July 27, 2020
The END of this project! I’m feeling a bit wistful…
But let’s look at summer dresses. I live in dresses (well, in normal times I live in dresses) in the summer, because they’re cool, always appropriate, and so easy. Make sure you’ve got the right undergarments, and you’re comfortable and good to go!
I’m starting with this dress because it’s a great deal, and would be madly versatile. I see this worn over something, in cooler weather…
At this point in wardrobe building, there aren’t many rules for choosing this dress! Something you love, something for which you have all of the right accessories, and something that will be cool in hot weather…
For those who are building wardrobe around our 6 Scarves, there are great dresses available that work beautifully with each scarf:
Some of these dresses are marked WAY down right now as part of the much heralded Nordstrom Anniversary Sale…
When your favorite dress is an unusual color, the easiest answer for shoes and bags is a summery neutral:
With a printed dress, you might opt for accessories in a secondary color in the print:
These sandals are a print, although it’s pretty hard to tell! With sandals like this I don’t even consider this pattern mixing!
This dress isn’t the exactly same color as the luggage brown accessories (and the cool earrings!) but they blend together beautifully:
And sometimes, you can match your dress pretty easily! What fun!!!
And as always, metallics are an easy way to find accessories that will work with a bunch of different colors:
For my final iteration of the black and white Weekly Timeless Wardrobe, I chose to include the black version of the dress with which I opened this post. I could see this dress being worn through much of the year, with a long-sleeved striped tee shirt underneath, maybe?
Here it is! The final list….
For at least a couple of weeks I’m going to use Mondays to revisit the Weekly Timeless Wardrobe and ponder the ways that it might be used…
p.s. Three years ago I had some ideas about some different ways to think about choosing your favorite color…
I have saved all the Timeless Wardrobe posts weekly and will be referring to them for years to come. THANK YOU!
I’m pretty sad to see this beautiful series come to an end. Thanks for a great ride.
I had printed this out months ago to “shop” my own closet but once the snow cleared, I’ve only had time for making hay while the sun shines. Thanks for walking through this concept with so many wonderful examples.
Beth T says
Thank you Janice. It’s been a great journey and I can’t believe a year has passed. This was a genius idea and really helped me to get to grips with sorting out my overflowing wardrobe.
There is still a way to go as I seem to have about 52 garments in each of the main pink, blue and purple sections of my wardrobe! Those sections also include grey and ivory items which universally migrate throughout the wardrobe and fulfill a truly neutral function as they go with every colour and shade.
I have had fun creating a new teal capsule by this process for country walks and country pub lunches (that would be nice). Come the autumn, it will morph into a navy/greycapsule with teal and cameo rose accents.
The idea that you only have one style of garment in a particular colour or pattern, is to limiting for someone who loves colour. I like the security of knowing that I have multiple colour options of the same type of garment, particularly trousers and tops. So if I want a to wear a certain outfit, I can create it in whatever colour combination I choose for the day. The problem is that I only have one double wardrobe and a couple of chests of drawers to put all my clothes. So a bit more rationalisation still needs to take place!
Therefore, I’m looking forward to beginning this exercise all over again with my autumn/winter wardrobe as the proportions of colour and shades are different. I’m going to see if I can swap items in and out for the first time.
I’m looking forward to your reviews of this concept.
Thank you for doing this series! I, too, will miss the weekly posts and inspiration. When you introduced it a year ago, I told myself I was finally going to get my act together on the wardrobe front and this was just the plan to help me do it. And yet, here I am a year later, still struggling to get dressed in the morning! Choosing a color palette and sticking with it is such a struggle for me.
So, thank you for the timely link back to that post on choosing favorite colors. I think I missed that one the first time around, but it sure gave me some food for thought this morning. Because putting the choices in the framework of what you would do if you could only choose one, or if you had to wear the same pair of shoes for so many days in a row, etc…., well, I can answer some of those questions pretty easily and maybe that’s where my wardrobe building starting point needs to be. Come to think of it, that would be an interesting series to do!
Beth T says
I also enjoyed the post on choosing favourite colours – anything pink, blue and purple for me!
Though I ‘cheated’ with the T-shirts by choosing Bridgewater Blue, Periwinkle and Rose for summer and Amethyst, Teal and Plum for winter. My neutrals would be dark blue, denim, grey and ivory. This pretty much sums up my wardrobe.
Also, I came unstuck with the ice cream flavours: Cherry Chocolate, Espresso, Mint Choc Chip, Mango Sorbet, though I would never wear coffee or yellow.
I think what is more difficult is choosing patterns, particularly in the colour combinations to ‘fit’ in your wardrobe and the scale of patterns.
I honestly just tossed in the ice cream possibilities because (a) I love ice cream, (b) I think that we need to know our preferences in all kinds of things, not just clothing, and (c) I think we should all treat ourselves!
