Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Visualizing French Chic: Taupe

Way back when, the original French Chic book listed seven garments, and then a dozen ways to combine them and accessorize them.  I've chosen to visualize this potential in a non-black color (and in some "not quite solid" pieces), and in some younger and less conservative iterations...

And please note that your clothes don't have to all be out of the identical dye lot; a bit of blending is quite alright.
Jacket – Paul & Joe, leopard cardigan – J. Crew, lace knit cardigan – Paul Smith, dress –DKNY,  skirt – Marc Jacobs, capris – 3.1 Phillip Lim, trousers – Marc Jacobs

Earrings – Alexis Bittar, Tank top – Chinti & Parker, pumps – Unűtzer, sleeveless top – Brunello Cucinelli, bracelet – Debenhams, taupe flats – Isabel Marant

gray tank – Splendid, silver feather bracelet – LeiVan Kash, Taupe loafers – Tod’s, silver balls necklace – Chen Fuchs Jewelry, silver & grey bag – Torula, cap toe shoes – French Sole

Lace tee shirt – Dorothy Perkins, bracelets – aid through trade, sandals – Sam Edelman, earrings – Chen Fuchs Jewelry, taupe tank – Vince, belt – Nanni, woven flats - Blowfish

Turtleneck – Gucci, scarf – Allude, boots – Jeffrey Campbell, earrings – Max & Chloe, clutch – Calypso St. Barth, pumps – Peter Kaiser

Tee shirt – Debenhams, oxfords – Alberto Fermani, earrings – Etro, black top – La Garconne, sandals – Kelsi Dagger

Earrings – Majorica, blouse – Malene Birger, ballet flats – Giuseppe Zanotti, snake print scarf – Cole Haan, tote bag – Zambos & Siega, pumps – Diane von Furstenberg


  1. Yay, back to more strategy posts and less scarf driven outfits.. (outfits are OK, but I like how posts like this force me to think through my wardrobe choices more.)

  2. Hello!! I am fairly new to your site (which I absolutely adore BTW) and did have a question about "dye lots" I've decided to embrace your approach and am in the process of weeding out and refining my wardrobe using black as one of my core 8 basics. When putting together say a twin set and black pants (as pieces of the basic 8 group) if they are slightly different shades of black does it still work to wear them together??

    1. I think they do, as long as you can stand across from the room from them and not notice the difference. If you have to get up close enough to sniff the fabric to see that they don't match, I think you're fine. For one thing - nobody better be getting that close! And secondly, I think blending is quite fine...

    2. Some years ago I read that some researcher had done a study that found that if two pieces of clothing are close in color, your eye will read them as the same because it wants them to be the same. Don't know if it is really true, but I have always liked to think so. Of course, there is probably another study out there somewhere that says just the opposite.

    3. Thank you Janice!!! Great "rule of thumb" to follow!!!

  3. I second Sara's comment. I look like and old matron in a scarf. Need other ideas...

  4. I love this set of clothes! This is me....or at least the me I want to be.

  5. It is so hard looking at this vignette and controlling myself by not shopping. I think this set is smashing.

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  7. I have some taupe pieces in my wardrobe which I'll re-work after seeing this.

  8. Again you make me realize how to narrowly I view the French Chic concept. For some reason I have never seen tops has a fashion accessory but it certainly makes sense if I am to continue to have a core wardrobe of a few carefully curated items. No wonder my look has been so lackluster! Now I understand how I can stay fashionably trendy and yet maintain a tightly edited wardrobe. Thanks again for the eye opener!

  9. I'm trying to figure out what the 7 core items are then: a dress, a skirt, a pair of dress pants, a pair of casual pants, a jacket, a short cardigan, a long cardigan. How am I doing?

  10. Hello - I am new to your site, and, it has already given me SO many hours of pleasure just "window-shopping" - it's wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing with your readers - the pictures and capsules are just the best!

  11. Janet, here are the pieces of the "basic black wardrobe" from the book:
    pleated pants
    pleated skirt
    straight skirt
    sweater dress

    Still interesting, but a bit dated...

  12. Thanks, Jeanne. I can see how Janice has updated it.

    I like having several "basic" lists, so I can develop my own more easily. Janice has really got me to thinking more consciously about how to build a wardrobe. And it's very good timing in my life.