Monday, August 01, 2016

12 Months, 12 Outfits in 6 Capsule Wardrobes: August

In August, the stores have VERY little warm-weather apparel, so we'd better be prepared to plan ahead and pick up some things that will be useful in autumn and winter...

For reference, the earlier instalments of this series can be found here:

And for reference purposes, these are the 6 scarves with which we started the capsule wardrobes: (I can't wait to choose NEXT year's 6 scarves - maybe we'll vote?)

6 Hermes scarves from Spring 2016
beige – Hermes Le Voyage de Pytheas; olive – Hermes Cheval Mirage

This month, I really wanted to find things in darker prints that would segue us into cooler weather. And I realized that if I was EVER going to find decent tall boots for us, I'd better start looking...

Let me rant for just a few words about boots. Open heels? REALLY? If the weather is cold enough to cover your calves, do you want your heels (or your toes) exposed? And are your heels SO VERY attractive that you want everyone to see them?

And over the knee? Avast, ye scurvy fashion swabs, we are NOT going to be talked into dressing like pirates... Although I did include a pair of over the knee boots here, thinking fully that they will be worn with the top part turned down. (if you wear over the knee boots - please let us know how you keep the back of your knees from sweating like a linebacker at the July training camp...)


navy cardigan, cream blouse and bluegreen textured skirt
Brooch – Sukartini; cardigan – J. Crew; blouse – Lands’ End
 boots – INC International Concepts; ring – John Hardy;  

I also felt it was about time I started looking for simple, classic blouses or shirts in a light neutral for all of these wardrobes; in cooler weather, these can layer under sweaters, cardigans, or even sweatshirts!

Capsule Wardrobe in navy, cream and teal or turquoise

For each wardrobe addition, I'm also going to show a few ideas of how each new garment can be worn with older pieces of the wardrobe:

three ways to wear a navy patterned skirt

3 ways to wear a cream blouse with navy

3 ways to wear a navy cardigan

Yes, this is a skirt for those among us with a clearly defined waist:

cardigan, blouse and skirt in rust, cream and brown
Brooch – Stephen Dweck; cardigan – Miu Miu; blouse – Roberto Collina
 boots – Naturalizer; rings – Barse
skirt – Societe Anonyme

Capsule wardrobe in rust, beige, ivory and brown

3 ways to wear a brown plaid skirt

3 ways to wear a beige blouse

3 ways to wear a rust cardigan

This just getting prettier and prettier - it's almost impossible to find these colors in garments that AREN'T feminine and soft:

cardigan, blouse and skirt in cream, soft blue and beige
Brooch – On Aura Tout Vu; cardigan – Dorothy Perkins; blouse – Forte Forte
boots – Steve Madden; ring – Elizabeth and James
skirt – Cityshop

Capsule wardrobe in beige, ivory and soft blue

3 ways to wear a beige skirt

3 ways to wear a blue blouse, with beige

3 ways to wear a cream cardigan, with blue and beige

This was the month in which I finally indulged my love of both brooches and rings - two categories of jewelry that are sadly, and wrongfully, neglected. Never underestimate the impact of these small items on your overall look!

cardigan, blouse and skirt outfit in teal, ivory and beige
Brooch – Heidi Daus; cardigan – Miu Miu; blouse – Saint Laurent
opal ring – Wwake; boots – Michael Antonio
skirt – Altuzarra

capsule wardrobe in olive, ivory and teal

3 ways to wear a beige skirt with olive, turquoise and ivory

3 ways to wear an ivory blouse with olive, teal and beige

3 ways to wear a teal cardigan with olive and beige

Brooches can also just be gorgeous fabric flowers...

cardigan, blouse and skirt outfit in steel blue and grey
Brooch – Gucci; cardigan – Michael Kors; blouse – Uniqlo; 
skirt – Alexander Lewis

Yes, you've seen these boots before; they're classic, timeless, and not blindingly expensive - not a combination that's readily available!

capsule wardrobe in slate blue, grey and turquoise

3 ways to wear a grey skirt, with petrol blue and turquoise

3 ways to wear a grey shirt, with slate blue and green

3 ways to wear a slate blue cardigan, with grey

I don't currently own a black and white tweed skirt, and I've got to REALLY steel my willpower - I don't wear skirts often enough to buy another one. But they appeal... oh HOW they appeal...

