Mar 012007

Thanks for all your input. Now let the games begin!

Jenn at Frugal Upstate suggested costume jewelry. I should really challenge myself to get a few pieces (although I won’t be able to be as frugal about it as she is, shopping at the Dollar Store, because of metal allergies). In the meantime, I did what I could with what I have.charcoal-gray-jacket-with-sweater-and-necklace.JPG
Here I am wearing just the yellow sweater, as per Deborah and others who suggested ditching the collared shirt.

Back to necklaces, I do have one or two. Like this one, made by blest with sons. brown-gathered-t-shirt-necklace-anc-jacket.JPG I wear it alot in the summer, when dark brown is my main accent color.

Look at this crazy thing I found!suit-with-dotted-bow-blouse-and-pearls.JPG
Yes, I know it’s not quite what Vildy suggested:

“using texture rather than pattern and choosing a blouse with a feminine touch at the throat and perhaps also cuffs. A bit of pleating or ruffling. It could still be tailored and not frou-frou or cliched. A dull satin would be nice too because it throws a little light on the face.”

but it does look more feminine. And Wendy was right about the pearls.

(I most certainly could not wear those dots without wearing the Hillary face. The reason? The different colors are randomly, not evenly, scattered in the pattern.)

Most intriguing suggestion? Ambika’s:

“I bought a beaded ribbon belt at Banana Republic the other day ($8 in the bargain basket) and have been wrapping it twice in my hair for a sort of Grecian look. Much more formal than a scarf and a little different too.”

I have to confess, I love the idea! Although I very nearly headed straight for the nearest BR, two things hold me back from trying anything like that:

  1. I suspect my embellishment innovator daughter would object.
  2. Perhaps because I am not an embellishment person myself, I always question accessories in gray hair.

What are your thoughts?

  15 Responses to “Fashion Lab: Softening the Tailored Suit”

  1. Oh, I love all three! Especially the polka dot one!! I’d call it classic with a twist. You’d probably call it contemporary classic, right?

    As far as accessories in gray hair…Well, I’ve never thought much about it. I think gray hair can be so elegant, therefore, I think elegant accessories would look great — a metallic barrette, a simple headband, and I think even that beaded ribbon belt could work. Pigtails and ribbons? Not so much. 🙂

  2. I have to agree (for what that’s worth) that the polka dot one looks really nice. I think that head bands look nice too-though I can’t recall ever seeing you wear anything in your hair-and you could go kind of retro with the head band to match the shirt. Bottom line is whatever you feel comfortable with, right? 🙂

  3. 1) Only listen to your daughter when she right and that is not 100% of the time.

    2a) More important reason for you, however it could still be fun, I do love the color of your hair and besides I could coach you regarding embellishment thing.

  4. Oh! I really like it with the polka dot blouse–it looks like an entirely different suit. I used to be reluctant about messing with hair accessories because I figured my curly (read: frizzy) hair restricted my options. But it doesn’t and shouldn’t for you either.

  5. I like the polka dot one best (but I love contrast so the red/black/gray thing just grabs me) and then the first one with the yellow and the 2 strand beaded necklace second best.

    The second one looks ok, but the color combination just doesn’t do much for me, and personally I would like a little bit more space between the pendant and the neckline, so you’d sort of have a gap between the two where the pendant would seem more “framed” by your skin. That is a really cool pendant!

    (and the metal allergy really rots! cuts down drastically on your costume jewlery possibilities)

  6. Rebecca, that suit is sooooo beautiful! Where is it from? I like all of the color combinations.

    And you have such a gorgeous hair color that you can pull off any hair adornments. I’ve been wearing headbands lately but fear that I look like a young school girl since my hair is young and I have a baby face. That’s not stopping me, though! 😉

  7. First, the hair embellishment thing ~ with all this encouragement, and even an offer to coach!, how could I not give it a try? I’ll probably look for a headband, though, something elegant that has a chance of staying put in my smooth hair.

