Sunday, 17 March 2013

Bundle of Joy

Oh heavens, that's not what I mean! I wore this outfit earlier in the month to celebrate my Beary's birthday, when we enjoyed a late lunch and afternoon visit with his family. Happiest of Happy Birthdays also to the incredible Judith of Style CroneJean of Dross Into Gold, and Tamera Beardsley

hat: no label, Burlington Coat Factory
merino wool turtleneck: Italtempo, Winners, mid-2000s
leaf-print bell-sleeved peplum jacket: I.C. by Connie K., 

Becky's, South Padre Island, TX, worn here
most loved / hated pencil skirt of perfection and poor quality: Smart Set, worn here
patterned tights: Calvin Klein, outlet store
shoes: Fluevog Mini Gorgeous, also worn here with skirt

Though many bloggers are posting their signs of spring and already enjoying sandal weather, the ground here remains frozen, and despite my summery getaway, am I ever weary of piling on a lot of clothes every day. Today's post is mostly in stereo because of this outfit's layers! It's a time of year for faith in the not-yet-tangible - we have placed our order for new day-old chicks, which will increase our flock following a tough season of losses. 

amazing vintage plaid coat: Bromleigh New York, passed along by dear friend
grey faux ostrich clutch: Charming Charlie, seen here
pashmina scarf / shawl: from same dear friend's box of treasures
leather gloves: can't recall

depending heavily on open-work, leaf-motifs, and pattern-texture mix
to suggest warmth and growth

Further to bundles of joy, I was also thrilled to come home from Texas to a wonderfully huge box of passed-along treasures from the closet of an incredibly dear and stylish friend. Among them was this other lovely bear of a vintage winter coat in furry multi-coloured plaid with buttons like snack bowls. Yum! Just when I am so tired of my other one!

A quick bit of online research didn't yield a lot about Bromleigh, the coat's maker, but The Hub department store tag was a portal to a location integral to so many peoples' stories, active as it was in Steubenville, Ohio from 1904-1980. I found an article about a 500-plus-page reference work about the store (based on the scrapbooks of a 47-year employee who lived to be 103), and came across photos in a book about the town's history and on the website of a local memoirist. I am fascinated by garments' contexts and stories - my own, others', and vintage, all.

Between the joyful bundle of clothing, handful of things brought home from Texas, and a small but mighty shopping excursion with the Forest City Fashionista, my closet's already precarious situation exceeded critical mass. I took the opportunity to do some (but not nearly enough) clearing-out - donating, sending away, and consigning. In some cases, having worn things on the blog helped me feel finished with them - thank you, blogging! 

Despite the sorting-through, and an intention I set early on for blogging to encourage my wearing a broader range of the things I have (rather than just the same few things all the time), I feel like I'm still under the spell of front-of-closet-itis: I find myself mostly wearing the stuff that's "on top" - hat and jacket from my travels, skirt and shoes from this recent post. Thank goodness for the impending season-shift to shake things up.

I'm headed over to Patti's Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday to see what hints of spring might be found there. Do come and look too!


  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your style...John Fluevogs, no less! And your background for pictures is killer, too! I'm just starting out with my new AlterEgoFashionista blog and I will definitely be following yours to see how it's done!

  2. Such kismet my dear... I was here reading your post, while you were visiting me! Thank you for the lovely birthday wishes and shout out! What an honor to be mentioned with the likes of both Judith and Jean!!

    I love this outfit... a lot! I most enjoy the addition of the coat really makes for two smashing outfits! I adore living in Southern California... but miss the opportunities to leave the house with more than one outfit!

    Wishing you a wonderful new week my dear Amber!

  3. A bundle of joy indeed - what a wonderful coat! Happy Birthday to Beary, and great news to hear of the incoming baby chicks. Thanks for sharing it all with Visible Monday.

