outfit

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

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist

Well, that turned into an unexpectedly long absence. I didn’t intend to take two weeks off, but here I am again! A few things have changed since my last post, two weeks ago. I have moved and am now settled into my new home… I have turned another year older… The leaves are mostly gone now, and it has tried to snow several times… and I’m sure there are other things, but I can’t think of any others. 🙂

Anyways, here I am today with an outfit post- I have been itching to get some Fall outfit photos for the blog, but seriously every time I try, something goes wrong- mainly the weather not cooperating. For someone whose favourite season is Autumn, it has not been a very good one, so far. We’ve only had a few pleasant days, and many bitterly cold ones. Finally my sister and I were able to go out last weekend (on my birthday) for some outfit photos. As the title suggests, it was very windy the day these were taken. And cold. And raining. And trying to snow. But- we persevered and I finally got my Fall photos- although they are nothing like the cheery photos from last year!

This year, my seasonal “uniform” is this coat, I think. You never get to see my autumnal hued outfit underneath, because it is too cold to not wear a coat. At least I do have a vintage styled coat- and scarves always make everything a bit more cozy, right?

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist, cashmere scarf

Actually, this outfit is full of my favourite seasonal “must haves”:

1. Trenchcoat– keeps you warm and dry whatever the weather is trying to do.

2. Scarf– preferably a big, soft and cozy one!

3. Tights– got to keep warm!

4. Cognac coloured leather– warm tones are always nice for this season.

5. Brogues/ Oxfords– something about this style of shoe seems especially appropriate to autumn, doesn’t it?

Some of my other falltime favourites would be: my dresses made of rayon and wool fabrics, anything in mustard yellow, boots, cardigans and a beret.

Any combination of these items and you are sure to have a fairly autumnal themed ensemble 🙂

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist, clarks oxford shoes

Well, I’ll stop rambling now. I hope your Fall (or Spring!) season has been a lovely one wherever you are, and that it has been infinitely better (weather wise) than mine has.

Do you like dressing for Falltime? What are some of your seasonal staples?

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist, autumn outift, hell bunny trenchcoat

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist, throwing-leaves

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist, blowing-leaves

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist, cognac leather crossbody purse

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist, brogue shoes-in-leaves

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist, mustard yellow scarf and autumn hued outfit

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist, country lane

An Outfit For A Rather Windblown Autumn Day, the artyologist, throwing leaves

How to Wear Those “Problem Garments”

How to Wear Those "Problem Garments", the artyologist, vintage shirtwaist dress

(OK, I seriously just spent about an hour trying to come up with a better blog title than this, but this is the best I can come up with. And now that it’s 11:00 pm, I’m going to say that’s good enough. And goodnight!)

I had every intention of taking this turquoise shirtwaist dress out of my closet and selling it. But I thought I should do one photo shoot with it before it was gone forever. And then I saw these photos and . . . decided that I will be keeping this dress after all! I found it in a thrift shop two years ago and it fits like a dream. I think it is an original 1950’s dress, although it could have been made later perhaps too, and I believe it is a home-sew, as there is no tag.

How to Wear Those "Problem Garments", the artyologist, walking in a wheat field

So, why would I want to get rid of this dress?

Well, I have owned it for a few years, and I have worn it perhaps. . . five times. I never reach for it when I go to get dressed, and almost every time I wear it, I don’t like how I have styled it (which is why it hasn’t appeared on the blog before). It just never seems to work with anything. Since my wardrobe is full of warm neutral tones, a vibrant dress like this one stands out like a sore thumb. Especially since I’m trying to create a more “cohesive wardrobe”.

So how do you reconcile those “problem” garments you have, which don’t seem to go with anything or work with the rest of your closet? Here are some tips I literally just invented right now while looking at these photos (and trying to decipher why this outfit “worked” this time around), but the tips worked for me when I wore this problem dress, so maybe they’ll help you too! 😉

How to Wear Those "Problem Garments", the artyologist, vintage turquoise shirtwaist dress

Resist the temptation to over-accessorize.

I think one of the hallmarks of vintage style is the accessories. While modern girls would call a t-shirt, jeans and a scarf an ensemble, vintage girls won’t consider it complete until you’ve got a hat, purse, gloves, stockings, shoes, necklace, earrings, scarf, ring, and parasol. OK, maybe not all of those things at once, but you see what I mean! The problem comes in when you are trying to accessorize a problem garment, and none of your regular accessories match very well. This is when paring down the number of accessories might be a good idea. I always tried to pair this shirtwaist with a matching purse, belt, shoes, hat, jewellery and . . . I discovered that it is just too much. Nothing seemed to “go” and the style of this dress actually works well with a relatively small number of accessories. And I don’t have to worry about looking overdone. My accessories choices for this outfit consisted only of brown laceup shoes, a cognac belt, and (though you can’t even see them in the photos) my pearl earrings. Simple, and definitely not overdone.

How to Wear Those "Problem Garments", the artyologist, vintage shirtwaist dress, details

Try sticking with one accent colour, or shades of the same colour.

This time I chose my brown lace up flats and a cognac belt. Keeping the accessories to one neutral colour, and shades within a hue, allows the dress to stand out. The dress is bright and it doesn’t need more colour to go with it. Of course, I could have chosen a bright colour such as fuchsia, which would look amazing with this turquoise colour, but that would not have been very “me”. Choosing brown accessories made this bright outfit not feel like too much of a deviation from my regular style. Conversely, if you are wearing a neutral outfit and are having trouble choosing what to pair with it, try one brighter colour such as mint green or royal blue. The effect is just as striking, and never overdone. And it is very “vintage” in style as well, as in past eras women were very fond of coordinating outfits!

How to Wear Those "Problem Garments", the artyologist, jumping for joy

Wear what you love, even if it doesn’t “fit” the rest of your wardrobe. 

Part of the reason of why I wanted to get rid of this dress, I fully admit, is because it doesn’t go with the rest of my wardrobe. I would seriously love to have a picture perfect wardrobe, where everything blends seamlessly on a garment rack and you don’t have clashing pieces getting in the way when you want to take an instagram photo. 😉 However, I do have a few pieces that “clash” and kind of highjack that plan, because I don’t want to get rid of them. When I think about it logically though, why do all of my clothes need to match? If I love something, why can’t I keep it? Of course I should keep it! Wear what you love, regardless of whether it goes with the rest of your wardrobe. Having a cohesive wardrobe is a great goal, and is one that I am still working towards with my new purchases, but for the garments I already own, there is no reason to get rid of everything. And if I want to take an instagram photo, I can just take the clashing dress out of the closet, can’t I? 😉

Before you give up, take a photo first.

It might seem silly, but when you look at a photo of your outfit, you’ll be able to see what is going wrong with your outfit. Perhaps in real life those pinks look like they go well together, but when you look at a photo, you’ll realize that you should really pair the dress with blue, for a knockout look. Or, maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see a photo of your outfit, and you see everything that is going right with it! Perhaps you thought that your outfit was really unflattering, but when you saw a photograph, you realized that it actually fit you quite well, and you just needed to step away from the critical three-way mirror! And maybe, like me, you’ll take a photo and realize that it’s not the dress that is the problem, it’s that all of the pairings you tried before were not working because you simply needed to get rid of half of the accessories!

I think that by following these tips, this dress will see more use; I’ve already worn it once since these photos were taken! And I hope they can help you too with your “problem garments”.

Do you have any “problem garments”? How do you decide what to pair with them? Also, I don’t tend to wear very many brights, so what do you wear with bright colours?

How to Wear Those "Problem Garments", the artyologist, wheat

How to Wear Those "Problem Garments", the artyologist, wheat field and thistles

How to Wear Those "Problem Garments", the artyologist, harvest time in alberta

How to Wear Those "Problem Garments", the artyologist, vintage shirtwaist

How to Wear Those "Problem Garments", the artyologist, collar detail vintage shirtwaist dress