Friday, October 28, 2011

Introducing...the articulated enamel necklace.

This is part of a set, actually.

There are matching screw-back earrings which I can't wear because of the enlarged holes in my ears. I love my eyelets, but I do miss wearing earrings. If I'm honest, I have to admit that I probably wouldn't wear this necklace and matching earrings together anyway, but on occasion, having the option of wearing earrings might be fun. And shouldn't one of the benefits of having super short hair be showing off awesome earrings?

The seriously adorable Becky of Becky Lee Dreams manages to make all kinds of earrings work with stretched earlobes- in fact she even has a tutorial for this on her blog. I need to start wearing earrings again. If there's one thing I won't stand for it's a self imposed fashion limitation. Expect to see earrings here soon.

I've worn this dress, in pretty much exactly the same way, a couple of times already. I chose to wear it again today because, of all the things I own, it makes me feel like a fashion blogger. This was important because I was a guest lecturer in a textiles class- talking about "Fashion Subjectivity and New Media."  Specifically, how the user generated content of *What-I-Wore-Today* style blogs is broadening the definition of who is a fashion subject.  This is my master's thesis research project so I'm passionate about the material I presented. I had some major technical difficulties with my presentation and didn't get use the PowerPoint I spent hours preparing. I didn't have any visual aids or pretty pictures of other bloggers. It was just me, alone, at the front of the class. Thank goodness I liked my outfit!

In a side note, I had a bizarre experience walking to campus in this outfit. While crossing the street, a guy in a truck cut me off. I gave him a big smile as a way of saying, "No big deal. I'm not mad," and continued on my way without giving it another thought. Then suddenly there's the guy in the truck again. He'd circled the block and was keeping pace with me, smiling and sort of nodding at me. I was completely flummoxed by the situation and not sure what to do. I chose to ignore it completely. This worked actually, as he followed me for a while and then gave up (on what? I'm not sure) and turned the corner. But I was concerned for a while- did he think I looked like a prostitute? What do prostitutes look like in Davis? At 10 o'clock in the morning? Was it the boots? Or may he just thought I was someone he knew? Curious.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Introducing...the sparkly bead necklace.

Today I bring you the second installment of my 'jewelry inheritance' series. The predominantly golden brown and green colors of this five strand bead necklace aren't what I would usually be drawn to, but since it also has a subtle glint of a beautiful light turquoise-y blue I felt it would coordinate well with a lot of my wardrobe.

Wouldn't you know it?- it looks way more interesting paired with my existing wardrobe than a necklace in shades of blue or purple, which is what I would have chosen had I been offered a full assortment of colors. So, I think I've learned a valuable lesson: experiment with color, especially where accessories are concerned. Colors that have never been my favorites can enhance (and be enhanced by) those that I typically adore.

I'm still not really progressing very quickly towards my goal of having a wardrobe full of clothes that I love. I'm continuing to get rid of things that I don't like but awesome things to build up my wardrobe aren't exactly pouring in to fill up the empty wardrobe space I'm creating. The September shopping moratorium is long over but in good conscience I can't really go shopping- even at the thrift store- until I get a job. And, as always, the only things I find myself lusting after are shoes, hats, and jewelry. I need real clothes!

Man, I really do not love posting these side shots!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Introducing...the rhinestone choker.

I mentioned earlier that I just received quite a bit of jewelry that used to belong to my stepfather's mother. This windfall caused me to become almost impossibly behind on my minimizing resolution (to get rid of five items for every one I acquire.) I've caught up now and so I feel that I can start featuring the jewelry here with a clear conscience.  I'm going to try and show you something new every day until you've seen it all.

I'm not going to pretend that I chose a particularly inspired outfit to wear with this necklace today. But the boring outfit serves to highlight how wearable this necklace is, in spite of the fact that it is rhinestones. I think it adds just the right amount of sparkle to an everyday outfit.

Seeing these pictures really drives home the realization that I'm back at square one in the shaping up department. Chris and I fell hard off of the health wagon and haven't been able to climb back on. It's time for us to get serious again- hopefully this time it'll stick.

I haven't felt much like posting lately, mostly because of the weight regain, but I've got to get over it. Especially if I'm going to show you all my great new jewelry. Promise you'll focus more on my baubles than my bulges? 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Suddenly, I have a watch collection.

