Saturday, November 29, 2014

Despite the fact that I don't report in regularly on my progress, I do keep track of what I wear, and what's getting appropriate usage, and what's wasting closet space. As much as I always get compliments when I wear blue, I never really feel quite myself when I'm wearing it... except denim...

And, as I always have, I'm drawn to red. Always... So when I did my readjustments for Project 333 starting Monday, I added in both a red tee shirt and a red sweater. They're from L.L.Bean (those people NEVER give me any credit for promoting their clothes, the silly louts), they're festive, and I love them. Also, I'm replacing the non-existent blue jeans with my beloved black velvet skirt!  My paisley pants are too cropped, and too cotton, to make it through the coldest weather, so I've pulled in my grey cashmere sweatshirt (hurrah!!!).  And finally, my short-sleeved dress I bought in Paris just isn't going to be worn in the coldest weather, as much as I keep thinking I'll wear it with a black cardigan. It just hasn't happened...

  • My Project 333 Clothes beginning December 2014

  • My Project 333 Clothes for autumn 2014

  • My Project 333 Jewelry, Bag and Shoes
I have a few new pieces of jewelry, most notable my teeny star stud earrings (purchased in Amsterdam, at the same store from whom I bought my star cardigan), and the star brooch. 

One thing that I always own is a pair of shoes - essentially athletic shoes - in a dark neutral color. I wear these shoes a ton, because they're as comfortable as big puffy white marshmallow shoes, but they look much sleeker and more appropriate for a wider variety of activities. My old shoes finally wore out, and I replaced them with a pair from Munro. My 2nd pair of ankle boots are also from Munro - I'm starting to be a big fan of their shoes. They come in a variety of widths, and are comfortable right out of the box.

  • My Project 333 Scarves
Maybe the thing that most convinced me that I needed to get back to red as a focal color for me was the way that I am always more interested in a red scarf than in any other color. I think it's important for us to focus on, and learn from, our most fundamental instincts and preferences. Somewhere inside of you, you know what's right for you - it just might take a lot of introspection and listening to figure out what's deeply right for you.

  • New Outfits that I have in my repertoire, for Project 333
Lots of possibilities, as is always true with a well-chosen Project 333! 


Friday, November 28, 2014

Jewelry is the most obvious, and the easiest, way to dress up basic garments. If you look around at some of the less "expected" stores, you can find things that you've never before seen - nobody at your event will be wearing an identical item! These items can easily be worn with a number of different Starting From Scratch Capsule Wardrobes, and many of these pieces could be used during the day, as well.

And don't forget that the Starting From Scratch Wardrobes already had quite a few pieces of jewelry in them - many of those pieces are well-suited for evening wear, just as many of the pieces shown below could be worn during the day.

I've opted to include brooches instead of necklaces, just because brooches are so doggone UNCOMMON. If you're wearing a brooch, you might very well be the only person in the room wearing one. And they're really easy to wear - once they're pinned in place, you can forget about them!

And let's bear in mind that part of getting dressed up is to FEEL more dressy. I find that an earring with any sort of size or movement completely changes the way I feel when I move my head. I'm aware of my earrings in a way that never happens during a normal work day, and that awareness translates into an overall sense of occasion. And the ultimate goal, really, is for you to feel festive and in the mood for a party; if you appearance is a bit more suited to the event, all the better!

How to dress up a step by step capsule wardrobe with Jewelry
Grey moonstone earrings – Vivien Frank Designs, hematite and feather bracelet – Leivankash
grey crystal covered hoops – Worthington, crystal drop earrings – Alexis Bittar, encrusted oxidized 
brass cuff – Milena Zu, crystal deco brooch – Heidi Daus, three pearl earrings – Majorica, pave pearl 
stud earrings -  Brook Brothers, silver cuff with pearl – Flake, smoky quartz bracelet – Lennebelle
gold hoop earring with crystal charms – Brooks Brothers, three stone smoky quartz earrings – toosis
black link brooch – Mila Schon, rose gold abstract leaf bracelet – Alicia Marilyn Designs, rose gold 
and crystal dangling spike earrings – Alexis Bittar, dripping gold brooch – Jung ee eun, Feldspar 
and smoky quartz drop earrings – SFA, agate and turquoise earrings – Kasturjewels, three crocheted 
bangles – Yoola, foliage brooch – Brooks Brothers

The Brown and Beige Starting From Scratch Wardrobe

Just a touch of gold, and a bit of the translucent beauty of smoky quartz! The feldspar in the second pair of earrings complements the beige in your wardrobe perfectly.

