Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Aww, Fiddle!

Condolences to Sarah of Misfits Vintage on the loss of  Dame Elizabeth Taylor. Stop by to read her excellent tribute to Ms. Taylor (with a wonderful picture of Liz driving her convertible and flippin' the bird), and give Sarah some love!

Well, we're in that 'winter is over, but it's not really spring yet' phase of the year. Around these parts, we're getting mucho precipitation - hail and rain. Over the weekend i was woken out of a sound sleep two nights in a row by dreadful wind, hail, and rain. Today Sacramento is under a flood watch - take care Bella! Nothing like living on a delta. Of course, this brings us to 'what to wear?'

I've been wearing variations on this look a lot recently, on 'around the house' days where we see the sun. It's too cool to wear just a tank, but layering a cami-top over a knit cotton tank while covering my legs hits just the right temp. I love the ease of having a 'uniform', but looking the same all the time drives me nuts. These looks may give you some ideas for adding variety to any 'uniforms' you wear and like.

The biggest difference between these two looks is in the silhouette. The top look is boxy and straight - i chose straight leg pants and buttoned only the top button on the cami-top, surrendering the waist as Angie puts it. I brought the knit top hem down over the pants' waistband to the hip, so there's no indication of the waist. The boots have a lower heel and a sturdy shape, and i wore no belt. The length of the pants contributes to the boxy effect - the straight hem cuts across the calf, shortening the leg a bit.

The second look emphasizes my curves. I buttoned the cami-top at the waist, and chose curvy boot-cut jeans.  The booties have a higher heel and sleeker lines. I wore a belt to 'pull in' the waist of the jeans, and as a bonus you can see the little bit of chain hanging down. The addition of small sleeves and changing the shape and size of the head - an 'updo' here versus wearing it down with a hat above - also contributes to a different feel, even though the earrings and necklaces remain the same. I've really appreciated having the 'brainless dressing' aspect of a uniform, while ending up with different looks. Angie at You Look Fab comes up with a lot of these formulas or templates - she calls them 'mom on the go' of 'flop proof outfits' - take a look to see which might work for you, and to get more ideas on how to come up with your own if you're drawn to the idea.

Another way to change up any 'uniform' is to vary the color scheme. You could just vary the color of one item (like the knit tank), go from a light to a dark color scheme in neutrals, or go from a low to a high contrast scheme. The first look here is light newt/low contrast, while the second is a higher-contrast look. If you wear an outfit with one dominant color, especially a bold or bright one, people tend to identify that outfit with the dominant color. So if you wear the same look again but replace the bold color with a neutral or a different bold color most people will 'read' it as a very different look.

I've actually started to get in the 'taking outfit pictures' habit again, but somehow i lost a bunch of photos! That was aggravating. And if i look a little 'tomato colored' in the top detail pic, it's not your imagination. I was having a reaction to a sulfa antibiotic, since resolved. Pardon my french, but what a pain in my @ss. Signs are decent that the infection is receding into the past, which would thrill me immensely. Mr. E has a couple of days off and i'd hoped to spend them tearing about town and behaving scandalously - which is harder to pull off if you're too pooped to pop! Here's hoping you are full of piss and vinegar!!

Cami-tops: own design
Tanks: Old Navy
Capris: Royal Robbons
Blue Heans: Levis
Boots: Bass Lamont
Booties: Maine Woods
Belt: Betsey Johnson


  1. You're looking fabulous. Glad to hear that health is returning your way. I love the little natural-colored camis, very cute.

  2. You do look great...I am really into cream colored laces lately...and I really like your boots.

    One of my favorite movies as a girl was NATIONAL VELVET so I have been thinking of it all's to Elizabeth!

  3. Hey steph great to see you around in the blog world again..
    Love the 2 style pics--so many little time~Paula

  4. Hello Cynthia! you've been looking pretty gorgeous yourself these days - those berry and blues you've been wearing are just so lovely on you! and the look with the 'red skirt' i thought brought out a kind of sophisticated, slinky side of you we hadn't seen before......yow! give those kitties a hug from me and take care!

    Hi Pam! that's sweet about National Velvet - you have that same dramatic coloring and glam vibe that Ms. Taylor was so well known for. i LOVE your wedding look, and that orange bow bag is just genius with it! plus,you should all check out Pam's great coverage of the Austin Style Blogger conference -very informative and massive shoe action. & thank you!

    Hi Paula! thank you - i'm hoping i'll be able to ease into posting more regularly. best wishes/congrats/excitement to YOU on the upcoming house downsizing! Mr. E and i live in a small space (~1200 sf) and have been interested in going smaller at some point. there's a definite 'crowd' out there interested in that if you get inspired to post about it all (along with the 8 million other things you have to do! :)

    and the more i see your 'new' hair, the more i love it - just had to say.

    Take Care All! steph

  5. You look smokin' hot in that last picture, but for some reason, I'm really loving that first outfit. I think it's perfectly simplistic which is something I struggle with - I often feel my outfits are overwrought. Then again, I'm sort of overwrought so I guess that makes sense.

    So glad you're back!

  6. Thank you Gracey! yeah, i like 'em both.....i don't think you look overwrought, but as to the feeling you're in good company. angie of You Look Fab posted on her similar feelings/epiphany here:

    and yes i would steal that look wholesale!!! she does a good job of addressing the tension between wanting to look arty/funky without looking like a maniac. (well, okay, 'maniac' is an exagerration, especially about angie! but we've all thought it.) i've been going thru a similar transition, here's the main post about it:

    it gets into the whole cake/frosting idea - hmmm, maybe an update is in order? Thank you again and have a great day!! steph

  7. It's great to see you back in action.

  8. Steph--you won the giveaway at Rags! You'll need to send me an e-mail with an address so I can get your prize on its way! Congratulations!

  9. Congratulations on wining over at Terri's give away and welcome back.I like the subtle color combinations you sport.

  10. Yay Terri, i'm so happy! and wow, it came after a day or so when i was feeling mucho doloroso. talk about a turn in luck! my e-mail is on it's way, and let me know if there's anything you'd like from around there parts?

    Hello angie! i was just enjoying your recent posts yesterday, letting them sink in before commenting....your closet edit is really an inspiration to us all! ruthless and brave! your thoughts as you go thru this process are very illuminating and very much reflect my own hard-earned views. i was just going to ask you to recommend a site or two you found inspirational on this philosophy when you mentioned dead fleurette, and i've been poking around over there. all that and you mind read too! :) thank you and have a great weekend! steph

  11. Hi Steph! I was blog stalking over on Terri's blog and I saw your comment- I would LOVE it if you did a photo shoot with my necklace! I also remembered at the same time that I read this particular entry at work and didn't leave a comment ("I'll do it at home- Oh look! A sandwich!"). I love the two outfits here- specifically the tops and the necklace. It has a very southern rose kind of feel- really romantic but sturdy, too, like you are in one of those cheesy but well-style lifetime movies about cowboys.

    Gosh I hope that made sense and wasn't offensive- I mean it as a compliment.

  12. Hi Meg! thank you, that doesn't sound offensive it sounds RUN and actually right on target considering my general style inspirations (Amelia Earheart and Isak Dinesen out in Africa). it's a kick to hear that it actually 'comes across'.....

    and i left you a comment on your blog re: pictures of your necklace....i'm very excited, and you are very generous! also, your new skirt rocks lady! take care, steph

  13. 'it sounds FUN'

    yep, i don't distract easily.......;) steph