Friday, April 28, 2017

This painting just makes me sigh...

Eiffel Tower by Robert Delaunay

This color scheme has so many possibilities:

Eiffel Tower by Robert Delaunay with color palette

More and more I find that brown leather is a great way to incorporate brown into almost any outfit!

a brown and teal travel outfit
cardigan – L.L.Bean; scarf - Faliero Sarti; earrings – Kate Spade; tee – Lands’ End; watch – Larsson & Jennings; suitcase – Longchamp; pants – L.L.Bean; loafers – Trotters; backpack – Longchamp

I know that it's possible to just go to Paris for a long weekend (I've done it - it was insane...) if you live much closer than those of us in North America. Imagine that our heroine is going there, to spend some time outdoors - maybe photographing sculptures in the many parks?

warm weather six-pack in navy, beige, and white
printed scarf – Faliero Sarti; kite earrings - Alexis Bittar; navy scarf – Hinge; tanks – L.L.Bean; beige cardigan – L.L.Bean; bracelet – Serafina; bag – Brahmin; navy skirt – L.L.Bean; tee shirt - Uniqlo; beige cropped pants - L.L.Bean; ballet flats – Naturalizer; sandals – OluKai

I'm assuming that for this trip, she's going to neither climb nor crawl, so she doesn't have to wear absolutely hard-core work clothes. Just a handful (+1) of nice things that will look attractive during the day and not leave her unprepared for a good bistro dinner or two:

a warm-weather travel capsule wardrobe in navy and beige with accents of cream and teal, and brown leather accessories

If she wants to dine someplace "nice-ish," she has skirts that will elevate the level of formality just by virtue of being a skirt!

two ways to wear a navy skirt in warm weather, from a travel capsule wardrobe

On any day that's cool-ish, or if she just doesn't want to expose her legs, her travel pants give her options:

two ways to wear navy trousers, from a travel capsule wardrobe

And if she's feeling more relaxed, her linen cropped pants are perfect:

two ways to wear beige linen cropped pants from a travel capsule wardrobe

Should I expand this wardrobe? I suspect our heroine didn't get everything done that she wanted to in Paris, and may have to return for a longer visit...

love,
Janice

How to Pack for a Long Weekend (in Paris?)? Start with Art: Eiffel Tower by Robert Delaunay
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Emeralds were TOUGH to work with here on The Vivienne Files - they're very rare, I suppose, because they're quite expensive and not available in the mad range of designs that you can find with most other precious stones. Nevertheless, we're more than able to find a lot of lovely ideas...

Given their price, you might not be wearing "authentic" emeralds (that's fine...) and you might just use emeralds as an accent with a larger, less-expensive semi-precious stone. It's your birthstone - wear it the way you want! Finding a beautiful scarf with a bit of bright green in it will draw attention to your beautiful jewelry, and make it all look wonderfully intentional and well-planned.

Dress – Uniqlo; necklace – Emilie Shapiro; scarf – J.Crew; scarf - Manila Grace; earrings - Alok Jain; dress - Uniqlo

Don't forget that you can wear green accents any way that you want - a comfy pair of flats are a great option! Or maybe a subtle stripe in your summer tote...

dress - Uniqlo; ring - Retrouvaí; sandals – Sam Edelman; tote – Spencer Devine; necklace - Ila; dress - dress - Uniqlo

Why yes, you've seen some of these dresses and cardigans before! I'm a big believer in wearing the same clothes regularly, and there's no reason that I can't show you a variety of ways to wear the same neutral pieces, is there?

dressdress – P.A.R.O.S.H.; earrings - JCPenney; ring – Dee Berkley; cardigan – N.Peal; cardigan – James Perse; moonstone & emerald pendant - Alok Jain; earrings – Laura Ashley; dress - Patagonia

If you love bright green, don't miss the chance to find a scarf in the shade you like. Even in the warmest weather, a scarf can be handy when you go indoors into meat locker-like air conditioning!

Dress – Lands’ End; earrings – Mociun; scarf – Shiraleah; scarf – Talbots; dress - Uniqlo; earrings – EF Collection

Because emeralds are so very dear, you shouldn't hesitate to mix costume jewelry with your "real" emeralds. Don't ever let price influence the way that you wear your clothes and accessories - the only thing that matters is that you're happy with how you look!

cardigan – Uniqlo; earrings – Bloomingdale’s; bracelet – Gas Bijoux; dress - Uniqlo; dress – Uniqlo; earrings – Ila; bracelet – Kate Spade; cardigan – L.L.Bean

Looking for emerald jewelry was fascinating - did you know that some people make synthetic emerald by cooking stuff in a pressure cooker for MONTHS on end? I wonder why emeralds are so much more rare than other stones...

love,
Janice

More from the Birthstone Series:

How to Wear Emeralds - the May Birthstone
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Do you remember one of my very favorite all-time posts, where a woman went to visit friends to look at the stars? Her wardrobe colors were inspired by the colors of the common shelduck - brown, black, and white...

Well, she's found a painting that she really likes, so this year, when she's going back to visit her friends again, she's in the same color scheme. The weather is warmer, but you might recognize a few of her accessories from last winter's trip...

View of New York by Charles Sheeler
View of New York by Charles Sheeler

Her color scheme expands to include cream and grey (earlier, she was pretty strictly black and white with brown leather accessories), and some day she's going to try something in sky blue. Some day...

View of New York by Charles Sheeler with style guidelines and color palette

She knows that it's going to be warmer in April than it was in January, but the airplane will still be cool, so she wears "real" shoes and a cardigan, as well as a snazzy scarf. Her fondness for squared-off shapes is evident in her watch, smaller bag, and her earrings...

travel outfit in black and ivory with brown leather accents
cardigan – L.L.Bean; scarf – Missoni; earrings – John Hardy; tee – Monsoon; watch - Coach; crossbody bag - Lodis; pants – L.L.Bean; loafers – Kelsi Dagger; tote – Longchamp

Her friends are planning to take her out to dinner one night, and possibly have a barbecue one evening, so she's bringing both a dress and a casual skirt. (even a casual skirt is still a skirt, and thus elevates the dressiness of whatever you're wearing!)

six pack for warm weather in black, ivory and brown
brown tunic – Simply Be; earrings – L.Erickson; sunglasses – Quay Australia; necklace – Jonesy Wood Designs; tank top - Uniqlo; dress – L.L.Bean; shorts - L.L.Bean; bracelet – Miansai; plaid shirt – Diane von Furstenberg; black sandals – OluKai; ballet flats - Sam Edelman; ivory skirt – H&M

This is everything that she has with her - everything she packed fit easily into her Longchamp bag.

warm weather travel capsule wardrobe in black, ivory and brown

She has, as always, plenty of outfit options, for everything from sitting outside watching the birds, and later the stars, to going out with her friends to a relatively nice restaurant. If she's held over for a few days, she might need laundry, but she won't necessarily get terribly bored with this tiny wardrobe.

two ways to wear black shorts from a 9-piece travel capsule wardrobe for warm weather

If they go to a movie or someplace that will probably be cold, she has long pants - always a good idea!

2 ways to wear black pants from a 9-piece warm weather travel capsule wardrobe in black, ivory and brown

If the restaurant is relatively "nice," she won't feel self-conscious in this dress! And if it's drafty, but she still wants to get some sun on her shoulders, she can mix pieces up to suit her preferences...

2 outfits from a 9-piece travel capsule wardrobe for warm weather in black, ivory and brown

I've never indulged in anything in brown leather, but this ensemble makes it so very tempting...

love,
Janice

How to Pack Light for a Long Weekend? Start with Art: View of New York by Charles Sheeler
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Let's revisit yesterday's painting - I don't feel like we've nearly exhausted the possibilities of these colors! My hypothesis is that yesterday's heroine has been invited to... a wedding, let's say, out of town far enough that she's going to stay for a week or so. Except for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding itself, she won't have to get madly dressed up, but she can reasonably expect at least another dinner or two out with relatives and old friends.

So we start here:

Palimpsest 46 by Kamrooz Aram

And we remind ourselves of what our color scheme is going to be for this travel capsule wardrobe:

Palimpsest 46 by Kamrooz Aram with color palette

Our heroine was really happy with her travel outfit when she took her long lazy weekend break, so she's not changing a thing here:

travel outfit for warm weather in black and pink
cardigan – L.L.Bean; scarf – Hinge; earrings – Ying; pink top – Uniqlo; watch – Ted Baker London; suitcase – Calpak; pants – L.L.Bean; loafers – Clarks; tote – National Gallery of Art

She really like everything that she packed for that trip, so that's where she's going to start for this longer, and more demanding, trip:

a casual Six-Pack travel wardrobe in black, white and pink
pink top – Uniqlo; earrings – Gianluca Anzani; black tank - Uniqlo; scarf – Nordstrom; linen ¾sleeve top – L.L.Bean; floral pants – MSGM; bracelet - Nyoman Rena; black sandals – OluKai; white sandals - Ugg; linen shorts - L.L.Bean; handbag - Talbots

In order to get her thinking organized, she takes all of the clothes that she knows she's taking with her, and places them (at least mentally) into a 4 by 4 Wardrobe template. This helps her see where the gaps are that she needs to fill, bearing in mind that she's going to need to dress up for 2 events during the weekend!

starting a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in black, grey, pink and white

She's got room for an entire 2nd neutral, so she decides to include grey in her wardrobe. She's not quite at the point that she feels entirely comfortable wearing black to the wedding itself, although she knows that many people certainly will.

