Tuesday, April 11, 2017

3 FINAL French 5-Piece Wardrobes for Spring: Lavender, Coral, and Labradorite (?)

It's apparent that I could do these for a while - I'm going to have to remember to tackle this idea again the the autumn! But for now I decided to venture into the idea of lavender, confront the controversy surrounding just exactly what color IS coral (well, in many places in the world, coral is turning white...) and then throw in a complete wild-card multi-colored accent based on one of my favorites stones!

And while I'm at it, I thought I would see if I could provide some ideas for those among us who don't want accent-colored shoes, and those who aren't in need of a cardigan!

(Where do you stand on accent shoes? I have very average-sized feet, and wear monochromatic outfits most of the time, but I can NEVER bring myself to put on a pair of accent shoes! I've had a couple of pairs of lovely red shoes, which one would think would be perfect for me, but I find that however much my rational mind says "put on the red shoes!" my instincts reach for black. Does anyone else experience this?)

First up, let's look at lavender. No shoes here - lavender shoes are hard to find, anyway! So an extra piece of jewelry - amethyst earrings are never a bad idea...

five lavender accent pieces for warmer weather
earrings – Lord & Taylor; cardigan – Lands’ End; bracelet – Gorjana; tank top – Lands’ End; tunic – Lands’ End

I decided to NOT identically match the shades of lavender - they're the same hue, but different intensities... I think it works well!

Just a reminder of the Neutral Building Blocks with which we're working:

nine wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks in navy, grey and white for warm weather
cardigan – L.L.Bean; short-sleeved shirt – L.L.Bean; sweatshirt – L.L.Bean; short-sleeved tee – L.L.Bean; striped top – L.L.Bean; tank top - L.L.Bean; shorts – L.L.Bean; skirt - L.L.Bean; cropped pants - L.L.Bean

It's not surprise that this looks nice, is it?

six navy outfits using lavender as an accent

A last look at our olive and khaki Neutral Building Blocks:

9 Neutral Building Blocks for your wardrobe, in olive green and beige
cardigan – L.L.Bean; seersucker shirt – L.L.Bean; sweatshirt – H&M; tee shirt – L.L.Bean; polo shirt - Uniqlo; striped top – Fat Face; tan pants – L.L.Bean; drawstring pants - L.L.Bean; khakis - L.L.Bean

Let the conversation begin! Would you wear these? Some I would, some I wouldn't...

six suggestions for wearing lavender with beige or olive green

And a last glimpse into my summer wardrobe, essentially! I have a lot more pieces than this, but this is a pretty practical core from which to start...

9 wardrobe Neutral Building Blocks in black and white for spring and summer
cardigans – L.L.Bean; striped tank – Lands’ End; sleeveless shirt – Lands’ End; tee shirts – Lands’ End; cropped pants – L.L.Bean; skirt - L.L.Bean; pants - L.L.Bean

This looks pretty good, I'd say...

six ways to wear lavender with black and white in the spring and summer

If you go onto the internet and start searching for coral-colored garments, you'll get everything from this shade through to very intense orangish-red. I decided to choose a nice simple pair of flats, and then build around them - if your coral is different from this, the principle remains the same. This selection was made with the woman who doesn't want another sweater in mind (how much fun can you have with a little accent-colored bag, in the warm weather?):

a French 5-Piece Wardrobe in coral for warmer weather
sleeveless shirt – Uniqlo; earrings – Kendra Scott; embroidered top– Dorothy Perkins; bag – Baggu; ballet flats – Hush Puppies

Every time I do an exercise like this I realize again how very versatile navy can be:

six ways to wear coral with navy and grey, in the spring and summer

I love this...

six outfits using coral as an accent for olive green or beige, in warmer weather

And I could even see myself in these, and I've not worn a warm-toned color since I've been old enough to choose my own clothes!

six outfits in black, white and coral, for warmer weather

Here's where I decided to go completely off the rails! I love labradorite - the iridescence of the stones, and the lovely colors that show up. So I decided that I would built a French 5-Piece Wardrobe around a piece of jewelry - why not? There are not rules to any of this...

a French 5-Piece Wardrobe built around a labradorite necklace
tunic – Lands’ End; marled tee - Raey; necklace – Ela Rae; rust tee – Fat Face; sandals – Seychelles

Navy, what a great neutral!

six ways to use labradorite as an acent for navy, in warmer weather

This really appeals to me, too!

six outfits using labradorite as an accent to olive green and beige

And I find this to be a really nice way to bring warm colors into a black and white wardrobe:

six outfits that mix black and white with warmer tones for warm weather

If my posting schedule is erratic in the next few days, please be advised that I may have family obligations that take me away from you all. I'll hurry back, I promise!


