Editing Yvonne’s Creative Closet

Every closet audit is exciting in its own way.  And the more a client’s personal characteristics and wardrobe tastes differ from my own, the more of an adventure the process becomes – at least for me.  So when Yvonne brought me to her lovely home in Nashville to help refine her extensive collection of artisinal garments and accessories it was certainly an adventure, with ideas we can all learn from.

Yvonne has deep, rich, warm coloring, a lower-body-dominant figure, rather angular features, a big personality and fairly flamboyant style.  On the ride from the airport she filled me in about her return to sewing parts of her wardrobe, her extensive travel schedule and her love of bold, attention-getting prints and patterns.

“I used to dress with total confidence, but lately I feel like I’ve lost some of my edge.”  she confided.  “I’m feeling less secure and default to wearing all my great jackets with just black pants and white shirts. I want to sew pieces to fill in the gaps, but I just don’t know where to start or what flatters me anymore.”

We started by updating her 80s-vintage Four Seasons  color information.  The original was overly bright and clear, the new version is still warm and rich, but more nuanced.

After weeding out a lot of silver jewelry (she is much more flattered by gold tones) and cool colored clothes (including a lot of bright-white shirts!), we began mixing and matching the “keeper” garments,  fabric options from her collection and colorful handmade jewelry.  Here are a few of those exciting and versatile combinations, in cell phone pics we snapped on the fly.  Pardon the less-than-optimal layouts and the imperfect color reproduction and take our word for the color matches and blends.

Yvonne had just completd this fun plaid coat in black and rusty-red wool.  The cream shell wasn’t doing it justice, and was creating too much light/dark contrast.  We found these two fabrics to make more exciting under-layers, plus a scarf that pulls all the colors together and adds stripes and circles to the geometric mix.

Yvonne collects feather-weight reversible patchwork jackets by designer Mieko Mintz (check them out at artfulhome.com), and this beauty works well with the same knit pieces and also with a sage green tee in her closet.  Can you believe how perfectly the necklace on the left echoes not only the jacket colors, but also the bold circular motifs and the slightly Asian feel?  The necklace on the right had similar colors, but with metalic elements in silver – not her best choice.  TIP: because the silver is a bit tarnished, it doesn’t create the bright shine that would be so wrong for Yvonne.  So if bright silver isn’t flattering for you, try letting it darken a bit instead of polishing it.

Among her wonderful jewelry treasures we found this charm-bracelet style necklace with dangles in nearly all of her best colors – a versatile piece if there ever was one.  However, the look was disrupted by these blue beads that were both cooler and brighter than the rest.  Although we don’t usually think of altering jewelry, can you see how easily those beads can be removed, leaving the rest of the necklace to coordinate effectively with lots of outfits.


Mieko jackets are typically reversible, so this one provided two color options.  One was lighter overall, with the bright orange featured where the collar turned back – neither a good value balance nor a flattering accent for Yvonne.  But the side you see here – with the navy for value balance and the sandy tan fold-back collar to break up the strong orange near her face – was a great alternative.  Then notice how accessories shift the personality of the jacket.  The smaller geometric necklace and a pair of jeans can take the outfit in a sportier direction, while the bolder beads and a classic narrow-leg pant would make a more dramatic combo.

Here are 3 more from the dozens of combos we found:

  • Teal/sage green mix vest and necklace w/teal jersey for a tee and sage green pants (to be purchased)
  • Rust/brown mix jacket and necklace w/rust jeans (from her closet) and paler rust jersey for a top.
  • Sage/camel/brick red mix jacket w/camel sweater (from her closet), brick red necklace and sage pants (TBP)

These combos and more were there all along, but buried amid other pieces that weren’t so flattering, Yvonne just couldn’t see them.  Do you have “buried treasure” hiding in your closet too?

You can read about our purge of her fabric stash HERE.  And about her first week of follow-up HERE.




About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. TC Ferrito on February 17, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Great advice! When I have beads that aren’t the right color, I use nail polish to correct them. But taking them off works just as well.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 17, 2020 at 6:10 pm

      I’ve used nail polish on clip earrings and on metal buttons too, but hadn’t tried it on other jewelry. Good idea!

  2. JEAN GRIBI on February 17, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    The colors that you picked out for Yvonne are beautiful and absolutely make her glow! The combination of wearing the right colors in the style that we each like are the keys to a confident appearance and personality. Your articles motivate me to do the same with my closet!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 17, 2020 at 6:31 pm

      The prints especially are amazing on her, aren’t they? I never stop being surprised at how much difference there is for any woman between her OK choices and the fabulous ones. I remember your impresive stash of fabrics – and so artfully organized. I’m sure there are lots of treasures in there!

  3. Nancy Gruber on February 18, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Wow! Love seeing how the accessories help pull the outfits together. Having this experience would be my dream; right now, I’m still taking baby steps in the coordinated wardrobe department.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 18, 2020 at 8:16 am

      Great to hear from you Nancy. This blog post actually made me think of you and your color transition. I recently came across the snippets of items from your stash and the photos of you with your youger coloring compared to the lovely, more subtle coloring of today. Is it OK if I move forward with the blog post we talked about a while back, including swatches from your recent fabric purchase?

      • Nancy K Gruber on February 19, 2020 at 1:26 pm

        Yes, Nancy, most certainly. I look forward to it!

    • Kathleen MacDonald on February 29, 2020 at 11:44 am

      I was lucky enough to have Nancy come to my home and do something similar with my fabric stash only, not my existing clothing. Pulling accessories together was eye opening. She paired several fabrics together that I never would have done myself and gave me ideas on what type of garment she could imagine when I had a fabric that I couldn’t wrap my head around.

      • Nancy Nix Rice on March 3, 2020 at 7:29 am

        What a fun day that was, too! Thanks for reminding me of it.

  4. Katie Knoblach on February 24, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Understanding one’s optimal color palette is a gift even in the beginning when the weeding process occurs. Thanks Nancy, for reminding us how we can use our personal palettes to shop our closet and find hidden gems.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 24, 2020 at 10:09 pm

      I am so lucky to have the most fun – and also one of the most fulfilling – jobs on the planet. When women feel confident, they can do such amazing things in the world!

  5. Marguerite H Benko on February 28, 2020 at 7:40 am

    I think we all struggle to figure out what looks good on us, and then how to make the most of an outfit. You do a great job of capturing both in this blog! It’s so helpful to see Yvonne’s earlier colors compared to the current colors, and how you shifted her updated her wardrobe choices. The compare photos are super helpful – who doesn’t grap a neutral shell to wear under a jacket! And I love how you suggest editing jewelry as well. We’re all probably reluctant to do that, but then the piece just sits in the drawer. I always love information on how exactly you match the person and her colors!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on March 3, 2020 at 7:37 am

      Thanks so much for your comment Marguerite. This is a “squirmy” topic and it isn’t always easy to communicate in words – even with photos – exactly how this info plays out in a real-life situation. So it is very gratifying to hear that it came across relatively clearly this time.

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