March 5, 2021
Let’s take another look at this painting, with a heroine who is looking for a balance of light and dark, soft and bright…
Here color palette is more like this:
you’ll notice that this heroine has chosen quite a few of the same garments as our heroine from a couple of weeks ago; I’m interested to see if this will work!
The pants that she’s chosen as the base of her March (ish) wardrobe are a mix of darker and lighter:
From here, our heroine is going to choose 5 small, 4-piece clusters, and these 20 garments (plus 1 Wild Card choice) will make up her Garde-Robe du Mois for the next 30 days, more or less!
This will look familiar; with a great scarf or jewelry (or on some days, just plain and simple!) these 4 pieces are workhorses:
Our new heroine really wants darker green pants to wear with her green sweater and tee…
This wee cluster is good for at least 4 different outfits…
Today’s heroine knows that she may want to wear her sweat clothes with a bright accent, or with a soft tee shirt that doesn’t show unless she peels off her sweatshirt!
She feels that her red is well-balanced with brown pants; another day, she might wear her floral shirt with her red sweater and a lighter pant. She has options!
With 3 red garments, an 2 darker pairs of pants, this wardrobe looks very different from that of her friend who included blue jeans when she planned her Garde-Robe du Mois:
As her friend did, she’s going to see what kinds of outfit possibilities she has:
I confess that I’m really eager to hear what everyone has to say about this amended version of the original wardrobe!
p.s. Six years ago, we started with a Tom Thomson painting, and some brown, red and deep violet…
This is much more balanced. I liked it before, except the red, but now I really like it. With the small amount of red to cheer up a cold rainy day.
Yes, I agree this definitely looks more balanced with the addition of the deep coffee colour. I took another look at the painting. The dark brown may be small within the painting, but if definitely adds depth to the overall effect. Funny how I didn’t appreciate that at first sight.
I didn’t notice the dark brown in the painting… had to go back and look. But you are absolutely right! It adds a lot of depth and almost “grounds” the picture (so the flowers aren’t floating away).
The darker neutral helps to add balance; and I think the reds look a little warmer (orangey vs blue). As Barb mentions below, the removal of the blue (in the red check pattern from the original wardrobe) also helps to keep everything in the “warm tones” range.
Janice, this was a really really really fascinating exercise – thank you so much for continuing to look at it! I think it really helps us to better understand how or why the “off” garments in our own wardrobes are “off”.
Perhaps we can even extend it to better understanding why we feel comfortable in certain company vs others; and as in the previous post’s conversations, how that isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Maybe too philosophical for a Friday….
Happy Friday everyone! This commenting community brings so much value to the table…
Beth T says
Well done – even I like this colour combination now ? The Liberty print shirt is a great find and would also work with the green trousers or worn over the yellow tee shirt.
Thanks Janice for showing us this painting two weeks ago which prompted a very helpful discussion and debate about the colour red and the challenge of wearing it as we get older. Thanks to everyone who took part because I was then able to make a bold decision about the place of red in my wardrobe. I took out all my red and burgundy garments, and those with red or burgundy in the pattern and laid them on the bed with all my berry colours waiting to go into the loft. The red/burgundy looked so much more at home with the berry colours. So I made a decision to move red and burgundy into my autumn wardrobe.
Looking at the red and brown quartet with the Liberty print shirt, my decision to move my reds to Autumn, makes even more sense. Last December, I bought a pair of brown cords and I plan on getting a pair of chocolate brown ponte trousers. I can now see myself wearing red and brown in the autumn, particularly with a red floral shirt – sadly Liberty is out of price range for me. The red, burgundy and brown will expand my autumn wardrobe with berry colours and grey.
Once I had made that decision, it was a weight off my shoulders and made me very happy. My wardrobe for the next six months looked overall lighter in tone now that it just comprises the pretty colours blue, grey, soft purple, pink, lilac, coral and jade. ?
However, the dark green trousers in this wardrobe are now making me ponder the place of dark teal green (my version of forest green) in my wardrobe. ? I can see me moving my dark teal items to late summer and autumn/winter. Three things are persuading me: the depth of colour is too dark for spring and summer; the materials are thick cotton, heavy jersey, velvet and tweed; all the tops/jumpers are long sleeved with polo or cowl necks. However, the blue-teal and light teal/jade can stay for spring/summer because they meld with the other blues, blue/grey and light greens I wear for the next six months.
I love the look back too – red, purple and brown. Now I’m looking forward to experimenting with purple and brown too in the Autumn.
