February 3, 2021
Yes, this is confusing…
But I’m trying to find a way to use the core 52 garments from The Weekly Timeless Wardrobe to help anyone who has to keep 2 separate wardrobes in 2 locations (or those of us who wear 2 completely different seasonal wardrobes as the weather comes and goes…)
Last week, I looked over the 52 garment list, and chose 10 to be the “core” wardrobe for this heroine. An example of one of the 10-piece wardrobes is this lovely grouping:
As useful and versatile as this wardrobe is, most women will want to add something to it! In order to stick to our plan, I went back to the list of 21 garments that remained AFTER I removed the 10 “core” pieces from the list. (and then split the list into warm weather and cool weather)
It’s unintuitive today, when there’s a ton of snow about, but I’m going to plunge into the warm weather wardrobe. Fairly quickly (I hope), after January inventories are completed, spring clothes should start to appear in stores and online. (I certainly hope so, pickings have been slim these last few weeks!)
This was what I chose:
You will see that I don’t adhere terribly closely to these guidelines – but I do make sure that we get 3 garments – a top, a bottom, and a 2nd layer…
For this 1st wardrobe, I chose this:
A tee shirt in the same color as her accent cardigan, and a shirt and pants that are almost the identical shade of light grey…
These fit in nicely!
The other 10-piece wardrobe example from last week was the always-tempting navy and pink:
At this point, darker pants might still have made sense but I felt like white jeans… As long as the world isn’t slushy and splashy, one can wear white jeans ALL YEAR! Yes, I said it…
This would be a lovely spring travel capsule wardrobe for a destination that’s bright and sunny but not madly warm:
I want to show some other options of what one might add to a core wardrobe during this step of charting out a summer Garde-Robe du Mois…
For example, if you are following the “Six Scarves, 12 Outfits” series, the outfits that might be added could look like these:
A twinset-type pair of tops in an accent color, with neutral pants:
A dark neutral suit with an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING accent tee. Yes, this tee is a real departure from most of the clothes I show you, but I wanted you to see it… Those among us who sew could do something like this easily, I suspect:
There’s no reason that you can’t tone your tops to blend together, rather than always have them dyed to match; these 2 colors look great with each other:
Of course, people in my tribe might be very happy with blended neutral colors:
And a lovely accent-colored shirt is the perfect thing to wear over a light neutral tee and dark neutral pants:
So what does this accomplish? Well, it’s an indication of how to expand a 10-piece wardrobe into a 13-piece wardrobe, with the eventual goal of having a 21-piece wardrobe hanging in the closet of the warmer of our heroine’s homes…
My plan, then, is that each month, I will add 3 (or every 4th week, 4) garments to the first 2 wardrobes, to show a different approach to a gradually planned and assembled warm-weather wardrobe.
It’s a different path to the goal of a tidy, but sufficient, wardrobe suited for our personal beauty, and to the season confronting us!
clear as mud, eh?
p.s. You must see this guy using sound to turn chaos into structure; the video with the colors is particularly fun:
Artist Uses the Power of Sound to Turn Sand Into Mesmerizing Patterns
p.p.s. Eight years ago, we pondered the merits of Poppy Red as an accent for a variety of neutrals.
Beth T says
This is such a useful evaluation which I’m trying to do with the clothes in my wardrobe.
I’d like to identify a common core along with a stress-free emergency wardrobe that was mentioned last week. Things that I can just grab and go. Time will come probably sooner than later when my elderly in-laws will need more help. Fortunately, they are local so we won’t be staying over.
I know that my neutrals will be dark blues, greys of varying hues, ivory and accents of light blue, purple/lilac and pink (dark and light depending on the season). However, I really like the aqua/teal and grey wardrobe which makes me realise that I could look at that idea as an easier accent option ?
To help with this process, I’m creating spreadsheets of the WTW items, common core and stress free core across the colour groups I wear.
