June 11, 2021
I can clearly see that I want to do at least 2 more of these after today! The denim/chambray/soft pink idea MUST be investigated, as well as… what other color?
But today, we look at black, and then at my nemesis, green!
First up – a wardrobe that I could envision buying if I lost every stitch of clothing that I own… the pink skirt would be a real adventure for me, but why the HECK not try it?
This may not qualify as a completely “Whatever’s Clean 13” wardrobe – I can see some of us feeling uncomfortable wearing the blue tee shirt with the pink skirt. But if one could find the right scarf, necklace, or bracelet to tie them together, or if one just plain and simply LIKES the 2 colors together, why not? (it’s today’s mantra…)
Still, there are a lot of outfit possibilities here!
Before I show you my best effort at a green (and beige) wardrobe, I want to share with you a few of the guidelines that I use for choosing garments to include on The Vivienne Files:
- It can’t cost the earth! I seldom will show something too far over $100, unless it’s spectacular. The world is full of blogs that will show you things that you can’t afford – that’s not what I want to do…
- I won’t include something if it’s only available in 1 or 2 sizes. While a garment might be a perfect example of what I would like to see in a wardrobe, if none of us can actually OWN the thing, it makes no sense.
- I won’t show anything that comes from a company that I don’t trust. There are some really sketchy websites in the world!
So when I was working on this green wardrobe, I learned that finding a good cardigan, with a good flat photograph, was difficult! Here are a few that I was immediately drawn to, but rejected for a variety of reasons (like I don’t think you should pay the equivalent of a rent payment for a sweater!)
If you’re inclined to buy one of these, I’m not going to stop you! (I can’t even imagine what my commission might be on some of these…) The Loro Piana especially is so lovely…
So with that disclosure, here’s what I’ve chosen:
Yes, all of these colors don’t match. Most of them blend nicely, though. We could learn from young people about being more relaxed about mixing colors..
And there are still plenty of outfits in this wardrobe:
I feel a little bit bad about this wardrobe, but I also like to remind myself that any obstacle that I run into has to also be an issue for most of you! Between finding the right size, the right price, a fabric that you like and can comfortably wear, and then finding a color and cut that makes you beautiful… Well, it’s not easy!
So next Wednesday I’m going to pull together the denim and pink wardrobe – what other color(s)?
p.s. Five years ago, I looked at our “Six Scarves, 12 Months” wardrobes to see how versatile they might be at the halfway point…
The blue and pink look like classic complementary colours that I would love to wear together. It’s a pity we have become so conservative in our use of colour that this combination is seen as “out there”.
I wear blue and pink almost exclusively! I say go for it!
Shades of grey and purple? With the patterned t-shirt as a bold floral or thick stripe?I
On a separate note, would totally wear the beige and green wardrobe after a few anti-buttons tweaks. (Only way to get tops to sit right across the front!)
Gina Egg says
Grey and purple.
Grey and yellow (they are Pantone’s colors of the year).
Khaki and coral for something more warm-toned.
I am all in favor of your suggestions!!
Denim, chambray, soft pink and…..
Just the right purple?
Now I’m intrigued.
Beth T says
Ditto to all of these. I would also like denim and salmon pink or denim and orchid.
Jackie Katz says
I am adding olive back into my wardrobe this summer. I can attest to the difficulty finding the right pieces. I also find inventory levels very low online and in stores for EVERYTHING, with items selling out within a few hours.
OH Jackie I’m running into that – I have to check availability of products before I finish a blog post so I don’t show you something that’s completely out of stock. I think that after last year’s retail… ahem… downturn, everybody’s terrified to stock up on things!
It keeps us on our toes!
I had a very weird thing happen with LL Bean. I wanted the seersucker fresh mint long sleeved shirt you had shown earlier. It wasn’t in my size. I looked at it again the other day and lo and behold it was in all sizes in regular and petite. I quickly ordered. Then, I checked just to see and it was out of all sizes except extra small. I’ve checked several more times and sometimes there is stock and sometimes not. Definitely know that if I want something I have to order asap!!
My neutral isn’t olive yet I know exactly what you mean. Last year was a no buy year and so this year I really fine-tuned my wishlist but alas inventory is so low I’m having a low buy year by default.
