Friday, June 16, 2017

Character vs. Elegance

This was such a fun and easy outfit to wear to a lunch date with my sweetheart (a.k.a. husband). I have lots of orange in my closet, I'm sure you've noticed by now. I love colors, but if I had to pick just one, for the last few years orange has been a strong favorite. I love all the shades of it - rust, pumpkin, carrot, coral, 'orange' name it! And I also love polka dots (which you've probably also noticed by now), so you can see how this skirt came to my radar. It's a last Spring Lane Bryant skirt, and I sort of "lurked at it" for a while, and when it finally went on clearance sale, I snapped it at a very low price (which is my frequent tactic - I rarely buy anything full price). 

The blouse, on the other hand, was this Spring (also Lane Bryant), and I bought it in store when they had some kind of sale on tops. I don't wear a lot of button down shirts, but this one is very special, with ruffles, very feminine indeed. I probably told you that blue has never been my favorite color, but I noticed that I started warming up to it in the last couple of years. This blouse is a very delicate shade of grayish blue, close to French blue I suppose. Pearls look beautiful with it.

It is made of light cotton with what we call merezhka in Russian (мережка), drawn thread work - a type of simple embroidery that we were learning to do in elementary school (my Mom was my teacher for three years, and she taught us the main simple types of embroideries, sewing buttons and things like that, when we were 7 to 9 years old). My accessories are old, especially this jute and raffia purse with a dangling wooden sand dollar on it. I bought it at a retail shop almost 12 years ago, way before I lived in a place that was covered with sand dollars.

I used to be all about elegance when I was younger. The "old me" would probably have found about 10 things that were wrong with each and every one of the outfits I create nowadays: wrong fit, wrong shoes, too wrinkly et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And even though I still am able to appreciate an elegant outfit, I have to say it feels restricting to me. There are certain ways you have to be if you strive for traditional elegance, certain rules you have to obey. With a goal to be classically elegant, there is not much room left for just being in the moment, for being caught up by raw creativity, and without creative freedom, life feels stifling to me. That is probably why elegance isn't my priority any longer, and I don't apply the same criteria to my outfits as I used to. What's important about an outfit now is that it has charm and personality. It's rather an outfit with a character, including the flaws. Life, with all its constant moving and changing, isn't flawless. I guess I prefer outfits that are living - outfits as a metaphor for life.

And what do you think? What matters to you when you create your outfits? 

Skirt, blouse, hat, sunglasses - Lane Bryant (sales, various years)
Purse - Sun N Sand (old - look at new selections on their site HERE
Sandals - Merrell via Nordstrom Rack (last year)
Pearls - gifts from friends (old)

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  1. when i saw the first pic appearing on the screen i had the instand impulse to run over to you and give a big hug and twirl you around....
    :-D description of that look.
    what you say about "elegance" is it for me too - beside of, that all this wearing of nude hosery, only genuine jewelry, all matchy-matchy and tucked in, cemented hairdo, etc. etc.... ist not elegance for me - its just stiff and tacky :-)
    loooove "natural elegance" - but this has much more to do with a personality then with clothes&accessories!
    happy sunday my dear!!

  2. You look soo amazing Natalia. Cute I think and I love it so much. Since two years I am in love with red, pink, violett, orange in all shades. I looove these colours.
    I never look elegant. It's not my personality .
    Big hug and much love, Tina

  3. I have to admit that the title of this caught my eye because I'm working on a series comparing a classic way to a more modern way of styling items!!
    I think it's been way more fun to start breaking those "rules" and having fun with our clothes!! But let me tell you, I still get a ton of push back from my mother (the 70+ model on my blog!!) LOL

  4. You look lovely and charming and the outfit has a flirty elegance as well as a bit of quirk. It's a fantastic combination. Love the hat and bag you have too! I like it when persona style really tells us about the person and not just whether or not the person knows which colours or lines go together. xoxo

  5. Ślicznie wyglądasz:))piękna bluzka i bardzo fajne dodatki:)Pozdrawiam serdecznie:)))

  6. Character over elegance for me! Your outfit speaks volumes about the interesting, intelligent and quirky woman you are.
    Like Beate, elegance seems more about holding back and toning it down. Not a fan. xxx

  7. I love to see a feminine outfit with flat shoes. Those shoes are gorgeous!
    The pale blue and orange are amazing together, and the little hat. Too cute for words.
    I think you look very elegant, in a natural relaxed way. So lovely. Xo Jazzy Jack

  8. Natalia, this is such a pretty outfit , that just says Summer. In time we all find what works and you have found your own style.

  9. You look absolutely beautiful. That blouse is so chic and romantic. Plus, it looks great paired with that skirt. Such a dazzling combo!

    I did notice you wear a lot of orange...and I love it. It is such a divine colour.

    For me elegance is a state of mind, a way we carry ourselves...and it doesn't have to do only with the clothes we wear. As far as I can remember, I was always attracted to bold colours and designs, it's just something I enjoy wearing- and I don't think it makes me any less elegant.