Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Ah, this one is closest to my normal capsule wardrobe, and to what I would buy if I had to start all over...

Remember, we left this wardrobe on the first of November like this:
How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

You can see the outfit-by-outfit progression of this wardrobe here: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.

Because this wardrobe is so close to my own, I wasn't really concerned that things wouldn't be reasonably well balanced. The easy assembly of a "Four by Four" capsule wardrobe supports my thoughts:
  
How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette using the 4X4 wardrobe

I wasn't quite as certain that things would be as well-balanced for seasons and dressiness - I tend to love cold-weather clothing more than warm, and to like dressier things more than casual. You can see that here - the upper-half of the graph is somewhat more populated (the dressy things), and the left half - the cooler weather half - is also more filled in. 

This would be a clear indication as to what needs to be purchased, but of course in November in North American, the shorts and tee shirts that would be most logical aren't going to be easy to find.

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

I like to look at the array of clothing collected this way too - it gives me a sense of whether or not I need another cardigan or jacket, or maybe another skirt... This wardrobe seems okay in most respects, I think.

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

The shoe wardrobe could use something more dressy for cold weather, and also a pair of more dressy sandals - both of the top corners are empty:

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

In the interests of cool-weather dressy, but not TOO dressy, I'm suggesting a nice pair of wool pants. While I manage to get through most of my life in jeans, and in the cold weather - corduroy pants, wool pants change everything.

And I thought some more red would be a good idea...

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

This is the wardrobe as it now stands - I could live with this for quite a while:

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette


And I love these accessories!

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

I know I sound like a broken record, but you've got to be certain that your new purchases fit into your wardrobe in a variety of ways - this is the only way to be sure that you're going to actually wear your new clothes, and not just waste money on pretty things.

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette

Whew! I fully intend to start six new wardrobes on January 1, 2017. Come along for the fun!

love,
Janice
How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a black based color palette
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Tuesday, December 06, 2016


Back on the first of November (which seems like it was YEARS ago...) we left this capsule wardrobe looking this way:


How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

If you need to track back and catch up on how we got to this point, the earlier posts can be found here:  January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.

I had a hunch that this wardrobe was in pretty good shape, and this is borne out by the way that the Four by Four Capsule Wardrobe fell into place so easily:
 
How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

I noticed something sort of interesting when I graphed the garments on the basis of season and dressiness - the cooler weather clothes were more casual, and the warmer weather items skewed a bit more dressy. 

This makes sense, when you think that a lot of us wear dresses frequently in the warm weather, but tend to layer on 37 sweaters when the temperatures drop. But it doesn't really reflect wardrobe needs - for many people, their dressiest events are in the cooler weather. So that's a possible wardrobe "gap" that could be addressed now.

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

When I sorted all of the pieces into categories, everything feels pretty well-balanced; no big absence of second layers, or shortage of tee shirts jumps out at me:

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

Shoes also feel pretty well balanced - as long as you have a pair of classic pumps, you're covered for a million dressy events! Maybe a pair of more "sturdy" boots, if the heroine of this particular story is an outdoor-ish sort?

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

When it was all said and done, and I'd looked at lots of nice things, I thought that a pair of more dressy winter pants might be a good starting point. I'm not talking tuxedo trousers here - those are too limited in usage for most of us! But a nice pair of wool trousers will dress us any simple sweater, especially in a room full of blue jeans.

And then I saw these sweaters, and just plain liked them; they will both look really great with the new pants, and will also be wearable with a ton of existing pieces of this wardrobe. A pair of sturdy, but not clunky, boots finishes out this last addition to the wardrobe:

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette
Boots - Naturalizer; sweater – Miu Miu


Here's the updated wardrobe - I sincerely believe that someone could live for a long time with these clothes. Yes, you'd have to do some laundry pretty often, and you might really want a pink tee shirt at some stage! But still, you'd be fine...

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

You know full well that I'm an accessory fan, and I particularly like the way that these all "hang" together. The little punches of turquoise brighten things up, and the central theme of "fluid" silver is well-represented.

