Updated Post: Updating My Basic Jewelry

And now, with pictures! Sorry for the technical snafu yesterday and thanks to those who pointed it out.

I am a wear-the-same-basic-jewelry-every-day kinda gal. Sometimes I throw in a statement necklace or swap in a more casual bracelet, but most days you’ll catch me wearing a metallic cuff bracelet, my wedding/engagement rings, and gold stud earrings.  Today I’ll tell you about updating my bracelet after it sustained damage, and adding a ring (whoa!).

Up until recently, this vintage cuff was my bracelet:

IMG_1851

It was my grandma’s and I loved wearing it. It reminded me of her and had a style you just don’t see anymore. Paired with relatively simple outfits, it really popped.

But costume jewelry from the 60s isn’t made of Teflon. After several years of wearing it almost every day, it cracked.

I still wore it for awhile, since the crack wasn’t super noticeable. But it kept catching on things, and I realized that if I ever wanted to get it fixed I should probably stop wearing it to prevent further damage. So onto my dresser top it went, where I could still see it every day and smile at the memory of my grandma:IMG_1852

In the meantime, I had a serious case of NAB. (Go Fug Yourself readers will recognize this acronym as “Needs a Bracelet.”) I knew I wanted a cuff; they don’t flop around like bangles or cut off you circulation like elastic bracelets and they’re not infernally hard to put on like regular ol’ clasp bracelets are. Unsurprisingly, the last bracelet I had worn to death was a cuff as well; they just feel elegant and “me.”

So I started searching the jewelry counter at the Goodwill. I found a few bangles in good color schemes (off white and gold) and a silver cuff I really liked, but no gold cuffs. After several weeks of keeping my eyes peeled, I stopped into the Thriftique and lo and behold, this baby was waiting for me:

WP_20170607_12_47_12_Pro

At first I was worried it would feel a little too bold – it was a much yellower gold than my previous bracelet, more in your face. But it was much narrower than my last cuff, and I loved the beaten texture. I reminded myself that Grandma’s cuff took some time to move from giving me an “I AM WEARING COSTUME JEWELRY” feeling to being my signature statement piece, and then I gave it some time.

Now it feels like a natural part of my wardrobe and fits with seemingly everything (and doesn’t get caught on sleeves like my last one did).WP_20170614_09_34_20_Pro (1)

The stamp on it says Monet, which is a J.C. Penney brand; quality-wise it’s not going to be around forever, but when it “dies” (as my spouse likes to say) I can thrift a new one that will have its own character, or go back to wearing my grandma’s repaired cuff.

 

I have a whole collection of rings, mostly my mom’s vintage stuff and a few sentimental pieces from junior high/high school when I was an avid ring wearer. But I rarely pull them out, mostly because my bracelet is hogging the attention in the hand/wrist department and I don’t want to compete. I was looking through them for some reason a few weeks ago, though, and was struck by how the color and bold style of this one matched my recently acquired cuff replacement:

WP_20170614_09_14_05_Pro

 

It was my mom’s original wedding ring (she has since moved on to something with diamonds). It’s a Möbius strip, which I think makes for great symbolism. I absolutely LOVE how simple and yet unexpected the design is; in my head this is a top-tier style-blogger level of finger jewelry, though quite a bit chunkier than what’s popular in that set.

When she got married her fingers must have been TINY; it doesn’t fit on my ring finger, so I wear it on my pinky which I think gives it more panache anyway:

WP_20170614_09_14_19_Pro

It’s a tiny bit loose; I have to be careful when I get my hands wet. I’ll probably take it to a jeweler to size it down.  Any recommendations?

 

So there you go; secondhand jewelry all the way. I hope you enjoyed the update and would love to know what treasures you sport every day!

 

Dressing Up a Breton Stripe Tee, Two Ways

My last few Thursday nights have been marked by a distinct lack of sleep. But Mama’s gotta work; wearing this Madewell Breton stripe tee (which is super comfortable – it basically feels like pajamas) is as close as I could get to staying in bed.  How to dress up such a casual-vibe top without completely scrapping the comfort factor?

IMG_5662
Decidedly casual.

I wore the outfits below on two consecutive Fridays to play with the styling a bit:

WP_20170512_16_22_44_Pro WP_20170519_16_41_22_Pro
Both: shirt, Madewell; blazer, Charlotte Russe; sneakers, City Sneaks. First: pants, Vince Camuto. Second: pants, Bandolino.

And how’s here I added some spit and polish:

The blazer was key to smartening up both of these looks; its touch of stretch kept it from feeling too confining or stiff.

How I dressed it up in the first photo: the “cigarette” pants are in a slim cut and a neutral hue. The necklace (closeup photo below) lends a little gravitas – it’s a focal point with some character.  And my cuff bracelet makes the whole thing look “finished.”

How I dressed it up in the second: the tucked shirt and skinny belt give a pulled-together look. While the sunglasses-as-headband look definitely reads “beach” in parts of the country, they are my first well-made, non-scavenged pair and they made me feel more dressy. (More on these in a later post.)

Admittedly the floral sneakers round this down to the casual end of “business casual.” If I really wanted to dress up, I would’ve combined all the polished elements listed above into one outfit (grey pants, tucked/belted tee, statement necklace, cuff bracelet) and skipped straight to my bronze wedges:
WP_20170420_15_09_06_Pro

But the combos above passed muster for Casual Friday in my office and prevented me from feeling like a slob even though I *did* feel like going back to sleep.

Here’s a closeup on the necklace, a vintage number that belonged to my Grandma:
WP_20170519_18_48_14_Pro

Do you have any tricks for dressing up t-shirts?  Or for masquerading pj-level comfy outfits as workwear? Scroll down to share!

 

Thrift Style for Older Women – Part 3

In Part 1 we pregamed; in Part 2 we went thrifting. Today Part 3 is all about inspiration to get those style juices flowing. These women are the experts I mentioned back in Part 1 – some in thrifting, some in retail, but all in style. (May I note for all you spring chickens out there: I regularly read several of these and the style inspiration therein is in no way limited by age – so click through and read what speaks to you!) Scroll down to share your favorites, that we all may benefit.

Thrift blogs
These first three are all Canadians who know (and link to) each other.  Please help me expand and diversify my list of thrift blogs by older women!

Ephemera


Bag and a Beret

Suzanne Carillo
challenge your style try something new spring florals for women over 40 suzanne carillo

Fellow Atlantan Rhoda has a regular feature on her Southern Hospitality blog about stylish finds for those over 50 which often features thrifted pieces:
fashion-over-50001

On Instagram, Darlene Fadem of Las Vegas:

A post shared by Darlene Fadem (@darlenefadem) on


Handmade:
A Colourful Canvas


Non-thrift Style blogs
Note: there’s a lot of emphasis on blogs like Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced StyleSaramaijewels (Instagram), or Judith Boyd’s Style Crone where the looks are fabulously larger than life. I dig those looks both for their sheer boldness and the styles themselves, but if you’re reading my blog chances are you’re not going to wear opera gloves or turbans in your daily looks. (Correct me if I’m wrong!) So in this list I tried to aim for women who had more relatable, down-to-earth style.

Senior Style Bible (blogger Dorrie Jacobson is an 80-year-old retired Playboy bunny and her style is ON FIRE – although lately she posts more regularly on Instagram)
DorrieJacobson_SeniorStyleBIble_SeniorStyle_2 copy

So What to Twenty!
baroque-021

Une Femme d’un Certain Age
beanie-1-600x894

Fashion on the 4th Floor
A Fairytale Ending with the Fab 40s

Privilege

The SequinistAbout Me Collage

Petite Style Studio
work style, office style, petite fashion, fall fashion, 9to5, office outfit, business casual, feminine work style, dressy, lace skirt, midi skirt, jcrew, h&m, petite style, petite style studio, affordable style, easy style, fashion over 40

That’s Not My Age

Accidental Icon

High Heels in the Wilderness
 black zippered jacket from Lulu Lemon, pink Hot Chillys base layer turtleneck from Bushtakah, black joggers from Aritzia, black boots from Stuart Weitzman, fuchsia tweed coat from Max Mara

 

Last but not least, an edit – I’m adding on a blog that isn’t focused on the author’s personal style, but IS geared toward this audience and teaches you how to pair colors and silhouettes to create a wardrobe of stylish things that work together (which is, after all, my own wardrobe goal!):

The Vivienne Files

Thanks Jill B. for catching this oversight!

