What to Wear #37: Mischief Managed

I do own clothes to wear them repeatedly, not just once, hence today’s choice is the Marauder’s Map dress I have already had the pleasure of mentioning on this blog. I’m not sure if I’m up to no good, but then I’ll know for sure only when I put on the dress.

It’s a comfortable fit and provides built-in reading entertainment should it be too crowded on the bus to take my book out of my bag. I have yet to locate Harry. Map-wiping for two different looks is not included yet, but I’m sure someone’s working on it. Then again, I don’t have a wand, but maybe a non-verbal spell would work.

The dress laces up in the back, so it’s better to get that set before you put it on, making sure that the dress both fits well and you can still out it on/ take it off without having to undo your hard work with the strings.

Knee-length black leggings will join the ensemble for that ever-present possibility of a strong breeze in the lovely city of Hamburg, as well as these earrings I grabbed on sale a couple of months ago (most like in SIX or one of the usual suspects), a ring that reminds me of my visit to Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Paris and a dab of lipgloss. Ready to geek! I mean, ready to go.

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What to Wear #27: Black and White…

“…look alright.” That’s a quote from a cartoon called Muzzy in Gondoland, which I saw as a small child. Some lines from it are stuck with me forever and lend themselves very well to various style situations. Actually, most, if not all of those lines come from a song one of the main characters, Princess Sylvia is singing as she prances about her castle choosing dresses. Mais oui! The fact that I adored Muzzy is the reason why even as an adult I still sing “I’VE GOT A YELLOW DRESS/ YELLOW IS FOR HAPPINESS” (another line from Sylvia’s song) at the top of my lungs when I pull out my yellow dress.

Yeah, I’m still basically just a weird kid. But we’re not talking about yellow, are we? We’re talking about black and white…and grey! Because only two colors is too little to work with for me, at least today.

I had thrown something casual together over the weekend and my sibling said in passing that it all matched. Coincidentally, the matching colors were black and white. The compliment stayed with me and cycled around my head, resulting in the following choices. I’m also meeting a dear friend I haven’t seen in a long time, so I want to look nice – she is naturally good at dressing tastefully and I always enjoy seeing her outfits, as well as the sparkle in her eye.

The knee-length sleeveless black jersey dress can be worn with literally almost anything, it can be dressed down, up, layered with other items in the winter, worn with a light scarf over the summer – yes, Coco, you were right. Though I wouldn’t characterize it as an LBD, because being tall, I don’t have anything little, but Coco’s wisdom is universal. The grey leggings are comfortable and of a nice stone grey which I like. The short white cardigan prevents the outfit from feeling or looking a tad severe, and the black and white scarf I mentioned once on this blog picks up on all the colors in the outfit, as well as providing the touch of whimsy I usually crave. Black heeled ankle boots will help me get from A to B.

I do enjoy my pop of color, so dangly earrings with a bright green stone (no, not jade, but something nice and semi-precious) in the ears and an intriguing lipstick from The Body Shop in the shade Colour Crush (warm, pinkish red tone) on the lips. The lipstick also has a little bit of glitter in it – bonus!

What to Wear #15

What kind of a week would it be without a red flower-patterned dress? It is spring, after all. This dress is special to me. My mother bought it years ago in New York City. It’s made from excellent cotton, red background, short sleeves, blue and white flowers that look like they’ve been taken off a canvas painting and delicate white lace edging around the collar. I remember looking at her wearing it when I was little and walking hand-in-hand together after she picked me up from school during spring afternoons. I would pick flowery outfits to match and feel what I thought was grown-up as we walked home together.

The dress was originally long, all the way down to the heels, and after my mother gave it to me fairly recently, I asked if I could shorten it somewhat, et voila. It lives on, just updated a little. It’s still as comfortable as ever and I feel cheerful when I wear it.

I already written about my love of playing with combinations of red and blue, so here goes! Dark-blue leggings and a short blue cardigan in a shade similar to the blue flowers on the dress. In the case of combining things with a patterned piece of clothing, everything I need to know for inspiration is already on it. I just pick a colour to work with, be it the background or the pattern elements themselves, and the harmony usually takes care of itself. Otherwise, obviously there’s a variety of reliable choices for cardigans, trousers, scarves that almost always works with a patterned item: black, navy blue, grey, white and denim.

Small pearl studs are a tiny tribute to the feminine style of the dress and the way it reminds me of the 1950s. No red lipstick this time, there is more than enough red in this outfit, just the Happiness in a Bottle lipgloss.

What to Wear #1

Yep, the dark cherry/magenta/or is it dark fuchsia dress with the three quarter sleeves. It’s tailored very nicely, but it does look better without that sneaky winter flab around the waistline and hips, which I have hopefully (begun to) shed (a little). On the other hand, who cares, I want to wear it and I sure as heck will. Always liked that A-line skirt, slightly 50s, though it’s a wee bit short for tights, so no tights, let’s get the box of leggings down. I love rummaging around in there.

