16 December 2013

The Muse: The Resident Lounge

 My mother has been in a state of high dudgeon over the resident lounge at the nursing home she works for. The daughter of one of their patients who had died left some money to the unit as thanks for the good care her father had received. My mother suggested that they use the money to repaint the resident lounge, which needed a new coat of paint rather badly. People liked the idea but no more was said about it until some workmen showed up one day and painted the room bright turquoise. Really bright. Apparently one of the other nurses went down and picked out the color, because she thought t would look good with the brown sofas already in the lounge. Needless to say, my mother is not happy. Primarily, because it is ugly, but also because the older patients she cares for are easily confused and agitated and electric turquoise is hardly a soothing color. In a mostly beige nursing home it also sticks out like a sore thumb. My mother also maintains that turquoise and brown do not go well together. When I tried to argue that its a pretty popular color combination, she wanted no part of it. I had worn almost this exact outfit (with no coat and different shoes) about a month ago, and I was stopped time and time again by people, who would be glad to prove her color theory wrong. So partially  I wore it to annoy her, but also because it looks so nice with this coat.

The coat is really the star of the outfit and the subject I submitted to Glam and Kotex's Trend to Try Contest. The trend for this past week was oversized outerwear. What most surprised me was what some people seemed to think constitutes "over-sized", I'm sorry but a peacoat is in now way oversized, nor is a jacket of any kind. This coat however is a beast. I wore it out the other night when I was picking up some dishes I had left at a friend's house and his roommate came in and stared at it. His response was something like, "Wow Liz, that's some coat...its very luxurious." Usually there are strong reactions, because its an over the top coat. Its definitely over sized and you can see people trying to figure out if its real or not. Its not. I bought it on a whim several years ago for around $100. I wasn't looking for a winter coat, but I saw it and fell in love. Its such a different shape and lovely color. That and its damn warm with none of the maintenance of a real fur. The saleswomen said it had just come in and no one had even tried it on, sales team or not the were not letting me go home without it. A year and a half later I saw a black Jones of New York coat at Marshall's on sale for $40 at the end of the season, and never hesitated to buy it because I love this one so much. Its sorter and simpler in design but of the same high quality and very, very, warm. Both are coats I can see myself still owning in thirty years because they are both stylish and unique and wear well. I like my coats distinctive, I can understand that people buy a black peacoat because its practical and utilitarian, goes with everything. But I think a coat like this is just as practical, not to mention much warmer, and has a whole lot more flair.

Coat: Jones of New York via Macy's
Blouse: vintage, Circle T by Marilyn Lennox, thrifted via The Bargain Box
Skirt: Jones of New York via Macy's
Belt: Francesca's Collection
Tights: Merona via Target
Shoes: Arizona via J.C. Penny

24 November 2013

My Traveling Wardrobe

Give the fact that my wardrobe now needs to easily travel between Rhode Island and Georgia, and I now and working on a very limited budget, I've severely limited my buying. Mainly I've been trying to buy more tops because that's the thinnest part of my wardrobe and irresistible buys like the Jimmy Choos for less than $5, no one can pass those up! I also clearly went on an animal print buying spree, though I confess it wasn't entirely intentional. I tend to see animal print as a neutral that goes with everything, so I buy a lot of it because its versatile.

Salvation Army

1.) Jimmy Choo beige flats $ 3.99
(I know the toes are in rough shape, but I have a great cobbler who can patch them up)


2.) Jones of New York tiger stripe tee $5


3.) Mossimo faux leather trimmed pencil skirt $15

4.) Floral jumper $4.95

5.) Double polka dot jumper $4.95

Cherry Picked
Broughton Street
Savannah, GA

6.) Lucky brown leather tote: $11

7.) White House/Black Market leopard sweater: $16

8.) Lucky brand tiger striped cardigan: $18

Total Spending August-November: $78.89
(~ $19.72 a month)

