January 14, 2022
Her latest major work – a 3-movement symphony – is debuting this weekend, at the gala opening of THAT orchestra…
For years, these have been her colors, and her inspiration for clothing:
Mood #1 – Nervous, to the point of feeling “green around the gills”
She’s taking the train, and then will have a handful of interviews; it’s not every day that a work by a woman composer is the finale of the Grand Gala!
note: this green turtleneck comes in 9 other colors…
Mood #3: Peachy-keen, after the concert!
Once it’s all over, she will be just fine! Since she gone to the trouble of making the trip, she’s going to stay at least the entire next day, and possible into a 2nd day…
Her regular suitcase will be easy to pack, and her entire “normal” wardrobe looks great. The green and the coral are clearly 2 different looks, but with navy as her core, it all hangs together pretty well:
And if she decides to stay for a 2nd day after the concert, she’s not going to struggle to get dressed!
But WHAT to wear to the concert? She throws her hands up in despair, and decides to hire a stylist. While most of us will never have occasion to do this, for an event like this it might be the best choice…
Mood 2: Serious composer in navy, but beautiful and blushing with excitement
The stylist even arranged for the loan of jewelry…
Sigh… I could do this!
p.s. Another random question – what’s the biggest earrings you comfortably wear? I’ve only worn wee stud earrings for years, but I actually own ONE pair of drop earrings, that I love. How do you feel about earrings bigger than your ears?
p.p.s. Seven years ago (heavens, I’ve been doing this a LONG time…), we looked at a grey capsule wardrobe with brown accessories. Over that week, I took that same grey wardrobe through a handful of accessory families!
Interesting how we each may pull out different colors in art. Probably because I wear teal & cognac, that’s what I saw.
Sally in St Paul says
Me too, I saw teal, cognac, and burgundy!
Beth T says
I saw those colours too, Sally.
This is a beautiful wardrobe for a beautiful story! This comes handy for me since FINALLY I’ll be back to the classroom to teach in person. I’m doing a work capsule based on this: first with black for the cold months and switching to navy when spring comes ❤️ I don’t know why I’m more eager for spring this year, maybe my longing for everything to be renewed has to do with it…!
Thanks Janice, nice way to start a Friday ;)
Blessed weekend to all!!
About earrings longer than ears, I have a few pairs, but don’t wear often since I became a mum. Nothing worst than being stressed over a baby pulling you like a bull… Now she’s a toddler, but I lost the habit of wearing them often. But I think long earrings are a pretty way to pump up an outfit (to a limit, I’ve seen some below the shoulder…). Think I’ll try to wear mine more often.
Have a wonderful time getting back to teaching in person Arwen! I do more black for fall winter and more navy for spring and summer.
Thank you dear Margery! So excited I’ll try hard not to do a victory dance in the classroom!!
Oh heck, go ahead and victory dance. Your students are having a tough enough time right now – bring them some joy!
As for the earring question, I wear a pair of Baby Bear 14K gold studs by The Golden Bear in Vail CO 24/7 during the day, sleeping, showering–I only take them out to clean them. They’re solid gold, not hollow, so they’re not flimsy, with heavy-duty backs so they stay on, & I find them very comfortable & easy to wear because their shape is close to the ear & very smooth–no sharp edges to pinch or catch on my clothing when I’m getting dressed. They were expensive as gold studs go, but those features make them a very good buy for me cost-per-wear-wise.
Beth T says
OMG ?? such a gorgeous dress!! Wow – it is stunning! I’d love to see you do a blog on glamourous occasion dressing. We’ve all lost our confidence over the past couple of years but there must be some occasions where we can pull out all the stops.
I often pack two or three different accent groups but the neutrals hang them together. Love that warm pink – a colour that is growing on me. I’m not sure that the navy cardigan would go over the loose green jumper. I would choose a loose jacket style cardigan.
I have lots of earrings but dont wear often. I do like dangle earrings that sit just below the lobe. I dont like long dangles as they get caught in my hair. My heaviest earrings are two pairs – crystal and pearls with big drops – think of the painting Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer.
Great look back and I followed the theme backwards and forwards.
The thing I liked the most about this post is actually the way you approached Mood Two. Sometimes you need to get someone else in.
I wear all sorts of earrings and change them up almost everyday. My daughters and I are fans of big, exotic ones with selections we’ve picked up on our travels to South America, India,Thailand, etc. The longest pair I wore was years ago and they were super long linear drops. It was for a very fancy birthday party and so much fun.
