Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Three Green Scarves, Three Color Schemes

My lovely friend bought the green handbag! But then she was debating about a new scarf to complement her bag; she narrowed her choice down to these three:

Bird scarf - Hermes Flamingo Party, leafy scarf - Hermes Dans un Jardin Anglais,
grid-patterned scarf - Hermes Bolduc au Carre

Each of these scarves would be beautiful with her green handbag, but what struck me was how each of these scarves could lend itself to a very different color scheme!

So I was thinking that maybe, if you were choosing from among three items like this, it might be helpful to think about how having the item in your closet would manifest itself in your future shopping choices. Sometimes, the ability to see where a particular purchase might lead you can give you an indication of how suitable the purchase really will be for you moving forward.

Bird scarf - Hermes Flamingo Party, leafy scarf - Hermes Dans un Jardin Anglais, 
grid-patterned scarf - Hermes Bolduc au Carre

When my mind started churning around the possibilities of these scarves, the first thing I thought of was the possibilities of a simple outfit.

Bird scarf - Hermes Flamingo Party,  sweater, tank and pants Uniqlo,
flats – Timberland

grid-patterned scarf - Hermes Bolduc au Carre, sweater, tank and 
trousers Uniqlo, ballet flats – Earthies

leafy scarf - Hermes Dans un Jardin Anglais, sweater, tank and skirtUniqlo,
ballet flats – Coach

One of my favorite lines of speculation is to think about what sorts of jewelry might feel at home with a new purchase. I thought about feathers, and leaves, and squares as possible motifs that might be adopted in response to a new scarf. Not that you'd wear all of these pieces at once (!), but one or two of them would give you an inner feeling of harmony that only the most attentive of observers would appreciate!

Bird scarf - Hermes Flamingo Party, Feather pendant – Melinda Maria
feather bracelet – Melinda Maria,pearl ring – LeiVanKash, feather stick 
pin – Alexander McQueen

grid-patterned scarf - Hermes Bolduc au Carre, Gold cube stud earrings
 – gorjana, squares necklace – Anna Beck, crocheted ring – YooLa, square
 hinged bracelet – Louise et Cie

leafy scarf - Hermes Dans un Jardin Anglais, Leafy ring – Pandora, crystal 
bracelet – Joanna Laura Constantine, pearl brooch – Wayan Asmana
maple leaf pendant – Maria Belen Nilson

And of course, I'm always interested to see what various handbags might migrate into one's wardrobe after the scarf purchase...

Bird scarf - Hermes Flamingo Party, Nylon mini tote – Longchamp,
blue backpack – MZ Wallace, green clutch – Betty and Betts

grid-patterned scarf - Hermes Bolduc au Carre, Nylon mini tote – Longchamp,
camel mini-
crossbody bag – Lacambra, wood clutch – Susanna Valerio

leafy scarf - Hermes Dans un Jardin Anglais, Soft green tote – Ina Kent
 quilted shoulder bag – Salvatore Ferragamo, cotton shoulder bag - Zanellato

None of us are fortune-tellers, so our ability to envision the future is necessarily limited. But I think taking some time to picture how a new item fits into our current wardrobe, and how it might influence additional purchases is a smart little "time-out" to take before a major purchase.

Does anybody take this pause, to make sure they're not going off into uncharted wardrobe territory?


Looking Back:



  1. I was drawn to the third scarf, and as you developed each vignette, my instincts were right on target. (for me)

    I do take time to consider a new item or color before introducing it to my wardrobe. My colors tweak a bit with each season, so I need to be certain something I fall for will work as the color it is, in the season the item is meant for. For instance, I have a deep teal suit I wear in the Fall, but nothing in that color family for Spring or Summer, so I would need to think twice about a sheer, filmy skirt in that shade since it would likely not blend into my Spring or Summer closet very well.

    I have definitely become more thoughtful since reading the Vivienne Files! Thank you!!

  2. Janice,

    When I was a girl, a feature in our Sunday newspaper was a section with paper cut outs featuring a girl and various outfits. There were tabs on each outfit to bend backwards to hold it into the paper doll. Your post today so reminds me of those happy Sundays, trying the different outfits on the little girl model. Thanks for another wonderful post and the stirring of a happy memory from long ago !

  3. I wish I had read this and previous posts about accent colors before I bought green boots. Loved the boots but never found anything that would integrate them into my wardrobe that I also liked because, go figure, I don't really like green. Except in boots, I guess. Ended up donating.

  4. Wow, many levels of color-considering going on here. And fascinating to see with your eyes what a difference jewelry shape makes.

  5. Thought-provoking and useful post! Thank you. Would you do a similar one, starting with various scarf choices (maybe all having some blue or purple), that might stimulate ideas of possible future CLOTHING choices beyond the basics? I'd see this also as a way to decide on a scarf purchase.

  6. Very helpful. I especially like the 'simple outfits', as I don't like wearing jewellery. I enjoy the way you have used the quality scarves to inspire three quite straightforward outfits using basics (I like to imagine that the tanks will show just below the hemline of the toppers to give a flash of colour). More of these please!

  7. Another excellent primer on smart shopping, especially reminding us about harmony between our garments and accessories. I also believe that harmony includes our faces, bodies and hair types. Small feather jewelry may not complement a person of stature with a muscular frame.

    Deb from Vancouver

  8. Another home-run post as usual. What incredibly well thought out details. Not being fond of yellow, the second ensemble doesn't particularly appeal to me, but I know people who could pull it off beautifully. The other two were right up my alley. While I don't think about purchases at this detailed of a level, I most definitely am more conscious about what I buy and what outfits I put together. I also pay more attention to what other people are wearing and when I see something I like I try to figure out what about the outfit makes it work.

    I'm heading out of town for a genealogy conference next week and am looking forward to my super-light packing thanks to all I've learned here!

  9. Since the handbag is a given, I was expecting you to try and develop some options based on each of the scarf + the handbag! Wouldn't that be the logical next step for your friend?

  10. I'm always so surprised (and delighted) when the scarf that I prefer always lends itself to the jewelry I prefer. Love when you break it down like this. So, so helpful

  11. Since I started reading your blog, I do pause and consider where this purchase will "take me". Flamingo Party" would fit in with my existing wardrobe and perhaps next year a pink Longchamps tote. Like Shrebee, I was a cut-out dolls and catalogue girl so I really enjoy looking at all the "lovely possibilities"

  12. I am much more conscious of how my purchases will affect my wardrobe now(since discovering The Vivienne Files)! Another thought provoking post! Thanks Janice!!

  13. Interesting. I love how you mix and match a simple outfit. The simpler the better. I also love to wear jewelry but not that much. I love how you played with the quality scarves.