Minimalist Magpie

This weekend, I had a low-key holiday party on the books. YEA!

Except it was hosted by people I didn’t know, and I am a social caterpillar. BOO!

I figured the odds were good that people would be in jeans and fleece. Especially as it’s been exceptionally frigid here lately. Since I’ve been swaddled in layers and blankets when home, though, I felt that celebrating the moments of my life sans Bunyanwear would make for a nice change. As would showing a little skin. And by “a little skin” I mean possible wrist exposure. To be jolly and all.

So I decided to bust out my one fancypants skirt (a ruched black satin pencil) then dig into my recovering-blacktextile-a-holic’s closet for black tights, black sweater, and black boots. An easy out, sure, but when nerves get to rustlin’ a somber monochromatic look soothes me, rather like thumbsucking did back in the day. The FAR day.


I had a little playfulness up my black-clad sleeve. A pair of completely over-the-top earrings I had spotted at a favorite vintage shop and moth’d my way toward. Earrings I’d initially discarded as way, way too extreme and non-serious for me. And yet…they appealed, as just about anything iridescent appeals to me. And the colors suited.

Eventually my $22 and I were parted, and the earrings came home with me. Once home they sat in an open-faced box–the better to admire them!–for 4 months. At which point I finagled the screwbacks onto my lobes and took them out for a spin amongst strangers.

Be still my heart

Where they glittered like wee holiday lights against my hair (worn down for warmth) and shawl (worn sporadically as temperatures waxed and waned).

Earrings in motion

The strangers turned out to include super-welcoming, dressed-down women who raved about the earrings. And a VERY friendly dog who liked my skirt so much he spent much of the night quite literally drooling over it. [Which may be why all the women who knew of the dog’s existence showed up in jeans: no need to hit the dry cleaners post-festivities.]

While I used to do a damn good job of keeping my inner magpie baked in a pastry, I’m starting to make up for lost time. Pre-intervention, I would have hesitated to have let my Joan Collins Extra-Extra-Lite out for fear of calling too much attention to myself. Which is pretty rich coming from someone as loud and vulgar as I am. Maybe “because I was afraid of seeming frivolous” works better, even if sounds less Beth March and more super-stupid?

At any rate, I’d like to say my earrings owe their new life to my reading of Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design and arriving at a Style Statement, “a two-word compass that helps you make more confident choices in life–from your wardrobe to your relationships, your living room to your career plans.” Unfortunately, I don’t do workbooks, even workbooks the authors present as:

a series of inquiries that lead readers to the personal words that guide the spirit, look and feel of their life. The first word represents your foundation, your 80%. The second word, your 20%, is what motivates and distinguishes you.”

It’s just way too much effort for someone who hates blank pages as much as I do.

But since I have a few invisipals who really liked the book’s exercises, I’d venture it’s worth a look at the actual or Cliff Notes version. After all, using the latter helped me arrive at “Minimalist Magpie,” so clearly one’s Style Statement can work as a great enabling tool. I’m not saying that’s why I tucked “Contrarian Classicist” away in my back pocket, of course. But if it WAS the reason, who can blame a magpie for being a little opportunistic?

10 Responses

  1. Love the earrings-especially with the wrap. Gorgeous. xoxo


  2. However you got there, very sparkly and holiday:).

  3. They remind me of Ginger from Gilligan’s Island. Fun!

  4. Thanks Beth, LPC, and Madeline. It was a very un-frivolous week so I’m glad I broke those babies out for the party!

  5. Well, I love your earrings, and both your outfit and the party sound great (I do love dogs but remember the frustration of drool from the family hound when I was young!).
    The idea of a Style Statement intrigues me; two words doesn’t sound like very much but I’ll give it some thought. In fact, I probably need one for my home, too.

  6. Hey Struggler, if I have it right the theory is that you only need one “Statement” to cover both your home and personal style.

    Of course that assumes one lives alone or has full control over all decorating decisions. Which ain’t true for me, and I know it’s not true for you, so…how does Mr Struggler feel about workbooks, ha?

  7. Love, love, love those earrings. I once had a pair that were huge black velvet-covered disks dangling from smaller disks, decorated with seed beads in iridescent colors much like those. Even in the late 80s they needed to be worn with something plain. I adored them.

    And books like that are catnip to me, though I never actually do anything with the information.

  8. (Also, it was v. amusing that while I was reading the Amazon link about the two-word statement, a big flashing banner below read “Bipolar Depression”!)

  9. Brigit–Wow, I hope someone puts a Facebook pic of you in those earrings up so we can all see them!

  10. ps I mean you WOULD share a photo with us, right?

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