Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jewel within a Jewel

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.

The blue gray sleeveless ombre dress, with a whimsical design reminding me of Russian fairy tales. They call this type of fabric "knit", and I'm finally learning to differentiate knit (thicker, firmer fabric) from jersey (thinner, sometimes flimsier fabric). Knit holds its shape really well. Jersey flows and repeats the shape of your body.

I added a heather gray (my favorite shade of gray) turtleneck and tights for warmth, and voila - a sleeveless dress becomes a cozy winter dress, almost a sweater dress look! But blues and grays seem too cold on their own, and I was looking to add a little warmth and extra interest to this winter look. Orange is often my favorite choice for accessories, and I adore my burnt orange wool coat which did not have many outings this winter. So I'm bowing to the Winter that is leaving us soon by wearing this beautiful warm coat, but at the same time I'm bringing my warmer days favorite orange lipstick and clutch, to call on Spring.

The necklace is one of my recent favorites - I wear it a lot, but haven't shown it here on the blog yet. It's by Lane Bryant. I love the vintage inspired shapes, the variety of them, and the mixture of metals. It goes with everything, from a fancy dress to a simple tee shirt.

The booties are from Pikolinos ages ago, love them very much - so comfy! 

And one more thing today. With all our adventures and explorations, I forgot to mention that my last post was actually #200. Congrats, In The Writer's Closet! Well done! And since it's all because of my closet, I think it's the right time to actually feature it here, on the blog. Dear friends, please meet my humble closet - well, honestly, not so humble any more, it grew a lot in the last 200 posts, I mean literally - it grew! There are many pieces that I owned years before blogging, and many more pieces that were added in the last couple of years, many of which are brand new, and quite a few are thrifted. 

I have reorganized my closet (not finished yet) literally a couple of days ago. These are Winter time clothes, some of which will go into containers for a few Summer months. My Mom painted the inside with golden yellow - it is such a warm feeling to open the doors now. I put in a couple of IKEA wooden shelving units (which we own for many years, so zero spending there), instead of old hanging clothes organizer, and the closet got an instant upgrade! I keep tees, sweaters, cardis, ponchos and shawls in the vertical shelving unit, and jeans and some skirts that don't need ironing in the horizontal unit. Everything is visible now and easy to find! On the hangers, you can see button down shirts, blouses, vests, then skirts, dresses and overalls. Again, visible and easy to find.

We just got rid of an old bulky chair which I found on the curb a few years ago (we donated it to Goodwill), and this sleek upgraded chair, which was found at an antique mall a few years back, is now next to my closet - the space got much roomier. On the walls, there is a new-ish collection of art prints - Washington State lighthouses by a local watercolor artist. I found the whole collection at Goodwill and changed the frames (except for one) for a lighter, less "serious" look. We actually have visited all of those lighthouses.

Next to my closet, we had a space which was a little difficult to define. Potentially a closet space (the doors were removed), it also has a big window to our backyard. Two years ago, my Dad made shelves for books and boxes on the right, and a kind of a window seat. I really love the idea of keeping this space open, but we live in a relatively small house (about 1000 sq ft), and since building and playing with my wardrobe is a current hobby which is growing fast, I needed to come up with a solution for my coats, jackets and blazers - it was getting too heavy for one rode to hold most of my clothes... We bought another thick wooden rode at Home Depot ($18), and my father put up another shelf for shoe boxes or whatever, and also the rod for my coats and jackets. We use a linen curtain to close the "new closet" which is pretty easy to open to get some light into the room. I'm really pleased with what we've created, considering the starting point. And even though, I have not organized everything yet, the space is already much more usable and even charming. I have not thought of it until I started writing this post, but my clothes in the the newly organized closet space also feel like a jewel within a jewel - many jewels, in fact!

