Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Capsule Wardrobe Color Palette - A Dab of Mustard, with 6 Neutral Colors

I'm still looking for nice pieces in rust (russet? warm red?), so I decided to skip that color for now and head directly into deep gold!

What to call this color? When you're searching for things like this online, try gold, yellow, mustard, and saffron, for a start; I'm sure that there are lots of outlandish color names that I missed. Why do companies believe that calling something "burnished autumn" is going to help potential buyers find their stuff?

This isn't an easy color to wear, but it's present in so many school colors that you see it fairly often in the US in the autumn. (if you're from outside the US, please note that many people here take high school and college football - American football - very seriously, and dress in their school colors A LOT...)

So let's see how this works!

A tee shirt, cardigan and pair of loafers in mustard/gold
tee - J. Crew; cardigan - J.Crew; loafers - Tod's

I think it makes more sense to put the loafers here in the initial accessory "purchase," don't you?

Wearing mustard and olive green together - 2 ideas
earrings - Ann Taylor; cardigan - J.Crew; olive tee - J. Crew;
pants - L.L.Bean; bag - Dsquared2; loafers -
scarf - Pistil; olive cardigan - H&M; bracelet - Henri Bendel; tee -
J. Crew;
boots - Sarto

The olive and mustard together work REALLY well, which isn't surprising. They share a warm base, and a certain depth and intensity of color. And I think that for most people who like olive, mustard might be equally flattering...

Wearing mustard and grey together - 2 ideas
Earrings - Carolee; cardigan - J.Crew; grey tee - J.Crew;
pants - J.Crew; bag - Henri Bendel; loafers -
scarf - Suzusan; grey cardigan - J.Crew; bracelet - Aurelie Bidermann;
tee -
J. Crew; boots - Corso Como

Grey and mustard feel really balanced, to me. I found that these outfits "came together" with fewer accent pieces than usual. It's not something that I can put my finger on, but when I tried to include mustard earrings, or a bracelet, it just felt too... mustardy... 

How to wear bright gold and brown together - 2 ideas
earrings - JCPenney; cardigan - J.Crew; tee - ATM;
cords - Closed; bag - Esin Akan; loafers -
scarf - Jean Paul Gaultier Vintage; camel cardigan - L.L.Bean;
bracelet - Carolina Bucci; tee -
J. Crew; boots - Seychelles

I didn't expect to like the mustard with this light brown, but I'm beginning to love it!

How to wear navy and gold together - two ideas
earrings - Oscar de la Renta; cardigan - J.Crew; tee - J.Crew;
pants - L.L.Bean; bag - Clare V.; loafers -
scarf - Yazi; navy cardigan- Uniqlo; bracelet - Charming Charlie;
tee -
J. Crew; boots - Franco Sarto

The navy and mustard looks great - if I were to ever return to my high school, these would be idea!

Wearing brown and gold together - two ideas
earrings - Jonesy Wood; cardigan - J.Crew; brown sweater- J.Crew;
pants - L.L.Bean; backpack - Patricia Nash; loafers -
scarf - La Fiorentina; brown cardigan - Iris von Arnim; bracelet - Origins;
tee -
J. Crew; boots - Cole Haan

Brown and mustard (which here should be called gold - don't ask me why) just scream AUTUMN to me... and that's a lovely thing to contemplate...

This last grouping is difficult for me, because the black pieces are all things that I own. I don't believe that I look good in mustard, but I do believe that this gorgeous scarf could help quite a bit; a beautiful scarf can tie things together in unexpected ways!

Wearing black and mustard together - two ideas
scarf - Etro; cardigan -J.Crew; tee - L.L.Bean;
pants - L.L.Bean; boots - Munro; earrings - Anna & Ava;
cardigan - L.L.Bean; bracelet - Diane von Furstenberg; tee -
J. Crew;
loafers -

In the last ensemble, I moved the shoes around, and change up the order of the accessories. I did this partly to reflect how I might wear these pieces, and also just to demonstrate the options that you have when you add just a few "accent" pieces to your wardrobe.

It's worth remembering that gold metal can work well as a supplemental accessory if you chose to add gold/mustard clothing to your wardrobe!


