Friday, October 31, 2014

One of my most loyal readers recently purchased this scarf and wanted to know what I would do with it - the answer is, of course, a LOT.  One of the many joys of a scarf from Missoni is that they contain a wealth of colors that you wouldn't otherwise put together.  I don't know why I saw bright pink here - when you get your nose right up against the scarf, it's not really there.  There's teal, as well as a softer sage green, quite a bit of light blue, some slate greyish blue, navy...  Lots of things to consider...

Missoni scarves are available in a lot of places, and often on sale.  Different vendors get different designs, so if you have your heart set on one particular color scheme, don't forget to check Forzieri, Stylebop, My Theresa, Farfetch (who hooks you up with boutiques all around the world), Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, yoox (they go really fast there), The Outnet (ditto), Nordstrom, or Neiman Marcus Last Call.

scarf - Missoni

This was my color scheme - as you can see, there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of possibilities.

scarf - Missoni

The earrings were specifically chosen because they echo the ziggy feeling of the scarf... and the coat could certainly by substituted by one in a more muted rose pink; I don't know WHERE I was seeing bright pink, but I'm pretty sure you could get away with it.  These scarves enable all sorts of color combinations to look good!

Notice how your really simple navy garments from a navy "core of four" get really jazzed up with a few accessories.  I can't promise you enough how much use you get from these pieces of clothing, once you get them into your closet.

CoatChristopher Kane, earrings – Putu Geded Darmawanscarf - Missoni
navy sweater – Jaeger,  navy crepe trousers – Kaliko, black boots – Born
tote bag – Alexandra de Curtis

Here, I built on the other strong neutral in our scheme, (and decided to really leverage that gorgeous taupe bag!).  The ivory top is sufficiently "unmemorable" that it can be worn repeatedly without feeling too conspicuous.  And note the angular feeling to the earrings, again! Plus, they echo the taupe beautifully. 

The teal tee shirt and scarf will be easy to wear with either pair of trousers, with or without the cardigan, and with either pair of shoes. The shine of the silk tee will give you a bit of dressiness, if that turns out to be something that's necessary. 

taupe cardigan – Avant Toi, scarf – Hermes, taupe trousers – Kohl’s, teal tee – Pop Cph
earringsAlexis Bittar, ivory tee – Jaeger, taupe loafers – Tod’s 

As is pretty normal with these four packs, you have quite a few ways to wear the limited number of garments you have with you.  A little bit of choice is always comforting!

I do receive a commission from some of these retailers, and I won't lie to you - I'm always happy to get that little bit of income.  But I hope you do understand that money is NEVER the criteria by which I choose things.  Nobody every gives me free clothing or credits or anything like that!

Beara Beara

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I don't talk about it much, but I am pursuing Project 333 in an effort to really learn WHAT I wear most, and what I should thus be keeping in my wardrobe, and perhaps investing in when I start shopping for clothing again.  (I don't plan to buy anything for at LEAST 2 or 3 months, at this stage...)

This is the clothing that's currently in my Project 333.  I've got two things in here that aren't making much sense - the short-sleeved COS dress is wonderful, but I'd have to layer it, and for some reason that seems to keep it in the closet rather than on the back.

And the blue jeans?  I don't HAVE blue jeans anymore...  They got to be so much too big that they were donated.  Things are not pretty when you're hallucinating about what's in your closet!

If you're super-alert, you'll note that I worked both of my "stars" from Amsterdam into here.  I was holding onto a white tank top, as if that was going to be used in cold weather... and I don't even remember what other silly thing had to make space for that amazing cardigan!

In the best of all possible worlds, we would wear out clothing equal amounts, but none of us lives in that world.  So I've been using the Project 333 worksheet (check the Project 333 tab, above, below the Vivienne Files dusty toes header) to keep track of how often I wear things.

In reality, this is what October has looked like:

Maybe a 2nd black long-sleeved tee shirt should be in my eventual shopping plan?  And for some reason, my black jeans are out and about constantly...

