Marine Drive

Previously, I discussed in spine-tingling detail how I decided to add more color to my closet by allocating a chunk of my fall/winter budget to cool-toned blues and greens. And how I was inclined to shamelessly wear them together.

Last spring I documented a few reasons why blue + green should always be seen. So when Mr Vix and I went for a drive a couple of weekends ago, it seemed like a great excuse to match the very welcome blue sky…plus some leafy goodness.

Now yes: 2005 called and it wants its short-over-long layered look back. But hey, can’t I call it “retro”? Or at least say I am wearing it ironically?

After all, my tongue’s already firmly in cheek from wearing this vaguely nautical cardigan. Though the closest I get to sailing is eating Chips Ahoy, the stripey sweater had me at “perfect colorblocking for those with Rectangle/H shapes.”

But I’m dead serious when I say I’m thrilled with my new deep green pencil skirt—so much so that I’ve been breaking out old and new prints and solids to wear with it.

Including a top that called to me despite my ambivalence about:

  • its scale
  • its rather Grandma’s-Wamsutta-bedspread print
  • the way “tobacco” and “sunshine” defile its otherwise cucumber-cool shades

Having recently re-reviewed Brigette Raes’ suggestions on how to pick a print on behalf of my pal Fizz, I’m pretty sure I look like I’m being eaten alive by my own clothing.

Though its wayward shapes DO match my hair.

I’m thinking the dolman-sleeved 70s silhouette + silk jersey fabric flipped me into Persnickety Bohemian mode. Whatever the reason, I was in loooove the second I saw it, but I resisted for weeks before committing.

Others were not as taken with its charms.

Where did THAT come from?” asked a saucer-eyed Mr Vix.

Me: “Whaaaat?! This is one of my core pieces for fall. I know it’s a little sofa-y, but I think it’s pretty.”

Mr Vix: [Amish farmer silence]

My printed glory and I flounced off to the guest bedroom to read and wait for him to come to his senses. He claims he stopped by to ask what I was doing for dinner, but didn’t see me on the bed.

[Which reminds me: I still miss the guest room’s former deep blue paint. Problem was, it only looked good for 2-3 summertime months. After a few years I ceded that Northern light + gloomy climate + big tree = me on a ladder with a bucket of more-muted-without-the-flash caramel.]

Returning (mostly) to my comfort zone of solids, I decided to match up a denim pencil skirt with a deep blue-green cardigan, another of my new fall pieces. While I usually avoid hosting a hootenanny in my bosom zone, the neckline’s deep V and the ability to break up my torso with a strong inverted V at the bottom were compelling. Which made it easy to turn a blind eye to having a 3-D chest.

Between the floral print and the ruffled sweater, some might say my blind eye is getting a lot of exercise this fall.

Anyway: Thinking about my aggressively warm-toned room reminds me that Pantone may want my butt in Golden Glow this season, but I’m having none of it. Bad enough that despite my fear of yellow walls, I’ve given up and put temporary and more permanent golden shades on the vertical surfaces around here.

But on me? I draw the line. Let others dabble in the sunlight shades; I’m sticking to a different, algae-hued story.

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Sunset Shadings

Previously, I shared how my inertia-based spring/summer closet analysis was right about one thing: I did, in fact, POSSESS clothing in shades other than black or grey. I then confessed how getting off my keister to actually investigate vs theorize about what I owned revealed a shocking truth…a wardrobe whose tonality teeter-totter was still firmly planted on the dark side.

As a recovering blacktextile-a-holic, I tend to grossly overestimate how much color-color I own and how vibrantly I dress. I enjoy giving myself vast amounts of credit for wearing a hot pink skirt with a deep purple blazer once a year, or for daring to wear a multi-hued necklace and a pale blue T-shirt AT THE SAME TIME—even if the overall look turns out to resemble something that a successful catburglar might sport whilst maximizing her company’s profit margin.

Personal failings aside, I didn’t see how I could still have a VaderCloset when I’d spent the last 10 months making strategically non-superstaid buys. Between the Dress of a 1000 Nipples, my patterned cardiwrapOle Stripey, a sweater that was basically a pile of rosy-purple fluff, my Sarong Song Dress—plus 5 new warm-weather items—I certainly felt as if I were deep in My Pretty Pony territory.*

But my wardrobe was saying otherwise.

So I decided to “oh-yeah-I’ll-show-you” the damn thing that I could HANDLE the peeeeenk. I’d force myself to wear only combinations that drew from my sunset shades, and I’d have an amazing, regret-free time doing it.

Adding a rosy wrap to last year’s whoa-pattern! custom dress wasn’t hard to take:

Easing into Project Swaddled in Sunset Shades with a rosy wrap + last year's 40th birthday purchase, the Dress of 1000 Nipples

This rose cascade cardigan is super-sheer, but I'm trying to pretend pattern showthrough--and standing as if I desperately need to find a bathroom--doesn't bother me

I’m afraid I copped out when it came to adding my newly-pink’d up, skintone-flattering sandals to the equation, though. Enter very pale legs sporting store-bought success vs a DIY triumph:

Note my toes' death grip: apparently they fear these new skintone-esque shoes will swapped out for clashy beige

HOWEVER

While my closet analysis revealed I certainly had a few easygoing, mild blush pinks in the house, a lot of highly saturated shades were staring me in the eyeballs.

