Friday, August 27, 2010

Just Some Lady And A Toad

Mr. E has some vacation days coming up and we're taking the opportunity to go soak up some seashore. That incessant 'clackety-clackety-clackety' in the background is me trying to finish my cargo pants in time for some hiking.....

Gotta go insert the zipper! I will say i enjoyed wearing this sundress as a top in this look. The same trick should work with the lady pilot skirt and the beige dirndl.....

Ach! the treadle calls and i must answer. Have a wonderful weekend!

Jacket, Skirt,Flower Pin: own design
Sundress: Liz Claiborne (spotted by Mr. E, i would've never noticed it myself)
Butterfly Pin: gift
Shoes: Clark's Passion
Belt: vintage Coach
Hat, Earrings: mystery origin

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Your Half-Bird Blogger

Looking at this pick, i'm getting the feeling that i have a recurring need to 'perch' in outfit photos. Let's go back in time.....yep, this was a definite perch. Taking this one i almost knocked down both bookcases and the sideboard. Not strictly perching here, just hanging around in the trees. I did have to hop on up to get on level with Rasputin.

Humph. I thought there'd be more. Apparently increased perching is in order. (Seeing as i'm an eccentric birdwatcher and all.)

This was my brilliant 'guerilla shopping' outfit for the REI sale - the ideas was i could try pants on under the skirt with no 'modesty issues' (ie. flashing fellow shoppers and being escorted out by security). But REI is more radical than i anticipated in it's guerilla sales techniques, and there wasn't time to do ought but grab. Ah well, it was comfy, with my arms free for maximum grabbability.

And my fellow shoppers liked the socks.

Here's a better pic of the detail on this dress bodice. I realize i'm 'off' on the whole calendrical approach to outfit blogging camping and the camping series (i just had to get that off my chest!!!) got me around one and three-eighths of a week behind. More or less. Next week i'll be taking off another few days from blogging, which will set me back even further. However, i plan to do some 'double outfit posts' when i get back from that break and get more caught up. I don't care a lot about being really strict on posting within 24 hours of wearing an outfit, but i don't want to be posting stuff weeks later, either. I started this blog with NO PLAN WHATSOEVER, so i'm still on a learning curve. At this point i do have a better feel for what daily posting is like for me, and what a series involves, how to stay organized and what type of planning is really necessary. Just enough to feel like i can start to plan ahead a little re: my blog.

Which is a roundabout way of saying - thank you for your indulgence, i should be on a more up-to-date posting schedule in mid-late September, and if you have any brilliant advice and or requests, lay it on me! I am working on an idea for another series on 'taking inspiration'. How do you translate visual inspiration to an outfit that works for you? If you have any questions concerns, or examples related to the issue of inspiration let me know!

Dress: Peruvian Connection
Hat: vintage ???
Shoes: old Borns
Belt: vintage Coach
Flower Pin: own design
Mismatched Socks: Little Miss Matched

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


This is last Saturday in the Marina district of San Francisco. Yes, that's a wool tweed jacket and wool blend tights. I was comfortably clothed for the weather. It was in the sixties but with mucho wind coming through the Gate. I'm holding onto my hat for real!

This is yesterday in my carport at 5:15pm. It was 105 degrees fahrenheit, down a bit from 106 earlier. I had a short little photo session (but i'm so dedicated - or is that deluded? - that i didn't bug out of it!).

I'd been wanting to take some pix for you all in this spot for weeks but didn't get around to it until last night. When i cropped the photo i was tickled the way the rectangles in it give a little Fibonnaci's spiral feel.

Three days later and maybe twenty five miles away as the crow flies? And you go from brisk fall day to Death Valley summer. This is why you hear people go on and on about the weather around here. Oh, and we may have to cancel a trip to the Sonoma coast Sunday because of rain. In the dry, high-fire danger season.

Thank you for stopping by! I'm off to wallow in the spectacle of my brain poaching gently in a light broth. It WAS a bunch of fun to play 'fall dress up' last weekend......i'll just daydream about that while i put ice cubes down my brassiere....

Raise your hand if you're ready for fall! Here's some tweedy morsels to tempt you, meanwhile:

mmmmm......layers......... (drool).......

