Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Only Embarrassed Instead of Horrified

Thanks so much for all of your feedback and encouragement on my last post. What a difference a couple of good sleeps and some sorely-needed downtime (and more colour and favourite shoes) makes! This weekend I had time to catch up around the house as well, elevating my situation to a decent standard of being only embarrassed instead of horrified at the thought of someone dropping by. 

tunic: TRF T-Shirt Collection, thrifted
tank top: Smart Set
silk obi belt / sash:
ebay
wrap skirt: Alchemy, The Circle Game (local shop)
shoes: Fluevog Mini Dollface

I also finally figured out some styling options for this top - it doesn't go with black, jean capris or leggings don't work for my proportions, and this skirt, which is the right shape and length, is the wrong colour. Something like it in olive would do nicely.


Funnily enough, my giant old (disintegrating and safety-pinned, naturally) Cotton Ginny shorts - which I wear for pj's, housework, and gardening / chicken care - are the perfect length, volume, and khaki colour. Unfortunately, they definitely fall into the "horrified" category. 

necklace: a gift from my mother

Our company arrived in time to consult on the matter, and I did wear the perfectly horrendous green shorts after all. They really do work, but I can't bring myself to be seen in them anywhere but home and somebody besides Beary had to see and appreciate these things.

gauchos: Larry Levine, Winners (super-clearance, last worn here)
I'd wear this for work, and the red skirt for play. 

I'm not quite ready yet, but sooner or later I won't be able to help myself and you too will get to lay eyes upon the odd wondrous, devastatingly layered, and ill-fitting-yet-co-ordinated ensemble such as I wear around the farm.

What do you wear when no one's going to see you? 
How do you think you would dress during long periods of isolation? 


For almost two and a half years, I was too ill to leave the house more than about once a week for absolute necessities. It became strange and unsettling to hear any voice besides Beary's and those of the visiting nurses. Bizarre pajama ensembles were the order of the day, the only requirement being ability to access my PICC line (info and x-ray image only - not too grotty)

wrist gew-gaws: detailed here
watermelon: Food Basics
I appreciated this melon's colour saturation and perfectly-scaled pattern. 

I am remembering that every day I am well enough to get dressed is a celebration. To that end, I'm headed over to the fabulous Patti's Not Dead Yet Style to participate in Visible Monday - see you there!

One last outfit photo and style inspiration below the jump. :)




In response to the marvellous Pearl of Fashion Pearls of Wisdom's post, Chuck it on the Chair, my tidbit for style inspiration today is:


"Try it on with everything - all at once if you can." 

50 comments:

  1. Love the layering with the pencil skirt the best.You outdo Marc Jacob. Brilliant, Amber.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  2. Wow, it works wonderfully! The obi and the necklace jump out and the Fluevogs are the finishing touches. Gorgeous results, Amber! Thanks for linking up to Visible Monday.

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    1. Thanks, Patti! And thanks for being so welcoming every Visible Monday - you are a total doll.

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  3. All of those patterns mix so well together. Do you remember the name of the etsy shop where you got that belt? I've been looking for a wide obi for a long time.

    The Fluevogs match perfectly with all the mixed patterns.

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    1. Hey, thanks, Megan! Sent you the link to ebay seller. :)

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  4. Lovely! the pattern mixing is great and I love your Fluevogs.

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    1. Thank you, Audrey! The red piping especially made my heart go pitter-pat, and I had good luck in the January sale a couple of years back.

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  5. Yes, the try it on with everything all at once is great advice I think. Gets me out of my pre-conceived ways. I have shoe envy, sigh.

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    1. Thanks! I'm in awe of your seamstress skills and wicked combination of organization and creative thinking!

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  6. When no one's going to see me I wear a pair of jeans and a t-shirt (I don't do leggings or sweats). Right now the weather's warm, so my variant is my teal Reitman's pedal pushers and a tee.

    If I were alone for a long time, I'd probably wear the same things. When I was out of work 1.5 years ago, I made excuses to get out of the house and get dressed.

    Love this outfit (the first version especially). Your obi collection is enviable!

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    1. Thanks, Sheila - it's a look I've really taken to in the past year, and I think I've worn them all on the blog already!

      Yes, getting dressed and out is important for us introverts as well. :)

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    2. P.S. I think I have those same Reitman's pedal pushers in red. :)

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  7. It's not so much "what do I wear when no one is going to see me" as "what do I NOT wear when no one is going to see me". When I'm inside or it's hot (AND dark) outside, it's usally a tank top and some loose fitting p.j. bottoms that I WEAR...sans UNDERwear. Now the "sans underwear" thing can be VERY scarey, especially to those inexperienced and not yet in the menopausal stage of life. Tee-hee. Amber, would you be willing to share your photography secrets with me? Do you use a specific camera? Tripod? Special lighting? Or do you have a photographer who does all the work for you? My pics seem SO amateruish.

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    1. Too funny! Susan, thanks for the compliment on my photography, which I had not considered a particular strength of mine. I use a Canon SX240 with tripod and self-timer - not fancy enough to have remote capability, and you are looking at the only 'photographer' 'round here! Even so, the camera is capable of so much more than I've had a chance to learn.

      I am lucky that my usual photo spot has tons of natural light, and when needed I turn on the overheads (which happen to be bare bulbs). My first few posts were shot under my office's regular fluorescent lights, which are barely bright enough so I had trouble with motion-blur. If you Google variations of "how to take outfit photos" etc. there's tons of info out there. I also highly recommend my friend Catherine's photo tips page at Not Dressed As Lamb (her site's badge is click-able in my right sidebar) - she has way, way more advanced skill than I! HTH!

      Beyond the rare crop, I do zero photo retouching - more things I do not have time to learn right now!

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  8. I think these might be my favorite outfits of yours. Something very folkloric about them plus those SHOES! I am so sorry that you have had to deal with health problems. You ask what I might wear if I had to stay home all the time....well, I can answer that because since 2010 I have been dealing with some serious and very annoying health issues as well. And I, too, have been stuck in the house with just the dog to keep me company. In fact, that's why I started my blog. Distraction :)What do I wear? Well, the dog likes it when I wear soft tunics or dresses over my super soft hippie jeans. No matter how crummy I feel I try to always look as cute as possible. You are a huge inspiration to me. Keep it up!
    Connie*

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    1. Thanks Connie for your kind comments and input! I am sorry to hear that you are currently in an extended period of health challenges, but really glad about your excellent self-care steps of distraction and looking cute as possible! Speaking of which, your upside-down avatar is great. :)

      I still find that looking my best helps a lot, and am grateful to be able to spare energy to play with clothes. Wishing you good care, and the best road possible.

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  9. Here's to the celebration of your health and your colorfully therapeutic style!
    I too had to wear a picc line back in 2002 for colon cancer treatments. At the time I felt so bad I found myself wearing solid black all day everyday. Can you imagine how that added to the downer? Anyway, as I started to see light at the end of the tunnel I noticed that I was so thirsty for color I was shopping at Ross and TJ Max constantly devouring bright colorful things. It was so much part of the healing process.
    Now when I'm home alone, which is every day really because my work is here, I wear things that are comfy and that I don't mind ruining with inks, etc...but I still feel the need to add a little something so it feels like me.
    Keep on keepin' on Amber!

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    1. Thank you, Joni, my PICC line sister! I'm so glad your battle is long past, and I hear you about our relationship with colour and well-being. For so many years, well before illness, I did feel best in black, but these days that's no longer true, as I was noting in a comment below my last post. Fascinating!

      I love how you "add a little something so it feels like me." You have fantastic style!

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  10. Your reminder to all of us to celebrate our health and energy is timely, Amber. I am sorry you have been ill, and hope that your current vibrant, creative style represents a state of renewed well-being and stability.
    I love this outfit, all the patterns and details and colours and layers. You have an enviable belt collection! And your mother has given you such wonderful jewellery.
    I still dress the same, even if I am just knocking about at home. Sometimes I even dress up more outrageously, within the safety of my own house! When I had a period of depression, I got in a complete tizz about deciding what to wear, often couldn't choose, and ended up not getting up or dressed at all, because decision-making was utterly overwhelming. So like you, I want to celebrate the fact that I can wear what I like, that I even KNOW what I like, and that I can share it with others with a degree of confidence! xxx

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    1. Thank you, Curtise! I am not in the least surprised that your wonderfully expressive Curtise-ness continues day and night, regardless of the presence or absence of others. :) That depression is such a jerk, isn't it. So awesome that you too are well now - co-celebrants, we are!

