Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Adding to a Successful Travel Wardrobe: Appaloosa des Steppes from Hermes

She was really thrilled with what she packed for the Holiday Party in New York; she had planned everything using her pocket square as the defining inspiration:

scarf - Hermes

Her sweetheart told her that another, longer trip to New York would be in their near future - probably mid-February. So she thought that it would be wise to expand her current travel wardrobe...

7-piece Travel Wardrobe in black, white, grey and red
red earrings – Jane Basch; red resin bracelet - Vanda Jacintho; grey crystal earrings – Larkspur & Hawk; black earrings – Francesca’s; watch – Movado; black & grey scarf – Eileen Fisher; striped scarf – BP.; pocket square - Hermes; black dress – Eileen Fisher; sweater – Madeleine Thompson;gold bag – Love Moschino; print shirt – Lands’ End; red dress - Lily & Franc; red corduroy pants – Lands’ End; crossbody bag – Lodis; tote – Lodis; black cords – L.L.Bean; black cardigan – Lands' End; flat shoes – Arche; red boots – Arche; black boots – Arche; slingbacks – Vince Camuto

She was going to try to balance clothes appropriate for those "business dinners" with things suitable for the sightseeing that she intended to do, so she needed to be very organized! If she puts together a 4 by 4 Wardrobe, and wears 3 pieces on the plane, she will have 13 garments to pack - she felt that this was a reasonable goal.

First, to "plug in" her existing wardrobe:

7 Pieces of a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in a 4 by 4 Template

The first thing that she realizes is that she has a black "suit" of sorts, but could certainly use a couple of dressy garments in black. A bow always makes a blouse look like it's dressed-up, and a lace skirt will elevate anything with which it's worn. But both of these pieces can be mixed in with other, less formal, items so that she'll be ready for those "kind of nice, but not dressy" events that are the bane of business events...

Core of 4 for a 4 by 4 Wardrobe, in black
cardigan – Lands’ End; blouse – Splendid; corduroy pants – L.L.Bean; skirt – J.Crew

It's kind of somber, but very efficient...

9 garments in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe Template

Next up, she's really excited to add grey as her second neutral. She goes "all out" and invests in 3 pieces from Eileen Fisher that can be worn together or separated and worn with everything else... And WHAT THE HECK - she gets a dressy, somewhat "over the top" tweed skirt, too!

a Wardrobe Core of 4 in grey
cardigan – Eileen Fisher; tunic sweater – Eileen Fisher; pants – Eileen Fisher; skirt - Valentino

Now, when she looks at what she has in her 4 by 4 Wardrobe, she realizes that she only has "room" for 3 more pieces! And no yellow yet!!! Plus, she feels like she could use a casual top to wear with either black or red pants, and maybe a dressy blouse that will look nice with either pants or skirts...

13 garments in a 4 by 4 Wardrobe Template

The yellow is TOUGH to find... the very clever tee shirt with red stars delights her, as does the opulence of the sleeves on her new blouse...

3 tops to finish a 4 by 4 Wardrobe
yellow tee – Juvia; tee with red stars - Pianurastudio; print blouse - Frame

Now she looks into her closet and sees a tidy, well-chosen assortment of pieces that will carry her to anything her sweetheart's company can throw at her... (except maybe bumper cars... anything but bumper cars...)

a 4 by 4 Wardrobe for cool weather in black, grey, red, white and yellow

Just to be certain that she's on track, she walks through 10 options for ways to wear these pieces together; there are many more than 10 possibilities, but she wants to have the images in her mind for those last-minute clothes changes:

2 ways to wear a black lace skirt

w ways to wear black trousers

2 ways to wear a grey tweed skirt

2 ways to wear a pair of grey pants

2 ways to wear red corduroy pants

In the course of all of this business-related excitement, she learns (quite by accident) that her sweetheart recently assumed a great deal more responsibility at work - some people just don't share these things because they don't want to brag? I'd be singing it from the rooftops!


p.s. Of COURSE she's going to need accessories...

p.p.s. I am on my way to Paris, mid-day today, so if I'm not responding to questions, comments and emails it will be because I only have my phone with me for the next 7 days - it's certainly not a lack of interest or affection!

Adding to a Successful Travel Wardrobe: Appaloosa des Steppes from Hermes
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!


  1. I just love the 4 x 4 concept, it works every time for me. It never ceases to amaze me that just a couple of pops of colour and a pattern or two can bring a neutral capsule alive. Sharon, U.K.

  2. Have a glorious time in Paris!

  3. Janice,
    Enjoy your solo trip to Paris — catch you when you return !

    1. Thank you! There will be blog posts every weekday while I'm there, but I won't probably get to respond to comments.
      If you're interested in what I'm up to, you can always follow me on Instagram. My name there is (so creative!) viviennefiles.

  4. Maybe her sweetheart is going to propose over Christmas and she needs a chic wedding dress, coat and accessories when they get married in New York in February!

  5. What a great collection. I can only imagine the fun you're going to have over the next week. Bon voyage.

  6. Have a wonderful time in Paris! When you have a chance, I would be most grateful for a hint of ways, or link to a site with suggestions, of how to wear a pocket square other than "tucking it into a jacket pocket" which is all I can find when I search online...

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Love this wardrobe! I covet the t-shirt with the red stars; I swore off buying anything for myself this Christmas shopping season, or it would be on its way to my house!! But I will be seeing what I can put together from my closet - nancyo

  9. Thinks our heroine: "It's kind of somber, but very efficient..." Mais non! It's elegant!