July 7, 2020
Our heroine needs to go shopping, again!
After she picked up a few more garments, she was left with just the accessories with which she had traveled. This isn’t a bad bunch of pretty things, but she might want a few more things:
She sorted her wardrobe out into a number of outfits, and then decided to very methodically get accessories for each outfit in turn.
To start, she went completely off the rails for a pair of earrings that she could NOT resist:
Well THAT was fun! The next day was quite warm, and she realized that she wanted a good hat!
Masks! Even in a city that’s beginning to reopen after the quarantine, one still needs a mask. She decides that she might as well get a few that look good with her clothes!
She sees lots of women wearing relatively regular “day” garments out to dinner. What sets them apart is always their accessories – and she can do that!
Of course, if you’re living with hot weather, you can eventually expect rain!
She hasn’t worn rings for years – she had this idea that her hands were too old to put something beautiful on them! But after seeing other women – some much older than her – wearing gorgeous bracelets and rings, she reconsidered:
She kept seeing and SEEING these shoes, and finally, she caved. Sometimes, you have to give in to temptation…
She resisted buying any sort of athletic shoe – again, she felt that she was too old. But again, she saw so many other women wearing them that it just seemed silly to make some artificial rule that she had to follow…
Now, when she looks at her accessories, she has an almost giddy feeling of satisfaction. And a burgeoning suspicion that she needs to get some renter insurance!
I’ve always believed that I could manage with relatively few clothes, so long as I had a lot of really snazzy accessories! Are you this way too?
p.s. Just 2 years ago, our heroine was traveling for business (I remember those days…) with a travel capsule wardrobe of charcoal grey with accents of ORANGE, PINK and YELLOW. She’s not a conformist….
Sally in St Paul says
The William Morris and Tiffany inspired items…be still my beating heart.
Beth T says
I’m with you there Sally! Such beautiful things.
The Store at the Met Museum is such a great place to look for treats for yourself, or lovely gifts. And I can vouch for the fact that they’re about the nicest people that I regularly deal with!
That was my first thought with the little silver bag!
In some cases, such as the black dress…it becomes the accessory to the accessories! Love all these beautiful things.
Exactly! If you have beautiful jewelry, scarves, bags, or shoes, your clothes are the canvas upon which everything is shown without distractions. Too much clutter or too many beautiful things in one place is just distracting, to my increasingly dim eye!
Beth T says
Looking back over the previous posts for this heroine, I was worried that there was too much black and not enough blue. Now I can see that you have just introduced the blue in the accessories.
As you say “the clothes are the canvas upon which everything is shown without distractions.”
I tend to shy away from plain clothes, particularly on my top half because I can look dowdy and feel frumpy. So I have a lot of patterned tops.
I have a scarf drawer which is a riot of pattern that can clash with the patterned tops. I do have token plain scarves but they are often in the ‘wrong’ colours and can look boring.
I also have a lot of decorative costume jewellery which can look too much with patterned tops.
I need to ponder on how to achieve a pared down look which allows scarves or jewellery to be the focus and not vie for attention with a patterned top.
I always admire women who can where a plain dress and a pair of earrings or a bracelet and look ‘finished’. If I try it, I feel under dressed or dowdy! Is it something to do with age, height , body shape, and hairstyle?
Wendie Cooper says
I discovered The Vivienfiles about a year ago and enjoy catching your posts everyday!
You are so fun to follow!
I’m wired to color coordinate everything…I can’t seem to help myself.
I have recently been diagnosed with cancer and I am in chemo and radiation treatments.
Last week I lost my hair and I’m in the process of selecting caps, hats and scarves as head coverings. Would you have some fun accessory ideas for those of us who are dealing with cancer?
Thanks so much!
Wendie from Iowa
Oh Wendie, WELCOME to our little corner of the Internet! I’m not sure yet about what I can offer about hats, scarves etc. but maybe one of my friends here has some insight or experience.
Let us know about how your health is progressing too – we haven’t all met yet, but we care!
Where in Iowa? I went to Wartburg and Drake – lived on campus in Waverly, and then in Des Moines for 10 years….
We are Ames people. Go Iowa State! When did you live in Des Moines?
1981 to 1987. I thought it was longer! But then we moved to Chicago and have been here (except for a year in Ireland) ever since… I love Ames – one of the quintessential college towns…
Wendie, good luck on your journey! I hope your treatments are effective.
Wow those ear rings are fabulous. Well out of my price range and I would probably worry about wearing them in case I lost one but I can dream. Love this wardrobe and with the addition of lots of white it’s my idea of perfect.
I never thought your Countess and I would be soulmates on accessories, but there she is buying the scarf that’s been at the top of my wishlist forever, along with all that other pretty stuff. Maybe we could be friends and she’d let me borrow things.
