January 15, 2021
Not sophisticated like swishing around a boudoir in a silk negligee and fluffy maribou-trimmed mules! (is that really sophisticated?)
Sophisticated as in appreciating subtle things. Quiet good taste. Details that set the excellent apart from the everyday…
Stones with soft color gradients, and subtle beaded trim:
The nuances of color are deeply hidden in the stones, revealing themselves only to the attentive observer:
In cold weather, a gentle touch of rose pink is so flattering… The right earrings and mask bring a feminine touch to a classic outfit:
I almost never show vintage pieces here, because only one of you can buy it, but I could NOT resist this most perfect of handbags!
She loves the simplicity of her core of grey garments, lightened and punctuated with just a couple of pretty tops, and some wonderful jewelry and scarves.
For a different trip, she could easily keep her grey pieces and change the pink for… almost any other color!
The afternoon before she leaves, she hangs everything together, and gives it a careful review. There’s NOTHING sophisticated about scrambling about in a hotel room for the socks you forgot to pack!
She knows what she’s going to do for the next 3 days, so she pauses before she starts folding to think about what she will wear – a meeting, a meal, a long city walk – she’s prepared!
I love to think of this heroine wearing the same grey clothes with… yellow accents? purple? bone?
p.s. Back in 2014, we looked in some depth at a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in grey, rose and blue… I think today’s heroine would have approved!
p.p.s. Have you noticed that sometimes, random garments are labeled “travel”? A perfectly nice dress is suddenly a travel dress! A madly useful solid scarf of a nice generous size is now a “travel wrap”…
I used to fall for that kind of marketing. I wanted to own ALL the travel stuff… Unless there’s some very useful travel-specific detail in an item, this is just “ad-speak…” Don’t fall for it!
This is wonderful! These are my colors (with black, of course) and I also use purple as an accent color. Lovely!
This just made my day: when I saw the grey and pink and cranberry together: so close to the next clothes story I want to gather up for myself. No travel involved right now, but I can imagine.
The colons: got: away: from me.
Beth T says
Superb Janice! This is my post-Christmas wardrobe waiting in the loft for my husband to bring down. I have similar scarves so add in the look-back and I’m all set up till Easter!
My only wish is that I could find a pair of grey cords or trousers that don’t make me look like a ‘saggy, baggy elephant’. Charcoal grey might be a better option.
As the bracelet has garnets in it, which I love, perhaps the accent colour could be any red from pink-reds to dark garnet red? I have garnets in several shades.
I would certainly add in purple – you know me! The description of the bracelet includes garnets, purple aventurine and dyed greyed jade. Though, I’m not a fan of dyed stones because they often eventually fade. As long as the garnet and purple are the same intensity they go together. Another option might be deep red garnets with deep purple amethyst. Pearls are the perfect foil with garnets.
Getting dressed today – garnet red, ivory and grey with garnets and pearls. Life is just too good! ?
Hope you have a great weekend – you deserve it.
Sheila Harden says
I’m really starting to re-think my NOT wearing gray.. Maybe as long as I didn’t have it near my face? These wardrobes using gray recently have been just too pretty. And most of them calming?? Although today I’m planning on wearing my bright yellow “happy” sweater, so maybe that’s just not me! Have a good weekend all!
Bright yellow looks terrific with grey! And now they’re Pantone’s colors of the year for 2021.
Wouldn’t this heroine love the pink and grey Julahas cape that another heroine wore to a conference?
These are great colors for those women who are being displaced by their husbands. But not colors for young, professional women who want to make a good impression in the world, today. As always, Janice is on the cutting edge. It’s not these colors which make a person attractive to others, but the type of woman that wears the capsule. These capsuel colors are too vintage for most.
These colors are too vintage looking. Great for those women who are on the edge of being displaced in their personal lives but these colors are not for young professional women who want to make a good impression on the world. Too much pink making the wearer too old.
