Monday, February 15, 2016

The Finishing Steps: Shifting Accessories from Cool Colors to Warm Colors

When we left this project, it was neither fish, nor fowl, nor good red meat, as they say...

But that's okay, because transition REQUIRES a period of "this and that." Unless you're going to throw out absolutely everything and start from scratch (which I don't recommend, and actively discourage!), you're going to find yourself in this kind of spot if you choose to make a major wardrobe shift. Just press on, patiently and intelligently...

Hoop earrings – Melissa Joy Manning; round earrings - Melissa Joy Manning, Brown mother of 
pearl necklace – Kendra Scott; ring – Chico’s; brooch – Chloe; square scarf – Hermes 
 Collections Imperiales; crystal stud earrings – L. Erickson; teardrop earrings –
 Simon Sebbag; black pearl earrings – Khun Boom; blue necklace – Swarovski; wire cuff –  
Louise et Cie;Chain necklace – Robert Lee Morris; fringed scarf – Elizabeth Gillett; bag – 
Fossil; boots – Bussola; boots – Sam Edelman; gold flat sandals – Vionic; loafers - Coach
 slides – Donald J. Pliner; pumps – Charles by Charles David; sandals – OluKai; ballet flats
 – Bella Vita; rust scarf - Mauro Grifoni; turquoise scarf - Blugirl; pumps - Softspots
 backpack - AmeriBag

Step 6 - Shoes for Skirts, and a Tote

Step 6 of the clothing change gets rid of black skirts and move toward warmer pieces, so your black pumps and boots are pretty obsolete! And you might as well address a new tote bag, since you're in the "leather goods" mood.

Since this wardrobe is overall a notch less dressy, I opted for a more versatile flat to take the place of your pumps. These kinds of wardrobe makeovers can do more than just change your colors - it gives you the opportunity to move toward a more casual, or more formal, style, too.

Boots – Naturalizer; flats – Gentle Souls; tote – Street Level

Step 7 - Summery Shoes, and Some Jewelry

Your old capris, and a couple of tops, are being replaced right now, so a pair of casual shoes is going to be important. And two pieces of warm brown and gold jewelry will be fun to find - a nice shopping project is never wrong!

Druzy quartz ring – Heather Benjamin; earrings – Chico’s; slidesBella Vita

Step 8 - More Jewelry, and a Pair of Sandals

You're replacing shirts and sweaters on the clothing side of this project, so this is a good time for yet more new jewelry! (oh bother...) and let's just get rid of those black sandals - they certainly aren't being worn any more...

Brooch – Anthropologie; sandals – Naot; turquoise tassel earrings – Alexis Bittar

Step 9 - Lingering Items - a Scarf and a Necklace

Finish line! That last lovely scarf, and the great necklace... I'm sure you can find good homes for both pieces.

You might not be equal to buying an Etro scarf (although they're often very affordable on Ebay), but if you're in the mood, this could be a good celebratory purchase.

Scarf – Etro; turquoise necklace – Monet

Your accessories:

And your wardrobe:

Just for fun, I pulled a few outfits, just to show how the versatility of these pieces, and how lovely the colors are:


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  1. It's been so much fun to see the transition in action, ever so surely, step by step. What a versatile final wardrobe - love the variety of the sample outfits! - nancyo

    1. me too! This wardrobe makes me very happy
      Deb from Vacouver

    2. Cheers from here also, Janice! Very helpfully process, clearly explained, and beautifully illustrated.
      Robyn in Tasmania

  2. These posts have me so interested in earthy tones.
    Yesterday I ran into my ultra-chic neighbor, who is a doppelgänger of Catherine Deneuve. She was head to toe in shades of brown. She wore an oversized sleeveless coat made of some kind of nubby tweed, dappled but mostly an orange-brown. Under that, a dark beige puffy vest, with a big of a sheen to the fabric. Under that, a tan sweater tunic with brown leggings and knee-high medium-brown boots. She had just been ill--why all the layers--but it was nearly 60 degrees, so she wasn't in a big winter coat.
    Lessons: Texture is really important. And tall boots make you look dressed up, even when they are flat and comfortable.
    Also, I met the most awesome woman at a dinner party this weekend. She was so chic: all in black: a lace-shouldered top, what looked like slim black jeans but were some kind of jacquard fabric with discreet woven circles, patent-leather, flat, lace-up ankle boots, and a magnificent deep lavender pashmina. Her more-white-than-gray hair was in a Claire Underwood cut--short on bottom and longer on top, and she wore no jewelry or makeup. Talk about effortless French chic.

  3. From Margie in Toronto - while the colours themselves aren't for me I am so very impressed with the steps you've demonstrated in achieving this switchover. I have a friend who is approaching retirement so her life style is going to change and I can't help but think that this would be an ideal time for her to switch from a lot of black (which is rather harsh on her) to a warmer tone of more casual clothes.
    She has expressed the desire a couple of times to bring in more "Spring" colours so I'm going to ensure hat she gets a link to this past week's project! Thank you for all the hard work.

  4. This has been so fun to see! Thank you the step-by-step.

    Best wishes on whatever it is that takes you away.

  5. This is a lovely wardrobe. I have a question about your thought process -- did you start off with this end goal in mind, or did you just start making changes in Step 1 and then followed where it led?

    I feel like I need to have a definite goal in hand before I can begin, so it takes me forever to begin because I want my end goal to be practically perfect, but I'm wondering if just making small things and then going with the flow wouldn't work better for me. But then I'm afraid that going with the flow will wind up being too random. Decisions, decision.

    1. I just started where it seemed logical, and followed as much of a normal progression as possible. It's difficult to have an end in mind for a transition like this, because what's available will change, as will your needs and preferences. Open-mindedness and flexibility are key!

    2. Thanks makes sense -- thanks!

  6. Thanks for your post. I am light, warm and soft (muted) but I have/own lots of light, warm and clear (Spring) clothes. My main neutrals are white & black as sometimes it is easier to buy clothes in those colours. I think that I have changed with age and I am transitioning to more greyed Spring colours. After reading another blog about 6 months ago, I got it into my head that I wanted to tea dye something. So after buying a skirt from the Op Shop (Opportunity Shop (Thrift)) recently, I finally dyed it last night making a soft brown background to the skirt. Early days... I am still in the process of evaluating it and probably won't dye other things pre-existing in my wardrobe. Transitioning to a different colour space is an interesting exercise as there is commitment (already own clothes and spent money) in the colour space you are already in. Carol S

  7. Really a great exercise! I'm sure this has helped a lot of people. Thanks Janice! Linda in Arkansas