July 23, 2020
Of course she’s packing accessories!
Yesterday, she expanded her initial 8-piece wardrobe to a 16-piece 4 by 4 Wardrobe, since she and her sweetheart are going to be staying up at her sister-in-law’s B&B for a few weeks…
Her clothes are all good to go – this is what she’s taking (or what’s already there…):
And these are the accessories that she’s already got on-site:
To be sure that she doesn’t miss anything, she assembles a handful of representative outfits that she has packed. And then she thinks about what she’s going to be doing…
The photographers and other staff want to make it seem as if all of the guests are piled into the kitchen, helping with dinner. It’s all pretty fake, because the chef does NOT like to have help. But they’re going to do a good job of whatever is requested, because they want this to go really well…
She’s mastered the art of tying a scarf to feel more like a necklace, so she’s not worried about wearing scarves around the kitchen. And she’s going to need outfits when they’re photographing everybody at the table – both indoors and out!
It’s all quite the production – the producers brought in color-coordinated pots and pans to match the kitchen!
She’s a little bit nervous about being in too many photographs, but there’s not really much she can do about it! Once they agreed to participate…. in for a penny, in for a pound!
NOW, when she looks at the accessories she’s packing, she’s quite happy that they’re driving! Of course, it’s not usual to pack an apron and potholders…
Would you enjoy being involved in a magazine photo shoot having to do with food? I must confess that I might be the one outside hiding behind a tree…
p.s. Five years ago, I showed you exactly HOW I wear scarves in the hot weather – knot it up into a necklace-like length…
Love that the 4×4 is back; dead useful paradigm. I…would not want to be involved in food styling pics in any capacity. I have high-volume, curly, uncontrolled hair on a good day—in a kitchen with even the pretense of heat or steam or whatever, I’d look like boiled shrimp in a cotton-candy tiara unless they stood me in the fridge until right before the picture was snapped.
Linda P says
Hi Janice: I noticed your heroine did not bring shorts-?! Because if I’m cooking in my kitchen I’d be wearing that nice printed top and non-clingy shorts, and the apron if it doesn’t create a sweltering effect ☺️
I depend on the 4 X 4 in my wardrobe. four black, four white, four denim, and four whatever I feel like to jazz it up. Thank you for so many wonderful inspirations.
Beth T says
She’s well prepared for all eventualities!
I always wear an apron in the kitchen but prefer ones with an adjustable neck strap so it covers a my clothes. If I don’t you can guarantee that I will get grease, tomato juice, beetroot or something else impossible to remove on my clothes.
I use double-ended oven gloves so that I’m not hunting for two and I drape them over my shoulder to keep them handy.
With any luck the cameras will just show the back of her head or her arms and hands!
Sheila Harden says
My brother and SIL had a photo shoot of their backyard for a magazine one time. Except they weren’t actually in the photos! Models came in and pretended to be the owners… I’m thinking the same would happen if they asked me for a kitchen photo shoot. I’m horribly messy when I cook! I also find a whole front coverage apron necessary! These wardrobe posts have been incredibly useful. Thanks!
Sally in St Paul says
Yes, Forest Raining Afternoon scarf for the win! I would not enjoy being in a cooking photo shoot, but I would do it if a family member asked…though I would probably need to bring a turban to keep my giant frizzy hair under control in the kitchen. (Even if the scene was utterly faked and there was no oven or stove on, my nerves alone would make me overheat.) Perhaps they would be so happy with my willingness to participate that they would give me this scarf, which I could tie in some swank hair-covering way for the kitchen photos :)
Regarding outfit 5: I have almost identical gold ballet flats and a very similar twisted bead necklace (mine is from Loft and has a mix of faux white pearls/gold/silver beads) that have proven extremely versatile and that I also like wearing together. So if those pieces appeal, I think you’ll find them easy to incorporate into your wardrobe. The necklace is my go-to choice for wearing with a button up shirt; it fits well into the neckline and goes with anything. I prefer it to my traditional genuine white pearl necklaces (one single strand, one double strand) when I’m going for a slightly more dressed up look because it’s less staid looking; I tend to wear the traditional necklaces as a point of contrast in outfits on the casual end of my spectrum. In the cooking outfit Linda P suggested, the dark printed top + shorts, I would like the way white pearls reflect a bit of light up onto my face and give a little bit of a glow. Of course, that be a little too June Cleaver for a modern photo shoot :)
I liked the look back at the knotted scarf necklace. If you are not a crochet person or just do better with a visual, Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style did a video for making what she calls a braided scarf necklace that looks very similar to Janice’s to my eye. It’s not difficult to do.
