September 1, 2017
These files are massive, and these posts take forever, but I LOVE them…
For my new readers, the thesis is this: I start with six Hermes scarves, and over the course of a year (on the first day of each month) I choose an outfit based on the colors of the scarf. I accumulate all of these outfits through the course of the year, and thus assemble a pretty excellent (if I do say so myself!) wardrobe…
Please note that I was able to find current links (current as of end of day Wednesday August 30th) for ALL of the scarves – outside of the US, but still available! If you’ve got serious whappage for one of these scarves, please don’t hesitate to call an Hermes store – anywhere – and ask if they can help you get one. They’re clearly still available somewhere! (and no, I don’t get one thin dime from anyone when you buy one; I just believe that you should indulge your heartfelt desires if you have the means to do so…)
Now first up – I seriously covet this eternity scarf… I need another scarf like a bad headache, but I think this one is particularly appealing.
I thought it was time to bring grey back into this wardrobe – anything that creates the opportunity to wear floral boots is worth doing.
This plaid scarf was found when I had the brainstorm to search through the men’s scarves. WHY a scarf has gender is beyond my feeble comprehension… but always check there. Nicer scarves, often for less money. Sigh…
Another men’s scarf… but it’s so perfect with the bright orange/squash color that I wasn’t going to pass it up! Classic plaids are pretty much available from September through at least the winter holidays in Men’s Furnishings departments in the Northern Hemisphere…
I love the idea of accent gloves and scarf with a monochromatic outfit – why not? And the boots come in powder blue, if you’re in the mood to take things WAAAY over the edge…
The perfection of this scarf with the plaid shirt just tickled the heck out of me! It’s a good thing that I get so much pleasure from these things; it can take hours to find an accessory that satisfies me…
And subtle animal print boots…. of such things are the joys of my day composed…
This month I think that the grey with orchid and blue is my favorite wardrobe – it puts me in mind of my mother, which is always delightful. But I suspect that the first wardrobe will always remain closest to my own… Where are you in your evolving preferences?
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.
The Bride says
I'm glad you love doing these because I love reading them. I look forward to them each month. And I cannot decide which is my favorite. Even the ones with colors I don't wear make me wonder if I might wear them after all.
Mama Squirrel says
Oh, those floral booties…who knew such things even existed? To quote one of your other posts somewhere, I am seriously smitten.
Surprisingly, the last wardrobe of taupe/poppy red is becoming my favorite. I normally gravitate to anything with pale pink and that wardrobe sure is pretty, but I tend to like my pink with brown.
Do you ever use scarf "buckles" like on Mai Tai's site? I'm jonesing for one but not sure it would ever be worn.
Janice Riggs says
I do – I actually have one from her, and I can attest that anything you buy from her will delight you with the quality and attention to detail. After you get one, watch a few of her very clear videos to learn how to wear it, and you'll never look back!
I have to admit I never wore a down vest until a couple of years ago when you did a post showing how versatile they can be. I took a chance and ordered one in my light neutral color and am so glad I did, it's a wardrobe staple once the weather starts getting cooler. So it was such a nice surprise to see the vignette with the exact navy dress that I already own accompanied by a down vest and scarf. Silly me – I've never thought to pull together that combination! Not that I'm wishing summer away, but I can't wait to wear that outfit. Thanks for the inspiration.
OK, a really stupid series of questions follows. I have seen some really nice looking down vests and people are obviously buying them, but I just can't figure it out. How and where do you wear a down vest? Indoors or outdoors or both?
If outdoors, don't your arms get cold if it is cold enough to be wearing down anything? What do you wear under it when you go indoors? Does it really look nice with things like dresses and collared shirts or is it really more of a sporty thing?
Or is it indoor wear? If yes, then what's the occassion? Don't you get hot?
Does it look nice on plus sized people or do you have to be thin so that it doesn't look like you have a huge torso and stick-like arms?
As you can see, I'm really lost here…
Janice Riggs says
Well, I can only share my own experiences, but I've worn a down vest a TON in the last 12 years, since we lived in Ireland. Our apartment there was freezing cold, and I wore a vest most of the time indoors – I found that if my torso was warm, the rest of me felt a lot better. Outdoors, I like to wear mine for days when an entire parka seems like too much, but a lighter jacket doesn't keep me warm across my back and shoulders. And yes, I wear mine over simple dresses – with boots and casual accessories, of course!
And I see people of every size wearing them, and I don't notice that it adds nearly the physical volume that something like a calf-length down coat does! THOSE things are unflattering, but sometimes necessary!
