Sunday, July 29, 2012

Scandalously Simple Travel Capsule

Saturday's look in downtown Nevada City

I have a confession to make. While i thoroughly enjoy participating in Patti's Visible Monday group posts, i very rarely feel all that visible in the outfits i highlight. I suppose that as a 50 year old woman in our culture, just dressing with some individuality (and blogging about it) qualifies for visibility.  But that's a theoretical concept, not the visceral experience of feeling exposed just because of what you're wearing.

However, one of this post's outfits did make me feel pretty easy to spot! Mr. E and i went up to Nevada City last Friday the 13th to attend Mariee Sioux's CD release party and concert. Due to horrendous traffic (all the radio traffic reporters were commenting about how unprecedentedly dreadful it was) we missed the first act. But we made it in time to see The Moore Brothers, then Mariee Sioux herself. We had a great time. Nevada City has an unusual vibe in the Gold Country as it's much more artsy and free-thinking than the rest of central California, with massage schools, indie concert venues, acupuncture offices, boutiques showcasing local eco-conscious designers, and so on. The crowd at the concert reflected this with a nice mix of ages and no 'uniform' look.

Friday's Concert Look

Most of the attendees dressed fairly casually; so in my skirt, heels, and hat i stood out from the crowd. But I felt visible mainly because so many ladies were sweet enough to compliment me on my outfit! I can't remember the last time i had so many compliments at one time, and i enjoyed it. The ladies of Nevada City lived up to the small town stereotype of welcoming hospitality in the best possible way. Not surprisingly, they all looked great as well. Many of them wore dresses with a casual flair not often seen but perfect for the occasion and the town.

Friday Concert Look - from the back

Mr. E and I stayed two nights in a chain motel in Auburn, a half hour drive from Nevada City. It was hot, in the nineties, and a big fire was burning only a few miles away. Fortunately the wind stayed in our favor on Saturday and the smoke didn't come our way. We spent most of the day strolling around Nevada City, checking out the Victorians, the shops, and a great garage sale. But Sunday morning our luck ran out and smoke lay over the area. So we headed back to the bay after a leisurely breakfast in Auburn.

Now, the travel capsule. Our trip lasted three days and two nights. We left Friday late afternoon (after Mr. E got off work) and returned midday Sunday. Last July i house sat for my dad and bonus mom quite a bit, packing my usual ton of stuff. At one point, as i glared at my suitcase, Mr. E said: "You could wear the same thing every day, no one's going to see you." While planning for this latest jaunt, Mr. E's words rang in my ears and emboldened me to be more sartorially daring in my packing this time. I packed light, and wore even lighter. I took two skirts, one frock coat, two tops, one black hoody (nicer quality), two hats, three pairs of shoes.  I wore one top (washed after second night), one frock coat, two skirts, two hats, two pair of shoes.

Trying on black coton ruffle tank - didn't buy

 The outfits: Friday (for the concert) i wore the ivory lace trimmed blouse, black tiered skirt, black and white striped frock coat, Fossil oxfords, black stripey over-the-knee socks and 'mushroom' hat. Saturday (sightseeing, walking, and shopping in Nevada City) i chose the same top, skirt, and hat with snakeskin sandals and no hose. Sunday (breakfast out, sightseeing, in the car) i wore the same top, snakeskin sandals again, oatmeal linen skirt, Tula bucket hat, and my new Extasia necklace (purchased Saturday).

Sunday's Look

I thought this travel capsule worked out great! I enjoyed having less clothing to keep track of, i was physically comfortable, my clothes were appropriate for the trip's activities, and i loved all the looks. Especially since Mr. E and i take a fair amount of weekend trips, i'm analyzing this trips capsule for future use. What made this capsule work? Well, it's really just one outfit (ivory lace trimmed blouse, frock coat, tiered skirt) that's changed up with accessories for different effects/temperatures and with a change of bottoms (skirt). The frock coat and tiered skirt make a great 'suit' and would have looked nice with the snakeskin sandals as well as with the heels and socks even though i didn't have occasion to wear this combination.

detail of the blouse and a look at my new necklace

Another approach to this 'one outfit' capsule would be to wear a variety of tops with the same third layer (jacket, vest, cardigan, etc.) and bottom. Tops are great for variety and they take up very little space. This ivory top worked well because it has a nice structure to it so you still have a nice look when you take off the frock coat. It is also very quick-drying. Although i took along another blouse (i forget which one! oh, my face is red) i decided to stick with the ivory blouse all weekend. I chose the oatmeal skirt for Sunday and it was quite comfy to wear on the ride home. The light color combined with the ivory top for a monotone look, which made a nice visual change from the dramatic black/white contrast of the previous two looks. 
from Extasia's Nevada City outlet store - my first and (i hope) far from last Extasia piece