22 November 2013

The Muse: Peachy Keen

Did you ever know someone who used a signature expression? You see it a lot in television shows, but I often see it in real life. I worked with a woman named Marie, and invariably, when you asked her how she was, her reply would be "Oh just peachy keen." Why peachy keen I have no idea, she wasn't Southern. My only guess is that its an archaic expression she used growing up that she still related to. I've heard it, but only rarely in conversation, and usually its shortened to just "I'm peachy". Merriam Webster defines it as an expression from circa 1948, that means very good, fine, or excellent. I also particularly like their use of it in a sentence "They met back in the days when a weenie roast was a peachy keen way to spend a date." Now I'm not sure how I would feel about attending a weenie roast on a date. I'll have to contemplate the possibility. This dress however, does make you feel positively peachy keen. Its got a great shape with the Empire waist, that lovely peach color (it works well with my coloring, so I'm always drawn to it), polka dots AND rhinestones (because one or the other apparently isn't enough) and because its vintage, I feel like I can freely use the expression peachy keen while wearing it as much as I like, completely separate from attendance at weenie roasts of all kinds!

Dress: vintage, Carlyle, via Habersham Antiques Market
Sweater: Twelve Layers, thrifted via Into the Wardrobe
Necklace: vintage, probably meant as a belt,  via yard sale
Purse: Call It Wild, via J.C. Penny
Shoes: Nine West

Style Elixir

21 November 2013

The Muse: The Golden Mean

 In art school they talk a lot about the Golden Mean, the exact right alignment of proportions that is somehow more aesthetically pleasing to they eye. Studies have been done on Miss America winners finding that their bodies, while different sizes and shapes, share the same balance of feature ration. Now I do not have the figure of Miss America, never have, never will. However I think you can sometimes fake the Golden Mean when you wear the right clothing. For some reason certain garments just balance well together to make a pleasing overall composition (yet definitely been in art school too long). Its really the only explanation I have for this outfit. All day people kept telling me how wonderful it was, not just people I knew, but strangers at the service station and the supermarket. Now it could be simply that black, white, and red almost always work well together. That being said I thought this outfit was a little boring and lackluster myself. But there was some sort of balance to it that I couldn't see, but that others clearly sensed. Also fun fact, this may be the least glamorous place I've ever taken outfit photos, it was the driveway of an empty house for sale and I balanced the camera on the recycling bin. On the plus side it was only a few minutes from home and as you're losing the light, you take what you can get!

Blouse: Banana Republic
Skirt: Edward, hand-me-down
Necklace: Francesca's Collection
Purse: vintage, Rhode Island Antiques Mall
Shoes: Fashion Bug, thrifted via Salvation Army Family Store

Also as a side note, I know one of my biggest readers from back in Rhode Island, Eamon McGlynn is coming to Savannah to visit. I'm sorry we'll miss each other and I won't be here to greet you personally. But keep reading you never know what adventures might be in store!


19 November 2013

The Muse: Forever Plaid

Walking in Memphis in High Heels Trend of the Week is sweaters, however Savannah is not exactly mecca for cold weather gear, so it was a cardigan or nothing at all. Luckily this is one of my favorite cardigans, don't let the faux velvet fool you, its actually very light weight so you can wear it year round.  I'm leaving to go home for six weeks on Friday so I'll have plenty of sweaters, coats, and wool in my near future. I confess its been more of a challenge dressing for very hot weather than I expected. I guess in New England I just never got enough practice! Other unexpected fashion challenges... fire ants. I was swarmed while taking these photos in Colonial Park Cemetery in the Historic District. Luckily I felt the first sting so I escaped with only a few. I ran like hell as soon as they started to burn. Its painful, but more irritating than anything else because they bit where the top of the shoe meet my foot and it rubs. However, now I know what to looks for, I have no intention of a repeat performance!

Dress: vintage, Swirl, via Wright Square Antique Mall
Sweater: INC, International Concepts, thrifted via Wheeler School Clothing Sale
Purse: Nine West, thrifted via Second Time Around
Shoes: Nine West, thrifted via Krazy Daisy

05 November 2013

The Muse: Back In the Saddle

So I'm back...and when one gets back in the saddle, of course you must wear cowboy boots (though I suspect, boots or not, I wouldn't survive a half an hour as a cowboy). Its been a long two months off, however its been an extremely busy two months. I'm in a new city, Savannah, and I'm obviously in a new house (the one in Rhode Island was a bit of a commute).

