Sporty Spicing it up [pt 2]

In an earlier post, I discussed how wearing prison stripes during my formative years left me with a stripe fetish and how I happily boosted my current wardrobe of aging neutrals by swathing my torso in a striped wall treatment. A wall treatment/sweater that I’m calling “patterned” even though that descriptor is not shared by all.

Between the lack of color and the lack of pattern in my increasingly decrepit fall/winter wardrobe, I knew my clothing and I were headed down a non-exotically-colored dirt road to Dullsville. And that my path would not be altered by choosing textured neutrals, no matter how much a black velvet blazer might TRY to convince me it held the answer to my plain-Jane fabric problems.

But with no room for budgetary mistakes, how to choose the soft goods equivalent of the Yellow Brick Road? How to pick a statement-y sweater and not end up with That Print, the purchase that sits in one’s drawer or closet and makes one wince whenever it peeks out?

Slowly or boldly, or slowly then boldly. But preferably armed with a bit of knowledge from Bridgette Raes or Imogen Lamport’s blog.

Education on visual matters, aside, though, I think love plays a strong role in pattern-choosing. I maintain that one must fall for a print (or stripe, okay?) from across the proverbial crowded room. In the tiny section of my heart that beats to a romantically-inclined drum, I believe one must long to take a pattern home and immediately introduce it to members of one’s preferred wardrobe items, be they pants or skirts or jackets or dresses. [Or, if one’s a clothing polywollydoodler, all of the above.]

But that’s just my .02. I eased into things with ole Stripey, because Stripey was my type.


Others gravitate towards certain colors or scales in prints, and while I judge that to be a MARVELOUS starting place, I’m usually impervious to such sensory cues. Now I tend to be all Artemis the Unconquerable around patterns in general, true, but ever since the fabric that ended up as my 40th birthday dress (aka The Dress of 1000 Nipples) something’s happened.

I, the woman for whom “Back in Black” is an anthem not an observation…I…I am now a sucker for prints in rosy pinks. I even contemplated a one-night dalliance with some unapologetically vivid pink poppies (and ok maybe the roses, too).

So I suppose that more or less explains how I catapulted into desire for this VERY exuberant pattern when I encountered it as a wrap dress:

Unfortunately, standard wrap dresses create a block-with-a-belt look on me. And anyway I needed a sweater-y thing more than a dress. Sure, the shop had a few yards of leftover fabric, and I could see if the customizing queens could make me something to serve as my Fall/Winter Wardrobe Update #2.

But would I be exchanging cash for plaintive questions on the drive home?

To test my adoration, I took some time to ponder how a creature made from the above might fit into my closet. I looked at my sea of browns and my dark denim, and I tried to visualize myself wearing something that said HEY I’M OVER HERE! IN THE ROSY PINK! YA CAN’T MISS ME!

Such thoughts were a bit nerve-wracking, but then again I had managed to wear the aforementioned Dress of 1000 Nipples quite a few times without dying from pattern/color overdose. Hmmmmmm.

And then again redux I had been thinking that a variation or knockoff of the DKNY Cosy Sweater could be nice. Especially as I never got to buy any spendy Multiples (Units) as a middle-schooler, which has apparently left me with loads of curiosity about wearing tube tops as skirts and so on.

So I took the plunge, then had to figure out what to do with the damn thing:

The Halter-Bolero

No, I can’t do as many tricks with my Missoni PseudoCozy* as the DKNY Cozy converts can do with theirs. Partially because mine’s pretty loosely based on the original recipe cozy, and partially because I’m just not that limber. But I can (quickly) style it enough ways to soothe my inner, Multiples-deprived child.

And really, sometimes that’s all a closet needs: something with enough cheesiness to earn a smile, enough practicality to suit, and enough oomph to make a difference.

* Unlike Stripey’s origins as a pillow drape, I think my demi-sheer Missoni beauty was officially turned into spendy caftans and bikinis.

Next: Part 3 of Sporty Spicing it up, aka get a restraining order against the cats

2 Responses

  1. I think it’s wonderful! It’s definitely a pattern, but not too loud by any means, I suspect from what we see of the rest of you, that it really suits your coloring. And I really love how you’ve styled it, especially the one with the circular buckle-bit.

  2. Belated thanks! The bangle method is my fav too…something very satisfying about it, ha.

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