Stripes going every possible direction!
I must admit, this is my favorite outfit right now. It came together easily: I ordered both pieces at the same time, on great sale, and when they arrived, it was obvious that they belonged to each other. Though, of course, both will have separate outings as well. I wrote a product review on the site, and I pretty much said it all there. To me, these are bold fashion statement pieces, high fashion if you will - art at its best. To me, they say 1980s and 1930s all at the same time (think art deco).
The building I am standing by was built in the 1980s, but to my eye at least, it has a very art deco vibe going on, and it was a pure coincidence that both my outfit and the theater to which we had tickets last Sunday, connected so well. It was our first time in that theater (I'll write more about it), and I had not seen pictures of it. Serendipity! Don't you love when it happens?
I know that women often want to avoid wearing boxy or loose looking pieces, but I don't. I was always a fan of such statement pieces, they say so much about the wearer - they say, among other things, that you do not feel obligated to always show off your body, that there is so much more to you than your feminine body shape, that you can appreciate clothing as art - the same way as sculpture or architecture is art. It is not equal to hiding your body, as it might be interpreted. I feel it is very liberating. I feel both are very important to me and I do appreciate both - outfits that make me feel feminine and beautiful, and outfits that help me to make a statement about me as a person, not just as a female.
Now, taking off the bold stripy ruana (which feels like a soft cocoon cardigan, being 100% cotton, not a simple wrap, having a distinct shawl collar and openings for your arms).
The jumpsuit attracted me the very first time I saw it. I snapped it up for $40 (original price $140, and it's worth it) and couldn't be more pleased with my purchase. It is my favorite jumpsuit to date - very comfortable, made of quality polyester, stretchy (but not flimsy) and easy to get in and out (those public restrooms!). It does not restrict my movements in any way, and I could easily wear it to lounge at home. But at the same time, it is such a striking fashion statement, even better in person than it appeared online (I do a lot of my purchases online).
Look at the sleeves, they are art! The black border, the now-popular vertical stripes on the legs, and the border around the sleeves and neckline (with two little buttons on the back), they all combine to really make this jumpsuit an art piece - bravo to the designer! I don't know how Chico's picks designs - do they have a staff design team, or do they buy designs from free lancers? But I regularly find myself in awe with their designs - even when the style itself is simple, the fabric is so vivid, I rarely see such amazing choices from similarly priced brands. And once you figure out how their sales work, you can get yourself a great wardrobe for no more than $30 or $40 a piece. (They should be paying me to say this. :))
Now - the theater!
We are now moving from discovering small community theaters around the Sound to big professional theaters, some of the best in Seattle. I bought tickets to this one because the play sounded like a lot of fun - a lot of elements in it that both Justin and I love: comedy, finding love, rural life, Ireland... The play is called Outside Mullingar (Tony Award nominee) by John Patrick Shanley, and you can see it till May 17 at Seattle Repertory Theatre, which is located in Seattle Center and occupies the Bagley Wright theater which shares the lobby with Leo K. theater - read about all the complex relations in this article if you're interested. I'm new to it, as I said, and only now discovering that there is a theater row on Mercer Avenue, even though we've been to Pacific Northwest Ballet located there, and passed the colorful Teatro ZinZanni (must visit one day!) on many occasions.
Little did I know that the playwright of Sunday's piece is the one who wrote (and directed) Joe Versus the Volcano which is one of Justin's all time favorites! (Maybe you saw it or Moonstruck which is now available on Netflix - 3 Oscars, including best screenplay.) We did not know that at all (for whatever reason, did not do my homework), and yet during the performance I had a feeling that this play really connects with Justin in so many ways, and I was right - it had a great impact on him. I will not give away the plot in case you decide to watch the play. It was hard for me to understand the thick Irish accent (I jokingly said that I needed captions, but actually they do have captioned performances in that theater, and more than that - I remembered that I've been to one captioned theater show back in 2003 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during Russian Cultural Festival - we watched an amazing performance Boris Godunov played by famous Russian actors, and while my friend and I understood Russian, much of the audience did not, so they read captions on the screens above the stage... and I totally forgot that experience.)
After performance talk with actors.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience - strolling downtown, being at the nice big city theater (part of me is a city girl), watching the play and listening to the actors afterwards, discovering something new about the city which I adore... but more than that, I loved my time with Justin. The irony of this weekend was, it was Mother's Day weekend - and yet, the presents and surprises seemed to work more towards Dad in our family (other than watching a Justin-oriented play, we also bought him a new pair of shoes which we don't do often). But I do not feel cheated at all. In our relationship, I am the one who feels pampered a lot. And I love it, of course, but I also am happy that I had a chance to pamper him. Just a little bit of so well deserved pampering. You see the play is about a sensitive guy, "man with feelings" - and that's who Justin is, a man with feelings. And our society, as Justin pointed out when we discussed the play, is not built for "men with feelings" ("A man with feelings should be put down" as the main character says in the play).
We all know how women decided that it's OK for us to be strong, if we want, and went for our rights to be strong. We fought hard, and still do, for our right to be strong, to be equal. But somewhere alone the lines the definition of equal got distorted. If it is OK for women to be either soft and sensitive, or strong and powerful, just as we please at any given day, then it must be OK for men too to be either strong and powerful or gentle and sensitive, if they want to, without being shamed for it, without asking for a permission for a break from being "the strong men", "the wall", with a long list of accomplishments attached to the simple word "man"... It is not in sensitive people's nature to actively, openly fight for their rights. So they just shut up, most of the time, and try to carry on as providers who don't get to say what they would actually like to do with their life - especially family men, but not only. Our society does not recognize that it's OK for men to be sensitive. If you are sensitive, then become a monk or something. It's probably the only "honorable" option for a sensitive man - at that point, the society does not demand a long list of accomplishments, it's OK to be a monk without accomplishments - it's weird, but it's OK. If you choose any other role - even as an artist, writer, musician, you must become successful, then the society will recognize your right to be called a man. And what about feelings? They are left to us, women...
Yet, this picture lacks something extremely important, even vital - it lacks allowing men to feel their feelings. "Men don't cry". But they do! They do have feelings, they do have fears, they do have dreams, they do cry, they do feel lost at times, and they do very much also need a place to run to where they feel safe and accepted for who they are. But also, "men with feelings" love you just the way you are, listen and understand you like rare girlfriends do, encourage and support you in every possible way, so every day of your life is special, not because the calender says so, but because they, "men with feelings", really feel so, because they learn to listen to their feelings, trust their heart and treasure what matters most in life.
Do you think we, as a human race, are ready to be more accepting and equal in all possible directions?
Jumpsuit and ruana - Chico's (available on their site)
Shoes - Ecco (old)
Clutch - Urban Express via TJ MAXX (old)
Location: Bagley Wright Theater, Seattle
Linking up with 52 Pick-me-up: Stripes and