31 December 2012

A 2012 Retrospective

Its seems the thing to do this time of year is to do a retrospective, a year in review if you will detailing the best and the worst. Now it seems a bit premature given that I'm only 8 months into this experiment, but I will bow to the greater fashion blogger community and give you what I liked the best of what I wore in 2012. As for the worst, sure we all have our fashion faux pas, but at the end of the day, good, bad, or ugly I stand by my choices, so its all good in my book. So in no particular order the outfits that topped my list are (click on the post title in red to link to the original entry and see all of the outfit photos):

The Order of Release: May 30, 2012

I love these plaid trousers, and I look for a pair for a very long time, and I have fun styling them. This particular collection of pieces and the painting that inspired it were my favorites, mainly because a lot of the pieces are unexpected pairings with a rather traditional pair of vintage plaid pants. I especially like the olive green blouse and fun flowered shoes by Naughty Monkey and how they word so well together.

Molly McIntire: June 14, 2012

This vintage navy blue, red, and white dress had become one of my favorite vintage pieces I own. Even though its from the 1980's its cut and style area throwback to WWII. I definitely feel like going outside to plant a Victory Garden and join the Red Cross when I wear it, especially with this vintage handbag and flowered headband mirroring the 1940's style for small compact hats. Remembering that day I only drove my mother to the doctor, but this outfit still made the day feel like something extra special.

Pretty in Pink: June 24, 2012

If I had to pick my favorite outfit and photo I took it would be probably be this. First it was a color outside my comfort zone, but it still worked wonderfully for me. Two I had a great hair day and he outfit photographed really well even though these were the days before I mastered the self timer on my camera. Three though almost everything I was wearing is new, though some was new/thrifted it has a vintage 1950's feel with the full skirt and faux pearls, incidentally this is my favorite era for vintage clothing. Lastly this was the day I got more compliments at church than I could count, and it gave me the confidence to start giving out the web address for my blog, I figured that if that many people approved of my outfit, maybe there was something to sharing it on the web.

Dark Horse: July 29, 2012

This outfit is a close runner up for my favorite, another church outfit, it was the perfect weight for a hot summer day. I like the bold pattern mixing but still think the color plate really ties it all together. Sometimes all it takes to make a great outfit is taking a whole bunch of your favorite pieces and putting them together to make some thing really special. This was also the first time I used Mount Hope Cemetery for my photos (as you can see the front part is like a park, there are no graves at all) and every time since the photos have always been really spectacular.

Tipoo Sultan: June 9, 2012

In reading 2012 was a year of Sharpe and Bernard Cornwall for me, and I couldn't not pick my outfit inspired by the soldier's uniforms from Sharpe's Tiger. Its a classic 'me' outfit, it doesn't match at all, it doesn't even mildly coordinate, but I absolutely love it. The purple paisley cardigan works with  the ruffled leopard print dress because they're both so bold and unique. The more subdues shoes and accessories help all that pattern to further stand out. Its an outfit that makes people point and stare, and not in a good way, but that's just my style. The photos were also taken in the Lincoln High School parking lot after a torrential downpour and thunderstorm, but it made for great lighting and everything glistened, which only enhanced my crazy pattern mixing.

Silk Road: November 26, 2012
I wore this outfit with flats to work and its amazing how much sexier it is with heels, the instant 30 second transformation. I normally only wear this dress out for special occasions, its very dressy and was expensive. This jacket was not only a fun remix of the traditional Christmas color plate but also helped tone the look down to daywear appropriate and let me get more wear out of the dress. The photos were taken in a race against the sun as I drove to the Yankee Spirits Bourbon tasting in Swansea. As I drove it kept getting darker and darker and finally I pulled over at this farmstand that was already closed for the season just to squeeze in a few outfit photos, luckily the setting and lighting made every photos come out beautifully. 

Beyond the Sea: September 23, 2012

My friend Jen and her pals the Tropigals always are a good time and I've blogged about two of their shows I've been to. This outfit from their show The Perfect Storm commemorating the great Hurricane of '38. Vintage and cocktail attire is a must, but many of those attending, including me went with a nautical theme, I went for a mermaid look, with this sparkly Salvation Army find as my tail. The outfit is almost identical to the one I wore to the Wedding Season Swap earlier in the year, but with better accessories and great outfit photos taken by my friend Alyssa.

Out of Africa: August 28, 2012

Yet another church outfit (what can I say, I'm old fashioned and like to wear my Sunday best). This was a great, almost perfect thrift find, like it  had never been worn. Also I find this type of dress flatters my figure the most. Perhaps the best thing about it is the variety of ways you can style it based on the colors in the pattern. I like this mix with the spring green tank and shoes much more that the easier and more traditional brown and black most people would accessorize with. also I'll take any excuse I can get to wear peacock feathers and elephant necklaces, especially if it means channeling one of my favorite heroines Karen Bixen from Out of Africa. the park around the old Diamond Hill Ski Lodge is hardly the plains below the Ngong Hills, but it sure photographs lovely on a summer afternoon.

Gosford Park: November 18, 2012

Not a showstopper I know, its very matchy matchy for me, and yes I realize I've picked outfits incorporating all three of my identical Violet and Claire blouses (olive green, silver, and purple), but I just felt it was a very pretty look. The little cape (not shown) tied it all together so nicely it really made me happy. also with the exception of the blouse its a totally thrifted outfit which always makes me feel good. Fall foliage also makes the perfect backdrop for a purple blouse, if necessary I fee like I could easily wear this to a grouse or pheasant hunt at Gosford Park.

American Gothic: June 18, 2012

This outfit will not win any awards for fashion forwardness, in fact its probably a little dowdy. What can I say I had fun being a cowgirl/farmer's daughter for a day. Its a comfortable, lightweight dress that you can just throw on and go, besides Grant Wood felt farm folk were at the heart of America, in vogue or not.

The Muse: Merry and Bright

 So as New Year's Eve rolls around it seems fitting to show you the dress that I ractically lived in over the holiday season, and early Christmas present from my mother. I don't go in for the ugly sweaters or anything bearing the semblance of a reindeer, tree, elf, or snowman. In fact for years I even avoided Christmasy colors, but I liked this dress because while its a nice cheerful red its still stylish and the leopard print keeps it from screaming "holiday season ensemble" in your face. It also has a very nice cut and handsome gold fastening with Michael Kors logo on it that you can't see in this picture. So I wore it for Sunday the 23rd when my boss Diane (pictured below in the blue coat) and I went down to Newport, the City by the Sea to do the holiday tour of the mansions on Bellevue Avenue.
The mansions that are open in the winter, and have decorations both outside and inside are The Elms, The Breakers, and Marble House. I did the tour probably 15 years ago when I was in middle school and they used to decorate Chateau Sur Mer, so I was glad I got to see at least one different mansion this time. It was packed being the day before Christmas Eve, the Elms in particular because kids could get their picture taken with Santa there but a nice fun day, not too cold. Luckily Diane, my boss like to dress to the nines so we had a fun girls dress up and pretend we're in Downton Abbey type of day.

 Dress: Michael Kors, gift
Boots: Coconuts via DSW
Purse: vintage, knockoff Whiting and Davis, gift from my grandmother, found at a church fair
Coat: Jones of New York via Marshall's

All pictures above are The Elms, The next set of pictures is The Breakers, the grandpappy of all Newport mansions built by Cornelius Vanderbilt, if you only ever see one Newport mansion this would be the biggest, if not the best (I like both the Elms and Marble House better, and not just because they gave complimentary spiked eggnog at the Elms)

I was told when we entered 'you can take pictures in the room with the angle Christmas tree (pictured above) then a grumpy old man yelled at me for doing so, so I snarkily took two pictures just to spite him, put that in your pipe and smoke old man security guard