No more huge earrings for me. That dress is a show stopper!
Lesley C says
My late mother in law lived on a farm in an arid part of the country. When her granddaughters visited, she would haul out a box filled with treasured paper dolls from her childhood. They had beautiful clothes and accessories that the girls would apply. Ouma also had a Lady Di paper doll with a collection of her beautiful ball gowns. My mother in law adored beautiful clothing. She had a functional ‘uniform’ at home but would dress up to the nines on visits to her daughters in the city. She would have loved the Vivienne Files and eagerly awaited every post. The format of these posts really brings back fond memories of drinking tea on the verandah and watching the girls playing dress up with those dolls. Thank you Janice. This wardrobe is lovely and the inclusion of the evening dress brings the promise of a post-pandemic world.
Vicki Mullan says
That is such a beautiful dress. I have fantasies about wearing such clothes, but would never have occasion to do so. Hiring a dress for such a special event is a good idea, if it will never be worn again, but I’m sure this heroine will have many future triumphs. I love the colour scheme, but then I find all your wardrobes appealing. I have to try to be disciplined. I now have a selection of fairly classic clothes in neutral colours which I jazz up with my favourite accents.
One question: do you think our colours should change as we go grey? I am transitioning at the moment and feel quite drab, but I still love bright colours.
Beth T says
I loved dressing up and had a box of dressing up clothes from worm out clothes and accessories. My Mum used to put I some of her worn out shoes for us to clomp around in. This box was added to and used by my kids and cousins when they visited. I also started a dressing up box at home with items from charity shops when my kids needed to create outfits. My daughter sewed her first gown aged 10 from a satin duvet cover of my mother’s. Some of my old clothes are now in the dressing up box.
My god that dress!!!! I love drop and hoop earrings. Unfortunately they are hard to wear with a mask. For two pandemic years I’ve been in studs.
I love statement earrings. Some of them are quite large. I’ve had to back off a bit because of the masks, but I still wear chandeliers – just the smaller ones. Even my smallest ones are probably at least an inch below the ear lobe.
I was waiting for that dress! I kept thinking: “But what is she going to wear to the concert?!” That dress was definitely worth the wait.
I love big earrings as long as they are not heavy. I wore a pair of chandelier earrings for New Years at home and they were so fun.
The painting is fabulous- one could go to it endlessly for inspiration. You’re the best accessory finder of any wardrobe blog and the best at finding the right note of beauty and function.
Ahhh- the earring question: a wardrobe consultant who guided me for my career (news anchor) & occasions years ago told me to select earrings according to the scale of my body. I’ve always felt just right using that formula. For me, it’s small studs, small drops and anything up to the size of a quarter. I can easily admire the larger, flashier earrings on my taller friends!
I love large and long earrings, as long as they’re not heavy. Most of my earrings are drops. But then again, I’m tall and broad-shouldered, so I feel the tiny studs and hoops just get lost on me. I never thought about it consciously before. Your stylist was definitely on to something!
Oh, that gown!
I have invitations to a resort wedding in Mexico in June and a Florida wedding in November. It is fun to anticipate lovely outfits. Not even sure where to start with styling, but I’m trying to figure out how to put together a dressy outfit with palazzo pants instead of a dress.
I wear pearl studs everyday. I do have a few pairs of drop earrings, my favs are fluted silver, downward facing calla lily with a fresh water pearl inside- not glittery but just a bit more than everyday.
I have black pants with a soft chiffon overlay that I take on cruises. I change up the top and I can wear it either for regular evening or semi formal. The pants also have a stretchy waistband so I have a sequined soft belt if I tuck in my top. Very forgiving so no shapewear required! I bought some shoe clips to dress up my shoes and I am good to go.
With regards to earrings, if I am wearing my hair up or wearing a hat, I usually go with drop earrings. I like the discussion about scale of earrings to the size of the person. It makes a lot of sense. I bought some multi colored raffia earrings last year that are probably borderline for me as they are size of a half dollar. But they are lightweight and fun so I love them.
The most gorgeouos concert gown and accessories! Also exquisitely expensive!
As for earrings, I like something hanging below my earlobes, but I also feel drop and chandelier types require a bit of “neck” to be able to swing slightly.
I’m in a white gold hoop rut. That’s been my everday choice for years. Something wide enough to be visible but not too heavy. If I choose white gold (in my price range) they are not too heavy because they are hollow. :-) 3/4″ is the perfect size for me and I don’t stray from that. I have been known to wear larger studs like real pearls or faux diamond or white gold balls. I have an extra hole in one lobe and I wear a tiny real diamond stud in that one 100% of the time. I’m pretty conservative and lazy with my earrings. Not much variety, but I like it. Speaking of conservative…..I love your capsules and I’ve followed you for a very long time. But I laugh everytime I see colored socks and different colored shoes paired with the trousers. But you are creative/artistic and I am conservative/rigid. I’m SO conservative that my socks AND shoes have to match my pants. Always. Forever. LOL!
Big earrings all the way!!! Took me 3 years of work just after graduating college to “downsize” to “standard/professional” size earrings :) (Just celebrated my 15th work anniversary so…) Pre-covid, I would do studs for work, but larger studs. Pearls ~10mm, 8mm is the smallest; random things on my ears the size of large buttons. Hoops are fine. love dangles – i think they slim down my round face. I would wear them on Fridays and weekends. BUT – I agree with someone above (Sheila i think), long earrings and masks are NOT a match made in heaven. I need to start pulling mine out again, at least to wear around the house. Fun fact – dangles are also not great in the winter… too cold, exposed metal on skin, never a good time. I found a pair of red tassel cloth/fabric earrings, that i like to use during the holiday season to add that festive over-the-top look, in a manner that doesn’t freeze my cheeks. Figured that one on a business trip to a cold part of Michigan in the winter, and one of the waitresses at the restaurant was wearing something similar….
Thanks as always for a feast-for-the-eyes! Have a great weekend
I own a lot of earrings and have been keeping track of what I actually wear so that I can reduce the quantity to a carefully curated collection of good quality earrings (part of my obsession with a paraphrased quote from The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson – “A loved one wishes to inherit nice things, not all things.”).
Biggest help is noting why I put back earrings I’ve selected to wear with an outfit and reach for another pair instead. Taking the few seconds to determine what that reason is has informed me that my preferred size stud is 4mm to 6mm and favored hoops are 1/2 inch or less. I do have a few chandelier styles that hang about an inch or so and all of them are multi-strand, multi-color that act as a statement, never worn with a necklace.
Based on these criteria it was easy to eliminate nearly half of my collection instantly! Now I am focusing on slowly replacing poorer quality items with pieces that my children will be happy to inherit or give away with pride rather than dump into a garage sale pile or worse.
Laughed all the way Lena, thanks!!!!
Janice, I enjoy all of your blog posts but I love the ones with a story (like this one) the best. This collection is so beautiful. I would love to have an occasion to wear that ball gown!
My daily earring is a silver hoop about the size of a quarter. I have pearl studs that I wasn’t wearing much so I started wearing them when masks are required.(the grocery store mostly) I have a couple of larger chandelier type pairs I started wearing whenever we do something social. Your blog has inspired me to enjoy and use the nice accessories I have instead of waiting for the “right” time. Thank you for that!
TK, I agree! I learned a long time ago that if I save things for “good” it never arrives.
Oh, so true. Saving things for “best” is my besetting sin. Alongside not wanting to wear even quite good things for every day (e.g. around the house) because they are “too good”. Realistically, if I ruin them I have too many others waiting in the cupboard to take over….
Hi Janice and all. I’ve been meaning to respond to a number of posts but first this one. Love the green sweater. Just the style I wear all the time. I will be purchasing several in different colors. The ball gown reminds me of a navy blue velvet gown I wore for winter dance in college. So elegant. Now for the Pantone colors. My favorite is the innuendo. The coca mocha is very similar to the color taupe that I wear. Adore the Agra scarf. So bright! I would wear it with all my basic colors. Mostly huggy earrings for me. I’ve already lost studs with the masks. I have a friend who is almost 6 foot and she makes lovely long earrings, most of which I cannot wear. Too short of a neck. Also they tend to get caught in my turtlenecks.As for shoes with big thick soles, not for me. I sprained my ankle wearing wood bottoms back in the 70s and for a short person those thick souls just drag you down. I enjoy the comments, all your posts and loved looking back to the 2015 accessories and wardrobes. You make my day!
I love the idea of hiring a stylist and renting an outfit for a big event that really is such a rarity in life…. Gorgeous dress and accessories!!!
As far as earrings, my body size needs about an inch to 1 ½ inch of earring to look balanced. Pearls need to be about 10 mm, too. And my favorite backs are the lever-backs so that the stud doesn’t stab me when I wear headphones or the like.
Thank you for doing this – it is such a treat for the inbox!
