love, Janice ... View the Post
The Vivienne Files - Page 181 of 196 - Capsule wardrobes inspired by art and nature
I've seen it a hundred times, at least. Hapless shopper wanders into store, without anything particular in mind. And then... they see it. The shelf of tee shirts in 19 colors. The round rack of cardigans in 24 colors. OR the wall of socks in every color of the rainbow (yes, I'm talking to you, Bon Marche!).
When this shopper came into the store, their feelings about buying were "Will I buy?".
But then they see this assortment, and they automatically start to evaluate the various colors, mentally sorting them into piles of "yuck", "nice but I couldn't wear it", "possible", and (this is the fatal one) "my colors".
And of course, when you see something in "my color", it should therefore become "my garment", ... View the Post
There are (at least) two schools of shopping...
Style #1 - the self-chosen few
After careful consideration, shopper #1 decides that she needs two new tops - either blouses, sweaters or tee shirts. Her carefully curated and deliberated distilled wardrobe is based on two "crazy eights" of black and gray, so her ideal purchases will be patterns which include both gray and black. This will enable her to create outfits with (for example) black pants and a gray cardigan, or a gray skirt and black blazer.
She considers what patterns she likes. She considers what fabrics and cuts she prefers. She reviews her budget.
Then, and ONLY THEN, does she venture into the shopping realm. (be it the mall, the catalogs, or the ... View the Post
I'm now 122 days into my year-long "no new clothes" vow, and I am finding that, honestly, it's not difficult, and it's really quite... mentally freeing. When you eliminate things from your life (like I NEVER think about sky-diving!), it frees you up to pay attention to other things. Walking up Michigan Avenue without window shopping and mentally "trying on" all sorts of garments is what has given me the mental bandwidth to observe the various looks that I've been able to share with you. And when I don't shop, it gives me some perspective on the buying behaviors of other people, which is quite educational. More on that tomorrow...
What I wore in December? Work clothes, my swimsuit (hot tub in my building!), and ... View the Post
This series of objects, based on the book by Dominique Loreau, certainly doesn't match what I would choose for 99 essential objects (I've never actually OWNED a laundry machine...), but it does provoke thought about what is essential to ME.
Maybe as a New Year's exercise, it would be worthwhile to consider all of the many objects around us, and try to start distinguishing between the mere "wants" of temporary, superficial gratification, and the truly "essentials" of happiness.
May 2012 bring you all of your essentials, a healthy dose of your wants, and the ability to tell the two apart! Thanks for being here with me this year, with much love, Vivienne ... View the Post
As soon as I posted yesterday's illustrations, I received some questions about using other colors with navy. So here are two additional ways to work with the core of navy garments and brown accessories...
My next plan is to show THE SAME navy garments, only with accent clothing and accessories in cool colors. A core (a "Not so Crazy Eights") of a neutral color has a lot of potential for serving as a base for any favorite color you might want to wear!
love, Janice ... View the Post
I've been receiving LOTS of questions about wearing navy clothing with brown shoes, and "warm" colors. This seems like it could be tricky, since navy is pretty much a cool color, but men have been making this combination of cool and warm work for decades, and it always looks great! My suggestions:
make sure your "navies" go together - navy can vary widely. Either buy all pieces at one time (ambitious, to be sure!), buy them from the same designer (equally ambitious), or plan to carry or wear a couple of navy items when you shop, so that you can be certain that your current garments will work with new purchases. feel free to experiment with any warm color as an accent. Green, gold, every shade of rust, persimmon, and ... View the Post
Walking up Michigan Avenue in the winter, the intrepid adventurer encounters many sounds: traffic, car horns, sirens, the occasional argument, some laughter, and every now and then... a shriek! I've made a study of the various shrieks of the "winter footwear challenged" segment of the human species, and I have created the following field guide to help you interpret these sounds, and perhaps even get a visual confirmation of the creature.
A. The sound: a muffled, rhythmic gasping sound, with occasional expletives interjected. The creature in question: Post Pedicure Flip-Flopper
Visual confirmation: check the feet - bluish feet, perfect toenails, and cheap, flimsy, salon-giveaway flip flops being worn on freezing cold ... View the Post
When was the last time you truly WORE OUT a piece of clothing? As in absolutely could not mend, darn, nor patch the thing?
This comes to my mind because, since I started the heavy-lifting seasonal job, I've demolished two pair of socks, two bras (don't ask...) and - best of all - I took off a tee shirt after work one evening and it completely fell to pieces in my hands. It was as if every piece of thread in every seam decided simultaneously to just give up the ghost and quit. It was almost magical...
But I don't remember this happening all that often in my adult life. But when I was a child, I clearly remember wearing clothes until they were either passed on to someone else, or they went through the triage of ... View the Post
One of my favorite Chanel quotes is "One shouldn't spend all one's time dressing. All one needs are two or three suits, as long as they and everything to go with them, are perfect."
So I thought about how this quote applies to the wardrobes that I build - let's try on Chanel's advice!
First, two suits: one black, one taupe. Now, to me, a suit is a jacket, pants, a skirt AND a dress. (sometimes, nothing looks better than a dress and jacket). Yes, I'm taking the definitions very loosely...
Next, you need the things that go with the 2 suits. One twinset that matches a suit, and another twinset in an accent color. One turtleneck that matches one of the suits, and a turtleneck or other sweater in an accent ... View the Post
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