Another thing to do with scarves that super-easy – just get them into some sort of “long, narrow” configuration, and then tie a handful of relatively evenly-spaced knots in it, until it’s short enough to be worn as a necklace! Be sure to leave enough “un-knotted” scarf at both ends so that you can tie it behind your neck…
Scarves might still get sweaty where they touch the back of your neck, but at least it won’t be fluttering all over the kitchen…
And remember, many scarves can be carefully hand-washed…
I think it’s so telling that a black, white, beige, and denim wardrobe is generating so much excitement. This is a really lovely wardrobe, and it’s so simple on the surface.
I think most of us would tweak it for personal use. (I, for instance, look awful in white,) But it shows how many of us long for simplicity.
Also, my jaw dropped when I saw the scarf that someone mentioned yesterday featured in today’s post. I hope she does feel like a genius!
You should have seen my face when I saw that comment, HOURS after I had finalized the post and sent it off for the world…
I’m going to assume that we’re all very sympatico!
Ooh, I could certainly use that apron these days. Hubby came home from cossco at the beginning of the pandemic with a 50 pound bag of flour. I’m getting through it.
Beth T says
Lucky you! I hope that your family are appreciating your baking. I was making a boiled fruit cake once a week and now its banana bread.
The big problem is that I’ve put on weight. Good thing that my gym will be reopening soon!
Flour was in such short supply in the UK until about mid-May that commercial and traditional mills were working 24/7 to just keep up. Supplies are improving now. Milling certainly is the great survivor of this pandemic.
I find my 4 x 4 is pretty unchanging, but the final 4 become many more. So I always have (at least) 4 black pieces, 4 grey pieces (stone in the summer), 4 white pieces–but the last 4 could actually be several rows. Often, I have 4 of whatever the color of the year is, but then I keep those year after year. So I have 4 emerald green, 4 pale blue/denim, 4 purple, 4 blush pink, etc. In some cases the color of the year is just a reinvention of something I already have, regrouped in my mind. I’m not disciplined enough to have just one favorite color. But the idea of 4 pieces in the same color really expands the possibilities. I have a lot of clothes, but not a whole lot of purchases in any one year, because I’m very easy on my clothes and a sweater will last me at least 10 years, often more. I bought my last (and only) Hermes scarf in about 1990. I also have a Perry Ellis one, so you can tell that a lot of my scarves are “vintage”. I don’t ever throw perfectly good basics in good shape that go easily with the core. I did get rid of most navy, however, in adhering to core black–thank you, Janice!
Beth T says
I’m interested to know whether you buy 2 tops and two bottoms in your chosen accent or some other configuration of items. Does it depend on what’s available or just what you fancy like a pair of purple jeans? Where would a patterned top fit into your scheme? Like you, I keep my clothes and shoes for years.
After yesterday’s discussion, I went and had a look at my wardrobe. My blue shades range on the spectrum from light blue to dark denim – that is about half my wardrobe. My navy items I wear rarely in summer and always with a lighter accent colour or pattern.
My next biggest group are purple shades. This is now a large section of my wardrobe as well.
My small group of ivory and white tops and a few grey tops and bottoms are the neutrals. Plus a token pair of stone chinos.
The rest is pink/orchid/coral pink shades and jade/teal as sort of accents.
So if i looked at my common core wardrobe it would be variegated affair with blues, purples, grey, ivory. I have yet to choose my core items but at least I have a base to begin.
It’s not necessarily 2 tops and 2 bottoms. For example, with the blush pink I have a sleeveless knit button front top (Lands End, I think); a very inexpensive unlined blazer (maybe H&M), some keds like slip ons with a pink quilted top, and a necklace. I’d never put blush pink on a butt my size! Rooting around in my closet, I do have a sweater set in a more true pink, which would work with the necklace and shoes, and a scarf or two that if folded just the right way coordinates. I’ll confess I also have a very plain purse/tote I picked up at Target for about $40, because I do like the color and it was Kate-Spade-like.
For the emerald green I have a pair of ballet flats (from Target, featured in a years old post from Janice), a purple and green print scarf, a flared tank I made out of raw/Thai silk, and a long sleeved cotton knit tunic from Lands End that I bought when it was the color of the year. I also made a purse out of a lot of green quilting cotton scraps I had, which was essentially free, except for the zipper and my time.
With the neutrals, it’s easy to make these work.
As to prints, I’m nowhere near as good as Janice at finding them! The few I do, it’s usually one or more of the neutrals with one accent color. Or two accent colors (like the purple and green scarf or another that shades from blue to turquoise).
I love this blog for how it shows how very straightforward timeless pieces can be combined with great flair. I’m still learning!
