Sunday, September 30, 2012

More Transitional Dressing


The transition is speeding up, and I suspect next week will demand a jacket every day, probably an umbrella as well. The good news is that boots may finally become tolerable again, but those aerated suede brogues (Fluevog) will be having a vacation in my shoe closet from now 'til next May . . . .

They got to hang out with some favourites last week, though. I loved this combo: last year's J-Brand skinnies, a 2-year old Club Monaco cashmere cardi, almost indispensable now, and a synthetic antique-map-printed woven T I picked up in San Sebastian this past May. I only wish it had been made in silk -- poly's ugly in summer, although this washes so easily and comes out looking fresh, so far. Also wish I'd picked up another -- I really love it and should show you the print up close some time to show you why.

 And here's a still-too-new outfit which lacks the worn-in sensibility that I'm realizing I value. The Fluevog loafer-slippers are brand new, but I know I'll be loving them three or four years from now, when they'll lend that "something old" that I think really demonstrates an individual style. We'll see about this little Gap dress of   black and white stripes, but it's a shape that suits my figure really well. The cotton knit is heavy enough and tightly woven enough to provide some middle-softness camouflage. And it's so easy. I do love the simplicity of tights-and-dress. TNMA referred to this approach to the morning's garbing-up as DOTTY -- Dress Over Tights, Thank You very much -- brilliant! So I'm doing DOTTY with stripes here.
I did mitigate against this outfit's all-too-newness by throwing on an 2-year old black leather jacket over it all, and that did make me like it better.

What about you? Are you hauling out the Winter Gear yet? Easing into Fall?
And do you like an outfit to mix up old and new together? Do you feel a bit awkward and obvious when the bulk of your get-up is brand. spanking. new?
As I often do on Mondays, I'm joining the crowd Patti's drawn together for another Visible Monday. She's wearing lace -- check out the many approaches to this transitional time of the year.

And thanks to Nina B for pointing out that my comments required that skill-testing Captcha word question -- I hate it on other blogs and thought I'd turned it off on my own. Let me know if it shows up again, would you? I'd like to keep it as easy as possible for you to join the conversation here.

33 comments:

  1. I enjoy analysing what 'works' on other people as it helps me hone my own style. I think Outfit 1 works because the map t-shirt, with its golden/creme caramel tones picks up the colour of your hair, and the blue-grey shoes 'bookend' the cardigan. The card, whilst drapey, does not swamp nor 'frump' your figure because the jeans are body con and show off your runner's slim, toned legs, giving definition to the overall silhouette. sorry, obvious to you but just me thinking aloud why it all provokes an instant 'yes!'
    Likewise, Outfit 2, the patch pockets on the dress emphasise womanly hips (in a good way) where as otherwise you're so slim it might look too up and down/tube-ish. The vertical of the longish necklace counterbalances the horizontal stripes of the dress. and the shoes' colour bookends the necklace.
    Fab, Mater, just fab, (seemingly!) unstudied grace and chic elegance combined with an authentic sense of fit for the purpose of your island-living/biking/ferry-hopping life.
    Hester

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  2. sorry, 'cardigan', not card, baby daughter just thwacked my keyboard and deleted a bit of word, perils of posting whilst breastfeeding a wriggly small one!
    Hester

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    1. I appreciate very much your analysis and find it helpful to see the outfit from a perspective that's difficult for me to muster -- I'm trying to think of how I can build on your awareness to make future outfits work well. Thanks for taking the time to post perilously even while engaged in a much more precious pursuit, ;-)

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    2. I am entirely informed by the wonderful Angie of You Look Fab's guidance. She frequently mentions 'book-ending' an outfit, i.e. repeating a colourway/texture that guides the eye to travel up/down the body, creating a sense of pleasing harmonious flow. Also she emphasises repeating one's own colouring (of hair & eyes, if one is high/low contrast then repeat that contrast effect in clothing tones). When I notice, really notice, someone looking good, more often than not when I break down why they look so good, it's those two aspects, of flow through an ensemble and the repeating the wearer's own unique colouring in clothing, that have arrested my attention. I know formulas are made to be broken but as a rule of thumb for me in my busy life, when i want to feel pulled together and to garner compliments, these parameters work for me. Or are en route to working for me, I wish by my early forties I had located the skills within me to get it right most times, alas, I haven't. I fail far more than I have success. Like any skill, it takes time to nurture and to hone and for far too long i have been stymied by an inner voice that decries such study as empty vanity and as something perilously close to narcissism.
      I am embracing my 'middle softness', it has a very important purpose. When I nap with my daughter she squidges her toes into the padding around my midrift, curls her hand into my hair, rams her head under my armpit and falls asleep blissfully cocooned within the curve of my body. How could she get comfy if I was all taut and washboard flat in my mid-section?!
      Hester

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    3. Hmmm, yes, it's nice to know there's a route to serendipity -- or is that too much a paradox. . . .
      and I love this image of the importance of 'middle softness.' I remember loving the generosity of my grandmother's flesy upper arms, which she deprecatingly referred to as her bingo wings.

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  3. Hi Mater - 'middle-softness camouflage' - EXACTLY what I need! I have hauled out the cords, jackets and scarves, although we did have a lovely weekend here with no need for coats. I love both your outfits - easy but chic.

