January 6, 2020
It’s time for some brightness!
Especially if you have a scarf that you want to wear more often, this is a good time of year to start looking for tee shirts in a variety of colors; they seem to have arrived in a lot of places the first week of the year!
A fast way to inject some new possibilities into your core wardrobe of neutrals in an accent tee shirt along with 1 or 2 other accessories in that same color. Earrings are obvious, scarves are my favorite, and don’t forget the possibilities of accent socks!
Speaking of socks – be alert when you’re buying them; there are all SORTS of weird things out there right now:
- mesh socks, which in my day would have been considered “knee-high hose.” Only they kind of sag down your calves and around your ankles… They’re worn, with dresses (!!!) and heels. The look is not to my taste…
- super-fluffy socks that are meant to never be worn with shoes. They take the place of slippers, I guess…
- slouchy socks, aka they have nothing elastic to hold them up, and if you don’t love them bunched around your ankles, you’re in trouble!
And yes, I’m seeing even more of the “puffy sleeve around the shoulder” thing; if you are buying something to layer under sweaters or cardigans, these tops may not work well. All that fabric has to go somewhere, right?
These outfits? A glimpse of an accent color under your v-neck sweater! If you’re somewhere with months of ghastly cold to come, don’t rule out getting a long-sleeved tee, or even another cotton turtleneck!
If you broke down and grabbed this scarf, I am really happy for you! I’m still loving it… Happily, it does NOT go with anything I own. Saved by my own discipline!
I love this outfit; this scarf is a perfect “all year” accessory. And super-sparkly earrings are never a bad idea on a gray day…
A leafy scarf deserves leaf earrings, right?
I’m pretty certain that the background of this scarf is black, so I’m showing you a black sweater and jeans. This color would also be great with navy, or gray, or beige, or brown…
If you wear a lot of brown as your core neutral, don’t overlook the possibility of a cool pastel accent color. The scarf here makes it all look perfect! (and the sweater and pants are a great base for any shirt, tee shirt or turtleneck you can find…)
For this sample wardrobe, I didn’t see another accent color that looked quite right, so I got lazy and stuck with red. Is it lazy, or is it just a clearly-focused personal style?
Of course, most of us are NOT going to just have these 13 garments in our closets. But wouldn’t this make a grand travel capsule wardrobe? Maybe THIS is what I’m packing for Paris…
So yes, I did in fact re-arrange some of this list! I suspected that I might…
A little brightness or lightness in a wardrobe feels good, doesn’t it?
p.s. 3 years ago, we shared a wardrobe of a heroine who flew frequently for business. Her travel capsule wardrobe was based on a photograph of a black and yellow broadbill!
About the beautiful scarf you said, “Saved by my own discipline.” I think that best typifies what The Vivienne Files is all about. After reading for several years, I THOUGHT I was following your plan, but when I tried to put things together in a suitcase, I would be missing some crucial component.
I decided to take a year off from buying clothing pieces. As a result, I am learning a great deal about what I NEED (vs what I want). I am learning to remix and put together combos I wouldn’t have considered before. I am finally seeing the true holes in my wardrobe.
I have the Stylebook App on my Ipad. I find it invaluable for seeing what I really wear and what has been ignored (Read: What not to buy again.) I plan to follow along each Monday and build a WTW with what is currently in my closet. (Again-exposing the true holes in it.)
Thanks for helping me see what should have been obvious!
Do you like the STylebook App and find it easy to use? I’ve looked at it numerous times and wondered if it might be helpful.
I’m curious what / how you rearranged the list, can you tell? Or will that be a future blog post?
The first spring item was originally a light neutral tee shirt – just as for the other 3 seasons, the first item is a light neutral top of some sort. But I thought that accent colors would be more useful in the transition from winter to spring, so I started there! It’s not exactly a earth-shattering change, but still…
I love that you’ve given us the graph for the entire 52 weeks. I’ve seen some great “resort” pieces this week that would fit perfectly into my summer wardrobe. Even though it’s the dead of winter here in northern Canada. Plus I can review what I already have, and not buy (cute, but) things I don’t need.
A long term plan makes sense if you’re going to spend hard-earned money!
I like that you decided to go with the accent color rather than the light neutral short sleeve tee. It definitely helps smooth the transition into spring. As a sweater wearer, I can appreciate the difference it makes to have that accent color peek out from a v-neck or be the base layer under a dark cardigan. And I’d be happy to wear accent color shoes instead of accent color socks!
Karen Spencer says
I love how you added the 6 scarves of 2020 to this! So smart and helpful!
What a gorgeous violet t-shirt at the head of your post. Please incorporate it into a future outfit suggestion.
I’ve realised for a while that I should look out for v-neck jumpers instead of the round neck cardigans, I seem to have a lot of. Although I can create a v-neck effect by undoing the top few buttons and turning the corners inside. When you get hot you can unbutton the whole thing to display the accent t-shirt in all its glory.
I am increasingly drawn to patterned knitwear under which I can put plain tops and blouses. Please would you explore ideas for incorporating such pieces.
You will be pleased to know that I have lots of accent socks!
Is it just me, or are T-shirts some of the trickiest things to buy? The length, the weight, the fit, the quality…so hard to get a simple thing right.
You’re not wrong – I wear tee shirts from L.L.Bean and Lands’ End, and I swear that might be why I’m so drawn to them! But they’re treated as if they’re just interchangeable things, and women need better-made tops that fit well!
I’d like to address the subject of socks or rather footie things, some very low cut, to wear with flats and heels. I live outside of Houston so bare ankles are rarely a problem. (It’s going to be near 80 this weekend). I wear a size 9 shoe so these footies that fit shoe sizes 4-10 of course really don’t fit me without pinching my toes to where it hurts. I always look for extended sizes and can usually find them in something to wear with a sporty shoe but when it comes to a low cut dressier version one size fits all (NOT). Has anyone found something somewhere? Also Janis do the Lands End tees not get those little holes? I never use to have this problem but now even rather costly tees often get thase. FYI I have tried the front tuck, no tuck, towel between me and seatbelt, checking for bugs, etc.
I’ve experienced the same problem. I’m washing them in a mesh bag, only when stained or stinky and at the end of the season. I damp dry on the delicate cycle. So far, so good since making this change.
Hmm. I’ve not had that problem. I wash EVERYTHING except gym clothes on the delicate cycle; maybe that helps?
Anybody else have ideas of how to avoid this problem?
I am so glad someone else brought up the holes. I have cats and I know cats can put back claws into my clothing and make holes, but that is why I have “good shirts” and “wear only at home shirts” for pilling the cats or clipping claws. Still, as I hang up what are supposed to be good shirts, I find holes across the front. And, yes, these are my Lands End tees.