Saturday, December 8, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things!


 
I am always drawn to color. I do care about the fit and proportions, but what makes the outfit most appealing to my eye, is the color combination. I had definite preferences for some hues since my childhood but I really got into color through studying art. Some of the painters that first influenced my thinking about color are Cezanne and Modigliani. The colors of their paintings inspired  my home decorating style. They helped me understand the magic of color, the harmony and dissonance they can create and the powerful emotions they stirred in me (this was a time in my life when I wanted my house too look like if I was living inside of a painting).

Source

Then there is a way the colors talk to each other. I have repainted many walls repeatedly to get the flow right. To illustrate it, there is an old anecdote about one of the English painters, William Hogarth. He was approached by a father recommending his son to work for him as an apprentice. The father suggested that the young men can help with some easy jobs, like painting backgrounds. "If he can paint backgrounds, he is just the person I want," replied Hogarth. "I have spent many years trying to learn how to paint a background for a picture, and I am not yet able to do it well."  This made me understand how colors interact with each other and how they look very different dependent what what they are next to.

Source

After I decided my house is more or less done, the color combinations were something that has drawn me to J.Crew and fashion in general. It is still something that they do very well, although recently, they have been more after novelty than harmony.

Source

Yellow and blue has been one of my very early favorites and they never cease to please me.  



This outfit includes some of my very favorite items in my closet: Brora plaid skirt (seen HERE) , chambray polka dot perfect shirt (reviewed HERE), double breasted cashmere open stitch cardigan in Honey Glaze, Coach bag cobalt blue patent and my recent favorite, MacAlister wedges in navy suede. (review HERE).



As you can see, my daughter had me climb retaining walls to take the pictures and she directed me relentlessly. I was a bit skeptical, but in the end I was pleased with the effect.  But there is definitely some occupational hazard included, lol.


The colors of the outfit were especially pleasing  because they also harmonized with the autumnal leaf colors. 

This Brora skirt is truly a gem. It is made of lightweight wool and lined in silk. I don't wear a lot of plaid and had trouble if there is red or green included but this is mainly blue, brown and gold and it pleases me to no end.

red lipstick completes the palette

When I wore this skirt in the past, I said I would avoid button downs but I think this chambray shirt works, probably because of polka dots, which tone down a Catholic school uniform vibe.


The colors of this outfit made me smile and I hope I can pass the energy of those colors to you!

***
That's all folks!

What are your favorite color combinations?
What inspires you the most in an outfit? Color? Shape? Texture?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

16 comments:

  1. AJC - you have crystallized very well somethin that has been so nagging at me about J crew. The disharmony in JC lately - styling completely against the colour wheel and nature, often makes me feel a little queasy!

    I love this outfit. I am contemplating having a JC fire sale after the holidays, clearing it almost all out and buying Brora!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right WMM, styling against color wheel and nature makes me uneasy as well.
      Brora has beautiful quality but IMO you have to be careful as sometimes too much Brora may look a little frumpish.

      Delete
  2. ajc, it's so nice to see pieces from another Brora fan (and looks like you and DBP are converting WMM too ;-) Thanks for including Cezanne's Aux Pommes, one of my favourite home-ly still lifes. My regular colour combos include blue(s), white and and a dash of kelly green, well mixed camel and grey hues, black and ivory, navy and chocolate brown with a bit of gold or red (an "odd" one that works). What a good idea to look to favourite art for colour inspiration. I often pull new colour combos out of scarves I see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This painting is crazy. Nothing makes sense in it but the color, yet I could stare at it for hours.

      Delete
  3. I love that mustardy gold colour but it looks appalling on me - so. I bought a fifteen pound jumper in that colour.
    When I look down on myself I just love it , it's so energising but when I look in the mirror, ugh it has no place on me!
    Red, emerald and white suit me along with WMM's periwinkle blue. But I also love silver grey and camel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you can wear a scarf (in blue?) with that jumper, I think golden yellow must be stunning with your dark mane.

      Delete
  4. ajc, I always enjoy your posts but this will be one of my favorites. Love your outfit in every possible way -- each piece, the combination and how it looks on you. :-) And I agree with WMM -- you've put your finger right on what bugs me about J. Crew's insistence upon dressing their models in pieces that, to my eye, more often than not just don't flow at all.