SP/SU 10 closet color grouping: Sure, my new spring buys were heavy on the better-than-botox pinks...but Team Grey/Black is still winning the numbers game

L, SP/SU 10 Closet Quarantine: The Sunset Shades; R, focus on my 5 post-winter additions

I had planned to pair most of the deeper and/or brighter hues with deep browns and dark denim, but for now that was off the table. So since I’d been itching to wear my coral metallic patent (just add coke spoon necklace!) sandals and the weather was finally decent, they went out for a spin with my new chevron knit skirt:

L, Sarong Song Dress waits for its chance with coral metallic patent wedges; R, chevron skirt beats it to the punch

The skirt I had made up in the same fabric as my cardiwrap because I think it’s SO FREAKING AWESOME. Especially since it solved that eternal question: what do you pair with (misguidedly bought on sale 3 years ago) bright rose micro-fishnets if you don’t want the focus on your legs?

Who says pink is always sweet?

Taking my self-imposed capsulette challenge seriously, man, by mixing pinks and purples

Shaking it up in sunset shades as well as demonstrating that baby got very little back

So far, so good. Mood up, skin glowing.

Before donning items from the most vibrant portion of my capsulette, though, I faltered. Luckily a couple of familiar faces were breaking out THEIR spring brights…surely I could do the same?

Spring 10: Bright Lights

Thus inspired to carry on with my experiment, I forced myself to wear the only pants in this grouping—eggplant cords—with my new Hoedown Scarf, a sleeveless plum sweater, and a long-sleeved berry T-shirt:

Surprisingly, I managed to run around town without dying from sugar shock

Hmmmmmm. A bit HELLO HELLO for my current comfort level, but I survived. On the up side, having experience with a seems-conspicuous-to-me combination may prove useful; while my Raspberry Sorbet Blouse is currently out for alterations, I’m pretty sure it’ll demand to be seen with the chevron skirt when people are around.

Hoedown Scarf + sneak peak of away-for-alterations Raspberry Sorbet Blouse

Based on the last week, I’m thinking I might have to revisit my faxwear capsulette before that day comes. Just to regroup a bit. To cleanse my palate, celebrate my roots. And take a break from having to live up to such goddamn CHEERFUL shades.

* I blame the trifecta of Ms Fizz, CoutureAllure.com’s gorgeous vintage frock, and a certain infamous Funny Face clip for getting me hooked on peeeeeenk. Though I suppose it could be a byproduct of alien abduction.]

Greyed Anatomy

SO.

I recently did this year’s spring/summer closet analysis and realized I might want to pass on buying any grey or black for the warm-weather months. Or quite possibly ever.

Between January and March, though, I naively brought a couple of grey things home. [Ok maybe more like a few. Or possibly “several.”] And if we’re counting pattern—which I will because pattern continues to be a big step forward for me—I bought black. After all, having alloted most of my fall/winter/spring clothing budget to festively hued items, it SEEMED like I should have plenty of color-color knocking around.

Pre-audit, I didn’t understand the harm 5 little items—4 of which were practically being given away—could do to my wardrobe goals.

With my innocence* intact, I never thought to be on guard from this completely over-the-top alternative to my usual plain-Jane-Grey T-shirts. Far from it. Diagonal seaming AND asymmetric draping? Clearly its construction was ideal for helping an ol’ Rectangle such as myself create a few curves. And once home, it never crossed my mind to take it back, given the way its outgoing nature led it to immediately pair up with some old and less-old favorites:

A favorite pair of Clarks meets up with lightweight cords and an extravagantly draped T

New-to-the-queue draped T meets up with older pals

Awwwww...Rectangle-shape-friendly diagonal seaming and draping

But my whoops, I did it again buys [3 solids + 2 patterns aka 1 scarf, 1 pair of casual pants, 1 cardigan-eque wrap and 2 tops]

came with a price other than their fairly modest literal one. I mean there’s no doubt they’re right at home with my closet’s majority leadership, and there’s no doubt they’re versatile. But my wardrobe’s tonality teeter-totter is once again heading briskly DOWN to the dark side.

Does my Contrarian Classicist persona have something to do with these purchasing shenanigans? Probably.

So to give her a break from all the hothouse hues, sunny-delight shades, and perky patterns I’ve been wearing and plotting to wear, I’ve decided to work my not-so-little capsulette. No grey with peeeeenk, no black with berry—just a little cheating with a scarf whose steely-blue sassiness is out of place elsewhere.

While the dial around here is still set to “COLOR,” I think today’s recap shows there’s something to be said for stormy-weather shades.

Here I go again: Ruched blouse + cotton/linen ruffled cardigan, both from seasons past

Old friends: Pearlized pewter heels, ruched blouse, lightweight ruffled cardigan

Hinting at waist definition (or so I tell myself) blouse + 1/2 of an 2007-era suit...a grey tropical wool pencil skirt left at retro-esque length though hemming it up would benefit my shorter-dimension'd gams

A Ms Eileen pic of my shell ring with the new scarf that's sneaking into the grey capsule

Another Ms Eileen pic of my even-scarf-idiots-like-me-can-work-this accessory...an item that's sneaking into the grey capsule

Year 3 or 4 for this year-round delight, from one of my favorite local (flounce-inclined!) designers...worn with my How to Wrap a Rectangle top (a go-to since fall 08)


With special thanks to Ms Eileen—whose photography objectives I explain here—for the gorgeous scarf shots.

* Less innocence than willful ignorance, but the latter rather ruins the narrative arc.