Friday, April 24, 2015

Choosing the Right Scarf Color - One Approach

Here's a decision scenario: you know you like the scarf - the silk and wool blend, the pattern drawn from foliate motifs and calligraphy of the Sultan's courts of India, the knowledge that your purchase supports the Metropolitan Museum of Art - but WHICH COLOR TO CHOOSE????

scarves - Available at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store,
online at or by calling 1-800-662-3397

I'm of the opinion that your wardrobe should have a certain DNA - a "fingerprint" that is as unique as your own. If this is true, then anything that you add to your wardrobe should look like it's related to the things you already own.

So maybe this decision can be made easier if we look at some options that might currently be in your closet, and see if any of them look like they're in your style family...

Do you have one of the new, very popular, lightweight quilted vests?  Which of these colors seems immediately like it's "you"?

vests - Uniqlo

Most of us own some jewelry; do you gravitation to the depth of amethyst, the warmth of amber, or the earthy textures of wood and earth tones?

Amethyst necklace – Sasina, amethyst earrings –Shanker
amber earrings – Mariana Llanes, amber necklace – Yves Saint Laurent Vintage
wood leaf earrings – Vaubel, brown bead necklace – Jozica 

It's a rare woman who never wears a tee shirt.... Which of these is already in your wardrobe, or might be an easily-imaged addition?

tee shirts - Uniqlo 

One of the joys of Longchamp totes is that they come in so many colors! But if you had to choose a neutral bag to carry frequently, which of these calls your name?

(for what it's worth, these bags are the BEST thing to toss into luggage when you travel, or into your regular tote on a daily basis; they're great for bringing back gifts from vacation, or for carrying those last-minute groceries home without taking yet ANOTHER bag from the supermarket)

bags - Longchamp

And of course, The Vivienne Files isn't going to go on for more than a day or two without some cardigans! I believe in their - their flattery, and their utility. Can you see yourself in any of these?

cardigans - Uniqlo

At the end of this exercise, it became blindingly clear to me that the first scarf is the one I would choose - grey is an important neutral for me, and I love amethyst. The scarf also lends itself to touches of red, and a substantial dose of black or navy...

The second scarf is for those among us who love brights! But this scarf could make a gorgeous statement pieces paired with a simple dark dress and beautiful gold earrings, too.

The third scarf is the embodiment of all of the beauty to be found in warm colors - all the shades of brown, the beautiful deep moss green, and the accents of red would be a beautiful addition to the wardrobe of the Autumn women among us.

Did this little exercise make your imaginary (or real!) choice among the scarves easier? And better yet, can you see this translating to your future purchases?


Looking Back:

Artisan Made Jewelry Designs


  1. The third one for me. I definitely lean *Autumn* more often than not.

    Very nice scarf.

  2. Janice,
    One of the things I love about your posts is the acknowledgement of what is right for various women, and not a " one size fits all " approach to style and coloring. For several years I went along with the crowd and wore black, which looked terrible on me ! I have learned to listen to my inner voice, knowing all along that what looks best on me is an Autumn coloring approach. Thank you for your wisdom and open mind ! I am addicted to your daily posts !

  3. I like the process you have gone through to see if a scarf is in your style family. They are beautiful scarves but not my style family which is light, warm and muted (greyed 'Spring'). To be in the Sultan's court in India... Carol S

  4. The scarf is lovely and just right for this exercise. For me, the pattern is a bit too big and bold, but the "colorways" illustrate your point beautifully. Really great way to define your choices--I instantly chose the first ensemble for myself.

  5. Another chapter of your book is being developed!! This is a very helpful exercise. As others have said, its not just the colours we need to consider but also the pattern and texture of the scarf. As an autumn, I would select the third scarf; yet I wouldn't select this one. The pattern doesn't appeal to me. Right now, I am pining for this Alexander McQueen scarf available at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. The problem? It is about $800 Canadian!!!!

    Deb from Vancouver

  6. Janice,
    This is a fabulous exercising in making good choices! Not just for scarves but for all accessories. I love it. Thanks so much.

  7. Janice, your teaching travels the world! Today, three people in Oaxaca remarked that "I certainly was wearing the right colour." I wasn't sure of my grey neutral in a sunny climate but it obviously works. I would love to own that scarf. I'm going to NYC in the fall so I might have to buy it. Merci.

  8. Great post! My problem is I like things from all three groups! LOL