Capsules By Color (Week 32)

(Lots of analysis this week, this is going to be a long post with lots of photos!)

June 15, 2014

Clothes not in the French Capsule.

Clothes not in the French Capsule Challenge Wardrobe.

I recently began a French Capsule Challenge.  I am working with a capsule wardrobe of black, white, blue, and green for my workday and weekend looks.  But as the photo above shows, my challenge clothes are not all of the clothes in my spring summer capsule wardrobe.   Now it’s time to assemble the additional capsules in my working closet for workdays and weekends. (I am not including an analysis of my gear clothing but if you want me to run one just let me know.)

Identifying capsules by colors is helpful in a few ways:

  1. Locate ‘wildcard items’ from my spring/summer wardrobe.  The wildcard items are those pieces that do not fit into my current wardrobe capsules.  If I keep these items, I’ll be left with pieces that do not remix well.  A wardrobe with only one or two wildcards would be fine, if I don’t mind not being able to remix easily.  However, if I own a lot of wildcard items, assembling outfits and remixing outfits will become a challenge.  Since I’m trying to use more of my clothes, more often, being able to remix pieces easily is one way that I can use items frequently.
  2. Shopping will be easier.  I can keep my core colors in mind and anything that does not fit into these core colors would be passed over in the stores.  A pile of t-shirts or cardigans in lots of colors will no longer overwhelm me, I can simply search for ‘my’ colors and pass over the rest.
  3. Transitioning and evolving the wardrobe is streamlined.  If I decide I want to evolve my capsule to a different color, I can target a core color (currently black and white) or an accent color (blue and green) to change up my capsule.  I simply purchase items in a new color, that serve the same function as the old one.  Since I’ve already been inspired by owning less black in my wardrobe, targeting the black core of my spring/summer wardrobe, may be a good place to start.  For example, I could purchase a grey jean and blazer to replace my black jeans and blazer, which would lighten up my spring/summer wardrobe.  I don’t have to run out and do so right away, but I can start drafting a plan for future shopping trips.

Now onto the analysis!

The navy capsule.

The navy capsule.

With 10 items, navy is the next biggest capsule in my wardrobe.  And navy pairs brilliantly with white, which is already in my French Capsule Challenge Wardrobe.  Swapping navy for the black in my French Capsule Challenge Wardrobe could be a nice way to freshen things up.

The navy capsule items:

  1. Navy Blazer
  2. White/Navy Stripe Blazer
  3. Navy Dress
  4. Navy Shorts
  5. Navy/White Check Print Shirt
  6. Navy Knit
  7. Navy/White Stripe LS T
  8. Navy T-Shirt
  9. White T-Shirt
  10. Navy Printed T-Shirt
The Navy and Olive Capsule.

The navy and olive capsule.

With only two items (jacket and t-shirt), olive (or army green?) is one of the smallest capsules in my spring/summer wardrobe.  But it pairs nice with the navy capsule and could be a way to add a little dash of ‘different’ from a heavy navy/white wardrobe.  Again the small olive capsule would also work well with the white and black from my French Capsule Challenge Wardrobe.

The navy and yellow capsule.

The navy and yellow capsule.

The yellow trousers are the only solid yellow item in my wardrobe, which makes them a ‘wildcard’ item.  However, the yellow pairs brilliantly with navy and they pick up the yellow in my printed t-shirt too.  Adding yellow could become the starting color to freshen up my capsule.  Once again this capsule would pair well with the white items from the French Capsule Challenge Wardrobe.

The turquoise capsule.

The turquoise capsule.

With six items, turquoise is the third largest capsule in my spring/summer wardrobe.  This capsule is also very heavy with prints.  I have a few options for this capsule.

The navy and turquoise capsule.

The navy and turquoise capsule.

Option 1

I could continue to add solid turquoise items, increasing the size of this capsule and add it to the navy capsule since I enjoy turquoise and navy together.


The turquoise and pink capsule.

The turquoise and pink capsule.

Option 2

Looking at the pink printed t-shirt at the top of the pile, I could start expanding this individual capsule into pink, using the pink dress and t-shirt as a starting point.

The turquoise and yellow capsule.

The turquoise and yellow capsule.

Option 3

I could use the yellow trim from the blue printed dress and my yellow trousers and start expanding this individual capsule into yellow.

As with the other capsules, the turquoise capsule would once again pair well with the white pieces in the French Capsule Challenge Wardrobe too.

The wildcard items.

The wildcard items.

I have 13 wildcard items in my spring/summer wardrobe.  I only have one color or print of this item in my spring/summer wardrobe.  Some of these items do not work with ANY of my existing color capsules.

  1. Denim shorts-These can work with any capsule.
  2. Yellow Trousers-The only yellow item, but it seems to work with a few capsules.
  3. Purple Knit (did not photograph well for color)-Does not pair well with any capsule.
  4. Gold/Black Brocade Print Jacket-Does not pair well with any capsule.
  5. Pink Printed T-Shirt-Already discussed with the turquoise capsule.
  6. Blue Printed T-Shirt-If the blues were darker this would have worked with the navy capsule.
  7. White Printed T-Shirt-Same as blue above.
  8. Blue Poncho-I struggled with pairing this poncho all spring, between the short sleeves and the color, I found it a challenge to create an outfit around it.
  9. Striped Cardigan-One of my favorite pieces, it might pair well with the navy capsule if I wanted to branch out into navy and coral.
  10. Teal Top-I only seem to pair this piece with the striped cardigan.  It is darker than the color blue in the turquoise capsule.
  11. Salmon Knit-I struggled with pairing this knit all spring, it’s a lovely color, but worked better with my fall items than my spring/summer one’s.  I plan to replace this piece next spring.  It appears another color that aligns to my current capsules would be a better choice for a spring knit on cold days.
  12. Mauve Knit-Same as salmon above.
  13. Grey Sweater-My go to item for a/c settings, I don’t have a grey capsule, but it seems to work with any of my existing capsules.

It looks I have a good starting point for some adjustments to my spring/summer capsule wardrobe when I am ready.

Do you have more than one core color in your wardrobe?


  1. There looks to be some items there that maybe you should just let go.

    I have a basic black wardrobe. Navy would be a better colour for me but it is hard to find enough pieces for my core wardrobe. Emerald green, olive and bright purple are my other winter colours. none work together, they all go with the black.
    In summer olive green, beige and coral make up my main colours.A touch of navy also.

    1. Hi Claire. I agree, navy is very difficult to find, especially if one wants more than a single piece in the same navy color. I always try to select a few navy pieces at one time, so that the colors ‘match.’ I also gravitate to a black based wardrobe for cooler months. Although I may try to branch out as I shop for new pieces in the future, since brown is more flattering on me than black. I’m still trying to figure out my core summer colors, but your summer capsule sounds lovely. Coral is such a happy color. Thanks for sharing!

      1. Brown would be better on me too – are you a red head?
        Your colours in the above post are similar to those that I would wear.

      2. I did have red hair for a while, but right now I have dark blonde hair. I’m also fair skinned and have blue eyes, so there isn’t a heavy contrast with my coloring. I plan to add more brown to my wardrobe over time, now that I realize how unflattering black is on me. And I’m hoping that navy will work better in warmer months, in place of black. You mentioned olive green as one of your summer colors, that’s a great idea and it goes lovely with navy.

  2. Do you love the yellow? They do seem to be outliers when viewed with the rest of your items. Of course, if you only stick to a few core colors it could get boring and too similar after a while. It’s a catch 22, what can look so soothing and pretty lined up in your closet can become boring due to not looking different enough. This is one issue I find with these 10 item wardrobes and such ideas. Like most things, hitting the right balance is key. Enough variety, but enough cohesiveness as well. Tricky stuff!

    1. I agree, it is hard to find a balance between variety and cohesion. I’m still working on that myself. I do think the yellow stands out and I’m already debating about repeating the French Capsule Challenge, with my other capsules to see what happens. I’m wondering if the yellow trousers are as versatile as I would like them to be.

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