January 27, 2020
I don’t know how your winter is going, but I suspect that many of us are ready for a wardrobe accent!
I love me a good floral print, and I’m not a particularly “girly” kind of woman. But I think that flowers are always pretty, and always a welcome sight. For a woman with a wardrobe with a grey core, who’s looking for warm accent colors, this first tee shirt is spot on!
This hardest, but most important, thing to remember when looking at print tee shirts is to hold fast to your core wardrobe colors. So many tee shirts are pretty and appealing, but won’t go with anything you own. Unless you plan to frame your new tee shirt and hang it on the wall, avoid incompatible colors…
This first outfit is pretty easily drawn from my wardrobe – a mix of striped tee shirt, print scarf and some snazzy socks…
I love this tee shirt – enough green in the print to wear with your green pants, and that bright golden yellow is just plain splendid. On a grey, cold day, this outfit would be such fun!
I don’t know how old you are, but MY generation owns tie-dye. The young people are welcome to wear it too…
A navy cardigan (a really NICE cashmere cardigan) and dark-wash jeans can be a solid “suit-like” core for all kinds of fun. And paisley earrings with a paisley tee shirt is just fun…
If you like brown, do not delay in grabbing this tee shirt! A sea blue cardigan, or a blush one, would also look so good with this…
And note how useful a solid, accent-colored scarf can be…
I need to start seriously rethinking my relationship with pink. These earrings are speaking to me, and I seldom have conversations with inanimate objects!
This last outfit speaks to my bold spirit! And when was the last time we saw Harve Benard clothing???? I remember that brand from racks of interchangeable separates, in the Younker’s Department Store, in Des Moines, back in the mid-’80s. Oh my…
This gradually evolving 13-week wardrobe is starting to look like it’s getting ready for spring! The floral tee was irresistible…
Here’s the master list, for reference purposes:
As the end of this project is coming into view, are we interested in the same exercise for accessories? I’m game, but it’s going to take me a bit of thinking…
p.s. Six years ago, I did possibly the most analysis I’ve ever done on “Start with a Scarf.” The scarf was muted shades of taupe and beige, and the wardrobe is timeless…
You lived in Des Moines in the eighties????? I grew up and went to college there. From 1980-1996. I have fond memories of Younkers at Merle Hay Mall.
My MBA is from Drake – I moved to Des Moines from Waverly (yes, I went to Wartburg!!!) in 1981 and lived there for 6 years. I worked in the big downtown Younkers, as well as for Peck and Peck and Johnson & Murphy shoes. I loved retail…
I went to Drake! My Dad was on the faculty from 1980-2009!
Beth T says
Being a big floral fan, these t-shirt are right up my street. I also have several floral cardigans and jumpers which add a colourful layer to plain separates. I particularly love the grey, pink and turquoise combo which I shall try as a variant on grey, violet and turquoise.
Florals, sigh. I went big for them last spring, as the shops were abloom. Then I realized that, given my height (5’10”) size (US 14) and style (never girly), some of what I bought looked twee and junior-y. There is the sweet floral (first tee) and the assertive floral (the black Ted Baker). I need the assertive, but I admire delicate sprigs on other women.
Beth T says
The scale of a pattern is crucial. I have the opposite problem being 5′ 1/2″ (how I wish I was several inches taller). I love large florals but they always look as if they are wearing me. So small to medium is the way for me.
You’re so right, Beth. I’ve learnt the hard way (expensive mistakes) that loving a particular print doesn’t make it right for me if it’s too big a pattern. I think the level of contrast matters too. I’m 5′ 2″ but can get away with a slightly bigger pattern if the colours are of similar pale shades. In Australia there’s a chain called Sportscraft that sells Libertry print shirts in a range of patterns so there is always something tempting.
Beth T says
I have to applaud you Janice for the reference back to the Start with a Scarf post. You are a genius! I have a very similar pashmina which I love but its tricky to find the right colours and accessories. My scarf is a pashmina in shades of dusky grey, pewter, silver and mauve. The pattern is stunning with large and small paisley motifs, acanthus leaves, stylised flowers, diamonds, triangles and checkerboard patterns. Just now I found my clothes in these soft shades and looking at the patterns in it, I can now choose find the right jewellery and bag. Thank you.
That sounds gorgeous… I just got a new silk scarf in Paris, which might change my life. Ok, maybe not my ENTIRE life, but it’s going to spark something interesting!
Beth T says
It is thrilling to find something that adds an extra dimension to your wardrobe. I often find things when I’m not even looking! I hope that you will share your new discovery with us.
Accessories? Yes please.
Such pretty t-shirts! I don’t see anything as appealing in our shops, your research is awesome. And the link to the Start with a Scarf post led me to a dream. Yes, your eye for detail is superb! And funny.
