Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with a Backbone - Start with Art: Paris Dreaming by Peter Rumney

I'm long overdue to make something clear - your choice of wardrobe inspiration does NOT have to be some work of fine art, nor some fabulous creature from nature. If you're inspired by a work of art that's frankly commercial and designed simply to be pleasant and decorative, you should apologize to NOBODY!

For example, someone brought this artist to my attention:

Paris Dreaming by Peter Rumney
Paris Dreaming by Peter Rumney

This painting is very romantic, which is perfect for today, and it brings to us a delightful color scheme:

Paris Dreaming by Peter Rumney with style notes and color palette

This is a great scheme if you sometimes want a dash of bright color in your outfit, but if you also want to have the option of wearing shades of grey. Let's see how that actually works when I put real clothes into the backbone template we built last week...

blank template for a Wardrobe with a Backbone

I'm starting with many of the same pieces that you've seen before in the prior wardrobe, but I'm shifting the overall wardrobe just a touch more dressy, by removing the shorts and adding in a 2nd skirt. I love a nice pleated skirt...

5 grey garments to form a Wardrobe Backbone

Let's start by finding four tops that correspond with the four "color" colors in the palette:

four accent color blouses and sweaters

To fill in the other side of the template, let's stick with shades of grey and white, including that workhorse cardigan and it's matching sweater:

four sweaters and tee shirts in grey and white

The template clearly has two distinctively different sides to it now, doesn't it?

a Whatever's Clean template with a Wardrobe Backbone, in grey and brights

As always, let's pull together some outfits, just to ensure that we've not gone astray in our choice of garments:

three ways to wear a charcoal grey pencil skirt

three ways to wear a charcoal grey pleated skirt

three ways to wear charcoal grey dress pants

three ways to wear charcoal grey jeans

three ways to wear charcoal grey capris or cropped pants

Just to make sure that you're absolutely clear on this - your favorite painting doesn't have to be in the Louvre, your favorite color scheme doesn't have to be taken from some rare, endangered exotic bird, and you don't have to explain the things that move you to ANYBODY. "Chacun à son goût" (each to is own taste), as the French would so wisely say.

Tomorrow I'm doing the accessories - just wait 'til you see some of the beauties I've found!

love,
Janice

PS - For other planning tools, including the latest Pantone Color Planner, check out the Planning Documents section of the website.

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with a Backbone - Start with Art: Paris Dreaming by Peter Rumney
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23 comments:

  1. Lover of colour that I am, I find myself strongly drawn to your capsules that include 3 or 4 accent colours like this one.

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  2. My wardrobe scheme is drawn from the film The Labyrinth (the David Bowie one). No one realises, just as they wouldn't if it were a more high brow inspiration.

    It also has to pass my "style statement test". I've been influenced a lot by this blog!

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    1. Is it glittery? I love that movie so very much and it always astounds me every time I watch just how much everything glitters. Happy to see another Labyrinth lover out there!

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    2. Some diamanté, some lace and some pearls but mostly layers and comfortable clothes. It wasn't until I realised I was wearing a "Sarah" outfit a lot and had another outfit in the worm colours that I gave in and embraced my favourite. Oddly enough I no longer get wardrobe boredom and feel well put together. Just needed the right inspiration as I'd tried and failed with building wardrobes using Janice's guidelines before.

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  3. Your blog is my favorite and this post in particular just gave me some great ideas!

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  4. Love the fun painting and love the great pops of color in this wardrobe! Happy Valentine's Day Everyone. :)

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  5. About that inspiration - I have a much smaller budget than you, well your pictures anyway. My capsule inspiration was a scarf from Old Navy. (a year ago) The scarf has Olive, blush, wine and off white stripes. I added navy to add my jeans. It's been a year and there are enough colors and I have enough pieces that I still love it. (Although I may pull out some old red stuff today since it is Valentine's.)

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  6. Some of my favorite pieces of "art" have been greeting cards. Beauty is where you find it.

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  7. My current inspiration is a knitting project using a multi-color yarn (teal, greens, browns, grays and orange-yellow; Noro silk garden sock 360 for any knitters out there). When finished I'd like to see what you, Janice, would do with it.

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  8. Decades ago my mother made me a quilt from all my baby and toddler clothes, and I still look good in those colours...it's wonderful to sleep in clolours that I look good and feel confident in. Somehow, I never thought to use it as color inspiration for my clothing choices. Such a simple, but important, piece of advice: Chacun à son got, wherever you find it. : )

    Looking forward to the accessories for this wardrobe!

    Looking forward to the accessories choices!

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  9. This couldn't be more timely, as I am putting together a travel wardrobe for this week(!) using a strong core of gray. Because of bad feet, I usually start my capsules from the ground up, literally, by choosing my shoes first. I recently bought a pair of gray Munro oxford shoes that you featured a few weeks ago, and I am excited to pack them for this trip! - nancyo

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    1. I adore my Munro short boots so much that I really go out of my way to show their shoes on The Vivienne Files. Those oxfords call my name SO MUCH.... (discipline, discipline...)
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. The oxfords are really wonderful. And Munro's range of sizes/widths indicate that it might be a new perfect brand for me. My checkbook is not thrilled but my feet are, lol. - nancyo

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    3. Agreed, but I'd rather have 3 or 4 pair of perfect shoes than a huge closet full of things that aren't comfortable and are of poor quality. I'm starting to think really hard about a six-pair shoe wardrobe...
      hugs,
      J

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    4. Please keep thinking about the shoe wardrobe. I'd be thrilled if I could settle on a dozen pairs of quality footwear. I have the space and the number fits well with the 12 months / 12 outfits plan I am following along with this year.

      I also really like it when you do wardrobes with 3 or more accent colors!

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    5. Nancy, I have to plan around my shoes too. The Abeo brand from The Walking Company has been a lifesaver.

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  10. Yes inspiration can come from
    Anywhere. My inspiration for winter is a lovely brown, tan, teal, turquoise, navy and olive printed Peruvian alpaca cardigan I rarely wear as I'm allergic to wool, but it totally inspires my winter wardrobe. For summer I refer to a lovely seascape photograph with tans, blues, aqua and deep blue ( navy), and touches of light gold/yellow and peach. It is so calming that I wanted my wardrobe to have the same affect on me. Janice Collins, Washington DC

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  11. How do we send you suggestions? I enjoy your blog so much and see that sometimes you work with reader's suggestions. I recently found myself in possession of a splurgy tote that cries out for a wardrobe... :)

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    Replies
    1. Write to me at theviviennefiles@gmail.com - I'll put your idea into the pile!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  12. I love this series! And ... shoes. I seem to have Birkenstock shaped FEET ... and have spent the last decade wearing clogs and sandals because they're the only things that are comfortable. But today I have a new pair of Birkenstock SHOES - Arran model - black leather sneakers with the original footbed inside, and nice roomy toes. So now that I have lace-up shoes, clogs, and sandals, I'm ready to make a 13-piece travel wardrobe for spring in Budapest/Vienna/Nuremberg.

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  13. I'm leaving on a weeklong trip to the Azores on Thursday. I have that short sleeved gray Land's End sweater with a different cardigan. I might have to consider packing those 2 pieces now.

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  14. Janice, these are gorgeous colours! And the scarves... I love them! This makes me want to take all my clothes out and make them into whatever's clean thirteens just for the fun of it :-)
    Thank you so much for this post and all of the others past and future.
    Helen

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  15. Really love this wardrobe with its great pops of color!

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