There’s been so much talk these days about the five (or the ten) essential items every woman needs in their closet. I even wrote a post about that a few weeks ago. And so much written about “editing” one’s wardrobe, and about “capsule wardrobes.” Like the need for a great blue shirt. Ines de la Fressange says in this article that a woman only needs “a few really good pieces,” and that a blue shirt is one of them.
Inspired by this ad for AP jeans, I bought a blue shirt at the Nordstrom sale in July.
And I wrote a post
about my new blue shirt in August. But that was back when I could wear it like this. With my Paige skinny jeans, and my comfy Stan Smith Adidas. And wear it I did. Just like this. Over and over. It became my late summer run-around “uniform.”
But summer turned to fall. And the weather became too chilly for a shirt and sneakers, not to mention bare ankles. And besides, I was growing weary of my “uniform.” You see, that’s the trouble with “capsule wardrobes.” The problem with the “five pieces every woman needs” … is that there are only five pieces. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a great believer in editing, whether it’s writing or wardrobes. But a girl has to have some variety.
Thanks goodness for the change of seasons. I set aside my blue shirt for a few weeks. And now I’m ready to haul it out again, and see how it fits with my fall and winter pieces.
So I tried it on the other day with the same Paige skinny jeans and my new Paul Green boots. I swapped the white cami for a navy one, and tied this blue, animal print scarf like a neckerchief. I’ve had this scarf for ages. I thought the mix of dark and light blue really pulled the shirt and the jeans together. Neckerchiefs are big this year, apparently. I saw them in numerous fashion lay-outs in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar this fall. I like this look. But if the temperature dips, my bare neck will be…well, bare… and cold. So I tried tying the scarf like an ascot. I hope it doesn’t make me look too much like David Niven.
And I’m really liking blue and brown this season. Actually, I’m liking brown
period, as it happens. I thought that my brown Max Mara coat would be great over the blue shirt. The soft blue shirt with the chocolate brown coat… more milk chocolate than dark… looks yummy, I think. Gad… it seems that I’ve had this coat for years. And years. Max Mara coats are wonderful… they’re really built to last. In this shot, I’ve exchanged my lovely, new, burgundy Marc Jacobs bag for my old, brown Coach bag. Can’t expect Marc to do all the heavy lifting this season. And if you could see all the junk I carry around in my purse, you’d know I mean that quite literally. Yep. This could be a great run-around “uniform.”
And in keeping with my current obsession with brown. I can pair my blue shirt with my brown, boot-cut Yoga jeans. I love these jeans with my new brown boots. Even if they are a teensy bit western, a little “Urban Cowboy.” Maybe because
they’re a little “Urban Cowboy.” And I can add this other animal print scarf tied like a neckerchief. I adore this silk scarf; I featured it in an earlier post
. One side is grey, tan, and black and the other is more brown than grey. Making it go with almost everything.
I don’t know what you call this method of tying a scarf, but we used to do it all the time in university. Fold the scarf in a triangle with the ends at the back (like a bandit,) then overlap the ends, bring them around, and tie in the front. And the grey side of the scarf pulls in the grey of my, now ubiquitous, Vince coat sweater. See.
Even those who profess to wear a daily “uniform,” and who talk about “edited” closets, and fashion “essentials” must get bored at times with their five (or ten) essential pieces. Preston Davis of the blog Keep It Chic
, who has long talked about her daily “uniform” has been blogging about, as she puts it, her uniform rut
. So I feel in good company. And I wouldn’t say that I was in a rut, exactly. I just needed the changing season and the falling temperatures to give me a little push. As much as I blog about this outfit or that one… when it comes time to dash out to the grocery store or the dentist, I tend to reach for the same three or four pieces. That’s part of being retired. I don’t care any less about how I look; I just don’t have to strive so much for variety
And I’m not ready to abandon the yearly exercise of editing my closet. I have really taken to the idea that I will keep in my closet only those things which I truly love. I plan to write a blog post about that soon. But limiting oneself to five (or ten) pieces should be an academic exercise. Not a hard and fast rule. I mean… what’s wrong with seven… or thirteen?
And since I am in such a mood for blue, maybe I need to shop for a lovely blue sweater. Like this one from The House of Barrie
, a knitwear company located in the Scottish borders. Gorgeous isn’t it? Hmmm. We’ll see.
Meanwhile. Back to David Niven. When I saw the shot of myself in my ascot-ish scarf, I immediately thought of him. It seemed to me that he always wore an ascot. Nope. I couldn’t find a single photograph of him in an ascot. But he did wear a bow tie a lot. It was Cary Grant who wore the ascots. Like this one from the movie It Takes a Thief.
And his scarf looks kind of like mine, don’t you think? Okay. Maybe not, but it is blue. Sigh. I love Cary Grant.
Now, I have to go do my work-out and get ready for my book club meeting this evening. We’re discussing the “new” Harper Lee novel Go Set a Watchman. With several former English teachers as part of the group, I’m expecting strong feelings about this book. And hopefully a rousing discussion. More on that later in a November book post. With so many new books to read … I’m definitely not in a rut there.
What do you do if you find yourself in a fashion rut? That’s if you ever do.