    Can I share a story of HUGE J. Crew annoyance related to this topic that occurred this past week? Just venting and would like to hear opinions from your readers.

    Apparently a few days ago my DH -- who is a low-key, rather traditionally preppy middle-aged lawyer -- popped into J. Crew without me (a rare occurrence that can only mean Santa's bringing me a gift card!). He was wearing a favorite new-ish pair of elegant Banana Republic dress slacks that are a quiet, dark, cool-toned loden green, and a J. Crew VPS admired the slacks and encouraged him to buy a JC shirt that, she said, would "perfectly" go with them. Now, my husband HATES to shop and is grateful anytime someone else will make his clothing choices for him. (I buy most of his clothes, actually.) So of course he happily bought (II'm sure at FP) the shirt suggested by the VPS.

    I know that all of this happened only because he appeared downstairs one morning this week wearing those same slacks and his new JC shirt, saying "Hey honey, how d'ya you like my new outfit from J. Crew?" And he told me the story of buying the shirt "by himself". He was so pleased with himself and you shoulda seen me fumbling for something tactful to say that wouldn't burst his sweet bubble. Yikes. Honestly, he looked anything BUT "put together" -- he looked more like he'd gotten dressed in the dark. The shirt was JC's Hillside Poppy Plaid -- a cheerful and slightly loud plaid in warm-toned bright red and bright blue that, according to JC's blurb, "goes with everything." I'm here to tell you, no sir it does NOT. NOTHING about this shirt and his pants spoke to each other at ALL -- and the worst was that while each piece is very nice standing alone, collectively they just CANCELLED EACH OTHER OUT and looked like nothing but a hot mess. I wanted to strangle "his" VPS.

    DH will get plenty of wear out of the Hillside Plaid shirt because I'll steer him towards other things in his closet that it really will look nice with. What really troubles me about this episode, though, is that there are a whole lot of my-husband-style shoppers out there, who depend heavily on the advice of store personnel for choosing their clothing purchases. And yet J. Crew's mandate to their VPS's really isn't about putting together pieces that your average Joe or Jane could mix-and-match into understandable and coherent outfits. Rather, the VPS's task is to put together the J. Crew 'look' -- not surprisingly -- and the problem is that the JC 'look' now includes discordant colors and the "leather bomber jacket with satin ball gown" feeling. That's risky, trendy, at best is certainly not the right "look" for everyone, and doesn't help a customer build long-term wardrobe value. Especially as JC's clothes continue getting more expensive, this "way" of dressing customers results in people like my husband having spent a fair amount of money on clothes that won't make much collective sense once they get them home into their closets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, this is awful. Actually it happened to me many times. Every time a new SA would bring me a piece to go with something I am trying on. Some of their choices I found hilarious but I think I would look like a clown if I wore it to work. I think the problem is they are called "stylists" but they are only trained in "crewstyling" and they have no other background so they get completely brainwashed. I agree it may be dangerous to general public

      Delete
  5. Love, love the gold and plaid together and the extra blue in the shoes. Love everything about this outfit, funnily enough have been shopping for this exact combo! You look warm chic and happy. Must go over to Brora. I took a look at loads of plaid things in New York in Ralph Lauren and have become even more obsessed. Mum reckons plaid trou are hard to pull off so I'm thinking a skirt. (There was also an amazing long coat, but I might not get enough wear out of it.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you ALW! If you want non-pilling cashmere Brora is the way to go. But they are pricey, Tabitha recommended somebody else, Johnsons of Elgins?
      Oh RL is great, great, great with plaid, very preppy and very 'old money' (this is where I have small problem, sometimes it feels like I am trying hard to be something I am not).

      Delete
  6. gosh i'm a sucker for this look too. so classic.

    i'm def drawn to chambray blues and browns, black and white too.

    you really look fab in your pics. kudos to your duaghter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janet, I will pass your comment to my daughter, she will be happy!

      Delete
  7. Love this look, very urban preppy, my favorite. Jcrew made the best shade of yellow out there: the honey glaze and the deep amber of the maya cardigan. I am drawn to darker, jeweled tones but pretty much wear all colors except pastels which wash me out and neon which frightens my family.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree, the honey glaze was one of the better colors Jcrew came up with.
    I did not think of urban preppy, but I like the sound of it, thanks!

    ReplyDelete