Friday, December 16, 2011
Black Skirts and Shoelaces
I'm a 'Wear It Now!' gal all the way, so my jeans have been in obsessive rotation as soon as they were finished. With my smaller wardrobe any new item exponentionally increases my outfit options and i love hopping in and trying them out! But around a week ago i figured i should start to mix it up a little, lest i wear out my jeans tout suite and find i'd forgotten how to wear anything else.
My 'Fairy Godmother' seems telepathically linked to me recently. First, she handed me this gorgeous Kay Unger blouse just when i had been on the lookout for a white button-down worthy of duplication. Then, while trying to create an outfit for a memorial service i realized the big black hole of my wardrobe - a classic wool black skirt. Lo and behold, i find a beautiful a-line wool blend black midi skirt on top of my dryer within the week. Spooky!
I've been seriously reading style advice books, articles, etc. since i was in high school. One constant refrain is the crucial role that a three-season classically cut wool suit, ideally with pants and skirt, will play in your closet. The idea is that you have a suit for business/professional/formal events and you can break up the suit for a variety of uses from dressy all the way through casual. I have seen quite credible illustrations of, let's say, black wool trousers worn with high heeled boots, washed silk blouse, leather belt and sunglasses creating a stunning yet casual outfit. And on and on. I got it in theory, but whenever i confronted an actual black wool skirt or lined trousers i froze.
The instant my eyes fell on my new black skirt I drooled like a conditioned pooch. If i couldn't make a decent, convincing casual look with this skirt i knew the cause was lost. Maybe i have more experience with style now, maybe all the pictures i've stared at on style blogs have soaked in, maybe i'm just older - well, obviously i'm older! At any rate, i finally did the deed. This look even has a bit of a retro-funky feel, and what's more it worked with out the jacket as well. Mission complete.
Look number two is a standard kind of fall-back outfit for me. The strange thing is that what made it work in my mind was the shoelaces. Yep, the shoelaces. The original laces which came with the shoes (you know you're getting quality when your shoes come with laces at no extra fee) were a faded brown, echoing the distressed leather of the uppers. They were fine, but ho-hum, and the lack of contrast caused the lacing detail to fade into the shoe as a whole.
Another pair of shoes needed better laces a while back, so i bogarted the Bass oxford's laces. The paddock boots i laced with the Bass laces are a very dark brown and i fancied the look of a lighter lace - it really showed off the detail. The next time i wanted to wear my Bass oxfords, instead of using the originals i took a pair of black suede laces out of a pair evening shoes - and wow! It adds a bit of punch that those shoes could frankly use, and the black laces help tie the shoes in with the black skirt. Sweet relief.......
I have to say i'm astounded at times by how affected i am by the smallest details. It is kinda nutty, but once i 'give in' and take the time to fix what is bothering i so much more enjoy myself. Over the years i've reconciled myself to just going with it and no longer tolerate small annoyances. Do you ever find that an excruciatingly tiny and mundane aspect of an outfit can play a make or break role in your eyes?
Khaki Jacket: Royal Robbins
Grey Henley: Aeropostale
Black A-Line Skirt: Armani Exchange (thrifted)
Scarf: own design
Oxfords: Bass Lacey
Nice & Warm Wool Blend Tights: Hanna Andersson
Denim Jacket: YMI lets UBU
Tee: Merona Ultimate Tee by Target
Full Black Skirt: own design
Belt: DKNY (thrifted)