Sara K says
What’s wrong with looking old, especially if you do it wearing clothes you love and not while still conforming to others’ expectations like an insecure teen (that you hopefully never were, either)? I hope that every society has enough gender equality and every woman has enough gravitas to be able to hold her ground instead of being in danger of being “displaced” by anyone to anywhere she does not want to be. Preferably, while wearing all the pink she wants to, for pink is a gentle color and gentleness is virtue of the strong.
Ageism, if anything, needs to go the same path as dodos. After all, the only known alternative to aging is dying young which, personally speaking, I would like to avoid. Old age, therefore, is an achievement unlike youth, and we should be proud of our achievements.
I disagree I have 2 nieces in their 30’s one I’d a professional women, one in agriculture and I can see either of them wearing these colors and looking elegant or casual. I think it is how you display your confidence.
My youngest daughter works at a clothing store, and she adores anything pink.
As for myself, I’m happily vintage, and not displaced by anyone (least of all my husband, whatever that was supposed to mean).
Love this bracelet and wardrobe. I prefer garnet and cranberry to pink for myself, but everything else works. Well done.
Vancouver Barbara says
As for your perfect vintage handbag made of cloth – if any of your readers are seamstresses they probably know there are patterns out there for that bag or something very similar. And for those readers who are not yet seamstresses, it would be a simple beginners project. And fun to make. You continue to be an inspiration.
Sally in St Paul says
Anne, you are really stirring the pot today.
I can almost see where this line of thinking is coming from. There is something of an association between grey/pink and “old lady” in our society. But I think that arises from what seems to me a common assumption in the style/fashion world…that the prototypical, default woman is young, white, dark-haired, and very high value contrast and “bright” looking. If you have that kind of coloring, rose pink is draining. These “Snow Whites” probably have to age into this palette, waiting for their hair to start to grey and their skin to have a softer appearance. It’s easy for these people to think, “oh that’s an old lady color scheme.”
This is compounded by the fact that the default image of corporate wear tends toward the dark and high contrast (black suit and white blouse, anyone?). This is a stereotype, and some people never move past it.
But there are plenty of people who will never look great in the dark, bright, high contrast palettes, regardless of their age. And when you see one of these people with a “soft” appearance (like me…blonde, olive-teal eyed, pale pink skin) wearing a traditional black suit with a white or bright or jewel toned blouse, they can absolutely disappear behind the bright, high contrast clothing. (If you are young and have an overall light appearance from pale skin and lighter blonde hair, a black suit and white shirt also makes you look like a kid playing dress up. Ask me how I know.)
But put this same person into a grey suit and a soft rose, blue-green, blue, or mauve blouse, and they look terrific, professional, and harmonious. There is real power in dressing in a color palette that works with, rather than working against, your own coloring. It brings the attention to you and your face and what you are saying, which seems pretty relevant to making a good impression on the world.
Unless you have a job that requires a very specific uniform/grooming standard…No one has to wear pink. No has to wear black and white. No one has to wear colors that are harmonious with their own coloring. No one has to be “attractive to others.” No one has to look young.
To me, it’s as weird to say rose pink is inherently vintage/old is like saying that curly hair is inherently unprofessional…and I believe is also rooted in stereotypes.
In my mind, the heroine wearing this palette for a work meeting followed by a couple days to enjoy the city is clearly the kind of impressive professional and subtle, sophisticated thinker who has earned the respect of a business community who is so happy to have her share her insights that they are pulling out the stops to bring her into town for just a few hours of her valuable time. She could be 28, 48, or 78 for all I know.
I absolutely love and agree with your analysis, Sally!
Sally in St Paul says
This palette with its deep greys, dusty pinks, and marl/heather/watercolor softness, is an utter delight. The only item I wonder about is the Grapevine scarf and whether it is a hint too bright/stark. But I can’t argue that it looks great with the shirtdress…and perhaps the heroine likes a bit of drama and contrast against her neutral looks on occasion.
Janice, I constantly learn new concepts from you and other readers. I hadn’t heard the term, “displaced,” used in the way Anne mentioned. She brings to mind a situation that arises for too many women.
Have a great day, Amy
Linda P says
Hi Janice & Everyone! As I am looking at the bracelet I am envisioning garnet/burgundy, cream, grey, rosy pink….And maybe a little teal-?!
