Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Start with Art: Noon - Rest from Work by Vincent van Gogh

So beautiful:

Noon - Rest from Work by Vincent van Gogh

And a color scheme that includes extremely warm and very cool colors, with enough neutral off-white to give a base to everything:

Why yes, you DID see this travel outfit (with a few tweaks) just a few days ago, here. I didn't include it just to be lazy - I wanted to show that there's a lot of versatility in just a few pieces of clothing, and that you could easily merge a couple of different color-schemes to design your perfect capsule wardrobe.

Earrings – BP.; pants – Boden; henley L.L.Bean
bracelet – The Black Bow; cardigan – L.L.Bean
scarf – Hermes Under the Waves; loafers – Cole Haan; 
 bag – Halogen; suitcase – Briggs & Riley

Everything here from a sun hat to warm scarves! But when you expect to go out in sunny warm temperatures during the day, and then sit around a fire after dark when the temperatures dip, you have to be prepared...

bracelet – Vince Camuto; gloves – C by Bloomingdale’s; tee – Lands’ End
fleece – Lands’ End; gold tee – Lands’ End; earrings – Lauren Ralph Lauren 
; hat – Caslon; skirt – L.L.Bean; boots Bogs; plaid scarf – La Fiorentina;
 polo – Lands’ End; sandals – OluKai; wool scarf – Rag & Bone;
 capris L.L.Bean

So while the suitcase and the travel outfit look somewhat different, when they're all spread out on the bed together, you can see that they will play nicely together. (that plaid scarf, and the Hermes print, make quite a bit of difference, don't they?):

One might need to change some pieces during the day, but there's a lot of range that can be conjured from these very few pieces of clothing:

It all feels very much like a golden sun in a clear sky, to me!


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Monday, May 23, 2016

Accessories 1 at a Time: Shades of Beige and Brown

These subtle colors in this capsule wardrobe really appeal to me...

Remember, this was our first outfit, to which one MUST add some shoes. Unless you live somewhere that doesn't require shoes?

Tee – Uniqlo; pants – Uniqlo
cardigan – L.L. Bean; top shoes – Tamaris
middle shoes – Seychelles; bottom shoes – Robert Zur

And simple earrings! I particularly like that bottom pair because they're simple, but they aren't...

Tank - Uniqlo; pants – Uniqlo
cardigan – L.L. Bean; top earrings – Uno de 50
middle earrings – Lauren Ralph Lauren; bottom earrings – Alexis Bittar

There weren't hundreds of scarves in this very subtle color scheme, but many of them were lovely; if this were my wardrobe, I'd have quite a few scarves! 

Tank - Uniqlo; pants – Uniqlo
cardigan – L.L.Bean; top scarf – Faliero Sarti
middle scarf – L.L.Bean; bottom scarf – Eileen Fisher

Finding just the right color sandals was a challenge! These colors are somewhere between sand, taupe, drift, and some other strange names... Remember when you're searching the internet for something specific, you have to be really creative about color names. It's worth searching for a couple of sites specifically about colors to get some ideas.

Tee – Uniqlo; shorts – L.L.Bean
cardigan – L.L. Bean; top sandals –  Birkenstock
middle sandals – Sam Edelman; bottom sandals – Munro

More simple watches that you can actually read - sometimes I'm so radical!

Tee – Uniqlo; pants – Uniqlo
sweater – Vince; top watch – Links of London
middle watch – Pulsar; bottom watch – Timex

For leather accessories, this wardrobe lends itself to a range of colors from really pale ivory through to cocoa brown. This is another case in which it's wise to carry swatches, or a small color "reference item" of some sort. I still stick with a few skeins of embroidery floss, in a small zip-lock bag.

Tee Uniqlo; shorts – L.L.Bean
sweatshirt – L.L.Bean; top bag – MICHAEL Michael Kors
middle bag – Rag & Bone; bottom bag – Matt & Nat

There was a true embarrassment of riches in the bracelet department...

Tee – Uniqlo; jeans – J. Crew
sweatshirt – L.L.Bean; top bracelet – Alexis Bittar
middle bracelet – Kendra Scott; bottom bracelet – Alexis Bittar

I like the bit of shine that pearls or mother of pearl can bring to a small earrings. They bring a nice light near your face.

Tee – Etro; shorts – L.L.Bean; 
top earrings – Kendra Scott; middle earrings – Nadri
bottom earrings – Majorica

Must have casual shoes!

Tee – Mint Velvet; pants – Uniqlo
cardigan – L.L.Bean; top shoes – Vans
middle shoes – Dansko; bottom shoes – Superga

Tote bags are another place where you have a range or color possibilities...

Tee – Etro; jeans – Coldwater Creek;
 top tote – Persaman New York; middle tote – Steven Alan
bottom tote – Lisa Minardi

Honestly, just the most beautiful, subtle scarves are available!

Shirt – Lareida; jeansJ. Crew
top scarf – Sophie Darling; middle scarf – Eleventy
bottom scarf - Pashma

A small pendant, or more substantial necklace, is another way to bring some variety to your wardrobe, and a little shine and movement to your outfit.

Tee – Mint Velvet; jeans – J. Crew
cardigan – Lands’ End; top necklace – Cara
middle necklace – Kendra Scott; bottom necklace – H&M


Tee – Etro; skirt – J. Crew Factory
 top sunglasses – Miu Miu; middle sunglasses – Kate Spade
bottom sunglasses – Chloe

I'm devoted to ballet flats...

Tunic – L.L.Bean; jeansColdwater Creek
 top shoes – Sofft; middle shoes – AGL
bottom shoes – Ecco

Does this put you in the mood for a specific place, or event?



Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Depressing Statistic, or the #1 Reason I Write The Vivienne Files

File:2013 Rochester Lilac Festival - Flower City Lilac - 06.JPG
my favorite flowers - a bright spot in a depressing post

 "Most clothes are worn, on average, only seven times before they're discarded, forcing an astonishing 150 billion new clothing items to be made annually...Polyester is... found in 50 percent of all clothing. It's enormously energy intensive and doesn't bio-degrade..."

"10 percent of the world's total carbon footprint comes from the apparel industry, and apparel is the second largest polluter of fresh water globally."

This article doesn't even mention things like how much time is spent shopping (NOT a product use of time, compared to a lot of other things...), nor the amount of money that is churned through one's closet.

Buying and discarding cheap clothing means that you never get to wear anything truly amazing - a fabric that's breathtaking, construction that amazes you at the skill of the human hand, or design that reminds you of the joys of creativity.

Read the full article at: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/analysis-fast-fashion-comes-steep-price-the-environment.


1 Piece at a Time: Beige and Brown, for Leisure

You wanted to see a leisure wardrobe in warm colors? Here it is....

I found that I could stick exclusively to shades of brown, tan, and cream and put together a really nice, workable capsule wardrobe. The accessories (which will be here on Monday!) are going to have a big impact on this very subtle collection.

I started with a simple beige column (although the tee shirt has a bit of a stripe) and found a cardigan that contained all of the shades that I wanted to consider:

Tee – Uniqlo; pants – Uniqlo; cardigan – L.L. Bean

The gold is included here as a very clear hint about accessories:

Tee – Uniqlo; pants – Uniqlo; cardigan – L.L. Bean

With warm weather coming (theoretically, where I live!), I thought that a light-colored top would be a good starting point. This top could of course have short sleeves, or 3/4 sleeves:

Tank - Uniqlo

Hoods and zippers equal casual, and I think this is a gorgeous cardigan in a beautiful color!

Cardigan – L.L.Bean

As always, shorts are optional, and can easily be replaced by a skirt, capris, pedal pushers, clam diggers, or any other strangely named garment for the bottom half of your body!

Shorts – L.L.Bean

No matter how hot it gets, some places will still experience cool evenings, for which a snuggly sweater is perfect. If you don't need anything this warm, you can always consider something in linen or cotton, or even a top with shorter sleeves.

Sweater – Vince

I'm a one-woman fan club for the hooded sweatshirt; sometimes it's just the right touch of warmth and leisure.

Sweatshirt – L.L.Bean

Jeans come in any color you can imagine, if you're willing to look long enough to find them!

Jeans – J. Crew

I love printed and patterned tops. This one is a true budget-buster, but it's so pretty that I included it just so you could see it! Realistically, you might want to continue to look around for something that costs less than an international plane ticket!

tee - Etro

Stripes are always a good choice when you want to mix colors in an outfit. Happily, this tee shirt is a little bit less... ruinous...

Tee – Mint Velvet

Another pair of jeans, in a darker beige. There's nothing wrong with having at least a couple of pair of jeans, especially if they are different colors and can contribute a different look to your wardrobe.

Jeans – Coldwater Creek

I wear button-front shirts all the time, and so I'm often going to include one in a wardrobe:

shirt – Lareida

This cardigan is so perfect for this wardrobe! The combination of so many different shades makes it very easy to combine with any pair of pants or jeans we have chosen so far.

Cardigan – Lands’ End

It's not a skort, but it's about as casual as a skirt can get and still be called a skirt:

Skirt – J. Crew Factory

And I'm really liking the way that a tunic offers a change of pace and a relaxed outfit option to these casual wardrobes!

tunic - L.L.Bean

This came together really well, I think...