Monday, July 06, 2015

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Sisyphus by Titian

Sometimes you feel like your work and work and don't really move... Seeing Sisyphus reminds me of business travel that's not really travel!




Your client is Milan is... amused... that there's a blizzard bearing down on Chicago. But not amused enough that they will let you off the hook for having the samples in the hands of the courier by Friday afternoon!

This isn't work that can be phoned in - you have to cut fabric, assemble muslins, put together swatch cards and sample cards of the trimmings - your team has to be IN the office for the duration. What do you do?

You get everybody into a conference room. Even though you all know full well that the blizzard might not materialize, you all decide (under your gentle direction of the conversation) that you're moving into the office for the next 3 days! Send your staff home, with instructions to be back in the office by 5 p.m. with whatever is necessary to sleep over...

Before you leave, you call Catering. You're going to need a pallet of dry cereal, gallons of milk, a few gross of frozen entrees and pizzas, enough packaged snacks to put all of Montana into a coma, and soft drinks and coffee in quantities that would sink the Spanish Armada (again). With that in hand, you sprint home...

You return wearing this. Why yes, you ARE wearing Carhartt jeans, and Ugg boots, but your personal style shines much more brightly than any trendy brand labels.

Gold knot earrings – Roberto Coin, suede blazer – Orvis, turtleneck – 
Kangra Cashmere,russet and taupe wrap – Ananda Design, jeans  - Carhartt
boots – UGG Australia, parka – therapy, tote bag – Longchamp

Even though you know that your staff is going to look like they've gone to summer camp, you're still the boss, so you want to look relaxed, but in charge!  Plus, you never know what other project groups are ALSO going to be in the offices during the storm; this is no time to be caught out in your old college sweatshirt and fuzzy bunny slippers.



Circus square scarf – Hermes, Ribbed cardigan – Rick Owens, sequined 
cardigan – Roberto Collina, peach tee – Rick Owens, cream tee – Havren,
corduroy pants – Patagonia, tweed skirt – Lauren Ralph Lauren,
driving mocsCole Haanankle boots – Cole Haan

And of course, after the storm, you may have to present your work to the Design Executive before the samples are handed over. So you're going to need to look pretty spiffy toward the end of your adventure.



A couple of handy changes of clothing, and of course some options to rearrange pieces if you desire.


The most important things to pack are NOT clothes, believe it or not! I'd suggest the following:

  • A travel towel - one of those microfiber things that absorbs a million times it's weight in water. It's bad enough to wash up in a community rest room, but drying oneself with paper towels is too much to ask.
  • Dry shampoo. Everybody will want to borrow it.
  • An empty spray bottle, into which you can put some water. When you don't shampoo your hair, you can at least dampen it and restore some order.
  • A pillowcase. Carefully fold your parka, insert into pillow case, nap (on the floor, maybe?) with a nice down pillow, at least.
  • Eyeshades - the lights may be off in your office, but the rest of the world is still working.


And here's how this fits into a "Six-Pack" template:



What have I forgotten that you might want to pack? Hip flask?

love,
Janice

Artisan Made Jewelry Designs



23 comments:

  1. Another novella, could we add in some drama related to a potential office romance or?? Just kidding. First of all, the clothes and accessories are fabulous and perfect for the scenario. What is missing? I would bring my sleeping bag, a volume of short stories, probably Alice Munro because every now and then I would need to switch my brain especially before trying to sleep. And clean underwear for each day.


    Deb from Vancouver

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  2. Earplugs, just in case your co-workers snore. :-)

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    1. Janice, I feel rather foolish asking this, but how is this a 6 pack when there are 9 items shown in the template ? Love the colors !
      Are you thinking of winter scenarios to cool off during the heat of this summer ? :-)

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    2. Here's why I think that Janice labels this is a 6-pack even though there are 9 items total. You wear 3 items and pack 6.

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    3. Exactly! Sorry I didn't make that clearer!
      I love the way you take care of each other....
      hugs to all,
      Janice

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    4. Kris and Janice,
      Thank you, it makes sense now that I look again at the illustrations with what is worn and what is in the bag.

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  3. Am loving the browns. Have recently realized that grey is as challenging (aka not that great) as black is for me (and, when I look around, for other women as well). Navy is my new black, and brown is making a strong move toward becoming another neutral.

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    1. I'm exactly the same - made a decision to switch from black to navy, and now looking closely at grey, it doesn't seem to be doing me any favours (I'm a natural blond turning grey, it may look smart when I'm completely grey, but not now). Brown is a really interesting option as there are some many variants, I particularly like slightly red/orange versions, as per the illustrations above, and think they look great with navy.
      all the best
      Alice

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  4. I have a request. Would you consider working up a wardrobe for three women who are planning a safari to Africa starting Dec. 3. The party will consist of me and my two aunts; one of whom will have just passed her 100th birthday and her baby sister of 86.
    The trip will be 11days – four of those days spent flying. We will be in Tanzania going from Game Park to Game Park. The local tour operator tells me that the animals don't like to see people wearing bright colours or dark colours. White is out of the question too because it's so dusty when you're out in the open vehicle. So my mind stops at tan, khaki or indigo. It will be hot – 27-30ºC in the day and cool at night, very cool in some places, I'm told. We will want to change for dinner and the evening so anything/colour is possible. On the return home we will stop for a day or two of sightseeing in Amsterdam. That will be in mid December. I will probably be handling all the luggage for the three of us.
    Any ideas you can come up with will be greatly appreciated.
    Vancouver Barbara

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    1. Oh, wow! I hope my niece is wanting to take me on safari when I am 100 (or even 86!). Though it will be vastly different for the "modern" 100-year-olds compared to those born during WWI. I don't know who is bravest - you or them! - but I wish you all the best on what will be a fabulous trip. I lived in Kenya for a very little while, and it was wonderful - especially the times we managed to get away on safari. I was sorry that I never got down to Tanzania - Ngorogoro is on my bucket list.

