August 29, 2022
Staying at the Observatory Until the Autumnal Equinox
There are all kinds of interesting things to observe and photograph near the equinox; she’s going to stay until then, to have everything ready!
She will be alone most of the time, and it will get quite cool before she comes home…
So she starts her small travel wardrobe with some warm things, in the navy of the night sky:
There’s laundry in the housing facility at the base of the tower, so she doesn’t need much at all for clothing; these 9 pieces will go a long way!
But she realizes that if she takes a few more shirts and sweaters, she won’t have to do laundry as often! So she turns to one of her favorite recent astronomy photographs for inspiration – bright pink and soft sky blue…
She’s looked at the sky enough to know that there are almost infinite shades of every color to be found; she isn’t fanatic about everything matching flawlessly anymore!
Wool gym shoes – how smart is that?
(they come in a really fun pink print…)
Now she has just enough choices to feel like variety, but not so much that she will struggle with luggage. She has quite enough photography equipment to load into her car as it is…
Wouldn’t this be delightful? A few weeks away from the world, looking at infinity?
p.s. Three years ago, I think I proved that ANYTHING can inspire a wardrobe; I started with the scarf worn by Tom Baker when he played Doctor Who!
Beth T says
I call that fuschia pink. I wear it a lot in winter. I like how the blue is a softer contrast.
Today’s lovely lady sounds like she’s planning her shot for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition which I think is due to start its 2023 display at the National Maritime Museum in Grenwich, London on the 4th of September.
When I was there in April, I saw the 2022 collection and found the range of colours available to be fascinating. You can probably find a star photo that covers every person’s ideal wardrobe colour palette.
This is so lovely and so much lke my closet! I appreciate the new ideas!
Great scarves: both the current pink/purple one and the throwback! We were at an old computer and game expo on the weekend and my spouse insisted I take a photo of him playing on a vintage Dr. Who pinball machine.
Requested, not insisted. I think my fingers got away from me.
Ooh! Now you’re talking my colours! And a nice, tight 13 piece capsule perfect for travel. Thanks Janice! I would love to see this expanded into a larger everyday wardrobe, say about 30 pieces of tops and bottoms. Along with other useful accessories. For instance, she’s only got one pair of shoes and no hat. Maybe she could use a warm utility-style jacket. Nippy autumn evenings are inevitably on the way where I am, although you wouldn’t know it by this week’s forecast :)
I do love the practical, slightly rugged tone of this grouping. That suits my retired lifestyle! I think I’d throw in some of that darker plum shade for autumn and/or a touch more of frosty starlight white. Pretty please?!
I second this request!
Yes, me too! And yes, to darker plum.
Easy to wear pieces. I like the common wardrobe jazzed up with the French 5 piece sets. Now I just want to pack my suitcase and GO…some place….relaxing and FUN!
This is great! Just my colors and style. Thanks Janice! And last night I was sitting out at the fire pit keeping warm looking at the stars.
Jenny B says
This color palette is speaking to me. I’m really enjoying navy and white this summer and those accents are beautiful. Bonus, I can switch to black for winter and everything else could stay the same. Love it!
I second the second request. I love this post and the wardrobe you’ve put together, but could you please expand and accessorize it?
She at least needs another pair of shoes (navy?) and a tote or purse!
This wardrobe goes right along with the “My Puppy’s Favorite Year” wardrobe. Together they have all my current favorite colors. They could be blended together and expanded so easily, especially with all the hot pink around this year.
I really must have that blue chamoise button-down, and a closer look at the chalcedony earrings abd those wool sneakers! I just thrifted a beautiful, nearly-new Gap navy and white striped long-sleeved tee. Otherwise I’ve got all these pieces. Now to wait for it to get cool enough to wear them. We’re getting to 90 degrees today, so it won’t be anytime soon. It is the “Puppy’s Life” for me for now.
What is “My Puppies Favorite Year” wardrobe?
A past post here on TVF
Sally in St Paul says
Gorgeous color palette…navy and white looks so good with these vibrant accent colors. It’s interesting that TVF heroines often wear only one accent color at a time because as a person who enjoys wearing multiple accent colors at once, I am always looking for ways to wear the accent colors together. The pink + blue combo definitely has potential, though these pieces were clearly not selected to make that easy. Even one print scarf or top including pink and blue could go a long way.
