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).

Friday, May 30, 2014


Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments on my last post. I will do my best to respond to everyone as I usually do, and catch up with all of your new posts as well. I am always touched when you show interest in life back in my home country and ask me questions. Since we are exploring personal style here, I thought I'd mention a few style blogs in the Russian language which are definitely worth of checking out, so let's come back to this by the end of this post, OK?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Style as Expression of You, Not You as Expression of Style

Oddly enough, I first started learning about pattern mixing, layering and all that stuff from interior decorating books and magazines (one of my passions for years). You probably know that I grew up in one of the coldest places on earth - Siberia, and back then (up till I was in my late 20s when I immigrated to a warmer climate) dressing in layering was what we did for survival, not for fashion. We did not call it "layering" though. It was as simple as put on an outfit (a skirt+top or a dress in most of occasions), and that was an outfit, and then, on the top of the outfit or as an addition to an outfit, you put layers and layers for warmth:
- tights
- something we call рейтузы in Russian (they would be made of wool or acrylic, or a mix)
- sometimes also legwarmers
- sometimes a few layers of one or each

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy To Repeat

I adore this outfit! It's fun, feminine, comfortable and very me!
I don't repeat my outfits much lately, but I know that this one will be on repeat when the mood strikes me. 
"What's that about not repeating?" - I hear you asking. 
"We don't have so much clothes!" - I hear you saying. 
Do get me right: you don't need a bottomless wardrobe to come up with new combinations! I don't have one, though I'll admit that I do have plenty of pieces to mix and match. It's just always much more interesting to create vs. to go with routine. I used to have sort of personal uniforms - I would fall in love with a few outfits and repeat them over and over again, while some clothes would just hang there without much use. I do it very differently these days. And it's really fun and easy - just add new accessories, change shoes or purse, use different nail polish to bring out another color of that colorful shirt, change that shirt, add a scarf - and before you know it you've got yourself a new look!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Meeting Anne The SpyGirl and Russian ABC: S is for Salad

As many of you know, Anne of Spy Girl is currently on an artistic travel adventure - the project she calls On The Edge: US. We are lucky enough to live very close to the Western edge, so Anne and I had a chance to meet. This is the very first time I met someone from this wonderful and warm blogging circle (but I did meet great blogger friends from my previous blogs - with some of them we are friends ever since that, for almost a dozen of years already!). I offered Anne to stay in our little cottage up the hill from the Puget Sound, and she accepted my invitation!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Event as a Gift

Remember my outfit from the post Not With Chalk, But With Soul? It was mentioned in Sally's Lovely Links over at Already Pretty - how exciting! I noticed that because there were suddenly over 500 views of that post (it's close to 900 now)... that just has not happened to my blog before! I'm happy to welcome all the new readers and encourage you to leave comments - please do! I would love to hear from you! :)

Now, on to today's outfit. You might think that someone very thoroughly planned this photo shoot - look how the funky chairs perfectly match the colors of my dress! Yet we didn't plan it. It just happens to us... all the time! A proof? Here are a few from the top of my head:

A little spooky, right?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dream Dress

Aren't you getting dizzy from reading about all the dresses this month? Because I am. Well, as they said in a famous Russian cartoon - only two dresses to go. Or maybe three. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Summer Suddenly

It feels like SUMMER! So sunny and warm - my favorite kind of temperatures, mid 70s to lower 80s, not too hot and not humid. Just PERFECT! 
I think you can probably tell that I'm pretty happy today. Why yes, I am! I do apologize for less than usual quality of photos though. It's all because Someone forgot her camera at home when she was hurrying to meet Someone Else in the early afternoon. That Someone would be me, of course. And the Someone Else would be, yes that's right - Justin who offered to take pictures with his phone, bless his soul and the modern technology.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring Surprises

Even though I am enjoying my dresses this splendid time of year, I do wear pants now and then, and this outfit came out fun and colorful, so I though it's worth sharing. 

