Friday, June 30, 2017

Of course you can! And our heroine here on "Financially Reckless Friday" is going to do just that. (really, I am going to settle on these posts on Wednesdays, I promise...)

It WAS Illegal...

And they owe her a LOT of money. Now she has to fly back to the Federal Court Offices to sign the paperwork and pick up the check!

She decided to spend the weekend there, in order to take in a concert of a favorite violinist, so she felt that a bit of shopping might be in order; she certainly wants to be appropriately dressed for her legal encounter, and her other activities...

So she starts at Alexis Bittar, where she falls under the spell of a bracelet:

Alexis Bittar bracelet in black with muted pastels and gold studs

bracelet – Alexis Bittar

She can immediately see the possibilities - serious black so that she looks like a worthy legal adversary, but muted pastel accents to soften, and to amuse.

Alexis Bittar bracelet in black with muted pastels and gold studs with style guidelines and color palette

bracelet – Alexis Bittar

She doesn't have to fly far, and she's going straight to the offices, so she's flying in her "soft power" outfit - cashmere and pink soften the strong black silhouette. And while she could have easily packed in a smaller tote, she doesn't want to have to be hauling it around and get sweaty. This is her moment of triumph; she wants to be composed and elegantly smug. (but in a nice way. maybe. maybe not...)

business travel outfit in black and pink

belted cardigan – Helmut Lang; earrings - Alexis Bittar; lipstick – Dior Couture Color in Classic Matte; bracelet – Alexis Bittar; handbag – Thacker New York; dress – Lands’ End; scarf – Dior; watch – Movado; shoes – Cole Haan; suitcase – Tumi

She went shopping before she left...

travel capsule wardrobe in black with muted pastels

makeup bag – Ted Baker London; green earrings - Alexis Bittar; blue cashmere tee – Akris; sapphire slice earrings – Annette Ferdinandsen; sunglasses – Perverse; necklace - Alexis Bittar; multicolored top – M Missoni; green bracelet – Alexis Bittar; pink silk blouse – Haider Ackermann; black silk pajama top – Fleur du Mal; blue & white scarf - Chan Luu; black silk pajama shorts – Fleur du Mal; black silk pants – Vince; print pants – Stella McCartney; pleated skirt – Marc Jacobs; evening bag - Oscar de la Renta; green scarf - Mattabisch; jewelry case – Wolf; nail lacquer - Space.NK.Apothecary; green flats – Marni; blue sandals - Robert Clergerie; sneakers – Balenciaga; pink flats - Michael Kors

Really serious shopping...

travel capsule wardrobe in black with muted pastels

She packed a pair of gym shoes, in case she decides to do some walking...

And luscious silk pajamas, for breakfast in bed from room service!

two outfits from a black and muted pastel travel capsule wardrobe

two outfits from a black and muted pastel travel capsule wardrobe

Normally, she wouldn't be so extravagant. But after a hard fight, and a well-deserved victory, she's going to go just a little bit nuts, just for a few days...

Well should all celebrate our hard-fought triumphs, in our own ways!


p.s. If you've been looking for wine and teal pieces, JJill's July collection is chock full of those shades!

Can You Build a Travel Capsule Wardrobe Around a Bracelet?
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

It's my birthday! I'm such a child when it comes to celebrating birthdays...

Today, I'm taking you back 2 years, to a travel wardrobe for which our heroine had essentially no clue what awaited her. In order to make sure that she was ready for (almost) anything, I somewhat loaded up her suitcase - 13 pieces total for a trip that might be only 3 days...

And there's a shout-out to one of the funniest TV shows I've ever watched. Much of it is silly, but if you've ever worked in a big corporation, there will be moments that will make you laugh until you're in pain. How bad can that be?

navy and blush travel outfit
Fairies Penny scarf – Joanna Allsop (similar here), blazer – Paul Smith (similar here), trousers – Paul Smith (similar here), sweater – Steffen Schraut (similar here), mother of pearl earrings – La Kaiser (similar here), watch - Skagen, tote - Lodis, loafers – Gucci (similar here), suitcase – Tumi (similar here)

There are still times when I wish that I was traveling for business...


p.s. please note that although the original items weren't available (for the most part), I've tried to find similar items for you!

