Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Planning Your Complete Wardrobe, 1 Segment at a Time

I've made some progress on the 52-Piece Wardrobe Plan that we discussed last Wednesday.

First, I included the idea of columns for each of the "categories" of garment - I think this works pretty well:

a 52-piece wardrobe template
cardigan - L.L.Bean; chambray shirt - L.L.Bean; oxford shirts - L.L.Bean; black turtleneck - L.L.Bean; black jeans - L.L.Bean; blue jeans - L.L.Bean; long-sleeved tee shirt - L.L.Bean; tee shirts - L.L.Bean; khakis - L.L.Bean

The only real question here has to be about how many garments fall into each of the three categories, and that's going to have to be something that each of us personalizes. I will of course lay out my guidelines, but they're never carved in stone; I call them guidelines, and NEVER rules!

I tried to do something around the idea of using multiple colors for borders, to show that some garments were able to serve in multiple functions - FAIL. The page is pretty crowded already, and adding another border (thin as they are) just made things a mess. I think for multi-use garments, we're just going to have to remember that we have options!

The best progress, in terms of being able to work with this template, was to break it into 3 segments - 1 for each of the 3 areas of Warm Weather, Common Wardrobe, and Cold Weather.

template for a 19-piece warm-weather wardrobe

The Warm Weather page isn't filled in; maybe I'll "back fill" with what I'm wearing to pieces this summer and see how it stacks up. I have a hunch that I'm going to need fewer jackets and cardigans, and DEFINITELY more dresses...

The 2nd page is the original Common Wardrobe, from back in the day. I think this is a part of the template that is open for a LOT of experimentation, in terms of the clothes included. I'd like to build at least a few different "Common Wardrobes" to reflect different color preferences and personal styles...

template for a 12-piece Common Wardrobe

And then there's the 19 pieces for Cold Weather. After I get this whole package in a usable form, my plan, weekly, is to show my own wardrobe, as I add a piece each week (and eventually put a piece into storage for a while...)

template for a 19-piece cold-weather wardrobe

The only segment that's really well planned right now is the Common Wardrobe, because it's the same bunch of garments that we've looked at and worked with for years. I want to do this in warmer colors, in choices that more reflect my personal wardrobe, and maybe some other variations based more on navy? or grey?

a 12-piece Common Wardrobe in black, white, denim and khaki
cardigan - L.L.Bean; chambray shirt - L.L.Bean; oxford shirts - L.L.Bean; black turtleneck - L.L.Bean; black jeans - L.L.Bean; blue jeans - L.L.Bean; long-sleeved tee shirt - L.L.Bean; tee shirts - L.L.Bean; khakis - L.L.Bean

This is fascinating... Do you think it's going to continue to be useful?

love,
Janice

p.s. Please note that my health is pretty yucky right now, and I'm finding that there are days during which I can't do much beyond sleep. I'm going to try to keep The Vivienne Files rolling along regularly, but at some point I just have to surrender and take time off. It's not from lack of love...

Planning Your Complete Wardrobe, 1 Segment at a Time
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62 comments:

  1. Please take care of yourself! That's the most important things. We'll be right here waiting as long as it takes!

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  2. This template works well for either a casual dresser. Do you have any thoughts on how to incorporate multiple roles such as work and play? I hope you feel better soon.

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  3. Feel better, Janice! Take good care and get as much rest as you need. We'll be here.

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  4. Rest and feel better soon, Janice! I think this 52 piece template will be very useful. I'd love to see it done with dark greys too.

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  5. Fell better! Nobody can parse a wardrobe like you, Janice. With you lovely advice I've managed to whittle my 'magpie' closet down to 50-60 pieces which is small enough to photograph - I started with snapshots and am now slowly redoing the pictures in a higher quality (Daria Andronescu on Youtube has a good instruction video for that) as new items join. So now I can work on refining my personal style. I'd love to see this 52 pieces for someone who lives in athleisure like yours truly.

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  6. Feel better! Health is the most important thing we have!
    And I love this post too!

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  7. Oh dear, thank you for thinking about us. This is so exciting idea so I understand you can't stop thinking about that! To keep only the best of the best, 52 items that dance together well!! That would be awesome.

