Yes, I got back from Florida late Sunday night. And yes, I'm leaving for Paris on Thursday.... Somehow, that got past me when I was planning these trips individually! But it's going to be fine. When planning a travel capsule wardrobe for cold weather, it's critical to start with your outerwear. During the day in Paris, virtually EVERYONE is going to see me in my coat, and only the rare person in a restaurant and maybe a museum will see what's underneath. Thus, the coat is pretty important! For this trip, I felt like I wanted to wear my red Barbour jacket. Partly because I want a break from black, partly because it's a wonderful jacket (with two big snapped pockets that completely obviate the need for a handbag!), and partly because it's ... View the Post
Archives for 2016
2016 - Page 3 of 23
Subtle colors are always harder for me, because I'm such a dyed in the wool black and white wearer. But these works of art are so beautiful, and the wardrobes are always so delightful (once I get them finished to my satisfaction!)
Click on the date below each image to go to the original post...
This painting is so gorgeous; I had to work quite a while on these wardrobes in order to do it justice!
Such beautiful colors here, too! These are difficult to find in our very enormous, but very limited, clothing world. What has happened that there is more clothing than ever, and fewer real options?
This is the lovely painting that launched THREE wardrobes:
The painting is so beautiful, and the subject is just so... evocative? exotic? ... View the Post
First, I've got to admit that I don't think that "abstract" is the perfect term to use here, but what I mean to say is that these paintings share a complete lack of identifiable objects in them. To me, that just makes the colors more important. If you're more knowledgeable about art terms, please set me straight here, and I'll make the correction when I'm back from vacation.
Belovedest is a big fan of Rothko, and he's converted me. These colors are much more complex in person than you can ever imagine; it's worth seeking out one of his works and spending some time in front of it. There's more here than you would suspect...
I like to imagine that the name of this painting has something to do with the way that the artist includes olive ... View the Post
You've long since known that I love scarves, and I believe that they're an excellent basis upon which to build a beautiful wardrobe. Here are some of my favorites!
This scarf is so lovely - crisp, but soft colors, gently blended:
If you have a fondness for flowers, you MUST get to know Ted Baker London. You don't have to buy; you can just admire, and glean ideas... This scarf generated 2 color combinations and two wardrobes:
Don't forget to check museum shops in your quest for the perfect accessory; museums get things that you'll never see in any other place... And this shawl is still available here!
Kathkath makes some of the most beautiful scarves, and this is a perfect example. You could build a wardrobe around these ... View the Post
I never wear navy, but I am always drawn to it for The Vivienne Files. Navy might be the most versatile neutral color available for planning a wardrobe...
It would be easy to say that this color scheme works because orange and blue are opposite to each other on the color wheel, and thus compatible. I think there's more to it than that, though! The white in this wardrobe turned out to be key...
One of you sent me the link to the painting, and I'm SO glad that you did! The best part of writing The Vivienne Files - no question - is getting to know you all, and to share your ideas, knowledge and excellent taste. What's not to love about these whimsical nuns? In "real" life, I'm sure that they're wearing black, but this image looks very ... View the Post
It came up yesterday - can the capsule wardrobe based on grey be combined with the capsule wardrobe based on beige that I showed back on Friday? The larger question here revolves around combining warm and cool color palettes, so it's well worth addressing.
Of course, I believe that it's more than possible! If you have clothing in both of these colors, it's quite desirable that you wear them together if necessary to wear them frequently, with the goal of eventually wearing them out... Our original painting inspiration combines warm and cool to great effect:
So what if we just try combining the neutrals? As a reminder, these are the two groups of Capsule Wardrobe Building Blocks (aka simple, timeless garments)
So my first thought ... View the Post
Oh, this just gets better and better! Remember, we started with this painting:
Today, I've used the top part of the painting, and used silver in place of the gold from Friday's post...
I found new pieces for our Wardrobe Building Blocks, emphasizing grey. This is another small collection of pieces that work without limits - you could, again, literally get dressed in the dark...
Same four pieces - sweater, earrings, tote and scarf - but in silver rather than gold. Equally timeless, but a very different feel...
The only change I made here was the earrings - the others were set in gold... These earrings have a geometric feel to them, and a gorgeous fluidity that I really love.
These are also the same pieces except for the ... View the Post
I've never really accepted the idea that women can, uniformly, only wear warm colors or cool colors. I know that for many of us, it's a great guideline for wardrobe discipline, and helps coordinate things beautifully, but I still wonder why someone who loves black and white as much as I do would have gold and orange highlights in their eyes...Oh well, it's a great subject for conversation...
But I think of that when I look at this painting, which skews two very different directions, color-wise:
I seriously considered sawing the painting in half (metaphorically, of course) and using the bottom half for today, and the top half on Monday for a study that includes grey... But I think we can all manage to focus on the warm tone today, ... View the Post
Dear Elizabeth, who's favorite designer is Vionnet - send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address. You won the Mainbocher exhibit book!
So what do you do if you WANT something new, but you really don't need anything? You feel the need for brightening up, for some new ideas and inspiration, for some updated options in your wardrobe... I think it's important to take these feeling seriously, and to act on them deliberately, with a clear plan and established goal. If you just start buying things willy nilly, you risk wasting money, and feeling guilty, and still not satisfying that urge that stems from something vital within you. How about first find something beautiful to help focus that sort of "all over ... View the Post
As the days get shorter, and we spend a LOT more time in the dark (in the Northern Hemisphere, of course!), a painting like this is a cheering thing to study:
For those who worry that a "warm" wardrobe - one that's ideal for those with Autumn or Spring coloring - might be too dark in the cool weather, I offer some ideas!
I love these pieces - you could literally get dressed in the dark with no worries about not matching! A couple of pair of warm brown/tan shoes, some lovely gold jewelry, and you'd be well set for the day.
L.L.Bean has a handful of different sweaters in this "sable" color...
Green is the most maddening color to shop for right now! (unless it's yellow...) There's lots of emerald and darker shades, but this ... View the Post
Yesterday, the accents we used in the so-called French 5-Piece wardrobe were all colors in the same range of intensity and saturation - they were somewhat soft, and very clear. This painting takes us in a couple of rather different directions!
The accent colors suggested by this painting range from a really elegant neutral taupe to quite a vivid yellow/gold, as well as all shades of warm rose pink.
The base pieces for this wardrobe might rely more than usual on black, as suggested by the tuxedo on the central dancer:
I love taupe, and it's terribly difficult to find. But this cardigan is EXACTLY what I was hoping to find - fluid, soft, with movement.
I wasn't as successful in finding that kind of "swing" in the shades of ... View the Post
Of course, we all know that the French don't really just buy 5 pieces of clothes a year - that's sort of silly. But there is some truth to the idea that they buy five major accent pieces twice a year. So let's think about taking a really simple, basic capsule wardrobe and seeing what we can do with adding 5 new pieces (and some accessories, of course!) First up, let's start with a really lovely work of art:
Today we're just looking at accent colors, and this painting is perfect for that! If we wanted to build a summer wardrobe around this, could you imagine using off-white silk and linen as the neutral, and then these four colors? Mmmm....
This is the core wardrobe that I'm suggesting - I think that having grey pants instead of ... View the Post