Monthly Archives: April 2013

Week 10 :: pink, cobalt and Ynez Johnston

The good news is I’m actually happy today.

Okay, maybe “happy” is too strong of a word.  Let’s just say that I’m not subject to my usual Friday doldrums. And you wanna know why?

The secret, my friends, is cheese balls and ginger ale.

That’s right.  Junk food.  And I’m allowing myself this excess – can we say ginormous bucket of goodness from Target and a 12-pack? – because sometimes, we women just gotta have the goods.  If you know what I mean.

And to accompany this decadence, I’m closing out Works of Art week in a blaze of color glory.

Abstract by Ynez Johnston

Abstract by Ynez Johnston

This painting was one of the Kim originals that she’d submitted last week, and it has preyed on my mind since then.  I love modern abstract art – my house is filled with prints of Klees and Kandinskys and Klimts – but the colors of this piece stymied me initially.  Specifically all that pink.  (We’ve already established my dearth of green in my closet, but I realized this dearth is paralleled by a paucity of pink as well.)

Thank goodness for spring break and thrifting.  I’d not gone through my entire haul yet because I’d thrown the whole kit and kaboodle into the delicates hamper for washing, but when I finally decided to stop procrastinating and just do the wash already, guess what falls into my lap like manna from heaven?

WoA Friday

It’s pink!  It’s abstract!  It’s even got some blues and oranges!  And I’d purchased it for a measly $4 even before Kim had sent me her links.  The fashion gods were surely smiling on me.

You know wanna know what else is fortuitous?  A Tilly’s sale that enabled me to scratch my lace-up combat boot itch without breaking the bank.  They came in the mail two days ago and I thought it’d be a while before I could wear it.  But, hey!  Fashion gods, remember?

And that scarf?  With the purple?  A half-forgotten eBay purchase that fell out of my scarf bin when I was looking for a miner’s hat for ichiban son’s Gold Rush Day yesterday?  Yeah.  I have no words.  All feels.

WoA Friday

A huge, monstrous, gigantic, tremendous, insert another adjective for “big” here thank you to Kim once again for being the instigator/initiator of this week’s theme.  This is by far my favorite week because it truly stretched both my critical thinking and my closet.

I hope you all enjoyed it as well.  Happy weekend, my friends!  Make good choices!

WoA Friday

WoA Friday

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Liz Claiborne @ Community Thrift
Jeans – Almost Famous @ Tilly’s
Boots – Tilly’s
Scarf – eBay
Earrings – gift from student

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Week 10 :: of olive, pink and Marsden Hartley

Grey day.
Everything is grey.
I watch,
but nothing moves today.

Alongside Sandburg’s poem, this line from My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss always comes to mind when I’m confronted by a glum and gloomy sky.

Don’t get me wrong;  I’m all about glum and gloomy.  In fact, I want to move to the Pacific Northwest – suicide capital of the world be damned! – just so I can revel in countless days of overcast-ness.  I suppose moving to Northern Cali is a more realistic option, but sadly that’s not viable either at this point in my life.

All I can do is savor the moments when we So. Cal. folk are blessed by clouds, and what better way to savor than to dress the occasion?

Pink and White Flowers in a Vase by Marsden Hartley

Pink and White Flowers in a Vase by Marsden Hartley

I think this will be by far my most subdued look of the week.  And that’s okay.  We can’t be vibrant hothouse flowers all the time.  Sometimes, Fashion is quiet and understated and simple.

This doesn’t mean she should surrender her strength, however.  There can be power in simplicity, and that’s what I see when I contemplate Hartley’s painting.  Now I don’t profess to be Fashion incarnate, but I hope you see evidence of my interpretation in my ensemble.

WoA Thursday

Simplicity and power.  What could be more simple than color blocking sans print or embellishment?  There are no polka dots or stripes or animal prints in sight.  And power?  Well, this might seem a stretch for some, but think on this:  normally, one would gravitate toward a dark on bottom/light on top combination, thus choosing to pair an olive pant with a pink or cream top.  I am rocking the boat, my friends, and going the polar opposite.  That’s pretty powerful, right?  (Or maybe I’m just deluding myself so I have an opportunity to wear pink skinnies.)

WoA Thursday

Shoes, as per usual, posed a problem: I don’t own a pair of heels in white or off-white.  And since I wanted to keep things simple and bookend the statement necklace up top with the same color on bottom, I had no choice but to go casual flats with the outfit since they’re the only white shoes I own.  And although my aging feet thank me, I wonder how powerful I’m going to feel, being shorter than my students today?

WoA Thursday

By the way, to those of you who read my humble blog the old-fashioned way (on a stationary computer rather than a mobile device that just defaults to a standard reader): have you noticed I’d changed the background?  Lightened it up from its original black to a softer grey?  I do this in response to this post by Allie over at Wardrobe Oxygen.  If you don’t want to bother reading, in a nutshell, the one thing she said that struck/shamed me is this:

These days, a clean, white background with black or dark gray text is best. Don’t believe me? Check out all the “big” fashion and style bloggers, they all have clean, simple templates that are primarily white.

