Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Can You Build a Casual Wardrobe from a "Dressy" Work of Art? Water Lilies by Monet

As much as the dressy wardrobe based on Monet's Water Lilies was a lot of fun, most of us don't dress quite like that on a regular basis!

So our heroine, who was so overwhelmed with invitations through the holiday season, decided to build an entire 4 by 4 Wardrobe around her favorite art inspiration, to take her through the rest of the winter...

Monet's Water Lilies with style guidelines and color palette
Water Lilies by Claude Monet

One day when she was racing around shopping for holiday gifts, she realized that the outfit that she was wearing would fit perfectly into her "dream" color scheme; it has the right colors, as well as a floral watch and scarf, and some very "fluid" earrings:

a starter outfit in navy and bright blue
earrings – Rattiya Chaiwong; scarf – Echo; jacket – Madewell; watch –Ted Baker; sweater – Banana Republic; waterproof boots – Bos. & Co.; jeans – Marks and Spencer; small velvet backpack – Herschel Supply Co.

She had been really organized when she built her holiday party wardrobe, so she thought that staying with a plan would make sense! Random purchasing of clothes can be amazingly wasteful...

First step in building a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

Her first step was to see what she had in navy, and what she might need to buy. For cool weather, she decided to use navy as her only neutral, so she ideally wants to have 8 garments...

Six navy garments, to build a cool-weather 4 by 4 Wardrobe
navy top – Uniqlo; navy sweater – Uniqlo; navy cardigan – Uniqlo; corduroy pants – L.L.Bean; knit pants – L.L.Bean; skirt - Whistles

Now, when she looks at her 4 by 4 Wardrobe, it looks pretty somber, but also pretty versatile. She's not worried - there are accent colors in her future!

second step in building a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

Now the fun starts! A suede shirt-jacket? Heck yes! A water-colored blouse in all of the colors of her painting? Done! And a pretty, simple tee shirt in a subtle pinstripe will be great when she knows that she's going to want to peel off her jacket...

3 blue additions to a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
suede shirt jacket – Banana Republic; blouse – Florence Bridge; tee shirt – Banana Republic

third step in building a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

Her accents were mostly bright, except the tee shirt, so she thought that she would look for some pieces that reflected the more soft, subtle colors in "her" painting. And in anticipation of warmer weather, she grabbed a great pair of ivory denim pants...

accents of green, cream and pink for a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
green sweater – H&M; paisley shirt –Lands’ End; ombré pink top – Vince Camuto; ivory denim pants – Eileen Fisher

Now, she looks into her closet and see her tidy 16-piece wardrobe, and feels the peace and tranquility that she feels when she looks at Monet paintings...

4 by 4 Wardrobe in navy, blue, green and pink

Feeling tranquil is great, but she also wants to make sure that she has some clear ideas of how she's going to wear these pieces!

2 ways to wear navy corduroy pants in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

2 ways to wear navy knit pants in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

2 ways to wear dark wash jeans in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a navy skirt in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

2 ways to wear ivory denim pants in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

Today's the day that I'm supposed to be returning from Paris... I will, of course, share what I saw with you, starting Thursday. But should I hang onto this post and add some accessories to our heroine's wardrobe?

Can You Build a Casual Wardrobe from a "Dressy" Work of Art? Water Lilies by Monet
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  1. Yes, please do add some accessories! Thank you, Janice

  2. Yes please and look at what I found yesterday at L Vuitton. Perfect for this wardrobe: http://us.louisvuitton.com/eng-us/stories/masterscampaign2#film/details

    1. http://us.louisvuitton.com/eng-us/stories/masterscampaign2#masters/monet/details

  3. Hi, I really hope your flare-up is on its way down. And yes to accessories for me too.

  4. I do hope you are feeling better. I was packing for a Christmas trip to Phoenix and then became ill and can't go. My wardrobe selections look just like today's post. I will look forward to using today's ideas to perfect my look! With new accessories. Hint hint.
    Joan Cecile

  5. Along with new accessories, I am thinking about a shoe wardrobe based on pewter and silver. Do you think that could work? Joan Cecile

    1. I love shoes in those color tones!! Great idea :)

  6. I'd love to see shoes and accessories in the wardrobe!

  7. I hope you're feeling better! This is confusing me -- I thought it was supposed to be a cold-weather wardrobe. But that t-shirt is a very thin t-shirt, and the drapey blouse with the tied sleeves could not really be comfortably warm under a sweater, cardigan, or jacket. Seems to me that a long-sleeve t-shirt and a turtleneck would make more sense. But maybe that's because my "transitional" wardrobe can all fit in a drawer -- it's either cold or hot here.

  8. From Germany with Love, excuse my English, please;-)

    Dear Janice, a year ago, I started to read your blog, a very amazing blog!!!
    I'm a 60 years old lady with size xs/s and curly, nearly dark hairs.
    I have learned so much about wardrobe, thank-you. I like the way, taking a famous picture and creating a wardrobe, but I think, three colours are not enough.

    2018 I want to change step by step my wardrobe, a at this time black, grey, burgundy, petrol, white wardrobe. It ist boring now and 60 Years is a good age to start with something new.
    Is it possible to create a basic wardrobe for a whole year with black and all the other colours, for example: black jeans, burgundy cardigan, black shirt; black skirt, petrol Sweater; black Chino, yellow longsleeve, grey cardigan....not only a few colours, but many colours, and always one or more pieces black?
    I think, it doesn't work, do you think so, too?
    If not, please, please start in january a new project: build a capsule with black and all he other colours

    Herzliche Grüße

    1. Tag, Margita! Check out these posts (replace navy/grey with black in in some of them):

    2. Thank you for showing all these wardrobes, I'll study them. Many Greetings!

  9. Thank you, Janice, for honoring my request for this 4 X 4 wardrobe. As time goes by, I would like to add some of these items to my wardrobe. Plus, I found 3 old posts that contain these colors: A Touch of Teal, 9/15/2016; A Touch of Turquoise, 9/28/2016; Tote Bag Travel Capsule Wardrobe in Teal and Jade, 10/20/2016. I especially like these posts because of the medium value of the neutral colors. The Teal cardigan and tee are still available from LL Bean, so I ordered them. Again, thank you for all you do. I hope your current fibro-flare doesn’t last long.

  10. I'm also chiming in to thank you for showing us how to systematically build a compact wardrobe that works for all kinds of situations--and allows for fun and quirky additions through accessories. And also for your heroines and their stories!

    I'm sorry to hear you are under the weather--hope you feel better soonest! If you need to take a break so you can rest, we'll be right here waiting for you....

    (By the way, I'd love to see accessories for this colour palette too!)

  11. Here is a Pinterest board I made: "Monet's Waterlilies & Vivienne Files". https://www.pinterest.com/carolehustead/monets-waterlilies-vivienne-files/