Monday, August 22, 2011

Wardrobe built around 6 neutral colors - no accents!

Gray cardigan – Dolce & Gabbana, Grey tee – topshop, Grey sweater – The Row, gray trousers
– Burberry Brit, Black blazer – Rag & Bone, black tee shirt – Derek Lam, black pants –
Rag & Bone, black draped skirt – Vivienne Westwood

Brown cardigan – Hope, tee shirt – Michael Stars, brown sweater – Vanessa Bruno, brown pants
– Edun, cream blouse – Theory, cream sweater – Topshop, cream corduroy pants – Twenty8Twelve,
cream skirt – Maxmara Studio

Chambray shirts – J. Crew, chambray skirt – A. P.C., Pants – Levi’s Made & Crafted, camel
jacket – Forte forte, camel shirt – Equipment, camel pants – Sportmax, camel pleated
skirt - Oasis

Leather bracelet – Frith, Brown stone ring – Max and Chloe, gray suede sneakers – Fratelli
Rossetti, Leopard print pump – Manolo Blahnik, Square silk scarf – Hermès, bead necklace –
Antik Batik, squares bracelet – Monet, Brown & black ballet flats – Attilio Giusti

Onyx earrings – Fantasy Jewelry, labradorite earrings – Ylang23, Saddle shoes –
J. D. Fisk, square scarves – Hermès, copper, pearl and gold bracelets – Fantasy Jewelry, checked scarf – Mulberry, Striped scarf – Paul Smith, Camel low boots – Oasis,
Brown riding boot - Halogen

Pearl flower earrings – Miss Selfridge, Black and pearl earrings – Swarovski, paisley scarf – Etro,
black & white tote – Diane von Furstenberg, Square scarf – Hermès, amber topaz earrings – 1928,
amber bracelet – Hannah Zakari, Cream brogues – Minimarket, Black & white brogues –
Topshop, brown tote – Givenchy, brown loafers – Cole Haan

Square scarves – Hermès, Butterfly brooch – Alexis Bittar, gray pearl earrings – J.C. Penney,
gray bag – Stella McCartney, gold ball earrings – J. C. Penney, brown beads – Kenneth Jay Lane,
watch – Michael Kors, Short boots – Acne, Camel & black bag – Gucci, gray loafers – Repetto,
brown sandals - Gucci

silver & amber earrings – John Lewis, onyx earrings – Monica Vinader, Silver & wood bracelet
– Carole Wood, Brown bag – Hinge, Brown loafers – Munro, blue quilted bag – Marc Jacobs,
Gray blue necklace – Miriam Salat, ikat scarf – All Saints, black slingbacks – Sambag Tahnee,
Denim leather oxfords – Alberto Fermani

Artisan Made Jewelry Designs


  1. This is great! Love how you put these colors together. xxBliss

  2. Wow! All your wardrobes are excellent, but this may be your best yet!

  3. Oh, that's marvelous! I will have to print out this one and study it further.

  4. This is great and most closely resembles my current wardrobe. Although I don't comment on each post, I do check for them every day, so am pleased that you have continued.

    Can you do a post showing clothes for those of us who don't have an unlimited budget? The average american salary per household is less than $50,000 per year ($67,000 total for dual income). In Britain, it comparable at £22800 per year. I've tried to figure out a reasonable budget for clothing and accessories. I've seen 10-15% (after taxes) in a fashion magazine, but that seemed high to me. I've also seen a charity solicitation stating that families that spend more than 9% of their budget on clothing leads to financial ruin. I've decided that 5% is more reasonable for me. Someone with children and less disposable income would probably allocate even less. 5% of $40,000 ($10,000 subtracted for taxes) is about $2000 per year. In the original Vivienne files, it appears that she spent up to 1000 Euro (aprx $1400 US) three or four times per year. That's the equivalent of up to aprx. $4000-$5500 per year on 6 to 12 items.

    So, while the designer items in your wardrobes are gorgeous, it would be difficult for the average person to justify spending over $1000 on a dress. I only know one person who could afford that, and her favorite store for clothing is Target (discount US store)! I do like the idea of spending more on fewer items using the strategies that you suggest. However, could you feature some wardrobes with items that are less than $500, or even less than $200? I know that it's the concept that counts and you are not suggesting that everyone buy the designer items literally, but it would be nice to see sources for the type of clothing you are showing that are more reasonably priced.