Five qualifies as a collection, right?

I enjoy wearing a wristwatch. Although I've read that wearing one is supposed to be a tell tale sign of advanced age- the kiddies use their cell phones to check the time. I carry an iPhone, but it's in my purse and thus requires stopping and hunting while I can check my watch with a flick of the wrist. Actually, it's this flick of the wrist that is one of the things that I like best about wearing a watch. I wear my watch with the face on the inside of the wrist so glancing at the time involves a little semi-circular flourish of the left hand. I freely admit this is more than a little affected- I practiced this motion with an empty wrist for a couple of months in preparation for my first bracelet style watch, (buckle style bands don't look quite right when the watch is worn face in.) What can I say? I really enjoy when there's some sort of stage business involved with apparel or accessories. I'd have been blissfully happy in one of those historical moments when every emotion could be communicated with a fan. I believe pearls should be clutched as an indication of surprise, dramatic gestures are even more grand when accompanied by the tinkle of bracelets, nothing garnishes a cocktail like a glittering cocktail ring, and there's nothing more fetching than the sight of a palm daintily held aloft as you peer at the timepiece on your wrist.

This week I become an accidental collector of watches. It's a surprise, because I've been what you might call a one watch watch woman, or at least a one watch at a time woman, wearing my current watch everyday, day in day out, without fail. Except lately, because the battery in the watch I had been wearing died in the summer and I still haven't managed to remember to take it to be replaced. (I love getting stuff but I can be terrible about maintenance.)

Here are the watches I currently own, in reverse chronological order of acquisition:

#1. Skagen Mickey Mouse watch:

A gift to commemorate our first wedding anniversary, which we spent at Disneyland with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law whose anniversary is three days (and five years) apart from ours. I think our combined celebration might have been a little confusing to some people at the park, a few of whom seemed to be wondering if we were all married to each other.

It's very subtle as Mickey Mouse watches go. I'm completely enamored with the woven metal strap. 

#2. Tiny gold Waltham pocket watch:

My parents are currently selling my stepfather's mother's house. She passed away a number of years ago but some things took a long time to settle and for a while they thought they might keep her house in Pennsylvania as a vacation home, or even retire there. It's become obvious lately that this wasn't going to be tremendously practical and they've made the decision to sell, which meant finally removing the last of my step-grandmother's possessions. Since I'm pretty much the only one in the family with any interest in vintage jewelry I scored big. My mom let me take everything I thought I night wear. (Let me tell you, you can be pretty well served by developing a reputation as someone who likes old stuff. I've been really surprised over the years by the number of people who have given me treasures that belonged to people that they cared about because they wanted their things to be appreciated. And appreciate them I do!)

I don't wear gold, really, at all. But I'm enchanted by the adorable, petite scale of this little watch. I'm planning to incorporate some sort of mixed metal treatment to make it more wearable for me. I'm thinking of suspending it from a heavy silver chain with a couple of strategically placed gold beads and wearing it as a pendant. I'm hoping the watch can be restored to working order, but even if that's not possible I'll still wear it.  The back of the watch is engraved with the initials S.C. (as near as I can tell) but those initials don't belong to any family members I know. I'm hoping my parents can provide some more information and perhaps a back story.

#3. Movado Museum watch:

This has been my everyday watch for years. It was a collective graduation present from Chris, my family, and Chris's family, (who are now my family too, but weren't at the time.) It's a strikingly decorative watch. It wears very much like a bracelet, especially when worn with the face on the inside wrist. It is also a bit difficult for me to tell time on this watch unless I already have a pretty good idea of what time it is. To be perfectly honest, I sometimes have to double check against my phone to be sure I haven't misjudged where the numbers ought to be and made myself an hour early or an hour late for an important appointment. I try to do this checking surreptitiously because it makes me feel a bit silly.

Because the bracelet is loose on my wrist the face of this watch has taken a bit of a beating. This is the watch that needs a new battery. I'll have to check when I take it in to see if anything can be done to refresh the face and

#4. Bulova tank watch:

This was my first 'nice' watch- meaning my first watch that was displayed for sale under the counter, rather than in a plastic spinner on top of the counter. This was the watch for which I practiced the wrist flip. It was a Christmas gift from my mom. It was my everyday watch until I received the Movado, and I haven't worn it since.

