outfits

Cashmere is a Sweater

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist

In the famous words of Ogden Nash:

Christmas Present

Cashmere is a sweater.

Mere cash, even better.

While I wouldn’t say no to mere cash, I must say that I do rather like this cashmere sweater. (I didn’t get it as a Christmas present though.) I got it a few years ago from the thrift shop, and I didn’t ever have anything to wear it with, as it has quite a brown undertone, and so it sat forlornly on my shelf. I thought that when I wore it last Sunday, it was the first time, and so I made a pronouncement to that effect to my mom and sister, who immediately said that, yes I had worn it before, and the last time I wore it, I had said the exact same thing. Well, apparently I don’t recall my outfits, so I don’t know if this was the second, or third or maybe the tenth time I’ve worn it. However it is the first time it is appearing on the blog, so at least there is that first!

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, wool circle skirt

This is also the first time this wool skirt has appeared on the blog. Actually, now that I think about it- this wool scarf too. And these fishnet tights. I think that’s all.

The reason this skirt has not shown up before, is because I didn’t finish sewing it until December 30 at 11:00 at night, so I could wear it the next day. I sewed the majority of the skirt back in October, but then never finished hemming it. Hems are such a bother aren’t they? So, on December 30, I sat down and finished hemming the skirt. And then the next day, I didn’t even end up wearing it! But that’s OK, because I’ve worn it a few times since, and it really is the best addition to my wardrobe. (And if I hadn’t finished it then, it might still be in my sewing pile!)

I hated sewing with this material (100% wool, they said, but it has a bit of stretch, so I’m not sure), but the finished garment is wonderful. It has the perfect amount of drape in the skirt and it hangs nicely. That accursed little bit of stretch makes it actually quite comfortable. It’s black, so it goes with 75% of everything in my wardrobe. And looks good both with or without a petticoat- exactly my kind of skirt. It’s funny, I never sewed a circle skirt until this past June, because I was always afraid that they wouldn’t be flattering. But, since that first one, I’ve now made two more, and am planning for another- they are actually the perfect kind of skirt for me, and I can’t get enough of them!

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, beret and coat

As for the rest of the outfit, the reason I am wearing two different hats, is because I walked to church wearing the beret, and then changed into the hat once I got there. It is small enough that it fit in my large purse, and that way my ears didn’t freeze, because obviously it has no warmth! (If you interested, I did a guest post on how I embellished this hat, on Chronically Vintage, right here.)

And, a note about this scarf; I was selling my artwork at a farmer’s market in December, and the lady beside me was selling beautiful knitwear. I started looking at her table, and none of the pieces she had were the right colour/style etc. and then she pulled this wool scarf out (she hadn’t put it out on the table yet) and it was The One. I’ve been wanting a wide blanket scarf like this for a while; the sort of thing you can pull over your head when it’s windy. Anyways, I’ve been wearing it quite a bit lately, because it has been so cold. It was definitely a good investment. Although, I do seem to have this bad habit- I go to these markets to sell, and yet I seem to come home with things. . .

Have you ever been unsure of a certain style of garment, but once you try it, it turns out to be the best thing ever?

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, embellished hat

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, scarf and coat

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, sweater and necklace detail

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, beret

Cashmere is a Sweater, the artyologist, purse

Time Travels (With a Very 1970’s Sofa)

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist

Here is my number one tip for dressing in the wintertime, once it gets very cold outside:

  1. Put on whatever you feel like wearing.
  2. Stay inside.

For the past few weeks, over Christmas and New Years, and up until this week, here in Canada we’ve been in a deep freeze (-39 C for a few days!). It’s made going anywhere, dressing up and, above all, taking photos extremely bothersome! So, what do you do when the whether won’t cooperate? Dress up in your most favourite 1970’s dress, complete with the glasses your mother wore when she was a teenage, and do a 70’s inspired photoshoot on your very of-the-era 1970’s sofa (inherited from your Grandparents) of course!

This is one of my favourite dresses, but as it is made out of the preferred material of the era (polyester) it is much too hot for me to wear, so I was happy for an excuse to dress up in it, if even only for a couple of hours. I enjoyed the process of doing a “dress up/costume” photoshoot, so I think that I should do that a bit more often.

Do you like to dress up in clothes you wouldn’t wear any other time? What styles do you like, but don’t actually wear day-to-day? And, most importantly, can you stand to wear polyester (or other synthetic) fabrics without overheating?!?

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 1970's sofa and dress 1

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 70's dress

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 1970's sofa and dress 2

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 70's necklace

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 1970's sofa and outfit

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 1970's sofa and dress 3

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage glasses

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage boots

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 1970's sofa and vintage style

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 70's glasses

Outfit + Gold & Sparkle = Holiday Outfit

Outfit + Gold & Sparkle = Holiday Outfit, the artyologist, vogue 8789

Now that it’s the Christmas season, it is time to start dressing for the occasion. (OK, it’s been the Christmas season for a while, I’m just kind of late at getting a holiday post up). But how do you dress for the holidays when when you don’t own “Christmas” clothing, or you just don’t like wearing novelty prints of Christmas trees? I’m all for a festively, kitschy holiday outfit. . .  on other vintage loving gals, but it’s just not for me. However, I do love to dress for the season. So how do you dress for the season, when you don’t want to wear poinsettia dresses, red is not your best colour, or you don’t want a wardrobe full of themed items that can only be worn at certain times of the year?

