Friday, December 02, 2016

12 Months, 12 Outfits in a Brown-Based Capsule Wardrobe: An Evaluation

If you want to go back and catch up on how we've arrived at this point, the earlier posts are here:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.

The second of our six wardrobes looked like this when we left it in November:

capsule wardrobe in brown, beige and orange

As I did yesterday, my first project is to try to fit these pieces into the Four by Four template. It seems to me that this wardrobe still could use a casual skirt. She already has 2 skirts, they they're both pretty dressy - maybe khaki is an option.

Four by Four wardrobe in brown, beige and orange

When I look at the existing wardrobe in terms of weather and dressiness, I find the same thing that I did yesterday - a shortage of simple tee shirts. That bottom right quadrant is pretty sparse:
 
evaluating a capsule wardrobe for functionality

And finally, when I lay all of the pieces out on the basis of their position on the body and in an outfit, I sort of feel like I want another cardigan. It seems to be a signature of this wardrobe, and when I saw another one in a gorgeous color, I knew what I wanted to add!
 
evaluating a capsule wardrobe for balance

I graphed out the shoes, and frankly I think they seem okay, but I felt that maybe another pair of summery casual shoes might be a nice addition...

evaluating the balance of a shoe capsule wardrobe

So these were my choices to add!

additions to a capsule wardrobe in brown, beige and orange

Here's where we leave the capsule wardrobe - options for any occasion:

capsule wardobe in brown, beige and orange

And these are the accessories:

accessory wardrobe in brown, beige and orange

As with any well-chosen garment that you choose to add to a capsule wardrobe, there are lots of possibilities for how to wear your acquisitions:
 
three capsule wardrobe outfits with an orange tee shirt

three capsule wardrobe outfits with a cinnamon cardigan

three capsule wardrobe outfits with a khaki skirt

This wardrobe has been fascinating to work with; the different feelings of the deep oranges and the softer beiges give a lot of variety!

love,
Janice

How to Evaluate a capsule wardrobe in a brown, beige, and orange color palette
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16 comments:

  1. This is like a lovely Advent Calendar. Happy holiday! Chris 🇦🇺

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  2. This collection is my favorite of the six (I just adore that scarf!). Like everyone else, I love the grid system for evaluation, and it just occurred to me that it is not necessarily a problem if the four quadrants are not balanced, since the types of clothes one buys will depend so much on climate and lifestyle. Someone who lives a casual life in a cooler climate will naturally have more items in the bottom left grid than in the other three, as in this collection. It seems to me that the grid system can keep one from acquiring too many items that will not suit the way they actually live, and some of us (like me) need that reminder occasionally!

    I hope you will continue this series next year. I really enjoyed the scarf choices, but art or even photography as a basis would be fun as well. Thanks for your hard work, Janice!

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    1. Yes, that's such a good way to put it, about choosing what you really need for your current lifestyle. My problem for a long time was having too many things on the extreme ends--jeans and cheap t-shirts plus dressier clothes, but not enough toward the middle. I think I needed to "bell curve" my closet.

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    2. Yeap - I had a go at saying that yesterday about lifestyle but perhaps I got a bit tongue tied... Carol S

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    3. I agree too! I was defeated by technology yesterday but you've said just what I was thinking, only you have expressed it better.
      Thank you Cee, and thank you Janice!
      Robyn in Tasmania

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  3. Not my colors but gorgeous none the less and beautiful textures!

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  4. I love the colors in this wardrobe. I like the number of garments and accessories too. While it's bigger than most suggested capsule wardrobes I see, I think it's more realistic. I have really enjoyed this year long series. I would also love to see you continue it with different color groupings.

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  5. I would also love to see this again in 2017 with 6 different scarves! Adding in more tops (T shirts ) is a must for me. I get hot easily while my husband gets cold. In the summer I sometimes change my t-shirt twice during the day as I sweat easily, so I need about 9 or 10 tees I've been careful to keep the tees in my chosen wardrobe colors and some are therefore duplicates. I can relate to you, Janice , having so many black tees. Also your use of cardigans has been so helpful to me. My habitual daily winter wear is a long sleeve tee with a cardi I can take on and off during the day. I have 4 cardis and, well, I haven't counted the tees :)
    Janice Collins, Washington DC

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  6. I love how this wardrobe looks monochromatic from afar but you have 5 vastly different pant colors with so many top combinations it would never be boring.

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    1. I agree. These aren't 'my' colors, but I love all the variation within the color scheme. I'm trying to figure out how to create that in colors that are more 'mine'.

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  7. This is an interesting wardrobe. I really don't like it. The clothes are really nice but to me the color choice comes across as far too monochromatic and distinctive in an uncomfortable way. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that there's actually anything wrong with it! It's just the visceral reaction I have, and by that I think it shows how different this is from what would work for me. So the thing I get out of it is... DON'T DO THIS, YOU WILL NOT LIKE IT. But why not? What is it I should avoid? Looking at it, I conclude: 1) Warm colors just do't work for me. and 2) I need at least two distinctive accent colors. To me this is just too much the same. If I think of this as all shades of cool gray, for instance, I like it much better but still would want to go out shopping immediately for things in different colors. So it's quite instructive!! This is a really nice wardrobe for the right person but I am not that person. So... good lesson!

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    1. I recognise those accent 'symptoms' Gail! I too like variety and/or greater contrast - and often too much so. Looking at the accessories here, for instance, I found myself thinking that I would choose bags in four different colours rather than having the style be the difference, lovely though the bags are. Your thinking about why this wouldn't be the capsule for you has been helpful to me as I was puzzled by my reaction. This is such an educational blog, as well as fun!
      Robyn in Tasmania

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    2. These are my colors! I have golden tones in my hair and skin, so it's my zone. As far as contrast, some women have coloring that makes strong color contrasts look harsh and overwhelms their delicate coloring, so a wardrobe with less color contrast is a good thing for them. Take paler women with medium brown to light blonde hair, for example. With some such women, strong contrasts make them look like the clothes are wearing them instead of them wearing the clothes. I've always been prone to wearing colors that are least close in color depth, so even when I'm wearing a top and bottom that are different colors, the depth of the colors are similar.

      Also, I'm not very tall, and monochromatic shades make me look taller (yay!). Most people think I'm much taller than I am until they stand right next to me, and then they are surprised to find that they have to look down when they talk to me!

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  8. I am having a blast going through everything from the past year. Such a lot of work! Thank you. Since you plan to do this again next year...could you make at least one of the wardrobes in a plus size? It would be nice to feel included.

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    1. I am not a plus size but would enjoy seeing a capsule done for a plus size woman. I think it's so important that real women are represented in advertising and media. Maybe this is my new passion point-I get very excited whenever I come across an advertisement or a tv commercial that uses models who are not just ethnically diverse, but size diverse as well. I'm also of fan of size inclusive lines and glad to see designers pushing this concept into the mainstream. Long way to go towards equality for all - but it feels like momentum is building.

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  9. Really loving this exercise. It might be helpful to see the layers arrayed on a warm to cool weather axis, as in the figure above, but doing it by layers. That way short sleeves are on one side and long on the other. Ditto shorts and pants and third layers etc.



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