Thursday, 15 November 2012

You Say Tomato

I say ... pumpkin? Wednesday = Pumpkin Day for Megan and Keely's Fall Colours Fashion Challenge, and rather than repeat an outfit featuring the only truly orange garment I have - didn't feel like finding different things to wear with that skirt, fabulous as it is - I figured I'd stretch the definition of "close enough." And darn it, I've been so close to catching up to posting on the actual day, but somehow keep needing to create monster posts! Thanks for bearing with me while I prepare to amaze you with my slightly more petite posts after this. 

grey plaid scarf and flower pin: a gift from my mother, Dillard's
grey striped vest: Dynamite, thrifted
grey knit top: Ricki's, thrifted, worn here
recycled sari fabric skirt of indeterminate colour: Alchemy Eco-fashions, The Circle Game (local shop)
grey and black striped tights: outlet store
orange-red shoes:
Fluevog On Course Starboard

suddenly boobtacular silhouette courtesy of vest lapel

I ended up having to re-jig my day to stay close to home and tend to a sickie chickie. Big Henrietta is doing better but could use some good thoughts to put the wind back in her sails, poor hen. My being around during daylight hours also resulted in too many outfit photos - sorry! 

As opposed to the outfits I would have chosen - or pretty much did choose - decades ago, I would describe this one as reflecting newer, more recent style developments, and I did acquire everything but the bracelets within the past 2-3 years. New-ish-to-me elements include fit/flare, midi length, colours which don't go with black (though notice I am still all GET AWAY FROM MY FACE, ORANGE - for good reason), and pattern mixing. 

Though much subtler than the riotous play of patterns here or here, the double-stripes-plaid-paisley-floral (the latter two pre-mixed in the skirt) today makes me inordinately happy. Other outfits featuring favourite pattern combos are red stripes + loud plaid pants, and two multi-patterned items in sand, silver, and blues (and another recycled sari fabric skirt). 

What does bring up visceral sensations from long ago are the soft frayed edges on this scarf and flower pin. 

When I was 15 and 16, I had a favourite disintegrating Lee or Levi's denim-style jacket in corduroy which was my dad's cast-off and that I think was originally deep blue but had faded wonderfully to a blue-grey. My dad also wears his favourite things into the ground (I come by it honestly), which would also tell you something about its condition by the time it became mine. 

The jacket's cuffs were deeply engaged in an ongoing process of dramatic unravelling to an effect similar but quite a bit longer than today's scarf fringe here, and they perpetually smelled of the photography darkroom chemicals I trailed them through. 

Together with recalling the scent of the jacket's dusty cotton in the spring and fall sunshine, this memory of its ever-growing web-like strands, the feel of its old velvety corduroy, and a hint of darkroom tang brings a feeling of such peace. 

watch: Stuhrling Tuskegee Skylancer, detail here
antique orange amber bracelet: a gift from my mother, worn here
plus the usual wrist culprits: silver Om bracelet (Lollapalooza vendor, early '90s),  silver & leather "hands" bracelet (AGO, precious gift, early '90s, replaced 2005), rubber O-ring

Coming back to the present, these recycled sari fabric garments can be worn multiple ways, and unlike scarf-tying which I have a terrible time learning / remembering, I manage to wear this one as a dress (photo below the jump), and I have a shorter one I've worn as a variously knotted skirt as well as a halter top. 

Though feather-light and works fabulously well in the summer heat, it has enough body to wear in November with a sweater and tights. I partly justified the purchase of the (half-price!) silver-blue-sand one this fall with it being a much heavier satiny silk, and being able to find ways to wear them which don't appear to smell too strongly of patchouli. 

antique  moonstone necklace: a 40th birthday gift from my mother and father, last worn here, detail here

Do check out the other amazing Fashion Challenge participants with their fabulous stylings of these actual colours, and posts of reasonable length! Mustard, coming right up!

summer 2011, ready to perform at spoken word event referenced here


  1. I think the red orange was a great choice! Especially to show off those amazing heels.

    Your 2011 outfit is also gorgeous! I love how that color looks with the tealy turquoise colors. They glow off one another.

