Thursday, March 12, 2015

Solid Clothes with Patterned Jewelry in a Capsule Wardrobe

I'm often asked about the possibility of wearing only solid-colored clothing - nothing patterned. Because I show stripes and flowers (and every other kind of print) so often, some people seem to be concerned that wearing only solid colors is somehow prohibited.

First off, let me make it perfectly clear that, in my opinion, you can wear anything that makes you happy. So long as you don't get arrested, or fired from your job, go for it. Let your preferences shine through. Express your personal preferences, your inner nuttiness, or your freak flag - it's only clothing, and as long as you are truly, deeply happy with what you wear, the rest of us can just accept it. Ultimately, it's up to you!

Another request I recently received was to take a look at this jewelry, recently released by the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store. I love to look at the gift shops of museums, and I'm always fascinated to see what the Met chooses as their new releases each season. Given the depths of the ideas that they have at their disposal, you know that they had excellent, compelling reasons to select the items that they choose. This enameled jewelry is madly not my style but is really lovely - I particularly admire the way that the primary colors and black are set off by the muted silver metal. Plus the geometric designs are wonderful!  

(p.s. - I get NOTHING from the Met if you splurge and treat yourself to something lovely... There are a few other pieces in this collection, including an amazing twisted bead necklace!)

Berber Enameled Jewelry - Metropolitan Museum of Art Store

Small bracelet, earrings, wide bracelet and pendant - Metropolitan Museum of Art Store

This woman looks good in strong colors, and isn't afraid to wear them, and mix them! She's the person who forces everybody else in the meeting to get to the point and quit wasting time. Management both loves and fears her, but also cherishes her ability to cut through the dross and get to the real value in any situation.

(note the very low-key watch, which doesn't distract from the jewelry)

Yellow tee shirt – Michael Kors, black cotton trousers – Twist and Tango, cotton cardigan – Velvet;
watch – Triwa, yellow moccasins – L’Autre Chose, Tyvek bag – Hideout

Why yes, her tote bag is made of Tyvek...

When searching for this strong yellow, don't forget that it might be called ochre. Or goldenrod. When you're trying to find things designed by artsy types, you have to use a very creative vocabulary! For example, these green pieces are actually alexandrine...

Red dress – Jil Sander, black sandals – Steve Madden, green top – Gerard Darel, yellow scarf –
Gigue,  green trousers – Gerard Darel, black skirt – Carven, slingbacks – Jimmy Choo, black tee
shirt – T by Alexander Wang, red blouse – EtroSmall braceletearringswide braceletpendant

Even though this wardrobe looks madly exuberant, note that there is indeed a Core of Four in black here to keep everything grounded and versatile.


  1. So great, this makes me very happy!

  2. Love the idea of using jewellery as your "patterns". A good ninety per cent of my wardrobe is a solid colour.

  3. I love that enameled cuff bracelet. Would look lovely with any of the pieces that you've shown.

  4. The cuff bracelet is my favourite too! With the red dress, it would be smashing.

  5. Love this! I would anchor it to a core of four in Navy, but other than that, I could see every one of these pieces in my wardrobe.

  6. Janice, this is brilliant--as always!

  7. Love, love, love!

    Deb from Vancouver

  8. Wow. Recently I decided not to buy any new clothes except upgrade my underwear and shoes and buy one piece of Met jewellry each month!

  9. Gorgeous pieces, Janice. I would kill for any of the enameled jewelry (figuratively speaking, of course...............maybe not). Another terrific post. Why am I not surprised?

    Chees, M-t

  10. I've just browsed the Met site, their scarves are divine! Thank you for another wonderful collection. I tend to wear solids and it's wonderful see how they can be made to look stylish and not like a banker's uniform.

  11. Loved this post. I have a collection of big, bold ethnic jewelry from my life as a dancer. I struggle to incorporate those beautiful pieces into my everyday wardrobe. This gives me hope!

  12. This is one of my favorites! A while back I asked for a black and bright/rich green wardrobe. This is it.

  13. I love the colours in this post! I used to wear lots of black previously but am finding myself increasingly attracted to colors and found this post absolutely inspiring and energising.