Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back to the roots of The Vivienne Files: Transition

Way back when, Vivienne assured me that she was not always going to have a wardrobe of black, white and red garments - she fully intended, as her hair turned gray, and her skin tones softened, to transition to gray, rose, and cream.


This is how I envision than transition...


Her original wardrobe, as we pictured it here, is this:




The first thing I could picture would be a feeling of discomfort with bright red.  Not every day, but just a sense that these garments were moving to the back of the closet... so they move out and a beautiful rose pink takes its place.



The strongly contrasted black and white pieces would next make way for more muted items...



Black garments worn near the face would gradually give way to more charcoal gray.


As other black tops are ready to be replaced, they might cede their position in the wardrobe to a beautiful grayish blue - a lovely color with gray hair.


The striped sweater will give way to a sweater that's very similar, but a bit more gentle in it's contrast. And the black dresses will soften to gray...


Starkly white shirts and dead black cardigans will migrate to a soft, flattering cream.


And some day, the black suit will reach the end of its road, and be replaced by an equally versatile, but more more uplifting winter white.


The beautiful, dressy and versatile silk skirt could stick around for years.  But some day, an incredible skirt in pastels and gray will be the irresistible finishing touch on the wardrobe evolution.








13 comments:

  1. Another very helpful post! The pictures really make the difference. I guess I'm going to have to learn how to use Polyvore or take photos of all of my clothes and do a vision board. As I follow your blog I've also come to wonder why, living in a climate where shorts make sense 5 to 6 months of the year, why do I have more cool weather clothes than hot weather clothes - or at least the cool weather ones look nicer. LOL.

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  2. I think a lot of women have more cold-weather clothes than warm-weather; I know I do! For me, they're just plain more interesting clothes - I'd rather shop for sweaters than shorts any day of the week! But you're right, it makes a lot of sense to have a wardrobe that reflects your climate. Not easy, but knowing what you should be doing is the first step!
    warmest regards,
    Vivienne

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  3. Wow. What a beautiful, logical, and helpful post.

    As someone who is starting to think about just this transition, and feeling some uncertainty about how I will manage it (I love to fret, I mean plan, ahead), this is something I'll be returning to time and time again. Thanks for this.

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  4. Such a helpful post.. well done Vivienne.. I wish you could help me with my color wardrobe from a distance.. I'm in Brisbane Au.. I'm 'chocolate greying' with olive skin.. middle age but not frumpish.. bright bold colors always get compliments, but I love black.. so this post was a wake up .. thanks again..
    http://vietnam-hiddenrichesofacolonialpast.blogspot.com/

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  5. Thanks - seeing the original pieces and the progressive transition to the softer palette was lovely. You make it seem so easy.

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  6. This is a brilliant post, Vivienne! It's especially neat to look at the last picture and then scroll back up to the first picture of the original wardrobe to see how much it has changed. It's so helpful to see a clear example of how this transition might take place. I really need to learn more about coloring and which shades look best on my skin tone so that I can make careful choices for my wardrobe. Do you have any favorite resources you'd recommend for this, by chance?

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  7. Dear Avelina,
    I had my colors done YEARS ago by one of the original Color me Beautiful consultants. The draping process was amazing - the differences the colors made was quite apparent! But I think there are at least a few good sources of this insight - does anybody else have suggestions?
    thanks for being here,
    Vivienne

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  8. I found the book "Color Me Younger" by Veronique Henderson very helpful. It's an evolved version of color-me-beautiful, but specifically for the changing tones in hair, and often skin, we experience at mid-life and beyond.

    It was the most useful color book I've ever used, and I've probably read most of them! I learned a lot, was surprised, made some changes that worked very well, and have returned to it for inspiration a couple of times.

    While I don't fit perfectly into any of the categories (I never do, hence all the different color books I've looked at), the categories are flexible and informative enough that I was able to confidently decide that I'm essentially one category (Deep, big surprise since I was once closer to Spring than anything), and likely moving to Soft as I get greyer and cooler with time.

    When you use a book you still have to do your own draping, either to clarify or confirm which category best suits you. You can do this at home using your own clothes and those of any family members, household textiles, etc., or you can just go to stores with good lighting and try out various colors of draped clothing to see what works and what doesn't.

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  9. I've looked at "Color me Younger" a few times in the library - now I'm definitely going to pick it up! Thanks for the excellent description,
    and thanks for being here!
    Vivienne

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  10. Thank you Vivienne and Anonymous for your input. Per your suggestions I did some browsing online and came upon a Color Me Beautiful video that someone posted on Youtube! It was almost one hour long. It was really quite fun to see the trends from when the video was made, but even now it is apparent that they were pretty on target with their color suggestions.

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  11. Great post - just the sort of thing I had in mind (not that my wardrobe is black, red and white - it's a little of just about every neutral - but I'm narrowing that down over time).

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  12. So beautiful and so smart.

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  13. I am late to the party but I love this post. It is what almost every woman will need at some point. I am planning to use this as a template for my wardrobe.

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