Thursday, June 25, 2015

One Skirt, Six Ways

Sometimes, I buy something with great enthusiasm and completely confidence that I'm going to wear it A TON, but instead it just sort of... hangs there...

This has happened with my really cool black and white dotted skirt from Uniqlo (no longer available, I'm sorry to say). There's NOBODY in the world that should be able to wear a black and white skirt like this more often than I can, but it just wasn't happening.

So I decided to apply myself to planning outfits including said skirt, and I discovered that this sweetie is, in fact, a true seasonless wonder. I paid particular attention to those core tops that I try to keep in my wardrobe all the time - the Eileen Fisher tops that can be the timeless workhorses of a wardrobe. All it took was a few minutes of thought and planning; now, this neglected item will move into full rotation. I'll get my money's worth, it won't end up donated or in a landfill somewhere, and I have another handful of effortless ensembles!

bracelet - Kenneth Jay Lane, tank - Eileen Fisher, skirt - Uniqlo, sandals - Thierry Rabotin, red cardigan - Eileen Fisher, black tee shirt - Eileen Fisher, necklace - Majorica, ballet flats - Bottega Veneta

bracelet - Buana, sweater - J. Jill, shoes - Thierry Rabotin, earrings - La Kaiser, scarf - Julie Egli, sweater - L.L.Bean, boots - Munro

earrings - xxx, scarf - Hermes, tee shirt - Eileen Fisher, cardigan - Lands' End, pumps - Thierry Rabotin, scarf - KathKath, cardigan and tank - Eileen Fisher, bracelet - Majorica, flats - Bottega Veneta

Since I've decided to limit my shopping to ONLY used/second-hand, it might be smart of me to keep checking my closet for under-loved beauties lurking about...


PS - In my drug-sodden state, I updated the Pantone Color planner to take a look at the Autumn/Winter 2015 colors (now updated to 2017). This file includes all of the "two-neutral" color combinations, shown with each of the 10 "new" Pantone colors. You'll have 91 pages that look like this:

There's a $2.99 charge to help me pay to host the file - you can get this fascinating study here:

Add to Cart

I'm particularly interested in what color combinations catch your eye - I'd love to do some 4 by 4's with these ideas in hand...

PPS - For more planning tools and inspiration, visit the Planning Documents section of the website.


  1. Thanks to your inspiration, I, too, have not only found innovative ways to wear previously "lonely" closet items, but I also finally had a purple velvet blazer and white knit v-neck top altered so that both are now wearable favorites. (I had lazily been folding the too-long blazer sleeves "under"--which was a pain. The v-neck, too long and too cling-y at the waist and hips, has now been shirred on the sides and fits like a dream.) And don't get me started about buttons! A few months ago I transformed a plain black Pendleton blazer into something much classier by swapping shiny black/gold blazer buttons for the plain black ones. What a difference! Now I'm thinking about putting dressy black buttons on a white cashmere cardigan and maybe even adding buttons along the cuffs (a la blazer style). And your recent blouse-buttons post got me thinking about putting turquoise buttons on a coral cotton button-down shirt, especially since I always wear either turquoise, coral, or silver jewelry with that particular blouse. Linda T from Okemos MI

    1. Oooh, I think the turquoise and coral ideal is genius!

  2. Wondering.... do you own those Bottega Veneta flats? They are gorgeous but soooo pricey. I'm currently contemplating splurging on a pair of Chloe's scalloped ballet flats.

    Along those lines, as I've searched for a new pair of black flats, I revisited some of the mid-priced stores here in Toronto, such as Nine West, etc. and feel strongly that the quality seems so inferior to what I'm getting used to that I'd rather splurge and get something that feels wonderful on my feet every time I put them on. I feel this happening with clothes more and more as well. As I've slowly graduated to higher priced, better quality clothes, I can't seem to go back to what I used to feel OK. My wallet is feeling it, that's for sure! But I notice that I feel so much better on a daily basis (my mindset and general wellbeing and confidence) when I am wearing some of these new high-priced pieces.

    Would love to get some discussion going on this topic! Thanks, love your blog!!

    1. I don't own those - they're the closest approximation I could find to the Cole Haan woven flats that I own (which I bought on ebay for about $20). I can't say enough about how patience on the resale sites can result in some really excellent finds!

  3. Hi,

    Its amazing what you produce in a drug addled state! I would really like to see a 4x4 in the petrol/Cordova d selection. Petrol is not clear to me. Would you say it is sort of a teal colour?

    Deb from Vancouver

  4. I LOVED this post, Janice. When considering the purchase of an item of clothing, It's always wise to ask yourself the following question: “What function, or role, will it play in my wardrobe?” In other words, will it be a star or a supporting player? Or will it be yet another in a long line of eager understudies hanging around my closet waiting for that big break that never comes?

    Janice you gave your polka dot skirt her "big break!" Brava!!

    Gosh, whatever meds you are taking, we could all benefit from them. Talk about clear, lucid and creative thinking. Wow!

    Cheers, M-T

  5. I love this post, so many great ideas for one piece! I lenjoy the thrill of the hunt, and shop consignment and thrift quite frequently, yesterday at the local Salvation Army I bought a brand new emerald green dress, NWT, Tahari, six dollars! Yikes! Plus I find a lot of older well constructed pieces.

  6. I think your dotty skirt would look fab with the white blouse you recently added the black buttons to. =)

  7. I love these kinds of posts - full outfit plans with one piece. It's fun to see the whole look, accessories and all.

  8. I have been removing 5 unused items a week from my closet and I am starting to discover the wardrobe "stars" for my lifestyle. There are some of those Panetone colours lurking in my closet still and I shall consider some of them for creating new possibilities. Merci.

  9. Hi

    I would like to see the 4 x 4's in d, e , f and J.

    and I love to hear the stories of other people's "LUCKY" clothing finds...
    My best find ever was Chanel shoes for $ 20.
    and second place Ralph Lauren wool jacket - new with tags $50

  10. This is my favorite kind of post--several ways to wear an item in different climates. Love it!!

  11. Great ideas for your skirt! A great process. I would be interested in seeing you work your magic with c,d h, or j.

  12. I love your files they give a lot of inspiration. I am new to the idea of a capsule wardrobe and just begun to check my closet and think about the colours I want to use. I chose black, taupe, grey and dark red and now try to build my wardrobe. I love your post of wearing an item in different ways.