March 6, 2019
Remember this mostly neutral wardrobe? I’m going to revisit this with different accent colors on Friday, but today this wardrobe still needs to be accessorized! This is the scarf upon which I based this wardrobe:
And these were the garments:
So, to experiment a little bit, and to change up our normal system, let’s just choose a bunch of great accessories, and see how it all works out…
(I’m going to fill in a 6 by 4 Accessory Grid, just for the heck of it…)
First up, earrings! Some neutrals, and a couple of pair that pick up 2 of our accent colors:
A watch and some bracelets, with the same balance of neutral and accent colors:
Necklaces, and (why the heck not?) a brooch! Brooches on denim jackets look really cool…
Of COURSE you’re going to get scarves! Making sure not to forget to pack in that original inspiration scarf, of course!
We need a bag or two, and some shoes. Let’s start with a few accents…
And then some neutrals, too!
When you put all of these accessories in 1 place, it looks like everything should be great – what could go wrong with THIS MANY accessories?
(bonus points if you can see where I made the big mistake…)
From here, let’s revisit all of the outfits from this wardrobe that we looked at before, and see how this works…
Black pants – no problems!
Jeans outfits all look good too…
White jeans outfits seem… okay…
But dear oh dear, our heroine here is going to either not wear her shorts all that often, or she’s going to dash out and buy a pair of sandals… (blue denim sandals would be fun, wouldn’t they?)
Yes, our heroine could wear the living dickins out of her green flats with her shorts, and maybe, possibly, the black loafers (but I don’t see that looking really balanced, somehow…). Realistically, she needed to pack either sandals or some sort of canvas shoe – sneakers or espadrilles – to wear with her shorts.
And what does this teach us? I was seriously tempted to ditch the orange belt from this wardrobe and go back to pick up a pair of sandals, but I decided to share my mistake with you, because it’s an easy one to make. If you don’t reference back (and forth) to your clothes when you’re choosing your accessories, you could easily forget something that you would really like to have with you!
What’s your worst packing mistake? My worst one recently was a completely failure to pack ANY SOCKS OF ANY KIND for a trip. Same black socks day in, day out, for a week. Hand-washing was my companion, and borrowing gym socks robbed me of an excuse to skip workouts!
Nice! I did not like the wardrobe when you posted it without accessories. Now I like the styles. Not my colors unfortunately.
I have been following your posts since a couple of years and I love your eye for details and accesories. I live in Europe and it is fun to read your Paris stories. I would love to see some red – navy blue – intense or light blue combinations soon!
My worst packing mistake is always the same. Packing too much. Thanks for the great site and suggestions!
Cheryl Klassa says
My most recent one was matching pants and shoes. Doesn’t sound like a problem, until you are trying to wear black jeans with brown shoes. All I needed was a pair of black shoes and it would have been fine. Thankfully my jeans were dark blue and so I just switched to wearing those instead, with the brown shoes. (I did have black as well as brown socks.)
Another that wasn’t my fault – when I packed, the forecast temperatures were mid to hi 60’s. So for me that’s still jeans and long sleeves. We get up the first morning and the hi is 75. Well, that gets into ankle pants/capris and short sleeves. I figured I could just roll my jeans a bit and push up my sleeves if I got hot. Except I didn’t bring short socks. Luckily, my daughter was with me and only wears short socks. I borrowed a pair from her.
Mary Jackson says
We drove to Philly for a birthday luncheon the next day for my best friend. We left the clothes on hangers in our kitchen, so DH and I had to go to a department store and buy clothes! Fortunately that was in the day when I could find pants and tops that fit!
I like the look of a nude/blush or taupe coloured shoe with a white jean, not a sharp contrast, visually extending the length of the leg (a good thing for me!). However, that being said, those green shoes are a beautiful colour and would give me great delight to wear with blue jeans.
My worst packing mistake is probably, like your other reader, packing too many “ just-in-case” clothes. I don’t usually need the fancy dress and cute dressy shoe, but, in my fantasy, I will be dining at a fabulous formal restaurant, at least once! The reality is usually far more casual. I would rather be over-dressed than under-dressed but smart, casual clothes can mostly cover all travel dining situations I have found.
Agree. I’d switch out one of the purses for a pair of lighter-colored sandals or espadrilles.
And over-packing! How can I make it stop! This blog is helping me to think things out better, though. Much love to Vivienne!
First time commenter here. I was looking forward to seeing the accessories you chose for this one. I like more colors in my wardrobe. Personally, I am not a purse person, I usually stick with the same one, so I would switch out a purse for some sort of denim shoes. I thought it interesting that you didn’t have any denim/blue accessories, and I would add a touch more of the yellow to the jewelry. But then again, maybe too much color in the accessories wouldn’t work well with the outfits.
Worst packing mistakes from last trip – packing colored bras and white/light tops, packing shorts that didn’t stay up!
Oooh, I love those earrings in the first group — the silver knotty ones. Going to have to run off and get those!
I love what you do, Janice. I have learned so much. But I have to say — just in an amused way, not in a critical way — that I understand why you have to make the jewelry so large relative to the clothes but sometimes when you show the outfit with accessories I laugh at the shoe-sized earrings or head-sized bracelet!
Worst packing mistake: bringing not-worn-before shoes that were so painful I abandoned them in the hotel room. I never wanted to see those things again! Hope they found a grand new home.
