6 Scarves 2021: February 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.
In February, Janice's brown & grey wardrobe gained a pretty pink long-sleeved T, grey pants, and grey accessories. The Nelly wardrobe is going to get more of what it got in January, only with print skirts.
The black/white/burgundy wardrobe from January is being supplemented with these three floral print skirts: a dark pleated knit skirt, a pink-based narrow skirt, and a light/bright cotton pleated skirt. So three print skirts instead of two, and none of them qualify as as a simple print (in contrast to the previous 4 wardrobes). That is a lot of florals, giving us a stronger feminine vibe than you might have expected from the inspiration scarf, but we'll toughen them up a bit with this (nice and warm!) black motorcycle jacket.
Black/olive/orange/maroon floral skirt - thrifted, Lularoe/ThredUp - 3X - $12.60 - 7/2020
Black motorcycle jacket - thrifted, Yoki/ThredUp - $15.00 - 4/2020
Pink/burgundy/green floral skirt - Worthington/JCP - 20W - $13.99 - 11/2017
White/pink/purple/teal floral skirt - thrifted, Lane Bryant/Goodwill - 20W - $4.49 - 3/2019
I can't help notice that with this group of selections, I am doing two shop-your-closet "mix up your wardrobe" techniques recently discussed on Jodie's Touch of Style: (1) Breaking out of the strict seasonal categories that people often place on clothing, such as wearing a lightweight "summer" skirt in the winter. That white floral skirt is very much a lightweight cotton skirt that screams summer with its fabric, colors, and print, yet with appropriate layers, it's easy to wear even in Minnesota winter. I mean, I don't really count on my skirts to keep me warm. I wear a level of tights/leggings (including fleece-lined) and boots to provide the needed warmth and add a skirt so I'm actually dressed. (2) Dressing with what Jodie calls dichotomy or yin/yang. This is about wearing multiple fabrics/textures or multiple styles in the outfit so it's got more than one vibe going on. I like to balance out outfits that might be overly sweet or girly with tough or somewhat edgy pieces, as I'm planning to do here with floral skirts and a moto jacket.
To wear with these skirts, let's add a range of tops: a standard long-sleeved T, a thicker knit tunic, and a pullover sweater in a poly/nylon blend. As an alternative topper to the motorcycle jacket, this cowl neck poncho in a thick cotton sweater knit should work well.
Burgundy-maroon cowl neck poncho - Coldwater Creek - 1X - $14.97 - 7/2020
Burgundy long-sleeved T - Croft & Barrow/Kohls - 3X - $4.24 - 11/2020
Maroon pullover sweater - Karen Scott/Macy's - 3X - $17.99 - 12/2019
Black paisley tunic - thrifted, Lands End/Goodwill - $5.59 - 2/2020
And of course we need scarves in February! I am somewhat surprised and impressed that I managed to subdue my magpie "all the pretty eye-catching prints now" instincts long enough to select very practical solid scarves in black and wine plus a burgundy/white small scale geometric print that shouldn't compete too much with the bold floral print skirts. The necklace, earrings, and tall black boots are all versatile and practical items as well.
Black silky scarf - thrifted, ThredUp - $4.80 - 12/2019
Burgundy/white geometric scarf - Walmart - $4.47 - 6/2016
Black drop necklace - thrifted, ThredUp - $4.20 - 12/2019
Wine scarf - thrifted, ThredUp - $1.50 - 12/2019
Silver sparkly earrings - ?
Tall black boots - Fitzwell/Zappos - $104.99 - 3/2014
OK, this seems like a very workable set of wardrobe additions, but we need to test them out to be sure. We should be able to cover a good range of temperatures with these options, from cold to very cold, by selecting appropriate underlayers. Either black or burgundy tights/leggings should work with all of these outfits.
Outfit #1 starts with the skirt that is probably the easiest to imagine bringing into the winter due to its dark floral pattern and relatively heavy knit fabric. That print takes center stage when it is combined with a black top and a dark solid scarf. One thing I like about this skirt is that it has flowers in both purply-wine and red-maroon colors, which I find makes it easy to combine with just about any color in the brick red to purple range (such as this wine scarf). Unfortunately, this detail is not readily apparent in my photo, but the top is a substantial sweatshirt-like knit that has a bit of a raised paisley design, giving it some additional interest through texture.
