Friday, December 30, 2016

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe: Starting From Scratch: Evaluating and Balancing, based on Lightning over Colorado by Joe Randall


One last time:
Lightning over Colorado by Joe Randall

Mr. Randall has a great eye, doesn't he?

When we left our wardrobe at the end of the day yesterday, this is where we were - 25 pieces, lots and lots of ways to wear them, a good balance of colors EXCEPT those 2 beige/brown pieces. I'm still not feeling comfortable with them...

A capsule wardrobe in shades of grey and purple

If you need to catch up to where we are, check Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and yesterday's posts.

In order to evaluate this wardrobe, there are lots of options (see the various ways that I reviewed the "12 Months, 12 Outfits" wardrobes for some ideas), but I like to just sort by color and see what seems obvious.

How to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch - evaluating neutral colors

They grey items look great - a little heavy on outerwear and sweaters, which suggests a blouse, shirt or tee shirt might be a good idea... The purple/pink accents are great, and I'm perfectly happy with them as they are.

But the beige/camel/brown? Sigh.... I'm not saying that they won't be worn, or that they aren't lovely. My final thought is that maybe this heroine wants a change of pace, every now and then, into something warmer in color. It could be an occasion during which she anticipates some spiky personalities and conversations, and she wants to be a soothing influence. Maybe it's for those autumn days when everything in the world seems to be warm russets and browns, and she wants to be a part of that. Maybe she's a true "Winter" but has warm brown eyes (as I do...) and every now and then she wants to highlight her eyes.

The bottom line: you can wear whatever colors you want. As many or as few of them as you want. In color combinations that are classically harmonious, or as challenging and unusual as you can imagine. You answer to no one, except your heart...

So my last additions to this wardrobe address the usefulness of a grey blouse, the color option of a warm beige sweater, and the amazing oversight of NOTHING that combines colors from this palette. (in all fairness, finding these colors combined in a garment is pretty challenging!)

How to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch - adding final pieces

Gorgeous beige sweater is 50% off... just sayin'...

This is the final 28-piece wardrobe:

A 28-piece capsule wardrobe in shades of grey, beige, and purple

Just looking over the pieces here and thinking about my life, and the lives of my friends, I don't see any gaping holes or obvious omissions. But just in case, I like to make sure that I can easily assemble both a "Whatever's Clean 13" wardrobe (the things that you pack when you know you will be frantic, and you don't want to worry about assembling your outfit everyday - this is as close to foolproof as getting dressed can be):

A 28-piece capsule wardrobe in shades of grey, beige, and purple

And I like to also build a "4 by 4 Wardrobe" - which is designed to give you at least a week's worth of outfits, in a range of possibilities:

A 28-piece capsule wardrobe in shades of grey, beige, and purple

I've reconciled myself to the interesting color options here, and I'm pretty pleased with the final wardrobe. But what do YOU think?

love,
Janice
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch: Evaluating and Balancing, based on Lightning over Colorado by Joe Randall
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23 comments:

  1. The Line sweater is quite a grey beige, and fits well with this capsule. Would taupe be a good option?

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  2. The color in the upper left corner moves toward chocolate. I believe a couple of items in that brown might work with the other cool colored pieces. I am intrigued by the idea of mixing the warm and cool colors since I usually do best in cool, but sometimes am drawn to warm colors.

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  3. It might be my monitor but I see very little grey in the picture. I see pinks, purples, bluey purples and beige, honey, caramel and light chocolate. The clouds are so delicate. Thank you for a wonderful year. Inspiring us to take another look at the clothes in our wardrobes and also to think and plan what we buy. Carol S

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    1. Woops! Janice said on Monday, Day 1 that wardrobe be mainly grey with accent colours from picture. Carol S

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  4. It's a beautiful palette. I've been fascinated to follow your difficulty reconciling to the color combo. I find it attractive and easy, though of course to each their own.

    I'm a devoted mixer of neutrals. Gray with beige, camel, or espresso is so classic and elegant. Of course you've noted that brown leather goods are natural with grey for men and why not women.

    You've shared that you don't look or feel good in camel, so it's natural that it's off-putting for you to combine it with shades that you do feel good in. Sort of like it's rare to see a blazer or other structured jacket or a belt here--not your style. For me, these shades of "warm" are so neutral that they are quite friendly with grey and cool colors.

    I would have to think about combining aggressively warm "neutralish" tones like rust or pumpkin with the purples and greys, though I can imagine it might be a sort of complement.

    As for camel and purples, I would happily combine them. Putting grey, camel, and purples together seems artistic but not difficult. Grey jeans, lavender tee, camel cashmere scarf. Camel knit dress, charcoal shoes, charcoal scarf anchored with a purple and gold brooch. Beige cords, grey belt, purple and grey plaid shirt.

    Though adding a definite color to a mixed-neutrals base is more challlenging if you want everything to echo somewhere in an outfit, that's pretty much true of any 3 colors that aren't already closely related by depth or color family. purple, emerald, black? Red, blue, tan?

    Anyway, I would happily wear either of your warm sweaters with grey bottoms and think they glowed together (I love that you couldn't bring yourself to introduce a beige or camel bottom piece here), or put the camel cardigan over grey pants and lavender top--all soft colors, and my eye would find it interesting rather than jarring, as I find gold accessories with grey clothing, and no need to force it together with mixed tone accessories.

    I wonder what color combos others would find challenging, apart from a personal or complexion non-affinity for the particular colors.

    My difficulty would probably be with strong colors that traditionally are considered to clash. Say red, orange, and any neutral. But put two neutrals together and any color family (l mean, say, blue-greens, rose-wine, gold-mustard, etc because a family like this, like your purples here, is all one color as far as I'm concerned in a palette because the shades mix, blend, and substitute so beautifully), and I think it's a pretty easy palette.