What are your favorite style/thrift blogs written by/for older women?  Scroll down to comment!

Thrift Style for Older Women – Part 1

In my survey at the end of last year several of you asked me to tackle capsule or casual wardrobe ideas for older women, aka “senior thrift style.” (FYI That last phrase is from one of y’all, not me. People have ALL kinds of feelings about terminology for “women of a certain age,” including hating that very phrase and/or the word “seniors.” I will do my best to avoid the minefield by sticking to “older women.”  Be sure to let me know if you hate that too…😁)

I’ll end this series by pointing you to blogs created by and for stylish older women. As someone in my early 30s I am far from an expert in this area, but I do know thrifting, and I think a lot of what I see in thrift stores (as well as a lot of style advice) translates well to a variety of ages.  So I’ll tackle this topic as a three-part conversation that I hope you all will join in on.

Part one: let’s talk pregame. If you want to thrift successfully, you have to do a little prep work.

  • Assess your lifestyle – and your style-style. I read several style blogs written by older women, many of whom have gone through some kind of life transition that affects their style. Think rising up the ranks at work, shifting to part time or more casual work, retirement, caring for grandkids or an aging partner, or traveling more. Or maybe as you’ve aged you’ve just decided to quit wearing uncomfortable shoes and clothes for the sake of someone else’s definition of fashion.
    As with any life transition, it sometimes takes a while for reality to catch up with our style image of ourselves. Take a minute and think about what kind of clothes you wear the most during any given week. See if your closet reflects that breakdown. Then, out of the kinds of clothes you are actually wearing, which pieces are you most drawn to, and why? Here are some more prompts for figuring out your style.

If you already have a good handle on your style, skip straight to the next step:

  • Figure out where the holes are. My biggest tip for thrifting, whether your’e a newbie or a pro, is to go in armed with a list of what you’re looking for so you don’t get overwhelmed (newbie) or distracted (pro). If you know what you’re missing – say, you have one great blazer but could use one in a different color; you want a more comfortable pair of shoes – your process will be more focused and you’ll have a better chance of success.
    A lot more thrifting pregame strategy here.
  • Invest in a great bra and some underwear you love. Although I’ve bought new underwear at a thrift store, secondhand is generally not the place to buy lingerie. You need underthings in great condition to make the most of your closet – there’s nothing sadder than a fabulous top that looks funky because your bra is bunching the skin on your back or letting things sag. You don’t even have to splurge; just find a fit guide online or go to a lingerie or department store for a fitting and use that information to get something good in your price range. As we grow older our breasts change, so it’s worth it to do this periodically to keep your gals looking great and your clothes looking great on top of them. (If you don’t wear a bra, then just skip all that advice.)
    Buy some no-show undies if you have bottoms that show panty lines and make all your other undies things you love to wear. Again, no need to break the bank unless you want to. I dig cotton so I just get Hanes or Fruit of the Loom in colors/patterns I love. Your mileage may vary. (And if you can afford to buy ethically made underthings, all the better!)

Next week we’ll talk about strategies once you get in the store.  In the meantime, scroll down to share any particular questions or issues you want me to tackle during this conversation.

 

What I Wear Every Weekend

Surprise! A weekend-related post for the weekend.

Though I can be fickle with my weekday wardrobe – thrift something one week, donate it the next – I am a creature of habit on the weekends. In spring, here is the shirt I reach for without a second thought every Saturday (and often after work or church):wp_20160924_17_00_19_pro

It’s by Gap and made of incredibly soft, worn-in cotton.  It has my favorite width of stripes: not too thin or thick and evenly spaced so the shirt doesn’t appear too white or too navy. The drop shoulders make it look a little more modern although I wouldn’t care if they were normal shoulders. The wide neckline feels laidback as does the loose, but not sloppy, cut.

Most often than not I pair it with these cut-offs. They’re Gap jeans I thrifted 10 years ago right after I stopped buying retail. They were already cut to this Bermuda-esque length, which is just right for breezy days when shorts would feel too chilly.  And although they’ve stretched out a leeetle too far for their own good, I can’t give them up. They are perfectly worn in and just feel right. (I even wore them in one of my engagement photos lo these many years ago!)  I can roll up the edges for a neater look or let them go frayed when I’m feeling a little more free spirited.
img_4281
Both pics from this post.

That’s it!  If you see me wearing something else on a Saturday, it’s either unseasonably cold (and I’m in jeans) or someone forgot to do laundry.

Do you have a weekend “uniform”?  If so, scroll down to share.

Street Style: Ireland

Inspired by Janice of The Vivienne Files and Susan of Une Femme, I was determined to capture some street style shots for you on our trip to Ireland.

First up, this woman in the Newark airport en route to Dublin was wearing the chicest version of overalls I have ever seen:IMG_4922

The slim cut, the suspender-like straps, and the color paired with simple black (and boots that tie up the back!) were quite striking.  I only ever saw the outfit from the back but that was enough to convince me.

There was another woman in the airport sporting a super chic ensemble (I’m going to be using “chic” a lot in this post…) that I didn’t get a snap of, but it looked something like the photo below. Color the tunic sweater camel and chop the cowl collar in favor of a very structured white dress shirt collar peeping through; then morph the pale messily-coiffed white woman into a woman of Asian descent with an elegant updo.  I was struck by how structurally elegant but also livable the look was; and by how the pants were not skinny pants (as often seen in tunics-over pants looks), but more trouser-like.  Her ensemble stood out in a sea of business travelers.

ae98b30b787a5cbbf136aded3ba15dd3 (1)
Source

 

Now on to Ireland itself.

Maybe it’s because I owned an Old Navy track jacket in similar colors in college, but I couldn’t resist this jacket with corals/greens/browns and hummingbird/flower applique, spotted at the Dublin Flea Market:

IMG_4945
This woman was a chaperone on a high school field trip to Glendalough which involved a good bit of walking in some cold, muddy-ish conditions.  Yet her ensemble, with its bright colors and details like pompons and red gloves, was eminently cheery and stylish:

IMG_5000

Well done, Teach!

 

I saw quite a few of these plaid blanket-style capes, worn both inside and outside to add extra warmth:

IMG_5075

Our waitress at Ard Bia in Galway (where we had the most delicious poached eggs and avocado on toast) wore this great mix of chambray/washed out denim in two shades plus a marled cardigan in a muted red over a soft white tee that hit “late winter/early spring by the sea” so perfectly:

IMG_5179

It also worked really well in the airy, light, almost minimalist interior of the restaurant.
Here’s a very luxe neutral coat – look at that popped collar! – with a punch of flame via her bag:

IMG_20170302_092942

A shot of the boots (get it?):

IMG_20170302_092931

 

Overall I noticed a lot of joggers on young men; shorter skirts over tights on young women; and dark or neutral colors when it came to outerwear – I definitely stood out in my red wool coat.  I also would’ve stood out if anyone had known I was wearing leggings under warm corduroy pants – clearly everyone was more accustomed to cold weather than I was!

Ah, and I almost forgot – I was the only woman (besides the nun with whom I co-officiated, and she had her own headgear) to miss the memo on wearing fascinators at the wedding we attended.  I’d previously attended a wedding in Europe that involved hats so I shouldn’t have been surprised that all the Irish women had head attire, but even the American women had all figured it out. From vintage emerald green velvet pillboxes to flapper-style feathered headbands to more sculptural numbers, they were stunning.  I’ll just have to deal with my disappointment by reassuring myself that my job was to keep all the attention on the bride – who looked absolutely stunning!

