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Your Weekly Humpletter: The Plumcake Costume | Manolo for the Big Girl

Your Weekly Humpletter: The Plumcake Costume

Hello my little butternuts, how’s every little thing? Yes, it’s time for your weekly humpletter featuring ten new Plumcake-approved tidbits of deliciousness, mostly on sale!

It’s actually a fairly slow week for sales thanks to the swing back from Memorial Day, so we’re doing something a little different.   One of the things I hate hate HATE is when people I know copy my personal style –which is pretty specific– just a little too closely. It’s awkward for everyone involved. I’ll never forget that day years ago when I walked into church to find some sweet but terribly misguided Young Thing wearing what can only be described as a Plumcake costume.

In the parlance of my people, “I liketa died.”

That being said, I thought it might be fun –and I invite you all to play along in the comments– to actually CREATE a Plumcake costume using the sales this week.  Create your own costume in the comments field, just don’t worry if it takes a few minutes to post. It might get caught in the pending filter.

Always CoolFirst up are these Original Ray Ban Wayfarers in dark tortoise shell, on sale at Lord and Taylor using code FRIENDS to take 25% off your entire purchase. I never leave my house without my torties, which are just as cool as the traditional black ones but a bit more sophisticated.

These are timeless timeless timeless and perfect for either sex, so if your father is still wearing those tragiculous Blu-Blockers, why not buy him a pair of Wayfarers?  He’ll look like  an Italian movie star (white loafers not included.)

And if I’m never without my Wayfarers I’m never ever without my Hermes scarf. In fact, you could probably execute a fairly reputable Plumcake costume with just the scarf and the sunnies, plus a pair of vintage clip ons.

Pictured here is my absolute favorite foulard from my not-inconsiderable collection. pc babel scarfIt’s called Les Rivieres de Babel and although I have it in the aqua, there is precisely ONE of these available for purchase  from Potero (on sale too, it is to weep), so get it quick. It’s the only scarf I’ve ever paid a premium for and the photos simply do NOT do it justice. So pretty. So SO pretty.  When a woman d’une certain age showed up fresh off the plane from Paris with it wrapped around her neck, I fell in love and proceeded to hairlip hell until I located one and purchased it with much whimpering of bank account and a month of meal planning that involved the phrase “beans and toast” more often that I typically find ideal.  And you know what? Worth. Every. Penny.

And of course one good turn of Hermes deserves another: the Hermes Bolide in brown box calf.  Again, there’s only one of them, but it’s at 63% off retail and in great condition. Of course as with all Hermes bags, it is entitled to the legendary spa, where loved bags are buffed, primped and polished back to new. Now in the spirit of full disclosure: I don’t own a Bolide, I have a Birkin which I received as a break up gift (sorta) and have used exactly once, but for all the folderol over the Birkin being il handbag di tutti handbags, I’d kinda rather have the Bolide.

pc bolide

Moving from the screamingly expensive to the cheap and cheerful, I mentioned earlier you could compose a pretty decent Plumcake costume with just the scarf, sunglasses and a pair of vintage clip on earrings.

I couldn’t tell you how many pairs of vintage earbobs I own. Hundreds probably. I might even know where a few of them are (I always carry some sparklies in my purse in case I need to put them on in a flash, and usually a few pair at the office, in the car…wherever)

It is a shameful truth that, like snails leave slime and skunks leave stink, I leave a trail of  earrings wherever I roam.  I’ve tried to fix it, but to no avail. I almost always find them again eventually, but in case I don’t, I really hate to invest too much.

cute earrings!

I’m a sucker for figural earrings, or something with a little hint of whimsy, like these floral ear clips on clearance from La Vintage, which will set you back a measly 17 smackaroos.

These little darlings measure about 3/4″ and are just about exactly what I go for in an earring. Casual but still a little sparkly, charming but not cutesy and pretty enough to draw light but not so spectacular as to draw attention away from my face.

If you’re not in the habit of wearing earrings, give it a shot.  I have pierced ears but only wear clip-ons, so I can pull them off or put them on at a moment’s notice.  Also, you should always ALWAYS wear earrings when trying on clothing  (nothing dangly, please). You’ll be amazed on how much more put together you’ll look, just with a simple pair of bobs.

More fabulousness after the jump, clicky click!

Shadows on the WaterWell let’s move from my ears to my neck.

We all know Miss Plumcake loves some perfume and Monday in the comments, faithful reader Lisa asked for some summer fragrance recommendations (she assures me her Rossy de Palma perfume from Etat Libre de Orange isn’t strong enough to stun a wild ox, but I’m not so sure, that’s some potent juice).

The problem is, most of the perfume I wear isn’t readily available online, or at least not conveniently.

An exception is my beloved Diptyque L’Ombre dans l’Eau, a lovely blackcurrent leaf bomb with a hint of early morning rose. It’s light and green enough for summer, but it’s not just some one-note cologne.  I keep a bottle of it in my glovebox (note: this is bad for your perfume, don’t do this at home) to spritz when I need a refresher.

It’s not overly complex, but you know, you don’t need a ballgown and furs every day, sometimes a linen dress will do.

fantastic linen dressSPEAKING of linen dresses, I love them. I’ll never know why people are so terrified of linen.