Capsule wardrobe colour palette inspiration - a dab of mustard yellow with 6 neutral colors
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  1. Some really good options here. A colour that I can take pleasure in watching other people wear :)

  2. Colour names are so arbitrary! If you image-google "Mustard sweater" you get everything from neon yellow to army-green. Mustard for me personally would be a much warmer more "curry" or "brownish" yellow, which I like to wear with navy and white. This cardigan here I would just call yellow (lemon, maybe ...) , definately not mustard :)

  3. Even if you don't want to WEAR yellow/mustard/gold, you can get that bright accent with accessories like shoes and bag. I have seen some striking examples of women wearing basic outfits that don't look basic thanks to some really eye-catching accessories. The fashion police had a ban on matching shoes and bag a few years ago, but based on what I've seen lately, that "rule" went out the window.

  4. I love how two or three accent pieces can have so much versatility within a neutral capsule. I do still struggle to get complete core pieces in all my neutral colours though and even more problems sourcing the exact shade and matching accessories of a favourite accent colour (e.g. mulberry).
    I can't wear mustard yellows or olive greens or any colour that is 'muddy', but I do think they look lovely together. As aside, the yellow items do remind me of our English mustard. Sharon, UK.

  5. I wear mustard sparingly - the richer deeper version, and then only on the bottom. I have mustard corduroys that I love and wear with my core neutrals. It looks especially great with denim, and I love gray with mustard. It can also work as a (small) part of a patterned top. I have a gray cardigan with mustard stripes that I can wear.
    Janice, didn't you do a series last year on incorporating accent colors in don't flatter you, through accessories? - nancyo

  6. School colors - ahhh. I own a lone piece of bright orange to wear only when attending a football or basketball game at the local university. Even though the school colors are blue and orange, to show up in anything other than orange would be an outrage. Personally, orange makes me look like I have the flu, but sitting in the stadium on game day amongst 10 or 20 thousand other fans wearing orange it makes quite a statement. Even walking to and from the car it is much better to be wearing your own team's color!

  7. Janice,
    I agree with Rikke, as my mustard has to be more toned down and more "brownish " , like spicy brown mustard, rather than bright golden mustard. My mustard looks great with olive, browns and tans.

  8. I agree that this is more of a golden yellow than what I think of as mustard. A muted mustard is one of my best colors (more so than a bright gold) and I wear it often with black. (I don't look like a bumblebee either.) A black and gold ensemble can look rich and sophisticated.

  9. Ochre is another name for this color!

  10. This is such a happy color! Smiling Daisy happy. Warm, sunshine-y day happy. Yellow Labrador puppy happy. Makes me pout because I know that it would look terrible near my face. I take solace in your consistent advice that if there is a unflattering accent color that we want to include in our wardrobe to simply wear it away from the face. That makes those Tod's loafers hard to say no to. I think I'll just have to include them on my Christmas wish list.

    Fabulous job as always.

    Los Angeles

  11. That yellow is more versatile than I thought it would be! Not a color I wear but I do admire it on others. Loving this series!

  12. I have a pair of suede espadrilles in this colour and I love wearing them in the summer, sunshine on my feet.
    Deb from Vancouver

  13. Brittany nails it for me ... What a happy golden yellow. If I'd known yesterday what was in store for today, I'd not have been so rude about mustard - you've got me bang to rights, sister! :)
    I was thinking of the dingy Dijon mustard colour (though yummy to eat) but this bright English mustard is a delight. A recent newspaper interview here was with a woman who wears black all the time ('I *am* from Melbourne,' she explained), and carries a bright yellow bag as her statement piece. She looked wonderful.
    I'll settle for gold jewellery but I'm so happy to be shown these possibilities!
    Robyn in Tasmania

    1. Yay for happy colors!

      Los Angeles

  14. PS That Yazi 'Diamonds of Arabia' scarf is lovely. Wouldn't it be great too with some of the beachy sand + soft blue capsules. Dreaming of Araby ... Robyn

  15. Do you ever start with jewelry? Like a gorgeous pair of opal earrings, for instance?

  16. I absolutely love the combinations!