Monday, December 18, 2017

Does Your Wardrobe Work for You? Some Ideas for Figuring Out What You Need...

Friday we looked at the first three of the "12 Months, 12 Outfits" final wardrobes, and found some interesting "holes" in the wardrobes... I'm interested to see how the second 3 wardrobes look, when evaluated through a series of arbitrary, but not worthless, criteria.

This was the 4th wardrobe - a pretty challenging one to assemble, because olive green isn't the most common color in the world, and orange is every bit as difficult to find!

capsule wardrobe in olive, blue, and orange

As has been true for all of the wardrobes, this wardrobe has a LOT of bottoms - an issue inherent in building a wardrobe through outfits. The learning here might be that a few more tops, and maybe another 2nd layer, would be useful additions...

evaluating a wardrobe based on the different types of garments

This ratio looks a bit strange to me - some women really prefer solid-color clothes, but I suspect that an average person might want 3 or 4 printed or patterned garments in a wardrobe of this size. However, given the struggle to find these colors, finding appropriate prints might be tough!

evaluating a wardrobe for solid garments vs prints

Dear oh dear. This is really not sufficient, to me. Clearly the owner of this wardrobe might benefit mightily from a couple of simple green shirts or sweaters to wear with her abundant assortment of green pants, skirts and shorts.

evaluating a wardrobe looking for dark or light solid "base outfits"

These don't look terribly bad, but a couple of green tops to wear with these cardigan might give this heroine quite a bit more versatility.

evaluating a wardrobe for the presence of twinsets or equivalent pieces

This is really the same lesson - lots of green "bottoms" but not enough "tops."

evaluating a wardrobe for the presence of a solid inner core of garments

This is an area in which this wardrobe is sufficient; the addition of green tee shirts, shirts, blouses or sweater would give this heroine a number of really easy, one-color outfits.

evaluating a wardrobe for the presence of a suit or suit equivalent

Ah, these are going to help A LOT! From warm weather to very cool, these pieces will add a lot more easy outfits to this wardrobe. And the blouse just brightens things up, and will give the orange cardigan a bit more mileage!

suggested additions for a capsule wardrobe based on olive green
smoky olive shirt – Lands’ End; turtleneck – J.Crew; tee shirt - J. Crew Factory; floral blouse - Saloni

This next wardrobe is just plain and simple pretty...

capsule wardrobe in grey, blue and orchid

Proof that all rules are meant to be broken - back in April, the outfit for this wardrobe used a cardigan as the sweater (so never forget that a buttoned cardigan = a sweater...)

evaluating a wardrobe based on the different types of garments

No prints! This might be the way she prefers to dress, but it also might be an opportunity for some variety to be introduced...

evaluating a wardrobe for solid garments vs prints

This heroine is missing an easy opportunity to get dressed when she's half asleep, if she just added a darker grey blouse or shirt...

evaluating a wardrobe looking for dark or light solid "base outfits"

Nothing to worry about here...

evaluating a wardrobe for the presence of twinsets or equivalent pieces

These "columns" are all fine, but it might be very handy to have that dark grey tee shirt, shirt or sweater to wear with matching pants - especially in cooler weather.

evaluating a wardrobe for the presence of a solid inner core of garments

Well-supplied here, but this again suggests to me that just 1 charcoal top could get worn A LOT...

evaluating a wardrobe for the presence of a suit or suit equivalent

So these are my suggestions - finding pieces in charcoal grey isn't easy... A couple of printed tops add some variety (and a tee shirt that will be perfect with the dark grey "suits" is a fun find!). The plaid shirt helps pull the orchid cardigan more into the wardrobe, and since that orchid shade is terribly under-represented in this wardrobe, another sweater seems to help with balance.

suggested additions to a capsule wardrobe in grey, blue and orchid
charcoal tee shirt - James Perse; plaid shirt – L.L.Bean; sweater – J.Crew; floral tee - Escada Sport

The final wardrobe... Maybe it's because I have brown eyes, but I've been drawn to this one from the very beginning!

capsule wardrobe in brown, beige and shades of red

The need for tops is consistent through all of these wardrobes:

evaluating a wardrobe based on the different types of garments

Not a bad number of prints, but something other than a plaid shirt might be a welcome addition?

evaluating a wardrobe for solid garments vs prints

This seems to be a common theme - the absence of a simple, dark neutral top that would be wearable in a variety of ways...

evaluating a wardrobe looking for dark or light solid "base outfits"

This seems a bit skimpy - the only "twinset" here is in an accent color. Maybe this heroine absolutely detests the look of a twinset, but if that's not why this has happened, she might want to find a top to match 1 or 2 of her cardigans.

evaluating a wardrobe for the presence of twinsets or equivalent pieces

That missing brown top has left a pretty big hold in the wardrobe, to my eyes...

evaluating a wardrobe for the presence of a solid inner core of garments

She's in a good way if she needs to wear something suit-like... This might never be a consideration for you, but if it feels that it might be helpful, finding these 2 pieces can open up a world of outfit possibilities...

evaluating a wardrobe for the presence of a suit or suit equivalent

A twinset! That will change the number of potential outfits tremendously!

But I could NOT find a good brown tee shirt, nor blouse. That's something that would have to be a positive obsession for this heroine...