Hat: ???
Jacket: vintage J. Crew
Dress: April Cornell
Tights: gift
Shoes: old Borns
Scarf, Flower Pins, Necklace: own design
Belt: vintage coach

Bandanna: Target
Cami top: own design
Skirt: own design
Belt: very vintage
Earrings: liliswan (ooh! she has a bunch of nice new things!)
Necklace: origins lost in the mists of time

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On The Lam

From the heat! Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we've had an unusually cool summer, but yesterday we started a mini-heat wave (mini in days, not fahrenheits - 99 yesterday, predicted 102 today) and had a grass fire to boot. So today i'm hiding out/sheltering in place to avoid the heat but also the terrifically crappy air quality. I've had bouts of severe asthma-type breathing troubles since i was fifteen. Mostly things go downhill for no obvious reason. But sometimes a bad spell has followed a really bad fire season, so i take extra care to avoid the smoke. This morning the sky looked fairly clear but the air just smelled like filthy ashes. Luckily, i have a great project to keep me happily occupied indoors - i got some 100% cotton ripstop fabric on Sunday for making a replacement pair of cargo pants. I ripped apart my last pair (with the 6" long tear in the upper thigh) and am using the pieces as a base for a new pattern. Yay!

I got these shoes at the REI used gear sale. They are Merrell Siren's with Gore Tex, a $100 shoe in perfect condition which we got for $19.83. It's been years since i have had any type of hiking or walking shoe since it's hard to fit my feet. What a find! The REI used gear sale is a scene. You have to get to the store at 5 or 6 am and wait in line until 8am, when they start to hand out tickets for the sale, which starts at 10am. They let in 20 people every fifteen minutes, and you get to stay in the sale room for fifteen minutes. Fortunately you can take anything you can carry out of the sale room and decide whether or not to buy it at your leisure. None of the shoes had sizes marked anywhere easily visible, so i just grabbed whatever Merrell's i could find (i've had good luck with that brand in the past) and tried them on outside. If you spend a lot of time outdoors and/or have no money, it's very worthwhile. The deals are amazing, but you never know what will be there.

This get-up is easy for walking and doing stuff around the house. I've worn it twice in the past couple of weeks. This outfit shows the way a pattern can tie two colors together. The dress would look fine combined simply with the hat and shoes since the latter are a neutral khaki color. But adding the underskirt with the khaki stripe takes things more to the level of an 'outfit', as opposed to whatever clothes you happen to be wearing at the same time. When you're working with a color and a neutral, it's not such a big deal. But if you were pairing forest green and burgundy, say, or coral and lime green, adding a pattern containing both colors to your look will make your outfit seem much more thought-out and on purpose. The pattern helps the viewer's eye to 'make the connection' between the two colors.

Adios compadres! I better sign off before 'they' figure out where i am.....

Hat: Tula
Dress: own design, inspired by Work With What You Got
Skirt: own design
Shoes: Merrell Siren
Belt: vintage

Monday, August 23, 2010

Central American Embroidery

I've ended up with more variety in the looks i've been able to wear with this skirt than i expected. It's an example of how the shape of the top worn with a particular skirt determines the silhouette and thus the overall look. I realized that this top had enough length for me to belt it at the high hip (instead of at the waist, which would give a similar silhouette to the previous outfits i've made around this skirt). One day i'll go all crazy on you and wear a different pair of shoes!

Central American embroidery is one of my favorite ethnic arts to wear. I don't know much about it, but the pieces i have seen are just incredible - amazing color sense, dense and precise needle work, and no limits to the imagination of what's depicted. A dear friend picked this blouse up at a garage sale for a buck or two and mailed it to me. All these gorgeous creatures depicted by hand. I'd wear it more except i want it to last as long as possible!

I managed to buy a gorgeous embroidered strap belt last winter in Mendocino. Unfortunately it's pink dye comes off very easily onto other fabric and i've had a hard time figuring out how to wear it without ruining the other clothes i'm wearing with it. Any ideas out there? It's a six foot long wrap belt.

I've been keeping my eye on the Mayan Connection site for years. The perfect convergence between a skirt that will work in my wardrobe scheme and my budget has yet to occur, but i'm keeping hope alive!