  4. I LOVE this! I feel transported to another more genteel and elegant era just looking at you! That coat is fabulous as is that leaf print peplum jacket and the adorable hat! Like you I am also suffering severe fatigue from piling on a lot of clothes every day. I've practically given up on style in piling it all on (I end up looking like some sort of weird urban yeti) and I think you've done a wonderful job of stylish layering here! You've inspired me!

  5. Oh I love that peplum jacket and the full-skirted overcoat!! Almost an Edwardian silhouette.

  6. FINALLY! A decent peplum top that FITS PROPERLY! I just don't understand the trendy ones so popular in blog-land that are so shortwaisted the gals look like their waists are up at their ribs.
    You, on the other hand, are evoking 1914 (or so). Such eye candy!

  7. I love your picture settings so much...but on to the clothes...incredible look today..I love the peplum jacket, the coat, the hat, scarf...all of it!! Such a great look!!

  8. Hey you are speaking my language! That coat is beyond fabulous, so is the b/w top! You look beautiful in grey. Wonderful finds on your trip. Your style has just the right blend of history and today.

  9. I love your layerings - every layer is a parcel of joy to me. But I am ooohing and ahhing so loudly at this magnifique beast of a plaid coat that it's hurting my own ears. I ask for a big picture, a big close up I can smell your cologne picture of this coat- it is a treasure!

  10. I am verklempt, as it is so wonderfully expressed in Yiddish!!! Utterly blown away by your fabulousness. Every piece is wonderful, but all together the ensemble becomes a work of art. I am reminded again why I miss my northern climes. I loved hearing about your research into the history of the coat. I have a few vintage pieces where I've done a similar search. It's fascinating. So is your Beary a Pisces?

    Thank you for this beautiful post. Love you!!!!!

    1. Beary is a Pisces - his horoscope is always about going with the flow, whereas my Virgo ones always encourage me to work harder, blech. :)

      Love you so much too! xo

  11. After quietly visiting your blog for awhile, I wanted to leave a comment and introduce myself. I found your blog around the beginning of the year and was transfixed. Your artistry with clothes enthralled me.

    I had a fashion blog a couple of years ago but had to quit when my stepson took the computer off to college. (It actually belonged to him so I couldn't really say much about it!) When we got another computer, I never even went back to looking at blogs until the beginning of this year. Seeing your blog reinspired me and made me want to start blogging again. So, I did. I just wanted to tell you thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Diane, thank you ever so much for this heartfelt feedback! Happy blogging to you!

  12. Lovely jacket and a fabulous hat! I absolutely love how glamorous you look. You new coat is totally gorgeous. I'm still sorry you've got such cold weather, I had to go back to boots today. It's very bipolar here.

    Oh bundles of joy indeed! Please chronicle your new chicks.

  13. Yes, Edwardian, and aren't we all a little mad about that style since Downton Abbey? You wear it so well, every piece and the overall profiles are so elegant and perfectly integrated. And I just adore that hat on you!

  14. My goodness - despite the heaviness of the coat, beyond logic I do believe you must glide in this ensemble, not walk like a mere plodding mortal. This is fanastic layering. I love how you dig into the history. I am frustrated too when I love the cut of a piece but the quality does not match up to it. But only YOU know - we are too starstruck to notice.

  15. I feel as though I've been taken on a private art tour, your blog is breathtakingly beautiful and awe-inspiring. It has kept me up way past my bed time but I couldn't stop reading and breathing it all in. Thank you for sharing this with us. As for this post, you simply pose as an artist, so artistically put together. I love vintage items but have never taken the time to do the research behind them (shame on me).

