January 11 2021
Feeling Summery in the Winter
Yes, the weather is cool, but she can still think about palm trees and warm breezes…
So she starts with a palm-printed scarf, and isolated the colors she loves:
Let’s pause for a moment to think about the math behind a really efficient Six-Pack travel capsule wardrobe:
Well, enough of THAT technical stuff!
Her long weekend away is pretty casual – mostly family activities. But she still likes to look nice, and feel like she’s made an effort!
Spills are possible. (both the liquid kind and the bodily tumbling onto the ground kind!)
Some relatives keep their homes… very warm, shall we say.
If 1 or even 2 garments are soiled, torn, other otherwise destroyed (an entire bottle of acetone nail polish remover spilled into your lap?), she can still get dressed pretty easily:
She KNOWS that someone is going to tell her how cheery it is to see her bright yellow tee shirt or sweater – just like a breath of spring!
She’s looking forward to hearing that!
p.s. While we’re thinking of Spring-like garments, let’s flash back to an entire wardrobe built around a dandelion print cardigan!
What a beautiful olive green scarf, which is impossible to find to wear with olive green dresses. My most loved VF post is the Tote Bag Travel Wardrobe in Olive from October 25, 2016.
I’ve bookmarked today’s post to keep with that travel wardrobe. Thank you, Janice, for both of these beautiful olive green travel wardrobes. I have been collecting olive green clothing for several years to go with these capsules.
Erin Roy says
This weekend, I received a tunic, jeans and face masks in camouflage print, that I had ordered. The individual pieces will be my pattern pieces to go with solid olive green pants and tops. (Sorry, I’m not going out in full camo- the only thing I hunt down right now is a good bargain on mix and match, quality clothes!) I figured I would pair them with the green, black, red or khaki pieces in my closet, but I might need to toss in a buttery yellow top for the spring after seeing this post. Thank you for the inspiration!
I wish we could have more posts from Janice using olive as a neutral, for those of us who do follow her on this color. We may not be a part of the marjority of her readers who want other colors in this capsule as they have posted. But are opinions do count. Thank you Janice again for selecting this scarf for us. Can’t wait for it to arrive by USPS.
I do try to include olive on a regular basis, but it’s appallingly difficult to find olive clothing (as I’m sure you know full well!). But you’re not forgotten!
big digital hugs,
Beth T says
Oh what a lovely calming wardrobe. The olive and yellow are not my colours (though I wish they were) but I could take similar clothes in teal/grey/brown/rose-pink or navy/grey/purple/pink/lilac, add in a few more tops and be gone for a week!
The jewellery is delectable and I can ‘shop my jewellery box’ for similar items. I particularly like silver and rose-gold together.
Love the look-back too as I have have acquired several floral cardigans and jumpers in recent years and can’t wait to wear them in spring and summer.
Delightful though our local nature reserve is, I’m yearning for hills and dales and wide open spaces with views. However, we’ve been told to stay at home or stay local in the UK because this new Covid variant is rampant. Driving just a few miles to exercise in our nearby hills or country parks are off limits because the police are stopping people taking unnecessary journeys. ?
So I’ve taken to watching country walks programmes on TV and my husband has got out a coffee table picture book on one of our favourite areas. I’m now thinking using the ‘little man’ on Google maps to ‘go for a walk’ in my favourite places (which I doubt we will get to this year either). Is that rather ‘sad’?
“I could take similar clothes in teal/grey/brown/rose-pink or navy/grey/purple/pink/lilac, add in a few more tops and be gone for a week!”
I’ll go with you, and we can swap clothes.
I can’t wear yellow, but the rest of the wardrobe is perfect and the rose pink of Beth t’s post would be a good substitute by my wardrobe standards.
This is really lovely. The minute I saw the scarf I thought “gray, light yellow, olive green”. Most appreciative of the six pak ideas since my one son and I are still hoping to make our (long awaited, twice postponed) trip to Hawaii first week in April. I only want to pack one small bag. It won’t look anything like this, of course, but gives me the numbers I need. Have a great day everyone!
I really appreciate you explaining THAT technical stuff, extremely helpful for future outfit/capsule planning. Showing us the Why and How instead of just the result, this so valuable, so thank you for sharing your expertise.
Sara K says
How inspiring! I have recently bought a couple of soft yellow tops, and it had not occurred to me that how lovely they would look with olive green and light grey.
Linda in Bluffton says
Delightful! Your blog inspired me to work my closet this weekend. I tried on every piece of clothing I own and removed what I don’t love, what doesn’t fit well, and what is shot. (Some may say I have too much time on my hands … I say retirement is bliss!) A pain in the bum to do it for sure … but so rewarding! I recently bought of few of the Echo scarves you featured and am now ready to create weekly capsules. My goal is to shop my closet for outfits and save a little money for something special later.
Now, if you could only inspire me to clean the garage or work on my taxes!
I first discovered the brilliant Janice when trying to plan for a two week trip to Alaska. Dressy on cruise and super casual on land . I watched read and learned and haven’t missed an “episode” since. I have found that wearing 3 and packing 10 gets me through two weeks. It takes some planning but is very doable. I impress my adult kids and any others I travel with or to with my varied always on point wardrobe. Thank you Janice!! Currently experiencing FOUR cold days in a row in Sugar Land TX so I have enjoyed wearing sweaters that might not be seen some years. Cold being a relevant term. So tired of virtual/dream trips. Have a good day all.
Cold is indeed a relative term! We are thinking that – so far – we’ve had a really mild winter, with temperatures almost constantly in the upper 30’s. AND CLOUDS… holy handbags, the clouds…
hugs hugs hugs,
Sally in St Paul says
Yes! My friend in north Texas was surprised to see snow this weekend and thinks it’s cold. Meanwhile in St Paul MN, it’s above freezing and sunny, I can see from my apartment that the Mississippi River is almost entirely thawed out, I have all the windows open, and all I can think is how warm it is!
Lovely! Such a nice cohesive wardrobe!
Sally in St Paul says
Technical stuff? Bring it. I’m not sure there could be too much of it for my taste! After reading the technical stuff, I quickly sketched out 2 3x3x3s for myself, one for cool season and one for warm season, in my most obvious limited neutral palettes for each.
Warm season was easy to do in navy, aloe vera (cooler and lighter than olive), and denim/white:
Navy capris, navy crochet neck knit top, navy button up shirt
Aloe vera crops, aloe vera T, aloe vera cardigan (yes, purchased from the same store/same season)
Denim capris, navy/white polka dot T, white cardigan (I don’t do white pants)
Cool season was harder…navy, grey, and denim:
Navy pants, navy long-sleeved T, navy boyfriend cardigan
*Grey pants or grey jeans, grey long-sleeved T, grey boyfriend cardigan
Dark denim jeans, *navy/grey striped long-sleeved T, navy fleece blazer tipped in grey
The items with * I don’t actually own. For the navy/grey striped T, I can readily substitute navy/white, which I do have. For grey pants/jeans, I would substitute another pair of blue denim jeans, but I would really rather have the grey. I’m always surprised when I realize I do not have a basic pair of grey pants/jeans. In both sets, I would likely throw in a couple extra Ts (white or navy) because I am hard on tops.
I could do a good warm season set (a 5x5x5, if you will) using a similar palette to this one…olive, grey, aloe vera, light yellow, and beige/white. I did find the pie palette image confusing because I only saw 4 colors used: olive, yellow, grey, and heather grey.
I am increasingly convinced that building versatile trios (top, pants, cardigan) in my core neutrals and semi-neutrals would make travel packing much easier. And yet it’s hard to do! When I do as Shrebee has commented, buy the pieces together at once, it is easier; but it’s harder than I expect when I try to fill the gaps in existing potential trios. It’s so much easier to become smitten with a beautiful print blouse or scarf and just buy that instead. But if I’m going to buy anything, it should be…
Basic, versatile full-length grey pants/jeans;
A midweight cardigan that blends across my wine and burgundy tops and bottoms;
Any topper and/or bottom that matches/blends with the dark teal top I have that is the absolute perfect instantiation of the idea of “dark teal”;
An olive cable knit cardigan in a versatile midweight cotton or similar;
A two-piece dress in a print that combines at least 2 of my neutrals;
The taupe trio of my dreams.
Janice, thank you for this space to learn and (in my case) think out loud. You are supporting a wonderful community here.
Saint Paul warm??? Fell out of my chair laughing. Pretty sure I’d consider it chilly all the time except mid-August!
Beth T says
Linda in Bluffton. I applaud you for trying on everything in your wardrobe. It is quite a task I know but necessary to get rid of ‘dead wood’ taking up room in an overflowing wardrobe. I’ve done that too over the past year (with my daughter’s help) and got rid of everything that didn’t fit for one reason or another. I’ve also done further evaluations and my wardrobe is in pretty good shape.
However, I made the mistake of getting rid of the clothes that I had ‘slimmed out of’ by Christmas 2019, having lost 2.5 stone (21 pounds) and gone down three clothes sizes. If anyone had told me that in 2020, I would put 2 stone back on through anxiety, stress, lack of exercise and too much cake during the Covid lockdowns….
I particularly regret getting rid of most of my larger size coats and the replacement smaller sizes are a tad tight round the hips. ? So there is the incentive to lose the two stone (and hopefully more) by next Christmas ?
Linda in Bluffton says
Hi Beth. Unfortunately, I’m your “sister from another mister” when it comes to the ups and downs of weights/sizes. You’re right about throwing away good items! So, I made myself keep the very best/relevant of the “too big” and “too small” in another storage area – and marked them with the date. If I’m the same size 12-18 months from now, then I will give the clothes away. If not, I’ll have to do the process again. What I love about the outcome is that I can now reach for anything in my closet and know it fits … and I can’t fool myself if a pair of pants suddenly feels tight. Take care – wishing you the best for 2021.
