November 5, 2021
Remember this lovely wardrobe from last week? I could be so tempted to just chuck everything I own and wear these colors, if I was feeling crazy and reckless…
I thought that I would try to start with 4 pairs of shoes – as I have done before. Simple flats can be worn with your skirt, or in somewhat warmer weather with pants. Loafers go with everything; leather athletic shoes are GORGEOUS and look lovely with pants, and of course short boots can be worn with everything…
Does anybody else remember back in the day when we would NEVER have worn boots that didn’t come up to meet the hem of our skirt? That gap was SO off limits… Things have changed!
For my view of life, a small clutch, a cross-body bag, and a tote will get you through most events… And who couldn’t use a velvet camera bag? Sigh…
For this first outfit, I love this scarf that brings a bit of ivory up near your face; pearl earrings compliment the scarf well…
The dark shirt is balanced by dark shoes, and by the touch of color and darkness from the bracelet. Simple gold earrings could be worn every day, with every outfit in the wardrobe!
This sweater brings enough pattern to this outfit, so either a nice necklace (simple gold chains wouldn’t be a bad idea!) or a solid scarf is just right. The range of colors in the earrings echo the range of colors in the sweater…
This lighter-weight scarf has a decided pink feeling to it, but it still looks lovely with the simple, casual top and skirt. I opted for rose gold earrings for this outfit, to pick up that pink tone in the scarf:
Yes, lapels are perfect for a brooch! And feather earrings with a bird brooch just seem to feel right…
Just as with the pink-ish scarf above, your scarves don’t have to be limited to JUST the colors in your outfit. I imagine that if we were going to expand this wardrobe (as a woman would probably do in real life!), forest green would be a great addition…
This wardrobe totaled out at 1.5 accessories per garment – a pretty good ratio. Imagine being able to travel with all of this!
Brown is so lovely; I can’t understand why it’s such a struggle to find it, most of the time!
p.s. Four years ago, I isolated my Autumn and Winter essentials; I still own most of them!
Jackie Katz says
This is divine! One of my major wardrobe goals is to shift from black to brown accessories. A year ago, I struggled to find a new crossbody purse in brown and settled on another black one. This post inspires me to keep searching for those perfect allusive brown items.
There is something very comforting with all the shades of brown shown today (probably the association with my love of toffee and chocolate). I hardly own any brown clothes or accessories – maybe five at most in the leather department which are languishing in the back of my wardrobe.
i wonder why? I once read that brown accessories were easier to co-ordinate than black? Is that true? Does anyone else struggle with wearing brown?
I find brown accessories are easy to coordinate; they “warm” up an outfit. i think the trick is in what shade of brown you pick. Having said that, my most versatile ‘day bag’ is a tri-tone : cream, congac, chocolate. Then i dont have to worry about “matching” – shades are allowed!!!
Maybe for you the issue is with your personal contrast levels? That threw me for the longest time… browns look great on me in the summer, less great in the winter. (which is counter to what i want… i want browns in the fall/winter and crisp contrast in the summer). My current solution is to pair a warm coppery caramelly brown with black. and the color isn’t flat – i have a shiny/silky caramel tee and a woven w/ gold shimmer copper sweater. paired with black velvet leggings.
One other thought – if you think you look best in ‘cool’ colors, you may be finding the browns you choose are too warm for you. if you can find a grey-er brown rather than a yellowy brown, that could help.
Or you could just skip the browns on your body, and stick to chocolate, toffee, and caramel in the edible variety? (YUM)
Beth T says
My daughter suggested that considered brown or tan with navy. I have taupe boots which look good with grey and light brown. I do like plum and burgundy with navy and denim.
All this talk about toffee, caramel and chocolate and I’m going to the supermarket later. I’m now thinking about caramel ice cream, sticky toffee pudding and chocolate cake. ?
