Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Clothing Diary

Sometimes, I struggle to figure out what I want to wear. I know that's NOT something I probably should admit, but it's true nonetheless. So I've started keeping track of outfits that I like, that are comfortable, appropriate, and that make me happy...

And since I love to make pretty pictures, and I love to share them with you, I've started keeping a visual journal of these outfits, which I'm going to update every Monday. This means that you'll be seeing them on Tuesdays for a while.

Normal people probably wear at least seven outfits in a week, but recently I've found that I either repeat an outfit during the week, or spend an entire day in gym clothes. (my workout schedule - especially my work with my personal trainer - is on a very... flexible... schedule) So you may only see five outfits some weeks, like this one!

In order to clarify things for myself and for you, I've included a little bit of information about what my plans were for the day in question, what constraints I might have had on my choice, and what possible options I could have "swapped out" if I got to my closet and found a garment was in laundry or at the cleaners. This last step makes it abundantly clear that I have a lot of choices.

Anybody else keep track of things this way?
love,
Janice







Farfetch

46 comments:

  1. I like the ideas of this series. I have been wanting a minimalist wardrobe worked out day by day as it is being used.

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  2. I have been keeping a list of outfits that I felt really good wearing. I wait until the end of the day and then write it down if I know it is something I want to wear again with the same accessories, etc. Now that I have a more mix & match wardrobe and more options (even though I have less clothes)...I sometimes find it more difficult to decide what to wear to the office everyday.

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  3. Oh, I will like this series very much. I do jot down what I wear to work and Sundays if I attend church. Saturdays is yoga class, and if I have to go to the office afterwards, so be it. The reason, I have been keeping track of my outfits was of my concern that keeping a small wardrobe would put too many constraints on me. Nothing could be further from the truth. I feel pretty good and confident when I head out in the mornings. I like your outfits, and admit once again to scarf envie. They are beautiful.

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  4. LOVE this so much! thanks! Is it too much to ask for small images of the alternative items as well? and links if they are available. I feel greedy:)

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    1. Ah, good thinking! I don't think of it as greed, but rather the need for complete information...
      big hug,
      Janice

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  5. Could you show what you wear on your legs be it socks, tights, leggings or pantyhose? I never know how to pair things and to see the complete outfit all together works for me since I'm a visual learner. For example what did you wear with the tweed dress? I can't believe in cold Chicago you'd go with bare legs....

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    1. Black tights! I practically live in black tights; I find them terribly comfortable, somewhat warm, and modestly inconspicuous with all of the action going on nearer to my face (glasses, hair, earrings, scarf etc.) Thanks for asking!
      hugs,
      Janice

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    2. This is my question, too. What type of socks do you wear with your pants?

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  6. More than anything you've done so far (all wonderful, by the way), this illustrates how little you need to look great every day. And I also love your focus on the comfort factor.

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  7. I am going to love this series! You say that you often repeat an outfit. I have sometimes found myself wearing the same outfit (with scar/sweater/coat variations all week long. Yes, I do launder--the items dry overnight--and are ready to wear again the next morning. What is this oft worn outfit? It is my EF ponte pants and an EF vicose jersey turtleneck. Both black of course. I have tons of scarves I can wear (some Hermes, some long oblong in various fabrics), at least three sweaters or jackets, and at least three outwear coats. Usually I wear my La Canadienne black suede boots. I DO have plenty of other items in my closet.

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  8. This series is going to be great fun! I keep a spreadsheet of outfits that worked, not so pretty as your graphics. I love the toggle fasten bracelet (or necklace?) - can I ask where its from?
    Alice

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    1. That very gorgeous silver necklace is from Novica - its called the Eight Motif necklace. I really like it!

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    2. Thanks to your site Janice, I discovered Novica. Hubby bought me two necklaces that I had my eye on as an early birthday present and they're lovely. I'm also delighted to know that I'm supporting artisans in developing countries.

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  9. This is another one of your great series. I love to see your seasonal wardrobe posts and this is a great complement as I can see the individual items "in action." One idea, if not too difficult, could you add links to where to purchase the items or at least a link to your original post that gave more details?

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    1. I'll certainly try! Thanks for suggesting that; it's a good idea!

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  10. Probably the best thing I've seen in blog land. This is most women, most days clothing without being slumpy. Clothing for MY life, not some fantasy. Love ya baby.

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  11. I keep a chart of what I wear to work each day, and the last column is how I felt about the choices I made. It is helping me to be more objective about what I keep, since I have been guilty of keeping items that don't work for me in the hopes that one day they will be "just right". I also have far too many things (still!) for the live I do not live. I love the visual aspect of your diary, though, and may try to replicate that once I've narrowed down my options for spring. Thank you for all that you do - you are a constant source of inspiration.

