Tuesday, October 06, 2015

My Favorite Posts: Whatever's Clean

I've done a lot of these, but choosing my favorites wasn't difficult. There's nothing I can put my finger on - sometimes the colors, or a specific garment. Individual preference is what makes us all so wonderfully different, of course!


travel outfit in navy and beige with leopard accessories

"Whatever's Clean 13" template with black, white and yellow garments


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Monday, October 05, 2015

My Favorite Posts: Jewelry

When you read this, I will be in Wales. Yes, Wales. Belovedest and I are taking off TWO weeks, for sightseeing, a World Cup Rugby Match, some museums, some ruins, a LOT of dining, a 5K run in Newport, more museums, a few relatives... oh my...

I was NOT able to prepare full-blown posts for you ahead of time; we've had lots of company, and my health hasn't been exactly tip-top. But I have thought about you all, a lot, and I had an idea that I would collect some of my favorite posts from the past, clustered around certain subjects... (you do understand that when you get to these posts, you're going to run into links that are dead, right?)

I hope you like these, and are still here when I get back from our trip!



If you want to follow along with what I'm wearing, and what I'm seeing, follow me on Instagram

Wish me luck on my travels - I'll tell you all about it when I get back!


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Saturday, October 03, 2015

Vacation: TODAY!!!

To say that we're excited would be a bit of an understatement! Two weeks (which is SO un-American, the country that has NO law requiring any vacation, at all, for any person, ever) in Wales and England, including attending a Rugby World Cup match! And dinner reservations at some amazing places, and a few days in London, and a visit to my English relatives, AND a bunch of driving around amazing places etc. etc.

This is gonna be good...

If you don't follow me on Instagram, you might want to start. You'll be able to see what I wear every morning (I lay out my outfits and photograph them), and we'll take some pictures of beautiful or amazing places. I'm not one of those people that buries you in photographs, but I'll make sure that I share the really great things with everyone. 

To follow me on Instagram, click on the teeny tiny little camera image over to the right, next to the Twitter birdie. Above the blank space to put in your address. I'm not sure what happens when you click it... I can't follow myself! But it would be great fun to see you all on Instagram while I'm so far away.

Now, to one of my very favorite activities - PACKING!

Travel outfit - pretty expected. No scarf, because I'm wearing a brooch (note the Irish shamrock, married to pearls = quintessentially me!). I'm afraid I'd have snagging issues...

(please note that I'm only putting links up for things that are of a remembered brand, and are still available...)

cardigan - Lands' End, earrings - Majorica;
pants - Eddie Bauer, bag - Standard Luggage, boiled wool jacket - L.L.Bean

I debated between a cashmere v-neck sweater and this cotton cardigan, but chose the cardigan because the cotton is less bulky and less likely to shed all over my boiled wool jacket. Plus my body temperature has been swinging wildly between super-hot and super-cold; super-hot and cashmere are a terrible combination, especially on a long flight! I'd rather shiver than pour sweat...
And I'm pretty excited about my carry-on bag; it was a gift from Standard Luggage, and you know how seldom I receive swag to review here on the blog! And I'm sort of a suitcase fanatic, bordering on fetishist...

So the bag hasn't been out of the bedroom yet, but I'm already pretty impressed. When I opened the box, my bag had orange leather trim on the black, and I was (I'll admit) a bit crestfallen - I had been hoping for turquoise trim. 

When I opened the bag, in addition to the shoulder strap, and the rain cover (yes, the bag has a wee raincoat of its own!), there was a bag of leather goodies IN TURQUOISE, which could be swapped out for the orange! Including a velcro-attached logo patch for the front of the bag. So I did indeed get the bag that I wanted...

The bag that I'm checking is a beaten but undaunted Tumi hard-side bag. This is truly a case of "the quality is remembered, long after the price is forgotten." I remember thinking that I had lost my mind when I bought this bag, but it's been paid for long since, and it shows no signs of wearing out. And it's acquiring that patina of travel abuse that I love.

Black and turquoise bag - Standard Luggage, black hard-sided bag - Tumi

In addition to the few necessities for the flight (tickets, ID, phone, empty water bottle), I'm going to pack all of my running gear in the Standard bag. So far, I've got so much space that I'm really tempted to take 2 pair of running shoes...

This trip is going to be a head-to-head comparison of two wool tops - one from L.L.Bean (I believe made by Smartwool) and one from Icebreaker. Wool athletic tops are expensive, and I want to know which ones perform best! 

And yes, I love my running skirts. They're great when you want something fairly tight (they have lycra shorts underneath), but you want some... modesty... around your anatomy. Plus the swishy of the fabric makes me feel faster, which I desperately need...

grey tee - Under Armour; black wool top - Icebreaker; fleece - L.L.Bean;
gloves - Nike; skirt - Nike; shorts - Nike; socks - Swiftwick; shoes - Nike;
tights - Nike; gaiter - Buff

I know for some of you that's WAY too much athletic information...

This is what will be packed in the hard-sided bag, and checked, to be left to the fates of the airline staff:
black cotton turtleneck - Lands' End, white shirt - Lands' End; pearl necklace - Majorica;
bag - J. Crew; white tee shirt - Lands' End; floral scarf - Ted Baker; athletic-ish shoes - Munro;
skirt - Eileen Fisher; black & white scarf - Julie Egli; ballet flats - Thierry Rabotin

My logic in choosing to check THESE clothes rather than my running gear was that it would be really hard to replace running shoes at the last minute, while jeans and more "normal" clothing might be easier to find. I hope this theory is NOT put to the test!

 We're gone for 2 weeks, so laundry is definitely in our plans - I know that most of the places that we'll be have same-day laundry services in town... it's always interesting to see what happens with your clothes!

This is a visualization of how I might dress. I'm sure it won't actually pan out quite the way I'm picturing it, but doing this at least reassures me that I have tons of choices and options!

Yes, this is all sort of "long" on Irish imagery, but in the future, when I see these images out of context, I will be able to remember which trip and which blog post this was!

I hope you all keep well and safe until we're in contact again. I won't be able to answer emails for the next 2 weeks, nor respond to comments. But DO try to follow me on Instagram - I would love to be able to be in touch at least a little bit...

For the next 2 weeks, there will be posts here on The Vivienne Files 6 days a week - I went through all of my old posts, and chose 12 groups of posts, with 12 themes, that are among my favorites. While it's not a full-blown "new" piece of work, it might lead you to posts you've overlooked, or remind you of an old favorite. I hope these are okay with everyone...

much much much love,
and big hugs,

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Friday, October 02, 2015

Chic Sightings: White Trousers, at the Art Institute of Chicago

I haven't done Chic Sightings for a while because... well... I haven't seen much! But last week I was walking home past the Art Institute of Chicago (which I do frequently, since it's 3 blocks from home!), and I saw both of these women. It was one of those days that started with a cool-ish morning, building to a warmer afternoon, and they both looked lovely, and perfect for the day.

Is it the museum that attracts the simple, chic, eye-catching woman?

Tunic – IDLF for Uniqlo; loafers – Kate Spade New York; bracelet –
 Dorothy Perkins; backpack – Adidas; scarf – The Kooples
trousers – Tory Burch

Jacket – Dorothy Perkins, earrings – Melinda Maria; necklace – 
 Dogeared; tote – Sole Society; shoes – Common Projects; tee – 
J. Crew; trousers – Tory Burch

It feels like the "brunette version, blonde version" of wearing white trousers in the city...



Thursday, October 01, 2015

OLIVE: With 8 Bright Accents

Olive today! Some of these were difficult...

Cardigan – Topshop; tee – J.Crew; trousers Current/Elliott

I'm including these Yves Saint Laurent pants, even though they're the ONLY pair available, to remind you that a garment with a range of shades of green could work really beautifully with your olive neutrals.

Silk – YvesSaint Laurent Vintage; corduroy – Harvey Faircloth
cropped – J. Crew Factory

This is a case in which the scarf really plays a key role. And this scarf is a stylized map - it's a really good thing it's not my colors.

And I have to point out the earrings from Louise et Cie; this is a company that has made shoes for a few years, and just now ventured into jewelry (at least in the US). Some of their jewelry is really cool, and not at all expensive. I'm making a note of this company for when my shopping moratorium ends!

Scarf – Michael Stars; earrings – Louise et Cie
loafers – Jack Rogers

Are there any of you who can't wear this color near your face? It seems to me that it might be pretty widely flattering.

Boucle – Tibi; v-neckMichael Michael Kors; cabled – Sea

This is another pair of earrings from Louise et Cie... I'm really quite smitten.

And when you're stumped for a scarf, don't forget to check museum gift shops. They aren't as led by trendy colors as stores might be...

Earrings – Louise et Cie; scarf – Metropolitan Museum of Art;
Laceless oxfords – Munro

All of these tops were described as cobalt, although you can clearly see that they don't exactly look like the same color! That's something you have to bear in mind when you're searching online for something - use a LOT of creativity in describing what you want. Using a thesaurus wouldn't be silly!

Long sleeve – Uniqlo; ¾ sleeve – Scoop; short sleeve – White Stuff

Earrings – Meghna Designs; scarf – Etro;
Loafers – Cole Haan

The next time they change words in the English language, please make sure that I get the memo! I always thought that something WITHOUT sleeves was a vest, and that a similar garment WITH sleeves was a jacket. But if you search for jacket these days, you'll get a whole bunch of vests that they call sleeveless jackets... Next thing you know, they'll be referring to shorts as legless pants!

Vest – Uniqlo; hoodedAdidas;
Cocoon – Gianluca Capannolo

Earrings – Ted Baker London; boots – Softspots;
 scarf - Missoni

Yet another instance in which you can easily wear a "difficult" color, when you move it away from your face.

Pencil – J. Crew Factory;  pleated midi – J. Crew
kilt - Boden

These are great shoes - if I wore gold (rather than silver), I'd grab these NOW, in anticipation of the winter holidays. I'm particularly happy with the very reasonably low heel!

Earrings – Mikinora; scarf Hermes Phoenix et Plumets;
Pumps – Sam Edelman

Here's where the going got tough:

Flaired skirt – Marni; v-neck sleeveless – Diane von Furstenberg;
Cap sleeve – Planet

This isn't the worst cardigan possible to wear over your shoulders; the bracelet is decidedly green, and the hammered gold earrings and gold shoes keep it all coherent. But if there were ever a combination that I would have avoided, this is it! But the "random draw" for colors and items required a purple dress, so this is how it turns out.

Earrings – Josie Natori; bracelet – L. Erickson
Pumps – Sam Edelman

Red and olive is a classic combination. One of the fun things here was the range of reds available!

Pockets – J. Crew; tie front – Tory Burch;
V-neck – J. Crew

Yep, the same scarf as yesterday. Why not?

Scarf – Laleh Fayaz; garnet bracelet – Gurhan;
LoafersMarc Fisher Ltd

This is a perfect color combination for autumn!

8-button – J. Crew; orange trimmed – Boden;
Cropped – Boutique Moschino

I love this, and I never wear these colors!

Necklace – Treasures Hanover; tote – Brahmin;
Loafers – Coach

I'm not going to get back to these "bright accent posts" until after my vacation, but I do want to know if you're interested in a couple more. Maybe with camel? Teal? Plum?


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