Beth T says
Sally (in St Paul) – I’ve spent ages trying to find grey trousers that fit my rounded frame with short legs. I have a pair of stretch grey jeans so far and a pair of thin jersey wide leg trousers, though I’m not sold on the colour of the jersey trousers. It’s more trying to find the right shade (mid grey to charcoal) that I have difficulty with. Many grey trousers remind me of dreaded school trousers in vapid grey or they are the right colour but thin in the leg or the waist is up round my chest!
I did have grey and black houndstooth trousers but wore them so much, that they wore out! In desperation last year, I bought black and white houndstooth.
Good luck with your quest.
Sally in St Paul says
Beth T, yes, I hear you on the challenge (and thanks for the luck, I will need it). Funny enough, I do have a pair of grey and black herringbone trousers that I like a lot, and they serve as my “grey” pants. But when I’m wanting to wear grey with navy, that pair doesn’t work as well. So far the herringbone trousers are holding up, so I do have some time to find a plain grey pair, I think.
What a lovely scarf, and amazing how it just brings everything together so beautifully! There is something just serene about that scarf…I really love it, and love what you paired with it. This post made January feel a little less dreary!
“ Technical stuff” always, please ! I am a method follower , as you know by now, The automaticity of making travel garment selections or capsule choices is so freeing ! The only thing is that I nearly always wear 3 pieces in an ensemble, so that cuts way back on the total number of possible outfits if using a 3×3 strategy, though I can multiply that option over a second 3×3 , or a part of a second one, and have plenty of options ! I always enjoyed your
3×3 “ slot machine” posts ! Those 9 pieces plus the travel outfit of 3 more pieces provides more than enough options for a week or more away , though I might add a top or two, as I like a fresh top each day .
My ability to pack no more than 7kgs plus handbag only has improved so much from the skills I have learned ftom this blog.
Beth T says
Last time I went away, way back last September, I went for a week and packed a 4×4. I remember evaluating it and realising that the proportion of tops and bottoms was too ‘bottom heavy’. Now recently evaluating my limited three month wardrobe for November to January, I wore 15 tops and 15 jumpers or cardigans (always worn together) but circulated six pairs of trousers. These are just for everyday; my occasion garments barely got a look-in!
So it seems that in the Autumn and Winter, I need the variety of tops and 2nd layers whilst the trousers which are dark neutrals can be circulated more frequently. Thus my ideal ratio for this season would be one bottom to two tops and two 2nd layers – five pieces. Must make a note of that…
It will be interesting to see how the ratio changes as the seasons change.
I have found that for one week , 4 bottoms is enough — three worn twice and one worn once. If taking 3 bottoms, then each gets worn twice and one gets worn 3 times, which is pushing it if laundering is not available .
While I can see how 3x3x3 is a pleasing theoretical way to approach a travel wardrobe, in my experience it is more useful to have more tops. So if I were going to stick with 9 items, I’d likely cut to 2 bottoms, 4-5 tops, and 2-3 second layers. But I don’t stick with 9 items when traveling, lol, so a tight wardrobe for me would be 3 bottoms, 5-6 tops and 3 second layers. Also my total number of outfits would be reduced from your theory because I rarely, if ever, wear a 2nd layer as a top, and I almost always have 3 items in an outfit, even if it’s carrying a cardigan on a warm day “just in case.” – nancyo
You’re smart to know what suits you best and what you prefer! That’s really the whole point of all of these various ideas and exercises – to hone in on what WE need, and make sure that we get it!
We must pack in the same suitcase !
JANICE, These aren’t my colors nor do I wear pants but I think your capsule wardrobes are really good. I wish you would include more fabrics like tweed, leather, silk, cashmere, velvet. Plus, classic patterns like leopard, hounds tooth, English riding patterns, small stripes, florals, small polka dots and geometric for day wear. A few more Hero’s into the mix. Thank you for always listening!
Ah Natalie, I would love to include more variety, but alas, there’s not much available that’s not a bajillion dollars, or that’s photographed in weird and contorted ways! I’m always looking – especially for menswear fabrics – believe me!
Thanks for liking The Vivienne Files; it means the world to me!
Beth T says
Thanks for your idea Linda from Bluffton, I do have a few things kept by in larger sizes and a couple of coats.
I’m just rather rueful that I got rid of the larger size of my pink and grey tweed coat that I wear from now through Spring. I was so pleased with my weight loss in 2019 that I tracked down the same coat in a size smaller on eBay!
Perhaps, I should have erred on the side of caution but only having smaller sizes meant that I couldn’t get lax ??
The only silver lining is that I’m not going anywhere because the UK is now in another national lockdown… so no more cake! We’re also keeping close to home and have everything we need within a walkable square mile. Lots of exercise ?
Keep safe and stay well!
Andrea Andresen says
What a gorgeous scarf and the combo of neutrals -olive and grey that I love- for my grey hair and hazel eyes. I even have yellow as my Summer accent here in NZ. Thank you. Pinning all of this post.