What I Wore: Pink & Wine

I don’t know if the color of this scarf is properly called “wine” but I’m going with it:

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Dress: H&M
Blazer: Cartonnier
Scarf: no label – I think it’s wool
Sandals: Clarks (retail)

Here’s a closeup.  The “wine” color is a bit intense/saturated compared to my normal wardrobe palette, but the pink/gold/orange tones in it lighten things up a bit, as does the pink jacket and the white dress:
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Mmmm, print-mixing…

I don’t do square scarves very often and this is why:WP_20170509_13_05_12_Pro

I can’t get them to stay where I want/showing the part of the pattern I want. Suggestions? Maybe I’ll just pin the sucker to my dress next time…

Here is the outfit sans blazer:
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Side view:
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Styling: I started with a dress; Tuesday = yoga day which calls for a simple one-piece to change into after 90 minutes of down dog. I wanted to warm things up with some red-based tones after having worn navy blue-heavy outfits the previous three days, and I knew the v-neck of the dress would work well as a spot to showcase a scarf; hence this particular number, with colors that make me beam!
I knew we’d have meetings in chilly parts of the building so I added a blazer, with this woman’s wide range of reds as inspiration for my color choice:

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From this post

That way I could also justify keeping my red nail polish on!

I rolled my cuffs and went to work (literally).

Thoughts: the print-mixing on this is my happy place. I really like how the pink/wine (mulberry?)/red all read together and have Costco lady above to thank for that. In hindsight I would have worn a gold necklace peeping through the scarf and my gold cuff to bring a little more polish (and pick up the gold tones in the scarf).

What are your tricks for making a scarf stay in place? What do you think of my smorgasboard of red-based hues?  Scroll down to comment.

Real French Woman Style: A Case Study

Much has been made of the inimitable French woman’s style and how chic, understated, classic, minimalist, etc. her wardrobe is.  Black features prominently in this depiction, as do basics.  You can Google myriad examples where this is the case, but from the time I’ve spent living in and visiting France (particularly not-Paris), this depiction is a pretty narrow take on “French” style.

Case in point:

The other evening my family attended a community holiday party where a French woman I’d met at the same party the year before was attending with her family.  The husband and their 4 sons wore homemade bowties while their tiny daughter was dressed exactly like Princess Charlotte but with bolder color.  Their children’s given names are gilded with old-fashioned patina – think Bénédicte, Marisol, and Thibault (not their real names, but a good idea of them). In short, they are charming and full of personality.

And the mother of this family?  She was dressed nothing at all like the “typical” French woman:

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(Items recreated below so you can get a better gander)

Let’s start with her top.  Okay, yes, a black base layer, but one that served as a neutral canvas to showcase her other two layers: a dark teal paisley blouse, peasant-ish, topped by a (faux?) fur vest and a multicolored scarf featuring blue, aquamarine, and copper threads.

On the bottom: bootcut jeans which aren’t particularly trendy at the moment (although wider flares are), and Timberland boots with wedges.  Timberland wedges, I tell you!  To top it all off, she had accessorized with a pair of big metallic drop earrings.

Her look was mostly boho, but those Timberland wedges said “street.”  Her look communicated both her unique taste and her complete confidence in wearing things others would never have put together.

(Her hair and makeup, I admit, did look typically “French” – nothing much besides black eyeliner and mascara, plus sideswept gamine bangs in front, with the rest of her hair clipped back in a way that looked like it had taken 2 seconds but was nonetheless full of unstudied elegance.  Am I waxing overly poetic?)

Since the photo is partial, I did some googling to bring you similar (and in the case of the boots and earrings exact) pieces so you can marinate on this combination yourself:

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Honestly, her funky mashup looked more “French,” according to French women I’ve known, than most things I’ve seen in the pages of Vogue.

To wit – here are style snapshots of several French women I know well:

One has a daughter living in America and has a soft spot for her Ralph Lauren navy sweater with the American flag on it. But when a wedding is on the calendar, it’s fascinators and textured silk suits all the way.

Another is an ashram-frequenting, reincarnation-believing goat farmer, and she dresses the part: work pants and boots below, Indian-inspired prints and colors on top.

Another is basically Catherine Deneuve – same age, same coqeuttish preference for dramatic makeup and feminine dresses with flair.

Another lives in Paris but has a villa outside Toulouse and, when there, stuns in a simple caramel-colored sleeveless dress and subtle gold jewelry. (She was the inspiration for the dress in this post.)

Another few dye their hair with henna and don’t appear to pay any special attention to style.

Admittedly I have often felt uncool next to my French counterparts, but I think it has had less to do with their wearing black and moto jackets than it did with a certain confiance en soi that made them seem self-assured.  Thrifting and writing this blog have helped me hone my style to the point where I feel this confidence in my own dressing – although I’m sure I would still see a difference between an American aesthetic vs. a European one.  Something I need to spend more time on to fully articulate, but generally having to do with cleaner lines, a little more quirk, good tailoring, etc.

 

What do you think of our case study’s look?  And what’s your take on the much-touted “French woman style”?  Geographically speaking, where have you been particularly impressed by people’s style, whether it matched the stereotype or not?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Some Illustrated Styling Tips

Thinking about how I put together an outfit got me ruminating on how I add that final touch to a sartorial ensemble to make it stand out or really pull it all together.  Here’s an illustrated list of a few tricks I use to garnish the drink, as it were.  Comment to add yours!