PS - To read all the posts in this series on French 5-Piece Wardrobes for Spring, check out:

3 Final French 5-Piece Wardrobes for Spring in Lavender, Coral, and Labradorite color palettes
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  1. Accent shoes?! Bring it on! It's so amazing how different we all are!
    Love your blog, read it every day. Have learned so much, thank you.

    Lizer Pearl

  2. I love silver shoes in photos, but every time I look at them in a shop, I chicken out. I'm going to try some, I swear, eventually!
    I like the mixed accents, much more me than all one colour. Linda M

    1. Linda, if you're drawn to them, do it! I bought a ridiculously ostentatious pair of silver Oxfords and I LOVE them do much!
      I wear them all the time. What's most surprising is how very few people actually notice them! Everyone who does compliments them, though. (pic at http://nord.imgix.net/Zoom/15/_11271515.jpg?fit=fill&bg=FFF&fm=jpg&trim=color&trimcolor=FFF&trimtol=20&w=704&h=1080 )

    2. Ooh, I like those! I think part of my caution is wondering whether or not the silver will actually go with what I already have. However, it would match my hair! I have decided to start thinking of my hair as an accessory!
      Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. I'm with you Janice when it comes to accent shoes - I'm short, wear mostly pants so like the longer look of all one colour.
    I do own one pair of red ballet flats which I will break out now and again but I find it's usually when I'm wearing pants that cover all but the front of the shoe - don't wear them with ankle or cropped pants.
    I would make an exception for a pair of leopard print shoes - I've always wanted a pair but I have a very awkward size of feet so I've never yet found a pair that I could wear - "sigh".

  4. All about the accent shoes here! Neutral shoes are my exception rather than my rule... Does the lavender with olive remind anyone else of Major Houlihan? I love them together, and think it was her attitude that makes the combo for me.

  5. Accent shoes? In every color of the rainbow. LOL My favorites are a pair if dull green ankle boots and a pair of dull teal flats. I wear a lot of blues and greens so these blend in or I tie them into the neutral ysing a neckace or cardi.

    1. Yesterday I wore a pair of leopard print flats with a dark teal background with tan jeans, cream tee and turquoise necklace. It was rather fun!

  6. Accent shoes, YES!! Including metallics. For summer I even have tropic PRINT slip on sneakers. :)

  7. Janice,
    I echo Margie from Toronto's sentiment regarding accent shoes ! Do you remember " weebles wobble , but they don't fall down " ad from many years ago referring to some childhood plastic human figures ? Well, that's how I think of my feet -- I'm well planted with a size I'd rather not share, though I am also short ! Soooo, though I would love to wear some accent color shoes for fun, this girl is sticking with good old neutrals , with perhaps some tone on tone or subtle styling detail !
    The coral and labradorite -- love, love, love ! The lavender, not so much , with the olive. Once again , if the solid lavender was over a top in a pattern, mixed with off white and olive, it would be fine. I think it's the juxtaposition of the volume of warm olive with the similar volume of cool lavender or the French Blue from the other day, that doesn't work for me. When I state an opinion in these posts, it's how a combination or feature doesn't work as it applies to me only, not as a dogma across the board for how it may work or not for someone else.
    You have done a marvelous job with these accent trials, Janice, thanks again for the process !

  8. I'm also with you, Janice, and Margie. I never wear accent shoes - so many reasons: I have short, very wide feet (and similar legs) and only buy shoes from one maker, Clarks, due to fit. They have stylish shoes in WW. And, I'm slender above the waist and round and thick below. I don't want to draw attention to my feet and lower legs. Finally, I like neutral shoes that can be worn with everything. In winter, I wear mostly brown booties and tan pumps if I wear a skirt. (Flesh-toned shoes elongate the leg) In summer I live in my soft gold-toned sandals which are perfect for casual and more dressy wear, or similar-toned heels. But on other people with nice feet and legs, accent shoes look great and so feminine. Love the shade of coral used here and the lavender is sooo pretty with everyting! Janice Collins, Washington, DC

  9. Ack, I am talking a lot today. Sometimes I think that the portion of the accent color makes all the difference. Again, I have layering tanks in every color of the rainbow. I wear them under a cardi so that a vertical strip of color accents my outfit, but is not so much that it wears me.

  10. I would absolutely wear the lavender and olive together! I love the combination of purples and greens; it makes me think of flowers and also many plants that have purple and green variegated leaves. I actually find olive an easier neutral to look at than navy with most accent color combinations.

