Sunday, December 18, 2016

One Thing Connects To Another

First off, I don't buy anything unless I like it. And even then, it has to somehow fit what I already have. So if I'm intrigued or distracted by an item, I try to visualize how it might fit with what's in my closet, how it might be styled. One item connects to another and then to another. Over time, a look or style emerges. My style. 


That is how the outfit came to be that I wore recently to a meeting of Missouri Retired Teachers. I started with five base items: the beret, gloves, leggings, bag and boots.

A quick shot and away I went-I was late and it was cold!


The gloves and beret came along years ago. The black beret has been in my closet so long, I have forgotten the when and where purchasing details--but I knew it was safely there.

When I ran across the fur-edged, leather gloves on eBay about six years ago, I knew they would fit  nicely with things I already owned. 

The story is the same with my B Makowsky bag which has been with me for about four years. I like this bag a lot. However, I probably won't be getting too many more B's: the quality just isn't there with the newer ones, plus the company no longer seems to stand behind their product.

If I think something is a bit on the short side, I add leggings. When I was younger, I wore my share of tights. I remember the days of donning a mini skirt and having a matching turtle neck and tights. Did anyone else sport this look back in the day?

The last basic element would be the Ann Klein faux fur topped booties. Rarely these days do I visit Marshalls, TJ Maxx or Ross (unlike ten or so years ago) but I may occasionally drop in. These booties were found at the Ross store in Joplin, MO. I really was taken by them but they weren't cheap. And I just had trouble visualizing how useful they would be with what I had. 

After three days, I could not get them out of my mind. If I can't stop thinking about something, it is best to just give in, go get it and have faith it is going to work out. I had to be back in Joplin later that week, and they were still there! Sometimes, I lose out on an item taking this approach but I just usually don't go for impulse purchases.

For me, these were five great accessories. Still  they needed an anchor point to work together.

It's a sunny-cold day. That's great because it gives me a chance to wear my Marc Jacob sun glasses that I picked up from The RealReal 
last July. Does anyone else find wonderful things there?


The anchor points were to be found at Good Will and Salvation Army. I have never shied away from telling folks that I shop at these two fine establishments--which could lead into my concerns about the fashion industry and the environment. Let me come back to that later. 

Last winter, at Good Will, I ran across an Ann Taylor Loft grey dress with ribbing below where the natural waist was. I think the top was supposed to be a little blousey and hang over the skirt. After trying it on, I understood why it was donated. The dress didn't flatter a body at all. But I liked the color, general design and I loved the dolman sleeves. It was probably senior discount day, so I didn't pay over $2.50 for a dress that looked as if it was never worn. 

Well, I guess I need to add, for me, impulse purchases are OK if it is senior day at Goodwill! 

I now have something that looks like a matched sweater and skirt. This look was very popular when I was in high school.

What to do about the way it looked? I first tried to put a belt with it as in this photo below and still wasn't happy. 

Last week, I had the answer. I just tucked and tacked the ribbed band in place and now it is a faux two-piece look that would flatter any figure. It took just a little time, some thread and a needle.

I just didn't like the way the dress looked in this shot.


The next to the last item for this look is the Diane Von Furstenburg purple and grey herringbone patterned wool jacket with the faux fur collar and raglan sleeves. When I found this one, at Salvation Army, I knew it would look great with my fur topped boots! The purple adds a color that is rarely seen in my closet and the grey anchors it to all my neutral colors--a nice twist.

Shopping at Salvation Army takes a good eye and a lot of patience. Whereas, Good Will is arranged by color, Salvation Army is arranged by item style and you just have to keep looking. Another  difference, is that Good Will charges the same price for similar styles without consideration of brands. An Armani Exchange silk tunic will be the same price as something from Walmart (and yes, I did find this silk tunic). Salvation Army, on the other hand, knows who the designers are. If it is something by a designer such as Calvin Klein, expect to pay extra (it was and I did).

Taming the scarf a bit with a modern art pin allowed me to experiment with an asymmetrical look.

I wanted a black scarf to go with this look. Last year, I picked up some stretch black velvet at JoAnn's with the intention of making some kind of head wrap--which never happened. I took the velvet and backed it with some black silk from my stash. To me, this scarf goes well.


Art accessories are important to me. This is especially true when it comes to my jewelry. Featured on the left is my newest necklace Sticks and Stones by Cydney Ross. I'm wearing it in today's shots, but its not very visible. Cydney is a Kansas City jewelry designer who uses porcelain in her pieces. The pin on the right was purchased at Agora Arts in Decorah, Iowa, years ago. 

