Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sequins and Art of Staying Home. In Two Parts

So what do you guys do when you stay at home with the  flu? 
I think I've watched all the shows, read all the blogs, and cooked all the dishes I could think of. That's pretty much all I can manage now. We are not feverish any more and getting better, but I think Anna will stay at home one more day tomorrow, and I will go completely crackers from cabin fever and exercising Mother Theresa's talent (I have only a veeeery tiny bit of that one!). So I decided to play dress up and blog about it. Anna was my photographer. (She later also played dress-up, but - for the record - refused to be photographed.)

Beautiful Glenda of the very stylish and personally inspiring blog So What to Twenty! wrote about her experimenting with pattern mixing today, and I was so honored (and totally surprised!) to get a mention (saving the link for myself just because it made my whole week - HERE). It's true that I mix patterns more boldly as I continue my journey in style. But on the other hand, I also have some areas where I feel a bit timid or inexperienced. Let's talk about a couple of such areas today.

Part 1: Sequins

I used to distaste sparkles! Sequins and any sort of glitter or bling were not something I would even consider wearing. But things change, don't they? And we also change. I think the very first sequins crept into my world only a year or two ago - first with a little subtle sparkle on a top, then a bit more on a purse, then another top, and then - bang! - with the full effect of this purple tank top I bought on sale last year. I had my doubts about it. But my daughter said, "I would wear it!" And my husband said, "She knows she is sparkly." And I decided to give it a try. I can't say I wear it a lot, but it's fun to even just know that you own a piece like that. I previously showed this top in the Autumn outfit where I wore it as a vest (HERE).

You can see that last year's outfit was quite fancy, and I still like the fanciness and the layers I created then. But I also wanted to wear this sparkly top in a more casual and approachable way. So when Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo Style Files posted a wonderful collection of her outfits featuring sequins (How To Wear Sequins During the Day), I was in heaven. So many inspiring ideas! You know how we usually don't really ask for advice of each other and just come and share whatever we create? I really appreciate that. But sometimes it's great to hear other fashionistas' input. What they would do with this particular piece? It can help us to widen our horizons. So I asked Suzanne's opinion and I am so glad I did. Suzanne suggested a few things, including pairing it with gray - which really intrigued me simply because it would most probably never cross my mind. 

Now I have to admit, my wardrobe almost lacks gray. I have one gray maxi dress, one cardi, one pencil skirt and this jacket - that's all. All my grays are of this delightful warm charcoal tone - I don't really like other hues on me, but this one I love. So I dared to pair my sparkly purple top with this polka dot jersey blazer. 

I also like it with my black "sleeveless blazer" as they call it, and together with slightly distressed boyfriend jeans, I think it looks a little grungy - just enough to join Anne's 52 Pick-me-up: Grunge. Hope to see you there! 

Sequins tank-top, jeans and blazer - Lane Bryant.
Shoes - Adam Tucker Me Too.
Pendant is agate and silver - from Russia.
Nail polish - Grease Lightening Insta-Dry by Sally Hansen.
Old Aviator glasses - Marc by Marc Jacobs

Part 2: Home

Talking about staying at home. Mom used to teach me as I was growing up to look nice when at home. I can't say I was a good student. My preference used to be to stay comfortably shlumpy. My best shoes still are barefoot. I'd wear them anywhere! But slowly the thought of "looking nice while at home" creeps into my mind. Now what's with me? Is it you, guys, influencing me? Is it me? Is it you? Whatever the deal is, this Summer I started wearing some of my thrift finds or stuff I bough on sale, or just some of my stuff which does not get enough outings (not the nicest of them) AT HOME. I mean, to me it's pretty revolutionary. I know that my dear blogging friends Shawna of The Director of Awesome and Vix of Vintage Vixen stay stylish when they work or relax at home. But I am only finding my way. My main demand is still to stay comfortable, so I wear soft natural fabrics, loose fit or comfortably stretchy around my waist, and if I want to wear a thin chain with a pendant, then I add it, otherwise I go without accessories.

This lovely embroidered Mexican (thank you, Glenda!) folk dress above was found at Goodwill, and I would love to wear it anywhere, but unfortunately it has a few small stains which wouldn't come off. I've tried Shout and Oxiclean - no luck. They are not especially noticeable, but still. The dress is very easy to wear, comfy, has pockets on both sides - ideal for home! I often wear it with my Mom's golden chain and the pendant which was actually my gift to her, and then she regifted it back to me. :)

The maxi skirt is from a consignment store, the top is old from Lane Bryant, and I wear it here with my new vest just for more visual interest - only for photos though. I added a malachite pendant to today's home outfit, but for the photo session it seemed too lonely! So I also added these Mexican silver earrings (gift) and an intricate Russian filigree ring with what they call "emerald crumbs" in Russian - I have no idea what it even means, but "the crumbs" sparkle merrily in sun. I found this ring on ebay years ago.

I suppose I'll mix some colorful food into today's "homey" post too. Care to try something different? :)

Shepherd's pie (ground lamb, onions, celery, carrots, peas, rosemary, thyme  + mashed potatoes the way you like them).
Chinese chicken soup with shiitake mushrooms, ginger and daikon.
Marinated beets (vinegar, oil, salt, garlic).
Fried daikon (salt it and let sit for a while, then dry with paper towels, so the bitterness go away; then just fry on both sides, I used a mix of different peppers to season). 
Bon Appetit!

Tell me about yourself.
Do you wear sequins or it is too flashy for your liking? Would you pair it with polka dot? 
And what do you wear at home? Is it the same clothes as when you go out or do you have a special "home clothes" category in your wardrobe?


  1. Aw, thank you Natalia for the mention. I'm glad my shout out to you made your day special.

    I have a sequence bustier that I purchased vintage years ago. I like to wear it with oversized boyfriend jeans and high scrappy sandals when my husband and I go out to listen to jazz. I also have a cream and black stripe sequence t-shirt that I won on eBay. It's from J.crew and I've only worn it once. I have no idea why. I'll probably wear it with a leather pencil skirt this fall.

    Now, as far as my appearance at home...don't ask.

    1. Let me try, Glenda... naked? Bingo? :) If yes - I sooooo understand!!! :)

      I'd love to see your sequins play!!

    2. Ha! No, not with two teenage boys. More like a hot mess. I usually wear whatever around my house. It's my opportunity to not think about fashion.

  2. One more thing. The little embroidery dress is from Mexico. They're very popular there. I have a colorful one that I got when my family cruised there last summer.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Getting tired - too many typos... Good to know about the origin of the dress! It's so cute and comfy to wear!

  3. that sequins/polka dot outfit is gorgeous! would wear it too - if the jeans were a midi skirt. or hot pants :-) (don´t own a pair of long jeans) want this pink shoes!!!!
    but i also love that festive autumn outfit from last year. you´r playing with colors fantastically.
    the only sequined garment i own is a gala robe i made at art school 20 years ago. of cause it does´t fit anymore. but there is no event to wear it anyway.....but if i could get my hands on a classy piece in a good color/quality i would wear it - not daily but for city outings with hubs and/or friends.
    that mexican dress is the perfect house dress in my books too! i mostly wear dresses or comfy skirts at home, only while the heatwave this summer i´d go in a bikini. in winter i layer with wool leggings and afghan sheep vest and thick wool cardi from romania. it never get warmer then 21°C in our house. if i would wear pajama-like stuff i would never get around to do my chores.......
    i come over for dinner! but the beetroot is all for you! :-)

  4. Glad to learn that you both are feeling better. I love a pop of sequins. The combo top + vest is gorgeous. Your shoes are amazing too. Have a lovely day!

    Jasmine x
    For a Real Woman - Instagram - Bloglovin

  5. Sorry you've been struck down with the flu. Dressing up is definitely the best medicine.
    Loving the purple sequins, they look fab with the polka dots, good suggestion, Suzanne!
    I adore the Mexi dress, I sold one to a Facebook friend a few weeks ago and could kick myself everything she posts a photo of herself wearing it!
    Yes, dressing up at home is good for the soul and, when your postman is an ex-boyfriend, essential. xxx

  6. Yes, the purple sequin top looks great on you, I like that blend of sparkly glamour against the more casual vibe of denim. Suzanne does that well, and so do you. Sorry to hear that you and Anna have both been ill, hope that both of you are feeling a lot better now. What I wear for messing around at home is no different to what I wear when I'm out and about; I have to be REALLY sick not to bother getting dressed as normal. The Mexican smock is a beauty, as is the orange maxi skirt. And as always, I love your jewellery. And your cooking! xxx

  7. Sorry to hear you've been under the weather. With those good eats you must be feeling better already.

    I do love the new looks you've created with that fab sparkly purple top! I think I like it best with the black vest and bright shoes. Very cool/chic. Thanks for the shout-out!

    I'm always happy to hear someone has been inspired by something I do on my blog : )


  8. Well, at least you got out into the sunshine today. I can't believe you had the energy to cook while under the weather.
    Love your purple sequins especially! Don't think I've ever seen that color in a sequin before. Gorgeous with your hair color.

    My son has been plugging along though he'd love it if I told him he could stay home but from just a bit of stuffiness? I don't think so!

  9. I hear you about the feeling cabin fever! Especially when the kids get sick one after the other, it goes on forever!
    I wear the same crazy gear at home to relax as I do going out. Sometimes even crazier! I do looove your jewellery!
    Last post I wanted to say how like your beautiful mother you are! You could be twins!
    Love the dressed up chair drawing, with all the seaming drawn in. Such patience! Xo JJ

  10. You are recovering in style... A little sparkle makes a boring day better, and you found a way to use your creativity to prevent cabin fever, good work!

  11. I adore this purple sequin top and how you have styled in with the back vest and polka dot blazer, I saw Glenda's post today and totally agree , you are a great pattern mixer, and I think your style is vivid and reflects such a sense of liveliness!
    Who else plaid dress up when they are ill?
    Love the chambray dress with the embroidery, and I am GLAD it is stained, this way you can wear it with no worries around the house and when you go out as well. Love that cameo necklace, too.

    I tend to wear nice looking but inexpensive dresses around the house . Most of my wardrobe is in fussy natural fingers, but my house dresses are poly and I love them. They look good enough , too,,if I want to run out. I also wear denim at home

  12. Natalia ,
    Sorry my ipad cut me off...rude device!
    Have a great week, I loved this post !!
    XX, Elle

  13. I hope you both are feeling better, cabin fever really is awful isn't it? dressing up is the perfect antidote! your purple sequins and a polka dot jacket is absolutely fabulous ! I love it! the Mexican dress is sweet and looks so comfortable (which is important too, sometimes comfort is key) I adore sequins, polka dots and all gorgeous items, but I do wear 'house' dresses at home (nothing fancy!) x x x

  14. Natasha, my dislike of sequins was very similar to yours :) 12 years in the states, and I bought my first sequin top 1 year ago :))
    You look amazing! The purple top looks terrific on you. And of course, love all your jewelry pierces! Get better soon!!!

  15. Ha! What a great thing for girls-feeling-icky and stuck at home together to do to raise the spirits. Beautiful! You don't look sick at all ... and purple makes you look so fabulous that you look in blooming health! Casual sequins are the best way to go, for sure.
    I've only been sick enough one time to go to the doctors without full makeup. Glad I'm not the only one who dresses up to feel better.

  16. I am glad to know you are better, my glitter Natalia.
    Tons of love and happy weekend

  17. Wonderful post, Natalia! Love the ways you styled your sequins. Have to confess that I like sequinned things and have quite a lot in my wardrobe, mostly those are dresses but a few tops as well. Perhaps living in Nepal makes it easier because people there just love wearing sparkly things.
    As to dressing up at home, since childhood I hated "halat", my mom's favourite home wear and I always preferred simple but pretty dresses instead. Your phrase "my Mom's golden chain and the pendant which was actually my gift to her, and then she regifted it back to me" made me smile, because my mom does the same thing.

  18. I love the sparkly look. You definetely do look sexy in this sequin top. I have a sequin top too and I liked it a lot till the sequins started falling off. I saved it but now I kinda stress a bit wearing this top:)
    Your home clothing is very nice and it's definetely worth to doll oneself up a little even while staying at home just to boost the mood:)

  19. As I have been struggling to keep up with blogs, I clearly missed this one, and imagine missing the one where you mentioned me! You look great in that sequined top and I love the colour. You paired it with other items well and while I would have thought of grey I would not have thought of polka dots. I used to really dislike sequins and always picked them off but I've never had a top that is so heavily sequined as yours and I think that looks much better than the tops with random sequins which I remove. I am generally not big on sparkle though and tend to avoid it. Lately I have actually bought two tee shirts which feature a bit of crystal embellishments which I cannot remove and so I am growing more accustomed to sparkle.

    I love you home outfit! I think Vix and I would both say that comfort is paramount for us too (and Vix may have said that; I didn't read her comment) In fact it has been my mission to elevate the at home clothes because I always had the two extremes-the fancy clothes and the jeans/sweatpants outfits. I tend to leave off the accessories if I am not going out but I still want to enjoy clothing that makes me feel good, that I believe looks good and I enjoy. Proportionately I probably still have too many 'fancy' outfits for my lifestyle but I am also learning to wear things I used to save and think of as special.

    All that food looks delicious! I never get the flu so I cannot say what I do if I am home with it. I have varying levels of energy and ability but if I am really tired but not sleeping I will watch movies and knit. Glad you and Anna are better now.