Thursday, May 16, 2024

Imagined Becomes Real: Riffing on a Vivienne Files Wardrobe

In a pair of posts (here and here), The Vivienne Files has come up with another example of a small, classic, neutral summer wardrobe, which can then be perked up by half a dozen bright additions.

The thirteen core pieces are a balance of navy and white. They are mainly casual (I think of shorts as casual), and the dress is hacked from a swimsuit coverup, but there is also a  more expensive sleeveless top for dressier occasions (I assume to be worn with navy pants, although it's hinted that it would also look good with a skirt).

The accent pieces take their colours from a Mark Rothko painting in shades of red and pink. There is an eye-popping set of bright pink linen shirt and pants, plus a pink dress and a couple of tops. 

This isn't too far from the spring/summer wardrobe I already posted here. But if I wanted to create a closer match to the VF wardrobe, say for a trip, how would I do it? Particularly considering that I gave away a large bag of clothes that had seen a few too many better days, so there are fewer things to work with. On the other hand, I just bought a pair of white jeans, and also thrifted a summer top that would work well. So let's do this.

The closest thing I have to a fancy sleeveless top is a fancy sleeveless dress, so that checks off both those boxes. Note to self: make sure the dress in Part 2 is more casual.

Bonus dress, neutral and linen though not navy.

Navy shorts and navy pants: yes, I have those. (I also have an extra pair of dark blue shorts, so that's enough for me--I don't wear shorts much.)

White shorts: substituting white jeans. (And goes without saying: a pair of blue jeans.)

Two navy tops: I have one navy top with same-colour embroidery, and I just thrifted a navy and grey top with some texture.

A pinstriped navy linen shirt: I do have a blue and white striped shirt, not as dark but I think it would work.

White summer cardigan: On this one I might have to split between a white linen pullover (which would work some of the time but not with everything), a navy linen-blend pullover (ditto), and a jean jacket which is okay on cooler days but isn't something you're going to want to wear wandering around the beach town in July, right? Note to self: keep this in mind at the thrift store.

White sleeveless blouse: I'm substituting a white t-shirt.

Striped casual top: Striped t-shirt.

Two accent-colour tops or blouses: Since I haven't completely decided which direction I'm going with Part Two (pink? blue? green?), I'm going to play it safe with a blue t-shirt and a magenta one. Note to self: that magenta t-shirt is not in the best shape, so I either need to thrift a replacement, or choose something else I already have. (Bonus points for this scarf that blends with most of the upcoming colours.)

Navy crossbody purse and sandals: I do have navy sandals, and a large navy purse. But I would also include my white (technically Coconut Cream) Pixie Mood purse. And a hat as suggested.

Navy espadrilles and white sneakers: Loafers with bows, and a pair of sneakers.

Navy and white scarf: I don't seem to have anything summer-appropriate in just those colours; I might have to either thrift something or just go with a brighter scarf (see the t-shirt photo above).

Earrings: something navy, something pink. What else would look good? Silver hoops, for sure.

Accent Pieces, Version One

Let's assume we're going with the pinks and reds of the VF plan. Well, I for sure don't have a hot pink linen shirt and pants. But I do have a vintage rayon blouse and skirt set with pink and purple stripes, so that's close.

What about a more everyday outfit? I have a white linen shirt (which offers another option for that white cardigan I don't own). I also have a pair of navy embroidered pants that go with the top from Part 1.

 Some more brightness: last year I thrifted a FIG Voyage dress in pink and red stripes. 

That leaves two tops, but I already added the white shirt, so let's go with one. If I wanted to keep going with pink, I would include this floral sleeveless top--it's a bit dressy for everyday, but sometimes that's what you want.

Two more pairs of shoes: the VF plan suggests pink and gold sandals, but I'm going to go casual with red pull-on sneakers and dark blue lace-ups.

Another scarf: again, I'm trying to pick out something that might be worn in the summer. Instead of going for something small, though, the best option I have is this large but lightweight scarf that includes navy, pink and white (among other things). It could even work as a wrap with a sleeveless dress.

Another pair of earrings (or other jewelry): Although I love scarves, in summertime I'm more likely to dress things up with necklaces.

The VF plan doesn't add any other bags at this point, but I probably would.

Accent Pieces, Version Two

If I weren't trying to duplicate the VF pink and red theme, I could easily go with blues and greens. I have a green t-shirt dress, a couple of green tops, a purse with green sea turtles on it, and a set of Fierce Lynx bracelets in teal and white. You've seen all those things here before, but here's a photo.

Plus a scarf. (Flea market find last week.)
And all that's pretty much what I was going to wear this summer anyway--it's just a different way to think it through.  I'm going to keep my eyes open for a replacement t-shirt (shouldn't be hard), and a white cardigan or small jacket that could be worn with a dress. Otherwise, we're good to go!


Dawn said...

I enjoy it when you do these exercises. I love the Vivienne Files and have done a bit of playing around with her wardrobes using my clothes too. I especially like reading your thoughts behind what you are picking and need to add. For your white cardigan or jacket, you might consider one in a t-shirt material. I have a couple of moss green ones, a good color for me, that are perfect to carry in the car and throw on in super air conditioned stores. Besides being the perfect weight, I don't have to worry about them wrinkling and can even stick one in my purse.

Mama Squirrel said...

Thanks,Dawn--good idea about the cardigan. I have one like that in light blue, which would go with some of these clothes.

The Vivenne Files said...

I love the way you take my posts and make them your own - you really GET what I'm trying to do!
Wait 'til you see tomorrow's post - the same navy and white, with GREEN accents... really, really, really GREEN...
I think you'll love it!
big hugs,

Mama Squirrel said...

Thank you! I'm looking forward to tomorrow!