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  12. How do you wear a scarf with a hoodie sweatshirt?

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    1. Depending on how cold it is - in normal weather, I'd tie it sort of high on my neck, between my neck and the hood, and tuck the ends into the front of my sweatshirt. When it's bitter cold, I'll pull the back of the hood up close to my neck and put the scarf under the hood. Goodness, that's hard to explain! But I make it work. I'll do pretty much anything to work a scarf into an outfit! Thanks for letting me clarify.

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  13. I have similar pieces as you are showing today as I am a retired woman doing some teaching and writing at home. I am wearing only one quarter of my previous wardrobe and using the same pieces over and over again. The casual but not frumpy look is perfect for my lifestyle. How do you wear the scarf with the grey hoody?

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  14. It is fun seeing these, but your "at home" outfits are waaaay fancier than my "leaving the house" ones! Maybe it's a regional (IL vs AZ) or an urban (Chicago vs Tucson) thing. Or maybe it's just me.

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    1. You have to remember that I can see literally dozens of people without leaving my building! We have a grocery store, dry cleaner, HUGE gym, pool, etc., as well as going to the laundry room, or to get the mail. So it isn't as if I'm going completely unseen by anybody else. Plus, B always looks so handsome - I like to be worthy of him!

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  15. I'm always cold, too. Do you find the black slouch pants warm enough for midwest winter? Or do you wear something underneath? The tweed ones are part wool, so I find I can do those, but the black I haven't been as successful with. I would really like to find something casual, not jeans, that I could wear long underwear when necessary, too.

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    1. Tights! They make all of the difference in the world. And the way slouch pants fit, they'd be ideal for wearing over long underwear.

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  16. I love using powerpoint as well (if that is what your using when creating your pictures) when planning for outfits and having using it for years.

    In fact, Ive created a wardrobe inventory with help of photoshop, upload it on a personal photo sharing account (only me photo album on facebook) and then save the image on my phone. That way, wherever I am I can look at my wardrobe inventory anywhere and anytime without needing to even look in my closet. BUT----, Im not a minimalist and having 200+ clothing (but are all clothes I wear regulary), it can get "a bit" overwhelmed to look in your own closet. So overtime Ive build my own online wardrobe inventory.

    I dont dare to show my entire wardrobe , but here is an example of a outfit plan I did during november. Ive only intership 2 days a week in a clothing store and 1-2 month appointments. So I only need 9-10 outfit each month. I dont plan outfits I wear at home because its bascially just a bunch of old dresses that got "downgraded" after they got too worn out or after a laundry accident.
    PS: Not all people can see this picture link because it seems to disable on some cellphones (and computers) so sorry for that!
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/s720x720/1378802_310947519113869_5611918597851965348_n.jpg?oh=6d900ec4db045fc993ee9aa1748c5fbb&oe=55582A78&__gda__=1435493642_2a145502271dab380ed1b7745cf4c266 (hmmm some of the pics are missing tights)
    But I might consider adding some option alternatives,, because even when planning these outfits, I rarely wear them as Ive planned. haha ;3

    So no, you are not the only one! ;)

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  17. I'm so happy that producing The Vivienne Files is in your daily wardrobe planning!

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  18. I love this - it gives me ideas about how to mix and match my own clothes! I do love that starry sweater - it makes me smile every time I see it!

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  19. One of the best lessons from TVF. When unsure of what to wear, ask these questions: "What will I be doing today? What are my constraints?" It is impossible to say how many of my mornings are made easy just by asking those two questions. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  20. For some reason, this post prompted me to remember a French teacher I had in high school in the early 60s. She had two lovely wool shift dresses, total! She wore them a week at a time with the same shoes but had many scarves. I don't remember what any of my other female teachers wore but this teacher always looked elegant.

    Deb from Vancouver

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  21. I love this! It really helps clarify how to interchange items and still look goo. Now that I'm retired I seem to be in yoga pants and fleece every (cold) day here in upstate New York. Just today I thought I needed a better plan. You've inspired me!

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  22. DD is a "skirt and dress girl". She wears fleece tights in the winter and finds they keep her very comfortable.

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  23. Love the inspiration!! I would also like to do a visual journal of my outfits. Can you tell us how you create yours? Thanks!

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  24. Love this idea and the notes really add to it. Not sure why they are called skirted leggings though...please explain!

