Despite the fact that I don't report in regularly on my progress, I do keep track of what I wear, and what's getting appropriate usage, and what's wasting closet space. As much as I always get compliments when I wear blue, I never really feel quite myself when I'm wearing it... except denim... And, as I always have, I'm drawn to red. Always... So when I did my readjustments for Project 333 starting Monday, I added in both a red tee shirt and a red sweater. They're from L.L.Bean (those people NEVER give me any credit for promoting their clothes, the silly louts), they're festive, and I love them. Also, I'm replacing the non-existent blue jeans with my beloved black velvet skirt! My paisley pants are too cropped, and too ... View the Post
Archives for November 2014
November 28, 2014
Jewelry is the most obvious, and the easiest, way to dress up basic garments. If you look around at some of the less "expected" stores, you can find things that you've never before seen - nobody at your event will be wearing an identical item! These items can easily be worn with a number of different Starting From Scratch Capsule Wardrobes, and many of these pieces could be used during the day, as well. And don't forget that the Starting From Scratch Wardrobes already had quite a few pieces of jewelry in them - many of those pieces are well-suited for evening wear, just as many of the pieces shown below could be worn during the day. I've opted to include brooches instead of necklaces, just ... View the Post
November 27, 2014
No Black Friday offers, no Black Saturday sales, no Cyber Monday links. Just a message from my heart, on this Thanksgiving in the United States. You all make my days delightful, and my work feels like fun when I know you're reading. Thank you. My posts through this winter holiday season may be somewhat irregular, but never doubt that you ALL are in my thoughts. I'm always planning more delights for us to share...
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November 26, 2014
Nothing seems like a better idea this time of year than a red coat - it's bright, on these darkest of days, it stands out in a forest of black, and it throws a flattering rosiness onto any complexion. But how do you make a red coat work well with your chosen neutral color? As always, I have suggestion!
I believe that any of us who deal with long winters deserve at least a couple of pairs of gloves, a couple of scarves, and more than one hat, so I'm showing multiples which can be worn in a variety of combinations. For gloves or mittens, it makes sense to me to have one pair that matches your coat as closely as possible, and another pair that are your neutral. I think ... View the Post
November 25, 2014 The first thing I noticed when I was looking for beautiful shoes and bags for your capsule wardrobes: there are absolutely RIDICULOUS, and sometimes positively dangerous, dress shoes out there. Heels that would only be suitable for walking from the limo into the nightclub, where you will be sitting for the entire evening...
But worse than that are the spikes and other lethal implements that now adorn shoes. If you're attracted to shoes with spikes, or even just with buckles or large jewels, make ABSOLUTELY sure that you've checked out how sharp all such things are, and be aware that crossing your legs, or even having your foot brush against your leg, could bruise you, tear your clothing, or even cut your flesh. I saw ... View the Post
Belovedest and I were doing our usual wander about Paris on our last vacation, when we saw this store across the street. It had the usual clean, simple look that many stores in Paris have (the stores there seem to be either very sleek and simple, or charmingly cluttered in a tiny and inviting way...). With reckless disregard for our safety, which is really the only way to walk in Paris, we crossed the street in the middle of the block and went in... Before we escaped, we had purchased a beautiful linen plaid scarf for Belovedest, in soft tonal beige, tan and ivory, and I had a new cashmere hooded sweatshirt in traditional grey. I bought the largest size available in the sweatshirt, because I was looking for smooshy, cuddly ... View the Post
November 22, 2014 Another way to dress up your Starting from Scratch Capsule Wardrobe is to find a blouse, tee shirt, sweater, or even a sweatshirt that has something dressy going on. There's a world of options around this time of year: lace, sequins, beads, jewels and embroidery are all possibilities.
The Navy and Grey Starting From Scratch Wardrobe
The lace top is beautiful with everything in your wardrobe; you could even wear it under your cardigan during the day, and then pop off the sweater at night in order to be more dressy. A pair of silvery grey dress shoes would amp up the look another bit, but you really wouldn't want to hang a necklace over the lovely lace - a bracelet would be ... View the Post
November 21, 2014 Many of you were interested in a coat to wear with navy clothes, and I had great fun obliging! Some of these coats cost MANY months of rent, but they are amazingly beautiful, and they give us a look and a level of quality to which we can aspire in our more normal coat shopping.
The Patterned Coat
Paisley! Subtle, and almost iridescent, This coat doesn't need much. The hat is divine, the infinity scarf is a subtle melange of the colors in the coat, and the cashmere gloves pick up one of the brighter highlight colors. Feather earrings echo the swirling feeling of the pattern of the coat. Note: These cashmere gloves are going to show up a few times - they are available in a range of ... View the Post
November 20, 2014
A frequent concern for many of us this time of year is how to take our normal, everyday clothes, and make them "party-worthy". I don't like to buy a whole new outfit for a party - I'd much rather figure out a way to elevate the things I already own through the purchase of one strategic item.There are a couple of different ways to do this; today I'm going to explore the possibilities inherent in a cardigan with some sort of beaded, embroidered or metallic detailing. If you don't want to buy a new sweater, this is a great opportunity to do something crafty - I've seen some amazing sweaters dressed up with ribbon embroidery, or hand beading, done by the sweater owner. In one case, the initial embroidery was done ... View the Post
November 19, 2014
This is a project I'm working on in my own wardrobe right now, and I understand from comments and emails that I'm not alone! I personally have decided that I'd like to get a longer, straight, NOT double-breasted, possibly concealed button wool coat. For our entertainment here, I pretend that I've either completely lost my mind, or won the lottery (which I have NEVER played), and I've indulged in some absolutely exquisite coats. Even if you'd never consider buying a coat this expensive, they're always worth looking at in stores in order to be better educated about quality fabrics and construction. That way, when you get around to buying your own more moderately priced coat, you can try to come as close as ... View the Post
November 18, 2014 It could happen to anyone of us - you're minding your own business, and then... you see it. The garment that makes your heart sing. Something that you admire aesthetically, that looks perfect on you, that is beautifully made, from gorgeous materials, and that will last the rest of your life... But OWWWW... it's expensive. The biggest question to answer: can I wear this wondrous garment frequently enough to make it worth the purchase price? I'm NOT going to say it's an investment, because only in a few cases will you be able to sell something for more than the purchase price, which is the technical definition of an investment. But in a way, if you get more joy from something, and it enhances your ... View the Post
I suspect that I've given this away before - I know I've written about it! It's a funny little guide (in fairly easy French) about building an ideal closet if you're lazy - who can't enjoy that? Copies of this float in and out of my library without explanation; I suspect they might reproduce...
The "Paresseuses" is a series of books, and a blog. Check them out; there are fewer more entertaining ways to improve your French language skills!
So leave me a comment, and please let me know what your biggest wardrobe challenge is as we move toward the "winter" holidays. (Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, but I always REALLY want to hear from those of you in other climates, please!) Sunday evening when I'm working on next Monday's ... View the Post