First up - all four of these women own the SAME black cashmere cardigan. But once they put it into the mix with their own things, the results are very different:
Someone didn't mention to our last woman (the very avant garde lady) that we were getting dressed up, but I don't honestly think she's the kind of person who would mind...
If these four women were sitting in a restaurant together, I don't think anybody would be inclined to walk up to them and point out that they all have the same cardigan...
And the black pants become even more of a "background" item when worn with a distinctive top, and some accessories that echo the wearer's personal style:
|bag – Coach; velvet tee – Hale Bob; ankle-strap shoes – Halogen; pants - L.L.Bean; earrings – Lulu Frost; blush bag – Angela & Roi; floral sweater – Gerry Weber; bow flat – Summit; earrings – Alexis Bittar; pants - L.L.Bean|
When you wear something close to your face, it's more memorable, and thus people around you are going to notice if you and your friends are all wearing the same thing. That said, I still think that these four ensembles look VERY distinctive, one from the others.
|earrings - Majorica; skirt – Vanessa Bruno; sweater - L.L.Bean; flats – Lucky Brand; scarf – Eileen Fisher; mint scarf – Hinge; sweater - L.L.Bean; flats – Shoes of Prey; earrings – Vera Bradley; pants - Christian Pellizzari|
|star scarf – Mango; skirt – Acne Studios (sold out already!!!); sweater - L.L.Bean; earrings – Marc Jacobs; pumps - Aerosoles; earrings – Lulu Frost; sweater - L.L.Bean; pumps – Cole Haan; tropical print scarf – Sole Society; skirt - Parden’s |
Similarly, a black v-neck sweater might be somewhat more memorable than a pair of black pants, but once you've put a lovely scarf, a distinctive piece of jewelry, and either unique pants or a skirt, nobody's going to notice that you and your friend are wearing the same sweater.
|scarf – Nordstrom; cropped silk trousers – P.A.R.O.S.H.; v-neck sweater – L.L.Bean; mules – BP.; ring - Baumgarten di Marco; ring – Meredith Leigh; v-neck sweater – L.L.Bean; pumps - Louise et Cie; pearls – Kenneth Jay Lane; skirt – Aspesi|
|bag – Diane von Furstenberg; slingbacks – Vaneli; v-neck sweater – L.L.Bean; skirt – Acne Studios (sold out already!!!); necklace - Justine Clenquet; scarf – Rockins; pants – Only; v-neck sweater – L.L.Bean; short boots – Aquatalia; bag - Chloé|
The only thing more neutral than blue jeans might be jeans in any other color. These 4 outfits show the range of possibilities available to someone who owns a pair of ivory jeans:
|tote – Allsaints; sunglasses – Ray-Ban; jeans – Brock Collection; sweater – L.L.Bean; olive shoes – Sperry; mint tee – J.Crew; ivory shoes – Geox; sunglasses - Shwood; jeans – Brock Collection; tote – Ted Baker|
When these wardrobes are show together with their accessories, and the painting which was the original inspiration, you can see clear personalities. There's no way that these wardrobes could be confused for each other!
L’Encens – Ferrand Khnopff
Untitled by Julian Lethbridge
Carnival Evening by Henri-Julien-Félix Rousseau
|Le Pot a Tisane by Fernand Leger|
I hope that the lengthy process has demonstrated a little bit more clearly the potential that a core of neutral garments has within even the most distinctive wardrobes. Many people who struggle to get dressed every day might be well-served to seriously consider the usefulness of adding just a couple of versatile neutrals to their wardrobe.
For more on Personalizing a Neutral Capsule Wardrobe, please read:
- How to Personalize Neutrals in a Capsule Wardrobe - Start With Art: L'Encens by Ferrand Khnopff
- More Personalized Neutrals - Start with Art: Untitled by Julian Lethbridge
- How to Use Both Warm & Cool Accents in a Capsule Wardrobe - Start with Art: Carnival Evening by Henri Rousseau
- How to Accent a Neutral Capsule Wardrobe with Brights - Start with Art: Le Pot a Tisane by Leger
- Four Paintings, Four Different Ways to Wear Black and Ivory Neutral Building Blocks
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