Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Last 4 Steps: Shifting a Wardrobe from Cool Colors to Warm Colors

Okay, let's finish shifting this wardrobe!

By now, you should be REALLY comfortable with the colors of your new clothes, and you should also be feeling slightly uneasy when you wear your older things. If you aren't finding this shift to be a big improvement in your love for your wardrobe, STOP SHOPPING. Don't make this shift if you're not 100% sure it's the right thing, and don't continue the move if you feel at any time that you might be making a mistake. There's no shame in stopping at any stage for a lengthy reassessment, and there's no shame in deciding part way through that it was a bad move. The only shame would be in persisting in taking advice from someone else about your wardrobe, when your instincts and emotions tell you it's the wrong thing to do!

So this is where we are after the first 5 steps of the move:

green cardigan – L.L.Bean; blue cardigan – L.L.Bean; draped top – 3.1 Phillip Lim; blue
turtleneck –  Ferragamo; black cardigan – J. Crew; Ivory tee – Uniqlo;olive dress – IDLF Uniqlo;
tan tee – IDLF Uniqlo; blazer – L.L.Bean; vicuna cardigan – Lands’ End;  green sweater –
L.L.Bean; blue sweater – Tsumori Chisato; dress – Issey Miyake; blue top – H&M; olive tee -
Oasis; vicuna sweater – Lands’ End; cream tee – L.L.Bean; cropped pants -L.L.Bean; pants –
J. Crew; flared skirt – MICHAEL Michael Kors; olive pants - Etro; jeans – Armani Jeans;
rust capris - Patagonia; pencil skirt – J. Crew; olive shorts - L.L.Bean

Step 6 - A Neutral Shift for 3 Pieces

The next step is pretty clear - get rid of more of that black! When you survey the wardrobe as a whole, it's clear that the black doesn't fit in at all well...

I love this color, named oatmeal, beige, or whatever:
Cardigan – James Perse; pants – J. Brand; skirt - Boden

Step 7 - New Casual Wear - Capris and a Pair of Tops

By now, you should be committed to the change that you're making, so it's time to clear out the last black garment, and find a couple of fun pieces to wear with most of your new things:

Since we're adding a pair of shorts here, I thought that a couple of nice tee shirts would be fun companions. Both of these tops will go with most of your cardigans, pants, and your new skirt.
Coral tee – L.L.Bean; floral top – L.L.Bean; shorts – L.L.Bean

Step 8 - Refreshing Accent Color Tops

Frankly, you could hold onto these blue pieces until you get absolutely sick of them, because they are really quite compatible with the rest of your wardrobe. But in the interests of really finishing off EVERYTHING, let's get some new tops, in more flattering colors.

Since you're sure you're going to be wearing your new colors for the foreseeable future, this is a good time to invest in something really gorgeous, like a cashmere twinset. Even if you're not the twinset type, having two pieces in the same color gives you the option to use the same jewelry and scarves with either piece.

Turquoise cardigan – J. Crew; turquoise sweater – J. Crew
striped top – T by Alexander Wang

Step 9 - The Last Step: A Special-Occasion Dress

If it was my choice, I'd keep this dress forever... but of course, it will eventually wear out, or you will find that you just NEVER put it on:

So, since it's your only really dressy dress, we're going to go WAAAAY over the top for this one:

Dress - Chloe

Nine steps, an undefined period of time, but this is where we end up. The overall structure of the wardrobe is very similar to our starting point, but it looks completely different, thanks to the warmer colors.

Next, I'm going to start shifting the accessory wardrobe from cool to warm - it should be interesting!


NORDSTROM - Shop Designer Spring 2016 Collections

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The 1st Five Steps: Shifting Accessories from Cool Colors to Warm Colors

To me, changing the color palette of your accessories is more difficult than shift a wardrobe of clothes! Jewelry might be valuable, scarves might hold sentimental value, and shoes can be just plain hard to find...

Especially when you're starting with a very nice assortment of items like this:

Hoop earrings – Charter Club; pearl earrings – Uno de 50; ring – Chico’s; pearl necklace – Nareerat
 brooch – Chloe; square scarf – ImageDiary; tassel earrings – Cole Haan; teardrop earrings – Simon 
 Sebbag; black pearl earrings – Khun Boom; blue necklace – Swarovski; bracelet – Withaya Cheunjit
silver necklace – Elina Miro; fringed scarf – Elizabeth Gillett; tote – Issey Miyake; boots – Bussola
booties – Clarks; sandals – OluKai; slip-on shoes – Vans; slides – Donald J. Pliner; pumps – Charles
 by Charles David; sandals – OluKai; ballet flats – Lanvin; speckled scarf – Saachi; pumps – Cole Haan;
 striped scarf – Mila Schon; backpack - AmeriBag

Step 1 - Defining Accessories need to change!

As hard as it is to let go, this scarf WAS the defining core of the wardrobe from last week. (see it here). And you'll want a new pair of earrings, to bring your warmer colors near to your face. And since your wardrobe is going to be more limited for a while, another scarf is a good choice - you can wear it to help your 2 color palettes work together.

There are 2 very different ways to approach your new purchases when you're making a major wardrobe change.

  • buy relatively inexpensive things, in case the whole project doesn't work out well, or
  • buy extremely nice things, so that if the whole project goes "toes up," you can re-sell your new purchases, and at least feel like it wasn't all a total loss.
I'm going to mix the two options, because I'm trying to show the best available items, regardless of the price. I guess this is a 3rd approach to take, eh?

An Hermes scarf might seem a completely insane route to take, but if you're REALLY sure that these are the colors that you want, a beautiful scarf can help you focus your colors, and give you something that you don't mind wearing frequently.

Hoop earrings – Melissa Joy Manning; square scarf – Hermes Collections 
Imperiales; turquoise scarf - Blugirl

Step 2 - Essential Boots and Bag, plus a necklace (for fun)

Step 2 of the clothing shift involved replacing a full 3-piece outfit, so you're definitely going to need shoes! Replacing a handbag can be a good way to put your color change "in your hands" on a consistent basis, since you handle your handbag a lot - this is a good way to test your comfort level with the new colors. And a necklace is far from an essential purchase, but it gives you options (in addition to your scarves) to wear with your new clothes.

Brown mother of pearl necklace – Kendra Scott; boots – Sam Edelman;
 bag – Fossil

Step 3 - Another Important Pair of Shoes, and 2 Accents

Another 3-piece clothing ensemble is getting replaced in Step 3, so another pair of shoes is important; you don't want to be stuck with just your new boots as your only "warm-colored" option. Your choice of accessories to replace is pretty wide-open, but I think a 2nd pair of earrings, and a solid, neutral scarf might get the most mileage.

earrings - Melissa Joy Manning, scarf - Mauro Grifoni; loafers - Coach

Step 4 - Flat Shoes, and 2 Pieces of Jewelry

Yet again, an entire outfit of clothing is being replaced in this step, so another pair of shoes should go along. With ballet flats, loafers, and boots, you have a good range of footwear for a variety of weather conditions. Two more pieces of jewelry can also be replaced at this stage, to keep up with the "3 per step" approach. Remember, there's NO schedule by which this is supposed to be done.

And if at any time this start to feel uncomfortable or just plain wrong, STOP SHOPPING! You can't buy your way into a comfort level with the wrong colors. If this is not, in fact, the right move for you, just accept that you've made a mistake, forgive yourself, and hold your current position for a few weeks or months, until your preferred future path is more clear. Shopping will NOT fix an error...

crystal stud earrings – L. Erickson; wire cuff – Louise et Cie;
 ballet flats – Bella Vita

Step 5 - Pumps, Casual Sandals, and a Great Necklace

Here's the point in the clothing shift in which a new dress appears (but NOT my magic!), so new pumps are in order, as well a pretty necklace. And since you're getting new shorts too, a pair of sandals is critical.

Speaking of which, these are REALLY comfortable sandals. It takes about 10 minutes to get used to the degree of support which they provide, but then you'll be addicted. I have two pair.... so far....  (they come in 9 colors...)

Chain necklace – Robert Lee Morris; gold flat sandals – Vionic
pumps – Softspots

This definitely looks like it has one foot in each bathtub, doesn't it? But until all of your clothes are migrated to your new color palette, it's important to be able to wear everything in an attractive ensemble. Patience is a key variable in a process like this!

Tomorrow, I'm going to finish replacing "cool" accessories with "warm" ones, and show the final wardrobe of both clothing AND accessories!


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