My Changing Purchasing Philosophy

During the last four years, I have changed how and from whom I source my garments. My thoughts on buying habits changed when I read Elizabeth L. Cline's book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost Of Cheap Fashion. I just really liked this book and highly recommend it. (see my review ). (By the way, it now is available for less than ten dollars, which includes shipping, from Amazon's used book section.)

After reading Overdressed, I have settled into a general pattern of shopping:
  1. thrift shops, consignment shops and eBay-this gives me extra money to spend on #3.
  2. making it myself-this is no longer about saving money like it use to be in the 60s and 70s. It is about having something unique and being creative.
  3. Midwestern designers-my designers more than likely create their own designs. Purchasing their products is one of the best ways I know to support Made In The USA
  4. and finally, smaller local boutiques, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and online stores such as ASOS and Mango, etc. 
There will always be exceptions. There will be days that I will pick up a pair of socks at Walmart or maybe see a cool pair of jeans at Cato. But those times far and few. I honestly try not to buy "fast fashion".

Looking out for things to augment my style is like cleaning my kitchen because it never ends. I set limits, know what I need, and occasionally make one of those instant decision purchases. 

 I do weed or either pass things along to my daughters if we both think it would be useful to them and, if not, its donation time to the DAV. I realize I have not mentioned sourcing bags and shoes. That needs to be left for another time.

The Polished Accessory


I know this has been a long post but I wanted to share this new gorgeous a-england polish. Look at that scattered holo! This is  one of the most beautiful vampy burgundy's I have ever seen and it's In Robe and Crown from Adina's new collection Tennyson's Romance. I picked it up during Color4Nails Black Friday Sale.

That's all I have for today so...

Adieu until the next time and in the meantime...
Happy Styling!



This week, I am linking up with Patti's Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday HERE Cherie's  Style Nudge's Shoe and Tell HERE, Catherine's Not Dressed As Lamb's I will Wear What I like HERE, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish Turning Heads Tuesday HERE, Living On Cloud Nine's Style Perspectives HERE, Shopping My Closet's Style Me Wednesday HERE, The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore HERE, High Altitude Style's Link-Up HERE, Fashion Should Be Fun's Fun Friday Fashion Link Up HERE, Nancy's Fashion Style's Fancy Friday , Color and Grace's Fashion Link-Up HERE Rachel's (Rachel The Hat) The Passion For Fashion Link-up HERE and Style Crone's Hat Attack HERE.


Photo credit for this week goes to Michael for my portraits and myself for the nail photo.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Want a Change-Its a Snap With Bejeweled By Sheree

Christmas is right around the corner and I have an idea for a fun gift. Bejeweled by Sheree has jewelry that can change with your mood and whim. My friend Sheree, who introduced me to this line, calls this snap jewelry. I was immediately intrigued and asked if we could collaborate. She said, "of course," and let me pick out the pieces I wanted to show.

Jacket: printed leather by Juliana Collezione (eBay)

My first choice was the wrap bracelet which comes in eight different colors. As there is usually a ring on my finger, I picked the silver stretchy ring because I thought it would be fun to match a  ring to the other jewelry.


Look One: The Turquoise Tree snap for the bracelet and the Dragonfly snap on the ring. 

Look Two: The Feur-de-Lis snap is probably one of my favorite snaps. I paired it with the silver and brown marble snap.

The one drawback for me is the small clasp on the bracelet. I have trouble getting it on. I have extra larger lobster clasps with my jewelry making supplies but who knows when I will get around to that.





The third piece I picked is a fringed pendant. I don't know how you feel, but I have finally decided that fringe is going to be around for a while. This particular necklace was picked from Sheree's shop and darn if I can't find it on the web site. Maybe it was discontinued, but there are still other fringe necklaces. I actually like The Long Triangular Drop better than mine. 

Look One
 
Red Chunk Metal Snap for the necklace and Dot Flower for the ring. Silk jacket by Juliana Collezione (eBay)



Look Two
 
For the necklace, Green Triangular Rhinestone Design and the ring Flat With White Square. Cotton/Polyester jacket by Juliana Collezione (eBay)






 Look Three


I picked Flower On Black for the necklace and Black Swirl (a mini) for the ring.  Vintage Wool/Acetate Escada jacket by Margaretha  Ley (eBay)





For the most part, this jewelry is the quality you would find at Target and Charming Charlies. However, Bejeweled also offers a finer sterling silver line that is found in the Exclusive Collection. The elements I am wearing were all made in China. Sheree as taken on a personal challenge to have snaps designed and produced in the USA but can only carry those in her shop. If you are interested in what those are, she would welcome email at bejeweledbysheree@yahoo.com. I am also hoping that she puts some of these original designs on her Facebook page.

