December 3, 2021
Another session in which we consider the strengths and weaknesses of 2 of our scarf-based wardrobes; I have to believe that if you can get dressed every day, a wardrobe isn’t a complete failure!
But if you struggle, and if you feel awkward when you get dressed, then maybe some improvements could be made. This is something that NEVER ends – your life changes every time you take a breath, and with time, your wardrobe needs and preferences will change.
What can we learn, and remember, from knowing this?
(a) You will never have a perfect wardrobe – quit beating yourself up for trying to get there! (mine’s not perfect, believe me!) and
(b) there is no garment, and no group of garments, that will get you to your perfect wardrobe.
I am often guilty of seeing something (like a beautiful black cardigan) and thinking “oh, if I get that, THEN I will be perfectly set with something to wear with my black pants, and my black skirts, AND my black dresses…”
As if I couldn’t already find something in my closet that would do the same thing. But new sweaters always have a lot more appeal than the one that’s hanging in my closet. THAT is a state of mind that needs to be addressed…
Enough philosophy – on to this glorious mass of pink and purple!
I never wear navy – literally do not own one stitch of navy clothing – but I would be willing to jump ship from black to navy if this wardrobe was being offered to me…
This is interesting – this wardrobe includes a LOT of garments that will work as either a 1st layer, or can be worn over another top. This is worth trying to do – especially if packing – because tops like this are by definition more versatile than something that can only be worn one way… You can wear a shirt under your cashmere crewneck sweater one day, and then a few days later, just wear the sweater on its own. Since you had a shirt next to your skin, your sweater is more than clean enough to be worn again.
some day, we need to address just how often we MUST launder garments; I suspect that a lot of us are overdoing it!
When we sort this wardrobe by color, we discover something that I think is true for a LOT of us who have a favorite color that catches our eye when we shop – this wardrobe has plenty of accents, and just the bare minimum of neutrals!
Happily, this is an easy wardrobe gap to fix! Maybe buying a navy tee shirt and cropped pants isn’t the most exciting shopping you can do, I understand. But having these kinds of things in your wardrobe (as well as a simple grey skirt, or a timeless grey sweater) will help you find new ways to wear all of those lovely pink and purple accents!
These accessories speak to all of my weaknesses:
Even though there are no real quotas for how many accessories you should own, in which categories, it can still be useful or edifying to sort out your things…
if I put all of my scarves in 1 place, I’m afraid of what I might see!
Here again, this heroine might find it useful to own some timeless classic accessories…
I can finally admit – even though I might prefer a wardrobe based upon black, or I might find another of these wardrobes more versatile – this purple-focused wardrobe is where my heart would settle. Perish the thought that I would need to replace my entire wardrobe, but at least I know what I would want!
Let’s move on to this beautifully warm and bright palette:
This is another wardrobe for which I kept finding really perfect accent garments:
This wardrobe might be for a slightly dressier heroine – she has more skirts and fewer pairs of pants than most of our others…
And she has PLENTY of pretty pink, rose, terra-cotta and red tops to wear with olive and beige; this wardrobe is a great example of how your accent colors can have the same general idea, but not necessarily all match!
To me, this heroine mostly needed a pair of olive cool-weather pants, and a simple sweater to wear with them! Another couple of accent tops, a timeless ivory cashmere sweater, and possibly the world’s most versatile dress will give her all kinds of possibilities:
These accessories are among my all-time favorites; the bird scarf? The tiger scarf? Heck yes – I’ll take them all!
As with all of these wardrobes, the heroine doesn’t have a really gaping hole in her accessory wardrobe. That said, I could see the merits of a neutral olive bag, a dressier watch, and some more neutral jewelry. And why NOT wear the most lovely green scarf ever?
I love both of these wardrobes. They’re absolutely not for me, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t admire them, and that I can’t learn something from how everything came together.
We can always learn…
p.s. SEVEN years ago! I looked at jewelry…for those among us who love the idea of choosing our clothing and accessories based on our “season.”
Chris in Indy says
I love the olive and beige!!! Heart be still! I think the only tweak I might make is to add a bit of navy – not in the inspiration scarf, I know, but I feel like more dark neutrals would suit my style a bit better. Thank you Janice!!
Chris in Indy says
Oh, and the Image Diary scarf is gorgeous!
She is a cherished friend of mine, and she is WILDLY talented too!
I love both these wardrobes. I have the ruana, and wear both black and navy with it. So much of my navy is so dark I can’t tell the difference half the time anyway! I have traveled with it twice and used it on the plane to ward off the chill and got compliments both times. It’s gorgeous. I’m also quite smitten with the warmer wardrobe. It’s just beautiful.
I giggled when you wondered at the impact of putting all your scarves in one place. I do have all my scarves in one place…one good-sized bureau drawer. The scarves date back 30+ years and I believe I can find room for more! Scarves are wonderful and lightweight for changing up a travel wardrobe in a flash.
It was here that I first learned you do not have launder you clothes after a single wearing. Another post about it would be beneficial.
