December 30, 2019
Ah, before we dive in, I have a few observations that I want to share:
- Winter clothes are flying out of store – it wasn’t at all easy to find these garments for these wardrobes! If you need something, start looking now. L.L.Bean still has a full assortment of sweaters and warm pants, but most other places are running out of sizes/colors even as I type. NOW I remember why I started this project before the season had even really started!
- By the same token, if you need specific things for warmer weather, be prepared to start looking by the end of January. It’s weird, but it’s the way the retail world seems to want us to shop…
- Lots of garments are currently sporting a “puffy sleeve” thing – especially at the shoulders. What we once would have called “leg o’mutton” is back! If you love this look, be prepared to grab a bunch of things now. Conversely, if you do NOT want all of that bulk around your arms (layering garments OVER these sleeves isn’t going to work!), make certain that you’re reading the descriptions carefully.
- Pants! Holy happy handbags, they’re almost all cropped! And nothing looks sillier in cold weather than bare ankles, in my humble opinion. If you’re short, these pants can save you alterations expense and trouble; if you’re of normal height/leg length, pay close attention to the measurements for inseam or outseam given in the descriptions.
Okay! Let’s look at some art, and some 13-piece Weekly Timeless Wardrobes for cold weather…
This painting would be a great inspiration for a complete wardrobe. There are hints of dusty pink here, as well as sky blue and teal. You could get a lot of mileage from those colors…
Sheer lack of options prompted me to toss in a fun sequined top – there’s no reason that a tee shirt like this couldn’t be worn during the day, by the right woman. I could wear a black one with jeans in a heartbeat…
This would make a great travel wardrobe – options for dressing up, and plenty of ways to be ready for sightseeing and touring about!
I could be SO tempted to revise my entire wardrobe into these colors below; they’re timeless in the best of ways, and just plain pretty! Add in some grey, and you could build a great work wardrobe for a conservative office environment…
I didn’t see anything in the lavender/blue color that blew my hair back, but this mint green sweater is delicious! And it’s cotton, so one could wear it for much of the year; imagine it with white capris on a warm-ish spring day…
Yet again, this would be a great wardrobe for travel! Wear 3, pack 10, and not have to think about what you’re going to wear…
I’m surprised that nobody has caught this typo in the date of this painting! I’ve fixed it for future reference, but I’m leaving it for now, just to keep myself humble!
This is another painting that could easily inspire a life-long wardrobe. The soft touches of green, and the sky/denim blue open up all sorts of possibilities for accent colors!
Bless L.L.Bean for their fidelity to beautiful sweaters. Yes, the sweaters #20 and 24 are very similar cardigans in 2 different colors. I think this is sensible; if you know that a garment’s overall fabric, shape and “warmth level” work for you, why not grab a 2nd? And I personally can vouch for #20; I own it, and wear it a ton. I think half of Ireland has seen that sweater by now…
Again, this is almost a “Whatever’s Clean 13” wardrobe! It’s amazing how often the number 13 comes up in my life… but I love the tidiness of wearing 3 garments to fly, drive or train, and then packing 10 pieces.
If all goes as planned, I will FINALLY be going to Paris on the 18th; this might be exactly how I plan what I’m packing. (cross your fingers; I’ve cancelled TWO trips to Paris in the last 2 months, and I’m feeling jinxed!)
p.s. Four years ago, I searched for “khaki” accessories, and found that all SORTS of colors were calling themselves khaki. Like shopping isn’t confusing enough already…
Third time lucky Janice – fingers crossed! Thank you for these three cold weather examples in different colours; I tried to follow along, but still have some gaps in both wardrobes (mainly skirts and dresses) and although the New Year sales are in full swing, my priorities are pulling me towards outerwear, leather accessories and underwear. Great series though and am looking forward to the Spring collection.
Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year.
Kristy Whited says
I love seeing the various color combos you put together, but my perfect color palette still eludes me. If only I could settle on specific colors, then I could move forward with the capsule life (and closet) I dream of. But I also love seeing the formulas you use. 4 long sleeve tops, 2 pullover sweaters, 2 cardigan sweaters, 2 pants, 1 skirt, 1 dress. That is something I can apply and will be so helpful in framing my final decisions. Thirteen pieces for each season totals 52 for the whole year. That’s amazing and all would fit in one closet and two or three drawers. That’s my goal! Thanks for all the work you do and all the help you provide! I have learned so much!
Oh happy dance ! The two Autumn paintings resonate with me , and I could easily switch out the gray for brown with the burgundy accent !
You can switch all kinds of things here – that’s what I’m trying to sort is the right overall guidance without any rigid rules. We’re walking a fine line here!
And you do it oh so well ! Happy New Year !
Hélène G. says
Good, solid, convenient, bright ideas for winter wardrobe !
I LOVE it !
Have a lovely trip, Janice!!
Happy New Year!
Packing an array of cozy clothing for Paris sounds delightful! – nancyo
Pant lengths are going completely crazy right now. Sometimes I order in the tall size, just for normal length. It doesn’t always work. The tapering is highly variable.
Happy New Year!
I got caught out with the 7/8 length that Marks & Spencer introduced with a lot of their trousers this year. Fine with narrow legs but the wide leg style I favour resulted in lots of material flapping around mid-cap. However, I then worked out that ordering the trousers in Regular 7/8 was just the perfect long length for my short legs!
*mid-calf. Blame the typos on the spell-checker!
Thanks, Janice. I have been reading your blog for several years now. I notice you tend to use sweaters as second layers rather than jackets. Personal preference?
Easier to find, easier to get to fit well, generally don’t cost as much (a really well-made blazer can cost a fortune!). But I’m not against a great jacket…
If you also think it would be interesting, I’d really like to see a capsule with warm colors that DON’T include olive and beige: they’re beautiful colors, but often steal the spotlight from other beautiful warm hues :)
Specifically, my ideal capsule would include dark brown and black (or a rich, dark purple) as dark neutrals, warm yellow and pink as accents and maybe some ivory/ecru as a light neutral (mostly for tops).
But any variation would be nice!
Imagine writing “don’t” in all caps and it actually should be “doesn’t”. Sorry!
I love the skating nuns painting. So many lovely colours for spring and winter. Marks & Spencer have several jumpers and cardigans in shades of lilac.
I wandered through Nordstrom’s yesterday and the puff sleeves were everywhere! Maybe shawls will be popular?!
Thank you so much Janice for your wonderful articles. I’ve learned so much and am enjoying my closet so much more?.
Happy New Year and have tons of fun in Paris – definitely my favorite place to go!!
Monday and Wednesday and Friday
Mornings are my favorite time of day. Thank you sooo much ?
That burgundy, grey and white palette was my carryon wardrobe for October and November in France and it worked like a charm. When I got bored a bit with it, I bought a blue patterned silk scarf at an outdoor market to change it up with my white or grey tops. It was nice change that took up no room In my bag. No skirt – pants instead.
I haven’t really been able to wrap my mind around the weekly timeless wardrobe plan, but I kept it in mind when packing for a trip to Colorado next week (I live in a warmer climate and have limited cold-weather clothing), and I think I finally got it! I don’t wear turtlenecks or sweaters, so it just took me a while to figure out my substitutes (scoop neck t-shirts, pullover sweatshirts, and zip hoodies). My packing plan looks a lot like the grey, white, and burgundy wardrobe with a little denim blue thrown in. Best of all, my husband was impressed with how few things I packed! And you’re right about the Georgie O’Keeffe painting—I could happily be inspired by it for years.