Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I Need a Wardrobe For Client Meetings and Dressy Evenings! Start with a Scarf: Vintage Rose by KathKath

Yes, you saw this scarf a long time ago - KathKath actually gave me one to give away to one of you! But now they've made this beautiful pattern available in both silk and a cashmere blend, AND in both rectangle and square shapes... As if that wasn't enough, you can also get a 30% discount on anything on their site using the code vivkath30. Pretty sweet, I'd say!

UPDATE: KathKath assures me that they've got the discount code working, and that it's good through the end of 2017 (woo, holiday gift money might be GONE....) If you continue to have issues, feel free to contact them directly; there's a contact form on their site. They're truly nice women... hugs, Janice

Vintage Rose Scarf by KathKath
Vintage Rose Scarf by KathKath

Our heroine is long past the point where she worries about wearing pink to an interview. A floral watch and slightly floral earrings are just part of her personal style; if her potential employer doesn't think they're acceptable, she's the wrong fit for the job! (oh, the years it took us to get this much confidence, eh?)

An interview outfit in black and pink
earrings – Stephen Dweck; blazer – Lands’ End; Vintage Rose Scarf by KathKath; watch – Olivia Burton; shirt – Lands' End; briefcase – Tumi; skirt – Lands’ End; pumps – Athena Alexander

In order to make sure that our "working from home, occasional meetings and dressy dinners" heroine doesn't get carried away in her shopping, I'm going to use the 4 by 4 Wardrobe Template to keep organized:

A black and pink interview outfit in the 4 by 4 Wardrobe Template

To my mind, the first and most obvious thing to buy when you've only got the 3 starter pieces is another shirt or sweater - the shirt is the thing that will need to be laundered most quickly, and is also the most memorable piece...

And yes, this color is called "Garlic Clove." What ARE they thinking? I love garlic as much as any woman, and maybe more than most, but it's not something that I associate with a cashmere sweater!

adding a taupe sweater to a 4 by 4 wardrobe
sweater – Lands’ End

Once you get the sweater, just go ahead and get the cardigan! You may never wear them at the same time, but if the color is one that works well for you, why not have both pieces? (this of course assumes that you were going to eventually get a cardigan or jacket anyway...)

adding a taupe cardigan to a 4 by 4 wardrobe
cardigan - Lands' End

At this stage, our heroine has two tops, and 2 "second layers," so she should be looking for pants or a skirt. These pants the infinite advantage of being in the same fabric as her black skirted suit - always a smart thing to find if you can!

adding black pants to a 4 by 4 wardrobe
pants – Lands’ End

Time for a 3rd top, and it's about time to find something that integrates all of the colors in the wardrobe so far:

adding a print blouse to a 4 by 4 wardrobe
blouse – Giambattista Valli

Pink? Heck yes! A pretty cardigan makes a great top over other things, and can also be worn on its own...

adding a pink cardigan to a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
cardigan – Banana Republic

This is normally where pants or a skirt would be added, but since the matching black dress is available, let's grab that. Having 4 black garments in the same fabric can make getting dressed really easy...

adding a black dress to a 4 by 4 wardrobe
dress – Lands’ End (483327)

My feeling was that this heroine was quickly becoming well-equipped for her client meetings, and that we could begin to branch out a bit. While this top is very business-appropriate under a cardigan or jacket, it can also be very pretty and feminine on its own at dinner...

Adding a pink top to a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
top – Banana Republic

Maybe all of her clients aren't "starched shirt" dressy?