I like this selection of common items for a casual wardrobe (I also love navy + white esp. with stripes!). I do wonder what the missing shoes would be. Something in navy, surely, but I’m not sure what style.
Yes! These are my colors. Love the neutral navy with pops of pink and blue.
Lois Breedlove says
Off-topic, but I just got back from a 10-day road trip: city days, rural town, dinner out, party for a friend, walks with the dog. I used what I’d learned here, and managed with a small suitcase (the one that’s designed to fit in an overhead) and a tote bag. I should have taken an extra top or two, and I came back one pair of pants I never wore.
I’ve always packed light. But I felt more confident about how I looked on this trip — and that mattered. (It doesn’t always on road trips with a dog.)
So thank you! You teach us how, not just show us what, and I appreciate it.
Sounds wonderful Lois!
Oh Janice- this is another one I have to keep on my Pinterest for regular inspiration. Right beside 2 other favourites – Blue by Kinuko Mai Hoffman and Jupiter with 4 Moons.
I LOVE these navy based travel capsules.
I just looked, and I can duplicate this in my small 49 item year round wardrobe. Including several French 5 capsules using accents I love. I’m going to explore that bright pink. It’s such a happy colour.
Dear Janice, thank you so much for your inspiring blog. Thanks to you I’m building my wardrobe in a well thought through way. There’s just one very practical thing that I struggle with. When your don’t have a large amount of clothes how do you avoid doing laundry for just a couple of items? especially if you for instance only have a couple of white items in your wardrobe. That would be very uneconomical and environmentally unfriendly. Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions? Lots of love Natasha from Holland
I wear things more times than many people might consider “proper” – if it doesn’t smell bad or look like I’ve slept in it, I don’t wash it!
But you’re right, it is a conundrum! Anybody have any suggestions to help Natasha?
Thank you forJanice and I completely agree with you.
Sally in St Paul says
Natasha, it’s funny but I had the exact same thought about laundry when looking at this post. Those two white shirts really stand out as pieces that will need laundering more quickly but do not come close to being a full load of laundry. It’s ironic to me that one of the purported benefits of a small capsule wardrobe is that there is less laundry to do…while it seems clear to me that you have to do laundry more often and less efficiently!
Travel is a separate beast, but for dressing from home, the small number of items would create terrible laundry bottlenecks for me and would be way more frustrating than having a larger wardrobe.
As it is, I recently switched from separating my clothes in 2 loads (light, dark) to 3 (light, medium, dark) and it’s really messed with my system as I hang clothes to dry rather than using a dryer (and I only have enough drying rack space for 1 load at a time). My loads build up more slowly now, but when they are full enough to wash, I have a little more pressure due to 3 loads vs 2 to dry. I’m still getting a feel for the new laundry rhythm, which I’m sure I’ll figure out, but I have zero desire to waste the time, energy, or water from washing partial loads of laundry!
Do people who truly dress from a minimalist capsule wardrobe buy multiples of things like the white T-shirt? That’s one solution to the laundry issue. Of course, my thinking is: instead of having 3 white Ts, I’d rather have 1 white T and 2 accent color Ts! :)
I think if I was Natasha, I’d try to analyze which items are frequently ending up in the wash and are needed again very quickly. It might be a light coloured tee or a favourite goes-with-everything cardigan. I’d buy duplicates or even triplicates of those items and do laundry when I’ve used up all those. I don’t think that would be a waste of my money at all, but instead, investing wisely.
Thank you so much for your suggestion Nan, That is a very good idea. I think I will actually enjoy analysing which items are used so often it warrants doubles and triplicates. I think I need to shift from the idea of having as little as possible to having enough to make the wardrobe practical on every level.
Sandy b says
I agree with Nan and the others. I am a minimalist, but not extreme. I Try to limit my colors to that which can be washed together. So mostly mid tones or colorfast darks. But buying multiples is the way to go. I have five or six navy T shirts, for example. I still do laundry twice a week, but I use low water setting and try to just partial dry and then hang to finish drying. Or there is the old hand washing method. Good luck.
