Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A 4 by 4 Wardrobe in Smoky Blue, Pearl Grey, Navy and Grey

The same core of navy and grey looks a LOT different when the accent colors are soft and subtle!
Lace-trimmed gauze scarf – Remi & Reid, silver flower earrings – 21 dgrsswirled silver bracelet – Komang Wirawan, silver necklace – Sri Luce square silk scarf – Antagoniste,  hoop earrings – Simon Sebbag, ankle boots – Sam Edelmanloafers – Walking Cradlesnavy henley – Uniqlo, jeans – Mango, navy shirt – Uniqlo, corduroy skirt – Peter Jensengrey tee – Kin, grey jeans – Uniqlo, grey cashmere sweater – Uniqlo,  wool trousers – Reissstriped sweater – Vanessa Bruno Athestylized fair isle sweater – Rachel Comeyjacket – Uttam, cardigan – Acne Studiosblue cashmere sweater – Equipment, light grey tee – Replay, blue shirt – Sophie, grey sweater – Dear Cashmere
I think this demonstrates that you can invest in a core of neutral colors, and then, as your preferences and tastes (and personal coloring...) change, you can shift into a different "feel" of accent colors, without having to completely redo your wardrobe.

Navy henley – Uniqlo, jeans – Mango, navy shirt – Uniqlo, corduroy skirt – Peter Jensen
Grey tee – Kin, grey jeans – Uniqlo, grey cashmere sweater – Uniqlo,  wool trousers – Reiss
  I changed out a couple of these tops, in order to soften up some of the more crisp colors and graphics of earlier wardrobes. 
Striped sweater – Vanessa Bruno Athe, stylized fair isle sweater – Rachel Comeyjacket – Uttam, cardigan – Acne Studios
Realistically, if you've chosen pearl grey as one of your accents, you've opened the lovely door to all shades of grey in your wardrobe.  Grey is a great color to blend...
Blue cashmere sweater – Equipment, light grey tee – Replay, blue shirt – Sophie, grey sweater – Dear Cashmere
I chose a solid scarf for this wardrobe, in a shade a few notches darker than the accent color itself.  Scarves don't have to be patterned or printed in order to have impact!
Lace-trimmed gauze scarf – Remi & Reid, silver flower earrings – 21 dgrsswirled silver bracelet – Komang Wirawan, silver necklace – Sri Luce square silk scarf – Antagoniste,  hoop earrings – Simon Sebbag, ankle boots – Sam Edelman, loafers – Walking Cradles 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Four by Four Wardrobe in Bright Blue, Ultra-Violet, Navy and Grey

This wardrobe is a perfect case study in having to be really patient in the search for the accent colors!  While navy and grey are pretty readily available, these particular beautiful, vivid shades of blue and violet were quite difficult to find!  But that's okay - you've lived this far into your life with your current wardrobe, and even if you only have the navy and grey pieces of this wardrobe for quite a while, you've got plenty of options.  If you settle for something that's close, but not exactly right, then you won't love your new clothes any more than you love your existing wardrobe, and that accomplishes nothing for anybody except the retailers!

Here's our color scheme:

First, the Core of Four in navy (don't those jeans look like they should have a horse and a holster with them?).  Yes, this is one of those great Uniqlo shirts that's ALWAYS shown with a color swatch over the left sleeve - there's really not a white line on the cuff like that! 

You might wonder about a corduroy skirt, but I have to confess to an immoderate fondness for one that I had, and would like to replicate.  The picture of me up on the top right of the blog?  Taken on a train between Milan and Venice, and I'm almost certainly wearing a black corduroy skirt and black riding boots with that gorgeous grey sweater..
Navy henley – Uniqlo, jeans – Mango, navy shirt – Uniqlo, corduroy skirt – Peter Jensen
A Core of Four in grey:
Grey tee – Kin, grey jeans – Uniqlo, grey cashmere sweater – Uniqlo,  wool trousersReiss
The Expansion Four includes both a blazer and a cardigan, since there were no 2nd layers in the first eight garments: 
Degrade sweater – Vince, striped knit top – Mint Velvet, jacket – Uttam, cardigan – Acne Studios
These are amazing:
Silk blouse – Eileen Fisher,  angora cardigan – Schumacher, purple tee shirt – Eileen Fisher, blue wrap top – Wallis
And oh, the fun of finding scarves that belonged in this wardrobe!  The bag might be a bit "out there" for those of us who feel we need to carry a true briefcase, but as a weekend alternative it's a fun way to incorporate your accent colors without spending mega monies on a status bag.