Beth T says
I wanted to go to our local ice cream parlour for my birthday in June but it was closed for the lockdown. Even though bars and cafes have reopened that hasnt as yet, even for takeaways ☹
This series has been really helpful in identifying gaps in my wardrobe and as a result, I’ve been ready to pounce on the right garments and accessories in the current sales, which this year I’ve found to be superb. The only issue I have is that I cannot keep to just the one accent colour per wardrobe, so I’m getting round this by introducing either a French 5 in another accent colour or adding an extra 7 pieces in a couple of complementary colours as Janice has shown in her Start with Art series; my favourite being ‘The Visit by Marie Laurencin – grey and white and relaxing’.
I need to revisit The Visit…
Pamela Meyer says
Thank you, thank you, Janice! I, too, will keep these posts as inspiration for many years to come. I do have a question/idea. Could you take the wardrobe accessories you have shown for a particular scarf/wardrobe and show how they could be used to change up the dress? Somehow I find that very difficult. I tend to always wear my dresses in the same manner. The only thing I change are low heeled shoes for slightly dressier pumps. I am not sure why making these changes is so intimidating for me. ??
Thank you again, Pam
I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and looked forward to every new posting! Of course, all of your postings are my favorites!!?. Looking forward to many more of your great ideas!!
I followed the link to that beautiful burnt caramel dress and then ended up ordering this
I do hope you get some sort of commission!
Now I get to play your “I Love It, but…” game.
Thank you so much for this series! It did a great job of disciplining my mind to keep to a limited, workable, neutral palette, and it helped me address gaps in my wardrobe. Really hoping you’re going to do accessories, including outerwear, to go along with what you’ve done this past year.
I will indeed get some sort of small commission – I’m very grateful!
Beth T says
My husband can’t believe how many coats and jackets I have. Coats are great for keeping me warm and/or dry. My problem lies with wearing jackets in the summer instead of a cardigan.
Some women can wear a blazer, tweed or fancy jacket with jeans or a summer dress and look relaxed and casual. If I try it, I look as if I’ve left the rest of my ‘posh’ outfit at home, or I look overdressed and too formal, or if I wear a tweed jacket, I feel that a horse should be following me!
Rarely do I feel comfortable. A few weeks ago I wore a lilac denim style jacket over a purple floral maxi dress. I rolled the sleeves up to 3/4 length. I used to have a short pink cotton jacket with embroidered lapels worn with a white tee and a blue floral maxi skirt. I have a teal paisley jacket with 3/4 length sleeves worn with a teal or navy tee and navy trousers.
Is there a knack to getting it right? What should I be wearing said jackets with?
Maybe, I’ve just answered my own question ?
However, I’d be interested to know what jackets people wear in the summer and how they style them so they dont look too formal or too casual depending on the occasion. Is it linked to what you wear on your feet?
I live in a warm, humid climate, so wearing a jacket in summer is not an option. At most, I wear a light over shirt if I expect very cold AC. In my observations, jackets aren’t as popular as they used to be. Everything is so much more casual. Pity.
Of course that could just be my local conditions.
Beth t – Rolling or pushing up the sleeves helps a lot to make a jacket feel more casual. And keeping the under layer casual helps, too. Think cami, tank top or t-shirt. I style my white or tan denim style jackets, an olive utility jacket, and a navy blazer like this and gets lots of wear (and compliments!).
And oftentimes the hemline of the top will peek out below the jacket. It may take you out of your comfort zone until you get used to it, but it creates a more modern, casual look (and is more comfortable).
Another styling detail I’ve recently started using is a front tuck with a color coordinating or contrasting belt. See the link below for info on how to front tuck a shirt and see it styled with a blazer.
That link doesn’t actually show the blazer…ugh!
Here’s a link that does. Check out the outfits pages – she wears a
A LOT of blazers and jackets as her uniform. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration.
Beth T says
Thanks Sandy and Lena for your ideas. I’ve been looking at jackets with ruched sleeves which might give a good effect. I think I need to consider the fabric – linen would give a more unstructured look. I have short arms so I’d have to try them on just to make sure that I dont just look as if the sleeves are wrinkled! I like 3/4 length sleeves which suit short arms but can be chilly.
Thanks for the links, Lena. I’m not tempted by the half- tucked look as I’m short waisted and I have problems keeping shirts tucked in anyway!
However, I like the contrast shirt cuff over the jacket. This is a method use with cardigans and jumpers to stop long sleeve cuffs slipping over my hands ?
You’ve excelled yourself with the accessories in this post, Janice. Dress after dress has the most stunningly perfect earrings. I can’t imagine how much time went into the research. Thanks for a terrific series that will be a useful resource for me forever.
I love this series! Thanks for all the hard work you put into it. :)