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!


  1. You can't be missing much. You've probably heard the rool to avoid print elements bigger than your head or your hand in the case of petites. Mostly this rule works. But whoa! those big huge flowers work for you and don't detract from the outfit as a whole or take any focus away from your face.

    Congrats on following through on your promise to yourself. And focusing on the outfit instead of the piece makes total sense to me - otherwise for most folks it's Orphan City. Do you think this is the point they're really trying to make when they offer all those capsule sewing challenges? Because when I read through most of them there's a heavy emphasis on special this and special that and the outfit they might be destined for seems incidental: lalalalala - outfit - I can't hear ya.. lalalala.

  2. Yes to rule-breaking, and yes for repeating beautiful dresses like this one! I like the way you made it more casual for yogurt (mmmmm) and shopping. Thanks for linking up!

  3. I love this print - the colours are really great together - did you make it?

  4. You've nailed this look. And my favorite part is the wonderful hat.

  5. I spent this weekend reading almost all of your archives-fascinating!! First, you look really great in this dress and you wear all your clothes quite well. I noticed that you emphasize a small wardrobe, have you ever counted all the pieces of your clothing? I did once about a year ago and I only had 166 pieces. I constantly weed out clothes I don't like. And I have come to the conclusion about 2 things in this past weekend: I'm thinking capri's that hit mid calf just aren't that flattering and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing the same exact outfit again and again if you like it. It seems like undue pressure to keep coming up with different looks, although I am better at it than I used to be. Thanks for letting me vent and being the wordy person that I am for taking up so much of your space. Kathy

  6. Thank you Vildy! i am so thrilled with the color choices available these days, and the wonderful prints! (swooning) i don't know what it means that i love my neutrals to death but when i choose a non-newt, i go explosive!

    "And focusing on the outfit instead of the piece makes total sense to me - otherwise for most folks it's Orphan City." Yes. As a seamstress, of course you have to pay a certain amount of attention to the individual pieces, but it is crucial to figure out how they will all work together in various looks. while i don't have orphans, i still feel that life would go more smoothly if i focussed more attention on making outfits.

    and yes i do think that is the purpose of capsule challenges! it IS easy to fall in love with wanting to make a piece that has no place in your wardrobe or lifestyle, which is very sad.

    Welcome Ines de Castro! you'd look great in these colors too :)

    Thank you Kathleen! i've had it since last summer, and my next door neighbor keeps threatening to 'borrow' it!

    Hullo Patti! Visible Monday is just the bomb, what can i say :) and ty, i like the casual styling too.

    Hello veshoevius! i can see you in this type of dress, too! i did not make it, i got it in Berkeley CA at a shop called Krasa dresses. the young lady shop owner has a huge selection of all types of dresses and wonderful imported hose. Next time you're in town...... ;)

    Thank you Terri :) hope you've recovered from the 'epic H. Finn trek'!

    Hi Kathy!! i LOVE comments, the longer and more wide-ranging the better :) i don't do a lot of counting, tho i've come up with numbers between 80 and 50 at various times. I'm getting pretty close to a good amount now for my lifestyle and climate (but i haven't counted).

    "It seems like undue pressure to keep coming up with different looks..." yes, i think so. especially on the web i think that the blogging format tends to favor certain aesthetics over others - new, remixing, bright color, high contrast, sharp tailoring. As it happens, my own style tends towards the opposite of all these. so i have to remind myself that i want to prioritize real life, and do what i can with photography and writing to make these aesthetics come across to the reader.

    and i have no idea how to thank you for all the time and thought you put into reading my archives!! so thank you with a big hug!!

    take care all, steph

  7. You know I have to comment. I too love the print of the dress and the style of the dress. I also think this dress is made to wear with many different hats; yours is fab on you.
    I never thought about having fewer pieces in my wardrobe until I read your blog. It makes sense and I have been removing the pieces that don't flatter, fit or go with my style esthetic. I have to say it is making getting dressed easier.
    Repeating exact looks wasn't something I aspired to as well but I am finding that my looks do have patterns that are emerging while I am fine tuning my style for instance: pant, top, and big shirt, shorts T-top,scarf etc.Your posts are always welcome food for thought..

  8. That is a great eye-catching dress, and I love the hat you styled it with. It is fun to wear clothes we label as appropriate for only one occasion on entirely different occasions. I thrifted an H&M shift dress similar in pattern to this, then threw on flip-flops, and wandered all over downtown Wilmington, NC, taking a meal in a restaurant, watching fireworks - and eating ice cream. I have to admit I felt pretty cool :P

  9. The dress is so pretty, and what a bonus it's easy to dress up or down.

    I have a couple of similar cuts in my closet, and there they remain as I have a (strange) hesitation at appearing overdressed. But here you've shown this can be done after a bit of thought and judicious accessorizing. Well done!

  10. Hello Adrienne! thank you for such kind, thoughtful words :) i read your comment a few days ago and have been searching for what to say to let you know how much it means to me when i get a comment like: "...I have to say it is making getting dressed easier." I can't imagine a better way to have influenced someone!!

    Wow, during your "knee hiatus" you've done a lot of very productive thinking! i love the idea of Flamboyan Natural and it suits you perfectly. also this is genius: "I am going to substitute olive green for black this summer as my staple." THAT is the kind of creativity that hones a person's style and makes life easier to boot! love it!!1

    Hi Lynn! thank you :) and your looks sounds wonderful for a really fun day! i have to admit vanity comes into it for me - i like to look good out in public ;) i know you were a knockout in your dress and that red hair!!

    Hello P! thank you, and you know if you get stuck styling your dresses just give me a call - i love 'closet day's!!! give Sadie a hug from me!

    Happy Monday All! steph