Saturday, October 25, 2014

Start With Nature: Ornamental Cabbage - a Four Pack

Why do I feel confident suggesting that this may be the only fashion ensemble in history that was explicitly inspired by a cabbage?  But I don't feel very apologetic about this - these cabbages look more like big, gorgeous flowers, with subtle colors.  Frankly, if you find colors that you like, they can come from ANYWHERE, and you never have to tell your secrets!

It would certainly be possible to go with more pink, and a couple of different shades, but I was in a green mood...  There could also be some white in this combination, and you could use black in place of the dark grey.  I can't stress enough that you should see what YOU want to see in these colors, and adjust your choices accordingly.  The only real point of this is to find a way to express yourself efficiently (not a ton of clothes) and effectively (feeling happy and comfortable in your choices).

I'm starting by building a core of dark grey, but using that great bright pink as the accent.  As is so often the case with me, the scarf is key, but you could also scare up a necklace or a brooch in burnished silver with pink stones.

Down jacket – Hogan, pearl earrings – Allurez, scarf – Athena Procopiou, sweater – Etro, grey flannel trousers – Theory, boots – Dansko, tote bag – COET

Here's where I build more grey, but add in those luscious muted greens.  The bracelet, in two shades of green, is so perfect here.  Excellent jewelry doesn't have to be expensive - you can find things more reasonably priced to use with accent colors, and then you don't feel committed for eternity to a particular color scheme!

Scarf – Radical Chic, gray skirt – L.L.Bean, pale green blouse – Givenchy, grey cardigan – Malene Birger, green sweater – T by Alexander Wang, bracelet – Zandra Lorena Sajbin, grey flats – Trotters

 Here's where the beauty of a cardigan that buttons really shines - it functions both as a 2nd layer, and as a solo sweater.  If you don't like to carry a lot of luggage, but you want a few options, a buttoned cardigan is worth your consideration.

Please note - I have a new scarf on the Hermes Scarves and stuff page, and I've also listed some of my surplus Hermes booklets. thanks!                         Novica

Friday, October 24, 2014

Start With Nature: Chrysanthemums - a Four Pack

Okay, some of these colors aren't easy to find, and they might be a little bit much for your entire wardrobe.  But if you have a core in taupe (or brown, or navy, or black), these colors as an accent could be a lot of fun!  

Just as a reminder, these are the Starburst Chrysanthemums I photographed a few weeks ago - they are now frozen and quite dead, but I will love this photograph for quite a long time.

Stumbling onto the scarf was really key!  It has the accent colors of the deep coral, the softer rose, and the yellow - everything after that was relatively simple!  Here you can see where having the core items of a coat, trousers, boots and a tote bag in your neutral makes the rest of this much less complicated.

Down coatUniqlo, earrings – Finn, scarf – Hermes, yellow sweater – Isola Marras, trousers – Uniqlo, boots – Sam Edelman, tote – Violet Ray

A four pack is really for a weekend - maybe a third day, if necessary.  You can get rather dressy with a silk blouse and your good trousers, or you could be put to work in the holiday home kitchen with a short-sleeved top and jeans.  

The cardigan could, in theory, be worn over either of these tops, but I was thinking that it would stand alone here.  Of course, if taupe is one of your neutrals, you own a blouse or tee shirt in taupe, which would be great with the yellow cardigan and Hermes scarf!

The Missoni scarf is handy if you go out somewhere in your silk blouse and there's a draft... (there's ALWAYS another reason to have a scarf handy!)

blouse – Iris and Ink, short-sleeved blouse – East, scarf – Missoni, yellow cardigan – L.K.Bennett, taupe jeans – Armani Jeans, driving loafers - Tod's

A few options for your weekend, in colors that you don't see just EVERYWHERE, eh?


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Packing, and Start With Art reference pages are completed

What a great painting this was for a wardrobe - Water Dreaming by Tjapaltjarri.  You can find all of the Start with Art, and most of the packing posts...  I'm still tracking down a few fugitives!

What other reference pages did you want?


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's all about packing...

This is a cheery six pack to look at on a grey day... especially since I felt the first snowflake this morning!

Check up at the top of the page - the Packing links are there!  I'm going to be working a bit more on them...  A lot of them refer to guest-posting that I did on another blog; I'm going to revise those links to take you directly to the full post, on the other site.  But for now, I think you'll find LOTS to inspire you to start pricing plane tickets!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Pages for Reference!

