Friday, April 08, 2016

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe of Accessories: Turquoise, Coral, Black and Ivory 1 at a Time

Yesterday's "1 Piece at a Time" capsule wardrobe is a great base for accessories - although trying to find turquoise and coral that are the same shades can make you a bit daft...

This is our starting outfit:

Skirt – IDLF Uniqlo; tee – Uniqlo; necklace – Kenneth Jay Lane
cardiganBoden; top shoes – Me Too; middle shoes – Ecco
bottom shoes – Rockport

Shoes are critical, and I thought that a simple ballet flat would be pretty with the swing and movement of the black skirt.

A small-ish bag is my next accessory choice. I'm particularly smitten with that octagonal bag...

Skirt – IDLF Uniqlo; Tee – L.L.Bean; cardiganBoden
top bag – Street Level; middle bag – Fossil
bottom bag – Michael Kors

I love earrings, so they're next! While I'm not usually a big fan of "matchy-matchy" accessories, I think there's some wisdom to purchasing the earrings that were manufactured in the same batch as your necklace; you know that they're the same overall mood and color. You don't have to EVER wear them at the same time!

Skirt – IDLF Uniqlo; Tee – L.L.Bean; Cardigan – Simply Be
top earrings – Kenneth Jay Lane; middle earrings – Taylor and Tessier
bottom earrings – Alexis Bittar

While the top scarf isn't a solid, it's subtle enough to be worn in most places where you'd wear a solid. You'll be surprised how often a scarf like this is just the touch needed to pull things together.

Tee –  L.L.Bean; Cardigan – Simply Be; Pants – Boden
striped scarf – Echo; pointelle scarf – Charming Charlie
bottom scarf – Denis Colomb

For this wardrobe, if you found a turquoise and/or coral watch that you loved, it wouldn't be the worst idea. But I've opted for more neutral watches this time... I have a reason!

Tee – Boden; Cardigan – Simply Be; Pants – Boden;  

top watch – Karl Lagerfeld; middle watch – Anne Klein
          bottom watch – Anne Klein

THIS is why I was sort of conservative in my choice of watches - I had some over the top bracelets in mind... (you know that something really caught my eye if I'm linking to HSN!!!)

Tee – Uniqlo; Pants – Boden; cardigan –  Boden
top bracelet – Heidi Daus; middle bracelet – Heidi Daus
bottom bracelet – Jose & Maria Barrera

I couldn't get through summer without a pair of sandals; the black sandals with this outfit "ground" the black tee shirt.

Tee – Uniqlo; culottes - Boden
top sandals – Birkenstock; middle sandals – Sam Edelman
bottom sandals – Steve Madden

In order to balance out the larger earrings we bought, as well as the outrageously "statement" bracelets, I think some small, classic earrings are in order. Unless you want to make another statement - it's your wardrobe!

Top – H&M; Skirt – IDLF Uniqlo; cardigan – Boden
top earrings – Argento Vivo; middle earrings – The Affair
bottom earrings – Ginette NY

Another solid scarf, although a patterned one wouldn't go amiss in this wardrobe, with this particular ensemble, it would be a tricky coordinating job!

Sweater – Weekend Max Mara; Skirt – IDLF Uniqlo
 first scarf – Akris Punto; middle scarf – Modena
bottom scarf – Banana Republic

As always, I like to include canvas shoes of some ilk; some of these aren't as "athletic-y" as they might be.

Tee –  L.L.Bean; Cardigan – Simply Be; pants - L.L.Bean
 top shoes – Softscience; middle shoes – Sketchers
bottom shoes - Palladium

I love the idea of a bright tote bag, especially in the warm weather when it's less likely to get "slushed."

Tee – Etro; Pants – Boden
top bag – Furla; middle bag – Henri Bendel
bottom tote – Neiman Marcus

When you have colors in your wardrobe that are challenging to match, don't forget the option of metallics for your leather goods. As much as I would have really liked turquoise sandals here, by the time I found 3 pair in the right shade, without 5 inch heels, that didn't cost $1,000 a pair, the summer would be over...

And for what it's worth, if you like that first pair of sandals, they're available in 17 colors; I think Nordstrom has carried them for YEARS... that's a pretty timeless classic, I'd say!

Tee – Etro; Pants – Boden; jacketL.L.Bean
top sandals – Jack Rogers; middle sandals – Sam Edelman
bottom sandals – Kork-Ease

Another piece of amazing jewelry - this is the kind of thing you can do when most of your clothing is classic, solid-colored and simple.

Tee –  L.L.Bean; shorts – L.L.Bean
top necklace – Blu Bijoux; middle necklace – Jose & Maria Barrera
bottom necklace – ABS Allen Schwartz

Sunglasses must ALWAYS be included in your accessory wardrobe. While jewelry and scarves are just for prettiness, sunglasses are actually a necessary functional thing you should wear in any kind of bright outdoor conditions! 

Dress – J. Crew
top sunglasses – Givenchy; middle sunglasses – Ray-Ban
bottom sunglasses – Ray-Ban

Couldn't you see this for a vacation trip to a destination with warm sunny days and cool evenings? A northern beach vacation, maybe...


Artisan Made Jewelry Designs


  1. Outfit #11 (and #14 as well) just scream Côte d'Azur. And that's a good thing.

  2. Great choices for the accessories !

  3. That dragon bracelet -- SWOON!!

    1. It's a work of art! And sold out!

  4. Love the coral necklaces and the turquoise tote bag! By the way, I found a lovely coral and turquoise necklace in the Gumps catalogue; it added a few beads in lime green which would be a fun color to add to this grouping. There was a great black jacket with stylized flowers on the same page that had those colors, and well, they are now in my summer wardrobe. Both fit well with this grouping I am using as my base. Thank you, thank you again!!

  5. Apparently that Jack Rogers sandal was a favorite of Jackie Kennedy, even during the WH years, so it goes back a long way. I guess it could be considered a classic! Unfortunately like most of the shoes you show that I love, they don't come in an extra wide width which is what I need.

  6. Hello Janice,
    I've read your blog, almost daily, for months, and have rarely if ever commented. I love the pops of color against the black on this post! Would you consider putting together a blog post with spring attire in Black, Hot Pink, and Lime Green? Secondary colors could be grey and/or white. Thank you!!

  7. I love, love, love how you accessorize these!

  8. That first bracelet! Wowsers! Sold out, but be still my beating heart. I'm more indigo or navy blue than turquoise but a little substitution and I'd pack the whole closet into my travel bag.

    Pinned. Love it.

  9. I haven't seen Clark's flats recommended here for a long time: I have apair of these Freckle Ice ( - mine are black - and I find them very comfortable.

    And while I was trying to find that lin, I also noticed these, which I thought were rather striking - but I haven't tried them myself:

  10. I love so much about this. I'm off on a 7 night Alaskan cruise in 2 months, so I'm searching for ideas. I won't need shorts, but this is a great jumping point.