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A very appreciated reader in the UK asked for "My colouring is "Summer"; style "Full Classic"; bodyline "Straight". A little more info on colour - My 100% Neutral is Dark Blue Grey; 100% Basics - Deep Sea Green, and Plum, and I suit the deep and smokey colours of my palette." This is what I chose for her... ... View the Post
I was asked for the following: I'd love to hear your thoughts on a travel wardrobe suggestion for this autumn, where a black suit and a gray suit can expand to accommodate four days working at a conference, through: educational sessions, miles of walking and schlepping stuff, and the occasional networking reception. The caveat is that I can't wear any cotton career shirts!
My thinking was to provide a couple of optional garments that could be worn if the conference turned out to be either more or less dressy than anticipated, and to include a touch of color so that during networking activities, the wearer would be a bit more memorable and stand out in the crowd.
Travel wardrobes fascinate me - if you have one in mind, please ... View the Post
So far, all of the wardrobes I've built have been posted under the heading French Chic, and I'm frankly becoming a bit uncomfortable with that. We've wandered quite a distance from what the original guidelines of Susan Sommers' iconic book, and I'm not sure that I should continue to exploit the title which is so indelibly hers.
Thus, I'm just going to call them wardrobes. And with that decision, I thought I should share with you the mantra I use for the building of these little gems.
First: Carefully Curated. Each garment has to make the cut. I've heard some fairly harsh criticism recently that "good enough" is really okay for one's wardrobe, and I have to disagree. Yes, in some circumstances we do have to ... View the Post
Someone brilliantly requested that I build them a wardrobe based on the colors of the abalone shell. With the inspiration I got from looking at abaloneshelljewelry.com, I built the following:
Thanks so much for the FASCINATING request; I hope you like the results.
Anybody interested in a custom wardrobe, just leave a comment (even an Anonymous comment!) with the particulars of what you'd like to see. It could be based on a particular painting, or scarf, or just your favorite colors. And for those of you with pending requests - I'm hard at work to find you the PERFECT items! ... View the Post
One of my dear friends asked how I would accessorize the French Chic wardrobe. While this is far from definitive, I think it's an interesting start.
I learn more and more every day as I build these vignettes for our shared pleasure: you should be ABSOLUTELY FANATICALLY DEMANDING when you purchase anything. There is a world of merchandise out there, and the perfect item exists, if you have the patience and the focus to find it. Settle for NOTHING LESS THAN PERFECTION. You deserve it. And if you fully intend to own many of your accessories for the rest of your life, you can easily justify buying the very best item being made today - support geniuses and craftspersons, and beautify the world.
Merchandise ... View the Post
So as lovely as the garments above are, this is certainly not going to be enough clothing to even get you through a week. Most of us would want at least five separate tops and bottoms (or a dress) to get through the week. Even if you wear black pants repeated each week, it's nice to have more than one pair.
Thus, I decided to take it upon myself to determine what additional garments Vivienne would want in order to consider this a complete wardrobe. Realistically, I think most of us would do this exercise twice - once for cooler weather, and once for the sweltering misery that passes for summer on much of our planet. But for starters, let's just round out this core wardrobe with a few of the essentials.
The ... View the Post
One of the things about the book French Chic (Susan Sommers) which intrigued me was the list of garments which included "The seven essentials no well-dressed Frenchwoman would be without".
That list included:
A black straight skirt a V-neck or cardigan sweater a suit a pair of jeans a silk shirt a couple of white tee-shirts an Hermes scarf
The idea of a list of essential clothing fascinates me; in a world that tries to compel me to over-consume, that finite-ness of a list like this, in which I could have some discipline and some structure, seems heaven-sent. Knowing that I was going to buy a fixed number of garments would give me the freedom to determine how much I wanted to spend, in what areas I could be extravagant, and on ... View the Post
This is from a posting on a discussion group in which I listed the entirety of Vivienne's work wardrobe. She tells me that it has changed very little in the intervening years... Note that I've assigned "days of the week" to these little vignettes, but I don't think that necessarily corresponds to how and when Vivienne actually wears these.
Here's the inventory... (1) Charcoal gray flannel pants, gray and black striped sweater (1b) red and gray twinset
(2) Black short knit skirt, black merino twinset (2b) black and white striped turtleneck longer (tunic length?) sweater
(3) Black pants and blazer, black and white paisley blouse (3b) black and white mixed cashmere crew (3/4 ... View the Post
the following is a direct quote from the original Je Ne Sais Quoi discussion group postings I made regarding my friend Vivienne:
Someone asked me what Vivienne thinks of my wardrobe - to put it mildly she thinks I'm crazy! Admittedly, she has never actually been in my apartment and seen the beautiful arrangement (by color) of my bounty, and I HAVE seen her apartment (but not her closet) but she assures me that she has about 4 linear feet of hanging space. (Well okay, slightly more than a meter) But she thinks that I'm a genius packer - the last 2 trips I've made to Paris on business, she has come over to my hotel with me and hung out while I unpacked, pressed and otherwise got my act together. She ... View the Post