Colour Capsules: Some Questions

Angie's and Bijou's and Opaline’s recent posts on building colour capsules have reinvigorated my desire to do the same. It is easy for me to dress in neutrals. I pick up items in blue and grey (and white) almost effortlessly (collections are visible in the links) and they always work easily for me.

But colour makes my heart sing. 

A few years ago I started building a red capsule. Red is my happy colour. I like all shades, from true and fire engine red through burgundy, although burgundy works better for me in accessories than in clothing. At any rate, I find most reds blend well together. This capsule includes patterned items that will "pick up" red in other pieces. 

The red capsule is coming along quite well, with a mix of tops, footwear, scarves, and bags. I do lack bottoms in red. I have something on order to try, although I must admit I'm doubtful. My last pair of red pants languished almost unworn. So we'll see. I might do better with a patterned bottom that incorporates red. In the meantime, I do have enough items here to use them in an easy "pop of colour" way with my mostly blue or grey outfits, and can also see what I need to add. I recently retired a few tops -- a plaid red shirt and a red sweater. A new red pullover and/or a shirt/ blouse in red or a pattern incorporating red would be useful. 


I would also like to build a few more capsules and those are slower to take shape. I'd like a fuchsia/ pink/ berry capsule; a purple/ lilac capsule; and a mustard capsule. In the links, you can see what I've got so far for each. 

Mustard is just beginning and will be confined mostly to accessories and patterned items that include a mustard tone. 

That's because mustard is one of my least flattering colours! But I happen to adore it. And it works great with blue and grey. This year, I am open to a scarf or a top with a mustard pattern, or a pair of mustard pants. Suggestions welcome! :) 

Purple, as several people have mentioned, is a super-flattering colour for me. It also reminds me of my mother, who wore it with the best. Bonus: it works with mustard. So I'd like to build a better capsule here. What items should I look for to round things out a bit and make it wearable? 

Ditto for the fuchsia/ pinks capsule. I seem to blend these pinks and berries quite easily (as with reds) and I can in fact put a few different outfits together with these items, but it still feels as if it is lacking a backbone (if that makes sense). 

Thanks for your thoughts! 

ETA: Items currently on order that might add to the picture....

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Baggy knees on pants

No, not mine. (Well, let's not go there. If Nora Ephron feels bad about her neck, I feel bad about my knees!) 

Anyway, I'm talking about the knees of jeans and trousers. 

I was raised to do a little "hitch" to my trousers while sitting down to prevent bagged-out knees. So I tend to do it pretty consistently. 

But as the higher waist wider styles become more prevalent in my closet, I'm finding some of them get baggy in the knee no matter what! I would have thought it would be a bigger problem with slim jeans/ pants, but it seems to be happening more with the wide legs. And, if I'm honest, more with the wide jeans than the pants/ culottes. 

The Madewell high waist button fly jean is a good example -- I find I need to wash it more often (and air dry) just to deal with the bagging. 

What's up with that? 

I wondered if it might be due to fabric composition. These particular jeans have much less stretch than some others. 

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Dress Challenge: 2 new ones

I ordered from the Rack. I almost never do because returns are a pain where I live, but I thought I'd give a few items a try. 

Here are the dresses. What do you think? 

First up, Angie's (and Jane's) Free People dress, marked down considerably so a real steal. I like it a lot! (She says that like she's surprised when it was an Angie recommendation. Duh!!) It needs a good steam out of the bag but I think the fit is right and It seems easy to wear. Do you like? 

Next, a Lafayette dress in linen and cotton. This one was on major mark-down. A more expensive dress to begin with, so more expensive than the Free People on sale as well, but we are talking quality. 

Is it too "ticking stripe" do you think? I actually like ticking stripe, but you know what I am saying. The quality and fit are gorgeous, I have to say. Beautiful fabric and finishing. 

It's quite long on me, though, so really needs a bit of a heel. And maybe too "work-like" for someone who works from home? 

(I make it sound as if I don't like this dress, but actually, I really do.) 

If I keep, these will replace a Topshop dress and one of my worn out Boden dresses. 

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Dress Challenge: Better Late than Not at All

Hi, all -- I was at a work related conference all weekend and didn't have time to post. But I did wear one dress (well, actually, skirt) outfit. And I'm also wearing a dress today. 

I have loved seeing all the beautiful dresses and skirts on the forum. Brava for spring and summer wardrobes! 

Bonus shots of the roses in the UBC garden, really in their glory now. 

Why do I love wearing dresses? For all the reasons many of you have stated. Casual dresses are the best for summer at home days. Cool, easy to throw on, yet I feel presentable if I have to run a sudden errand. Fewer decisions. 

Dressy dresses make me feel feminine and ready for fun, or perfectly protected (as the occasion demands.)

I wore #5 (tube skirt, again, will I ever let you go? NO!) with the sweater against the frigid AC. You can't see it, but on #6 I am actually swinging on a beautiful swing slung on an old oak on campus.  

#7 is at home today. Yay for the tablecloth dress. Waving to my many forum dress twins and cousins. 

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Eating my words

Dear YLF, 

Remember a few months ago where I said I needed a style intervention to stop me from continually buying everything, and I mean everything, in blue?   

Well. It's all your fault. Because I haven't stopped. 

Oh, I had good intentions. My first few purchases of the year were GEAR and I bought them in plums/lilacs/purples (as well as blues). For a bit of variety in my exercise capsule, at least. (See Finds). 

And I managed to purchase an orchid silk blouse and a red top, too. Oh, and a pair of grey jogger pants. 

But those blue Earth sandals must have been some kind of gateway drug. Look what I've also purchased...and what I just ordered!! 

And what I wore the other day in slightly cooler temps than we've been getting, of late -- the famed "Juneuary" of the Pacific Northwest. 

Well, if I can't beat my own habit, I might as well enjoy it, right? 

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So 2014, and it still works for me-- Update a "new" version

Dear Fab Friends: A few weeks ago I had to get dressed for a casual birthday dinner and movie with friends. I cast around for a while for something suitable, and eventually threw on the outfit below. In which I felt perfectly comfortable and happy. 

Guess what? I first wore that outfit back in 2014. Some of the items date to 2013. And I still have them all, and still love them! The sarong shorts are a bit snugger on me than they were back then...when they sort of hung on me, truth be told. But I still love them. 

Only the bags and bracelet and watch have changed. I guess I could think of ways to make this more "current" -- but honestly, I was happy as is. 

Signed, 

Not Always Trendy

Photo 1: This year. 

Photo 2: 2014

Update: Photo 3 -- the "new" version with flatforms for a day that included more walking. 

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Two trendy returns, and a keep with question

On the subject of trends that don't work...I tried the following outfit from J. Crew and both pieces are going back. 

The shirt had great potential as the kind of V I can actually wear. Plus, I have a massive wardrobe hole for a white woven top and in particular for one with sleeves. 

But with the bow at the waist and the puffy sleeves, it feels like entirely too much trendy and feminine detail. I feel like I am in drag. It is an example of feminine detailing of some kinds making a gamine type look mannish. (Not that there is a thing wrong with that if that's what floats your boat.) Also, it was so wrinkly, and tying that tie is about 20 times harder than tying the waist for my (very feminine yet somehow it works on me) 1901 dress. So. NEXT. Anyone who has suggestions for summer skirts or white or light tops, please let me know.

I would like to get a new midi skirt for summer, preferably A-line, because I'm still mostly wearing my very old and decidedly not trendy tube skirts simply because they are so stinking easy to wear! 

This one is made a of a nice fabric. The fit and cut are nice but I find it too short and the pattern is too bold for me. I would recommend it to the right person but if they have it in long, you might want to try that. 

The other item is a KEEP but I need to know if I should hem. These are super comfy chambray pants, pull on. Read the rave reviews. Showing first at the length they came, next about 3.5 inches shorter, and finally about 1.5 inches shorter. 

I think I prefer the last length best. How about you? 

Thanks for your thoughts. 

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Benched

Long time no see! I have been really busy finishing a book and dealing with some family matters but I'm still lurking and reading when I can. And tonight I have something to contribute for a change. An outfit that illustrates how fully I'm betwixt and between online vs. store. 

First outing for this dress, purchased online last year!! So excited to wear it at long last. 

Shoes, bought in store last year. Bag, bought online several years ago (BR). 

Earrings, bracelet, ring, necklace -- in-store purchases. Watch -- online. 

