Thursday, January 25, 2018

A 4 by 4 Wardrobe for a Vacation to Bermuda in March

This is similar to the very recent wardrobe about traveling to Italy, but sufficiently different that I thought it was worth a look...

First off, I'm going to take a clue from yesterday's thoughts about accent colors and include some muted, pretty colors with the same navy and beige that we've already used... (navy and beige are on purpose - I'm pretty sure that this reader is a navy/beige person; if I'm wrong, I apologize!)

a navy and beige color palette with muted blue, lavender and teal accents

This is the easiest possible way to dress for travel - a "suit" in your dark neutral, with a contrast blouse, shirt or tee shirt, and a pretty scarf to tie everything together! I'm re-using a lot of the accessories from the earlier post to show how versatile they are... I changed the cardigan, top and scarf here, and it's a VERY different outfit...

realistically, both the Tuscany wardrobe and this could belong to the same woman, of course!

travel outfit in navy and muted teal
Earrings – Sarah & Sebastian; cardigan - L.L.Bean; tee shirt – Banana Republic; scarf– Vince Camuto; tote – Longchamp; loafers – Taryn Rose; pants – L.L.Bean; watch – Fossil; suitcase - Rimowa

I really love this navy cardigan, because it gives that sort of menswear feeling to things that contrasts so nicely with a floral scarf...

The other particular wardrobe desire expressed for this trip was something to wear for dinner... The general guideline for dinner there is "dressy casual," which is irksomely vague and oxymoronic...

(and yes, let's make just a bit of use of a heart motif, since this is a romantic vacation!)

Earrings – David Yurman; scarf – Ted Baker London; heart print blouse – Rails; skirt – Banana Republic; clutch – Nina; pumps - Aquatalia

With just these 2 outfits completed, our heroine is in a pretty good spot! She's got a few solid outfits available from just 5 garments:

Step 1 of a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe

The big gaping hole in her wardrobe right now is something in her lighter neutral. Bermuda in the spring can have temperatures that vary widely, but will generally be more cool than warm - more sweater than swimsuit! I'm including cropped pants on the off-chance that she'll be able to at least walk along the beach sometime, or that it will be warm enough to expose her ankles...

adding a Core of 4 in Beige to a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe
Cardigan – Madewell; sweater – Dreamers by Debut; cropped pants – L.L.Bean; jeans – Lafayette 148 New York

At this point, things are progressing well... but it's very clear that a handful of tops is going to be necessary to bring both versatility and some "life" to this wardrobe!

Step 2 of a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in navy and beige with muted accents

Since we're expecting mostly moderate to cool temperatures, a few pretty sweaters might be a great idea - especially since I managed to find ALL THREE OF THESE at the same place! That's sort of like blogger nirvana...

(the blue sweater has a neckline that works really well over a shirt... must remember that...)

And yes, the lavender and teal sweaters are the same sweater in different colors. There's absolutely NO reason to miss the chance to stock up if you find something you love... This sweater also comes in navy and beige - I could envision this heroine eventually owning FOUR of them...

adding 3 accent sweaters in muted accent colors to a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe
blue sweater – Banana Republic; lavender sweater – Banana Republic; teal sweater – Banana Republic

If she wanted to pack and leave right now with just these 12 pieces, I think she would manage quite well, don't you think?

Step 3 of a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe in navy and beige with muted pastel accents

But... let's think a bit about what might be useful for her to have... A shirt that could be worn alone on a warm day, or under her blue sweater?

And a pretty dress that would be great with either cardigan, but that would be very eye-catching across the dinner table? Oh yes!

What if it's really cool sometime when they want to just walk on or near the beach? A warm top that can be worn with any of the bottoms might be wise...

And that whole question about "dressy casual" dinners? Maybe a pretty top that could be covered-up with a cardigan in transit, but then would be special, but not "over the top" for the evening...

navy dress – Lands’ End; blue striped shirt – L.L.Bean; striped funnel-neck top – L.L.Bean; smocked top – Lands’ End

This wardrobe has literally dozens of possibilities! That's always reassuring when you're looking at unexpected weather, and the possibility of something getting damaged or stained...

