Friday, November 18, 2016

The French 5-Piece Wardrobe Starts with Art: Little Harbor in Normandy by Georges Braque (Version 1)

I've never really accepted the idea that women can, uniformly, only wear warm colors or cool colors. I know that for many of us, it's a great guideline for wardrobe discipline, and helps coordinate things beautifully, but I still wonder why someone who loves black and white as much as I do would have gold and orange highlights in their eyes...

Oh well, it's a great subject for conversation...

But I think of that when I look at this painting, which skews two very different directions, color-wise:

Little Harbor in Normandy by Georges Braque
Little Harbor in Normandy by Georges Braque

I seriously considered sawing the painting in half (metaphorically, of course) and using the bottom half for today, and the top half on Monday for a study that includes grey... But I think we can all manage to focus on the warm tone today, and the cool grey later, without me digitally mutilating the painting!

First up, I was just corresponding with someone who wears warm tones and who wants accents that don't contrast harshly with her neutrals. When you're looking for colors that are more soft or subtle, I might suggest that you keeps your eyes open for the term "soft, dusty, brushed, or powdery" or anything described as a "tone." It's not foolproof, but these are terms generally applied to those colors which have some beige or grey mixed into the core hue, in order to soften it.

For today, I've chosen the gold neutral as an accent, as well as the rose and jade that lurk in the details...
Little Harbor in Normandy by Georges Braque with style guidelines and color palette

As before, I'm going to use these 9 garments as our Wardrobe Building Blocks. These have the glorious benefit of also being a true "Whatever's Clean" wardrobe.... getting dressed in the dark isn't fun, but it's good to be sure that you look acceptable when you have to do it!

9 Wardrobe Building blocks in beige, brown and ivory

First is that gorgeous gold; this sweater is a perfect example of a garment that shows the color clearly, but with a softened, textured surface that doesn't scream GOLD!!!!

And some nice accessories in gold are timeless. We love timeless...

Gold accents for a capsule wardrobe

After the somewhat dressy sweater, I thought that a nice cozy fleece top would be a fun addition. Fleece isn't automatically super-casual; with some care, it can serve for most day-to-day activities. Worn with nice trousers, layered over a shirt or blouse, it's really just a sweater in a different fabric, after all.

Jade accents for a capsule wardrobe

This rose might be one of those colors that can be worn by almost anyone. That's something to bear in mind if you're tasked with organizing the tee shirts for a fundraiser (for women only, maybe?) or the smocks for the hospital volunteers, etc...

And the brushed gold earrings (yes, there's that brushed term) have a teeny rose stone set in them. AND they're geometric, so they echo the angularity of our source work of art!

Dusty rose accents for a capsule wardrobe

These are some widely-varying, but still coherent, additions for a capsule wardrobe, aren't they?

A French 5-Piece Wardrobe in gold, jade and dusty rose

Here's the entire capsule wardrobe, core + additions. As we've seen before this makes a great potential travel wardrobe:

a capsule wardrobe in beige, brown and ivory, with accents of jade, dusty rose and gold

 As always, we want to be certain that each of our new garments can be worn in at least three different ways:

Three capsule wardrobe outfits including a jade blouse

Three capsule wardrobe outfits including a dusty rose sweater

Three capsule wardrobe outfits including a jade fleece top

Three capsule wardrobe outfits including a gold sweater

Three capsule wardrobe outfits including a dusty rose cardigan

We're going to recycle some of these accent pieces on Monday, and take the wardrobe to a much "cooler" place...

The French 5-Piece Wardrobe Starts with Art: Little Harbor in Normandy by Georges Braque
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  1. I have a skirt in that soft gold colour and it has been so versatile. It goes with almost everything else I own. I love the art too.

  2. I have input into the cool/warm question: as a Spring, my colors include, among others, the warm colors of camels, browns, salmon, hot red, and peach, but also violet, pink, aqua, turquoise, and periwinkle, so it is very possible to be able to wear both cool and warm colors. The nice thing about your core wardrobes is that I can see how to make a core of neutrals that I can accent with just about any of my colors whenever I feel like it. Since I love lots of variation of color, especially in tops, this is very helpful.

  3. This is great because it's true that depending on my mood I can feel like wearing cool colors or warm colors. The way that sometimes I want a crisp, healthy salad and other times I want warm comfort food. This offers variety and contrast while remaining edited and coherent.

  4. Gosh, I love the colors here and that's good, I guess, because I am a 'Spring'. However, I actually prefer cool neutrals and look good in black because ..light hair/ dark eyes. Plus black is just such a useful and easy to find color. So I'm struggling and I can't wait to see what you have for us on Monday.

    1. Like you I have light hair (faded red-blonde) and skin, but dark eyes, and am a self diagnosed Spring. I too wear black, but only balanced out with some lighter, warmer, shades. I think it's less about focusing on any particular colours, and more about getting a level of light/dark and degree of contrast that I'm comfortable with. I'm sure lots of people have mixed warms and cool aspects to their colouring.

  5. Janice,
    As a soft, muted Autumn in coloring, this is MY wardrobe !!! I love how you have included light, medium, and slightly darker colors in the neutrals, and then warm, cool, and off white in the tops and toppers. I have struggled with how cool I want to go within my suggested color parameters, and that still make me feel happy, and as was posted above this post, muted teal, petrol, denim blue, and periwinkle are all included as possibilities when wanting to wear a cool color in especially hot weather, or just to suit my mood. However, the teal has to be on the warmer, greener side, to suit my coloring. The teal you show here is spot on ! I also pay close attention to how you vary the garments and necklines, as for many years I felt bored with my wardrobe, because I didn't vary the style and necklines of the pieces enough to avoid boredom. Thank you for your insights, clever lady ! I felt that you did this post with me in mind !

  6. I, too, am a soft, muted autumn or summer - warm skin, hazel eyes, and silvery white hair. Trying to figure out what works has been an incredible challenge as I keep getting shoved one way or the other into only warm or only cool! This is perfect. The much lighter tones work better for me, definitely soft but none of the extreme edges of either summer or autumn. My colors lay where these two come together. Thank you for acknowledging some of use can't be shoved into season or a box. I do need to be careful with golds but the pinks and teals are perfect! This is delicious!

    1. It's very helpful for me too - warm complexion, green eyes, pewtery-white hair. It's taken ages to work out colours but moving away from the season/temperature theories has been liberating. Reading Janice and followers here, and going with my own judgement, has made all the difference.

      I really like this collection - practical and pretty! Looking forward to the alternative version too. We are so lucky to have this resourceful blog!

      Robyn in Tasmania

  7. This wardrobe reminds me that while turquoise looks good on almost everyone, once you head into teal you're in dangerous territory! While your thesis about warm colors may be true for some, I look terrible in most of them and teals are either blueish teal, or greenish/yellowish teal. I bought a really lovely teal sweater last year from LL Bean because that catalogue photo made it look bluish teal, but it turned out to be yellowish so I had to return it. LL Bean tends to be yellowish, so their reds and teals and browns generally have a lot of yellow in them. I can only buy a few colors and the occasional "not normal for them" color -- like the occasional African violet purple or cherry red.

    1. I meant to say that this wardrobe needs a yellowish teal, but two of those teal pieces might work for me while the other would not!

  8. Very pretty! I especially like the soft gold top. I wear a mix of warm and cool colors. I think I am kind of a neutral skin tone which does allow me to wear a wide range of colors. Today I have on a black and red top but I also have blue tops that I like because I have blue eyes. Interested to see the cool version! Have a great weekend!

  9. Love the cubist earrings - so perfect for a wardrobe based on a Braque. And the jade (teal?) pieces are so pretty. Teal in general is on the warm side and probably not ideal for me, but I love it so, and like Gail, I aim for the more bluish pieces. - nancyo