Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Vivienne just rocked my world view - again!

I spent all day yesterday ironing.  Well, okay, I took a break and baked some banana/chocolate chip muffins, but I spent most of the day unpacking my summer clothes, checking them over, and ironing them.  (also working in reverse, packing away all things winter)

So I emailed Vivienne and told her what I was doing, and she wants to know "why does it take you so long?"

And I explain that I've got X number of garments that I don't wear in the fall and winter, but that I need for warmer weather.

First response from Vivienne - of course - you've got too many clothes.  I concede that.

And THEN, the killer question:  "Why don't you wear the same suits all year around?".

I explain about the weather here - it gets much hotter than it does in Paris etc. etc.

The devastating response:  "Doesn't your husband wear the same suits all year?  Why is it different for women?"

sigh....  Why don't I get a really amazing black wool suit and wear it 12 months out of the year?  Something Loro Piano, Briani, Armani - any of those would be perfect.  Why don't I think this way yet?

If I could do this with just some of my things, I could have really top quality suits.  I've got to go back and start from scratch on this planning thing.



  1. Vivienne makes one think long and hard about wardrobe choices. Great post!

  2. I'm going to have to think about this a little harder. I live in an area with very extreme temperature differences between summer and winter ~ we're talking subzero to 100+. I can't imagine some of the same clothes for both seasons. I guess some I can, but not all. She really does make one think, doesn't she?

  3. I have long envied the Albert Einstein method of dressing- a few copies of the same black suit rotated and worn year round. I'm with Vivienne on this one, though I'm still searching for what exactly is my daily uniform.

  4. This is a great post! I love the idea of a uniform as well and maybe that is why I revisit your original Vivienne writings so often.

  5. Of course, Vivienne is correct. This is either one of those "a-ha" lightbulbs flashing, or a "duh!, the answer's so obvious no wonder I missed it" things. And considering men have warmer bodies than women, it really doesn't make sense that we have lighter suits for summer.

    Do you ever tell Vivienne that she is an oracle?

  6. I have begun reading your blog, start-to-finish. Loving it so far! I wish I knew where to get these "files" that lead you to start this blog;) Where does one access, Vivienne's files??

    Anyway, not knowing anything of the files or Vivienne. I guess I scratch my head to this presumption as it doesn't have that simplified an answer for me. What about 4 seasons-such as cold, cold winters and hot, hot summers? What about the gorgeous tweeds that one wears in Fall/Winter or the linen suit that one likes, come Spring and Summer. I like fashion. I don't want to wear just one single-weight fabric, black suit all year-round. Perhaps I need to know more about Vivienne and what your blog is about before making these comments;) I am a follower now--I would love to hear back on my inquiries. TIA!

  7. Ah, the Vivienne Files were a collection of discussion board posts that I wrote, after talking to my friend Vivienne, (who lives in Paris) about 10 years ago on a Yahoo chat group called Je Ne Sais Quoi. If you look for posts on this blog entitled "Back to the Roots of the Vivienne Files", you'll get almost all of the content of my major discussion posts from back then.
    I hadn't realized that people had in fact copied all of my posts and put them together into one Word document, until I was surfing about the internet one day and say someone quoting the Vivienne Files! That was what prompted me to actually start this blog.
    Your concerns about multiple seasons is something that I have to think about constantly, so stay tuned to see if I can ever make a breakthrough!
    and thanks for being here,
    Vivienne, the Chicago version

  8. Thank you for your speedy response! I wonder if you might point me to the original writings? My curiosity is piqued!

    Looking forward to reading more and learning lots! Thank you:)

  9. Send me a note with your email to theviviennefiles@gmail.com, and I'll send you over the original Word document. Or, you can register with Yahoo Groups, and petition to join the French Chic group. (they're the current version of the old Je Ne Sais Quoi). On their group site, under the Files section, they still have the Vivienne Files, as well as TONS of other interesting stuff!

  10. I found your blog yesterday, referenced on Ravelry (knitting site).

    I started reading current posts, (I really like the 'Was Chanel right?' issue), then decided that:

    * I'm going back to start reading at the beginning.
    * Requested an invite to French Chic.
    * Re-thinking many, many of the items in my closet.

    Thank you for beaucoup inspiration!


  11. With all due respect, it is simply not possible, the weather extremes are too far apart. I live in central Europe.