October 13, 2021
Very early in her career, she became instantly famous (at least in architecture circles!) for her innovations in combining unexpected construction materials. She discovered new synergies of strength and flexibility that changed the industry…
Since then, she has deliberately cultivated a reputation for being a difficult partner in projects. She’s actually a lovely, kind woman, but she finds that she is treated with more respect if everyone approaches her with a certain… trepidation?
Her wardrobe reflects her interest in combining things in unexpected ways; she might show up for a project summit dressed in a soft, approachable way:
But she knows that she’s going to want to surprise people – sometimes she wants warm colors, sometimes cool. Sometimes jeans, sometimes dressy flannels…
Careful planning is required!
She loves grey – the feeling of steel, and concrete, and the winter sky…
But she also likes the earth tones – landscaping with dark bark trees, doors and windowsills and surprising trims with recycled wood…
She keeps everything balanced…
She really likes to wear brown – her hair is brown, and she seems to find that she can fade into the background and be overlooked… For a while!
But her eyes are teal…
Sometimes soft teal, and sometimes startlingly bright…
Her wardrobe does justice both to her appearance and to her work…
She doesn’t wear a ton of accessories – just a few which are carefully chosen. Except for shoes…
It’s a difficult wardrobe in some ways – it’s not really infinitely versatile. But it has enough options to make her happy, and that’s all that matters to her!
She reviews her various outfit possibilities, and thinks about the circumstances under which she might wear them. Does she want to be approachable? Does she want to fade into the background and observe the dynamics of everyone working on the project? Or does she want push her way into the forefront and get things done the way she knows that they should be?
Her staff always laughs when someone asks them how they can work for SUCH a difficult woman…
p.s. Not EXACTLY four years ago, we looked at the possibilities of a corporate wardrobe in grey, navy and shades of teal. I couldn’t resist linking to it today, since we’re already in the grey and teal mode…
I’m not seeing this as a difficult or limited-versatility wardrobe at all, because the teal goes with both the grey & the earthtones, which are both very mixable neutrals. Difficult because it has both warm & cool colors? To my eye, they mix well!
This is quite lovely, and reminds me of one you did before – Can’t quite put my finger on it. A painting of a woman pilot? You had labradorite jewelry with it. Teal has elements of cool and warm, which is why it can go with almost anything, and is often considered a “universal” color. I do love starting M,W,Fri with your posts! Thank you.
I’m with you, Sheila. Reading TVF is my favorite MWF activity.
Maybe this one?
I love this painting…
Sheila Harden says
yes, that’s the one. I had just emailed you about colors to use with labradorite jewelry and you had that post in process :0
You’ve read my mind!
Beth T says
I agree with Sheila that teal is a universal colour and looks good on most people. The first outfit with the lovely scarf is gorgeous.
I like the look-back too, though formal and office wear seems to be losing its place in clothes shops, replaced by stylish but relaxed separates. After 18 months or longer of not going to work, people are realising that you don’t need to dress in restricting clothes to do your job. Some shops are limiting the range or only stocking it in certain stores.
Also womens trousers with elasticated waists used to be limited to certain styles with shapes or age group in mind. I’ve seen elasticated or drawstring waists on all types of trousers including office trousers. Though elasticated ankles just don’t look right unless they are sweatpants. I just hope that there isn’t a shift too far in the opposite direction.
The Money scarf has been on my wishlist for awhile. This post may inspire me to finally pull the trigger since it helps me visualize all the possibilities with my wardrobe.
This is the time! The scarf is on clearance.
Oh my goodness, Janice… I LOVE this wardrobe!! These are colors I need to cultivate in my wardrobe and you’ve chosen pieces that are relaxed and gorgeous! Now to prioritize which ones I need to buy!
This is such a comfortable wardrobe in both colors and style. It resonates with the September 17th post: perhaps these two women are sisters? Plus the heroine has my coloring, even eyes, so I’m channeling. Love how the “whites” are actually creams–perfect for those of us who are soft autumn. Ditto the dressy/casual mix.
Why do creative women who know what they are talking about and aren’t afraid to express themselves have to use being “difficult” as a strategy? (Semi-rhetorical question.) Seems like it’s either that or getting branded that way by others just for being yourself.
I actually know plenty of business guys who use the same strategy. They find that it gets results. I don’t like it myself, because I agree with you that it really should be unnecessary, but there are some folks out there who just aren’t respectful / responsive if they’re not slightly intimidated. Sigh. On the brighter side, it sounds like our heroine, in addition to being a really good architect, has also figured out how to build both industry respect & a team that loves her, which is a win all the way around. (And do it all in comfy clothes!)
I think that heroine awhile back with the concrete necklace would be more “difficult” than this one. Lol
OH yes – she was a toughie…
nina t says
It feels the accessories in those combo colors would be hard to find? Not something you normally see in the wild. This adds another level to my combinations. My foundations are navy and gray. Accessory colors are camel/sage/rust/teal/burgundy. I have another way to put them together!
nina t says
It might be me… Many links are not working. Monet, J crew, Talbots, some others. I’d list them all, but too many. Some I can copy/paste in new tab. Others “cannot open this page” type messages. Maybe it’s the clicks.linksynergy redirection it doesn’t like. Haven’t encountered that before. I’ll keep checking.