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  11. What a nice combination! I must admit, I like the version with red skirt better than the blue. Blue seems to be more expected. The mix of red pattern and blue pattern kind of dance together, and the obi belt provides the music.

    So sorry to hear you have had years of ill health. Anything more than a headache and I think I'm dying. I'm such a wimp.

    Those Fluvog shoes are dynamite too. No doubt if I had a pair people would stop me in the street.

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary from www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary - I appreciate your input, and I think the feedback score is red over blue, 3-0! Neat!

      And I am sure you've coped with things beyond my capacity, funny what life hands us, eh?

      The best reaction to these shoes came from a guy I knew in high school who I ran into at a poetry event; he was stoned out of his mind and sat next to me while I waited my turn to perform. He kept leaning over to whisper stuff like, "Ohmygod, lookit your shoes! Lookit ... lookit-lookit" amidst totally melting down - giggling, snorting, and actually moaning. :D

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  12. I'm so glad you're feeling better - it means I get to experience your fabulous outfits. There is nothing I don't like about this look. The colors, the perfect mix of patterns and those AMAZING shoes. You look fabulous!

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    1. Aww, thanks, Gracey! I'm so glad too to be feeling much, much better and to not be missing out on the fun of putting outfits together - especially with the great time I'm having connecting with everyone whose blogs I've followed for months and months and lots of new-to-me people too!

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  13. Love the fluevog minis! I think they bridge the gap perfectly with the top and skirt layered. My best advice with tricky pieces is hold it up to everything you can think of, and then a few more things you wouldn't. I find the best pairings when doing laundry because I'll lay something down with something else and find unexpectedly cool pairings.

    (Also I apologize if this is a double comment, I hope it isn't but I wanted to make sure something went through!)

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    1. Thanks, Megan, and ever wise advice from someone who comes up with the most marvellous combinations!

      And no worries - I so appreciate that you comment on my posts, be it once or twice or as many times as feels right, and I'd never hold it against you if you missed one! ;)

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  14. I adore those words of advice and will absolutely embrace them as much as possible. I enjoyed watching the evolution of this particular outfit and I know someone said it, but your mother has great taste in jewelry!!! She seems to know exactly what looks good on you. I love your taste in clothes as well, combining prints, textures, proportions etc.

    What do I wear when no one will see me? I won't lie. I have several pairs of old cotton pajama pants that are too short that I wear with either a tank top or sweatshirt, depending on the weather. But usually by the early afternoon, I've showered and changed into my outfit of the day, whatever strikes my fancy. Because of my work, I don't have to dress per se, but it makes me happy. When I was pregnant, I was confined to total bed rest for months. I remember, if nothing else, I would wear something as nice as possible given the conditions and would always put on a little make up.

    Your energy and humor are contagious. I'm so glad you are here, feeling well, and sharing your artistry with us.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jean! I am incredibly lucky that my mom spots stuff for me in her travels, especially the kinds of vintage / antique pieces that end up being among my favourites to wear.

      That creative dressing makes you happy is something that radiates from you - isn't it always these things we don't "have to" do but want to, or likely would anyway, which bring joy! It's reassuring to know that even fabulous you have a cozy, rumpled alone-look!

      I am thrilled to be here, among y'all.

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  15. If I don't have to leave the house, I don't get dressed at all! Less laundry to do, I figure. :-D

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    1. EXACTLY.

      A very important factor for me as well! :)

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  16. My goodness,you're rather fabulous! I just found you via Curtise....LOVE the name of your blog!
    If I'm not going to be seen,or am in isolation,I probably wouldn't wear anything, if it was warm enough!SCARY!! Hahaha!

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    1. Hi Helga! Thanks for your kind words, and same to you - fabulous is where it's at! And isn't Curtise just so dear in addition to being so stylish?

      It would seem there is a fair number of you nekkid or partially nekkid alone-ladies!

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  17. Amber, I am in love with the first version of that outfit, with the red print skirt. Another fabulous Obi Belt, you're killing me!! I am so sorry that you had to go through those years of illness, and I completely agree that we should celebrate every day that we are healthy, and mobile, and able to express that in the things we wear. In the winter, if I'm home mucking about, I will wear cozy clothes like big sweaters. This summer I have been wearing tank tops and long skirts at home (sans underwear just like Susan). Your blog is quite wonderful - it's hard to believe you've been doing this for such a short time - keep it up!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Shelley, for your empathy as well as your blog feedback! It's amazing to get these kinds of reflections from highly experienced bloggers.

      I do think I've already worn all my obi belts on here now, as well as nearly all my scarves! Seems you'll get to see both kinds of things an awful lot. I'm surprised but really appreciate knowing that the red is the clear winner!

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  18. You've taken the plunge in the pairing in the last photo and it's by far my fave. More is more - Yay! Your style continues to amaze and delight. I am thrilled that you celebrate life through your clothes - it's quite contagious. Your light is certainly shining bright! Gew gaw is a favourite expression. And the watermelon is an excellent accessory, plus you can eat it when you get hungry. Too bad we can't eat our other accessories too, except maybe for licorice whip necklaces and bracelets, which I love. Hugs.

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    1. Hooray, Melanie! I wondered if it might be you who appreciated the final look of this post - it has a certain something that works, no? My only problem is over-focus on the edible (vs. the wearable) factor, or else I'd be awash in delicious, deicious tchotchkes.

      Your esteem means so much - thank you.

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  19. I am IN LOVE -- HEAD OVER HEELS -- with those shoes! Oh my! I like the first version as well. That reddish color just makes it pop!

    xoxo
    Lynn

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    1. Thank you, Lynn! They were a big post-illness return to work treat, and I first wore them when I performed in front of an audience for the first time after 6 years - the long break in hobbies / activities also illness-related. They are happy shoes!

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  20. Amber you're a master class in pattern mixing!!! They work beautifully together. And you sound like a very positive person, sounds like you've been through the wringer somewhat... I love your attitude.

    Oh and thank you for all your lovely comments recently and for adding my button - it was worth the aggravation trying to get the bloomin' thing to work!! You're on my blogroll too :))

    Catherine x
    http://notdressedaslamb.com

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    1. Dear Catherine, I am thrilled to score a spot on your blogroll, and so glad to have your button so brightly present here!

      I had thought to add "pattern mixing" as a post label / tag, but it might apply to almost every outfit, as is happening with "scarf." :) Thanks for highlighting it!

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  21. Your interesting picture dragged me in from Visible Monday! I think you did a great job with pattern mixing and the outfit feels very artistic!

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    1. Hi! Thanks so much for coming over and commenting so kindly! I'm off to check out your blog as well. :)

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  22. Sorry I'm so late but I just had to let you that I love this outfit! The last version with "everything" is my favorite, you carry the extra volume of the clothes very well. Your shoes are gorgeous of course!

    Hearing about your illness emphasizes how important our health is. I think you're doing a great job celebrating life by dressing your body so beautifully!

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    1. Oh, it is never too late to say such nice things! I'm so glad you came by and commented, which let me check out your blog, where you are developing your excellent instincts and articulating your process so well. SO great to "meet" you!

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  23. Amber, I think I may have actually double-commented on your earlier posts because you're in more than one place in my feed reader, but your outfits are so cool and your posts so thoughtful that I enjoy re-reading them.

    First, I didn't know you had been so ill, but am so glad you're well and dressing to celebrate life. Oddly enough, that's part of the reason I share outfit pics. For several years, I had a medical issue that sucked the life out of me, and while I made it to work in body, I dressed almost every single day in too big trouser jeans, sneakers, and plain old shirts because it was too much effort to get dressed. I think now I'm afraid if I stop sharing pics I'll backslide :/

    Second, I bet you still look amazing in your farm clothes. You seem to infuse all of your outfits with magic. You really do have the gift for combining unique pieces, color, and accessories. I'm thinking about making those shoes my desktop background :)

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  24. Aw, Lynne - Your feedback is fantastic, and possible double-comments are a bonus! One of my favourite things about blogging is that the people I'm connecting with are not only so cool and so stylish, they are so SMART and I have been really missing that kind of contact since the inevitable long-illness-related social circle shrinking.

    I'm sorry to hear that you too had a long medical interlude. I'm so glad that you seem very full of vibrant life these days, and that posting your outfits is sustaining and energizing. I would love to cast away my own kernel of relapse-fear, but think it comes with the territory - all the more reason to stay with what creates distance from that and celebrates health!

    I've got vacation time coming up and some painting and heavy-duty gardening to catch up on, so the farming ensembles could begin to appear sooner rather than later! Eep!

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  25. beautiful outfit and love your mini dollface shoes <3 xx

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Thank you for your comments!
- Amber