20 In Anatomy of an Outfit

How I took the Peacock dress from winter into summer

restyling a dress

Bringing the mesh Peacock dress into summer


Do you by chance remember when I first styled this Peacock mesh dress (by Giselle Sheraton and gifted to me from Artful Home) last winter? I wrote about it in this Anatomy of an Outfit chapter back at the beginning of January. I pulled out all kinds of tricks. First I layered a long-sleeved mesh t-shirt under it to add warmth. I used a leather shoulder strap from a Calleen Cordero bag, turned it into a belt and used it to belt the dress. Back in winter I wore brown fishnet stockings and tall suede brown boots. I layered it with a jean jacket and a shawl for a relatively mild day in Sonoma. I wore gray glasses frames and a brown cross-body bag in leather and fur. I got it just so and loved it!

(Need to see the January styling version of the dress? Here you go.)


Dress by Spirithouse from Artful Home

My winterized Peacock dress from Artful Home


Adding sheer to sheer in the Peacock Dress

Needing warming layers for the Peacock dress


When an outfit feels like a beloved blankey

Does this happen to you? You style something and love all the elements of the outfit so much that you wear it the same way for a dozen times or more? You don’t want to change a thing. With each repeated wearing, it feels more and more familiar and nurturing. I call this the blankey phenomenon. That’s how I felt in my January version of the Peacock dress. It was my cozy blankey.

I knew this dress would work in multiple seasons. The time has come. Those suede boots have been packed away and I’m reaching for sandals. Time to style this dress in a new way!

I had the perfect occasion to wear my Peacock dress this last weekend.

My artist friend Ayris and her husband Kip have a ranch near Sebastopol. It’s been mostly a weekend home. They’ve put their creative heads together as they’ve turned their Scenic Knoll Ranch into a haven of beauty and nourishment. Ayris claimed the small barn on the property (for small animals) and envisioned it as her art studio and a gallery. I’d been hearing progress reports and now it was time to share it with others. She had the opening reception of Art in the Barn on Saturday introducing “The Ladies and more” show. You can see her art on www.AyrisHatton.com.


Ayris' Art in the Barn gallery

This sign was at the beginning of the windy driveway up to the ranch


This space affords her the opportunity to show life size work.


Art in the Barn

Hanging from the rafters is ‘Moon Levitation’


Art in the Barn gallery show

My daughters Erin and Caitlin with my friend Debra in the barn


Art hanging in the barn

Ayris’ art hung in each stall


Ayris Hatton, artist

My kind, generous, loving friend Ayris


The Peacock dress gets a change of accessories

The first big change from winter to summer was that I had no desire to belt the dress. It felt heavenly just falling the way it does. I like exactly where it lands, just below my knee. I went with brighter glasses frames. I love using my blue l.a.Eyeworks frames from Uber Optics and to pull out the blues in the dress. I wore my Camper tan sandals to keep my feet neutral so all the attention would bounce up to the dress and my face.


Creating an outfit that feels like a blankey

This outfit feels like a favorite blankey to me


I did wear a jean jacket, although this one is lighter blue than my winter one. I like wearing this jacket more as a bolero style than an actual jacket. As it turned out the fog rolled in soon after we arrived so I was wearing the jacket and the cashmere scarf I’d thrown in the car just in case.


Jean jacket and jewelry

Jewels and the jean jacket


I doubled up necklaces. I seem to be wearing this combo a lot! My heart and crystal pendant feel just right. My jean jacket has a beautiful bee pin on it that was given to me by a client. And the delicate one was a gift from my daughter, Erin. Together these jewels make me feel feminine and present, grounded. I feel like me.

When I wasn’t wearing my plaid scarf, I wrapped it around the neck of this lovely piece.


Plaid cashmere scarf

Sharing my cashmere scarf


I wore three small mixed metal bangles plus this stacked button bracelet that I made years back. I loved layering these vintage buttons one on top of the other. I felt like I was creating mini button skyscrapers. I adore these shades and it was perfect with the colors in the Peacock dress.


Brenda's Button Bracelet

Bird wearing a button bracelet


I didn’t want any kind of bulky bag so I carried this vintage python bag. It was another layer of texture to play against the dress. It’s the perfect size for a car key, lipstick, phone, handkerchief, pen and small notepad.


Python vintage bag

Small vintage bag


My peacock dress enjoys the ranch environment

Just another day at the ranch!


And I have to close with a couple of pictures of the Kinsel girls. I had a hunch my daughters would arrive in dresses. Caitlin’s black leather jacket is gathered in the back and at the sides so it comes in against her defined waist. Erin’s skirt is vintage and like her mother, she adds a jean jacket.


