Warm All Over

It’s Groundhog Day!  And with Punxsutawney Phil predicting six more weeks of winter, I give you a fun, respectable, wintry going-out outfit.  Okay, these are my much delayed pictures of my holiday party dress (sorry for the poor quality; we were running late), but here they are, nonetheless, on the cutest American holiday of the year (note: I get a kick out of seeing furry, mammalian creatures, that think they are people).

I changed my outfit at the last minute.  I originally wanted to wear the dress that I ended up wearing for Cool Look for the Cold, but then I realized that it was a tad too short for a company event.  Instead, I opted for a more demure look.  The lace trim is my favorite part of this dress.  I bought this dress for about $7 at Target a couple of years ago.  I think this was one of my best finds.

I covered up with a light sweater and black tights.  Sweaters and tights are my clothing of choice this season; I like how you can feel dressed up but still be relatively comfortable.  I just might have to buy myself a pair of sweater tights to get the best of both worlds.

Speaking of comfort, I hope to end my day with a yummy dinner and a viewing of the highlights from today’s Groundhog Day events.  Think warm thoughts!

P.S.  When I heard of Potomac Phil, a groundhog that made its appearance in DC, I was not anticipating this.

Outfit (Designer/Purchased from):

Dress:  Xhilaration/Target

Sweater:  Julie’s Closet/Marshalls

Tights:  Xhilaration/Target

Shoes:  Steve Madden/Marshalls

Necklace:  Alfani/loaned

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Colorful

Lately, I’ve been on a color kick.  I caught the end of The Royal Tenenbaums the other night, and I was mesmerized by the bold palette and the stylish direction.  Although it’s been awhile since I’ve seen the movie in its entirety, I think the costumes and the soundtrack still have a magnetic appeal.  To me, the film resembles a musical, moving collage of ironic photos.

Smile.

I suppose I’m also intrigued by the unconventional outfits.  When this movie originally came out, I didn’t have the same appreciation of style that I have now.  Now, I see the beauty in a blunt bob and a polo shirt dress or the awesomeness of an all red get-up (even if the outfit in question is a tracksuit).

Awesomely dour.

I’ve definitely become more daring as my taste for the unique and eccentric has developed.  Nowadays, I look for colors and designs that stand out when shopping for clothes and home decor.  I’m very easily drawn to whimsical images amidst a sea of primary colors.  Hence, if the item is cute and has red in it, the chances are pretty good that I will buy it.

Wall decor.*

Colorful angst.

In conclusion, a film that is artfully directed can be a complete design inspiration.  I love to see vibrant hues and vintage pieces in real life and on my television screen.  Because let’s face it–it makes a great backdrop and it gives me yet another reason to go shopping.

*Mark Poulin designs


How Very…’80s

I enjoy being inspired from unlikely sources.  However, I don’t usually know when or what will intrigue me until I see it.  So, color me surprised, when, this past weekend, my fashion inspiration came from two ’80s movies:  St. Elmo’s Fire and Heathers.  Ally Sheedy’s character, Leslie, donned feminine blouses and a long-stranded pearl necklace (with the latter baffingly worn during some intimate moments) in St. Elmo’s Fire.  Conservative yet sophisticated, Leslie’s style sense is perfect for a young woman trying to solidify her status as an adult.  Similarly, Winona Ryder’s character, Veronica, showcased a tremendous assortment of mature blazers and sweaters with full shoulder pads in Heathers.  The exaggerated broad shoulder-look appears to emphasize power and superiority (both attributes essential to the plot of the movie).

Pearls add class to any situation.

Head and shoulders above the rest.

These styles share the look of commanding respect while still appearing respectful (when fully clothed):  two traits that I value, particularly when dressing for the workplace.  Pearls provide a touch of added femininity to a business-type ensemble.  Also, although the shoulder pads were massive in Heathers, I believe that they can still be tastefully used for subtle impact with a well-fitted blazer.

Colorful croquet match.

Love, '80's style.

Other favorites:  the colorful tights and pleated skirts worn by Veronica and the Heathers and the ties and tweed worn by Judd Nelson’s, character Alec.  The ’80s…so very.


A Touch of Grey

Little Edie and Big Edie at Grey Gardens

I watched the 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens, by the Maysles’ brothers last night.  I was intrigued by the mother-daughter dynamic between Big Edie (Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale) and Little Edie (Edith Bouvier Beale) during their time spent together in the decrepit mansion.  Big Edie (the mother) was content sitting amongst her cats in her bed or alone in a rocking chair as she sunned herself on the deck.  Little Edie (the daughter) was an effervescent show-woman who amused herself, as well as the cameramen, with her fanciful songs and dances.

Although the documentary was a revealing look at two people with a certain type of psychosis (that I won’t attempt to analyze or delve into here), it also showed a playfulness that a mother and her adult daughter possessed (notwithstanding the occasional spat).  Both Big and Little Edie sang and played nostalgic tunes off their old record player and showed pictures of their younger selves in a more refined period of their lives.  I enjoyed looking at the older pictures just to catch a glimpse at how beautiful and stylish they both were, and seeing how their current (1970’s) style, although altered by their age, remained appealing in an eccentric way.  Their relationship with each other as well as their sartorial choices during the different phases of their lives kept me interested.

As I continued to watch, I noticed there were many moments of fashion inspiration throughout the film.  The camera would take quick close-ups of Big Edie’s colorfully printed slippers that somehow retained its sheen, despite the overall disarray of Big Edie’s outfit.  Little Edie, on the other hand, welcomed extended shots of her clever yet necessary tailoring of her skirts (considering she had to alter her clothes to fit her changing figure, I gathered that this was what led to her preference for wearing some of her skirts upside-down).  Little Edie proved to be a hoot in her flirty presentation of her first outfit as well as in her subsequent outfits; however, she also showed how she could be self-conscious in a frilly leotard that appeared to be worn especially for the cameras.

March on, Little Edie!

The thoughtful and yet chaotic way in which Little Edie (and to an extent, Big Edie) created her outfits was oddly delightful to see.  It was like capturing two young girls, still naive and fearful of the real world, in the midst of a game of playing dress-up and playing house all at once.  Their fashion sense and way of life have been described as “bohemian,” which seems to be a keen description of the duo.

It was unfortunate that the Beales were not able to comfortably live their lives inside as well as outside of Grey Gardens, but we can only hope that they were happy in their life together.  I’m sure the two Edies would like to be remembered for their talents (Big Edie a gifted singer, and Little Edie a natural performer).  Either way, I would like to believe that the joy of self-expression that both Big Edie and Little Edie shared will leave a positive legacy.  I know they have made a lasting impression on me.


Hallow-Weekly Feature: Crime of Fashion

In the spirit of dressing up for Halloween, I’ve decided to come up with a weekly feature highlighting awesome outfits worn by female movie characters this month.  Every Friday, this October, I’ll showcase one outfit that would be perfect for recreating for a Halloween party (or really anytime at all, but I just like to use Halloween as yet another excuse to dress up).

Unfortunately, this isn’t a list of the most iconic costumes in film, but it will include some well-known outfits.

Today’s outfit:  Bonnie’s outfit from Bonnie and Clyde (as worn by Faye Dunaway).

Smooth criminal.

This outfit is deceptively classy.  Pull the scarf up around your face, and you’ve got a mask to disguise yourself (note:  please only disguise yourself for innocent things like when you want to hide your face from someone you knew 10 years ago because you just can’t remember his or her name, and you’re trying to avoid having an awkward conversation–that kind of thing).

If you have no reason to hide from anyone, this look is actually perfect for the fall.  A sweater, scarf, and hat combo always works for the cooler temperatures.  The slouchy beret and the short-sleeved sweater are matched perfectly with a tweed pencil skirt.  Worn with a pair of nude pumps or wedge boots, this outfit would be cute for a day at the office or for a day of modeling with old-time cars.

So, if you’re looking for an autumnal way to dress this Halloween, this just might be the outfit for you.  Now just make sure that the only thing you steal is the spotlight.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!


Hallow-Weekly Feature: Red Rose

In the spirit of dressing up for Halloween, I’ve decided to come up with a weekly feature highlighting awesome outfits worn by female movie characters this month.  Every Friday, this October, I’ll showcase one outfit that would be perfect for recreating for a Halloween party (or really anytime at all, but I just like to use Halloween as yet another excuse to dress up).

Unfortunately, this isn’t a list of the most iconic costumes in film, but it will include some well-known outfits.

Today’s outfit:  Hermione’s red dress from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:  Part 1 (as worn by Emma Watson).

No delicate flower.

The color!  The mini ruffles!  What’s not to love about this feminine frock?   Apparently, British designer Jenny Packham, who designed this dress, wanted to reflect the real-life fashion sense of Emma Watson.  This look totally works for a more mature Hermione and gives fashionistas an outfit to admire on the silver screen.  I love how her dress reminds me of a beautiful bouquet of roses–it’s so pretty!

So, if you’re looking for a stunning way to stand out, dress your best in a frilly red dress and accessorize with a purple beaded bag that carries (almost) everything.


Plug and Play

What do I love more than great clothes?  Great music (note:  these loves are different from the love that I have for the people in my life in case you were wondering where my priorities were).  I’m currently playing in my car Little Anchor’s CD, Sunland.  It’s a great CD to listen to as you’re driving on a sunny, fall day (full disclosure:  the lead singer is an in-law, but I am really digging their music).

I wanted to have fun with my outfit by matching my clothes to the colors on the tote bag.  Usually, I’ll match my bags to my clothes, but the logo on the bag inspired me to come up with an outfit that I wouldn’t have originally worn.  I chose a navy-blue striped blouse with a sweater vest and decided to wear my favorite pants for the flowy comfort.  I added a pair of vintage of boots to top off the look.

This outfit was perfect for playing around and taking pictures:

A fun way to spend a beautiful afternoon!

Outfit (Designer/Purchased from):

Top:  Max Studio/Marshalls

Sweater:  Kaisley/Marshalls

Pants:  Patrick Robinson for Target/Target

Boots:  Enzo Angiolini/vintage

Bag:  Little Anchor show

Necklace:  Fossil/loaned

Bracelet:  loaned