August 2, 2019
This file is getting insanely big! I live in terror of having it becoming corrupted; I’ve got it backed up EVERYWHERE…
Now that the stores are beginning to look legitimately autumn-ish, it might be a good time to check the condition of your boots. If you’re picky, of if you wear a difficult size, don’t hesitate to start looking now, even though it might feel insanely early…
A plain white shirt or blouse would certainly work well here, but I love these dots…
As always, if we choose a new outfit based on the same scarf, the garments will pretty much by definition work with the rest of the wardrobe:
And as always, these new pieces add a lot of new possible outfits to your small wardrobe!
Why yes, more dots! It was strictly coincidence, but it does bear mention that dots are a classic, easy-to-wear print that is worth considering…
The range of shades of purple in this wardrobe delight me! Maybe it would be more versatile, strictly speaking, if they were all the perfectly matching shade, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way…
This wardrobe would take you just about anywhere! Frankly, all of these wardrobes are now large enough, and versatile enough, that they would be excellent long-term travel wardrobes…
It’s not a traditional color palette, but this next scheme is working out nicely!
This is a quite muted outfit, but if you tie the scarf at your neck…
While the charcoal garments I just added are darker than most of what is already in this wardrobe, they will prove to be useful, I’m sure!
Would you be comfortable wearing these colors? I think I would…
This next color palette is pretty classic, but still has a range of moods…
I had to go to some lengths to find brooches that I liked; many of these are vintage… If you love to wear pins, looking for them 2nd hand is smart – there are lots available, and some are very reasonably priced!
I could travel forever with this… but a pair of dark pants or jeans might be an important addition!
I feel that adding navy to this wardrobe helps bring it into the cooler weather; nothing is more doomed in the dead of winter than a pair of light pants! (slush splash NEVER comes clean…)
Every year, when I work with a scarf that has brown as the neutral, I struggle, and often write myself into a wardrobe corner… So far, this wardrobe seems to be holding together well; we shall see…
This blouse and sweater are from 2 different companies, but I think they go well together. This kind of shopping may not always work out, but it can be worth ordering pieces and getting them into your home to evaluate their suitability at your leisure…
The range of accent colors here is delightful…
As the wardrobes get larger, the number of possible outfits should increase exponentially…. I don’t think most of us think in those terms, though!
I still love this scarf…
I think it’s long past due that I bring some of the darker beige into this wardrobe! As a contrast with the lovely black blouse and skirt, it brings some light to the overall look.
I’m finding the idea of stacked rings interesting; I don’t think that I can wear them, with my hand problems, but I’m VERY tempted by these rings shown below…
And the brooch…. sigh….
I made at least 1 tactical mistake in this wardrobe (I’ll tell you what when I review these wardrobes in January!) but I still think that this wardrobe has a LOT of potential:
Everything still comes together well…
This month, I’m definitely most smitten with the last wardrobe, but that can always change!
Which is your favorite? And what would you change to make it perfect for you?
I really like all of these but I think the first one is my favorite. I’m a fan of color and pattern so I love all the different colored accents in number five. The last one is my least favorite just because there isn’t enough color in it. Thanks for all your hard work I look forward to the series every month. I actually look forward to all of your posts each week
Erin Roy says
It almost kills me with anticipation when the first of the month doesn’t land on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday! ?
The red, white and blues, and the first set are still my favorite but I would go with the purple wardrobe in an instant, too. So many to choose from!
I agree that the dots make a nice staple addition. I am in the lookout for a top and/or a skirt in my colors. I have a scarf and blouse that are a play on the dots theme but the classic small pattern is like a neutral to be a foundation piece and frequently I think “I need to make that the next priority “.
Thanks again for the great post!!
I have enjoyed your posts for a number of years. I love seeing all the color combinations you so creatively come up with. I am someone who loves camel, even though it is difficult to find and sometimes a challenge to work with. I have various wardrobe charts you have made available to us that are used each season. My problem is with accent colors. Other than shades of blue, I am not sure what color to choose for someone with low contrast coloring. Would appreciate any suggestions.
Anything from the lightest cream to peach or apricot, any pink that has a warm-ish feeling to it, hedge green… I’m not sure about a lilac/lavender/purple, but I’m sure it’s possible. Anyone else have ideas?