The gown is truly fabulous! I needed that (and those shoes) for Fantasy Friday. Also appreciate the palazzo pant idea from V.
Janice, do you have any closet hacks? Any helpful storage ideas? Do you fold or hang your cardigans? It didn’t matter how I tossed my tshirts around…
NATALIE K says
Janice, I LOVE the colors in this painting!! Beautiful choices you made!! I only would like a darker shoe for the peach-keen one!!
I love your stories and I love how you blended everyday outfits plus a bonus glam outfit in one “trip” post. So fun!
It would be fun to see this heroine again, exploring blending navy and cognac and teal. The painting has so many possibilities – I’m sure that more lovely wardrobes could be inspired by it. My wardrobe base colour is navy so it’s always wonderful to see its options explored.
I haven’t worn earrings for over thirty years but I do remember wearing a few large earrings. Only one pair – quite lightweight – didn’t cause me pain. They were large, brushed “gold” leaves and I loved them.
Sally in St Paul says
Both the green and the warm pink are beautiful with the navy, and it’s interesting to think about a heroine choosing two accents that don’t really go together for such a small capsule. My own full closet is a riot of color, but I think for a small capsule I would want accent colors that can be easily worn together because I like having the option of wearing two different colors of garments together. It’s also interesting to see a muted accent (warm pink) and bright accent (the green looks pretty bright on my screen) in the same small wardrobe, but if you are never going to wear your accents together, that doesn’t matter, and not everyone starts picking accents based on what most suits their coloring (I know I don’t!).
Sally in St Paul says
I wear earrings daily, anything from a small stud to a medium-large statement earring.
Love the art work. Enjoying the outfits in this post. So ready for a post-pandemic world.
During the pandemic lock downs, I did not wear earrings or even jewelry. I decided that I was going to start wearing jewelry and scarves again. Since it has been so long, I am experimenting with every earring I own deciding what fits my style now. I was an educator and wore very large statement pieces. Do any large pieces fit my retirement lifestyle? I find I’m leaning towards more conservative pieces.
I wear the same pearl drop earrings every day that I got in Shanghai for a steal – $55 for 1/2 diameter! They’re my signature look I suppose – it makes selecting jewelry easy that’s for sure!
Linda P says
Hello Janice and Everyone! Great chat! I LOOOOOVE the warm coral sweater!! This is the just-right color I’ve been looking for in the ‘orange’ family that does not scream Halloween.
OK so here’s my guilty secret…I would love to live in a world where I had to wear a glamour gown(as in #2) every month for some sort of charitable event. But first I would have to be invited to such things lol.
I cannot comment on the earrings question because I think I am one of the last 5 people in the country (excluding Amish country) that does NOT have pierced ears. I have tried the clip on variety but they really pinch. I do admire statement earrings on other people though.
Liz Hicks says
I am one of the other 5 people who don’t have pierced ears, Linda, and I have no idea why not! My sisters and daughters all have pierced ears; my lack is not because of any conviction. And I agree that clips do pinch! However I founds some earrings I love and love to wear- have you checked out Illuzio Earrings? http://Www.unusualearrings.com. I have 4 pair non dangly and dangly and love them. No pain, no clips!
Linda P says
Hi Liz! Thank you for the suggestion. I went to the website and the designs are really clever. I agree there are multifactorial reasons that influence what earrings to wear (age, occupation/retired, body and face shape, type of metal, favorite color…and probably more to be discovered).
I’m the 3rd person with non-pierced ears – but a large collection of clips! The non-piercing is historic and so ingrained I don’t think it can now be shifted. I agree that some clips are extremely painful, but years ago I found a thing called a “Clip-K-Ease” which can loosen or tighten the clips and makes clip earrings a lot more comfortable.
This is the gadget I referred to: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1119077833/vintage-clip-k-ease-in-original-case
This seems to be something similar and available now: https://earringdoctor.com/product/clip-ease/
Joanne Long says
I like to wear drop earrings. My hair is longer and studs are not visible. My favourites are bronze seed pods that each enclose 3 grey pearls. They hang about 1.25 inches below my ears.
I have a gown fantasy. I would love to wear a gown like that just once. Prom dresses and wedding dresses are not the same. That gown is for an elegant woman of accomplishment.
