Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Capsule Wardrobe Planning for a New Season, and learning from success

Everybody talks about learning from failure, but there are some excellent lessons to be learned from our successes, too.

I've been really loving my summer wardrobe, and thus have decided to carefully think about the garments that I'm wearing frequently, and consider the possibility of finding a cool-weather version of those garments.  Building on my summer successes, if you will.

First and foremost, I'm wearing a black tank FREQUENTLY.  The logical shift for cooler weather, to my mind, will be a long-sleeved top with a similar cut and a similar neckline. Something like this:
tee shirt - Eileen Fisher, tank top - Eileen Fisher

So my favorite summer outfits will transition like this!  A simple tank and skirt, with a cardigan over my shoulders, will become more like a simple black dress, with the cardigan ON, a scarf, and closed-toe dress shoes.

 My favorite blue  cardigan will get some extra mileage with a tee shirt, and a scarf to lend a bit more warmth and a sense of cooler weather.
 My sheer grey sweater and capris can go much further into the autumn if I put long-sleeves under the sweater, add a scarf, and my favorite granny boots... My capris are long enough that they look great with short boots!
 My favorite black and white cardigan is usually worn over my shoulders this time of year, but as the weather cools down,I will be able to continue to wear it - jazzed up with my black & white loafers. Although many people would only wear spectator shoes in warm weather, I'm perfectly happy wearing them all year.
 And being able to wear pink into the cooler weather will be a great joy!  I have a beautiful scarf that I bought for my honeymoon, which will give my beautiful pink sweater more of an autumn-ish feel.
When shopping for the new season is so overwhelming, and SO tempting, it just makes sense to start with a plan, and to focus on purchases that you KNOW will be wardrobe successes!

17 comments:

  1. As always, Janice, you are the voice of reason--as well as the lightning bolt of inspiration!

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    1. Nicely put, Gail. This post "struck" me in exactly the same way.

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    2. I am going to travel to London in September with a LOT of black. I am struck by the need to accessorize--with scarves, jewelry, etc. I would love a post on adding zip to black.

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  2. Another perfect, timely post. Here in New England we have a few short weeks of truly lovely fall weather -- the days can vary between blazing sunshine and down right chilly. Not yet time to haul out our wool sweaters, tights, and boots, but too cool for only capris and tees. This is a great inspiration to transition most of my clothing into weather appropriate outfits!

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  3. I am so on board with transitioning clothes. Curiously though, I am much more successful with this since pairing down my closet inventory. The grey Tee is my one and only NAS purchase this year.

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  4. Brilliant! Transitioning for fall is still quite a while off for me - our summer heat probably won't end until mid to late October. I've been looking around the stores as of late to get ideas of what is available. One thing I've noticed is the lack of consistency with the "in" colors - I' have a couple of lovely cardigans but can't find other pieces in the same color!!! Since these "in" colors change every year Janice, how do you approach adding non - neutrals to your wardrobe when the colors you had last year are no where to be found this year??

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    1. If I add color to my wardrobe, it's either got to be a color that NEVER goes away - like red, or I pick up two or three pieces at the same time so that I can use them together. I think this is one of the reasons I gravitate more and more to neutrals; there will never be a season in which black is not available!

      Sometimes, you either have to wear a single piece with neutrals (maybe look for a scarf or necklace to pick up the color of the cardigan?) or eliminate them from your wardrobe altogether.

      This is one of the reasons that I want women to distance themselves from the whims and vagaries of fashion trends - they aren't designed to HELP us, they're designed to separate us from our money!

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    2. Thank you so much, Janice, for clarity and inspiration. Now I can breeze through the Sales knowing exactly which neutrals and which colors I even need to bother looking at! This new focus means I can even shop with my kids! LOL!
      Bookbutterfly

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  5. Hi Janice,

    I am running out of adjectives that describe your skill set. I think the overwhelming skill you have is clarity and control. I get sidetracked by "all the pretty things". I.e. my recent adventure with EBAY.
    This blog is one to keep close, not for the colours or styles but for the inherent message. Thank you for being so willing to share your thinking and analytical processes. Some of us ( moi) need to keep reading it.
    Also, can any colour be a neutral?
    Deb from Vancouver

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  6. The way you illustrate these kinds of versatility is excellent, and I continue to refer people who tend to over pack to you so they can actually see what coordination looks like. You can use all the words you want, but it's very difficult for some people to visualize not taking a big suitcase for a 2-week trip. Although this posting is not labeled as a travel wardrobe, the options certainly would be suitable for a trip where it could be warm during the day and cool at night.

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    1. This would indeed be a perfect travel capsule! Thanks for pointing that out, and for sending your friends to The Vivienne Files - I appreciate it!

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  7. As always, spot on! Transition wardrobes can be a challenge. I tend to over dress in the cool mornings and be over-warm as the days warm. And in SW Pa. we can have four types of weather before noon! Your laser-eye skills have helped me more than I can say. You are an inspiration.

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  8. I so agree with "anonymous" about the inherent message of your blog! We won't have cool weather here for months, but it's time to give some thought to transitioning out my super-light linens for something less summery for September and October (even if it is still in the 90's :)

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  9. Janice,
    Not sure you'll see this as I'm just back from vacation and catching up on what I missed. I'm desperately coveting the two strand coin pearl necklace that you show with the black & white zig zag cardigan. Any chance this is a recent find and you could point me in the right direction so that I could buy one?
    Thanks - I so appreciate you sharing your wealth of knowledge in such a beautiful format!

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    1. Ah, that beauty is from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They do mail order...

      https://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/ProductDisplay_Pearl%20Necklace_10451_10001_136642_-1_26690_26691_136677

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    2. Thank you so much!! That is one place I would not have looked!

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