I love ivory with camel. Nothing is more casually elegant than camel wool pants with an ivory cashmere sweater in the winter. I also like gray with camel.
I love the peach and grey wardrobe…but I would add a darker peach ..brick, burnt sienna, rust or whatever color it might be called. It would be lovely with the charcoal and lighter colors. Really I would be more than happy with any of the possibilities!
Cathy T says
I think they are all incredible; you are so creative, Janice! My mother would be chomping at the bit for the appaloosa (were she still alive)! I like the jeu de soie, but would like it even better if the red was rust, the white was cream, and the blue a greenish teal!
I love doing this… Thanks for your kind words!
Love these posts – they are my favorite. This year I finally decided to acquire a capsule and love finding my version of your suggestions.
I am working on “Purple” – and I mean working.
I am a 1X/XXL, allergic to wool, 10-1/2 WW shoe, on a retired budget, don’t wear skirts.
I substitute pants for skirts – tights and flats for this months boots – anything for wool – j Jill for Eileen Fisher.
For me, the favorite is the Appaloosa des Steppes (purples). It has a nice mix of casual and dressy pieces that I could see it working for everything I do. I love that you’ve gone with different shades of purple instead of trying to match everything (which would be almost impossible).
It would be perfect for me if it had a few more colors in the palette. But after reading your blogs for several years now I know that I could use the “French Five” method to add a new color for a season.
Not that I want to speed time along but that comment about the tactical mistake in the last collection is making me want to try to your analyzation techniques to see if I can figure out what the mistake is.
I keep changing my mind with this series! The grey/peach wardrobe appeals to me the most now, but i think earlier in the year it was the olive/beige/black one.
What i will take from this is to organize a skirt, top, cardigan and boots for fall that fits in with my colours. It may end up being more casual jean skirt … i have been on the lookout for the perfect one.
Margie from Toronto says
I get some new ideas every time you add to these wardrobes. I’ve just realized that I have a cobalt blue cardigan (more of a summer weight but it’s WAAAYY too hot) and I have black pants and a white shirt with tiny black polka dots so I’ll be trying out that combo once it cools down a bit – not sure why I never think to combine a bright blue with black!
I have good winter boots but I’d like to add a nice black ankle boot (without any significant heel) so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for those!
Lisa P says
You keep us all thinking rationally about how to create a pretty and functional wardrobe. Thank you so much for all your hard work on these. They are all very appealing!
mary J says
I wanted you to know how much I enjoy your collections and your emails. Thanks for getting me to think about my wardrobe in a better way.
The gray wardrobe really appeals to me this month, although I really couldn’t wear it at all. I also love the brown, which is not my best neutral, but the wardrobe colors really sing! – nancyo
Tara Gonder says
Wow. Have you been peeking over my shoulder? You have just reduced my wardrobe stress level on an exponential scale by helping to solidify in a measurable way something I’ve instinctively felt for some time.
I’ve visited your site before and found it very useful for packing for trips, so thank you for that. Now I’m looking at your blog again with an eye to more permanent solutions. I’m pretty good at knowing what looks good on me, with a tendency toward a classic but edgy vibe, and never really struggled with a work wardrobe, but four years ago I retired, went back to school for acting (a program that required I live in sweat pants and T shirts for two years!) and now I’m looking at a closet full of suiting I no longer need or wear and am trying to find the right balance of casual chic as I head into this next phase of my life. I’ve always purchased quality basics, which is making it difficult to let go of some of them, but I also realize this is an opportunity to redefine and hone my style to make it uniquely mine, not something governed by the more formal rules my past career required. What to save, and what to keep: that is the question. It’s silly, but I find it really stressful being confronted daily by clothes I don’t wear anymore, especially because I enjoy a minimalist approach to living. I keep envisioning how someone else could enjoy them. I’m already working on pulling out the pieces I really still love to use those as the basis for my (new) capsule wardrobe. (Thank you for the worksheets! I really need a logical approach to this process to keep me grounded.) I’ll feel much better about letting the other pieces go if I have a plan for how to slowly add in complementary pieces that will redefine how I wear those basics to make them more relevant to me now. How to style them in way that gives me joy will be the fun part of this painful process, I hope. You planning sheet certainly will take away some of the stress I’ve been experiencing over this. (Definitely a first-world problem, I know.)
In regards to your “voyeurism”, I’ve recently been thinking about biting the bullet and purchasing the perfect Hermes scarf, because I love them as wearable works of art and because I see a scarf like that as the perfect bridging piece in my wardrobe since I really have an aversion to prints. It’s not that I hate prints; I love them on other people. I can appreciate them on a rack in a store. I’ve even purchased a few things over the years (stripes or geometrics only) as bridging pieces for my career wardrobe, but I never really enjoyed wearing them. Now they hang in my closet untouched. For some reason, I just always feel ridiculous when I wear them. A beautiful scarf is a different story, however, and I LOVE scarves. I’ve been trolling internet sites looking for “the one” Hermes scarf (because I’m not made of money and will probably only ever purchase one — okay, maybe two, but that’s another ten years down the road.) I’ve been somewhat hesitant to commit a) because of the prices — especially the vintage ones, and b) because the recent editions aren’t in colour pathways that really grab me. If I’m going to spend over $500 CAD for a scarf, I want to love it and know it will tie my entire wardrobe together for the foreseeable future because I expect to wear that scarf several times a week for at least three seasons a year or I won’t be able to justify the expense. The biggest stumbling block for me (aside from the big gulp investment) is finding a scarf in a colour pathway that I won’t grow tired of AND will offer some flexibility within my preferred colour palette. I love grey and soft cool neutral shades (though I need to work with black, too) and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you’ve done with the La Clairiere scarf. I had been looking at it online in the different colour pathways and trying to decide which one I will fall in love with with the intention that it will be that functional workhorse in my wardrobe — because trust me, that will end up being the ONLY print in my wardrobe — which is why now, thanks to you, I feel comfortable justifying the expense. What you’ve shown here is a wardrobe based around that scarf that I could absolutely live with for many years to come. Thank you for solidifying the rationale behind the investment I’m about to make when I find “the one”..
Don’t discount the possibility of buying a scarf 2nd hand; if you have concerns about authenticity just send me a note and I can offer up pretty good insights into that. As soon as some scarves are “out of season,” someone sells them… Especially, if you’re looking at ebay, look at sellers from Japan…
Thanks. I’ve been looking at new and second-hand scarves on eBay, Etsy, The Real, Poupishop, just to name a few. Most scarves in excellent or pristine condition are basically the same price (or more) as new. Plus, I don’t get to see the colours and pattern size in real life until they arrive at my door. I’d be responsible for shipping costs even if I were able to return it. I almost bought a scarf online, but when I got to the final stage of checkout, I pulled the plug. Here’s why: There is free shipping within the U.S., but with duties (because let’s face it, I wouldn’t be paying much for the weight of the product!) charged to ship to Canada ($50), and a 30% exchange rate for paying in Canadian dollars, the $500 scarf ended up cashing out at $850. Sorry. No scarf is worth that much. A person has to draw the line somewhere!!! That’s why I’m looking at buying new.
Makes very good sense!
Have you ever thought about doing an undergarment/bra/slip/hose/nightgown/PJ capsule wardrobe addition to go with these clothing capsules? I mean beautiful ones that are uplifting to the spirit and delightful to wear, not your standard “tidy whitees”. I think it would be amazing to make 4 x 4 capsule of these items!
I work in a formal professional business office where skirt suits, dresses, skirts, and blouses are required. No pants or pant suits. Shoes must be business classics such as pumps with a low to medium (1″ to 2″) heel, no open toes or sling backs. Think professional, classic, executive, fine tailored details. I would love to see you do a professional wardrobe capsule for dresses/skirts only, without pants or the “casual Friday” look to it, a wardrobe that works for executive presentations to corporate CEOs on a regular basis. I also like when you link to the sources for your garments at each addition to your capsule wardrobes: I can see if that Hermes scarf or skirt comes in a different color way, or if the company offers a garment in the same color but a different style more suitable to my shape. Thanks for all your great work!
Lisa Laree says
The Lands’ End order came in on Friday; I finished the last-minute-substitue-skirt this afternoon. So here’s the August outfit that I have:
This is has been a great exercise; hard to believe we have only 4 outfits left….