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    1. Thanks -- yes, I'm ever alert for ways to direct the eye away from that area. . . my cuddly spots!

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  4. Just reading this before heading for the shower which will be followed by the 'what will I wear' quandary. It's still cool in the morning and too warm in the afternoon - and the office hasn't made the switch to fall temperature control yet. I'm thinking I may wear a sleeveless shift and a parka!

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    1. I know! I need gloves for my morning bike ride to the ferry, but it's still sweltering in the classroom by afternoon.

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  5. You look great in those J Brand jeans and that dress looks like an easy outfit to wear in the lecture hall.
    We've been tempted to turn on the furnace in the chilly mornings and today i am wearing my faux fur vest for the first time this season.
    Keep warm!

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    1. We've got the kindling by the back door, and one of these days there'll be a cozy fire in the wood stove. Meanwhile, a faux fur vest is a good idea in the evenings and mornings. . .

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  6. I really like your map tee, Mater, and of course a striped dress is always an "A" for good looks. It's hot and rainy here today, so I am really loving the look of your tights, sigh.

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    1. Have to admit, my big reason for loving tights is getting to put the razor away 'til next spring . . .

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  7. I love those Fluevog's! I just checked their website and can't see them there. Do you know what they're called? Thanks! Susan

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    1. The brogues are Connies (in the Encourage family), and the loafers are ChaCha's in the Begin family. Hope you can find some.

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  8. I've pulled out my jeans, cardigans, and scarves, plus closed shoes -- we had a stretch of cold, rainy days last week and it got us all thinking about fall. (The temperature went from 31C to 18C in 24 hours!) I can't quite get myself into tights yet, but I'm sure I will soon.

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    1. Yikes! That's quite a temperature plunge. We're back into a week of sunshine, although the temperatures are not likely to go over 20 now.

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  9. Having another heat wave here in Los Angeles. Haven't give up my sandals yet - although I'm ready! Of course I have my little space heater on in the office.

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    1. So odd, the air conditioning we have to heat ourselves against. . . of course, that's rarely a danger we face up here!

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  10. We are long into boots here and it is a rare day I wear a dress. You remind me how much I like them, especially with stripes. I am building up to a shopping trip (not a great shopper) so might put one on my list.

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    1. I find dresses so easy to wear. Where will you head for your shopping trip? Do you make a weekend outing of it and visit London or do you have some local shops?

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  11. The top outfit is so "Ellen", easy and garconne. The dress and the loafers look divine, I would like those shoes too!

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    1. I know you'd love the loafers -- if you see them on the Fluevog site, they look far too light-shiny. IRL, they're more a vintage metallic finish, which can trend to dark . . . really wearable and eminently comfortable!

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  12. Love both outfits. Jeans and card - perfect.

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  13. I love that - DOTTY. I do enjoy the feeling of wearing something spankin' new but I also get it wearing new thrifted clothes. There's something crunchy about new things. Fantastic dress with those tights. This is a very young age-appropriate look. I'm breaking out the boots too.

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    1. I like the novelty of new, yes, and even new thrifted. But I love having items/garments that I chose many years ago and still like to wear -- it confirms a continuity in my taste that somehow really pleases me.

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  14. The jeans look great on you!
    Now, what´s this with new shoes and garments?
    Owning only a few pair of shoes, I like them to look like new, therefore polishing them often. Shoes reveal a lot about the person..
    Actually deciding to wear tights ( liking my tights ) under my jeans = wintery for me. I have warm coats, and dislike layering.
    Well, I do need warmer shoes and a scarf, but when I´m inside, I wear pretty much the same clothes all year.

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    1. Thanks for responding to this part of my question -- I'm really curious about how readers feel about this. I suspect there are many who like their shoes and their clothes to look new, well-polished. I'm a big fan of patina and don't mind at all if certain styles of shoes look a bit beat up (that obviously doesn't work for patent leather nor for dress shoes).
      And what I say above, to Melanie, is an attempt to explain why I like my outfits to incorporate something older. I don't like a look -- for me, that is -- that looks as if I could have picked it out of the store last week. I like my overall outfit to convey something that has endured, that really reflects me. Not that others that reflect their style through new clothes (which, after all, show their taste, their choices from a wide array of current possibilities) -- but for me, I feel most comfortable when I am wearing something I've had for at least a year or two.
      Perhaps something like the comfort you get wearing pretty much the same indoor clothes all year.

      Do you keep the indoor temperature pretty high or do you keep it so that you can enjoy dressing warmly in the house?

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  15. We're having Second Summer in SF. You do look great in jeans, I have to say.

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  16. Tomorrow will be our first fairly cool day and I can hardly wait. I really don't like cold weather, but cool is okay by me after the horrible summer we have had. I've wanted to drag out winter clothes, but temps in the high 80's F aren't conducive to that. Today it was 80 and tomorrow it will be in the 50's.
    Those J brand jeans look great on you as does the dress and tights.

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    1. Enjoy the (relative) cool, Debbi -- but that's quite a plunge, wow! from 80 down to the 50s!

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  17. You look great in the jeans, and I like the dress and tights, but see the thing about the looking a little new and shiny.

    I'm still hunting and pecking for fall things.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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