A warm welcome to new visitors via Already Pretty, home of the amazingly generous and articulate, muti-talented Sally McGraw! I am a huge fan of Sally's, and I was bowled over to be included in her Lovely Links roundup on Friday. Wow!
Sally's Greatest Hits have made an enormous difference to my enjoyment and deployment of personal style, and in countless ways her blog continues to streamline my shift from essentially feral womanhood to learning how to dress myself. Thank you Sally!
|olive green velvet blazer: Joe Fresh|
super-floofy dress: Retrolicious, ModCloth
cowboy boots: Frye Billy Short (DIY colour-corrected)
Through reading Sally's and others' blogs, I am learning more all the time about the why of things working or not working, which makes shopping and putting outfits together way more efficient and fun, without taking any of the magic out of the process. Knowledge allows it to be more than only magic: while those celebratory moments are still exceptions, the less-transcendent times are elevated and frustration falls away.
|yellow vegetable turquoise bracelet: Gabii, TX, worn here|
watch: Stuhrling Tuskegee Skylancer
I wore this outfit last Thursday on the occasion of four Poets Laureate from across Canada gathering to read at our local art gallery. I served as MC for the performances by my writers' group, and it was fantastic to get to audience-test a portion of my commissioned-piece-in-process before such an array of heavyweight literary lights. The best part was reconnecting with and hosting the Laureate I first met 20 years ago during my undergraduate studies and who is (still) about the coolest lady ever.
Though I felt it to be more-than-sufficiently badass and as such I had to have it (i.e. Aw, DAMMIT), this dress is a bit of a departure for me - check out my usual thoughts on the colour pink here - and it was a challenge figuring out what to layer on top. Anything I have in the ideal silhouette (cropped as well as fitted) is the wrong colour, and this time I decided to prioritize colour over shape. The jacket is a richer green than it photographs, and was an excellent (fully-lined, great shaping, on sale) grocery store score years ago. Hooray!
|buttonflowers: Megan Mae Designs|
Thanks in particular to Sheila of Ephemera (whose year-long 30-for-30 challenge has provided me with months and months of fascinating and inspiring reading), I'm becoming a more discriminating shopper - taking into consideration cut, colour, condition, quality, and cost, and very intentionally limiting compromise on any front. In the grand scheme of things, the results are entirely wearable and therefore less expensive. But then single-exception stuff like this happens!
I'd been hankering for a pair of Frye boots for ages and was excited to come across these in Light Yellow online at 70% off, which brought them into range. One of the caveats of online shopping is photography- and monitor-related colour accuracy, and so of course when my awesome boots arrived they were actually a shade more usually called "natural." That kind of grotty, warm, pinky-orange beige having very little to do with light yellow, you know the one. A smidge of the original colour can be seen on the inner pull-tab (below the white Frye label) in this photo:
|fishnet tights: Calvin Klein, local discount / overstock store|
Because it wasn't technically a "retailer error," I would have had to pay return shipping and also be out-of-pocket the already-incurred shipping / import / duty / customs fees. Which, okay, while there MIGHT exist a couple of footwear items I would pay just to try on (Ann Demeulemeester Triple Lace Boots with the talon heel, for one), I'm opposed to the concept on principle. Plus the (70% off!) boots fit perfectly and smelled divine. And that is how I ended up deciding to DIY a brand-new pair of Frye boots. Please don't hate me.
I thought really hard about it, re-read this book, and came to the conclusion that no matter what happened, I would not be able to wreck / render unwearable these beautifully-constructed boots. If they didn't "turn out," I would continue to customize. I must also send kudos to the incredibly creative Pao of Project Minima for lighting a fire under me with her shoe DIYs!
I don't recommend waiting until just a couple of hours before the event to which you want to wear the outfit (because if you don't wear it now you'll have to wait until next summer and you have been dying to wear it this whole time, even missed getting to it before your Birthday party and the boots have been waiting patiently with their welts all taped and smelling great for months already with the supplies standing by) before starting. I'm pleased with the results, but will need one more go to attend to details, perfect the colour, and knock back the gloss.
I did feel marvellously visible in this outfit, and am joining the wonderful Patti's Visible Monday over at Not Dead yet Style. I hope you will talk to me in the comments about excellent mentors, overwhelming desires to buy things that go with nothing else in your closet, and your most memorable DIYs.