Friday, April 11, 2014

The Spring 2014 "Must Have" List.... ahem

If you've been reading The Vivienne Files for very long, you know pretty well that I am NOT convinced that there is every ANYTHING that you must buy.  I believe that the majority of us need to wear shoes, but beyond that, I think that clothing and accessories are pretty much an open field...

That said, most of us want to look as if we are at least somewhat aware of evolving culture and style around us. So when I saw a fairly reasonable five-item "must have" list, I thought I would at least take a look.

First item up was a total reject for me: Little White Dress.  
  1. White is not flattering on many of us.
  2. White is difficult to wear, from a see-through/lingerie point of view, and
  3. White gets dirty, and shows the slightest bit of soiling, much faster than anything else.
There is a good case to be made that a new summer dress is a wonderfully useful and cheery purchase, but any of these would be more inclined to get my vote over anything all white:
Yellow linen – East, rose cotton – Dorothy Perkins, denim dress- Dorothy Perkins, flowered dress-0039 Italy,striped dress – A.P.C.


Next up was another item that I just couldn't quite see as an essential item - a studded denim jacket.  The traditional denim jacket cut isn't all that flattering on many women, and studs can be too cold and too hard, from an overall impression point of view.  (that's called TCTH in our household)


But a denim jacket in a different style might be something to consider.  The changeable weather of spring could see any of these getting quite a few outings.
Blazer – Viyella, biker jacket -3.1 Philip Lim, utility  jacket- Topshop, wrap coat- Four Seasons, long two-color coat – Joe Richards


Third item - something that I can ALWAYS suggest as a way to perk up your face - stud earrings.  Because they cover the holes in pierced ears, studs can help us avoid the draggy droopiness that dangly earrings often bring.  And a pretty color that compliments your eyes wouldn't be wrong, would it?


Green ocean glass – YooLa,  coraltoosis, pineapples – Lee Renee, gold and onyx –Chen Fuchs, sunstars- Enelle London, line hearts- flake, pearls- Michelle Oh, lapis – Barbora Rybarova, forget-me-nots – Sian Bostwick


The 4th item on the "must-have" list was so obvious that I was surprised that these would be considered a "fashion" item: neutral wedge sandals.  While I'm not at all convinced that most of us need vertiginous fat platforms on our leisure shoes, the idea of a neutral sandal for summer is a thought with which many of us could easily agree.



The fifth and final item  - an eye-catching clutch bag - is one that I immediately rejected - I need straps, because I want my hands free!  But I'm curious: do you carry a clutch bag? Just for evening, or during the day too?  Am I doing something wrong?


Taupe – Mary and Marie, pink floral – Liucia Japan, orange – Rachana Reddy, perfedArttessorio, steel and wood – Susanna Valerio


FlowerAdvisor


42 comments:

  1. I believe a list should tell me what I can prioritize for, say Spring, not that I have to buy anything new. As long as I have something close enough, then that's fine with me. If it's not, then I just ignore the list or find a new list- there are sooo many! :-)

    Bookbutterfly

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  2. If I would put on a studded denim jacket, my family would have a laughing fit. Beyond that, I wear a clutch only occasionally and always studs. Nothing dangling from this face. Ever.

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  3. No white dress only a white skirt-worn only to church. I own a denim jacket but hate studs-looks to biker to me. No wedges I would fall off. Have a million pairs of stud earrings, and own 3 small clutches to be used only when I cruise to carry my small camera and cruise card.
    Wow so I don't have to go shopping-what a relief!

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  4. I don't think there are any items we "have" to buy. I am however adding a draped crossover top to my wardrobe as I think its a great shape for my particular figure, and it will update my basic pieces.

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  5. Studded denim jacket? Really? I have to wonder who made up that list. I do like my classic denim jacket, but even so, I don't wear it very often. I've had it almost ten years now. It seemed like a reasonable purchase at the time.

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  6. Who, in real life, can clutch a clutch? Shoulder bags only for me and, increasingly, cross-body bags--both for the better distribution of weight and security.

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  7. Not essential, but they can be valid ways of freshening up your look for Spring. White anything looks fresh. The studded denim jacket can be a good way to give that pretty white dress an edge, though it's very young I think, not for everyone. neutral wedges are essential to my wardrobe as they go with everything... I think the point of that list is that these are all items that "go" with everything. Put them all together and you have an outfit. Separately, there's a good chance each item will work with pretty much anything in one's closet. Though they aren't necessary, I think these items are quite versatile. Oh, and the clutch... when I hurt my shoulder, I started carrying a clutch. I could only put the bare minimum in it and it felt great to not be lugging stuff around on my shoulders all the time, so, possibly a good way to lighten up for spring!