My go-to solution for dressing for the holidays, whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, or Family Day (wait- no- you don’t really dress up for Family Day. . . ) is to take a regular outfit, add different accessories to it, and thus turn it into a holiday outfit. For example, at Christmastime, take a whole bunch of gold bling and sparkly jewellery, and voila! With a few changes, it’s suddenly a holiday outfit!

vintage holiday outfit, vogue 8789, the artyologist

I wore this exact same outfit last week, minus all the gold, and it looked like a regular old unholidayish dress. But taking the same basic pieces: a striped dress, a black bolero, black tights and black pumps and then restyling them with a gold belt and clutch, metallic gold nail polish, sparkly eyeshadow, and sparkly rhinestone jewellery made it suddenly seem more festive. Making those few changes made it the perfect thing to wear to the Christmas lunch at our church.

I’ve also worn this dress in the springtime, here, and the accessories I paired that time made it look the farthest thing from Christmas you could think of. Imagine if I had paired this dress with spider jewellery, a veiled hat, and a velvet jacket- suddenly it would look perfect for Halloween. Accessories really are a girl’s best friend- a few key pieces can completely change the look of your outfit to suit whichever holiday you are going for.

So, if you aren’t into outfits that scream “CHRISTMAS!!!!”, but you do want to add a bit of a festive touch, accessories are where it’s at.

gold and sparkly necklace, the artyologist

Here are some more ways to add a bit of holiday cheer to your outfit:

  • Wear a bow in your hair. It’s like dressing up as a present. . . only more subtle. 😉
  • Plaid is the perfect Christmas material because it has nothing to do with Christmas, and yet it looks so festive when worn this time of year. And you can wear it any other season, and it looks lovely- I’m all for fabrics that do double duty.
  • Wear darker hued shades of “Christmas colours”. Instead of wearing bright red and green, try jewel tones like burgundy and emerald. Rich colours like navy blue can look very winter appropriate too, with some silver jewellery added, for example.
  • Christmas jewellery adds a festive touch, but is a bit more understated than a Christmas dress. And, it doesn’t take up tons of space, so collecting Christmas earrings and brooches doesn’t take up your entire wardrobe, but adds a nice festive touch.
  • ‘Tis the season for rich and sumptuous fabrics like velvet and taffeta. They are great for both Christmas, and also New Years, and as most people don’t get the opportunity to wear them year round, it’s time to bust them out of the closet!
  • As I said before: gold and sparkles is where it’s at. In a society where people are more likely to have ugly sweater parties, I say- bring on the glam and the glitz! Any excuse to break out the cocktail dresses is good by me.

So, do you like going all out dressing for the season? Or do you like your Christmas outfits to be a bit more subtle? Or maybe you don’t dress for the holidays at all? Do you have any other holiday outfit tips?

gold and sparkle holiday outfit, the artyologist

holiday outfit, vogue 8789, the artyologist

vintage clutch detail, the artyologist

ps. This is the same vintage Laura Ashley bolero from last week– and here you can see the fabric better!

holiday outfit the artyologist, vogue 8789

vintage gold clutch detail, the artyologist

vintage holiday outfit, gold and sparkle, the artyologist

An Outfit Containing a Pleasant Surprise

An Outfti Containing a Pleasant Surprise, vintage Laura Ashley, the artyologist

The pleasant surprise I alluded to in the title of this post was not the weather when these photos were taken. If you look closely, you might see a hint of that evidenced by my red hands and nose, and less than relaxed posture. Very much unlike the morning when I got dressed and chose this outfit, by the time we took these photos later that afternoon, a very cold and piercing wind had come up, which made it quite difficult to “act natural”. It’s a bit of a trial to get photos in wintertime. . . but for the sake of the blog, warmth and comfort must come second!

No, the pleasant surprise in this outfit, is my thrifted bolero. I have talked about it many times before, but thrifting really is my favourite way to add unique garments to my wardrobe, and this bolero is no exception. I got it a few months ago at our local thrift store. That secondhand store is a bit of a hit and miss, like most thrift shops in small towns I would guess, as sometimes you come across a real gem, and the rest of the time it’s all 1980’s prom dresses and polyester cardigans. This particular time though, I found this “thrifting treasure” and I didn’t even realize that it was one until I went to wear it a couple of weeks ago. The thrift store price tag was completely covering the label, so it wasn’t until I took the tag off, that I realized that this is a vintage Laura Ashley garment, made in Great Britain! It’s made of 100% cotton, and is also fully lined with cotton. All of the seams are encased, and the edge is finished with piping- it really is a beautiful piece of garment workmanship. And, I didn’t even pay very close attention to it that day as I was a bit in a hurry, and just grabbed it and went! I guess it to be from the 1980’s, because of the style and print, and a quick comparison at labels online also puts it right in the middle of the 1980’s. It’s a bit hard to see in the photos, because black is simply impossible, but it is a floral damask print of solid black over a sparkly lighter black base. Like I said- 1980’s! Some people might not date that as “vintage”, but the majority of my vintage is from the 80’s as it was a great era of making reproductions of earlier styles. (Some good, and some very bad!) And, Laura Ashley is a company that made items that hearkened back to earlier eras, right from day one. (You can read their history here).

An Outfit Containing a Pleasant Surprise, vintage Laura Ashley bolero, the artyologist

So, the moral of my story today is: go thrifting, because you never know what you might come across. And, second, check the labels more closely, because you might have a very pleasant surprise!

Have you ever had a pleasant surprise while thrifting? What was it you found? And do you struggle with getting photos in the cold and dark wintertime?

thorny branches, the artyologist

An Outfit Containing a Pleasant Surprise, hat detail, the artyologist

An Outfit Containing a Pleasant Surprise, purse detail, the artyologist

An Outfit Containing a Pleasant Surprise, vintage laura ashley bolero, purse details, the artyologist

An Outfit Containing a Pleasant Surprise, vintage laura ashley bolero, the artyologist