March 22, 2021
Hurrah! I love these posts…
And I’ve been really disciplined about NOT showing you yet another black tee shirt. While in my world, a stack of black tee shirts is a necessity – almost as important as coffee! – I know that for many of you, black is anathema…
So let’s go olive!
Just for reference purposes, here’s the master list. I’m going to try to replicate the 13 items for Spring in my own wardrobe, soon…
This is a great color – hard to find, but lovely, warm and rich:
This is a perfect color with beige…
If you feel like your skirt’s a little bit dressy, a simple tee shirt will bring down the dressiness quotient a lot!
And don’t miss this handbag; it costs as much as a rent payment (or 2!), but it is a thing of architectural beauty. Check out all of the bags by this designer…
This shade of green is a lovely contrast with denim blue…
A tee shirt is always necessary with a swimsuit! The shorts, hat and sandals here are the same as last week – classic items are versatile!
We’ve talked a lot about keeping short-sleeved shirts handy in the cold weather. For me, when I’m leaving home but headed someplace that I KNOW will be warmer (like a doctor’s office), I find that my tee shirts are really handy…
Especially when I’m going to get a COVID19 vaccination, as I did YESTERDAY!!!! (big celebrations – I danced in the aisles…)
So what’s your dark neutral? I’m always keeping track of what’s popular…
p.s. Five years ago, we added accessories to a black, grey and royal blue wardrobe – it stands the test of time pretty well, I think!
Navy is my dark neutral. I am a typical scandinavian with blom hair och bluegrey eyes, so navy is my basic colour. Than I add some white, pink and maroon, and also sometimes a little red. The only patterns I really like is stripes and polkadots. My daughter gets crazy when I look at yet another polkadot skirt in navy and white or het another striped sweater ?
I love the blom hair! I, too, am Scandinavian with the blue grey eyes and ‘blom,’ hair. I find blue and white striped tops irresistible. I just bought another one from J Crew. I love it, hence I’ve worn it three times in the last week! My daughter is just like yours! “Oh Mom, not another striped top!”
Hahahaha autocorrect didn’t like blonde
my daughter says that about my black cardigans! – nancyo
That tree of life scarf is absolutely amazing. The colors are completely wrong for me but I could stare at it all day.
P.S. When I saw those beautiful artisan olive/green turquoise earrings I headed over to Novica to order a pair. Looks like I got the last pair! Thanks for featuring Novica!
Love the olive and black! Even though I’m trying to get away from black. And it goes with the other neutrals as well. I am working navy as my dark neutral, but it is not as workable, versatile as this olive is. Maybe I should reconsider things…
Olive is my neutral. ( I don’t have a light neutral because it wouldn’t stay clean with 3 dogs & casual outdoor/farm lifestyle, & olive comes in a range of shades lighter & darker shades.)
Thank you for the Olive. Many, many requests for this!
Sheila Harden says
My neutrals are black and navy. That being said, I have two pair of olive pants that I wear with my red from time to time. I have a marled sage green sweater that has enough of a hint of olive it ties them together – and many of my prints have olive in them.
Beth T says
I find dark colours draining near my face unless they have a texture or pattern. I wear plain tops under a patterned shirt, cardigan or jumper.
If you ever feel like doing a wardrobe based on the silver grey version of the Tree of Life scarf, then I would avidly read it because it has s lot of soft brown, teal and shell pink in it.
If I had an alternative to olive it would be soft Rose-Brown, Flint or Dark Taupe (more brown than grey), or Chocolate. I’m experimenting with adding brown to my wardrobe but it’s not one of my best colours and I’m not sure about wearing brown on my top half. I would be looking for ideas of accent colours to wear with it. Jade, soft pale pink and pale blue seem the most likely for Spring but browns might look good with coral pink, burgundy and plum.
So as olive is not my colour, I’ve had fun this morning exploring the world of Ostwald bags. Some of the designs are a wonder to behold – more of an ‘ornament’ to look at on a bedroom shelf.
Glad you’ve had your Covid jab. It is a relief.
Yes, to these colors! I am a soft summer and I love all the colors mentioned by Beth!
Beth T says
I’m a Soft Summer too, DMA Even more so now my hair is going white!
Sally in St Paul says
Beth T, I recently purchased a cardigan that is a beautiful color but I didn’t know what to call it. Now that I’ve image searched “rose-brown,” I’m in business. I found the Pantone color Copper Rose 4995 C #9d6771, which is spot on. Now if I can find a plus size top in that color, I’ll have a twin set. A person can dream, right? :)
My neutrals? Black or navy. I like to put those with purple, grey, and white – I’m always on the lookout for shirts that combine some of those colors in plus sizes — which is harder than you might think! Today I’m wearing a batik-patterned t-shirt, base color purple with pattern in denim blue: one of my favorites.
Sally in St Paul says
Maurita, I 100% hear you! I would be thrilled to find a few plus-size tops that combine 2 or more of navy, grey, and olive.
I love this as my dark neutrals are definitely olive and brown. not always so easy to find. so I love anytime you show warm colors and I can locate some additional items as I am warm to the core!!
Susan Jackson says
Dark neutrals? Charcoal gray and navy. Black has become less flattering as I’ve gotten older – and I live in a hot part of the country where black simply looks way too hot most of the year.
I hear you on that bit about black. It’s SO easy to work in as a neutral, but not flattering to a lot of us. I relied heavily on a simple black, white and red palette for awhile, but found I really disliked wearing black in summer. And it was never my best neutral next to my face. Navy and grey are my go-to neutrals, even though they’re much harder to find to cover the varying levels of casual to dressy we need. I have this thing about grey shoes/boots/sandals: note how you can wear grey with black, navy, brown, tan, etc. Wily retailers seem to know this, because we’d all just buy damn near every kind of footwear in grey and call it good. But, if I didn’t have to buy more than one color of neutral shoes, I’d certainly spend a little on accent colors. Having said all this, olive is a great neutral if you can wear it. This is a beautiful capsule. Another reminder: if you see something you like here in a color you don’t wear, be sure to check the link for a color you do wear.
Navy is my dark neutral. The pandemic brought several important things to my attention, one of which is I have always been most comfortable in jeans and tee shirts.
I would like to point out that over the years, many women of color and women of Middle Eastern descent have been following Janice’s posts and purchasing many items that she has shown.
We have contributed alot of money to this site without making any negative comments about the color choices of others.
Olive is a color that looks good on us and is appreciated when Janice shows us her work, her ideas, and expresses her intellectual content. We always thank her for doing beautiful posts with this deep rich color for us.
I do realize that people do not like us to thank Janice for her work in this color, but she deserves our thanks.
I welcome everyone. Full stop.
with lots of love,
Janice- thank you for your strong support of all women! I am beginning to embrace olive in my life, I have yellow skin tones and found it is quite flattering…while kelly green makes me look terrible! Colors are so interesting and I love all of your inspirations!!
My dark neutrals — you guessed it — brown, olive, navy, and denim, and even navy is getting to be too dark for me as I age, and chocolate or rust brown is also better than some of the darker browns . For some reason I don’t care for olive and denim together. Is it the warm /cool factor or the similar value ?
Amanda Hudson says
Well personally I like to see a variety of colors. It doesn’t matter at all if they suit me. I just need to see ideas. I can always substitute colors that work for me or that are already in my wardrobe. It’s fun to read the names of the colors and picture which friends might be able to wear them. Janice does do a wonderful job and I certainly don’t think anyone commenting meant to hurt any feelings! Have a great day ladies. I am totally vaccinated!!!
I agree, Amanda, I don’t think anyone commenting had any intention of slighting others’ color choices or hurting feelings. We all recognize what looks great on one person, may not on another. Just because a color doesn’t suit me personally, doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate how it may look on someone with the “right” coloring to look fantastic!
The WTW is my favorite series and really helped me take a disciplined approach to my wardrobe. It has also saved me money as I now buy what I need, rather than what catches my eye (well mostly). I am now moving on to accessories and would love to see a WTW series for this. I noticed you don’t often feature belts or hair accessories, but since I live in a warm climate, scarves sometimes aren’t the best choice for me even though I love them. Like many of us, I let my hair grow longer this past year and am loving the ease of having long hair again. I bought some scarf ties and clips yesterday during the Anthropologie sale. They have quite a broad selection if anyone is looking for something like this.