The pieces that I am showing today retail between $5-$15, depending on the piece. There are also two different sizes of snaps. The regular snaps such as the ones I am wearing are 18mm and mini snaps which are 12mm. The minis take different base pieces. Most regular snaps are $4 and minis are around $2.

I will warn you that the site is huge. I used the search function a lot and would search by subject matter or color. A good example would be football. With that search, five regular size snaps come up along with three mini. This doesn't even count the mini snaps of every American professional football team. 

I hope I have helped with some Christmas shopping decisions and will list some important links. If I had granddaughters, I am pretty sure they would find a few pieces under the tree. If you live near Adrian, MO,  head over to Byrds on Main Street and visit Sheree's shop and pick up one of Jennifer's pecan pies while you are at it. We had both her Classic and Carmel for Thanksgiving-Heaven!



Links to Sheree:

Bejeweled By Sheree Online shopping site
Bejeweled By Sheree Facebook page 

That's all I have for today so...

Adieu until the next time and in the meantime...
Happy Styling!




This week, I am linking up with Patti's Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday HERE Cherie's  Style Nudge's Shoe and Tell HERE, Catherine's Not Dressed As Lamb's I will Wear What I like HERE, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish Turning Heads Tuesday HERE, Living On Cloud Nine's Style Perspectives HERE, Shopping My Closet's Style Me Wednesday HERE, The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore HERE, High Altitude Style's Link-Up HERE, Fashion Should Be Fun's Fun Friday Fashion Link Up HERE, Shelbee's Edge of the Week Link Up HERE, Nancy's Fashion Style's Fancy Friday , Color and Grace's Fashion Link-Up HERE Rachel's (Rachel The Hat) The Passion For Fashion Link-up HERE and Style Crone's Hat Attack HERE.


Photo credit for this week goes to Michael for my portraits and myself for the shop photos.



Sunday, November 6, 2016

Welcoming November

I am a woman of few prints. When I find one that I adore, I am ecstatic! One of those moments happened at the clearance rack at Tulip, a locally owned boutique in Kansas City. 



With its fall colors on the black background, this dress just seemed perfect for November. It didn't hurt that it was just a tad hippy dippy.  


It was windy!

Between the ruffled neck, black lace insets, flounced hem and brass topped tassels in the back, I am having so much fun with this dress. 


You've all seen our Bennett before

Oh, those tassels
 I think Michael was a little surprised when I brought this one home but once he saw me with my black tights and hat, he understood.

There is one other very special item in this styling and it is my Tom Thomas' Spiral Bag. About a dozen years ago, I found it at the Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City. Tom Thomas and his son Shawn are award winning leather craftsmen and their bags are unique designs with an artistic flair. 

My hat is Steve Madden picked up from Marshalls. The shoes are by Life Stride from The Shoe Dept.

Like Minded People

I am fortunate to belong to the Kansas City Blog Guild. The guild is open to all area bloggers. Our members cover the gambit of blogging subjects: family, fashion, food, business to cite a few. It means a lot to me to connect with like-minded people because sharing enriches all of us. 


Robin in her beautiful store

The blog guild's fall meetup was at Tulip, a locally owned Kansas City boutique. Each of us were gifted a clutch by Robin and her staff. Other brands were also in attendance: Beauty Brands, Zoetic, Annedore's Confectioners and Coveted Home. It was a perfect evening in a beautiful setting. 

I think this clutch that I received from Tulip at the meetup is very much me



The Polished Accessory
  

 a-england has been on the blog before. Its a British polish line created by Adina Bodana. a-england is A+ when it come to formula and is highly regarded in the polish world. With collections titled The Mythicals, Gothic Beauties and Heavenly Quotes, a-england the most romantic polish line I know. The vampy color I am wearing for this post is Briarwood from the Burne-Jones Dream collection.  Unless you live in Britain, the only way to get a-england is from an online company that specializes in a world selection of polishes such as Color4Nails and Beautometry. 



Today's post is very simple, just a dress that I loved and one special bag. That's all I have for today so.......

Adieu.
I will see you next week and in the meantime, Happy Styling!




* FYI-When you see the light blue (ans they turn red when you hover them) lettering in my posts, this means a link. These links will take you to the online site of whatever I am talking about.