However, it is complicated because I have more than 52 garments so there are extras on my list.
Also a lot of my tops are patterned so assigning them to a colour group can be tricky – do I assign on the basis of the background colour or the predominant colour in the pattern or do I note it down under all the colours in the pattern?
Please would you consider including some simple multi-seasonal core accessories? No matter how much rubbish I’m dealing with, wearing accessories gives me a little boost of confidence and an outfit that looks less like it’s been hastily assembled.
Just going to toss this out there – relatives that live locally sometimes STILL require one to stay the night… or two… or 60!
The voice of experience…
My cats would adore that lavender tshirt. For the half hour or so it would take them to destroy it.
I am loving the tonal concept when an exact match is not possible !
Linda T says
My favourite kind of post! The “why” of things is so helpful, thank you.
Beth T, When I enter my patterned shirts, I used to just put them under the main background color. Then, as I was adding sweaters/jackets I discovered it was more helpful if I entered in all the colors of a top, because then I could see which toppers would coordinate. If that makes sense. It opened up new, visible combinations for me.
Sally in St Paul says
Thanks for showing multiple types of matches/blends in these outfits. I find the matched look of the first four (if you consider the silver blue T with the previous silver blue cardigan) very satisfying. The two pinks with the olive pants is my favorite, though…the bright watermelon pink shirt and medium watermelon pink T combo are somewhere in the value/tonal blend area. The tonal blend of the lighter grey T and charcoal pants looks terrific…I seem to really gravitate toward tonal blends of grey (which is good because matching them is a fool’s errand!).
The last one with two blues and white is the most interesting. The repetition of the white from the T in the stripes of the shirt is very pleasing. The blues are both soft but otherwise seem very different, yet they blend harmoniously. I’m curious whether the slate blue pants coming across as semi-neutral (a mix of navy, grey, and white?) is helping here? Or the shirt being so light in value compared to the pants? Or maybe it’s one of those “avoiding the uncanny valley” type of things. The blues are different enough that you don’t expect them to match, so the eye is happy to see them as distinct yet harmonious, as compared to the situation in which the two colors are similar but not similar enough to seem the same, so something feels “off” about the combination.
Beth T says
Thanks for solving my dilemma, Sheila. That makes good sense as I like to have options of different coloured cardigans with multi-coloured tops just to make a change.
The comments here about caring for elderly relatives strike a chord with me, as I make frequent visits to another state for that purpose. I do not keep clothing in my relative’s home, but have become proficient at packing quickly. It certainly helps to have wardrobe pieces that mix and match easily. I like prints and patterns for blouses, but most other pieces are solid colors for easy dressing. The other thing that REALLY helps is traveling by car…no need to fit my week’s worth of clothing into a tiny carry on.
I enjoy looking at your posts and thinking about what could be, but since I am retired, I hardly wore the things I had last summer. In fact I don’t even know what I have in my summer closet. I am hopeful, that by the middle of Summer I will be able to pull out somethings to replace my now well worn don’t-go-out wardrobe. Next Fall will be a new experience too! I hope everyone gets their vaccine shot and we can all go back to safely having fun with friends and relatives. Thanks again for your posts!!
Janice, that weblink to the artist is WONDERFUL & FASCINATING !
Thank you for posting that. I never knew that kind of art existed.
Mr. Kanazawa’s art is beautiful.
Mr. Kanazawa’s use of sound reinforces for me that God prefers organization to chaos ! What a lovely and clever use of two artistic and sensory mediums — sight and sound !
I still have no idea what you’re doing, but I’ll take your word for it!
Beth T says
Loved the artistic link. We used to do that with iron filings and a magnet in physics…
Linda P says
Hi Janice and Everyone! Beautiful colors and groupings. I could spend my paycheck on all those long cardigans.
To Beth T: I’ll have you know I am wearing a purple paisley print mock turtleneck today under a very deep indigo v neck sweater. My husband pronounced it as matched with my taupe pants.
