Monday, September 12, 2016

Capsule Wardrobe Color Palette - A Drop of Wine, with 6 Neutral Colors

Many of you have asked me how to integrate an accent color into a neutral wardrobe; this is my attempt to give you some suggestions, and a gentle bit of guidance.

Let's assume, for the sake of conversation, that you have your core ensemble for cooler weather, in your favorite neutral:


Olive green foundation capsule wardrobe
TeeJ. Crew; pants – L.L.Bean
 cardigan – H&M; boots – Sarto

Some of these are easier to assemble than others; if olive green is your favorite neutral, you're not going to see yourself coming and going on the streets...


grey foundation capsule wardrobe
Sweater – J. Crew; pants – J. Crew
cardigan – J. Crew; boots – Corso Como

I've put together a few ensembles in more "business-y" looks, and others that are more casual. You can alter your personal neutral outfit to suit your preferences and your lifestyle!


Camel beige foundation capsule wardrobe
Tee - ATM; cords - Closed
cardigan – L.L.Bean; boots – Seychelles

All colors don't have to be absolutely dye-lot matched, but they should look as if they all woke up in the same closet together...


Navy blue foundation capsule wardrobe
tee – J. Crew; pants – L.L.Bean;
cardigan – Uniqlo; boots – Franco Sarto

Honestly, if brown is your favorite color, I wish you endless patience; why there isn't more brown clothing in the world is an ongoing mystery to me!


Brown foundation capsule wardrobe
Sweater – J. Crew; pants – L.L.Bean;
 cardigan – Iris von Arnim; boots – Cole HaanHaan

Why yes, this black ensemble is drawn entirely from my closet! This is the perfect core upon which I should build...


Black foundation capsule wardrobe
Tee – L.L.Bean; pants – L.L.Bean
cardigan – L.L.Bean; boots – Munro

Okay, now that we can clearly envision the core neutrals, let's see what kind of fun we can have with a couple of pieces of wine/burgundy/maroon clothing. (and a scarf, just to make the page arrangement asymmetric...)


Capsule wardrobe colour palette inspiration - a drop of wine with 6 neutral colors
tee – L.L.Bean; scarf – Dorothy Perkins; cardigan – Uniqlo

To each of these pairs of outfits, I've added 5 more accessories: earrings, a bag, a pair of boots, a scarf, and a bracelet. These pieces can be moved around as you prefer...

(you might notice, but I want to point out specifically, that Frye and Fossil have a LOT of nice leather goods in this shade...) 

AND... if your birthday is in January, the lovely garnet is your birthstone. Garnets are the perfect stone for this color scheme, and they're never hideously expensive...


Capsule wardrobe colour palette inspiration - a drop of wine with olive
Earrings – Laundry by Shelli Segal; cardigan – Uniqlo; teeJ. Crew
pants – L.L.Bean; bag – Fossil; wine boots – BP.
scarf – Betmar; olive cardigan – H&M; bracelet – Henri Bendel
 wine tee – L.L.Bean; olive boots – Sarto


Capsule wardrobe colour palette inspiration - a drop of wine with grey
Earrings – Sukartini; cardigan – Uniqlo; sweater J. Crew;
 pants – J. Crew; bag – Zulily; wine boots – BP.
 scarf – BCBG Max Azria; tee – L.L.Bean; grey cardigan – J. Crew
bracelet – Ritu; wine tee – L.L.Bean; grey boots – Corso Como


Capsule wardrobe colour palette inspiration - a drop of wine with camel
Earrings – Khun Boom; wine cardigan – Uniqlo; camel tee - ATM
cords - Closed; bag – Fossil; wine boots – BP.;  
scarf – Treasure&Bone; camel cardigan – L.L.Bean; bracelet – Khun Boom
 wine tee – L.L.Bean; camel boots – Seychelles


Capsule wardrobe colour palette inspiration - a drop of wine with navy
Earrings – Maria Llanes; wine cardigan – Uniqlo; navy tee – J. Crew
pants – L.L.Bean; bag – If Bags; wine boots – BP.
 scarf – Ben Sherman; navy cardigan - Uniqlo; bracelet – Maria Huerta
 wine tee – L.L.Bean; navy boots – Franco Sarto


Capsule wardrobe colour palette inspiration - a drop of wine with brown
Earrings – Latelita London; wine cardigan – Uniqlo; brown sweater  J. Crew
pants – L.L.Bean; wristlet – Frye; wine boots – BP.
scarf – Faliero Sarti; wine tee – L.L.Bean; brown cardigan –  Iris von Arnim
bracelet – Ice.combrown boots – Cole Haan


Capsule wardrobe colour palette inspiration - a drop of wine with black
Earrings – Tiara; wine cardigan – Uniqlo; tee – L.L.Bean
pants – L.L.Bean; bag – Frye; wine boots – BP.
 scarf – Helen Ruth; cardigan – L.L.Bean; bracelet – Platadepalo;  
wine tee – L.L.Bean; black boots – Munro

My thought is to take these same 6 core outfits and try all sorts of accent colors. Next up would be rust, then gold, then teal.... maybe plum....