I've cut my hair back to a more classic pixie for summer. Will change it up again in the fall. :) 

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Killing the blues...(or, I need a fashion intervention)

Yes, I'm Queen Blue. I wear blue the way many women wear black. Blue is my best neutral and my best colour. Blue lends authority and calm. Blue can be reserved and private or electric and vivid. Blue is as deep as the oceans, as soft as mountain mists, as crisp as the north wind, as bright as a summer sky, as mysterious as the heavens when twilight nears full darkness. 

My blue and predominantly blue items across all seasons, below in Finds. There are a lot of them. This doesn't count a few unphotographed items, e.g. a RL sleeveless cotton knit shift dress -- older and rarely worn but comes into play a couple of times a year. Or things that wore out last summer and got donated, e.g. some blue shorts. Or gear. Or stuff like house shoes or slippers. Or black coats that look almost blue. 

You get the idea. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I like blue. It's my signature and my speciality and I don't intend to purge it from my closet. Au contraire! It will always be the foundation of my wardrobe. 

But LaPed's recent thread on colour complements, along with TorontoGirl's, set me to making "capsules" of my other colours and made me realize that, um,  maybe I have too much of a muchness. And if I added a bit more colour variety, my well functioning wardrobe might work even better and make me feel as if I had more options. 

At the moment, across all seasons, I have 12 red items. 3 plum/purple/ lilac. Only a few berries/ fuchsias/ magentas (another of my best colour variants). A few burgundies. And a bunch of grey and white. A decent silver/pewter accessory/ accent complement. You can view them here: https://youlookfab.com/finds/c.....usanolding

It is time to broaden my range!! 

Of course, I decide to do this just when earth tones (which typically don't flatter me) begin to trend. Sigh....

Nevertheless, here is my commitment. For the next year, I am not going to purchase any more blue!!!  Instead I will look for items in my reds (fire engine to cranberry with a bit of true red sprinkled in) berries, cool fuchsia and magenta, and purples/plums/lilacs. 

Exceptions allowed: 

  • Blue jeans (I can purchase these in trendy styles or classic as needed). 
  • Basics (bras, undies, gear, tights, etc.If I see these in blue and want them in blue, okay.) 
  • A fantastic waterproof blue raincoat, and/or a perfect navy or ink trench coat OR (in autumn) a perfect pea coat and/or long military coat with silver hardware or blue/black or pewter—if such appears. (HEWI) 
  • Blue is allowed in a print item but only if it is not the predominant colour. 
  • Possibly a blue sandal or sneaker or bag, but only if I can't find a red one I like. 

What think you? Does this make sense? Can you help me find items in my other key colours as the year goes along? Can you suggest a way to approach this, i.e. a small capsule (what items??) or complement? Or a combo capsule/complement, e.g. footwear & scarf or bag plus a top and or bottom? 

Meanwhile, I am desperately tempted to make one last blue purchase of a suit from BR, just because I adore wearing my black watch one from there so very much....

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My essentials

My wardrobe has always been essentials heavy. I find them the easiest items to buy and to identify. It interests me that so many people have trouble with this concept and I wonder why. I suspect it comes more easily for those with a style that leans heavily classic? It might be more difficult if you are an eclectic dresser. 

Anyway, here is my list for 2019 in the hope it might help someone else.
One way I think of this is -- it is a very rare outfit that does not include at least one of these elements.  The ones I pull into play most frequently vary with the seasons --- the white sneakers are a summer essential; the  navy booties, a winter essential, and so on. But if you look back over your WIWs, which items or elements get repeated again and again in different outfit combinations? Which items do you miss when they are in the laundry? Which do you reach for in those "ugh! What shall I wear??" moments? That should offer clues. 

1. Navy crewneck or turtleneck knitwear (for different seasons). (High five, Angie!)

2. Blue and white striped knitwear, or white and blue (for various seasons). (Ditto!)

3. Navy blazer

4. Slim high waisted jeans in blue and in white. (I have and enjoy other jeans but these are the essentials).

5. Long grey cardigan.

6. Denim jackets (esp. in summer — not really in winter at all.)

7. Classic navy blue outerwear. (High five, again, Angie!!) Oh, and I desperately want a military coat like yours. On my list of HEWIs. As well as an upgrade of the consignment pea coat, which is working really well for now but is not "the one." 

8. Silver or soft grey footwear across all seasons. Must have a dressy bootie, a casual bootie, a sneaker, a sandal.

9. White footwear (summer); navy or ink footwear (winter).

10. Silver watch and earrings. Belt with silver hardware.

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