Thursday, May 04, 2017

How to Add an Accent Color for Warm Weather; Start with Art: View of New York by Charles Sheeler

This painting couldn't be allowed to fade into the history of The Vivienne Files without another look, right?

View of New York by Charles Sheeler, with style guidelines and color palette

Our bird watching, star gazing heroine is going on a much longer trip, but has decided that she doesn't need to make any changes to her travel outfit:

warm weather travel outfit in black and beige with brown accents
cardigan – L.L.Bean; scarf – Missoni; earrings – John Hardy; tee – Monsoon; watch - Coach; crossbody bag - Lodis; pants – L.L.Bean; loafers – Kelsi Dagger; tote – Longchamp

You might remember what she packed for her shorter trip to visit her friends with the veranda - all of these things were perfect, so she'll definitely include them:

a warm-weather Six Pack in black, beige and brown
brown tunic – Simply Be; earrings – L.Erickson; sunglasses – Quay Australia; necklace – Jonesy Wood Designs; tank top - Uniqlo; dress – L.L.Bean; shorts - L.L.Bean; bracelet – Miansai; plaid shirt – Diane von Furstenberg; black sandals – OluKai; ballet flats - Sam Edelman; ivory skirt – H&M

These are what she's adding to her suitcase for her longer trip; she's gone a wee bit overboard on her accent color, but summer clothes don't last as long as winter, so she felt a bit like indulging. And no, it's not the exactly precise color that was in the painting, but it's close enough that she felt comfortable that it would work with her core wardrobe. Finding a perfect scarf that includes all of her colors was just a bonus!

items to pack for warm weather in aqua, brown, beige and black
earrings – Talbots; sleeveless polo –Lands’ End; scarf – Klements; ribbed tee - Uniqlo; sleeveless linen shirt – Uniqlo; cardigan – Lands’ End; bracelet – Kendra Scott; bone shorts – L.L.Bean; aqua shorts – Lands’ End; sandals – Kenneth Cole; dress – Lands’ End; tote bag - Talbots

When put into this context, the aqua blue doesn't look nearly as overwhelming:

4 by 4 Wardrobe for summer in black, beige, aqua and brown

This is now her complete travel capsule wardrobe. I know some of you are wondering why she included 2 black dresses, but (1) she loves a good black dress, and (2) the 2nd dress is quite casual - almost like a long tee shirt, and styled like a sweatshirt. She can look halfway dressed-up and still be comfy....

a 16-piece summer wardrobe in black, beige, brown and aqua

At this point in time, no matter what kind of event, activity, weather weirdness, or other nuttiness confronts her, she can at least dress for it!

2 ways to style a black dress for summer

two ways to style black linen shorts

2 ways to style a beige linen skirt, with aqua or with black

how to wear black linen pants, with brown or with aqua

how to style beige denim shorts

2 ways to wear aqua shorts

2 ways to accessorize a casual black dress in hot weather

That 2nd dress would feel really nice right now...


How to Add an Accent Color for Warm Weather; Start with Art: View of New York by Charles Sheeler
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  1. Aqua with camel is so great.
    Catherine Deneuve wore an aqua sweater with white pants in a movie set on a beach, or at least that scene was on a beach, and though I don't recall the movie (and she has made too many for me to figure out which one this was), I vividly recall that simple, chic outfit and how fresh the aqua sweater looked. I've looked for the perfect boxy, open-weave cotton/raffia aqua sweater ever since.

  2. The power and influence of a well chosen accent colour!! Hmmm - very inspiring.

  3. Janice,
    I love everything about this with one outfit exception -- the aqua top and shorts with the cognac shoes and bag. I would need the bone color in either the sandals or the top or a topper. This is a good visual of what I know would not work for me. It's just as good to find out what our personal preference is not, as well as what it is !

  4. That second dress would work well as a pool or beach cover up!

  5. Clean, Simple, So Fresh, So unexpected, Fitting in while standing out!!

  6. Hi Janice -thank you for your endless creativity! There's just a hint of blush pink in the painting (I think). Could you do this wardrobe with that as the accent colour?

  7. I love that pop of aqua - just so refreshing for summer and really takes the look from a more formal one to a fun one!

  8. Can you please remind me again how you make your "venn" diagram of colours? This feels like a very versatile and fun wardrobe and love the bright blue notes.
    Deb from Vancouver

    1. I suspect she is very good at pie charts in either Excel or Powerpoint!

  9. So glad to see confirmation of my choices! My wardrobe palette is similar. Just a more chambray/denim blue instead of aqua. This looks just about like what I am packing for my weekend away! Thanks for all your help along the way!

  10. That aqua adds just the right summery accent! I like the aqua with the cognac accessories. The aqua keeps the black from being too heavy for warm weather. Another great wardrobe!!!

  11. That is so cleverly put together. The painting is intriguing. I wonder what is under the black cover!

    1. I wondered the same thing when Janice first used this painting, so I finally had to look for the answer ( ). It is apparently a camera, as Sheeler took up photography for a while. This painting was his first after deciding to give up photography and go back to painting, so the covered-up camera is symbolic of his life-changing decision. I get to learn the most fascinating facts thanks to Janice!

  12. I love the addition of the aqua blue to this collection. It adds just enough brightness to the otherwise neutral wardrobe. And as you mention, this is an extremely versatile wardrobe, perfect for traveling. Please visit this one again, perhaps in the fall or winter, maybe incorporating the grey that has not shown up much yet (even though I rarely wear grey, I would still like to see now it could be added!).

  13. Aqua is my absolute favorite color for everything home, clothes. Not sure if it with that shade of brown (cognac), but I love this wardrobe and the pop of color aqua makes. I tone aqua down with tan in summer and in winter, regular brown. It is pretty with so many neutrals. Janice Collins Washington DC

  14. Hi Vivienne, I so enjoy your style files, and use them whenever I plan a trip to Europe. I will be going to Ireland in July, and wonder what you would take for a 2 week trip. I have already assembled some navy/pink themed clothes, and some black and white ( no emerald green in my wardrobe though).
    Thanks, Karen

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