These scarves are turning out to be my 2 favorites. I love the cohesiveness of color in the ruana wardrobe. My closet is full of navy and all shades of blue, so I could pretty easily use the ruana wardrobe for guidelines.
The olive and coral collection is just so dang beautiful. I love the style of the pieces selected for that collection and the accessories are perfect!
Thank you Janice for continuing to amaze!
It’s nice seeing the breakdowns. Looks like I’ll have to wait to Wednesday to see the butterfly scarf. ?. I launder stuff regularly, but when you get creams and the like all over them regularly due to skin care needs, you find it needs the frequency.
I would be afraid to count how many scarves I have, dating back 50 years—silk, knit, crochet. They rarely wear out, fit no matter what you weigh, and as you demonstrate, can make the outfit. I would never toss any of them. Even decades old prints and color combos can be folded differently or become “retro”. The answer to what to get me (after a book) is a scarf!
Joan M says
For reducing laundry, you may like to check out the undershirts at https://wearnumi.com/. They are specifically designed to be invisible (or almost) under blouses, to reduce dry cleaning–or laundry. Ethically made in Toronto, and environmentally responsible, more or less. I promise I have no connection with them, just like the concept and the product. Of course, in many situations, a regular t-shirt would work just as well.
Great idea but omigosh $65 for a tshirt! I don’t think I’d save much on laundry.
Coach Laura says
Janice – help! In the purple capsule above, there is a short sleeved print top with a back keyhole. I don’t see that in any prior month – I went through the whole year – and I am really looking for something like that for my purple wardrobe. Do you have a link?
The only size still available is Medium – fingers crossed that it will work for you!
Coach Laura says
Thanks – unfortunately probably a bit small.
The olive palette resonated with me. I love the red bag is it still available? I wasn’t sure how to find these original posts on your site.
Oh, it’s not available any more! I’m sorry.
To find earlier posts in this series, to go the top of the page, under the heading “Articles,” and then look under “Archives by Categories and Tags,” and then look for “Six Scarves Twelve Months.”
It’s sort of “over the river and through the woods…”
Janice, I really appreciate your philosophy commentary at the beginning of this post. Sometimes I need to hear that.
Beth T says
You’re so clever, Janice and your analysis is very helpful. These two wardrobes have always resonated with me – perfect examples of blended wardrobes. Everything just goes together – nothing jars or seems out of place. They don’t make a statement but are effortlessly stylish and there is power in that.
Of course the purple ruana is my favourite! Though here I would differ on some of the additions. I would have purple trousers or a skirt and a purple 2nd layer cardigan. I would add a grey floral top that might have a nod to mauve.
On today’s topics of conversation:
Scarves – I have a large drawer and the excess or out of season are in a bag in the loft.
Reducing washing – I learnt to spot clean clothes from my Mum. I also rarely iron anything (which is the plus side of reducing washing). I prefer to drop dry.
I LOVE the purple wardrobe and have since you first introduced it! Probably because half my own wardrobe is purple and I can imagine integrating some of these items with my own. I appreciate your analysis as always.
I’ve been following your lovely blog for a few months after finding it on Pinterest. I love it so much I purged my wardrobe of all my pretty things that I realised made me look like ‘mutton-dressed-as-lamb’ and no longer made me feel comfortable (being only 4′ 8″ my friends daughters had a wonderful time rifling through everything) My wardrobe looks very bare now. Being so short does pose problems for finding clothes (even petite sizes are way to big) I usually wear girls clothes aged 8-10 years. I’m 57, so unicorns, miss-behavin’, flounces, frills, ribbons and bows just won’t do anymore LOL Trying to find girls clothes in a simple navy based palette is really hard. I wondered if you might do a post for girls clothes that will look OK on middle-aged ladies. I imagine there are a lot of very short ladies facing the same problem as they get older x
One place I know to start is the school uniforms at Lands’ End. The clothes are ultra-basic, which is good! You can personalize the way you wear them, of course!
Allison Aul says
I could so go with the purple ruana wardrobe, if only I didn’t love other colors as well.
Not as much as purple, but still. Once again you hit it out of the park with the accessories! I would happily take any or all of them.
The Met Museum in NYC has a set of “Rosemary” jewelry that would be absolutely brilliant with all that olive! https://store.metmuseum.org/rosemary-earrings-80026614
My favourite is the love and coral one-reminds of beautiful sunsets and forests.
I too suffer from the just one more item and it will be perfect syndrome. What I need to do is make better choices . I find that Its easier to buy autumn /winter clothes than summer. But where I live it’s hot and humid six months out of the year. I struggle to have the right balance. Would you please consider doing next years series with one of the scarves for six out of twelve hot weather slant and perhaps one of the scarves for six out of twelve months cold weather slant? Perhaps visualising it , would help others too. It’s just an idea.
Thank you for all the wonderful creative work you do .
Wishing you and all a Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy coming Happy New Year!
I too would love to wear the purple wardrobe. but the second one came out beautifully. it is like a bouquet of fall flowers but would work at any season.