Monday, February 29, 2016

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: The Toilet of Venus (The Rokeby Venus) by Diego Velazquez

The Toilet of Venus(The Rokeby Venus)by Diego Velazquez

"We Don't Have the Funds for Retention Bonuses..."

And with that, her heart hit the floor. Working for a company that gets acquired every two years is bad enough, but at least the buyer usually tries to make it worth one's while to stick around...

Her new manager continued...

"But you know that we're headquartered in France?" (uh, yea, the accent sort of gave the secret away...)

"If your partner can get the first week of March off of work, I'd like to send you both to stay in our corporate apartment for a week..." (note that the corporate apartment is on the Rue Montaigne...)

Stud earrings – Lagos; grey wool pants – J. Crew; ruby metallic top – Boutique Moschino;
 red stone bracelet – First People First; charcoal loafers – Tod’s; crossbody bag –  
Sole Society; charcoal cardigan – J. Crew; blush blouse – Equipment;  square scarf –  
Hermes Bateau Fleuri; stretch-top loafers – Ecco; gold & blush earrings – 
Robert Lee Morris; corduroy pants – L.L.Bean (sold out!)

You're not quite sure you heard correctly. Take a deep breath: "Let me check, but I'm sure it won't be a problem..." 

Stud earringsLouise et Cie; pleated skirt – Topshop; charcoal sweater – J. Crew
 scarf Michael Stars; hoop earrings – Louise et Cie; pendant – Louise et Cie; 
 pumps – Trotters; silk blouse – Iris and Ink

Blush sweater – L.L.Bean; blush shirt – Uniqlo;  jeans – J. Crew
floral tee – Mint Velvet; ruby shirt – Lands’ End

"You won't mind flying Business Class? We don't have enough "miles" to send you 1st Class..."

"No, no, Business Class is fine."

(Cue angels singing in the background...)


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  1. Yes, please - I'll take two (trips and wardrobes)!

  2. Your stories are so charming (and funny!) "cue angels singing..." Thank you for the giggle. I truly hope that this would happen in real life for someone! How fun!

  3. Love this and I love grey, but can't wear it near my these options of red and pink make it so much easier!! Thanks!

  4. This is absolutely fabulous, the wardrobe and the fantasy. It is so elegant and lovely and practical and flexible and...... WOW.
    Deb from Vancouver

  5. I really like this. I keep going back and forth: red or pink? Why not both?
    I need to clean my closet. I work from home and rarely need to dress up. While the French are dressier than Americans for going shopping and such, I'm in a small city in the south, where you almost never see a suit or tie. I've given up on suits, but have hung on to a few in case I get called for business. Well, the call has come and the suits aren't working. The jackets of a few years ago look outdated--not fitted enough. And the pants have gotten tighter (how is that possible!?!?!?). No point in holding on. Unwearable on every level. I still need to figure out what to do for this conference I have to present at. Purchases are out of the question. I have some OK items, but the conference is in the Gulf, and I have to be "modest," especially since I might be sitting on a stage above the audience--no knees! The least-bad pants, a jacket, a crisp white blouse. That will have to work.

    1. Would you be able to have one of your suits tailored to be more "modern"? Would be less costly than a new one. Good luck at the conference!!

    2. I just don't think it would be worth it. It's from 2000 or so, from a super-high-end boutique in Berlin, but the style then was to button pretty high. It's just too bulky. And I don't have time to get it fixed. And I don't want to spend the money! My freelancer lifestyle is not at all like my former life in upper management in a giant multinational. I actually sleep at night (my former boss told me that it was a myth people needed 8 hours of sleep at night!!!) but I do not spend money on clothes. My spending goes toward memories, life, what really matters. Outfits are merely a means to an end.

    3. What about a trip to a thrift or consignment store? Or how about one of those services that let you rent designer clothes? It doesn't have to cost alot and you can find some really nice things. You will feel so much more confident in clothes that make you happy!


    4. As a retired consultant, I can say that looking businesslike is just as good as looking modern. Perhaps the pants and a sharp looking blouse with the fitted jacket buttoned up as you say, that is certainly modest.

    5. You all are so kind with your suggestions! I happen to live in a remote corner of southern France, and the nearest town has limited shopping possibilities. There are some interesting consignment and thrift shops (the thrifts have some cool antiques!) but not enough to ensure finding something specific. The nearest city is 1.5-2 hours drive away, and going there is an all-day thing which I just don't have time for.
      I decided to go with a very dark navy pant suit that has a single-button jacket, still-current cut (bought at the soldes in Paris VERY long ago), with white stitching. I'm going to wear it with a blue/white striped Ralph Lauren no-iron shirt (I do iron it, but it travels very well). The second day I can either wear the same suit with a different Ralph Lauren shirt (plain white), or with a cardigan instead of the jacket. I just went through the whole dress-up travel quandary as I lost both my parents last fall, within 3 weeks of each other. But the dress suit and silk dress I wore then won't work--they come to the knee and are cut straight, so they are above the knee when I sit.
      I really doubt this is going to be a recurring dilemma (business travel to the Middle East), so I'm glad I have something that will get me through.
      Thank you again for your help!

  6. So pretty!! I don't wear pink or pleated skirts but I still love it! :) The story cute! Let me check.........ha ha ha!!

  7. Wonderful wardrobe. Wonderful fantasy story.

  8. Wonderful wardrobe. Wonderful fantasy story.

  9. Sigh! Such a pretty, soft and feminine wardrobe.

  10. That is the classic "Let me think about it, yes!" trip. And, hubby is definitely going--lol.

  11. Love the trip even more than the wardrobe.

  12. LOVE this. Wish it could have been one of your 12 Months, 12 Outfits combos.