Saturday, April 30, 2016

I know that I promised you another 3-dresses suitcase today - rest assured that it's all queued up for Tuesday. (Monday is our regularly scheduled "1 Month, 1 Outfit" post). But my news was so exciting that I couldn't wait for you all to hear, literally.

A few days go, I was interviewed by the lovely and charming Betsy Talbot, romance author, and co-author of An Uncluttered Life website and podcast. She and Warren, her husband, left their "real" jobs a few years ago to travel, and have now settled down in Spain, where they continue to educate the world at large about how to make life simpler and more satisfying... (I highly recommend the podcasts - I binge listen to them when I'm running!)

Anyway! As part of their "Life Lab" program, they included an interview with ME!!!! It was so simple - talking with Betsy is like chatting with an old friend that you haven't caught up with in a long time. I think that the results sounds sort of intelligent, and kind of sensible...

At any rate, if you've always wondered what I sound like, in the digital flesh, here's your chance to hear.

 https://s3.amazonaws.com/life-lab/Conversations/Life+Lab+Discussion+%233+-+Janice+Riggs.mp3

I hope you like it... (sudden, almost overwhelming nerves just set it...)

must push the Publish button.... nerves.... nerves....

love,
Janice

Friday, April 29, 2016

My 3-dress capsule wardrobe worked so well in Paris that I thought I would experiment with some different ways to pack with dresses as the primary garments...

Imagine, if you will, someone who buys a cardigan that they love. Bright colors, a print she adores, and excellent quality. So when she's invited to a wedding weekend out of town, it only makes sense to build EVERYTHING around this sweater:


A travel outfit in a 3 dress travel capsule wardrobe for a formal weekend
Earrings – Sam Edelman; tee – L.L.Bean; pants – Uniqlo
handbag – Patricia Nash; cardigan – Blumarine;  scarf – Nordstrom
shoes – Ecco; watch – Skagen; suitcase - Samsonite

She knows that there will be a dinner party 2 days before the wedding, and then the rehearsal dinner (to which she is invited), and the the wedding and reception. THREE days of events which have been described to her as "dressy."

A 3 dress travel capsule wardrobe for a formal weekend
Red dress – MSGM; earrings – Freida Rothman; small bag – Menbur
black dress – Lands’ End; fuchsia dress – Pleats Please by Issey Miyake
bracelets – Freida Rothman; necklace – Carolee; lace wrap – Glint
black sleeveless top – Dorothy Perkins; slingbacksTrotters;

She's a bit uneasy about just exactly what is meant by "dressy", but she packs in such a way that she's got options...

A 3 dress travel capsule wardrobe for a formal weekend

Each of the 3 dress can be accessorized in a variety of ways that either dial down or ramp up the "dressiness factor."


3 outfit options in a 3 dress travel capsule wardrobe for a formal weekend

3 outfit options in a 3 dress travel capsule wardrobe for a formal weekend

3 outfit options in a 3 dress travel capsule wardrobe for a formal weekend

Does she care that her friends and family might see the same cardigan repeatedly? Not particularly... they have more important things to think about, and if she loves what she's wearing (and she's not wearing flat-out dirty clothes), that's what's most important.

I've got another variation of this in mind for tomorrow...

love,
Janice
3 outfit options in a 3 dress travel capsule wardrobe for a formal weekend

Thursday, April 28, 2016

It happens every year at this time - you would think that after living through 54 Aprils, I would know better. But we have a couple of warm days, and I start dragging warm-weather clothes out of storage... then the weather returns to normal (i.e. coats and gloves) and my closet looks like a I've lost all control. (because I HAVE let things get out of control...)

So I spend quite a bit of time thinking about organizing my closet. You already knew that! And this is my latest thought:


Step 1


Look at everything that's visible, and that I can remember from storage, and pick the 18 garments that I know I will want to wear in the immediate (2 weeks or so?) future. This isn't designed to punish me if the weather changes radically - it's more a goal of getting the clothes with which I wrestle each morning down to a manageable number.

Right now, the forecast is for highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s, so I chose the following:


A 36-Hanger Capsule Wardrobe Plan
white tee shirts - L.L.Bean (with my iron-on designs);
pants - Eddie Bauer, cardigan - L.L.Bean;
skirted leggings - Eileen Fisher, red sweater - J. Crew

A 36-Hanger Capsule Wardrobe Plan
white shirt - Lands' End; waxed cotton jeans -
Eileen Fisher (similar here); sweater - J. Crew; tee shirt -
L.L.Bean
; skirt - Uniqlo; sweater - Rika (not available)

A 36-Hanger Capsule Wardrobe Plan
1st dress - COS (not available); 2nd dress - J. Jill (not available);
3rd dress - COS (not available); chambray shirt - J. Jill (similar here);
cardigan - Dublin Woolen Mills (similar here);  jeans - L.L.Bean

Okay, that's 18 hangers...

Step 2


Look at everything that's left. Patience, creativity, and intelligence are all important here!

Put together another 18 ensembles (as many as 54 garments) from the vast unused remainders. Consider the upcoming weather (i.e. if right now I have the choice between a linen sweater and a cashmere one, I should probably be looking at the linen; even though it's cool right now, it's going to warm up soon.)

(no, all of my ensembles aren't identical, but since I don't even know what they ARE yet, I'm just showing place-holder garments)

A 36-Hanger Capsule Wardrobe Plan


Step 3


Put these 18 hangers into a large garment bag or two, and put them in my closet also. So they're there, but they're not THERE, as in "in my face" every morning.

And oh yea, if you don't have big garment bags, neatly arranging an old sheet over your 2nd 18 hangers would accomplish the same goal of protection and "out of sight-ness" that you want... Spending money shouldn't be a big part of this, until and unless you decide that this works for you.


Step 4


As needed by demands of the weather, or maybe twice a month (the 15th and the last day, maybe?), look at the current "active" wardrobe and choose an ensemble that needs to go on vacation. It might be that I've worn it constantly, or that it's now out of season... Remove those 3 pieces from my closet.

If I'm still completely contented with what I see, change nothing!


Step 5


If I decided to remove 3 things from my "active" wardrobe in Step 4, I need to look in the garment bag(s) and choose the 3-piece ensemble that most appeals, and that is most appropriate for the upcoming fortnight or so. Transfer each of the 3 pieces onto their own hanger, and move to the "active" wardrobe.


Step 6


Make sure that the 3 pieces leaving the 18 are clean, fit well, and are ready to store. Decide if these pieces are things that will be "back in the action" in the next few months, or if they're now sufficiently out of season to be rested in a remote storage area. (in my case, that's a big translucent plastic bin on the top shelf of my closet!)


Step 7


If the newly retired ensemble is going into "out of season", then maybe choose another ensemble to take it's place in the garment bag, with the rest of the "standby" garments.


Step 8


Repeat Steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 as often as needed, if the weather dictates, or twice a month if you're getting bored with your "front of closet" 18.



Okay, that's a complicated way to explain that I'm going to have a "rolling capsule" (nod to Debbie Roes at Recovering Shopaholic for introducing me to the term) of 18 pieces that I'm going to gradually shift, 3 pieces at a time. If you don't own 54 pieces of clothing, I salute you - you are my role model.

There aren't any hard and fast rules here - I just came up with this idea, so it's not like there's a well-established tradition around how this works! But the goals are to keep a generous but still abbreviated number of pieces visible, while having the "on the bench" pieces queued up in an orderly fashion, close at hand.

THEN, you can buy 36 really gorgeous wooden hangers...

does this make sense? feasible? helpful? too few options? or too many?  As always, your opinions are valued!

love,
Janice
A 36-Hanger Capsule Wardrobe Plan

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Some of these color names could be debated for WEEKS... and then you can spend even more time trying to find just the right item! But why would you settle for something less than ideal, just because it was the easy choice? We have high standards...

Just a suggestion - if you choose to search for these colors, be very creative and open-minded when coming up with words for your search. While the book called the 2nd color turquoise, many of the items that I found here (for Blue-Green) came up under a search for turquoise. And don't get me started on the whole lilac/lavender/light purple/mauve conundrum!


Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -Blue

Scarf – Saachi; wristlet – Charming Charlie;
 tote – Furla; bracelet – Astley Clarke;
 earrings – Kendra Scott; sandals – Summit


Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families - Turquoise

Linen scarf – Yorktown Road; clutch – Fashion to Figure;
bracelet – BaubleBar; earrings –  Kendra Scott;
 tote – Mar y Sol; shoes – Adidas

Yes, the royal tote is from Nike; some people NEED a washable nylon tote... 

Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  royal blue

Scarf – Austin Reed; clutch – Marni;
bracelet – Leighelena; earrings – Ben-Amun;
 tote – Nike; shoes – Earth



Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  navy blue

Linen scarf – Destin; tote – Foley + Corinna;
cross body bag – Loft; bracelet – Austin Reed;  
earrings – Vera Bradley; espadrilles – Patricia Green


Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  light blue

Scarf – Denis Colomb; cross body bag – Kate Spade;
 tote – Longchamp; bracelet – Alex and Ani;  
earrings – John Hardy; espadrilles – Manebi


Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  violet

Scarf – Destin; shoulder bag – Salvatore Ferragamo;
bracelet – Laura Lee; earrings – Judy Gelb;
tote – Isabella Collection; sandals – Olu-Kai


Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  purple

Scarf – Marc by Marc Jacobs; shoulder bag – Dolce & Gabbana;
bracelet – Bourbon & Bowties; tote – Prada;  
earrings – Jamie Joseph; shoes – Trotters

I've tried to show solid-color scarves, but I just couldn't resist this striped scarf, below. It's just plain pretty!(it doesn't hurt that the scarf and the earrings share a certain wavy stripe-ish-ness...)


Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  light purple

Scarf – Pistil; clutch – Kara;
normal backpack – Kara; pendant – Michael Kors;
earrings – Nest; loafers – Tod’s


Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  fuchsia
Scarf – Maison Scotch; cross body bag – Fossil;
tote – Bao Bao Issey Miyake; bracelet – Trina Turk;  
earrings – Tia Collections; sandals – Vionic

If you look up "mauve" on the Internet, you'll mostly get warm, kind of muddy pinkish beige colors. According to Wikipedia, the word mauve is derived from the name of the mallow flower, which is a color that's much more a soft purple.  This shade is a bit lighter than the flower, and quite a bit prettier than a lot of what the web had to offer! (my opinion, of course; if you like other shades, go for it!)


Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  mauve

Scarf – Faliero Sarti; clutch – M2Malletier
bracelet – Five and Two; earrings – Little Treasures;  
tote – Banana Republic; flats – Repetto

There are as many shades of grey as there are companies manufacturing stuff - it's never a bad idea to carry things about when you're trying to match them. Or mail order from companies that offer free returns - that way, you can compare things in the comfort of your home! All you need is a roll of packing tape...
Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  grey

Scarf – Banana Republic; cross body bag – Phase 3;
tote – Target; bracelet – Alexis Bittar;  
earrings – Michael Kors; shoes - Geox

White shoes can be hard to wear, but white sandals are such a natural choice for warm weather, for so many of us!


Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  white

Scarf – Maria Calderara; cross body bag – Rebecca Minkoff;
 tote – Rebecca Minkoff; bracelet – Cezanne
earrings – Majorica; sandals – Tamaris

If you like black accessories, the world's your oyster. But it make sense to choose some secondary feeling, or sensibility, or quality, to unify your choices. Here, I picked things that felt angular in nature. You could of course go with textures, or rounded shapes - there are plenty of ways to approach this.


Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families -  black

Linen scarf – The Kooples; shoulder bag – Y-3
clutch – Urban Expressions; bracelet – Theodora & Callum;  
earrings – Freida Rothman; shoes – Eileen Fisher

And another shout-out to the book that started these posts - available in English and French!


English edition AND French edition

love,
Janice
Adding Accessories to a Capsule Wardrobe in 13 color families