How to dress up a step by step capsule wardrobe with Jewelry
three stone smoky quartz earrings – toosis,dripping gold brooch – Jung ee eunFeldspar and 
smoky quartz drop earrings – SFA, three crocheted bangles – Yoola, gold hoop earring with 
crystal charms – Brooks Brothersbrooch – Luisa Viaromasmoky quartz bracelet – Lennebelle

The Navy and Beige Starting From Scratch Wardrobe

A single brooch, in a memorable design, is often all you need. But the power of an earring with a bit of movement shouldn't be discounted, either!

How to dress up a step by step capsule wardrobe with Jewelry
dripping gold brooch – Jung ee eun, navy round earrings – Dorothy Perkins
foliage brooch – Brooks Brothersrose gold and crystal dangling spike earrings – Alexis Bittar,
three crocheted bangles – Yoola 

The Black and Grey Starting From Scratch Wardrobe

Many of these pieces of jewelry were already in this wardrobe - but sparkly hoops, or dangly ones, or a simple hoop with a stone pendant - who could resist?

How to dress up a step by step capsule wardrobe with Jewelry
grey crystal covered hoops – Worthington, grey moonstone earrings – Vivien Frank Designs, 
brooch – Alexis Bittarcrystal drop earrings – Alexis Bittar,bracelet – Alexis Bittar

The Caramel and Black Starting From Scratch Wardrobe

Smoky quartz is also a perfect semi-precious stone for this wardrobe. Just make sure that you find some that has the golden warmth that's characteristic of your caramel neutral.

How to dress up a step by step capsule wardrobe with Jewelry
three stone smoky quartz earrings – toosisrose gold abstract leaf bracelet – Alicia Marilyn Designs
round earrings– Michael Michael Korsbrooch – Lanvingold hoop earrings – Lauren Ralph Lauren
necklace – John and Pearl

The Grey and Navy Starting From Scratch Wardrobe

Larger earrings that move when you do are ALWAYS dressy! and the bracelets... oh my goodness, the bracelets...

I would seriously wear two of those silver cuffs with the pearl cufflinks - how much fun is that?
How to dress up a step by step capsule wardrobe with Jewelry
crystal drop earrings – Alexis Bittarencrusted oxidized brass cuff – Milena Zu,  grey moonstone 
earrings – Vivien Frank Designs, three pearl earrings – Majoricasilver cuff with pearl – Flake

The Khaki and Olive Starting From Scratch Wardrobe

A little bit of turquoise in some gorgeous earrings is perfect for these outfits - especially the turquoise silk shirt! And a brooch on your cardigan - why not? Nobody else ever does! And sometimes, a simple dress, a pretty necklace, and eye-catching earrings are all you need to look perfect for the party!

How to dress up a step by step capsule wardrobe with Jewelry
agate and turquoise earrings – Kasturjewelsbracelet – Argento Vivofeldspar and smoky 
quartz drop earrings – SFA, foliage brooch – Brooks Brothersrose gold and crystal dangling 
spike earrings – Alexis Bittarnecklace – Maria Calderara

Links to all of the clothes and shoes (which may or may not work - they are old links) can be found HERE.


How to dress up a step by step capsule wardrobe with Jewelry
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

No Black Friday offers, no Black Saturday sales, no Cyber Monday links. Just a message from my heart, on this Thanksgiving in the United States. You all make my days delightful, and my work feels like fun when I know you're reading. Thank you.

My posts through this winter holiday season may be somewhat irregular, but never doubt that you ALL are in my thoughts. I'm always planning more delights for us to share...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nothing seems like a better idea this time of year than a red coat - it's bright, on these darkest of days, it stands out in a forest of black, and it throws a flattering rosiness onto any complexion. But how do you make a red coat work well with your chosen neutral color?  As always, I have suggestion!