A Favorite TV Show, and a Favorite Business Travel Capsule Wardrobe
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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Yes, I know everyone was expecting to see rubies, but I found that working with rubies was a lot like working with the emeralds back in May - very expensive, or else very traditional and staid.

So I did a bit of research and found that almost every month of the year has more than one birthstone - we love having choices!

Carnelian is particularly cool to have as a birthstone because it's very affordable and it comes in a range of colors from a pale, almost blush shade, to really deep, dark red.

And please note, I don't think you'd wear ALL SIX of these accessories at one time; but I could easily see 3 or 4 of them...

necklace – Kenneth Jay Lane; ring – Ying; sandals – MICHAEL Michael Kors; dress – Uniqlo; earrings – Ying; bracelet – Marianela Vargas; bag – Elle & Jae Gypset

necklace – Adriana de Gadea; carnelian and moonstone ring – Ying; sandals - Børn; dress – Uniqlo; earrings – Sundance; bracelet – Kenneth Jay Lane; bag – Madewell

necklace– Jose & Maria Barrera; ring – Pasquale Bruni; sandals – Ugg; dress – Uniqlo; earrings –; bracelet –; bag – A.P.C.

necklace - Rituu Agarwal; ring – Sundance; sandals – Topshop; dress – Uniqlo; earrings – Mine Finds by Jay King; bracelet – Narayani; tote - Shiraleah

necklace– My Bohemia Jewelry; ring – Kenneth Jay Lane; sandals – UGG; dress – Uniqlo; earrings – Jaimie Nicole; bracelet – Isabella Tropea; bag - MICHAEL Michael Kors

necklace – Mine Finds by Jay King; ring - David Yurman; sandals – Sam Edelman; dress – Uniqlo; earrings - Wayan Asmana; bracelet – Neeru Goel; clutch – Rebecca Minkoff

You know, if you like red or orange but don't feel like it suits you well enough to wear an entire garment, something away from your face like a ring or bracelet might be just the ticket!


More from the Birthstone Series:

July Babies - Did you know that Carnelian is ALSO your birthstone?
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Some things don't change much through time - over the weekend, we saw lots of women accenting solid black outfits with well-chosen metallic accessories. These kinds of outfits always catch my eye!

sleeveless blouse - DKNY (similar here), gold belt - J. Crew, shorts - Marc Jacobs (similar here), sandals - J. Crew (similar here), dress- Karen Millen (similar here), flower earrings and bracelet - Karen Millen (similar here), sandals - Lola Cruz (similar here)

The clothes from this post are absolutely ageless and timeless; if you keep your eyes open for metallic accessories (or an accent color?) that you love, you'll instantly have an outfit that can wear forever, or until it falls apart! And that should be our goal - to use things fully and well, and retire them when they've been worn as much as possible. Anything less doesn't do justice to our time, nor or budget, nor to the planet.


Timeless Chic Sightings: Black with Metallic Accessories
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Denim and khaki go with everything - I'm convinced! - but some of you wanted to see a capsule wardrobe with a very different feel than the relatively soft and cool pastel version that used mauve pink and dark pastel blue...

How about this for colors?

wardrobe color wheel in denim, khaki, teal and brown

I don't have any really exotic travel vision for this heroine - she's more someone who wears a uniform most of the time, and only needs a relatively small wardrobe to accommodate her "not work" activities outside of her home.

So I'm starting with the six neutral pieces that were in last Monday's wardrobe, and I finally grabbed a pair of dark navy loafers for her. (although with brown in a wardrobe, don't discount the gorgeousness of beautiful brown leather goods...)

6-piece neutral starter wardrobe in khaki and denim
cardigan – L.L.Bean; denim jacket – L.L.Bean; watch – Rebecca Minkoff; denim skirt – J.Crew; beige cropped pants – L.L.Bean; heritage stone pants - L.L.Bean; jeans – L.L.Bean; loafers – Ugg; sandals - Børn; loafers - Vaneli

I'm NOT going to get into a debate about what color "teal" really is - I know that it is named for the duck that has highlights that are the color of the sweater in the lower right. But in the fashion world, it seems to be almost any color from aqua to the "real" teal. Working with a range of shades of a color gives you some variety in your wardrobe, as well as making your shopping a little bit less like the search for the lost city of Atlantis...