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

Of course, we wouldn't consider buying ANYTHING without clearly and SPECIFICALLY thinking of a variety of ways in which our new stuff can be worn. Our 3 new pieces here do quite nicely:

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette

Realistically, this wardrobe could have stopped at the end of November; there was really no compelling need to add to it. It's important for us all to keep in our mind's back pocket the suggestion that we don't HAVE to buy anything. Unless you're literally partly naked, you should be able to cobble together something.

Addressing your desire for something new is an entirely different question - but in the interests of our budgets, and of the environment, it behooves us all to think about our purchases, seriously, before we purchase. I'm not telling you to never buy clothes again, but I would like to lovingly suggest that you think of your real reasons for buying before you do so. Just to be sure...

love,
Janice
How to evaluate a capsule wardrobe with a grey based color palette
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Monday, December 05, 2016

This seemed like it was going to be a really impractical, too pastel, too feminine exercise... but upon analysis, it's turned out quite well!

This was where we left it on the first of November:

capsule wardrobe in beige, ivory and soft blue
 
If you want to go back and catch up on earlier posts, check here:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.
 
Here was the first signal to me that this was a pretty well-constructed 11-month shopping adventure; I was easily able to pull out pieces to assemble a really functional Four by Four wardrobe:
Four by Four wardrobe in beige, ivory and soft blue
This layout, on spectrums of weather and of dressiness, might suggest that this heroine could use something dressy for cool weather...
evaluating the usefulness of capsule wardrobe pieces
And when I arranged all of the garments according to function, the only thing that really caught my eye was that there wasn't an ivory sweater that could be worn on its own...
evaluating the balance of a capsule wardrobe
The shoes also seemed to cover most of the areas pretty well. Since I knew that I was going to pay some attention to dressy cooler weather, I thought that a pair of shoes for that upper left quadrant might make sense - a dressy pair of boots? Something with a detail that's got texture, or a metallic? Hmmm...
evaluating the balance of a capsule wardrobe of shoes

These were my choices. While the ivory tee shirt isn't strictly a cool-weather garment, if it's worn underneath something, it would bring a nice touch of shine to an outfit. The ivory cardigan can be worn alone, or layered, and the striped shirt is just a really cool piece!

additions to a capsule wardrobe in beige, ivory and soft blue

As much as this is NOT a typical wardrobe, it's certainly versatile, and quite lovely...

a capsule wardrobe in beige, ivory and soft blue

I think these accessories are swoon-worthy... I'm NOT a pastel person, but I think that these have tremendous appeal:
an accessory capsule wardrobe in beige and soft blue
All of our new pieces are very versatile - I love the way this striped shirt dresses up or down so simply:
3 outfits using a striped shirt, from a capsule wardrobe

3 outfits using an ivory satin tee, from a capsule wardrobe

3 outfits using an ivory cardigan, from a capsule wardrobe

I think we've proven that, with careful planning, even the most unconventional color scheme can work for a coherent wardrobe.

love,
Janice

How to Evaluate a capsule wardrobe in a beige, ivory, and soft blue color palette
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Friday, December 02, 2016

If you want to go back and catch up on how we've arrived at this point, the earlier posts are here:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.

The second of our six wardrobes looked like this when we left it in November:

capsule wardrobe in brown, beige and orange

As I did yesterday, my first project is to try to fit these pieces into the Four by Four template. It seems to me that this wardrobe still could use a casual skirt. She already has 2 skirts, they they're both pretty dressy - maybe khaki is an option.

Four by Four wardrobe in brown, beige and orange

When I look at the existing wardrobe in terms of weather and dressiness, I find the same thing that I did yesterday - a shortage of simple tee shirts. That bottom right quadrant is pretty sparse:
 
evaluating a capsule wardrobe for functionality

And finally, when I lay all of the pieces out on the basis of their position on the body and in an outfit, I sort of feel like I want another cardigan. It seems to be a signature of this wardrobe, and when I saw another one in a gorgeous color, I knew what I wanted to add!
 
evaluating a capsule wardrobe for balance

I graphed out the shoes, and frankly I think they seem okay, but I felt that maybe another pair of summery casual shoes might be a nice addition...

evaluating the balance of a shoe capsule wardrobe

So these were my choices to add!

