Friday, March 31, 2017

I love this painting... What a wealth of details, and vivid colors - plus being carried across the sea by angels sounds like a most privileged (and hard-earned) way to travel!

Saint Bride by John Duncan
Saint Bride by John Duncan

The range of accent color possibilities here is pretty vast, but I narrowed us down to just four:

Saint Bride by John Duncan with style guidelines and color palette

She Really IS In Charge...


Although you might find her sitting on the floor, happily coloring with a group of 4-year-olds...

nine wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks in denim, khaki and white
sweater – L.L.Bean; cardigan – L.L.Bean; denim shirt – J. Crew; tee - Lands’ End; white shirt – Lands’ End; sweater - Simply Be; khakis – L.L.Bean; skirt - L.L.Bean; jeans - L.L.Bean

Yep, she runs that HUGE day care facility. Inspections, regulations, paper work and MORE paper work...

12 outfits from 9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks

12 outfits from 9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks

If she's going to have time for the fun stuff, she's got to be meticulously organized:

9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe template

Because she's ALL about the fun, especially when there are little children involved!

7 wardrobe accent pieces in peach, pink, green, and florals
sweatshirt – Gant; cardigan – White Stuff; green tee– Hallhuber; sleeveless blouses - Uniqlo; skirt - Michael Kors; pants - Topshop

Happily, it's all fun for her - changing diapers, cleaning up behind messy toddlers - she enjoys it all, because it's all part of taking care of her most beloved charges.

a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in denim and khaki, with cheery floral accents

She's not opposed to getting into the sandbox, if the situation requires...

a dozen outfits from a 4 by 4 Wardrobe anchored in denim and khaki

She'll even lay down for a nap, if it's a good way to get a group settled. After all, there's chocolate milk when you get up!

a dozen outfits from a 4 by 4 Wardrobe anchored in denim and khaki

She'll never get rich doing this, but she considers herself to already BE rich - she gets paid in hugs from tiny, sticky arms wrapped tightly around her neck! (or her legs, or whatever part of her they can reach - they're very indiscriminate with their affections...)

love,
Janice

How to Wear Denim and Khaki with a Variety of Accent Colors: Start with Art - Saint Bride by John Duncan
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Just plain pretty:

Hafen mit Segelschniffen by Paul Klee

A wardrobe full of denim and khaki would still have a lovely feminine feeling with these accent colors!

Hafen mit Segelschniffen by Paul Klee with style guidelines and color palette

She Builds Flowers All Day...


... using cake frosting! Some may think that this is just a routine grocery-store kind of job, but she loves it...

9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks in denim, white and khaki
sweater – L.L.Bean; cardigan – L.L.Bean; denim shirt – J. Crew; tee - Lands’ End; white shirt – Lands’ End; sweater - Simply Be; khakis – L.L.Bean; skirt - L.L.Bean; jeans - L.L.Bean

Just because her work is very temporary in lifespan doesn't mean that she can't be meticulous, and filled with pleasure at the sight of her finished products!

12 outfits taken from 9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks

She's given quite a lot of freedom to choose her own color schemes and other design elements...

12 outfits taken from 9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks

So she spends quite a bit of her spare time learning how to construct new flowers - if a customer wants a cake decorated with something specific like hydrangea, or lilacs, she can happily oblige!

9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe template

Her love for flowers carries over into her spare time, during which she doesn't have to wear an apron, nor a hairnet:

seven wardrobe accent pieces in soft peach, green, blue and lilac
blush cardigan – Uniqlo; v-neck sweater – Uniqlo; iris tee – Uniqlo; blue tee – Theory; ribbed sweater – Uniqlo; jeans– Madewell; skirt – Perseverance London

Because she wears a chef's uniform so often, she doesn't need a big wardrobe. She feels that she has everything she needs for almost any occasion with this:

a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in denim, white, khaki, peach and other pastels

She's well-dressed to meet friends, run errands, go on dates with her partner, or even go to something quite fancy...

12 outfits taken from a 4 by 4 Wardrobe of denim, khaki and pastels

She enjoys the feeling of wearing something "flower-colored," even if nobody else thinks of it in those terms...

12 outfits taken from a 4 by 4 Wardrobe of denim, khaki and pastels

Her favorite phrase? "It's just too pretty to eat..." She never tires of hearing it!

love,
Janice

How to Accent Khaki and Denim with Softer Colors - Start with Art: Hafen mit Segelschniffen by Paul Klee
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Could be a dream, could be a nightmare, could just be a sweetheart - the enigmatic nature of this image is striking:

L'Ombre by Pablo Picasso
L'Ombre by Pablo Picasso

When I saw L'Ombre in the Picasso Museum last year, I knew that I would want to share it with you all!

L'Ombre by Pablo Picasso with style notes and color palette

Her Work is Complicated Enough, Thank You...


She's a psychiatrist. A shrink. She sits, quietly, and listens to people. Takes notes. Tries to formulate the perfect, pithy question to open up the hidden pain in her patient's mind, and help the healing start...

nine wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks in denim, white and beige
sweater – L.L.Bean; cardigan – L.L.Bean; denim shirt – J. Crew; tee - Lands’ End; white shirt – Lands’ End; sweater - Simply Be; khakis – L.L.Bean; skirt - L.L.Bean; jeans - L.L.Bean

She's always watching people, listening to people, learning from people. So she doesn't really want to spend a ton of time worrying about what she's going to wear - it just plain and simply isn't all that interesting to her!

a dozen outfits built from the 9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks in denim, white and khaki

a dozen outfits built from the 9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks in denim, white and khaki

She does, however, grasp that she has to be dressed every day, so she tries to be organized and to have a plan when she purchases clothes:

nine wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

Her favorites colors are an eclectic mix, which she manages to pull together pretty beautifully, given the minimal level of effort she puts into her wardrobe plan!

7 accent garments in tobacco brown, soft mint green and sky blue
cardigan – Magaschoni; sweater – Fat Face; blue ribbed tee – Sportmax; mint tee – J.Crew; blue top - L.L.Bean; cropped jeans – NYDJ; pants – Marks & Spencer

She likes to think that dressing casually puts her patients at ease, and that wearing familiar silhouettes keeps them from obsessing about what she's wearing. And she derives great comfort from the accent colors that she's chosen, grounded in nature as they are - bark brown, spring leaf green, and the blue of a springtime sky.

a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in denim, khaki, and white with accents of cognac brown, sky blue and soft green

She never struggles to get dressed - THAT would be a waste of time that she really wouldn't tolerate...

12 outfits from a 4 by 4 wardrobe with a denim and khaki core, and accents of green, blue and tobacco brown

12 outfits from a Four by Four wardrobe with a denim and khaki core, and accents of green, blue and tobacco brown

When she has a particularly difficult work day, she reminds herself that her accent brown color could always be called cognac... And calling for cognac after a hard day might be just the needed cure!

love,
Janice

Accents for a Denim and Khaki Wardrobe - Start with Art: L'Ombre by Pablo Picasso
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I'm sure there's a story here, and I'm afraid it might be a sad one:

Stairs in the Garden of the Asylum by Vincent van Gogh
Stairs in the Garden of the Asylum by Vincent van Gogh

Even in difficult circumstances, van Gogh captures the exuberant energy of nature, in a very limited palette:

Stairs in the Garden of the Asylum by Vincent van Gogh with style notes and color palette

Celebrating Nature is Her Profession


Landscape architect - it was the title that she always wanted. So she started out working as a landscaper with a successful female manager, and she went to school in her spare time...

sweater – L.L.Bean; cardigan – L.L.Bean; denim shirt – J. Crew; tee - Lands’ End; white shirt – Lands’ End; sweater - Simply Be; khakis – L.L.Bean; skirt - L.L.Bean; jeans - L.L.Bean

For a long time, she wore a uniform of khaki pants, and a bright green polo shirt with a logo, and a matching bright green jacket when the weather demanded. So when she finally wasn't in a "uniform" position anymore, she didn't feel the need for a wildly extensive wardrobe. She found that her simple khaki, denim and white wardrobe gave her lots of options...

a dozen outfits taken from 9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks

12 outfits taken from 9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks

Now that she had some extra money to spend on her clothes, she was determined to do so with a clear plan:

how 9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks fit into a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

Of course, she would continue to wear green - it was part of her life! But not the bright green of her uniform - more of a deep teal that she really loved. And the allure of a warm caramel was not to be denied, either. When in doubt, she turned back to her van Gogh inspiration to keep her on track:

cardigan – Lands’ End; v-neck sweater – Uniqlo; floral tee – Kettlewell; green & white tee – Marks & Spencer; teal tunic – L.L.Bean; cropped pants – L.L.Bean; pants – J. Crew Factory

She spent most of her time looking at seed catalogues, and books about historic gardens around the world - not a lot of fashion magazines in her life! But when she opened her closet door, she was delighted with what she saw:

a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in denim, khaki, white, teal and caramel

Most of the time she needs to dress nicely enough so that everyone knows who's in charge, and occasionally she even has to dress "up" for client meetings. Despite her small wardrobe, she has literally dozens of outfit options.

a dozen outfits taken from a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in denim, khaki, teal, caramel and white

12 outfits taken from a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in denim, khaki, teal, caramel and white

Most of her friends have wardrobes that revolve around a core of denim and khaki, but they're never worried that they're going to be dressed alike. She's going to meet up with them at the end of the week, and it will be interesting to see how they've each put their own very personal "spin" on their neutral wardrobe cores.

love,
Janice

PS - For more articles about building a wardrobe from a core, check out the 4 x 4 Wardrobes page.

How to Accent a Denim and Khaki Capsule Wardrobe: Start with Art - The Stairs of the Asylum by Van Gogh



Monday, March 27, 2017

Everyone already knows how to wear diamonds - there's a big business consortium that's been telling us exactly what to buy, and how to wear it, for decades...

So I'm looking at something a little bit different - unpolished diamonds, or diamonds as an accent with other stones, or diamonds in unusual colors. So if your birthday's in April (or the birthday of a special someone...) and you don't want to go full-on solid diamonds, I have some suggestions:

diamond accented jewelry with an olive dress, and with a rust dress
Dress – Uniqlo; necklace – Celine Daoust; wrap - Loro Piana; scarf – Cornici; necklace – David Yurman; dress – Uniqlo

(yes, you've seen some of these dresses before! A nice dress can stand up to a lot of scrutiny, and works well with a variety of accessories...)

And this black pleated dress? I'm just saying - it's a REALLY good thing that I'm not shopping for a dress (or anything else!) this year - this really appeals to me. Sigh...

And yes, those ARE diamonds on that necklace - diamonds in all sorts of colors!

diamond accented jewelry with a beige dress, and with a black dress
dress - Uniqlo; bracelet - MeiraT; scarf – Eileen Fisher; Scarf – Hinge; dress - Uniqlo; necklace – Noor Fares

I love the way the diamond accents on these subtle colors add just a bit of sparkle without being overwhelming:

diamond accented jewelry worn with beige, and with grey
dress – P.A.R.O.S.H.; earrings - Meira T.; ring - Belpearl; cardigan - N.Peal; cardigan – James Perse; earrings - David Yurman; ring – John Hardy; dress - Patagonia

When you're getting dressed up, you can choose any accent color you like, or you can go totally monochromatic - both are beautiful!

diamond accented jewelry worn with an ivory dress, and with a navy dress
Dress – Lands’ End; necklace - Frederic Sage; scarf - Nordstrom; scarf – Irene Paris; dress - Uniqlo; earrings – Marco Bicego

Diamonds are lovely with less dressy options too - especially these unpolished green diamonds! Who would have thought...

diamond-accented jewelry worn with olive, and with navy
cardigan – Polo Ralph Lauren; green diamond earrings – Mona Lisa’s Closet; bracelet – Roberto Coin; dress – Peter Cohen; dress – Uniqlo; earrings - Gurhan; bracelet – Sydney Evan; cardigan – Fat Face

So if you would like a little something with diamonds (or you're shopping for a gift), you can see that there's a wide world of options!

love,
Janice

More from the Birthstone Series:

How to Wear Diamonds in a capsule wardrobe - the April Birthstone; Some New Ideas!
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!