cardigan, blouse and skirt outfit in cobalt, white and black
Brooch – Wayan Asmana; cardigan – J. Crew; shirt – Uniqlo
boots – Ugg; ring – Sheeva;
 skirt – Emporio Armani

capsule wardrobe in black, white, red and bright blue

3 ways to wear a black and white tweed skirt, with red, black, and bright blue

3 ways to wear a white blouse, with black, red and bright blue

3 ways to wear a bright blue cardigan, with black

I am (of course) already thinking of what garments will be September "wardrobe essentials." Any suggestions or requests?

12 Months, 12 Outfits in 6 Capsule Wardrobes: August
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  1. As over-the-knee boots go, these aren't too objectionable. As you say, with the flap folded down, they are quite nice. The chunky heel keeps them from crossing the line into trashy.
    Personally I prefer (and have similar to) the black pair you show first. I like them right up to the knee--the difference in line between boots that go all the way to the knee and those that stop an inch or two lower is striking. Also, a nice, smooth finish and somewhat stiff leather (equestrian-style) make legs look longer and slimmer. And you can shine them (not possible with suede) to keep them looking new.
    I saw some boots with different calf sizes. Isn't that a good idea?

  2. For September I would love to see more casual pants like jeans or corduroys, with good walking shoes or booties maybe adding vests with scarves. Thank you for this series Janice, it has been fun and I look forward to the post each month.

  3. Oh my, you have found some gorgeous skirts this month.

  4. I love these so much. I look forward to them each month. I can't decide which is my favorite.

    For September - why not feature vests or waistcoats. They are great as a layer of warmth especially in transitional seasons or under (or even over) cardigans/jackets when it's cold. They add that nice mid-section camouflage and the same vertical lines at the front as a cardigan or jacket without the extra bulk/warmth. Fleece ones are all over and some of them are not so attractive, but others are. And there are sleeker knitted or woolen ones and, if you are lucky, there are a few boho-ish embroidered/patterned/ quilted ones out there. I'd love to see what you could do with them.

  5. I also like the skirts you've chosen.

    I am a brooch girl all the way!!

    I agree about opened toe/heel boots and can we add sleeveless wool coats? Why on earth? (and, this isn't a vest, it is a full wool coat, without sleeves)

  6. For September, please consider showing vests, short boots, and cold-weather accessories. Your series on vests and accessories last year was wonderful and helpful.

    As an aside: I enjoy your posts so much and would like to help keep the lights on at The Vivienne Files...if I click on your links for a retailer but do not buy the highlighted item, do you receive your tiny commission if I then purchase OTHER items from that retailer? I would be happy to make all of my purchases at retailers that you endorse through your links if it helps your ongoing mission to educate and inspire us all : )

  7. I would like to see *long* (skirt-length) vests. Thank you for all you do - I love this series.

  8. Wow, love your choices this month, Janice! I've begun to wear bracelets and have two I wear all the time. Never wore bracelets before! I like some brooches but don't know how exactly to wear them, perhaps you can help us there. My favorite here is the light blue/tan wardrobe --so so beautiful and feminine. I am totally inspired and purchased a couple of tops in that blue as I have lots of light tan/navy. That blue is also beautiful with navy and whenever I wear that blue near my face, I get lots of compliments. I guess it goes well with my coloring - fair, blond and light blue eyes. Anyway, thanks for all the inspiration every day!!! How do you do it??? XXX Janice Collins, Washington, DC

  9. For Fall posts I was thinking more generally about clothes for different body types and how each "type" can incorporate similar pieces. For instance, I am petite in height but bordering on plus size, especially above the waist. My youngest sister is 6'1" and slim build - so we each have our own issues, needs and wants as far as trying to get clothes that fit. I'd love to see you work with a core number of pieces and then show how different body types can bring in both classic clothes plus some more faddish pieces just for fun. I also need wide fit shoes and not being able to always find stylish shoes in my size means that my clothing options can be limited simply because I can't find shoes to work with an outfit. I know that I'm not the only one with these issues so I'd love some pointers from someone like you who does so much research in this area. Just a thought.