Hair accessories are a great idea! And I plead fully guilty to the question of belts, because I NEVER wear them. EVER. I don’t even own one! So I feel like my ability to show them effectively might be limited – which is silly! I show all SORTS of things I don’t wear myself…
But it’s a personal mental hurdle I need to get over!
Beth T says
I’m also sorting out and circulating my accessories to go with my seasonal wardrobes.
All your ideas are helpful, Janice, and even if things are sometimes off the scale (like today’s bags), one can always look out for similar styles according to ones budget or in vintage shops. Designers today are often harking back to an earlier era….
Yay olive!! Thank you, thank you.
Are you able to add Anthro to your Support page? I would have like to have supported you when I made that purchase. I have found some of my best dresses and accessories there (including belts!). Another question, I tend to buy travel clothes from Athleta and REI. If I use the Old Navy link and then switch to Athleta or any of the sister stores or go into the app, do you still get credit? You have helped me so much; I would like to pay it back when I can.
I just added them! Thanks so much for asking!!!
And I have no idea if moving around from site to site within a retail “family” keeps the link. I will see what I can learn, but I’m not optimistic – this whole process is NOT as transparent as it might be!
Sally in St Paul says
My preferred dark neutrals are navy/denim, olive, and grey. I have also become more interested in certain cool browns, of which I currently only have a few pieces; I’m not in a wardrobe expansion mode right now, but I will these browns on my radar. I still wear black items (of which I have a large number) but I have stopped purchasing it.
But black still feels very appealing because it seems much easier to build a capsule around black than olive and grey that come in so many variations that they can be challenging to blend! In some ways, it seems easier to wear navy, denim, olive, and grey pieces together than several olive or grey pieces (though the sometimes problematic warm/cool undertone issue can still arise). So: why is it SO HARD to find garments that are a mix of neutrals? Black and grey is a pretty common combination, as is navy or black with white. But looking for a simple polka dot or stripe t-shirt that has some combination of navy, olive, and grey? Good luck!
This olive t-shirt is the opposite type of olive that I search for…very warm yellow-olive rather than my preferred cooler olive…but I think both ends of that olive spectrum can be hard to find. (I supplement the cooler olives with lighter moss/aloe, and that works for me.) As Judy reminded us, even if it’s not our color, it’s somebody’s color! So I hope that heroines who rock the warm olive are happy to see this t-shirt and other (amazingly curated) warm olive options in this post…while those of us who are not warm-olive-type heroines think about how we might modify the colors, click through on an item to see the color options available, take inspiration from the garment silhouettes/combinations, etc.
I was very amused by what the J Crew algorithm offered up in the “shop the look” with this t-shirt: a navy Italian wool blazer, light olive chino shorts, and cognac loafer mules. Even in the everything-goes spirit of the pandemic, a wool blazer and chino shorts seem an odd pairing, but if there’s ever a time for a wool blazer + shorts outfit, I guess it’s now! :D
For the throwback post: My goodness, the Hermes Tyger Tyger in that colorway is gorgeous! It also points to adding green and pink to the palette for those of us who require a higher color-to-neutral ratio and/or are less minimalist. IMO, the cobalt, pure green, and bright pink colors can also be worn easily together without bridge pieces (not always true even when taking color inspiration from a wonderful scarf, as we have seen). A pair of blue denim jeans and white T would enter that capsule if it were mine (which is in the spirit of the spring WTW items #1 and #5 on the chart).
Linda P says
Hi Janice and Everyone! As I think about it…black t shirts are the go to factor in my wardrobe. I usually wear them with a (flattering) print skirt or pair of capris or pants. But that seems to be when I am getting ‘dressed up’ to go somewhere where there is a/c ;) Otherwise Black is too hot for me to wear outside in the summer. I do have a navy tee that I put to use that can pass for dressy or casual wear. Most of my plain tees are light neutrals or pastels. I guess I do not think of tee shirts for the 6 months of winter, unless it’s a base layer and it’s going to be VERY cold.
I’m another lover of navy…and dots and stripes. Dark grey and black also make an appearance in winter, but I feel good in navy year round be it wool, silk or linen.
