May has always been a big month for me - first of all because I was born in May, and it's kind of hard to ignore that fact. :) May is always beautiful - even in harsh Siberia it's a very gentle month when nature slowly starts waking up, the snow is finally melted, and the first leaves, buds and flowers start showing up here and there. New light in the sky, new smells in the air. Tenderness - that is the word for May. Tenderness and femininity. No wonder May is also the month when Mother's Day is celebrated in America, with an abundance of gardens blooming madly (I always think of Bella Q now when I think of blooming).
May is also a month of big change - in nature first of all, and a shift in people's mood, preparing for long awaited Summer which always brings a carefree atmosphere, whatever age we are. A few years ago, also in May, our little adventurous family took an amazing road trip and crossed the country in a little truck full of our stuff, with our 4 year old daughter. We had nobody waiting for us here - and nothing that would be ready for us. We had to create the whole new life for ourselves here in the wild, wild West. Fortunately, it isn't nearly as wild as it was for the first American settlers who conquered this part of the world in the XIX century. But to change your life following nothing but your inner voice as guidance is still a brave decision to make, nowadays not less brave than in the olden days. Another year, also in May, Justin and I took a vow to be together in joy and in sadness, in health and in sickness. We had already been together for a few years by then, and marriage probably did not mean to us as much as it means to most people. The main thing for us is love, not the official stamp of our new legal status. But still, it was a memorable day which also happened in May.
Maybe that is why I subconsciously wanted to make this May a special month in my blog too and wear mostly dresses - the most feminine item of clothing. I used to wear dresses and skirts all the time when I lived in Russia. I think I only had one or two pairs of jeans back then. It was fun to rediscover wearing dresses. Here are the few things I've learned about wearing dresses along the way:
- I feel the most feminine when I wear a dress;
- dresses are the easiest to style;
- there is a dress for any occasion, but even in the most casual dress I feel much more feminine and unique looking, at least here in the US;
- it's not easy to wear a strapless dress or a spaghetti strap dress, since I do not wear strapless bras well (I never did), my solution is adding a layer to cover the straps (shrug, cardi, blazer) which won't work for a hot day though;
- in the warm weather, there is an issue of chafing which is probably the main reason I stopped wearing dresses at some point and wore almost exclusively pants in the Summer for the past few years;
- I tried shapewear with dresses, which did help with chafing. And while it definitely helps to create a better silhouette ... oh that damn thing is a horror to wear - worse than a bra. So lately I am trying to embrace my changed body just the way it is, without this body prison called "shapewear".
About the chafing issue. I read that there is a special lotion sold in pharmacies against chafing (I read a French article, and it translated as "barrier cream", I do not know the correct name in English). I also read someone's advice to use antiperspirant instead, which makes sense. If antiperspirant helps the underarm, why can't it help with thighs? It worked so far, but we did not have really hot weather yet. If you have a chafing issue, how do you solve it?
I also embraced pattern mixing this month, and I completely love it. It feels like me. I love simplicity sometimes, but creating layers, mixing patterns and colors is so much more interesting visually, and reflects my personality.
I don't usually include any new outfits in my monthly recaps, but I like this simple, yet joyful and feminine outfit. The truth is, I had a reason to visit Goodwill (a very good reason, but I'd like to keep it a secret for a little while). I had a little money to spend, and grabbed a few tops and a couple of dresses to try on. It seems I'm getting better at this because literally everything I picked fit me. And it doesn't happen often in thrift shops. So I ended up buying everything I tried (and I'll be honest with you - I left a few items untried because I thought I'd be out of money with such good sizing luck). This particular top is made by apparently a well known designer for Walmart (Miss Tina by Tina Knowles) and was new with tags still attached -$4. I always love this color (what would you stylish and artistic ladies call it?). I paired it with my old linen skirt which is getting tight, but I still love it (the skirt actually comes in two layers - there is no slip underneath). That evening, we had a lovely spontaneous dining out as our neighborhood experienced a power outage (I think it is only the second time in 3 years living in this cottage). So we went out for some tasty pizza, and stopped to buy some great red wine (very cheap, but really good) as Justin's coworker gave him a tip (it's good to know local shops). The necklace here is from an antique mall, but it isn't vintage, I think someone just makes them and sells them really inexpensively ($3 I believe). Sandals and cardi are also good friends from my closet. Nothing really special, but I feel good about this outfit. And that is what really matters, don't you think?
Yuri Antonov, I Remember, 1981 (the video of 2007 concert)
Have a wonderful weekend! See you in June!
Linked up with 52 Pick-Me-Up roundup for Fruit Salad outfit, as Beate called it in comments