13 In Anatomy of an Outfit

Building an outfit with multiple shades of green

Our closets hold countless ingredients for creating outfits that make us feel like a million bucks. It’s like magic when you bring one or more new things into the closet. The older pieces perk up and can’t wait to play dress-up with the new pals.

This Anatomy of an Outfit is all about what happened when I introduced two pieces to my closet: a new (purchased online) red rock Pendelton merino wool washable t-shirt and a pea soup green lightweight jacket by Haberdashery, purchased used at SAX Consignment Store in San Anselmo.

The day I approached the red wool t-shirt, it demanded to be worn with the pea soup jacket that came into the closet at the very same time. Who could blame it? Red understands that it will look most dynamic with the color opposite it on the color wheel, which is green.

Red loves green

“Cool,” I said and went along.

A t-shirt and a jacket needs a bottom

I reached for my Kut from the Kloth embroidered jeans. No special reason other than I love them and this was a day when they fit me just right. That’s not always the case. I expected the embroidery would be covered up by the jean and didn’t plan to consider that decoration in the making of this outfit.

Gold bangles. Gold would look so great with the red. Rich and yummy. Yes, I’d planned on wearing several gold bangles together to accompany my heart necklace. But over the loudspeaker in my closet came a single demand: GREEN.

Going for the green in my accessories

Right, green. Okay. I went into my bangle wire baskets, passed the gold bangles I’d planned to wear, and pulled out a cuff and a wide bangle. The blue-green bakelite cuff was purchased last spring at the Petaluma Antique Faire and really hadn’t gotten much wear, even though I love it so.

Mixing shades of green in the same outfit

The wider, more elliptically-shaped bangle was ready to come out of retirement. It could easily have been years since I wore it last. I’ve never edited it from my jewelry stash even though it gets so little play now.

I’m happy I held on to it!

My left wrist is thrilled about wearing two green cuffs. My eyes are delighted because I’ll get to look down at them all day, see them there, and smile with pleasure.

What about my feet? As luck would have it, I have an army green pair of flat Chelsea boots. I will admit to you I don’t wear them often, but when I do I feel so cool. They’re my Beatle boots. I can see myself following behind George, John, Paul, and Ringo on Abbey Lane in the UK. Remember that album cover? Couldn’t you see me in that crosswalk following George?

Adding a mixed media scarf

Do you know how you can have something for a long time and not really appreciate its riches? That’s what happened at that moment. I knew I’d love adding this scarf to my red wool t-shirt because the rich colors blend well with it. I looked closely at all the colors in this arty felted scarf. It’s got a lovely dusty blue shade in it, plus a harvest gold-pea green color.

Accessories in shades of green for a jean outfit

All that shimmery orangy-rust color that comes through is actually a silk fabric. Somehow the artist layered this very thin, felted wool-blend mix over silk. I have no idea how it sticks together.

This scarf, gifted to me by a friend, is so easy to wear and to wear it often. It isn’t bulky. There’s warmth, but no bulk.

Pleasure points dressing

Remember the pleasure points dressing method? It’s about counting up all the ways an outfit brings you pleasure. This outfit receives pleasure points for the following:

*A favorite jean fits and it doesn’t always.

*I get to enjoy these two green bangles playing together for the first time.

*My Lanvin flat Chelsea boots make me feel cool while thinking of the Beatles (Let it be, let it be).

*This pea-green jacket is such a yes for me. Look at those big pockets. Oh, joy! And it also has matching pea-green grosgrain trim up by the neck. I heart grosgrain like you wouldn’t believe.

*The handbag I’m wearing was a gift from my friend, Debra. It definitely joins in with those greeny accessory friends. It’s an olive khaki color, a little hard to see in the photo.

*And my scarf. This scarf that I’m so appreciating up close and was given to me by another friend.

Heck, there’s pleasure radiating from all over this outfit.

Just when I think there couldn’t be any more pleasure to add to this outfit, there’s the occasion it’s being worn for.

Taking my red and green outfit on a special date

Celebrating our anniversary in shades of green

Every year Russ and I go to the Boonfly Cafe for brunch to celebrate the anniversary of when we met. It’s been 18 years since that momentous day when we met at a party and I wouldn’t talk to him. To have this wonderful partner standing next to me is such a blessing. I got lucky in love at the end of my forties.

A great outfit, a great day to remember, a great life together here in the Wine Country.

Your turn

Do you have some colors in your closet that want to be worn? Are they calling for your attention? That request from them to you may not be coming from a loudspeaker; maybe it’s a little tiny whisper in your ear.

If that were so, what color or colors are speaking to you? Give them a voice and let them share here!


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    January 23, 2020 at 8:05 am

    Happy anniversary, Brenda!
    That scarf is amazing and you wear it so well. The technique is called nuno- felting ; they wet the silk and lay strands of wool on top in a pattern and then massage them together with soap and water. I first saw it in Budapest where there was an exhibition in the craft museum. It’s a fabulous invention!

    • Reply
      January 23, 2020 at 5:19 pm

      Oh. My. Gosh. I am so thrilled to learn what it’s called and how it’s done. Thank you ever so much for sharing this information!!!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2020 at 10:37 am

    You look sensational as always. And how I do love scarves too. I feel special knowing the complete story of how you & Russ met. Much love to you both and Happy Day of your meeting all those years ago.

    • Reply
      January 23, 2020 at 5:20 pm

      Ah, thanks Sandi! That was a good day.

  • Reply
    Katherine Cramer
    January 23, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Beautiful outfit and Anniversary photograph! I’m loving your beginning with red. Red is romantic. I have wanted to make sure I wear some red these days since I am still influenced by Seasonal colors and their link to the calendar. Retail stores stock up with shades of red leading up to St. Valentine’s Day. Some of that featurette might even include remaining (repurposed) items from Christmas Red such as accessories, scarves, jewelry, home goods and winter fashions. This renewed Season of Red may extend the life of some non-specific Holiday Red merchandise before Spring colors take over. I have included burgundies, eggplant, purple and scarlet to my current pallet so that my gold heart pendant might be featured royally. Thank you for your color explorations– I hadn’t thought of earthy green…yet. I usually bring those greens out in Summer and yes, I do enjoy it’s play with red. Spring and navy blue are coming. I look forward to your possible color pairings for Spring.

    • Reply
      January 23, 2020 at 5:22 pm

      Thanks, Katherine. I’ve done lots of trend research and there’s no need to put red away after Valentine’s Day. It’s a key color for spring. Yippee! I want to bring more of it into my wardrobe. It feels great to wear it.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Brenda, I’m so touched by your sweet “meet cute” story! I never knew how you and your sweetie found each other (because I hadn’t met you yet myself). Thank you for sharing this along with your always inspiring creative fashion sense!

    • Reply
      January 23, 2020 at 5:22 pm

      You bet, Amy. My pleasure!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    “Are they calling for your attention?” Who else but you and this audience would admit that their clothes and accessories speak to them? I feel so understood!

  • Reply
    Linda B
    January 23, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    First off, one of my favorite, go to color combinations is red and sage green. So I love this ensemble of yours.

    Second, love the embroidered jeans. I’ve been making my own the last few years, mostly inspired by Oregon roses, Minnesota fall leaves, and Arizona cacti….

    Finally, happy anniversary! Many more happy years to come, I hope!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2020 at 3:08 am

    Oh Brenda, what a wonderful heartwarming love story! I must say I love the red jumper! Look what it does to your face! You simply look so alive. Perfect!! I will admit I’m a sucker for red- especially shoes The gals at redleopard.co.uk would be proud I’m sure;)

  • Reply
    January 24, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Love the outfit and the two of you together!! The story of your first meeting is divine, life affirming. I live in Alexandria, Mn. and Miami Beach, Fl. I like your Mn. stories.

  • Reply
    Trinnie q
    January 29, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    Ohh, how beautiful…the story of clothes, joy, life, delight., simple things, clothes whispering and Love !! What more is there? Being in Summer here, despite the desperation of the terrible fires , in my part of Australia…so,so luckily, I am touched by the muted country colours of beautiful baby galahs….soft downy grey, and gentle sunset pink. These cool the day down after a harsh summers day. So pink, calls out my name ! Soft baby pink, peachy vibrant pink, watermelon summer pink….wear me, they seem to say.. so ,I am trying to listen …..and follow my heart

  • Leave a Reply