December 14, 2020
My mail box often contains requests for assistance (or cries for help!), and this one seemed like a bright, cheery question to share. I personally adore Fair Isle sweaters, and this one is pretty gorgeous:
Rather than write a tale of glory about one of our heroines, I’m going to share my thought process as I try to answer our friend’s question; I hope that’s okay!
My first thought was that this is lovely, and a color combination that would flatter many of us, so my first inclination is to make this work!
Secondly, I looked more closely at the colors included here, and found 2 neutrals – white and navy. (okay, Diana Vreeland assures us that “pink is the navy blue of India” but I’m not in India…) And since dark-wash jeans are practically navy blue, we’re in a good spot!
There’s also a feeling of pale pink (if not the actual color!) in this sweater, so a very flattering pink shirt would look good under this sweater…
Therefore, my first cluster around this sweater includes the dark jeans, a white turtleneck, and a classic pale pink oxford shirt:
Frankly, I think it wouldn’t be crazy to treat oneself to a sweater that has great appeal, even if you were only going to wear it with jeans and white shirts or other white tops!
My next thought is that this sweater would be a great accent to a “column of navy” ensemble. This might be as easy as adding a navy turtleneck or shirt to her wardrobe; this outfit would certainly work with her jeans in place of corduroy pants:
If our friend isn’t going outdoors into the world of slush, white jeans would be lovely with this sweater!
But I thought I’d show her (and you!) something a bit more off the beaten path – bright pink pants! Not for the faint of heart certainly, but pretty fun, and one would stand out in a crowd. Anchoring this whole outfit with navy sneakers that pick up the navy in her sweater keeps this from going full-on PINK! The crisp white shirt will frame her face nicely…
And of course, I think that this sweater would be great with a classic navy skirt. Boots will keep her warm (if she gets to go outdoors) and a pink scarf is just a nice addition. A solid scarf can prove to be much more useful that you might imagine!
At this point, our friend has a capsule wardrobe based on this sweater that’s pretty classic, but still has lots of different possibilities:
HOWEVER… She only has 1 true “2nd layer” garment here…
So I pondered for a bit about what I would want to add.
- a cardigan or jacket! I find cardigans to be really essential for a versatile wardrobe, and I project that into most wardrobes;
- a sweater in navy and white, that would give her outfit possibilities that don’t include pink. Some days, one just needs and wants the neutrals…
- a sweater or 2nd layer that included navy and pink, but with the balance of color more navy than pink, and
- a scarf. Because scarves…
A cashmere cardigan is always a nice thing…
Her updated capsule wardrobe looks like this:
Imagine that this heroine, despite limited travel and socializing, is expecting a pretty full and active holiday season. She sets aside these 12 garments and handful of accessories in 1 section of her closet, as her “go-to” wardrobe for the next few weeks…
She’s ready to Zoom cocktail with her co-workers, serve lovely meals to her immediate family, go for long walks to look at holiday decorations, attend a carefully socially-distanced religious service, or just hang around the house with the ones she loves…
I’m thinking of doing this for myself, frankly. Getting dressed shouldn’t be stressful – it should be fun!
Are you pining for a garment that you aren’t positive will work? Let me know…
p.s. Six years ago, another friend asked me for some ideas about how to wear some glorious jewelry that she inherited…
Beth T says
Wow – this stunning jumper woke me up! I like the combination of brights and pastels and the layering which is crucial at this time of year. Love the Echo scarf. I’m also a fan of accent colour trousers as they increase options and create a different kind of column. My only addition would be a navy/white or pink/white hat.
I have a soft pink Fair Isle jumper which has grey, mid-blue and ivory as the neutrals. They are very versatile. Thanks for giving me some more outfit suggestions for wearing mine. At this time of year a Fair Isle jumper and velvet is just the thing.
I love this. The colours are wonderful and though it is a bright pink it is very versatile. This is pretty much my colours as being a swedish blond with blue eyes. My colours are navy, white, pink in different shades and for winter also burgundy
Amazing! And instructive. What a great little capsule. While I wouldn’t be brave enough for the pink pants…
Meg K says
This one gets a firm “don’t do it” in my book. Wearing a sweater like this people will see you but they won’t notice your face or see what you’re saying due to the business and brightness of the sweater.
