Monday, June 19, 2017

Can I Pack Denim and Khaki and still look Pretty? What about including Mauve Pink and Dark Pastel Blue Accents?

A few people have asked me recently about packing for early autumn - needing a jacket, and probably a sweater or two, but still wanting a few lightweight tops. And others have been eager to see denim switched out for the navy that we've looked at for weeks! And then there are questions about how denim and khaki might be too... boyish?

So I'm starting with this color scheme:

travel capsule wardrobe color wheel in denim, khaki, soft mauve pink and dark pastel blue

The first thing to be addressed is the need for something warm to wear on damp, cool days, or in the evenings:

A travel capsule wardrobe neutral core in denim and beige

denim jacket – L.L.Bean; watch – Rebecca Minkoff; cardigan – L.L.Bean; heritage stone pants - L.L.Bean; jeans – L.L.Bean; loafers – Ugg; sandals - Børn

Realistically, I should have included a pair of dark blue walking shoes... But these four pieces have lots of possibilities - one could include shirts and tee shirts in literally any possible color and you'd be able to get dressed pretty simply!

But let's start with that delicious muted pink that often shows up if you search for mauve:

travel capsule wardrobe additions in shades of muted mauve pink

tank – Gap; earrings – Stephen Dweck; bracelet – Alexandra Alberta; tee shirt – Gap; sweater - Aragona

Note of course that these pieces don't have to match exactly; if you're not planning to layer them together, they can vary quite a bit. And even if you were going to layer them up, a little bit of variation adds visual interest and can look really nice!

Next up is this blue, which is plain difficult to track down! So don't discount the possibility of looking at printed and patterned tee shirts to find the perfect color hidden within a flower...

travel capsule wardrobe additions in medium soft blue

tee– Uniqlo; sunglasses – Tory Burch; floral tee – Uniqlo; earrings - Gurhan; sweater – J.Crew; necklace - Gurhan; top - Oasis

After putting all of the pieces into the 13-Piece Template, it's clear that two more neutral "bottoms" are needed. I'm including a denim skirt, for that "sort of dressed up" evening that might occur. But if you're really opposed to skirts, either shorts or capris would work equally well here.

travel capsule wardrobe core pieces in khaki and denim

beige cropped pants – L.L.Bean; pouch bag – J.Crew; tote – L.L.Bean; denim skirt – J.Crew

Next, the elusive but always super-important scarves, that tie things together so beautifully. I looked for a long time, but I'm pretty thrilled with these 2! And note, for no reason known to me, the plaid scarf is a man's scarf. What in the WORLD gives a scarf gender? What we learn from this is that when we have a particular color in mind, check the mens' department. Because scarves have gender...

adding 2 scarves to a travel capsule wardrobe in denim, khaki, mauve pink and dark pastel blue

plaid scarf – Missoni; square scarf – Irene Paris

I ALWAYS check that the pieces that I've chosen will fit neatly and happily into the packing template. This, to me, is the absolute proof that the choices will work together. The equivalent, at home, is to spread everything out on the bed, or hang together on the shower rod. When you do this, you should see if you can quickly and easily put together LOTS of outfits from what you see in front of you.

  • Does each piece fit in?
  • Will each piece be wearable with a variety of pieces?
  • Can each item be dressed up or down? (within the limits of what you consider dressing up or down - for a casual vacation, dressing up might be sitting in the pub for dinner!)

13-Piece Whatever's Clean Travel Wardrobe in denim, khaki, soft mauve pink and dark pastel blue

This might be the most important thing - when you put together outfits, either in reality on your bed, or just in your mind, what accessories will you need? Here, as I said, a dark pair of walking shoes would be handy as HECK...

a travel capsule wardrobe in denim, khaki, soft mauve pink and dark pastel blue

Walk your way through your itinerary, with a notepad in hand, if you think it would be helpful. What can you do with your khaki capris if the morning is cool? If it's warmer?

2 ways to style khaki capris from a travel capsule wardrobe

I want to wear my denim skirt, but it's not really ALL that warm. Do I have things with sleeves that will work well with my skirt?

2 ways to style a denim skirt from a travel capsule wardrobe

My pants are obvious for cooler days - but it could always warm up A LOT during the day. What will I wear then?

2 ways to style khaki pants from a travel capsule wardrobe

What if I want to wear jeans but still look pretty? (Of course we all know that a happy smile is the best way to be pretty...)

What if there's frost on the ground when we wake up, but the temp is supposed to get up into the upper 20's?

2 ways to style jeans from a travel capsule wardrobe

It's often said that anticipation is half of the fun of a vacation; it might also be the best part of making certain that you're packed appropriately and completely!


Can I Pack Denim and Khaki and still look Pretty? What about including Mauve Pink and Dark Pastel Blue Accents?
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  1. Janice,
    I love following your train of thought as you explain your rationale for your selection toon of pieces -- those are the posts that bring me the most learning ! Thank you !

  2. Forgive typos -- iPad issues ! I have no idea how " toon " got in there !

  3. It is very helpful to have your thought processes added in for have taken very simple pieces and developed a "pretty' and very practical, adaptable grouping. I would, like you, add a pair of blue walking shoes and a blue raincoat with a hood.

    1. PS, thank you for your reminder to check menswear or for smaller women, boys wear. Their socks, sweaters, scarves and shirts are often more fun and lower prices.

  4. add in various shades of grey and this is my wardrobe!

  5. A lovely collection. I especially like the leafy Uniqlo T, but as I have promised myself I won't buy anything else this summer, I'm not sure I should thank you for showing it:-) Linda M

  6. I would love to see this curated with maybe a green or teal and some camel/brown. As a (former) redhead living in semi-rural Idaho, this could really be my life. We don't have a Michigan Avenue here. We have cows and horses, but that doesn't mean I don't want to look put-together. :)

  7. Great easy to wear collecton. Love the denim and khaki as neutrals and would enjoy seeing this expanded to a full wardrobe.