ethical fashion

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

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, the artyologist

“But wait!”, you say, “It’s not Winter yet!” And, you are correct that it is not officially Winter yet. We won’t be officially in the Winter season for another 33 days to be exact.

Here though, it is Winter all right, and has been for 18 days now. It started snowing on October 31 (just in time for the little kids to go trick-or-treating out in the snowdrifts) and it hasn’t stopped yet. Well, it hasn’t gone away yet, and every morning when I look out the window, I see more snow to shovel off of my walkway. So, it’s safe to say that Winter is here, for now at least. Despite the fact that Winter comes every year, and that historically we get snow in October, every year I am caught off guard, and there are a few days there where I think to myself, “Wait- what? Snow? How do I dress for this?” And so I just end up throwing a winter coat, and boots and scarf over the top of everything without any real thought as to creating an outfit.

Now, the real question we must ask ourselves, when the temperatures have dropped below zero, is: how do you dress for the cold, when the aforementioned “hobo style” isn’t quite the look that you are going for? I present to you this outfit, which is a testament to the vintage lover’s desire to be dressed in some semblance of fashion, while also desiring to keep at least slightly warm. This is the first “real” outfit I put together since the climes dropped, and everything I wore here was chosen mainly because of it’s insulating properties. So, here are my cold weather tips for those who don’t want to sacrifice style for warmth. Yes, most of these are obvious, but I thought, why not share them anyways?

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, vintage coat and fur collar, the artyologist

  • Turbans are a good cold weather choice, because they can be tied over your ears, and are much prettier than your average toque. I actually wore two scarves here, one tied over my ears and the other over the top for decoration. You can tie a turban with a warmer fabric than a thin silk scarf, and you can also get pre-formed turbans which are knitted, or made of velvet, mohair, wool etc. and those would be very toasty warm! (I don’t have one myself . . . yet!) Other options for keeping your head warm are berets, worn pulled down over your ears like this, or thicker scarves worn over your head and tied under your chin. Sometimes, I wear my scarf and pull it up over my head like a hood, if it isn’t too cold out, but there is a bit of a breeze.
  • Wool coats are the best. Really they are. If you are at all thinking of going outside in the cold this season, get yourself a 100% wool coat, and you will not regret it. Lots of modern/reproduction winter coats are made of synthetic blends, and they do not even offer a fraction of warmth compared to pure wool. If you can, get yourself a vintage coat, especially a long one, and you won’t be cold. This one, from the 80’s, is made of cashmere and wool, and it is one of the best thrift store purchases I have ever made. On mild winter days, this coat is even almost too warm to wear.

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, vintage style, the artyologist

  • A fur collar. Does a fur collar keep you warm? No, not really, unless it’s a beaver hood or something known for it’s super insulating properties. But, it looks pretty! And it gives the illusion of warmth! And, if you aren’t going to wear fur in the Winter, just when are you going to wear it? I am not wearing it in these pictures, but I actually wore a scarf underneath the collar to keep warm, and threw the fur over top to add the “glamour”.
  • Nice winter boots. I love my pumps and thin leather shoes, but come winter, unless you want your feet to turn into blocks of ice, winter boots really are a must, and insulated ones are optimum. These boots I bought a few years ago, are lined with a layer of “Thinsulate” (which is essentially useless if you are actually out in a blizzard) but if you are just walking around town, they are great! They keep your feet warmer than shoes, and, they look a lot nicer than those clunky, rubber winter boots (that you will wish you were wearing if you get caught in an actual blizzard).

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, theartyologist, on-steps

  • Layers are good. Here I am wearing several layers: tights, a long wool skirt, (with a slip under that) and a long coat over top. There’s only about 2 inches of exposed leg (covered with tights, but not the skirt and coat, I mean). And on the top; a blouse, then a cardigan, and then the coat. Rather than getting a buffalo robe and swaddling yourself in that (which some days admittedly does seem like a good idea) build up warmth with layers so you don’t end up looking like a stuffed penguin.
  • Pockets are another wonderful thing. If your hands get cold, even while wearing gloves or mittens, you can just stick them in your pockets to warm them up. I once had a winter coat that didn’t have pockets- it was the worst coat because my hands were always freezing when I wore it! I also once had a coat that only had pockets over the chest. That was an awkward place to have pockets. I know they were supposed to be decorative, but what is the point of having only decorative pockets on a winter coat?!?!