  2. Love, love, love that skirt sooooooooooo much

  3. The pumpkin we grew at our house is a red orange, just like your dress, so I think it's perfect!

  4. Oh Amber, you put together such great looks. This one is so fab. Love how you styled the scarf and your jewelry. The orangey red shoes are marvelous.

  5. I love the shade and the shape of your floaty skirt, and the shoes are fabulous, look at those stomping heels!
    I like your story about your dad's jacket, I do think certain objects/clothes have the power to transport us back in time, and the soft unravelling edges of your scarf and flower are lovely reminders.
    Your amber bracelet and moonstone necklace always make me feel a little swoony...
    I like the boobtacular silhouette, and I like that the waistcoat has lapels. Why doesn't mine?
    The final photo of the outfit combining the red/orange with teal is gorgeous. So you CAN wear orange near your face after all! xxxxxx

  6. Love this outfit! The skirt is wonderful and great shoes. The grey pinstripe vest and the ornate sari together are such an interesting contrast. You look just fabulous in the last photo where you have the sari top and skirt togther (or is it a dress).

    1. Thanks! The 'dress' in the last photo is the same garment as the layered skirt in the post - it can be tied and worn multiple ways.

  7. That sari is fab as either a skirt or a dress (again, you look so gorgeous in halter-style necklines). Those are SERIOUS shoes that look like they could do some major ass-kicking if necessary.

    I was touched by the story of your dad's jacket (you do tell lovely stories - I can see why you go to the spoken word festivals). I have an old work jacket of my dad's that has frayed cuffs - he would never buy new clothes, my mother had to get them for him - and I keep in hanging in my closet, but I never wear it.

  8. I am in awe of your skirt/sari tying. I have two of those convertible skirts...that I haven't figured out how to convert.

    Your amber jewelry is so lovely. I'm glad you take a lot of pics, because I savor all the details. Um, not in a creepy way, of course. Um, I like shiny things?

    Hope th' chick is feelin' more th' thing.

  9. These are great photos and I especially love how you ended with a close up. It came together nicely just as I was finishing the story. Loved hearing about your dad's jacket. My aunt use to make my dad the most amazing psychedelic shirts back in the 60's. I think because of it I grew an enormous appreciation for men's funky patterned shirts. Before my dad died he had given me about 5 or 6 of those old shirts and I did my best to work them into my wardrobe even though they weren't the most flattering.
    When my nephew was about 16 he came to live with me to finish high school so I gave him one of those old shirts. My favorite in particular looked like an old marbled effect bowling ball. He wore it like crazy, then he died sadly, but for years I savored the smell and history of that shirt...until one day I accidentally threw it in the wash and it completely disintegrated into mere shreds! It makes me sick to think about it today!!
    I hope someone savors a piece of my clothing like that some day.

  10. GORGEOUS - THIS is how to wear grey! Love the beautiful skirt and those shoes are KILLER! Sarah xxx

  11. I've never seen those Fluevogs before - they are amazing! I love the cone heels. This dark orange is such a great choice with the tones of grey. Love love love.

    Great story about your dad's jacket. I have a couple of things of my dad's - two sweaters that my mom made him when they were first together in the 60s. I wear them when I need to be near him. Not so much now (he's been dead over 15 years), but it comforts me to know I have them.

    You look beautiful with the skirt worn as a dress, Amber! I think most people can wear most colours near their face (yes, even orange!), as long as they find the right tone.

  12. You should definitely wear more flared midi skirts as they suit you so well :)

  13. What a great outfit Amber. It seems a bit of a different silhouette for you. I love the colors together - orange red and darker grays. And the light, flow-y sari fabric with the suit vest fabric. And the heavy gray tights and flow-y light scarf, etc., etc. And, of course, the dad story.


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber