July 16, 2020
Our heroine’s headed to the country for the rest of the summer! She’s going to be staying at an inn very near a manor house with huge open gardens – even though she’ll be working in their room for part of the day, she’s going to be able to visit the gardens EVERY AFTERNOON!
That sounds better than being cooped up indoors, doesn’t it?
This is her inspiration:
She already has quite a few accessories with her – including FOUR pairs of shoes. But she’s going to be staying at the inn for at least 6 weeks…
She’s going to have a 4 by 4 Wardrobe with her – happily, the inn is delighted to do laundry for her. They’re giving such a great deal on their room that they don’t really mind paying for occasional laundry…
As they were packing, and getting ready to close up the house, she realized that she was going to want (maybe not truly need, but WANT) more accessories.
She took a few minutes, assembled a few outfits from her travel capsule wardrobe, and then started pondering what jewelry, scarves, shoes, etc. she might long for while she’s away…
A monochromatic outfit isn’t boring if you’re wearing a great scarf:
Many days, when she’s out walking, she won’t really need more than a tiny bag to hold her room key, phone, and maybe lip gloss:
She knows that if they drive into the little town nearby for a meal or some shopping, she definitely needs a mask!
Yes, she knows that it’s her THIRD bag. But she likes it, it’s a nice size for wearing cross body, and it has wee flower-like ornaments on it! She can pack some of her jewelry in it too!
And yes, 2 sunhats! If she wants to spend a lot of time outdoors, she needs to be prepared to protect herself:
The whole haircut situation is VERY up in the air, so having headbands with her is only wise…
AN UMBRELLA! NEVER FORGET THE UMBRELLA!
When she spreads out all of her accessories, it looks like a TON of things. But really, earrings will all fit in her clutch bag, her bracelets will go into her cross-body bag, scarves take up no space…. (they’re driving to the inn; she doesn’t need to be all that conservative with space!)
Now, to get her laptop, cord, and mouse into her bag, and she’s good to go!
She wonders if her work will be different when she’s in a completely different place. She knows that things changed when she had to work from home….
Do you find that you work differently from home? I’ve been moved from 1 room to another, and I’ve bumped up from 3 to 5 posts a week, but I don’t know that the actual content of the Vivienne Files has changed. Hmm….
p.s. Seven years ago, I thought about dressing to please other people, and how that doesn’t work. And you get to see a photo of me from when I was three years old…
3 year old you — awwwww !
What a happy Summer’s sojourn this would be ! And a wardrobe to match that delight ! Such a variety of looks — what I seem to crave — great job !
With regard to dressing to please self — someone else will always have an opinion different from our own as to what is preferred, and as long as body parts are not being overly exposed, there is room for a great variety of looks ! I have my preferences, but don’t impose them on others . You just keep right on doing your style on this blog , it is yours after all — obviously there are many of us out here who love your posts and either copy the contents or use them as inspiration ! Your posts are my morning’s joyful way to start my day !
Big hugs !
Hugs back at you! I’m often offered all kinds of things that I could do on The Vivienne Files, but none of them ever feel really “right” for me. I’m not going to suddenly start showing you 10 photographs of me every day (I just can’t believe that the world is all that interested in my appearance!), or start featuring clothing and accessories that are given to me so that I can become an “influencer.”
Can you see me tottering around in 4 inch heels and a bandage dress?
Sally in St Paul says
If I saw a photo like that on TVF, I would immediately wonder, How is it April Fool’s Day again already? :) I appreciate your authenticity as a cornerstone of this blog.
I am enjoying your posts so much as a total fan of textiles and color. The fun of this particular palette is quite uplifting right now and I’m re-thinking whether or not I will dress up just a little for a walk in the neighborhood. (We can safely do this in my neighborhood as there is a lot of room to create distance. And we’re stopping to chat from a safe distance with neighbors we never knew!) I love the fact that you use art and stunningly beautiful scarves in your posts and I’m getting a little excited about the idea of a few pairs of shoes in my accent colors…easier to do when you have a good set of neutrals and don’t have to limit them to matching some “outfit” that doesn’t seem to go with anything else!!! I think a lot of us appreciate that you’ve gone from 3 posts to 5 a week…it truly IS a lot of work.
My “ nope “ is in response to Janice’s 4 inch heels statement — just to clarify !
Sheila Harden says
I often have people tell me “I saw this *whatever it is* and it was so YOU! I must have a distinctive style…. and someone noticed my mismatched socks the other day and said “only you could pull that off”… As I’ve gotten older (a week from being 65) I find I am dressing for myself, and what I like and feel good in. My husband used to try and get me to dress in what he thought I should (either tarted up or the extreme opposite in a 50’s peter pan collar) and finally gave up. Now he talks about my rainbow wardrobe with pride. I recently bought a plaid coat with fringe that is a total salute to my 12 year old 1960’s self. When I was 12 my parents bought me a plaid coat when we went to Vancouver BC. Gold, Red, Green, Black (this one’s colors are more neutral!) IN any case, I LOVED that plaid coat and wore it for years….. When I saw this one a couple of months ago, just had to have it, I’ve barely started wearing summer clothes due to the gloomy start of summer, and here I am gearing up for fall!!!! I adore your posts.
When something really speaks to you, you’ve got to know that it’s a good choice!
I’ve already purchased a GORGEOUS pink cardigan (well, it was a birthday gift) that I’m not going to be able to wear for a few months. It just makes me happy knowing that I can pull it out the first cool day…
Your content hasn’t changed in my opinion, but having it five times a week versus three times a week has made my mornings absolutely wonderful. Your content is exceptional. I always learn something new, even if the colors are not mine! My wardrobe has changed so much over the years I’ve been reading you – I love it now!! I always have something to wear that I feel comfortable in. You have taught me so much and I so appreciate it. I know you’ll be returning to three times a week at some point, but for the time being I’ll be selfish and enjoy every single day! I also love your stories – they are such fun! You have a wonderful imagination! I also love the Start with Art. Actually, there is nothing I don’t love!! Thank you, thank you, for all your work :-)
Sally in St Paul says
This post demonstrated how extremely personal accessory choices are, and how a set of accessories can dramatically change the look of a wardrobe. Of course, we have seen this numerous times before on TVF, but this one drove it home for me. I was so in love with the base wardrobe that last night, in preparation for this post, I accessorized the 14 previously shown outfits with a combination of the heroine’s existing accessories and my own choices (either actual items I have seen or own or ideal items from my imagination).
It’s instructive when I reflect on the differences. Our heroine’s accessories as a group are more delicate, feminine, neutral; mine are more bold, dramatic, colorful. And how the accessories are put together in an outfit differ also: her finished outfits are more restrained and just enough while mine are more a lot going on.
I learned a lot from taking on an active role in this exercise…how would I take a wardrobe and set of accessories with a very me color palette, but not necessarily my first choice items, and make it my own through the choice of additional accessories and finishing off a set of given outfits.
Perhaps my happiest realization: I generally admire the all-neutral outfits that I see here but view them as not-me because my heart and my personal coloring WANT and NEED a lot of color. Yet with the right number of bold/dramatic/colorful accessories, such outfits could work well for me after all (especially if one of those accessories is a scarf!)…which has major implications for my future self who will be packing a suitcase and traveling to live a while in a place that is not my own apartment. It may not happen for us as soon as it happened for this heroine, but my friends, I know that day is coming! And we will be ready. :)
Sally in St Paul says
I forgot to say, that beaded floral clutch is gorgeous, and what an amazing price. It doesn’t fit my color palette or my lifestyle right now, but man, it’s beautiful.
Beth T says
I am so impressed Sally, that thought through yesterday’s post for 14 outfits. I’ve done it for one before now. So how did you go about accessorizing – did you lay out your outfits and photograph your jewellery and accessories?
Sally in St Paul says
Beth, I didn’t think of laying out and photographing them; that would be a great idea as a next step of working in my own wardrobe. I did a more mental exercise where I found images online (like the Blackthorn scarf) and laid them over Janice’s images or I just imagined them. I did write all of them down and made sure I used each of the accessories in at least 2 but preferably 3 or more of the outfits.
