I feel like I should at least try to weigh in on Mary Beth's complement challenge since she so generously attributed the inspiration to my writing about building out my complements this year.

January has truly been a month of laying low -- yesterday was my first outing since getting my booster shot on Christmas Eve, and it was a trip to the dentist followed by a stop at the grocery store and pharmacy for antibiotics (awful infection, horribly swollen jaw on one side, thankful for face masks!). The main point here being that I haven't exactly been dressing or shopping for the last few weeks.

I have been thinking about it a bit, though, and started by refreshing myself on the way Angie defines a complement: "A complement is a small group of accessories and footwear that match in colour, pattern or vibe, and can be worn together."

I added a few pieces of more colourful outerwear to my wardrobe this winter, but, since my only dressy-ish winter boots are black, I rely on a bit of a formula (a black complement?) to pull a winter "going out in public" look together:

  1. Black ponte pants.
  2. Black boots
  3. Black bag
  4. Often a black sweater, but this can vary
  5. Black or coloured outerwear
  7. Sometimes gloves or mittens that coordinate with the scarf
Unless going to the office (which I have not done in almost two years now), or to visit in someone's home (also still rare to non-existent in my world lately), outerwear IS the outfit for almost three of our four seasons.

So, how to get variety and interest in said outfit without breaking the bank or overflowing the closets with heavy coats? SCARVES.

I don't have a cream complement per Angie's description, but I have scarves with cream. Likewise with camel/cognac, orange, green, burgundy, brown, blush, etc...

Scarves are practical in our climate for many months of the year -- although I do find them more challenging in spring and fall since menopause.

I've now logged most of my scarves in finds -- taking pictures mostly of the pattern and colour rather than trying to capture the whole thing. There are a lot of them!

Is this a scarf capsule? And does each scarf have the ability to belong to two or three different complements? Most are patterned. I think two are solid -- one green and one off-white.

Many of these scarves have black into them, which helps tie in my ubiquitous black bag and shoe formula.

Several complement my cognac and bronze sneakers for spring and fall. And some complement my yellow Docs and allow me to mix them easily with earthier colours.

My scarves fall into a few different categories. Warm, heavy scarves for deep winter. Mid-weight scarves more suited for spring or fall. And light scarves for warm spring/fall and for wear as part of an indoor outfit -- although these haven't gotten any use at all the last few years. I don't wear scarves around home.

There are a few vintage /sentimental scarves in the mix below. I believe the green scarf with coral paisley belonged to my grandfather. The green swirly one and the one with orange, green, and brown flowers belonged to my mom in the 70's. I've never really worn them, but have always liked them. Maybe their time in my wardrobe will come. There's a brown silk scarf with beautiful shades of coral and teal that my late MIL brought to me from Italy.

With this formula and a few new additions I think I will be fairly well equipped to navigate this spring.

Figuring out complements for summer dressing is going to be the harder part. That's where I probably will need the most new purchases this year -- tops, bottoms, sandals, and maybe a bag that's not black.

As Scarlett O'Hara would say, "I'll think about that tomorrow...."

If you made it this far, thanks for indulging me!

Am I alone in my love of and reliance on the patterned scarf? Do you use scarves to tie an outfit together?