#5. My original Mickey Mouse watch:

This watch dates back to a Disneyland trip circa 1975. I can't remember if my parents bought this for me or my grandparents. (This was also the trip where my father traumatized me by convincing me that I really needed to steer the car on Mr's Toad's Wild Ride and not run into anything. As a child I used to have a recurring nightmare of being left alone in our Volvo, which suddenly stared itself, and having to attempt to drive myself to safety. I inevitably crashed and woke in a cold sweat with my heart hammering in my chest. I didn't ultimately get my driver's license until I was 34 years old. I'm not sure if any of these things are actually related.)

I wore this watch as a child, and again, with not so subtle irony, as a punky teenager. At some point the strap was replaced and then at some later point the watch ceased to function. The winder is broken, which is why Mickey appears to be hiding his face in these photos. I'd have moved his hands for his photo-op if I could. I've been wanting to have Mickey refurbished but I'm a little afraid to find out that it can't be done. I don't want to know that Mickey's a gonner.

So there you have it. In the past few days I've acquired two new (to me) watches, resulting in the formation of a small collection. But I'm going to have to enlist the services of a professional because I now own five watches, only one of which is currently functional.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Proof that I might have the greatest husband ever.

You already know my husband takes my blog photos. He's patient and encouraging and enthusiastic about the blog. He also picked out this dress- and the dress I'm wearing in Saturday's post.

Chris is really proud of his ability to choose clothes that flatter me. For the most part he enjoys shopping with me. He's willing to search the racks for things he thinks I'll like. When I'm wearing things that he selected, he's eager to tell people that he found them for me.

But before you get too jealous, we had the following exchange about these shoes while taking pictures this morning:
Him: Those are the weirdest looking shoes.
Me: I like them. And I get lots of complements on them.
Him: I don't know how you can be getting compliments on those shoes. The toes look all curled up. You look like someone dropped a house on you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wayne Wichern Trunk Show.

This is yesterday's outfit. I got home to late last night to post.

This is what I wore to attend the special preview evening for milliner Wayne Wichern's Fifteenth Annual Fall Trunk Show at Fino Fino.

I currently own three of Wayne's hats. Only one has made it onto the blog so far. I must remedy that as soon as the temperature around here drops a bit more- they're all fall felts. This is the second time on the blog for this fedora. The official name of this hat is the 'Z fedora' because of the unusual shape of the crease in the crown. In my house this hat is affectionately known as the 'Film Noir Fedora' because when I first acquired it I insisted on giving myself a noir detective style voice over: "From the minute the dame stepped into my office I could tell she was trouble- the kind of trouble that ends with a bullet. I should have sent her packing. But what can I say? I'm a sucker for a dame."

These are the hats that were my favorites from the trunk show. The photos are from my cell phone so you'll have to excuse the quality.

Contestant number one: 
A double brimmed sixties style cloche in red and black. Last night I was thinking it has a bit of an Audrey Hepburn in Charade kind of vibe, but today I've been looking stills from the movie and all she seems to be wearing are pillboxes and scarves. This looks to be the closest to what I was imagining and it's not the same at all!
Image from here.

Contestant number two:
The 'Grande Rose Cloche' in pistachio. This would be a big departure from my usual style. I don't usually do flowers on hats. This hat was the front runner for a while. I loved it in person but then I saw myself in the photos. More photos were taken of this hat than any of the others and I wasn't thrilled with any of them. I feel that, being a blogger, one has to defer to the photographic evidence. The photos in this case say 'crazy' not 'cute.'

Contestant number three: 
The 'Lena Cloche.'  I'd have this made in khaki (similar to the pistachio above but slightly less yellow) with a contrasting bow/band in navy. This style is one that I've had my eye on for a while. It's an easy hat to wear and the scale is good for my face. This would be a great *grab and go* hat for me- something I could jam on my head and go to brunch in without fixing my hair. In spite of all the things this hat has going for it I always seem to end up picking something a bit more striking; something that's a bit more challenging to wear.  And this time is no exception.

I chose hat number one. Wayne is making a slightly scaled down version for me as everyone agreed this one looks a little large on me. And why did I choose this one? Because when I sent these photos to Chris, he sent me a text saying he fell more in love seeing me in hat number one. Well, there was a texting typo so actually what he said was, "Honestly...I fell even more in live with you in hat #1," but I got the message.