This week, I am linking up with Patti's Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday HERE Cherie's  Style Nudge's Shoe and Tell HERE, Catherine's Not Dressed As Lamb's I will Wear What I like HERE, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish Turning Heads Tuesday HERE, Living On Cloud Nine's Style Perspectives HERE, Shopping My Closet's Style Me Wednesday HERE, The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore HERE, High Altitude Style's Link-Up HERE, Fashion Should Be Fun's Fun Friday Fashion Link Up HERE, Shelbee's Edge of the Week Link Up HERE, Nancy's Fashion Style's Fancy Friday and Rachel's (Rachel The Hat) The Passion For Fashion Link-up HERE and Style Crone's Hat Attack HERE.




Photo credit for this week goes to Michael for the photos of me and me for the mani.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Inspired By The Past

Kansas City Fashion Week has come and gone. This is my third post covering those events. Usually, I would have rolled all the styles into one post. However, each of the stylings inspired something extra.

This was the third year Rachelle and I went to the Saturday night runway show. I wore pants each time. I'm not sure why I do that, it just happens. I was even planning to wear a skirt up to one week before but then went for pants, again.





This year, I was inspired by the 1930's pajama pants. Although, the French started wearing these wide legged pants in the 1920's, American women didn't start wearing this style as pure enjoyment until the 30's. This is probably the first time American women wore pants in a fashion sense. Usually, pants were only worn for practical reasons or to make political statements

I've always thought this pant style was chic. With a bottom leg width of 48 inches, my pants swish, flow and makes me feel so elegant.


I made my pants using Vogue 1168, a design by Donna Karan. Unfortunately, Vogue is not offering Donna Karan designs any longer. But, this pattern is still available across the Internet. The fabric I picked was 100% polyester Peachskin from Joann's. 

Also, I made my Mazarine Blue silk (from Mood Fabrics) blouse using Simplicity 1590. This pattern is a vintage reproduction from the 1940's and I think the two styles from the different decades go together nicely.


Silk reacts to light more than any fabric I know, which is why I love silk so much. In every photo, the blue looks a different shade, depending on the lighting. 

Part of any experience like this is the red carpet, of course. 




We always take a Selfie!




I love hand stitching and especially running stitches because I think they elevate a piece. With this blue silk being so dark, I knew that not many people would see my silk thread stitches. But I know they are there. Sometimes that is what counts. I equate it to having an incredible lining for a jacket; if it is seen or not is not important. It's just your little secret that makes you happy.

 If you are a button aficionado, these buttons are Czech glass that I found on eBay. 




My still life shows the finer points: the silk thread running stitches, the black silk bow and the metallic surface of the Nine West heels. With these, I think I have reached the height of my "heeliness". These are the highest I am ever going! It also features one of my Turkish rings, a black pearl double strand bracelet and my Jessica McClintock clutch. 


Just a Few looks from the 30's

I think these pants need to make a major comeback! What do you think?
 











I realize that not everyone can or wants to sew and so found a pair of pajama pants (or close to) from the Gap for $59. I had a Joanne coupon and my total outlay (including notions) was $31 but I also spent a week making them (on and off).


I actually bought this pattern for the top but never got it made. Maybe some day.


Vogue 1168


I was worried about how this blouse style would look on my figure. I certainly don't have the type of figure shown on this pattern front (I never do!) but I think it looks fine and I really love this design.



The Painted Accessory

I kept the nails dark and did a double layer mani. The bottom coat is Dazed by Cult Nails (no longer in business). The top glitter coat is Cirque's Laser Jet from their collection that they did for the Met's Manus x Machina exhibit. 




And the last word about moving the needle. 

Those who have followed me for a while know that I believe in the value of even the most rudimentary sewing skills. Being able to hem a garment, sew on a button of mend a seam saves both time and money. 

Beginning sewing classes can be found at local fabric stores and online at Craftsy. Craftsy offers classes in quite a few creative areas and even have free classes. A couple of free classes that I have in my class library are Mastering Zipper Techniques and Design Your Own Handbags. 

Currently, I am watching Steffani Linceum's class Pattern Drafting From Ready To Wear. I even have a non sewing class; Focaccia and Flatbreads From Around The World. Craftsy occasionally has sales on their classes. If you get on their mailing list, they will let you know when they are.

That's all I have for today so.......

I will say adieu.
I will see you next week and in the meantime, Happy Styling!




This week, I am linking up with Patti's Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday HERE Cherie's  Style Nudge's Shoe and Tell HERE, Catherine's Not Dressed As Lamb's I will Wear What I like HERE, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish Turning Heads Tuesday HERE, Living On Cloud Nine's Style Perspectives HERE, Shopping My Closet's Style Me Wednesday HERE, The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore HERE, High Altitude Style's Link-Up HERE, Elegance and Mommyhood's Moda Thursday HERE, Fashion Should Be Fun's Fun Friday Fashion Link Up HERE, Shelbee's Edge of the Week Link Up HERE, Nancy's Fashion Style's Fancy Friday and Rachel's (Rachel The Hat) The Passion For Fashion Link-up HERE and Style Crone's Hat Attack HERE.




