Last week, in an effort to pull myself up from the bowels of winter doldrums and combat the black monochrome maelstrom, I sought relief and alliance with some summer staples: a bright, purple and turquoise floral, tea-length dress and a pop of poppy colored sheets of horizontal pleats dress. One of my favorite strategies to pull greater versatility out of certain wardrobe pieces, and in this case, harness the power of their patterns and color, is to wear dresses as skirts; essentially, this is merely mildly more creative layering. Inherent to the dress is a skirt of some type, in one case here fuller and more flowing, in the other more fitted, almost pencil-like; incorporating either a button-down blouse, a thick sweater, or a blazer gives the illusion of a completely different outfit, without any physical alterations or financial expenditures.
Large purple and white flowers, splotched with hints of gray and black, scattered across a turquoise background: the perfect pattern to embrace in an effort to avoid the convenience and the mundane of constant black.
With such a large scale, almost histrionic pattern in the skirt, I selected a simple black wool sweater, which features a slightly embellished neck line, a sort of faux cowl neck with a few buttons that trace the clavicle and shoulder line on the left arm. I rather like the juxtaposition of textures, the illusory soft petals of large exotic flowers, likely on a decadent brink of decay, competing with and complementing the heavy knit of the warm sweater.
With the sweater being a bit loose and over-sized, I added a wide cream leather belt with a golden accented buckle. The dress alone has a fitted bodice, cinching a bit at the waist, before falling voluminously into a fuller skirt. With the sweater, this structure, unfortunately, was a bit obscured; the belt was my attempt to emulate it.
For a final flair, large circular golden quilted earrings.
Thankfully, last week, the ground was still free of ice, slush, other detritus from the perpetually gray sky, so I was able to wear these black leather and suede lace-up pumps.
For my second chunky sweater meets summer dress concoction, I decided to wear this warm weather favorite: a light Calvin Klein simple sheath dress, with a plain scoop neck and a layers of flat horizontal ruffles. I feel like there is a single, perfect word to describe this type of shearing in a fabric, and it continues to elude me; my brain, lately, is a giant sieve for all types of knowledge and secrets I had hoped I would forever savor.
This deep navy sweater actually has a fair amount of black thread woven into the mix, creating the dark color and a great contrast with the bright poppy. I had ordered this sweater online, from Gap, during one of the infamous sales, always touted as events that are exclusive and not to be missed; I was a bit disappointed with the various fabric components of the sweater, but, the touch is soft and natural, and the price was right.
Cream and golden swirl earrings, along with a brassy gold chain-link bracelet, which had once belonged to my grandmother. In December, during a pre-Christmas family trek into Brooklyn to visit with my new baby niece and to celebrate, I went with my brother and parents to the Brooklyn flea market; I found a piece identical to this bracelet, being sold for 175$. If there are any offers out there, I am probably not willing to bargain, but I am always willing to entertain a negotiation and a new argument.
These shoes were exactly what my closet was missing; classic and sensible.