Blouse: ??? hand embroidery looks of Mexican origin?
Skirt: own design
Belt: some old thing
Sandals: Naturalizers

Friday, August 20, 2010

An Eccentric Steps Out

To see another well-known eccentric, Miss Joanna Newsom. We had purchased tickets back on May 21 to make sure we'd get seats, and the hall did sell out. Mr. E is of the opinion that this could be the last time we'd get the chance to see Miss Newsom perform at such a reasonable price - her star is on the rise. Her writing, composing, singing, and performing skills surpassed what we expected. She also made diligent efforts to showcase her fellow performers, acknowledging them verbally many times and giving them ample opportunity for great solos, etc.

Here's a few you tube choices if you'd like to learn a little more about Ms. Newsom. Good Intentions Paving Company is from her new album and contains some of her trademark squeaks. Inflammatory Writ is a hoot. Like something from a twenties speakeasy populated by unionizing chorus girls - this clip also shows her charming performing style at the keyboard. She looks like a wee, antsy mermaid. '81 is ethereal and haunting, and this video gives you a look at her phenomenal personal style. Peach Plum Pear ended the show and brought down the house! Check it out, people.

Just in case you've yet to twig, this is what i wore to the show. I hope the pix give you a flavor of the way this phenomenal jacket moves. It's wool crepe de chine lined with silk crepe and has shoulder pads. Please take the time to really look at the detail pictures below - bound buttonholes, pieced and fully functional pockets (four, the bags are also silk crepe), ceramic buttons in the shape of little seashells. It was a present to my sister from a lady in Vermont who was cleaning out her attic and it found it's way to me. I also received a green shot silk jacket with covered buttons which is literally falling apart, but in the most gorgeous manner.....

As near as i can tell (no labels) this jacket is from sixty to seventy years old. I've had to re-stitch the shoulder seams, but otherwise it's fine. Can you think of clothes we have nowadays that will survive in good shape until over half a century in the future? For heaven's sake, the stuff we wear these days doesn't even look a quarter as nice! And things fall apart on the way home from the store..... But enough ranting. I do try to make and get a few things that have a little of that magic about them.

This pic came out kind of va-voom (i'm pretty sure i was trying to keep from scratching until the shutter went off). The necklace and watch are both old pieces as well, and both from my mom. I love wearing gifts from people i love, clothes that have traveled across the country and possess mysterious histories.....

How have your favorite garments found you?

Jacket: ???
Top: Ann Ferriday
Skirt, Scarf, Earrings, Ribbon Flower: own design
Bandanna: Target
Watch, Necklace: gifts
Shoes: Passion by Clarks

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A New Kind Of Diamond

Another look with the ivory ruffle tunic. We've been having an unusually cool summer her in the San Francisco Bay Area, which means a lot of days in the 80's here instead of the high 90's to low 100's. And also some cooling breezes! When i wore this outfit i had fun feeling it float and whip about in the air on my walk. Nothing i love more than looking different from instant to instant.

The breeze cooperated when i took these pictures - all i had to do was face into the wind.

And it also ties up nicely when you need to get down to business.

Recently i spent some time in Barnes and Noble snooping around the 'style' section. I came across some interesting information on finding your flattering hemlines but neglected to write down the name of the book or the author. I was certain i'd be able to look it up on the B & N website later, but no luck. If anyone out there knows this info, please leave a comment!

Here's the method. Stand with your heels together and your toes pointing out in a '10 and 2 o'clock' position (both toes pointing out equally so they make a right angle between them). There will be some gaps between your two legs that the author calls 'diamonds' (they will be in a four-sided diamond shape). Your most flattering hemlines will hit anywhere in your 'diamonds'. This holds for skirts, shorts, pants, capris, leggings, etc.

I liked this idea because in my experience it holds true, and it's a lot easier to explain than most systems. It's also easy to see where these areas are on your own legs in the mirror. Have any of you heard of or used this system?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Blogger and Compromise

So most of the day i ran around in barefeet and no hat. (I did wear the jewelry shown.) As preparation for my evening constitutional, i put on this hat and shoes.

This blog is presented as a daily outfit blog. 'Fantasy' outfits are labelled as such. As i set up to take my daily photos, i realized i'd wandered into an ethical quandry - should i show hat and shoes, or bareheaded and unshod?

As you can see, i split the difference. Yes hat, no shoes.

What ethical dilemmas do you wrestle with, inside or outdoors of your blogging life?

