August 1, 2022
We’re going to have to do the “Six Scarves, 12 Months” posts in segments this month, because it’s just THAT difficult… I hate not finishing in 1 post, but I have to admit when I can’t finish in time!
This is a great lesson for how to handle shopping when everything in the marketplace seems to conspire against you.
In a “normal” year, I could easily expect to see piles of cashmere sweaters in 30 colors all OVER the retail world – but not this year…
Websites should be chock-full of cabled sweaters, and corduroy pants, and tweed blazers, and all of the traditional garments of autumn. But not this year!
It might be reluctance to stock merchandise that may not appeal – nobody’s really sure how people are going to dress these days! And I know for a fact that part of the issue is intractable problems with supply chains.
SO? We go back to the classics, in the most simple neutrals. Maybe you decide to buy only 1 or 2 things, and to invest in the more expensive “thing” you’ve wanted for a while…
Before I started looking for clothing for this month, I thought I should sort out the existing wardrobes to see if there are any obvious gaps to fill:
Not a gap, exactly, but I would prefer more 2nd layers for the wardrobes! Yes, some of the tops can double as 2nd layers, so the situation isn’t exactly dire…
But here’s where I ran into a problem that all disciplined people will eventually encounter – the 3 accent colors that I’ve chosen for this wardrobe are NOT to be found.
I know where lots of clothes are to be found, but none of the 3 accent colors are readily available! (bear in mind that I’m REALLY picky about how garments are photographed – I’m not interested in anything pinned and primped onto a model…)
So we’re going to invest in some beautiful charcoal grey:
This could be your opportunity to treat yourself to a pretty brooch, or an accent cashmere scarf. And do you have a warm hat?
Everything this month looks lovely with this wardrobe – even if you struggle to find just the right things, your wardrobe should never show that effort!
And whatever you buy should ALWAYS blend in beautifully with your existing wardrobe:
This scarf was so easy to work with in warmer weather – there are always flower pink and leafy greens available through the spring and summer. But for autumn… well, let’s just be grateful for beige and ivory, right?
I think it makes sense to make your neutral garments the most luxurious you can justify. A simple ivory turtleneck can be special, with a little bit of stitch detail. And we can all justify owning a wee bunny brooch, I believe…
Yes, all of our heroines are picking up a 2nd pair of boots – these are waterproof, and a bit more rugged. Autumn IS coming, they tell me…
But given the difficulty finding things right now, if you see the right boots (hat, sweater, etc.), buy it as soon as possible! So many things are selling out, so quickly..
Still, both of today’s heroines are well set for upcoming cool weather…
I’m not sure if I will finish this month’s “scarf post” with 1 post or with 2. It will all depend on how easily I can find the best garments and accessories for each of our heroines…
Patience might be the most important quality to cling to when assembling a wardrobe!
p.s. Six years ago, we were looking at six wardrobes based on 6 Hermes scarves – I added a blouse, cardigan and skirt to each wardrobe… Note that autumn clothes were available in a pretty nice range of colors that year!
p.p.s. Have you heard of the “1 Dress, 100 Days” challenge? Stay tuned…
Angela Stewart says
I think you are terrifically clever and well organised – love what you do and always look forward to seeing the scarves (?) ) I have over 200 myself folded in drawers… madness but I’ve been collecting since I was about 24 and I’m 72 now – can’t help myself…
Keep up the good work.
Oh, my, yes! Angela, I’m the same! I don’t quite have 200, but I own a lot of scarves as well. They are so lightweight that sticking to basic clothing on a trip and adding 3-4 scarves and a few necklaces or brooches will extend things easily.
These are really lovely. The green in the first wardrobe seems a bit of an outlier, but if I remember correctly the same thing happened last year w/the Mt. View scarf (I think that was the name) and by the end of the year more green had been added and it was cohesive. Coming off a record breaking heatwave here in Seattle (at least we hope we are coming off of it today) I’m not sure I’m in the mood for sweaters and boots. That being said, I have been scouting websites already for fall-ish colors in bottoms. Which I can’t find. I thought maybe it was just too early yet. Looking forward to the next one or two posts with the rest of the wardrobes. BTW, I know some people miss the Hermes scarves. I, for one, really appreciate the fact that the past couple of years have featured more attainable scarves as a basis for the wardrobes.
Sandy b says
On the one hand I sympathize with the difficulty involved in working six wardrobes in these times. On the other hand I look forward to my favorite post of the month, bar none, being stretched out over a couple of days. I don’t think it is a bad thing to invest in quality neutral basics, either. I was beginning the seasonal wrangle with accent colors for some fall tops, and in my opinion, accent colors are way over rated.
These are lovely but I wish you would do more with clearer, more vibrant colors. Muted tones like mauve and mint do nothing for my sallow complexion. Alas. Thank you for an always-fun read!
Oooo, I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on the 100 day dress challenge! I’m doing 30 days right now, and intend to do the full 100 challenge immediately after. Haven’t yet decided whether I’ll use the same dress for both challenges or change it up.
With surgeries and medical treatments over the last year, my shape has changed and my coloring has changed. I was dithering over how to adapt my wardrobe going forward. The dress challenges give me a break from that, and space to really see how I look now.
Inspired by The Vivienne Files, I’m now thinking in terms of Accessory Collections to make my dress work for any situation.
Sandy b says
If I might ask, are you using the wool dress they recommend? And how is it holding up? It sounds like a very interesting project!
I’m starting on September 1st – I’m using one of their dresses – a sleeveless one named Sierra. I chose the longer length, because I don’t intend to try to tuck it in to ANYTHING. (heaven bless the women who can tuck in a dress!).
My plan is to put a 2nd post-script on every blog post, and on the days when I don’t post, I’ll just post an image of what I wore, along with my thoughts, observations, reactions etc. I have so many scarves, so many things that I can wear UNDER the dress, and so many things to wear over the dress – it should be interesting!
My hope, through this, is that I am able to take a step back from a lot of my clothes and reassess my need for them, and certainly my need for anything new. Also, any scarf that doesn’t get worn during the 100 days (assuming that the weather cools down!) is going to leave the collection and be sold. Probably the same with anything that I could wear under or over… if it doesn’t come out of my closet between September 1 and mid-December, it doesn’t need to belong to me.
Trust me, you’re going to know what’s going on with this!
I’ve spent one week so far in a marine blue Camellia dress, which is a sleeveless style. I hang it on a padded hanger every night. I’ve done minimal spot cleaning and no laundering and she’s odor free and looks fresh every morning so far.
I was already sold on merino knits, so this wasn’t a big stretch for me. I run/hike/cycle in Woolx (brand) tops and leggings in the heat and the cold and am as comfortable as one can be while exercising. 😆
I love the star brooch! It’s almost like a little ninja weapon you can wear on your lapel to say, “I’m a congenial person, but don’t mess with me.”
This is another reminder to click on the links to check colors. The black Blondos also come in a lovely warm brown in case that’s the direction of your neutral footwear.
Almost forgot the bunny brooch. Very cute.
Loving the idea of playing up all the neutral garments. I have several pieces in silk and cashmere. The textures makes an outfit sometimes especially if I’m wearing only one color.
I have read that many retailers over-ordered and then were surprised with a lot of inventory in stock, so many markdowns are already happening, no matter the season. Definitely a lot of uncertainty at the retailer and store level, but if you know what you’re looking for & the colors…. then definitely get it at a good price!
I am so excited, I had a birthday yesterday and had hinted that I wanted the Fierce Lynx bracelet for July and I got it!!! :) It is beautiful and I wore it all day yesterday as a bracelet… today for shopping I will wear it as a necklace. Thanks for pointing me in their direction Janice! Also I am part of a facebook group for ladies that take the 100 or 30 day challenge in the same dress, although I haven’t done it yet. There are some lovely people there that seem to learn a lot from the challenge.
I’m going to do the 100 days, starting September 1st. I very probably will also do one of the tee shirt challenges, but I almost feel guilty taking $ from the company! I’m excited to start…
That’s an exciting experiment! I have looked at the different dress styles in the site but have never committed to trying it.
Hard no to wearing any garment for one hundred days straight. Maybe a smallish capsule wardrobe with options…Honestly any garment would become funky and PU after ten days straight wearing for eight hours but a wool dress after 100 days, I’d never want to see it again. Probably why they are offering a 100.00 gift card if the challenge is completed because the dress would be tossed. Glad I’m retired because that would not make for a pleasant cubicle mate…
Sally in St Paul says
Another hard pass on 100 consecutive days here. There is literally nothing about this challenge that appeals to me! :) I expect this to be a love it or hate it proposition.
Zaidie Brown says
My issues are that the dress sizes they state won’t fit me nicely for waist and hips so will need altering, there’s no tall option so will likely be too short to wear for work (and possibly around my small children), colour option is not great for non-black neutrals, not all the dresses have pockets, the dress costs more than $100 so I’m not going to make my money back… although I could easily wash it every 2-3 days and have it dry overnight so the smell issue is less worrisome.
I do have a nice wool dress in navy I could do a similar challenge with – if i do it, I’ll do it starting late October with a 30 day capsule set up for the dress. But just for fun as I’m not buying a new dress of quality and ethics unknown with a large CO2 footprint (from Korea to the US to Europe).
Feels like another gimmick to get people to purchase an expensive dress to me.
I love that you broke this down into segments.
It’s easier to enjoy each scarf and how it’s moving to a complete wardrobe, the thought process behind each. The further into the year, the more difficult it gets to see the individual trees in the forest so to speak.
This way I get to follow your thoughts on each one- and that’s where I learn the most. It’s not about whether I’d wear that particular colour palette, but what goes into the building process. Actually seeing a palette I wouldn’t wear helps me see bones of the capsule more clearly.
Appreciate what you do.