Sharon, I eliminated brown clothes from my wardrobe several years ago, and I don’t miss them. I am a true winter in my coloring, and I found that I never reached for the brown items that I had. However, I love the camel/luggage/saddle color for shoes and bags. I find that that color goes with virtually all of my clothing including all of my blues and my grays and my blacks and my reds. I have worn out a pair of Sam Edelman flats, and I’m tempted to try out the flats shown in this post. As they are from Nordstrom, I may order them, knowing that I can return them if they don’t fit. Good luck with your search.
Sally in St Paul says
Sharon, are you coordination problems more about the brown leather pieces coordinating…
With each other? I personally find it challenging to coordinate warm cognac-y browns with dark browns so I stick to one or the other in an outfit, generally. But Ezzy hit the nail on the head with her multi-tone purse that acts as a bridge piece. If I wanted to wear my difficult-to-coordinate browns together, I’d be thinking bridge piece. Usually I go to scarves as an obvious bridge piece, but with little brown in your wardrobe, I wonder if something like a necklace with a range of brown tones would work better. Also, it might not just be color…consider whether the styles work together. This said, you don’t HAVE to wear multiple brown leather accessories in the same outfit. I often only wear one at a time.
With the rest of your wardrobe? I have dark brown and cognac tall boots, and I typically wear dark brown (which is a bit more of a cool brown) with cool accent colors and cognac with warmer accent colors. But I also love cognac with navy, grey, and black. The dark brown gets less wear but I do like it a lot with colors like burgundy and dark green. Again, a great thing about brown leather is that you can just wear a single piece at a time and it looks good, in my opinion. But a bridge piece like a scarf that repeats the brown along with one of the other colors in your wardrobe can give you an immediate hit of outfit cohesion.
With your own coloring? The warm cognac colors that I LOVE in leather are not great colors on me, but since I only wear them below the waist, it doesn’t matter (to me). The look is semi-bookended by my mass of various shades of blonde hair, some of which is a warm medium blonde that bears a family resemblance to cognac. But a nice cool brown can look surprisingly good even on top, so I wear a brown sweater + quilted vest combo with a skirt and tall brown boots, for example.
I have gotten some really great information about wearing brown leather from looking at sites geared toward men, since brown leather is a staple of many men’s wardrobes. While the “rules” regarding formality, etc., for men are rather stringent (e.g., what does wearing a brown vs black shoe communicate), I got a lot out of reading/looking at the visuals!
Thanks ladies for your insightful comments. According to my seasonal colour (light/cool summer), I suit pink or grey undertones and my few brown leather accessories (one pair of shoes, two pairs of boots and a belt) are mid to dark brown so shouldn’t be too difficult to wear with navy, grey or burgundy providing the depth of colour is the same. As for clothes, finding rose or greyish browns that are flattering, in my price range and in petite sizing, is a bit like searching for the holy grail!
This is lovely. I wore a lot of brown when I was younger. Not so much now, esp with turning gray. (Although most of that’s covered w/purple) I find myself oozing back into it a little with taupe (is taupe considered brown? It’s almost gray) and caramel pants, and one of my plaid coats has brown in it. I’d sub out the skirt for another pair of pants for myself. However, a great way to end the week. Love the accessories. Thank you!
Barbara Lynn says
Wish I could get everything shown! Although the relaxed, casual nature of this wardrobe suits my personal preferences I would need to add more business leaning attire as I work as an office manager in a setting that leans more that requires it. I would also prefer to add olive green or a range of blues to best suit my skin, hair, and eyes. In addition to enjoying the clothing and accessories planning I enjoy your humor and heroine story lines. Thanks for your creativity mixed with humor and practicality!
Sigh. Once I had curly auburn hair and loved to wear rich, rusty browns and ivories. Now I have silver hair and these, my favorite color combinations, do absolutely nothing for me. Aging has its bonuses but this isn’t one of them. Thanks for the memories though.
These are so beautiful. Attractive eye-candy! And, I adore the idea of expanding this. based on the accessories you chose so far, and the notes you made… a 5piece in pink for summer; a 5 piece in forest green for fall or winter?