Tunic: Converse One Star at Target
Tank: Jockey
Skirt: own design, inspired by The Hidden Seed
Scrap Petti: own design, inspired by Alisa Burke

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Camping Finale

Here's the round-up of my camping outfits and the items i packed for our trip to Gualala Point Regional Park. We left on a Wednesday and returned Saturday, which made for a four day/three night trip. The northern California coastal area is never hot, strictly speaking, but during summer and fall you can get temps into the mid-high seventies. However, it became apparent during the two weeks before we left that we were headed for a cold spell and i packed accordingly. Most days were very foggy and peaked somewhere in the mid-low sixties, dipping down to the forties at night. It can also get mighty windy along the shore, making some wind-breaking pieces vital.

Tops: goatskin jacket with lambswool lining, flannel lined cotton hoody, jean jacket, corduroy button down shirt in sage floral, scoop neck longsleeved cotton rib sweater, scoopneck long sleeved grey henley, thin black cotton ruffle tunic, heather grey cotton crew necked long sleeved tee, black cashmere cardigan. Straw hat with black trim, black wool beret. Black gloves with leopard fake fur trim. White and black bandannas, orange floral silk square, leopard print rayon crepe scarf. Red Dansko clogs, navy Converse sneaks.

Bottoms: cotton khaki cargo pants, umbrella skirt, striped blue/khaki skirt (both skirts cotton), black stretch cotton leggings, dark blue cotton leggings, grey wool blend ribbed tights (not shown: silk crepe de chine half slip). Norwegian style Smartwool socks, pink cotton over the knee socks, grey and white striped knee socks.

As it happened, i saw another lady wearing a skirt over leggings at our campground. She was in the hike-in or bike-in spot, which is reserved for people who made their way in without a car. Pretty hardcore! She looked really pretty in black leggings with a crinkly sheen-y rayon skirt in a violet color watercolor print. Skirts provide some coverage over leggings, as well as warmth. I used a half slip to keep my cotton skirts from bagging up on my leggings and tights. I have nerve damage in my legs and anything constricting or heavy makes the problem much worse, as does travel. The pieces i chose to take along turned out to do a great job at providing warmth while not bothering my legs at all. And it turns out that crepe de chine is so tightly woven it cuts the wind.

In this outfit i wore the grey tights with this skirt, since i thought the black leggings would be too 'Halloweeny' for my tastes. I wore my navy sneaks with no extra socks. In the outfit at the top of the post, i wore the dark blue leggings with the blue/khaki striped skirt. The blue lining and embroidery on the hoody helped it 'go' a bit more with the skirt and leggings. The grey henley sticking out from under the hoody also made the grey seem 'on purpose'. I'm also wearing the floral corduroy shirt.

Here you get a better view of the layering on top of this look. I'm wearing the grey crew neck long sleeved tee, the corduroy floral button down, then the hoody. Choosing a grey tee, grey hoody, and darker grey leggings makes things a little less hectic than if those items had been all different colors. I figured that the umbrella print, animal print, floral, and plaid was enough pattern for one outfit.
I woke up and was it cold! Here you see 'the power of accessories'. The flowers of the pin and on the beret and the animal print on the scarf and glove trim give some life to this outfit, and they are all functional pieces except for the pin. Just put a little thought into choosing a few pieces that you'll be wearing all the time anyway and that will be visible in every weather condition. If these pieces reflect your style you don't have to do much else to look stylish. I was wearing my red clogs with the norwegian socks.

Here you can see a look with lots of layers that comes across a lot calmer than the 'umbrella skirt' look above. I'm wearing three layers under the jean jacket - the scoop neck rib sweater, the black tunic, and the cashmere cardigan. They are all the same dark color so they 'read' as a single unit. The darkness helps them 'melt' into the background. This is a way you can have the warmth and flexibility of layering and still maintain a simpler look if you want.

I was even colder this morning! This is why i suggest starting your capsule around a single, coldest of the cold outfit. You want to be sure that you can wear all those layers at once if you need to! I have worn that hoody underneath the leather jacket, but this morning i was too cold to take off my bomber and just wore the hoody like a stole. It did the trick! Notice i'm also layering my socks - Norwegian woolys over the scrunched pink over the knee socks. (And i'm wearing a bandanna under the's a wonder i could move!)

