Sunday, 7 February 2016

Building a capsule wardrobe - MORE neutrals

I'm guessing that many of you may groan at the idea of more neutrals, however others may be thinking "great"! Remember that one of the benefits of a capsule wardrobe is flexibility and that some of you may have wardrobes like mine used to be: crammed full of clothes in a variety of colours that don't go together. Hopefully you will see the advantages of adding more neutrals and will bear with me. If you have warm colouring and chose brown, for example, as your dark neutral, then choose a warm but light neutral such as camel, stone or cream as your second neutral. Below are pictures of my light neutrals plus the dark ones from my previous post, which can mix and match with each other.

My light neutrals
My dark neutrals
For those of you who look better in cool colours, stick to a cool neutral like a light grey or white, mixed with dark grey or navy for your dark neutrals as shown below.

Light grey neutrals
Dark navy neutrals



If you do have lots of different colours in your existing wardrobe, don't worry as I'm not going to suggest throwing them all out. Look at the examples above, which are either warm or cool neutrals, and imagine them worn with red, orange, yellow, green, blue or whatever colours you love. If you suit cooler shades, you will obviously need to wear a blue-red top rather than an orange-red one and vice versa. Here are some examples from my own wardrobe, which go beautifully with the neutrals shown in the first two pictures.

A touch of colour
For those of you who look better in cool colours, you might like to choose accent colours similar to those in the following picture.

Cool colour accents

I've shown 14 pieces from my warm capsule wardrobe: 7 tops, 4 bottoms and 3 cardigans. As all of the tops can be worn with all of the bottoms this makes 28 different outfits, however don't forget that there are also three cardigans that can be worn with them, giving over 100 possible combinations. You can do the same with the light grey and navy neutrals, combining them with the cool accent colours to create numerous different outfits.

Don't forget that these are only examples of some of the pieces that you might want to include in your own capsule wardrobe. You may prefer skirts or dresses to trousers. Softer, more delicate colours might flatter your colouring more than the shades I have shown. When you add in your personal style, body shape and colouring you will be creating a capsule wardrobe that is unique to you. You don't even have to include accent colours if you're more of a neutral, monochrome sort of person. I have the occasional day when I wear neutral outfits, however these days are rare as colour is part of my style recipe.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you will know what's coming next. Accessories! Your neutral shoes, bags, necklaces and scarves are an essential part of your capsule, however you can totally change the look of each outfit with not only accessories in accent colours but also in different styles. Classic, feminine, dramatic, sporty. elegant - choose whichever style suits your personality. More on that in my next post!

10 comments:

  1. I love neutrals with a pop of color or sometimes just quietly neutral. Most of the time I don't feel the need to express myself with color but when I do red or royal blue is just the item.

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  2. Hi Barbara. I totally agree that at times we feel the need to make a statement and that is usually when we look for a pop of colour such as red. As I get older, I have to be careful about wearing really bright colours near my face - but there's no reason why I can't wear bright red shoes or a royal blue bag!

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  3. hello! ..since reading your posts on the benefits and ease of using neutrals as a base wardrobe, I have vacillated between saying 'bah!' and 'maybe?'...my work wardrobe has always been black as the neutral, altho my casual clothing has been a mishmash of black, brown and blue denim for a neutral base. now, since taking a more selective look at all my clothes, I decided to take the project 333 down to an even more simplistic capsule wardrobe...it has been much easier making choices as to what I look good in and colours/patterns I like wearing and now I have the beginnings of a spring/summer and autumn/winter capsule wardrobe. using neutrals as a foundation for an outfit never occurred to me, but now after flipping through your instructions and outfit choices, I see that using a neutral would bring substance to my outfits! I look best in warm colours, like you, so I chose to use classic navy for my spring/summer and a rich dark tobacco brown for my autumn/winter outfits. it truly has made a difference in how my outfits look! plus, using the capsule wardrobe guidelines (minimal clothing pieces) I now have a collection of great looking outfits all based on my seasonal neutral...it is so wonderful to have about seven outfits utilizing either navy or dark brown, and really, I could make more outfits, if I chose to, using your guidelines for incorporating cardigans and layering, which I love to do. i am looking forward to seeing your accessory choices and how they can overplay with each of your outfits...such fun! thank you for the helpful ideas and the gentle nudging to explore clothing options i would never have before reading your posts! lorette

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    1. Thank you so much for explaining how your own capsule wardrobe is developing. Good to know that you now have some great outfits - keep up the good work!

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  4. I love neutrals and have a lot of them as the foundation of my own capsule wardrobe. In fact, I have all of the colors you have, based on this post. I also have begun to use olive green as a neutral at times.

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    1. Olive green - funny that you should mention it - is also a good colour for me. I have some lightweight olive green trousers, plus a cardigan and couple of tops. It sounds as if we could easily swap wardrobes!

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  5. Thank you for your post and covering both warm and cool neutrals. You have got me thinking about how I wear my neutrals. My colouring is light, warm & soft but my neutrals include black (usually bottom) & white (top or bottom) because it is easier and lots of blues (eye colour) and camel/browns etc. I realised this morning as I dressed in red with blue flowers skirt and red T-shirt with navy blue polar vest to keep warm that I used the colour of the vest as a linking piece with the skirt. Perhaps that is one role of the neutral to colour-link clothes together. Carol S

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    1. What you say is very true, Carol. As I have introduced more neutrals into my wardrobe, I have noticed the same thing. Using neutrals often makes an outfit look more together, especially when you have one or more bright colours. I have a red and navy patterned scarf which I'm wearing today with navy jeans, a navy and white jumper and red cardigan. A similar colour scheme to yours!

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  6. Many great ideas. I hadn't realized the benefit of the pale neutral to make such a difference in a wardrobe. I have some good quality white pants (which I used for sport)but they look great with coloured tops for every day wear. And pale grey pants go with all the colours.

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    1. Thanks Laura. I keep toying with the idea of buying white jeans. If I find some in petite sizes I may very well succumb!

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