  • Grey Neutrals
I believe that any of us who deal with long winters deserve at least a couple of pairs of gloves, a couple of scarves, and more than one hat, so I'm showing multiples which can be worn in a variety of combinations. 

For gloves or mittens, it makes sense to me to have one pair that matches your coat as closely as possible, and another pair that are your neutral.

I think patterned scarves that pull the colors of your capsule wardrobe together are handy, and they bring a touch of focus and attention to your face (which is always where you want people to be looking!). There are a WORLD of scarves available - if you're looking for a particular color combination, just be patient and keep thinking of new ways to describe your online search. I believe that there is no combination that doesn't exist somewhere in the scarf world!

And hats? I'm a big fan of earmuffs, because I have voluminous fluffy hair that is crushed horrendously by regular hats. But I of course will show you some cool hats too, in a wide variety of styles. Again, it makes sense to look for both your neutral color and a color to match your coat, if you see them available and sufficiently irresistible.

Grey wool baseball cap – Stella McCartney, fringed scarf – Yasuyuki Machida, red gloves – 
Brooks Brothers, coat – Eastexgrey crew sweater - Dear Cashmeresilver grey trousers – 
Viyellaearmuffs – Lauren Ralph Lauren, silver grey trousers – Viyella, plaid scarf – Mr Start Woman
grey knit gloves – Stefanel

  • Navy Neutrals
As with all things navy, make sure you've got a swatch or something with you when shopping so that your "navies" blend well. 

While I'm not usually a big fan of leather coats, this one was impossible to pass up...

Navy knit cap – Comme des Garcons, square silk scarf – Valentino, red leather gloves – Isotoner, 
leather coat – Current/Elliott,navy cashmere turtleneck – Jil Sandernavy trousers – Viyella
navy faux fur earmuffs – Ted Baker, checked scarf – Linea, navy leather gloves – Brooks Brothers

  • Black Neutrals
Always the easiest to find! If you're in the market for a duffle coat, make certain that the very pronounced trim on the front of the coat is in a color that will work well in your wardrobe. For example, if you don't wear black, this coat is NOT going to be happy in your wardrobe. There are coats made that have beige, tan, or horn trim - they would be much better with brown and beige neutrals.

Rippled silk scarf – KathKath, red beret – Armani Collezioniblack mittens – Dorothy Perkins
duffle coat – Gucci,black v-neck sweater – Vince black linen trousers – Viyella shearling 
earmuffs – Ugggraphic print scarf – Etro, black gloves – Lauren Ralph Lauren

  • Camel Neutrals
Red does a great job brightening up camel! Remember, if you're really stuck for a scarf, to consider both Missoni and Etro; they're expensive, but often available at deep discounts, and they do an amazing job with colors. Keep an eye on Yoox, the Outnet, and Girissima for markdowns - they move fast, but the discounts are significant.

Camel hat – Portolano, checked scarf – Jaeger,tan mittens – Ralph Lauren, coat – Dash
caramel tee – Hallhuber, copper twill trousers – Lands’ Endshearling earmuffs – Ugg
zigzag scarf – Missoni, fleece lined gloves – Dents

  • Brown Neutrals
Fake furs, and some of the best paisleys around... plus you have the benefit of wearing a color combination that's always unexpected, and always tasteful. Stand out in that crowd!

Faux fur hat – Harvey Faircloth, striped scarf – Artillerylane, brown leather gloves – Apt. 9
parka – Woolrichbrown sweater – Gestuz, brown jeans – Viyella, red trilby – Planet, paisley 
scarf – Rosamunda in Blu, red leather gloves – UR

  • Olive Neutrals
Anything involving olive green is going to be difficult to find - it's just not a color that's available frequently. But when you do find something, it's always so deep and rich looking, and so just plain different from usual that you realize that it was worth the hunt. Don't forget to check men's stores for scarves and hats - they often carry a different array of colors, and the quality that you get for the price is generally better than you would get in a women's store.

Kangol cap, print scarf – Chesca, wool gloves – Barbour, coat – Dorothy Perkinsgreen cashmere 
sweater – Jason Wu olive trousers – Isabel Marant Etoile red beanie – Schah
fringed scarf – Yasuyuki Machida, red cashmere gloves – Armand Diradourian