Beth T says
That’s a really great idea Sally. I’ve puzzled over how I could do that with my things. Quite a while ago, someone commented on here that they photographed items in their wardrobe and overlaid them to see how they would fit the colour theme. The wonders of technology!
Beth T says
Socks! She might need more than one pair of coloured socks. For some weird reason, I take more socks than I need on holiday. When I’m away, I seem to need to change my socks twice a day! Admittedly, the evening socks are then worn the following day.
I like your thought provoking look back. You were very cute at three and very stylish now. I had to laugh when you singled out 14 year olds with PURPLE hair! However, you are too kind and generous to ever have a bad attitude.
I’ve spent my life feeling as if I never quite measured up to other people’s standards on how I should dress as most clothes swamp me or I’m limited in choice because I am 5ft and I have very wide feet which dictates the shoe styles I can wear. My hair is straight and nothing will make my hair curl, not even a perm and putting my hair up looks horrible. I could never wear make-up every day as it brings me out in spots. I do wear lipstick but reluctantly do the rest of it for special occasions but eye make-up irritates and makes my eyes water.
It took me decades before I felt confident wearing trousers and found styles that suited my short legs.
My mother was 5ft 8 but didn’t find trousers comfortable or long enough so didn’t encourage me to wear them. I wore shapeless cords for hiking and flared jeans to conform. Now I prefer trousers to skirts and dresses because I’ve found styles and brands that suit. I also don’t need to struggle putting tights on.?
Even when I left home, I dressed in clothes that my mother (or other female relatives) would ‘approve of’. I remember her almost having a fit when, in my twenties, I first wore a low cut Laura Ashley dress – my Dad told her off ?
It’s interesting looking at groups of girls (and grown women) who all look the same, even wearing clothes and colours that don’t suit just to conform to some group ideal or identity.
I’m glad that Sheila’s husband is now proud of her individuality. My husband and I probably look an odd couple when I’m wearing violet trousers and he’s wearing tweed! I’ve changed my style quite a lot in 30 years but he has stayed the same – 6ft and traditionally smart. I even bought two faux suede biker style jackets last year. When my hair goes completely white (I dont dye it), I’m going to get a lilac rinse probably when I’m 60 in three years time!
Sally in St Paul says
I missed the purple hair comment in the look back post…that’s hilarious!
I loved how the look back post was perfectly timed for right after our discussion of preferences around slogan/graphic Ts.
Sara K says
So happy to see an umbrella included! Seriously nice rubber boots, raincoat and umbrella are among my best wardrobe investments.
There’s an adorable farm in the UK where they do a live video every morning as they let the critters out of the barn (you can find it on Twitter and Facebook and I think Instagram.) It’s called Caenhill Farm. A woman from France is a resident photographer and volunteer at the farm and she has the most beautiful red boots and matching beret! Stunning accessories look very fashionable even when wading through the muck of a farm yard!
I also appreciated the looking back post. Especially as my lock down radical self haircut has been polarising.
I’m trimming my own, and covering the grey with purple. It’s surprisingly popular among the very few people that I see….
This wardrobe has been such a mood-lifting delight!
I love the throwback post too, and I try to apply that philosophy to most of my choices. Someone will *always* disapprove of whatever you do, from the amount of makeup you put on to your career moves, so that should never be your first priority when taking a decision. You’re the only person you’re sure to spend your whole life with!
Diane Smith says
Janice, I’m loving all of your posts–a delightful first email in the morning!
Keep on being YOU!
I can’t see to get the link for the pink chaus shirt… is it my computer? Thank you….
Linda L says
Such pretty colors and what a great variety of outfits! I wish I was going somewhere lovely! I work from home 4 days a week and I find it much more difficult than working at my office. I am very thankful I still have a job!
Lisa H. says
I love the accessories you’ve chosen for this wardrobe! They are so feminine and cheerful.
Loved this post! Thank you so much for all your hard work! Wear what makes you happy but don’t get your back-up when someone disapproves. That’s the consequence of being different from the norm.