And the very last, but not the least because it's Anya's milestone - she started pointe shoes at her ballet class yesterday. She takes dance lessons, on and off, since she just turned 3, from creative movement to hula, then ballet, hip hop and jazz. She performed in a variety of dance shows, and was the lead for Petra and the Wolf, an all-female performance based on Sergei Prokofiev's musical tale. After taking a break from dance last year, she decided, completely on her own, to come back to her old studio, and I am so very proud of her (I wrote a bit about her last recital in December 2013 here). I learn from my kid constantly! A jewel within each of us will only shine if we truly believe in ourselves and pour our energy into building our dream, paying attention to the dream, not to the obstacles. I see my role as a parent not in pushing my child into directions I "envision" for her, but in providing her with loving support in every step she takes, no matter how her own vision changes with time... The young ballerina described pointe yesterday as "an interesting experience" (honestly, guys, it is really very hard - I watched a little). My parental duty was to attach elastic and ribbons to her new shoes - I poked my fingers with a needle plenty of times, but it seems like a candy compared to all the labor she has to do to own the art of dance.

I wore this dress also here
The coat here and here
These and other orange accessories here and here

Dress and turtleneck - Chico's
Coat - Lands' End
Tights - Hue
Boots - Pikolinos
Clutch - Urban Expressions
Necklace - Lane Bryant
Earrings, ring, bracelet - Chico's


Linking up with 52 Pick-me-up: Baroque.


  1. oh how wonderful that anya takes pointe ballet classes!!!
    congrats to the 200. post! and i raise my glass of red wine for a lot more of your interesting, warmhearted and stylish posts :-)
    your ensemble today is a beautiful combination of cool and warm and elegant and bohemian! trés chic!!!!
    there is a third jewel - the best one - inside of the clothes!
    love the peek in your closet, you´r sooo organized!

    1. The best jewels are always somewhat hidden. :) Thank you for your kind words, my dearest. I only showed you the organized part of the closet though! :))

  2. I can't imagine the hard work, dedication and skill to manage dancing en pointe - well done, Anya!
    And congratulations to you too, Natalia - 200 wonderful posts, and so many friendships made. Here's to many more.
    I love the cool blue/greys with the strong, warm orange, a truly lovely combination. And it's always interesting to see how other bloggers organise their wardrobes - and yours certainly looks very neat and orderly!
    Beate's right - you're the brightest jewel, my dear! xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Curtise! I'm only learning to be organized! :)))

  3. I love this outfit. It does feel very Russian to me. I have never actually been to Russia but I have a "feeling" about it. I had Russian neighbors once. They were perpetually jolly, had lots of noisy Russian parties, were so sweet to my kids and kept their Christmas tree up year round. I LOVED them! As for your daughter's ballet career, my daughter danced pointe for many years. I cried at every performance. When she was a snowflake in "The Nutcracker" I was a blubbery mess. So, in case you don't already know about it, It will save you so much money. XXOO

    1. I love your description of your neighbors, Connie - it made me laugh! It sounds like some Russians I know too! I'm on the quiet side myself though. But we tend to keep our Xmas tree for a few months, at least for two! :) Thank you for the link, I will look into it. It does cost a lot of money, but when we go to a spacial store... they fit the shoes and treat the dancers like princesses there. I don't think Anya wants to become a professional ballerina, but ballet is a basic of many other dances. She loves expressing herself through dance. I know what you mean about crying - I cry every time too. :)

  4. Fabulous outfit, lovely color combo and lovely print on your dress!. Your orange coat is one of my favorites! and you look so adorable wearing it!
    And I'm admiring your wardrobe, it looks really tidy!. My clothes are filling all the built-in wardrobes existing in our house, and I'm decluttering them again and again.
    Love those watercolors, particularly because you visit those pretty lighthouses!, such genuine and personal decoration pieces!
    Lots of kisses for your girl too!

  5. My my! I LOVE this outfit! Blue, grey and orange are so wonderful together.

    I adore the booties. You seem to have so many great looking and comfortable booties. Not easy to find.

    Wonderful to have a peek in your closet.

    Congrats on your 200th post!


  6. You've reached 200 posts and they've all been rich and interesting! I'm doing the same thing you are with working in spring/summer pieces now. I actually just wore a sweater and shoes without socks to work today but I was too cold. I pushed it a bit too fast. The colors you have on today are just gorgeous, love that coat!

    Nice work on the organizing. I'm working on adding some things to my husbands closet so he has more options when we go out and he needs to dress it up a bit. It's a whole other ball game and the shoes are just as much of a challenge.