Beth T says
Hi Linda P – Thank you for sharing your outfit. Sounds just the sort of outfit, I’d wear.
I’m excited about the possibilities of purple and taupe. At LONG last I have found some taupe stretch trousers that are more grey than beige – described as grey but more grey/stone. From the same company, I also found a pair of Taupe trousers that are more brown – dark brownish taupe or dark rose-beige would be a good descriptor. This is just the soft brown that I’ve have been looking for.
They go perfectly with a dark mauve paisley floral top (bought because it’s purple from the same company). This has touches of lilac-pink, brown, black and cream in the pattern. This top also goes with a purple paisley scarf I already have and rose-beige top in my wardrobe. So both pairs of trousers and the top extend my mauve and heather purple clothes in summer. I have taupe ankle boots.
I have also both pairs of trousers this with teal/jade for my country walks. Looks great. It’s so pleasing when something comes together and opens up so many possibilities.
Sally in St Paul says
I’m always happy to hear when people find something they like in taupe!
I was also reminded by the recent Inside Out Style blog post on “Your ultimate guide to planning a colour scheme for a wardrobe capsule” how much I miss a light, soft, cool brown linen skirt I used to have (a somewhat lighter value than the left-most coat image on the Blonde row). I said to my husband “I miss a light, soft, cool brown linen skirt I used to have, and the almost identical shade Eddie Bauer t-shirt I would wear with it. I wonder why I still miss it so much.” He said “Well…was it the same color as the darkest part of your hair?” DING DING DING. Since he also solved the “why do I love wearing olive so much?” mystery with “because it matches your eyes,” I told him that’s it too bad that David Zyla et al. have already written the book on this because his “colors that match your physical self” concept is on point. :)
He can always write the book again, from his point of view. Lots of people either have never heard of David Zyla, or don’t really grasp what he’s saying. There’s always room for another book!
Sally, thanks for mentioning Imogen’s post. I hadn’t seen that one yet, but it is full of useful tips! I agree on the soft brown you mention! I had a similar experience with a pair of taupe trousers from AT LOFT (and the taupe suede wedge sandals I bought from there, too). Those were easily my favorite pair of pants because they just seemed to go with almost everything I had in my closet! Funnily enough, I suspect it is because they matched the darker tones in my blonde hair. And, I second Janice that your husband should write that book! I enjoyed reading Zyla’s book but I would have loved it if he had added some pictorial examples of his concepts throughout to help illustrate his points in more detail.
L. Clare says
I’m confused a bit but I still read and try to absorb. Long time reader but first time commenting.
I can only speak for myself of course but as a 72 yr old who lives in a rural area I have no need for dresses or skirts. They are not flattering and are extremely inconvenient on bikes, trails or dog walking. So if one is trying to find a piece to replace a skirt, should she choose an additional pair of say more dressy trousers instead? As for dresses I’d think just a pair of trousers with a similar colored top, perhaps with some interesting feature at the collar. I’d love your opinion. Since COVID our trips to nearby cities have completely stopped. All food and supplies comes via online sources. And clothes of course!
Ladies, this is such a wonderful distraction for me today. The topic of clothing and/or accessories are always great to discuss. I had a back procedure today for chronic pain. I love the watermelon pink button-up blouse with the moss green pants. I usually wear this color with navy blue. I’m not as analytical with my wardrobe. I have my background in Fine Arts so I blend not matchy-matchy. I will say I have more then enough good basics. I need to invest in more WOW! clothing pieces. I invest in good leather handbags, shoes and jewelry. I love how Janice always finishes a capsule with accessories. Most women I see need to pay more attention to accessories to finish their outfits. I have learned only in the last few years to try and have your leather goods match your hair, a blouse to match your eyes etc. concept. It’s a interesting idea but I also like wearing my Spring colors and find they enhance my natural coloring the best.