Monday, April 25, 2016

Long Over Short Over Long

It's funny, I had been forever thinking that I need to try-out a dress over pants kind of arrangement, and simultaneously have been wanting a front-button dress that I could wear as a vest. It's something that I have been revisiting over and over again, not realising that I had just the very piece already lurking in my closet. Such is the way with these things. As I heard a fellow audience member say this past weekend at a thing that I was at, sometimes we get the answer before we have even thought to ask the question.

I am completely in love with this look. All of it (with the exception of the shoes, they're thrifted) is from H&M (albeit not recently). The long "vest" is actually a dress, last seen here (and it looks like I shot the photos on a similarly bright, sunny day), and the trousers are several seasons old now and were originally a part of a suit.

Once again, it's definitely not warm enough for this look yet (*wrings fists towards the heavens screaming whyyyyyyy!?!?*), but it's about to be May, and I am no longer willing to wear dark woollens. I'm not participating in that. I'm opting out. The vernal Equinox was over a month ago, so I'm doing what I can to move this thing forward.

H&M dress (old), similar / H&M trousers (old), similar / gold sandals (thrifted), similar / rose gold necklace (old), similar

Friday, April 22, 2016

Eternal Style: The Tree of Life

I am always happy to collaborate with Eternal Collection, as I have done several times in the past (here, here, and here). Based in Pitlochry (right here in Scotland!), the website has been up and running since 2007 and is the labor of love of husband and wife team Paul and Pauline Buttress. While Paul and his team make about two thirds of the jewellery (these items will have a "handmade" denotation in the description), Pauline also sources unique and beautiful pieces from around the world.

When I saw these Tree of Life Natural Abalone and Sterling Silver Earrings, I knew that they had to come home and live with me. I have blogged at length about my love for organic designs with natural themes, and the Tree of Life is one of my favourite natural themes. If you're unfamiliar with the symbolism of the Tree of Life, you can read about the origins of it as it pertains to world religion and mythology here, or, if you don't feel like reading a lengthy Wikipedia term paper, this site has a nice quick-and-dirty version of the meaning of the Tree of Life as it pertains to Celtic Mythology.

I have been wearing these earrings non-stop ever since they arrived. They're the perfect size; big enough to have a presence, but not so big as to impede daily life. The abalone shell make them super lightweight, and it also creates a beautiful backdrop for the silver tree that makes it look like it's lit from within. I've been pairing these with my favourite sterling cast feather bracelet and labradorite ring - these pieces just seem to work well together in weight, texture, and color story.

You can check out the rest of the Eternal Collection by clicking here to visit their website.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

An Unusual Mix

It's funny, I'd been wearing these came ankle pants for a few days running (only with a grey wool sweater instead of this top…it's still sweater weather here, do not be fooled). I put on this top thinking I would experiment a bit with the bottoms until I found a look that worked, but before I even got to try any on, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realized that I kind of liked this girly, sheer floral appliqué top with the cammo pants. The mixture of hard and soft, the contrasting textures…it almost feels a bit like print mixing, only maybe not quite as bold. Plus, the top kind of dresses-up the rest of the look, thereby distracting everyone from my epically dirty hair.

Normally, I run a mile from anything sheer, because it always seems you are on a lifelong search for just the right thing to wear underneath, and once you find it (if you're lucky enough to find it), you are stuck with a top that you can only wear under one other top. Essentially you now have two garments that you hardly ever wear. This top gets around this phenomenon by having a built-in t-shirt lining underneath. Now, that's what I'm talkin' about! Sheer garments for lazy-asses like myself who are fed up with finding the perfect underneath shirt.

 H&M top (last season), similar / Gap trousers (old), similar / Kelsey Dagger booties (old),  similar / Hagit Gorali sterling and pearl ring (old), similar / mother of pearl thumb ring (old), kind of similar

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Must-Have Spring Top

That's the smarmy look I get on my face when I try-on something that has been deemed The Hottest Trend of the Season, convinced I'm going to dislike it, and then end up kinda liking it... it's not quite a concession of wrongness per se

Okay, yes it is.

I was wrong. I admit it; I was wrong about off-the-shoulder tops.

I tend to shun anything that's fussy and needs to be actively "managed" in a garment. That includes stuff like sheer things that you need to find just the right shirt to wear underneath (but you never do), things with awkward straps that make wearing a bra a challenge, and things that you find yourself constantly pulling-at, or even just thinking about. Off-the-shoulder tops tick at least two of those boxes, if not all three, yet I still like them well enough to soldier-on.

