Let’s start this post with full disclosure and complete transparency: I really like this outfit. No, I think I love this outfit. Even more than how it looks, the way it feels on my body is dreamy and luxurious. I love the light colors and how uplifted I feel in them. From the inside I feel like a feminine goddess walking around gracefully and confidently in that loose top with golden metallic threads. The unbelted, untucked blouse moves freely this way and that; the full pant legs brush against my thighs and calves like sweet nuzzling or soft kisses from a tender lover.
A goddess might be a bit of a stretch; maybe a personal assistant to a goddess.
I wore this outfit for nine hours straight which included a morning closet appointment with one client and a shopping appointment in the afternoon with another client. Every one of those 10,000 steps was dreamy and full of satisfaction.
Now back to the mortal me, the me here on the pavement of the Northgate Shopping Center, the me who likes to figure out what works about an outfit and why, the one who pulled her head out of the clouds and said, “Wow, Brenda, this is so unlike you! Two pieces of clothing, hardly any accessories. What’s going on here? Do you feel naked without your bangles, your layers, your belts?” Well, yes, sort of!
I was confused. You guys were on my mind. I wondered how I could explain this outfit (because I couldn’t wait to share it with you) when though I didn’t understand what was going on. What was the formula to this ensemble? That night I went to bed puzzled. I was coming up with possible blog titles like, “Can you explain this fashion moment to me?” I slipped my fashion queries under my pillow, fell asleep, and in the morning I said, “Eureka! By gosh, I think I’ve figured it out!”
The inception of this mystery outfit
I rarely put together an outfit the night before. I love to throw my fashion fate into the night sky, wake up the next morning, slide open the mirrored closet doors, and invite inspiration to guide me. Mostly, that works.
On this particular morning, I decided I wanted to wear my full-leg ivory linen pants. They’re pretty classic, no fanfare. When I talk about having a star pieces and support pieces in your outfit, I’d consider these pants to be a strong support piece. If outfits were movies and clothing pieces were actors, Ivory Classique Linen Pant wouldn’t be on the theater marquee. As a support piece the linen pant is happy to provide the opportunity for a blouse, dress, or jacket to get the attention of the fans and the paparazzi. Gosh, as I write this, I just want to go hug those pants! They’re so humble and yet so very essential. Thank you, pants! I couldn’t have done this without you!
I don’t know that they spark joy when I look at them the way Marie Kondo and her KonMari Method would measure whether they should stay or go from the closet, but they spark deep respect. They are keepers, year after year.
Adding the star piece to this outfit
On this morning when I invited inspiration, my eye moved to this pretty Etro blouse hanging in the closet with a dry cleaner bag over it. I wore it in July to a wedding where it was victim to a near clothing disaster involving two other people. To explain how a glass of red wine splashed across the front of this blouse would be like trying to explain an elaborate high wire circus act. In case you missed a detail there, it was a GLASS of RED wine, not a couple of drops.
That blouse was back and forth to the dry cleaners three times before it came back nearly perfect. It was so traumatizing that I haven’t worn it since. Too scared. But besides being gifted inspiration that morning, I think God threw in a splash of courage as well because I reached for the blouse, slipped off the plastic, took a deep breath, and said, “Okay Girl, we’re going for it.”
I layered a white camisole under the sheer Etro blouse star piece. Why is it a star piece? Well, the gold metallic stripes grab your attention. The line of the blouse has a sloping thing going on at the sides. It’s sheer. It has that sweet bow tie at the neck that adds a little extra something to it detail wise. And against the ivory linen pants, it definitely stands out and gets noticed.
I added a pair of earrings I got this summer from Banana Republic. They add sparkle that relates to the sparkle in the blouse. The earrings also have these white cones that hang down. The white relates to the ivory pants. I wore my bee watch and my gold owl ring and felt complete. I slipped into my blush Prada patent platform sandals. I liked the shine of the patent leather with the shine of the stripes in the top. And I liked how the platform sandals gave me a lift.
Am I breaking my own rule?
So here’s the thing I knew I’d have to admit to you: I think I’m breaking one of my cardinal rules! You know how I always talk about the 50/50 formula for when it comes to wearing baggy clothing? I say if you’re wearing something loose on one part of your body, wear something more form-fitting on the other part. Why this outfit feels a bit foreign to me is that I’m wearing two loose things at the same time. Granted, the blouse is more loose and flowy than the pant but there’s no real definition–no defined waist or hips. I’m just floating, unconstrained, letting it all hang out.
Much of fashion’s direction is moving toward more volume and maybe this is my of of leaning into that silhouette; trying something new; feeling it out.
But because I like rules and formulas for dressing (even though I eagerly break them) I think this outfit may be as simple as this: it’s an example of creating fashion wattage by wearing a star piece (the Etro blouse) and a support piece (the linen pant) and jewelry that stays out of the way resulting in a simple elegant walk down the
red carpet gray sidewalk.
What do you think? Am I breaking rules here? I invite your analysis, my friends.