Thursday, December 08, 2016

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

The wardrobe is as far from colors that I wear as is physically possible, but I still think it's really  nice - very well-balanced, lots of attractive choices, and a wide range of ways to pull outfits together.
capsule wardrobe based on olive and beige

I'm always surprised to see how organized these wardrobes turn out to be, even though I made choices for a lot of months based on things that just interested me, or that I found attractive. In this wardrobe example, the Four by Four wardrobe possibilities were really easy to find:
Four by Four capsule wardrobe in olive, beige, ivory and turquoise

When we look at this wardrobe in terms of how well it serves the owner for a range of activities, through a full year of weather, the only real "blanks" I see are in the area of very dressy activities. This heroine might need to look seriously for something like a sequined tank top in her colors, or some silk separates that could take her to summer activities. I would have liked to include those here, but I'm keeping my options open because warm-weather pieces aren't easy to find in November!

capsule wardrobe in olive and beige evaluated on functionality

Here's where my real lesson was learned - normally, I like these wardrobes to contain at least 3 or 4 pieces that can be worn on their own, OR layered over something else. In this wardrobe, right now, there's just the one v-neck sweater. Of course both the turquoise and the camel cardigan can be worn on their own, but I just feel like I want something more.

And there's also that "gap" in the area of cold-weather dressy clothes that might be filled by a pair of wool trousers in a "non-utility" color, like ivory. Gold silk would be pretty - in either a top or a bottom... Some olive velvet? There are a lot of possibilities...

capsule wardrobe in olive and beige evaluated on type of garment

And shoes.... That upper-left corner looms large in its emptiness... dressy flats or loafers for cooler weather are a possibility here. Gold? Olive suede with gold trim? One could go quite off the rails if a pair of olive brocade smoking slippers turned up, eh?

capsule wardrobe of shoes evaluated for weather and dressiness

After much deliberating, this was where I settled. The pants can be worn with almost any top, and the color can be dressed up quite a bit! Either of the sweaters chosen can be worn with these pants, or with most of the skirts and pants that are currently in the wardrobe.

As much as I could have gone really crazy with a pair of gorgeous dressy shoes, I thought that these were much more moderately priced, and could be more versatile than something more "over the top." (but a pair of silk brocade in gold and ivory???)

capsule wardrobe additions of ivory pants and sweater, olive cardigan and gold loafers

This is the updated wardrobe - it feels very complete, doesn't it?

30 piece capsule wardrobe in olive, ivory, beige and turquoise

And these might be my favorite accessories, in some ways. I'm still completely smitten by that fringed cape, and the beaded bracelet is just wonderful...

accessory capsule wardrobe in olive, beige and gold

These outfits that I show with the new garments are not nearly all of the options possible; this middle outfit would be so much fun for a cool-weather dressy occasion...

three new capsule wardrobe outfits including ivory wool trousers

This simple top is a great base for accessories:

three new capsule wardrobe outfits including ivory sweater

And a classic cardigan is never a bad idea!

three new capsule wardrobe outfits including an olive cardigan

Olive is hard to find in stores, but it's so lovely that it's well worth waiting for!


p.s. Just in case you need to go back and catch up on earlier posts, check here:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.

How to Evaluate a capsule wardrobe in an olive and beige color palette
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  1. Janice,
    This is my absolutely favorite color scheme of the ones you have provided. The olive green functions as both a neutral and a color , in my estimation. I always feel the need for more than one neutral and accent color in a clothing cluster , and this one has both the desired conditions. And yes, I wait years for olive green to show up for purchase !

  2. I agree with you, Janice, olive is not only a lovely subtle color but it virtually goes with every other color beautifully. I have a pair of "dressy" olive jeans that blend in with my navy/tan/taupe wardrobe so well that I purchased a darker olive trench style all-purpose jacket/parka that I now live in! I have yet to find a color that is not actually complimented by the olive! Yes, definitely worth the wait . Janice Collins Washington DC

  3. I really appreciate how well you can work with colour palettes and personalities that fall outside your own preferences. I have met some stylists with great dress sense for themselves, but who are less able to accommodate the dress sense of others who have very different tastes to their own.

  4. A truly gorgeous wardrobe--and your analysis via chart of casual and dressy is so instructive. I tend to buy for some kind of fantasized and imaginary life more dressy outfits than I need or could ever wear, so this practical analysis is exactly what I need to do.

  5. Two weeks ago I pulled from my closet many items of clothing in this color palette as I am transitioning away from it--my hair, once auburn is now grey, and my skin tone seems to have changed along with my hair. I can now wear white, but not ivory. The items I pulled from my closet are in a pile for my auburn-haired daughter. I held back an ivory brocade blazer, because I had "holiday" in my mind--but last night I dressed in a black angora cardigan, so who am I kidding? The blazer should be added to the pile.

  6. I had a doctor's appointment this morning, and it seemed like everyone at the doctor's office was wearing olive green, including me! It has become one of my favorite neutrals, and apparently I am not alone. I am still getting used to the idea of wearing it with that turquoisey-blue shade, but I actually found a Christmas-themed white long-sleeved t-shirt decorated with an olive green and turquoise pine tree print that I will be wearing for the holidays, so I can get a better idea if I like the combination. I do love both colors, so I have a feeling that I will come to appreciate them being worn together. I can't wait to see this series renewed next year!

  7. I am glad you have kept the mosaic tile header; I have always loved it.

  8. Love the winter white wool pants and sweater especially with the fringed shawl or with the still-my-favorite scarf. You have given us gorgeous, unique selections in this grouping.

  9. It's been eye-opening to see the wardrobes with 'gentle' neutrals develop. The variety possible when you start with lighter neutrals and include camely-beige, light grey, creamy-ivory, and so on, has surprised and delighted me. I live in a small, regional city where it's hard to find alternatives to black, grey and red, so I've found these series really inspiring to look beyond what's immediately to hand.

    Overall it's been a fascinating series that has taught me a lot, including about patience (!) and thoughtful planning. These final evaluation sessions have also been invaluable. Thank you Janice for your continual efforts in putting imagination and strategy to work for our benefit.

    Robyn in Tasmania

  10. I've been waiting for this wardrobe to finish up. Olive and turquoise is one of my favourite colour combinations and this is my favourite of the wardrobes you've done. When I was younger and had more warmth and brightness in my hair and skin, I could have worn everything here quite happily. Now that my colouring is cooler and softer, I would need to add in some more colour and prints with the neutrals.

  11. These colors may be as far from anything you'd wear, Janice. But these are "my colors" for sure. Many thanks for this grouping. And I love the addition of the ivory/winter white items!