    Thanks for giving us something to think about!

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    1. That's pretty much the way I feel about it. Most of my leather goods are brown and I wear a lot of navy and denim, and a range of browns -- linen, khaki, tan, walnut . . . . I love silver and brown together so gray and camel seem like a natural combo.

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    2. I agree, too - all neutrals go together!
      And colors that are considered clashing, belong to analogous color scheme - the trick is to have more than 2, if there are only 2 they do clash, but if you add 3rd neigboring color or more (from either side of spectrum) than the combination stops clashing

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    3. Ditto, I love wearing grey camel/Carmel tones and denims. I probably would have looked for an even Rucker gold tone in the camels to stand up to those deep greys. I think matching depth of hue helps them work together.

      I look washed out and piqued in white and black and find red too aggressive for my taste. I'm loving this wardrobe without black as the neutral. (I love this site, but we seem to have almost diametrically opposed color preferences.)

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  5. I really love this wardrobe - and having such a great base of grey (plus the few beige pieces, which I love with grey) lets us see that almost any other accent colour (if pinks/purples aren't appealing) could be substituted quite easily. Swapping in red or teal would freshen up a cold weather wardrobe next year with only minimum cost involved - such a smart way to shop! I have really loved this series - thank you Janice and a Very Happy New Year to you, your family, and all your followers.

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  6. Taupe would be an excellent option, if you can find it! One of the things you have to bear in mind when you look at these wardrobes is that I'm constrained by what I can find available, with a halfway decent photograph (i.e. not twisted around some twig of a model in a way that's impossible to see!). There are lots of lovely garments in the world that could be included in these wardrobes that don't make the cut because of the photograph thing...

    I've loved all of the comments this week - your imagination around putting colors together is so much fun to see, and the imaginary outfits described sounds delicious!

    Happy New Year to everyone!
    with lots of love,
    Janice

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    1. Janice, you mention 'constrained by what's available with a halfway decent photograph'. I have the flip side of that problem; let me explain.

      Following this site, I see just how useful photos of the clothing are! It would be so much easier to decide what to pack if I had a nice photo of everything. Now, how can I *get* those photos? Some, I could snag from websites, but mostly I'd have to try to take a photo of garments laid out on a white table or something. Which I do not have. Total bummer!

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    2. MLP, I use a sheet of white foamcore for photography. I lay it on the floor and stand on a chair, or you can prop it on a wall and hook a hanger over the top edge. When not in use, I tuck it behind an armoire. - nancyo

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  7. I agree with Carol S in that I can hardly see any grey in the photo (well maybe a bit of blue/grey)and would have replaced my neutral with a pinky taupe (if I could find anything in that shade) - when I do, it's often either completely sold out or not in my size. I love all the pinks, blues and purples in this capsule, but not the camel - I would opt for a rose brown and more off-white and nude pieces to warm it up a bit. Sharon. U.K.

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  8. Sharon and Carol S, I believe the gray came from the reader's request to use this photo to build a wardrobe with gray as a neutral. What an interesting experiment! I think I'd add more beige - a wheat or light beige would pair well with black shoes, imo, so I'd add jeans or slacks as well as a dress. Then you could have a column or a suit with charcoal or one of the purple accents. - nancyo

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  9. I've enjoyed seeing how this wardrobe came together. I have warm coloring and have frequently worn camel with gray and feel like that works well for me (also with gold jewelry). I have come to the conclusion that I don't need to be too uptight about mixing warm and cool colors. It's done in nature all the time and looks wonderful. I just try to have warmer colors by my face and things seem to work well. Thanks for all your work on these wardrobes Janice, I'm continually looking at my own wardrobe in different ways after seeing the combinations you put together.

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  10. I have really enjoyed this posting group and watching the changes over each day. It has inspired me to consider more ranges of colour and tone and be less stringent when making combinations. As always for me though, it is basic that the woman choosing this selection have the colouring that works with these unusual colour choices.

    Deb from Vancouver

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  11. I like having just the two brown-based pieces to warm it up, wearing either would make the woman FEEL very different, even if she didn't look that different! And I think that the ivory cable sweater is an excellent garment choice for this because it's generally worn as a topper and so goes with nearly any bottom piece. This one could be worn with a turtleneck or collared shirt., but one with a neck would never be paired with any other topper that the woman might buyyr. A pair of blue jeans? A denim skirt? It matches! Black cords? It matches! A very versatile piece if you look good in ivory (I don't).

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  12. I think this is beautiful even though these aren't my colors! Judi

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  13. I see warm taupe is one of Pantone's 2016-17 colours of the year. Prhaps this could be a good wardrobe to set aside for a year and then re-visit to see if you have better success then at finding some of this currently elusive colour. We appreciate all your hard work, Janice. Happy New Year, Jazz

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  14. This is so pretty! Thanks for Your eye for color!

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  15. I think another bottom, whether taupe or simply a pair of jeans, would help the camel tops out a lot. And. Many of the other tops could be worn with khakis/jeans, as well. That said, for me, the camel additions would not be worn. I would sub them out or just eliminate them from the wardrobe. Thank you for all you do. Happy New Year.

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  16. This is beautiful! And I want to say Happy New Year! to the most inspiring, hardest working blogger I know!!! Have a wonderful 2017.

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  17. I'm kinda wanting to swap-out one of the grey bottoms for a pair of camel pants. Just that one action feels like it brings more balance (to my eye). But, I do see more indigo than gray in the inspiration picture, so that suggests a different direction altogether.

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