December 23, 2019
The last garment for winter! I know that I plan these wardrobes to be forward-thinking; the best clothes are always in the stores long before a normal person could wear them (unless they’re traveling). But this seems early, even to me!
Next Monday I’m going to show a couple of “what a Weekly Timeless Wardrobe might look like” options, and then in January we will plunge back in and start getting our wardrobes ready for the advent of Spring…
Scarf update – my Aspinal of London scarf arrived, and I’m VERY pleased with the quality. These scarves cost literally 36% of what an Hermes scarf costs! Yes, there are differences. Yes, they’re a bit thinner, and then hems aren’t hand-stitched. BUT STILL… It’s a beautiful scarf, that I will be able to wear with delight. So Aspinal of London is definitely in the mix for next year’s scarves!
On to some warm winter dresses!
This might be a category that doesn’t resonate with you – no worries! If you don’t anticipate the need for something like this, feel free to substitute with a nice pair of pants, or a lighter weight dress. For me, sometimes, I want to wear a dress (to doctor appointments, for no good reason I can think of…) and having something positively snuggly to pull on makes getting dressed easy. But everybody makes their own choices, right?
I personally love having a big collar right up under my chin… And I also like the sort of formless, shapeless look of these dresses. They’re very forgiving for after a large meal, or a holiday season of shameless indulgence…
In the dead of winter, with what seems like only 2 or 3 hours of daylight, pretty blush accessories could never be wrong!
If I were even going to advise you to seriously consider buying something, it would possibly be a denim shirtdress. These babies are VERSATILE. It’s a swimsuit coverup, a duster jacket over any outfit in the world, a summer dress (over a tank top, unbuttoned to below your bra, with the sleeves rolled), or a winter dress, over a thin turtleneck. If you’re packing, and you have that feeling that you need ONE MORE THING, but you can’t put your finger on it, pack this dress…
Yes, I have one. Yes, I’ve had it for years, and yes, I wear it for all kinds of reasons. If only every garment in my closet was so multi-purpose!
I love that this next dress has a wee “sweatshirt” detail at the neckline. It’s a good thing I don’t need a dress right now… OR a scarf. This scarf might make next year’s list. I love that scolding bird!
If you don’t like a fabric belt on your dress, don’t wear it! This dress with a low-slung leather belt would be perfect, or with NO BELT AT ALL. I’m feeling audacious today, I know.
This might take planning ahead to a new level, but this next dress and accessories would be lovely for Valentine’s Day… And a dress in this color lends itself to any color of boots and accessories. If you are an accessory lover, this is the sort of garment that will give you a chance to really show your collection.
I have to admit, I would throw over my entire wardrobe and just buy this entire ensemble… The accessories in that rose gold color would be such a departure, but they are so appealing…
This Winter 13-piece wardrobe is finished! And I did NOT choose a solid-colored dress; for someone who wear a lot of neutrals, a classic striped dress isn’t a big reach.
Halfway through! I’m still reserving the right to change any of these garments if I get into the thick of things and find that something different might be a better choice. Never let stubbornness get in the way of doing what’s best!
I swear, if I had to completely recreate my wardrobe from absolute scratch (heaven forbid), I would start with this…
p.s. 3 years ago, our heroine was taking off for the end of year holiday, in a travel wardrobe based on Picasso. Surprisingly, black, white and PASTELS…
We don’t have proper winter yet, but I wore my warm dress yesterday. T’is the season to be cozy ;)
Warm dresses are very useful over exercise clothes too and warm and I don’t feel uncomfortable at the coffee shop in leggings
Linda J. says
I have never owned a sweater dress but I found one this year in a consignment shop, along with a pair of g h. Bass tall boots. I took a chance since they were VERY inexpensive & in excellent condition. The dress still had the tags on it. I have worn the outfit a few times with leggings and I love it! I’m so glad you included one in the timeless wardrobe.
I haven’t a single dress in my wardrobe and only one skirt but some of these beauties above look so cuddly ! I have a birthday coming up — hmmmm !
I am puzzled right now, by my own fair, warm muted coloring. As I am packing away my Autumnal golds and soft orangey and rust colors, I am left with soft warm red, and a range of light through dark browns, off white, as well as navy. Teal accents are in there too, but I’m stumped for one more . Forest green is a bit too dark, but I am leaning toward a green in that direction. Any suggestions ?
