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6 Scarves 2021: December Additions, #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

For an introduction to the 6 Scarves 2021 project, see this post.

For a description of my method, see this post.


Today we will complete the additions to this jewel tone capsule wardrobe based on this giraffe inspiration scarf and color palette. We've edged our way into January, but I suspect that most of us wear very similar items across these two months of winter, so these new pieces should prove useful.

The color scheme for the December additions is black and blue with three new bottom pieces: a black spacedye knit skirt, plain black pants with a pull-on waist but a traditional straight leg work pants style, and a comfy pair of blue/black plaid knit pants.

December Bottoms: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Black space dye knit skirt - Old Navy - XL - $10.00 - 9/2014

Black pull-on pants - thrifted, CB/Goodwill - 22W - $4.49 - 10/2018

Black/blue plaid knit pants - Lands End - ? - 2021


The new tops and toppers for December include a basic black T and three shades of blue: a cobalt blue pullover sweater, admiral blue open cardigan vest, and a coordinating peacock blue cowlneck top and quilted vest.

December Tops & Toppers: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Cobalt blue pullover sweater - thrifted, St Johns Bay - 2X - $4.99 - 9/2019

Peacock blue cowlneck top - CJ Banks - 3X - $12.75 - 12/2020

Peacock blue quilted vest - CJ Banks - 2X - $16.15 - 12/2020

Admiral blue open vest - thrifted, Joseph A - 3X - $13.66 - 8/2020

Black long-sleeved T - Croft & Barrow/Kohls - 2X - ?


Scarves are a major component of my winter style, so it's no surprise that we have five new ones for December. The whimsical Christmas cats scarf is definitely a holiday-only piece, but the others can be worn year-round (temperature permitting). You'll see that I leave the white/black elephant scarf in a braided necklace (Jodie's video here), but of course it can be unbraided and worn other ways. Jewelry pieces range from the bold (DIY glass bead cord necklace) to the subtle (sapphire stud earrings and pearl bracelet). Rounding out the additions are two choices of footwear: tall cognac boots (which look great with black) and fun floral loafers.

December Accessories: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Teal/yellow/aqua/magenta striped scarf - gift (Kilgoris) - 12/2020

Green/blue/black cartoon paisley scarf - thrifted, ThredUp - $4.08 - 5/2020

White/black elephant scarf - thrifted, ThredUp - $1.50 - 12/2019

Cobalt blue bird scarf - Amazon - $6.99 - 11/2019

Sapphire stud earrings - gift

Bulky blue/green/rust/sepia glass bead necklace - made by me - winter 2021

Aqua Christmas cats scarf - thrifted, Goodwill - $1.99 - 7/2016

Black/blue floral loafers - thrifted, Target/ThredUp - $10.99 - 4/2020

White pearl/crystal ball bracelet - Kohls - came with necklace - 11/2020

Tall cognac boots - Sam Edelman/Nordstrom - $126.60 - 11/2014


With such a tight color palette this month, it should be easy to build outfits from these additions; let's start with the black spacedye skirt, which I find more interesting than a plain skirt but just as versatile. Outfit #1 pairs the skirt with the cobalt sweater and coordinating cobalt bird print scarf, which adds some subtle print mixing and other small doses of accent color to the look. I took advantage of the fact that the oblong scarf can be worn draped around the back of the neck and flowing down in the front to also pop in the glass bead necklace, which picks up many of the colors from the scarf. Although this outfit could easily be worn with black boots, I do like the warmth (color-wise) that cognac boots (+black tights) bring to a black-based outfit, and it's another way to pick up on the warm tones in the scarf.

December Outfit #1: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Outfit #2 is a fun holiday look that plays on the social heuristic that skirt/dress = dressed up, even if the outfit is fundamentally casual and comfortable like a T and knit skirt combo. The tall boots are practical option offering warmth and snow protection (as long as you have weather-proofed your leather boots, which I hope that you do!), but a more dressy/festive option could be switched in to take things up a notch.

December Outfit #2: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Next we'll play with these black pants, which are a style that feels just right for the current "I am not willing to sacrifice comfort but I'm ready to wear something a bit dressier than leggings" mode many of us are in. They have a pull-on style due to the hidden elastic waist but normal work trousers fabrication and straight leg cut. I topped the pants with the peacock blue winter "twin set" and accessorized with a woven pattern scarf, pearls, and floral loafers for a low-key scarf + shoe print mix...which is actually a really easy way to step your toe into print mixing, no pun intended, because the two prints are at the top and bottom of the look with a lot of solid color separating them.

December Outfit #3: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Outfit #4 is built on the world's easiest column of color, a black T and black pants, which presents a nice backdrop to the brilliant blue sweater vest, print scarf, and floral loafers.

December Outfit #4: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Outfit #5 pairs the black T with the plaid pants for a simple, comfortable look with some added interest from the three-way print mix of plaid, floral, and elephant print. Tying the print scarf in this braided necklace way reduces the impact of the print in 3 ways: (1) by obscuring its details in the braid, (2) by reducing the overall "amount" of the scarf that is visible, and (3) by keeping it up near the face rather than over the front of your top. For me, this scarf no longer has the feel of "an elephant print scarf" when braided this way...now it's mostly just a black and white necklace. This is a nice trick to keep in mind if wearing your scarf with a tie that exposes more of the print feels too bold for you in the context of the outfit.

December Outfit #5: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly

Today's outfit of the day round-up focuses on the peacock blue quilted vest with support from other peacock blue pieces that have been added to the Nelly capsule. In addition to the vest and cowlneck top from December, this wardrobe also has peacock blue tank, striped top, corduroy jacket, pants, and scarf from October (all purchased from the CJ Banks peacock blue offerings in the winter of 2020). So there are a lot of mix-and-match opportunities using this color.


This outfit from last January is a variant on Outfit #1 above, using the peacock blue cowlneck top, pants, and quilted vest with a print scarf and print flats. In this case, instead of black pants, I wore the coordinating blue ones for a head-to-toe peacock blue look. While this can seem like a LOT of color in theory, when using a subtle color (aka semi-neutral or colored neutral) like peacock blue, teal, dark green, burgundy, rust, etc., it doesn't have to overwhelm in practice.

January Outfit with Peacock Blue Top, Vest & Pants

Next are two outfits using the winter "suit" of the peacock pants and quilted vest over a different color of top. In this January 2020 outfit, I used the peacock blue as the accent color with a black marl sweater and cheetah Oxfords. I wore the peacock blue scarf with a DIY scarf ring made from an elastic and a silver coin shank button to pick up on the silver zipper. It's interesting how a low-key outfit in terms of color and print can make something as simple as a zipper into a noticeable style element.

January Outfit with Peacock Blue Vest, Pants & Scarf

In this February outfit, the peacock blue "suit" is the neutral/semi-neutral color that is livened up with orchid as the accent color for the sweater and scarf. Note that the cheetah Oxfords and DIY silver coin scarf ring are also re-used in this outfit. I could go a long time wearing variants on this outfit just by changing out the sweater and scarf.

February Outfit with Peacock Blue Vest & Pants

Now for the final rabbit to be added to the Nelly menagerie: Cassie the castor Mini Rex! "Castor" is a coloration term that (I think) you'll only hear when discussing Rex or Mini Rex rabbits. The original Rex rabbits were created in 1919 from cross-bred Belgian Hares and given the name "Castor Rex" from the Latin words castor (beaver or brown) and rex (king). Quickly other breeders developed Rex rabbits with other colors and the term "Castor" was dropped from the breed's name. But the castor coloration is where the Rex and Mini Rex began, and it's hard to argue that any other rabbit colors are better than the OG castor with its dark chestnut brown/rich orange fur tipped with black and the soft white/tan visible on the ears, around the eyes, the underside of the head, and belly. Of course, I'm biased because my beloved Katy was a castor Mini Rex! But there's just something about the delicate, luxurious look of a castor Mini Rex doe that I just cannot resist. Cassie is a gorgeous example of this rabbit!

December Rabbit for #5 Brown & Black, Nelly: Castor Mini Rex

Do you like semi-neutral colors like peacock blue, teal, dark green, burgundy, rust, the rich chestnut/cognac of castor (haha), etc., that can function as a neutral or an accent color? Do you ever wear your semi-neutrals as a column of color (either an inner column or a "suit" outer column)?


In my next capsule post, we will look at the last of our December additions: the #6 Grey & Navy, Sophia wardrobe.


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