    - Kaci

  11. I love love love pretty shoes, but like you, I seem to always reach for the neutral.... I do have one pair of Danskos (I think) that are a gray/black leopard print which works for me as it's pretty neutral, and a pair of Sorel black boots that have a bit of leopard print on the heel - just enough :)

  12. I love accent shoes. Bronze birkenstocks, the orange Uggs you featured a month or two ago, patterned Sperry's, colored ballet flats. I'm often in jeans and a vee neck tee shirt, so they add some spark to my outfit.

  13. Like Janice who commented above, I have wide feet, and problems finding shoes that fit. For years I wore only Birkenstocks, clogs or sandals - but recently have discovered that Propét makes shoes in widths up to 4E. Now I have a pair of sneakers that fit (!) in grey and purple, and what look like the offspring of ballet flats and hiking boots (they call it a TravelActiv MaryJane). I think that's going to be it for statement shoes, though.

  14. I love the idea of shoes in an accent color, but since they are not as versatile as neutrals I only own a couple of pairs, both in a bright fuchsia for some reason (I must have been going through a fuchsia phase!). I plan to wear one pair this weekend when we go out to eat on our anniversary. I tend to gravitate towards wildly colorful socks instead. If I am wearing solid-colored pants with a top in a different solid color, I can usually find a pair of socks in my extensive collection that includes both colors. Wearing colorful socks just makes me happy!

    I love the coral color in today's trio, and the labradorite necklace is gorgeous! I am not sure about the lavender with the olive, although I happily wear bright purple with olive. I have a tee shirt in a lavender shade, so I may just have to try it with my olive jeans to see if I like it better up close and in person. I think Shrebee has a good point about mixing in an off white to moderate the juxtaposition of two colors I am not sure about, although I think the way you paired these two colors so that you can still get the look of a column of olive green works well.

    Have a great week, Janice, and we will be delighted with whatever you have time to share with us!

  15. I have one pair of colored shoes for work (teal) and one for casual wear (a multi-colored fabric) and one pair of heels (oxblood). That's it. Like you, I just never reached for them when I had them. Yet I still have lots of shoes... I could do well with just black and nude, as so many capsule wardrobe people recommend, but I also have gray and brown (leather). Flats, ballet flats, loafers, booties, boots, sandals... you name it. Too many shoes. And walking shoes of course. But they all fit so my current plan is just to get rid of them as they age and not replace them. I don't need this many shoes!!!

  16. I built a whole wardrobe (using your starting from scratch, but with most stuff shopped out of my own closet) based on a pair of blue-teal shoes that I purchased from Ecco in Frankfurt (they seem to be a limited edition). I also have red shoes (including burgundy pumps and brick red ankle boots). However what I don't have are shiny shoes. No patent leather, no metallic. To me that's the bridge too far.

  17. Bring on the statement shoes! I have bright colors, prints, metallics, even houndstooth; they are an easy way to accessorize a solid/neutral outfit. To me leopard flats are neutral; they seem to go with everything. But I don't match my solid bright shoes to matching garments, only to coordinating prints. Wearing shoes and the same bright solid elsewhere within an outfit is too "matchy" for me to pull off. I guess I have to be a little more eclectic. btw, today's lavender and olive looks fine to me. I absolutely cannot wear lavender though dark purple is great and I love wearing plum. - nancyo

  18. I like the lavender and French blue with the olive, but agree with some others that it might look more deliberate if the shirts were patterned and included both the neutral and the accent. I, personally, would feel just slightly uncomfortable pairing them together as solids unless I had a scarf or necklace that tied them together.

    I have a couple of pairs of colored sandals that I wear with neutral outfits, but do find that my bronze metallic sandals are a great neutral. I can wear them with just about anything.

    -- Amy

  19. I love colored and printed shoes. It is kind of my style trademark. I even have 3 pair of light up shoes and they just make me happy. :)

  20. I have blue as my accent colour now and have several pair of blue shoes, sandals and low boots. Today's accent colours are so pretty. I think that I have some of them in my closet at home. The labradorite is lovely.

  21. Try your accent shoes with jeans; I wear them only with jeans, for example, a pair of indigo, ochre and off white oxfords, or red sandals. And the rest of the outfit is neutral. Otherwise they're too "look at me!" for my preference. Also, you can really bulk up a closet with all kinds of coloured shoes you rarely wear.

  22. I have a leopard pair of driving mocs that I love!!! I have been looking for a nice pair of gold sandals for summer. The lavender with the olive green is nice! My favorite shade of coral is a little less pastel but this one is pretty too. That mixed set is great! Thanks Janice!

  23. I have a pair of red shoes that I wear for fun. I have nothing red in my wardrobe, but I just think of it as a neutral and wear them anyway! They just make me happy. :)