    I always love to read posts from the past that you select to post again so if there are moments that you feel well, you can invest that time into selecting past posts and schedule them for reposting so that you can rest completely.
    When you are well I will be interested in relationship between 52 and 24 pieces since I do new starting from scratch (including 24) each 3 months, and I rotate colors while doing so. I guess for 52-piece I would ditch the black completely and keep both neutrals year around and rotate accents only.
    I switched to power point for my starting from scratch files and it is so much easier, so thank you for that idea. I just discovered there is remove the background option in power point.
    It is only the element of surprise, when I switch the pods, that I would miss in 52-pieces. It is like having entirely new wardrobe by changing only one accent color pod and keeping all 4 other pods the same.
    hugs
    Sania from Zagreb

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    1. Sania, I am interested. How often do you switch your color pod?

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  8. Yes! Hope you feel better soon. Get all the rest you need. Love this post ( except for the not feeling well part )

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  9. Oh yes this useful! I think all your approaches have merit, it's just wonderful that you keep coming up with new ones. This one appeals because - like lots of us I imagine - I have core basics, so planning new or recycling pieces around them for different seasons makes good sense. And I love the 'Whatever's Clean' approach for both travel and everyday wardrobes.

    I had wondered whether changing the line style (e.g. substituting dashed for solid) would help with the multifunction garments but it isn't really worth the time. Getting the colours and functions right is more fun than formatting.

    And I join the 'Take care' chorus. I'm really sorry that you're having health problems and hope they can be fixed in time. Meantime, we have plenty to be going on with from your rich, wonderful archive.

    A hug from Robyn in Tasmania

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  10. I agree with the others. Take care of yourself first. We are not going anywhere. Rest and take time off from everything. Xxx Janice Collins, Washington DC

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  11. Janice,
    I echo the " take care of yourself first" sentiments above , and yes, when you are well again, please continue to pursue this template !
    Big hugs and healing wishes !

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    1. I just have to jump on this band-wagon....we love and care for you, Janice...take all the time you need to rest and care for yourself. Knowing our thoughts and prayers are with you is better than chicken soup!!
      a faithful fan,
      Pat

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  12. Coming up with new links for older posts also would be very time consuming. I can enjoy older posts without the new links and I bet others can, too. So be kind to yourself. Remember that Passage des Perles is posted only twice a week and Duchess takes off a couple of months each summer. She has changed the frequency of her posting as changes have come in her life. Bet she has not lost a single reader. So do what is best for you and our good wishes and prayers are with you.

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  13. Please take care of yourself. As we've all said, we'll be here when you get back. Sania has a great idea about reposting older posts. Since we're focused on the Common Wardrobe of this 52-piece wardrobe, maybe those original posts? I seem to remember that you did do a variety of them, for more cool or warm colors.

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    1. Okay, now I get it, clicking on the link you provide "Original Common Wardrobe from back in the day" take us right to all the lovely posts on the common wardrobe. This can be our "homework" while you recover!

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  14. Lara the LibrarianJuly 11, 2017 at 7:50 AM

    I love this series. Please continue!

    Have you ever considered having some guest posts? (Sania from Zagreb looks like she's got one ready to go!) It might help take the load off, while you recuperate.

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  15. Take care of yourself! We all enjoy your wardrobe planning so much but health comes first.

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  16. Such a simple but interesting way of looking at our clothes and how they function - and I do appreciate that you encourage us to adjust it to our own needs/wants - it is really making me think about my own situation.

    Take care of yourself and get as much rest as you need.

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  17. Please do take care of yourself. We aren't going anywhere.

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  18. Please commit fully to taking care of yourself - as long as it takes (we'll still be here). Remember what all those flight attendants tell us? Take care of yourself first and THEN you're better prepared to help others. We can revisit the many wonderful posts in your archives again and again and still learn new things! And when you have the energy to create new posts, this series is certainly one to look forward to.

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  19. I would love to see you pursue this version of wardrobe planning, but you need to be healthy to do so. Take care of yourself first. Sending hugs and positive thoughts!

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  20. I agree that this is very useful, and that you should be taking care of yourself first.
    I'm very curious about how this would work in my context - I have a job which requires formal clothing, and a casual life with young children outside of that. I also live in a climate which has blazing hot/humid summers and shockingly cold winters. I'm not even sure I could limit myself to 52 pcs of clothing.

