Tuesday, 27 November 2012

For The Birds

I couldn't bear to miss Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style twice in a row! It has become such a grand big gathering. 

scarf: Charming Charlie, last worn here
leaf necklace: Tradewinds (local shop), detail here
cropped denim jacket: Smart Set, last worn here close-up of pins here
shirt: Reitman's, last worn here with same jacket and necklace
obi belt: Elizabeth Kelly London, etsy, last worn here
awesome home-made hen-and-rooster print skirt: thrifted gift from a dear friend in honour of Mrs. Guidolin the hen

grey tights that photograph purply: Joe Fresh
shorty cowboy boots: Frye Billy Short, worn here

I wore my heart quite visibly on my sleeve, er, skirt on Monday. We're still taking things day by day with Maryjane Frystack - as we stare down a tough decision, the see-sawing between hope and sadness has been brutal. Today, day 8 of a 10-day course of treatment, is a more hopeful one. 

This skirt, with its red hens and roosters among dark leaves, is such a treasure. I adore the mystery woman who chose the fabric and made it, the person who donated it, and my thoughtful friend who thrifted it and so generously gave it to me. 

I'm wearing it hiked up and pinned. Though the relative boldness of the print and the construction detail of a flat panel below the waistband with gathers starting at the hips would disqualify it outright, its length, substantial fabric, and general feel remind me just a little of the kind of plain dress worn by local Mennonite women and girls. I found this site on the topic, Quaker Jane, wonderfully articulate and fascinating.

My personal style has very little in common with those who dress in relation / according to religious observances, yet I am interested in the range of meanings we humans incorporate into the acts and practices of clothing ourselves. Are you wearing anything which carries a special association for you today?

Hope everyone is having a good week. May your tough decisions be few and far, far, far between.


  1. Sending good vibes to your Maryjane Frystack!

    I'm wearing jewelry that was my grandmother's, that she gave me when I was 17-18 years old. It's comforting to wear.

    Love the hen-patterned skirt!

  2. awww, the story of your hen/rooster skirt is awesome, Amber. Wearing it is surely a meaningful tribute to you and your Maryjane. Wishing you all good vibrations.

  3. Ahh... so glad for good news for Maryjane Frystack. May it continue. Love so many elements of the outfit, today. I'm thinking of boots, so am drawn to the creamy cowgirls (uh ... boots you're wearing.) And yes, I think a lot about associations and non-obvious contexts with my clothing ... and have been writing a bit about it. Thanks again for so much inspiration.

  4. Ah, those agonizing times when our pets are sick, then better, and we hope always for the best outcome. Positive thoughts are sent to your sweet hen today. And what better skirt? Love this and its possible provenance. Don't you just love clothing with a story?

    Thanks for linking up to Vis Monday!

  5. Fantastic Boots!! Your style is always so expressive and creative. I get inspired to push my style envelope but can never fully commit. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  6. I'm so sorry to hear Maryjane isn't well yet. It's so frustrating seeing your pets suffer! I'm crossing my fingers of course, and sending all my loving thoughts!

    Your skirt is really fun, and it looks lovely with the tights and amazing boots. You're a true wizard with pins!

  7. OMG, I LOVE that skirt!!! I'm still holding a good thought for your Maryjane.

  8. I am sending healing thoughts to Miss Maryjane. I hope days 9 and 10 are a bigger improvement.

    I adore your style and all the thought you put into it. You are a unique, special person that I am so glad that I have gotten to know (even if it is only virtually.)

  9. A lot of things conspired to get that skirt onto you. I like such a story of serendipity. Though I'm sorry to hear what a sad time you are having with Maryjane's illness.

    Thanks for posting the QuakerJane link. I'll be interested to look more carefully at it when I get a little more free time. With just a quick glance, I noted mention of Mennonite and Amish on the site, and after having gone to a Quaker college, I can attest firsthand two misconceptions about Quakers: 1) That they dress like that and 2) that they are the same as Mennonite or Amish. Historically they probably did dress in that way, and I think there are still some conservative sects that might. But most Quakers these days wear just regular, if liberal/hippie, clothes. A lot of Northface jackets and Tevas. :)

  10. I do hope Maryjane Frystack is running around happily like a mad thing before the week is over!
    The hen print is awesome, and I was intrigued by that plain dress site....interesting, but not my bag, obviously!
    I'm not wearing anything of specific meaning or significance today; I don't generally for work (not that I have much of that type of thing anyway) as I am in and out of a warehosue all day).

  11. Sorry Maryjane still isn't feeling up to snuff. Having a sick pet really is one of the worst things.

    You skirt is lovely though; it's absolutely something I'd wear!

  12. Sending lots of love and prayers for Miss Frystack. I love your chicken skirt! That's the sort of fun and funky piece I'm always looking for. Unique prints are the best.

    I think it's awesome when people feel so passionate about anything. Probably the one thing I'm wearing that's important to me is my stars. I've always loved stars and space. I had a star skirt I wore a lot when I was younger/skinnier. I used to wear it over jeans in the 90s. My love of star clothing quickly resurfaced when I bought the sweater I'm wearing today. My mailbox was soon full of star jewelry and star clothing, even today's star boots. I feel so grounded to earth everyday, that stars remind me to keep my dreams alive and not settle down. I wear them a lot in winter when SAD can be rough.

