December 1, 2021
Don’t forget – if you have an Advent Calendar, today’s the day to start!
(we have a Bonne Maman jam and jelly Advent Calendar – fun AND sweetness!)
And it’s also time to look back at these wardrobes to see where I did well, where I went off the rails, and what we all can learn from this exercise!
First, the black print scarf with accents of pink, gold, and (ha!) purple:
I don’t regret choosing this scarf, but I DO regret trying to include purple as an accent color. Purple is never easy to find – generally it shows up around this time of year, briefly. I’m pretty attuned to purple since the highlights in my hair are purple, and I can assure you that you have to be patient if it’s a favorite!
This is this heroine’s wardrobe, so far:
When you look at it like this, it’s is clearly pretty versatile, despite the fact that the really cool purple coat sticks out like a sore thumb!
How are we for practical, functional balance? Some of us are madly in love with sweaters, and end up with a wardrobe that’s 60% sweaters, without nearly enough pants and skirts to give us options…
But because these wardrobes are assembled outfit by outfit, that’s not really an issue; if anything, these wardrobes probably don’t have enough tops!
This might be okay for cool weather, but this poor heroine has NO shorts, nor cropped pants! At a bare minimum, she could use another skirt, or a pair of lightweight pants…
And how about color balance?
One could easily make a case for another gold top or two, as well as a simple white shirt… but the glaring omission here is (of course) purple…
Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that there’s only ONE printed garment here, and it’s a pretty memorable pair of pants. For many of us, that’s not a problem, but she could at least use a printed tee shirt…
So what might I add to this wardrobe?
Some stripes, some warm-weather gear, and a purple vest! If Santa is paying attention, that purple vest might be a lovely gift for someone’s favorite blogger, eh?
All of these wardrobes have tones of accessories; to me, these things are almost more important than the clothes! At a minimum, a fabulous assortment of scarves, jewelry and shoes can help elevate even the most boring “all solids” wardrobe.
It maybe doesn’t even make sense to sort these – so long as you have enough shoes, you can theoretically live with very few accessories. Moreover, it’s impossible to tell a heroine that she “should” have more scarves, or fewer pairs of earrings. Accessories are too personal to be dictated…
But let’s look, just for perspective:
Give that this heroine seems to have all of her essential bases covered, my suggestions for accessories would be to grab all of the purple she can find!
Overall, I was happy with this wardrobe, except for the whole purple scarcity thing! The biggest lesson here might be to be flexible when looking for accent colors, since you can’t control what’s in stores!
Now, the 2nd wardrobe – based on this bright and sunny scarf:
Nothing sticks out badly here, and nothing seems to dominate the wardrobe. I’m always troubled by not being able to find the “same” beige in a range of colors; I’m not sure that there is a solution to this! I thought that looking at the same brands through the year might give us “matching” beige shades, but that didn’t work.
So the lesson here might be to make sure that you match garments that you know you will wear together, and not to be too obsessive about getting a half-dozen garments that are all the identical color…
Sorted by function, things look pretty good. I’m drawn to the idea of a 2nd navy cardigan (don’t ask me why, it’s just an instinct!),
And the more I look at this, the more I realize that the yellow zippered cardigan could easily be in the 2nd row, with the “1st or 2nd layer” tops…
When sorting by color, it becomes clear that the shades of bright blue and turquoise are under-represented in this wardrobe. As I searched about to correct this, it became clear that these colors aren’t growing on trees right now…
So for this heroine, I’m looking for some warm-weather gear (did I skip summer this year?) as well as a couple of pretty things in seafoam or aqua…
And OH YEAH! – maybe a print or 2…
I love these accessories…
She only has ONE necklace? I’m sure that there are some women who only wear one, right? And her rose and yellow scarf looks like it might be doing some heavy lifting…
So let’s take advantage of the holiday season to get her some gifts that will suit her perfectly!
I could – with somewhat different coloring, maybe – wear either of these wardrobes with ease. But we have 4 more wardrobes to study, and it’s going to get hairy at some point…
p.s. Five years ago, I was reviewing a navy and turquoise wardrobe, using some very different techniques and tools!
Hi Janice, I went back a took a look, in May, June, July you did some warm weather items, but in August you did sweatshirts? Still love that blue patchwork scarf and wardrobe if my coloring were different!
What I mean is, I’d love to have this wardrobe if my coloring were different! I loved both the patchwork scarves you chose this year (the warmer colored one and it’s wardrobe is fantastic!), as well as the purple ruana and the Mt. View scarf – which I did buy…it’s incredibly versatile.
I love these! Have you ever checked Kettlewell Colors for those hard to find colors like purple? They have basics in the most amazing array or shades.
I really appreciate how you analyze wardrobes and explain how you logic through the process. It gives me a solid set of criteria for reviewing my own wardrobe and understanding why I feel challenged sometimes to put outfits together. Happily, that happens less often since I’ve been reading your blog. ?
Great job! Love the purple for my colouring. Your analysis makes a lot of sense.
Sara K says
I love colors in both of these wardrobes. Some colors are not as easy to find as others, OTOH, we seldom have to build an entire wardrobe in just 12 months. My wardrobe has some items I’ve been hunting for years. Which is totally fine, IMO there’s such a thing as timelessly beautiful wardrobe. Instead of following trends that come and go, I try to find more personal style signatures. I think most of my clothes are between 5 and 15 years old. Bought new, worn gently and maintained with care, many of them are still like new.
Beth T says
Great description, Sara – “a timelessly beautiful wardrobe”. Something to aspire too.
Belovedest and I have as our style goal “High TEC” – Timeless, Elegant, Classic. Belovedest is a very clever young man…
NATALIE KELLOGG says
sara k., A timelessly beautiful wardrobe expressing my style personality is always what I aspire NOT following the trends but staying modern as well!!
Beth T says
What a great idea for an advent calendar – different jams and spreads on your morning toast. Better than chocolate. We have an advent candle that we light when we have tea (dinner).
I always enjoy reading your analysis of the serial wardrobes and items that you would add or swap. Purple is a challenge to find, I agree. Please would you show images of how the extra pieces and accessories fit into each wardrobe and the additional wearability options that they offer? .
Linda T says
I have been slowly adding purple to my closet for a few years now and it is tough. But, we persevere.
The thing that jumps out about both accessory groups is that they only have 2 bags and they are very similar. I might look for a smaller crossbody in a lighter colour for each.
I do love when you explain the thought process you use. I pick up some new gem each time. Thank you for all the hard work you put in.
I love the analysis of these wardrobes! For me, the glaring pieces in the first wardrobe are-the gold articles. Eliminating those items and adding the new pieces would make that wardrobe shine, IMO. It wouldn’t bother me to have my only purple item be a coat as it gets seen so much in the cold weather.
I know I am the odd-man- out here, but by taking out the navy or replacing with a soft denim would make the second scarf more pleasing to my low contrast idea of a wardrobe.
My favorite scarves are coming up though and I cannot wait to see Janice’s magic with them!
Happy Advent! Just ate the first chocolate piece (wink)
I agree with Cindy. The gold is glaring to me. But, gold is one of my least favorite colors. Replacing navy with denim makes sense. The scarf is so beautifully soft and muted.
The second wardrobe could easily be broken into two capsules – the blues and aquas for “summer” gals, the warm sands and clays for “autumns”.
You mention a scarcity of purple. Only until the fashion world becomes obsessed with it! This year, the color seems to be olive, which is really great news if you look good in it. My advice to women who wear olive is to snap it up. It really is a great neutral.
And, oh my, grey continues to look so good with nearly every neutral!
Renee Drellishak says
Oh my gosh. Brown and purple are two of my colors and good grief can they be hard to find. Of course this fall I have snapped up all of the brown I can knowing that next year it will likely have disappeared. I keep resisting green because everytime I try green I ended up getting rid of it but it’s everywhere and so tempting. Wine and purple seem to alternate, and wine has had a good run for the last couple of years, so I am hoping purple makes a comeback next year.
NATALIE KELLOGG says
Janice, I love the patchwork scarf and wardrobe you’ve created in navy and beige with soft peach, yellow and turquoise!! I looked back five years ago at the navy and turquoise wardrobe and I love it as well!! I wear my turquoise with chocolate brown but now I will wear with my navy as well!!
Book Goddess says
I love the colors in the first scarf, and I think your choices to round out the wardrobe are spot on! I will admit that I did keep yearning for a more fuchsia pink and I wanted to replace the gold with that beautiful leaf green. The purple coat is a standout, but I think that makes it wonderful. To me, a beautiful saturated color like that would go with almost anything.
I’m hoping you’ll include some greens next year. There have been some beautiful dark green shades this fall.
For what it’s worth, I’ve had the best luck finding purple things in the WomanWithin catalog (womanwithin.com) — the T-shirts, sweatshirts, and fleece have all been great. Unfortunately, Janice, you can’t use their photos because there aren’t any with just the clothes – yes, they have models in oddly twisted poses. And it’s a plus size catalog, so not applicable for smaller people, but for me? It has been a great source for purple, which is my main accent color.
I love this kind of posts, they give insight on a complete wardrobe, and we can see what’s missing, get an overall feeling. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I can’t wait to see the next scarves.
For all the purple people – I was just in Ann Taylor & there was a startling amount of royal purple on the racks. Perhaps a sign of midwinter things to come…
I really like this collection & the scarves are lovely! The muted colours used in this sample really appeal to me & suit my colouring. Deep purple is lovely but I seem to have a lot of it & happy to move into the other colour spectrum.
Hi Janice, Love your analysis process. So clear and thorough. I have been lusting for the black chrysalis scarf all year. If I take the purchase leap (or put it on the Christmas list), use my various pinks, purples and magentas and substitute the gold for current wardrobe “greens” all added to my basic greys and blacks all will be well and similar to the above beautiful wardrobe. Unfortunately, although cute, the flowered pants will never find a place in my wardrobe. Thank you for all your work. I look forward to all your posts.
Gail Finke says
Note to self: STOP BUYING BLACK, DARK GRAY, AND DARK NAVY shirts!! The top wardrobe is a big eye opener for me. Not much different from my colors (no yellow — eek!!) but all those light grays are a big flag. I tend to buy very dark hues, and then I stare at all my clothes and think they all look alike. A few light versions of my accent colors, and a few additions of tops in the lighter versions, made a huge difference. But I need a few more to really have a versatile wardrobe. This gives me a great example.
Allison Aul says
I agree with Cindy that the gold pieces in the black chrysalis wardrobe could go. The gold and black together look too Halloween, and I just don’t like the gold and grey together. Perhaps limiting the gold to a metal or accessories would help. More purple would definitely help.
That scarf has every colour of the spectrum in it, if you look at the proportions of each one you’ll see that overall the gold is rather small. A sort of accent accent colour. My choice (only to replace the gold) would be the greeny yellow of the bird’s breast and the flower centers. In the end this was probably my favorite scarf, but the wardrobe didn’t float my boat. Can’t wait to see the purple ruana wardrobe.
Claire Oman says
While I always enjoy the wardrobes, and did today, I need to take this opportunity to compliment your taste in Advent calendars! We have the same one.
Cheers from England!