  10. Oh, I agree with Margie for Toronto's idea for autumn posts! Proportion is such an important part of each of the groups you put together, and applying your skills to focusing on that aspect of wardrobe for your readers' different shapes and sizes might be a fun challenge. Getting the core pieces right for one's shape, especially. I'd love to see a post or a series on that topic.

  11. This is such a great series. I like the idea of voting on the scarves for next year and I really like the fact that you are writing about next year too.
    For our September or October elections, I would like to see some more nice casual looks along with coats.
    Deb from Vancouver

  12. I can't even STAND how much I love this whole "12 Months, 12 Outfits" series!!!

  13. September may be a bit soon for it, but I am starting to look for a nice winter coat. I love this series.

  14. You are right about skirts. I love the Comme des Garçons skirt and it would suit my wardrobe nicely but I hardly ever wear skirts and already own at least 5. Don't need it, won't buy it. I rediscovered a simple fabric flower brooch that I bought in a market in Budapest and have been wearing it on grey. We so often overlook what we already own.

  15. How about adding a weekend casual outfit? Maybe jeans or corduroy pants and a print sweater or jacket. Love this series. It will be fun to vote on next year's scarves!

  16. I am most definitely gravitate to skirts rather than dresses, and separates rather than suits/matched pieces. I guess I like the challenge of putting together outfits from as many pieces as possible! I have made a conscious effort to buy and wear dresses recently and it's going fairly well, although I nearly always reach for skirts first.

    I agree with the suggestions above for jeans/corduroys, vests, and how about denim or flannel shirts? Although those would be great for October also. A casual transitional dress could also be good. I bought one last year (at Target!) and I wore it with boots and scarves and also with sandals. - nancyo

  17. Regarding keeping the lights on chez Vivienne Files - any time you click on something, I get a wee pittance (literally something like 2 or 3 cents). But if you purchase ANYTHING from that vendor, I will indeed get a commission. That is pretty much the entirety of my current income - so share your interest in my work with your friends, family, worst enemy, total strangers on the street etc...
    just kidding, I think!
    hugs to all,

  18. I am already looking forward to the September outfits - I think there's going to be some corduroy, maybe denim, flannel, outerwear, scarves.... What fun! Thanks for sharing your preferences and opinions - they mean the world to me.

  19. And, oh, my, I would give my eyeteeth for the shoes that are shown on the Armani website with that tweet miniskirt! - nancyo

  20. What a cracker instalment! Thank you Janice. It's fascinating watching these wardrobes evolve, and while each has its own main style, we're now seeing how versatile they can be too.
    Speaking from the southern hemisphere, where the temperature range is currently 3-12 (sorry, I can't quickly convert to Fahrenheit), boots are go-to choices most days, especially to wear with skirts. And many in the shops have wee bits of elastic discreetly sewn in near the top to cater for different calf sizes.
    Looking forward to hints of spring,
    Robyn in Tasmania

  21. I think I misread your last line Janice - my original comment above was meant as a general suggestion for Fall/Winter posts - not for your Sept. edition of this series - my mistake, although that is something I'd like to suggest perhaps as another series? You would offer a "look" or a "scenario" with options for different body types.... Just a suggestion and only if it's something that is of interest to you of course.

    For Sept. of this series I'd like to perhaps see something about outer wear - specifically jackets - different weights, different styles, dressy vs casual -along with appropriate accessories. This is something that I will need to add to my own wardrobe this year so I would find it very helpful. Thank you.

  22. For next year's scarfs, I would so much love to see that Gucci(?) four seasons flower scarf that you were selling a while back, even if the scarf itself isn't commercially available anymore. It has my two favorite things - colors and flowers! (Ideally the white-bordered version you had, for more colors and fewer neutrals ;-)
    - Kaci

  23. Lovely additions, as always. I was interested to see the inclusion of black boots in the navy based collections. I always struggle with winter footwear (and handbags) because I don't wear black, but it's impractical (and certainly not always possible) to find colour-matched boots. I presume you would include a black bag to go along with the black boots?

    I also wanted to mention that your last 2 posts have not come through to Feedly in their entirety and I have had to come to your site to read them. There are times when I can do this, but I much prefer to read all blogs in Feedly.