Congrats Ashley & Dave, and many blessings on your married life ahead!

 

 

How to Wear Culottes in Real Life

Today, a look at how to wear culottes, the newest in pant leg silhouettes. I was not sold on this trend (for me, or anyone) until I saw the following two women work it. One is a more wintry look while the other shouts summer; what do they have in common?

A defined waist.

Sure, you can wear culottes with something baggy or oversize, but to me the look becomes very “fashion” or off-duty model – architectural and statement-making rather than style I want to live in. In my opinion a closer cut on top balances the bloom of the pant legs below.

Here is Lee of Style Bee rocking a striking silhouette and an even more striking color palette, with boots for cooler weather:

StyleBee_Winter10x10_Looks10_A
Source

Her blog features several more ways to style these kind of pants – one of her wardrobe staples – as well as a review on the Everlane (read: responsibly made) version of these pants, pictured below. This top has a little more give but still highlights the waist:

StyleBee_Everlane_WideCrop_1
Source

Even this blousier top is tucked in, keeping the waist the focal point of the outfit:

StyleBee_Beauty_FEB_C
Source

Thanks to Lee I had this silhouette kicking around my brain as a style possibility, but still one pulled off by a style blogger who is supposed to have an edgier look than the rest of us.

And then I saw a random woman wearing culottes in a bookstore. She was working in a nearby office, proving real people wear these to real jobs; and I’d guess she was in her 50s or 60s, proving that this trend is not just for the young folk.

I’m still not sold on this trend for me, but if I *were* going to hop on the bandwagon, I would do it exactly the way she did – a little sailor chic, a little Audrey Hepburn:

Untitled design (4) Untitled design (3)

I have that shirt, that red pant in a different cut, and those shoes. Bam.

PS check out the buttons on that fly!
PPS sorry I cut off the bottom of the pants in the second photo. :/ Unbeknownst to me, my finger was in the way as I tried to surreptitiously capture her fabulous style.

 

What do you think of the culotte look? Are you convinced by these takes on it the way I was?

 

My Secret for the Perfect Blazer & a Blue Blazer Cage Match

I admit it, that title is a bit dramatic.  But since I’ve already used “A Tale of Two Blazers,” I went with it.  Also, it’s not really a cage match as I right now I plan to keep both of my new finds (below)… but depending on which I reach for more, one may eventually win a permanent place in my closet.

First, though, let’s start with my revelation vis-a-vis the perfect blazer. After many false starts and fitting-room frowns, I realized that I like lapels that are long and narrow, not wide and curvy:

X
Love the tweed, though!

In general I prefer a silhouette without a lot of curve.  My blouses tend to be a little loose, not fitted, so they can fall in a straight-ish line from my shoulders to hips.  I don’t do form-fitting on the bottom, either – my go-to pant is slim, not skinny. Even my sheath dresses, which do follow the form of my body, don’t do much curving – because I ain’t got a lotta curves.

And I already knew I didn’t like jackets with too much of an hourglass shape.  So I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out that a key part of my loving a blazer is having lapels that elongate my look instead of adding width/curve.  This “aha” moment made it that much easier to flip through a rack of blazers and sift out good candidates.

I got a chance to put this epiphany into action last week while thrifting for a special occasion dress. You may recall that I was not happy with my navy wool blazer of yore because it picked up every fuzzy lint ball and stray cat hair and when I washed it (THAT was dumb) it didn’t reform back to the silhouette I liked.

Untitled design (2)

So I was on the lookout for a replacement blue blazer – and found two.

The first was this navy number by Charlotte Russe:

IMG_4904
Please ignore horrid yellow lighting.

The inverted lapels are unexpected and create that long line I love.  The decorative buttons are a great detail and in a nice neutral palette, and the permanently scrunched sleeves at my favorite length mean I can look chic without having to shove them up my arms all the time.

