What I wear all winter long – to “go-to” wardrobe for almost any occasion:
- black cashmere cardigan – Lands’ End. If my entire wardrobe horribly disappears, this might be the first garment I replace. Goes over every tee shirt, dress, or blouse, all year long.
- the short-sleeved sweater that matches the cardigan – also Lands’ End. Like a tee shirt, but cashmere.
- black cashmere turtleneck – Lands’ End AGAIN. I wear it with jeans, I wear it with silk pants, I wear it with a velvet skirt.
- black cashmere v-neck sweater – LE, of course. over a tee shirt, or on it’s own…
- black velvet jeans – Eileen Fisher. Jeans, but so much more.
- black velvet corduroy trousers – Eddie Bauer. I love these pants so much that when they wear out, I’m going to find a tailor to re-create them for me.
- black knit pencil skirt – Eileen Fisher. Won’t wrinkle, won’t ride up, and goes with everything I own, 365 days a year. The second thing I would replace if I had to start from scratch.
- black cashmere cabled sweater – Lands’ End. Thick, heavy, luscious, heavenly texture.
- My Kenneth Jay Lane cuff bracelet. A little punch of WOW onto anything.
- pearl necklace and
- earrings – Majorica. I much prefer pearls to any other jewelry – I’m all about luster and glowing and subtle radiance.
- pearl ring – Charlotte Santa Fe. Pearl set in heat-treated stainless steel. I just love it.
- two Hermes scarves – De Tout Coeur, and
- Voyages en Etoffes. Both gifts from my belovedest. They brighten up my outfits, and my heart.
- Cap-toed pumps, and
- lizard embossed Belgian loafers – Stuart Weitzman. I could conquer the world with just these 2 pair of shoes.
I could almost cry. I have all of these…in black aussi. BUT I am moving away from black. And these are my basics. Last year I tried to migrate to dark navy, but ended up not loving it on me. Better than black near my face, but still not so flattering. I like medium (dusty, heathered) colors best now. So what to do with the BLACK? Any thoughts? I cannot in good conscience just jettison all my expensive BLACKS.
TIA for any suggestions.
Kate at Serendipity says
How old is your Lands End cashmere? Mine is about 15 years old and I lovelovelove it. However, when I read the comments on the website I wonder it seems as if the quality is not what is used to be. People are saying that it's thin and cheap and pills a lot. Others say it's great. I swear by mine, but it's old. What do you think?
I love your blog and your wardrobes. I have recently lost 45 pounds and have the pleasant duty of starting over with my whole wardrobe–4 sizes smaller. (YAAY) Your blog gives me lots of ideas.
Oh, wow! This is excellent. I can translate to grey and I'm set! Thanks very much. Jo
Jane W. says
Like Kate, I'd be interested to hear more about your cashmere. Pilling is a pet peeve.
I love cashmere; any style, any color! I haven't tried anything from Lands' End, but now may be the time to give it a shot. They are running a Friends and Family event in stores and on-line through February 28: 25% off regularly-priced merchandise and free shipping on orders of $50+. One can never have too much cashmere … just don't buy all the colors I want! :) BTW, love, Love, LOVE this site! Thanks for all the valuable insight you so unselfishly share!
KBG in DC says
I have that exact same LE cashmere twinset. The cardigan has been a wardrobe staple for about 15 years now. The neckband is separating from the body of the garment but I refuse to give it up and wear it for gardening or around the house. It is the most industrial cashmere I own.
It's funny how similar our wardrobes are. Swap out that cable crew neck for a white t- shirt and this looks just like my wardrobe.
I am swooning–the accessories are just beautiful.
How utterly lovely! I'm a "black" woman myself, and would gladly own any of your items! And the accessories are to die for…especially that pearl and ss ring…
Charlotte Santa Fe is an AMAZING jewelry shop, and easily shoppable online. These items aren't at all expensive, and the pearl in my ring can be interchanged with other stones. It's a very clever design…
And KGB – you'll be seeing white tee shirts soon enough – they're a staple for me too!
I don't have too much trouble with my cashmere pilling, and I was mine in the machines in our building (front load) on delicate. I use a cheap Evercare fuzz ball remover on my sweaters from time to time, but it's not been a problem yet. I think maybe that's because my sweaters are older, from the time when cashmere quality was a bit more rigorous than it has been the last few years.
thanks for being here,
Lynn, I think you're right about Lands' End cashmere – it's not as good as it used to be! That's maddening, and leaves me looking around for replacements… All of the "department store" brand sweaters have gone downhill in recent years too. Anybody know of someone who still makes good-quality cashmere sweaters – especially in Petite sizes? (gotta have those shorter sleeves, sigh)
Oh no, we were separated at birth (but I'm older)! Have that LE turtleneck too- good quality. LE v-neck, maybe 5 yrs old is not noticeably better… maybe I missed the slump? Mostly order from Eric Bompard.
Anyone tempted to jettison black might just mix it with a rich charcoal, which illuminates black- but is hard to find. I also love black WITH navy, such an austere, chic mix, except you can wear black shoes with navy pants but not the opposite… and why is that?
Thanks to Duchesse. Yes, a rich charcoal would do it, I think, along with some accessories. My navy is/was a true dark navy and one could scarcely tell the difference with the black. What do you all think of combining a heathery brown with black?
What a great winter capsule. I adore your scarves, especially de tout coeur.
Frugal Scholar says
I just packed for a fairly fancy dinner at my daughter's college: black velvet leggings, black tank, St John jacket (blk w/ gold buttons), one of my two Hermes scarves, black embossed loafers. And I realized–like you–that I should just get rid of everything else.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Vivienne: I have not had luck with LE cashmere (the new stuff, not your vintage pieces which obviously wear like iron). I have had good success with Neiman Marcus cashmere, though. I wash mine on the delicate cycle in my machine, air dry them, and I see no pilling or wear marks. I'm not sure if they make petite sizes, but the sizing is not generous (no vanity sizing). They make classic shapes and are beautiful pieces.
esme noir says
love these pieces! and i'm dying to have the second scarf!
Looks like I need to check out Lands End. I like JCrew for my cashmere. A little pricey but the quality is nice and they really last a long time. I used to like Lord and Taylor cashmere but it's gotten a little thinner and scratchier in recent years.
Kate at Serendipity says
I've just bought a cashmere turtleneck from Eric Bompard (http://www.eric-bompard.com/). It's like the old LE stuff–heavy, soft and looks like it will wear forever. The saleslady told me to wash it often in the washer. The sizes are French sizes–which means that they run small. I wear a medium in Belgium and I had to buy an XL (crushing for the ego). It fits perfectly. Check the size charts carefully before you order.
I'm thrilled to have found this source.
Thanks so much for letting us know! I'm always concerned about ordering from there, because I have alarmingly short arms, and I don't think they carry petite sizes. Since I don't like rolling up my sleeves from necessity, it means I'm still looking for a source. But now I have even more support that I can recommend Eric Bompard with confidence.