I have made peace with wearing grey on the upper half as a sweater or blazer, with a turtleneck or long-sleeved top underneath. Good contrast.
To add my 2c to the clothes discussion…much of it is based on context x weather x confidence with what one is wearing. It –is– unfortunate that stereotypes persist in color, hair texture, And how clothes are considered ‘young’ or ‘old’. I hope there is a 30 year old who can wear a ruffly pink blouse in a finance meeting and still command a room.
I know a 30 year old dietician and nutritionist who looks like she’s 16, and who can run ANY room, dressed in any shade of pink she wants.
An exceptional woman, no question!
I entered the corporate world when Thomas Malloy’s “Dress for Success” was the standard for professional women. OMG. I am so glad we are beyond that point. Although my last year in corporate I saw young women arriving in sweats for job interviews.. what???!!! That’s taking it to an extreme. I would agree with what Sally in St. Paul said.
“But put this same person into a grey suit and a soft rose, blue-green, blue, or mauve blouse, and they look terrific, professional, and harmonious. There is real power in dressing in a color palette that works with, rather than working against, your own coloring. It brings the attention to you and your face and what you are saying, which seems pretty relevant to making a good impression on the world.”
There aren’t very many rules any more. Cheers!
Sally in St Paul says
Sheila, wow, sweats for a job interview in the corporate world is pretty ill-advised!
yeah, begs the question “what were they thinking?’ Although even now working in a school, I find myself and a couple of the “older” teachers more professionally dressed on a daily basis than the younger ones. Old habits die hard. IMHO I think if you dress more professionally than jeans and a tshirt (and flip flops) you garner more respect from the students.
Beautiful! What a lovely sophisticated wardrobe at a time when we are all staying home in our sweatpants, dreaming of better times.
Beth T says
Power dressing – how I hated that term in the 1980’s. I thought that as enlightened women in the 21st century, we can be ourselves at work and not conform to stereotypes, dress codes, or the height and style of our shoes. I did briefly work with a power dresser. She had dark brown hair and bright colouring. She wore a dazzling array of ‘power suits’ in emerald green, peacock blue, lime green, bright pink and scarlet – she looked fabulous!
My first professional suit bought in 1985 was a wool suit in soft mauve with a co-ordinating purple and mauve striped blouse underneath. Sounds an odd choice for newly qualified professional but my Dad chose it for me. He was a Director of a multinational company.
Dad was paying for it and my Mum came too because she thought she knew best what a young professional should be wearing – mmmm….. Mum’s opinion was good for colour.
We discounted black as I looked like ‘death warmed up’ according to my Mum (I always wear deep purple to funerals). Grey – yuck – two much like school uniform (now I love grey!). Navy was OK but then my Dad said that so many women he worked with wore navy or black suits but they just looked like men. He had more respect for women who dressed to suit themselves rather than conforming to what they thought they should be wearing. So Dad then helped me choose my suit to suit ME! Pity he couldn’t give me a job to go with it.
I wore that suit to interviews and got my first job soon after. A colleague later said that I was memorable because my outfit suited me. After that, I wore the suit as separates and for formal occasions, I wore a dress and jacket. I did own another navy suit later on but that also became separates – its who I am.
So Anne, I am the person with soft colouring, ash-brown hair and light green eyes, who wore navy, pink, blue, burgundy, lilac, teal and floral blouses, shirts and dresses to work for 35 years! I never considered myself or the colours I wore to be old-fashioned. The colours suit me so why should I wear black and white which doesn’t?
A few years ago, I decided to test the waters of animal prints which were very fashionable but I’d never had the courage to wear for fear of being thought middle-aged! ? When I wore a blue snakeprint shirt to work it raised an eyebrow because it was out of the ordinary for me but as one of my younger colleagues said “It suits you”. Several of my colleagues have also said that I always looked ‘put together’ and ‘well co-ordinated’ and that was reassuring.
I’ve have a whole wardrobe of ‘work’ clothes which I”m still going to wear. because I feel good in them and they give me confidence. The other day, I wore one of my favourite teal and purple outfits that I’d wear at work – purple trousers, teal blouse with white and purple flowers and teal jumper. I walked into the room and my husband glanced up from his computer and said “You look elegant”. Wow!
