Interesting, Ophelia. If I understand you correctly, you are purposely working on your wardrobe to send the message that you are serious about your intent in life. Congratulations. That is an admirable goal.

I feel certain that dark colors DO send that message. I personally have found that black bottoms combined with a rich dark navy top are one of my favorite "going to meeting" ensembles. I developed two other work microcapsules that are significantly lighter. I always feel appropriate in them, but I am trying to think if I feel as serious in them.

I think you can project the same degree of seriousness using the right pieces. I am guessing that would incorporate classic lines and structure.

Best wishes on your wardrobe edit.

YAY. You are evolving, assessing and listening to your feelings, Sterling. The evolution is natural, and you're free to pander to your changing needs and preferences as little or as much as you want. I vote edit at least four of the bags.

FWIW: I feel AS serious, level-headed, calm, powerful and authoritative in dark neutrals, and I do in whites, pastels and brights because my attitude is the same, and the pieces exude the same level of polish, dressiness and structure. It's not a colour thing - it's the sum of its parts thing.

Angie -- GASP. I think what I can do is remove them from my working wardrobe for the time being. I can't purge them at this time due to sheer sentimentality. They need to go to the best home possible. I want someone else to love and respect them the way I did.

Holding zone is fine. Keeping them in a sentimental place is great too. Just don't let the bags that don't work mess with the capsule of bags that do work.

Sterling, I just saw your response to my reply. I love flax, especially with black and even greys and white.
If you decide white is your summer neutral, note that there are many shades of white. Pick your best shade for most of your items but mixes of different whites are good too. My best white is EF bone, a very pale grey-white. I tried to make ivory work, then optic white, but they were just wrong. I good friend really believes that one should never wear a white that is whiter than your teeth, or the whites of your eyes. I don’t know if this is correct but I can understand the wisdom.

Sounds like you have a good plan going forward, and love your fuschia bag especially! Next the "utilitarian" shoes?

Thank you for your good wishes on my edit. I am a reluctant editor.
I *love* navy and black together. I also like brown and black together.
The goal of being serious about my intent in life is one I hadn't thought about, and since your post have been giving it a lot of thought. It is one I should have focused on long ago. I realize I wasn't clear about wanting a wardrobe that "screams serious" as I didn't want to derail the thread. It's more that my life, and subsequently I, have become so serious, after a series of events. The lighter, carefree person I was has passed on.
There's also that tricky matter of age. One member put it amusingly as "young dress, old face." Of course I loved that dress too...But I am finding that my prior style looks too young on me. It's more about the way I have aged than the age itself, if that makes any sense at all. I'm finding both clothes and cosmetics and hair very challenging right now.
It took me days to figure out how to articulate my response, but at least this thread has got me thinking!

Ophelia -- I am so glad you opted to join in this conversation. I am genuinely sorry that the lighter, carefree person that you used to be has passed on due to life circumstances. I recognize how hard life can be. It takes its toll on all of us.

I wish you good luck as you decide how to present yourself to the world in terms of clothing, makeup, and hair. If you ever need to talk ... about anything .... please send me a private message. I am a good listener.

Best wishes.

Joy -- Your friend that says your whites should never be whiter than your teeth is correct. I drink a lot of coffee. My beloved coffee has stained my teeth and no amount of whitening will bring back the luster. I admit to wearing optic whites and it does look wrong. Just this year I started by off white and it looks better. I will look into the Eileen Fisher bone too.

Suntiger -- Never!

Angie -- I found a home for my Coach briefcases today. I am giving them to the daughter of a good friend. The Mother was thrilled. We just have to connect so that I can pass them on. I do this with no regret. I thought I would grieve deeply. Nope. I am fine as long as I know they are going to a good home.

Sterling - how kind of you!! What a lovely gesture.

Interesting re the white comment by Joy. I could see this being part of the reason. I try to stick to off whites and ivories - bone can work too. Optic white does the skin on my face no favours at all.

Ophelia - I am glad you posted. Aging can be hard on us and the emotions that go along with it are a challenge. The forum can help - some people don't like to show pics but even finds or photos of clothing can assist. I also love brown and black together!!

Oh Sterling that’s great about the briefcases! Happy ending!

Sterling and Sal, thank you both so much for your kind and thoughtful responses! Sadly, however, I post from an iphone and haven't figured out how to put members' names in bold. : )
Sterling, I may take you up on your offer, thank you! I can imagine you are a good listener as your threads and responses are always interesting, articulate, and display an interest in and a depth of understanding of the language of clothes, image and presentation. I don't post often--my phone's tiny keyboard keeps me brief--but I always read your threads and they are among my favorites.
Sal, I have been startled by how harsh optic white is on me. I found Joy's comment helpful as well. I'm one of the lucky ones (ha) whose mother had to take tetracycline when she was pregnant with me, and I took loads of it as a baby. This gives my teeth a slight but permanent grayish cast. Perhaps that will be my new white, lol. I find optic white looks harsh against my skin as well. I do love all the off whites, and they seem easier to wear with my skintone.
Some carry optic white off beautifully though. Angie does, and my mom loved it and wore it beautifully.
I may get around to posting pics! I tried recently to get an opinion on the back view of a pair of pants--there is sometimes an unpleasant surprise laying in wait back there--but for the life of me I couldn't get the angle right.
Thanks again to both of you for your warm responses, and congratulations to Sterling for passing on the two briefcases (although I would understand if you didn't!). Just think how overjoyed your friend's daughter will feel!

I am really late to comment here but first off, I think you deserve to shop for some more bags!

ESPECIALLY now that your beloved briefcases have found a new home. How kind of you to offer them up.

I also love Chris's idea of adding a light scarf to "lighten up" the fuchsia bags.You could also get something like a top in a predominantly light pattern that includes some fuchsia.

Of course, you know I am in favour if fuchsia!

And if you get tired of any of your Minkoff bags, just give me a whistle!

Suz --- In my current wardrobe I literally only own one single clothing item in fuchsia! This is an extraordinary development. I am actively searching to add fuchsia back in, but have had trouble finding the exact color I like. I am currently wearing my fuchsia bags with yellow tops and pink pearls (part of Sal's Challenge). It seems to work.

I will reach out to you if I ever get tired of my Rebecca Minkoff bags.

Nice to see you. Hope all is well with you and your Family.

Sterling, it does seem that a new bag might be just the thing. I am not a bag person but I do love vintage bags. I have a vintage coach bag and they are beautiful.