February 14, 2022
Remember, we are evolved enough as humans that we can buy our own Valentine’s Day gifts… Do something beautiful for yourself today (and every day, frankly!).
Today, I’m pondering the role of a plaid, striped or printed shirt in one’s wardrobe…
This little teal and navy cluster is a perfect example of the Triple Top Secret! You can – obviously – wear this outfit just as it’s show above; in bitter cold weather, 2 shirts and a sweater isn’t excessive. Add a pair of long underwear pants, boots in place of loafers, and some hard-core outerwear, and you’d be fine in Chicago in single-digit temperatures!
But if you own these 4 garments, you have SEVEN outfit possibilities!
depending on the style of your cardigan or sweater, your mileage may vary – a ruana or open cardigan should NOT be worn with nothing under it!
Your colors don’t have to match exactly – it wasn’t at all easy to find a shirt with brown in it! But this Sienna brick plaid shirt looks just right with brown pants and loafers…
Even if you live in black and white, the right shirt and scarf can break you out of a mid-winter wardrobe rut:
Maybe you’re in the mood for truly spring colors?
If you find someone selling a color that you REALLY love, you’d be smart to pick up at least 2 or 3 garments in that color. Trying to match things later is ridiculous when you could just scoop up a beautiful spring green cluster at one time!
I know that at least a few among us don’t like to wear printed shirts – but how about a tee shirt and a button-front shirt in 2 different shades, with a print scarf?
I wear my black and white flannel shirts as the “filling in the sandwich” layer under a black cardigan, and over a black or white tee shirt…
My long underwear is printed with MOOSE!!!
p.s. Four years ago, I was ill on Valentine’s Day! So I wrote a 2 paragraph blog post that referred everybody back to THIS post, which was all about the wonders of a petrol blue sweater.
It’s all still relevant! I work so hard to make my advice as timeless as possible…
Sandy b says
To Janice and All
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Beth T says
Following on from yesterday’s uniform clusters theme, this post presents to me another simple and uniform way to dress. In fact, it is how I dress most of the time ?
The shirt is the key round which I build the outfit:
Accent or patterned shirt: plain accent colour plaid, floral, paisley striped, thematic (whatever I fancy).
Neutral trousers (or skirt)
Neutral or accent cardigan/jumper to match or coordinate with shirt.
Long or short sleeve tee to coordinate with shirt.
Scarves and jewellery that also match or coordinate with the shirt.
Weather appropriate footwear.
As the images show, this formula can be adapted to fit all year round simply by changing the colours, materials and sleeve length/hem length of the garments. I even take this as far as uniform formula into occasion dressing.
I love the look back. Yes, I agree that it’s not petrol blue, it looks like a sort of navy! Sometimes I have ended up with a cardigan/jumper which is not quite the colour it should be and it is difficult to make it work within my wardrobe. Using neutrals or finding prints with the colour in them or using a coordinating tone or two lighter will produce a cohesive look. It might take time and experimentation.
Sheila Harden says
Morning Everyone and Happy Valentine’s Day! Forever known at our house for being the day (19 years ago) we had to cancel reservations for an Italian 7-course dinner because I went into the hospital to deliver twins. Hubby still owes me a replacement “fancy” dinner! Great minds think alike, my daily “uniform” is almost identical to Beth T’s. I am working at being comfortable in solid tops as well as prints, but I do prefer the prints. More likely to wear a scarf rather the jewelry – esp right now when it’s cold. I’ve been looking at that pistachio green from J Crew, just haven’t quite decided ….. The turquoise and navy is just gorgeous. Love those colors. Thank you Janice!
Beth T says
Perhaps you will get the fancy dinner when your boys are 21? We rarely celebrate Valentine’s Day because we got engaged on 17 Feb, 30 years ago. That’s much more special.
The best part of having these Timeless wardrobes, is that the clothes do not go out of style. I and I’m still wearing some good quality clothes from 2013, the year of the petrol article. Thank you Janice for the inspirations.
And Happy Valentine’s Day.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! Found this post very interesting. A blue person by nature, the pistachio in the post is so pretty. I am not sure if I could wear this color… doesn’t stop me from appreciating it.
Beth, I like your idea of building a wardrobe around patterned shirts. I could be happy with that.
Janice, a big thank you for me. For Christmas, my daughter purchased a beautiful necklace in my navy and turquoise core colors. She specifically said that it was for when I go to the symphony. The symphony was this weekend and snow was predicted. All of my dressier, cold-weather clothes, lean toward black and gray. It was a dilemma about what to wear when I remembered the Vivienne Files. I pulled out a navy core with a silky shirt and a turquoise sweater. Very pretty and I was able to wear the necklace my daughter gave me. A BIG Thank You. My daughter loved seeing me wear the necklace.