Thanks for everything Janice that helps me and all your readers to rationalise our wardrobes. I’m looking forward to this week’s discussion! I know that for some the green trousers will be more olive.
One question – would you change any of the accessories that you showed us a couple of weeks ago, now that you have revised the wardrobe? I did notice that J Crew have a cross-body bag and four styles of shoe in the red floral Liberty print – loafers, sneakers, ballet flats and high heels. I could just imagine someone wearing the high heels to a summrr wedding with a red dress – dream on ?
Sally in St Paul says
Beth T, your new autumn palette with the red, burgundy, and brown added in sounds lovely. I can imagine how those colors will bring a bit of earthy richness to the berry and grey palette, which is spot on for that season!
Beth T says
Thanks Sally. Red and brown together is reminiscent of the 1970’s when brown, camel and beige were the very popular neutral colours which were deemed to go with everything. I wore dark brown A LOT as a child and teenager back then, even brown glasses! I also had camel cords but I’m happier with taupe instead. Perhaps when Janice includes camel in a wardrobe, I should swap in taupe instead – now there’s an idea.
Burgundy is a brownish red but brighter reds look good with brown too. Pink looks lovely with soft brown, as does green and some shades of lighter and sky blue. I dont wear orange or yellow but they look good with brown too.
Purple is an interesting one. I recently bought a purple floral/paisley top that has a soft brown in the pattern. It goes well with a pair of brownish taupe trousers I have bought – more the colour of hazelnuts. I used to have a floral top with purple and plum flowers which I wore with chocolate brown trousers. So plum and brown might be OK too.
I can see a whole new experiment with brown this year.
Oh good work! These reds seem less…bright than the ones in the original wardrobe. And the original red pieces were plaids with blue in them, which looked good with the jeans, but not so much with the other tan pants in that wardrobe.
The olive green and the dark brown pants give this wardrobe a whole new vibe. While NONE of these are ‘my’ colours, it’s fascinating to see how a tweak makes the whole thing come together!
You know you’re basically a genius, right?!
Perfect balance of colours, especially for a March, almost Spring wardrobe. I agree with Barb, you are a genius! I am thinking of packing away my winter wardrobe but still too cold here in Scotland. The addition of darker colours definitely extends my seasonal wardrobe.
I really like this, what I would love that would make it more versatile for me would be darker green tee and cardi to create either a column of color or the suiting look I think it would open up a lot more with the yellow and tan at least for me as these are many of my colors, I would also love the red to be more corally (might be a little stretch) as some of the flowers appear in the picture which would then also go with all the green as well.
Oh I definitely like today’s wardrobe better than the original! Overall it’s more balanced. The forest green pants are a great addition, as is the Liberty print top.
Yes, Genius! And, like Morag, I don’t dare pack away winter clothes just yet – I remember last spring thinking I’d never get warm again…. but I am trying to “lighten” the winter colors with lighter colored accessories – which seems to work for me. I have never done red with brown. I’ll have to think about that one. I wore a lot of brown in high school – I think that was my mother’s influence. Don’t wear it at all now. I do wear a lot of red – although as I look at this wardrobe, I realize most of my red is of the warmer hue. Hadn’t thought about that before. I think some of my older things are the more cool blue-red, but the more recent things are definitely warmer. I love that different people can look at the same thing and come away with their own personal interpretation.
Cee Pluse says
That painting is just so lovely! This wardrobe looks a lot like one I would wear, and I do prefer it to the other option, especially since I am not fond of plaid! Besides, I think a woman who would use this painting as the basis for her wardrobe choices would be more drawn to florals anyway. The floral shirt you found does an amazing job of pulling together all of the accent color choices.
Dark brown is a better color for my warm skin tone than black, so I buy dark brown apparel whenever and wherever I can find it (it really is a difficult color to find!). I recently wore dark brown jeans and mock neck long sleeve tee with a loose red sweater and felt that this color combination was just right for my complexion. I rarely wear a column of color because I prefer a contrasting top and bottom, but the red sweater made all the difference.
I did not see a Wild Card item mentioned as the 21st choice. For me it would be the blue jeans from the previous wardrobe, as even though blue is not one of my best colors I still feel the need to have blue jeans. As long as the denim color is not close to my face it works in my wardrobe, and blue jeans would work with any of the tops in today’s collection. I hope you will do an accessories post for this Garde-Robe du Mois!
Book Goddess says
I find this much more satisfying wardrobe than the previous one. I think the contrast of the deep green and brown pants give more depth and balance to the wardrobe.
