September 13, 2021
The weather here isn’t entirely on board, but I’m READY for cooler weather! We are changing apartments this week (yes, we probably will stretch the project out to last multiple days!) and I’m going to take advantage of this to re-organize my closet for autumn…
This first outfit is nice and cozy, but our heroine kept her summer earrings… We do what we must to survive the winter!
This week’s garment is the simplest thing imaginable – something in your lightest neutral color (which doesn’t HAVE to be light at all…) and long-sleeved. Maybe you live in an area where long sleeves just never get worn? Substitute the longest sleeve you wear; these are just guidelines; I NEVER tell you what to wear! (where’s the fun in being bossed around?)
If you wear a lot of neutrals, a new tee shirt can bring a different look to your typical outfits. Imagine the following sweater and jeans with a red tee, or black, or brown?
If you want to wear “head to toe” neutral, you can break up the column of color near your face with a light tee shirt. It keeps your sweater cleaner, gives you another layer of warmth, and a welcome contrast of color to make you look EVEN prettier… (as if that was possible!)
As a reminder for us all, here’s the list of Autumn Weekly Timeless Wardrobe garments, arranged by cluster. I find these wardrobes easier to mentally digest when they are arranged this way:
Here’s an example of what an Autumn Weekly Timeless Wardrobe will look like; I have to admit that by the time I was finished with this, I was ready to toss out my black and shift my entire wardrobe to navy and burgundy!
does anybody else deal with the occasional urge to toss their entire color palette and shift to something different? I’m hearing the siren song of grey these days…
This probably wouldn’t be the entirety of your autumn wardrobe, unless your job requires you to wear a uniform. In that case, this might be all the clothes you need to get you through ’til almost the end of the year!
Oh, for the chance to walk through leaves clustered on the edges of the sidewalk…
p.s. Six years ago, I assembled a Whatever’s Clean 13 wardrobe for MEN!!!! in the cool shades of navy, grey and burgundy. Kind of like today’s color palette…
This is what I call fabulously functional! And, yes, grey, grey, grey! If you can wear it, grey is an ultimate neutral. It goes with almost everything. I love the fact that grey shoes/belts etc look great with both black and navy. Bonus for me: I’ve never liked the way coffee or brown eyeliner looked on me. Black is way too harsh, navy is better. But, I found grey eyeliner…and the result was an amazing change for my greenish blue eyes. Dare I say eye-popping?
Great tip! Please share the name of your grey eyeliner? This sounds perfect for me as well ?
It’s one of the gel pots by MAC. The name of the shade is Midnight Snack. I love it. You’ll apply it with a very fine-tip brush.
Thank you soooo much! COVID isolation brought about beautiful new silvers which I love, however necessary changes to wardrobe and makeup. I’ll try it, thanks again,
This wardrobe is WAY AWESOME! I could be really happy with this, and have many pieces already in my wardrobe. I promised myself last year I would not buy any more flannel shirts in nearly identical berry colors, and then you show me a new one. What is it about plaid flannel shirts that I just adore? Still clearing out summer items from my closet. Some of the short sleeve shirts were kept in longer because we are still having nice weather. I understand a cool down is on the way though.
LL Bean and others must love you!
You sold a plum floral shirt this morning!
Beth T says
Roll on autumn… Burgundy/plum and soft blues with grey. I’d love to replace a burgundy chunky cardigan but why is it that cardigans these days often don’t have buttons?
I recently bought a very pale grey polo neck top as I wear my present one so much that its suffering from washing every week. It is a good idea to have duplicates of light neutral tops if you wear them frequently.
An interesting look back – men have it easy, though colours limited if men want autumnal shades. Not all men suit blue and grey.
Living in South Florida I don’t have many opportunities to wear “winter” clothing, let alone anything long sleeved. BUT I do visit my children and grandchildren in Massachusetts several times a year! I love LL Bean and may treat myself to the Olive/Ivory ensemble as those are “my autumn palette” colors and I need some new hiking boots! FABULOUS!
