Monday, February 20, 2017

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe Around a Statement Tote Bag

Someone sent me a link to this beauty... What excellent colors!

Longchamp Neo Fantasie Polka Dot travel bag
bag - Longchamp

If you love this fabric but don't want a large tote, there's a smaller tote available, as well as a shoulder bag...

This bag includes a bunch of the classic neutral colors - beige, white, shades of rust into dark brown, maybe some black? I'm deliberately NOT including any sort of style guidelines here because I think that this is a case in which a wide variety of personal styles could accommodate this bag.

I'm going to focus pretty much on warm-weather attire here, but imagine for cooler weather - a navy winter coat with camel trousers... a navy wool skirt with an ivory sweater and brown riding boots.... mmm....

Longchamp Neo Polka Dot bag with color palette
bag - Longchamp

This is sort of a styling free for all - I just let my imagination wander toward whatever outfits I would like to wear, or that would be fun for travel. I'm including one long-sleeved dress, just because it's really beautiful, and for an early spring event it could be a perfect choice.

navy dress outfit, navy sweater with khaki shorts outfit

For me, warm weather cries out for some tee shirts...

navy striped tee shirt with khaki pants, orange tee with navy and white checked pants

This dress would be so nice on a really hot day, when you had to look dressed up, but didn't really want to put too much effort into it:

ivory dress, navy & cream breton top with khaki capris

I know that many of you aren't crazy about wearing skirts, so you can easily substitute dark navy jeans for the denim skirt, and maybe navy seersucker pants for the skirt - but I thought the skirt was classic summer attire...

rust tunic with denim skirt, white sleeveless top with navy seersucker skirt

Even though I assembled these outfits without really referring back and forth among them, when I aggregate all of the various pieces, it comes together in a pretty nice travel or capsule wardrobe! I would of course have to include a navy cardigan, but that's just me...

14-piece travel capsule wardrobe in navy, ivory, tan and rust

If you were sincerely going to use this capsule for travel, you might want to whittle down on the shoes a little bit - or maybe, since the wardrobe is pretty compact, you could just go mad and take all of the shoes with you! (sometimes, you just have to go a bit crazy...)

accessories for a navy, khaki, rust and white capsule wardrobe

These 14 pieces of clothing, and wee pile of accessories, go together in a LOT of different ways - here are 8 more ensembles taken from these pieces. This would see you through a lot of vacation trips pretty beautifully, I'd say!

white sleeveless top with khaki shorts, ivory dress worn casually

rust tee with khaki capris, navy dress worn with a scarf

rust tunic with navy and white checked pants, navy sweater with khaki pants

navy and cream breton top with khaki shorts, navy & white tee with denim skirt

I particularly like the idea of the very last outfit - the striped tee with the dotted kerchief, the classic tennies and a denim skirt. Quintessential summertime...

love,
Janice

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe Around a Statement Tote Bag
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18 comments:

  1. This is genius ! I particularly love the white dress and the final outfit, too. Lovely.

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  2. I love your handbag posts. Much as I enjoy the Starting with Art series, I'd enjoy being able to wear/carry the source of inspiration. I would wear all these outfits except the dresses, being short and pear shaped has always made dresses very difficult. In any case I have little use for them! Linda M

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  3. That bag is genius--it jazzes up the outfits that are all solids, and it doesn't compete with the outfits that have patterns.

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  4. The rust in the bag makes it wonderfully appropriate for fall as well as spring--great outfits here, Janice, and a great source of inspiration!

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  5. I love those navy checked pants! :)

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  6. I love your pairings and seeing them visually really helps. I am trying to write mine 4x4's on paper and it's difficult to get a sense of how things will work. Can you tell me if you use and InDesign Program to create your Capsules?

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  7. Love it! Could we add: https://www.therealreal.com/products/women/accessories/scarves-and-shawls/hermes-cannes-and-pommeaux-scarf-2

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    1. That scarf would be perfect with this little wardrobe!
      Hugs,
      Janice

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    2. That scarf would be perfect with this little wardrobe!
      Hugs,
      Janice

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  8. I don't care for the tote at all, BUT, I love the outfits. I think my issue is that if you carry a bag with a print or pattern, it will clash with your clothing if you are not careful. I must be a conservative dresser :).

    Judith

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  9. this is brilliant, i love this idea the best

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  10. You have a point Judith, it does need care so that the patterns don't fight for attention but I think this post shows how the right ones in the right colours can play nicely. I agree too that it's an excellent collection of outfits. I'd be happy to add any of the individual items to my existing wardrobe but if they could be parcelled up and sent to me as a collection I'd be ecstatic. But having gone grey over the past year the plan is actually to move to light, soft, low-contrast colours. I guess my brain hasn't fully adjusted yet!
    Robyn in Tasmania

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  11. I have looked for more ideas with navy...thanks for this, Janice!

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  12. Wow! Thank you from all your Warm toned fans out here! Love this. Each and every piece would work for me and I think the bag is great. Thanks. ( I wish I were a Longchamps fan. The lack of an outside pocket just doesn't work for me :(. )

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  13. I love this entire account--the checked pants stood out--I would never usually consider something like this but I love them! All pieces are very wearable and classic! Thanks for these suggestions with navy!

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  14. This would make a great travel capsule! Says Martha's Vineyard or the Hamptons to me. Great pairings!

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