Oh, where are my manners ? A very Merry Christmas to you and Belovedest and a deep thanks for all that that you do !!! It’s a ho hum day without your post first thing with my morning cup of tea ! You continue to make lightbulbs go off in my brain, and I am so grateful for your inspiring and practical posts !
I am so glad that the Aspinal scarf has worked out for you ! Besides affordability, they are so very pretty !
Big big hugs ! You are my fave !
Mint might be too light, but maybe celadon. (as if you can find it anywhere!). Maybe a muted balsam or dusty pine?
Friends? Any thoughts for our friend Shrebee?
Thank you so much, Janice ! Yes, a muted dusty evergreen of some type sounds good like a great prospect !
I would look at a muted warm purple with those colors for winter. But that’s just me. :)
Thank you , Laura ! I have considered purple, but somehow I keep wanting to keep it for Springtime .
I also have fair, warm, and muted coloring (fair skin, hazel eyes, dark ash blonde hair, now about 40+ percent gray). Finding the right colors has ALWAYS been a challenge. My wardrobe sounds very similar to yours, minus the navy because it’s just too dark for me.
This is most of my fall capsule wardrobe ( https://www.pinterest.com/pollysighs/fall-capsule/ ). I couldn’t find some images online and need to make them myself, I have some green items that aren’t included in the picture, but do fall within the muted soft color palette linked below . The same is true with my winter wardrobe capsule, which is here https://www.pinterest.com/pollysighs/winter-capsule/.
I found this recently and thought the article was right on point for me, maybe it will be for you as well. There is a color chart that might be helpful to you. You could save the image and extract the colors and play with them a bit (CSS drive, etc).
I’m interested to learn what you decide to do :-).
Good luck and Happy Holidays!
Thank you, great article and a perfect description of my personal coloring ! I have only reintroduced some limited navy pieces, because it can be too dark for me if I use it monochromatically, but it is OK, as long as I bring in a light color near my face and use gold or warm accent accessories !
I’m so glad that you found the article helpful! I hope the information serves you well.
A couple of other guidelines that I have found to be helpful are keeping the contrast level in the low-medium range. With high contrast, the colors wear me. I find it really hard to wear most prints nowadays because I can rarely find one with the right scale and color contrast.
If you are as fair-skinned as I am, light neutrals look best for special events when you need to make your best impression, but do chose other neutrals for more casual events. I find wearing one neutral at a time (can be a range of shades) and limiting myself to ONE color at a time, works best. Your mileage may vary.
Are we sisters ? Yes, the contrast and value levels also affect me ! I have found that if I dress monochromatically, 3 values serve me best , or one muted accent color to add some oomph to an otherwise all neutral outfit. Too low a contrast level , whether it’s all light or all dark, doesn’t seem to work for me either , although I do seem to require a light color near my face somewhere, either as an inner or as an outer garment. And thanks again for the tips !
Happy Holidays to you and yours !
Lisa P says
Tall boots are what make dresses—especially midi-length dresses—so easy in the wintertime! If I don’t feel like wearing tights, I wear wool socks and thin silk long johns. A dress makes such a pleasant change from jeans/pants!
(By the way, thin silk long johns are wonderful because they add warmth without bulk under jeans or trousers or almost anything—and are great for travel for the same reason! LL Bean or Lands End usually have them.)
Sharing the love for the silk long johns, and they are cheaper in long run because if tights run, they’re done. And for travel, if you want to pack light, you can sleep or lounge in them.
LINDA J. says
I have never worn a sweater dress before but this year I found one I liked in a consignment shop with the tags still on it and also found a pair of G.H. Bass tall boots that were in excellent condition and fit well. So I took a chance and bought them. I have already worn the outfits several times with leggings. I’m so glad you included one in the wardrobe. Have a great Christmas!
Thank you for your continuing inspiration…whether your wardrobes suit me in reality..they always do in my imagination and, I look wonderful! Happy holidays, Janice!
Janice that’s wonderful to hear about the Aspinal quality! Looking forward to seeing what happens as you play with each choice.
I love the JCrew grey sweater dress with the soft pink accessories and tall grey boots! WOW.
It’s been decades since I owned my 2 sweater dresses but it’s time to consider buying one again.
I have occasional attacks of severe diverticulitis in which my stomach swells up painfully for days and being able to wear something that glides over the pain & swelling while keeping me warm and cozy is especially appealing. All of these dresses would work well.
Plus dresses are such an easy once & done choice. I can wear flats, heels, short or long boots, tights, pantyhose, yoga “pants”, long silk underwear or just wooly socks depending on the shoe choice and stay cosy.