Last year I stumbled upon a black paisley quilted Harve Benard jacket and fell in love. I think it was $7 or so. The quality is fabulous compared to what I can find now in my price range. I have enjoyed wearing it and always receive many compliments on it. No surprise that it is one of my face.
Many thanks are due to Marie Kondo, I’m sure!
I really struggle with prints, they tend to overwhelm my muted coloring. A nice compromise are scarves, though.
Also, short sleeves are problematic in that they create a horizontal line where I don’t need one. For me, it is sleeveless or long sleeves only, except for gym wear.
Still, I like the Ted Baker print the best and the pink sprigged one is a close second. I always enjoy seeing how you put ensembles together!
One of my favs, not face. Autocorrect is so well-intentioned, but rarely helpful!
Beth T says
I have the same problem with sleeves. Cap sleeves or three-quarter length sleeves avoid that. The latter can show off a pretty bracelet that might be hidden with long sleeves.
I have the same issue with the scale of the prints and the level of contrast against my muted coloring ! I no longer wear black, although a shiny black looks less deathly on me than a muted one. Still — brown is what suits me !
I hope you are now safely home ! And — I can’t wait for your new scarf reveal ! Thank you for keeping up the blog despite your travels !
I’m back! And everything was amazing… tomorrow and Friday I will tell you about it, and share an interesting personal style experiment I’m going to try…
I tried to send this through contact but for some reason it’s not working…sorry for the public post. I am hoping you can help. I went to buy a teal or grey fleece and came home with this lovely sweater (it was on a deep discount and so lovely, so warm). http://www.arancrafts.com/product/three-button-jacket-x4458/
I am wondering how to accessorize it, if I can wear it open, and what sorts of shapes to pair it with. It looked teal in the store but it’s more marine blue. My neutrals are navy and pewter, and my accents lavender/plum and a sort of lovely blue/green between acqua and petrol (hard to find, so I end up with some teal). I lecture standing directly in the draft so I am wondering about wearing it with a dress or trousers or well, what would you advise?
I hope you had a lovely time in Paris! Thank you for your delightful blog…it’s my first click after email with my coffee.
Oh MY that’s pretty…
I wouldn’t worry a lot about accessories beyond earrings – the texture of the sweater itself, and the button detail, provide a lot of visual interest. Maybe a brooch would be nice, but I wouldn’t worry too much even about that.
Wearing it open? You’ll have to try. Since we can’t see the bottom part of the front, under the buttoned area, it’s hard to know how it’s going to hang unbuttoned. But I suspect that it will work…
I would certainly wear it with any kind of pants of any shape at all, and over most skirts. I would avoid any sort of heavy fabric or gather around the waist, because that might bunch up under the sweater. Over a simple dress it would be love – anything in any shade of grey would be great. Try it with navy and see if you’re comfortable; I think it might be just right.
Frankly, I think that this is going to be pretty versatile for you, if you just experiment over a few days and see what you feel comfortable doing with it. A simple grey tee shirt and pants with this over will transform a simple base into a really statement outfit.
You did well!
Thanks, I’ll report back on the navy (looking for a grey dress). I always wear earrings (except when my kids were at the grabby stage) and what a nice excuse to try some of my fun brooches…might be too much with the buttons but I have this wonderful vintage very abstract moonstone snowflake that might be…mystical!
Beth T says
Please include brooches if you decide to do some posts just on accessories. Scarf rings and clasps used to be a thing in the 1980’s. Can you still buy them?
There aren’t many new scarf rings being made, but try etsy for vintage ones!
This set of outfits is particularly adorable! Tie-dye has never looked so pretty :D
Some of those floral t-shirt are extremely tempting, but this time I’m serious about saving.
It seems to me that you’ve been toying with the idea of pink as an additional accent for your wardrobe for quite a long time, and it wouldn’t be unwise to give in! It would fit in perfectly with your other colors, it’d be perfect for the times when you feel like you need to wear something more “gentle” (I don’t know about you but for me, different moods require different kinds of outfits), AND I think it would look great with your gold jewelry (imagine a gray-pink-gold combo…).
I’d definitely welcome a series about accessories!
Sania from Zagre says
This is incredible, I’ve just pulled out of storage almost identical patterned short dress last night, that I’ll wear as a tunic, and I was wandering is it too bold? And universe replies. Is been a while I’ve been here although this is my favorite and only blog I read. Wow. What a synchronicity! Thank you, Janice!
That is kind of a cool coincidence, isn’t it?
Yes- let’s do accessories next!
Juli Tice says
Hi! Wonderful outfits! I really would love to find the Harve Bernard floral t-shirt. Any ideas of where I could look?
Last time I checked it was still available here: