Thursday, August 04, 2016

Packing Light - a Six-Pack Travel Capsule Wardrobe in Navy, Hot Pink and Ivory

A reader has fallen in love with the scarf below, on the left, and was wondering how it could be used as the basis for a travel capsule wardrobe. I love these colors:

Two scarves, in navy, ivory and hot pink
Square scarf – Irene Paris; wrap – Nordstrom

In a World of Chaos...

Two scarves and a color scheme wheel, in navy, ivory and hot pink
Square scarf – Irene Paris; wrap – Nordstrom

She likes straight lines. Corners. She's actually unnaturally fond of squares. Which is fine, since she's an architect...

cool-weather travel outfit in navy and ivory
Square scarf – Irene Paris; tee – Lands’ End; earrings – Marc Jacobs
cardigan – Yumi; jeans – Armani Jeans; watch – Bulova
tote – London Fog; loafers – Vionic; suitcase – Lojel

For the longest time, she thought that the only way to indulge her fondness for regular shapes was through her work. She knew her color scheme perfectly: the navy, ivory and light blue of the suits and shirts of her male co-workers, paired with her favorite lip and nail color. But gradually, she saw squares and lines make their way into her wardrobe:

six-pack six item suitcase in navy, hot pink and ivory
Wrap – Nordstrom; tees – Lands’ End; nail polish – JINsoon; 
lip stain – Yves Saint Laurent, in Explicit Pink; ring – Maiko Nagayama
necklace – Alexis Bittar; earrings – Kate Spade; cardigan – Vince
 shirt – Uniqlo; pumps – SoftWalk; skirt – Uniqlo; cords – Marni
 small scarf – T.M.Lewin; bracelet – Panacea; flats – Anne Klein

She loved the way it all came together when she had to pack for those last-minute client meetings:

travel capsule wardrobe for cool weather, in navy, hot pink and ivory

2 outfits in navy, hot pink and white, including dark-wash jeans

2 outfits in navy, hot pink and white, including navy corduroy pants

2 outfits in navy, hot pink and white, including a navy skirt

To her, it felt like the better she became at her job, the clearer her personal style became. IT was a synchronicity of aesthetics that delighted both the structural and the artistic sides of her architectural spirit.

A travel capsule wardrobe for cool weather in a navy, ivory, and hot pink color palette
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!


  1. Navy is my core neutral but I resit pink. I do like this a lot, however.

  2. This looks very professional, but only if those tops are very fine fabric. Otherwise they could make the whole look turn way too casual. Ditto with the cardigan. If it's silk, it could be fantastic, but something that seems too much like a shapeless sweater would look frumpy fast.

  3. I'm fascinated by the pink in the Irene Paris scarf- it IS that stronger pink and yet the colour has made to look so much softer and subtle in that scarf. Love the look overall also- all squared off and all.

  4. I'm just coming back to say, the truncating issue must have been website/blog related becasue I can now see full posts in Feedly today on my work PC as well. Thanks, Janice, for whatever you did to sort it out;it is greatly appreciated. Kate

  5. I could live in this - lightbulb moment for me, I love the straight lines. Also, a scarf called 'Irene', what's not to like?

  6. Your attention to details like subtly using squares throughout (especially that RING!) is enough to keep an inner smile going all day long.

  7. Beautiful colors! and the pictures are coming through feedly again. Thank you so much!

  8. I wear these colors! Mid-tone to dark clean cool colors, brightened with ivory. Perfect!

  9. Love this color scheme! Could you please do this in a 4x4 with navy and ivory as the neutrals?

  10. I notice the navy cardigan does have fasteners in the front. Thanks! I love this whole set. For me I would trade out the pink for a shade of green. Lovely.

  11. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!! This is me. So excited to see this capsule today. Please expand to a more casual wardrobe and more hot pink pieces. I have pieces in my wardrobe that can give me a similar look? I love pink and have quite a few more items, but what are the right additional pieces that you would add Janice?

    Angela, Perth Australia

  12. I really like that scarf and the fuchsia you have picked to add zest and warmth to a more sedate colour scheme.
    Deb from Vancouver

  13. Love this! I'd need to substitute white for the ivory, but this makes for such a nice travel capsule. In checking out the scarf, I fell down the rabbit hole of scarves on the Wolf & Badger site - too lovely!! - nancyo

  14. Practical yet the pink gives it spirit and flair. Could work with black as well. I love the focus on squares in the jewelry!

  15. It's uncanny how you are able to put yourself into others' mind-sets! I am a retired architect and find these sooooo appealing! Glad to see you even got the balance right - only one skirt, since most days architects are required to climb a ladder or two! :-)

  16. Well I just packed for a four-day trip using your travel wardrobes as a guide, and I'm so thrilled by how I was able to pack! My husband and I fit into one suitcase! (Except for my bras... Grumble grumble!) Thank you so much :-)