Dear Anne, I hope you will begin to wear the shapes and colours that suit you and make you feel fabulous and confident at work and at home. I may have given up work for the moment but all through my career, I never felt that I had to conform to someone else’s view of the clothes and accessories that I should wear or feel comfortable in.
I’ve never felt that any colour was ‘old fashioned’. A while ago I saw a lady in her seventies wearing a black suit and bright yellow blouse. I can’t wear those colours but she looked amazing.
People should wear what looks good on them and what makes them happy, no matter how old or young they are. (Iris Apfel?) At a church we used to attend, there was one senior who absolutely rocked a leather jacket. She looked better in it than some of the younger women there would have.
Back in my twenties, I had a lovely dress with a grey skirt and burgundy bodice. I wore it to a diplomatic event and the ambassador’s wife commented that I looked very elegant. That compliment has stayed with me for decades. I think that a particular color is less important than how you feel in an outfit. If you feel comfortable and confident, it shows. So, wear pink, purple, green, grey, whatever. As for being displaced as an older woman, this is the time of life when we can decide what our place should be, and go for it!
Beth T I really appreciated your comments (and their gentleness,not a small thing!). My daughter is a teacher and after 8 years has been confidently wearing what she likes and is comfortable in -long full skirted dresses! These are hard to find and sometime side slits have to be sewn and pockets added! She gets positive comments from her colleagues as well as students. I like to think she is being a positive role model on daring to be different-she truthful tells the teens that she does not own jeans! Today she swirled into her classroom (yes school is in session) wearing a long cranberry and white tie dye dress with a white cardigan, bold and beautiful! I would never wear that dress and I love wearing jeans but I’m proud of her.
Elizabeth Ellen Carter says
What a lovely combination, adding black and white to that mix would take you a long, long way. Stunning collection.
Hi Janice, This has nothing to do with today’s post- but I had a great idea. I adore the Vivienne Files and would really like to see the Archives preserved for all posterity. You could make e-books out of your files and sell them, for example, all the Six-Packs could make one e-book. It would be nice to think my great-granddaughters might be able to see the capsules of the 2010s and 2020s. And it would be nice for you to profit from all the hard work of keeping these Archives for us.
If you do this, I hope the books can be available on Kindle for PC2 which is what I have.
Thank you Janice for the inspiration you give us! You have made my life brighter!
Ahhh, except I don’t have the legal right to sell anything with someone else’s garment photographs. As long as I link to their stuff, I’m okay because I’m basically advertising for them, but to print something and sell it might get me in trouble…
I’m not at all sure about this – any lawyers want to chime in with an opinion? Because I would LOVE to pull these together into books…
hugs hugs hugs,
No Fear of Fashion says
Lovely colours, lovely stones. Indeed very sophisticated. Alas, I am a woman for bright colours. Anything pastel washes me out.
It’s your bright personality…
Beth T says
Pink is one of the most popular colours for men too, so my twenty-something son tells me. Lots of men wear pink clothes and accessories both to the office and casually. As for floral shirts – well some of the nicest patterns I’ve seen are in the men’s department….
That grapevine rectangular scarf is breathtakingly lovely. And looking at the pink purse I can see possibilities for a rose suede item in my closet that I will be done with when I find similar that fits better in the upper shoulders. Fake suede, wears like cast iron and launders easily. Just hate the fit. My new purse!
Janice you’ve outdone yourself. I’m a sucker for grey and pink is a favourite accent. Just beautiful! Thanks again.
I came across this on Pintrest today. Love it. Have been reading about and falling in love with the Coastal Grandmother style, which suits my lifestyle as a retiree. All the articles relating to this style are for summer dressing. However where I live it is currently winter and was looking for a winter version of this vibe. This pink and grey combination is perfect for the look I am after. I would change the pink to a deeper raspberry or wine which better suits my deep winter colouring, even with my grey hair. Would love to see a similar vibe with navy/sapphire blue.