I have hazel eyes and like olive accessories with black. I love the scarves in this post.
Thank you so much for adding Anthro and Athleta to your support page. I just wanted to comment on what you said on that page for Athleta (looking at this when updating your gym clothes) and share my experience with it for travel clothes. I have 4 (navy, olive, stone, and black) of their Soho skorts (truly do look like a skirt) and they are great for everyday as well as travel. I don’t like capris as I feel like they make my legs look stubby so I use these when I don’t feel like wearing shorts. They don’t feel like a tennis skort (more like a hiking pant material), you can go hiking/sightseeing with them, and they are easy to wash and drip dry in a hotel room. And they have pockets that lie flat as well as back pockets for your phone! I have also been buying certain of their tees as I can go hiking with them, but since they don’t have logos on them and aren’t that shiny material like Under Amour and the like, they work for regular wear as well. They were my pick for the first two of this WTW series as they are a decent length – things are getting so short this year. So I can pack lighter which is always the goal. Plus they are a B corp so they are socially responsible. And they show their clothes on plus size models. No, I don’t work for Gap and never have! Just wanted to share.
I’m sitting here right now in a skort! When L.L.Bean carried them about 8 or 9 years ago, I bought 6 of them, with tee shirts. I can’t seem to wear them out… But I would love to look at the Athleta ones…
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience; it’s worth a lot to many of us!
Navy. Always. Although I’ve begun to add some dark brown … it transitions well from that late summer “everything is scorched and brown” season into fall and later winter.
Paulie M. says
I have been looking for sandals in a good olive for years. Since I have very flat feet, I need shoes with great arch support, and Birkenstock fills that bill for me. This season they have the Franca style in oiled jade, which is a lovely neutral olive color. They are available at Zappos, one of the retailers on Janice’s support page. My pair arrived a few days ago, and I couldn’t be happier.
My dark neutral is still black, ever since my days as a young widow in a big city……Maybe I need to change it now as I age. Hmm.
Alison M Gunn says
Ah, I remember the days when I wore black and cream in the summer time because they are an elegant combination reminiscent of Chanel suits. The days prior to bare naked legs, the time when one wore some version of a heel into work… and then there’s now, when so little is required of me I can wear whatever I want. So nowadays my ‘dark neutral’ is anywhere from navy (which is getting a little too dark for my face and hair) to indigo. These posts have made me go dig out my color wheel just to refamiliarize myself with my colors. Much fun. Oh, and let me say that I am happy that there are people who can wear whatever color Janice chooses, because half the fun of this site are all the combinations Janice plays with. I’d hate to think there are people out there begrudging someone their color.
The handbags! Oh, my. I tend to wear classic clothes, but I’m a sucker for out-there handbags.
Jennifer Kirchner says
I’m loving the olive/navy/beige combination! Would love to see some pinks & burgundy mixed in as well for expanded options.
Linda R says
I too am weeding out all my black. I use navy and olive as my dark neutrals. And denim of course. I have some gray pieces as well but will use lighter gray for spring and summer. I love your charts! As always, great combinations!
Oh! That skirt!! I didn’t see a comment about the skirt. That skirt is so me in the summer!!! I only wear skirts so perhaps that’s why I noticed. I just bought one similar and it arrived last week! I have learned to grab them when you see them or they are gone!! My neutral is navy. I started adding chocolate brown this past summer. I do wish I owned more rust and teal pieces. I buy white, navy, coral, turquoise and red for my summer wardrobe. I’m a true Spring!! Have a very blessed day!!
I also wear salmon in the summer!!
Kim V says
Olive used to look great on me with my dyed reddish-brown hair, but as I’ve embraced my graying hair I’ve realized that the warm tones in my hair were always added by my hairstylist. I actually only have cool tones in salt and pepper hair and now the olive makes me very sallow. My current neutrals are black, white, and gray.
However, I love seeing all possible color options so please keep them coming. Even the ones that don’t work near my face like olive give me ideas. My black tee will look great with my cargo pants and since I’m in the “hot flash” stage, I rarely use a cardigan anyway.
My dark neutrals are black, navy, and charcoal. I look best in navy, but feel best in black! And charcoal is still a work in progress; finding the right pieces is a slow process. – nancyo