4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe in navy and beige with accents of muted teal, lavender and blue

For each of the tops that our heroine is packing, she can wear it in a somewhat dressy way, or a more casual manner:

2 ways to wear a navy print blouse from a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a beige sweater from a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a muted teal tee shirt from a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a lavender sweater from a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a muted teal sweater from a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a feminine teal top from a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a striped sweatshirt from a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a striped linen shirt from a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe

2 ways to wear a blue sweater from a 4 by 4 Travel Wardrobe

Our heroine and her sweetheart are just going to walk on the beach, climb the lighthouse, maybe do some boating... Reading is in their plans, as well as some excellent dining! I think she'll be well-outfitted for this calm and love-filled fun...


p.s. Accessories, of course, are tomorrow's post!

A 4 by 4 Travel Capsule Wardrobe for a Vacation to Bermuda in March
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  1. I have a question about the outfits with the sweaters, I mean the outfits which are just two pieces, sweater + bottom: would you wear this outfit as pictured, with no other layers? I mean okay, probably underwear and a bra, maybe tights, but no other layer between the sweater and your skin? It seems strange to me; I don't think I would ever do it, but I'm really curious about what other people think!

    1. I would wear just a sweater, for sure. OTOH, having a shirt underneath helps keep the sweater fresh (my husband did a 10-day Christmas trip with 10 shirts and one sweater). If you alternate sweaters and hang them to air between wearings, you should be OK.
      Just a sweater, especially a cashmere sweater with a deep V-neck, is a classic French look.

    2. It's Bermuda! It's spring! You don't want a ton of layers. You could wear a camisole. You could wear a shirt that looks like you're not wearing a shirt (think Spanx or similar underwear for your top). Some sweaters are more like thick t-shirts than they are like jackets.

    3. I wear my cashmere pullovers by themselves all the time with a silk scarf at the neck. Lightweight but warm. I hand wash my cashmere.

    4. Same here - cashmere is just some other animal's hair, so shampoo is really ideal for washing... And I love the feeling of cashmere against my skin.

      And if I've misunderstood the weather in Bermuda, I apologize. When I looked up March temperatures, I was told that the temperatures would be solidly in the 60s Fahrenheit... Maybe this wardrobe could work for the dead of winter?


  2. Hi Janice! This was for me and it's BEAUTIFUL! And yes, navy and beige are my neutrals, and the accents work for me as well.
    I love the shades of blue together and the drapey blue top.
    Also, while I decline to state how many sweaters I already own (wink), the pullovers are lovely, and a _shawl_-collar navy cardigan might be a very useful addition!
    Thank you so much!

    1. It is beautiful! Have a wonderful trip!!
      From, Another Jennifer

  3. I love seeing the wardrobes shown in the 4x4 chart and then the examples of outfits using the choices. It makes so much sense. I wish I had seen this years ago as it now explains why some of my pieces never seem to work well.

  4. Hi Janice, I absolutely love the wrap waist dress from Lands End but I so wish it came with sleeves for those of us no longer wishing to bare arms if you know what I mean. I know it could be worn with a cardi or wrap but it would be nice to have the sleeves option!

    1. I understand completely - I lift tons of weights because of the same concern! Keep an eye on their site; they tend to repeat designs with just slight modifications. And send them a note that you'd like to see the dress with sleeves - they might surprise us and actually LISTEN to someone...

    2. Have you ever looked at those ‘Sleevey Wonders’? They seem like another option...

  5. Oops the link to the Lands End smocked top goes to the LL Bean item next to it.

  6. Lovely! Navy and muted accents are my preferences! Can't wait for the accessories! That navy on navy Longchamp bag is a real temptation and I've been looking at it for a while, but I have one in bronze that is still useable, so....sigh! Wonderful posts of late, thank you and so helpful. We are going to Florida in March for a week, and these colors would be perfect! Janice Collins, Washington, DC

    1. I bought a similar tote bag made by Chapelier in Paris a few years ago - navy with black leather handles - and it was extremely versatile. This September I left the bag on the subway in Barcelona. Sadly, it's pretty much impossible to replace, so I've been eyeing that navy Longchamp bag myself, but I am trying to stay strong. - nancyo

  7. Beautiful wardrobe. Janine