Thursday, May 05, 2016

Accessories: Olive, White, Tomato and Mustard, 1 at a Time

This wardrobe puts me in the mood to watch baseball - I have NO IDEA why... Maybe just typing the words tomato and mustard?

But what a fun capsule wardrobe for accessories!

I've mixed up the order for the accessories this time, primarily so I could get another pair of shoes into the mix and give our poor wearer a break from those red loafers! Because this entire wardrobe has a warm feeling to it, I thought beautiful brown leather would be a great accessory option:

tee – Uniqlo; pants – L.L.Bean
linen cardigan – L.L.Bean; top loafers – Cole Haan
middle loafers – Minnetonka; bottom loafers – Trotters

Because this outfit felt like three separate colors (maybe because it IS 3 colors.... duh....) I thought a necklace would be a good choice - something to pull things together and to break up the big patches of solid color. I particularly like the multicolored necklace - it has lots of colors in it, way beyond what our wardrobe includes... For some reason, it still blends in well.

Tee – Uniqlo; pants – L.L.Bean
 cardigan - L.L.Bean; top necklace – Chico’s
middle necklace – Lauren Ralph Lauren; bottom necklace – Kohl’s

Earrings are important to many of us; don't forget that there are hoops in all KINDS of shapes, in addition to the tried and true (or is it tired and true) round?

tee – Uniqlo; pants – L.L.Bean;
 cardigan – L.L.Bean; top earrings – Marco Bicego
middle earrings – Marianela Vargas; bottom earrings – Carmen Anocibar

A warm leather watch band gets us back to that whole brown leather accessory idea:

Cardigan – L.L.Bean; tee – Uniqlo
skirt – Ermanno Scervino; top watch – Ripcurl
middle watch – Nine West; bottom watch – Fossil

Ditto with brown sandals. It's always worth remembering, if you have a wardrobe of colors that seems tough to match, that neutral leathers, as well as metallics, will always work. This wardrobe could easily embrace bronze or copper accessories!

Tee – J. Crew; pants – L.L.Bean
top sandals – Lucky Brand; middle sandals – Josef Seibel
bottom sandals – Steve Madden

The leathers don't have to match exactly, because the eye of the beholder will blend them a bit. But it's pretty important that your pieces at least look like they're cousins, if not identical twins...

Jacket – L.L.Bean; tee – Uniqlo
pants – L.L.Bean; top bag – Emperia
middle bag – BP.; bottom bag – Fossil

Wardrobe accent colors are the perfect place to indulge in bold or vivid accessories, especially in the summer when just about the only thing you can stand to wear is a pair of earrings or a bracelet. There's a bracelet out there in pretty much any color you can imagine!

Tee shirt – J. Crew; linen pants – Uniqlo
top bracelet – Dorothy Perkins; middle bracelet – Ports 1961
bottom bracelet – Endless Jewelry

It wouldn't be wrong to have all 3 pair of earrings...

Cardigan – L.L.Bean; tank – Current/Elliott
pants – Uniqlo;  top earrings – Kendra Scott
middle earrings - Chico’s; bottom earrings – Vince Camuto

Casual canvas shoes are an easy way to bring an accent color into your accessories without breaking the bank. You've got to wear some sort of shoes most of the time, so why not some fun ones?

Cardigan – Boden; tee – Uniqlo
pants – Uniqlo; top shoes – Nine West
middle shoes – Keds; bottom shoes - Vans

Gotta have a tote bag:

tank – Current/Elliott; shorts – L.L.Bean
top bag – Mark & Graham; middle bag – Sole Society
bottom bag – J. Crew

Since this shirt was a garment chosen to bring the slightest hint of dressiness into this otherwise super-casual wardrobe, I thought that a subdued scarf (for that over the top air conditioning!) would be an appropriate choice here. Remember that a scarf can also be worn as a belt, if you're so configured, or tied to a handbag for a wee swish of color...

Shirt – Splendid; skirt – Ermanno Scervino
striped scarf – Caslon; solid scarf – The Kooples
two-color scarf – Le Tricot Perugia

This top doesn't require much else going on to be visually complete, but a small bracelet could be a nice touch. And remember that you can wear more than 1 bracelet. Without veering off into that whole silly "arm party" fad, multiple accessories can make a statement without being cluttered or irritating to wear.

Top – Missoni; pants – L.L.Bean
top bracelet – Forever 21; middle bracelet – Sho London
bottom bracelet – Vita Fede

I saw this scarf tied around a wide straw hat, blowing in the breeze...

tank – Current/Elliott; pants – J. Crew
red scarf – Nordstrom; yellow scarf – Faliero Sarti
white scarf – Nordstrom

Your loved ones asked me to remind you to buy some GOOD sunglasses, and to wear them regularly. They are the single most important items in this entire post, and maybe this entire blog!

Top – Uniqlo; pants – L.L.Bean
top sunglasses – Burberry; middle sunglasses – Chloe
bottom sunglasses – Smith Optics

Dozens and dozens of possibilities, for almost any occasion you can imagine in warm weather. While it might not pack into a carry-on bag, it would easily fit into 1 checked bag, and you'd be ready for whatever comes!


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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Olive, Tomato and Mustard: 1 Piece at a Time

It's been quite a while since I've done any capsule wardrobes using the "1 Piece at a Time" scheme, and it seems to me that this is a great time of year to get back to this. If my experiences are any indication, some of you might still be stuck wearing warm-ish clothing, but thinking daily about how you're going to gradually evolve your closet when (if?) the weather gets warmer...

