Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wardrobe Planning Q&A

Today I have some questions that have come my way via The Very Small Closet or my Wardrobe Planning Website.

From Mary: I just discovered your site and blog - it's great! I hope it's okay to ask a question. I read in one of your articles that navy is a great neutral color and it's one I like. I never know what color shoes to wear with navy pants though - what do you suggest?

Jennifer answers: Hi Mary! Thank you so much for joining in the fun here at The Very Small Closet. Navy is indeed a great neutral color, and one that I am beginning to add more of in my own wardrobe. A number of years ago, the only acceptable shoe color to wear with navy pants would have been navy itself. However, since that time, jeans have become the default "trouser" option for men and women alike. Because of this our eyes have become accustomed to seeing navy paired with just about every color imaginable. Also, the long held taboo against mixing navy and black has been lifted. Navy pants can be paired with just about any color! I do have several suggestions, though. If you are going to wear a shoe color other than navy itself, use that color as an accent/accessory color and repeat it somewhere else in your outfit, like in a scarf or a handbag. (Red and yellow are amazing when used this way). This works best when your entire outfit is predominantly navy. Another option is to wear a shoe that is the color of your hair. That way the color of the shoe is repeated in your natural coloring. This looks especially nice with the lighter brown shades. And lastly: if you are looking for a more conservative, business, or classic look, you may want to stick with tried and true navy.

Constance asks: HELP!!! I have all the books on clothes organization but I still don't get how best to hang, by outfit, color, WHAT!?

Jennifer answers: Hi there Constance! Never is at hand. First know that there are several schools of thought on how best to hang your if you are confused, it's no wonder! I'll give you what I consider to be the easiest method that I use myself. I hang clothes by type, in this order: all blazers/jackets together, all shirts together, all skirts together, all pants together, all dresses together. Within each category, I group by color, but simply: Like colors together. My wardrobe is very small so hanging clothes in this way allows me to see everything. Now you might ask why I don't hang by outfit, and again, my answer is simple: Many pieces in my wardrobe belong to more than one outfit. And some elements of an outfit may not be suitable for hanging, such as knits. Those are folded on shelves. Hopefully this will help you in your own quest for closet organization!

Jill asks: Hi, Jennifer. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas on your site. I am a 59 year old school teacher (smart casual lifestyle). Black and dark brown look terrible on me now I'm getting older. My colouring is very similar to yours - medium to fair skin, brown eyes and reddish-brown/strawberry blond (depending on the dye) hair. I can't start to build a wardrobe, because I can't decide on colours. I am slim and average height. Any suggestions re colour combinations? I think two definite wardrobes - summer and winter with some transitional will be the way to go in Australia. Our summers are quite hot and winters can be cold. Thanks, Jill

Jennifer answers: Hi Jill! I'm so pleased that you've stopped on by my site...welcome. Oh, I can sympathize with your quest! I think our coloring is the hardest to match to colors. Black is often too overpowering, and even brown can look too heavy. Personally, I built up my wardrobe around brown as a base neutral, but I've recently decided to transition somewhat to navy. It's a softer color that looks good on me. So for now I am wearing both. For accent colors, I find that red looks great, as does turquoise and warm pink. Now for you: Don't let the fear of making these decisions paralyze you! Start with the wardrobe you have, and think of building it up slowly, a step at a time. And don't feel that once you've made your color choices you will never be able to alter can alter them in the same way you built your wardrobe...a step at a time. Now for suggestions: Since dark brown looks too heavy on you, I would consider beige or taupe in its stead. Both of these colors can be exceptionally elegant (think Katherine Hepburn). The beige family also includes ivory, which is wonderful for summer. For accent colors, think first of the colors that you get the most compliments wearing, and go for those. Hopefully this small amount of advice has been helpful. Keep me posted on how you're doing!

See you next time...same blog time...same blog channel....


RobFromGa said...

Nice answers, you sound like a professional! (because you obviously know your stuff)...

Seize the Day,
Is Your Corporation Protecting You?
Protecting Your Assets From The Envious Hordes

Lena Milukh said...

I like how you put your clothes by types and then by colors as well.Such a useful thing to do.Much easier to mix and match.
I wish I had more space for my clothes...
Reading and Decoding Body Language

Darryl Pace said...

Wow, Jennifer! You have a great online mannerism. Your writing in your replies is very "cozy", friendly, and knowledgeable.

Darryl Pace

DIYlawyer said...

Good Format, I will think about this also.

Bob K

Learn How to Be A Do It Yourself Lawyer …

matthew shields said...

Hi , Jenn
Great advice, I look forward to seeing what you have for us next
Happy Trails
Matthew Shields
Hotel Resort Energy Management?
Anything Solar

anamarie said...

The Questions and the Answers...that's what you call authority. am proud of You Jennifer.

John Ho - Melbourne, Australia said...

Q & A or FAQs is always a great way for communications in internet space.

John Ho
Understanding Personalities for Better Influence & Persuasion

Scott Bel said...

Very good advice Jennifer. You truly know your stuff

David J Parnell said...

Great Q&A, your clearly an expert. I especially found the info on Navy Blue helpful. (I extrapolated... as I don't wear dresses :-)

David J. Parnell | Evolved Communication
The Effective Communication Blog

JohnWShoemaker said...

I'm hooked.

Your wardrobe advice is both practical...and helpful. Takes a lot of stress and anxiety out of my clothes choices.

S Chambers said...


You should have a column. You are very professional and give great advice.

Sales and Leadership Consultant

Romance Coach, Online Dating Coach said...

Hi Jennifer,

what superb wardrobe, image and style advise.'

Me too!

I LOVE navy.

indeed as a blonde, I look great in black.

However, navy is a little bit WARMER isn't it?

And as a SHORT lady, I will often strive for monochrome from waist DOWN.

So useful for our classy/sexy image which we want to project for dating, romantic sex relationships, and marriage, don't you think?

I'm looking fwd to seeing YOUR ensembles in New Jersey at Fred Gleeck's event this weekend!

All the best,

April Braswell

Online Dating Expert, Romance Coach, Relationship Coaching

Online Dating Sites Review, Internet Dating Sites Guide

Mary said...

Thank you so much for answering my question!! I loved, loved the answers - especially the tip about matching the shoe color to my hair color when wearing navy. I read your tip about selecting accessories keyed to your eye color and never heard that before. I realize you had other suggestions too but what a great starting place!

Jennifer Skinner said...

I'm glad that the advice was helpful! Let me know how your shoe buying goes. :-)