 I think the key is to make sure that your 'base outfit' works for whatever you're going to be doing on your trip. I would always go with a 'three layer look' (top, bottom, jacket) personally. I'm most comfortable with a third layer physically and it is also a signature of my personal style. I would also choose a top that can 'carry' the look without the third layer. For colder weather i would pack leggings/tights, wool socks, a tank or two, scarves, a fleece or cashmere shrug in addition to my three layer outfit and another blouse or skirt. Adding wool tights, a slip, a cashmere shrug and scarf to my concert look could see me through most winter weather in Northern California, and stripping the outfit down to it's basic 'blouse and skirt' was perfect for very hot weather. That's flexibility!

It's a conundrum that i've loved the idea of a minimalist wardrobe for decades, and have been diligently working towards one for two years now - but whenever it's time to take a trip, i automatically stuff that suitcase to bursting! It was so fun and easy to take along just enough, not having to worry about all that 'stuff'. It felt footloose and fancy free....spontaneous and out of the ordinary routine. Lighter - metaphorically as well as literally!

I'm thrilled to have made some type of packing breakthrough - i fantasize about taking a rolling tote and dressing out of it for a week...but i'm not deluded enough to think i've got it all figured out.  Any and all travel packing tips, tricks, and ideas are welcome!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Life Is Imperfect And Beautiful

This post is sponsored by Omhu.

You may be surprised to learn that i did not come up with this post title myself, as it reflects my approach to life so very well. But those aren't my words - they are the founding philosophy of Omhu.  Omhu makes canes. They are in the planning stages of their next project, to make a shower/gardening chair. Now, canes and shower chairs are both objects which our culture places in a special category.  Our culture views both of these objects (and others) in a particularly prejudiced way. Today i want to get across to you how i feel that Omhu's approach to making objects, informed by their philosophy, is about much more than making 'fun canes'. Omhu's philosophy is also helping to break down negative stereotypes about these objects; stereotypes which end up tainting the people who use these objects as tools to lead fuller lives.

The aesthetic in which mainstream manufacturers produce these products (dehumanizing, machine like, using chromes and grey injection-moulded plastic to echo 'industrial' architecture) reinforces these stereotypes, creating a feedback loop. Confronting these objects, we wonder how something so ugly and ungainly could play an integral role in a vibrant, engaged life?  Just looking at a standard shower chair in your bathroom makes you feel you're halfway to 'the home'. It's a viscious cycle.

At it's core, this stereotype boils down to: If you use a cane or a shower chair, it means you have lost. You have been defeated - by disease, old age, accident. Your life, by virtue of having use of these objects, is now less than it was before. Speaking from personal experience, i can tell you that this widespread, sometimes unconscious stereotype is wrong.

Stereotypes are habitual ideas. Happily, we can change both ideas and habits. In the 1920's, Dorothy Parker lamented, "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses". But today, when i whip out my double-C emblazoned eyeglass case,  my acquaintances are more likely to muse, "And I thought she was a Kate Spade gal..." than reflect on my optical deficiencies. Spectacles have become so identified with style and fashion that's it's nigh on impossible to find a pair sans designer logo! Intriguingly enough, this transformation has occurred along with major improvements in functionality, made possible by technological advances. Thinner, stronger, more malleable materials allow better visual correction as well as greater design function and more comfortable wear.

Demographics and the baby boomer generation also play a major role in this transformation. The 'me' generation has focussed on fitness, individuality, and youth like no other in living memory, and they are hanging on to these values with unheard of tenaciousness as well.

Heaven knows we Americans are practically hypnotized by any and all 'technological advances'. From 3-D printing used to make skin grafts to Tang, our fascination with  these innovations knows no bounds. Right now it's evident in the growing acceptance and admiration of prosthetic limbs. True, modern replacement limbs can mimic the look and feel of the absent body part quite literally. But today's attention focuses laser-like on the high performance prosthetic. These limbs enable such incredible feats of strength and speed that legless athletes equipped with these prosthetics have quite recently been barred from international competitions due to their perceived unfair advantage over the merely normal.  This week we will see the first participation of a high-performance prosthetic equipped athlete in the Olympics alongside normal-bodied sprinters.