This outfit was the fave around the campground. The camp hosts were really nice and the wife of the couple especially got a kick out of all my scarves. Those are the grey and white knee socks, a little scrunched. I'm wearing the black scoopneck rib knit sweater and the corduroy floral shirt knotted at the waist under the jean jacket.

We had so much fun we're planning a return trip before the season's over. I hope all of you enjoy your travels as well!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Remaining Stylish Whilst Roughing It: Casual Accessorizing Part Two

Now, on to the three outdoor looks based on a sleek, black base. Again, i'm not too thrilled with these leggings. Some type of thicker fabric would look (and perform) better. In addition, i would not suggest stomper boots worn with only crochet socks for any activity! But crochet socks would really stand out over a contrasting color wooly sock and make a great statement. You could also use fishnet socks.

I chose to make the graphic tee as the starting point for this outfit (hat tip to Sheila). The hard edged lines and black color of the base pieces suggested at least one edgy, rocker type of look. The Brooklyn Bridge brings New York to mind, that edgiest of all metropolis's and the complete antithesis of the 'nature spot' (i love sending a confusing message). Any clunky black hiking boots will give a similar vibe to this look. The black bandanna is fun as well, being a staple piece for outdoor wear as well as in punk ensembles.

If i'd had another belt that would've worked i would have layered on one more. In this type of look, and in outdoor looks generally, i like to layer a bunch of accessories in one area where they will make a bigger statement and also be 'out of the way'. Here it's the belts on the hip, but layering scarves and pins securely on top of a hat or around your neck where they peek out of the neckline of your hard shell works well also. Grouping accessories next to each other increases the visual impact compared to 'sprinkling' them here and there throughout an ensemble. By wearing a few pieces in a group you need fewer pieces to get the same visual impact. Some areas where you can wear accessories will not interfere with your activities while others can really pester the heck out of you. Dangling earrings and long necklaces can catch on things and bracelets can get in the way.

For this look any mid layer piece in black or dark grey would work well. A black straw hat (maybe a boater?) would be really cool for a sun hat. If you found a cheap one you could spray paint it. Or tie black fishnet or lace over a natural straw hat, then finish your chapeau with a black bandanna around the crown.

I thought i'd try a softer look here, using pink to 'girly up' the black. More of the 'base' pieces are covered by the tunic-length pink floral top, the scrunched-down over the knee socks, and by letting the pink and brown scarf spread out over the shoulders. The brown belt picks up on the brown in the scarf and beret and looks a little less harsh than a black belt would have. In this case i put a pink ribbon flower on the brown wallet on a string.

The flocked flowers are original with the beret - they have a pinkish cast. I added the purple ribbon flower to define the neckline a bit more. A black fleecy would be a fine mid layer with this ensemble, or you could try a pink one, a pink wool cardigan (with flower buttons!), any pink based plaid flannel shirt or pink based printed corduroy shirt. Deep ecru lace (as a scarf or as trim on gloves or socks) would be a nice touch and would make this look more romantic.

The pink outfit used black as a background. In the first look black is integral to the feel of the outfit. In this outfit black plays a role in between those two - it plays the background role, but also is the element tying the different prints together. The teal spider top, leopard print scarf, bandanna, tiger stripe socks, and leopard print trim on the gloves all have black in their patterns. The black helps to tie so many different elements together as well as to the base pieces (leggings and jacket).

Looking at what i had on hand to create this last outfit, i liked the way a range of blues played off of khaki tones. Teal top, grey-blue scarf, blue-green socks, and blue fabric flower on one hand, khaki shoes, leopard print scarf, leopard trim on gloves on the other. The stripe scarf and the glove trim both have brown in their patterns, which helps the brown of the hat 'read' as part of the khaki team. I couldn't get the earrings to photograph well - they are gold with blue moonstones.

In this outfit the blue flower on the khaki scarf provides a pop of lighter tone and a focus to all this pattern and range of color.

A word on grooming while camping. Generally, keep it simple. I trust you will be able to think of something more interesting to do than spending half an hour in the bathroom blow-drying your hair (not to mention that you will incur the everlasting ire of your campmates, freezing their tooshies while hopping up and down on one foot in the cold). A low ponytail, a simple topknot or french twist, or french braids will keep your hair out of the way and looking neat when you take your hat off. I get the neatest results when i put some gel in damp hair and put it up when it's wet.