Here's the thing about off-the-shoulder tops; they have a sense of innate freedom in them, they act as an accessory unto themselves, and…well...they're cute. If done correctly, that is. Sure, they're a bit fussy, at first. But if you find one that fits well, you'll get used to wearing it and soon you won't even notice. I think the tradeoff, that kind of carefree, bohemian 70s vibe, is worth it.

I encourage you to try one. I think that off-shoulder looks are a great summer option for those of us who are…um…not 23 anymore, but still want something a bit fun and flirty. The shoulders are a part of the body that are sexy, but not in as obvious a way as say, the décolletage, so if you are a person who wants to branch-out, but isn't comfortable in things like shorts or tops that show a bit of cleavage or your upper arms, give this one a shot. Still not sure? Do what I did and start small. This top is from H&M and was only about £14 all-in. That's a perfectly acceptable price point for dabbling with a trend that may or may not still be around in three months.

"But wait", you say. "Isn't that top kind of fussy!? I mean, you need to buy a special bra, for God's sake! And how am I supposed to keep it where it is supposed to be? What keeps it from riding-up or down during the course of my day?  I have questions!"

I'm glad you asked. Yes, unless you're one of those women who can comfortably go without "Otto's tit-sling", you need a special bra. You need a strapless bra, to be exact. Yes, you do. Do not be that person who wears the off-shoulder look with her normal bra straps hanging out. I saw one of those the other day, and quite frankly, that's just lazy. If you really don't think you can go without a normal bra, try one of those cut-out, cold-shoulder tops. The effect is very similar, and you can wear your normal bra.

Personally, I prefer those stick-on tape-style bra cups that you can get in lingerie departments. I have never met a strapless bra that stays in place, and the stick-on kind really work for me. They're also great for formal dressing and halter and backless tops too, but I digress.  Personally, I'm hoping that this off-shoulder trend will be the catalyst for a new crop of performance fabric-crafted, light-as-a-feather, comfortable-as-all-getout strapless bras that actually do what it is a bra is supposed to do. That would be fantastic. Are you listening lingerie designers!? I challenge thee. This is your mission, should you choose to accept it.

And to answer your other question, yes, off-shoulder tops can ride-up. Some more than others. If you've found one you love but the riding-up thing is annoying you, I have an answer for that too. Check out the nifty video included below that I discovered on the net while looking at cat videos online doing some serious online scientific research.

I prefer to pair an off-shoulder top with more coverage on the bottom, for balance (unless you're in a seriously hot tropical climate, then all bets are off). I chose a pair of slim, bootleg flares to this effect. You also don't need a lot in the way of accessories due to all the skin peeking out; I like a pair of long, "duster"-style earrings that lightly graze the shoulders and add to the boho vibe. In keeping with the carefree 70s appeal.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Please Stand By...

Greetings, readers. Sadly, I have to wait for a new piece of electronics to come in the mail to repair my ageing computer before I can share with you my latest post...the missing part leaves me with no access to power, so I've gotta conserve that battery power for an "internet emergency."

While we are waiting, please be entertained by these photos of my dog on his trip to Iona last weekend.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

I'm Totally Stealing This Look

Greetings everyone. I'm back from my trip away, and just trying to get my ducks in a row. As usual, the weather is not very photograph-friendly at the moment, but hopefully that will change soon. But in the meantime…

I happened across this photograph from Vogue's 2013 photo shoot with the First Lady, and this particular photograph really spoke to me. I don't know if I missed it the first time around or just didn't pay close attention, but I think that this is one of the most perfect modern black-tie looks I've seen in a long time.  It's a sweater and ball skirt by Michael Kors, and I just think it is the perfect answer to all of the fussy and/or obviously overly "sexy" looks that you so often see on a red carpet or at a function. This look is unapologetically feminine, yet almost looks like a look that if someone sent up the "bat signal", the First Lady would be able to just rip-off the train of the skirt, clip on an ammo belt, supplies, and whatever other kit you need to save the world,  and just respond to whatever superhero situation was at hand. This is black tie for women who just might kick you ass, given a different set of circumstances.

If I have to go to a fancy-schmancy event this year, I'm totally stealing this look.