  16. Ahh, if you have to be layered up against the cold, then that is the way to do it, Amber. The new-to-you coat is spectacular, and with the hat and peplum top, you do look as though you have stepped out of another, most stylish era. Gorgeous textures - and vintage labels - and such timeless elegance along with the necessary warmth, it's all perfect!
    New chicks? How exciting. Are there issues with introducing new members to the existing flock? It's a tricky time when it comes to cats, so I was wondering if hens are the same!
    Happy birthday to Beary, I bet he is delighted to have you home safe and sound.
    And hurray for gifts from friends, for rotating one's wardrobe, and for researching labels (glad to know I am not the only nerd who likes to do this!) xxxxxx

  17. Hey, you forgot to wish me happy birthday too (same day as Jean of drossintogold)! Or maybe you don't follow my blog? Surely not! When you wrote about your ethnic dress reminding you of your Lithuanian ancestry, I decided to buy the red coat that I loved because it reminded me of some of the Norwegian imagery I have seen. I didn't really NEED the coat, you see, so I justified it by saying it is a homage to my heritage!

    Hope you can drop by my blog sometime,
    Rosemary from

  18. Gorgeous oufitt--love the peplum jacket and your new-to you plaid coat is stunning!!!
    Happy birthday to Beary!!
    will there be adorable ball-of-baby chick fluff pix coming??

  19. I just now discovered your blog. Beautiful photos. Love, love the leaf peplum jacket.

  20. Happy Birthday to your Beary! Hope you had a wonderful time celebrating it. The photos of you and your parents are so lovely, I can see the family resemblances! Isn't it lovely that so many birthdays have come at once!

    I adore the cuts, patterns and textures of both those coats, and the hat suits you brilliantly Amber. I can relate to all those layers, we've had a few sunny days here but we've also had days of snow too! There's little piece of clothing more important than a good winter coat.

  21. So lady-like, which is not unusual for you! Just miles of class with a twist. Always a pleasure to see what you're up to. I agree with Anne (Bray) about your peplum. The fit is inspiring.
    welcome home... glad you're back.

  22. Thank you for the birthday greeting, dear Amber. Happy birthday to your Beary as well.

    You wear the peplum jacket with style and confidence which is a truly beautiful combination. With the addition of your stunning hat, of course. And I love the abundant coat, keeping you warm during the last (hopefully) days of winter.

  23. Oh my, these outfits are divine! I love the richness of the layers -- the grays, the subtle olive, the lavender. Oh my! May you have spring soon. But not unsafely soon. LOL. Whatever that means! Yay for day-old chicks!!! I am jealous!!


  24. I love the stereo-vision. Seeing Amber double is a real treat. As everyone has gushed on, you do look especially spectacular in today's layered ensemble. It's like a strip tease - I don't know where to look first nor what manner of magnificence is going to show up next! All of it breathtakingly gorgeous. yep. And then topping it all off with thoughts of baby chicks! I think I shall faint.

  25. I REALLY love that vintage coat! Perfect with that hat!

  26. love all that fabulous shades and textures, and such a pretty coat and hat, you look really chic!!. And you always wear the prettiest shoes!!
    besos & springtime in mind

  27. Day old chicks are definitely bundles of joy, can't wait to see baby pics! You have the coolest clothes, and obviously the coolest friends who send the coolest clothes :) I'm very covetous of your hat. I have a huge head so never have owned hats, but have been on an intense search - called Desperately Seeking Cloche - and have found one, as well as patterns to make my own. I'm hoping this much needed creative outlet, will result in more pretty hats for ladies with larger heads, and keep me occupied during the long months ahead. Kathleen Lisson actually helped me in my search, and my daughter, who excels in millinery, said I could easily sew fabric hats (blocked straw cloches to come later :)

  28. I have NO idea how I missed this post!
    I adore that coat, and your outfit has a My Fair Lady feel to it that is rather seductive! XXX

  29. Like Helga, I am not sure how I missed this post - I was just getting back from Denver is my excuse! You look so elegant in your gorgeous hat and flirty, Edwardian-shape jacket. I'm sure that Beary was quite enamoured with your outfit.
    I do love gigantic, vintage winter coats with big buttons! That one is perfect on you - it doesn't overwhelm you and it has a funky shape.

    The best of luck with your new chicken family! (I want photos)


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber