Wednesday, November 12, 2014

#2 How to Choose an Hermes Scarf: Sous l'Egide de Mars

Yesterday's post was so much fun that I thought I'd take another pass through this idea: building little outfit vignettes in order to facilitate making an expensive and/or important personal style purchase.  These ensembles here don't necessarily have to be about buying a scarf - I'm thinking of undertaking this exercise for the purchase of winter coats too...

This scarf is called "Sous l'Egide de Mars", which means (more or less) under the aegis of Mars.  It's lots of pieces of armor, as near as I can tell, and thus is all about war.  Still a madly pretty piece of work, as their scarves always are.

Sous l’Egide de Mars scarf - Hermes

As always with me, I'm starting with a simple outfit in a solid color. I really like this tunic - it seems that it would be both flattering and comfortable. If you don't have a core of solid garments, it's not because I haven't suggested them about a billion times! But I feel strongly about the ease that these core items bring to getting dressed, and thus, to life.

Tunic - Uniqlo, trousers - Uniqlo

The most obvious things to pull from the scarf would be the orange and the green, but I really admired the soft blue, and when I found this coat, I knew that it would be my choice for all of the accent pieces. 

boots – Eileen Fisher, bag – Lacambra, earrings – Bhavesh
bracelet – Bhavesh, coat – Ermanno Scervino

I really delved into the small details here, but I loved this bright green!  And the bathrobe coat looks like it would be so snug... A touch of red in a bracelet, and the world's most amazing green and black handbag make you stand out, even though you're really dressed quite simply.

bag – Medusa, boots – Eileen Fisher, earrings – Giuliana Valz-Gen
bracelet – Khun Boom, coat – Rochas

This scarf called out for a mix of bright navy and turquoise.  Yes, you saw this coat yesterday - it's not an easy color to find, and it's such a classic, flattering cut that I didn't try to resist repeating it.

boots – Eileen Fisher, clutch bag – Poupee Couture, earrings – Eina Ahluwalia
bracelet – Astley Clarke, coat – Hoss Intropia

Who wouldn't look good in this color? Some rose gold jewelry, and you are good to go. Imagine substituting a black dress and simple low-heeled pumps...

boots – Eileen Fisher, bag – Kjore Project, rose gold hoops – V by Valkeniers
bracelet – La Mer Collections, coat – Salvatore Ferragamo

More green! I loved the texture of the lines of grey here, so I looked for that kind of feeling in the jewelry that I brought to the outfit.  A little bit of silver trim on your clutch bag pulls your look together beautifully. And I love the shirt-tale hem on the coat - you don't see that very often, and it's nice to see some innovation!

boots – Eileen Fisher, clutch bag – Diane von Furstenberg, hoop earrings – Kadek Hendra, 
bracelet – Achara, coat – Gianluca Campannnolo

The border won it all for me - what a pretty powdery pink!  The matching clutch introduces some great angles, which I tried to echo in both the earrings and the simple gold bracelet. Has anybody ever paired pink and turquoise in an outfit? I'd love to hear!

boots – Eileen Fisher, clutch – Georgina Skalidi, earrings – Argento Vivo
bracelet – Josie Natoricoat – Rochas

 This approach has so many possibilities - I definitely think I'm going to try this with winter coats to see if it makes it easier to visualize a tough choice that many of us need to make.

Oh, I wanted to make sure you knew this: if you see something you want to buy, make SURE that you check every possible source of the item. I see things all the time with widely varying prices - as much as 15 or 20% sometimes.  Shop around is always good advice...


Beara Beara


  1. Janice--You are amazing. I love these outfits and your fabulous eye! Thank you.

  2. Whenever I fantasize about a Hermes scarf (or even, on occasion, try one on), I am usually stopped/flummoxed by the inclusion of a color that is hard for me to wear--like orange or yellow. In fact, I would like a black based scarf and I've noticed that those often come with those difficult colors. Any tips on how to minimize?

    1. With Hermes, you just have to ignore the colors you don't want to emphasize. I waited a long time to buy my first scarf from them because I didn't want ANY yellow, orange, or brown in the scarf. That pretty much eliminates almost all of their scarves! Now, I look at the "unwelcome" colors as a piquant accent in the middle of "my" color scheme.
      Hope this helps!

    2. Frugal, you might look for a Rubans de Cheval or a Parures des Sables with a black background. Both are older scarves with jewel tones. I think Rubans is especially pretty.

    3. Thanks to you both. "Piquant"! Love it!
      Those are beautiful choices, Sewing Librarian.

  3. ~dreamy sigh~ Oh, how I long for a pale pink coat. My coat has not yet found me. One day it will.

  4. The black/white/green combination totally rocks! I am loving this new series - it's so enlightening to see how you bring certain colors from the scarf forward and ignore others.

  5. These last two posts have been so much fun! Would you do more?

  6. Applause, applause! Am looking forward to the winter coat series, as winter coats and I become BFFs by January and frenemies by March.

  7. Yes, please to the winter coat series. I need to replace a scruffy, thrifted duffle, and I won't buy "made in China", so choices are really limited.

  8. Thank you for this technique; it's really helpful. Before I go looking for clothes I usually have in mind a general color scheme and what pieces I need but this is much more specific and really helps highlight what works.

  9. Lovely colour combos there. Those scarves bring out really unusual combinations like the pale pink and turquoise...

  10. Yes, I love these posts too. But I am following up on your advice to shop around. I live in Vancouver and have been quite smitten with a Miyake jacket, VERY pricey. I have discovered that I can purchase it for $80 dollars LESS by ordering through Farfetch and getting it from a store in Estonia including shipping and duty than buying it here in Vancouver. I am going to wait for sales but still.....

  11. Have you noticed that colored spectacle frames are becoming more popular. My specs needed to be replaced and I have chosen a pair with a deep burgundy or blood red frame. This purchase was influenced by the fact that I have so many items of clothing with a dash of red in them. Several of the combinations that I am planning to use are a burgundy/ purple combo and a burgundy aqua combo. Would you be interested in doing a series on different patterned scarves that have a common colour such as burgundy to show the different directions that you can take this one colour? It would be so useful as I will be wearing these specs continuously for the next 3 years...... The navy aqua scarf above has been quite inspiring in this regard.

    1. I just purchased coloured frames (aqua blue) and am amazed at the number of compliments they have garnered. Such a nice change from my plain old silver.

  12. Graduating nursing school Dec 2015. Going to Paris for 1st time and giving myself graduation gift of Hemes scarf...thank you for the great tutorial.