It didn’t shame me enough to go all white, though.  I’m still a closet Goth girl at heart and I like me my black.  I think black makes my photos pop.  It may not be as welcoming or inviting, but it sure is sleek and chic.  My compromise, then, was to use less black and incorporate grey.  Eheh.

So what say you?  Conform to the majority and switch up the blog to white?  Or stick to who I am and keep it dark?  Inquiring minds want to know…

WoA Thursday

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Charlotte Russe
Jeans – Mossimo Supply Co. @ Target
Flats – Macha @ Target
Belt – Kohl’s
Necklace – eBay

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Week 10 :: of primary colors and Henri Matisse

The weatherman lied.


It was butt cold all day yesterday (well, as butt cold as it gets in So. Cal. on an April day) and I could’ve worn my planned Tuesday outfit after all.  Lucky for me, I work in a controlled climate all day, so this egregiousness did not truly affect me as heinously as it could have.

Still, I think I’ll ignore from now on.  And, barring a Category 5 typhoon or, conversely, a soul-blistering 100+ degree day, I’m just gonna plan to wear whatever suits my fancy.

And today, I fancy Matisse.

La Gerbe © Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

La Gerbe
© Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Now, no offense intended toward Messieurs Koch and Gorky, but before this week, I wasn’t familiar with their work so I wasn’t as intimidated as I would have been with a master I know.

And I know Matisse.

So, needless to say, when one of Kim’s original challenge submissions happened to be La Gerbe, I was both excited and apprehensive.  I even cheated a bit and did a Google search for “la gerbe inspired outfits” which actually made things worse.  Everything I pulled up showed artists mimicking the shape of the leaves – in both jewelry and fabric print.  It was all very literal and didn’t help at all considering I didn’t own anything remotely Matisse-leafy.

So I’m going out on a limb here (see what I did there with the pun?) and I’m interpreting good ol’ Henri’s vibe rather than his visual.  And the vibe I get is both playful and aggressive.  Kinda like a gentle dominatrix.  Eheh.

Of course there’s no way I’m gonna channel my inner Lucy Liu as a Charlie’s Angel at work, so I’ve come up with this outfit instead.

WoA Wednesday

I love the numerous examples of dichotomous juxtapositions: the floral skirt is sassy but the black booties scream seriousness;  the hair is severe but the earrings are fem; the blazer is a soft ponte knit while the top is a crisp button-up (okay, it would’ve been crisp had I used the iron and some starch).  I think I managed to capture the essence I was interpreting and I hope I’ve done right by Matisse.

WoA Wednesday

Do the colors assault the eyes?  Absolutely.  Do they do so in a cheeky way?  I’d like to think so.  I have a feeling this outfit is going to be a love it or hate it for people, with no in between about it.  I am preparing myself for the worst but hoping for the best.

Kim?  Care to share?

WoA Wednesday

WoA Wednesday

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – thrifted
Blazer – Charlotte Russe
Skirt – Ross
Booties – Enzo Angiolini
Earrings – New York and Co.

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Week 10 :: of blue, chartreuse and Gerd Koch

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men…

Spring Garden with Sun Wet Patch by Gerd Koch

Spring Garden with Sun Wet Patch by Gerd Koch

The outfit planned for this particular piece was initially intended for Thursday, for no other reason than that it felt like a Thursday outfit.

But then I checked the forecast and, although I should know better than to trust meteorologists in So. Cal. (they might as well be using a bowl of water to scry the future for all the use they are to me), there is a prediction of a cooling trend later on this week.  So I swapped today’s original ensemble (pants and a long-sleeved top) with this one in the hopes that the weather predictors prove me wrong for once.

WoA Tuesday

The only problem I had with this outfit was the scarf, which unfortunately is the centerpiece of the look and could not be substituted.  At first, I was ecstatic because its resemblance to the painting was uncanny – right down to the colors and Impressionist-y brushstrokes.

Then I put it on.


It’s a ruffle scarf, also known in the knitting world as the potato chip scarf.  It’s fun to look at and relatively fun to knit but I never realized what a pain it is to style.  After attempting multiple methods of scarf-tying, I still ended up looking either like a surprised ostrich or a guillotined Queen Elizabeth.

Thank Buddha I remembered the good ol’ wraparound and tuck or I would’ve thrown in the towel and picked another painting altogether.  Paired with a structured blazer, the ruffles look contained and deliberate rather than fabric vomit around my neck.  I’m also proud of that rather outré combination of chartreuse and yellow.  I would normally have picked a brown or neutral shoe, but the painting told me to take a chance.  Here’s hoping it paid off.

WoA Tuesday

A shout out goes to my daughter who vetoed the blue cardi I was going to wear as my completer piece.  I’d shown her the painting and then given her the two choices.  The conversation went something like this:

Aly (wrinkling her nose at the cardi): I don’t like it.
Me: But that’s what I’d planned.
Aly: I don’t like it.  Too much blue.
Me (putting the white blazer on): Ok, now?
Aly: Better. The blue made you look dark. The white makes you look happy. And it picks up the white in the painting too.

I love my intuitive fashionista-in-training!

WoA Tuesday

WoA Tuesday

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Dress – Gabrielle Rocha @
Blazer – Apostrophe @ Sears
Scarf – Marshall’s
Shoes – Call It Spring Roessing at jcp

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