Monday, March 03, 2014

The Vivienne Files FAQ: What if I Don't Wear Black?

I knew this would be the next question - what if I don't wear black?  You have all of the rest of the spectrum from which to choose, but realistically, grey, navy, brown or tan/khaki are the most obvious other options from which to choose.  Let's try the same exercise as before, but with warm colors.

Say you at least know that you prefer mostly warm hues - and these are your favorite recent purchases:
Leopard tee – Biba, floral skirt – Therapy, cardigan – Marc Cain, capris – Bottega Veneta 
There's no outfit to be worn from these four - it just simply isn't possible for most of us to put together an ensemble here.  But if you started with a basic core of neutral clothes in warmer tones (except for jeans, which are sort of the ultimate neutral):
all clothes - L.L.Bean
Then you have all of these possibilities:

Tomorrow, I'm going to address the question of accessories....

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  1. Thank you for the selection of "statement" pieces in today's and yesterday's posts. I love the use of a core of basics accented with colorful pieces, but the idea of a signature color never worked for me (I can't pick just one color!). These selections look like something I would come home with. They don't necessarily all have the same color, but they do look like they were purchased (and would be worn) by the same person.

  2. There's nothing wrong with having a wardrobe based on another color. For years, my daughter's revolved around pink. Now, at 10, she has evolved into purple. She was at an age where pink (and purple) clothes were easily found in her sizes, so it was as easy to build a wardrobe for her in pink as it was for me in black.
    Somebody who loves orange could go for it. The hiccup is getting oranges that want to play nicely together. Sometimes with more vibrant colors, different hues look just wrong when set next to each other, whereas they would each look lovely on their own. Also, if you want a knee-length skirt that has just the right give and just the right cut and doesn't pull at the hips, PLUS it has to be in just the right orange, then it might not be that easy. Personally, I have so much trouble fitting my ample hips and small waist, I can't afford to be picky about fit AND color. I can eventually find what I want in black. And what I find will always go with the other black clothes I have. So I don't need many clothes.
    Some years ago, I had a colleague who was into jewel tones: teal, magenta, etc. No beige. No black. It worked for her.

  3. I love how simple this core wardrobe is. Because I do not like to wear black in the summer, I felt that making a common wardrobe for both summer and winter was a little excessive. With these 2 common core wardrobes, I have all the basics I need for both summer and winter. The jeans and khakis can be used in both, and I will switch out a white skirt and capris in the summer for the black pants and skirt in the winter. I will also switch out the shirts from black to white and cream/khaki. I have plenty of accent pieces already in my wardrobe from my previous way of shopping...

    I can't wait for the accessories! Could you be sure to include basics for both sets as well as accent accessories. I know that basic accessories can pull an outfit together amazingly well, as I did not have a black purse, and since I bought one this winter, I feel that my outfits are much more coordinated. I can finally wear my pink down jacket and still look grounded.

  4. Thanks for posting this. I NEVER wear black, and white is really iffy for me. I look like I am going to die very soon. I love browns, reds, greens. Rich, strong colors. But the neutrals you have here would look good on me. I don't have many print things, mostly solids. Your blog is really helpful.

    1. "I look like I am going to die very soon." ROFL....that's how I feel about wearing yellow with my coloring!

  5. You are brillaint, this really inpsires me to clear out my wardobe. Thank you. Maryann

  6. heh. I would get several outfits of that initial grouping. Though I can't stand pattern mixing within a single garment, I do my own pattern mixing all the time, preferring a muted, low contrast palette for it. It's the typical set of plainer garments that include one patterned garment that don't feel like "me."

  7. This autumn-colored woman thanks you!