January 2, 2017
Yaaaaay!!! It’s that time again… The new scarves are chosen (FINALLY…) and the first outfits for this year’s capsule wardrobes are assembled!!!!
First up, the scarves:
I looked at LOTS of scarves, from literally dozens of sources, but in the end, I came back to Hermès, because of the richness of the patterns and the creativity of the color schemes. This is a little bit self-defeating on my part, because if you DO buy a scarf from Hermès, I get no commission. I still think they’re the best scarves for our illustrative purpose, thought!
For what it’s worth, these can sell out REALLY fast, so if one of these captures your heart, please don’t hesitate. I prepared this initial file on a Wednesday, and when I went to post it TWO DAYS LATER, on Friday, FOUR of the scarves were sold out. FOUR. I had to re-do a great deal of the material, which is fine. But if you truly feel the whappage, don’t let your heart get broken by hesitating too long…
And please don’t think for a heartbeat that I believe that we should all spend this much money on a scarf – much the contrary. You can certainly find scarves that echo these color schemes at other prices, and if you’re alert and patient, you can find Hermès scarves for less than half of the retail price. If you’re looking on ebay or another resale site, and you want my assessment of the authenticity of a scarf, just send me a note at [email protected]. Most of my scarves are purchased second-hand; the occasional small spot doesn’t bother me, and I love the idea of a scarf with some history!
First up is the black-based wardrobe, which is going to be pretty interesting, with both grey and brown as accents! And are these not the most perfect shoes ever?
Beige and pastels, it just seems fated…
This scarf at first seems like obvious colors – navy, red and grey, but I think that the shades of blue, along with that bit of orange, are going to give us some interesting options.
Same with this scarf – orange and green are classic, but the variety of shades of green, as well as the sky blue, are unexpected, and should make the evolution of this wardrobe worth watching.
When I had to re-do the posts because of the sold-out scarves, I wasn’t terribly crushed, because THIS scarf is brand new, and SO stunning. Every color combination available is really pretty…
And I’m excited about brown, even though I know that it will be a struggle to find clothes. The range of shades means that I will be able to look at a whole BUNCH of different “browns,” along with some lovely warm beige, and the accent of red or orange.
So here’s where we start – it’s going to be a beautiful and very interesting year!
For more in the 2017 “Build a Capsule Wardrobe – 12 months, 12 outfits” series, check out the following articles:
- Evaluating our 2017 wardrobes…
Looking for more ideas? Follow along as we build a new capsule wardrobe in 2018.
It is definitely going to be fun to watch these capsules evolve. I'm glad you have included a black, gray and tan option.
my favorites changed as the months progressed :)
I loved this series last year and was astonished at how my favourites changed as the months progressed. This year, my 2 favourites (this month) are the grey and navy.
thank you Janice and Happy new Year!
cheryl :) says
I love this series and I am so excited to see where the year takes us. :)
Madame Là-bas says
I love the Étude scarf but it is too expensive right now. I might be able to find a scarf with similar colours in my drawer. Since I now have grey and navy cardigans and pants, I'm set to contemplate grey loafers or Oxfords. I wonder where the year will take us.
Outfits 4 and 6 for me — looking forward to these and welcome 2017 !
Tricia T says
The pastels would probably look nicest on me, but, oh my goodness, I need that bottom outfit! I look forward to this series this year!
Margie from Toronto says
Don't mean to sound negative but have to say that I'm a wee bit disappointed – I just find all the options a bit "muddied" or dull – perhaps it's because I prefer true jewell tone colours rather than greyed out pastels. But I will look upon it as a learning experience and wait and see where we end up. I do admit that my favourite combination at the end of last year's series was not the one I thought it would be in the beginning so perhaps I'll have the same revelation this year. And I do appreciate all the work that goes into a series such as this Janice and that colour is a very personal thing so I will follow tis series with great interest.
Number 1 and 3 are my favorites. I used the black/cognac wardrobe where your inspiration was a duck as a basis for a London trip a few months ago. I struggle with wanting to merge my black wardrobe over to navy as a softer option as I get older (54 today!). I'm so comfortable wearing black all the time it's really difficult to make a change.
I LOVE this series. Happy 2017!
I am ridiculously excited by the black wardrobe, and the navy one will be enormously helpful to me as well! But I will be watching each of the wardrobes as they grow and evolve. So much fun! – nancyo
I am so excited to start this series again! Like many of the others, I am not sure which is my favorite. This is good because now I have an open mind and will be open to all kinds of possibilities. Although I find the design of the last scarf intriguing.
Deb from Vancouver
Cee Pluse says
I am so excited about this series! I already have three favorites (the first, fourth, and last sets), and can't wait to see how they all evolve! Thank you for this lovely gift for the new year, Janice!
My fav picks are the same. I could see myself happily living with the first especially. In fact I built a step by step wardrobe with clothes I own in just those colors, with the addition of a lovely warm red. http://wardrobereflections.blogspot.com/2014/07/from-scratch-wardrobe-ala-vivienne-files.html
I will closely follow the black-red-blue wardrobe and use it to whittle down (rather than add to) my current wardrobe. I wish there was another "bright" color option too!
Just curious, what is Hermes' schedule for releasing new scarf designs? I read "twice a year" on the web but does anyone have more specific knowledge on dates or at least months of the year?
My impression is Dec-Jan for the start of Spring/Summer, and June-July for the start of Autumn/Winter. They come and go on the website, as Janice mentioned, and the stores get in what they ordered on some mysterious schedule known only to Hermes, lol.
kate vickery says
Thank you for starting the black, grey and brown capsule. Kate
kate vickery says
Is it bad to just want to have this starter wardrobe for each months color as the wardrobe for the year?