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  25. I'm looking forward to this series. I still find I have too many clothes for a "fantasy" life, and not a real one (too many dressy outfits and heels), and I love seeing the more casually styled outfits you show here. My real life is much more casual than my closet looks.
    And cold. yes, I can relate living in Michigan. Trying to be both stylish and warm is often a challenge!

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  26. The only possible improvement I could suggest would be to see the outfits on you! :)

    Along with the two cycles of seasonal project 333 I've done so far, I keep a log of what I wore each day with occasional notes about whether the outfit was comfortable, whether I got compliments on it, etc. I also keep track of the number of times I wore each piece of clothing.

    Love the anecdote about the French teacher above! Would that we could return to that kind of aesthetic, and discipline.

    Another suggestion for keeping warm is silk long johns. The fit without showing under practically everything, and very light and comfortable.

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  27. The ability to dress in a stylish way for everyday life has always eluded me. Fashion mags are not much help, as the items they show are usually out of my price range, and way to precious for the life I lead. Your blog has offered such helpful insight, and I look forward to seeing future posts showing how you accomplish this daily.
    Also, I love your shoes. I have cranky feet, and don't have much use for shoes that can't easily go a mile or two.
    Mary

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  28. Such an inspiration Janice! To record the day's activities, the weather and the effect you want really adds to the diary's usefulness. Like others here I'm finding that with fewer but better coordinated times there is a lot of choice - more probably than before I started reading TVF and getting my act together. I'm going to begin a diary today - probably in words not pix as I don't have photos, but it will be a start. Top idea Janice, I'll look forward to more in the series. xxx

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  29. I did keep a spreadsheet for over 3 months of how many times I wore my items. (Your idea) and what stunned me was that, even with 33, there were many things I was lucky to wear twice a month. And even the items I felt I was wearing constantly, I was only wearing 3-4 times a *month*

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  30. Your new series comes at just the right time where I was wondering how to concretely apply all the tips and theory on wardrobe building you provide on your site. It'll be great to see how you do it.

    Could you please consider to add in feedback on some or all the outfits you've chosen after you've worn them? For example, whether you felt comfortable enough, or stylish enough for your taste and whether you think you'll want to repeat the outfit.

    It would be useful to see how you manage to make outfits work not only in theory (they all look well-put together) but work also for you. That's what I have trouble with : I can think up a swathe of correct and even interesting combinations in the morning according to all that's prescribed in the blogosphere and on your site, but at the end of the day I often realize I don't really enjoy what I'm wearing and I scarcely have any 'a-ha!' moments where I would start plotting how many times in a month I can get away with wearing a particularly liked outfit.

    Thanks for all your work!

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  31. I don't have a spreadsheet but I did do a rough calculation the other day. I am kind of participating in Project 333 by 'shopping my wardrobe' and choosing specific colors for 3 months. For example, if each month is 4 weeks long (3 months total in P333) and say you wear one item of clothing only once each week then you only wear it for a maximum of 12 times. In my book that is not many times. You should get much more than 12 wears out of your clothing. So the minimalist wardrobe should work well. There has to be laundry time. Interesting post and interesting comments. Carol S

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  32. Janice, this is a GREAT series! Being retired, I have a very casual lifestyle, going to the gym, grocery store, occasional lunches. Also, when we get together with friends for dinner - it usually is at one of our homes. My routine is going to the gym almost daily, then running errands. Not seeing the same people every day - I end up pretty much reaching for the same things. My black CAbi Dash Jacket, yoga pants and different scarves. Now I'm wondering what my summer "uniform" is going to be!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for all the inspiration! Di

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  33. Terrific new series! I love the options section as that is my focus lately-how to use a piece multiple ways. One question is : What are skirt leggings? Are the leggings and the skirt separate?

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    1. Skirted leggings are all one piece - leggings with the skirt attached. At first many of us struggled to figure out just what to do with them, but I find them now to be an essential part of my wardrobe!

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  34. Love your practical and pulled together looks!
    I'm curious about your comment that tights are cozy and comfortable for around the house. I find tights to be a torture device! May I ask what brands you find comfy?

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  35. Hi Janice!

    This diary idea is something that has been on my mind for a while, both to identify which key pieces I want to re-wear the most, and to ensure no repeats for important meetings. I started building a website with this objective exactly: www.redressr.com

    It's in the baby steps, but the key functionality (timeline/diary, adding items, uploading pictures or "designing" based on patterns) are there.

    I would love to hear your feedback, and of course the readers too.

    I hope to make it super useful for everyone who has the same dilemma as me - "what did I wear to that meeting 2 weeks ago".

    Cheers!
    Olya

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