6 Scarves 2021: February Additions, #4 Olive & Beige, Kiwi
For an introduction to the 6 Scarves 2021 project, see this post.
For a description of my method, see this post.
The February additions for Janice's olive and beige wardrobe were a bright poppy red top, beige knit corduroy pants (I didn't know that was a thing), and red accessories. That's more colorful than what the Kiwi wardrobe has in store this month. Color-loving friends and Sallys, we are going to have to just hunker down and deal with the neutral garments to come.
This wardrobe has the first variation on our February theme of print skirts: a print dress instead. I love the idea of dresses theoretically--the "one and done" ease, the built-in column of color, the whole "not having to think about tucking in a top or whether the top is going to end at a strange spot on your body" aspect--but I have two primary issues with them: (1) they aren't as easy to mix-and-match as separates due to the being-one-garment thing and (2) they can be harder to fit than a separate top and skirt. So I hadn't had a dress in a while, but then this past summer I somehow ended up with several of them.
This olive and black floral print was a no-brainer for the Kiwi wardrobe. The botanical print skirt was one of the last black-based items I have added to my wardrobe (since I've decided I want to move away from having so much black); it was such a cute print and incredibly inexpensive, so I didn't attempt to resist. Continuing with the dark neutral theme here, a black cotton pullover sweater, a simple olive t-shirt, and an open weave sweater with a somewhat shimmery quality to the yarn. Finally, these gorgeous cream pearl earrings were my mom's. She gave them to me this year because they are too big for her taste; she likes the look of smaller earrings on herself and she doesn't like to wear earrings that she can't comfortably sleep in. Since I take my earrings out every night, that's no issue for me, and the larger size is perfect for my plus-size frame. That's all the garments we're adding, so no white t-shirt for the Kiwi wardrobe this month. But we have the cream lace T from last month plus these cream pearl earrings, so a "light neutral/version of white" t-shirt and pearls streak is arguably unbroken.
Black/olive floral dress - thrifted, Alfani/ThredUp - 24W - $13.66 - 8/2020
Aloe vera shimmer pullover sweater - Loft - 20/22 - $3.98 - 7/2020
Cream pearl earrings - gift
Olive long-sleeved seamed T - ana/JCP - 2X - $11.24 - 9/2017
Black botanical skirt - CJ Banks - 22W - $5.71 - 6/2020
Black pullover sweater - Karen Scott/Macy's - 2X - $9.96 - 7/2020
At least some of the scarf selections this month are bringing in some color. In addition to very sensible solid black, ivory/black stripe, and olive paisley, we have two orange/pink/green/white scarves: one in a large Hawaiian style floral print and the other a patchwork of busy geometric prints. A pair of tall black boots rounds out our additions.
Black scarf - Target - $12.00 - 12/2014
Olive paisley pashmina - thrifted, ThredUp - $9.56 - 8/2020
Orange/green floral scarf - Target - $12.00 - 12/2013
Ivory/black striped scarf - thrifted, ThredUp - $1.50 - 12/2019
Orange/pink/green patchwork infinity scarf - Charming Charlie - $14.00 - 4/2015
Tall black boots - Fitzwell/Zappos - $104.99 - 3/2014
This is a bit of a tough month for me with all these dark neutrals, so let's see how they translate into outfits, shall we? I would wear all of them with black tights/leggings because I haven't found the right olive plus-sized tights, but maybe next winter (here before you know it!) I'll get lucky. After adding cream and beige this year and bolstering my burgundy supply, olive is the only remaining color of tights I'd really like to have.
Since a cap-sleeve dress is obviously not appropriate for Minnesota February, layering a sweater over it is a good place to start for Outfit #1. White or cream pearls always bring a lightness near the face, which I can use in such a dark outfit. This is the first year I've really gotten into the pashmina thing, and I am a fan. I have bought (from ThredUp) a few of the "Pashmina" branded ones that are 70% cashmere/30% silk and they are very nice. I am in no position to compare them to up-market 100% cashmere scarves or anything, but I am quite satisfied with their softness, warmth, and appearance, especially at the price.
Having layered over the dress, now let's try layering under with the olive t-shirt for Outfit #2. This dress is so easy to layer a t-shirt under! A sleeveless dress can be difficult to layer under well, depending on how the arm holes are cut, but this dress hits that sweet spot between "I can hardly get my bare arm through it and now it's chafing my armpit, lovely" and "should I be coordinating my bra with the dress because everybody's gonna be able to see it unless I hold my arms super-stiff at my sides to keep the armholes from billowing in the wind."
I wore almost this exact outfit in December (just the olive ankle boots that entered the Kiwi wardrobe last month instead of the tall black boots), and I was ridiculously happy with it...mostly because this is as close as I will ever get to looking like a wood elf on my way to a party. Robot pointed out that I could complete the look by getting a scarf pin with a tree emblem on it, which is a good point. Time to do some searching!
Outfit #3 has an easy print mix of stripes and floral print...although every time I see this image, the striped scarf looks like blank music paper to me (only with 6 lines instead of 5, if I concentrate on the lines and count them), which is even better.
OK, we're starting to get some more color into the outfits now, though even I admit that this Outfit #4 combination is a bit of a stretch, pattern-mix-wise. But yeah, I'd wear it.
But Outfit #5...I don't like that scarf here. For wearing a scarf long, I would be happier using the black, olive, or striped scarf again than adding this large-scale, somehow clashing additional floral print. The outfit is just too busy and too disjointed with both of these prints. Of course, that's one of the risks of using a lot of prints: they won't always work together as you might hope.
But before we give up on this scarf in the outfit entirely, let's try one more thing. I don't care for the conflict and friction I get from these two prints in one outfit, but I don't so much mind the colors together. They aren't ideal (if I had my way, the amounts of orange and pink in the scarf would be reversed to go with this skirt) but they aren't bad. If I'm OK with the colors and just want to neutralize, or at least mute, the print of the scarf, how about tying the scarf up tight into a scarf necklace? (I used the first method shown by Jodie from Jodie's Touch of Style in this video.) I think this isn't bad at all! The orange is a bit brighter than the more mustard/goldenrod color in the skirt, which yeah, I don't love, but I do like the orange against the aloe green sweater. And certainly tying the scarf into a necklace reduced the visual impact of it in the overall outfit quite a bit. The scarf necklace technique has improved this outfit from a straight up NOPE to a maybe in my book. This is definitely a strategy to keep in mind, especially for those of us who can be a little overly adventurous in putting loud prints together and sometimes want to reduce the exuberant "printy-ness" of a scarf a bit.
This was an interesting progression in outfits from very sedate all black/olive combinations to a moderately chill print mix to a more borderline case to a (for my eye) too much clashing print example that was arguably rescued, and at least improved, by a print-mellowing scarf necklace intervention. I'm pleased that one of the outfits I'd planned in my mind didn't work out very well at all when I put the piece together. I seem to learn at least as much from failure as I do from success.
A confession: I saw that scarf necklace video when it was posted on Jodie's site about a year ago, and I thought it looked way cool, something worth trying out. I even tested it out on a scarf as I watched the video to see how easy it was to do (very easy). But I've never put it into practice! Because at my size, I don't easily become overwhelmed by the volume of (any normal size) scarf, I seem to have a high tolerance for the fussiness of long draping scarves, and when I wanted a necklace, I wore a necklace, you know? Of course, even I don't have a necklace in every conceivable color or combination of colors, so I do see the potential value there. But now I'm seeing an additional use case for it in my wardrobe...for when I like the colors that a scarf would bring to an outfit but want to tone down the print. A good thing to know now that I realize I own a CICADA print scarf!
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)
Do you ever go overboard on print mixing?
In my next post, we will look at the February additions for our fifth wardrobe: #5 Brown & Black, Nelly. Will those outfits be easier? This is a potentially challenging palette, so who knows?