Saturday, May 28, 2016

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Girl on a Sofa by Philip Wilson Steer

Doesn't this look comfortable?


Girl on a Sofa by Philip Wilson Steer

And this painting could single-handed provide someone with plenty of colors to have a wardrobe with great variety, and a lot of options:


I've been thinking a lot about packing (big surprise, eh?) and about the wisdom of packing your favorite outfits and letting the chips fall where they may. So let's explore that idea a bit!

In keeping with the relaxed feeling of the painting, I've tried to keep everything soft, rounded, flowered or flower-like, and just a touch slouchy.

First up, a simple column in a muted navy blue, with a soft white blazer, gold jewelry, and some brown leather accessories. This could be the outfit for the meeting, or the presentation, or the ceremony, or just a nice evening event.

earrings – Lagos; shirt – L.L.Bean; bag – Fossil; pants – L.L.Bean
blazer – Forte Forte; brooch – Kenneth Jay Lane; flats – Lacoste

Secondly, you love turquoise! So a casual outfit of camel pants and a top, with fun shoes, pretty earrings, and those essential sunglasses:

Pants – Closed; earrings – Anna Beck; henley – Uniqlo
sneakers – Helly Hansen; sunglasses – Kate Spade

And you're feeling like a skirt might be handy, plus you really love apricot, too! So you toss this outfit into your bag too:

Tee – Viyella; denim skirt – Dorothy Perkins; cardigan – L.L.Bean
bracelet – Bourbon and Boweties; ballet flats – Sam Edelman

All six colors in your wardrobe plan are represented, and you've got quite a few options already.




But here's where a bit of thought might come in handy. Maybe you want to add just a couple of pieces to your bag, in order to give yourself more options. Or MAYBE, if your wardrobe is composed of a collection of outfits, you're looking for ways to build in a few more pieces in a strategic way.

I grouped everything by color (except the jewelry), and then thought about what might be possible to include:


Because it's Memorial Day Weekend in the United States, I thought I'd add another piece of white; this is the unofficial beginning of summer, and let's take advantage!

And because the girl in our original painting is wearing a dotted dress, I thought that a dotted tee in blue and white would be an appropriate addition. These 2 tops won't take up much additional space in a closet, nor in a suitcase, but they work really well with your existing wardrobe to open up some new possibilities.

White top – Uniqlo; dotted tee – L.L.Bean


Here are some of the ways that the 2 "new" pieces can be worn with the pieces you've already included:




If you wanted to include even MORE pieces, you can just go back to the original analysis of what gaps can be filled; this is a good way to pack, or to shop!

love,
Janice

p.s. I hate to do this, but I'm going to have to take a month off from blogging. (for the most part...) I desperately need to catch up on things at home, and to clear my mind a little bit. I've posted for 6 days a week pretty regularly for the last FIVE years, so you've got a wealth of archive to explore...

There will be at least a couple of posts during the month, as I pack for 2 upcoming trips. I will continue to Instagram (#theviviennefiles) pretty steadily, too.

Thanks for your understanding.... xoxo


Artisan Crafted Jewelry

47 comments:

  1. Oh how I am going to miss your daily posts, Janice. And your humour! But it's totally understandable that you need a break, you are the most prolific blogger I read! Whatismore, your posts are chocka each day and it is clear a massive amount of research and analysis is behind each post. Wishing you happy holidays ahead and a nicely cleared mind. Hugs, Mary.

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  2. Everybody needs to take a break sometimes! You definitely deserve one, with all the work you put into this site. Enjoy yourself, catch up and breathe, and we'll all be delighted to see you when you're back!
    sandy

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  3. WHAT?!?!?! I'll have to reboot the Instagram alors.
    I don't see how you keep up with six days a week. These are time-intensive posts. Enjoy your break.
    Those combinations of the colored top (turquoise or apricot) with the same-colored shoe are just the simple thing to look very put-together without lots of clothes or accessories--perfect for hot weather. I need a new pair of summer shoes and will look for one of my accent colors instead of the usual black/tan/white.


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  4. Love this lesson on how to look for the gaps in a wardrobe - and how a few simple additions can go so far - just amazing (and really loved how this unusual combination of colours come together).
    Well - I will certainly miss the almost daily posts but - as others have noted - you certainly deserve a bit of a break! I'll look forward to the couple of posts that may pop up here and I'm sure you'll have all kinds of wonderful things for us when you return - have a wonderful break.