A tough contest–but this is probably my favorite of your series, Janice. Let the inspiration begin.
Happy New Year, Janice!
Oh, the dreaded scarf series…. I have never managed NOT to buy a scarf. But I have a 'no- buying' challenge for this year. So far, so good. ???
I am always attracted to navy blue and have fallen in love with the Mythes et Métamorphoses Hermes scarf in navy, turquoise and green. Colour wise it's similar to last year's Voyage en Etoffes scarf which I also liked. So when Janice adds a grey item to her navy capsule I'll swap it out with either taupe or soft white/beige and when an accent of Red or Orange is used, I'll swap it with turquoise or jade green, that way I can combine the few pieces I bought from last year to keep the theme going. Sharon U.K.
Janet Goeke-Cronin says
Yeah!! so excited to see this is back for 2017 and so excited you're tackling BROWN! It baffles me how elusive a rich brown, carmel or camel can be to find in nice shirts. I've got pants and a sweater or two but always have to defer to white in the warmer months. I echo several others; 4 and 6 are my favorites, especially 6.
Robyn in Tasmania
So excited to see this series start again! I will be following along, trying to put together a corresponding outfit from my own wardrobe.
Janice, a question about finding a personal leitmotif. How would you go about doing this if you already know your color scheme and general style themes? I'd like to find an Hermes scarf or other image to refer to for inspiration/clarity, but I wouldn't even know where to begin! My colors are grey, black and navy with "deep winter" accents, primarily in the pink and purple range with some blue and turquoise. My guiding ideas include feminine, simple, classic, and paisley/lace/filigree. Thank you for any guidance you can offer!
Courtney, here are a few suggestions. If you go to,the Hermes site, enter the scarf dept, called La Maison des Carres, then you can search by color or motif using the search option on the left side of the page. Hermes interprets colors liberally, so you should have lots of options in current scarves. Jan Goode's website, called It's All Goode, has a section called "Sold" that features thousands of scarves Jan has sold. Although she doesn't offer a search function, it's a fun way to see a lot of scarves, including many older ones. Luxury-Scarves.com offers a database for research. No searching by color in the database, but you can search by keyword and other ways. For their current inventory, you can search by color. I hope this helps!
Janice Riggs says
Just look. At everything. All the time. And wait for that feeling of resonance and singing inside of you that means that you've found just the right thing. I'm not sure that I'm still there with a true signature item, so don't feel that it's a failure if you don't zero in on something; it's elusive, and all the more precious for that…
Hi Janice, great to see you putting these together again this year, and I will be watching with interest as they come together. I'm especially curious to see how the black, tan, grey comes out – my wardrobe is black based but over the past two years I've been slowly adding tan/camel, and am now looking for pieces which combine the two, like the shoes above! Loving this jumper, but sadly not in my budget: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/max-mara-savina-stripe-cashmere-sweater/4513598?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=IVORY%2F%20TAN%2F%20BLK
thanks for doing this series again this year.
I find it doesn´t really matter to me if "my" colours are represented 1:1 but I rather enjoy what you come up with regardless of I´d wear it or not. Your outfits are always so pleasing to look at and always, always give me inspiration for what to with my own wardrobe in my own colours.
Jan C. says
So helpful! What I need to pare down my wardrobe as I clean out my closet!
Well, I failed miserably building a capsule wardrobe in 2016. Tried and abandoned many color schemes. I do look forward to the first of the month post. Maybe 2017 is my year?
I love the beige and gray options!
None of these scarves are my favorites, but color schemes 3 and 5 are possibilities. One advantage of advancing age is knowing what does NOT suit one – in my case, muddy colors, pastels, and anything brown/camel/orange. Wardrobe 1 will be interesting to watch. The rich color of the top reminds me of the series Janice did with Dantis Amor.
Jio. Rickam says
thanks for your collection, i found some nice combinations that would fit me.
I would love if you could show at least one wardrobe with rotating colors for us who don't choose the same palette year round. For example burghundy in winter and navy in summer. Since I crave colors I create different capsule each 3 months where I continue with some pods, and pack / unpack others. For example all my dark neutral linen is navy and my dark neutral winter cardigans are burgundy (weaning out black). That way I have brand new clothes at all times. Even those pieces that I continue to wear look brand new within the new color scheme. Honestly I can't imagine living in the same colors year round. Limiting my accents each 3 months to only 2 or 3 is still a struggle each time, but I can live with postponing other colors for 3 or 6 months. That is how I trick myself into limiting my palette.
p.s. (it is me again)
Dear Janice, You said many times before that we can have as many colors as we like. But I'm puzzled how to combine that into a single capsule. That is how I came upon idea of rotating pods to avoid the problem, but there must be the way to solve this puzzle. I use starting from scratch procedure each time and your excel template that I recommend everyone to purchase. So I correct my initial plead – if you please could show on some of these how to achieve having multiple color palette.
Thank you for everything!!!
Dear Janice, thank you for this blog, the most interesting and useful I have found. I have been reading back from 2011, and am half way through 2015. The only bad thing is that all the lovely clothes from back then are no longer available!
My favourite neutral is olive, and was looking forward to that, but having seen the beige scarf, well, that's got some really interesting looking colours, including some stronger ones. I'm not a fan of pastels, but keen to see how this develops.
I hope you will keep writing this blog for a long time, and hope you enjoy writing it as much as I am enjoying reading it.
Thank you for this wonderful post – it certainly is exciting. I am already in love with the black based wardrobe particularly when you mentioned brown with grey. I find this mix of warm and cool so sophisticated. Experience tells me though that the other wardrobes will step in to take my heart as you build them. I look forward to following the series.
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