Look up at the top of the page, right below where the Paris pavement spells out Vivienne - you'll see new links to A Common Wardrobe, and to Project 333.  On the Project 333 page, there's a link to a free worksheet that you can use for planning your own personal Project 333.

Remember these beauties from Project 333 of years gone by?  I think the power of accessories grouped by a theme, color scheme or motif is exponentially greater than the power of accessories on their own.  Yet another reason why having a plan for your wardrobe makes good sense!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Two Questions....

I'm trying to put together pages of links to the various series of posts from here on The Vivienne Files, and it's pretty time-consuming.  

That said, I'm planning to do pages for The Common Wardrobe, Four by Four Wardrobes, Whatever's Clean (I am starting to really love that one!), and Start With Art. Any other series for which you'd like to have ALL of the links collected onto 1 page?  Let me know...

And these are recent pictures I've taken - would any/all of these make good wardrobes?  As usual, let me know!



Saturday, October 18, 2014

We are SO ahead of our time!

When we were in Amsterdam last month, we of course went to the Rijksmuseum.  They have lots of Rembrandt's, some Vermeers - it's worth the effort, trust me.  It's a museum that will linger in our memories for the rest of our lives.

But there was one thing there that really caught my eye - our TICKETS!

Rijksmuseum ticket The Nightwatch Rembrandt Start With Art Color Scheme

Rijksmuseum ticket The Nightwatch Rembrandt Start With Art Color Scheme
Both of the paintings are in fact details from The Night Watch by Rembrandt - arguably the crown jewel of the Rijksmuseum collection.  But note the color schemes on the left side, drawn from the paintings!  Remind anybody of our Start With Art?

These two bit posters were outside the entrance to the museum. The first is colors taken from The Milkmaid by Vermeer:
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Color Scheme The Milkmaid Vermeer Start With Art

And this is colors taken from The Night Watch.  I particularly like the graffiti - Find Joy!

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam The Nightwatch Rembrandt Color Scheme Start With Art

And I must share Belovedest's favorite photo: me, surrounded by luggage, before we left our lovely room in Amsterdam...
The Vivienne Files Maison Rika Amsterdam guesthouse

Note that my cool Maison Rika cardigan matches the throw that was on our bed... Rika's favorite motif is stars, I suspect!  I can't recommend a trip to Amsterdam highly enough, everything was delightful, and we will cherish those memories forever.  And I suspect we'll be back...

OOOOOH, and a present for you - I put another tab up at the top of The Vivienne Files that opens a page with all the links to all of the Step By Step Wardrobe posts.  I'm going to build pages for the other themes too - Start with Art etc.  It takes a while, but I'm on it!

                        Rhapsody Music Service

Friday, October 17, 2014

The French 5-Piece Wardrobe + The Common Wardrobe: One Special Outfit

This is a plan for someone who has The Common Wardrobe in grey and off-white, with a camel sweater, because they're moving away from wearing black. (more on this idea another day).  This someone has a special occasion coming up, and they want to expend their ENTIRE French 5-Piece Wardrobe on a new dress and some accessories:

Silver grey scarf – Yuh Okano, dress – Wood Wood, bracelet – Achara, pumps – Bella Vita, silver floral half hoop earrings - Kenari
These purchases aren't "single-use", of course; the scarf and jewelry could be worn with almost any of the outfits in The Common Wardrobe.  The pumps will go nicely with our grey skirt (or with the jeans, if that's a preference). And the dress is simple enough that it can be worn more casually, after the special occasion.  Dark tights and flats or ankle boots will look really nice with this dress...

But if you blow your entire season's purchases on one outfit, plus accessories, what do you wear the rest of the time?

Here's The Common Wardrobe that I thought up for this person: 
Grey v-neck – Uniqlo, grey turtleneckUniqlo, grey cardigan Uniqlo, camel v-neck - Uniqlo, off white silk blouse – Uniqlo, denim shirt – Uniqlo, grey tee Uniqlo, off-white tee – Uniqlo, off-white corduroy pants - Uniqlo, grey jeans - Uniqlo,  grey skirt - Uniqlo, faded jeans - Uniqlo

Our lovely person will have at least 4 dozen outfits just from these twelve pieces:

Yes, we might not all opt for off-white as one of our neutral colors because of laundry concerns, but you have to admit that it makes some really pretty ensembles!  And I hope I'm convincing you that getting these 12 pieces of clothing together is a smart move to make your life easier...