Products that can multitask should be your first choice. Sunblock you can tolerate on body and face, the same with cleanser and moisturizer. You can try a little moisturizer thinned with water to smooth down flyaway hair. Unscented baby wipes are great for cleaning all over, though for me they get too drying to use every single day on my face so i take some gentle cleanser along.

For makeup i just like some foundation/concealer, powder to set it, eyebrow pencil or powder, lipliner/stick and gloss, and tubing mascara. I use the eyebrow stuff to line my eyes, and lipstick or liner as blush if i get inspired. I do like to take Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel to use as a primer - the dimethicone makes your makeup go one smoother and last longer, plus it also protects against dryness and wind. Just spread a pea-sized amount over your moisturizer and sunblock and then apply your makeup. No waiting required.

Tomorrow - per reader request, i'm doing a 'polyvore on the floor' of my last camping wardrobe, with photos of my camping outfits at Gualala Point Regional Park.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Remaning Stylish Whilst Roughing It: Casual Accessorizing Part One

Okay! Clothes, or putting it all together to look and feel fabulous in the out of doors! To (hopefully) illustrate the ideas in these posts, i put together six different outfits. Three are based on relaxed-fit khaki jean jacket and cargo pants (the ones in this post). The other three are based on a sleek-fitting black shell and black leggings (i would have preferred jeggings or fleece pants, but....). I show those three looks in the next post. The idea is you'll get a feeling for how much you can express your own personal style by changing out shoes, hats, scarves, tees or blouses, and jewelry around pretty basic functional outdoor wear.

How to start accessorizing your casual outdoor duds? Decide on which pieces you need to wear from the functional perspective. When you have that nailed down, look at what items can be changed out for more style - can you wear a graphic tee instead of that grey-black capilene tank? Converse sneaks instead of those beat-up pink cross trainers? Striped cotton knee socks to peak out the top of your norwegian pattern wooly socks instead of heather grey ankle liners? Would a straw cowboy hat work as well as that khaki bucket hat from L.L. Bean's 1992 catalog?

Now it's time to accessorize proper. Your main clothing pieces can be either mostly background (like in this first black floral themed outfit) or folded into the look (like in the southwest themed outfit at the end of this post). Either way if you choose your accessories to work together as a whole, they will pull your outfit together and put your style across.

You can choose accessories that work together in color, pattern, aesthetic 'style' (ie. steel cut engraving, comic book style, art deco), size of pattern or repeat, feeling associations (romantic, nostalgic, edgy, utilitarian), material (wood, gold, bakelite), texture, object depicted or some combination of these attributes. The eye will 'pick out' the similarities in objects near one another and you can use this to your advantage. Let's say you have a bright pink silk scarf with white polka dots. Next to a bunch of other polka-dotted scarves, you have a polka dot theme. Put it with a fuschia blouse, shocking pink bangles, and baby pink hat and you're doing the pink thing. Pair with lemon-yellow capris, a lime patent-leather belt, and mandarin orange shell and you're working brights. The same object can be a contributing part of many different looks depending on what you put it with. You can pull out any of it's attributes and use it in your outfits.

Disclaimer: These outfits were put together as visual illustrations. I went through the house and use whatever i could find (that's why i'm not wearing some of the shoes - they're not mine and they don't fit). The pink floral tunic is actually a gauzy, quasi see through tea length dress. But i've seen countless cotton blend tunics and tees in beautiful pinks, mauves, corals, turquoises, teals in gorgeous floral, paisley, and ethnic patterns. Any of those would work beautifully in a similar scheme. You may not feel comfortable in a silver chain belt with rhinestones, but a metallic leather belt would lend a similar sparkle to any outfit. I hope these illustrations inspire you to look at what you already have in a fresh new way and give you the knowledge to pick out more versatile pieces to add to your wardrobe.

Now i'm going to analyze the way i put together the elements in this first outfit in excruciating detail to explain these concepts. For the rest of the outfits i'll just point out a few highlights. Again, please leave any questions in the comments - i love to get your feedback!