Sally in St Paul says
I am feeling VERY glad that I stocked up on some aloe and olive green pieces last summer so I am ready to go this summer. They seem very hard to find right now!
Loving this series. I am in that seasonal switch stage where it might be safe to put away the winter clothes but currently everything is crowding my wardrobe. That chaos makes the simplicity of 13 garments so appealing. Thank you for being so frank about the challenges you find in bringing all these lovely wardrobes to us. I would love to see a charcoal grey and periwinkle or navy and lavender set, if you’re looking for colour combos.
Linda P says
Hi Janice and Everyone! I can totally wear the beige/olive wardrobe this summer. I found some nice ‘olive’ tops at Lands End, and a nice (forgiving) sheath dress. Bottoms have been particular: Gloria Vanderbilt jeans (on sale), a blazer and capris both from consignment stores.
I like the black/white combo but it has been challenging to find ‘not-navy’ blues to create a nice contrast.
How about turquoise? There’s a lot of it about in the summer. I do it with navy and white, but is there another colour that would work? I’d love to see your take on it!
i would like the denim/blue/pink with some sort of warm, reddish medium brown, that leans more towards umber then sienna
I could get on board this green train – given how much I enjoyed my sage green cardigan this winter – and it would meld in nicely with what you have shown. Pants I like and fit comfortably have been somewhat elusive. I can’t even tell you how many I’ve tried now. Have a great weekend everyone!
Linda in Bluffton says
Obsessed with the look-back post!!!
I had to look. What great wardrobes. I remember those. Awesome.
That led me to then look back. Wow definitely one to pin!
Love, love live the black and white outfit grouping! Nice to see a combo for winter colouring. Would certainly wear the pink and blue together.
That olive cardigan with the lace is wonderful. So is the Loro Piana cardigan. Even though I wouldn’t spend so much on a cardigan, I do like seeing them and I’m glad you showed us what’s out there. Gorgeous. Welcome to my world of trying to find an olive cardigan with buttons.
The beige washes me out and the pink would be a great pick-me-up. I wear denim or navy blues with my olives and sages.
I agree – Janice, thanks so much for showing us all the pretties (albeit expensive) on occasion. its nice to see such beautiful pieces. imagine, just 1 (what whappage!!!) to liven up your wardrobe!!!
Sally in St Paul says
That lace one is gobsmackingly gorgeous. It was a pleasure to look at!
I appreciate that you don’t lead us off, salivating over some piece that turns out to be ridiculously pricey. “Farfetch” is appropriately named!?
I enjoy all the color combinations you choose; whether they work for me or not, seeing the outfits you create gives me a lot of ideas for shopping my closet.
Erin Roy says
I have two sweaters that “cost” well over $500+. That is, if you factor in the cost of the plane tickets to Ireland, the ferry ride to Innishmore Island, the night’s stay in a thatched roof cottage BNB and the delicious home cooked meal by a former employee at Buckingham Palace. ? They are warm, are made well, and I have gotten a lot of use from my Irish sweaters but for a “regular” cardi I’m sticking with the under $100 category. I am enjoying the 13 pieces this week. Thank you for listening to all of us and our color ideas!
I love the green sweater with the lace accent and the green and white skirt! Both just so beautiful. I would love to see a gray/soft green/soft blue combo. I’m exploring that for my wardrobe pallet. Easy to find pieces for cold weather – more difficult for warm weather. Warm weather seems to be more bright colors.
And I agree – finding the right colors in your style and size is sporadic this year. I often wait until an item is part of a promo or sale but not 2021. Better grab what you like on the first encounter or you will miss out!
As always Janice – thank you for the guidance and inspiration. I just love your blog!!
I have learned the hard way to strike while the iron is hot to purchase my sized items at LL Bean or elsewhere ! I have also thrifted some great purchases at consignment shops !