Love love love the teal and navy combination! Thank you for your blog. I have followed you for years now.
Love the soft green shades…so very much the beginning of spring type of thing I crave when the window shows the bleakness of winter. Not much on print shirts except for the cotton voile that are nice to have in the dead heat of summer that look great with cardigans in spring or fall, but these do look nice. Hmm…maybe will consider if one would be worth trying.
Happy Valentine’s Day Janice and everyone!
Interesting post as always! However, here in Canada, the first proposed outfit -including everything and then the long underwear- works best?
Linda P says
A good outfit for a light hike too, I think!
Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m especially loving the navy and teal. That peacock scarf–gorgeous! (Also sold out already.) Janice knows how to choose lovely garments and accessories.
The scarf is back in stock. I got an email from Nordstrom this morning saying I had good taste – not me – Janice ?. I clicked on Janice’s link and yes it’s there!
Linda P says
Hi Janice! YAAAS ! This is my wardrobe. I love the practicality of the first outfit and love the sienna brick plaid shirt.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Ditto ! I like to start with a patterned top or topper garment too, if available , and build the outfit with either a neutral or an accent colored cardigan or a 1/4 zip fleece topper ( in cold weather times, obviously) . Neutral and plain colored bottoms always for my bottom heavy figure ! I just wish that I could find more patterned garments in my colors, contrast level , scale of print , and size ! If I’m still cold, I might add a vest over the top of the fleece pullover, and then add a jacket , scarf, ear muffs and gloves in addition if going out in extremely cold weather . Plus my eternal face mask, even though I’m fully vaccinated, because of my age . Just still using precautions. It’s akin to looking like a Goodyear blimp !
The bottom most layer might even be a cotton camisole under a long sleeve tee with a jewel neckline for inside the house , or a turtleneck top , if leaving the house .
Sally in St Paul says
The navy + teal is my favorite, but the light pink + brown is also gorgeous. Three layers on top is too much for me except for when it’s very cold, but my husband routinely wears four layers these days working from home — undershirt, button up shirt (usually plaid flannel), zip neck pullover sweater, jacket.
Buying a few coordinating pieces when you love an accent color is great advice.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
The look back, how to wear… made me think about brooches. I have some beautiful brooches that are almost pieces of art but I’m never sure how to wear them and wonder if brooches are aging? I’d appreciate any comments or suggestions. I work with people all 30 years younger than me and am conscious of the age difference. Love this blog and the great community!
Amy in Indy says
I love brooches too! I’m 49, and I wear them on cardigans and sweaters (with a little bit of felt behind the fabric to give them something to grip). I especially like vintage scatter pins to wear in a cluster.
I don’t think they’re particularly aging, unless maybe you’re wearing a full matching set of brooch and earrings or something. But if you feel a little self-conscious, you can also look at less-common ways to wear them: using multiples, pinning a brooch to a hat or a bag, layering a brooch over a fabric flower on your jacket, that kind of thing.
If you like brooches, who cares what others think? At this point I’m dressing for me and me only. Fashionable 20-somethings are currently wearing Mom jeans, which were frankly ugly when we wore them in the early 90s. I refuse to give them a vote on what looks good!
How will the young ‘uns learn how to be a style icon if you don’t show them? Rock your beautiful pins with joy! (Many years on, I still remember certain of my grandma’s friends who most certainly were not trendy – just consistently polished, elegant and confident. A standard to strive for!).
I love brooches. I’ll stick them on a lapel, a hat, a purse, a scarf. I’ve stuck them on chains as pendants and once on a bracelet as a focal element. My new favorite is on my turbans. I’m wearing a lot of turbans now since my “Covid hair” has gone feral and I sometimes can’t control it.
My normal uniform is a printed tunic, neutral pants and in winter a neutral second layer. My neutral colour changes seasonally and I try to get printed tunics that will work for at least two seasons. My goal is to get down to a 13-33 piece capsule for each season. Still very much a work in progress.
Amy in Indy says
P.S. Pinterest has loads of ideas for less-traditional ways to wear brooches. This article might give you some ideas!
Thanks, Amy. I’ve been looking first at the article you recommended and second at her Pinterest page. I am following her on Pinterest now.
Can you please remove this repeat post of mine ? Not quite sure how it happened . Thank you !