Mothers and daughters

My daughters Caitlin and Erin


I always love when we’re at the same events. Friends and family mean everything!


Family in dresses

Loving time spent with family and friends


So now I feel like I’ve got my summer blankey Peacock dress outfit. I know I’ll wear this just like I’ve styled it for twelve times in a row.

Do you have pieces that you can style from one season to the next? What are your favorite blankey outfits? Do share!


P.S. The designer Giselle Shepatin has other dresses at Artful Home. Oh, I just checked and the Peacock dress is on sale! You can check her work out here. Ciao for now, Bellas!

P.P.S. Ayris’ show is up through July 15th on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1-5. If you want to visit at that time call 707.795.2007.

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  • Reply
    June 19, 2018 at 5:09 am

    I do know that feeling Brenda. Although you describe it so much nicer than I do. I always think I’m in a rut because I will wear things the same way over and over. But it’s because it’s comfortable and easy. Now I’m working hard to change things up and make my clothing work for other seasons with other pairings!!
    Your dress is almost a work of art in itself!

    • Reply
      June 21, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      Oh yes, it is nearly a work of art! And I have to say that there’s nothing wrong with wearing something over and over the same way either. In reading your comment I do think of the “comfortable and easy” part of that. And that’s a good feeling too. Maybe a little of both? xo

  • Reply
    June 19, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Loved seeing this summer outfit and really loved seeing all the pictures of you and your daughters. You all look beautiful.

    • Reply
      June 21, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      Thanks, Sandi. I’m pretty proud of my girls and how well they work together and play together. As I never had a sister I always tell them how lucky they are to have each other!

  • Reply
    June 19, 2018 at 8:35 am

    You have done such a great job in creating different takes on the same dress. The creative juices are certainly flowing in the Kinsel family! I love your descriptions and reasons for each accessory. I have a small bag of unique buttons that I love and wish I could use them in a bracelet or as a necklace pendant, yours is gorgeous.

    • Reply
      June 21, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      Rebecca, I do hope you find a way to use those buttons. I just think they are works of art, don’t you? Wish we could get together like knitters do and work with our buttons! Hugs!

  • Reply
    June 19, 2018 at 9:34 am

    What another great style you’ve created with this dress. I had to go back and read the details of your earlier post. How clever you are!

    • Reply
      June 21, 2018 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks so much, Kim!!!

  • Reply
    June 19, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Hi, Brenda
    I was just thinking recently that I have been styling so many outfits I love, but I never wear the same combination twice. Maybe it’s about time I start remembering my best and wearing it over again! There are so many ways to put outfits together, I think of them as infinite possibilities.

    • Reply
      June 21, 2018 at 2:44 pm

      Boy, you’re so true. I’m sure this idea of finding more ways that one to style a dress can be applied to an infinite amount of other situations! Hugs to you!

  • Reply
    Trinnie Q
    June 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Beautiful, especially you, with your gorgeous girls. ! Love the way you styled this dress across both seasons! Enjoy Summer ! As always, sending love from Oz x

    • Reply
      June 21, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      Thanks, Trinnie! I am glad you got to see my girls! It’s always so fun to be around them. Love from Sonoma!

  • Reply
    classic casual home
    June 20, 2018 at 8:14 am

    You inspire me so much, Brenda. I just about to get dressed for a client meeting and have some good ideas!!
    Mary Ann

    • Reply
      June 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Yay, Mary Ann! So glad it inspired! Although I quite think you are always walking around with inspiration pouring out of your ears!! xo

  • Reply
    Vicki W Grant
    June 20, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Such lovely multi colored fabric! I sure wish I could see the style and seam lines of the dress. It looks like one pocket on the left with stitched down pleats to form the drape and a sort of apron, wrap around effect around to the back. It doesn’t look like a pocket lives on the right. Am I close?

    • Reply
      June 21, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      I can see why it appears that way. If you can go on the Artful Home website and look up Peacock dress you’ll get to read more descriptions of it and zoom in to see the details. You’re right! There’s just the pocket on the left. To be honest, I just had to go and double check because I thought it had two! I guess I just remember using the one when I was sneaking a chocolate bar in my pocket and hoping Russ wouldn’t see it. I didn’t want to share! That dress is just really so cleverly designed!

  • Reply
    June 21, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Now THAT’S how to repurpose by season! Wow.

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 7:03 pm

      Isn’t it fun?!

  • Reply
    June 26, 2018 at 12:39 am

    Love your style! The peacock dress looks fresh and feminine! It can be worn anywhere you like!
    Linda from http://fashiontrendwalk.com/

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks, Linda! Love your enthusiasm and love of style.

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