Friday, January 06, 2017

Build an Accessory Wardrobe 1 Piece at a Time: Soir d'Octobre by Maurice Denis

Yesterday's capsule wardrobe based on Soir d'Octobre was pretty great, but we can't just leave our imaginary heroine like this:

Four by Four Wardrobe in olive, brown, and shades of pink and purple
vest - Uniqlo; sweater - L.L.Bean; leather pants - J.Crew; pants - L.L.Bean;
sweater - Uniqlo; pants - L.L.Bean; cardigan - Fat Face; skirt - L.L.Bean;
shirt - J. Crew; cardigan - J. Crew; shirt - Lands' End; henley - L.L.Bean;
jacket - Patagonia; blouse - Forte Forte; jeans - L.L.Bean; tee - L.L.Bean

Let's remember our inspiration:

Soir d'Octobre by Maurice Denis with style guidelines and color palette

So let's work step by step - just as we did yesterday - and add all of the essential accessories (and a few fun ones) to this wardrobe.

First, one must have shoes! This time of year, a pair of short boots is a nice warm choice:

How to choose short boots for an olive green outfit

I know that many women would want a handbag immediately, but for me, I don't feel dressed unless I'm wearing earrings!

Here, I decided to test-drive the theory that I could walk into a store looking for... a pair of gold hoop earrings, maybe, and find enough choices to feel comfortable. In this particular case, and at Talbots, it turned out to work just fine. Some stores work well for this kind of thing, but you should never force yourself to buy something just because you walked into a store with something in mind. That leads to wastefulness and regret! 

(I'm not telling you that Talbots has a lot of beautiful blue pieces already in for spring...)

Choosing small gold hoop earrings

Finding a bag in the right shade of green is really difficult! If you're in the market for anything green, try to carry a swatch, or a skein of embroidery floss, with you at all times so that when you see something, you can be certain of getting the "right" green.

Choosing an olive green tote bag

I'm in a bracelet mood these days; I don't know why, but bracelets have been the most appealing jewelry for me for a few months...

Choosing a simple gold bracelet

Of course, you need a scarf! I don't know if anybody else has ever noticed this, but Eileen Fisher seems to love the color green; her collections almost always have some shade or another of green in them! If her things are a bit too pricey for you, don't forget to check second-hand sources like Ebay or Thredup... some of my favorite pieces of clothing were NOT purchased "new."

(oh yes, that top scarf comes in black & white... sigh...)

How to choose an olive green scarf

Your eye doctor told me to remind you that you need to wear sunglasses most of the time that you're outdoors. Even in the winter. Maybe especially in the winter, if there's snow on the ground, and the sun is out!

How to choose brown sunglasses

Woman does not live by boots alone! A comfy pair of loafers are very important to one's physical and mental well-being.

How to choose a pair of classic, comfortable brown loafers

Working with our reference painting gives us lots of options for beautiful amethyst, or just plain purple, jewelry:

Choosing an amethyst pendant

And while we're at it, let's get some earrings too!

How to choose amethyst and gold earrings

I always like to have the option of a smaller handbag. I found all three of these at the same place - when you find a company that has committed to working with this "coffee" or "tree-bark" brown, it's worthwhile to really dig into their offerings. This is a tough color to find!

How to choose a classic brown handbag

While watches are not necessarily something that you must have, I still think that they look nice, and they keep you from constantly pulled out your phone and checking it. I DO get tired of seeing people with their phones glued to their nose, don't you?

Choosing a simple, classic gold wrist watch

Another scarf! This time in purple...

How to choose a muted purple scarf

And what the heck - 1 more scarf, in a neutral, an accent color, or a combination of neutrals:

(yes, to match the pink cardigan as closely as possible, I went back to the same store; that should work well, in theory!)

How to choose an accent color scarf

And one last pair of shoes, for those days when you're wearing your skirt, or when you're not going outdoors much but still need to be able to slip into a shoe for a moment or two during the day:

How to choose a pair of classic brown ballet flats

What do you think? I'm pretty pleased with how this all seems to work well together:

a sixteen-piece capsule wardrobe in olive and brown, with accents of purple and pink

Monday I have another "1 Piece at a Time Wardrobe" - a special request from a reader who is starting a new job...


p.s. Big programming notice here: starting next week, for probably the next 3 weeks, I'm going to only post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I'm going to Dublin for 12 days, and then IMMEDIATELY (yes, the very next day) going to Florida for family business. I should be back in the metaphorical, ergonomically correct saddle by the end of the month, in time to give you my "Year Without Shopping" update.
How to add accessories to a capsule wardrobe in an olive, purple, and white color palette
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!


  1. I've been doing a home version of this with the apartments we renovated. My solution: I got a small paint brochure at the hardware store and used it to note the shades of what I have (walls, tiles, carpets). So when I shopped for fabric for curtains and upholstery, I could just take out the little brochure to see whether something would work. Small, light, easy to slip in a bag.

  2. I've enjoyed this capsule enough that I am considering adding some olive green to my life. Such an interesting color.

    Twelve days in Dublin sounds wonderful. Have a great time. I must got there some time. I'm in the UK for this whole month. It's grey and cold. Days are short and, often, wet. But it's green - such a relief from the usual North American winter. So much can be forgiven because of the green.

  3. Such lovely additions to this wardrobe. Have fantastic and safe travels! :)

  4. Love these colors...a hint of Spring in this gray weather.

  5. Janice,
    Have fantastic and safe journeys ! I am always grateful for any of your posts, no matter the frequency !

  6. These colours are gorgeous! I'm on the "no shopping, got too much already wagon" as well Enjoy your time in Dublin!

  7. Yes, this is a wonderful grouping with many fun ways to combine and recombine its elements. I am thinking of a "dirty' purple coat with wooly hat and gloves.
    Enjoy Dublin

    Deb from Vancouver

  8. Wow a lot of great inspiration.

  9. A versatile colour scheme and as Deb says, there's a lot of fun in putting together outfits from it. This accessories post is sensational (and thank you for the amethysts!).

    I'm imagining your packing plans with 12 days in Ireland immediately followed by a family-oriented trip to Florida. Whew! Wishing you safe journeys, good health and happy times.
    Robyn in Tasmania

  10. As is the norm, my no-shopping resolve is sorely tested when you feature a beautiful scarf that just would fit right into my wardrobe...
    Happy travels!

  11. Have a lovely trip in both climes! Would love you hear about your packing for THiS adventure.
    Also can't wait to see how you will wear the brown sweater.
    Janice Collins, Washington DC

  12. It's interesting to me that some people like this wardrobe because I think these color combinations are hideous. I guess that's why we have so many choices, to make everyone happy. I'll be happy when we get back to the warm color combos again.

  13. I absolutely love this mix of colors. Makes me want to completely redo my wardrobe!!