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6 Scarves 2021: Jan-Apr Recap, #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

For an introduction to the 6 Scarves 2021 project, see this post.

For a description of my method, see this post.


Today we review the most challenging capsule of all, with this difficult black and brown based color palette.

Our questions are these:


-Regarding completeness: What other colors or garments are missing or under-represented?


-Regarding coherence: Are there any items that look like they belong to a different person's wardrobe because it's hard to imagine the same person wearing those colors/contrast levels?


Here are our garments:

Jan-Apr Garments: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

On completeness: After noting in the last post that a pair of jeans and a "soft white" t-shirt are must-haves for me, I notice that this capsule has two pairs of jeans (yay!), though neither of them are blue (hmmm), and no white (or anything similar to white) t-shirt! It's also a black and brown based capsule with no black bottoms, which is a little odd. We could definitely do with some white and cobalt from the palette.


On coherence: Black and brown together in a small wardrobe does not rest easy on my eye because they are difficult to wear together, but neither neutral looks out of place in the context of the other clothing. The item that jumps out at me the most is the floral skirt with the white background at the bottom right because it is lighter color and more purple than anything else.


Now for the accessories:

Jan-Apr Accessories: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

On completeness: We have a good start on solid scarves, and I'm a bit surprised by overall how much brown-ness I see in this collection. I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough brown to make it a base neutral in a capsule. Unsurprisingly, cobalt is lacking and white is scarce here also.


On coherence: There's definitely an eclectic feel to this set of accessories, which is what I'd expect with this palette. I am noticing that whereas the capsule has four floral skirts, it has no floral scarves! That's interesting because I do find the floral skirt + floral scarf one of the most difficult print mixes to get right; it mostly doesn't work very well at all unless the scarf is a much larger scale, more water-color-like or abstract floral print than the skirt.


Let's build some outfits to see how this capsule-in-progress is doing. First, we can work through the three pairs of burgundy bottoms in the wardrobe. There are so many ways to make triple-burgundy outfits from this capsule. In Outfit #1, I've put the skinny pants and long sweater vest together, which is a combination I like a lot. Why not add the burgundy T underneath and a burgundy/white geometric scarf over it? I mean, yeah, it is a lot of burgundy, to be sure. I chose the pearl earrings to tie in with the white in the scarf, then added the three metallic bracelet sets from the April additions, which should stand out nicely against the burgundy.

Jan-Apr Outfit #1: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Hello "neutral twin set + accent colored pants" combination once again. When considering what scarf to include to bridge the brown and burgundy, it occurred to me how handy it is to have an inspiration scarf that includes all colors in the palette. With the gold leaves on the scarf, these leather leaf earrings with brass chain and the yellow gold bracelet set seemed a good match.

Jan-Apr Outfit #2: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

I am somewhat surprised to still be making outfits based on this plaid shirt with burgundy bottoms, but there are a lot of burgundy bottom options to play with. Here the April addition is the sparkly necklace, to which I thought the sparkly stud earrings were a fitting accompaniment.

Jan-Apr Outfit #3: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Outfit #4 also relies on a pair of earrings to give a fresh look to our winter pieces...which probably says a thing or two about the difficulties of marrying our early burgundy pieces and our April teal pieces. However, I do like how the irregular white dots on the scarf find their match in these oddly-shaped faux pearl earrings.

Jan-Apr Outfit #4: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Outfit #5 brings an April teal top to our brown stand-bys; it's a color combination I like a lot. This scarf is such a useful bridge piece for teal and brown. It's something I bought just because it was pretty, not thinking about how it would be used, but it's turned out to be one of my most commonly worn brown-containing scarves (which, to be fair, is not a crowded category).

Jan-Apr Outfit #5: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

In Outfit #6, instead of my default approach of finding a scarf to tie the two colors together, I doubled-down on neutral in the scarf and let the maroon sweater and flats serve as stand-alone pops of color.

Jan-Apr Outfit #6: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Outfit #7 is another take on the "bad ass flower girl" look, this time incorporating the same April top worn with brown above. I'm envisioning the motorcycle jacket as an outerwear option for that period when tights are still needed but a heavy topper is too warm indoors.

Jan-Apr Outfit #7: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

In Outfit #8, I am re-imagining this thick black sweatshirt-like top as an outer layer worn over April's button up shirt, which I think would make a lot of sense in colder weather.

Jan-Apr Outfit #8: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

This top is also an obviously great pairing with the teal and black geometric skirt we introduced in April, and the teal-green scarf is a terrific match to the skirt. Although I enjoy print mixing and blending different colors together in an outfit, sometimes a straight-forward, straight up matchy-matchy outfit of one neutral and one accent color is just right.