Sally in St Paul says
Danielle, your approach really resonates with me…the idea that once you have your core sets of 4, you could have multiple different accent sets of 4 that you’ve built up over time. Do you find yourself building these accent sets of 4 a similar way each time (for example, 2 bottoms, 2 tops) or do they vary from color to color?
A related question that’s been on my mind this week is whether at times an accessory might pop into your set of 4 or make an expanded set. Let me explain through my particular example. I bought a light yellow cardigan and LOVED it on myself. So I followed up by buying a tank from the same company in the same color to make a twin set. I thought about whether I wanted to expand out into more yellow and decided to sit with these two pieces for a while. When I went to wear the twin set, I realized I that the yellow ombre scarf I had bought to match a particular favorite navy blouse with a yellow/olive/white print went beautifully with the twin set. This might be a lot of yellow to wear together, but I tried it and liked it a lot (the mix of textures was interesting and I think the overall impact of YELLOW! was less because it was all layered over just half of my body). With the scarf bringing in a broader range of yellows, I found that a yellow necklace and mustard flats I’ve had for years created a nice little set of 5. (Now that would definitely be a LOT to wear together, but they made a cohesive set.) I then found I could do the same thing with a soft blue T, cardigan, and scarf (all from the same company as the light yellow twin set) and a pair of similar colored flats and a pendant necklace.
Then I was thinking that I could pop a navy shirt with both light yellow and soft blue flowers (that I can wear alone or over/under another shirt/sweater) as the first garment into the mileage 4 row. Suddenly those two accent sets of 5s, when combined with the navy core and the olive core, really started to come into their own.
For me, for a stay-at-home wardrobe that is not going to be as limited in size as it would for travel, thinking in terms of an expanded accent set that includes accessories seems like a promising idea. I need to spend more time playing with it. I am curious, has anyone else gone down a similar road?
Beth T says
I’ve loved reading through your thought processes, Sally. You’ve considered a wardrobe development with careful consideration.
Each piece has a place and adds another dimension. It sounds lovely and I can picture it now.
Too often I like the idea of something and then turn that into a perceived need, whether or not I have something similar but in a different colour. I also tend to buy similar garments in every colour and shade that will suit me. I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager! May e it’s because the colours I wear aren’t popular like purple! My daughter has made me promise not to buy anything unless I really need to replace something. I wish I had your restraint!
Sally in St Paul says
Beth T, I am trying to act with a little restraint after a long time of acting without nearly enough restraint or thought. I’m a magpie so I easily end up with a million random things. I also strongly experience how real or perceived scarcity can make it hard to resist. I still feel a bit this way about plus size clothing…I remember when not very long ago it was hard to find things in my size, and even though that has legitimately improved quite a bit, I still function as though *I MUST BUY IT NOW WHILE I CAN* even though it’s not true. It is true for purple so that’s got to be hard to resist, especially right now when it seems that so many stores are having sales. I also grew up without very much money so the words “SALE X% OFF” can make me go a little nuts. So I am still VERY MUCH on this journey with you!
Beth T says
I’m keeping a careful note of what I am actually wearing this summer and will rationalise my wardrobe at the end of the season. For example, I have a pastel stripey dress that I might just ask my daughter to remove the top and remodel it as an A-line midi skirt. I’ve been looking for something like that but haven’t found one. I would wear it more often with different tops and cardigans.
I also have a twisted pearl necklace like this one but mine is lilac beads. Now jewellery is where I really am a magpie! I was visiting charity shops weekly and collectors and vintage fairs monthly…..
Carol Melancon says
At least there is a scarf or two in this post, so I’m posting here as I can’t seem to get the Contact email form to work. (If it’s been working without me being able to tell, please forgive the 4-5 emails with your name wrong in half of them).
Forgive me if you’ve already covered this and I missed it somehow. I thought you might be interested in Furoshiki as a way to enjoy one’s scarves in hot weather. My hair is the type that scarves slide right off of and I often don’t want to tie one on my handbag. With Furoshiki, you use one AS your bag. See “for carrying objects” in the graphic in this article: https://www.invaluable.com/blog/furoshiki/
I also have some purse rings such as these (https://smile.amazon.com/Exttlliy-Handmade-Handbag-Crafting-5-91inch/dp/B07L2S8LMF/ref=mp_s_a_1_26?dchild=1&keywords=purse+rings&qid=1595707277&sprefix=purse+rings&sr=8-26)
and a Furoshiki strap like this (https://smile.amazon.com/Furoshiki-Strap-Japanese-Wrapping-Handle/dp/B0141E9L2I/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=furoshiki+strap&qid=1595707389&sr=8-3)
which are nice to use if you don’t want to have your hands on your scarf all day.