November 4, 2020
She wants to be able to dress with a soothing softness. She ALSO wants to dress with invigorating brightness. And she wants to do this within the structure of a 21-piece Garde-Robe du Mois…
What a heroine to do?
Start with art, I suggest…
She looked at how beautiful these colors are together, and took heart!
Here accent color palette looks like this:
First, since she’s not going outdoors much at all, she’s going to wear ALL of her light-colored neutrals – no slush to splash on her pant legs if she’s always at her desk at home!
When she starts to add things to her Common Wardrobe, she first of all craves a bit of pattern, and maybe 1 last pair of pants:
Then she turns with a warm heart to choosing soft pink accents:
With her heart warm with happiness at how well her project is moving along, she looks for her darker, more intense accents:
Ooh. That felt a bit brave, and possibly ill-conceived. Nevertheless, she persisted.
yes, I have the phrase “nevertheless, she persisted” tattooed on my right forearm… it’s a good reminder to keep on keeping on!
Her Garde-Robe du Mois looks like this – she feels that there are enough neutrals here to balance out her incompatible accents!
But frankly, the only way to know if a wardrobe works or doesn’t – can she get dressed?
Would a look at her accessories be fun? I’m chuffed by how well this turned out…
p.s. Four years ago, we were inspired by a beautiful floral painting…
I really like this wardrobe. And the idea of very different accents. I have struggled to get my accents to play well together and finally eliminated them all together. But this wardrobe is instructive. Perhaps it can be expanded upon with other groups of neutrals. And accessories are sure to be equally interesting.
Beth T says
Well this is a beautiful warm and lovely wardrobe full of tonal variations that lead to endless possibilities. My kind of wardrobe. A sunset sky has many different hues, so if Nature gets it right, then the colour combination is not ‘ill-concieved’. It is a reflection of all that is beautiful in world.
Certainly, it is a very welcome distraction to the wall to wall politics that has been on UK television since late last night….! Looking at the ‘men in suits’, I think it’s high time that there was a colour revolution in ‘business’ wear, though I have noticed several jazzy colourful striped ties! Oh I’m so glad that it is expected that women are the more colourful in dress.
I like the idea of creating a Common Wardrobe with tonal neutrals of beige and brown. Your look back does something similar and that also leads to another post of Cezanne’s the bathers.
Great choices for the shirts. I have several paisley blouses, so that’s alright. However, I’m now rethinking a couple of short sleeve lace tops that I was going to send to charity. I could wear them over a long sleeve thin tee or polo neck of the same colour. Get more wear out of them. Mmm. Another choice for a blouse, if lace isn’t to be found or not your thing, would be a floral shirt in an all allover pattern of the same colour. I bought a blue allover floral shirt from a charity shop a while ago and it is proving very versatile with navy, grey or denim neutrals.
I’m really getting with the idea of tops and tees in a ‘chambray’ or soft mid-blue’ as my alternative to the denim shirt in the common wardrobe. I’ve tried on various denim shirts but they feel too stiff and heavy on me. I don’t like the feel of Tencel either so looking for alternatives in softer fabrics seems a good alternative.
Yesterday, I was thinking back to the 1970’s fashion for sleeveless knitted tank tops, waistcoats and sleeveless pullovers. We also used to wear short sleeve jumpers over long sleeve blouses. These items were great for adding an extra layer under a cardigan while you sit at your desk but without bulking out your arms. Must look out my crochet patterns. Does anyone remember the brief fashion for tabards?
Harking back to an earlier nature post – a dozen shovelers have migrated to our lake where they are doing their never-ending circle dance. We also saw a bright blue kingfisher with a red-orange beak. Now that could inspire a summer travel wardrobe…. I can be hopeful that we might get away next summer.
What were tabards ?
I have found vests ( waistcoats ?) to be very helpful under jackets and coats ! Polar fleece sleeves on a jacket stick when trying to put on a fleece lined outer garment. A lack of sleeves really helps with this, but the torso stays nice and warm !
Beth T says
Hrre’s a link to 1970’s tabards on Etsy
They were a curious garment – square and tied at the sides. I cant remember whether they came before or after the poncho phase, though that has continued. Nowadays nurses and carers wear tabards to protect their clothes.
Tabards were a fashionable in the UK. Very difficult to tie yourself.
I remember having a beautiful burgundy tabard in the early ‘70’s. I wish they would come back.
Beth T says
My tabard was white fine knit (probs acrylic) with a coloured pattern along the bottom. Light but warm. Worn with flared trousers.
Linda P says
Yes! I SO remember those days of sleeveless or short sleeved knit tops worn over blouses or shirts. It worked for those in-bet ween temperatures of having just the right amount of layering. So let’s bring this style out of the time capsule and start a new Zoom meeting fashion trend ?
This is beautifully unusual. I love it. Yes! to seeing what accessories you have in mind.
Morning. I looked at this wardrobe, and I looked at the look back. I think I’m feeling better about customizing my own common wardrobe to me. Since I don’t do white, or ivory, or cream, I substitute a color. But I then wasn’t sure if that achieved the purpose of a common wardrobe. I quite like the tonal variations – purple, pink, red, who knew there were so many varying shades? Do they have to “match”? I have three shades of purple in my closet and two shades of teal. Which can sometimes be maddening, and sometimes works. This post gives me a lot to consider. And I’ve been a total failure at the 21 piece wardrobe for a month. Maybe my mistake was not taking everything else out of the closet – but I’m already wildly off track. Maybe that’s why I have a rainbow closet.