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    1. Rebecca, I worked at a law firm "downtown" when my son was growing up. I had two seasonal capsule wardrobes for work (two suits, both interchangeable, plus two blouse/skirt combos that could be worn together as a dress or as separates, plus a few solid color blouses) and dressing for work was easy. I then had a casual wardrobe for the rest of my time (not including lounge wear for the luxurious nights I was able to stay home after work!). I had the luxury of two closets, so I kept my business attire in my bedroom closet, and the casual attire in an extra closet in the hall. I also live in a climate with blazing hot/humid summers and cold/wet winters. HTH

      Janice-hope you get well soon!

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    2. Thanks! That does help. I always feel guilty that I own too many clothes, but sometimes it just can't be avoided I guess.

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    3. Everyone's circumstance is different; you might legitimately need more than 52 pieces of clothing. Accept your unique circumstance and work with it, and do NOT ever feel bad about it...
      big hug,
      Janice

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    4. Rebecca, I work two jobs with very different dress codes. One is business casual, with the emphasis on casual--many people wear jeans daily. The other is business casual, but is really just one step away from business formal--we don't have to wear suits.

      Basically, I have two separate capsule wardrobes for work. Although sometimes I can wear a shirt and cardigan that work for both jobs, and just change from jeans and sneakers to black dress pants and nicer shoes between jobs. (And I am working on getting more tops that can work for both jobs, because it would cut down on the laundry significantly.) And then I have my comfortable lounging around the house capsule, and a very small capsule wardrobe for dressing up, which is very much a work in progress. Plus about a zillion coats, jackets, fleece jackets, raincoats, etc., to deal with New England weather. 'Cause you need something for when it's 60 degrees and rainy, and something for -5 degrees and sunny, and something else for going to work in the snow and something else for shoveling the snow. . . . It never ends.

      Janice gives us helpful guidelines, but the "rules" can be altered to fit your individual situation.

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  21. Absolutely – this is such an interesting way to go. And as all the others have said, you're the most important part of the equation and we love you. So please take care.
    Vancouver Barbara

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  22. Sending you all my best wishes for a speedy recovery. We'll be waiting whenever you post!

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  23. Please do take care of yourself. YOU are the most important person at our party. If I counted correctly, we have 1,815 rooms to revisit. We will be just fine until you rejoin us. Deb in KY

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  24. Sending you thoughts and prayers...
    In the meantime, there is lots to read here and templates to play with. :) ~ Laura.

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  25. Sei gezind, from a longtime lurker (and Chicago expatriate).

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  26. Hope you feel better soon. Sending hugs and good thoughts. Looking forward to more when you feel better. :)

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  27. Warm tones please! But take care of yourself. I think this is my favorite ever!

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  28. Oh my goodness, I understand why it is so difficult to give in to being sick. I finally had to do it last week, and I felt like such a failure. I still feel like I "lost" a whole day to sleeping, but I also know that in the long run it's better than getting sicker!
    Don't worry, we will wait patiently while you rest and take care of yourself.

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  29. I add, please take care of yourself. These Vivienne Files take a lot of mental energy, even though you (and we love it). I'm looking forward to following this process with you.

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  30. I would love to see the Common Wardrobe done in more specific color schemes and look forward to all the complete wardrobe posts but only AFTER you are feeling better. Sometimes you HAVE to rest to have any chance of getting better and to keep from getting worse. Sending you prayers and warm wishes for a pleasant recovery.

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  31. The idea of the 52 items is great but it is a huge job for you to do - especially at the moment - perhaps revisit it later....look after yourself - you have earned a break!

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  32. Sending positive thoughts and healing mercies your direction. Always look forward to reading your blog!

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  33. This plan has been a solid homerun. I started working on my summer WIC as soon as I read the first post while getting my Common Wardrobe in place. Seeing those pieces together (I don't have them all but I'm close) was what I needed to finally toss the duds in my closet. I can breathe again. Thank you! This plan is brilliant! The part I love the most is just knowing I can work on adding one piece a week (I sew a lot of my clothes). Because the WIC-13 is so simple, I can just look at it and see where to focus that week (right now I have twice as many bottoms as tops). You've made it so simple and easy to do. That has me motivated.

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  34. I'm sorry you aren't feeling well. Please rest!!