Omhu's vision applies these modern ideas about style, individuality and performance to the stereotyped 'pariah objects' in our society. They imbue their products with design elements guaranteed to bring fun, elegance, and charisma. At the same time great attention is paid to ensuring that the functional aspects of their cane yield superior performance. In fact, the descriptions of these canes will put the average American techo-geek more in mind of his iPad or smart phone than grandpa's walker with it's cut-open tennis balls for traction.

The kicker is Omhu's use of the classic cane shape - much brassier move than creating some new 'high concept' design. This cane is what it's looks like it is - it maintains it's intergrity and has no need to hide it's quite noble function.  It's one thing to lavish beauty and technology on a product meant to be used by the young, healthy, and high achieving. It's quite another to assert that older people, and people with various diminished capabilities derserve the same attention to meeting their needs as well as satisfying their individual preferences. It is this aspect of Omhu's project which, to me, sets them apart from and in front of so many other organizations in their arena.

Okay, you're thinking, all this is fascinating and current and pertinent and thought-provoking (i hope!), but - What's up with the pics of me in a tree? Through my entire life nature has been my solace and my love. Several years ago, due to treatment for severe atypical asthma, i sustained damage which made it impossible for me to walk, sit, or stand normally. I limped, had little strength or stamina, and experienced severe pain. My heart broke when i realized that my days of hiking alone, watching the flowers and trees and various creatures go about their days, could very well be ended. At night, I had many dreams of walking and running freely, often on northern California's austere beaches. During the day, i used every resource i could think of to heal my body so i could do as much as my fate allowed.

The day i finally found myself out alone in the woods of Point Reyes, espying a few Aminita mushrooms blooming in the duff, just able to make out the sound of the waves crashing on the beach hundreds of feet below the bluff - it was with a cane.  I could not have made it there without a cane, to give me balance, provide a place to rest, and add a bit of extra 'mileage' to what i could do. It even provided a bit of 'security' in it's vaguely menacing deer-antler handle, which guys looked at askance while quickening their steps and flashing a nervous grin.

If i now tell you that i loved climbing trees as a girl, i am sure that you will see my inspiration for the images in this post. Besides, tree climbing is quintessentially imperfect and beautiful. You'll likely end up with sticky sap in your hair or a scraped knee (bloody elbow in this case). But later, when your fingers run over that scar, you'll remember the wonderful feeling of being held in the arms of a hundreds year old giant, high above the land.

Ever since that day back on the trail i've looked at all mobility aids very very differently. To me a cane, wheelchair, or walker means joy, life, independence, and the gift of finding a love you were certain was forever lost. An onlooker on that bluff may have thought 'how sad that such a young woman needs to use a cane....'. But they wouldn't have known the truth. I was exhilirated to be once again where my heart belonged.

Thank you Omhu for making a cane that looks as beautiful as it deserves to be.

Tree photography by Anthony Rich.

This post sponsored and made possible by Omhu. Omhu is a design concern that makes premium medical equipment and accessories. Danish for “with great care,” Omhu was founded on the belief that life is imperfect and beautiful.

on edit: Kevin with Omhu sent along a nice picture of the canes Omhu makes, just in case you're unfamiliar with how they look. You can also keep an eye out for Omhu's ads, which showcase the ladies of Advanced Style along with Omhu's product.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wearing Black In The Heat

 I do not possess a photographic memory for outfits i've worn, unlike a few lucky fashionistas. In fact, one of the reasons i started this blog was so i could have a record of outfits i liked. I'm prone towards forgetting what i wore even the day before, so frustrating when i liked that look and want to reproduce or riff on it!

But a few looks have stuck in my mind. I sported one in the early 1980's, when i was 23 or so. It consisted of a merino wool knit straight skirt which hit just below the knee, and a sleeveless rib knit tank - both in black. I wore this 'dress' with kitten heeled black pumps, strong orange lips, sunnies and gobs of pearls and chains. My hair was a curly blond-streaked mop. In essence, Miss Ciccone meets Coco Chanel. This was in the few months before Desperately Seeking Susan hit the scene. As soon as i saw that movie, i set about an emergency closet purge, but that's another story.

 What i loved most about that look was the minimal, classic background set off by eccentric accessories, and the sheer contradiction of wearing black in the summer. My love of summer black continues all these decades later, but i'm now living in a much hotter climate (+15-20F). Wearing close-fitting black clothing is just too hot out here! But this practicality has not stopped me from trying to find a workaround.......

.....for the past twelve and a half years.  My dogged efforts failed to yield any acceptable results - until about a week and a half ago. I present the successful result to you today. Both top and skirt are loosely fitting cotton, allowing for plenty of cooling breezes. The ivory print of the top helps deflect a few sunrays, as does the cream of the sandals. My new prescription sunglasses help me look cool as well as see cool, too. With blue irises, cataracts, and dry tears my eyes score the trifecta for sun sensitivity. These huge, dark lenses transform sunny days into pure heaven. And i've distilled the gobs of jewels to pearl studs and a chain belt.

If genetics and or the creatrix blessed you with a photographic memory, you may recall that these sunnies appeared once before on this blog - back in February of this year, when i first contemplated buying them. I finally picked them up earlier this month. Last weekend i finally acquired a piece from Extasia's outlet store in Nevada City, after almost two years spent in various states of lust, scheming, and maneuvering. Thus, the theme of 'taking forever to bring items into my orbit' is on my mind recently (and these two aren't the only examples).

I can't say i'm against this method, as i'm enjoying these wardrobe additions immensely. I am trying to discern the instances in which i took my time needlessly, though. May as well get the fun going as soon as possible! But honestly this patch of 'closet philosophy' still remains terra incognita for me. When it comes to 'love at first sight' acquisitions I'm still discovering who i am, what i want, what works best for me. Right now, I wonder if i'm truly eccentric in this pattern of long-term stalking when it comes to the wardrobe. Do any of you do the same? Or do you snap up any to-die-for items the instant they hit your cornea? All insights and personal stories are very welcome!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Best Dressed Award

Truth to tell i felt a wee bit too visible in this first iteration of this outfit. Stripey dress and mismatched stripey socks? I did that type of thing in grade school, which was fine then (1970) but feels a bit twee at age 50. However, out on our community walk and bike path i got a lot of smiles and 'great outfits!'. This culminated in my being pronounced 'Best Dressed on the path today!' by a passing group of lady walkers. I knew right then i had to post this look.

Later in the day i changed out a  few accessories for a different vibe. I like the ladylike feel, at the same time it's not saccharine or fussy. This outfit brought up another perennial style question: Is it possible for clothing be too comfortable? While i didn't experience that uncanny moment of looking down in horror to make sure i am clothed, i did feel a lot like i was strolling about the house in my slip. As i was just doing housework, etc. it didn't make much difference. But if i had been out in public i think i would have felt awkward and distracted.

This whole issue is even loopier in my case because i'm so concerned with comfort because of the nerve damage in my left leg. Apparently, i want my clothing to be comfy enough to not cause distraction due to pain, but still i want enough 'contact' to feel awareness of my clothing. I hate that startled sensation of 'Oh my goodness, i'm naked!' which occasionally sneaks up on me whilst wearing too-comfy garments.

I suppose that my threads need to hit a very particular 'sweet spot'. It's the Goldilocks syndrome. Do any of you have similar criteria with clothing - things have to be 'just. so.' or it drives you nuts?  Of course, i an very happy when my clothing fits these requirements. But it can truly be a pain when it comes to acquiring clothes! I would like to bring up Patti of Not Dead Yet Style at this point (not just because she is the gracious hostess of Visible Monday - check it out!). But Patti embodies, to me, that type of effortless style and grace which makes envisioning her driving herself nuts over clothing choices just about impossible. Even if i can't stop fretting about these matters, i hope i can at least attain that wonderful, effortless vibe - even if it's simply a facade.

Monday, July 9, 2012

An Actual, Top To Toes Repeat!

 On the whole, when i make a resolution, i keep it. It may take quite a while, in this instance a little over seven months. I'd first expressed a desire to repeat outfits back in the end of last November. Since then i've come awfully close a couple of times, but i'd never repeated an outfit full-on until this last weekend.

It happened pretty naturally. Mr. E suggested we go out for an evening frozen yogurt at our regular shop in the downtown Walnut Creek shopping area. We generally get our frozen treats and stroll around downtown for forty five minutes to an hour, checking out the sights and the local gentry. It's a fun excuse for me to spruce up a bit. It's California after all, there's no need to, but with so many high-end stores in the area snazzier looks aren't at all out of place. The night was warm, and i felt like wearing my olive cocktail dress. Up until now i've styled it to bring out it's dressier side, so a more casual styling was in order.

I chose a 'country style' straw hat, a raffia and leather belt, snakeskin print shoes, pearl earrings and my orange purse. Casual materials, no glossy finish, easy to walk in. Got a lot of looks, making this a good fit for Patti's Visible Monday.