Thank you for reminding me of a terrific option.
I was thinking of many of us who have abdominal issues; a colostomy would fit under most of these dresses, too. You never know what someone has to adjust to when they get dressed, do you?
Merry Christmas, Janice. What a great post to close the WTW! I have been looking for a warm dress for a while. I tried on that Banana Republic sweater dress…too short for my 5’7” frame. I have been looking even longer for a denim dress- again, too short for long legs.
I will have to follow your a good advice from last June, and start looking for that sweater dress before I need it!
Did you check for Petite sizes?
The scolding bird scarf is amazing! Love it. If it’s landing in next years plans it will be fun to see.
Seasons greetings to you. Hope you have a lovely Christmas. I love all the scarves and dresses in today’s post. Wish I could have them all.
The main thing, I think, is that the colourway is right for you. I’m hooked on Hermès colourways and find some other good-quality makers favour pastels or soft palettes. Many silk=print scarves are digitally-printed on silk in one go, others use more screens; Hermès carrés typically use 45 or so different screens per scarf. That’s how they get those colourways and depth.
There are brands I like too, and sometimes my heart is seized by a great pattern… but many boutiques sell the digitally-printed ones at Hermès prices or near. That to me is iffy.
I always wear my sweater dress with suede over the knee boots and I’m never cold. I like your other tips though. Thanks! And happy holidays!
Happy Holidays to you, Janice!! I really look forward to your blog and reading the thoughtful comments from your other followers. I often find inspiration for my own wardrobe, but even when I don’t, it’s fun for me to see the beautiful wardrobes you put together. I can get excited about them whether they suit me or not as I marvel at the lovely choices and how you pull things together in unexpected ways. I like to start my day by looking at your last post and sipping some hot tea, it always puts me in a wonderful mood and ready to start my day.
Nowadays, because of your guidance, I have a wardrobe that I can get excited about wearing even though it is relatively casual. I often enjoy playing in my closet and planning outfits appropriate for my week.
I look forward to seeing what is next in 2020 :-)!
Deborah Singh-Boos says
Janice, a Merry Christmas to you and all the lovely ladies of this blog. May your Christmas be blessed and filled with peace, joy and happiness. Greetings from Trinidad and Tobago.
Erin Roy says
Today, we hit 65 degrees in Arkansas, but it was in the 20s and 30s a few days ago! So once November hits I have to have a 3 season wardrobe with the key word being layers. I would love a sweater dress but I think the better strategy is the denim one. My favorite store came out with their yearly version last week and I was so tempted to get it. After this post I know where next week’s pay check is going!
Merry Christmas to you, Janice and your family. Thank you for being a blessing to all of us throughout the year.
Ooooooh. I just peeked at those Aspinal of London scarves and I’m absolutely swooning over the one with the birds & foxes in the forest in teal/grey/white with red accents. I love teal and red! The wardrobe I’m trying to build is the grey & navy neutrals—with red and teal accents. So that scarf just made me sigh with bliss. The scarves are gorgeous! I’m really looking forward to your posts about them.
Thank you Janice for another inspirational post. I last wore a sweater dress about 35 years ago but they do look cosy though and maybe suitable again for middle-age.
I love the grey and pink outfit. I’m still determined to create a pink and grey mini-capsule in my wardrobe. This morning, I put on a pair of off-white socks with a Fair Isle style pattern in dark grey, plum/wine and pink. Now to dress the rest of me in that colour combo for Christmas Eve preparations… I’m thinking plum velvet trousers, pink and grey floral blouse over a cream roll-neck and a dark grey sparkly crochet knit jumper.
The scolding magpie scarf is stunning and would also go with the grey dress. It would be great to see a wardrobe built round that!
Janice, I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing Christmas. I look forward to another year of magic.
Who would think of building my outfit around a pair of patterned socks – perhaps a new theme, Janice? On second thoughts, I’ll swap the cream roll-neck for a dark grey sparkly one. Instead of a dark grey jumper, I’ll wear my sparkly silver chunky cardigan with a faux fur collar, so the blouse is more visible. It is Christmas after all!
A very merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and yours from the UK east coast.
Happiest of holidays to Janice, your readers, and all of your nearest and dearest from Zürich, Switzerland!
I have 3 gray sweater dresses in different necklines. I wear them constantly in cold weather. They are my LBD, dress up or down. physical comfort is so good in situations that might not be mentally comfortable.