Lois Breedlove says
Since there are few who seem to be in the big earring crowd, I’ll chime in. I too was told that earrings— all jewelry — should be in scale to your body. And I am not a dainty person. But personality wise, I’m not flashy or flamboyant either. It was a problem when I was still working. And as a college professor, teaching was almost a performance. So, I wore large pieces, but usually of natural textures. (Very little color) Chico’s was my friend. When I retired I gave away all of it. I have a couple of simple necklaces, and a few earrings (which I just started wearing again, because I realized my piercings were closing.) But I wore a small pair yesterday, and guess what? The advice was right. I don’t look right in a small pair of hoops. So scale matters — even when you’re retired and wearing sweats most days.
You took the words right out of my mouth ! I was going to say that the scale of the earrings for me is dependent upon the shape of one’s face and perhaps hair length. I have a short, broad face with a very square jaw handed down to me from my grandmother. So I wear short chunky gold hoops to harmonize with the scale of my face or 1/2 inch button shape styles, and occasionally round ball type earrings if I have on a high collar. Long earrings on me look like hanging wind chimes ! Anything too dainty looks as out of place on me as anything too big or too long . You just have to know and acknowledge what you have to work with structurally !
I always wanted to be able to pull off “dainty” jewelry. But, I am simply, not a “dainty” person. BUT! I did find a compromise once. A “dainty” set (earrings/necklace/ring), made with onyx and cz set in gold – delicately shaped, but enough PRESENCE not to get lost on my face. I don’t wear it too often, but it makes me happy to know there is a way around it, if you are patient and look hard enough. Your mileage may vary… :)
For many years now I’ve worn earrings a big as my ears every single day. I do wonder if that’s changing now as I approach my mid fifties, but so far studs have felt inconsequential on me.
I think it depends on the person; little studs are lovely on my daughter.
I have very small, connected earlobes. I found out the hard way that I cannot wear large earrings. If I chose earrings based on my build I would wear larger styles but my ears won’t support them. I wear a pair of small diamond halo studs that sit flat against my ear and are comfortable. Occasionally, I will wear pearls or other gemstones but nothing heavy as my ears can’t support them. I do love the green and white circle studs featured in the first outfit. I would love a pair that were blue/white.
Our symphony orchestra hosts a solo artist for each concert and some of them wear the most beautiful long gowns! It’s something I look forward to, besides the music, of course.
I’ve been invited to several “formal” “black tie” weddings and have always struggled with what to wear. One was in Turkey after a bus tour through Italy. Knowing that I was going to be packing and unpacking on the first leg of the trip made me decide on a lovely navy lace jumpsuit for the wedding. It was easy to pack, didn’t wrinkle, looked like a gown, and could be dressed up or dressed down depending on what “formal” really meant. It turned out to be perfect for the occasion.
I am very blessed to have a beautiful collection of fine jewelry earrings in both gold and sterling mostly gifts from my husband. My favourite a pair are oval 14k hoops. They are not huge but have presence and their oval shape makes them rather unique. I have longer hair and drops or hoops don’t get ‘lost’ as studs might though the drops aren’t really long.I find that I wear more silver in the summer and the gold in winter but might wear a few select costume jewelry holiday earrings at Christmas. I am allergic to nickel so cannot tolerate most costume earrings. My mother had a large collection of plastic costume earrings that were popular in the ‘80’s and matched her outfits. Over time she switched them out for small silver hoops. She said that her aging ear lobes could no longer support the big earrings and pulled too much.
I just loved the formal dress and it’s accessories! The dress is similar to one worn by my nephew’s mother in law at his black tie wedding in Philadelphia.
My son is getting married in May and that gown might be perfect ( I still am not sure what color the bride’s mom is wearing though). I love the blush accents with it.
The earrings I wear daily are pearl studs. I do, on occasion wear small hoops. I have found that drop earrings get lost in my wavy chin length hair.
Great capsule ! I love the varied accent colors, maybe because that is how I “ do” a capsule . I agree with your other readers comments on the beauty of that gown ! While I shall never wear one like that, I am so glad that they exist and that others do wear them !
I also do not have pierced ears, but I found that the earring that I got in Spain 37 years ago still are comfortable. Unfortunately, a couple of my favorites have lost the glue holding them together. Need to see if I can find a glue to glue them back together. My oldest daughter does not have pierced ears either, so there must be more than 5 of us in the world that need clip earrings!
Suzanne S says
I love large earrings – possibly due to teenage years during the ‘80s LOL (so many bows & hearts!). I have a fairly large collection: hoops, dangly, sparkly, etc. Most is costume but some fine jewelry too. As long as they are light weight I will wear it. I have fairly long curly med-dark brown hair & lots of it. If I wear small studs my earrings would never be seen. At 52 I still wear earrings I acquired as a teenager.