I once forgot all my socks as well! It was in London and I just ran out and bought some casual socks at a local store. And then those socks became my London socks in my head and it occurred to me that socks are actually kind of an interesting souvenir reminder of a trip. They are useful, fun, small, easy to pack, and won’t just sit on a shelf gathering dust. I have London socks, Tokyo socks, Leon socks, San Diego socks…
Teresa Landers says
Two week river cruise in Europe in spring. Pulled out my trusty Ecco walking shoes (15 years old I think) as my only pair of closed shoes. While they are perfect for a lot of walking, the styling doesn’t lend itself to frequent wear. First time I put them on in a while was to go to the airport. Found my self leaving a trail of black rubber crumbs in the airport concourse as the dry rotted sole disintegrated. My only pair of closed shoes were useless. Fortunately, a Cole Haan store in the airport saved me (for a price) so I had something to wear in the rain. Lesson learned – infrequently worn items need a test run before going in the suitcase!
Really enjoy your posts – keep up the good work!
I really like this wardrobe Janice! I actually love the orange belt, and would be tempted to swap out the green shoes for a more neutral pair.
I really do have to get more wear out of my white jeans… you give me lots of options. Sometimes it is the accessories that make the outfit.
a s says
i love these colors because they are bright and cheery. also, while i wouldn’t wear the scarf spread out like a cape, i like how you selected some colors out of it.
Green and white, so fresh! I avoid packing white on the bottom. There is always a blueberry with my name on it. If staying somewhere with a laundry, a white tee or shirt and the Tide Stick, but because I travel super-lightly, it’s risky. And yet, oh does that look good!
Joyce Plunkett says
Worst packing mistake? A couple of years ago, I arrived in Germany with no panties in my luggage. Fortunately, Germans also wear panties ;-) Like Ivy with her London socks, etc., I have my Hamburg underwear ;-)
I have done the same – more than once! I learned that drug store undies aren’t all that bad! – nancyo
Love the green and white. I love green and its a hard color to find. Yellows greens are a bit easier but that true emerald green is a unicorn among fashion colors.
My worst packing faux pas was forgetting to bring any bras. I travel in a one piece elastic shapewear top that supports my back better than a bra, but its not something I want to wear everyday. Thank God for Marks and Spencer.
I also forgot all my jewelry on one trip, but that was kind of fun. I spent the whole trip looking for jewelry as souvenirs. A couple of things I bought on that trip remain among my favorite, most worn items.
Forgetting my cube with the bras and pjs for the trip.
No matter what you have on top, or what you pack as accessories, if you mess up on these essentials it all goes to pot. Particularly if you are a big busted western women over 5’8” traveling in petite people Asia…?
I love the color in this wardrobe. It makes it look like so many more pieces and options when each pant is a different color. Great accessories really add a lot to this wardrobe too. I would probably skip the short sleeved chambray shirt. The long sleeved shirt could have the sleeves rolled and a knot tied at the bottom for a similar look.
My biggest mistake was years ago before reading about capsule wardrobes and taking 7 shirts of the same style in different colors and one pair of clunky sneakers on a 12 day trip (without much in the way of accessories!). So boring and kind of embarrassing to look back on now! I’ve learned so much from the Vivienne Files. Now I always feel well dressed on trips.
I’m an over packer…but my worst mistake was leaving for an 8 day conference in the far north and forgetting to pack underwear ! My supervisor had to rent us a car and we drove 3 hours ( each way ) to an outlet ( closest thing around ) in really snowy terrain to buy some.
Joyce Plunkett says
Oh my! You had a much harder time than I did getting replacements. At least I was in a big city, among people who wore the same general size as me. I’ll bet you also got home and found your undies in a neat stack just waiting to go into the suitcase ;-)
Zaidie Brown says
I did spot there would be a shoe problem! I have a different packing formula to you for a week or more (but inspired by you, of course) which avoids this issue, as I pack accessories in 2 or 3 phases and reference back and forth.
I start with travel outfit and accessories, with a spare top. Then a couple of nice options and accessories (nice for the trip, could be opera one trip, a museum the next, or coffee with friends for another). Then I fill in any holes in my 12 item clothes template and add speciality accessories – so a dress or skirt with no pockets I want to wear while running around with the children means a belt with pockets, or shorts means shoes to wear with shorts. Then when I know my wardrobe, I add the right underwear.
Sounds pretty good – and it would help you avoid missing things! Thanks for sharing…
I’ve made similar errors to other readers: forgotten my outfit that was on a hanger for a wedding, and failed to pack warm enough clothes for a couple of other trips. The first was resolved by borrowing a dress (also black & white but different style) from my v kind sis-in-law! The latter by buying extra socks and jumpers in both Venice and London. Oh also failed to bring hiking/walking shoes for a reasonably active holiday to Oman, thankfully managed to buy some ‘desert boots’ at the airport. My husband once forgot to pack any underwear for a business trip…
Oh and way overpacking aged 17 Inter-railing round Europe… My gran got a paercel sent from Belgium; she was hoping for chocolate and was disappointed on opening to find my trainers/sneakers and jeans!! Nothing like having to carry all your luggage in a rucksack for teaching you to pack light – a habit i’ve lost but TVF is helping me get back.