I love the colors featured today. And I cant decide which is better: the clothing or Janice’s stories and imagination!
Just got around to reading this on a Tuesday…the colours aren’t me, but it does show another example for me to learn from. In the discussion re laundry, this may help, but it is coming from a non minimalist who is using the lessons to pare down and be more organized and put together, so maybe not what you are looking for, Natasha. Anyway, I do 2 loads a week. Whites and pastels in 1st. Darks and denim in 2nd. If it is against skin, it is a wear once except for denim which I wear 2x and air out 24 hours between. Cardis & 2nd layers are 3x and sniff test. I try to plan the items worn for laundering so that if a load is smaller than half, it waits another week. I have multiples of many favorite items so that items last longer as they get less wear. Hope this helps.
Book Goddess says
I was just wishing that you would have a wardrobe featuring fuchsia! I would probably use a deeper/more violet/grayer shade of blue for my other accent, which I would suit my coloring better and I think would enable me to mix accents, too.
Also, I love Jesse Zhao scarves and would love to see them used as a basis for wardrobes.
Natasha I am definitely a minimalist and I love white T-shirts at all sleeve lengths. I buy in multiples. Usually 2 or3 when I buy a white shirt. I count each one of these multiples in my seasonal capsules.
I swap the other in when the first gets a little used looking. I wear my other clothes longer than other people think, pants and dark tops 4 days but with my whites I change out after a max of 2 days. I am careful to use a stain remover as needed.
Each week when I launder our white sheets and facecloths I run these thru at the same time. I usually have 2-3 tops by then to add to the whites. I use hot water wash, on a stain remover cycle on my front load machine and OXI powder with our detergent. It’s a full load and I include white cotton underwear along with pale pastel or mainly white patterned T-shirts.
By pale I mean really pale, no possible dye transfer. Icy tone pastels. No greys, no mid tones.
I don’t put my tops through the dryer except for 5 minutes because that’s where I see shrinkage and wear and tear- those little bobbles start showing up. I hang to dry after maybe 5 minutes in the dryer to shake the wrinkles out but never more.
Right now out of the 49 clothing items year round (not counting underwear, accessories or overcoats) I own 2 long sleeve white T, 2 knit off white cotton pullovers-1 short, 1 long sleeve, 1 sleeveless blouse in white eyelet (broderie anglaise) 3 short sleeve white Ts, and 4 sleeveless white tank tops.
I have 8 more pastel or mostly white background prints that I also launder with my white sheets, etc in the weekly load.
It works. Having a good stain remover that works even if you leave it a week is helpful. I’m from Canada so mine is Oxi Clean Max Force Laundry pre treat spray from Walmart. I buy the Oxi powder and Kirkland Uktra Clean Free & Clear detergent at Costco.
I’ve tried the “nature” brands and they leave a grey cast. Ditto using cold or warm water for the wash cycle. I always do my whites/palest pastels by themselves. Separate loads is key!
If you are from Europe check Benita Larsson’s YouTube channel for a video she posted called Laundry Routine- how I keep my whites, white. She explains pretty much the same but using her European front load machine and products. She’s far more environmental than me but she’s also concluded it’s better to use hot water and Oxi than replace her white cottons more often.
Like her I use a warm water wash, cold rinse for dark or delicates so it’s a matter of thinking about what you do. If you’re going to have whites, and you have a weekly white wash it may be more important to use a hot wash cycle then rather than replace the whites before they wear out because they went greyish.
Thank you Margery and to everyone who took the time to share their ideas and advice on the topic of laundry and a small wardrobe. It’s given me plenty to think about.
Navy, white and fuchsia/hot pink – my favorites! Grey is my other accent color. I fourth the request for a follow-up post with shoes, bag, etc. Regardless, this post, Blue by Kinuko Mai Hoffman, and (new finds thanks to other comments!) My Favorite Puppy’s Life and Jupiter with 4 Moons are bookmarked.
I’ve followed this blog for a long time, adopted the capsule wardrobe approach, and love the different ideas your posts generate. Thanks Janice!