I started with the pants and jacket, as these are classic, functional staples for outdoor wear. I next chose the cotton print blouse as my real 'base' for the look i was going to create. This print has black, white and grey colors, curvy, scrolling round lines, and flowers. The feeling associations include romantic, nostalgic, feminine, old fashioned. With that as my starting point, i started hauling out pieces that included some of these same elements.

That hat has black trim, is very round, and the bow has a romantic/nostalgic feel. The earrings have black bows, and the hearts reinforce the romantic/nostalgic vibe. Silver is the 'white metal' and the oxidized parts on the belt are black. The chain links are curvy, and the flowers are a nice bonus. Frankly, i wouldn't usually go with rhinestones out of doors (the glinting light can startle birds away) but the rest works. The lace scarf has a beautiful scrolling, curving design and expands the romantic theme. The ivory color helps to lighten the palette as well. I've found that sturdier, heavier laces work fine as outdoor scarves as long as they loop easily around your neck. You don't want one that's so long it's getting caught on branches, catching on fire down by your elbows, etc.

The wooly socks' black/white/grey color scheme echoes that of the blouse. Norwegian style knitted wear doesn't have much of a romantic feel, but it does have an old-fashioned flavor to it. And you are camping, where these type of socks are completely appropriate and functional, so they make sense in this outfit. It's a plus that the color scheme blends in so well. It's a similar idea with the bandanna - they are so classic an outdoor item, so useful, that they are just a 'given' in an outdoor outfit. The beauty of bandannas is that you can find them in a rainbow of colors so they can work in any outfit imaginable. The black/white color scheme, scrolling design, and old-school feel of this bandanna help it blend seamlessly into this look.

The ribbon flower pin has the floral thing happening, is romantic, nostalgic, old-fashioned.....but it's purple. In my judgment it's 'thematic' associations override the color, which is still pretty dark. That's what makes it 'personal' style. I don't show a mid-layer with this outfit, but a black fleecy, black white grey plaid flannel shirt, or grey floral corduroy shirt would all work nicely. Or you could take a cue from the pin and go dark purple to add some color depth.

Next is a tomboy look, inspired by my Converse sneaks. I chose bright colored florals to keep it more 'girly'. I layered a lace trimmed tank under the shirt for the same reason, as well as choosing a floral-embroidered hanky in a similar color scheme for the pocket square. (To keep from losing the hanky, safety pin it to the back of the pocket from the inside of the jacket.) The sneaks are navy so i chose a navy fedora to balance the top and bottom of the outfit. In sunny locales you'd want a bigger brim. These type of hats can be nice and warm if made of wool, or if you wear them over a knit cap or scarf.

My everyday watch takes on much more of a 'menswear' vibe when paired with these pieces. The tie would be more practical out of doors worn as a belt or tied around the hat. You could also tuck it into your waistband or button the shirt up a bit more and tuck it in the shirt. Pearl posts are ladylike but don't interfere with the tomboy feel. They even keep your holes from closing up.

Try a navy fleecy or 'boyfriend' cardigan, a plaid flannel shirt in bright yellows, oranges, blues, or a vintage athletic team hoodie from your favorite town as a mid layer piece with this look.

This is your basic southwestern look. Here the 'base' pieces (pants and jacket) contribute more to the overall look since the southwestern style is so outdoor-associated. So you can get the look across with fewer accessories. A straw version of a cowboy hat is cooler in the heat. Central American embroidery really works with these elements but is kind of unexpected. You can also find graphic tees with indigenous art on them - Hopi, Zuni, the tribes of the Pacific Northwest all have exquisitely beautiful art traditions. The silver and inlaid turquoise earrings are Zuni sun gods. I tied the little brown wallet on a string into the rest of the outfit by adding another silver inlaid piece on the front of it. (This wren is a pin/pendant, so i safety pinned the piece to the wallet through the pendant loop.)

The Norwegian-style socks don't look out of place because of their function, because they are also indigenous art, and because scale of the repetitive pattern so closely matches that on the shirt. The black bandanna is there 'just in case' and to add definition to the collar. It also ties in with the black edging on the socks. I find that outfits which are overall light in color can start to kind of blend out into the background unless you ground them with a touch of really dark color.

Good midlayers for this outfit would be a Norwegian style wool sweater in burnt orange, black and cream, a red and orange plaid flannel shirt, or a shirt or cardigan made of AmerIndian blanket style material.