  13. Interesting question! Today I'm in my work clothes which are very neutral, but I am wearing a beautiful turquoise necklace which means a great deal to me as it was given to me years ago as a goodbye good luck present by a mentor, and every time I wear it I am reminded of her faith in me, how much I learnt from her, and how far I've come in my career.

    I adore that Obi belt of yours, and you're right the chicken pattern skirt is a real treasure. Thank you for a lovely thought provoking post!

  14. I hope Miss Maryjane continues to improve, poor love. My youngest daughter asked me today if I love Jess, the long haired beauty among our cat tribe, as much as I love her. Is it wrong that I hesitated?! These pets do wriggle and flutter and bounce their way into our hearts... Keep us posted about your hen's progress.
    A fitting skirt then for a hen-loving woman!
    Oh the reasons for the choices we make when it comes to clothes, and the cultural references and meanings attached to them - so multi-layered and intriguing, aren't they? Sometimes, I like to debate and analyse; sometimes, I just want to throw on something fabulous and not give a hoot! Today's skirt was a particular favourite, bought at the beginning of my blogging journey, and significant for that reason. And worn with a gift from a blogging friend who is now also a friend in "real" life (as in, we have met up) it seems a symbolic outfit connected with the wonderful community of stylish women I have encountered through blogging. xxxxxx

  15. Ahhh.. the range of meanings as we clothe ourselves! Plain clothes fascinate me, aesthetically and culturally/spiritually, as do other forms of "religious" dress. A part of me embraces it as a way of honoring the relationship to one's God, but because none of them are a part of my culture or spirituality, it would be more for the aesthetics, hence a costume, of sorts. I do make choices based on who I will be interacting with, and being aware of clothes as a means of communication. I wish to connect, rather than set myself apart from, but still wear things that please me and express who I am.

    Making my clothes has enabled me to have more things that I can wear anywhere because they satisfy my soul and feeling of authenticity. Today I'm wearing an upcycled black sweater with inserts of bright red at the inner wrists (pulse points/vulnerable/alive). Your skirt is a perfect example of this kind of dressing, too. It's satisfying aesthetically AND has soul/authenticity- where it came from and what it means to you, especially at this time. Oh, and by the way, I love the jacket with the pins, along with the necklace and belt. And the boots, and, and....

  16. Hope on day 8 out of 10 is a good thing!! And the skirt is definitely a power booster. You look fabulous, Amber, despite the worries of the day.

    Today a little pin fell off my coat. It had been my grandmother's and was mailed to me still in its original box after she passed away, probably because she had never worn it - it was simply not her style - but after her signature pieces had been picked over by family, that was the piece left for me. It made me think that it's not the pin - it's the memory of the woman which it invokes that is so special and I carried that with me.

  17. Amber, I so hope Maryjane rallies. I know how hard it is when a beloved companion is very sick. I once handfed an aging ferret a special "duck soup" recipe out of my grandmother's teacups for a year and a half. My grandma likely would have not been thrilled, but my vet was very, very impressed and asked for the recipe.

    I love your rooster skirt. You don't know this but I'm crazy about roosters. Something about the way the light shines off all those different colors of their feathers. What a very cool gift to receive from a friend who knows you well.

    I had on a ring one of my supervising attorneys gave me as a gift a couple of years ago. Just costume jewelry, but so perfect and neat that she knows me that well :)

  18. If I didn't think you were really cool before, I do now. A hen lover with a good heart and style - you're OK in my book! Hoping for the best for Maryjane. I pill my old cat twice a day and will be devastated when he goes, how could we feel otherwise?

  19. What a cute skirt Amber, and I'm a huge fan of pin collections!

  20. Your outfits are always interesting. Novel, even. Best wishes to your friend.

  21. I'm hoping that Maryjane is on the road to recovery and along with you, her devoted caregiver, gain a sense of normalcy once again. Your skirt has such significance during this process and I've noticed the kindness of your friends. So important during times of crisis.

    I have many pieces of clothing that are filled with significance and memories. I may not remember what I had for breakfast, but many times I remember how the garment/accessory came to my closet and when it was worn in my past.

  22. you look fab..i really like the way you have layered the outfit...


  23. I'm thinking that you wearing your rooster and hen skirt will send good karma to Ms. Maryjane. It is heartbreaking to watch a beloved creature suffer, and wonder if we are making the right choice, and how much time to wait. I hope that she gets better soon.

    I don't really have any clothing that has particular significance, but certainly some outfits make me feel more centred and confident than others. I'm wearing a favourite David Bowie t-shirt today which makes me feel kinda cool!

  24. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my dear Amber, I love, want and need that hen skirt, ahhhhhhhhhhhh. it is sooooooooooooo wonderful, and so me.
    What ab eautiful present from your friend.
    I hope everything goes ok.

  25. Oh dear! Just catching up on blog posts - chaos hasn't exactly visited me in the way it seems to have you but life grabbed me by the shoulders and shouted that I needed to pay attention for a while - I do hope that your dear hen has pulled through.

  26. Thank you so much everyone for these precious stories of meaning and such encouragement. xoxo


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber