Saturday, May 31, 2014

Moments of May 2014: Dress Madness


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

23 comments:

  1. All your May outfits were so lovely it's difficult to choose favourites but I am really drawn to the one you said was your favourite and to that amazing double denim look! Tonight's outfit is pretty and just the sort of thing I find very easy to wear. I would call that colour smoked salmon but that doesn't sound very pretty. How about persimmon? LOL
    Have a lovely weekend!
    xoxoxoxo

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    1. Both descriptions are creative and YUMMY! :)

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  2. I love seeing the outfits all together!! You have a wonderful artistic eye for color and composition. I really, really love your choices. I also mostly wear skirts and dresses, mainly because they're more comfortable and easier to fit. Occasionally I'll get tired of them and pull out jeans or some wide leg pants, but then I go right back.

    May is lovely, although it gets hot here quite early, which I really hate. I'm already finding myself feeling fatigued and out of sorts, and realize one of my pleasures in life is severely hampered by the weather! You inspire me to rethink my choices, though. I'll do my best to embrace the heat, since it's here to stay for awhile.

    Sending love!!! XXOO

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    1. That is a wonderfully unexpected compliment, Jean! I used to do photography a few years ago and was told by more experienced photographers than I ever was or will be that I got talent and take better photos compared to theirs... I think it's all in us - just open your heart and let it flow from there. That's how the best things in life happen. Or in style. :)

      Hate heat as well as cold. PNW is the best climate for me. :)

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  3. Natalia, your beauty shines from my screen in all your colourful outfits. I notice a lot of prints which I love :-) but it's hard to pick a favourite! I love your orangey colour today. Tangerine is the word that springs to mind, but Shawna's persimmon works also. I'm intrigued by your secret ;-) I hope June is a wonderful month for you, and Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary and Happy Travels to you for last month!!

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  4. So wonderful to see your may outfits. You are just ADORABLEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  5. Your collage of May's outfits reflect your personality, Natalia. Colourful, interesting, feminine, thoughtful with an eye for detail, creative and sassy - yes, that's you, I think!
    Today's look is flirty and gorgeous - I am going with burnt orange to describe the colour, and it really suits you.
    Dresses are my absolute favourite thing to wear, I find them so easy. Yes, feeling good is what matters. I can tell you feel good, and you look it too! xxxx

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    1. WOW, that's all me?! Thank you sooo much, Curtise! :) More yummy descriptions of the color - I like that!

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  6. You did such a good job of your May outfits Natalia, you look lovely in all of them. I suppose its all in the beautiful smile and confident posture!!!! xoxo

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    1. I think you are right - the way we feel make us glow, it's not the clothes itself. :)

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  7. Like Curtice I thought of burnt orange,too. It's brave to competely change your life foowing your intuition. I've done it once and it's the best thing I've ever done.I love dresses,too esp in the summer and yes they flatter female body the most. Men love to see us in dresses,too. You are good in pattern mixing and layering and like you I find it more interesting to be creative with them but sometimes simple maes all the difference,too. I will find and scan some of my old fotos at one point.

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    1. I try to do my best to live my life like this, following my inner voice... Can't wait for your old photos.

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  8. Lovely outfits in your memorable month of May. Sounds like you did well in the thrift shop - that's always a good feeling. Hugs xxx

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    1. I think I'm getting better at thrifting! I blame you lovely British bloggers for that! :) Hugs!

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  9. gorgeous to see all the beautiful images of may at once!
    there is a hang to ikat and/or "ethno" prints. and sooo much color, used in a very elegant way! can you teach me to smile that lovely in a photo?
    your top i would describe as coral - but the whole outfit reminds me on fruit salad, melon and citrus fruits. summery appetizing :-)
    against chafing in summer (or in sweaty activities in winter like nordic skiing) i use .....baby powder... the simple, oldschool stuff just from pure talc under the bust, arms and ahem...in the panties area. i would like to use a grown up, elegant scented one for summer but in germany drugstores don´t sell it. only in expensive cosmetic shops you can by french or english stuff. (i´m on the poorer side of the population).
    and once i read in the internet a post - i think it was brittany from "vavoom vintage" - where the girl sewed some longer knickers from thin soft material to wear under skirts/dresses. as a sewing prof i would say capped seams on the inner leg are essential.....
    hug you!!!!

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    1. Thank you for all the ideas against chafing, Beate! I remember we used to have such longer knickers back in Russia (which seemed very old fashion at that time to me, but now I get the idea... they can be pretty of course with lace etc).

      You do have a very lovely smile yourself! :) I think it's when our heart is filled with love - that's when we smile really beautifully. Just think of the one you love when you take a photo. :)

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  10. Wonderful pictures! You know hat to put colors and pattern together and to let them look awesome!
    Thank you for this inspiring post:)

    Dana
    http://danalovesfashionandmusic.blogspot.de/

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  11. nice outfits in May :)

    http://lamodalena.blogspot.com/

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  12. May is a special month for you! your birthday and a wedding anniversary too, you look always deliciously feminine and I do like your outfit re-cap's, it's a pleasure to see your wonderful and beautiful outfits again, I always adore them, I'm also intrigued by your secret, when will you tell us! I'm still attached to my shapewear, even in the summer, my super pants are quite comfortable and not like those super restrictive ones I've seen which look quite sore, mine are from Asda/Walmart, I'm lucky my inner thighs don't chafe but I did read about cyclists who use a barrier cream to protect them x x x

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