So, even for someone who studies wardrobes with unnatural attention, there are always things to be learned about our own actions.  Isn't life interesting?

And my request - any photographs from which you would like to see a packing post/capsule wardrobe?  Nature, food, animals?

  Beara Beara

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Over the weekend, we had an absolutely beautiful day on Saturday - bright, clear, and warm enough to walk for miles.  As we neared home, we passed this tree, and Belovedest took a photo of it for me.

In order to really hone in on the leaves, I've cropped down the photograph to a handful of leaves, and isolated just three colors.  It's easy to get overwhelmed when you see something beautiful - focusing really closely on one small thing can help a lot to clarify which colors captivate you most.

This seemed like a wonderful opportunity to find a beautiful winter coat! A core of brown, simple clothes make a good base. The gorgeous brown bag is on sale, and smoky quartz earrings are always too beautiful to resist...

Jacket – Windsmoor, smoky quartz earrings – Jantana, infinity scarf – Target
turtleneck – Silvian Heach, boots – Delman, trousers – Kohls, tote – Vanessa Bruno

For an overnight business trip, nothing but a suit and a couple of (in this case, identical) tops are really all that's needed. A great scarf, a smaller bag for your iPad, some dress shoes, and a pair of earrings, and you're ready for business!

Scarf – Hermes, green onyx earrings – Alok Jain,green top – TD, yellow topTD
checked blazer and skirt – Austin Reed, pumps – Trotters, iPad case – Vaska
Your obvious outfits for the day of business would be your suit with either top, but if you're held over for a day, you're not completely without options about what to wear. 

    Beara Beara

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jacket – Rainforest, green onyx earrings – Alok Jain, green top – TD, scarf – Hermes
driving mocs – Sperry Top-Sider, tan cotton/silk trousers – Burberry London
gold leather tote – Desti Saint Handbags

So what do you do if your favorite color scheme includes colors that are just plain difficult to wear together?  This beautiful grass (growing in the Lurie Garden, about a 10 minute walk from chez nous) includes some striking colors, but it isn't at all simple to find ANYTHING, clothes or accessories, that include the two colors...

But these are really pretty...

So you just have to accept that you might wear them separately most of the time, until and unless you find things that bring the colors together.  As long as you stick with your neutral core, these kinds of "color conundrums" aren't really limiting!

Burgundy tee shirt – Joseph, green sweater – Equipment, scarf – Tildon
tan wool skirt – Marc Jacobs, cardigan – Michael Kors, boots – Gentle Souls, clutch bag – 
Sole Society, red bracelet – Nalinee

Beara Beara

Monday, October 27, 2014

Maybe you remember my post about not being a movie character?  That's got to be one of the most difficult parts of wardrobe discipline...  The "pop up" ad that I'm seeing most often is the beautiful picture at the top...  Not that she's not pretty, and not that the dress (is it a dress?) doesn't look fabulous, but REALLY????  This is what I most need for fall?  In downtown Chicago?  I think not...

Just a loving reminder to think for youself...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why do I feel confident suggesting that this may be the only fashion ensemble in history that was explicitly inspired by a cabbage?  But I don't feel very apologetic about this - these cabbages look more like big, gorgeous flowers, with subtle colors.  Frankly, if you find colors that you like, they can come from ANYWHERE, and you never have to tell your secrets!

It would certainly be possible to go with more pink, and a couple of different shades, but I was in a green mood...  There could also be some white in this combination, and you could use black in place of the dark grey.  I can't stress enough that you should see what YOU want to see in these colors, and adjust your choices accordingly.  The only real point of this is to find a way to express yourself efficiently (not a ton of clothes) and effectively (feeling happy and comfortable in your choices).

I'm starting by building a core of dark grey, but using that great bright pink as the accent.  As is so often the case with me, the scarf is key, but you could also scare up a necklace or a brooch in burnished silver with pink stones.