Hey - I just found out that Saks Fifth Avenue is offering 20% off of all jewelry with a Friends and Family discount - what a misnomer - they don't know us!  But I'll take their 20% if there's something I want...


Thursday, October 16, 2014

The French 5-Piece Wardrobe + A Common Wardrobe: Avoiding Boredom

Let's say you have A Common Wardrobe in black and grey, and you're happy with it.  But you're concerned that you're going to get bored by wearing so many neutrals all of the time...  So one day you're browsing through the internet, and you find a whole LOT of lovely, bright, good-quality blouses, shirts and sweaters at a good price. You might have always wanted to try these brands, but always been reluctant to purchase their items at the full retail price.  (the site is The Outnet - lots of pretties at prices that still aren't small, but which are a ton better than the original retail!). 

After a bit of thought, you choose to, for one season, indulge your affection for every bright color...

Red sweater – Marni, blue sweater – Zadig and Voltaire, pink leather-trimmed top – M Missoni, blue printed tee – Jason Wu, turquoise floral tee – Prabal Gurung

Remember, this is what we're starting with in the closet:

Grey v-neck – Uniqlo, grey turtleneck – Uniqlo, black cardigan – Uniqlo, black v-neck - Uniqlo, white broadcloth shirt – Uniqlo, denim shirt – Uniqlo, grey tee – Uniqlo, black tee – Uniqlo, black jeans – Uniqlo, grey jeans - Uniqlo,  skirt - Uniqlo, faded jeans - Uniqlo
 Since you've started with your solid core of neutral clothes, your seemingly mad indulgence in bright colors and a statement print isn't REALLY extravagant - you, in fact, have a lot of different choices in how to wear your new items.  You can be quite casual, or rather dressy - you will be able to enjoy your new tops to your heart's content, and never be bored!

Having a planned and organized wardrobe doesn't necessarily have to mean that you have a staid or boring wardrobe; a well thought-out balance of neutral workhorse garments, sparked with bright colors and prints can still be practical and versatile.

Yes, The Outnet pays me a wee commission if you click through and purchase something.  That's not why I chose these tops, however - I chose them so that you would learn about a really cool mail order option. Even if it doesn't appear to you, it's fun to see some of the more outrageous clothes offered...

                        THE OUTNET.COM

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The French 5-Piece Wardrobe + A Common Wardrobe: shades of blue, with black and grey

We looked at using a variety of shades of pink as an accent (post here), and it was something that everybody either seemed to love or hate.  So I'm going to see what response is to shades of blue - that very particular muted blue that you see in blue onyx.

A note about this scarf - it's from Hermes, and it's in their usual amazingly lustrous silk twill, but it isn't a square - it's a very long rectangle with mitered ends.  Per square inch of silk, these scarves are MUCH less expensive than the squares, and for many people, they're a lot more versatile style.  If you've never been interested in a square scarf, then these (called Maxi Twilly), are at least worth seeing, just to admire their beauty... The Hermes website has changed the way they display scarves; it's now whimsical, and very pretty.

So here's the 5-Piece French Wardrobe - classic shapes for the most part, everything related to that shade of blue.
Light blue sweater – Dorothy Perkins, blue shirt – Pop Cph, blue cardigan – Uniqlo, scarf – Hermes Cavalcadour maxi twilly, blue onyx earrings – LindseyMarie
And here's A Common Wardrobe in black and grey.  The only difference from the navy and grey we were using is just a switch of the five navy garments to the identical items (except the skirt) in black. I was toying around with how many possible combinations there are, just within these twelve garments, and it came out over 4 dozen.  These core items in your closet could make a lot of mornings much simpler. 
Grey v-neck – Uniqlo, grey turtleneckUniqlo, black cardigan – Uniqlo, black v-neckUniqlo, white broadcloth shirt – Uniqlo, denim shirt – Uniqlo, grey tee – Uniqlo, black tee – Uniqlo, black jeans – Uniqlo, grey jeans - Uniqlo,  skirt - Uniqlo, faded jeans - Uniqlo
The new tops add a lot of interest to your neutrals, but the scarf and the earrings are often just the touch that's needed to bring a fresh look to the garments you love and wear the most.

                        House of Fraser