9 Feb 2014

What to Wear When You Don’t Know What To Wear

Paris - Lucy Murray

I am guilty.

I have a cupboard full of clothes but when that mood strikes… it may as well be bare.

You know the one… that moment in a female’s life when nothing looks right, feels right or is deemed suitable.

Those times when you try every single garment on in every possible combination and it’s all a disaster… You feel that you look too fat, too thin, too old… too anything but just right.

It doesn’t matter whether a dressing room is filled with Valentino or Top Shop… when that I-have-nothing-to-wear- moment strikes… it hits hard.


So what do you do?

That is… apart from create major havoc in the bedroom… and snap at anyone foolish enough to get in your way…

I have a stand-by outfit.

I know myself well enough by now to realise that most of my indecision is in my mind… and that if I stop deliberating and wear the familiar, my problem will be solved.


What I Wear When I Don’t Know What To Wear

The Suit

A suit takes me anywhere and can be dressed up or down…  the jacket covers a multitude of sins if and when needed… yet that masculine/feminine look always appears of the moment and stylish.

stella mccartney iris wool twill //  theory stretch wool // classics entier pinstripe


The Shirt

Depending on the occasion I have a tailored white or a more detailed silk style on hand.

band of outsiders cotton oxford  // thomas mason for j.crew tuxedo // asos pleat detail collar and cuff

tamara mellon leopard print silk //  equipment signature silk // j.crew pleated silk crepe


The Shoes

Easy… loafers… even Converse ( like those gorgeous French women) by day… Pumps by night.

charlotte olympia  love my kitty cats // gucci horsebit classics // converse sneakers //  j.crew everly suede


The Bags

I carry too much during the day… always… and at night I carry almost nothing… cc, lipstick and telephone… so the daytime means a tote and the evening a clutch or crossover bag.

christopher kon woven leather // michael kors miranda watersnake // j.crew claremont (monogrammed) tote  and crossover


The Jewels

Simple… Earrings … these babies work with everything or a Necklace still adore my Lulu Frost… and it’s on sale…  

What do you wear when you don’t know what to wear? xv

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I have a fall-back outfit (especially for dinners hosted at home when you never know whether it’s ultra casual or very elegant). It’s skinny black cropped jeans, beautiful shoes (I have a treasured pair of Valentino pumps), black silk shirt, Rosantica necklace. This outfit works in almost all situations although I sometimes feel that I’m taking the easy way out and should be more adventurous!


That sounds perfect to me Margaret… black always works, especially when accessorised with something beautiful…


A goal of mine this year is to “embrace the idea of one” and streamline my wardrobe and my mantra is :restraint: – Janet of The Gardener’s Cottage has great style and is in our age arena. To me, I want to impress with character and not with my clothes. Quality over quantity is less is more. I love a good uniform.


Definitely quality not quantity… especially the older I get, the more it applies… The less variation I want in my wardrobe also…

Anita Rivera

What I’ve been doing lately is letting my hair grow. I look like myself when I was 30; with that one last chance, I’ve been looking at all the Pinterest ideas I just would ignore because I thought, “That’s too young for me.” But look again, say I…..and I have. I’ve been looking at myself differently and not just because my hair is longer, but because each day is a new day to try again. So, I found a darling ensemble, very, very similar to the black and white one in the photo you are sharing here. MAGIC! I put it together on Wednesday and I felt great.

Thank you Vicki, for coming to visit! Anita


The more I look and see women of a certain age the more I am convinced that a longer length is the way to go… Have fun experimenting, Anita…


Great post!- as much as I love color on other things- I always fall back on black – or neutrals-for my wardrobe and try to pair them with unique or whimsisical accessories- I’m absolutely smitten by those kitty cat shoes!


NOIR. Black on black. That is what I turn to. Black suit with slim leg pants and a classic black round neck top. A statement necklace {I’ve learned to keep a healthy collection}, large face watch and bracelets, classic heels in a colour to add the fun factor.
It’s almost like comfort food.


Ha ha… yes ‘comfort fashion food’… love that… and don’t get me on the bracelets… LOVE!!
Maybe I should do a post just on bracelets… Thanks for the great idea, Katherine…. :)

karen in va

.. ditto from pve … just a few choices that make me feel confident … the rest causes confusion and doubt .. xo

Karen in VA

Robyn Mastandrea

For a casual day, I reach for my JCrew skinny jeans, cashmere v-neck and school boy blazer, with leather riding boots. If I have a meeting and have to dress it up a bit, I go with my Theory black pants, one of my white shirts, and my black leather booties. I mix in some jewelry and a bag according to my mood:)


Too true… ;)
I’m coming… promise… it’s been a crazy start to my year that looks like it will only get crazier… the best thing is knowing that Provence is waiting for me… :)


A very classic white shirt, black pant, killer earrings, and suede flats…oh and red lip matte lipstick.
The Arts by Karena

Esther-D. Abad

The season and time of day influence the choice, but in general terms for those moments when you open the closet and all are doubts, these are my infallible resources.

If winter morning: Trousers plain wool or cashmere sweater boxes + turtleneck with long necklace, silk scarf neck or simply nothing (depending on destination) + boots or booties. If afternoon preferably tailor suit with a skirt or dress + heels cool wool.
If summer morning: jeans + t-shirt + skirt or lightweight white blouse. If it’s a cool evening dress.
If it’s halftime, blazer, tweed jackets, trench …
If the timeless petite robe noire night of Oscar de la Renta and Chanel 2.55.
To receive informal home long skirts always my favorite white and a Scottish kilt Negoro I bought at the Scotch House in London when I was 21
Happy weekend.
Esther-D. Abad
(Google translation)

A Gift Wrapped Life

No answer…………except I am on the hunt for something new for a birthday celebration! I will let you know what I find. I am hoping it isn’t black but it probably will be. I am going to link shop from here. xx


What I do is go classic and wear the very few clothes I always feel perfect with: if I need to be elegant, my favorite petite robe noire (litte black dress); if I can be more casual, then my favorite skinny jeans + high heel stilettos.


When I was a young lady (in my 20s) a more mature lady (40ish) gave me some advice. “Buy a classic little black dress that you can dress up or dress down.” It turned out to be good advice and your “little black dress” becomes your go to on so many occasions.


Nothing works like the LBD… and the beauty is that if well chosen, they last forever…


Well I absolutely love your suggestions – excellent – I should jot them down and pin the list in my closet Vicki –
For my “I don’t know what to wear” I have a long dress for the summer weather that can be dressed up or down and I don’t worry about a tight waist or anything at the time, winter is also a dress, a lovely gray sweater dress with a black and silver beaded collar that is a mock turtle neck- I pair it with leggings or thick tights and boots. Comfortable and easy.

Carolyn Bradford

Loved this post, Vicki! It’s all so true for any of us! First of all, if I would just clean out my closet and make it to where I can at least see everything that would help as well! Hope you are doing well and that it’s not too cold in your part of the world like it is here!


I always wear a top with jeans and a jumper when I’m not sure what to wear it saves the day everytime. And for my hair I go with a simple bun, its perfect.


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