Well, there are my tips for dressing for Winter, brought to you today from one cold Canadian! So, how did this outfit hold up during my walk to church that morning? Well, for the two blocks going south, it was great! The six blocks straight into the wind wasn’t so lovely, however 🙁 But, even though my face got a bit frosty from the wind, I was actually surprisingly warm and it was a relief to take my coat off!

So, what do you do to stay stylish in Winter but also warm? Is it “Winter” yet, where you live, or are you still enjoying Fall?

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, vintage turban

windows- The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, the artyologist

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, vintage wool coat and fur collar, the artyologist

Peony Season

seersucker dress, peony season, the artyologist

I sometimes seem to think of seasons in terms of flowers. When the snow is melting, it will be tulip season soon. Once the weather has warmed, it is blossom time. The middle of May means lilac season. And then finally, as the lilacs fade we reach my favourite of all: peony season. Peony season is the best, because it comes in June. The trees are lush with leaves, and the gardens are filling in with green foliage. We aren’t into summer yet, so the days are warm, but not too hot, and the evenings are cool. And my favourite large, pretentious, many-petaled, sweetly scented flowers burst into bloom! We are lucky to have six peony bushes: four white ones, and two fuchsia pink ones, which are not my favourite (my absolute favourite are the blush pink variety) but medium pink is the next best thing! I couldn’t not have a photo shoot with the pink peonies when they were in bloom, but alas, I don’t currently own any pinks that are cool toned like this peony bush (and peach tones would look terrible with this backdrop). So beiges, browns, olives – and a tiny bit of a pink necklace had to do instead. This is an outfit I wear a lot though, so it’s nice to show this dress off again, as the last time was over a year ago.

peonies-1, the artyologist

teacup necklace and seersucker dress, the artyologist

I guess I don’t really have much to say about this outfit, aside from the fact that: I actually wear this dress a lot in the summer, I am trying to break in these shoes semi-successfully (don’t you hate breaking in shoes??!!), and I bought this purse when I was eighteen, carried it for a few years, then decided that I didn’t really love it. Fortunately I kept it though, and have been using it again- I think I just needed a bit of break from it to remember that I do still like it 🙂

What is your favourite “flower season”  and which flowers grow where you live?

peonies-and-sky, the artyologist

kilties shoes--sitting-on-rock, the artyologist

peony-petal-detail, the artyologist

teacup necklace-detail, the artyologist

portrait and peony, the artyologist

olive green doctors bag purse-on-rocks, the artyologist

peony-bush, the artyologist

green doctors bag purse, the artyologist

peasant style dress, sitting-with-purse, the artyologist

Amongst the Clover

Amongst the Clover, the artyologist, dutch wax skirt and tie blouse

Laying down in a bed of clover is such a picturesque thing to do, don’t you agree? But, beware: lying in a bed of clover for the sake of your photographs, may result in your stomach getting covered in bug bites!

I didn’t realize that I was getting bitten while we were taking these photos, it was only after when the bites started itching that I realized that I had eleven bites! I suppose I should have foreseen this happening, but I didn’t even think about it!  But, even though the bites were rather uncomfortable for several days, it was worth it, because it was actually rather fun lying in the sweetly scented clover, listening to the hum of bumblebees. Next time I just won’t wear a tie-front shirt, I guess.

As for this outfit, I really don’t have anything new to say about it. This is the dutch wax skirt I sewed up last year, which has proven to be a wardrobe staple. I always reach for this skirt, (and my floral one of the same style) as it is surprisingly versatile even with the crazy dutch wax print, and goes with so many of my separates and accessories. For this particular outfit, I paired it with a navy blue tie-front blouse and pearls. I am always hesitant to share outfits that don’t really have anything “new” in them, but I don’t know why. I enjoy seeing how other people remix their outfits and I don’t even usually notice that they have shown that blouse six times before, so I’m not sure why I place such a stipulation on myself? It’s not as though I have a massive wardrobe with endlessly new outfits for every new occasion. Though if I ever got around to finishing up all my sewing projects I might!

Do you have certain items you always reach for when getting dressed? Have you ever gone and laid in the grass and ended up regretting it!? 😉

Amongst the Clover, wearing a sunhat, the artyologist

Amongst the Clover, lying in the clover, the artyologist

Amongst the Clover, lying in the clover tie front blouse, the artyologist

Amongst the Clover, the artyologist, shirt front tie detail

Amongst the Clover, the artyologist, dutch wax skirt and blouse in the clover

(you can totally see my sunburn, which turned into a tan line, in the photo on the right! 🙂 haha!)

Amongst the Clover, the artyologist, straw sun hat in clover