothing to wear. It'll immediately show any gaps that may need to be filled.

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