Friday, November 04, 2016

Expanding a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Night Study of Flowers by Maurice Prendergast

When you're looking for color and style ideas for updating a capsule wardrobe, always remember that the world is FULL of beautiful paintings:


Expanding a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Night Study of Flowers by Maurice Prendergast
Night Study of Flowers by Maurice Prendergast

Even though I'm pretty certain that I'm going to struggle to find green garments of this soft, subtle tone, I have to include it in the color palette! But when you encounter real road-blocks in find things that are perfect in your wardrobe, you just have to be patient, or learn to sew/knit. Worse hobbies exist!

Expanding a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Night Study of Flowers by Maurice Prendergast

A reminder that these are the capsule wardrobe "essentials" around which we're building:

Minimal French Capsule Wardrobe building blocks

And a reminder that these simple wardrobe essentials (in whatever color palette is truly essential for YOU) give you plenty of options:

Minimal French Capsule Wardrobe building blocks

I really love this color, and firmly believe that almost anyone can wear some version of it! It's sort of the color of a blush...

Pink clothing items for a capsule wardrobe
sweater - A.P.C.; earrings – Alexis Bittar (sold out)

These modest additions to your core wardrobe yield lots of benefits:

Capsule Wardrobe inspired by Art: Night Study of Flowers by Maurice Prendergast

My fears about the green color were well-founded; it's a color that's very difficult to find in nice garments! I'm really not sure why, given the enormous amount of clothing in our world, every color isn't represented at least a little bit...

But evaluating the merits of charcoal grey in a capsule wardrobe is easier, and ends up looking really rich and subtle; if I ever manage to escape my fondness for black, this is where I will wander TO:



Grey capsule wardrobe clothing items

The luscious grey scarf is currently on sale, and the boots are billed as "comfort"....

The grey pieces complement the building block garments really well:


Minimal French Capsule Wardrobe building blocks

As I said a few days ago, if you find that an experiment with a new neutral turns out to be much more appealing that what you've been currently using as your core, it's worth considering a change of "essential" garments. In this case, our heroine would be one of those people who find wearing warmer colors difficult, and who in turn discovers that grey is ideal for her.

In that case, swapping out a couple of pieces for some grey would be a really intelligent choice; the number of outfit options doesn't diminish, and the simple core wardrobe reflects more accurately personal preference!

Minimal French Capsule Wardrobe building blocks


The more I work with this idea, the more I can see the real intelligence and practicality of conducting small "experiments" within a wardrobe. If you find a new accent color - great! And if you learn that you are happier with a different configuration of neutral colors - that's REALLY great!

And because the purchase made are limited, and have a clear plan, you don't end up wasting a small fortune if you find that something that you briefly liked turns out not to be a long-term attachment.

It's sort of like wardrobe dating!

love,
Janice


Capsule Wardrobe inspired by Art: Night Study of Flowers by Maurice Prendergast
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22 comments:

  1. This series is so helpful! I am currently attempting to reduce the amount of black in my wardrobe and add more warm neutrals, so the idea of doing it gradually appeals to me. BTW, check out one of my favorite sites called Coldwater Creek and search for both "agave" and "sage", which are shades of green that should work for both of your art-based capsule wardrobe posts this week.

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  2. Since I'm retired (at least for the next few months) I've found myself in more casual clothes - blue jeans and grey jeans and now find that I'm a bit short on certain items - like casual shirts. I have plenty of office clothing, and while I can work in some tops with the jeans, I do find that I need a few more items than anticipated. It is also forcing a bit of a move away from black so it is the perfect time to work in a new accent colour - perhaps a bit more pink and a chambray blue or more soft grey. It is good to see just a few pieces adds so many options.
    PS - I think you are a bit ahead of the curve - apparently that soft green will be showing up in clothes more come the Spring - it's already quite evident in soft furnishings. I did notice that Talbots had a bit more greens than I'd noticed in other shops but it may be a bit darker than what you had in mind.

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  3. This could not have been an easy combination to find. That dusty pink is unusual, but subtle and lovely. I don't think I have seen many items in this shade.

    I have been transitioning my wardrobe from grey and black (I couldn't believe how much I had,) to warmer neutrals tan, cream and brown. Yet I couldn't afford to simply eliminate all the black and buy a whole new wardrobe. So I've been adding things in gradually and, sometimes, inexpensively, using tops, especially tee's, and jewelry that I have. So happy that I didn't start from scratch because some combinations have worked out beautifully. Grey and tan, black with a golden leopard shell, camel slacks with my old black sweater and gold cuff. The combos have been endless and so much fun to put together. Your suggestions have been invaluable and saved me a bundle.

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    1. Camel and black is DELICIOUS together, and black with brown (and brown leather) always looks really rich and striking to my eye. It's a great transition that you're making - enjoy the process!
      Happy Friday Cubs party hugs,
      Janice

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    2. Was so happy for your Cubs. Reminded me of my Red Sox when they broke the curse. Congrats.

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  4. Janice,
    I am loving the concept and versatility of three base neutrals ! It is pretty much how I have planned my wardrobe and how I travel pack with two accent colors. Sometimes I wait for years until my Autumn colors show up for purchase ! And then I grab them up !

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    1. I agree. I also work with three base neutrals and a couple of accent colors. I am in my glory now stocking up on all things burgundy and olive! It's so much fun when your color is widely available and there is such a great selection. It really can feel like feast or famine some years.

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    2. Lena,
      I added burgundy last year as one of my winter neutrals, for the very first time. Now I am working with tan, either a rust brown or a darker brown, olive, and burgundy bases from which to choose. Recently I have found some patterned tops to go with the burgundy. One combines burgundy and salmon -- a combination that would not have occurred to me. My bug-a-boo is always to find the tops in prints or patterns that combine at least one neutral plus a chosen accent color , in a medium print size. Large prints overwhelm my medium frame.

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  5. Wardrobe dating. So clever, I'm still smiling! Has the wordsmith in you considered writing short stories as a separate blog? I, for one, would certainly enjoy reading of your heroine's adventures - and deciding what to wear or pack to achieve desired outcomes qualifies as a bonafide plot line in my book!

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  6. I love the way you find lighter/darker shades of the same color, as you did with the blush items. It expands the choices available.

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  7. That blush colour is so flattering and mystical and hard to find which makes it like a unicorn!!
    My challenge is picking 3 base neutrals! So many options!
    Deb from Vancouver

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  8. Lovely combinations. Too bad you couldn't find green. That softer shade would be a great color to blend with most neutrals. It is not easy to find in fabric either, though.

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  9. So, Janice, I'm waiting for Monday's post, Chic Sightings, based on today. "Blue paired with white seems to be the color of the day, and pinstripes add a dash of pattern." ;) Seriously, I hope you enjoyed the day, no matter where you were situated. Maybe you could see the crowds from your windows?

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    1. OH, that crowd was SO unchic. But they are happy, good-natured, excited, and very very proud of the Cubs. I walked out for a bit, but just didn't feel equal to the crush, so I watched on my computer.

      Now that I face the lake, we don't see the big crowds. When Obama was first elected, 8 years ago, we could hear the crowds in our apartment, in unison with hearing it on television. It was amazing...

      hugs,
      Janice

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  10. Charcoal is such a great neutral! - nancyo

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  11. There are some lovely green items in the spring/ summer clothing in our stores here in New Zealand. It could be worth checking southern hemisphere stores for colours that are not currently showing in the wintry northern hemisphere.

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  12. Thank you, Janice! This is my perfect color scheme -- so often baby blue is offered rather than the gray-green. Thank you for all the work you put into these vignettes.

    Cyntia

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  13. Janice, I don't know if you've yet discovered this company or not, but Kettlewell has a glorious color palette of basic tops and bottoms... you might be able to find the perfect shade of green within their items... ? http://www.kettlewellcolours.co.uk/season/summer

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  14. http://www.kettlewellcolours.co.uk/season/summer/peacock
    .
    http://www.kettlewellcolours.co.uk/season/summer/soft-teal

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  15. I confess to having had no idea which sport the Cubs played until last night's news - in tiny, far distant Tasmania - showed the big celebrating crowds in the streets. Go Cubs!

    We had news of your presidential election eight years ago in a little local tea house. A fellow imbiber was following the results on his phone. When he confirmed it, we all cheered and drank a toast to America's future.

    Back in the present, I'm delighted with this strategy for expanding my common wardrobe, and with these colours. A soft green can indeed be hard to find but worth waiting for, for those of us with green eyes. I've had luck with an op shop find a few weeks ago, and bought some pretty greenstone earrings as a souvenir of our recent NZ holiday. Patience, never my strong point, is inspired by your approach.

    Robyn in Tasmania

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  16. What email adddress can I use to contact Janice? I am smalotky@wi.rr.com

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  17. I too love this "wardrobe dating" approach! So much more realistic for most of us! This is also great for shopping your current wardrobe. Thank you Janice!

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