August 9, 2019
Wednesday, our heroine chose accessories and was quite well-prepared for a lengthy trip…
But now, she’s really going to travel!
Just to recap, she built her initial travel wardrobe around this stark but captivating painting:
Her initial travel capsule wardrobe is quite complete…
She’s made a very tidy start to a quite large travel (or seasonal?) wardrobe:
And her accessories are similarly well planned:
But now, she’s going away for 13 weeks! A guest teaching post? A short course at a foreign school? Who could guess…
She knows that there are plenty of women who could travel forever wearing nothing but black and grey, but she’s thinking that she wants to introduce some accent colors… Maybe something romantic? (ah, the plot definitely thickens, doesn’t it?)
So she comes back to Romaine Brooks for inspiration, and finds this:
Same mood, same general “feeling,” but softer colors that will be PERFECT with what she has already chosen for travel!
She has many of the appropriate things in her closet, but treats herself to a few “softer” pieces…
She’s already finding lots of new outfits…
She’s finding this very exciting; it feel quite different from her original travel wardrobe, although she’s not adding THAT many accent pieces…
When she gets to her accessory plan, she realizes that she has enough shoes and bags! Others may feel differently, but she’s not going to pack more… If she needs something, she could go shopping, of course. Shopping when away from home is always entertaining, and sometimes one finds something amazing to treasure as both a souvenir and a lovely accessory!
Just with her last cluster, she can pull together quite a few outfits:
And when she pulls everything out to get ready to pack, it’s a rather thrilling wardrobe of possibilities:
Her second ten garments work quite nicely with the first ten that she chose.
Evaluating these 20 garments within the guidelines of the 4-Cluster Wardrobe seems to indicate that she did indeed make careful choices:
And she’s not going to allow herself to be bothered by the gap in the accessory plan – she’s not packing more things just to fill in some arbitrary template about what might be needed!
So, does her plan using 2 paintings from the same artist feel “right” to you? It’s not easy to find 2 paintings that work so well together, but if you could isolate 2 (or 3 or 4?) items that are compatible, it’s a great way to give yourself color and mood options…
I sense that Marie Laurencin might be a wonderful artist to use for this exercise…. Any others?
p.s. 4 years ago I was adding accessories to a travel wardrobe in navy, ivory, hot pink and soft blue… What a combination of accent colors!
This works. It works really well. She can make outfits for pretty much any event or situation. And navy could be substituted for black.
Linda M says
Looking at Marie Laurencin’s paintings, although her colours are not my colours, it seems to me that if you are a lover of colour, you could base your wardrobe on an artist’s complete work. I did find a couple, Jeune Fille au Bouquet, and Jeune Fille d’Apres, that, in the versions I found, were warm and bright, and whose colours I wear, but I suspect they have been “improved” in Photoshop. Much more “me” would be Paul Gauguin, but I don’t see all the colours I enjoy wearing in any one painting. Just looking at some of his work, I see all my favourite colours, in favourite combinations like rust with denim, but also other combinations I hadn’t thought of. Thanks Janice, for yet another great idea. Next time I’m wondering what to wear that’s different, I’ll consult Gauguin!
Though not my colors, it’s a lovely coordinated capsule. I lean more towards mid tones (otherwise, I look washed out) with predominantly charcoal gray, navy and soft white/ivory neutrals.
It’s very cohesive and I really like it now that it has more color. The Marie Laurencin paintings art would definitely work for this exercise. I particularly love Elégance and Paysage.
I’m a mood dresser, and this template might be my favorite that you’ve done. It’s similar to my colors too, though I don’t wear as much black. Every few years I travel with my husband and a group of college students to England for several weeks, and I think this mixture of casual and slightly dressier clothes is perfect for planning a flexible wardrobe. I’ll have to bookmark this one!
I thought you were going to use the painting Romaine Brooks, Self-Portrait, 1923 in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Since, she is wearing your colors: Black, White, and Red. She has a tinge of red on her lips. She is stunning wearing to die for Gray leather gloves.
How was the iconic French Red Lipstick viewed in Paris, during the early 1920’s? Was it considered at that time in Paris to be avant garde?
Her self-portrait would make a great study in your colors for Fall and Winter. Don’t forget those Gray leather gloves.
You’ve assembled a lovely wardrobe here, Janice! I agree with you about Marie Laurencin. The soft tones of camel, gray, and rosy pink in Femme au Caniche particularly caught my eye. Those shades can be so becoming for those of us who feel that black is just too stark for our coloring. Her painting Elegance also offers lovely colors with navy. I’d love to see what sort of wardrobe either of those might inspire from you!
Erin Roy says
I wondered if a hat and leather jacket would be a good fit for the empty leather accessories blocks. I’m fair completed and need a hat for protection. And my black leather jacket is one of my favorite accessories to wear with everything from jeans to skirts to slacks.
They would indeed! Good thinking…
Oh, be still, my heart!
The colours, the moods, the accessories … And I don’t know whether I most want to be the heroine of the story or the woman in today’s painting.
With the two new clusters there is a lovely seasonal wardrobe here. As someone who likes to wear black/dark pants and skirts but lighter colours above, you’ve made my day. These soft shades are perfect for my light colouring and grey hair.
Bookmarking this for future reference, definitely.
It’s perfect. Beautiful colors — mine are similar but not the same. I recently changed over from a dressier office to a less-dressy (but not super casual) one and bought a bunch of new summer clothes to match the less-dressy ones I already head. I kept black but added navy and some lighter blues and I love, love, love it. I charted it out with this template and found the reason that I feel a little odd about my clothes lately — with the exception of a few tops (I always buy too many pants and not enough tops) I actually have just about the right number of garments!!! I plugged in some fall clothes (more black, and adding in some green/teal while taking away some of the white) and it feels like enough too! I like my clothes!!!!!! That’s mostly thanks to you.
I LOVE this concept. I am going to start substitute teaching this Fall after being a stay at home for 20 years. You just gave me my wardrobe plan for the school year. So thank you ! I was a bit lost and you just “found “ me.
Hi Janice, I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m having trouble using your contact form. It looks like it’s not sending the messages. I hope I haven’t sent you a ton of identical e-mails!
Let he have someone with some technical skills take a look; thanks for letting me know!
The two paintings are complementary, and she has a good selection of colors. The mood definitely shifted from graphic (stripes and plaid) to softer floral. I’d have to say that I’d add a couple more pairs of earrings and/or another scarf with those empty slots in the accessories template. – n.
Very pretty, though definitely not my style. Pastels make me feel juvenile, or like I’m trying too hard to be pretty, which i never have been and definitely am not now. I have a mostly neutral wardrobe with black, greys, whites and a few tan items. Also jeans, naturally. My current accent colors are usually teals, hot pink, and purples. Recently a little gold as it’s current and turns out to work for me. Not usually at the same time, though there are a couple of scarves… anyway, colors that make me happy and go with my coloring. That’s the beauty of the neutral wardrobe, isn’t it? So easy to change your look with a few accessories!
Janice Collins Coyle says
Be still my heart! I just looked up Marie Laurencin and her beautiful soft and feminine paintings, and fell in love with most of them! My favorite is Portrait of Marcelle Dormoy. Love the touch of navy with lots of light grey with accents of teal, blue, aqua and pink and a gorgeous shade of green. What a beautiful wardrobe this would be! This is my new wardrobe inspiration!
Almost any of her color combinations would make a Beautiful wardrobe. Thanks for mentioning this wonderful artist.
Janice Collins Coyle, Washington, DC
She’s one of my very favorites…