February 16, 2017
I’ve been asked repeatedly to look at grey and olive together in a wardrobe, and I finally found a painting that put a really interesting spin on those 2 colors:
The colors in “Head of a Woman” by Salvador Dali are amazing – a huge variety of neutrals, including olive, grey, black, shades of brown, and even a bit of faded denim blue. But it’s that pink that really sets this apart!
Just to give us a different look at how to go about building a 4×4 wardrobe 1 piece at a time, I’m starting with four of the grey garments that we’ve been using in wardrobes for the last few days. My thinking is that you might already own a pretty good core of one neutral, but be stuck as to the steps to take to incorporate your second neutral (especially if it’s a new color in your wardrobe.) Maybe working through this will help us all figure out how to do this!
Please note that I’m making this a pretty casual wardrobe – the sort of thing that you would pack if you were going to a rural area of England, or to Scotland, Wales or Ireland (which are for the most part pretty casual destinations) this summer. You really can’t get terribly dressed up in this wardrobe, but unless you’ve got dressy plans, that’s not a problem. The real strength here is the ability to layer on and off as the weather changes!
First, this wardrobe desperately needs both the 2nd neutral, and even more critically it needs some SHIRTS of some ilk…. tee shirts to the rescue!
And while we’re getting the overall balance of this wardrobe back to something more normal, it’s clear that a grey tee shirt is also necessary.
I’m not going to avoid that wonderful pink accent color for very long… Another tee, in a long-sleeved version for cooler weather.
For cool evenings or rainy days, nothing is more cozy than a cashmere hooded sweatshirt in the most flattering shade of peony pink:
This color, and a lovely aqua/teal shade, are on sale…
At this point, I feel pretty comfortable with the “top to bottom” ratio of the wardrobe, so I’m going to find some pants. Be warned that olive doesn’t grown on trees (although it certainly sounds as if it should!) and that blending shades is going to be your best bet for building a wardrobe around olive. It’s such a great color; I don’t know WHY it’s not more readily available…
Yes, you’ve got 2 cardigans, but you might need an honest to goodness jacket…. it certainly can’t hurt to have it with you; maybe you’ll ward off cool weather if you’re prepared for it!
Printed and patterned tee shirts bring a lot of life and visual interest to a small wardrobe, and this one has both of the core colors in it – not always an easy thing to find!
Long shorts. An oxymoron, but a really handy garment if you plan to do a lot of walking. Of course, if you don’t wear shorts, these could be jeans, or some kind of sport-fabric pants, or even a denim skirt!
Another printed tee – with that pink shade ALL OVER THE PLACE! Some days, the deities shine on the home of wardrobe building, eh?
I love me a good skort! It’s great for being active, but remaining ladylike and presentable. They’re growing to be a staple in my sport wardrobe, and I can highly recommend this one.
If the weather is never warm enough to wear a tank top on its own, you can always layer it under other things. This is versatile!
And I couldn’t resist this sweatshirt. I didn’t even really try…
I had serious doubts about this color scheme when I started out, but I think that it’s turned out really well. I can see dozens of ways to wear these pieces, and I think that I would feel well prepared for travel if this was in my bag.
As always, I’m going to tackle some accessories for this one tomorrow. And I think I have a story brewing about this woman….
More from the Salvador Dali, “Head of a Woman” series:
- How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with Olive and Grey – Start with Art: Head of a Woman by Salvador Dali
- How to Choose Accessories for an Olive and Grey Wardrobe – Start with Art: Head of a Woman by Dali
- Can I Use Denim is Place of… ? Substituting Denim for Olive Grey in a Four by Four Wardrobe
- How to Accessorize A Capsule Wardrobe with Lots of Denim? Let’s see…
Taste of France says
I love pink with gray and I love pink with olive. And gray and olive turn out to look great together, too.
cheryl :) says
I love these colors together and this is my type of wardrobe. Casual and cozy with some great color!
