The Only Way Out Is Through

Despite holding myself out as a pseudo-expert on dressing for work, wardrobe-building, and general efficiency, I have some orphans in my closet.
One such orphan is a purple tweed jacket that I bought several years ago from JCrew. I love the color and pattern — an over-sized, diamond herringbone — but . . . it’s a little loud.

I’ve been trying for years to find something to wear with this busy jacket. I had thought that I needed to find a blouse or sweater that would calm the jacket down a little. I tried a dull, high-neck purple silk blouse, a close-fitting merino wool turtleneck sweater in purple, several ivory sweaters, and none of them seemed right. And then it occurred to me that I might be coming at the problem all wrong. Maybe a busy jacket cannot be calmed by a quiet top. Maybe it needs an equally busy partner to exert a cancelling effect. Not unlike noise-cancelling headphones.
Cannot see the jacket for the weave
Cannot see the jacket for the weave

I have just the thing!
Anthropologie Pina Lace Top
Remember this lace top? Refresher here

It’s called “destructive interference”
I’ve said it before, and I don’t think this is the last time I’ll say it . . . Sometimes the only way out is through.

A solution may reveal itself when one acknowledges the possibility that one’s ideas are dead wrong.
This is a liberating concept and it applies to more than one’s closet.
Caveat: Don’t go around telling everyone that you’re dead wrong. Keep that part to yourself. Share the good idea that comes after you acknowledge to yourself — silently — that you’re dead wrong.
3/4 view
It’s a win-win; I’m still right

full length
Direct Directrice
full length side
Oblique Directrice

Formerly dead wrong
The collar of the blouse works well with the neckline of the jacket.

The jacket looks as nice unbuttoned as buttoned.
unbuttoned head
Now triumph personified

Let’s take another look at that collar.
So pretty. So feminine.
closeup of collar
Tres femme

ta da
Will be looking for light-hearted entertainment this weekend and welcome your movie recommendations in that vein
And now, a couple of random recommendations.
If you are looking for an entertaining action film with no violence and only a bit of swearing, watch Unstoppable. It was underrated when released in 2010 but is actually a fine piece of movie-making. I am not saying it’s a masterpiece, but it’s a very professional film from Tony Scott in which a potential disaster is beautifully, and very economically, set up and the villain is . . . an unmanned train. Please think of me every time the action cuts to a shot of the unmanned train (or the Stanton Curve) and you recoil.
If you are looking for a piece of classical music that you haven’t heard before, listen to Boccherini’s String Quartet in C Major G.324, Op. 30, No. 6 which you can buy here. The third movement (Los Manolos) sounds so modern. When I first heard it, I assumed it was a 20th century composition.

Have a fantastic weekend!
Jacket: JCrew; Blouse: Anthropologie; Jeans: Lucky; Shoes: Tory Burch Reva Flat; Bag: Car Shoe
behind the scenes
Behind the scenes

18 thoughts on “The Only Way Out Is Through”

  1. Wonderful solution, it really works.
    Question: Do you own any purple bags? Am contemplating buying one. If yes, is the colour as useful as yellow (per your previous post on the utility of yellow bags)?
    And lastly, your post “A Daydream…” from earlier this month, was my favourite post ever!

      • Amy speaks the truth. I carry the Oil Slick in many posts; it is a deep iridescent purple (goes from dark purple to racing green) and has been unbelievably useful. (If use the search function to look for “iridescent” you can see some examples.) A deep purple (think eggplant) bag works beautifully with black, grey, navy and other blues, reds, orange, yellow, tan, and white. Personally, I think that dark purple is a desirable alternative to black for a bag to carry with a black suit or dress. I do think the finish on the leather matters somewhat — I would favor a patent leather or a saffiano leather. Possibly a tumbled leather, although that’s not very dressy.

  2. Directrice, have you seen La La Land? If you’re looking for an escapist delight where you may leave humming and perhaps skipping, I highly recommend. (In case you weren’t convinced by all the professional reviews and awards and real-life moviegoing friends and needed an Internet Follower to persuade you…)

  3. What a great maxim. I can see applying that to much of my life. Do you find that your wardrobe personality tends to mirror the concurrent moods or trials in your life — or perhaps serve as a counterbalance?

  4. You look great. My husband and I enjoyed Hidden Figures very much, having lived through those times. If you do see LaLa Land, let us know what you think. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone by discussing it. Keep up the good (electronic) work. I’m a fan.

  5. yes! you hit the nail on the head! I completely get what you are saying. I have a jacket that I love but can’t figure how to wear…all options I have considered make it look horribly conservative. So I will apply your thought process.

  6. The blouse makes it whole though I tended to like the jacket despite the loudness you wanted to tone down. It looks beautifully put together as you have styled it. You should wear it often as the quality inherent in it shines. Enjoy it! I liked the movie you suggested. A real thriller as I recall. Kate

  7. I have a few orphans that I’d almost given up on. Your post inspires me to stop trying to tone them down and take a look at bolder companion pieces lurking in my closet this weekend (but not until after the women’s march in New York on Saturday).

  8. May I recommend “Shall We Dance” with Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers (backwards and in heels)? I just watched this last night and it was delightful.

    And I recommend an annual viewing of “Auntie Mame,” which you’ve mentioned. One day I’m going to write a pamphlet on how everything I needed to know about life I learned from “Auntie Mame.” I just re-watched that the other night.

  9. Again with another Chanel-inspired jacket! These are my absolute favorite!

    I saw LaLa Land and enjoyed – it’s in the same vein as Moulin Rouge for me.

  10. Love the jacket and the top! You’ve inspired me to figure out some of my closet orphans but first im off to DC for the women’s march.

    For really light very sweet entertainment we loved “sing.” Sure it’s a cartoon but it has us 34 year olds laughing along with (sometimes louder than?) the 8 year old birthday party in front of us!

  11. I so love this outfit. But I fear it isn’t something I would ever come up with on my own – only one that I would admire on others like you!

  12. Late to this thread, but enjoyed it! Please also show the reverse–an orphan that’s dull and boring and needs more than a patterned scarf to make it work. That describes most of the unworn items in my closet. Thanks for the inspiration!


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