Thursday, May 10, 2012

Musings About the Reasons Behind Personal Style

I just read a post by Casey over at Casey's Elegant Musings, and when I started writing a comment, I realized that I had so much to say that my comment was going to end up being longer than her post. Casey, that is the sign of an excellent post; when what you write is so thought-provoking that some readers turn around and write their own posts about the topic.

Casey's question was "If you find yourself drawn to vintage style... why have you chosen (or not!) to dress this way?" This question can obviously be applied to why we choose to dress in any particular way, not just vintage.

I'm strongly drawn to vintage styles. I think they're lovely, flattering, and attractive, but I don't actually wear any vintage clothing. There's something about me (my personality? the way I carry myself? the shape of my face? the style of my hair? the fact that I look best in muted colors?) that seems to scream "I'm sweet and innocent and ripe to be preyed upon!" This attribute, whatever it is, is only exaggerated by vintage clothing, so while I like vintage, it makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I like my clothing to make me feel powerful, sexy, attractive, and comfortable, so the vulnerability that I feel when trying on a sweet floral 50s dress means that that dress is not something that comes home with me, no matter how beautiful it is or how perfectly it fits. I'm so envious of the women who can pull of the edgy vintage look. I'm definitely missing whatever it is that would enable me to do that without looking either childishly sweet or scandalously tarty. :)

I do own one vintage dress, which I love, but I have yet to wear it. It's a solid sea green tea-length sun dress with a triangle lace bib at the neckline and more lace at the pockets. It's been in my closet for over nine months while I've tried to figure out how to style it or alter it so that I can still feel like a powerful woman while wearing it. The solution I've come up with is to remove the lace, raise the hemline, and find a leather jacket that will cut the sweetness of the dress. Hopefully I'll have time to do all three of those things some time in the near future!

I need a leather jacket in my life. I also feel like I would be more comfortable in my clothing (and feel like it's more representative of who I am) if I could combine more articles that are hard or edgy with the sweet, feminine things I already own. My style is in a bit of a flux right now, and I'm currently looking for a way to do that combination of edgy and feminine without too much leather (leather is just too hot for me in the middle of summer, and I don't want to wear the same thing every day) and without much - if any - black (black just really isn't my color, and I'm trying to phase it out).

So what's your style right now? Why do you wear what you wear? Are there particular aesthetics that just aren't you, or that you would feel uncomfortable in, and what about them keeps them from your closet? Or are you - like me - still figuring out where you want your style to go? If you are, where do you think your style is headed, and what about that attracts you?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Vacation and Pattern Swap Patterns

I don't think I mentioned that I was going on vacation with my sister. We went to Key West, and it was so much fun. We went on a tour of the Everglades, where it poured on us the whole time, but I got to hold a baby alligator (those things are heavier than they look!).

I only wore one me-made item on the trip, and it was my blue daisy dress. We rented bikes, and I biked in this dress with no problem. My crazy more-than-full-circle skirt, not so much. :) Anyway, here's the dress in action (sorry there's not much to see, but you can see the bright yellow wristlet I carried with it). Also, does anyone else feel like mojitos are the epitomy of summer?

While in Key West, I had the bad luck to lose my clutch (not the yellow one...that was the replacement), which had my camera in it. Sadly, this means no photos for the blog until I can afford to get a new one. :( Well, except for photos like the ones above, taken on my sister's camera, and photos like those below, gleaned from the generous interwebs.

On the bright side, when I got back, I had a lovely little package in the mail. I participated in the latest Sew Weekly swap, organized by Tina Crossgrove, and the talented and generous Seeks had sent me two different patterns! I also sent my partner two patterns, but I wasn't expecting to receive two! Anyway, check out these lovelies:

First up, this elegant 60s wrap dress. It's a bust 32 (who knows how the photo I managed to find just happens to be bust 32 as well, but I'm not questioning!), and I'm loving the short-sleeved version.

(because I borrowed this photo, I'm going to link to the Etsy seller it belongs to, in case any of you would also like to own this lovely pattern)

Second was this stunning 70s gown. So... I love the 50s and 60s, and so many of the 70s fashions are just so.... tacky. But this gown? A-mazing. Maybe not so much all the ruffles (although, possibly some of them?), but I love the smooth lines, the flowing skirt, the fitted silhouette through the bodice and waist... I'm in love with this dress, and all the variations that don't really look all that different on the envelope. :) I even love the little jacket (especially the lace version, and even the ruffles at the wrists. It's bust 38, but I'm willing to try my hand at pattern grading because I love it so much.

(again, a borrowed photo warrants a link to the owner's Etsy shop. This particular pattern is no longer for sale, but the shop has a huge collection of awesome 70s patterns and a smaller collection of other vintage patterns.)

Thank you, Seeks! I'm so excited about these patterns!