 

Use jewelry to pick up a color or metal elsewhere in the outfit

Cuff pants for a different/more versatile length, or to give it a casual touch:

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Roll or cuff sleeves to adjust for warmth/show off a bracelet

Roll blazer cuffs once or twice to show off contrasting liner or bracelet.  You can also scrunch ’em up to similar effect

Leave hair down to use it as a contrast color to your outfit (I often wear my hair down with grey for that reason – the yellow tones help warm up the grey):
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Put hair up to highlight a neckline or earrings (or to keep it out of your way):

Part hair in a new place to freshen up a tried-and-true outfit

Untuck the back of your shirt for a casual, cool vibe

Belt your natural waist to bring some interest to a solid color dress or tunic top:
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Scrunch socks to add some volume/texture in the gap between pants hem and ankle boot

Extend cuffs past your topper and roll ’em back once to create drama and contrast between your shirt and your cardigan/blazer

Try out different scarf ties to get shawl/poncho/necklace/collar effects.

 

FYI, Caroline at UnFancy is great at demonstrating simple styling tricks like this.  Nicole of The Spirited Thrifter can teach you how to throw an arm party (she’s also great at layering necklaces which I rarely do), and Dina of Dinatokio models some excellent ringage (as well as chokers).  Susan of Une Femme d’Un Certain Age also does both necklaces and bracelets well. Janice of The Vivienne Files will help you think through coordinating jewelry without making it too matchy. Also visit Susan and Janice for scarf tips, or check out this old favorite video of 25 ways to wear a scarf featuring mindboggling visual logistics.  If you wear a headscarf or a hair wrap, get thee over to Dinatokio NOW.  I have never seen anyone style a hijab so creative-mazingly. She wears hers rather less conservatively than many people, which means a lot of her styles also work for hair/head wraps.

 

What are your favorite styling tips?  Anything new here you’d like to try?  Scroll down to comment!

 

What I Wore: Skinned Knee Chic

When your spouse is sick and you are singlehandedly making the church run with a toddler and you are preaching and you are LATE, you only get three outfit photos and you are HAPPY with them:

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Do you like how I turned a last-minute snack for my kid into an autumnal-colored accessory?

 

And when you have recently face planted while running and skinned your knee (and your elbow and your wrist) pretty significantly and your household has run out of band aids so you can’t wear pants or leggings (plus you ruined your favorite pair of leggings in said face plant) but it’s too crisp to go completely bare legged, you put on knee socks and pretend you meant to wear this all along (skinned knee not pictured out of consideration for the faint of heart):

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The print mixing, it is out of control:

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Color block/striped dress: Gap, thrifted
Blazer: Haberdashery by Personal, thrifted
Belt: J. Crew, thrifted
Scarf: my mama’s Kohl’s shopping spree
Socks: Target
Ankle boots: Lucky Brand, gift from my sister

 

Seriously though I did buy these socks for just such a look, hoping to encourage myself to wear skirts through fall and thinking that, with the ankle boots, it would read sort of like a tall boot (of which I have yet to be convinced I need to buy a pair although I would be happly to thrift some). Don’t worry, these socks came in a two-pack with plain navy so I don’t have to be in a 5-billion-patterns mood to wear them.

What do y’all think of the knee sock/ankle boot look? Or the tuck-your-scarf-into-your-belt look? (Very handy for showing off your belt and keeping the fringe out of reach of handsy toddlers/your coffee mug.) Or the print party? Scroll down to comment!

 

What I Wore: Head Scarf with Fall Florals

This accidentally posted early so if you’ve subscribed but are now reading on the blog, you’ll notice there are a few revisions and the links are live, yay!

I’ve been looking for an excuse to wear this scarf and this weekend it finally happened: I washed my hair (with honey, don’t worry) right before church and wanted to disguise the not-properly-dried, not-yet-renourished-with-luscious-sebum look. I spent a fair amount of time scrolling through Dinatokio‘s hijab-chic IG account last week and spotted a Lebanese woman rocking a similar look at the zoo on Saturday, so I thought I’d try my hand at a similar hair-hiding style. Though obviously my motives derived much more out of vanity than modesty.

Bonus: my new cranberry/burgundy/oxblood pants got to play along!

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Mmmm, the texture on this top is simply medieval:img_4521

 

I folded the scarf in half like a triangle, then folded it in a narrow strip but left the tail (the triangle of fabric on top) out so it wouldn’t cover the part of the pattern I wanted to show off.  I tied it around my head like a giant headband, then looped the ends around my bun and tied them in a little knot, the made sure the triangle up top was tucked securely into the main band so I didn’t look like a milk maid:img_4525

Texture galore!img_4526

 

Parting your hair on the side, then pulling a bit of the longer side out gives your ‘do a little oomph:

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Yes most everything is still green here.

The champagne metallic shoes picked up the gold in my top:img_4520

A little sass for the camera:
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Top: Meadow Rue, thrifted
Pants: Style & Co., thrifted
Flats: Trotters passed on from my mother-in-law and repainted
Scarf: no tag, thrifted

I rarely do head scarves or hair wraps so this initially took a little convincing myself that it didn’t look weird in the mirror, but I ended up loving it.

What do y’all think? Do you wear scarf-like things on your head or usually sport them elsewhere? Scroll down to comment!

PS you can see some more of the scarf’s pattern here.

 

Thrifted Style in Legitimate Cold (with a Shout-out to Cold Weather Newbies)

I sometimes imagine that when I’m writing about my winter capsule wardrobe, all of you north of the Mason Dixon line are silently rolling your eyes.  “What does she know about winter down there in Georgia?!”

Well, you’d be right—these days I don’t have to think twice about real cold weather wear.  (Watch me eat my words though if we have a properly chilly winter.)  But my family lives up North and you better believe I dress appropriately when visiting the Midwest or New England.  I’ve spent far too many frozen months in both of those places not to know better.

Thus, I give you Thrifted Style for Legitimately Cold Weather, and an amusingly lip-less photo taken by The Sister:leah201512

Continue reading “Thrifted Style in Legitimate Cold (with a Shout-out to Cold Weather Newbies)”