Monday, December 10, 2012

Emerald, and A Common Capsule Wardrobe

To great fanfare, 2013's "color of the year" has been announced, and it's the very easy-to-wear emerald!  Emerald's particularly "neutral" to most capsule wardrobes, because it's a perfect balance of yellow and blue i.e. a perfect balance of warm and cool.  This means, theoretically, that pretty much everybody should be able to wear it without looking ghastly...

First off, let me make it perfectly clear that if you don't LIKE green (okay, LOVE it), you don't have to participate in this little marketing-driven pseudo-trend.  Green becomes the color of the year when everybody is TOLD that it's the color of the year, and then they all buy it, and voila, the prediction comes true.  Heaven knows that I didn't participate in last year's tangerine fest, and it's doubtful that I'll rush into emerald either.

But if you like green, and are intrigued by the possibilities inherent in adding a dash of it to your wardrobe - let's take a look.  Were I to jump into this, I'd buy a moderate-quality shirt, blouse, or sweater, with the understanding that I was going to be wearing it almost weekly 'til the trend fades, or my enthusiasm dies out.  Shoes - I'd get a pair that were nice enough that they'd hold up for a year under fairly steady (twice a week) wear, and I'd probably splash out for a piece of jewelry and a scarf.  The jewelry and the scarf are things you'll have forever, and that can be worn long after "emerald" is just another distant fashion memory.

The next 2 days, I'll show emerald with the Common Office Wardrobe, and the Common Warm Wardrobe...
Tee shirt – Reiss, bracelet – Alyssa Norton, scarf – Yasuyuki Machida, flats - Target

all clothes - J. Crew






35 comments:

  1. The color of the year for 2013 and I am celebrating...this is one of my favorite colors! Love those green flats!!

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  2. I love the color. But what about the last trend: red jeans? I know you bought a pair. Do you wear them to death and send them to retirement? Are they starting to look old to you?

    Just wondering, because I'm still tempted, but am afraid they might be nearing the end...

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    1. I'm still loving my red jeans. This time of year, they give a token sort of "holiday-ish" perspective to almost any event. But red's sort of a classic color, so I think the jeans are going to have more mileage than they would if I had bought cobalt blue or ultraviolet.

      As far as them nearing the end of their "fashion" life - start looking for anything referred to as a "resort" collection, and see if brightly-colored pants are still showing up. If they are (and I have a hunch they will be), then you'd be good to go with the jeans. I plan to beat these babies well into the summer, with a black & white striped tee shirt, and maybe retire them after NEXT winter holiday season.

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  3. This is my favorite color, must be the Irish in me. It works well with most any combination and makes me feel fresh and alive. It is a color that is not usually easy to find. Hurrah! that it is the color of the new year.

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    1. That's so funny, because it's arguably the HARDEST color to buy in Ireland - they just WON'T wear the green thing, except for sporting events, and one day a year...

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    2. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I did some Google searching on the "wearing of the green", interesting. I love the color even more.

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  4. I am curious about your thought regarding color, do you think the color systems like Color Me Beautiful (or those types of systems) are worthwhile? Or should you just wear what you like? I get so mixed up trying to go with the colors that 'should' look good on me with my warm coloring or the the basic colors; black, white, grey, navy, red.

    I would love to hear your thoughts.

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    1. Oh, I think I'm going to address this in some detail. I am of two minds about them, thus definitely earning the name Janus! Stay tuned...

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    2. Good. I'm with Anon. I don't know what to do about "colors" anymore. I went with the thing about me being a Winter for 35 years but my hair color and skin tone has changed with age. Some of the colors I've worn for years are washed out on me now; others are too harsh. Janice, help! It's not just clothes; I've had to update makeup, too, and one of my goals in 2013 is to get some professional makeup instruction for the aging face.

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    3. Ooohhhh! I will so look forward to some conversation about this in detail! I too have been considering getting a makeup update and considered having my colors done, but I am not entirely convinced!

      Definitely planning on staying tuned. I love your blog and hoping it will save me money and get me out of the habit of just buying things because. :)

      ronda

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    4. Couldn't be more timely, I've been re-thinking my colours and would love to hear your thoughts. I want to get rid of the unflattering stuff in my closet and re-focus on what works for me, just need to be sure I'm going in the right direction. This is so tricky and I'm tired of wasting money.

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    5. Please do address this! I'm looking forward to it.

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  5. I never consciously bought a color of the year, but then again I never follow trends too much either. That said, I bought a beautiful emerald blazer a couple of years ago and was surprised what a versatile color this is. Maybe it was the color of the year in Europe two years ago, and I am for once on trend in this country. :)

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  6. It's a lovely color, but doesn't sing to me at all. I so prefer turquoise! But I do already have a scarf, so perhaps I'll participate once in a while. Great shoes. Might check those out, too. Target. Can't be very expensive and if they wear out ... so be it!

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    1. I don't know - if it doesn't sing, don't go there! You don't have any obligation to wear anything except things that you absolutely adore - no compromises!

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  7. A good strategy. Unless, of course, greens are "your" color, in which case it's a good time to use the "Color of the year" hoopla to buy some nice pieces in a color that hasn't been around a lot lately. That's what I'm planning on, personally.

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    1. EXACTLY! If you've been lusting for a green winter coat since forever, this is going to be the year to get it! We only buy what we love, right?

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    2. The last purchases before my shopping fast--a bottle green wool coat (to replace my 12+ year old grey winter coat), and a pair of ankle crop skinny cords in a dark green, and a colour blocked birken look-alike in cream, black, green, and tan!

