Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Build a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Nature: A Cardinal, in Cool Colors

There are a lot of cardinals in the park very near here - it's my favorite detour when I'm out and about to go look for them. They are SO striking, and such a spot of cheerful color on these short, grey winter days!

I'm always taken with the way in which the male and female birds are colored differently. He is very high-contrast, in cool colors:


Please, if you know the photographer, let me know!


I'm going to visit her color scheme too, but for now, I was in the mood for a small 4 by 4 wardrobe in these colors. Maybe a miniature winter work wardrobe? (for those among us who do miniature winter work?)

Cardigan – L.L.Bean; pants – L.L.Bean;
Blouse – Faith Connexion; skirt – Diane von Furstenberg

Cardigan – L.L.Bean; trousers – Uniqlo;
Shirt – Uniqlo; jeans – Citizens of Humanity

Since the red tops won't ever be worn together (I don't know, physically, if you could), they don't have to be dye-lot matched. But they should all reflect that intense, vivid coloring of the male cardinal, in his preening glory.

V-neck blouse – Velvet; silk-trimmed top – Madewell;
Red sweater - Balenciaga; turtleneck – L.L.Bean

In keeping with my theme of cheerfulness, I found some interesting, beautiful pieces.

Tunic – Isabel Marant Etoile; skirt - A.L.C.;
Sweater – Ï Miss Sophie; dress Just Female

And what would The Vivienne Files be without accessories? I channeled a bit of the exuberance of the cardinal when I chose some very... noticeable... shoes.

Stud earrings – Alexis Bittar; watch – Anne Klein; tassel-trimmed scarf –
Lucky Brand; flat hoop earrings – Open Sky; circle earrings – Open Sky; necklace –  
Lane Bryant; scarf – Hermes Ciels Byzantins; infinity scarf – Lieke van 
Opstal; bracelet – Lucky Brand; loafers – Ecco; pumps – Trotters; red
 loafers – Cole Haan; silver loafers - Bandolino

Everything hangs together, literally and figuratively, quite well. When arrayed like this, it's easy to see options!


And when everything is together, you can see how the accessories really help everything mesh. These are the kinds of clothes in which I could easily (and cheerfully) live.


I'm going to work on the female cardinal colors, and try to get it out to you before I have to leave on my unexpected trip. Cross your fingers that the mysteries of the garment world are smiling on me!

love,
Janice

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21 comments:

  1. The scarf is gorgeous, so I went to peek at the price, just out of curiosity, but alas the link is not working.

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    1. Lucky Brand scarf:


      http://www.luckybrand.com/daisen-floral-square/617089382394.html

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    2. I will fix the link tonight when I get home. Thanks!

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    3. the link for the red Madewell top seems to be bad also. Love this 4x4!! - nancyo

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  2. Which one Jazz? The red one? Trouble is our eyes are drawn to gorgeous! I love this and could happily live in it, and probably have, for a few years..... X Chris from Australia

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  3. From Margie in Toronto - this colour scheme pretty much represents my winter wardrobe (with an addition of a few pink pieces) so I just love it! Seeing how the accessories pull everything together is a real education - I have lots of separate pieces collected over the years but very few "sets" - that's what I'm working on now - and I would LOVE that red scarf!

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  4. I am inspired by nature all the time. My backyard is full of cardinals and blue jays...next time one flies by I will pull out some red or blue!

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  5. Throw in some cobalt blue, and you have my closet! Thanks, Janice.

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  6. Love seeing bright red cardinals in the winter,and bright red splashes of red clothing on these dreary days.

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  7. I love the red. It seems to make people happy.
    I really like that dress with the squares. Not too pattern-y but not solid. It could get years of work.

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  8. Such an easy flexible wardrobe...I could see someone living for weeks on end out of a suitcase packed with these wonderful garments.

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  9. Janice,
    While these are not my "warmie " colors, I still glean so much from your illustrations! One of those things is that the accent colors don't have to match each other exactly in hue, unless going for a twin set look, which has its own merits. I have thrown rocks in my own path trying to make everything all match exactly the same. Your 4x4's were what first drew me to your posts, and they continue to inspire ! I started pulling together my travel wardrobe several weeks ago for an upcoming tip, and I have found myself putting back piece after piece as unnecessary and excessive, and planned it around brown, beige, stone, coral, and aqua ( going to Barbados -- yaaaa !) based on a 4x4 format. I shall wear each top twice and each bottom at least three times. It's a 12 day trip, so 6 tops, plus one in case of stains, 4 bottoms, and 3 toppers. Thanks or lightening my load !

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  10. Thank you for returning to a basic color scheme and helping us begin at the beginning, then learn what to add; this is a beautiful post, just what I needed. It made me happy that I have the basics and can move on to extensions and accessories!

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  11. Nice collection, though I prefer red on others. If I had to pick a bird to represent my colors, it would be the bluejay with all its lovely shades of blue.

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  12. I LOVE that print tunic! A little out of my price range but really pretty! I have always worn black and red so this is a favorite! _ Linda in Arkansas

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    1. I have been sighing over that tunic also! Not in the budget tho. - nancyo

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  13. I sure got a chuckle put of "miniature winter work." Great post even though I'm a warm colors type. Love the cardinal! We don't see them in the Pacific Northwest.

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  14. Feb. 19, 2017 10:50 PM
    I haven't been receiving daily emails for many days. This also happened in January; then about 20 articles came in one email. Is it my end or yours? I miss seeing them each day to enjoy. I found this on Pinterest so am taking a chance that you see my note.

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    1. It's on their side - I've tried to figure out what to do, and I've contacted them, but they seem to be unconcerned...

      Just assume that I'm posting 6 days a week, unless I've been called out of town for an emergency. That's my normal schedule, and I only deviate from it when family emergencies dictate.

      thanks for being so loyal to The Vivienne Files - it warms my heart,
      big hug,
      Janice

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