Wednesday, January 29, 2014

NEUTRALS...THE WORKHORSES

I love this"Little Black Dress" but it somehow didn't feel appropriate for a 64 year old.  I found "my version" of it... a simple black lace sheath that falls to the knee. It even has a grograin ribbon around the waist with a small flat bow. We're never too old!
 
I use to watch an HGTV home decorating show called Christopher Lowell.  He was kind of a crazy guy who made me laugh. I quickly learned he knew his stuff.  He has a book out called The Seven Layers of Design... available from Amazon. When he designs a room he starts with the wall color (that's a topic for another day) and then moves on to the "big ticket items" the furniture. His advise is... KEEP IT NEUTRAL.

That doesn't mean boring beige. It means brown, black, tan, grey, white or navy, even denim. Within that spectrum he uses tweeds and textures and even glen plaids Then he makes everything pop with color and pattern in his choices of drapes, pillows and throws. These things are less expensive and more easily replaced if you get tired of them. I looked at my big floral chair. Yes I was tired of it and it was going to cost a lot to replace it.  He completely changed my approach to decorating.



So... when I was faced with a near empty closet, Christopher's theory came to mind.  If it worked in decorating a room, which it did, then it should work with decorating ME. I began with the neutrals. I bought skirts and pants and sweaters and jackets and coats, even handbags and shoes in a variety of browns and blacks and greys.

I purchased a beautiful mid calf brown wool skirt but I also bought a knee length brown tweed with godets.  "Who knew" there was such variety of colors and shading within each neutral. I indulged in a full length Fleurette Italian wool black dress coat. Now six years old and going strong its classic design will never be out of style. Once I got a few basics, accessorizing with bold patterns and prints in beautiful colors made everything "POP"  


There is nothing boring about a neutral. If carefully selected, and infused with a variety of textures and hues, it is the perfect jumping off place. Your choices will become the WORKHORSES of your wardrobe.

What is your favorite basic wardrobe piece? I would love to hear from you.