Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Brown with Teal & Cream - Expanding a Successful Travel Wardrobe

Remember when we visited this gorgeous painting?

Madame Paul Escudier by John Singer Sargent

Our heroine was sent off to visit a corporate service center because of a major client complaint... and this is (an approximation of) what she packed for that trip:

travel capsule wardrobe in brown and teal with cream
labradorite earrings – Heather Hawkins; tortoise earrings – Vanda Jacintho; necklace – Nest; brown earrings - Latelita London; silk scarf – Hermès Les Legends de l'Arbre; lip stain – Yves Saint Laurent BlackRed Code; nail colour – Chanel Pirate; teal cardigan – L.L.Bean; tea lshirt – Lands’ End; ivory silk blouse – Equipment; bracelet - Auree Jewellery; ivory sweater – Lands’ End; dress - Dusan; jacket – L.L.Bean; high-waisted pants – Uniqlo; corduroy pants– L.L.Bean; clutch – Inge Christopher; watch – Skage; handbag - Orciani; teal tee – L.L.Bean; leopard scarf – Saachi; boots – Marc Fisher Ltd.; pumps – Athena Alexander; totepack - Knomo London

Global Service Director?

Well, of COURSE she'll take the position! She's been doing the work for months, so it's about time she was given the title, the office, and the SALARY...

When they called her into the Executive Suite to give her the news, they cited her ability to get along well with people at all levels of the organization, without being abrasive or seeming to be too much "home office-ish."

She attributes at least a tiny bit of her success to her image - warm and approachable. And what could be warmer than a cozy brown wardrobe - nothing inappropriate, but nothing too stuffy, either.

The plan is to build on success, starting here:

9 pieces in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe Template

She realizes right away that a simple brown sweater would make a LOT of difference...

Core of 4 garments in dark brown
jacket – L.L.Bean; sweater – Uniqlo; high-waisted pants – Uniqlo; corduroy pants– L.L.Bean

As much as she would like to use more teal in this wardrobe, she quickly realizes that finding teal pants, or a nice teal skirt, is going to take a lot more time than she really has, so she decides that she's going to take advantage of the rich beauty of blending shades of brown...

10 garments in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe Template

This wasn't at all taxing to find, and she absolutely loves the possibilities. Some of the places that she has to visit are in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota - there's NEVER too much cashmere when you're going there in February!

a 2nd Core of 4 in light brown
sweater – L.L.Bean; cardigan – L.L.Bean; twill pants – L.L.Bean; suede skirt - Vince

This is quickly becoming very versatile, and quite attractive...

14 garments in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe Template
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All she wants now for her 4 by 4 Wardrobe is a couple of printed tops - maybe a nice blouse to wear with her suede skirt, and something that has both teal AND brown in it, to help merge those two colors in outfits:

2 printed tops in teal and brown to finish a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
blouse – Blue Les Copains; tee – Ojai Clothing

This is her finished wardrobe - if she wears a 3-piece outfit when she's traveling, she will pack the other 13 pieces... For a 10-day or 2 week business trip, it should be just right...

a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in 2 shades of brown, with teal and cream accents

She takes a few minutes to play around with different combinations (snapping photos with her phone, to her help remember when her possibilities are...).

2 ways to wear brown trousers in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a brown knit dress in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

2 ways to wear brown pants from a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a brown suede skirt from a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

2 ways to wear brown pants skirt from a 4 by 4 Wardrobe

She realized almost immediately that it was time to pick up at LEAST another pair (or 2) of shoes... More accessories are in her future; she's going to try a 4 by 4 plan for those too!


Brown with Teal & Cream - Expanding a Successful Travel Wardrobe
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  1. Wow, beautiful colours! I have things in those colours, and I definitely need to wear them together! Linda M

  2. Love how this came together. Examples like this make it easier to see how to expand a small set of clothing into a real wardrobe.

    BTW - the complete wardrobe in the Pinterest image incorrectly shows a previous wardrobe.

  3. Oh Janice,
    For me, this is perfection ! My colors , with some accessories that would include red ! Even the portion of the painting title is fitting ! My license plate says “ Madame” , as that is what my husband has been calling me ever we went on a cruise to Alaska with an all international staff who always addressed me as “ Madame “! LOL !

    1. It’s so true, color is colors for an upcoming Baltic cruise next fall!!! Better get started now,...can I include some olive?
      Your style sister,

    2. I think olive would be lovely with this...
      Happy New Year!

  4. Teal just makes my heart sing, and I love it with the brown. It would take a bit to switch over from my pumpkin and peach, but a lot of my pumpkin, peach, and coral is old and needs replacing.

    How would you work this for a summer wardrobe?

  5. Beautiful - can't wait to see how she adds that little slice of "cranberry" - I think she really needs this wool/cashmere stole - it even has a thin cranberry stripe.

  6. I had fun imagining cool gray/pewter and slate instead of brown - same other colors, different neutrals. Yes, that's my idea of fun...

  7. Beautiful! I hope her accessories will pull in some of that luscious cranberry. Maybe a bag, and some garnets?

  8. A 4 X 4 for accessories? Can't wait to see the categories!

  9. How would that touch of red fit in? I have all these colors in my closet now. I just haven't quite figured out the red piece.

    1. I'd be looking at a red tee shirt and jacket, or a twinset, and maybe a piece of jewelry or a scarf that would tie the red in with the brown. I think red and brown together might look nice!