Down jacket – Hogan, pearl earrings – Allurez, scarf – Athena Procopiou, sweater – Etro
grey flannel trousers – Theory, boots – Dansko, tote bag – COET

Here's where I build more grey, but add in those luscious muted greens.  The bracelet, in two shades of green, is so perfect here.  Excellent jewelry doesn't have to be expensive - you can find things more reasonably priced to use with accent colors, and then you don't feel committed for eternity to a particular color scheme!

Scarf – Radical Chic, gray skirt – L.L.Bean, pale green blouse – Givenchy
grey cardigan – Malene Birger, green sweater – T by Alexander Wang, bracelet – Zandra Lorena 
Sajbin, grey flats – Trotters

 Here's where the beauty of a cardigan that buttons really shines - it functions both as a 2nd layer, and as a solo sweater.  If you don't like to carry a lot of luggage, but you want a few options, a buttoned cardigan is worth your consideration.

Beara Beara

Friday, October 24, 2014

Okay, some of these colors aren't easy to find, and they might be a little bit much for your entire wardrobe.  But if you have a core in taupe (or brown, or navy, or black), these colors as an accent could be a lot of fun!  

Just as a reminder, these are the Starburst Chrysanthemums I photographed a few weeks ago - they are now frozen and quite dead, but I will love this photograph for quite a long time.

Stumbling onto the scarf was really key!  It has the accent colors of the deep coral, the softer rose, and the yellow - everything after that was relatively simple!  Here you can see where having the core items of a coat, trousers, boots and a tote bag in your neutral makes the rest of this much less complicated.

Down coatUniqlo, earrings – Finn, scarf – Hermes, yellow sweater – Isola Marras
trousers – Uniqlo, boots – Sam Edelman, tote – Violet Ray

A four pack is really for a weekend - maybe a third day, if necessary.  You can get rather dressy with a silk blouse and your good trousers, or you could be put to work in the holiday home kitchen with a short-sleeved top and jeans.  

The cardigan could, in theory, be worn over either of these tops, but I was thinking that it would stand alone here.  Of course, if taupe is one of your neutrals, you own a blouse or tee shirt in taupe, which would be great with the yellow cardigan and Hermes scarf!

The Missoni scarf is handy if you go out somewhere in your silk blouse and there's a draft... (there's ALWAYS another reason to have a scarf handy!)

blouse – Iris and Ink, short-sleeved blouse – East, scarf – Missoni, yellow cardigan – 
L.K.Bennett, taupe jeans – Armani Jeans, driving loafers - Tod's

A few options for your weekend, in colors that you don't see just EVERYWHERE, eh?

Beara Beara

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What a great painting this was for a wardrobe - Water Dreaming by Tjapaltjarri.  You can find all of the Start with Art, and most of the packing posts...  I'm still tracking down a few fugitives!

What other reference pages did you want?


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This is a cheery six pack to look at on a grey day... especially since I felt the first snowflake this morning!

Check up at the top of the page - the Packing links are there!  I'm going to be working a bit more on them...  A lot of them refer to guest-posting that I did on another blog; I'm going to revise those links to take you directly to the full post, on the other site.  But for now, I think you'll find LOTS to inspire you to start pricing plane tickets!

Beara Beara

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Look up at the top of the page, right below where the Paris pavement spells out Vivienne - you'll see new links to A Common Wardrobe, and to Project 333.  On the Project 333 page, there's a link to a free worksheet that you can use for planning your own personal Project 333.

Remember these beauties from Project 333 of years gone by?  I think the power of accessories grouped by a theme, color scheme or motif is exponentially greater than the power of accessories on their own.  Yet another reason why having a plan for your wardrobe makes good sense!

Beara Beara

Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm trying to put together pages of links to the various series of posts from here on The Vivienne Files, and it's pretty time-consuming.  

That said, I'm planning to do pages for The Common Wardrobe, Four by Four Wardrobes, Whatever's Clean (I am starting to really love that one!), and Start With Art. Any other series for which you'd like to have ALL of the links collected onto 1 page?  Let me know...

And these are recent pictures I've taken - would any/all of these make good wardrobes?  As usual, let me know!


       Beara Beara