It’s funny how you sometimes come back to the things you wore practically “Eight days a weeeek” as a child, and thankfully they are available and acceptable as adult clothes now. I did want to walk to work, and it might be windy in this windy city of Hamburg, so leggings definitely are the better choice (no desire for a Seven Year Itch situation here), plus if it does get warmer during the day and stays sunny, I might pop out to the park during lunch with the book I’m dying to finish, almost 640 pages, but what do you expect from a Swedish crime thriller like The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler.

OK, let’s go with the flower-patterned leggings. I think those flowery high heels in the Love’s Just a Feeling music video by the one and only Lindsey Stirling imprinted themselves on my brain tissue. Figures, shoes. She directed the video, atta girl, I think I’ll watch it again after I’m done here, her creative energy and drive are just so uplifting. The light pink blossoms with the darker bits on the petals pick up the hue of the dress and I always thought the turquoise-ish of the other flowers was a good contrast to dark cherry/magenta/or is it dark fuchsia.

The dress zipper is gold, so I guess that means the same for accessories (pet peeve). Gold hoop earrings from Claire’s and those three rings I can stack up, one small round stone on each – fuchsia, turquoise, dark beige, each one picks up on the flowers on the leggings too. I can wear these with so many outfits, because the rings harmonize with each other and as long as one goes with the outfit color scheme, I can get away with wearing them all.

Oh yes, shoes, always important, “Come on, feet” – Labyrinth is such a great movie, maybe I’ll watch it after I watch Love’s Just a Feeling. It’s too warm for boots during the day, but it’s still chilly around the ankles in the morning, and who likes being chilly around the ankles? Leg-warmers for the walk it is, the 80s never went away, but as I told a friend recently, one practically always has a scarf at hand in this city, and leg-warmers are essentially scarves for the legs! Genius! Layers! “Onions have layers. Ogres have layers… You get it? We both have layers.”

“Recycling” Your Clothes

As has probably been clear from this blog, I do my fair share of pop-culture related and celebrity media coverage reading. It provides smalltalk or even full-fledged conversation fodder and taps in to my non-malicious sarcasm streak. It’s also, at times, simply baffling. Especially in the area of this type of coverage focusing on women. And I have just about had it with one particular wording repeating itself in English-speaking media all over the world:

Kate Middleton recycling her clothes. Seriously! Here’s a small selection of headline examples:

From the giggling…

MailOnline: A royal blush! Kate recycles a shimmering pale pink £3,000 Jenny Packham gown as she and Prince William attend an opulent charity gala in Norfolk.

to the gossipy…

Independent.ie: That looks familiar! Kate Middleton recycles Roksanda ress for Wimbledon.

…to the possibly breathless with excitement (I mean, Snapchat)…

Celebuzz: Kate Middleton Makes her Snapchat Debut in a Recycled Dress.

…to the profound, mind-shattering questions:

EOnline: Is It Time for Kate Middleton to Stop Recycling Clothes?

Is it time to throw away clothes entirely and go outside in creations improvised from stuff lying around the house?

At least as a grown woman I finally know what I have been doing with clothes all my life that I have actually kept – I did not wear them, I recycled them. Regardless of what one thinks of the Duchess of Cambridge and the British monarchy, I say kudos to stepping out during public events in dresses the media is dilligent enough to recognize and zealously catalog. And to be honest, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t care. She shouldn’t. But must there be a term for this? Yes, society, celebrity and style coverage play by their own rules, but the word  “recycle” just irkes me.

Ah, who cares about the media anyway.

kate

 

 

 

Met Gala 2016: Claire Danes

I’m not an expert on the Met Gala and its background, but I simply know every year that there will be some interesting outfits from the ladies in attendance to look at in the media, and I’m a girl who always stops to examine a dress. I love dresses, dresses will stop me in a shop, and even if I don’t need one, just looking at one that caught my eye, fingering the material, admiring the print or internally questioning the design is fun.

With the Met Gala the annual themes make looking at and interpreting the choice of outfit all the more intriguing. I’ve had more than one moment when I was impressed not only by the creation worn, but with the way the woman in it was carrying herself and making it work. Because let’s face it, some of those dresses must be heavy, require quite a bit of preparation to get in to or need some maneuvering due to intricacies in their design.

But this year a picture of one gown made me stop in my tracks and instantly want it, and that gown was worn by Claire Danes. All of the coverage I’ve seen so far is unanimous in its breathless approval, and this report by Entertainment Tonight sums it all up.

Danes twirling slowly in the illuminated gown by Zac Posen is one of the most magical images I have ever seen connected to fashion. Nothing droops, nothing squeezes too tight, the decolette is at just the right height, the train in the back is perfectly proportioned and the skirt’s folds sit beautifully without looking stiff. The combination of the elegant, structured, feminine cut with the idea of integrated battery packs is genius. Not to mention on point with this year’s theme. I can’t get enough of the images, it’s just one of those cases where everything comes together perfectly, and the sheer excited happiness on both the designer and the actress’ face is refreshing.

Plenty of other dresses had me wondering where the technology aspect came in, although it might obviously apply to every outfit presented in the sense that all of them probably require some form of technology to produce them. Grace Helbig’s review of the get-ups on display, while heavily sarcastic and occasionally profane, is also quite often spot-on.