On another topic, would you consider adding Universal Standard to your style links?
Universal Standard is now on the list! Thanks SO MUCH for asking…
I love this second version of the wardrobe. What lovely colors! My only change would be to want at least one skirt in there. Even during COVID times, I’m still wearing a skirt or dress on occasion, especially now that I’m back to the office. I love the blend of light and dark here, though!
Sally in St Paul says
Much improved, for all the reasons mentioned! This red looks much better, though I would possibly go even warmer with it. I still struggle a bit with the light green, which looks great with the brown pants and looks OK with the cooler beiges, but still feels off with the camel (as in outfit #6 with the green T and camel “suit”). Perhaps she will eventually replace the cool light green with a warmer green like olive, which I think is smashing with camel and brown. But even if she replaced the light green top with a top in the darker green, I think that would be more versatile.
I like that Janice left the wild card open for us to speculate about. I find myself wanting to see another dark brown piece, a top or cardigan…no, both! There is no law against a 22 piece capsule, right?
I would like to see this new version accessorized!
Beth T says
The Wildcard had passed me by as I was looking at the arrangement as a whole. My wildcard would be another pattern piece perhaps incorporating the light green and yellow – floral or abstract. Also, Sally’s idea of a top or second layer in brown or dark green.
Linda P says
Hi everyone! I like the addition of the brown and olive to the capsule (or at least that’s how my tablet sees them.)
It is coincidental that ‘red’ is the topic of today’s post. As I mentioned, I sooo wanted to create a capsule around the tiger scarf that has appeared in our posts. Then I had Fashion Revelation # 548, which is that, in winter anyway, my most useful capsules revolve around the colors of my sweaters. So I browsed through the olive green archives and found the Cloud Forest scarf by Klements, which meant I could include my red cardigan, long-sleeved top, and turtleneck. This has opened up more colorful matches with black, white, olive, and chocolate/caramel brown. While most of the selections are solids, I do have some scarves that can provide a little contrast.
Sally in St Paul says
Linda P, that scarf looks perfect with the capsule you described! I like that you have brought up another useful way to build a capsule…start with some core pieces (ones you have learned to be important building blocks for a particular season/purpose), find a bridge piece you love, then continue filling out the capsule with the palette informed by the bridge piece. Nice!
Love it and that soft green cardigan and T-shirt top could easily migrate to my navy and grey spring capsule altogether too easily! So attractive.
Janice I’ve been meaning to ask on behalf of the Canadians, would you mind adding The Bay to your list of linkable shopping. It’s the big department store in Canada. Cleo and Ricki’s are much smaller but those pretty much sum up my clothes and accessories shopping and I would love to support your work.
Color me impressed ! You did an excellent job adding the balances to this wardrobe that my eyes were demanding ! Removing what I felt was jarring were the blue jeans with the plaid turtleneck and the too bright red garment , and it made such a difference. The only issue I have with a pairing here is the mint green with the camel. I can’t decide if it’s because of the warm/ cool contrast or if it feels like too much of the same level of value . I think this green might look better with more of a taupe pant or a warm gray, which would harmonize better with the cooler feeling that this green suggests . I believe that kind of a color exists in the painting, at least it appears so on my monitor . Over all, I like these selections a whole lot better , a more color harmonizing grouping !
Which of these clusters would you select as a smaller travel wardrobe, perhaps making a 4×4 and which one would you leave out ?
Beth T says
The mint green cardigan looks more a light sage on my screen. Shrebee might be right with light green looking better with taupe. I’m going to sub taupe for camel.
Now there’s a challenge, Janice to do a posting featuring TAUPE as the neutral! Manufacturers have a wide interpretation of taupe from light brown to beige to yellow-grey! All the different shades is frustrating. A post showcasing the variation in shades of taupe would be most instructive and helpful.
My recent purchase of taupe cotton trousers is more soft brown or pale milk chocolate. I also have a pair of grey trousers that are more taupe because they are a yellow based grey rather than my usual blue base gray.
This is so much nicer. I still can’t get behind light yellow + beige, or that light green + beige, but then again I probably wouldn’t build a wardrobe for myself around this painting, lovely as it is! – nancyo
Wendy B says
New subscriber and first time commenter…..
I love this world you have created and you have taught me so much about colours and making the most of a capsule wardrobe. I know many women who wear mostly – and usually only – skirts and dresses. No pants at all. Would you consider preparing a 4×4 wardrobe for skirt-wearers?