Adding a taupe cardigan to a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
cardigan – Ralph Lauren

It is entirely possible to look and be businesslike while wearing twill pants...

adding a pair of taupe pants to a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
pants - L.L.Bean

Since the Northern Hemisphere is catapulting into cold weather, a sweater might be wise!

adding a pink sweater to a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
sweater – Marks & Spencer

Our heroine is due for another "second layer," which could be a cardigan or a jacket, any combination of these 3 colors. This one caught my eye, but don't discount the possibility of some sort of texture in a mix of taupe and black...

adding a tweed jacket to a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
tweed jacket – Giorgio Grati

Modest enough for business - dressy enough for ANY restaurant they throw your way for lunch or dinner...

adding a black lace skirt to a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
skirt – Iris and Ink

I feel that a solid black top is really long overdue! And why not velvet? It's very au courant...

adding a black velvet tee to a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
velvet tee - Madewell

When all of this is stacked up together, you can clearly see that it makes a very versatile assortment! I could swoon if I opened a suitcase to this:

a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in black, taupe and pink

Accessories for this tomorrow?


p.s. Just in case you were hesitating, all 4 of the black "suiting" pieces come in a mad range of sizes, including Petites, Tall, and Plus sizes...

I Need a Wardrobe For Client Meetings and Dressy Evenings! Start with a Scarf: Vintage Rose by KathKath
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  1. I tried to purchase the scarf using the code you provided. The website indicated that the code was acknowledged and applied, but the change in cost was not reflected in the cart. Because I wasn't familiar with this merchant, I opted to cancel my purchase. It is a gorgeous scarf and perhaps I will get a second chance in the future. Great post.

    1. Hi Mary,
      I bought a scarf from kathkath recently, and had the same thing happen, but I persevered and did pay the discounted price in the end. It was worth it, because I'm delighted with my scarf - I'm wearing it right now!
      Amanda from London

    2. Thank you, Amanda. I'll try again.

  2. I always love the detailed explanations and illustrations you give when putting together a wardrobe! It's been a while since you did a Start with Nature post (although the pretty floral scarf is nature-inspired!). I was wondering if you could put together a wardrobe based on this photo of Cedar Waxwings from the National Wildlife Federation 2017 photo contest:


    For more information about the contest, check this link:


    You may need to get permission to use the photo so if it is too difficult perhaps you could do a different nature image? I always think that nature is the best inspiration when it comes to color combinations!

    1. Oh my those birds are GORGEOUS! I'll look into using that photograph or something similar... Thanks for thinking of The Vivienne Files when you saw this, and for taking the time to share it with us.

  3. I love the idea of opening a suitcase filled with a garment selection organized like this one but filled with my colours!

    1. Me too! Unfortunately I don't do client meetings or dressy evenings so this isn't for me. It would almost be worth coming out of retirement just to be able to wear this beautiful wardrobe. Th evening skirt and velvet top are still calling my name though. 😀

  4. Janice,
    As I seem to be a formula person, I get all thrilled when you show a piece or two at a time in selections ! This is very much like the thought process when going into my closet to select pieces for a trip. Although in my case, I select too many, and then have to start returning extras to the closet rod . Love those 4x4 template displays !
    closet rod .

    1. Oops , please ignore the second closet rod words , iPad issues !

    2. Janice,
      I just noticed that this post answers my question from yesterday about including two differently styled cardigans, both in the same neutral color, so thank you !

    3. Oh Janice, I can't lie - I'm falling more than a little in love with your knitwear. And whilst I'm fessing, I'm rather fond of your wine too 😉!
      Sending you Happy Thanksgiving hugs for Thursday, x.

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  6. Thank you, Janice. I just dearly love the color pairing of pink with the black. It's so calm and sophisticated without being showy at all. Just looking at it makes me happy! If I were still working, I'd be looking for a lot of these pieces. Luckily, I have a pink tee and sweater, black pants and tops, tan pants and tops. I can fashion my own 4x4 wardrobe with this template. I may have to go 'deeper' into pink, though. Darn it all.
    Pat in Sarasota

  7. The mailman delivered this exact scarf to me today! How cool is that?!

  8. This is such a lovely wardrobe. It's perfect for a SOHO kinda gal like me with frequent smart casual client meetings and occasional formal presentations and business conferences! Love it!


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