More pictures than usual - of not just the outfit, but a fun day in a park and in antique malls.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Not With Chalk, But With Soul...

My new dress arrived just a few days ago along with a few other things which I consider my gifts for Mother's Day. I told Justin that I don't need any other gifts (though I know Anya has prepared something). The best Mother's Day gift for me was always spending time with my beloved people. Often on this day, we would go for a walk in garden, have some treats, take beautiful photos... I still love this warm holiday this way - very intimate and quiet, just us. But since I was being naughty and got myself a few new clothes, I've decided that they would be my Mother's Day gifts - and that would be it. I am not buying any new clothes for myself any time soon. One reason is I got quite a few exciting purchases which will keep me busy styling, mixing and remixing for a while. Another reason is, we are trying to save up some money for a new adventure. It's a starting point. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Before I start writing about today's outfit, I would like to invite you to see how stylish women wear their sneakers at Jill's and Adrienne's "How I Wear My..." event which they hold every month. I participated a few times and encourage you to do it too!

Now back to dress madness!
Dresses are definitely easiest to wear and to style - one piece versus two or even three pieces to coordinate or combine in any fun way. I used to wear dresses a lot when I lived in Russia - mainly I sewed them myself or ordered from a tailor. It was always such a fun process to come up with a style, and even if you find a pattern in a magazine (we used Burda Moden a lot), you still want to do your own modifications. Then the process of finding a fabric, or sometimes the whole thing actually started at having a piece of fabric (especially in Soviet times when we had deficit of just about everything in our stores)... Finding little things like buttons, zippers, fabric for lining... Then making it, trying it on, undoing, redoing, etc. Fun and frustration, but more fun, because every last piece is not actually the last one, and often as soon as you finish it, you are on to the next thing.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

So Not Me

To mix things up a bit, I will show this almost monochromatic outfit with a few color accents. 
I wore this skirt and a blouse before, though I did not photograph that time, and can't remember the accessories I picked then. I think it could be my yellow ballet flats, instead of these suede magenta loafers, and the whole look was a bit more playful. The tailored blazer gives it an almost business-y feel, like I am about to meet with a team of bankers or something. And it is just soooooo not me... I was debating (with myself mostly, but Justin also said his word) as to include this outfit in my blog or not, and decided that since this blog is my honest style journey, I will include this too - there is something to learn from this experience.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What To Wear To Indian Movie

When I was a little girl, probably younger than my daughter (she's 11), I used to love to go to our small town movie theater. It was a little theater by the woods that back then felt almost like out-of-town. The theater had a cute name, "Brook" ("Родник") and later became a place where young people would go dancing (disco club I guess). As a kid, I usually would attend either a morning or an afternoon showing, and watch cartoons, fairy tales, and children's movies. But at some point, I discovered the joy of Bollywood movies. I did not know the word "Bollywood" back then (and probably did not know the word "Hollywood" either) - we simply called them "Indian movies" (индийское кино) and were captivated with the bright colors, costumes, music, singing and especially with the exotic dancing of these movies. I can't remember titles any more. I remember there was a movie about a girl named Bobbie - that one was probably my favorite as I still remember her! My friend, a neighbor girl Nadya and I, would come see something like "Bobbie", laugh and cry our eyes out, then come back home to our little apartments next to each other, draw little red circles on our foreheads, put on skirts and imagine that we were exotic Indian dancers. There was nothing else in the world we wanted to become - just these gorgeous dark-haired, dark-skinned Indian girls wearing brightly colored exotic clothes, a little sparkle in our noses and a red dot on our foreheads, who dance! I think soon after that I started going to a local dance studio and learn contemporary dancing.

Friday, May 2, 2014

May Dress Madness: Ikat Maxi

I would like May to be mostly a month of dresses in my blog, and I chose this one to open my Dress Madness month. But before I start talking about it, I'd like to share with you that Beate's and my outfits were featured in Sylvia's article "How To Look Great in a Short Jacket". It was exciting to see how other ladies wear short jackets, and I invite you to take a look and share your ideas too. :)