Jan-Apr Outfit #9: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Outfit #10 does feel a bit more like a Sally way to wear the skirt, though, mixing in two simple black-and-white geometric prints. The velvet vest helps visually separate the prints and tone down the intensity of them.

Jan-Apr Outfit #10: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

As we turn toward this floral skirt, you can see why I'm not adding any of our teal April garments with it! Luckily our wardrobe has plenty of burgundy and black options to pair with it. I really like this necklace with the poncho, so I was sure to keep them together when I was allocating items to the capsules. The various metallic bracelets from April work well here, I think.

Jan-Apr Outfit #11: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Happily, this floral skirt does have teal in it (as well as both brown and black, or a teal so deep as to look like black) so our dark teal T from the April additions looks right at home. The ombré scarf is quite a bit lighter value than the other pieces, but as you've seen so many times before, I do like adding a lighter piece to a darker outfit in late winter as a nod to the coming spring.

Jan-Apr Outfit #12: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

I had to double check Outfit #13 to be sure I hadn't shown this outfit already, as it has no new April pieces in it. I love the range of colors in this skirt--it works with black, brown, several greens, several teals, that whole burgundy/maroon/rust category, ivory/white, and quite probably pinks and reds that I haven't even tried. Prints with multiple neutrals and accent colors that cover a range of variants rather than just one specific shade are extremely useful for a mix-and-match wardrobe. Even though I am often very attracted to bold, optic, graphic, pop art, cartoon-like prints with cleanly delineated areas of a single opaque color reminiscent of a Matisse cut out or the stereotypical Mondrian painting, those prints are (1) not the most flattering on me and (2) relatively difficult for me to style compared to prints that have a softer, color-washed quality like this floral one.

Jan-Apr Outfit #13: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

This plaid print is somewhere in-between those extremes, and has the useful characteristic of working with a lot of particular versions of blue-green. For once, I think I managed to pick accessories that share a strong theme; I'm often all over the map where accessories are concerned, but here, there is a definite black-and-silver-and-just-a-hint-of-edge feel to me that links the pieces. My first beauty bundle, perhaps? (As Brenda Kinsel recommended, I even wrote mine down...on yet another tab of my wardrobe spreadsheet.)

Jan-Apr Outfit #14: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

OK, let's wrap this up with three ways I have worn those teal plaid pants. In this work-from-home outfit from our second pandemic March (sigh), I went with a sweater in a lighter version of teal than is present in the plaid, and I think it worked fine. Next time, I would chose a different scarf, though. Sometimes I get a scarf and a bottom that both work with the same top, but they don't relate to each other as much as I'd like. I like the plaid pants + cheetah Oxfords combination quite a bit, though...

Mid-March Outfit with Teal Plaid Pants

...hence I repeated it a couple weeks later in this outfit with pants, top, scarf, and earrings all from the April additions to this capsule! I feel sort of 1980s with the dolman sleeves and the headband, haha.

Late March Outfit with Teal Plaid Pants & Dusky Teal Top

This outfit from early last fall was a more successful plaid pants + print scarf mix than the first one above; I think the greater separation of the prints helped, and having the hint of yellow in both gave an additional point of connection. And yes, I'm wearing the pants with yet another version of blue-green.

Early October Outfit with Teal Plaid Pants

Angie Cox at YouLookFab was just querying her readers about their preference for Blue versus Teal, and while I love both, after a lot of struggle...ugh, I can't decide! Angie defines Teal more narrowly and Blue a bit more broadly than I do. If we excluded blue denim and turquoise from the Blue category--and I personally put at least some versions of turquoise, aqua, and aquamarine in the Teal (blue-green) category rather than with Blue--I think I would bat for Team Teal, though. How about you?


In my next post, we will look at the last of our Jan-April recaps: the #6 Grey & Navy, Sophia wardrobe.


I link up with:

Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge (2nd Monday; 3rd Thursday)

Mica at Away from the Blue (Mondays)

Debbie at My Random Musings (Mondays)

Leelo at Beauty by Miss L (Mondays)

Roxanne at Glass of Glam (Mondays)

Laura at I Do deClaire (Tuesdays)

Emma at Style Splash (Tuesdays)

Jess at Elegantly Dressed & Stylish (Tuesdays)

Gail at Is This Mutton? (Wednesdays)

Shelly at The Queen in Between (Wednesdays)

Jodie at Jodie's Touch of Style (Thursdays)

Carrie at Curly Crafty Mom (Thursdays)

Ada at Elegance and Mommyhood (Thursdays)

Jacqui at Mummabstylish (Thursdays)

Suzy at The Grey Brunette (Fridays)

Nancy at Nancy's Fashion Style (Fridays)

Michelle at My Bijou Life (Fridays)

Erika at A Little Bit of Everything (Fridays)

Rena at Fine Whatever (Saturdays)

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