Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Yes, we're playing catch-up here; the idea of writing about birthstones wasn't sent to me until late in January, so I missed writing about garnets during "their" month. And going forward, I'm going to write about each stone a few weeks before it is "in season," so that if you're inclined to get something in anticipation of a birthday, you'll have a chance to plan ahead some.

Since this posts follows so quickly on the heels of the post about the February amethysts, I stuck with the same garments (for the most part) and just found new and lovely accessories!

One of the fun things about garnets is the range of shades of red available - everything from a pretty bright "true" red through to a deep maroon or burgundy shade. That makes it easier for you to find garnets that suit you perfectly.

And if you're planning to visit Prague, be warned - Garnet jewelry is everywhere there, and maddeningly tempting! The only time I ever visited, I was so overwhelmed that I ended up leaving with no purchases. It's worthwhile to have a few ideas about what you want before you travel; I was utterly unprepared...

Yes, this is the same bracelet - one with silver, one with gold. I love having that kind of option!

How to wear Garnet, the January Birthstone, in a capsule wardrobe

If you're going to be really active, you can still wear a pair of earrings, and maybe a ring (if your hands aren't going to be involved, or if you're wearing gloves of some sort...)

How to wear Garnet, the January Birthstone, in a capsule wardrobe

One of the best things about wearing athletic apparel is that the colors are always ALL OVER THE MAP, and it doesn't matter. Even if you're going out for a 10 mile run, you can still wear your garnet earrings and ring... just to glance down at from time to time, and smile...

How to wear Garnet, the January Birthstone, in a capsule wardrobe

Yes, you've seen these dresses before, but they're very versatile, and lend themselves to any accessory color I can find...

How to wear Garnet, the January Birthstone, in a capsule wardrobe

How to wear Garnet, the January Birthstone, in a capsule wardrobe

How to wear Garnet, the January Birthstone, in a capsule wardrobe

If you want to carry over the garnet color scheme into other areas of your wardrobe - beyond just jewelry - there are a mountain of options! I'm particularly smitten with the idea of a velvet baseball cap - the tomboy in me will never die...

How to wear Garnet, the January Birthstone, in a capsule wardrobe

I'll get to the March birthstone later this week; I should have enough time to find a few new outfits, too.


How to wear Garnet, the January Birthstone, in a capsule wardrobe
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Someone sent me a link to this beauty... What excellent colors!

Longchamp Neo Fantasie Polka Dot travel bag
bag - Longchamp

If you love this fabric but don't want a large tote, there's a smaller tote available, as well as a shoulder bag...

This bag includes a bunch of the classic neutral colors - beige, white, shades of rust into dark brown, maybe some black? I'm deliberately NOT including any sort of style guidelines here because I think that this is a case in which a wide variety of personal styles could accommodate this bag.

I'm going to focus pretty much on warm-weather attire here, but imagine for cooler weather - a navy winter coat with camel trousers... a navy wool skirt with an ivory sweater and brown riding boots.... mmm....

Longchamp Neo Polka Dot bag with color palette
bag - Longchamp

This is sort of a styling free for all - I just let my imagination wander toward whatever outfits I would like to wear, or that would be fun for travel. I'm including one long-sleeved dress, just because it's really beautiful, and for an early spring event it could be a perfect choice.

navy dress outfit, navy sweater with khaki shorts outfit

For me, warm weather cries out for some tee shirts...

navy striped tee shirt with khaki pants, orange tee with navy and white checked pants

This dress would be so nice on a really hot day, when you had to look dressed up, but didn't really want to put too much effort into it:

ivory dress, navy & cream breton top with khaki capris

I know that many of you aren't crazy about wearing skirts, so you can easily substitute dark navy jeans for the denim skirt, and maybe navy seersucker pants for the skirt - but I thought the skirt was classic summer attire...

rust tunic with denim skirt, white sleeveless top with navy seersucker skirt

Even though I assembled these outfits without really referring back and forth among them, when I aggregate all of the various pieces, it comes together in a pretty nice travel or capsule wardrobe! I would of course have to include a navy cardigan, but that's just me...

14-piece travel capsule wardrobe in navy, ivory, tan and rust

If you were sincerely going to use this capsule for travel, you might want to whittle down on the shoes a little bit - or maybe, since the wardrobe is pretty compact, you could just go mad and take all of the shoes with you! (sometimes, you just have to go a bit crazy...)

accessories for a navy, khaki, rust and white capsule wardrobe

These 14 pieces of clothing, and wee pile of accessories, go together in a LOT of different ways - here are 8 more ensembles taken from these pieces. This would see you through a lot of vacation trips pretty beautifully, I'd say!

white sleeveless top with khaki shorts, ivory dress worn casually

rust tee with khaki capris, navy dress worn with a scarf

rust tunic with navy and white checked pants, navy sweater with khaki pants

navy and cream breton top with khaki shorts, navy & white tee with denim skirt

I particularly like the idea of the very last outfit - the striped tee with the dotted kerchief, the classic tennies and a denim skirt. Quintessential summertime...


How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe Around a Statement Tote Bag
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Friday, February 17, 2017

Yesterday, I finally got up the courage to tackle a wardrobe based in olive and grey, and it turned out pretty great, I think. it was based on this most amazing painting by Salvador Dali and color scheme:

Head of a Woman by Salvador Dali with style notes and color palette

But a simple wardrobe isn't really useful, nor fun, until you add the accessories...

A choice of black shoes to wear with olive and grey

Feminine is Where You Find It

She works outdoors quite a bit - half the time in the lab, and half the time sitting on the ground, counting the plants and animals she finds in a 1 meter square of virgin ground.

