January 11, 2019
She quilted for years – ever since she was a teenager. So when they offered her the position managing the quilt museum (THE best quilt museum in the country, in many opinions…) she jumped at the chance.
The position involves travel… So she’s going to try to be organized about this!
It might not be her favorite painting, but this is what she’s chosen as her core inspiration:
She wants to dress in neutrals, but she’s really reluctant to be pinned down to just cool (or warm) colors; she’s going to mix it up! Her palette is this:
She likes to be comfortable and sort of… low key? when she travels – she’s visiting women who’ve made quilts, or other smaller museums, so she doesn’t want to show up and terrify everybody!
Even though she dresses in a very subdued manner, she loves a well-designed accessory, and PEARLS!!!
She often takes someone out to dinner when she’s on the road – sometimes it’s quite a nice meal, and occasionally it’s more informal, but she usually packs a dress, just in case!
She assembles everything very carefully before she packs – as a quilter, she’s a careful planner!
In her mind, she thinks through her various outfit possibilities. She likes to image how things will come together…
In a profession where she’s always surrounded by amazing color combinations, she finds her neutral wardrobe very comforting!
Bernadette Zerafa says
last year I stumbled “by mistake” over your website and I got absolutely addicted! It is just a pleasure to look at your ideas, even if I don’ t always agree.
I was actually hoping that you would come up with this color-scheme as they are exactly “my colors”, but to be honest now I am a bit disappointed as the garments seem so rural.
How about continuing with the shelduck/Sheeler theme? (My absolutely favorite ones so far!)
They are very much the same colors, but more sophisticated.
Bernadette from Malta (Europe)
Greetings from flyover country, as we call the great middle of the USA. In terms of the narrative Janice has set up, these are great clothes. Quilters often (but of course not always) live in small towns and suburbs, and in my experience, are a pretty down-home bunch. The mix of neutrals is already a sophistication marker that some would be sensitive to, especially those, and they are many in our small towns, who are somewhat suspicious of whatever in their view might smack of big city ways or urban elitism.
A different narrative would provide excellent alternatives. Suppose our heroine had to fly to some big gathering of arts and craft museum directors in a large European metropolis? Oh, then, I think you’d be thrilled with the choices.
Bernadette Zerafa says
very nice of you to share this insight with me! It was very interesting to learn about the background of the narrative.
And there is certainly no shortage of inspiration in the Vivienne files.
Years ago, Janice did a Project 333 wardrobe using black and caramel as the neutrals. Maybe it would be closer to the level of sophistication you are looking for, Bernadette?
I bought some tan shoes and other tan accessories recently and have been using them with blacks, navy and grey, so this is very timely. I’ve also been really enjoying mixing up the dark and warm colours.
Cheryl Klassa says
Be careful with choosing a quilter… They color coordinate with different patterns like no body’s business! :-) My mom quilts. She puts patterns together that I never would but in a quilt they look great!
I think quilters are amazing – that’s why I chose one to wear this really neutral palette; she looks at colors all the time. I think maybe I’m channeling myself a wee bit here – after a day of looking at colors, a neutral wardrobe is comforting!
I know lots of quilters and I’m not sure they ever get tired of color. :) But I do love the simplicity of this wardrobe. I can’t wait to see where you take it.
I really love this combination. In France, years ago, I saw a woman in a black dress with a brown leather belt and she remains one of my style icons. It was so easy and so chic. The brown belt really lifted the whole outfit.
I agree with Bernadette from Malta, though. I would love to see a dressier version of this color scheme.
Love this color palette, but sadly brown does not play well with my complexion. A taupe brown and maybe a coppery brown (with some pink) will work, but they will be limited in my predominantly gray/blue wardrobe.
I am so happy to see a relaxed wardrobe! If I were packing, I wouldn’t put in a dress for dinner, but would make sure that there was a dressier pants outfit. This also seems to be a travel-proof wardrobe: nothing that will suffer from time in a suitcase or a tote bag. Love it!
I am intrigued by your use of caramel. Years ago, you did a Project 333 with black and caramel as the neutrals and I did love it. And, caramel is a great color for me. However, as a warm, fair-complected strawberry blonde, black is just too much. I could use dark brown, but then I feel like there wouldn’t be enough contrast between the two and it would just be a sea of shades of brown. What neutral do you think would have a striking impact in the same way as black to work with caramel for someone lighter in complexion?
Have you considered a clear navy? Not the really dark, almost black navy, but the “you can really tell that it’s blue” navy. I think it’s amazing with caramel, and it’s not nearly as draining as black…
Yes! Caramel and navy are my neutrals and they pair beautifully. You almost achieve a color wheel contrast of blue/orange as the caramel has orange tones. I have such difficulty finding caramel wardrobe basics, so I am looking forward to seeing what all you find, Janice.
Caramel and gray look amazing together! – nancyo
michelle delloch says
Janice, once again you have hit all the right notes for me! I love this wardrobe, even though like Lyneisa I tend not to wear black, but love the idea of navy and caramel/tan.
Also I agree with Cheryl… any quilter I know has a few wildly patterned/patched jackets. This would be a fun challenge to find one to fit this heroine!
Vicki Cook says
I’m all about the black, gray and white – not so much the brown. But the colors are very peaceful and the pieces work well together. It will be interesting to see how this wardrobe develops.
How curious — I’ve been pinning Paul Klee paintings lately and had been wondering how they would look in a Start with Art wardrobe. And here is a Klee! Love it.
I love Klee – his limited color palettes lend themselves really well to inspiring a wardrobe!
Except for the dress, this selection of clothing could be found in the closets of my three daughters (ages 24-31) . Shared within the family are two, vintage brown Coach bags that match your selection. The two younger daughters,living in Chicago, are self-taught quilters too. The dark cardigan is similar to my Brooklyn daughter’s “go-to” jacket. Since I often recommend your site to them for inspiration, I like this younger vibe that appeals across a wide age spectrum. Thank you again.
I agree with you completely, V! I love the younger, more casual feel of the outfits. I would feel very comfortable in these clothes. And though I wouldn’t purchase the black bag, I love the interesting punch it gives the wardrobe and how it fits our artistic heroine. Great wardrobe, Janice!
Hélène G. says
I discovered your blog since a few weeks, and I’m quite scotched with it !
Every article is so brilliant, clever, lively, full of “bon sens” !
I LOVE your pages presented as puzzles, with tale stories…
And, also, your taste about clothes, shoes, and accessories, always excellent !
Valuable for thin, “normal”, or bigger sizes…Young, and less young women…
Every page, every article, is NEW…and doesn’t look like the others…(it must be called “creativity”, I think !).
Congratulation to you !
Thank you so much for your work,
Hélène G., from Metz (France)
Love the neutral color palette! In particular, I’m coveting those scarves, but my budget won’t allow so I’ll continue my treasure hunts at discount stores where I’ve occasionally found some treasures :-). There is more black than I can wear, but I think many women with dark warm complexions will find this inspirational, so thank you for this! Increasingly, I find I prefer limiting color to my accessories and third pieces, it just simplifies everything and makes putting together an outfit so much easier.
I would love for you to do a “real” business wardrobe this year – for a woman who has to wear black, navy, and/or gray suits most days and is more limited in her work wardrobe choices. I would love to see what you come up with! Will there be any way to insert a little bit of her personality? How will she transition from work to leisure time? How does she make this wardrobe not look boring? Is there any way to convince you to do this?
I’d love to – I used to dress like that!
This is one of my favorite palettes for a travel capsule! My combinations often feature more white as I think it makes the caramel, bIack, and/or gray really sing. I will be watching this heroine’s quarterly progress with great interest. – nancyo