    1. oh....oops, I was wearing pants too. ;)

  7. Well done on your 200th post, we all look forward to many,many more of your wise and wonderful posts.I loved a sneak peek inside your closets, they are so very organised.I had to smile about your wish for Spring so you can wear those dresses and sandals, I am waiting for cooler weather so I can wear warmer clothing, we are never satisfied.Your clever colour combination shine again. Congratulations to your little ballerina,on getting to pointe.

  8. Congratulations on your 200th post, and on your daughter taking up dance lessons again! The blue and orange combo is lovely (blue is such a great colour, plays so well with other colours...). I always think of orange as your signature colour, you wear it so well and it works with your natural colouring. And I'm in awe of your organised closet. It reminds me it's time to do something about mine, too, as for the past 6 months or so I've been living out of a suitcase, wearing a very small portion of my clothes and therefore I have no idea what's lurking at the pack of my closet...

  9. Your outfit is great. The coat is so energetic, dress is kinda mermaid sea depth thing, and necklace is a bunch of mysterious jewels spread on the sea bottom. This set makes my imagination work. Awesome colours transition with pantyhose.
    This definetely is one of my favourite sets of yours.

    Your closet spaces are very organized. I like the golden yellow background very much. It makes the closet bright and friendly.

    CoNGraTs on 200th post:))))

    Ballet hobby is so cool. Hugs to Anya. She's a great girl!

    Lighthouse collection is very positive and makes me smile:) I like the white framing.


  10. Happy 200th!
    I love that dress and you're right, orange is perfect the lift the tones. I've got several pieces of Nepali jewellery combining turquoise with coral, they know what they're doing.
    Love the peek at your wardrobe and that elegant looking chair. xxx

  11. Very beatiful pattern of your gorgeous dress! Looks very elegant and classy! Love all the colors too!
    But what I also admire is your unique jewelery! One peace nicer than the other! Very lovely :)

    have a nice and sunny week

  12. It is a lovely outfit, and you look great in it. :)

  13. Your 200th post! Thanks for sharing your life and style with us. Your closet looks so inviting. I keep cleaning mine out and then I trick myself into thinking I have more space for new finds.
    The lighthouse paintings are beautiful. I have always thought them romantic for some reason, a bright beacon in the night for weary seafarers... Something like that.
    Congratulations to Anya. That was always one of my girlhood dreams but there was nowhere to study. I'm glad she has found a rewarding challenge.
    And you look great in your blue and orange combo, one of my favourites - complementary colours are so powerful. The jewels add a great touch to the knit, unexpected and inviting. We're on the cusp of spring, I'm impatient, so your idea to embrace the remaining winter is a good one.

  14. This is an interesting idea, to combine winter and spring, cold grey and warm orange. And as always, I like how you describe all the process of choosing this particular outfit. Your closet looks so neat and well organised. The new necklace is a wonderful piece.

  15. I do exactly the same thing...turtlenecks and summer dresses! It's a great combo...and it also works well with fitted shirts and blouses. The result is heavenly. You look so feminine and pretty.

    Congrats on your daughter's dance advancements:) I always admired the ballerinas. Dance is really an art form for me.

    You did a great job organizing your closet...and you reminded me that I should really do the same.

  16. An apt description for this outfit and our closet!
    I adore the paisley dress , its cool color scheme and intricate paisley design,
    I love it worn under the warmer red,
    it does in fact honor both seasons, the one ahead and the one we are enjoying now.
    Love the necklace, too, another jewel .
    xx, Elle

  17. Oh wow, this post is amazing, Natalia. Your ensemble is exquisite -- love the ombre treatment on the paisley. Then pairing the cool grey blues with orange? My favorite color combination! The necklace is a lot of fun. I'm not that fond of "statement" necklaces (maybe because they shout one thing?) this one says a lot, eclectically.
    Thanks for the tour of your closet. I know how tiny your house is and you somehow have fit a whole lot of storage into your jewel box! Love the idea of painting the inside a bright happy color. I think my closet needs an uplift like that.
    Lastly, kudos to Anya for returning to dance. Getting en pointe is major!
    Thanks for linking. Thanks for being you!