Sometimes it's virgin prairie, sometimes forest...

It's meticulous work - the difference in finding 5 plants and finding 7 can mean a lot, when you're talking about the global health of a species...

But she never gets bored - she understands that the smallest wood louse is important, in the grand scheme of things...

Her friends think that her job is very grubby...

They can't picture doing what she does, although they understand that it's important. They would want to be able to dress up more, and feel more feminine.

But she knows better. Flowers are everywhere in her life...

Nothing is more feminine than nurturing - and that's what she does!

She has dreams, too...

Her work is the kind of thing that might, just might, make a really big difference to the world. And she never forgets that!

The smallest flower could be the cure for a terrible illness. An obscure ground cover plant could change the landscape of drought...

A wee pink flowering plant might be named for her some day. THAT would be feminine...


How to Choose Accessories for a Grey and Olive Wardrobe - Start with Art: Head of a Woman by Dali
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

I've been asked repeatedly to look at grey and olive together in a wardrobe, and I finally found a painting that put a really interesting spin on those 2 colors:

Head of a Woman by Salvador Dali
Head of a Woman by Salvador Dali

The colors in "Head of a Woman" by Salvador Dali are amazing - a huge variety of neutrals, including olive, grey, black, shades of brown, and even a bit of faded denim blue. But it's that pink that really sets this apart!

Head of a Woman by Salvador Dali with style notes and color palette

Just to give us a different look at how to go about building a 4x4 wardrobe 1 piece at a time, I'm starting with four of the grey garments that we've been using in wardrobes for the last few days. My thinking is that you might already own a pretty good core of one neutral, but be stuck as to the steps to take to incorporate your second neutral (especially if it's a new color in your wardrobe.) Maybe working through this will help us all figure out how to do this!

Please note that I'm making this a pretty casual wardrobe - the sort of thing that you would pack if you were going to a rural area of England, or to Scotland, Wales or Ireland (which are for the most part pretty casual destinations) this summer. You really can't get terribly dressed up in this wardrobe, but unless you've got dressy plans, that's not a problem. The real strength here is the ability to layer on and off as the weather changes!

4 by 4 Wardrobe with a grey First Core of 4
grey cardigan - Lands' End; jeans - L.L.Bean;
capris - L.L.Bean; shorts – Patagonia

First, this wardrobe desperately needs both the 2nd neutral, and even more critically it needs some SHIRTS of some ilk.... tee shirts to the rescue!

how to add an olive tee shirt to an olive and grey traval capsule wardrobe
tee shirt - Uniqlo

And while we're getting the overall balance of this wardrobe back to something more normal, it's clear that a grey tee shirt is also necessary.

tee shirt - Uniqlo

I'm not going to avoid that wonderful pink accent color for very long... Another tee, in a long-sleeved version for cooler weather.

how to add a pink tee shirt to a travel capsule wardrobe in olive and grey
tee shirt - L.L.Bean

For cool evenings or rainy days, nothing is more cozy than a cashmere hooded sweatshirt in the most flattering shade of peony pink:

This color, and a lovely aqua/teal shade, are on sale...

how to add a pink hooded sweatshirt to a travel capsule wardrobe in grey and olive
sweater - L.L.Bean

At this point, I feel pretty comfortable with the "top to bottom" ratio of the wardrobe, so I'm going to find some pants. Be warned that olive doesn't grown on trees (although it certainly sounds as if it should!) and that blending shades is going to be your best bet for building a wardrobe around olive. It's such a great color; I don't know WHY it's not more readily available...

how to add olive pants to a grey and olive travel capsule wardrobe
pants - Sans Souci

Yes, you've got 2 cardigans, but you might need an honest to goodness jacket.... it certainly can't hurt to have it with you; maybe you'll ward off cool weather if you're prepared for it!

jacket - Madewell

Printed and patterned tee shirts bring a lot of life and visual interest to a small wardrobe, and this one has both of the core colors in it - not always an easy thing to find!

how to add a print tee shirt to an olive and grey travel capsule wardrobe
tee shirt - Ojai

Long shorts. An oxymoron, but a really handy garment if you plan to do a lot of walking. Of course, if you don't wear shorts, these could be jeans, or some kind of sport-fabric pants, or even a denim skirt!

shorts - Propper

Another printed tee - with that pink shade ALL OVER THE PLACE! Some days, the deities shine on the home of wardrobe building, eh?

how to add a print tee shirt to an olive and grey travel capsule wardrobe
tee shirt - Ojai

I love me a good skort! It's great for being active, but remaining ladylike and presentable. They're growing to be a staple in my sport wardrobe, and I can highly recommend this one.

How to add an olive skort to a travel capsule wardrobe in olive and grey
skort - L.L.Bean

If the weather is never warm enough to wear a tank top on its own, you can always layer it under other things. This is versatile!

how to add a pink tank top to a travel capsule wardrobe in olive and grey
tank - Uniqlo

And I couldn't resist this sweatshirt. I didn't even really try...

How to add a floral sweatshirt to a grey and olive capsule travel wardrobe
sweatshirt - M&S Collection

I had serious doubts about this color scheme when I started out, but I think that it's turned out really well. I can see dozens of ways to wear these pieces, and I think that I would feel well prepared for travel if this was in my bag.

As always, I'm going to tackle some accessories for this one tomorrow. And I think I have a story brewing about this woman....


How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with Olive and Grey - Start with Art: Head of a Woman by Salvador Dali
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