How fun are madly mismatched earrings?

teal and aqua additions to a capsule wardrobe

tee – L.L.Bean; earrings – Melissa Joy Manning; scarf – Carte Blanche; feather tee – M&S Collection; sunglasses – Nike; bracelet – Bourbon and Boweties; sweater – Velvet; sneakers - Converse

Here's where it becomes really difficult to find things! Camel is so beautiful - if I was a designer I'd make camel things ALL THE TIME...

camel additions to a khaki and denim capsule wardrobe

tee – Uniqlo; earrings – Dinosaur Designs; shirt – Patagonia; scarf – Leonard; bag – GiGi New York; sweater – L.L.Bean

Here's where the fun really starts - finding things that include 2 or more colors from your palette. I can spend a really LONG time looking at scarves, and bracelets... sigh...

multicolored additions to a capsule wardrobe in denim and khaki

bracelet– Treasure & Bond; bracelet - Chan Luu; scarf – Image Diary; tee - Ojai

I know that when this heroine opens her closet door it's not going to look like she has a giant assortment of pieces (and I know that she'll have more than just this!), but I like to think that she doesn't have to worry a lot about getting dressed, and that she's happy with her choices.

13-piece travel capsule wardrobe in denim, khaki, teal and camel

As always, the accessories really bring these pieces to life, and provide a lot of personalization for clothes that are mostly timeless classics.

travel capsule wardrobe in denim, khaki, teal and camel

She's got possibilities ranging from getting dressed for very casual errands like groceries, to somewhat nice evenings out, wearing trousers and a cashmere sweater. (and a scarf!)

2 ways to style khaki capris from a capsule wardrobe in denim, khaki, teal and camel

2 ways to style a denim skirt from a capsule wardrobe in denim, khaki, teal and camel

2 ways to style khaki pants from a capsule wardrobe in denim, khaki, teal and camel

2 ways to style blue jeans from a capsule wardrobe in denim, khaki, teal and camel

As well as the "Whatever's Clean 13" works for travel, I'm becoming more and more convinced that it can work well as the main wardrobe for a lot of women who wear uniforms, spend a lot of time in workout gear (that would be me...), or who would just prefer to have a very small wardrobe. I'm going to think about this...


What are Good Accent Colors for Denim and Khaki? How about Teal and Camel?
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Friday, June 23, 2017

My great-niece is a big fan of pink and purple, so this flashback is for her... I was delighted to note that a few of these pieces are still available!

Look closely at the scarf - do you see the horses with the riders on them? You might want to do some enlarging...

Hermes Cheval Surprise Remix
Hermes Cheval Surprise Remix

This was a pretty great wardrobe - chock full of cheerful bright colors and a few really bold prints! It requires a certain woman, but she would certainly stand out in any crowd!

three wardrobe additions chosen to compliment an Hermes scarf

Blouse – MICHAEL Michael Kors (similar here); rainbow bracelet - Astley Clarke; trousers – J. Crew (similar here); white shirt – J. Crew (similar here); scarf - Hermes Cheval Surprise Remix

Sorry to spring 2 "flash backs" on you on 2 consecutive days, but when I was reminded of Kiki's birthday, I could NOT avoid pink and purple. It's a little girl imperative!


A Birthday Surprise for a Special Girl...
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

This is a really old post - from back in 2012! The nice thing is that none of the garments have dated, and you could easily pull this outfit on and head off for a 2nd honeymoon looking beautiful...

camel cardigan – Organic by John Patrick (similar here), gold heart earrings – Alex and Chloe (similar here), white tee – Michael Stars, Scarf – Brooks Brothers (similar here), Denim coat – Derek Lam (similar here), camel pants – L.K. Bennett (similar here), penny loafers – J. Crew (similar here), camel bag – Vince Camuto (similar here)

In the early days of The Vivienne Files I spent a lot of time looking at camel as a neutral, because a lot of people asked me questions about where to find things, what colors to use as accents, etc. It was good fun, and I'm so happy to see that the posts haven't dated at all!