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  8. I actually do look good in a soft (not stark) white but I don't have a LWD because of the reasons you mentioned. I'm thinking of adding a pair of white pants or white jeans because my sister insists she gets so much wear out of hers. I have a basic denim jacket but rarely wear it because it feels too restricting and I'd rather wear a knit shrug as a topper. Have never in my life carried a clutch and now only use cross body bags because I like having my hands free and also because it distributes the weight of the purse better IMO.

    I decided I would like some nude/neutral sandals this year and just ordered the Naot Paris in Linen leather. I already had this sandal in Steel (denim blue) from last year and wore it to death because it's extremely comfortable. I have fussy feet and they were happy so I don't care if the sandals are a little bit on the frumpy side. You can see them here: http://www.footwearark.com/naot-paris-sandals-linen-leather-p-9609/

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    1. Thanks for that link. I have fussy feet too and have been happy with my other Naot's. I wanted to go shopping for some when I was in Israel in January but didn't have time.

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  9. I think the clutch style bag is seeing rising popularity because Duchess Kate is photographed so often carrying one.

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  10. LWD: splurged on one long ago and it hung, unworn, in my closet for years for all the reasons you mentioned. I get much more wear out of my white denim capri pants.

    Denim jacket: I have a denim blazer similar to the one pictured that gets worn for 3 1/2 seasons.

    Stud earrings: of course. From pearls to Legos (yes, I made earrings out of those tiny round Legos).

    Nude sandals: I like fun shoes, so the closest I can get here is a taupe pair with teal accents.

    Clutch: For workdays I throw a clutch into my bigger bag. If I go out at lunch, I don't have to haul the big rig with me. Mine have a little strap to free up the hands. For weekends and vacation it's cross body or backpack style.

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  11. Janice you just read my mind. The dreaded clutch! I just had this conversation with a friend this past weekend as we went out to dinner and I felt "underdressed" because every blog/fashion magazine defines an "evening or date night" look as needing a clutch, I've never seen an alternative. I always feel like I'm dragging my day bag with me at night, even if I've tried for a smaller shoulder bag. Clutches are attractive and they do dress up an outfit but my issue with them is completely practical. Where the heck do you put them during dinner?? You can't just stick it on the table. I've tried letting it rest on my lap but it slithers off or is just a distraction while I'm trying to enjoy myself. Can't loop it on the back of the chair. I would love to see some "dressier" options for a small bag for evening that isn't a clutch!

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  12. I'm with you on the white dress rejection. For me, the go-to summer dress is usually beige or tan, if I buy one at all. As for the clutch, I own several wristlets, like the ones above and use them frequently when I don't want to be burdened by a bag. And as for the stud earrings, I have always loved them and recently found a brand I would like to try. The sterling silver line of Chameleon earrings offers a stud whose center can be replaced by a variety of different stones and designs. I would think this would be fun for travel since you could have one pair of earrings and several centers to change things up. I may try them.

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  13. I'd like to meet a woman who could function with a clutch? It holds nothing of any import, 2 tissues, my ATM card and.... what am I supposed to do with my keys?

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  14. I am certain that if I carried a clutch I would put it down and forget I had it. I need my bag physically attached to me!

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  15. This is a great posting for making us think about the topic of "must haves." My husband looks great in black. He refuses to wear it because it collects so much lint. Light colors show dark dirt and dark colors show light dirt. And it seems like any solid color shows that olive oil that flipped off the salad and on to my chest, and that I can never get out in the wash. That's one of the reasons I wear scarves, but I do have my "spaghetti sauce" tops for travel, too. I'm not a LWD person either, largely because I don't even own a dress, but In the small town of Annecy, France in June 2011, I counted 3 shops downtown that had all white clothing, absolutely nothing else. The same shops may have different colors at different times, but at that time, the magic color was white. About the studs, they have to be large and very well balanced for me to wear them. Anything else and they pinch or twist or look ridiculous on my large ears next to my large face. I prefer drops or hoops but try to buy drops that have a stud-like top or at least a clasp that covers the hole. Dangly earrings drag my ears down only if they are too heavy. Neutral colored shoes can make the line of your leg look longer because they are close to the color of your skin, but in that context neutral will be a different color for different women because their skin color is different. I'm not a clutch person either. I prefer little velvet bags that are beaded and have long straps that can be worn on the shoulder or crossbody. They may be a too ethnic for some people, but I think they are very dressy and can replace jewelry for someone who doesn't wear any. I made the denim jacket mistake a few years ago. Denim blue looks awful next to my face, so I bought purple. I loved the structure, but I couldn't get a size that really fit me right. It was too boxy and big everywhere except in the bust. Thank goodness I have daughters and grand daughters whose proportions and color preferences it suited.