I will look into it, but I can say that my internet is behaving REALLY BADLY this morning. Who knows what’s going on…
NATALIE K says
Nina, Love the colors of your wardrobe!! Sounds like mine but I’m working on including marron. Love burgandy but it doesn’t love me!!
nina t says
Same for me with a dark green. I had it, it didn’t work, so had to go lighter. I haven’t thought of maroon in a while…not something you see in the social wilds…maybe a swap out when I get bored! I look good in most reds.
Suzanne in Atlanta says
I own that Monet scarf from The Met Store (it’s actually packed in my suitcase for a trip tomorrow) and it’s much more green than teal. I pulled it out to double check for y’all and it really doesn’t look fab with my teal clothes. It does however look great with a light aqua and with most cool pinks (mauve, lilac, raspberry, mulberry, etc.)
A question for you Janice – can you have 2 scarves at the same time – one on your purse & one around your neck? Assuming the colors & styles coordinate?
Absolutely! Remember that men’s ties and pocket squares are NOT supposed to match, but rather to coordinate. If you can wear 2 prints that close together on the front of your body (possible with a patterned dress shirt!) then 2 scarves at the same time is certainly okay.
Sally in St Paul says
The first outfit is gorgeous, and I love the teal with the grey. Teal with the dark brown looks pretty good, too. But the teal + camel and grey + camel are definitely less pleasing to me. So I agree with Janice’s assessment that it’s a difficult wardrobe in some ways. But perhaps the heroine’s personal coloring and willingness to forgo a more mix-and-matchable color palette can make it work.
The accessories here are really terrific. I have those teal Nine West loafers and find them very comfortable. The grey boots are extremely tempting. Janice, you out-did yourself with the teal/brown/camel torsade necklace…it’s perfection in this capsule!
NATALIE K says
Janice, Oh, I didn’t expect to like this wardrobe but i actually have most of these items in my closet. My items are dressier and i always change out the pants for skirts because I only wear skirts. This capsule is coming together for me and I love it!! I also went back and looked at the grey, navy and teal capsule!! Love it!! Please give us more ordering choices for women’s clothing sizes!! Thank you for your vision today!!
Jenny B says
I always forget about teal! I’m loving this color combination more than I would have thought. It’s always good to think outside the box.
I was surfing through Instagram and saw this ad for a scarf brand that I was unfamiliar to me. I thought you might be interested in checking it out. They have regular weight and featherweight cashmere! They also have silk scarves. I think they’re pretty ?
I love the teal cashmere cardigan!
Is anyone familiar with nice cashmere cardigans at a better price than Land’s End?
Alison M Gunn says
It is difficult to find ‘better’ cashmere than Lands’ End, and believe me, I have tried (this includes major disappointment with Nordstroms, and also buying cashmere from a variety of vendors when in Scotland, a great place to go for cashmere). The most recent great place I look to for cashmere that is reasonably priced (and sometimes mixed with merino wool, making the product less expensive but also just better, as cashmere can be scratchy when it isn’t very good quality, and the addition of merino wool tends to reduce scratchiness) is a company in England who sends out catalogs, WoolOvers.us or just WoolOvers (USA shop).
When you initially introduce a few pieces in a text box and below the box you have the inkd with the names of the items in the box and where you cam buy them, if we use that link to go and look at it and from there add it to our cart and buy it., does that constitute using your link to buy it and get you your commission?
Yes. A really long question with a really short answer! Most of the things that I link to – but not all – will generate a commission to me if you buy them. It’s what keeps my share of the lights turned on in our extended family household! (I like being able to chip in…)
Sorry if I am being a pest today,
but can I ask you …and everyone…also where you tend to find the best value for silk shirts/ blouses? Everyone says they are so desirable for travel…along with cashmere sweaters…. as being so compact, lightweight, warm and breathable.
The prices that I have seen the most of, however, are so high….
I have NO luck with silk blouses – I’m hopeful that someone reading here can give you some direction! And if you don’t get responses today, post another comment on tomorrow’s blog post so you’ll get a fresh set of views…
Oops sorry about the typos and the huge run-on sentence.
Did my question make sense?
Oops sorry about the typos and the huge run-on sentence.
Did my question make sense?
Also, one more question. With your Cashmere twin set that has lasted for 15 years, you mentioned how you wash it. Was the twin set labeled for dry clean only, or hand wash, or machine wash?
I have found that some things that say they require dry clean only or hand wash only can actually stand up to machine washing.
Just wondering if this is the case here…
It is intriguing to me how making a purchase can possibly be linked to the link that brought the person to the item, but there is very little that I understand about the internet…..
I too just squeak by on internet basic knowledge, but I have used the link to buy things, usually from Bean or Lands End. It has worked like a charm for me, I am assuming it worked for Janice as well. At least I hope.
When you click on a link, look at the lengthy string of nonsensical gibberish that fills your “address bar” for a moment or 2. Part of that gibberish is code for The Vivienne Files!
Finding out that I could get some commissions is what made it possible for me to quit my (absolutely horrible) office job and start blogging full time. Since we moved in together with my mother, being able to work from home has been a true blessing!
I was just thinking about the combination of gray, camel, and brown in a wardrobe! And teal… always teal! I love all of these neutrals but have always had a tough time combining gray with warmer tones, so this is a nice example. I would love to see a few pieces in that moss green added. I feel like I am similar to this heroine. Sometimes I want warm, sometimes cool. Sometimes I crave more muted versions of my favorite colors and other times I need the bright, intense versions. I was actually going to look for some scarf options containing gray and a range of camel and brown shades. For what it’s worth, I would really love to see one of scarves chosen for the monthly series in 2022 be one featuring camel and gray.