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The Vivienne Files - Page 169 of 174 - Capsule wardrobes inspired by art and nature
So far, all of the wardrobes I've built have been posted under the heading French Chic, and I'm frankly becoming a bit uncomfortable with that. We've wandered quite a distance from what the original guidelines of Susan Sommers' iconic book, and I'm not sure that I should continue to exploit the title which is so indelibly hers.
Thus, I'm just going to call them wardrobes. And with that decision, I thought I should share with you the mantra I use for the building of these little gems.
First: Carefully Curated. Each garment has to make the cut. I've heard some fairly harsh criticism recently that "good enough" is really okay for one's wardrobe, and I have to disagree. Yes, in some circumstances we do have to ... View the Post
One of my friends has long black hair, an outrageous personality, and works in advertising. This is for her!
Please bear in mind that I couldn't wear this. But it takes all kinds, and doing this wardrobe made it clear to me that the concept of core garments works for any style or personality.
I've noticed that the most straightforward way for me to "build" a wardrobe is to start with the scarf and work from there.
And as I think about it, this could be a good strategy for anybody looking for some guidelines and some structure around which to build their clothing choices. The beauty of this approach is that you don't HAVE to actually own the scarf - you can find one that resonates on a deep level with you ... View the Post
(did you see smoke?)
When I get up to 100 wardrobes, I'm going to put them all into a self-published book.
love, V ... View the Post
Someone brilliantly requested that I build them a wardrobe based on the colors of the abalone shell. With the inspiration I got from looking at abaloneshelljewelry.com, I built the following:
Thanks so much for the FASCINATING request; I hope you like the results.
Anybody interested in a custom wardrobe, just leave a comment (even an Anonymous comment!) with the particulars of what you'd like to see. It could be based on a particular painting, or scarf, or just your favorite colors. And for those of you with pending requests - I'm hard at work to find you the PERFECT items! ... View the Post
Slow cookers aren't very glamorous. If you're like me, you might have memories from the 70's of pallid chickens in watery sauce, or grayish beef... but this baby is nothing like what you remember.
It's biggest advantage is that it takes the place of a Dutch oven, because the insert is usable on both the stove-top and in the oven. So you can brown something and then put it on to simmer for about a million years - no more flaccid, creepy beige chicken!
And they're good for lots of other things too - you can start oatmeal before you go to bed and have oatmeal for breakfast. This alone has revolutionized breakfast in our home; the difference between a bowl of cold cereal and a bowl of oatmeal is vast.
We also ... View the Post
One of my dear friends asked how I would accessorize the French Chic wardrobe. While this is far from definitive, I think it's an interesting start.
I learn more and more every day as I build these vignettes for our shared pleasure: you should be ABSOLUTELY FANATICALLY DEMANDING when you purchase anything. There is a world of merchandise out there, and the perfect item exists, if you have the patience and the focus to find it. Settle for NOTHING LESS THAN PERFECTION. You deserve it. And if you fully intend to own many of your accessories for the rest of your life, you can easily justify buying the very best item being made today - support geniuses and craftspersons, and beautify the world.
Merchandise ... View the Post
I was overwhelmed by the kind and supportive comments I received yesterday after I told you all about my recent work debacle. You have reminded me yet again of how truly kind and generous people can be, and I am humbled by the reassurances you so readily gave me. I will never forget.
It's a sorry effort to repay you, but many people have indicated an interest in seeing a prototype French Chic wardrobe in different colors, so I'm making a blanket offer: post a comment with your request regarding a preferred wardrobe, and I will build it and post it here.
Your request can be around just one color, two colors or even three. You can ask me to use the colors from a favorite painting (I think a Marie Laurencin wardrobe ... View the Post
You don't have to be an urban planner to have a pretty good idea that what might be found on the surface on a sidewalk could be... icky. And while the dress above is quite lovely in it's "street sweeper" way, given that the model is almost certainly taller than you, you should definitely consider having your maxi dress hemmed to a less overwhelming length before wearing. Vivienne always freaks out a little bit thinking about the microscopic critters being carried into their hotel. Of course, shoes also carry in the same sorts of fungus, bacteria, and germs, but it just seems WORSE when it's on your skirt.... And the thought that your new dress is going to start fraying the first day you wear it is just sad; fraying clothes ... View the Post
I left the new job.
My instincts told me it was wrong from the beginning, and I chose to ignore them.
Any job that makes you cry on the 5th day is NOT a keeper.
I am so embarrassed by this... ... View the Post
So as lovely as the garments above are, this is certainly not going to be enough clothing to even get you through a week. Most of us would want at least five separate tops and bottoms (or a dress) to get through the week. Even if you wear black pants repeated each week, it's nice to have more than one pair.
Thus, I decided to take it upon myself to determine what additional garments Vivienne would want in order to consider this a complete wardrobe. Realistically, I think most of us would do this exercise twice - once for cooler weather, and once for the sweltering misery that passes for summer on much of our planet. But for starters, let's just round out this core wardrobe with a few of the essentials.
The ... View the Post
One of the things about the book French Chic (Susan Sommers) which intrigued me was the list of garments which included "The seven essentials no well-dressed Frenchwoman would be without".
That list included:
A black straight skirt a V-neck or cardigan sweater a suit a pair of jeans a silk shirt a couple of white tee-shirts an Hermes scarf
The idea of a list of essential clothing fascinates me; in a world that tries to compel me to over-consume, that finite-ness of a list like this, in which I could have some discipline and some structure, seems heaven-sent. Knowing that I was going to buy a fixed number of garments would give me the freedom to determine how much I wanted to spend, in what areas I could be extravagant, and on ... View the Post