      If you think you might be susceptible to heat, I would recommend a gell-filled "scarf" (there is an Australian brand called "Cobber" (http://www.cobber.com.au/xcart/) - you soack it in water which the gel absorbs, and then the evaporation cools you. Usually safaris go out from the camp quite early in the morning, come back for breakfast and then you can relax under sun umbrellas aroun the pool during the hottest part of the day and go out again in the late afternoon when it is beginning to cool down.

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    2. P.S. Take your own sterile needle kit. I've never actually needed mine, but I wouldn't dream of travelling to anywhere remote without it, just for safety's sake.

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    3. Thank you for the tips. Someone told me that golf pro shops sell those scarves and someone else told me how to make them. You use all the little "seeds" that come in those "do not eat" packets packed with your shoes. You put them into a long tube you have sewed. Soak them in water then freeze them and you're good to go the next day. Dragon's Den showed a device you just rub on your nape and it instantly cools you. Hope I can find one, if not I'll make three scarves.
      PS for Janice – grey would also work as a colour.
      Vancouver Barbara

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    4. Normally, those little "seeds" are (still - at least over here in Europe) silica gel. But I think the water-retaining crystals that you get from the garden centre to put in plant pots might work. For make-your-own, you might want to consider putting the gel crystals into a fine-weave, fine-weight cotton or lawn that you can remove from the covering "scarf" so it can be washed. You don't really need to freeze them (which could be hard on safari!) - the evaporation will be enough for gently cooling.

      I didn't see the Dragon's Den item, but pretty much any alcohol-based roll-on would do the job - again, it's just evaporation. The thing with the scarves is, it lasts longer - the roll-on is instant but short-lived.

      By the way, I have found that golf hats can be very good for sighseeing in the sun - the one I've got has a wide brim, but it is angled, so that it doesn't interfere with me putting a camera up to my face. The only drawback is that it doesn't have anything at the back of the head to protect the neck.

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    5. The item on Dragon's Den is called Menopod. It's brand new and apparently will be shipping in July. They have a website of the same name. It's an electronic device that recharges from your computer, looks like a computer mouse and cools you almost instantly. It was developed for menopausal women but I think it would be a great gadget for the hot climate.
      Vancouver Barbara

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    6. Oh, yes, it does look interesting - and I think you are right, it could be useful for hot climates (though a bit expensive for a single-trip use, perhaps)

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  5. Janice,
    I too have a request- the trip will be 14 days in December in Estonia! My friend is attending her son's Christmas wedding. She does not know the wedding customary events nor customary dress... dinners with bride's family? Friends? Is there a rehearsal dinner? Museums, restaurants, staying as a house guest??? There is so much unknown! My friend is petite like you with short curly hair and has kept her girlish figure. She wears a very tailored style, straight skirts, sheath dresses, jackets, cardigans, very little pattern... think Ann Taylor. Shoes are always flats, jewelry is seldom worn, her style is very classic. She wears black, gray, navy and royal blue. She has a dress for the wedding but is perplexed about what else to take when you have no idea as to the comfort level of the indoors (long underwear? cashmere? wool?) No idea as to the formality of dress, Jeans or slacks or dresses. And no idea how many and what types of events will take place. She would like to shop at up coming anniversary and preseason sales. Here is what I think she needs.
    1. a winter travel capsule that can be dressed up or dressed down in black & gray with Blue accents,
    2. Your favorite low heel boot for walking around Chicago in snow and slush.

    Any ideas would set her mind at ease and we all will know what to look for at the upcoming sales.
    Thanks,
    Stephanie

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    1. If I may offer my experience for what it's worth: Estonia in winter can be VERY cold. I was there in January and it was minus 19c at lunch-time in the middle of Tallinn. The sea (Baltic) was frozen....... For outside, you will need WARM boots; and I would recommend plenty of layers. And very good gloves - something like ski gloves, or some of the leather ones with Thinsulate and fleece inside - I got some very nice and effective ones from Hestra of Sweden (https://hestragloves.com/). I would also suggest checking out the Ultra Light Down vests and jackets that are around these days - I think Uniqlo was the first with these, but plenty of others now do them. They scrunch down into a little bag (like a miniature sleeping bag!) and add more warmth for the volume than many things.

      I wasn't at any kind of official function, so I can't help on that side of things - except to say that our hotel was plenty warm, and had a heated floor in the bathroom (very welcome after a cold day sightseeing!)

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    2. Thank you that is very helpful

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  6. While I love the imaginary trip you outlined for us, Janice, I don't need to travel one jot for this 6 Pack to be the perfect answer to my fall and winter in Michigan: warm, cozy, beautiful, and looking smart.

    Ready for ANYTHING! from outdoor activities, to times with family, to going downtown for the museum or a concert. Throw in some more jewelry, and a killer handbag, and I'm there. Ahhh.
    Sue G

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  7. This would be equally great for a "real" business trip as well! Great combos.

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  8. The only thing I would add would be some raspberry pop tarts. They are essential survival food and can be used for currency, (broken into pieces for smaller deninations) in a pinch.

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  9. Not a hip flask, but (true confession!) I never travel anywhere without a corkscrew!

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  10. Therm-a-rest Neo Air XL sleeping pad (floors can be hard) and an ultralight sleeping bag, down throw, or a military surplus poncho liner. I-pod loaded with Jeffery Thompson's sleep music, including the Nap album.

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