Since Charlotte Russe is super fast fashion, I am skeptical about how this will hold up.  Surprisingly, though, it is much less rumpled than most of the unlined jackets I find in thrift stores, even from significantly higher pricepoints.   I actually like the fact that it’s unlined as it makes a nice finishing layer without adding a ton of bulk/warmth, since I tend to wear blazers in spring/fall when a fully lined wool jacket in Atlanta = sweat.

 

The next day I found this medium blue baby by H&M:

WP_20170210_09_44_58_Pro

I LOVE the color – it’s hard to find blue blazers that aren’t navy (and often a severe shade of it).  I also love the ponte fabric and the satin-y finish on the top line of the pockets.  I’m a little iffy on the pointiness of the lapel notch and the topstitch detail, but the long/lean line is in effect and that’s what I value most.  The fit also runs nicely along my torso.

I was *not* in love with the large silver buttons (I don’t wear silver jewelry and the tops ones hit right at bust level), so I removed them.  You can see where they were stitched on; it’s not as obvious when I’m wearing it and the ponte may bounce back over time.  I’m definitely going to sew a button back on to the only non-decorative spot in the middle; if the other spots are still noticeable in a week or two I’ll find some gold/bronze buttons and resew them as well.

IMG_4907

Obviously H&M is also fast fashion.  I’ve noticed that as far as blazers go, people tend to hold onto well made ones and not donate them ’til they’ve gone out of style (which is why you lots of blazers from the 80s and 90s at the thrift store).  Most often cuts and styles that feel more current are of the fast fashion variety because it’s a lot easier to donate something that cost you $30 vs. $200.  There are occasional exceptions but I’m not holding my breath to find them.  I’ll keep you updated on how these two hold up.

 

What do you think of my finds and my impromptu blazer surgery?  What’s most important to you in a blazer or a jacket? Scroll down to comment!

 

A Structured Dress Coat; or, in Which I Take a Page from the Duchess of Cambridge

Catherine is a big fan of the coat dress, or the dress coat (sometimes it’s not clear which is which):

images 02 Nov 2011 - Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge visits the UNICEF Supply Division Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark Kate-Middleton-243783
Source, sourcesource.

I had never entertained the thought of wearing such a garment myself until a super-soft, structured number by Tahari by Arthur S. Levine jumped off the coat rack section and into my hands all by itself.  I loved its sleek, tailored lines and the drama of the collar:

WP_20170209_13_50_48_Pro

Check out the contrast stitching and those chic pockets:
WP_20170209_13_50_57_Pro

My first thought was “this is a great piece and it would look great on someone else who wears coat dress/dress coats.”

My second thought was, “Why can’t *I* be that person?”

So into the dressing room it went!  A la the Duchess of Cambridge, I think it works well over dresses, either open or closed:

WP_20170209_14_01_09_Pro

This will be great for scarves, I can see it now.

It makes a more dressed up, grown up alternative to a long cardigan, and nips in just a touch at the waist:

WP_20170209_14_00_41_Pro

Here it is with a fun plaid scarf I picked up:

WP_20170209_14_30_43_Pro

I’ve learned from experience (and other bloggers) that adding an outside-your-comfort-zone piece to your wardrobe is best done when it’s paired with other favorites and it’s inside your comfort zone in some other way – e.g. the color matches your palette, it’s a familiar cut, etc.  So it helped that this dress coat was a gentle shade of navy (color palette – check) and that it looked great with the dressy corduroys and neutral top I was wearing (plays well with wardrobe staples – check).  It made it easy to focus on the fresh vibe this new silhouette added to by repertoire instead of trying to imagine whether it would work.

Here it is on its first official engagement (yes, on yet another thrifting expedition):

WP_20170215_13_45_58_Pro

Sleek, no?  Chic, feminine, Dr. Who-esque, yes?  