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  5. Putting the bits of the pie chart on each outfit is sheer brilliance.

    ENJOY your sabbatical!! We'll be waiting for you when you return.

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  6. Enjoy your well-deserved break! As you said, this will be a great chance for us to explore the gems within your archives. Thanks again for all the thought you put into the work you share with us. All the best from a reader in Washington, DC.

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  7. Janice,
    First, this post is so --- me -- thank you ! It feels like my brain's process for packing. Second, and even more importantly, I wish the mental and physical rest and rejuvenation that you so richly deserve ! Ditto on what the other readers above have stated about the appreciation of the hours of effort you put into this blog and so generously share with the rest of us ! Rest, relax and have FUN ! You will be missed, for sure, but come back to us when you feel fully refreshed and ready to do so. Big hugs, dear lady !

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  8. This post is what I am going to use as a basis for packing for a two week camping trip in France, thank you, it's so clever how you do this and leave the door open for cohesive expansion. Have a wonderful break, if you are going o be in Ireland please look me up!

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  9. I'm going to miss your daily posts, they are the first thing I look for in the morning. However, everyone needs a break from time to time, and the quality of these posts is such that you clearly put a huge amount of work into them. Enjoy your time off, get plenty of rest and recreation. In this case, absence will definitely make my heart grow fonder.

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  10. Monica beautifully expressed my very thoughts, best wishes for you, and hopefulness for your return.

    Enjoy, renew, and know your appreciated, loved and missed.
    A faithful fan,
    Pat

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  11. I love this idea of packing/planning a wardrobe around outfits, and also the use of so much color. You've left us with new and exciting ideas to ponder while you take a well-deserved vacation. Enjoy your time off, and we look forward to the return of a relaxed and refreshed Janice!

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  12. You know we are addicted to your posts...but we don't have to go entirely cold turkey, thanks to your treasure trove of archived ideas. Enjoy, refresh and have fun...we will be here when you return!

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  13. You know we are addicted to your posts...but we don't have to go entirely cold turkey, thanks to your treasure trove of archived ideas. Enjoy, refresh and have fun...we will be here when you return!

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  14. Will miss my morning treat.
    But I know you will come back with even more creativity and ideas!

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  16. What a gorgeous combination to leave us with! I enjoy your posts so much and will miss you for the next month but fully understand the need for a break - come back refreshed and raring to go, we'll be waiting for you with huge smiles on our faces.

    PS: looks like I'll have to try and negotiate what instagram is all about . . .

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  17. I was really enjoying this post today because it is lovely and is full of thoughtful ideas ( as always). Then I reached the end and I was surprised at how I reacted to your news. I really do have a habit of reading the Vivienne Files with my breakfast and will miss new ones. However, you clearly deserve a break, you must have three thousand blouses flying around in your brain!!!
    I hope you have a fun break and get retooled. I also hope "th book" will have some attention.
    Deb from Vancouver

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  18. You picked an amazing post to leave us with! The "Analyze Everything" layout is sheer brilliance!! I am about to pack for a 2 week trip abroad and will give this approach a whirl, as I routinely have 3 or 4 neutrals and a couple of accents, and I am determined to pack super light because we will be on and off of trains, and have some 1 night stopovers.

    Let me add my wishes for a glorious month of rejuvenation and recharging! - nancyo

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  19. Have a wonderful break, Janice. Will miss you but happy that you will be resting from all this. It is summer now, finally, time for fun and adventure! Wishing you a really lovely time for yourself.. As a creative person myself, taking breaks is crucial to nurture creativity. One day we will get to read your book and savor your writing! Love, Janice Collins, Washington DC

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  20. Enjoy your well-deserved time off! You've given us so much, we can get by just fine with an "archival diet"! I'll miss my time with you each morning and will also negotiate the wilds of Instagram ;-) Have a relaxing, refreshing interlude - and thanks for all the inspiration!
    JoyceP in OR.

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  21. Have a wonderful break! I'm looking forward to revisiting my favorite posts from your archives!

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  22. Janice - this post must have been made for me! I just had to buy those brown flats and the handbag - I will copy the pics to remind myself how you combined the items.

    Sabbatical - you might reconsider the amounts you post. I am sure we would all read even if it were only a couple times a week. Take care of yourself!

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  23. I am so delighted to see all the positive posts regarding your upcoming time off. I would expect no less from your legions of lovely readers. I will miss reading their daily comments almost as much as your wonderful posts. Your blog is so prolific and requires so much research, I am sure you are excited for a well-deserved break (and whatever trips you have planned). This is a great packing post and I will be thinking of it as I pack for a trip to Las Vegas later this week. Bon voyage and enjoy your break.

