November 9, 2018
Over the course of the year, I’ve assembled 4 travel capsule wardrobes based on this most wonderful painting:
To guide my choices, I isolated four colors upon which I focused, and I chose a couple of adjectives to help keep the styles that I chose consistent:
In January, when our translator first won an award, she packed this:
Then in April, she was offered a really exciting work possibility:
You can’t feel terribly sorry for this heroine – she had to go to Paris in July to meet with the author of the book she was translating:
The translations are going very well… in October, the author invited her back to Paris for a long weekend which didn’t seem to be focused entirely on the book!
How does her wardrobe look, when assembled all together?
Here are the clothes – a pretty nice range of garments with a consistent mood and sensibility:
She has over 10 “shirts” – tee shirts, button-front shirts or sweaters. That’s a good number – one doesn’t have to do laundry every 3 days, at least! Six pairs of pants, and 1 skirt? Maybe adding a pair of jeans would be useful…
And the single skirt isn’t too much of a problem, because she has a couple of dresses…
Overall, I don’t know that I would make any serious changes here. Maybe add the jeans, an off-white button-front shirt, and maybe a simple off-white tee shirt…
Her accessories are amazing:
8 scarves! I love that… Six bags is a nice number – enough for variety, but not so many that you can’t buy really nice, good-quality bags when you need one.
The biggest gap that I see here (it’s supposed to snow tonight in Chicago!) is a pair of serious, warm boots for the dead of winter. But maybe she doesn’t live where this is necessary? Maybe just a pair of Wellies will do…
And of course, this heroine might want more jewelry. That’s strictly up her to – she has plenty here already.
So overall, I’m pleased with how this wardrobe added up. The final test of the versatility of this wardrobe is to see if we can find more outfits than the ones that our heroine has already worn.
These seem easy and obvious:
I love this heroine and her wardrobe- the colors are unusual but not outrageous, and the garments themselves are classic and timeless…
If I had to start all over again, I could picture starting with this!
Memee Foth says
I just realized after reading this post that I have been heading in this color-style direction! While I enjoy every post you make, this may be my favorite. Thank you!
Gail F. says
This colorway doesn’t work for me at all but it’s beautiful and seeing all the clothes together is such fun. Great wardrobe. Jeans would definitely be a good addition, I think she’d have at least one pair for outdoor activity. She must do SOME. I can see her hiking, at any rate, in the right sort of locale.
I don’t wear jeans often, so I could probably live without those. Or boots (I have many pairs, but I live in the South and don’t need them). But I think she needs SOME shoe or boot that can be worn with socks. Most of the shoes in this collection go fabulously with the clothing but how would you keep your ankles warm if needed? (again, I say that as someone who lives in NC and rarely wears a coat or socks – maybe, if I have to do a lot of walking and it’s freezing or below….But I have flexibility in my closet and can if I need to).
I see a shocking number of young women not wearing socks, even in colder weather. It’s snowing right now, and I’m going to walk across the Loop; it will be interesting to see if I spot bare ankles in the snow!
It looks a satisfying collection for a complete, year-round wardrobe, yet built from four travel capsules. This could be another good way for us to think about our seasonal and/or overall wardrobe planning. There’s a good range of styles (casual to a bit more formal), textures, and versatility. I particularly like the heroine’s story too. I would add jeans and “warm” ankle or knee boots also, living in a cool temperate climate. Like others, I’m constantly amazed by the bare ankle look, even in winter!
nina t says
I love this one. I created a section of my wardrobe for these colors and threw in some black-white chevron and polkadots. It’s so fun.
I agree with Gail F. that I adore the wardobes created for the heroine, but neither the color palette nor the formality of the items would work in my current retired lifestyle in suburban Tokyo. I’d definitely need a few more jeans or jeggings in the mix if only for bike riding and a bit of weekend gardening. I admit that I do feel underdressed many times when I visit Tokyo, though, so the Vivienne files website helps me up my game by helping me plan in a few items that would be right for a day or evening in the city.
I wanted to add that I find that it can be transformational to add a good quality silk scarf to a rather pedestrian outfit and I’ve been able to find many great candidates through the Vivienne files. So thank you very much for the continued inspiration!
Kay Perret says
I adore these colors and this wardrobe. Thank you for all your work on it!
Love the colour scheme, so rich and warm – pity I can’t wear any of them with my cool colouring. This lady is elegant (you can tell by her shoe collection) and as the wardrobe is formal/smart-casual I can’t really see her in a pair of jeans – which lets face it makes any outfit casual at best and scruffy at worst. I note that she does have a pair of low ankle boots, so I guess she could add a pair of fine wool socks with those under her more casual trousers when it gets cold.
Lisa Laree says
I have so enjoyed all the back stories as well as the wardrobe building process, even for the ladies whose color choices/style needs don’t match up to mine at all. I confess…there are more than a couple that have me wondering how their stories resolved…did the romance happen? How did the colleagues react to the news of the promotion? Did she buy the house? LOL.
I like the way that this wardrobe turned out. Some of my favorite travel capsules have black, white (in my case, pure white), teal, and something in the cognac/tobacco/caramel family. I must confess that I love all of these hues with denim. – nancyo
Sylvia Morris says
I’ve just discovered a cool tool online that seems right up your alley. Google Arts and Culture lets you search for a piece of art by colour palette! So you can search for art to match a colour palette you already wear, or consider different vibes for the same palette! (Forgive me if you’ve seen it before, but it’s new to me and I’m very excited.)
I went looking because I’ve always loved your Start with Art posts, but never really had a piece of art to start with, just a colour palette (a range of muted blues combined with gold). But now I’ve found some gorgeous pieces from all over the world made up of colours I love to wear :)
Hope you (and other folks in the comments) get some fun out of it!
Just went and tinkered a bit – very cool tool! Thanks for the pointer!
Love these colors combined and would definitely add some jeans.
I love this wardrobe. The colors are perfect. I use the same colors except I use burgundy rather than the blue. Thank you for the inspiration.
Janice, I absolutely adore these colors – they are so me!! I saw your original post regarding the Trojan Gates but can’t find the others; can you help?
Thank you so much for what you do! You obviously have a passion for it and it’s really fun for those of us who follow!
There should be links to the earlier Trojan Gates posts in the “final” one, but if you can’t turn it up, you can always Google “The Vivienne Files Trojan Gates” and all of them will show up.