I like this interesting blend with olive. My olive is a gray green with less detectable yellow that's not very easy to find, but when I do, I snatch it up. It fits right in with my mainly blue/gray basics with dashes of aqua, peachy pink and raspberry red colors.
This wardrobe is me! Can't wait to see which accessories you choose.
Yes, there seem to be years when there are offerings of olive colored items and then followed by years of olive drought , so I snap up items during the lush years ! Printed tops — I would really like more of them to replace some of my solids, but they also seem challenging to find some that suit me. I think your 4×4 's are my favorite of your formats, and in this case my neutral would be khaki or tan, instead of gray. Brown also works, as Cee Pluse pointed out. Khaki is a color that confuses me — sometimes it is shown as a tan color, and sometimes as an almost Army green , so do you happen to know what color it really is and it's origin ?
I just Googled Khaki — it was started by the British military in the mid 1800's as a color to resemble sand or dust , or excrement ( sorry, but true — the word came from kaka ! ) The later greenish version is now known as olive drab. Khaki has also transitioned into a concept of a casual trouser and fabric, as well as a color. So now we know !
I love olive so was really pleased to see it featured here, however the cool toned pink and greys just don't work for a warm-skinned lady like me. As some others have said would love to see perhaps a tan or brown or khaki combo, perhaps using watermelon or pumpkin as the "pink" if that isn't too predictable or boring.
I have that skort and love it! It is very comfortable to wear and is a decent length. I am curious about the cashmere hoodie…..does it wear well?
I also find the 4×4 format works best for me as I continue to strive to contain my impulses!!
Deb from Vancouver
Janice Riggs says
I'm very pleased with it – I wear it constantly. It's not going to last as long as some of the sweaters I bought in the '90s, but I will buy another when this one finally gives out.
thank you…off to buy one right now!
Deb from Vancouver
I could live quite happily in this collection. So much so, I just bought the sweatshirt. I simply haven't seen anything like it here in the US, and it will work perfectly into my spring-summer capsule.
Woot! Since I just transitioned to olive as a core neutral, and wear a lot of gray, ivory, black and denim; suddenly that pink looks very inviting.
When I visit friends in a village in Norfolk, I don't find shorts or short skirts work well, but cropped pants are extremely comfortable and appropriate, whether with sandals, sneakers or hiking shoes. Rain gear of some sort is always necessary, no matter the season. And, as a great accessory, a good pair of binoculars for bird watching on the coast.
Cee Pluse says
This is a wonderful collection! The artwork is truly inspirational. I see a heart in the painting as well as the head, so it could have been titled "Head and Heart of a Woman"!
I would love to see this wardrobe with brown replacing the grey, for those of us who can't wear grey. As a matter of fact, I am wearing brown slacks with a pink long-sleeved t-shirt today, and I think the combination works beautifully. I hadn't thought to wear pink with olive, so I will have to give that a try. I always get inspired by your posts, Janice!
Scottie Kersta-Wilson says
I have always loved pink/olive and the gray is just a bonus. Love this post!
I rarely wear anything pink. I do think it works in this case though. Even now at 58 I am still not sure what my best colors are! I know what I like but weather or not it looks good is another story! I like the 4×4 format when I am packing for a trip too. Looking forward to the accessories and her story!
Cornelia Estey says
I can see how a print can bring gray and olive into cohesion, but as a card-carrying non-print wearer this would be difficult to pull off. But I am sure that you will find the perfect scarf that will do just that. :))
I like the painting, and all the neutrals would be great for me. I just wish Dali had painted the face a different colour! I'd have to go for a warm red, or turquoise.
I've never seen that painting before, and I've been to a few Dali exhibitions, and to the amazing museum in Figueres. My husband is a big fan, but he hadn't seen it either.
Just another advantage of following this blog – lots of new art and artists introduced! Linda M
If you feel like doing this painting again with different neutrals, eg denim and olive, I'd love to see it – I can mentally substitute the pink! I wear casual clothes 99.9% of the time, so these types of outfits are perfect. I am thinking of buying a couple of new skirts for summer, if I can find them, as a change, after years of nothing but jeans. Linda M
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