Olive is a beautiful neutral if it flatters you. It’s so popular right now, and it looks gorgeous with a lot of colors. Grab it while you can!!
Oh, that first outfit in blues is calling my name! Looks so cozy!
Those items I have that are just too summery to wear even on a hot September day are in the washer right now, cleaning for storage. I face the temptation when weather changes to toss half of the previous season’s garb (which would be ridiculous) much as you do to change palettes. I am pretty sure 1-2 items will be donated though.
NATALIE K says
Janice, I don’t ant to toss and start over but I do frequently think…I need five items in that color!!! I think many omen must think that as ell, if they make sure everything mixes and matches in their ardrobe!!! For example, I have navy in my ardrobe so I added more red last year and I think ho nice maroon ould be!! I also have chocolate bron and think ho nice some turquoise pieces ould look ith them!!!
Each time I move to a different state with either humidity or lack of humidity, I do have to donate and start over. Sure hope the move goes well. Thanks for all you do for us, readers.
I enjoy fall and winter clothing so much more than summer clothing. My area is still hitting the 90’s, but cooler weather lies ahead. Any of those first three outfits would make me happy! The J. Crew sweater also comes in a lovely pale pink which might be just what someone needs! I also love the way you have mixed and matched the navy and burgundy wardrobe. Too bad my shape would not do justice to that sweater dress!
Thanks for continuing to develop ideas that can work for many different people with different color preferences.
What’s fun about the Vivienne Files is that many of the items featured are worth checking to see if they come in a color you love.
Book Goddess says
Currently trying to decide if there is any way I can justify that dark plum flannel shirt in South Florida.
I do have a suggestion for a different type of capsule wardrobe. I’m thinking of the regularly occurring events that many of us have in our lives, such as church, book club, chairing a committee, etc. I don’t mind people seeing me in the same clothes on more than one occasion, but I don’t want to be boring either. I’d love some good suggestions on how to mix things up a bit. Preferably with a warm weather focus…. ?
Beth T says
I don’t know how hot South Florida is during autumn/winter as I live in England. However, I wear summer style garments in darker shades of plum, purple, red and pink from September onwards. As it is still warm, I go for short sleeves and cotton trousers.
For me it is heralding the new season whilst remaining cool.
Good advice – thank you!
Sally in St Paul says
The burgundy/navy capsule is lovely. I’m not sure when my fall clothing will come into rotation. Since I’m staying in my apartment all the time, my choices are driven by entirely by indoor temperatures and I can ignore rain/show/ice!
I love the navy and plum/maroon wardrobe. I’ve been transitioning from black to navy as my main neutral. It may be time to add more maroon.
I took at look at the article about a man’s wardrobe and it prompted this challenge for you that I wish I’d thought to suggest back in June: a working seasonal wardrobe for a newly off to college young man. I sure could have used help on this as I was packing up my son! However, it is still quite warm here, and I sent him off with mostly short sleeved and some shorts with his jeans, so I have time before fall weather really hits.
Linda P says
Hi Janice and Everyone! Are you kiddin’ me?! I –live– in long sleeved tees 6-9 months of the year. I think the only tweak I would make to the burgundy/Navy cluster is to throw in some light-ish tees, like pinks or light blues.
It –should– feel like fall around here but it’s supposed to be in the high 70s-low 80s for the next 5 days. I may be crazy, but I can tell when the air has made that cold snap toward autumn: there is just a crispness to the air and the smell of leaves working out their colors.
Thank you Janice! Your insights and your finds are so encouraging. I am still doing a lot more reading and thinking than doing, but, even so. I am headed in much better direction with your help than I would ever be without it!
I am on the track of great cashmere sweaters. The best value I have seen for one so far was in your last post ($80). I confess I was very unprepared for cashmere prices. Can anyone tell me where the best cashmere sweater values might be? Thank you. I am learning so much from you all.