Beth T says
I’ve had the same challenge. Yesterday I jotted down that I could just about do the basics of the Common Wardrobe but I had to do lots of swaps. I don’t wear black, apart from a token black skirt and trousers for certain events, so that was swapped for navy. I wear ivory instead of white but only have one or two items, certainly not enough to ring the changes for a whole month let alone a season. Light grey is a neutral but tends to be in jumpers – I have a token tee shirt and polo top and four pairs of grey trousers but worn in different seasons. At the moment all I have are grey jeans. My grey jersey trousers are for spring and late summer. Grey linen trousers are from April to August. So I add in grey or black/white print bottoms with an accent top.
My immediate feeling was that I would not stick to just those common garments with accent tops. I would have to have accent bottoms too.
So taking the idea from today’s wardrobe, I could easily create several common wardrobes based on purple, burgundy/wine or teal as well as navy. However, there would be variations in tone depending on the season. I would also add in a plain dress or skirt as part of my common wardrobe.
Lots of interesting ideas for managing our overflowing cupboards and drawers. As well as justifying having so much variety in the first place! ?
You’re a color genius. I can’t believe you made such a nice little wardrobe from the most unlikely painting. Brava!
Oh yes, please do the accessories!
Pink through burgundy is one of my accent colors, but I also love red and rust and have small quantities of each. This is a lovely painting for inspiration.
Great job ! Like Sheila, I have been frustrated by accent colors that were a bit “ off” from one another ! However, unless I feel the need to twin set them, that really doesn’t matter ! As I think about it, I realize that I seldom wear twin set pieces together at the same time anyway !
As I commented late on your post where you first introduced the 21 garments concept, I am trying all of your templates until I come up with a closet “ sweet spot” of the right flexible range of garments for a specific role in my life — pretty much home life, grocery shopping, and tending my mother an hour away ! Another grouping of travel, church and special occasion clothes continue to either stay in bins or a few seasonally selected items hang in hopeful anticipation in another closet . Irregardless, I have seen how waaaay fewer total clothes are plenty to suffice, as long as I can mix and match for the variety and efficiency that I crave ! Than you for leading the way, dear lady !
Beautiful warm and very versatile wardrobe. You could get dressed in the dark and come out looking as if you spent hours figuring out what to wear. I am looking forward to seeing the accessories
Always, always accessories. I’m so enchanted with how a simple scarf or necklace can make an outfit.
Oooh – I absolutely love this one! So wearable!
I like the idea of two very different accents colors in a capsule wardrobe. In this one, I think the neutral beiges are warmer than the reference art and to me they don’t go with the cool pink/mauve colors. I’d probably go for more of a stone beige color, and incorporate a lemon yellow in a different way. – nancyo
Sally in St Paul says
Yes, I struggled with the neutrals ranging from the much cooler ivory to the much warmer light camel. I think it’s very realistic for a set of garments pulled from someone’s closet, but I wonder how happy she would be wearing those variable neutrals together or the warm neutrals with the cool pinks.
But I know I’m biased because I just DO NOT LIKE the warmest neutrals here, period…the turtleneck and henley T especially. Looking at that turtleneck is like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard for me!
Sally in St Paul says
This new series is terrific. I need to see a bunch more of these 21 piece garde-robes built as though curated from a person’s broader wardrobe! This feels so very different from building a wardrobe from scratch and for me at least, it meets me more where I am (already with a full closet, not in a position to start over). I liked the realism here in not only the accents not going together, but the possible incompatibility in the light common wardrobe pieces (particularly, the ivory pieces do not appear well-suited to the others). I say “possible incompatibility” because things that appear discordant at first look could blend well with the right bridge garments or the right accessories…or could simply not work out together…which may be ok or may not, depending on what a heroine is going for.
I am curious what outfits come after the outfits that are featured, all of which are quite nice, clearly wearable, and work as-is. Does she repeat these 10 outfits twice more each to get through the month, or does she branch out to some less obvious combinations? Does she try to wear the warmer toned light pieces with the cooler toned? Does she need particular accessories or bridge pieces to make that work? Does she come to prefer the warmer than the cooler (suggesting she might replace the ivory with warmer toned versions) or vice versa…or is her ideal to have more between the two extremes? Does she try wearing more disparate accent colors together? Does she wish her accent colors worked together more readily, or is she happy to have them totally separate? Does she tire of light accents and wish she had more darker pieces? Is she tired of all these garments by the end of the month? Etc. Etc.
I would also like to see accessories, but I would love to see them added to some more, shall we say, “challenging” outfits than the 10 featured here, which are in no need of them (though I am confident they would shine with Janice-chosen accessories!). For myself, 10 outfits from 21 garments for 30 days is demonstration of a wardrobe working to a minimum level, but I would not typically want to wear the same combination of garments 3 times in a month! Variety is the spice of life…and the reason that my closet is so full.
Popping in for a distraction ;) you know, when I first saw this wardrobe I really didn’t like it at all. Probably because of the brown. NOT my favorite color. What I have found is that each time I look at it I like it a little more. More than likely still not anything I would wear, but on the right person? It’s almost a more “real” wardrobe of combining pieces you already own instead of going shopping and getting everything in the same value. If that makes sense. Brilliantly done Janice! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post and what’s next!
Linda P says
Hi Janice and Everyone! Great discussion and Wonderful color combination. I think the cones and rods in my eyeballs are predetermined to find rust in any clothes display (maybe because I’m a Rust-Belt kinda girl-?)
It is now Day 7 of the 21 piece wardrobe challenge and I have had to sneak in some lightweight accent tops in the midst of this Second Summer we’re having. I am also very conscious of not wearing the same outfit twice in one week. So far I have managed by switching out a top, or a second layer, or a pair of pants.If someone notices I’ve worn the same outfit twice in a –month– ….well, they must work for the Secret Fashion Police.
In all fairness, who could have imagined that we would have September weather in November? It’s only reasonable to change things around if circumstances change on you this radically!