Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Building a CONSERVATIVE BUSINESS Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Festival in Montmartre by Gino Severini

One last visit with our friend who spent so many years taking care of her family...

A Well-Deserved Move Up...

She put her head down, learned everything she could, pitched in wherever she was needed, and became more productive and more indispensable every day. She didn't complain about menial tasks, nor repetitious projects. She was pleasant but not ingratiating, helpful but not servile, and intelligent without making anyone want to whap her in the head. She was, in short, a dream employee.

Of course she was - she was mature enough to know what really matters!

So one day, when the manager wanted to talk to her, she had no concerns that she was in trouble for something.

And in fact, it was as far from trouble as you can get; their PR person was off for the week, and someone had to brief the press about the most recent research results. Since our heroine had done a LOT of the data tabulating, she was the obvious choice...

JacketJ. Crew; skirt – Aquascutum;
Yoke contrast blouse - Uniqlo; trousers – J. Crew

It turned out that the PR person was out at a series of interviews for a new position...

The consensus among the management staff was that there was no real need to look for a replacement for her, since they had someone already on staff who was obviously very well-suited for the position. Our heroine understands their work, and presents a calm, intelligent, mature face to the public. Massive promotion = DONE!

No more jeans. No more loose cardigans. This is a classic business wardrobe kind of a job.

Blazer – Damsel in a Dress; dress – Damsel in a Dress;
Grey shell – Lands’ Endtrousers Damsel in a Dress

What fun shopping! Blazers, a knit blazer, a great dress...

Dotted shirt – Lands’ End; silk blouse - Sportmax;
Knit blazer – Woolrich; windowpane shirt – Lands’ End

A little bit of pattern mixing, just to lend some life to the look:

Blazer - Raey; skirt – Hobbs London;
Sweater – Closedblue shirt – Lands’ End

A  brooch is always a nice addition to a blazer, and a 2nd pair of pumps is pretty important when you're wearing skirts a lot.

Stud earrings- Rebecca Minkoff; blue brooch – First People First; abalone 
necklace – Judith Jack; geometric necklace – Quispe Family; blue topaz earrings
 – Lord & Taylor; pink square earrings – Bling Jewelry; silk square – Hermes  
Collections Imperiales; briefcase – Porter; wide cuff bracelet – Nordstrom
narrow cuff bracelet – Nordstrom; grey pumps – Bettye Muller; black pumps – 
 Geox; short boots – Calvin Klein; riding boots – Vince Camuto;
 driving shoes – David Tate

It stays very nicely organized!

Another great array of outfits - some for speaking to the public and the press, and others for days when she's in the office.

She still doesn't quite understand what all the fuss is about; after you've tried to reason with teenagers, reporters aren't particularly intimidating...


Artisan Jewelry Designs


  1. Your heroine (thanks to you, Janice) is well-suited indeed. :) A terrific threesome of posts.

  2. Yay! I love this heroine and her wonderful career happily ever after! :D

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  4. What I tried to say was, that your heroine brings a smile to my face.

  5. I am playing a lot right now with professional wear since I have re-entered the professional world at age 60! I hope to be a successful heroine of my own story. Would love to try a gray dress like this and see how it looks!

    1. You go, girl! My law career didn't take off until my 60s and its a great way to stay on your toes.

  6. What fun to scroll through these last three posts and see the transition. Just fabulous. But, may I humbly request just one more peek into our heroine's life? Since the title of inspirational art is "Festival," and she's come so far, don't you think it's time she and her Dearly Beloved took that dream vacation they've always talked about? After all, he reads TVF and he's already packed.

  7. It's exciting at any age to transition to the responsible job and fitted clothes, so good on her! But I can't wait to get back into the loose sweaters and jeans. :). Ah the cycle of life and the importance of contrasts.

  8. You are so good to us and your heroines. Love the new grey shoes and the knit blazer. That kind of a blazer would be very good for travelling. Comfortable and no wrinkles and hand washable. I also vote for our heroine to go off on a celebratory holiday with her husband.
    Deb from Vancouver

  9. The great thing about these three posts is that they can be read backwards (minus the wonderful story) if one is transitioning from full-time to part-time work to retirement. The principles work either way!

  10. I'm tossing my vote in for a travel version as well - maybe one of the children is having a destination wedding? Maybe they are renewing their vows? Riverboat cruise down the Rhône? One can dream..

    Anyway, love this series. If it's not too much trouble, a diagram of the shifts in wardrobe might be helpful for those of us who seem to think in flow charts. And, if you have the time, I'd love to see a grouping based on this brooch:

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This post is just what I needed!


  12. What a fun way to show how to change the focus of a wardrobe without starting from scratch -- of course, sometimes one does or would want to do that. But most of the time it's not necessary. You can do exactly the same thing for different seasons.

  13. Hi Janice, My sister just put me on to your site - I'm in love! Wondering if you have a contact email? I have a website about living simply and would love to feature your worksheets and website. I know my readers would find your site very helpful. Cheers, Rachel (the minimalist mom).

    1. Dear Rachel,

      You can reach me at, but I'm going to tell you right up front to go ahead and use whatever's useful for you and your readers! Just make sure you send them over here to say hello...
      big hug,

  14. Love this wardrobe too!!! Just beautiful!! I wish I had the figure for that gray dress! A vacation post would be awesome!!! Thank you for all your work Janice!

  15. Always love, love, love your posts, Janice! For those of us with more weight and girth around the hips than bust, a standard sheath dress is not an option. Would a fit & flare dress - or some other siloette be a good option for business, or should we stick to separates?