WP_20170215_13_45_49_Pro
Metallic top: Pull & Bear, thrifted
Dress coat: Tahari by Arthur S. Levine, thrifted
Cream corduroys: Lauren by Ralph Lauren, thrifted & tailored

Socks: Target, retail
Shoes: hand-me-downs from my mother-in-law, repainted
Necklace: DIY from Goodwill finds

I rate this outside-my-style-comfort-zone experiment a success.  What do you think?  When have you gone outside your style comfort zone and had it work?  When not?  Scroll down to share!

 

My Style Icons

My style ranges from drapey cardigans over skinny pants to vintage dresses to oversized Liz Claiborne sweaters.

But if I were to describe my *ideal* personal style with an equation featuring stylish people of the world, it would look like this:

1/2 Inès de la Fressange + 1/2 Nicola Sturgeon + a dash of Luke Spiller.

Expressed visually, this would be:

style iconsSource; Source; Source

Let’s take a closer look at each piece of the pie.

 

Inès de la Fressange – Gentlewoman Chic

Model/businesswoman/muse/author Inès de la Fressange exemplifies the feminine side of gentlewoman chic with her fitted blazers, trim trousers, bold blouses, and always a touch of funk – see those two-toned shoes peeking out from underneath her pants?  And I count at least 3 patterns in this ensemble, maybe 4:

Ines 3Source

Let’s admire the bold contrast here between the yellow and the monochrome jacket, with the whole look pulled together by that playful, yet ascot-like scarf.  And that superbly cut blazer!

ines-de-la-fressange

Also, brava to another poster child of gentlewoman chic, Garance Doré, for that incredible photo. Source

 

My take:
IMG_3466
IMG_1136

IMG_1309

v__e1da

wp_20161011_20_15_52_pro

6tag_300117-171344

6tag_260117-202730

 

Nicola Sturgeon – Stylin’ Power Dresses

Leading up to her election as first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon started working with an Edinburgh dress boutique to create a wardrobe of solid-color sheath dresses with unique twists – what the boutique owners call “a soft power look” (check out the NY Times article on her wardrobe here – and then we can all talk about the politics of how women’s dress and physical appearance affect their electability as public servants):

Nicola-Sturgeon-278417
Shoulders!  She has this one in at least 3 colors – source

…for example, in orange:

09sturgeon-web-master1050Source

Hello asymmetrical neckline and slit on the side:

sturgeon tv
Source

Bonus: the completely fabulous, satin-y contrasting lapel on this blazer – that’s some edge, woman!  Theresa May, take note. (Or not.  Since, you know, how stylish or chic you look ≠ your ability to govern.)

sturgeon blazer
Source
My take:

wp_20161027_15_20_38_pro-1

While I do love a good plain dress for its versatility and the great canvas it makes for accessories, I really thrill to dresses like Nicola’s and the one above with its unexpected neckline and sassy gold chains.  Right now it’s the only one in my closet that fits the bill, as most of the rest of my dresses are solid-color and plain.  But here’s a throwback to a couple I loved that had to be sent on due to pilling:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

Ahh, back when I did bathroom selfies.  Good times.

 

Luke Spiller – Glam Rock

Luke looks, sings, and moves like the love child of Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger.  I’ve already blogged about his style here; suffice it to say that his boldly metallic, besequined allure is called to mind every time I spot a glitzy top I should say no to.

12tmag-spiller-slide-HZDV-master768

My take:

IMG_4880 wp_20160805_14_47_38_pro wp_20161108_18_24_16_pro img_4521 img_4236

And… last week I found these exact pants I had long ago regretted not thrifting and I bought ’em without even trying them on.  They’re amazing:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

Now to figure out where to wear them.

 

Who are your style icons?  Could be someone you know personally, a character in a movie or book (illustrations help), or a public persona.   Keep in mind that it’s not about emulating someone else’s look to a T, but rather helping you define your own style.

If you’ve never tried to figure it out before, I encourage you to give it a go.   Once you’ve identified a person or two or three, ask yourself: what is it about their sartorial presentation that sets your heart aflutter? How do they exemplify what you love to wear?  I’m willing to bet it’ll help you sharpen your own aesthetic.  Scroll down to share your thoughts!