Saturday i planned a day of thrifting in the summery heat of Danville to see if i could find any decent denim jackets. It struck me that my frozen yogurt look would work just as well for thrifting. Easy shoes, hat to cover hair mussed in the general frenzy, a wide skirt perfect for trying on pants and skirts, handy pockets for car keys. I'd taken the time to write down my Friday nite look in detail, so i referred to my notes and dressed in a trice.

As predicted, the look was wonderful for shopping. But the outing was a bust. The closest i came to a purchase was a fitted white denim jacket for $27. I took it to the counter of the consignment store to see if it had been around long for a markdown. As the assistant let me know that it was still $27, i wondered what i was thinking. The last thing i need in my closet is anything i wouldn't even pay twenty seven dollars for! I decided against it right then. Oy. The one thing shopping is guaranteed to do for me is highlight the wisdom of spending time sewing!

 Mr. E and i sojourned the rest of the afternoon and early evening in Berkeley, enjoying Gioia pizza,  ice cream and urban hiking.  I even got a very nice compliment on my dress from a passerby. The success of my first real repeat has got me thinking about ways to push myself into the habit. I think one key lies in the fact that this is my favorite way to style this dress, bar none! It's not one bit fussy, and the straw and raffia textures add a bit of rough. Complete physical comfort plus awesome colors. Maybe it's time for me to focus a bit more on my ideal outfits, not just my ideal clothing items?

Obviously i have a ways to go before repeating becomes a reality in my dressing habits. And i have no clues on how to get this happening, besides drastic measures (whatever those may be). I'll let you know if/when i make any more progress, in the meantime feel free to clue me in to the painfully obvious tips and tricks i am missing!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Housesitting Capsule

The daily outfits
I don't know if i've mentioned it much here on the blog, but i am phenomenal at over-packing. Yes, little miss minimal wardrobe likes to throw about, oh, half of her clothing into the car for even an overnite trip. If we're going someplace for 3 days or more, watch out! I have no idea how i got started on this. I do know that i've been at it every since i can remember, and it's been a topic of fun from friends and family just about forever. On the plus side, when a superior 'light packer' comes to you half way through a trip and requests a pair of undies, clean socks or toothpaste it's a great feeling (if not all that nice).

On the minus side - when i say i take about half my closet i'm not exaggerating. Now you know my motivation for a small wardrobe (ba-doom-ching). Seriously though, it's ridiculous. That much stuff takes up space, physically as well as mentally. I can't keep track of what i've got which ends up nagging at me and i end up having too many choices so it takes me longer to decide what to wear. All this detracts from the feeling of ease and freedom ideally generated through travel.

I've felt and thought this way for years now, with no discernable changes in my packing habits. But for some reason, Mr. E made a remark that stuck in my head a couple of days before i was to begin my recent housesitting jaunt. I remember him saying something along the lines of, "Why don't you take less clothes? Nobody's going to be paying attention, you can just wear the same stuff all week if you want."

Variations on the daily outfits
 hmmm! He had a point. The house has washer and dryer. The only garments i wash with every wear are socks and undies, which just need a dunk in the sink. Even any tops i would take would be perfect for the handwashing/drying overnite treatment. My itinerary contained no formal balls at the ambassador's or tea with visiting dignitaries - casual wear is all i'd need.

I gave it a whirl. I did take fewer clothes (20-25% less than usual), but beyond that i tried to dress out of a small subset of what i had. I also diligently photographed all my outfits, so i could track what i actually wore and analyze it later. It went so much more smoothly than i thought it would! I enjoyed the looks i wore, having fewer choices made dressing super simple, and less clothes meant less trouble with clutter, packing, organizing, finding things. I even came up with a formula for packing in future.

But most unexpectedly, i found i really enjoyed having a 'sartorial theme' for the trip. Wearing the same few pieces over that time gave my soujourn more of a cohesive, outside of the everyday feel. In other words - it felt more like a vacation. Who'da thunk it?

What did i learn? First, my formula: i can pack two (for 2-6 days) or three (for 7-14 days) complete outfits that will blend with each other and be done with it for most trips. This means: stand-alone top, jacket, bottom, shoes, hat, scarf, something warm (down vest, shrug). Taking along camis, leggings, long socks, etc. may be advised if it's predicted cold and or rainy. Just two outfits of jacket, top, bottom will yield eight different looks if they all blend together (four different looks including the jackets, four different looks without the jackets). Throw in variations with shrugs, hats, shoes, scarves and your numbers really jump.

