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Page 2 in the conversation "Building a core neutral wardrobe" by Mona
Alexandra, I am truly sorry if it sounded like I was criticising Janice. Not at all. I am amazed and grateful that this information is out there--and free, to boot! It is a gift.
My wardrobe is basically made up of neutrals. If I buy colour I make sure it stands alone - or it works with a lot of my neutrals.I just had a quick look at the V Files & it seems to me that you could use denim & white/cream as your "colours" if that would work better for you.So navy & camel as your neutrals & the others as accents.
To my way of thinking, midnight navy is deeply saturated. Very deep. Almost black.
I followed Alana's link back to the Vivienne files colour wheels. I realize that mine is basically #3 -- grey (and/or taupe -- looks taupe in her pictures, but I use both anyway....) with navy, white (for me, mostly winter white but some optic white), pink (for me, deepens to cranberry red), and purple (for me, this actually includes not just orchids and plums and purples but all the more colourful cool blues). Add in teal (a blue green) and blush (which is after all a kind of pink) and there you have it -- except I also add black.
I agree with what missvee said re navy. Unless you need an actual suit, the differences between navies is irrelevant to me. Play with texture and Bob's your uncle. Another option is to separate different navies with some pattern that includes navy. I used to worry about this, but it's just not a problem. If I had an extremely corporate job and needed matching suit components in navy I would simply buy them that way. But I would also note -- navy works better with some mixed textures, much as black does. With black, that's because it can look so heavy and ponderous unless it has textural dimension. With navy that is part of it, but more, it can look like a "uniform." So a navy jacket with denim -- brilliant! A navy suit? A little trickier. Can be done, but needs care.
Alana, your comment didn't sound like criticism. I thought you were asking a question. Now I'm wondering how I could have worded my reply better
missvee, you are right. I need to make an inventory of my white/cream items and start filling out any holes with tan/cream/white. Also, thank you for your comment on mixing navies. This gives me hope.caro, you have a great neutral wardrobe. I always enjoy seeing your outfits.rachy, midnight navy will not work for me as it is too close to black. I find it looks too harsh on me. Suz, you are a genius for already doing what vivienne files suggested recently. Your colours pallett is gorgeous. I will be combining textural navies often as they are already in my wardrobe.
I've read the Vivienne Files but have not read the sections that you are referring to. It sounds like a great series, I'm going to go back and read it now (and the rest of the posts here too). And Mona, having met you in person, you looked fantastic in that yellow top and white Zara jacket - both are perfect colors for you. For your other neutral, go for the white!
Alexandra--no worries! It's probably all in my head. This is just one of those times when the printed word cannot convey the tone of our voices and misunderstandings can occur. I wasn't upset by your comment at all, I was just concerned that maybe I'd come off as a little too harsh, maybe. So hard to judge these things, sometimes.Please don't worry about how you worded it. I was simply being over-sensitive.
not to throw a monkey wrench in the blue/camel/cream palette (which sounds lovely) but what about burgundy as the second neutral? I think of cordovan shoes and handbags and belts as neutral. Desaturated plums to burgundies could lighten up a bit to mauve colors in the summer. But mauve still ties into most of the same second core of four items, shoe and handbags...
Or pick three neutrals, navy and one for summer, one for the rest of the year. I like black most of the year, but white in the summer, heading toward olive as my year-round neutral.
I am enjoying reading this post. I will have to read the Vivienne Files. I am not familiar with this blog. I have always used brown as a neutral. Anyone who has been reading Angie's post knows that brown is now making a comeback and I am very excited.
Mona your plan sounds wonderful. I love Rambling Ann's idea (and others') of adding burgundy to the mix.
RamblingAnn, burgundy sounds delicious but I will stick with navy this year as I have a few items already in my wardrobe and I want to use them in order to save money. If this whole core neutral thing works for me this year, I will add burgundy next year to the mix.StyleFan, I like brown too. I would love to see how you plan your wardrobe around brown.
I didn't express it very well: navy+burgundy rather than navy+camel, not burgundy instead of navy. But I doubt it would be any easier to find burgundy stuff in the summer than camel! Too bad about the olive not working, navy+olive would be delicious too.
I am a big fan of the Vivienne Files, but am not as into wearing the same color or neutral from head to toe. Instead, I think of my wardrobe as having four different groups of colors/neutrals. I have primary neutrals (brown and cognac), secondary neutrals (navy and black), colors that can be kinda neutral (dark olive, plum/burgundy, and teal), and then colors that pop (bright olive, mustard, burnt orange). I was really reluctant to add in navy and black, but there simply aren't a lot of browns and cognacs available from season to season, and I don't like wearing all brown or all cognac from head to toe.