You can find this lovely flashback here; I hope that you enjoy it.


Can you Pack with Camel as your Neutral?
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I'm thinking that these kinds of posts could be known as "Wildly-Extravagant Wednesday..."

A Ridiculous Business Trip

She loved the ring from the moment she saw it, and now she wears it every day...

rose quartz, aqua chalcedony and labradorite ring set in gold by Ottoman Hands
Rose Quartz, Aqua Chalcedony & Labradorite Ring - Ottoman Hands

So when they told her that she had to fly to headquarters on Friday JUST TO DELIVER A FOLDER... she decided that she was going to stay through the weekend and go all-out. See an opera, do some serious dining, and people-watch...

Rose Quartz, aqua chalcedony and labradorite ring from Ottoman Hands
Rose Quartz, Aqua Chalcedony & Labradorite Ring - Ottoman Hands

She's got to go straight to the office when she lands, so she's going to fly in "grown-up" clothes. The flight's not all that long, so this will be fine - not a lot different from sitting at her desk for the morning. (except she doesn't have to do anything any more taxing than play Solitare of her phone...)

business travel outfit in navy and pink

earrings – Juith Ripka; cardigan – Acne Studios; scarf – Etro; watch - Rosefield; ring – Ottoman Hands; dress – Polo Ralph Lauren; briefcase – Brooks Brothers; shoulder bag – Catherine &Jean; pumps – Louise et Cie; suitcase – Rimowa

Maybe she's packing more than she needs if she's coming back Sunday evening. She doesn't care. And yes, she's packing a LOT of jewelry. She wants to; it's just that simple! She's going to get dressed UP this weekend...

Six-Pack in navy, aqua chalcedony and labradorite blue

green cardigan – Cruciani; labradorite earrings – Margaret Elizabeth; rose quartz necklace - Meira T; green scarf – Armani Collezioni; green earrings – Mahavir; navy silk tee – Polo Ralph Lauren; navy floral tee – Dorothy Perkins; bracelet – Chanel; ring - Argento Vivo; clutch bag – From St Xavier; navy silk pants – J.Crew; necklace – Alexis Bittar; pleated skirt - Jil Sander Navy; blue sweater – N.Peal; blue & white scarf – Rag &Bone; ballet flats – Me Too; navy loafers – The Row

She loves the elegance of her little travel capsule wardrobe!

8-piece travel capsule wardrobe in navy, aqua chalcedony and labradorite blue

2 outfits from a navy, green, pink and blue business travel capsule wardrobe

2 outfits from a navy, green, pink and blue business travel capsule wardrobe

2 outfits from a navy, green, pink and blue business travel capsule wardrobe

If her employers want to waste money sending someone to a different time zone just to do something that FedEx would do for 5% of the cost, who is she to complain?


Can You Build a Travel Capsule Wardrobe Around a Piece of Jewelry?
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Of course!

black and orange travel outfit

tee – L.L.Bean (similar here); earrings – Shana Gulati; pants – Uniqlo (similar here); cardigan – Olive + Oak (similar here); scarf – Nordstrom; watch – Movado; flats – Eileen Fisher (similar here); tote – Street Level (similar here)

Flash back to one of my favorite posts - based upon a montage of images of a lunar eclipse, and see how just the right shades of orange can look great with black! Do notice the way the accessories echo her affection for the moon - moonstone jewelry, a single round button on a sweater, the round face of her watch (accented with a round gold dot!)...

Can I wear Black and Orange and not look like Halloween?
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Monday, June 19, 2017

A few people have asked me recently about packing for early autumn - needing a jacket, and probably a sweater or two, but still wanting a few lightweight tops. And others have been eager to see denim switched out for the navy that we've looked at for weeks! And then there are questions about how denim and khaki might be too... boyish?

