May 19, 2020
We’re Working from Home Indefinitely
The work environment at her office is usually super-dangerous, from a virus perspective – people in each other’s faces all day, sitting too close, yelling back and forth, passing food…
So when they announced that she would be working from home for at LEAST the rest of the summer, she was delighted!
She’s working towards calmness; this is her inspiration:
Her color palette is light, and soft. She’s working at home, so she won’t sit on something disgusting on a bus or train. She doesn’t eat at her desk, so she’s not worried about spills…
She’s not on screen that often, but she knows that she needs to be prepared every day to pull on a cardigan or over-shirt, to be ready to face the rest of her co-workers, and her boss(es).
Plus, the temperature in her new “office” (aka bedroom) varies a lot during the day – cool when there’s no sun on that side of the building, and sweltering when the sun swings her direction. She’d like to avoid air-conditioning her home to the frigid temperatures of her office!
Thus, she chooses a mix off short-sleeved and long-sleeved clothes that can easily be layered, and soft, comforting colors… She pulls together her clusters, and arranges them together in her closet so that getting dressed each morning is quick and simple.
Her green cluster was surprisingly simple – she found all of her things in 1 place:
She loves yellow, and looks great in it!
She is pretty certain that she’s going to want to add a few garments, probably in denim blue. But for now, she’s pretty thrilled with her “soft lake blue” cluster:
When she puts everything on hangers and back in her mostly emptied closet, she is just a bit in love with what she’s accomplished:
She’s not much worried about putting together outfits, but she does stand beside her open closet door for a moment to review in her mind a few of the possibilities:
Is anybody else planning to sort of a small, well-chosen, beautifully coordinated summer wardrobe? Since I suspect I’ll be indoors the vast majority of the time, and won’t be traveling, I might do this just to have 1 part of my life as simple as humanly possible!
p.s. Eight years ago, I tried to visualize the 7 garments that were suggested for ALL OF US in the book “French Chic” by Susan Sommers. I still don’t think we all need these things…
Beth T says
What a lovely gentle and relaxed colour scheme. As I can’t wear yellow, I would focus on the blues and green. I could create a blue/green capsule in my wardrobe, quite easily.
I would add my mid-blue wide leg linen trousers – comfortable and cool. I’m wearing my linen trousers a lot as the weather warms up. My pale blue chinos and light denim jeans plus stone chinos. I have a variety of pale green and blue t-shirts, blouses, cardigans and jumpers plus white/ivory neutral.
Please would you consider finding accessories that could be worn with this?
Beth T says
By the way, I liked your look back today. I agree that a leather ‘vest’ is an oddity. It could be also be described as a ‘jerkin’ or ‘waistcoat’ which are also sleeveless. Such garments were worn from medieval times to the 19th century by military and working men. They provided a layer of warmth and protection but kept the arms free for sword-fighting and labouring!
I’m surprised that such garments are seen as essential for French Chic. This could be a 1980’s fashion cliche. I remember at the beginning of the 1980’s there was a fashion for women to wear masculine tailored clothes.
I would wear instead a leather or suede biker jacket, a padded gilet, a textured jumper or belted cardigan/coatigan.
What is a gilet ?
This collection is beautifully light ,airy, and restfull ! I would need to deepen the values a bit to create more of a medium value to contrast with my own pale coloring, or I would “ disappear “ ! However, it is a wonderful inspiration , especially for upcoming hot Summer days !
Oh No! I might have to buy this whole group. That green is especially just a great big magnet for me. That cable zip sweater: so pretty. What’s a girl to do !
A gilet (pronounced gill a) is a sleeveless top mostly padded and zipped.
Thank you !
Beth T says
Lands End sell them and outdoor/equestrian shops.
Sally in St Paul says
When I saw the inspiration image, I thought: Oh yes, a palette of white, medium denim blue, light olive green, teal, and a bit of grey…which was different from the palette chosen. I didn’t even see the yellow and I’m not sure why I thought grey…there was a section of shoreline that looked grey to me at first glance. It’s interesting that a very neutral palette could be seen in this image as well as the light, colorful palette shown here.
OK, we know color names are confusing and misleading, but seriously, what is going on with those mint greens? “Beach glass” is non-informative, and the 3 variations on “blue” make no sense to me at all! Janice, it’s astonishing that you can find garments that match a palette when the names are so…non-intuitive, let’s say.
I’m not sure if you’ve covered this before, but I would love to see a post that outlines your process in searching for specific items once you’ve decided on the colors in a palette and the type of items you’re looking for. I’m specifically discussing that step where you know you want to add a tank, button up shirt, and shorts in mint green, for example. I know you have additional considerations around flat lay image quality, etc. that would not affect us, but I think a lot of what you do to find garments for a given cluster in a post like today’s would be applicable to readers who are also trying to shop online for garments to create/add to a palette. I recently did an inventory of my closet to see where I have “suits,” “twin sets,” and “columns of color” and found a few places where I know I would get value from adding, say, a cardigan that matches a top and pair of pants I already own. But I sometimes don’t know how to search to find that color. Your advice to look for multiple items in the same color names from the same store/brand at the same time is top notch. But what about those situations where that isn’t workable? The real answer probably is “Yes, it’s a slog and that’s why it takes me so long to make one of these posts” (for which your readers thank you!) but if you had any additional tips, I would love to hear them.
I was so hacked off when I found those beautiful blue garments, and they were ALL – at least nominally – different “blues.” Why can’t a quality company set a color palette for whatever season they’re working on (I guess right now it’s winter?) and stick to it? It wouldn’t have been rocket science for all of these pieces to have been the exact same color. I swear that vendors don’t often think of their customers, no matter what they tell us to the contrary!
My dream is to work with either Lands’ End or L.L.Bean to build a season “The Vivienne Files” wardrobe…
Vancouver Barbara says
Have you told them you want to work for them? You are brilliant and if they are smart they will hire you.
I love this collection even though these are not my colours. I want to make them my colours, especially “beach glass”!
I so look forward to your blog every day. Thank you.
As for the seven pieces from Paris, which would eliminate?
I’m nervous to contact them! I really should… I just need to prepare a “Media Packet” – whatever that is when it’s at home…
The 7 pieces? I’d swap out that ill-defined vest for something. I’m pondering…
I wouldn’t want to lose you to corporate world again but you should seriously follow a dream like one of your heroines.
Even I, in Australia started to order Lands End Velvet Blazer, cords and velvet pants. I’d never even heard of the company until following your blog.
Julie in Melbourne
Erin Roy says
This is the perfect summer color scheme. So fresh, cooling and calming.
I realized that I need to be in the lookout for some seersucker items to add texture to my current pieces. I have felt something was missing but I have floral, geometric and plaid patterns to amp up the solid basics. After reading this, it is the texture and depth that would give some interest during the warmer temperatures.
Lisa H. says
I love this palette. It is so soft, pretty, and calm. In the mid- to late-80s, I had a cotton, mid-calf length skirt in a small, impressionistic floral print in just these colors. I wore it with short-sleeved, light sweaters of white, pale yellow, or pale gray. Oh, how I loved that skirt! Thank you for the trip down memory lane.
That sounds beautiful; isn’t it interesting to think about what clothes we remember from our childhood?
I remember my parents bought me a dress in a knit fabric that was a mix of brown and light blue. I was at music camp, and needed a dress for something or another. The colors have stuck in my head for decades – the unexpected combination, and the richness that the knit fabric seemed to have…
Don’t get me started on dresses that my sister made for me when I started college! Or a sweater that I wore my entire freshman year….
Linda P says
Hi Janice: while we’re thinking of summer, btw…does anyone ever wear white shoes anymore? Or sandals? Or is that so 20th century-? PS nice color grouping
I wear white Keds sneakers a lot – and white sandals. I would wear a pair of white loafers if I ever get a pair… But yes, white shoes are still around.
That said, I don’t know that I would buy a pair of white pumps or white dress sandals; right now, it seems that it’s much more “the thing” to find a pair of shoes to match your legs. Nude shoes can be wonderfully versatile, if you’re a fan of wearing a variety of colors!
So beautiful!! Not my colors but this wardrobe is comforting to look at.
This past weekend I went through my wardrobe for the seasonal switch out. Starting May 26 I will be working in the office 2 days a week. I can’t wait to wear real clothes again but I also recognize I don’t need my full summer work wardrobe. I pulled out a small capsule for work and one for home. My closet looks lovely.
My biggest concern right now is whether the weather will cooperate. It’s currently 53 degrees here which will not work for my summer clothes!
I keep thinking that THIS is the week that I’ll finally be able to wear summer clothes. Not quite yet… Sigh…
This is gorgeous. I could just buy the whole thing and hope that the yellow would somehow work. Will you do accessories for this?
Yes please! Do contact Lands End. They need you to organize collections. You don’t need a media packet. This amazing website speaks for itself. You are amazing.
I love this softness. Swap the blue for some soft grey, and find a blouse and I would just about have all this in my wardrobe already.
I really like the idea of a Marks and Spencer or Lands End complete wardrobe too. The American site has so many more colour choices than anything British. As I can’t afford to buy everything at one time what I do, is every time I get a new season catalogue I peruse it at length and make a list of everything I would love to buy along with catalogue number My WISH list. Then any time there is a sale or special offer I can tick something off my list. I realise now that I do have a complete Marks’ and Lands End wardrobes it’s just taken me a Lo……ng time but I now wear and love everything.
SUE C says
Hi Janice, I’m from Sydney Australia and haven’t commented before but I am so surprised that you are nervous about contacting the major brands you often feature. I just assumed you were making a “motza” (that’s Aussie for “lots of money”) but if you need some inspiration for a Media Kit this looks helpful: https://bizmavens.com/media-kit-examples.
I love every single post you do and spend hours trawling back through your archives for seasonal inspiration (we’re just heading into our winter which looks to be fairly mild with temperatures still in the low 20’s Celsius). Unfortunately most of the brands you feature aren’t available locally. You really deserve to be very well rewarded for this amazing website!
The line between green and blue can be so tricky! I have those LL Bean shorts, and imo they are blue – a very aqua blue. A lovely wardrobe! – nancyo
Love these colors, especially the “beach glass”! I wondered if the title was missing an a, for “coastal”?
Well YEAH I spelled it wrong – thanks for catching that for me, and letting me know!