I have this beautiful linen dress that my fashion muse, Mariam, designed for me last year. I hadn’t worn it yet this season and gosh, that just seemed like a crime. The fashion police were minutes away from putting me in handcuffs and arresting me for neglect. I decided to dress in this dress for work that day.
Erin and I had back-to-back client closet appointments in what can be the chilly side of Marin: Tiburon and Belvedere. I knew I’d need a cardigan or jacket for warmth if I was going to wear the gray dress. I tried a couple of them on but it just wasn’t right. What if I layer a T-shirt underneath instead? You fashion mavens out there know what a big trend it is to wear a T-shirt under a dress.
First I thought of a white tee. Tried it, didn’t like it. I wish I had a gray T-shirt, I thought. Staring right at me in the gray department of my closet was a longtime favorite grayish T-shirt. I say grayish because it’s more like a dark mushroom color. There’s a lot of brown in it. I adore it, but do I wear it in summer? No, it’s been a spring, fall, or winter layering piece. But I pulled it out and took a look. Hey, this is going to work!
The added style benefit was that I LOVED the contrast of the close-fitting, bias-cut silk T-shirt with the more impulsive linen fabric. I know not to expect linen to be free of wrinkles; I mean that’s just craziness. I don’t mind the rumpled look of linen but giving it some grounding with the silk knit made me really happy! Now this outfit was 80% rumpled and 20% smooth.
Wanting to wear this sparkly tiered necklace but there was a problem
Then came the accessories. Months ago I bought this mulit-strand sparkly gray beaded necklace at Chico’s one day, hastily. I was at the counter paying for a jacket and saw this necklace on the sale counter. The color couldn’t have been more perfect for me. The charcoal gray tones picked up the sparkly natural highlights in my hair. I love wearing shades of gray (not quite 50 of them though) and figured I could use it in a dozen outfits immediately. It was half off. I didn’t think twice.
The thing is, I didn’t wear it in twelve outfits. I couldn’t find a single thing to wear it with. Every time I put this necklace on it looked dowdy to me! How could that possibly be? Maybe it had too many strands. Maybe I needed to take one or two or three of them off. It bothered me because I really liked it and it should work! Next to the lustrous gray linen dress, it begged to be part of this outfit.
I started talking to myself.
Brenda, this can’t be this hard! Figure out how to shorten it! It’ll work if it’s shorter. The reason this looks frumpy is that it hangs around your bosom and not your neck! Besides, it’s better for the dress if it’s shorter. Then it won’t clutter the bosom area which already has gathers and a self-time belt.
Well okay then! But how do I shorten it in thirty seconds? I’ve got to get moving! I have clients to see!
I saw the velvet ribbon that the strands came out of and did the simplest thing: I tied knots on both sides of the necklace to bring it up a few inches. Elapsed time? 10 seconds. Now I had time to finish the rest of the accessories!
Look at the difference between this picture on the mannequin and the first one. Now the necklace is covering up the writing on the mannequin close to the neck where the original design shows all the writing on the mannequin. You can see the lowest strand sits right at the bosom. Not any more!
I wanted to play with texture so I went to my bangle/bracelet department. Going for sheen and shine I grabbed my Calleen Cordero black leather studded cuff. For the opposite wrist I added my super textured metal bracelet that buckles closed. I knew which ring I’d use: the arty ring with small diamonds. Since the necklace demanded so much attention I kept the earrings super minimal, just a faceted dropped charcoal bead.
I put on the black and silver cuff, the buckle bracelet, the ring and earrings and decided I needed something more to punch this up. I wanted the extra thing I added to have a focal point. That way it would stand out amidst the rush of silver and charcoal pieces. I chose one of my Alexis Bittar cuffs. This one is lucite with stones all around it. There’s a hint of gold in it in places and of course, more sparkle. The face of it looks like a watch face. What time is it? It’s luster time! It was my unexpected piece to make the outfit just a little more arty.
It all came together!
Can I just say that wearing a dress is divine? This turned into a windy day and feeling the fabric moving against my legs once we were outside of the closets was just divine! It was fun to be back in a color I adore, gray, and to be adding textured accessories to the textured dress. I did put on a full slip under the outfit because the linen is just a bit see-through. I added my platform Cotelac sandals that I’ve had for about five years. All of the ingredients in this outfit were things I already had. It was only the Chico’s necklace that had never been worn. Now that I “fixed” it, I truly will wear it a lot!
Thank you glorious outfit! You really made my day!
What was the last thing you wore that you felt glorious in? Can’t wait to hear about it!