I've also acquired myself a roommate, Remi, who is wonderful and lots of fun to live with. She's  a Jersey girl, but you'd never know it. We're the same age and at the same point in life, she even lived in Rhode Island for awhile (I know, what are the odds? Its a really small state). If you find yourself falling madly in love just from looking at her picture, don't be alarmed, because every man in Savannah is in love with her, its like being followed by packs of wild dogs whenever we go out!

Life is very different, but its good. Art school is hard, harder than I ever expected. I've always been a good student, and even if I didn't always get something 100%, I could fake it. There is no faking it in art school, and being a good student isn't enough. I feel like I've had all these muscles laying dormant that I've suddenly had to use and it hurts like hell. That being said,  a little humility never hurt anyone. I'm doing well, but I'm not a star. Then again the last real art class I took was in middle school...15 years ago. That being considered, I'm above average.

 I am homesick, Savannah's a lovely city, but I'm a New England girl at heart. I miss autumn, real autumn, with leaves changing and frosty mornings. Down here if it hits 60 people are putting on ski parkas (I kid you not, I saw a little boy at the bus stop with a puffy down coat and a knitted cap, it was 58 degrees). I also miss teaching, and its hard to go back to being a student, especially when many of the kids in my classes were kids I was teaching last year. In my heart I'm still a teacher, its not something you can just turn off. I went home for Columbus Day weekend and stopped by school and it was hard, really, really hard to leave. But I also understand part of that nostalgia is that that life represents safety, and the familiar is always comfortable. It may not be easy, but its still the right thing for me to do.

Blouse: White House Black Market, thrifted via Cherry Picked
Trousers: New York and Co. via Building 19
Necklace: vintage, via Goodwill
Bracelet: Anthropologie
Boots: Nine West
Headband: Forever 21
Sunglasses: J. Marcel
Purse: vintage, Jaclyn, RI Antiques Mall

21 August 2013

The Muse: Color-Blocked Print

 So this week's Trend Spin linkup was color blocking, and since I spent Tuesday (the day of the linkup) cleaning the basement where the washing machine overflowed, I wanted to just give it up. A word about me and color blocking: I just don't get it. At first I thought it meant prints like a Mondrian painting where there are literally blocks of color, and sometimes this is true. Other times it just means wearing a bunch of separate and distinct colors, ie: royal blue shirt, hot pink pants, yellow shoes. But frankly there just isn't a concrete enough definition for me. More importantly I struggle with the concept because it seems to focus on blocks of solid colors, which is not something I have a lot of in my wardrobe. I like prints, in case you couldn't tell. I can wear two totally different colored prints, and often do but that's a whole other trend. But if color blocking includes striped things, those are patterns. So is a Mondrian like block motif. SO I said screw it and just made up my own rules.
In this dress I'm taking a stand for the color blocked pattern. This dress looks like the inside of a LSD hallucination, with a mixture of Ed Hardy like motorcycle flames and tie-dye dreams, with a little Far Easter influence thrown in just for fun. But it does have very clear separate and distinct blocks of color. So does the purse, which has just about every color or pattern ever made in leather, some of which occur naturally in nature, others like the sparkly chartreuse, do not. So that's y story and I'm sticking to it, I don't care what anyone says, I color blocked with the best of them. Also as an interesting side note I think this dress and this purse represent the polar opposites of my closet, the dress being the cheapest item (at $0.99), and the purse being the most expensive( at $199). Leave it to fashion to bring them together on design's common ground.

Dress: NF thrifted via Savers
Necklace: not sure, possibly Kohl's???
Purse: DeDe via Anthropologie
Shoes: Not Rated, gift
Sunglasses: J. Marcel
Nail Polish: Ocean by Revlon Expess


pleated poppy