Other lessons i learned from this experiment?

  • That i actually really liked the stylistic consistency which emerges naturally from wearing the same clothing a lot. It way outbalanced any boredom (which i didn't feel). I strongly suspect that my happiness correlates closely with how well these pieces fit my personal style as well as my practical requirements.

  • That it's useless to bring any clothing that bothers my leg at all on trips. I just won't wear it. In fact, i need to rethink adding any more 'borderline' pieces into my wardrobe at all - they need to stay below a certain number (I'm talking about the dark stretch jeans at top left of first collage).

  • I need to bring at least one pair of low-heeled walking shoes in addition to any sneakers.

  • Flexible accessories and items come in handy. My dusky pink velvet ribbon rose spruced up my hat and also added some 'oomph' to my swiss dot blouse when i though it looked a little blah. Scarves can be belts, fill in necklines, trim a hat, etc. These items don't take up space, either.

  • I realized why i like denim and straw - they both dress things down, making what could look overly dressy and fussy a little rougher and less precious. Hats can easily look over the top in our everyday world - but straw reigns it in. The same with denim - and since i can only take so much of denim on my lower half, i'm plotting to acquire at least two more denim jackets. Ideally, one in a lighter wash, and one in white. 

I'm still feeling a bit surprised that my experiment turned out so well and that i learned so much! Do any of you struggle with over-packing the way i have? Do any of you have successful packing strategies?  Any packing epiphanies? Do you have to think thing through and plan thoroughly, or does it all just come together naturally? Any and all thoughts will be warmly welcomed - after all, i haven't test-driven my new formula yet!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Like A Fish Out Of Water

 Goodness gracious! I just got back home after house-sitting for my dad and bonus mom for a bit over a week. They live a half block off of Solano Avenue in Albany, CA. Solano Avenue is a well known neighborhood shopping street, lined with a kaleidesope of small stores: clothing boutiques, consignment shops, jewelry stores, delis, restaurants, cafes, bakeries, camera shops, stationers, lamp stores, specialty chocolate shops and on and on. I love housesitting there because it's only 40 minutes from our place (so my leg isn't shot from the drive) and i can walk to so many interesting spots (thus my leg doesn't get irritated from driving any place). The residential neighborhoods burst with fantastic little cottages, from victorian to craftsman, moderne, bungalow and storybook styles. Wonderful!

Their house is full of plants of every variety, with especial emphasis on orchids and carnivorous species. And there's the water lilies, water hyacinths and etc. in the large fishpond out back. Now, the urban areas around San Francisco Bay host a large number of nocturnal creatures, including skunks, opossums and raccoons. One of these critters (i seriously suspect a raccoon) managed to creep under the (mildly) electrified wire surrounding the fishpond and wrassle with the intake pump for the filter system. After experiencing this insulting treatment, the intake mechanism refused to stay down in the water. It kept popping above the waterline where it did no good and made strange noises.

After a couple of days i did manage to get enough water in the pond so that i could get the pump working again (the same or another critter had kicked the outtake gate open and caused a small leak, undetected for around a day). But i had to treat all the water before adding it to the pond, so as not to poison the fishies.

This took ... a while. I did get my 'system' streamlined to the point where i could read some Daniel Pinkwater whilst treating five gallons at a time (The Neddiad, appropriately enough). But no time for blogging! It's true, dear readers, i put those fat, glittery piggies first. I judge you competent to amuse yourselves, whilst your average ornamental goldfish is up a creek without enough water in their pond.

I loved this outfit, and received many compliments on it as well. The best part is that the only item less than a year old is the socks. The oldest is the hat, obtained at a Ren Faire around eight or nine years ago. To me, this is so satisfying. Of course stepping out in your snazzy new duds thrills the fashionista in all of us. But to find inspiration and joy in well-worn pieces? It's like opening a love letter sent to you years ago, and sent by yourself no less. It's where the 'personal' in 'personal style' comes to the fore.

I also learned a few useful things about creating sleeker travel capsules for myself. I'll share these with you in my next post. Be sure to check out the other participants in Patti's Visible Monday. This look definitely qualifies for 'visible' - any hat makes the wearer stand out. Add a velvet bow and black veil during daytime and you may as well sport a neon palm tree on your head! Today's VM is especially thrilling for me, as Patti sports a neutral look. Well done Ms. Not Dead Yet!