I’m sure she would – before the legal settlement she had a regular office job like so many of us – she’s not at ALL a snob…
Still, borrowing jewelry from your rich friend does have its risks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Necklace
Beth T says
Sadly all to often legal settlements come to us after a bereavement or compensation after an accident. That sounds very depressing but it can be a lifeline that enables you to live your present life to the full or gives you the means to embark on a new path. Treating yourself to something special which you will treasure in future is a necessary part of moving on. It’s what I’ve found has happened to me.
It can be terrible! But I have visions that this heroine just braved her way through some horrible discrimination at her work, and then took them for everything they were worth!
Beth T says
Oh I’ve done that too! It takes guts and determination…
Nancy Marthaler says
Wendie – I am a cancer survivor, and when I lost my hair I found some great businesses like headcovers.com that make hats, head coverings, and other accessories specifically for cancer patients (they need to cover more of the head than the usual hat or scarf.) Best of luck on your journey back to health.
Thank you, Nancy!
Those Earrings and That Silver Bag!!
Discovered your blog about 6 months ago, and I’ve become a faithful reader! I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your posts–all the pretty things, like the Met scarf, and your method of wardrobe planning is so smart and workable, yet flexible and fun!
This is my first time commenting, with a question inspired by the umbrella, of all things. I live on the West Coast, where we can expect rain in any season, and I never know what to wear on my feet when it is raining in the summer. In the winter I’m covered with rubber boots and waterproof leather boots for dressier situations, but what do I wear when it is 70 degrees and drizzling (potentially all day)? Hiking boots sometimes work, but something a little more elegant would be nice! Do you or your brilliant readers have any suggestions? (Please don’t say Crocs or the like!)
There are some nice shoe brands that are waterproof – generally they seem to be better for cold weather. Maybe some sort of sandals that are mostly rubber? Or shoes made to wade in the surf? (they’re pretty “purpose-built” looking though…)
Lovely friends, can we give Joan some suggestions?
Thanks Janice, Beth, Amy!
(I’m not sure exactly how best to reply to all of you so that you all see it).
Thanks for all the suggestions! Funny, I spray my winter shoes with waterproofing quite conscientiously every couple of months, but it never really occurred to me to do the same for summer shoes…You’d think I would have figured it out, living on the Raincoast practically my whole life!
Yes, Janice, I think the shoes that I wear for wading in the surf would not be quite the thing for city wear, lol, but maybe you have something a little different in mind! I guess what I need to do is just take what I’ve learned from your blog, and shop with these practicalities in mind, and keep an eye out for something waterproof or waterproof-able…
By the way, speaking of shoes, some of my favourite posts are the ones where you do an analysis or evaluation of a wardrobe and walk us through your thinking. I see a “shoe wardrobe” post was your look-back a couple of weeks ago, and I would love to go behind the scenes on that post! How do you go about making sure all the bases are covered and you have maximum flexibility with minimum pairs of shoes ?
Beth T says
I’ve made a suggestion which seems to have appeared below. Anyway, I use waterproof spray for shoes and boots. Its inexpensive and one spray-over lasts for months. You can buy waterproof sprays for leather, nubuck, suede and fabric and some are multi-purpose.
It saves a fortune in replacing shoes every season and means that I can wear nice shoes to go out when its wet – avoiding puddles though.
I also spray my every day bags, as there is nothing worse than having a soggy bag banging around you!
In the UK you can buy sprays in shoe shops, cobblers, camping shops or in the cleaning products section of supermarkets or online of course.
Hope that helps
Beth T says
Patent leather is good for wet weather too as the rain slides off.
Hi Beth, thanks for your thoughts! I’ve replied above.
Twice in this post I saw your reserve to wear something that others might disapprove of ! I’m 75 , knowing that life can be short, I care less and less about what others think is appropriate ! I always dress in Classic style with updates in style , though I stick with the colors that make me the happiest and are the most flattering to my complexion , so I always dress tastefully, but not with fads ! If I wear what happened to be last year’s colors or styles, who cares ! If it bothers others, I feel that they have a problem, not me !
Beth T says
When I get a new pair of shoes or boots, I spray them with waterproof spray for shoes and boots. Great for bags to – there’s nothing worse than a soggy bag creating a damp patch at your waist. It’s inexpensive and the waterproof effect seems to last for months. Patent leather also let’s the rain slide off.
I used Collonill Waterstop on suede Born shoes and nubuck Keds before a trip to England. I also used it on my husband’s shoes, for good measure. I used it as per the instructions and my shoes were water resistant and still look like new. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I ordered it from Amazon and am on my second can.
Thanks Amy! I’ve replied above.
Is there a post for today – 7/8? I see you’ve replied to comments today so I’m not worried about you ?
London colors are up for today!
Always check – the posts have been delayed occasionally, and if I’m doing something silly like SLEEPING I won’t know…
Thanks – can’t wait to dive in!!
I have been reading your blog for just over six months now, but that silver purse has motivated me to finally comment – OH MY!!!! Now to just win the lottery …. Please keep blogging just the way you are – yours is a “fashion blog” that finally speaks to me and what I value in a wardrobe.