Anybody else able to share how they wear their vests?
Fall and Spring in New England offers a wide range of temperatures during a single day, so a vest for outdoor activities seems to work best. I wear mine like Cee Pluse does, which allows for adjusting layers as the day warms up. For indoors, offices and restaurants seem to emulate Arctic temperatures and a vest offers an alternative to a sweater.
As for down making you look more puffier than desired, I would suggest trying them on. The higher end vests have some sort of magical fill that doesn't make you look bloated. There are also vests of other materials (like fleece) that are less puffy, but achieve the same goal.
All that, and it never occurred to me to pair a vest with a dress! Hmmm…..
The winters get really cold here, and certain rooms of my house are cold as well. A vest, either fleece or down, is perfectly comfortable inside, especially since I run cold nowadays anyway. They also work well outside in temperatures when you might otherwise wear a light jacket, and the ones that aren't too bulky are great under a coat in really cold weather – you can leave the coat open with the vest fastened up too.
Janie in the Northwest
A few years ago I worked at a charity organization office which did not have adequate heating in winter. My jackets hindered my arms and I purchased a down vest after seeing that several overweight women actually looked great in them. They were the perfect layer. I must admit though that I've not worn them since. When it's cold here I like to go outside with arms covered. Janice Collins Washington DC
Cee Pluse says
I've been wearing down vests since I was a teenager, which was longer ago than I care to admit, and could not live without them. I find them to be most useful when I am outdoors in cool weather doing something active and need more freedom of movement for my arms, or will be going in and out of buildings while running errands on cold days. I usually wear a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath, or a light sweater if it is really cold. That way I can push up the shirt sleeves and unzip the vest when indoors to cool off, and bundle up again once back outside.
I tend to be someone who prefers to be cool rather than warm, and most times a coat is just too much for me, especially in Georgia where I live. In fact, here in the south I mostly wear fleece vests except on the rare really cold days when a down vest is not too warm. When I lived in Colorado a down vest really was a wardrobe essential for me. My down vests have also lasted a very long time – I still have the one I wore as a teen, and also the one I inherited decades ago from my husband when he "outgrew" his. Since vest styles never change much they don't seem to go out of fashion (not that I would care anyway!). And the women's vests nowadays are sleeker and more shaped to suit a woman's body so they are not bulky in all the wrong places like men's vests can be.
Thanks for your input! You're the best!
I'm going to indulge myself and get one. It does sound like a practical garment I could end up wearing quite a lot during three seasons.
The Bride says
I live in New England and I wear vests constantly from Fall through Spring. I wear them indoors everyday all winter long and outside as long as they are warm enough. A side benefit that I miss in the Summer is they all have pockets big enough for my phone and glasses.
I usually travel with one that squishes down into nothing in its own little pouch. So useful over a dress or under a raincoat for extra warmth.
The last (brown+red) wardrobe has my heart this month – it's just perfect! The first one is closest to my actual wardrobe, and the navy one also suits me well. But they are all fun to admire! – nancyp
Everything is gorgeous–and testimony to the power of accessories. You make it impossible to choose a single favorite wardrobe!
LOVE this series! My favorites are still the grey and the beige wardrobes – so pretty. I'm getting impressed with the clothing offered by Uniglo. That pink flannel shirt comes in 9 lovely colors and is very reasonably priced! I'm ordering the light grey and possibly the navy or light blue. Those flowered boots are tempting! Janice Collins, Washington DC
Cee Pluse says
Thanks for working so hard on this series, Janice, as it is my favorite! I am still in love with the last scarf wardrobe, although I am very attracted to the first and fourth ones as well (I love that butternut-colored vest!). Now that we are entering my favorite season I can't wait to see what other fall fashions you will be adding to these collections.
Mary Jackson says
This series is my favorite as it gives me ideas that I would not have considered. This far into the year, do you have second thoughts about some of your early-in-the-year choices? Please keep up the great work!
Gail Finke says
I love that January wardrobe even though I don't like that copper color and don't look good in it. I just imagine a color (or two) that I do look good in. I want every piece of clothing in it!!! Now that I have a pretty good (but still too large) basic wardrobe, I'm discovering what pieces and kind of pieces I really like best. Something about the pieces you have in that wardrobe, not just the colors, really appeals to me. Thanks again for your great site, I've never really been good at clothes (though I've always liked clothes). Seeing so many combinations, and thinking about them rather than just looking at random outfits on other people, has helped me so much!