May 20, 2020
Oh, we haven’t heard from this heroine for a while… Remember her when she first visited a college campus for some lectures (and brought the house down!), then she took some students to The Cloisters, outside of New York.
She’s been working off and on in Paris, since the fire at Notre Dame. Now, of course, she’s working from home. But her intricately braided white hair remains flawless (how DOES she get it cut?) and her nail polish and lipstick are still works of art that defy normal wear and tear…
This is her inspiration:
Her color palette is firmly in mind any time she shops – this is not a woman often given to wardrobe impulse! Someone once remarked that red and green seemed “Christmassy” to them – she just smiled quizzically and said “how nice for you…”
Of course she’s stuck at home too! But she’s still on video conference calls quite often – between consulting with the planner at Notre Dame in Paris, and writing her next book, she’s often called upon to look amazing on screen!
So she decides to sort out 3 wardrobe clusters, to uncomplicate getting dressed every morning.
First is black silk, lightened with a couple of tops. One top is shockingly relaxed…
There was frankly NO way she was going to live without some green! And her pleated skirt is so comfortable for sitting at her desk…
(We’ve been ranting about color names? Note that the cardigan above is NOT the same color – nominally – as the tank top! Who DOES this?)
And lastly, she wants to include her lovely shirred skirt, and some lace, and a touch of red:
As soon as the clusters are chosen, she arranges everything beautifully, and stands back to admire the succinct statement of her personal style, carefully hanging on 12 padded hangers and 3 wooden skirt hangers:
She pauses for a moment, just long enough to see (in her mind) an additional 6 outfits that could come from combining pieces for more than 1 cluster:
She’s stuck at home, but she’s going to be beautiful even if nobody can see her! If we can’t be beautiful for ourselves, why would we bother to be beautiful for other people? Pleasing ourselves is important…
Should I find accessories for this most fascinating heroine? (please say yes…)
p.s. Four years ago, our art-inspired heroine was headed alone to the shore, before the weather was quite warm enough…
Oh, my favourite heroine! I missed her so much. I imagined her lounging at home in her black silks (a bit like 1930s evening pajamas) and bejewelled flats, or sitting in her lovely garden and fanning herself with a large red silk fan…
Beth T says
Absolutely. It seems as if we will be staying at home a lot more in the future. Clothes designers and shops need to up their game for ‘at home couture’. Out with stretch jersey and a return to glamour – silk, satin and velvet! Relaxed but stylish. I have burgundy and navy velour suits which I normally reserve for Christmas. I’m going to bring them out of storage and wear them around the house.
Have you seen the site Daily Dress Me? It factors in the weather forecast in your location and suggests what to wear – a fun diversion. During the height of the quarantine, it showed all loungewear! – nancyo
Accessories! Yes, please! Love this painting.
miss agnes says
Oh yes, you definitely have to find her some accessories!
Chris from Indy says
Please oh please do accessories!! In fact I think accessories should be a given, I do know how much extra work this is for you but I’m also thinking fun….
Yes please. Would enjoy seeing the accessories.
That floral ruched skirt!!!
This is a gorgeous, gorgeous wardrobe. If I’d wound up in academia as I’d once dreamed, I think this would have been my dream wardrobe.
Linda from Bluffton says
Yes, please, on the accessories. I like to mix tomato and olive (so, instead of Christmas, I guess I risk looking like a pizza). Look forward to the inspiration!
Beth T says
Accessories would look fabulous. I can imagine her wearing garnets, pearls and emeralds set in gold. Or their equivalent in crystals and rhinestones, if she wants the glamour without it hurting her purse.
Today I dressed in a purple t-shirt and light grey linen trousers to work at home. Feeling a bit down, I felt in need of a bit of sparkle. So I’m wearing a purple and crystal pendant, a purple and and pearl bead bracelet with a purple and clear crystal bracelet, and an amethyst ring.
Beth, that sounds beautiful!
I’d love to see accessories too! Our heroine is the polar opposite of my Art History prof! He wore old tweeds & old brown shoes & his hair would have fit right in with today’s messy pandemic need-a-haircuts. I thank him for his contagious love of art; that he did share with our heroine!
Beth T says
Well its made me happy and content all day as it’s all so pretty and delicate. ? Plus memories of my dearly loved Grandma who gave me the ring on my 21st birthday.
So just as you can layer necklaces, strings of beads and pendants, I’m going to experiment with doubling up sparkly and bead bracelets. The purple works as it’s an almost perfect match. I have a similar combo in mind with cobalt blue and pearl beads with a and ‘sapphire’ crystal bracelet.
Lockdown has made me realise that I can please myself and shouldn’t be concerned by other people’s view or some weird fashionista rule that sparkle is for evening wear. These days, by the time evening comes, I’m on the sofa in PJs and cosy slippers with a good film and a mug of cocoa! ?
