Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe 1 Piece at a Time: Black, Blue and Grey, for Leisure

This is in response to a specific request to incorporate more leisure wear into a wardrobe (without breaking the bank), based on the same simple black column I've used before, but including a great cardigan:


Tee – Lands’ End; pants – L.L.Bean; cardigan – Hallhuber

The request also wanted to incorporate some grey into their leisure wardrobe, so this was the color scheme that I developed: 

Tee – Lands’ End; pants – L.L.Bean; cardigan – Hallhuber

I need to mention also that this person isn't in a really hot climate, so a lot of super-lightweight clothing wasn't going to be necessary...

First, we need to break up that black column and introduce a piece of blue clothing to complement that cardigan:


Tee – L.L.Bean

And this sweater is going to be a LOT more relaxed than any button-front sweater!

Cardigan – L.L.Bean

If you're not the person to wear shorts, a canvas skirt, denim skirt, or pair of capris would be good choices here:

Shorts – Polo Ralph Lauren

Time to bring in some grey; a v-neck sweater can be worn on its own, or layered over a tee shirt for a touch of color at the neckline:

Sweater - Uniqlo

I love classic sweatshirts! They're much more timeless, and more flattering, than a lot of lycra-filled athletic wear - revealing isn't always a good idea!

Sweatshirt - Uniqlo

Jeans! Not the typical blue, but the "everybody in Paris was wearing them" grey:

Jeans – L.L.Bean

Yes, it's a striped tee shirt, but it's metallic, and the pocket is on sideways!

tee – Oasis

Floral is never a bad idea...

Tee - Uniqlo

Black jeans can go a lot of places...

Jeans – L.L.Bean

A linen shirt is a great choice for leisure wear, because you can wear it alone or layer it. They wrinkle, and that makes them feel relaxed!

Linen shirt - Uniqlo

While this cardigan has buttons, and could easily be worn in dressier ensembles, when paired with jeans and tee shirts it has a swishy sort of relaxed feeling that I found appealing.

Cardigan - Uniqlo

A skort! I love skorts - you can do the things that you would do wearing shorts, but with more coverage.

SkortMade for Life

And finally, a sort of wild-card tunic in cotton and linen, that can be worn over any of your bottoms. Cool if the weather warms up some (roll the sleeves) but can also be worn under the long cardigan when the temps drop.

Tunic – Tommy Hilfiger

This would be a great packing capsule wardrobe for a trip to cooler vacation destinations - shorts if it warms up, but enough sweaters and sweatshirts to have some variety on cooler days and evenings:


Tomorrow I'm going to choose some accessories for this wardrobe - come visit!

love,
Janice
 Annoushka


18 comments:

  1. I have a cardigan just like that first one, but in beige/tan/white, with a gold thread running through it. Looks very dressy but not as much as a blazer, and much more comfortable. I've seen sweaters in the motorcycle jacket style that pull off the same trick.
    At a recent dinner party, the 10 women all were wearing blue, and mostly in the same slate blue you show with the T-shirt and hoodie. One even had blue suede loafers.

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  2. I absolutely love your thought process and have tried hard to adapt it. Here is the single problem that keeps tripping me up. I cannot wear a column of the same color. Black on black disturbs me. Blue on denim makes me uncomfortable. You get the point. Would you ever consider putting together a template featuring high contrast, dressy casual, pieces?

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  3. Love the colors, just what I am trying to do for my core pieces. I'd wear a lot of these, with my casual life. Silver jewelry would look fabulous. Thanks!!!
    Sue

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  4. This is lovely. I don't wear black any more as I've finally realised that it doesn't really suit me, so I'm thinking substitute the black for a navy so the 3 colours are navy, pale blue and grey. Knowing me though, I'll probably chuck in something green and it'll all go haywire ...

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  5. Janice,
    While my black would have to be brown, and my gray would be tan or khaki, the slate blue would work well for me, paired with denim blue jeans. There was a time that I thought that all blues were not going to work for my coloring, but it turns out that it's only the dark navies that I can't wear anymore, as well as any too dark anything ! This slate blue is also a slightly grayed blue, which is nicely soft in tone against my skin.
    I was surprised to see the first blue cardigan ( which I adore ) in your first row of the template instead of an all black grouping of four items. This shows me the flexibility of the template itself. I am such a one dimensional thinker sometimes, and I love having my eyes opened to other possibilities !

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    1. I put the cardigan in the top row partly because it was part of the "core" around which I was trying to build, and partly because I was really trying to avoid including a black cardigan in this wardrobe - the goal was to make things more relaxed, and I wanted to focus more on the blue and grey, because they're softer colors. But yes, the templates are VERY flexible - nothing I've ever written will be enacted into law!
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. Janice,
      Yes, that is what I guessed -- building the first core around that cardigan, a thought for me to keep in mind the next time I pack, which is coming up around Memorial Day this month. Off to the New Jersey shore for time spent with my husband's first family. Hope the weather warms a bit and this never ending rain ends for a while or we'll have to float an ark to get there !

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  6. I think I'm the one who requested this, Janice, so thank you, thank you, thank you. I am working part-time these days and the thought of putting on structured clothes when I'm not at work is too awful. None the less I want to look pulled together, and always dressed for a walk or exercise at the same time. This capsule pulls it off beautifully.

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  7. I feel both soothed and inspired by this color combination as well as your selections.

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  8. Love these color combos!!! Thanks as always for great ideas :-)

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  9. Sweatshirts and a sweatshirt skort.....how comfortable and pulled together at the same time. The accessories are going to be fun to see. Would you wear black or grey leggings with the skort on cooler days?

    Deb from Vancouver

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    1. Yep - I'd probably wear black, because I think black tights are in my DNA somewhere... but if you could find grey ones that looked good with the skirt, they would be great!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  10. This is fabulous! I'm so glad that you put together a more casual, relaxed feel wardrobe that COULD be thought of as an athleisure wardrobe, but without the dryfit, technical fabrics that make you feel like you are still wearing gym clothes. This wardrobe suits this homemaker/volunteer enthusiast perfectly...seeming to be well suited to all the physical work that I do on a daily basis but still looking a bit more put together than leggings/yoga pants and a tank/hoodie, which seems to be my current "uniform."

    How I would LOVE to see you accessorize this. I have the hardest time figuring out appropriate casual accessories. I always feel like that final touch is out of touch and too dressy for the outfit. Please include something in addition to scarves that could be worn when doing some serious volunteer work...I find that scarves fall away from the body too much and get in the way of the work that I need to do...but I think the outfits could use that final touch to feel more intentional.

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    1. Dear Anita,

      First, I love your "name"! And if you want to wear scarves close to your body, look at things like pocket squares that can be tied around your neck with absolutely NO fabric left to droop. Or double-wrap a scarf so that the ends are short... But a short necklace can always accomplish basically the same "neck decoration" idea without dragging all over the place!

      hugs,
      Janice

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  11. I love the look of this wardrobe! If you could someday substitute the blue for purple I'd love to see that.

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  12. THIS IS ME! I will do this - perfect for summer at the cabin! Thank-you!!!!

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  13. Love this! Thank you! As a SAHM of three little boys, I desperately need ideas for casual wear that steers clear of Frump Land. Now to translate this for a hot and sticky summer!

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