For me personally, my personal contrast changes significantly from season to season. So i can do high contrast in the winter (think black/grey/navy with rich jewel tones); but low contrast in the summer (like what you’re showing here). So as much as I ADORE what you’ve shown, I’d need to translate it into summer clothing, because it is unlikely to work as-is on me in winter. (although, i bet i could pair it with black for a higher contrast…hmm……)
Thanks again for all that you do. You bring joy to so many of us!!!
PS. i love the shoes/bag numbers&styles. i think you have that part of a “basic accessories” down.
This a beautiful collection of accessories and enough to make me rethink what I am wearing. At one time I wore shades of brown accessories with black and with navy. I don’t know why I stopped! I believe I should reconsider my accessories, especially since I now wear a lot of olive. I will never look good with tan near my face, but with hazel eyes, that wool scarf is also very appealing. Life has been so serious lately that the Fable animals really catch my fancy!
I can relate. I have green/hazel eyes and am wearing olive green today. It’s not really something I wear a lot of, but whenever I do I am amazed at how it brings out my green eyes. And yes, those Fable animals are so very tempting.
Oh my goodness! I ??? all of it! Thank you, Janice, for compiling such a beautiful post.
Your autumn and winter post had a comment that referred to a jammies like clothing company. The site given now links to some very sexy pictures–not what I was anticipating. That comment needs an edit.
Hello All, although these colors don’t look nice on me, I totally enjoyed looking at the collection. As always – Janice – you find the most interesting and beautiful accessories!!
As for the black/brown discussion – I am unsettled about it myself. I do tend to think of black leather as more formal/urban/business/winter and brown as more casual/country/spring/summer/fall. Not sure where that bias came from (who knows???) But cheers to all of us and the diversity of style among us. How boring it would be if we all dressed exactly the same way!
Literally my dream wardrobe! I could buy it all and never need to shop again. Sadly, not my dream price point for some of the accessories; the $400 scarf nearly broke my heart. But there are also many bargains to be found in this offering. Thank you!
As I prepared to return to the office, I have moved away from black to… ivory, denim blue, brown, and olive. It is more “casual” than I am used to, although head to to chocolate with lovely accessories can look pretty sharp. I am drooling over these accessories – maybe I will try limiting my purchases next year to just accessories. It could be an interesting exercise, but I feel I have finally developed a good base of the clothes mentioned above.
Sally in St Paul says
So lovely. For me, the owl brooch, polka dot scarf, and cognac sneakers are the stand-outs!
beth byrd says
It wasn’t until I saw this wardrobe and its accessories that I realized how very much in love I am with brown. My wardrobe certainly has been moving in that direction. I have lots of olive and I find that I like this mix of color.
Janice, this is gorgeous. There isn’t anything here that I don’t adore!!!
Those leather high-top sneakers? Truly outstanding!!
This was an introduction to Pikolinos shoes for me. The sneakers are just gorgeous. I would totally wear them with skirts too.
Sharon of the brown leather accessories;
Choose the best of the shoes. Wear them with jeans on a stay at home day. If they bother you it would be the work of a moment to change them. Then consider freeing yourself of them. I’m sure someone else would love them. Just my little ideas.
Yes I think I’ll keep the knee high boots as they are a mid brown, with expandable buckles and a nice size heel, but I think I’ll donate the other pieces as they haven’t been touched in years and I just don’t love them anymore.
NATALIE K says
So lovely!! Thank you!!
This is a timely post as just this week I have been repeatedly referring back to Janice’s April 21st post “On the Train”. I absolutely love every single outfit in this post which features primarily navy and light blue with brown accessories. I would enjoy seeing more of this heroine! Thanks Janice for continuing to inspire.
Wendy from sunny South Africa says
I totally agree with you Janice. Brown is a favourite colour of mine and it is so difficult to find. This wardrobe is just up my alley. Thank you as always for your inspiration.
Book Goddess says
For those of you looking for pretty brown clothes, Chico’s currently has some lovely dark brown items and Talbot’s has some in softer browns.
What a head turning title, it showed on my screen as,
“Accessorizing a Camel”
Light only dawned when I read the line below!
Camels need accessories – bells, fringes, lovely saddles…