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  35. I hate to hear you're not feeling well. I echo the others--your health comes first!! We have plenty of archives to read and ponder more, and we'll be here when you're feeling better.
    Hugs,
    Camille

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  36. Adding my wishes for your recovery. I'm holding you in the light of health and well-being.

    I love all your posts! This one in warmer tones would be most welcome.

    Rest and take care,
    Kay from Seattle

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  37. Positive and healing thoughts sent your way!
    I'm always happy to see the Common Wardrobe around and evolving.

    Sara K.

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  38. My dear girl - if you aren't feeling well, have a rest! We will wait for you. Get better, soon!

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  39. I'm so sorry to hear that you are not well. Hope you'll soon recover. I send you all my wishes and prayers. Your blog is always such an inspiration!
    Ingrid from Germany

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  40. Take care of yourself, we will be here.
    That said, I am going to use your idea of a solid core and swapping in/out items when the semester starts the end of August--I like the idea doing so at first for variation, then for warmth as the weather changes. Scarves are my wardrobe saviors.

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  41. I'm sorry you're not feeling well. Please take care of yourself. We will be here when you return.

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  42. Thinking of you, and hoping you feel better soon.
    Alice

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  43. Hi, remember so many of us do not have winter. I don't own a coat, rain boots, have only pretty boots and booties and have only a light sweater or two. I have don't own wool clothing, hats or gloves. I don't see how this works for us. I do rotate some clothes for hot and hotter weather. It didn't rain for 5 years then rained a bit and now no more. We Southern California ladies really don't do too much rotating.

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  44. Best wishes, please take care of yourself!

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  45. I'll keep you in my prayers that your health improves soon. And when you are feeling up to it I'd love to see a capsule wardrobe with the Parures de Samouraïs in marine/rose/bleu glacier as a year round wardrobe. I want to make sure I wear my new scarf all the time! Thanks!

    https://shoppingbrake.com/

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  46. Praying you feel positively perky soonest! I can't wait to see where this one goes... Your gift for anaylsis speaks volumes to my inner geek!

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  47. I usually have 3 summer second layers, 1 for windy nights by the lake in a bright summery color, 1 for summer weddings where it is sticky hot but you should cover your shoulders, and one light weight/cotton structured jacket.

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  48. best wishes for improving health for you asap.

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  49. Hi Janice, first of all best wishes for a quick recovery, I'm sorry I have nothing new to add to what everyone else has said, but I wish you well. Don't worry about updates here, while they are eagerly anticipated, you have built up an impressive back catalogue of wardrobes, enough to keep us busy for a long time!

    The clothes you feature are usually not available to me, so I look at them as generic jeans/cardigans/etc. rather than specific items, so looking at older wardrobes is as useful as most of the more recent ones. The one part I ADORE is that through your blog I've found Novica. I haven't ordered from them yet, but this is the kind of jewellery I like, and years ago every town had a shop that sold silver like this, but I haven't seen any in recent years (recent years being the last 10 years).

    This unified wardrobe theory is looking good. In common with other people, the amount of clothes I need is dictated to in part by the climate where I live. I'm lucky that jeans and long or short sleeved tee shirts are fine most of the year, except for a few weeks (maybe) in the summer or winter, so a 'unified' wardrobe should be very achievable. I'm afraid that I'm looking at this as a template to go shopping, rather than an exercise in limiting clothes. I don't like shopping, and clothes wear out, so there are a lot of holes...

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  50. Do take very much care, and just wanted to say thank you for so generously sharing of yourself and your creative spirit all these years. In a time where kindness seems to be "taking a hit", you have always been an example of caring for your fellow fashionistas. You are brave and giving. And so hard working - because I know while I have bought a few lovely things through your site, it is only a fraction compared to the time you must put in. What a truly remarkable person. Thank you.

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  51. Please take care of yourself! I love the idea of this wardrobe and am definitely looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

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  52. I am loving this approach to planning a cohesive year round wardrobe! I recently treated myself to a pack of 50 velvet hangers and have been working out the proper ratio of types of garments to keep my wardrobe well rounded. This is perfect!

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  53. You are a bright light in the fashion world. I look at clothing completely different than before vivienne files. I use better judgement, put together way better outfits, and save money. Your posts show a great deal of energy and colour. I hope you can draw on your giving energy to feel better soon. You are a true artist.

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