A couple of outfits I wore earlier this month, but did not share with you.
The long 1990s floral dress was found at Goodwill the very same evening I went to buy the red crushed velvet dress. It cost me $3 - now that's a bargain, isn't it? The dress is in perfect condition, colors are as bright as if it was brand new fabric. it seems there used to be a belt (a couple of belt loops suggest it), but actually I enjoy how loose it is on me - for a change. The dress got mixed reviews, from total adoration from a few strangers on the streets, as well as my daughter and husband, to not-sure-what-to-make-of-it from my parents - they are not used to seeing me in long loose dresses like this one.
I find myself gradually getting into thrifting more and more. My interest in it did not start with this blog. I started collecting "old stuff" a while ago, at first rather sporadically visiting antique shops and places like Goodwill or Salvation Army. I bought a bunch of used clothes for myself and baby Anya when I was still pregnant with her back in 2002. And a beautiful bright Mexican vase, which I bought probably for a buck at about the same time, is still with me, moving from state to state and from house to house.
Her world is enchanting. Just a glance at her photographs will bring you to a place you haven't been before. And even if you visited the geographical places about which Beate writes (an avid world traveler, she went to India, Australia, North America, Italy, Egypt...), you will be lost in time - guaranteed. But not in the sense that time stops - rather that it flows at a completely different pace, and perhaps direction too. She has an incredible sense of wonder and timeless beauty all around her - in towns and wild nature (in the midst of which she lives), in gardens and interiors, and undoubtedly in her unique outfits. Beate lives in a century old railroad keeper's house (which is what her blog name means in German), in Saxon Switzerland, a picturesque area of Germany. She designs and makes clothes. She gardens. She cooks. She and her husband restore their beautiful old house. She not only loves expressing herself through style, but knows fashion inside and out, being a fashion designer and living in Berlin for a huge part of her life. Don't let the fact that Beate blogs in her native German stop you from reading her blog. Even with the often wonky Google Translate, you will get a sense of an original personality, artistic talents, rare beauty and such an admirable love of life in its many facets.
I want to thank you all for such wonderful comments to my last couple of posts - and for sharing your stories and feelings. I think it might help those who are going through their youth with a similar confusion or perplexity, and wondering if life gets any better. It does! Our insecurities are not easy to work through, but not at all impossible. Our relationship with ourselves, and essentially our life does get better with age.
On to this outfit. I know I post a lot of outfits lately - one could say I'm on fire. What can I do? I feel like something inside of me finally opened up. I think I tried a little too hard earlier in my style journey, now I'm much more relaxed, I caught the wave - I don't try to come up with an unusual combination, instead I listen to the mood I'm in and just go with my instincts. I want to thank Melanie for this realization - it was something she said in a comment to me, and it really struck me like lightening. In styling, just like in any form of art, you as an artist really need to feel what you are doing, much more feel than think it over. I finally, finally get it - I learned how to catch the wave! OK, maybe not like "learned it all", miz fancy pants, but I'm on the right track, I know it!
Being Russian, born and raised in the USSR, I of course thought that we Russians invented this catchy phrase - it was one of the central messages of Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, the popular Soviet movie which won the Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film in 1980. But apparently, in 1932 there was an influential best selling self-help book by this title, written by Walter B. Pitkin, an American. Though he might also not be the one who invented the phrase, hard to say really, but what I know for sure is that I always loved the philosophy behind this phrase.
Weathermen predicted a rainy day which screwed up my plans for what I wanted to wear to our family day trip. I tried this and that, and the pile of rejected pieces rapidly grew on my bed. I almost gave up and was ready to turn to an easy option like a pair of jeans, which definitely would make my life simpler - and the hell with all that being true to my creative self stuff. I did not sleep enough the night before, and the gray skies did not brighten my mood either. But I knew that what I really wanted was to wear a new maxi dress which was in my closet waiting for a couple of weeks for warmer weather and just the right occasion for its first outing.
Dear ladies, and may I say my dear girlfriends all over the world, I wish you all a happy International Women's Day! I know that here, in the US, more and more people are becoming aware of this holiday which I grew up with in Russia. March 8th is one of the big holidays celebrated in every small and big town, every village and city in my home country. We haven't treated this holiday as a political one (though it is how it started over 100 years ago, read the history here) - rather, it was partly a romantic holiday which we had long before Valentine's Day caught up, partly a celebration of mothers (long before we had a separate Mother's Day), and partly a celebration of sisterhood and women's friendship. The celebratory customs include giving flowers to women who are dear and significant in your life, partying with friends and family, exchanging little presents and, without a doubt, dressing up. It's always been one of my very favorite holidays. And I feel so happy and so lucky to celebrate it with you today - you see, I dressed up, brought you some flowers with my Russian platok, and even prepared a little present for you all.
My dear friends, thank you so much for your kindest words on my last post (in fact, on all of my posts). I'm feeling a little like I'm basking in a spotlight which is not exactly mine. It's about the closet. I'm definitely not the best organized person even in this room (with only two people in it at the moment, just so you know). But I do want to keep my closet nicely organized and am moving in this direction. I only showed you a couple of the latest steps I took, there are still many more to take. Now, when that's cleared off, let's talk about closets and wardrobes some more, not about my particular closet, but in a broader sense. And a little bit about life too, just a bit.
This is how this outfit struck me when I looked at the photos - a bluish grayish jewel within an orange jewel...
I started missing my lighter weight clothes (or Summer clothes if you will). Even though it was 50 F and sunny today, it felt penetrating, too early for light dresses yet. And then, of course, without a doubt, there will be soon plenty of opportunities for wearing my beloved dresses and sandals, and in Summer, I usually miss my warmer clothes. It's a circle. So I thought I'd honor the weather, and the Winter which is slowly becoming Spring... but while it is still Winter, I will honor it by wearing something cozy, but mixed with something lighter too. And that's how this sleeveless dress by Chico's became my choice.
Doing a little Internet research before visiting the Washington State capitol building in Olympia, I came across a surprising picture of an old building which seemed so out of the ordinary, I instantly felt like I was thousands of miles away, somewhere in Europe, in Italy perhaps, in a place I've never been before.