June 12, 2020
It seemed like a good idea – take a couple of the scarves from yesterday, along with the accessories, and see how they would work for a travel capsule wardrobe. So let’s go!
There are the 2 scarves that are going to be the starting point for this wardrobe:
First up, I added a tank top to both of these Accessory Families, so that the accent colors would be well-represented in the clothing for this trip…
Navy would be a lovely neutral with these 2 accents, but I thought that I’d go full-on summer with beige and white:
This would be such an easy trip – travel wearing the beige cardigan and pants, and the beige espadrilles, with any of the 4 tops. Pack the other 6 garments and the accessories, and this is your travel capsule wardrobe:
With these clothes, you would never struggle to get dressed! Imagine the ease…
I’m sorely tempted to try this exercise again, with 2 different scarves and a completely different neutral… What do you think?
p.s. Three years ago, our heroine and her partner bought a camper! So her travel wardrobe has GOT to be small – navy, beige, rust and olive to the rescue!
Beth T says
Practically perfect and visually sublime! Thank you. I can see now that the trick to combining pink and teal is to use similar tonal values for the accents. One light and one dark wouldn’t work. But two dark tees and too lighter ones might?
Just add in a patterned skirt/top or dress combining all these colours with a dark blue ‘suit’ and a pair of dark wash denim jeans; your trip could be extended indefinitely!
When packing, I like to include one darker neutral and one lighter , and sometimes a medium value one as well. So it has taken me a while to figure out that if I keep all of the accent colors in a medium value, they’ll all work with both the light and the dark neutrals . However, in this case, I would add a white top as well as a beige one ,so that I can do inside columns also , as I am vertically challenged !
Beautiful, Janice! Perfect summer wardrobe, done. Thanks for all your hard work which is one of the highlights of my day.
I am loving this post as well as your retrospective ! While I won’t wear brightly colored shoes on my too large feet, I think that I could get by with some olive green ones , but then what color socks to wear on a cool day with the olive pants ? I have never seen olive socks in the marketplace .
Beth T says
You could try plain boys socks! I’ve done that just to get some plain navy or grey socks in shoe size 3-5 (36-38). I sometimes get socks in the girls section too as long as they aren’t too fussy. I often find standard women’s socks size 4-7 (37-40) too long in the foot and the heel is going up the back of my ankle.
Beth T says
Boys socks tend to go up to a size 8 (41).
Yes please, again with different scarves! A great exercise.
In my mind, I am now so used to the idea that I’m not going anywhere (covid) that it’s even hard for me to imagine where I am going with this wardrobe. It would have been just right for the many visits I make to my siblings who live far away. But now? That seems like a dream. They live in urban/suburban areas on the US east coast, so this look would be great. Here at home though, I spend a lot of time alone or outside walking and birding at social distance. My for my own wardrobe, especially now, I need sturdy walking/hiking shoes and I’m more of a long sleeved button and collar shirt instead of a tank top girl. That’s partly for sun protection and partly because I live at cooler high altitude. By the way, I definitely still wear jewelry, even in the woods. What happens if we switch out those REALLY pretty teal and pink ballet flats for some teal or hot pink walking/hiking shoes?
Beth T says
Even though I’m not going anywhere as yet, I’ve decided to wear all the things I’d wear on visits to people and places, including shoes. I might as well get some pleasure from wearing nice clothes, even at home.
I have a pair of walking shoes with hot pink laces. They came like that but coloured laces can be found in most outdoor shops. A quick and cheap way to jazz up a pair of boots. Why not buy them in different colours?
I love this idea ! Color on the foot area without it being a large block of color !
Sally in St Paul says
This wardrobe is splendid. I would prefer navy/white to beige/white in general, but with the Ruskin meadow duck egg scarf, the beige is much better. Looking at the duck egg scarf in this wardrobe, I realize that in such a small wardrobe, I would find a scarf that works with one of the accent colors but not the other a bit of a wasted opportunity. Since I’m not crazy about the meadow scarf anyway, I would probably dump it…which would also allow me to substitute navy garments for beige…and pick a different scarf that worked with both the teal and the pink. The Blackthorn Navy would be perfect. Too much Blackthorn print? Not for me! I love it and would happily have a Blackthorn capsule!
I also noticed that the sample outfits did not use both teal and pink items in the same outfit…such as a teal top with the pink necklace and pink flats. The beauty of these two accent colors is how well they can combine (against a neutral backdrop) without needing any kind of bridge piece to tie them together. This points up the value of picking a middle pink and middle teal (not sure the technical term for this) in a small wardrobe rather than one light and one dark accent, I think.
I would also absolutely substitute a different pink tank top for the $221 one featured…I’d assumed it must be silk at that price, but it’s 100% polyester…Yikes! It is very, very pretty but I’d prefer a much cheaper cotton or linen tank for warm weather anyway.
Although I’m not going anywhere any time soon, I do have a chronic question about travel capsules that this wardrobe brings to mind, so here we go. Do other people manage with a ratio of 3 bottoms, 2 toppers, and only 4 tops?! I usually target 3 tops per bottom because I can typically wear the bottoms 3 times without washing in normal type activities (not serious hiking/birding or playing with my toddler nephews, haha). With the white and beige bottoms, maybe 1 or 2 wears before washing would be closer to the mark. But tops are always my limiting factor in needing to do laundry, so I would think 2-3 tops per bottom would be more workable. For a wardrobe like this, is it sort of a given that we would add a white tank top, white T, and at least 1 other top (I saw a couple lightweight button up shirts at Talbot in prints with the teal and pink that would give the heroine a Triple Top Secret)? Or do other people accept the need to launder clothes every 4 days? Or can you wear a top more than once in warm weather? (If so, what is your secret? Because I really, really cannot wear a top more than once before it needs washing.)
Good post, Janice! Strongly recommend a travel size Febreeze to help clothes last while traveling. That said, I typically can only get by with one wear per top unless I just wore the top to dinner. If I’m gone more than 5-6 days and don’t have laundry facilities, I always add in more white or black tops for versatility.
Sally in St Paul says
Nice idea on the travel size Febreeze, Linda. Thanks!
Sally in St Paul,
I base my packing on what works for one week, so for me that means 4 bottoms, each worn twice, except for one of them, 4 toppers — a dark and a light neutral cardigan or shirt in the hot months, along with 2 accent color toppers, and up to 7 tops. This allows for a fresh change of clothes for dinner . The 7 tops would include one of each neutral , an off white, 2 of the same accent colors as the toppers, and 2 prints . If the trip is longer , I just repeat wearings . The world won’t come to an end wearing a top more than once, especially if pairing it with a different bottom and topper ! I don’t perspire heavily either, as some others might . I know it sounds like a lot of clothes, but it actually adds up to 15 items, so 3 are worn in travel and 12 are packed . Most of our trips do not include laundry facilities . While I recognize that this amount of clothes makes many more outfits than needed, I still like having loads of options, depending upon the weather , activities, and formality of the situation , as well as my mood of the day ! So 4 bottoms, 4 toppers, and 7 tops . However, I only do this if we are in mixed company for the whole week. If not, then I take fewer tops and toppers and do repeat wearings, but combined differently with the other garments to create new outfits . At home, I often wear a garment more than just once before laundering, except for undies, of course !
Linda P says
Hi Janice (and Sally in St Paul):
I think the amount of tops, bottoms, and second layers depends on the function for your clothes (visiting, hiking, business meetings), if you change clothes during the day because there’s a change in function, type of weather (!), and if one is working from home, staying home, or traveling. Then it depends how long one’s trip is and how much luggage you can bring. If I am working from or staying home i try to discipline myself to the 2-4-3 formula. But any of the aforementioned conditions will send me back to the closet. Thus endeth the lesson!
Sally in St Paul says
Linda P, thanks for your insight. I can see how the activities a person does can really change the desired ratio.
Please do this again! I never leave home without at least three scarves – easiest, most versatile thing in any suitcase.
This must be a first for me: I actually own something very close to all those clothes, and even the scarves! I should pull them together and take a photo just for fun.
The camper story is one of my favourites too. Some day we want to do that too, and I’ll keep her shie-box-sized wardrobe in mind.
Shoe, not shie
Going back to the camping theme – if you had ever been camping you know you cannot have white or cream clothing or shoes. They show the dirt too easily!
patty from austin says
It may be late to leave this comment on this post, but here goes. I purchased the Blackthorn scarf in Ivory, and I want you to know that I am ecstatic about it! Thank you! This scarf looks absolutely stunning with an ivory top and anything from last season’s “Deep Mulberry” clothing from Land’s End that you featured in your posts several times then. Indeed, the scarf came wrapped in a deep purple ribbon. It will also work well with fuschia and other items called “Boysenberry”. I was worried about the weight of the scarf before I bought it. (But I was desperate for the color combo, so I just pulled the trigger and hoped for the best!) Great news! Even though it is 85% wool (and 15% silk), the scarf is so lightweight that it will be perfect for all seasons. So, I hope this info helps anyone who is still thinking about this scarf.