I mentioned in a previous post that I have become a fan of the fashion blog The Vivienne Files. The creator of the site has come up with several methods for pulling together a capsule wardrobe, including one which she calls the 4x4 Wardrobe, where a 16-piece collection of basic attire is chosen four pieces at a time, broken down into four categories (see the description of this concept here). She uses various sources for wardrobe color inspiration, including bird-related nature images.
One bird that I have always thought has lovely coloring is the Northern Pintail (Anas acuta), shown above. I decided to try my hand at creating a 4x4 wardrobe using this feathered beauty as the starting point. I selected three neutral colors (brown, creamy white, and tan) from among the many seen on this duck, and decided to use the watery blues of the background as a fourth color:
The best thing about using a nature photo is that there are all sorts of gradations for all of the colors, and I took advantage of that when making clothing selections, as I did not feel the need to match my four colors exactly. The 4x4 wardrobe is meant to be seasonal, and my choices would work well transitioning from cool early spring days to the almost summery temperatures later in the season. While I did not stick completely to the rules for this method, I did come up with the right number of pieces to form a cohesive wardrobe, and all in all I was happy with the result.
First Core of Four (shades of brown):
|Steinmart Travel Elements Flat Waist Pants in Brown; J. Crew Boyfriend Cashmere Cardigan in Heather Chocolate; Derek Lam Sleeveless Blouse in Vicuna/Black (this gorgeous but outrageously expensive top is sold out!); WinterSilks Long Sleeve Silk Cotton Tunic Shirt in Coffee Bean.|
Second Core of Four (shades of white):
|L.L.Bean Women's Original Fit Bayside Pants in Heritage Stone; Anna Kastle Chunky Knit Open Drape-Front Cardigan in Cream; Pendleton Cotton Rib Tank in Ivory; TravelSmith Foxcroft Stretch-Cotton Shirt in White.|
The Expansion Four (shades of blue):
|L.L.Bean Women's Traditional Double L Jeans in Faded Denim; Magellan's Sun Protection Knit Top in Blue; The Paragon Classic Cotton V-Neck Tee in Blue; Austins Department Store White Stuff Wishful Top.|
The Mileage Four (shades of tan):
|NorthStyle Drawstring-Waist Shirtdress in Sandstone; L.L.Bean Women's Three-Quarter-Sleeve Boatneck French Sailor's Shirt in Dark Sable/Woodrose; TravelSmith Jet Set Knit Skirt in Taupe; Cabela's Cascade Canyon 7" Hiker Shorts in Sand Dune.|
The 4x4 Wardrobe:
These sixteen pieces are meant to form a core wardrobe around which more apparel and accessories are to be selected. I think I will expand upon this idea for the rest of this month to see if I can keep it up (or end up in total confusion), just because I love playing with color, am having fun, and and am totally obsessed with the idea now!