Sheila Harden says
This is so ironic. This weekend I played in my closet and got rid of some old things, and some outliers. The outliers were this hot pink. I wanted to wear them, but feel like they make me look like death warmed over. Fortunately, it was only two things. I can wear it as kind of an accent- or in a pattern, but not as a focal point. I have a pair of hot pink plaid pants that have red and black in them, and I wear those frequently with a black or red sweater.As much as I love the overall look of the sweater, and the color, it’s just not something I could wear. I do love the navy sweater at the end though! Gorgeous capsule. As I told my husband this weekend as I was “window shopping” online. Things may not be colors I can wear, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate them.
Thank you soooo much for sharing your thought process! I have a couple of items in my wardrobe I was unsure of . . . and now know just what kind of capsule to pull together. I’m not talented in fashion and rely in your posts for ideas a lot. And your posts are so beautiful and fun. Thank you again, Janice — you truly make a positive difference!
Cronin Janet says
You are a master at capsule clothes color combinations!
I had been eyeing that sweater but went with a solid hot pink. This is a lovely grouping. A pink or navy gingham shirt would work well, IMHO. ?
Oh HECK YEAH!
Sally in St Paul says
Marla, interestingly enough, on the same day Janice posted this wardrobe/you posted this comment, Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style posted a brightly colored pink striped pullover sweater with a pink gingham shirt under it. When I saw it, I thought, Whoa, this is just what Marla had suggested, and it looks good! Great minds think alike :D
Book Goddess says
Love, love, love that embellished sweater! I just want her to trade one of the pair of shoes for a fuchsia pair. Not necessarily easy to find, I know.
Sorry, I agree with Meg, above. This is a loud sweater. My two cents – it doesn’t look expensive. I have not been impressed with the quality of J Crew Factory sweaters. Janice does do a good job of toning down the look, however.
Book Goddess says
I was delighted to revisit the gorgeous amethyst and ruby wardrobe. So elegant and not a bit fussy. I would be thrilled to have those pieces in my closet and jewelry box.
I love colored jeans and don’t hesitate to wear them The Pikolino booties are fabulous! I don’t own a Fairisle sweater as I live in a warm area and would not get the use of one but I do like the embellished sweater. I have 2 old ECHO scarves and will be pulling them out to see if they go with 2021’s groupings. Always fun to read the comments.
I have come to the conclusion that my favorite posts that you do are the analytical ones , as I find them to be so instructive . Taking a patterned garment and developing a capsule around it is my favorite way to pull modules together !
If I were to add anything to this grouping, it might be a solid white or navy , or both , Winter scarves .
Sally in St Paul says
I agree! The posts that focus on your thought process are a gold mine. And yes, I would put both white and navy solid scarves into this wardrobe, too…an easy way to “mute” some of the loudness of the bright pink pattern near one’s face when one has a camera-on Zoom meeting for work, etc.
Alice A. says
These are not my colors but I really love the capsule and that gorgeous embellished sweater!
Sally in St Paul says
Yes! The embellished sweater is such a fun piece; I love it with the pink pants and booties.
Linda P says
Hi Janice and everyone! I love the sweater! because I love fuschia! While in some workplaces it might be a bit ‘loud ‘, for my teletherapy with youngsters it would brighten up the whole session. Also, there are so many settings outside of a workplace where I could just cuddle up with this sweater, as you mentioned. My only small tweak would be a non-pleated skirt that ends just below the knee. Because the sweater is so ‘full’ I need something more streamlined for my bottom half. The pink pants would be a go-to….but would they match with anything else in my closet ??!
Oooh, Linda P, are you a school-based SLP (I’m guessing, based on “teletherapy” and “youngsters”)? If so, me too! And, yes, I’m always looking for something to brighten me up on the virtual platform.
Sally in St Paul says
I enjoyed hearing about this from a profession-specific angle. I can easily see how something that might read “loud” or “a lot going on” in certain adult-only settings could be “fun” and “engaging” when working with kids.