Outfit #2 introduces the skirt that is probably the next easiest winter wear option of the three due to its middle weight poly/spandex knit fabric and dark floral design against the pink background. What do you think about this T and poncho together? Close enough to blend or different enough to clash? I have worn them together, and to my eye (in person), they work just fine. They are clearly not the same color, but they are close, and that difference in texture between the T and the sweater knit provides a bit of extra wiggle room; I have seen over and over that I have a wider range of acceptability in color differentials when pairing items of different textures compared to items of same/similar textures.
Overall I am trying to broaden the range of acceptability and to embrace the "blend" and the "go" rather than get hung up seeking the "match." It's very easy to get caught up in a perpetual hunt to find the "perfect" thing, even when you have something really good right in front of you. For some people, that's just how they roll and the best of luck to them. But I know that when I set my standard to "perfect match," I end up buying a bunch of things and not returning them. Thus instead of one good-enough burgundy T + poncho that I just wear together and move on with my life, I buy and keep 6 burgundy Ts, perhaps none of which make me satisfied.
I am well past the point in my wardrobe where I do not need to be spending time and money trying to eke out miniscule incremental gains by getting the colors of two garments infinitesimally closer! I was thinking recently that I am at the point where yes, I should be extraordinarily selective about adding anything more to my (already full) closet, and should instead spend my time and effort having fun and experimenting with the things that I already own. That's part of why this blog exists, and it was a huge motivator for playing this "6 scarves, build capsules from my closet" game.
OK, onward to Outfit #3, bringing a stereotypical summer skirt into Minnesota February with the addition of a wool/faux leather jacket. Is it weird to describe a jacket in this tough-guy style as "cozy"? But it really is! I mean, no, it's not ideal "curl up on the sofa and watch Netflix all weekend" wear (unless you are into lying around on zippers and buckles, in which case you do you), but it's warm and comfortable to wear sitting in a chair and typing away at a computer for work. I appreciate that it's not as stiff or bulky as an actual leather biker jacket, which can be a real nuisance.
Outfit #4 revisits the dark skirt with a maroon sweater this time. I've owned cashmere sweaters in the past, and I get why people love them, but right now I don't have any. I had given up a few years ago on any other kind of wool sweater because they are often too warm for normal indoor wear and always too scratchy. Right now I'm liking a cotton sweater very well. If it's not warm enough, I can layer under and/or over it, including with silk or technical fabric underlayers. I expect that I'll own cashmere again in the future, but I have a nice selection of recently-purchased non-cashmere sweaters that I am hoping to wear out first.
The cowl neck poncho makes another appearance in Outfit #5. I have to say, I surprised even myself by ordering this poncho (which, to be fair, was at a going-out-of-business price under $15) and loving it. What? Who am I right now? It's weird but this poncho just checks all the boxes for me. It's warm, but not too warm. It's comfortably loose (so yeah, it can layer over this sweatshirt-like top) without being insanely bulky (I read reviews and sized down, a good call). That cowl neckline...it's strange, I cannot abide wearing a turtleneck, but it turns out that I dig a cowl neck. I guess it's just looser enough that I don't get that overheated, constricted feeling.
I really like that sparse large floral print skirt with the dense small geometric print scarf. Here's a winter version of the combination I wore in January 2019, with the scarf worn faux-finity style (i.e., the ends are tied together to form a loop like an infinity scarf) and an expanse of cream lace separating the two prints.
Here is a warmer weather version of the combination from April 2020, with the scarf worn long so that the prints overlap a bit. Sometimes prints that look OK together as long as they are separated don't work well when they overlap, but I think these two prints are a happy pairing both ways. The vast difference in density/scale of the prints and the close similarity in their colors (especially with one being only one color + a neutral) makes them relatively easy to pair.
Well that was even easier than I'd hoped! After struggling a bit with the orange Hawaiian print scarf in the last wardrobe, it was nice that these pieces all came together into outfits without drama or fuss.
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 matrix reinforces the sense that this wardrobe is very burgundy/maroon and black heavy so far. I'm looking forward to seeing what the March additions have in store for us.
Do you like to mix styles in your outfits?
In my next post, we will look at the last of our February additions: the #6 Grey & Navy, Sophia wardrobe.
I'm linking up with Mica at Away From the Blue today.