    Ambika ~ that’s funny. I always imagine that curly hair works more naturally with hair accessories, offering some resistance to them just slipping out. I guess the grass is always greener …

    About the polka dot blouse ~ I’ve had it sitting around here for months. Initially I had picked it up, thinking I’d sell it. But somehow it never got there, and it always sort of intrigued me. Classic with a twist? Yes, I think so.

    By itself, it would perhaps overwhelm my soft coloring and small features. But combined with the gray suit (Express via Value Village, Tessa), I think it is a good example of accenting cool colors with warm, a la last Fashion Lab.

    But I noticed when I put it on to model that it was missing two buttons. So as soon as I took it off, my lazy self put it into the biffer bag. Then came Jenna’s comment. Knowing what I do about her style (contemporary with romantic), I began to re-think it.

    By evening, the blouse had two new buttons on it. And another thing I love about it — my pearls fit perfectly in the neckline.

    Thanks for all your encouragement! I needed to be stretched a little.

  8. I’m a little late, but I really like the polka dot combo! I also feel the shape of the pearls relates well to the dots.

    I’m struck by how similar the blazer is to my grey one. I have a brooch, a school of fish, that is quite linear. I wear it pinned to the upper pocket. Brooches are certainly a kind of costume jewellery you can thrift for and your allergies shouldn’t come in to play.

    I really like Blest’s necklace combined with the brown top, but I’m not sold on the brown/grey combo in this instance.

  9. Here I am, also a little late and guess what? I REALLY like the polka-dots! It does give the suit kind of a fun twist and the pearls make it a little more classic. So, I’m glad you sewed those buttons on!! I haven’t seen your hair, but maybe a very thin red headband would pick up some of those dots, but not overwhelm you?

    I think the yellow goes well for an understated kind of look.

    Thanks for the link on your blogroll! (That is what you call it, right?!) Deb

  10. Wendy ~ good point about brooches. They’re great too, because you can place them just where they need to be.

    Oh well about the brown top. I just borrowed it from dd for this project and I don’t know if she’s want me to wear it anyway. Well, she’d probably let me, but it doesn’t look great with this outfit anyway.

    You are very welcome, Deb! I am working on putting together a list of homeschool links for the other blog and I’ve included you there, as well.

    What you all could not see about the yellow sweater is that I don’t dare breathe or my belly button might show. I’ll be sticking to the polka dot!

  11. have you thought about making your own beaded jewelry using beading string instead of chain (to avoid metal)? it could be really fun for you and your girls, and you could make things in the color and style you like.

    or see if you have a cost plus world market near you– they have all kinds of accessories: scarves, headbands, necklaces/bracelets, etc, and they are all reasonably priced.

  12. Erin, making jewelry is a good idea. What do you do about the earrings, though? That is my main problem.

    A few years ago, the ladies worked on jewelry quite a bit. They have most of the tools, skills, etc. Now at 16 & 17, with their schedules, I’m not certain I could get them back into it. Until they’re a little older, that is. 🙂

    We do have a Cost Plus, and you are not the first person to recommend it. It’s not in my neighborhood or on my regular loop, but I will try to check it out.


  13. I’m waaay late to the party (deadlines, deadlines, deadlines). Brilliant experiment again–I love the polkadot blouse! If and when I get to open shop for myself, I want to go into the office looking like that–businesslike but stylish and fun.

    I hear ya on the metal allergies. I’m fortunate enough not to have this issue, but many of my friends do, so I always use sterling silver when I make things for them. If you need more information on findings (especially for earrings), let me know.

    One place you might want to try for affordable sterling silver jewelry is Etsy (full disclosure–I’m a proud Etsy seller). Sterling silver jewely can be so expensive at brick-and-mortars and are really run-of-the-mill. By contrast, many Etsians make affordable one-of-a-kind pieces and don’t charge an arm and a leg for shipping. A lot of pieces are probably underpriced (that’s a whole different story), but at least it’s great for consumers.

  14. SRR ~ I can totally see you wearing something like that!

    I guess I thought I had trouble with sterling silver as well. But I definitely should check out etsy. Thanks for the tip!

  15. […] of those items has been my charcoal gray wool trouser suit, previously featured in a fashion lab.  I think I paid twenty bucks for it at the thrift store and have worn the trousers quite a bit, […]

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