So I'm starting with this color scheme:

travel capsule wardrobe color wheel in denim, khaki, soft mauve pink and dark pastel blue

The first thing to be addressed is the need for something warm to wear on damp, cool days, or in the evenings:

A travel capsule wardrobe neutral core in denim and beige

denim jacket – L.L.Bean; watch – Rebecca Minkoff; cardigan – L.L.Bean; heritage stone pants - L.L.Bean; jeans – L.L.Bean; loafers – Ugg; sandals - Børn

Realistically, I should have included a pair of dark blue walking shoes... But these four pieces have lots of possibilities - one could include shirts and tee shirts in literally any possible color and you'd be able to get dressed pretty simply!

But let's start with that delicious muted pink that often shows up if you search for mauve:

travel capsule wardrobe additions in shades of muted mauve pink

tank – Gap; earrings – Stephen Dweck; bracelet – Alexandra Alberta; tee shirt – Gap; sweater - Aragona

Note of course that these pieces don't have to match exactly; if you're not planning to layer them together, they can vary quite a bit. And even if you were going to layer them up, a little bit of variation adds visual interest and can look really nice!

Next up is this blue, which is plain difficult to track down! So don't discount the possibility of looking at printed and patterned tee shirts to find the perfect color hidden within a flower...

travel capsule wardrobe additions in medium soft blue

tee– Uniqlo; sunglasses – Tory Burch; floral tee – Uniqlo; earrings - Gurhan; sweater – J.Crew; necklace - Gurhan; top - Oasis

After putting all of the pieces into the 13-Piece Template, it's clear that two more neutral "bottoms" are needed. I'm including a denim skirt, for that "sort of dressed up" evening that might occur. But if you're really opposed to skirts, either shorts or capris would work equally well here.

travel capsule wardrobe core pieces in khaki and denim

beige cropped pants – L.L.Bean; pouch bag – J.Crew; tote – L.L.Bean; denim skirt – J.Crew

Next, the elusive but always super-important scarves, that tie things together so beautifully. I looked for a long time, but I'm pretty thrilled with these 2! And note, for no reason known to me, the plaid scarf is a man's scarf. What in the WORLD gives a scarf gender? What we learn from this is that when we have a particular color in mind, check the mens' department. Because scarves have gender...

adding 2 scarves to a travel capsule wardrobe in denim, khaki, mauve pink and dark pastel blue

plaid scarf – Missoni; square scarf – Irene Paris

I ALWAYS check that the pieces that I've chosen will fit neatly and happily into the packing template. This, to me, is the absolute proof that the choices will work together. The equivalent, at home, is to spread everything out on the bed, or hang together on the shower rod. When you do this, you should see if you can quickly and easily put together LOTS of outfits from what you see in front of you.

  • Does each piece fit in?
  • Will each piece be wearable with a variety of pieces?
  • Can each item be dressed up or down? (within the limits of what you consider dressing up or down - for a casual vacation, dressing up might be sitting in the pub for dinner!)

13-Piece Whatever's Clean Travel Wardrobe in denim, khaki, soft mauve pink and dark pastel blue

This might be the most important thing - when you put together outfits, either in reality on your bed, or just in your mind, what accessories will you need? Here, as I said, a dark pair of walking shoes would be handy as HECK...

a travel capsule wardrobe in denim, khaki, soft mauve pink and dark pastel blue

Walk your way through your itinerary, with a notepad in hand, if you think it would be helpful. What can you do with your khaki capris if the morning is cool? If it's warmer?

2 ways to style khaki capris from a travel capsule wardrobe

I want to wear my denim skirt, but it's not really ALL that warm. Do I have things with sleeves that will work well with my skirt?

2 ways to style a denim skirt from a travel capsule wardrobe

My pants are obvious for cooler days - but it could always warm up A LOT during the day. What will I wear then?

2 ways to style khaki pants from a travel capsule wardrobe

What if I want to wear jeans but still look pretty? (Of course we all know that a happy smile is the best way to be pretty...)

What if there's frost on the ground when we wake up, but the temp is supposed to get up into the upper 20's?

2 ways to style jeans from a travel capsule wardrobe

It's often said that anticipation is half of the fun of a vacation; it might also be the best part of making certain that you're packed appropriately and completely!


Can I Pack Denim and Khaki and still look Pretty? What about including Mauve Pink and Dark Pastel Blue Accents?
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