    1. Lands' End sales are great; I just bought a stack of pure cotton sweaters (including some that are featured in the latest Vivienne posts) at $35 each and less. Also try Chadwick's of Boston. Try their clearance and sale pages; some of the items in clearance are the same as the new items, or the color offerings may be slightly different. I just bought 4 pair of corduroy jeans in fall colors for a total of $108 altogether (colors were dark gray, olive, brown, and navy).

      If you sign up for emails on clothing websites, then the companies will send you coupon codes for even more $$ off. Google the company's name and the term "coupons" and you'll find codes for many places. I used a coupon code that I found last night for Chadwick's that gave me an additional 20% off my order (mentioned above), including the clearance items.

  5. Dear Book Worm,
    I'm painfully aware that the clothing that I show is out of the reach of almost everybody reading my blog! My problem is that I'm just not able to find decent photographs of lower-priced clothing! I buy all of my tee shirts from Lands' End - they cost around $15 to $20 each. But on the Lands' End website, the photographs are either on a model, or on some odd-colored background that looks terrible when I put it into a wardrobe grouping.

    I think there are 2 solutions here: (1) I will keep trying to find better photographs of reasonably priced garments, and (2) readers will have to look for similar garments in their price range. In the wardrobe here, for example, while the best-looking picture of a brown sweater was a bajillion-dollar Vanessa Bruno, there are dozens of similar sweaters available at a range of prices. (I've seen them in the US at Eddie Bauer, Coldwater Creek, J. Jill, and L.L. Bean, just for a start).

    I apologize if anybody has ever had the impression that I assume all readers are affluent; I'm not, and I know you probably aren't either!

    warmest regards,
    and thanks so much for the feedback,

    1. Vivienne, I want to thank you so much for this blog. I have been looking for something exactly like this for so long and finally found it! Your work is awesome and I have done what you suggested above. I take your suggestions and then start perusing online or when I happen to be shopping I take my ipod with my list and pick up the perfect piece when I find it in MY price range. I use Lands End a lot especially their overstocks. I recently purchased two polo dresses, two pairs of cropped pants, a chambray shirt, two white tees, a wrap dress and ballet flats for $160. JCPenney has also improved their selection and run great sales. One can definitely look chic and well put together on a slim budget. Thank you so much I look forward to all your posts.

  6. Both suggested solutions are good. For the first, I just noticed that it was possible to limit the price range in Polyvore. We could also also post links to any items we find that have a similar basic style as those you've featured in the wardrobes (solid color dress, v-neck cardigan, and so on).

    I have 3 or 4 little black dresses collected over the years (ok decades), as well as several print dresses (mostly brown or navy background), but have been searching for a solid brown, grey, or navy dress. Pendleton has some that are under $200 and many have a very nice quality wool fabric. But if anyone turns up any other options, I'd love to know about it.

  7. This wardrobe is gorgeous and perfect. It's everything I've wanted and more. I'll be working with it to shape my wardrobe--what a delight. It is so generous of you to share your creative talents with us on this way. You are gifted with your eye and inspirations.

    As to the discussion about price range...I understand the concerns on both sides. Yet I enjoy that your examples are such high quality of design and fabric. It adds to the inspiration factor. We can all have the fun, challenge, and learning experience of translating the pieces for our own circumstances, whether shopping our closets, thrift stores, discount stores, or mid-level chains.

    The examples of quality aren't off-putting. They're a great lesson in saving and curating our shopping to get the best we can afford, and a better lesson in the details of quality we should be seeking at whatever price points we shop.

    It's a bit like enjoying a showing of inspiring art at a gaLlery or museum. Even if we buy our art from flea markets and community fairs, we feed our spirits and inform our developing tastes by soaking up the loveliness of fine art as often as possible.

    Thanks for being that kind of education and inspiration in the blogosphere.

    1. So well put. I couldn't have said it better nor agree more. keep doing what you are doing Vivienne! Much appreciated.

  8. I'm in a phase of wanting to avoid black, even though it's so easy, but I like black and white prints a lot. Do you think a selection of black and white prints (stripes, checks, florals, etc) can work together as a neutral?

  9. This is my closet! I have been searching wardrobe blogs and pairing mine down to comfortable, well fitting, flattering pieces. I have core pieces in black and brown with a smattering of good gray and khaki and good denim and chambray. I have been torn thinking I should go one direction Or the other. But I have beloved Old Gringo boots in brown. An equally loved black leather jacket. Great cole Han black loafers. A brown suit that looks great on me. I can see it working now! These ideas plus a Vera Bradley silk scarf in the retired Kensington pattern show me that it can be done! Thank you! I wouldn't have bought the scarf without seeing your use of them here. Thank you again!