additions to a capsule wardrobe in brown, beige and orange

Here's where we leave the capsule wardrobe - options for any occasion:

capsule wardobe in brown, beige and orange

And these are the accessories:

accessory wardrobe in brown, beige and orange

As with any well-chosen garment that you choose to add to a capsule wardrobe, there are lots of possibilities for how to wear your acquisitions:
 
three capsule wardrobe outfits with an orange tee shirt

three capsule wardrobe outfits with a cinnamon cardigan

three capsule wardrobe outfits with a khaki skirt

This wardrobe has been fascinating to work with; the different feelings of the deep oranges and the softer beiges give a lot of variety!

love,
Janice

How to Evaluate a capsule wardrobe in a brown, beige, and orange color palette
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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Back in November, when we left this wardrobe, it was in pretty good shape. Eleven outfits had been collected into a pretty coherent, and pretty comprehensive, capsule wardrobe that would see most people through a great many of their activities:
capsule wardrobe in navy, teal and white

As I've said before, no wardrobe is ever really finished. Clothes wear out, or get damaged. Our sizes change, and sometimes, we just plain get completely fed up with a garment that we've worn a lot, and feel the need to replace it. So it's useful to have a few different ways to really look at a wardrobe and determine what might be needed, or useful, or helpful, to add. I thought of a couple of different ways to evaluate things...

First off, I thought that it would make sense to see if there were appropriate garments in the wardrobe to pull together a Four by Four wardrobe. There's nothing really magical about the Four by Four, but it does ensure that you have a reasonable balance of tops to bottoms, and enough neutral "second layers" to be able to use your other clothes efficiently.

For this wardrobe, I found that there are a lot of nice, basic navy garments here, but that a second navy jacket, blazer, or cardigan might be worth considering.

Four by Four wardrobe in navy with jade and turquoise

Another thing that I thought would be worth considering was the degree to which our heroine would be "covered" for a range of temperatures, and a range of "dressiness." So I built a simple grid upon which all of the clothes could be placed. (note that the location of each piece is pretty arbitrary!) What I notice here is that a couple of pieces for warmer weather casual might come in handy - she has 2 pair of shorts, but only 2 tops that are really ideal for them. That suggest a couple of tee shirts, to me...

Evaluating a capsule wardrobe in navy for usefulness

And one last evaluative technique that I wanted to consider was just to lay things out according to their "layering" role in a wardrobe. The top row is pieces that are strictly second layers. The middle - the upper layer of "tops" - is for pieces that can be worn on their own, or that can also be layered with something under them.

Then comes the regular tops, including dresses. (Dresses could also be considered bottoms, or they could have their own category.)

And finally, the bottoms - shorts, skirts, pants, capris....

Evaluating a capsule wardrobe in navy for balance

This is, in a way, a little bit harder to interpret because it doesn't really have any sort of indication of what would be a correct or appropriate amount of each type of item. But it might come in handy in the future, so I'm sticking with it.

When it comes to evaluating accessories, I'm going to focus mainly on shoes, because they're the only really important kind of accessory for which there might be a serious omission or "gap."

Evaluating a shoe wardrobe for balance and usefulness

Here, you can see that there's nothing in the bottom left - that cool weather casual footwear category...

So this is what I've chosen as our final additions to this wardrobe:

additions to a navy capsule wardrobe

After all of this, here is the "finished" wardrobe:

capsule wardrobe in navy, teal, and turquoise

And these are the collection of accessories:

Accessory capsule wardrobe in navy, silver and turquoise

Just in the interests of making certain that our new garments are going to be useful, I'm going to put together three complete outfits using each new garment. As you look at these, you can see that the owner of this wardrobe is going to be very well-dressed for a wide variety of activities and events!

Three capsule wardrobe outfits including a navy cardigan blazer

Three capsule wardrobe outfits including a turquoise tee shirt

Three capsule wardrobe outfits including a teal tee shirt

The earlier months of this series can be found here:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November.


Because there's a lot involved in these detailed evaluations, I'm going to take SIX days to finish up this series. It's interesting to see how differently these wardrobes came together, and what various pieces seem best to "complete" them.

love,
Janice

How to Evaluate a capsule wardrobe in a navy, teal, and white color palette
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