And just to break up the relentless solids garments, I liked the subtle color-blocked sweater.

suggested additions to a capsule wardrobe in beige, brown and shades of red
French pecan heather cardigan – Lands’End; short-sleeved sweater – Lands’ End; colorblocked sweater – Marni; sable heather sweater – L.L.Bean

I have to admit, I've never looked at my own wardrobe in this way! But I might - I'm finding that there are interesting possibilities made evident by this analysis.

I'm hopeful that this might be useful, or at least interesting, for you all!

love,
Janice

For the complete 2017 "Build a Capsule Wardrobe - 12 months, 12 outfits" series, check out the following articles:

Does Your Wardrobe Work for You? Some Ideas for Figuring Out What You Need...
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14 comments:

  1. Janice,
    Now you can appreciate my shopping struggles, as I seek out garments in the warm colored capsules you have depicted here, and why I cannot be a minimalist as I would be left with nothing but rags over time, as replacements are so hard to come by ! I absolutely refuse to change to what is more frequently offered on the market in the way of colors that do not suit my own personal coloring ! However, my colors do periodically surface in some years , so I patiently wait and then grab the various pieces when they do become available. Ironically , I have some exactly color matched garments that were purchased years apart ! And prints — sigh ! That’s why, in the cool months, I use scarves to add pattern to an outfit. In the warm months I rely on construction detail interest .
    This is a wonderful exercise, and has shown me why some of my items seem to be worn less often — they need a partner! Or the hue is slightly off, as you showed the olive green that didn’t quite match the other olive greens when you did the closet pare down by color post. So once again, thank you thank you for this analysis !

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    1. One more thought — the blue twin set -like pair in your second example here can be even more interesting than exactly matching values, as long as they are both in the same hue family.

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  2. This has been such a useful exercise. I've read, and reread the posts.

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  3. Been wanting to post something for days and just couldn't get the time. This wardrobe analysis is so helpful! And beautiful to look at ;) I'm in the process of changing to a more coherent wardrobe, but I'm taking it slowly to get things that are practical and flattering and... amortizable! Oh, the economist in me! And I simply love how your posts makes us think of ourselves as heroines. Thanks and get well soon Janice!

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  4. You mentioned too many solid colors in the assortment, but that's the reason to use one or two colorful scarves!

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    1. Amen! But sometimes, some people would be well-served to have at least a striped tee shirt or floral blouse - it's all SO subjective...
      hugs,
      Janice

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  5. It doesn't really fit in with your style choices, but to my eye, both the olive/orange and the pink collections could use a classic light blue denim jacket or a denim blazer, or some other cropped top layer. And the brown one cries out for a cocoa leather jacket.

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    1. Those would all be great additions to these wardrobes - a denim or leather jacket tends to look really good with a LOT of wardrobes, don't they?
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. I have long thought that a good pair of blue jeans would be great for those wardrobes. I'd probably trade one of the olive "bottoms" for jeans, or something in the blue family. It seems that would open up a variety of possibilities, rather than adding even more olive to match all those bottoms. Very interesting exercise! - nancyo

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  6. It's been fascinating to watch these wardrobes grow over the past 12 months! They are all so beautiful and so very different from each other. Your analysis of the wardrobes is quite interesting, and has clarified my preferences for how I dress - I love prints and patterns, and I rely on them to tie outfits together, especially since I often wear three different colors, rarely two, and almost never dress monochromatic-ally (unless it's black) - nancyo

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  7. As a redhead, my wardrobe WOULD be olive, orange, and brown. They are my favorite colors. Alas, as you so accurately point out, they are nearly impossible to find.

    I've loved these posts! Thank you, and have a lovely holiday season.

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  8. re Wardrobe #4: I looked at that blue the longest time, b/c it sets my teeth on edge. There are colours that look cheap even if the clothes are decent, and that dulled mid-blue is one, and also a sickly fern green. This is not a criticism of your sets, it is a foot-stomping frustration for the cheap dyes being used these days. To get a subtle mid-saturation blue, I have to go to the Italians, and that savages my wallet. That is why I default, then, to navy, but even a good, rich navy is not as easy to find as it was years ago. And don't get me started on reds. Sometimes I choose a palette like black, white and grey simply because they can't mess with them as much. And, if you add an Hermès scarf, its superior dyes and colourways can make a sadly-dyed top look even worse. End of rant.

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    1. Oh YES! I remember still, back in the 80s, I bought a sweater at Eddie Bauer, in shades of lavender, purple, lilac... it was a simple cabled crewneck wool sweater, but the individual fibers in the sweater were a melange of at least 5 or 6 colors. It was absolutely luminously beautiful... I couldn't find one like that now unless I went to Loro Piana or Bruno Cucinello, and paid a thousand dollars. What a pity...
      hugs,
      Janice

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  9. Dear Janice,
    So we reached the final post! I have a huge favor to ask - I will be returning to these posts many time in the future, I can feel that. I have an issue with that - it is hard to follow scattered pieces of specific wadrobe when there are 6 wadrdobes to scroll trouhh. So please, please could you copy and paste from these series an article for each wadrobe for future reference? Please. This series is awesome resource and it would be pitty not to be able to use it.
    Also please include an index page with pictures of each scarves and color wheel, since I can't find my way around index pages with text titles only.
    Thank you so much for all your work!
    Hugs
    Sania from Zagreb

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