Sara K says
I’m in the camp that thinks that this sweater is something I’d never wear. BUT, remove hot pink from the wardrobe and you are left with a handful of some very nice classic garments. Pink oxford shirt over white turtleneck over dark wash jeans…well, that could be straight out of my closet, and work well in mild winter weather.
Which made me think…
After spending at least 80% of this year in loungewear (or pajamas) due to all the social distancing, I find myself absolutely craving to wear extra luxurious and beautiful things. My little Hermès scarf collection. Jewelry with actual gemstones. Heels. Patent leather. Silk shirts. Cashmere, in colors like camel and grey. In short, the sort of things that have hardly seen the light of day this year. Nothing wrong with my loungewear, but mark my words: the minute that life starts showing serious signs of returning to normal, I’m out of the door wearing my prettiest things, probably towards some nice downtown café where I can quietly watch how other people have chosen to re-emerge from their caves.
Beth T says
I agree. Now is the time for elegant dressing, even if the only person who will get to appreciate it will be my husband. Looking good on the outside can help us feel good on the inside. We all need that now.
I’m going to a Christmas zoom call with colleagues next week wearing navy velvet and sparkling jewellery. The zoom call is in lieu of our Christmas lunch and my outfit is more glamorous than I’d normally wear but a step up from Christmas jumper mode.
Sally in St Paul says
Interesting to see how polarizing this bright, cheerful sweater is. I can see both sides, though in the end, I come down on the side of “if I loved it, I would wear it…probably with a bright pink lipstick!”
The wardrobe built here shares one frustrating element with my own wardrobe…when items of ostensibly the same color have a warm/cool undertone mismatch. The cool light pink shirt works nicely with the light pink in the sweater (I think there is a bit there!) but the pants seem a bit too cool for the warm bright pink (on my screen). This is why my wardrobe has a few items I have labeled “bright pink” (the warm pink of the sweater) that I wear with my (also warm but lighter) “watermelon pink” items…and a few items I call “hot pink” (the cooler pink of the pants) that I blend with my (also cool but lighter) “candy pink” items. It’s not nearly as much an issue for me when at least one of the items has a relatively small amount of the color, but for two garments like a sweater and pants, there is a point when the warm/cool discrepancy is enough that the colors look too “off” for me to be comfortable wearing them together. It’s like: match……>blend……>NOPE now it clashes. Now the scarf seems to be in between the sweater and pants in terms of warm/cool so it should work with both (handy!).
In the look back, I loved that 2 piece dress! Oh 2 pieces dresses for adult women, where art thou?
I love it. This type of sweater will be easy to hug small and sticky grandchildren without immediately needing a change. (When out of lockdown!) It’s a cheery statement piece that would easily sparkle up my navy white and grey base. There’s a happy place in my wardrobe for those types of clothes.
I feel too fat for this sweater, but would have happily worn it when I was thinner. I love the color with the light pink and navy.
I would totally wear the pink pants with the white turtleneck and then wear the pink button-down as a light cardigan
From time to time you do a complete capsule that would totally work for me this is one of those with the exception of the pink jeans which on me make me think of sausages. Usually it is any of the periwinkle collections which I could happily mix in with most of these clothes. I have noticed Echo do some lovely muted scarves including periwinkle….hint hint ?
Just seeing this this morning….about day 8 or 9 of gloomy gray skies with either fog or snow. Amazing how pink perks me up! Thank you!
It’s not me now but when I was much,much younger and very thin I would have worn this sweater.
Linda P says
to coffeeslp: I am an SLP at a non-profit clinic… in the teletherapy sense.
Well, guess what? I bought that exact sweater and let me tell you it’s gorgeous! I get compliments on it all the time. It’s very good quality, warm, and can be dressed up or down. I just happened to hit a great sale and got it for $20, it’s worth far more. I have olive skin and brunette hair and my husband says this sweater looks beautiful with my coloring. It makes me so happy when I wear it, now that’s some $20 bucks worth of joy!