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  16. I agree with the comments on clutches, however I see that three of them have wristlets. I have a smallish clutch-style wristlet wallet purse I would not do without. I like carrying largish purses and this clutch acts as my wallet and IPhone holder with keys attached to the wrist strap. (I never lose or fish for my keys now). This wristlet I carry in the larger purse and take it out when I jump out of the car for a quick shop and much else. It dangles on my wrist and has never been lost after 4 years. It's a Bagallini rip-stop nylon travel "purse". I love it so much I'm tempted to buy another to have when it wears out - just in case they discontinue the style!

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  17. I once toured Italy for two weeks carrying a clutch bag. I was on an American Express tour, so I didn't have to worry about schlepping a bunch of stuff around. That made a difference. I found it quite easy to hold on to my bag, and it felt safer than letting a bag dangle off my shoulder.
    I love stud earrings, and I've had a pair of neutral wedge sandals for two summers already. There's a beautiiful white cotton in my sewing room waiting to be turned into a dress (for Sunday church). I don't think I need to buy anything on this list!

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  18. I agree 150% with Virginia and Janice on how to rock the clutch. Like them, I throw my absolutely essential clutches in a bigger bag for actual traveling to/from places, and then, I pull it out for short trips inside stores or restaurants or things and use it like a wallet.

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  19. Just the other day I was looking at old photos and in the ones of my youngest sister's wedding was particularly struck by the way the tiny cord strap on my little bag ruined the line of my suit at the shoulder - unlike my elegant middle sister, who was carrying a clutch...... I have since been given a Boston clutch as a gift. It also has a tiny optional strap, for when the need arises; but is excellent without it. It is very cleverly designed such that the front section (under a fla) holds cards and money and a pen and there is a rear zip pocket that is slightly wider at the base than the zip and that will hold my passport, phone, keys, tissues, lipstick - all without bulging. I always take it travelling, because it takes up very little room, acts as a bag-within-a-bag (as described by others) and looks elegant without being too party-like for diners out etc. As for what to do with a clutch - well, I wouldn't leave a handbag hanging on the back f my chair either - I now too many people who have been robbed that way. If you have a wristlet or an optional strap, you can take along one of those folding handbag-holders and hang it on/under the table next to you.

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    1. What is a Boston clutch? Is it a brand? I'm intrigued by your description. Thanks.

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    2. Oops! Sorry, I meant Brighton - that'll teach me to write when I just got off the plane.....My bad. It is a brand (www.brighton.com) - I can't find one exactly like mine (I've had it quite a while now), but the Nepal Organiser - http://www.brighton.com/product/organizers/36956-15713/nepal-nepal-organizer.html - is similar. If you look at the end-on photo, you can see what I mean about the "rear zip pocket" (I think mine is a bit narrower than that though - it's not as much as 3 inches). Some of the other "organisers" are also similar.

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    3. Thank you. I have a couple of Brighton clutch/purses and I agree, they are cleverly designed.

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  20. You're right about the LWD, altho i do need a go-to everyday, every situation summer dress - would probably prefer a light blue or pink. Love clutches and have lots of them. Great for a pop of color and i like carrying them at night to plays, etc. where they can tuck easily in my lap. {Thanks, ladies, for the idea of tucking one in a larger bag for travel.}

    Already had natural [or cork] sandals on my summer wish list, so am happy for the reinforcement. Overall, a good set of possible priorities to consider. Happy weekend.

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  21. What an odd list the original list was! I've only ever had one white dress and while it looked good, I hardly worn it because of the washing and ironing (it was linen).

    I don't wear demin jackets, but a leather or vinyl jacket is handy.

    I have neutral sandals but not wedges (and that's fine by me). What I'm craving are metallic silver shoes for summer, but I'll pick up a fairly cheap pair as they're a trend item.

    I only carry a clutch for veeeery occasional formal events - basically I like cross body straps for every day.

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  22. I live in Hong Kong and the basic staple for hot summer CBD daytime wear is a black linen dress. Dress up, dress down, you can't beat it for usefulness and always looks appropriate.

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  23. I am puzzled........why does almost everyone seem think a LWD would require too much washing, have see-through problems, etc etc...... but white trousers or capri pants are OK? I have exactly the same issues, only worse, with trousers (at least with a dress you can wear a slip.....) - I do think few things look worse than white trousers over ill-thought-out lingerie.........