The olive green, beige and pink would happily become a part of my wardrobe ! We just traveled 4 hours this morning to another state to celebrate a granddaughter’s high school graduation, and as it’s a chilly and torentially rainy day, I am wearing olive green long pants, a thrifted olive green zip front cardigan with an ivory long sleeved top , accented with a beige and olive scarf and a gold and silver pendant . I brought along a subtle olive green floral mask — just in case ! Some places are still requiring them, while others are not . I forget to wear my olive pieces and prefer them for cool Springlike or Autumn weather, with sage green pieces for hot weather . Yesterday we had lunch with hubby’s cousin and his wife, who have sold their house and are moving to another state. I wore beige pants, an olive green tank and a printed ivory, brown and olive green knitted jacket. I’m trying to get my wears out of my olive garments this week ! This particular shade of olive green tank was not exactly a match to the green in my jacket , when I got outside and saw it in the sunlight . Plus, it’s a bit brighter saturation level than what I normally wear . So instead of parting with it, as I have trouble finding pieces, I have decided to reserve it and wear it with an ivory Summer jacket and pants, and substitute more of a sage green tank to go with the printed jacket . Sometimes finding another pairing with an oddball colored piece and some neutrals allows the garment to continue to function in my wardrobe. Can I wear it 3 ways ? Not yet, but perhaps in time I shall as I build the olive green components in my closet .
It astounds me that some women actually pay the outrageous prices ( to me) for some garments that I see online ! I am just more frugal and love the idea of a bargain ! To me that is far more of a challenge than spending a lot of money , but to each his own ! Thank you for honoring our color requests !
Alison M Gunn says
I don’t want you stressing over whether or not we can find something in the shopping moment/few seconds of availability that is the internet shopping experience. My belief is that, your posts are suggestions; they cannot be seen as promissory notes. Also, once one is serious about buying a thing, whether it’s a really expensive item or not, you’re going to pay whatever that item costs if you love it. Price at that point is often not an object (here I am not talking about designer label prices, although there are cut-price websites that cater to that need). I’d like to suggest that you throw in some cream-colored garments with the denim/pink options. My wardrobe is navy/denim/shades of grey, and I find that cream garments elevate most looks. I have a minimum of pink and even though I love all shades of purple, find it a difficult color to wear a lot of the time. White Irish skin but “Summer” coloring, and most purples are just too intense for me. Thanks!
Another vote for grey and purple!
It’s sort of comforting to see that you, too have problems putting together a wardrobe when you’re wanting very specific colors. Makes me feel more patient with myself. The 13-piece wardrobes are just wonderful for creating a solid foundation for feeling that I can securely get dressed, even if everything else in my life is mayhem.
Sally in St Paul says
I love the looks of both of these wardrobes. The graphic black and white one speaks to the part of me who thinks she looks like Zooey Deschanel and is surprised to see the reality in the mirror. The bright pink and blue are perfect accents (and I would not hesitate for a second to wear them together). The olive/sage one is more in my wheelhouse, and I thoroughly relate to the “matching greens” conundrum. I’m working on relaxing my way toward greater acceptance of non-matching colors, but it’s not easy for me. That “off” look snags my eye. I would probably consider whether I really need that many of the garments in the capsule to be green, decide “of course not!”, and switch a few of the odd-man-out green pieces for another color (neutral or accent, either one). I generally find it very pleasing to wear a top, bottom, and topper in 3 different colors, so I can mix-and-match successfully with a less tight color palette even in a smaller capsule, I think.
Yellow! (and white) with the pink and denim. I’m assembling that wardrobe right now because I fell in love with this: https://www.lanebryant.com/printed-tie-neck-top/prd-368639#color/0000101941
Beth T says
My wardrobe for my weekend away is navy and grey with lilac and turquoise accents.
Beth T says
I love the concept of the lace cardigan and the green and ivory cardigan. These are just the sort of garments that I would wear. Now I agree that the price is extortionate but they provide ideas and concepts to add a bit of variety or a luxurious element to a wardrobe. Such ideas can lift a wardrobe.
So I would be keen for you to add such items to wardrobes (with a price caveat) because it makes me think of other options to look out for. For me plain coloured garments have to have a textural element to the material or embellishment or an design feature. It is always possible to find cheaper versions.
A cardigan with lace inserts or a cardigan in colour + ivory tell a different story for their wearer.
Another capsule I love – the olive one. and I have a beautiful lacy long cardigan languishing in the wardrobe!