Having a core set of neutrals makes things easier, but already have any brown or burgundy in your wardrobe you can see if they work as more secondary neutrals for you.
RamblingAnn, I see what you mean now but I am trying to choose one dark and one light neutral for this capsule. Burgundy can be a secondary neutral once my primary neutrals are sorted out.Kate, I like the idea of secondary neutrals. I will see how it goes with the primary neutrals first and then gradually I will start adding secondary neutrals. As of right now, I do not have any brown or cognac item in my wardrobe other than a pair of cognac tall boots and a brown belt.
Great thread, not sure how I missed it. Following!
I also missed this before, how interesting Mona! I'd never have guessed you'd want to limit your neutrals, I'm very curious to hear about how this goes for you. I tried this briefly and found that it's not for me, but as a primarily neutrals gal who is rather strict about the shades I bring in, the idea remains intriguing even though I know it doesn't work for me.
FWIW, I use two sliding scales: black to white and white to brown. My neutrals include everything on the black to white scale (black, charcoal, various grays, white), then the lighter shades on the white to brown scale (cream, sand, tan, taupe, camel). I allow other browns in leathers only, and not very many of them (I do love cognac though). I also will use olive and navy here and there, but tend to treat those as colors rather than neutrals. Then I can wear any color that suits my fancy that suits me
I hope you'll post updates on this process and how it works for you!
EDIT: Meant to say that for you I would vote for cream as the second to the navy. White can be a year-round neutral (I'm slowly converting it to my primary neutral). Also black is too versatile for your coloring, I would include it as an obligatory third neutral.
Very interesting thread, and sounds like a great idea. I really like your idea of a saturated navy with a lot of dark blue (like denim) and white/cream with maybe leather in the camel/sand/tan/cognac range (I wouldn't worry about clothing items so much in these latter colors myself, but accessories like shoes, belts and bags would be great, and would go with everything). Also it's worth a thought about leather colors that are 'nude to you' because I think of my skin and hair color as always an integral part of the palette.
I also think yellow and green could be great accent colors, though it might be good to pinpoint your favorite and most flattering yellow and greens and when you go shopping, wear your neutrals so you can try them on together.
The other accent color that looks like it might be trendy this winter and looks great with navy and whites is a bright deep orange, sometimes almost an orange-red. I have a bag in this color and it instantly adds interest to outfits with navy or white. Also sometimes with an accent color you only need a little bit, like a bag or belt or shoes with an outfit and that's it.
The Vivienne files are new to me, and it's interesting to scan through. Some of the color wheel combinations don't quite click for me for some reason, or seem less fresh than Angie's combinations, I'm not sure why. But the concept is definitely useful.
Rabbit, that is an excellent point about the color wheels on the Vivienne Files. Angie's photos really illustrate the combinations better. Maybe because we're seeing it in real-time?
Is there a way to search Angie's combinations by multiple colors, for example: navy cream camel, without pulling up every forum thread ever that mentions those same colors across multiple posts?
Aida, I am trying to limit my neutrals as I want my wardrobe to be cohesive and of a moderate size. I think this would be a good starting point. I will stick to this idea for fall and see how it goes. Looking at your outfits, I see that you are really good with combining colours. You have good sense of what neutrals go with others. I am not that creative so I need a starting point. Also, by doing this, I hope I will be able to create a wardrobe that is current and modern while staying within my budget. If it works for me, hopefully, I will advance to sliding scale neutral colours. I will definitely keep black in rotation. I just don't want black around my face so black bottoms, shoes and handbags will be there. rabbit, camel/tan/cream accessories in leather sound good. Let's see, I already have a pair of cognac tall boots and a brown belt. A brown tote is on the shopping list for fall. Orange is my favourite colour and I will definitely add it to my capsule. As for wearing neutrals while shopping, it probably will not be possible. There are really no good clothing stores in my town and I buy almost 80% of my stuff online. If I go shopping in States, I will make sure to put my neutrals on. I also find Angie's ensemble and colour combinations more fresh than VF's. I think the reason may be sillhouette. Angie always shows a lot of variety in silhouettes in her ensembles while VF sticks to more classic pieces. LBD, you can see all of Angie's ensembles in one place on YLF but I am not sure if we can filter through with colours.
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