So let's start with this - a cheery tee shirt, neutral pants in an already summer-weight fabric, and a linen cardigan. Although this outfit would be reasonably comfortable on a cool day (with a pair of socks - maybe bright yellow ones?), it's also composed of good building blocks for moving into warmer weather. And while beige or brown shoes would certainly work well here, I couldn't resist the red!

tee – Uniqlo; linen pants – L.L.Bean
linen cardigan – L.L.Bean; loafers – French Connection

Any shade of green can be tough to find in stores, but it always makes a lovely and distinctive neutral; I had some luck searching for this color under Sage and Laurel, as well as Olive. And I love a good dab of mustard... 
tee – Uniqlo; linen pants – L.L.Bean
linen cardigan – L.L.Bean; loafers – French Connection

It might be dull as dishwater, all on its own, but a simple white top is a lifesaver a dozen times when the weather is warm and you don't know what to wear. Don't be distracted by the flashy, glittery or sequined to the point that you neglect these simple basics!
Tee – Uniqlo

This is an important concept if you want to build a really versatile wardrobe - look at something you really love, like a nice pair of pants, and find a couple of pieces that go with it WELL. This is the most deconstructed possible version of a suit, and it will be well worth the effort to search out.
Cardigan – L.L.Bean

A similar idea here - if you love your green pants, maybe a skirt or shorts in the same color? Now that you have the matching cardigan in hand, this opens up all kinds of possibilities...
Skirt – Ermanno Scervino

You've been very disciplined with your first purchases, so it's time to pick up a snazzy accent color! If the bright yellow in your print tee shirt is part of what drew you to it in the first place, maybe a solid top in the same color will hold some appeal? You could consider other accent colors too, so long as they are wearable with the green, and ideally the red too. 

This is the step at which you want to think long and hard about sticking with the red cardigan as a major building block. You could keep it just to wear with the 2 tops that are already in your wardrobe, and veer off in another direction. But if your choose a top that won't look good with red, make certain that this is what you intend. You have to keep your eye on the overall picture...
Tee – J. Crew

 Since we're moving into warmer weather with these clothes, a lighter neutral is a natural choice. I considered another cardigan here, but I like the chance of pace provided by a white jacket.

Jacket – L.L.Bean

Nobody's going to believe you if you buy white linen pants and say that you need them for your "suit," but that's kind of what you're doing here. And beware - some of us are comfortable with the thinness of white linen, while others might prefer something a bit more on the lines of canvas or cotton twill. If you aren't comfortable wearing something, it has no business in your closet!
Linen pants - Uniqlo

It's time to bust out for something unabashedly summery! This has nice wide straps, high armholes, and a higher back - no plunging necklines necessary.

Tank – Current/Elliott

This cardigan HAD to be part of this wardrobe - between the vivid yellow color and the perfect red neckline trim - it was made for this grouping!
Cardigan - Boden

As always, if you're not a fan of shorts, you can always include a skirt, or a pair of shorter pants (pedal pushers!) here. But these shorts aren't super-short, so they're worth considering.
Shorts – L.L.Bean

The majority of this wardrobe is very casual, but a classic shirt might be exactly what you need to elevate almost any of the "bottoms" to a level appropriate for a nice dinner. Dressy sandals, some pretty earrings, roll up your sleeves...
Shirt - Splendid

Once you've isolated a color scheme, you're free to really indulge if the perfect top catches your eye...
Top - Missoni

Okay, this might be a tough reach for some of us, in which case I'd say look for another piece in green - maybe capris. But it's summer, and these pants with that red Missoni top would be amazing...
Pants – J. Crew

Yes, you need plenty of tops in hot weather, but they don't all have to be completely boring - the sleeves on this little top change everything...
top - Uniqlo

By starting with a clear color scheme, and sticking to the plan, we now have a 16-piece travel wardrobe, or just plain old stay at home wardrobe, that's practically foolproof. I think this is pretty close to "Whatever's Clean, " just so that summer can be a little bit more relaxing!



Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A 2nd 3-Dress Travel Capsule Wardrobe


They were always really nice about it; her nephew always sent her the "Annual Beach House Room Reservation Worksheet," just as if she was going to be there for at least a weekend or two.

But she never went. Until now.

When the email arrived, she took the single room, for the Memorial Day Weekend. Shock waves reverberated around the extended family!

A travel outfit including beige trousers, a floral tee shirt and ivory cardigan.
Earrings – Lauren Ralph Lauren; watch – Anne Klein; pants – Uniqlo; 
tee – Uniqlo; cross body bag – Kipling; moccasins – Minnetonka
cardiganL.L.Bean; scarf – Nordstrom; tote - Merona

She realized that the things that kept her away weren't really "deal-killers" after all!

A weekend beach capsule travel wardrobe for someone who neither swims nor wears shorts.
Sage dress – L.L.Bean; tee – Uniqlo; blue print dress – L.L.Bean;
 hat – Eric Javits; sunglasses – Ray-Ban; blue tee shirt dress – L.L.Bean
bracelet – TJMaxx; water sandals – Lands’ End; espadrilles – Joy & Mario;
 wrap – Nordstrom

It's possible to have a perfectly nice beach vacation without actually swimming...

Beige, blue and soft teal summer travel capsule wardrobe.

Nobody is contractually obliged to wear shorts at any time in their life...

2 summer outfits without shorts, and with closed-toe shoes.

And you can walk in the surf while wearing shoes. In fact, one does not EVER have to wear sandals...

2 summer outfits without shorts, and with closed-toe shoes.

She might be considered a bit eccentric, but they're going to be SO happy that she's with them that they won't mind a bit! And she might even go back for the 4th of July...


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