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  24. You deserve a break but will be sooooo missed!

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  25. I will miss your posts but totally understand needing a break! I like this packing by outfit post very much. Enjoy your down time.

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  26. Hope all is well Janice. Clear your head. We all need to do things that take us away from routine, and I hope you return. Take care. Chris Australia. X

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  27. I will miss your posts (I especially love the fiction you write to illustrate the life of women wearing your wardrobes) but you most certainly deserve a break! Enjoy!

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  28. Ditto what everyone above me said. I loved this particular post -- what a great idea to try packing by outfit, based on the painting. I have fairly recently gotten addicted to your blog, Janice, and I will miss the daily posts but you are correct about the wonderful archive of material! I hope you have a great break!!!

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  29. Have a fabulous break Janice. We'll be here when you return. (But we will CERTAINLY miss you!)
    Hugs,
    Kay in Washington State

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  30. Heaps of food for thought in this post, Janice! Thank you for setting out the thinking so clearly.
    Warmest good wishes for all that you will be doing. I hope it includes some down time but doubt it. Remember to breathe.
    Robyn in Tasmania

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  31. Cant' wait to see what schemes and stories you'll bring back to us. You will be missed. See you on Instagram! Theresa

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  32. Enjoy your time!!! Thank you for all the inspiration and encouragement every week! A loyal fan: Jules

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  33. Je vous souhaite un bon repos. Je relirais avec plaisir tous vos "post" si joli et si inspirant.

    Une petite française

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  34. Thanks for all those posts, Janice! As an "original' reader, I know full well how faithful your posts have been these past five years. Loved them all. But everyone needs a break. Have fun!

    Hugs,

    Swissy

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  35. Janice, I love this post and your blog. Thank you for all you do. Enjoy a long overdue break. ❤🙋

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  37. Don't know how you have maintained such an intense schedule for so long! No matter how long you need to be away, you will always have a faithful following. In the meantime, this is an excellent opportunity to go back to the beginning and enjoy the Vivienne Files all over again. Revisiting your posts is sure to bring even more insight and clarity to building a wardrobe, packing for a trip and working with color. Looking forward to your return.

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  38. Love your blog! I first found it on the 22nd of March and used that post to revise my proposed wardrobe for a 3 week trip to France. Also fell in love with the scarf Tiger Tiget and bought it at Hermes in Paris. With your advice my wardrobe and the trip were a success. Thanks, Janice. Looking forward to your future posts. Have a great time till then!

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  39. Enjoy your break!
    I admire your stamina when it comes to publishing...it is a lot of work too.
    Hope you have a rest and can enjoy some of life's joys.

    Leslie
    XO

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  40. Enjoy your break. I plan to go back and review the files!

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  41. Will miss your thoughtful and intriguing posts. Totally understand needing a break!
    Agree with a commenter, maybe post three times a week. I don't know how you do all that research, but I thank you for doing it. Although, I have purchased several items you have written about since they were so cute!
    Have a great trip and look forward to when you return.

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  42. Have a wonderful and refreshing time off. Hugs.

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  43. Six days a week for 5 years!!? Wow, that's amazing! Especially with all the research you do for each post. I'd say you definitely deserve a little break, and time to refresh and restore! Have a good break Janice. xo Deborah

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  44. Oh no!! I am dependent on your blogs. I will certainly go through withdrawal. Nonetheless, I wish you a happy and relaxing break. Come back when the time is right.

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  45. Like the other readers, I will miss your inspiring creativity, but I hope you have a refreshing and relaxing interlude. Your guidance has definitely prepared me as I pack for my time in France this summer. Thank you!

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  46. Have a wonderful sabbatical! I will miss you, but have tons of archives to read and re-read. I'm currently doing a project where I go through your 'starting from scratch' posts and create a wardrobe, but using mostly pieces I already own (I hunt down pictures and put them into a document together). It becomes immediately clear where the gaps are and what I really should buy (as opposed to what I do not really need). Plus, since I have a neutral-heavy wardrobe I can swap out neutrals in the palette (navy instead of black, etc). It's fun and will probably keep me busy until you return!

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  47. This wardrobe saved me -- I was trying to pull myself together for a 3-week road trip that included my son's wedding. Most of this collection was in my closet, except for shoes and a few accessories! Thanks!

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