Thursday, August 11, 2011
Outfit for a Wednesday: Belted Cardigan in Navy and Orange
Having longer hair, it is crucial that I maintain proper protection from split ends and general propensity for rat nest formation; keeping a very regular schedule with my hair stylist for cuts is important with keeping the shape, but is also a wonderful luxury for myself. On Tuesday evening, after being quite overdue for an appointment, I treated myself to a wash and a cut. Lately, I have been working very hard to imbue positivity into all aspects of my life and, hackneyed and cheesy as it sounds, when you feel calm and collected and good about the exterior, the interior monologue will surely follow.
That being said, lately, with various activities and time whirling past me at uncontrollable and volatile speeds, pulling together my exterior in a calm, collected manner to promote tranquility and self-confidence on the interior has been more difficult a feat than it should be. Sometimes, pulling together an inspired look requires intense thought, though, more realistically, and more naturally, it requires remembering certain favorite pieces within a wardrobe.
Important to note, and perhaps even laud and applaud, Wednesday morning was the first time I had returned to my hair dryer in weeks, the hot pink appliance growing quite forlorn and sullen, gathering dust and befriending collections of cotton balls in the cabinet under my bathroom sink. It has been entirely too hot and humid to even contemplate styling my hair in any type of meaningful way, besides a high chignon and a braid, but, the new trim and return of my beloved blunt bangs was a great inspiration.
I have had this white linen skirt for a few seasons now, but, despite the crisp white and the navy lining that lend a traditional feel to this piece, have managed to wear it quite sparingly and am still far from weary of it. The skirt is from Ann Taylor Loft, where I had my first real job as a retail sales assistant, and where, even before my own forays in the professional arena, I began to pull together various elements to construct new, unique outfits for the clientele. Though intellectually ingratiating and frequently involving thankless and numbingly ignorant individuals, the job was fun in its own way, mostly for having the opportunity to play dress up with real women. Ann Taylor Loft often features off-balance hues, that are too dusty or too pastel to be attractive, so sticking with neutral basics is a safe bet.
The navy and white striped belt was a find from a local church consignment sale up in Ithaca; originally, it had accompanied a similar, vertically striped navy and white full length dress featuring quite prominent shoulder pads and a broad suit jacket collar, which I had then hemmed into a bubble skirt. I never wore the altered dress and the belt together, feeling that, though I have an intense adoration and attachment to nautical-like stripes, in synergy the two pieces were too much of a good thing. Typically, I wore a bright cherry red belt with the dress, one that, despite my amateur sewing skills, always received many compliments. Foolishly, I discarded the dress while moving from Ithaca to Baltimore, my hometown stint following graduation; the wardrobe expunge was all too necessary, but still, I think back to that dress, costing only a dime and some time, literally, and I remember it fondly.
The orange, gold, camel, navy, and white paramecium patterned cardigan, or paisley, if you will, is a great summer sweater, and one that I had nearly forgotten about, as it was resting in a drawer that I had not opened for quite some time. Creating an amalgamation of different patterns, in this case stripes with a floral-like paisley, is one of my favorite strategies to add visual texture to a look, and to re-purpose either favorite clothing pieces or accessories in a new, innovative way, if they are frequently debuted in my rotation. Both patterns are quite busy, seemingly competing for attention, yet complement one another from a color perspective, and are well balanced by the white skirt.
I think I would probably collapse and die without these shoes, figuratively, but perhaps one day, literally; they are so versatile, I think I wear them at least once a week. I cannot thank my mother enough for giving them to me; such a boon.
Generally, I do not like to overly match my accessories, especially when it comes to wearing both earrings and a necklace; in fact, I typically try to avoid that practice entirely. Most likely stemming subconsciously from visual aesthetic overloading with Mad Men, lately, I have found myself wearing pieces that would be akin to the costume jewelry sets of the 1960s and 1970s. The deep navy with gold inset and pearl feature of these earrings perfectly completes the look of this cardigan, belt, linen skirt combination.