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  24. In my experience, bringing a clutch to an event guarantees that people will come out of the woodwork to hand you a glass and then try to shake your hand. Not that I'm against stemware per se, but I miss the little evening bags on the silk rope. These days I skip the bag entirely and load up my guy's pockets with lipstick and car keys.

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  25. Laughing at TD's clutch comment! I have always struggled with the whole Denim Jacket thing. I could never figure out what to wear it with, I guess because I wear jeans a lot and that combo just. does. not. work. Janice, I did just go back and search thru your *denim* tag and enjoyed reviewing your past takes on denim jackets/shirts and have concluded I just do much better with a cardigan! I can figure out how that works, lol.

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  26. Honestly, I think women w/ big bags are ridiculous! I carry nothing but a clutch, often tucked inside a briefcase during the week, or on its own during weekends.I tuck it under my arm and have both hands free. I don't need to carry the kitchen sink with me -- my clutch holds money, credit cards, keys, small phone, and a lipstick. What else is there?

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  27. Eyeglasses/sunglasses, Elizabeth. Some of us have to have 'em ;-) And you're clearly more dextrous than me; I cannot hold anything under my arm and also carry a grocery bag while opening a door. That said, I love the look of clutches and would use one with a wrist strap. My life's pretty informal though - but still... no studded jackets for moi.

    JoyceP

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  28. I love stud earrings! I just ordered the green ocean ones. Beautiful! So thank you for the image/link. I actually found the artist's Etsy store and she has a sale going on. And she agreed to make them in silver for me. Win, win!

    I only carry a clutch for special occasions, if then. Like you, I need to be hands free. But I think clutches look classy when used. I love seeing them in classic movies.

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  29. Always been prejudiced against clutches.for the reasons everyone states, but the discussioon here has opened my mind. I'm going to try the bag within a bag thing and get thr weight off my shoulders! Also, finally ther truth about jean jackets!

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  30. The original list of 5 is about what is in fashion. Janice, your adaptation is about style - more enduring. What a wise way to take trends and transform them into classic style! And style is personal as all the discussion on clutches reveals. Style meets an individuals needs not the mass population.

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  31. As an eyeglass wearer, I feel I have too much going on near my face if I wear any earrings other than simple studs. What do you fellow glasses-wearers think?

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  32. @Anonymous on 4/13 at 10:02 - I wear glasses too and don't hesitate to wear dangly earrings. I don't wear go for any kind of huge hoops or big dangles, just something small-to-mid sized.

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  33. Everyone has a different take, I guess!!
    I like white clothes in good fabrics that you can wash hot and get any marks off; surprisingly, my whites don't tend to soil more than any other light colour I have. Although I think white jeans/capris are a staple these days, personally my figure would incline me more towards a white dress, though not too "little"!! It's classic in Europe in the summer heat.
    Denim jackets seem such a staple for some - the one I thought I needed for this reason very rarely gets worn, so I will probably get rid of it. I wear a beige cotton one with a classic denim-jacket cut a lot more; it's slightly fitted.
    I will wear both stud and drop earrings, proportional to my large and quite round face/head - but my favourite is a compromise of a gold stud with 3 sweet-water pearls that hang off it, so it's the best of both worlds; I do think pearl earrings of any kind give every face a nice glow and look chic.
    Nude sandals/wedges - another thing I thought I should have and never wore… Lately, my sandal must-have is a simple silver sandal for summer, straps that don't cut off my circulation or, visually, my legs!!
    As for a clutch - I have a nude envelope clutch that is big enough for my ipad mini, and it also has an optional strap (and gold studs!!) so I do use that if I am going into the city where I feel safer with my bag in my hand/under my arm. Otherwise I use a very small bag cross-body, in fact a ridiculously small bag, but it's better for my shoulders and means I only take the minimum with me :). As it happens, that's all I need.

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  34. A white dress would be a horrible choice for me. I seem to attract stains, so I'd have to buy a new one after every wearing. Also, I'm not a fan of the clutch. I would be forever losing my purse if I didn't have the option to loop a strap over my should or wrist.

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  35. I think a light stone dress in a simple cut would be very useful for those who wouldn't care for a white summer dress. I like mine and like to wear it with dark brown leather belt and sandals. I agree that it isn't the most practical but it is soooo crisp, cool and summery, and very Ralph Lauren. When I do replace it, it will be with a very unbusy LBD in light stone and/or a solid navy. I do NOT like studded jeans, jackets etc. Much more chic to add the bling ourselves afterwards - and it leaves us with the option not to. I like Janice's idea of using a chambray shirt as a summer jacket layer. Drapes better.

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