      The coat is so warm, and has some cashmere--LOVE! The purse was a fab find that I walked away from (on sale!) 4 months earlier, but went looking for as soon as I got the coat. Someone had reserved it 'til Friday', and it was Saturday--so I got it! I think the cream says 'summer' to some folks, but I've gotten compliments all month about the combination.

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  8. I Had emerald shoes, bag and scarf in the swinging sixties and I wore it to work with my navy overcoat, I bought an emerald shirt about two months ago and I can't believe the compliments I receive when I wear it, the colour certainly sings for me and I find it versatile, but I wouldn't wear it with cream.

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  9. I wonder how I could approach a common wardrobe, knowing that I wear sheath dresses to work several times a week. Am I doomed to skirts and pants should just get used to it? I feel like they cut my 5'2" body in half whereas dresses do not.

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    1. Your common wardrobe might just be 5, 6 or 7 sheath dresses, cardigans or jackets you wear with them, and the accessories you collect. NEVER EVER EVER give up on what you feel to be your signature look. No matter what ANYBODY says. NEVER. okay?
      big hug,
      Janice

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    2. Dear anonymous and thank you Janice - I am total opposite - I would love to have some sheath dresses but whatever age or size I have been they never feel right - sigh.... But I look back constantly at Janice's colums series - some are sheath dresses dressed up different ways and others are PANTS AND T TOP which are my signature looks! Taking the distant perspective of observing Janice's collages, I realise that both look fantastic, but I just happen to feel more comfortable in one of them as you do as well Anonymous.

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    3. I agree that one should never give up on her signature look. I'm in my early 50's and have tried every style and color imaginable. I finally realized that I LOVE and ENJOY wearing collared, button-down shirts...my beautiful and artsy daughter thinks they are horrific! But somehow, they energize me and complement my face and build. I'm sticking with them.

      And Anonymous, I also love the look of sheath dresses, but could never feel right in them, until I tried one in a petite size. It turns out that petites fit my top half better, while misses sizes fit my bottom half. It is so fun now to wear things that are comfortable and beautiful.

      Blessings!

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    4. Thank you! I never even thought people would answer! I appreciate the encouragement, Janice, and the hug :)

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  10. I have a great vintage Hermes scarf with this color in it...and that is probably the only item I will wear to incorporate emerald into my wardrobe. I love green but I don't want to buy it just because it is on trend.

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  11. This is fantastic! I have recently been going through my closet looking for green pieces to do a "Core of Four" and have rediscovered a gorgeous 40's silk sweetheart neckline dress and a 30's navy/green houndstooth chanel jacket. It will be nice to add to those fantastic pieces this coming year.

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  12. I'm thrilled with this post. I need guidance on greens and I also am glad to see that your idea of emerald is what MY idea of the color was...as it's hard to pick up color off the web sometimes and Pantone's swatch looked nearly turquoise (their 2010 winner) and I've seen other variations which were too minty for my liking. Thank you, Janice!! I'm all ears (and eyes)...

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  13. My leather passport holder is that exact shade of emerald!

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  14. Oh Great! My emerals green trench coat will now be in stye! I wear it occassionally but have thought it too loud although I love it. Janice, you really seem to be a model for wearing what you love no matter. From now on-no compromises. I'm short like the previous writer and I feel good in pants paired with shorter tops to lengthen the legs. Janice, you mentioned you are petite also. How tall are you? I'm 5'2"

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  15. I love your dissections of colour. Reading your blog has broken me of the idea that I had to have an entire rainbow in my wardrobe. It was a subconscious thing, but I feel better about clothing choices now that I don't think I have to look good in every colour. I've settled on a wardrobe of black/grey/white neutrals with jewel tones, so emerald definitely fits.

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  16. I was surprised this is supposed to be colour of the year - it's been around for a year or two in Europe, as someone mentioned.
    Not one of mine - I love almost any green but emerald.
    Anyway, I noticed you said the jewellery and scarf will stay around "forever"... The scarf maybe. But the jewellery? Anything that was royal (what you call cobalt) blue from the 80s long since left my fashion jewellery collection because it was so... 80s! And emerald would be the same for me, like a bright yellow or barbie pink. Not subtle enough to last for a long time or be fished out years later. A lot of my jewellery is old, up to 35 years old, but it's the more neutral or traditional or special pieces that come out again and again, not the ones with a particular colour.

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    1. Not sure I would have gotten rid of the cobalt custom jewelry. I would assume that what goes around comes around. If you have seen some of Janice's combos with that blue, you will probably see that some things will work regardless of what the fashion columnists claim. Unless of course you never really liked it even the first time around, in which case it is good they are gone. Why would you have worn cobalt in the 80's if you don't care for the colour?

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  17. I think this trend absolutely depends on having a print that incorporates colors besides emerald--like the scarf you chose. Just solid neutrals + solid emerald = St. Patrick's Day Parade.

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  18. Well, I love the emerald! This fall I had gotten a basic LS modal Tee from Land's End in their marcasite color which looks emerald to me. I have been wearing it with either black, navy or jeans along with a scarf (picked up in a resale shop for $5) with other jewel tones. I had been worried that the jewel tones looked too 80's or something, but I get compliments every time I have one of the combos on so I'm sticking to it.

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  19. OOOoooOOh, gorgeous eye candy! I am so happy that emerald is the pick because I'm always looking for it and now it will be easier to find. I LOVE the way you paired the outfits, very chic! This has to be one of my favorites :-) thanks again for the wonderful inspiration. It's like apparel porn for the discerning eye, if you will.

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