March 20, 2020
The first day of Spring! And our anniversary…
Quite Enough Solitude, Thank You…
Now that they’re free to travel again, they’re making plans…
Their favorite apartment in their favorite city is available for a few days, and they are OFF!
No more wearing sensible sweatpants and warm shirts while working from home. No more being sensible PERIOD, for a while….
They’ve walked miles every evening in their neighborhood; they’ve exhausted pretty much any avenue of exploration left to them! Now, in their favorite city, they’re going to go down every alley, every turn that seems uninteresting, any corner that appears to lead to a dead end…
This will eat out – of COURSE they will! But they will also pick up some simple things to eat while sitting by the window of “their” apartment. Some evenings they will be too tired and foot-sore to go back out!
That feeling when she fastens her suitcase is so nice; she had never realized how much she valued this ability to travel until she simply couldn’t do it for a few months!
I love what looks like the sheer recklessness of traveling in off-white! We are certainly learning what’s most important, aren’t we?
p.s. SEVEN years ago, I shared quite a few ways to wear a simple camel v-neck sweater. I still like all of the ideas…
Ireally love teal and orange as contrasting colours. Beautiful. Thank you.
Saving to pinterest!! Love it!
Such a beautiful combination. Thank you for your lovely ideas.
With love from South Africa
We have just cancelled two trips, one to celebrate an anniversary. (We can’t say “Quite enough solitude, thank you” when our destinations will not accept non-essential visitors.) When I can travel again (or even eat a meal in a restaurant!), I’d love these clothes, especially the tangy orange with bone, so fresh and energetic.
Wow that painting is beautiful – thanks!
Happy Anniversary — lots of together time right now !
The colors in this post are like a fresh breath of Spring ! I had never thought of teal and orange as complementary accents ! For my muted coloring, I might have to make the orange more of a copper color, but with all of that white ( off white for me), that is very rich feeling ! Thanks for the vicarious travel , we can all still dream !
The tops in shades of blue that coordinate with the lovely scarf have given me a new way to think about the French 5. I could buy (or shop my closet) for those four pieces and then choose between a tote bag or a pair of shoes to complete the French 5. Love the idea of including a spectrum of colors rather than everything matching perfectly! Always something to learn while enjoying the Vivienne Files ? Thanks, Janice. And happy anniversary!
Beth T says
I can’t wear orange but wonder whether coral pink and teal might work? I love the teal scarf and the pale teal blouse.
Despite all the UK restrictions, we are encouraged to go for walks in nature reserves, national parks and country house gardens/parkland. As long as we walk 6 feet apart from each other!
I might experiment with these colours when we go out.
The advantage of both working at home means that we can have interesting conversations and drink lots of tea. Our teapot has come out of the cupboard. We might not be able to travel but we can expand the horizons of our cuisine with our exotic cookery books and support the smaller Asian, Middle Eastern and East European food shops in our area. Restaurants, pubs and breweries are also doing home deliveries.
Life is like a holiday!
Beth T says
The coral pink I’m thinking of is called Pink Geranium on Kettlewell Colours. Would that go with teal?
I think it would!
Love that with so few accessories you can really change the look–very good trick for packing or everyday. My link for the bone cardigan leads to a different, shorter sweater with no pockets.
Thanks for letting me know about the link – I’ve fixed it! That’s going to happen, especially when I’m working on a smaller computer and letting Belovedest work on The Monster…
I can’t imagine anything riskier than a travel wardrobe in which any shade of white, cream, or bone is the predominant color! Coffee-stain brown is as pale as I dare go in my travel capsule :) In my next life, though, I will be the sort of elegant creature who could safely pack something ilke thise lovely wardrobe. As it is you’ve given me lots of inspiration for my at-home closet since I do love white and other pale neutrals (and stain remover!) And those shades of teal are spectacular and would suit most neutrals, I think.
I think this heroine is going to be at the point that spills and spots won’t upset her! She’ll just clean things, or go shopping, or whatever…
But you’re right, in a normal world, this is recklessly chic!
giant germ-free hugs,
Lisa Laree says
How cool this is! I’m going to have to consider adding more soft white to the closet for summer. Great inspiration!!
Scottie Kersta-Wilson says
Love the UNIQLO dress!!!
Another elegant, yet practical, capsule. I really look forward to your posts and have become a much more discerning shopper as a result!
My son’s Irish dance competition over Easter is, of course, cancelled. Making plans for where we’ll go (and what I’ll wear!) with our airline vouchers from the canceled flight is helping me get over the disappointment of missing out on this trip to Dublin.
Thank you, Janice! Of all your heroines, you’re the best.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! It’s a beautiful capsule, just love orange with ivory.
I divide my wardrobe first by function and then by color. So when both dress trousers and jeans are included as bottoms, are all of the tops then supposed to be worn with both ? For me, jeans call out for more casual events, as well as the tops that go with them, and trousers are dressier, with more formal tops in finer fabrics and perhaps darker colors. I am trying to develop modules within my larger wardrobe capsule and am getting stuck when the advice calls for 2 bottoms within a small module of 5-8 pieces. I pretty much wear only jeans or trousers and then culottes in Summer. So should the 2 bottoms within a module or cluster both be of the same level of formality? The same color to go with all of the tops in the small module ? I have a capsule for gardening and messy chores, another for wear at home, another for casual errands outside of the home, and then another for dressier occasions such as church, or a nice dinner out , but I am trying to break these larger capsules down into smaller go-together clusters. Thoughts, please ! And a shout out to your other readers on their opinions on this dilemma ! Thanks !
Hi Shrebee, I am always impressed by the care and thought you put into your wardrobe. Here is how I think about capsules, but you need to know that I’m retired, so don’t need many clothes, and that my wardrobe storage is small. So here goes … For messy clothes – gardening, cleaning, etc. I have 2 pairs of pants – old jeans and old track pants, and 2 old t-shirts. I don’t fret about how they look together as I’m only wearing them for half a day at a time, and around the house. At the other extreme I have 3 posh outfits for (in my case) concerts and dinners out. They aren’t mix and match, they’re separate “ensembles” but 1 pair of shoes and 1 bag go with all of them. The way biggest contingent is the middle one, which is for being at home, going out (when we could still do that) to the cinema, meeting friends for coffee or lunch, going to galleries, book group, talks, classes, etc. etc. So levels of formality aren’t an issue because I can wear any of the following to anywhere I go during the day. All my pants/skirts are dark jeans or dark-coloured neutrals, even in summer. They are so boring (normcore?) that I can wear them with anything. For each of our two seasons (7 months of cool to cold, 5 months of warmish) I have 10 tops in neutrals or accents (some patterned) that go with all my pants, and 5 jumpers or cardies in neutrals or accents that go with all the tops. Jackets are neutral except for a smashing mint green wool coat for winter that cheers. About 6 pairs of shoes/sneakers/sandals/boots, depending on the season, in neutral colours. The rest is scarves (a vast collection in all kinds of patterns and colours), jewellery (a more modest collection), and quirky bags which I choose for fun. Off-season clothes are stored in a cupboard above my wardrobe. I’m probably at the dull end of the dressing spectrum but you did invite comments. I now – thanks to Janice’s influence – feel that I look neat, put-together and good to know. A friend once said, “A good haircut and a friendly smile will take you anywhere.” I cling to that. Best wishes, Robyn
Thank you for your kind words, and yes, the majority of my garments also are in that middle grouping of casual “ going out “ clothes, for which some of my jeans do work — I should buy some dark wash, I suppose . I am also retired, but we travel, and hope to again, so I have quite a bit of “ smart casual” , but recognize the need to pare down the total number of garments, hence trying to come up with a formula for mix and match modules within the larger capsule concept. Janice has offered several basic posts on this, varying from 2 tops and a bottom or two and a topper, to a format involving 4 clusters of 5 garments. And like you, I am a scarfoholic , which I employ for Autumn, Winter, and Spring, but find them to be too hot for Summer, so I switch to short sleeved tops with some kind of interesting detail and/or pattern, when I can find ones that suit me, which isn’t often enough !
You have solved the dilemma by sticking to one core neutral for bottoms, though I confess that I like to switch off with both dark and light neutrals , dark and light neutral tops as well as accent colored tops . Toppers for all, I am always cold !
I see advice on other stylist’s posts about starting with a suit like ensemble, including topper, 2 tops and 2 bottoms, but I don’t wear skirts as I am pear shaped with legs that I’d rather keep covered ! Hence the question of what to do for the second bottom ! Janice uses various fabrics within a given color, which could work, or different styling, so I need to take a closer look at that when I can once again go shopping . Right now, I am trying to shop my closet and getting frustrated with the process ! Peace shall finally prevail when I just start thinking clearly about all of this and see it through different eyes — thank you again for your input, I welcome it ! Stay well !
Beth T says
I’m also having a sort out of my extensive wardrobe. You might like to read my comments about how I am tackling this which I posted on last week’s Weekly Timeless Wardrobe 37. It’s interesting how we all do this differently.
By the way, I am also pear-shaped and only 5 foot tall. I find that maxi dresses and longer length midi skirts best. A long dress or a tonal combo of coloured skirt and top adds length and height. I find that long skirts and dresses are cooler in the summer. Combine with a cropped cardigan or short jacket for smart or casual occasions. I like to feel ‘put together’ even when I am in the house. My hubbie is noticing my ‘new’ clothes when all I am doing is wearing them in a different way!
Your approach to your height and shape is mine too Beth – longer skirts or dresses (to make a change from my more usual pants), and in winter, opaque tights and/or high boots are also helpful. I’m coming round to shorter jackets and cardigans with a skirt after preferring thigh-covering lengths with pants – I find a short jacket over a slimming pencil skirt looks good. It’s fun when partners think we’ve been shopping when we’ve just been creative with what we’ve got! And we’re lucky they notice.
We were also married on the first day of spring – thank you for the beautiful anniversary gift – I knew as soon as I saw the art that I was going to love it! ♥️♥️
Love the idea of an ivory capsule. We were at a beach last fall and I had to go buy an outfit for a unexpected swanky dinner; I nipped into a store at the last minute and came up with a vanilla pencil skirt & boatneck top (also pinky-nude block heels) that worked surprisingly well. Best thing about that dinner was the outfit, and it totally thwarted my preconceptions, because I thought I couldn’t wear ivory—too blond (and I’ve worshipped at the altar of the stiletto heel for 20 years). Now I want to dress for travel like Angelina Jolie in The Tourist…
This one goes in my top five favorites ever from The Vivienne Files. Please, oh please expand it!
I went back to your camel sweater post from 7 years ago and marveled at how stylish the outfits still were! Especially like the casual smart styles with denim which is what I tend to wear most days. Then I got sucked into all the other color sweater “how to wear” posts that were before and after the camel sweater. Those types of posts are always my favorite. Thanks for your entertaining posts from any era!
Janice, I love your blog and I love that you encourage people to buy less. But I am disturbed that there is so much focus on travel, and generally air travel in your posts, although admittedly not this one. Climate change is happening, emissions from airplanes are a significant source of carbon dioxide and other gases implicated in climate change and is solid scientific evidence that increasing temperatures can lead to increased transmission of existing diseases and to the emergence of new ones. When this is over we just cannot go back to business as usual and wait for the next pandemic, we need to do things differently and make things better. Maybe your heroines could do more travel on trains or sailboats?
You’re right – travel is part of the problem! I like to use travel capsule wardrobes as an exercise in seeing how long someone can manage to dress happily and comfortably with a finite amount of clothing – the lessons from travel wardrobes can translate into our day-to-day lives. In the past, the dreams of travel have also been a consolation to those of us trapped in mind-numbing jobs and routines; being able to fantasize about a beautiful, exotic place where we can relax (and look beautiful!) is a nice break in our routine.
When we’re all free to travel again, we’re going to need to think critically about what we’re doing, and if it’s helping the world. My household, personally, needs to live in Europe, and be closer to the places that we so clearly like the most. Just dashing back and forth every 2 or 3 months for a week or 2 doesn’t make sense…
Thanks for your comment; values matter, and we are all being reminded every day of what’s most important. Beauty, happiness, love, and kindness should be our focus!
big germ-free hugs,
Coach Laura says
Janice – thanks for the wonderful posts this week. Keep it up. I’m working at home, so is DH and after two weeks, I’m bored with my yoga pants and zip athletic top so this week I’m going to switch to ponte pants and soft tunic sweaters and cute shoes!
I wish you and your Belovedest the best of anniversaries and health an happiness to cento anni of good life! And good health and happiness to all the other readers.
Lovely capsule! I have to admit that if this were my travel capsule (which it wouldn’t be since I can’t wear bone or orange), I’d be sneaking in a pair of blue jeans! – nancyo
Janice you have sure pushed all my buttons. I always travel in a long dress or skirt, especially in Israel and on a plane, easier to pick up in the loo, no wet pant bottoms. Not white on the airplane anymore, as my Beloved has spilt red wine, all over us, on our last three nine hour flights.
I love to travel in the summer with white and a few splashes of orange and turquoise. I would add an orange bathing suit and matching sarong, as it can be used in so many different ways.
I always make sure there is a washing machine available!
I vote with Julie, if you feel inclined at some future point please expand on this as it is exceptional and unusual. Whites aren’t the usual neutral but with a good washing machine and supply of Oxi powder it just seems like perfection.
I love this. And I enjoy dreaming ahead for a brighter future in which dh & I are cruising regularly again. I’m mentally using this as my starter point in a tropical cruise capsule. For anyone wondering I do use the on board laundry service plus at times the coin operated washers and dryers as well as judicious use of the sink for delicate hand washable items. So a white base would work. Just a few more items as I would get a little less wear per item than darker colours.