Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Expanding a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: The Bathers by Paul Cezanne

I've been assured by my experts that, as much as WE all understand that "Start with Art" means "building beautiful capsule and travel wardrobes using the colors and styles found in fine art," nobody else in the Google universe knows what we're doing... and that keeps new readers from finding The Vivienne Files. That, my friends, is bad... So I'm trying to name my posts in a more "search-friendly" way. We shall see how this works!

But the beauty is here, no matter what. After seeing so much art in Italy, I just HAVE to do a couple of small art-based wardrobes...

This just screams of nature, warmth, and organic fabrics in lovely faded dyes:

The Bathers by Paul Cezanne
The Bathers by Paul Cezanne

The colors here were very straightforward:

The Bathers by Paul Cezanne, with a style description and color palette.

As has been my recent approach, I'm starting with a minimal, classic wardrobe of items that many of us already own:

a minimal classic wardrobe of 9 pieces, in black, white, denim and khaki

Just a reminder of the possibilities already here...


This beautiful soft blue will blend so well with both denim and khaki, and can also be worn effectively with black. And this necklace... mmmm....


Without even looking at black, you've already got at least 8 new outfits here!


At this point, I was trying to find some green pieces, and they just really aren't available in large numbers.... so I started to imagine what would draw a woman to this painting in the first place. When I struggle, I always return to the original inspiration, to try to get myself back on track. It's not a bad strategy...

To me, this seems like the expression of someone who likes softness and warmth, and for whom black might not be the best of choices. So I decided to find our mythical heroine a nice core of beige, including a lovely little pair of earrings!

This scarf is currently available in TWENTY-EIGHT colors... just in case...


 Lots of ways available to wear these new pieces:



If you were in a situation like this, it might make sense to re-do your Wardrobe Building Blocks, to start phasing out black, and incorporating more soft and warm colors. The next step here might be a twinset in beige, don't you think?



I love this system of incorporating art inspiration in small doses, to test the real appeal of it, and to make sure that it works with your life and your current wardrobe. Gradually is NEVER the wrong way to approach a personal style shift!

love,
Janice


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18 comments:

  1. Wow! Those faded light warms, greens and blues are colours I like wearing. Who'd have known that Cezanne knew... Thanks again for inspiration. Carol S

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  2. Beautiful! I'm trying to get away from black so this is brilliant.

    I've started up a Pinterest board and saving your collections - I get quite a few people saving them too, so I'm sure they must be becoming new regular readers.

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  3. I've also started saving your posts to new Pinterest boards - your new format makes it so easy to see great examples at a glance. Especially love this Capsule Wardrobe Inspired by Art format and the fact that you have identified the artist and the work of art right on the artwork. The changes you are making will definitely help people find and enjoy your wonderful blog.

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  4. A shame about the lack of green as I love blues and greens. Oh well another time I am sure you will come up trumps yet again.

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  5. I love this collection.
    I haven't been on Pinterest in a while, but the idea about saving these collections is great. I need to start doing it.
    I have suggested The Vivienne Files numerous times in comments on other blogs where fashion dilemmas were discussed. I think there's an anti-fast-fashion backlash building, and your approach to considered minimalism while maintaining maximum choices is perfect. Write an op-ed about it!

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  6. I too mention your blog whenever someone (online or in person) mentions a wardrobe problem/question and I've noticed later that your blog does get listed amongst their favourites so I think we all do our best to spread the word whenever possible.
    This whole series on art has really opened my eyes to colour and hat I'm drawn to - both in art and in the real world. I have a membership to the Art Gallery of Ontario and now visit a lot more often - and with a new awareness of colour and what appeals to me. A recent exhibit featured a Danish artist that I'd never heard of before - https://www.ago.net/painting-tranquility-masterworks-by-vilhelm-hammershoi but I found myself returning again and again as I was so drawn to the blacks and greys and "softness" of his palette - the exhibit was well named (Tranquility). I wanted to reach out and touch the paintings because of the sensuous softness of the fabrics his subjects wore - soft wools and beautiful velvets - those cosy fabrics so popular in colder months. You have made me look at art in a whole new way and made it much more personal - thank you.

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  7. Oh Janice,
    You do provide ! Substitute brown for the black, and this wardrobe is mine ! I thrill whenever you do the " how to substitute " formats. For that matter, I love ALL of your templates -- they make the visuals so orderly and easily understood ! Deepest appreciation and thanks, once again !

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  8. I love following your thought process. You are always in inspiration!

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  9. New to Vivienne files and love it. I'm at a point where I need a bit of new thought to dressing and although love art in paintings etc I would never have thought to look for colour inspiration through it.

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  10. Love your blog, and I appreciate that you're trying to name your posts such that they'll be more findable. With that in mind: very few people search for "minimal wardrobe" or "classic wardrobe." No one searches for "minimal classic wardobe." In contrast, about 22,000 people/month search for "capsule wardrobe." So, if you want to maximize your exposure to new readers, you might want to name (or even re-name) your posts to include that phrase, e.g. "Expanding a Capsule Wardobe: The Bathers etc" or "Whatever's Clean Capsule Wardrobe."

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    1. Thanks for that information - I will start doing that!
      big grateful hug,
      Janice

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    2. That was going to be my suggestion as well. I have seen numerous boards on Pinterest with "capsule wardrobe" in the title. There also seems to be a lot of interest in ideas like "the French woman's capsule wardrobe" for whatever reason. I think that your blog is addictive once readers get past the simple graphics and rather large amount of typing and lack of pictures of women actually wearing clothes, which is mostly what other fashion bloggers seem to do. I have read all of your posts from the beginning and am finally almost caught up. The amount of information and guidance you provide is the best I have found among the blogs that I have read.
      Seena

      Seena

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    3. Dear Janice, I have found you when searching for capsule wardrobe, too. I don't remember exact search frase, but I stumbled upon an article how to build a wadrobe by adding one item at a time, all ilustrated - you have this, and than add this, and get this - what a gigantic lightbulb went off - I never before had opportunity to see such a clear example. (After zillion articles and TV shows I have red.) The rest is history. I was mesmerized and stayed mesmerized until this very day. I feel I can never thank you enough. God Bless You, Dear!
      Sania

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  11. I always appreciate two things very much: 1) starting with an inspiration piece, and 2) putting them into the 4X4 or other structure. I mean, I also like the stories - which give me the idea that each woman has her own perspective on life and wardrobe. You rock!

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  12. Such beautiful soft colors! This is a great inspiration piece! I agree with Elegant, using "capsule wardrobe" in your titles should increase your traffic! I think travel and packing wardrobes are searched for a lot too. Something to keep in mind. : ) Love the art posts!

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  13. Thanks for these colours Janice, they call to me! I'm planning a summer-Autumn selection based on black, cream and beige as the neutrals, with soft blue and green as the accents. It's great to see how they could work in this post.

    Green can be hard to find - I've had some success at a thrift shop (lovely green wool l/s top with drapey collar) and picking up two or three individual pieces as I've seen them over the past year. And then of course there are scarves! You counsel patience, which I'm not good at, but it does pay off so that in time what seemed like an orphan can become part of an integrated wardrobe.

    Robyn in Tasmnia

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    1. I had meant to thank you for the whole idea of allowing art that you love to be an inspiration. I came to my summer colours from one of Monet's Vertheuil paintings, held in the NGV in Melbourne.
      Robyn x

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  14. These expanding a capsule wardrobe posts are such fun! I'd also love to see the step where you combine the new clothes with each other - showing the two new colors together. - nancyo

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