October 18, 2021
For AGES I didn’t wear jeans, because I wore only black and white, and the only jeans I could find were blue…
Well, THAT has certainly changed, and our options are much more entertaining and versatile now:
Pretty much any color you want – neutral or accent – can be found in jeans if you’re willing to look (and look, and look…)
But it can be well worthwhile – sometimes you want to do something for which wearing jeans is truly the best option, no matter your age nor silhouette.
This availability in a wide range of colors is glorious for those who don’t want to dress in colors that are “traditional” for the season. If you’re beautiful in pink and pale shades, wear them all year ’round, and stand out in the crowd!
If your outfit is explosively colorful, neutral jeans that pick up the closest thing to a neutral in your other garments can help keep you from looking clownish, as well as helping you choose the perfect boots…
Every week for a while now, I’ve been answering the question “What might a Weekly Timeless Wardrobe look like if…?”
This week, our heroine has to go BACK to her office. After over 18 months. She only has to be there 2 days a week, probably, and she wants to have a work wardrobe that will span all of her possible activities there, from serious meetings to casual days…
I think you could put together a bad outfit from this wardrobe, but I don’t see it! And she’s prepared for everything from serious to silly…
If someone gets their shorts in a knot because you’re wearing a navy cardigan rather than a navy blazer, they need to get out more…
For those of you going back into office environments, are you finding that the apparel choices around you are more casual or more business-like?
So far, I’m actually hearing that a lot of people seem to prefer dressing up – maybe a reaction to spending over a year-and-a- half doing video conferences in sweatpants?
p.s. Four years ago, we had another navy and burgundy wardrobe, for a romantic trip to the beach in autumn…
This is so timely! It’s 6 am and I’m heading back to my office today for the first time in exactly 1 year. I retired in 2020 (had been working remotely due to Covid until then), and have agreed to go back for a few weeks to work on a project. With many coworkers now back working in the office, I’m pondering what to wear! It’s been a relatively relaxed environment in the past…will be interesting to see if anything has changed!
This could be my wardrobe! Part of my weekend was spent putting away lighter weight fall items, believe it or not, out came the flannel shirts, and OMG all the PURPLE!!! I totally went overboard last fall! And I found a black turtleneck I didn’t know I had :) All the berry colors are out, and a smattering of teal green/pine green – a French Five, if you will. Thanks for a great start to the week!
Beth T says
Purple and teal sounds lovely Sheila. One of my favourite colour combinations.
I LOVE these colours. I look best in light colours, and this post shows some delicious colours in everyday practical items for my cold Canadian climate. I’d love to see more like this.
An idea for those looking for inexpensive cashmere sweaters – Quince claims to have some that are only $50. I don’t know ANYTHING about them, so I just ordered a sweater; I will give you the review when it arrives!
Also, I don’t know if anybody mentioned trying to find sweaters at thredup.com – the world’s largest second-hand store. I searched for Eileen Fisher cashmere and found some sweaters in the $50 range. One would have to be patient to get the colors, styles and sizes desired, but it could be an opportunity to get something really lovely at a fraction of retail…
Yeay! Thank you for the cashmere tips! I think I will take the plunge!
Good morning! I’m getting ready to go into the office where I have been since June, and my team will join me next week. I am finding I crave the “hug” of comfortable clothes and SHOES! Even in the office, most meetings are done from our desks, so I find jeans are perfect with a presentable top. And adjusting to the climate control… layers are required!
Thank you for this, Janice!
Beth T says
I’ve paired down my wardrobe for autumn/winter and only included garments that FIT! I haven’t hung everything up BUT for once there is space in my hanging wardrobe!
However, that leaves a huge pile that don’t fit including denim jeans and some of my favourite items ?. However, I’m not getting rid of them (opposite lesson learnt after winter 2020) but it is an incentive to keep losing weight. I lost 2.5 stone before, I can do it again.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with denim since a teenager. I have a token pair of dark denim and grey jeans, but they don’t really suit me (and are now too small). The material is stiff and unyielding unless its worn a lot. As soon as you wash them, the material goes stiff and rough again. Denim is also heavy and cold when wet, unlike corduroy.
I prefer cotton trousers, with a bit of stretch and and side elastication. Some are designed in five pocket styling and I have them in several colours for autumn – navy, ocean blue, grey, taupe, purple and teal. I’d like a pair in burgundy or berry colours and dark brown but they often sell out quickly in petite length.
I do like the first outfit, though my camel is taupe. My green is teal. Nothing would persuade me to wear winter white (dirt magnet) but faded rose pink is now one of my autumn accents.
NATALIE K says
Janice, I really like this Basic Wardrobe shown here. I would need replacements for the button-up shirts. I do wear button-up shirts in suede cloth, corduroy and denim as a over-shirt around the house for my most casual dressing. Otherwise, for day to day dressing, I would need replacements for the button-up shirts. For the pants, I always just replace them with long skirts. I naturally just am a bit dressier. That’s just me!!
Sally in St Paul says
I like wearing non-blue denim, and the cream and tan versions here look great. But I think blue denim has reached “the absolutely most neutral neutral there is” status and can be worn with any color/neutral.
As a person who wears a lot of navy, I am sometimes disappointed that blue denim doesn’t bring another color to my wardrobe/outfits the way it does for someone with a different dark neutral. If I were building a wardrobe with any other neutral, I would be happy to have blue denim to add another dimension to it.
For my navy-based Common Wardrobe that I posted today on my blog, I used a lighter wash of denim to get more contrast with the navy pieces, but it doesn’t solve the “and now more blue” issue you get in a navy + blue denim capsule.
Beth T says
I have a similar problem wearing navy and light blue. There are so many shades of dark blue and indigo denim sits in that spectrum. I just regard them as a smart casual alternative to dark blue trousers, to show that I’m not trying too hard. Wearing light blue tops with dark blue bottoms just seems wrong.
I’m with Sally in St. Paul: blue denim is a neutral in my book. If you live in a harsh winter climate (snow, slush), pale jeans in winter require daily washing, if you walk outdoors for more than two minutes, but I really like the looks you put together with the wheat ones.
Chicago used to be that way, but we just don’t
get that much snow on a consistent basis…?
Doroth Galvan says
I’ve been following you for awhile and just love the wardrobes that you put together. You have given me ideas that would work with my own clothes that I may not have tried otherwise. I recently have developed alopecia and have taken to wearing hats as I wait for my hair to, hopefully, regrow. (I’m not on Chemo). I just loved that you included some cute winter hats in this post. I know that I’m in the minority in wearing hats these days, but I find it challenging to find hats for every type of occasion. If I match the hat to part of my outfit, I get compliments that I never expect. I’m hoping to encourage you to add the occasional hat to wear to work, dinner or church. Hats can be fun and exciting. Who knew? Thanks again for offering this blog, even during a move…
Dame Eleanor Hull says
Janice, I just ran across a reference to this woman and when I saw her self-portrait, I thought of your Start with Art series. What do you think? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnaretta_Singer The sewing-machine heiress seems like a good subject for a clothes blog!
OOH, that portrait would be a great basis for a wardrobe! – nancyo