Note here some things I did when choosing the jewelry:  Since the first scarf is all about accordion pleats, I looked for a small earring that wouldn't be a distraction, that which WOULD echo the parallel line details from the scarf (the little hoop earrings).  Similarly, the paisley scarf called out for me to find jewelry that has swirling, curved, and loopy lines - thus I chose the bracelet and the larger hoop earrings, which have a weird little twist to them to add interest.  The silver necklace medallions also add an overall sense of roundness to the chain-style... 
Pleated silk scarf – Cathayana, ridged earrings – David Yurman, swirled silver bracelet – Komang Wirawan, silver necklace – Sri Luce, paisley scarf – Liberty Londonhoop earrings – Simon Sebbag, bag – K’amolon K’I K’ojonel, suede short boots – Aquatalia, loafers – Paul Green
How fun is this?
Navy henley – Uniqlo, jeans – Mango, navy shirt – Uniqlo, corduroy skirt – Peter Jensengrey tee – Kin, grey jeans – Uniqlo, grey cashmere sweater – Uniqlo,  wool trousers – ReissDegrade sweater – Vince, striped knit top – Mint Velvetjacket – Uttam, cardigan – Acne Studiossilk blouse – Eileen Fisher,  angora cardigan – Schumacher, purple tee shirt – Eileen Fisher, blue wrap top – Wallis, pleated silk scarf – Cathayanaridged earrings – David Yurman, swirled silver bracelet – Komang Wirawan, silver necklace – Sri Luce, paisley scarf – Liberty London,  hoop earrings – Simon Sebbag, bag – K’amolon K’I K’ojonel, suede short boots – Aquatalia, loafers – Paul Green
Someone asked, just this morning, how these clothes could be worn across a range of "dressiness".  Here I show the simple navy shirt with relaxed work looks - from the relative structure/2nd layer of the cardigan, to the more relaxed but solid sweater, and then Friday-ing out with the striped sweater. 

Similarly, the skirt could go relatively serious with a silk blouse, blazer (roll down the sleeves), and somewhat tame scarf to tie it all together.  The 2nd outfit gives you a solid navy column of clothes with a major accent in the cardigan, and that amazing scarf...  But the skirt could easily run around on Saturdays with the ombre sweater and ankle boots.   I hope this helps! 


Monday, August 25, 2014

A Four by Four Wardrobe in Apricot, Celadon, Navy and Brown

Sunday morning, I built a spreadsheet to analyze all of the color combinations that you've requested, and it turns out that navy is the most requested color (followed closely by brown and medium grey).  So I'm going to persevere with the various ways to use navy as a wardrobe base - are you more interested in seeing dressy/conservative office attire, business casual (which to me feels like an oxymoron, even though I lived with it for decades), or casual/weekend?  Or shall I mix it up?

Let me know...

First up today is this excellent color combination:
The familiar brown core: 
Corduroy pants – Viyella, tee shirt – J. Crew, skirt – Precis Petite, sweater – Dear Cashmere
And the navy Core of Four.  Don't forget that these four items, all on their own, give you FOUR outfits.  It's easy to lose sight of the power of the solid, matching clothes in the fun of color schemes. 
Navy tee – Lands’ End, skirt - Uniqlo, silk shirt – Lands’ End, twill trousers – Lands’ End
I changed all four of these items; I KNEW that there would be more things available as soon as we started looking! Some of these exceed all reasonable bounds of extravagance...
Marled turtleneck – White Stuff, plaid blouse – Isabel Marant Etoile, cardigan – Uniqlo, striped sweater – Daniela Gregis
And what lovely accent colors!
Apricot sweaterCarven,  mint blouse – Paisie, apricot tee shirt – Aspesi, mint sweater – Closed
I also changed all of the accessories, to reflect the wide range of options that you have with these wardrobes.  Looking for chalcedony (the pale green kind) makes finding jewelry for this wardrobe easier.  It's always worthwhile to dig through the internet and learn the names of semi-precious stones in your favorite colors.  That way, when you want to internet search for something, you have great keywords to use.
Floral cashmere square – Brooks Brothers, pearl stud earrings – Matta, brown pumps Rose Petals, gold bracelet – Alexis Bittarpearl and chalcedony necklace – Ritu, tote bag – Longchamp, square silk scarf – HTC, gold hoop earrings – St. John Collection, riding boots – Franco Sarto
I really like the way this came together.  The warmth and softness of the accent colors completely change the feel of the core neutrals, but still have a definite sense of autumn about them.
Floral cashmere square – Brooks Brothers, pearl stud earrings – Matta, brown pumps – Rose Petalsgold bracelet – Alexis Bittar,  pearl and chalcedony necklace – Ritutote bag – Longchamp, square silk scarf – HTCgold hoop earrings – St. John Collection, riding boots – Franco Sartocorduroy pants – Viyella, tee shirt – J. Crew, skirt – Precis Petite, sweater – Dear Cashmerenavy tee – Lands’ End, skirt - Uniqlo, silk shirt – Lands’ End, twill trousers – Lands’ End,  marled turtleneck – White Stuff, plaid blouse – Isabel Marant Etoile, cardigan – Uniqlo, striped sweater – Daniela Gregis,  apricot sweater – Carven,  mint blouse – Paisie, apricot tee shirt – Aspesi, mint sweater – Closed
                        Neiman Marcus Last Call (Neiman Marcus)