Monday, 19 August 2013

In Triplicate

Behold, three typical work outfits, two from June, one from this month, all atop red-shoes-of-legend. Despite a decade of heavy rotation, I'm still on my first pair of these sporty Mary Jane pumps: scored for $14, and yes I did go back and snag another - further reduced to $11. Beyond outrageous durability and comfort, they strike a lot of exactly-right balances: all-season wearability, dressy vs. casual (good with jeans too), quality yet not over-the-top fancy-lookin' (as you know, left to my own devices I'd wear nothing but the latter), and colour, colour, colour. 

vintage stylized fish skeleton necklace: a gift from my mother, worn here
vintage oversized blouse: Al-matari Top Fashion, thrifted

black leather obi belt: Elizabeth Kelly London, etsy, worn here
favourite red skirt: Odille, thrifted, worn here
favourite red shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction, Winners ~10 years ago, worn here

With perfect colours and awesome pattern, this blouse has lots going for it too - light, soft, non-wrinkling weave, full-range-of-motion fit, and buttons with sparkly guitar-pick shapes. Plus I found it while shopping with the Forest City Fashionista. I think I often wore red in June to coordinate with my grotty rash, or was perhaps aiming for it to pale-by-comparison, which kind of worked: 

Next up is some of my usual functional layering, all stuff I've had for years. We got a bit of hot weather this year, but since my office's micro-climate tends toward February, I keep temperature-adjustable measures on hand:

sunglasses: Ray Ban, worn here
goes-with-everything striped scarf: Gabii's (Progreso, TX), worn here
antique silver and mother-of-pearl necklace: a gift from my mother, worn here
sleeveless blouse with ruched waist: New York & Co.,
silk recycled sari skirt: Alchemy Eco-fashions, The Circle Game (local shop)
cropped denim jacket: Smart Set, worn here
baggy grey leggings: can't recall

This is a go-to combo in melting weather - without the scarf, jacket, and leggings, even with a closed shoe, this top and skirt are airy and don't do that horrible sticking-to-the-body-with-sweat thing. I like how the gathers and knots create shape from a loose fit. 

And here, finally post-rash-and-droopy-posture-and-exhausted-grimace (hooray!), is another combination of more wear-all-the-time old stuff that I had on just last week:

jointed leaf necklace: Tradewinds (local shop), worn here
bolero cardigan: River Island, Colours, worn here
shark-bite hem tank top: Bellini, Winners, worn here (another de-layered glimpse here)
black / ivory sofa-print cotton skirt: Triangle, Winners 7+ yrs. ago, worn here 

All extremely comfortable outfits, soft and easy to move in, lots of simple-care fabrics that don't wrinkle - or if they do, not badly - and practical for long days. I do find all this practicality lends itself to over-frequent wear and dulled enthusiasm (except for outfit #1 which I still love - a new-to-me top, and I save my favourite red skirt for when I really-really need it), but functional is functional.

Okay, that last collage is gratuitous except for capturing my morning side-eye sneaking out through incomplete caffeination. Though not following the rules, *because I am such a rebel* I'm linking with Anne's Triple Play round-up over at Spy Girl. Thanks for dropping by - hope everyone's week is off to a great start!


  1. You are a skillful layer master! The neutrals plus red is a great way to keep items working in harmony. The leather wrap belt looks great on you.

    blue hue wonderland

  2. I love all these outfits - you are a master at layering and creating shape/

  3. Those shoes would make wearing a trash bag FABULOUS!! I love them!! Love every outfit--comfort is always a good thing--if you're uncomfortable it doesn't matter how fantastic the outfit is!!

  4. Red shoes - can't beat 'em! And yours are obviously really versatile workhorses, so good choice (and bargain price too!)
    Don't don't don't make me choose a favourite.
    Oh alright, I will. It's a close thing, but I just love the red leather obi against the black in the third outfit. But then again, the interesting side-hitch of the second skirt is adorable, and the Shelley Shirt is gorgeous. So really, it's a three-way tie! Yep, that's how decisive I am...
    You made me laugh with your Monday morning side-eye. I seem to have lots of pics of me with that expression on my face too. I thought it was my usually-camouflaged superciliousity (of course it's a word, or it should be) sneaking out, but I now understand it is merely caffeine deficiency. Thank you, Amber. Your blog is an education in many, many ways! xxxxx

  5. Fabulous footwear!! And wonderful looks you've created in this palette.

  6. Those shoes are so great! I love a shoe that's both interesting and versatile. Most people think only neutrals are that versatile and they are so very clearly wrong!

  7. you're a layering queen, so inspiring, love all that subtle shades and textures with a touch of red, and your obi belts and fabulous accessories, that fish skeleton pendant is awesome!!, and red mary-janes are really a fabulous piece to mix and match, love them!

  8. MUST-BUY-RED-SHOES.......I NEEEEEEED THEM. I love each of these looks, but there's something about the more graphic nature of the last one that puts it over the top for me. XXXOOO

  9. Those are such unique red shoes. I couldn't have passed up a good pair either. I also really really love looking at your various outfits side by side. Like Sheila, you have a very distinct style where much of your clothes has the potential to be endlessly remixable. I really aim to have such an awesome defined style as ya'll.

  10. Well just about anything would look superb with those red Mary Janes but layer it up like only you can. Love you 3 times.

  11. Gorgeous outfits! I love the way you've used the obi belts and those shoes are just great!

  12. Love them all, but I really like that second outfit with the scarf and leggings. Very hip.

  13. I THOUGHT that was the shirt you found when we had our Grand Day Out! I love the way you've styled it. You are a layering master (mistress?) and you always create such wonderful shapes with your outfits. Those shoes are like the ones in the movie - you can't take them off!

    So glad to see you back posting and commenting again <3

  14. Loving you in all that fantastic colour colour colour! Those rich red hues suit you so well dear Amber. A fabulous mix of layers and patterns too. How are you feeling now? Back to 'normal' and returned to good health I hope?

  15. Good riddance to your rash-and-droopy-posture-and-exhausted-grimace! So glad you're feeling better.

    I love the second outfit with the layers and contrasting textures and patterns. But then the third outfit is so classy and chic looking, so it's almost a toss-up for me. Those red shoes are really working overtime at providing inspiration!

  16. Amber, I love each and every outfit, and what a deal on the shoes! Ahh, red shoes, and they do strike quite the pose. The sari skirt is wonderful What contrast. Glad you are getting better and better!


  17. Great to see when someone has found their style and you've really done. Maybe you're as most Butane Anvil in autumn colors such as gray, red and black.

  18. I also love wide belts. You look so fabulous in every shot.
    Great mix of patterns and textures, such an artist, Amber.
    Good to be back.

  19. Every post leaves me in awe of the way in which you layer colours and patterns together so fluidly, and the gorgeous shoes that send me off hunting the net, until my budget intervenes. There really is such a warmth to your blog, that I think stems from your talented writing, and also the way your personality shines through in harmony with your outfits.


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber