For an introduction to the 6 Scarves 2021 project, see this post.
For a description of my method, see this post.
Janice added a plain white button-down shirt, beige pants, and navy accessories to her beige & navy wardrobe in February. Very different from the print skirts coming to the Darcy wardrobe
The first print skirt is quite traditional: very thin navy and white stripes on a lined skirt that almost looks like a solid from a distance. The wilder print comes in with this pleated knit skirt; it's got so much going on that I'm just going to call it a geometric print and be done with it. And if I was excited to add a plain white long-sleeved T to the Gina wardrobe (I was), then I'm doubly excited to add a similar T and an ivory cable knit pullover sweater to this one! Stylistically, I hear you if you're thinking that the one is much like the other, and whether you grab the white T or the ivory sweater, the effect is extremely similar, so why the double excitement? But my friends, sometimes a Sally wants to get dressed two days in a row. Under these circumstances, having another very light neutral top...that is different enough that it doesn't look like you just pulled the same shirt you wore yesterday off the floor where you left it...is a real boon. And of course it's nice to be able to adjust the weight of your top along with the weather.
White long-sleeved crew neck T - St Johns Bay/JCP - 2X - $6.50 - 9/2017
Navy/white microstripe skirt - thrifted, Talbots/Goodwill - 24W - $3.99 - 12/2019
Green/blue/orange geometric skirt - thrifted, Lularoe/ThredUp - 3X - $13.76 - 7/2020
Ivory cable pullover sweater - Karen Scott/Macy's - 3X - $9.96 - 7/2020
So this is kind of ridiculous: Darcy's Sally is getting yet another quilted vest (this time in an extremely versatile navy) and TWO pairs of tall boots. The brown ones are a nod to the beige neutral (think of them as just very, very dark beige), and the cognac ones are scrumptious with navy.
Navy quilted vest - Croft & Barrow/Kohls - 2X - $16.74 - 12/2019
Tall brown boots - Fitzwell/Zappos - $104.99 - 3/2014
Tall cognac boots - Sam Edelman/Nordstrom - $126.60 - 11/2014
Have you noticed yet that boots are the most expensive thing I buy to wear (except prescription eyeglasses)? I promise I didn't purposely set myself up to reference Terry Pratchett's Boots Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness, but I'll follow it through. I read the book Men at Arms some time between 2000 and 2007, which I know because I have a strong memory of sitting in my cube at that particular job at lunch, reading this particular passage:
“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money. Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles. But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet. This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”
While I don't believe that spending more for higher quality goods that will last a long time is an "investment" (no, your boots are not going to appreciate in value) or even an expenditure that always makes financial sense (says the woman who gained 100 pounds in 10 years and would definitely not be fitting into a classic, pricey trench coat bought to wear forever), there certainly are circumstances where this approach is a very good idea. And in Minnesota, as in Ankh-Morpork, boots for the cold, wet season is one of them.
I have gotten six years out of these boots so far, and I expect to get many more. I weatherproof my boots every winter, keep rolled up in newspaper in them when they aren't being worn, and don't wear the same pair two days in a row. If Vimes could have afforded TWO pairs of good boots, and alternated his wears so the soles could rest and the leather could dry out, he would've been able to save even more money in the long run while wearing boots in better condition all the while. (I really like the final point made in this blog post: If you buy your two pairs of boots at different times, say 6 months apart, you won't need to break in two pairs at once and you won't have two pairs that wear out at the same time. And I just noticed that the boots added today were bought 8 months apart--nice job, previous self!)
Now to my favorite part: the scarves entering the wardrobe! As you can see, I like buying my scarves secondhand. It's much less expensive, it's good for the environment, and it's a great way to access a crazy wide variety of scarves--you're not limited to what's in stores at a given moment. And unlike clothing and shoes, there doesn't seem to be a lot of change in how scarves look over time so they don't easily look "dated" (if you care about that, just avoid the occasional weird trend like blanket scarves that could fit a California King bed and you'll be fine). Shopping for scarves is a pleasure, in part because you don't have to worry about sizing, which is always a blessing for plus sized shoppers who are accustomed to facing meager options at higher prices compared to our straight sized counterparts when clothes shopping. I wash my secondhand scarves in Soak rinse-free washing liquid before wearing them and let them air dry. To switch gears a bit...the Black & Grey Gina wardrobe got a pair of faux pearl rabbit stud earrings this month; now the Darcy wardrobe gets theirs. I ended up with two pairs of similar rabbit earrings after Janice linked to these little faux white pearl/gold ones on her blog and I could not resist them for under $10. This is most definitely NOT a case of the Boots theory in action; sometimes you just gotta have two similar but not identical pairs of inexpensive faux pearl rabbit earrings. (The ears on these are small and straight; the ears on the other pair are longer and one is bent. They are different kinds of rabbits, OK?!)
Aqua/white striped infinity scarf - thrifted, Look/ThredUp - $5.46 - 8/2020
Blue/orange/white tie-dyed scarf - thrifted, ThredUp - $3.59 - 5/2020
Aqua infinity scarf - Target - $11.69 - 9/2014
Cerulean blue/reverie teal/dark aqua-blue/yellow circles scarf - thrifted, ThredUp - $7.51 - 5/2020
Navy/green/aqua ombré scarf - thrifted, ThredUp - $4.79 - 5/2020
Faux pearl/gold rabbit earrings - Amazon - about $10
Now that we've seen our wardrobe additions, let's run them through their paces putting some outfits together. Navy tights or leggings would work with all these outfits; brown could work well also.
Outfit #1 is another example of the print-mix-with-an-expanse-of-neutral-between-the-prints principle at work. This is a hugely satisfying mix for me: two geometric prints, one of which is simpler than the other and contains a subset of the colors of the other. I actually like using stripes for print mixes a lot; it just feels like an easy print to work with. And I am loving how the cognac boots pick up the bits of orange in the skirt's print.
Outfit #2 continues with the geometric skirt in an easy-to-wear combination with a bunch of solid pieces in varying textures. The brown boots might feel like a bit of an odd choice because there is no brown in the outfit otherwise, but I like this as an alternative to the cognac boots; the cognac boots are more attention-grabbing whereas these are more low-key and allow the skirt to be the centerpiece.
Outfit #3 features another useful and quite subtle print-mix combination: stripes and ombré. The sweater, vest, and boots replicate the colors of the scarf, which gives a pleasantly harmonious feel to the outfit.
I get a squee of satisfaction from seeing the repetition of the circles on the scarf in the rabbit faces of the earrings in Outfit #4. I also think the brown boots work extremely well in this outfit that has an overall muted feel to the colors.
Outfit #5 is yet another demonstration of how well an ombré scarf works as a component of a print mix. And once again, the scarf has a simpler pattern than the skirt and contains a subset of its colors, which we saw in Outfit #1. I'm starting to notice a theme here.
I'm feeling pretty relieved that I didn't add a bunch of scarves with wildly complex prints in a multitude of colors along with the print skirts here. Believe me, I'm very inclined to go crazy with a ton of wonderful, high-energy, very colorful, attention-grabbing prints that sure, can look amazing together when the planets align, but that often produce visual chaos even by my standards. I have had to be deliberate about purchasing scarves in solids, very basic prints (like stripes and dots), and semi-prints like ombré to work with my bolder print garments. Left to run the show, my magpie instincts want every single piece to be extra super interesting!
For the seasonal wardrobe matrix, recall that in each season, for each color category, I can mark what has been added each month:
x = solid piece
T = tonal piece (i.e., tonally works with this color though it is a different color)
O = ombré piece
P = print piece (not ombré)
The winter matrix for the Darcy wardrobe added several new colors this month, a hint of things to come.
Do you ever go overboard on prints?
In my next post, we will look at the February additions for our third wardrobe: #3 Navy & Grey, Lily. More print skirts!