July 26, 2016
Don’t you want to walk down this avenue? I’m hoping that there’s a lovely person with some iced coffee down there in that intriguing yellow building…
While green is the dominant color in this painting, there’s no way to build even the smallest of capsule wardrobes around that shade of green, unless you make the garments yourself. So I’ve chosen the lovely grey of the tree trunks and branches as our neutral.
She’s taking just a short break, but with a very specific purpose in mind…
She’s packing just enough for a few days of walking outdoors, followed by casual dinners and long nights of restful sleep:
When her friends hear her mention her life list, they always assume that she’s talking about birds, but that’s not the case!
She found a large arboretum, near a city that she’s always wanted to visit…
So she’s going to add to her life list of trees! She’s always had a passion for leaves, and branches, and bark…
Taste of France says
Those colors make a perfect contrast with the gray, which could be so somber. Instead the look is light and cheerful.
Your combos are always beautiful and I love how they mix and match so easily, but I find myself trying to combine two separate posts to get the larger variety of colors I crave. Guess I can't live with just 16 pieces and two accents. I lean towards 32 items and four accents for my day to day wardrobe. Even though I KNOW I could dress for months with just 16 I still feel limited. The closet cleanse is a long journey. Sigh.
But you are aware that you have a need for color. In the long run, you'll be happier having a variety than forcing yourself into a box of 2 accents that you probably would eventually grow to hate. There's no rule that says you have to limit the # of your accent colors.
I have lots of color in my wardrobe. When I travel, I do stick to a small subset of colors so I can pack light and still mix and match.
The depth of field in that art work is very striking- the accents you have chosen to use are bright and breezy and work so well with the calm neutral- interesting!
Madame Là-bas says
Such pretty combinations! I was tempted by the soft chiffon blouse. It does soften the look of grey. Alas! Uniqlo does not ship to Canada so I will have pair my grey skirt with a top that I already own and my silver shoes that are wasting away in my closet waiting for a more "fancy" life than I lead. Yes! I could even wear the silver shoes with my grey jeans! Merci!
What a delight this calm, cheerful group is. And, truth be told, that looks a great deal like my odd yellow house on a pond tucked into those trees…trade out a rain slicker or a multi-pocketed field jacket for the blazer, and a more rough-and-tumble cardigan for that lovely ladylike yellow one, and you have captured my casual home life exquisitely. I love fine jewelry, shoes, and handbags, but like to keep my clothing very practical.
To top it off, I actually DO have a life list of trees! Like many tree hunters, I have a longing for a bike ride from Philadelphia to the southern Appalachians on the lookout for a Franklin alatmaha. Someday! : )
What a sweet coincidence that you have imagined such a woman and dressed her so beautifully. I enjoy your posts every day, thanks for them.
Janice Riggs says
Do you have any iced coffee? I'll be right there…
Love this painting! I can imagine that finding the green was quite a challenge. The gray was a wonderful choice – such a versatile neutral. It's amazing the array of outfits from just 9 pieces of clothing! I guess it's the three accents that makes for so much variety? – nancyo
Janice Riggs says
I think it's just the fact that everything's in the same color families – the grey stuff pretty much ALL matches, which means that you can plunk any blouse, sweater or tee shirt into the mix and have a handful of outfits immediately. From a different painting, these grey pieces would work beautifully with bright red, blue and yellow, or pink, lavender and mint green. (mind churning away…)
I hadn't heard of a life list of trees before; what a fabulous life plan.
Deb from Vancouver
The stories you tell are as enchanting as the wardrobes you create. What a wonderful weaving of art, fantasy and getting out the door in the morning.
A delightful post! I, too, live in a yellow house, fronted by shade trees (maples), though on a leafy almost-urban street, instead of at the end of an allee. Iced coffee on the front porch is a frequent summer pleasure. And I also have a life list of trees! In fact, just came back from an arboretum in a nearby city I'd always wanted to visit…
Love the painting and wardrobe, and would only add more practical shoes for wandering off the beaten path at the arboretum.
Would you consider writing a post on color matching? I have chosen camel as one of my colors, and I find that retailers interpret "camel" to mean beige, cognac, tan and what I consider camel (the color of a MaxMara camel coat although the coat itself is out of reach. I think of camel as a cool-toned color but it often isn't easy to make sure I'm finding a cool rather than a warm camel. So if you would be willing to educate us on how far we need to be scrupulous to find exactly the same shade every time I would greatly appreciate it!
Janice Riggs says
Dear Alice, if I can ever figure out how to do a post like that, I will be delighted to do so! But first up, if you're looking for a cool camel, consider looking for colors named sand or taupe – they both tend to have cooler tones to them. Camel in fashion tends to be that really yellowish light brown…
And when it comes to matching colors, your own comfort is the only consideration. I think that a lot of women burn up a lot of brain power, money and time trying to get things to the point of being perfect dye-lot matches, when something much less rigorous would be fine. But if you're not comfortable wearing something, then it won't work, period, full stop.
I have never heard of a life list for trees! How interesting! I love this light gray neutral for summer.
This painting is so restful! I could live in a yellow house. :)
Coco Colmani says
A new painting for me, and what a treasure. Thank you Janice. I'm intrigued by its subject as well as by the enticing – and inspiring – story of our heroine's weekend away.
At a calligraphy class recently, we were encouraged to look to the garden for inspiration in colour combinations. The advice has freed up my ideas wonderfully. And your posts, whether starting from art or from birds (the northern whistler is an all-time favourite), or trees and flowers, show how These ideas can be used for the wardrobe. Now thinking about house interiors …
Robyn in Tasmania
Gail Finke says
I have never seen that painting before and I love it! What an interesting wardrobe, I would never have thought of silvery gray as a neutral, with those accents. Gorgeous!
Josephine Faith Gibbs says
Something tells me that cute little backpack of hers contains a sketchbook and a tiny set of watercolors for doing nature journal sketch studies of those wonderful trees as she finds them. Once she finds that iced coffee, she'll pull out her sketchbook and add notes as she sips, don't you think?
I love this gray neutral. Previously, autumn colors were my go to but since allowing my hair to go naturally gray, tans/browns tend to wash out my coloring and make my hair look yellow. I was looking for a new neutral to take place of all my tan/brown. Gray seemed so wintery but you have shown that it doesn’t have to be. This will work perfectly and gray brings out the white in my hair instead of making it look yellow.