Marble House, also built by a Vanderbilt, William who was instrumental in keeping the America's Cup yacht races in Newport for so long

30 December 2012

The Muse: Fringe Element

 After discussing some of the pains of outdoor photos in yesterday's posts I decided to post some photos I've had hanging around for about a month that I did break down and take indoors. I will admit a major isse is my house, first it is very small, like stand in the right place and you can see every room small, which limits where photos can be taken. Second the wall colors, while pretty tend to reek havoc on camera. Like the gold walls of the living room and hallway, especially when you're wearing all brown. Its like a bad afghan from the 1970's. If you foo around with the bloue exposure enough however it does lend itself to semi-normal photos, however I have to admit I long for  the outdoors nonetheless. That being said these boots and this vintage dress were too good together to ignore.
Dress: vintage, Shelton Stroller, thrifted via Wheeler School Annual Clothing Sale
Tights: Merona via Target
Boots: Amanda Smith, thrifted via The Bargain Box
Pearl bracelet: J.C.Penny
Pearl Earrings: vintage, via Top Shelf Flea Market
Ring: vintage, my grandfather's 1949 class ring

The Muse: Stupid, Silly, Snowy

So if you live in the Northeast you probably woke up to several (and by several I mean nine) inches of snow this morning. I confess I've been a bad blogger, I have let the cold weather keep me inside, and to be honest I don't really like to take pictures inside. They are ten times the work of photos taken in natural light because indoor ambient lighting turns everything yellow. As much as I have a burning desire to look like one suffereing from a liver disease, vanity prevents me from taking such photos. HTen again taking photos outside has an equal amount of drawbacks, especially for someone who takes their own photos. Case and point you wind up with photos that look like this:

Where you are blown to hell by the wind and your teeth are chattering so bad that you end up with jowls and a double chin in every photo. Its easy to see why I opted out of posting photos that particular day. I f the weather is wet using a timer to take photos can be tricky because you need to protect the camera, and when its cold you don't really want to take of your coat and leave it off as you run back and forth to set the timer on the camera. Alas that is my lot as a blogger and I do enjoy the experience greatly no matter how I may grumble. That being said I paid my penance ten fold when i decided to ditch the coat and do something really stupid. Take outfit photos in a blizzard around five o'clock last night in a parking lot. Needless to say towards the end I was getting a little punchy, silly, and not to mention frostbitten. But its all for you my friends.  

 Blouse: Merona via Target
Jeggings: Jessica Simpson via Marshall's
Necklace: thrifted via Wheeler School Clothing Sale
Shoes: Rampage, gift
Purse: no label, possibly homemade, thrifted via The Bargain Box
Hair Clip: Anthropologie
Coat: Jones of New York via Marshall's

Jumping for joy even when it captures you in a rather unflattering light? Yes definitely frostbite setting in

So then I skipped back to the car and dried off...sort of

21 December 2012

The Muse: Harvest

 One of the biggest challenges, I think at last, about wearing vintage, is how to wear it so you don't look dated/like a granny. As the Sassy Gay Friend says, "Honey, it an't vintage if you've been wearing it since it came out." Now this skirt has a  vintage pattern and color palate, its cut is definitely longer that most skirts you see today. I think I pulled it off wearing a more youthful top and fun pumps and the enormous feather pin also draws the eye up. That being said I like the skirts retro feel, and love the colors especially for the winter and fall. It probably wasn't a cheap skirt when it was first made, and it wears well, it just takes a little creativity to make it shine rather than get sucked into a time warp. Either way it felt right for our family pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving soiree to celebrate the real harvest.
 Dress (worn as a top): Karen Millen
Skirt: vintage Orvis, thrifted via The Bargain Box
Feather Pin: Poundland UK (similar to Dollar Tree)
Shoes: Dexter via Payless
Purse: vintage, Lewis, inherited from Great-aunt Connie, similar here
Coat: Kardashian Collection via Sears, gift
Gloves: Marshall's