Sally in St Paul says
Rabbit rabbit rabbit! (traditional good luck saying for the first of the month) These neutral options of course look wonderful with their capsules. I bounce around a bit but keep coming back to the beige/pink/green wardrobe. I’m increasingly attracted to the cool stone/taupe neutral, though it’s VERY challenging to find the version I’m interested in (which is OK for now because I’m not buying new clothes any time soon). The way the darkest beige sweater looks on my screen is spot on, but of course that’s not the color on the seller’s website, sigh. However, the bunny brooch is absolutely perfect!
I am really, really not a candidate for a 30 or 100 (or even 3) day challenge that involves wearing the same item consecutive days. I understand that the dress in question has odor-fighting qualities, etc., because it’s wool but I strongly prefer my close-to-the-skin top layer to be fresh…and even for cardigans/jackets, I like them to have a chance to air out between wears. My skin is also sensitive to wool, so I’d have to wear a different fabric, which is unlikely to stand up well to 100 consecutive wears! I have to admit that I also am turned off by the gimmicky nature of the challenge…and am amused that the reward is a $100 gift card. Once I’ve proven I only need one dress to wear for months on end, why do I need a gift card to buy more clothing? :D
I suspect bed-time hand-washing and overnight drying – but I have to confess that I’ve worn my wool tee shirts for days and days and days without laundering, and they’re sort of miraculous…
Sally in St Paul says
I’ve heard that wool does stand up very well to repeated wear…I suspect my issue is as much psychological as anything else. I do look forward to your reporting on the consecutive wears and how it feels for you!
Uncomplicating getting dressed could prove to be a real gift to me right now; I’ve got a busy day-to-day schedule, and being able to get up and get ready without too much effort sounds wonderful.
I plan to report back all the details, I promise! One thing I do already know – this wouldn’t suit everyone, and that’s as it should be. We never all want to dress alike!
Thank you, ak! Little Ninja weapon-and my favorite new motto. Now I must have that pin…
And thank you, Janice – “Even if you struggle to find just the right things your wardrobe should never show that effort!” Great statement maybe applicable to other aspects of life.
I am reminded of a book I loved as a child called “The hundred dresses” by Eleanor Estes. Does anyone else remember that book?
That was one of my favorites growing up. Thanks for the memory.
Nope! Nope! Nope! to the 100 Day Dress Challenge.
Nope # 1 wool. Don’t generally like it, can’t comfortably wear it. Although I do like Alpaca wool, but it’s too warm.
Nope # 2 one dress. I need more than one type, colour, and style of clothing, and a dress isn’t it.
Nope # 3 100 days. I can’t even remember the last time I got dressed for 100 straight days.
I’m guessing that I’m not a part of their target demographic.
And yes it’s gimmicky. But that just may be marketing.
I will be interested to hear how it works for you, Janice. And anybody else who tries it.
I’m with you on #1 and #2! and also allergic to wool. i do get dressed every day, but, perhaps not dressed for public viewing :)
Now, a 100 days jeans challenge… bet i could do that! :-D
I am pleasanly surprise with the 100 day dress challenge, I think I could try it, but I live in an extremely hot area and have to wear pants to work… Maybe next year, over the summer, haha. And I also love this post being stretched out, I like seeing the images and analyzing the colors and how they work. Thanks, Janice, for everything you teach us!
My wardrobe is 98% wool dresses after doing the challenge last year! Working on adding natural fiber pieces elsewhere at this point! I hope you love it!!!
Re the 100 Day Dress challenge. I’m intrigued by it. I went to the site, and I am contemplating the Camellia dress in black and the Landmark cardigan in black. Together with my 28 scarves. Add in leggings and a tunic or the black joggers and a top. It would be the 6 pack of my dreams.
I don’t think I would do 100 days – My husband complains when I wear my neutral core- black, white, navy & grey too much. He likes variety while I could easily wear those 4 colours from here to eternity.
What’s really pulling me in is how much it reminds me of Donna Karan’s Seven Easy Pieces- the original group of 7 in black. Looking at their clothes I could easily recreate a modern take on Donna’s original vision.
I love merino- I have 2 thin merino items in black – a V neck pullover and a cardigan that I always pack on trips. I attest to their ease of hand washing on the road and multiple wearings and airing out in between. Machine wash on delicate. It’s so light.
This would be my idea of the ultimate core capsule for travelling. It’s going to take me a year or two to think about- but it’s got me started.
Cindy D says
I hope you have a good experience, Janice, with the 100 Day Challenge. I made it to Day #63 last year with a charcoal gray Sierra long, sleeveless style. Having a flattering neutral color and a flattering A-line style, at just the right length, made getting dressed every morning a breeze! And then, the playing with styling and accessorizing gave me something more interesting than the pandemic to think about for a few minutes a day!
I have several of their other dresses, which I haven’t worn living in a warmer climate for the past year. But now, I’m tickled pink that they released the Sierra in a dusty blue, my best color. Although I don’t intend to do the 100 days this time, I’m looking forward to winnowing my wardrobe down to gray and dusty blue as my neutrals and vetting all those second layers and scarves! Maybe it helps that I moved to place with a much smaller closet?