I would love to see her accessories! This wardrobe – and the heroine – is right up my alley. – nancyo
Oh yes! Being an artistic woman and a professional, our heroine needs accessories! I love your posts, Janice. They are exactly the perfect wardrobing guidance that cannot be found anywhere else!
Lisa H. says
Yes, please to accessories!
Yes to the accessories! This is one of my favorite wardrobes. I too wear a lot of black and white, it suits my coloring. I use accents in red and cobalt blue and I’ve just started adding green. My husband actually complimented me on a green and black striped tshirt from Target that I bought several years ago and never wore.
Linda Orr says
Love this wardrobe; I wear all black and white with bright solids for fun! This is fabulous! Thank you SO much. You provide so much joy for us!!!!
This has always been one of my favorites. Yes, definitely accessorize please.
Sally in St Paul says
I get the Christmas connotations, but if a rose bush can mix red and green in summer, so can we! I think the floral print skirt is a perfect example of a season-less way to do that.
It just so happens that I’m wearing this color scheme today myself, though definitely more on the quirky end than the sophisticated end. Our heroine’s wardrobe has such a different feel that I didn’t even realize the coincidence until I started thinking about the floral skirt…and looked down at my red top, black ankle pants with mixed white polka dot and red/green floral pattern, and gold loafers. Hah! I feel confident that the heroine’s accessories will contain 100% fewer rabbit themed items than my outfit (scarf and necklace) however ;)
And yes, I agree with others that pretty much any wardrobe you show us, we will want to see the follow up post with accessories!
Color rant: Parrot green? Vibrant fern? What?! Why??? These companies desperately need your help, Janice. As the trend toward online shopping intensifies, more than ever customers are going to want to know whether various items are (basically) the same color or not. How nice it would be to know that everything on the Lands End site called “parrot green” is the same color (and anything not called “parrot green” is not), and that the “light parrot green” is the same color with more white in it, and the “dark parrot green” is the same color with more black in it, and all these “parrot green” items would create a tonally coherent set.
It’s funny because I’m not even particularly strongly in need of this compared to many other women. I don’t wear capsule wardrobes typically, I want to have a lot of variety of colors, and I tend to buy from sales/thrift stores. But even my magpie self is tired of ending up with an array of colored items, sometimes *from the same brand*, that don’t work together because this green is warmer and this green is smokier and this green is bluer…even though they are all basically a bright-ish green. Even those of us who need a lot of different accent colors to be happy are more looking for a green, a pink, a blue, a red, a purple…not 4 different mismatched greens, 3 different mismatched pinks, 5 blues of which 2 are maybe kind of the same in some light but not other light, etc. For example, I personally would LOVE to get a tonally coherent set of teal items in various light to dark versions. Where teal is concerned, I would happily purge my closet of its current chroma confusion and start over with a lovely set of say 6 mix and match able teal items. And even I would be willing to pay for that. SIGH. And don’t get me started on pink.
Beth T says
I love your phrase ‘chroma confusion’. That’s probably why I end up with a drawer full of ‘wrong’ coloured t-shirts. I love floral skirts but trying to find the right plain coloured top to go with them is a frustrating nightmare because of all the subtle tones and shades. Even if I take the skirt with me and find a top that matches it in the shop, you can bet that it will look different at home. Shops should really get their lighting right! When I do find a top that goes, I buy two just for continuity and a backup!
I know that Pendleton wool had color consistency in some basic colors over the years. Don’t know if they still do, but red was red and green was green. I used to live near a pendleton outlet but the woolens are just too warm to wear to most work places.
Funny, I was doing some online shopping to add a sleeveless top to my summer capsule and became uncharacteristically frustrated with Lands End as I tried to find something to coordinate with previous purchases in specific colors. I was so upset I fired off an email explaining my frustration and requesting they begin to carry specific items in specific colors for specific reasons (creating a capsule wardrobe, extending a line of accent colors). Customer service sent a reply. We’ll see if it makes a difference. I’m guessing there is a tipping point as far as requests go. Perhaps we need to flood the inboxes of companies that we want to make changes.
Mrs C says
My wardrobe is black and jewel toned, so this is my very favorite! I’m far from glamorous, but I like to live vicariously through this heroine. I’m imagining her accessories include lots of emerald, rubies, and pearls. Oh, and a few diamonds. LOL
Yes to the accessories!! Love the beautiful colors and pieces!!
I love when you back out of the 20th century (or even the 19th) to find a piece of art to inspire. This one is magnificent.
Yes, I do as well! I doubt Janice will ever back up to my preferred centuries (11th-14th), the 16th is wonderful!! – nancyo
Yes, please to accessories! Every heroine needs them!
Love these vignettes, they’re such lovely stories. So complete and satisfying!