Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe: Starting From Scratch: Introducing Accent Colors and Accessories, based on Lightning over Colorado by Joe Randall

A capsule wardrobe color palette based on Lightning over Colorado by Joe Randall

When we left this wardrobe, it was very neutral, and very simple - but this is the way to start a really functional wardrobe! If you get these building blocks in place early, your later additions will be effortless to wear, and you'll have lots of options...

A core capsule wardrobe in grey and white
Cardigan – Pure Cashmere; tee shirt – L.L.Bean;  
shirt– J.Crew; pants – L.L.Bean;

One of the joys of working with this photograph is the wide range of accent colors available. All sorts of pink, lavender, lilac and deep purple colors can be taken from this image. It's so beautiful...

And in observance of the strong warm coloring in the top left color of the photo, I'm going to see if we can make gold jewelry work here. The Botkier bracelet has grey stones, which feels very much like it will help tie the gold and the greys together. We shall see!

Accessories for a core capsule wardrobe in grey and white

And FINALLY we get some pretty tops... I really tried here to pick up on the fluidity and sense of movement in the clouds.

Accent color tops and a scarf in pink and purple for a capsule wardrobe

Here's where the wrestling with the photograph begins, for me. I seriously considered bringing in a brown or beige ensemble here, but then I was looking at brown shoes, and then I realized that I was hardly started on this wardrobe and I'd gone two different directions for essential leather accessories... 

And I just STOPPED. And thought. And realized that the brown, gold, tan elements in this photograph were going to be better-suited to be accents, rather than core elements. Maybe much later, brown trousers, or a pair of tan loafers, wouldn't go amiss. (gold loafers???) Right now, however, we need to stay focused in order to make this wardrobe truly functional.

So more grey, but a very different cardigan, and a pair of trousers that are cut differently, and of a new fabric:

Note the wee touch of gold on the oxfords?

A core wardrobe in grey for a capsule wardrobe

After the first 7 steps, this is a nice, tidy ensemble. For a long weekend, or a four-day work week, this would be a great travel capsule wardrobe:

A travel capsule wardrobe in grey, white, pink, and purple

In case you're struggling to visualize how these pieces could play out, here are 2 dozen possible outfits. For one of those trips where you fly out on Sunday evening, and return Friday afternoon (are you an auditor?) this might be everything you would need!

A travel capsule wardrobe in grey, white, pink, and purple

A travel capsule wardrobe in grey, white, pink, and purple

A travel capsule wardrobe in grey, white, pink, and purple

Tomorrow, more color, and more accessories; the wardrobe begins to take on a real personality!

A travel capsule wardrobe inspired by art in a grey, white, pink, and purple color palette
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  1. Beautiful and thoughtful as always. I have learnt here that it is important to get the base/neutrals clothes together. If Ralph Lauren can produce a scarf in a French Lilac (brown and lilac colours co-habitating and seemingly expensive) then I'm so sure this Starting from Scratch is well on its way to be being amazing. Carol S

  2. Such gorgeous accent colors and i love the loafers with a touch of gold :)

  3. The shades of gray plus the soft pastels feel so comforting. Including the gold bracelet with gray stones is brilliant! I'm a fan, and I can hardly wait for the next installment.

  4. Pretty, but I would probably introduce the blue as a variation on the pants.

  5. I love the accent colors and the gorgeous scarf - they are perfect for the spring wardrobe I am creating. Too bad the scarf and lilac top are already sold out. I will search until I find something similar that makes my heart sing. Thanks to Janice, I have learned it is worth exercising both the patience and effort needed to find just the right items.

  6. That Ralph Lauren scarf is perfect for the piece of art! And the grey and gold look great together. - nancyo

  7. Why not choose jewelry that is a combination of silver and gold? Then it would go with the gold-toned accents as well. I prefer silver, myself, but for this wardrobe silver and gold would work really well and there are many lovely pieces.

  8. What beautiful colors in that art! I love the softness of the hues, and the combination of warmth and cool.
    My wardrobe is in need of a re-haul, and I look forward to finding inspiration here in 2017. Thanks for all the beauty Janice!

  9. Long time reader, but first time commenter! I really enjoy these posts and have probably read your entire archive. This inspiration DOES look a bit different and I am interested to see how it all comes together. Also, I've just begun to build polyvore sets for my own use and I have gained a new appreciation for how much work you put into assembling the wardrobe items--it is not easy!