Photo credit for this week goes to Michael for my photos and me for the rest with the exception of the photos from KCFW. They were found on the KCFW Facebook page.



Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Balancing Act

For me, styling a look is not so different from creating a design. I use many of the same thought processes that I use when creating or teaching art. Elements need to be balanced to create a pleasing coherent composition. Line, color, shape and texture all can be counterpoised to play off each other but at the same time complement. There can be a dominant element and the other elements can be used to support and carry out a theme.



With this introduction, I will talk about my choices made for what I wore to Kansas City Fashion Week's Friday night fashion show. When I wear my Amina Marie hat, I am creating the dominant element in my design. Many hats have this power. Previously, I showed this hat with an eclectic textured design. This time I was better served with a clean minimal palette. 

My base is a vintage 100% lined wool (no label but made in the USA), very simply designed dress. Yes, it was thrifted and was the perfect piece for what I had in mind. Only three other pieces were needed. Each of these pieces have subtle designs of their own, but together they play nicely. 


And it has pockets!

 My Tahari shoes have three textures and tones: dark grey suede, medium grey reptile-like texture, and black elastic. They were new last year and besides the texture I was attracted to the more pointed toe. I know this toe feature is not going to appeal to everyone but I like variety to choose from.

My clutch also has texture and shade variations that I appreciate. The Leo clutch, because of the star laser cutouts, plays with light and shadow on its surface. The zipper coil edge just makes it more interesting but not overpowering. Rebecca Minkoff has had a lot of fun designing different versions of the Leo. I could see me owning more than one of these beauties. 


Kansas City jewelry designer Lilly Dawson created my Quad Link necklace. She creates some beautiful pieces for good value. This chain link piece adds a modern edge to any look. The three different metal tones makes it very versatile. I haven't tried it, but I think it might make a great bracelet too. 



Some textures just can't be seen from the distance so, again, I have put together a still life. This photo shows off the lush texture of fur felt. It has so much of a softer and thicker texture than the usual wool felt. With this photo, I can also show you why I wanted these booties. Face it, I am a texture loving woman and these just were my version of perfect texture play.


This little guy went with me. He's small and no one ever really knows he's there, but I do. He came from my favorite online jewelry maker out of Thailand, Gemsporium (eBay).

Hello, I'm Terri's tiny little finger jaguar!


Would you like to see some pics from Friday night? I hope so because I have three.

With my favorite milliner, Amina. Amina is wearing one of her new ready to wear hats. As soon as she has her new website up, be assured I will announce it here. She is having her original designs manufactured in New York.


I also wanted to share my two favorite lines from Friday evening.

Asiatica creates garments using vintage and new materials for a unique look. Asiatica mission statement is to create "Japanese inspired, American made-Timeless Clothes For a Worldly Woman". Although Asiatica has been designing and producing garments in Kansas City since 1977, this was their first appearance at Kansas City Fashion Week. It was an amazing collection.

Michael Drummond (St. Louis and of Project Runway fame) brought it with his amazing surreal nocturnal digital prints of nature. These were amazing. This young man is becoming a bad habit. Again, I brought one of his pieces home with me. If you want to see his designs closer, you will need to go to his Istagram feed.

This brings me to the end. I think today that I sure sounded like an art teacher. It was fun to talk about styling in terms that I have used so often during my lifetime. Frankly, that is how I think when I decide what to wear for a special occasion. I guess you could say I style with design in mind.
 
That's all I have for today so.......

I will say adieu.
I will see you next week and in the meantime, Happy Styling!



This week, I am linking up with Patti's Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday HERE Cherie's  Style Nudge's Shoe and Tell HERE, Catherine's Not Dressed As Lamb's I will Wear What I like HERE, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish Turning Heads Tuesday HERE, Living On Cloud Nine's Style Perspectives HERE, Shopping My Closet's Style Me Wednesday HERE, The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore HERE, High Altitude Style's Link-Up HERE, Fashion Should Be Fun's Fun Friday Fashion Link Up HERE, Shelbee's Edge of the Week Link Up HERE, Over 50 Feeling 40 Hit Your Style HERE,Rachel's (Rachel The Hat) The Passion For Fashion Link-up HERE and The Style Crone's Hat Attack.


Photo credit for this week goes to Michael for my photos and me for the rest with the exception of the photos from KCFW. They were found on the KCFW Facebook page.