Saturday, September 25, 2010

Expandin' One's Repetoire

Gasp! what's all this then?!?!? No pieces all beige, nor black, nor white or grey.....yep, folks, it's an all-color outfit. My first on the blog, excluding a couple of dresses. This one is entirely made up of separates.

Yet i felt comfortable all day, and got a number of compliments. And this outfit just came together, i wasn't forcing myself to make a big leap (though it kind of looks like i did!). How did i go from this or this to today's outfit?

Thursday TDE got a visit from reader kellyroy68. She documents her classic-with-an-artsy-edge, mom-on-the-go style at her blog, Fashion Me Blog. She asks, 'By the way ,do you know
I love this stuff although I can't pull this look.What do you think?' To begin, thank you kellyroy for pointing me to Magnolia Pearl! I'd never heard of them before. Magnolia Pearl offers wonderfully artful, exquisitely feminine vintage feel pieces dripping with ruffles, ribbons and all types of lace. And kellyroy asks a great question - you have a style that works for you and your lifestyle. But personal style is about creativity as well, and you feel a pull to take your style in another, totally new to do this while feeling true to yourself and not making expensive mistakes?

Well, my answer is typical Taurus - bit by bit. We all have outfits that we like and fit our style but that are pretty basic. A tee and jeans or a jean skirt, a sheath dress or shirtwaist, simple sweater and a-line skirt......the real beauty of these simple ensembles is how well they play with others. In other words, you can use these simple outfits as backdrops for the most outlandish of accessories and look like you know what you're doing. You obviously wore a plain background to show off your great, unusual piece!

So take this simple sweater shell and skirt in pale pinks on Fashion Me Blog. The easiest first step would be to add a lacy Magnolia Pearl scarf at the neck. If you like that look and want to take it further, pop on this medium pink Magnolia Pearl vest (on the lower left of the collage). The simple lines of your background pieces offer the eye a place to rest, and 'tone down' the outfit the way vanilla ice cream tones down the intensity of hot fudge in a sundae. To take it even further, try both scarf and vest together in the same outfit. You can even buy a whole outfit at once, if you love it to pieces and it's a great deal, then wear all the pieces separately with calmer outfits to 'work up' to wearing the whole outfit. This is also a nice way to get more use out of special occasion or fancier pieces.

That's how i ended up in all this color. About thirteen years ago, i bought a bright coral floral scarf. I like it a lot, so i made the Donna Karan jacket in a similar color (but only wore it with whites and beiges, maybe denims). The J. Peterman tee was too adorable and on sale three or four years this time i was getting a lot more familiar with the range and types of color that i enjoyed wearing, so when i spotted the umbrella fabric i didn't take long to decide to snap it up for a skirt.

These pics are of the outfit i wore Thursday. Wednesday i wore the tee with khaki cargo pants, a usual way of styling them. It was okay, nothing fabulous. By late afternoon my leg was killing me, i couldn't stand to have anything touching it, so i ripped off the pants and put on my most 'non-leg-touching' skirt......hey! whaddaya know! I got such of a kick out of the combo i couldn't wait to wear it again, and put it on again Thursday with the jacket.

Prints can help you identify colors you might want to use more of on their own. The J. Peterman tee has a great dusky rose, a kind of burnt-feeling green, glowing deep coral, medium violet - any of these colors would be great on their own. And apparently they look great together, witness that tee....

Obviously, it's not necessary to take THIRTEEN YEARS to ease into a new look (what can i say. We Taureans are know for being slow and stubborn!). But by taking it a little slower, and going step by step, you can be more sure of your choices, and save money and aggravation.

I had the idea for this post before i received kellyroy's question, so there's a bit of kismet for you! And to top that, Magnolia Pearl has an outlandishly decorated airstream coach documented in Selvedge magazine. They live and work in it while on the road. The Mr. and i have been dreaming and scheming of living in our own tiny home for years.......

Jacket: Donna Karan for Vogue Patterns #2862, made by me
Tee: J. Peterman
Skirt: own design
Petticoat: own design
Clogs: Dansko Marcelle
Mary Janes: Clark's Passion
Jewelry: own design


  1. Good for you for having the courage to mix it up and wear what you want!

    Thanks for stopping by G&G.

    ♥ V

  2. Welcome V!'s not so much a case of wearing what i want so much as not getting stuck in a rut ; )

    re: stopping by - no no, thank YOU! i hope you have a great week! steph