And of course I could look into some bright colors.... AND some pastels....

What do you think?
love,
Janice


Capsule wardrobe colour palette inspiration - a drop of wine with 6 neutral colors
Like this post? Save it to Pinterest!

49 comments:

  1. That was so much fun! Do it again! And Again! Emerald Green, Rose, Yellow, Blue Violet - I want All The Colors.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like what you said about not seeing yourself coming and going in olive green. It's a hard color to find, and not that easy to wear, but that just makes it more special.
    Can one be a minimalist and still have several accent colors? It's so hard to choose. And it's so hard to find The Right Thing in the colors you want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being a minimalist just means not feeling like you have too much! If multiple accent colors is pleasing to you, and if you use what you have, then you're still fine. All we really should strive for is to be happy, without being wasteful, and without damaging anything (living or dead) around us. I'm sure you can wear multiple accents in a way that's both beautiful and kind.
      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
  3. It certainly shows how two pieces of clothing in an accent colour can go a long way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a lot of power in making good choices, isn't there?
      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
  4. Janice, this series might be the making of me! I know that I should concentrate on buying more neutrals for my wardrobe, but I so love a splash of colour! This will help me see how practical neutrals are but also how they don't need to be boring if I add the right accents. Looking forward to seeing more permutations - and more inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everything about dressing well and easily is much smoother once you have that core of neutrals in place. It's not the most exciting shopping, but it is arguably the most important!
      Courage, my friend...
      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
  5. Great new series. Love that you've mixed both casual and dressy into the core items and have such a good variety of toppers. Please keep showing toppers other than basic cardigans (which are easy to envision and shop for). Pushing out of my comfort zone is less scary when you show how it can be done and look so good! It will be interesting to see how other accent colors work with each of the neutrals.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am in the process of revamping my cool weather wardrobe, and wouldn't you know I've decided my best neutrals are olive and brown, the two hardest ones to find! You continue to come up with the most interesting and useful series. I would never have thought to pair brown and burgundy, and it looks fantastic! I'm looking forward to seeing more of this series, especially with the plum, which is a color I've just started adding to my wardrobe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too would prefer brown or olive but have so much black because my preferences have been so difficult to locate. Last week a shop owner tlld me he would never stock brown items. Thanks Janice for this post. I have decided ....no more black. I am going to try harder to find my favorites.

      Delete
    2. I also switched from brown as my core neutral to black for the same reason. It is so much easier to build and maintain a coherent wardrobe. I rely on scarves, gold jewellery, and warm accents to pull black into my color season. Cornelia

      Delete
    3. I don't know that I can blame a store owner for avoiding brown; we've all been so brainwashed that we HAVE to wear black... until a number of women decide to disobey that order, stocking brown in a store is risky. That said, a little variety would be nice.

      30 years ago, women had fewer options in terms of work and life, but we had a much wider range of clothing choices. Now that more doors open every day to us in the rest of our lives, we're more and more pressured to dress alike. Foolish....

      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
    4. I have seen more olive clothing in the stores recently than ever before. Maybe it is the new "in" color this fall! I would love to see more brown too!

      Delete
    5. Me too. Yellowish camel (not reddish camel even) should be my neutral but too hard to find in plus sizes so black/grey/white for many of my clothes. Carol S

      Delete
  7. I would love to see wine included as 7th neutral.....!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Such a great lesson for a Monday morning! I'm interested in as many colours as you want to show - I'm a pretty good minimalist with my core neutrals (black, grey, navy) but I admit that I'm a sucker for all the lovely accent colours out there.
    Now that it is finally starting to cool down in Toronto (at least a bit) I'm going to start going through my Fall/Winter clothing and this post gives me a really good idea of wha to look for in order to update things for this year.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'd love to see a vibrant plum color, Janice. Like Pantone's 'Bodacious.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh, that's going to show up when I get to bright accents. The plum that I'm including is a really dark, rich purple. It took a couple of hours just to find the shoes...
      but I'll get to brights, I promise! Some gloomy days, a bright accent is almost essential!
      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
    2. These shoes:
      https://www.fluevog.com/shop/4441-malibran-dark-purple?gender=women&size=

      Delete
    3. Oh my monitor, those look burgundy, like they would be great with this wardrobe. The limitations of computers keep us from all speaking the same color language, I'm afraid...
      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
  10. Janice,
    I am sitting here clapping my hands ( between typing, of course ) ! My core neutrals for the cooler months are olive green, tan, and brown . And --- my birthday is in January, so garnet colored accents are right up my alley ! The other accent colors you mentioned -- definitely yes, please ! Brown is elusive for sure, especially when trying to find printed tops that include warm brown and tans. I saw a top on a lady the other day that answered my search for the availability of such an item, so it's apparently out there somewhere !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, if I see someone wearing something that I admire and would like to own (or show on The Vivienne Files), I'll ask them where it's from. It has just become that challenging; and it's never wrong to tell a woman that you admire her taste and her appearance...
      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
    2. I was just going to write that this must be especially for me, because I LOVE olive and burgundy together, and I have a January birthday and a few nice pieces of garnet jewelry. So Hi Shrebee, and thank you Janice!

      Delete
  11. This is going to be a fun series!! I love this approach of having a core wardrobe in neutrals, then having a selection of "add-on" items in accent colors! This is going to be so fun and so helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Replies
    1. Well, I have to FINISH it first... I've had some serious health/fatigue problems, and I am using that as my excuse for not working on the book.
      Weasel-ish, but true...
      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
    2. That's not weaselish, that is human. Sending all the best healing vibes in my power.

      Deb from Vancouver

      Delete
  13. Hi Janice, I echo the others, what a fun series this will be and soooo helpful! My neutrals for winter are navy and this same sable/light brown color you have here. Can't wait for the teal accents! Also would love to see the beautiful blue you feature in your 12-months series for the Hermes Voyage de Pytheas scarf and the lovely Aqua for the Hermes Cheval Mirage scarf. Also how about peach/pink and yellow accents, oh and definitely coral. Yes! and also, when is your book coming out? Janice Collins, Washington DC

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you! Upstairs in my bedroom, as I type, awaits a pile of "dressing room" items to choose from for the upcoming cooler months. My core neutrals are navy and grey, and this fall I'm determined to add burgundy accents. You have reminded me, once again -- I am a slow learner -- that beyond a solid burgundy tee and dress, what I really need is a necklace and a scarf to go with the bracelet and blazer I already have. I don't know why I have such a hard time buying accessories for myself! Is it because those feel more like they should be gifts from someone else rather than a logical, personally-accomplished wardrobe decision? Hmmm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Lori,

      GARNET EARRINGS. They change everything...

      And yes, accessories feel like gifts. It wouldn't be the worst thing to put together a "wish list" and circulate it among your loved ones before any gift-y holiday. I know that Belovedest is usually pretty happy to have some specific direction for nice gifts...

      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
  15. This wine color turns out to be so versatile! I am looking forward to teal and plum, but also maybe some cooler accents. Dark red and fuchsia are two of my cold weather colors. - nancyo

    ReplyDelete
  16. OMG those Helen Ruth scarves! Absolutely stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  17. WOW these are now ALL my favorite colors! Thanks dear :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Silly woman, ALL colors are your favorite - you're an ARTIST...
      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
  18. I can't believe how much the wine color just makes the olive just come alive! I recently bought a pair of olive jeans, wasn't sure what to do with them..but now a sweater is in my plan. Can't wait to see how the other colors work. Thanks Jancice

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is going to be unbelievably helpful. Wine/Burgundy is one of my accents. Thank you for doing this collection. Would you consider Coral or Royal Blue as well? Love me some bright colors. Also, you mentioned that this would work well for the January birthstone. Would you consider doing a whole birthstone series? Have an awesome accessory and work backwards type thing? Could be brilliant!

    You're work, as always, was inspiring. Thank you.

    Brittany
    Los Angeles

    ReplyDelete
  20. God bless you, Janice. Olive and burgundy. Camel and burgundy. Two combinations that I wore as a young woman and eventually forgot. As I matured, I turned to black and gray, two colors that aren't as flattering to me, but looked "mature." When I was young, I wasn't thinking about a core wardrobe and colors that were good for me. I just wore what I liked! Lo and behold, I was gravitating toward the right things. And now, I am returning to those colors. Love these combos.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are so right about olive and brown being difficult to find. It's frustrating for a brown haired, brown-eyed girl. You can usually find a grayish green, but chocolate is missing in action. Navy-you can find it anywhere, anytime, any season.-Theresa

    ReplyDelete
  22. Or you could pretend teal is a neutral and still use your accent colours. How elegant it could look with these burgundy accessoires or how much fun it can be with fuchsia. Or imagine some light blue accessoires...

    Janice, I love what you´re doing here and I´d be very delighted to read a book you wrote. Most of all, though, you need to take care of yourself and your health. I hope you´re feeling okay. And I´m writing this for all selfish reasons since I´d love to come back here again and again and get to get a peek inside your brilliant mind. : )

    Inra

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you for this lovely post and always providing us with links on where to buy. I do so appreciate it. Questions. About the black llbean pants, do you need to replace them annually when wearing weekly? Do you find boot cut to be better or worse than original cut? About the Munro boots, they look lovely, is there a cushion insole? I find that I cannot wear my Clarks more than 4 hours before they hurt. The signature cotton modal tee, why not get that in black as well? Or do you prefer the other one you linked to the black? I have many questions so that I can purchase some basic wardrobe staples with good value for the money. Thank you. Andrea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smart questions - thanks for taking the time to do so! I'm actually going to put together a page of where to buy my favorite core wardrobe items... But to answer you now, (1) no, you don't have to replace anything on a regular schedule; things get replaced when they start to look bad. I've found that Woolite for Dark Colors has done a lot to keep my mountain of black clothes looking good for a lot longer than they might otherwise have done. (2) I don't like boot cut, but I'm not sure why; it's just a question of personal preference. I like things trim at the ankle, but for those who prefer other things, go for it. There's no single right answer for that one, except to love what you wear. (3) My Munro boots are NOT super-cushioned; that's never been a problem for me, for some reason. There is enough room for a thin insole or orthotic. Shoes can be tricky, and comfort beats prettiness EVERY DAY. and (4) tee shirts. I tend to buy 1 tee, test-drive it, and then buy 6. I can wear a black long-sleeved tee shirt every day for a week in the winter... I've been buying L.L.Bean recently, because a few years ago I bought six different tee shirts from 6 companies, wore them in rotation, and kept a record of which lasted the longest and looked best after.... a year, or maybe 18 months? It was a long time ago... But the Bean shirt won, no questions. If their quality has changed, this experiment could yield different results now, but at the time the winning choice was clear. I sometimes show different tee shirts here because of the difficulty in finding the perfect color, or because I want to show a variety of silhouettes, so that all of my readers might see something that feels familiar for them.
      Whew!
      I hope this helps a little bit; I'll post a notice when I get that "Shopping for Basics" page completed.
      big hug,
      Janice

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your quick and thorough reply!! Andrea

      Delete
  24. I love this very much. Perhaps, when this series is over, you can work on integrating an accent into a dual-neutral capsule or outfit. I often find myself wearing two of my neutrals (blue jeans, gray sweater and shoes) and then wanting an accent. That's harder for me to coordinate. Your work is lovely as usual. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hurrah! The intricacy of thinking behind this post is awesome Janice. At the same time, the immediate impression is, 'What a great idea!'
    Thank you for choosing wine for the first of what is clearly going to be a very popular series. I now see how I could wear more often my little garnet earrings (Yesssss!), bought years ago as a souvenir of a lovely holiday in Prague. Just one or two other items in that colour would give them point and make them shine.
    Looking forward to whatever else you show us next. You make every colour sing, even mustard!
    Robyn in Tasmania

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't Prague the best place to buy garnet jewelry? When I was there for business, years ago, I wasn't aware of that fact, and I was completely unprepared. Thus, I left empty-handed, and I still regret it...
      And of course mustard sings - anything that delectable deserves some careful attention!
      hugs,
      Janice

      Delete
  26. Amazing how that wine dolor goes with everything! I need to re-look at that color to see if I can pull it off! Can't wait to see other accent colors! What a great exercise! I would love to see red and cobalt blue too!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wonderful idea for a series! I used it to plan trip packing by picking two neutrals (olive and navy)and added the burgundy accent pieces. I like olive and navy together so they combine well. When you do mustard that could go in as a second accent...you make life so fun! Thank you for the olive, it is a wonderful basic to go with all the fall colors.

    ps you have already written a book! All your past posts make wonderful reading for me. I like to research a color before/after I buy something new to see all the options you inspire.I make a little list and hang it on the hanger of the item to remind me when I am in a hurry. I try to remember to make a column of one color, either on the first layer, or the second layer as you did in these posts.That one tip was so valuable to me.

    ReplyDelete