And she's planning that the rest of her time on her trip will be pretty relaxed, so a couple more casual pieces are in order. Lastly, she's certain that she will be getting together (in freezing cold restaurants, probably) with some friends or family in addition to the wedding festivities, so a matching cardigan and pants give her at least a handful of additional outfits that will be perfect for those evenings. These are what she chooses to add to her suitcase:

how to expand a travel capsule wardrobe for a longer trip
pink sweater – M&S Collection; cardigan – Lands’ End; scarf – M&S Collection; sleeveless shirt – Lands’ End; tee – L.L.Bean; pink dress - Erika Cavallini; silver loafers – Topshop; grey pants – M&S Collection; grey dress – Joseph; grey pumps – Calvin Klein

She was a bit extravagant in her dress choices, but they're classically styled and won't date - she can wear them for the next few years without fear of looking like a fashion victim. And everything else in her travel wardrobe is rather moderately priced. Note that when she found the pink sweater at Marks & Spencer she IMMEDIATELY starting looking in the same store for a scarf. That's always a good idea - if a buyer or a buying committee has committed to a color, you might easily find it in a variety of departments.

a warm weather 4 by 4 Travel Capsule Wardrobe in black, grey, pink and white

Everything makes perfect sense within the 4 by 4 Template (which is not the only way to determine if a wardrobe will work, but it's a good guideline), and the number of possible combinations from these pieces must be over 2 dozen!

a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in black, white, grey and pink

She's got excellent options for both a rehearsal dinner and the wedding itself - she will look pretty and festive...

2 dressy outtfits from a 16-piece travel capsule wardrobe in black, white, pink and grey

For other evening activities, she has a nice pair of pants and a lot of choices about how to wear them:

2 ways to wear grey pants from a travel capsule wardrobe for warm weather

For the all-important relaxation and down-time, she will still look neat and attractive:

2 casual outfits from a warm-weather travel capsule wardrobe

When you have everything with you that you need on a trip, you can concentrate on the more amusing things like observing the family dynamics, playing with children you don't often see, taking lots of photographs, and just generally being in the moment. "Isn't elegance forgetting what one is wearing?" Yves Saint Laurent once said...

love,
Janice

How to Build a Warm Weather Travel Four by Four Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Palimpsest 46 by Kamrooz Aram
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Monday, April 24, 2017

I'm smitten with this artist, Kamrooz Aram - you're going to see more from him:

Palimpsest 46 by Kamrooz Aram
Palimpsest 46 by Kamrooz Aram

I love these colors - especially those little touches of brightness! I didn't use them in this Six-Pack, but in a larger wardrobe, you would definitely see them... I also don't have any grey garments included here, but for a trip that would last a few more days, a nice grey summer dress, and certainly a tee shirt and shorts, would be such simple things to add.

And while I don't have style notes here, I'm definitely thinking that this is a woman who loves flowers, but who also appreciates the compelling power of large patches of solid colors, arranged in a way understood only by the artist.

Palimpsest 46 by Kamrooz Aram with color scheme

My heroine is traveling somewhere warm, and VERY relaxed. She frankly doesn't plan to do anything much more exerting than walk to the lounge chair under the trees, where she will "read." (aka nap...)

warm weather travel outfit in black and pink
cardigan – L.L.Bean; scarf – Hinge; earrings – Ying; pink top – Uniqlo; watch – Ted Baker London; suitcase – Calpak; pants – L.L.Bean; loafers – Clarks; tote – National Gallery of Art

(it delights me how much the earrings above look like the little flowers in the painting!)

She's only going for a long weekend, so packing is kept to an absolute minimum. She will dine out once or twice, so a nice pair of pants is useful. Otherwise, it's comfy lounging clothes for her.

Six-Pack for warm weather in black, white and pink
pink top – Uniqlo; earrings – Gianluca Anzani; black tank - Uniqlo; scarf – Nordstrom; linen ¾sleeve top – L.L.Bean; floral pants – MSGM; bracelet - Nyoman Rena; black sandals – OluKai; white sandals - Ugg; linen shorts - L.L.Bean; handbag - Talbots

This is everything she has with her (except "personal" items...); seeing this tidy little assortment in the armoire in her hotel gives her a small sense of clarity and calm:

travel capsule wardrobe in pink, black and white for warm weather

Even though she's only away for a long weekend, she has least a half-dozen ways to wear these pieces. If she's stranded for an extra day (wouldn't that be dreadful?) she'll be perfectly fine!

two warm-weather outfits including black and white floral pants

two warm-weather outfits including black linen shorts

two warm-weather outfits including white linen shorts

Should I expand this wardrobe for a much longer trip?

love,
Janice

Warm Weather Travel Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Palimpsest 46 by Kamrooz Aram
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