It doesn’t wrinkle nearly as badly as most people seem to think, and when it does crumple, it looks elegant, not messy. I’ve been positively living in this dress from J Jones New York for the past few weeks. If you wanted to come up with a standard Plumcake Dress, you couldn’t get much more perfect than this (okay, the neck would be a little deeper and there would be sleeves, but I wear a little white cardi and call it a day).

Coral chemise from TorridMost of my linen is lined, but this isn’t so I always wear a slip. Honestly I wear a slip most of the time anyway. It keeps me cooler in the summer and warm in the winter, plus I like knowing when The Archbishop of my Pants finally whisks me away to Canterbury at a moment’s notice, at least I’ll be dressed for entertaining.

I’m particularly liking this coral chemise from Torrid, which is a steal at $28. I think I’m going to go back and order a few more in black.

And while we’re on the subject of underthings, let me come clean once and for all: I wear granny panties.

Love ’em.

You can keep your thongs and your creatively cut tangas, you will pry the granny pants off my cold dead backside, which will be challenging because I fully expect several beefy men to have thrown themselves on my dead but still lovely corpse in grief.

pc panty

Besides, I think a nice nude or black full coverage brief in either a solid or lace is WAY sexier than those embarrassing striped and polkadotted novelty britches that look like granimals for grownups.  PLUS I spend most of my waking life (okay SOME of my waking life) suffering for the sake of beauty and I draw the line at walking around with something that uncomfortable lodged in my intimate person without at least getting dinner first.

These are by far my favorite undies on the planet.  The seamless brief from Lane Bryant, normally $15 each  they’re 3 for $29 right now.  I drove from Austin to the Grand Canyon in these (well, two pair, it took two days) and nary a chafe or wedge in sight. I always keep a spare pair in my car because, like the good scout I am, I’m always prepared.

umbrellaSpeaking of being prepared, here’s something you might not know about your pal Plumcake: I collect old umbrellas.

Umbrellas, like cars, just aren’t as cool now as they were way back when.

I’d picked up a few here and there for years, but it wasn’t until I was first in London tooling around the City that I realized how chic an umbrella could be. All these gorgeous silver foxes with their stiff upper lips and tightly wrapped umbrellas. It made the knees quiver.

Unfortunately, I’ve never had the expendable dosh to walk into James Smith and have a silver banded whangee cane fit-up made especially for me, or the legendary Brigg No. 92 with a flask in the handle that will set a girl back close to a grand, but I do require my bumbershoots to have at least a certain element of panache. A cheap and cheerful alternative is this charming lady’s umbrella. I’ll never understand why people don’t put a little more thought into their umbrellas. I mean, either they’re boring old Totes or embarrassingly cutesy. But when do you need a dash of charm more than when you’re walking in the rain? I particularly like a lighter colored parpluie for spring and summer showers. It can do double duty as a parasol for a picnic or when your beloved is rowing you across a limpid pool while you read Byron. People still do that, right?Taro by Brian Atwood

FINALLY you can’t have a Plumcake costume without a truly fabulous pair of shoes, preferably with an almond toe, small platform, elegant heel, timelessly styled  and –if you want to tease me because I don’t own a single item of pink clothing and only two sets of black shoes but about 10 pairs of pink shoes– they ought to be pink.

I am crazy for these “Taro” heels from Brian Atwoods and while I didn’t pay the retail of $725 for them, I paid a heck of a lot more than what you’d pay for them now that they’re on major sale at Bluefly. NOT THAT I’M BITTER, BLUEFLY. But they matched my criteria: they had to be stylish in the 40’s, 70’s and today. These are “sixty year shoes” and

So that’s it, ten easy steps to the perfect Plumcake costume. I want to know what I would need to dress in YOUR costume, so be sure to tell me in the comments!

37 Responses to “Your Weekly Humpletter: The Plumcake Costume”

  1. Janey June 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    My uniform is boring as hell, I’m afraid. Dark red Danskos, dark skinny jeans, v-neck tee, military-inspired casual jacket, dark red sunglasses, red purse.

    WHY YES, I HAVE A THING FOR RED.

  2. Sara Darling June 9, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    I’m totally with you on the slips and granny panties, and am quite intrigued by the clip on earring notion — I’ve got a few pairs of my grandmother’s around that I only wear on special occasions… I should break those out more often.

    And this post frightened me because a “me” costume would be a little too easy. A lace edged cotton camisole under a v-neck or scoop neck t-shirt, a cotton cardigan in spring/summer or a cashmere cardigan in fall/winter, maybe a thin silk/wool blend turtleneck sweater if I’m feeling adventurous, a just-below-the-knee pencil skirt, and a slip under all if the skirt is unlined. Shoes have a 2-3 inch chunky but not clunky heel, and are either pumps/mary janes or knee high boots. The purse is large and a thick high quality leather. This formula fits for easily 5-6 days a week. I’m undecided whether to be concerned about this or not.

  3. La Petite Acadienne June 9, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    My costume varies with the seasons, so I won’t put links, or else it’ll take up an embarrassing amount of room.

    So, winter costume:
    High-heeled (but sensibly so) black leather ankle booties.
    A (preferably cashmere) v-neck sweater, usually in gray, black, purple or aqua, with a cute lacy cami underneath.
    A scarf that complements the sweater.
    Hoop earrings. Forever and ever, I will love hoop earrings. And I always wear my silver ring with a moonstone in it that I got in Holland.
    A comfortable, dark-wash boot cut jean, a little on the long side, to work with the boots.
    Big round sunglasses.
    My off-white wool winter coat. Yes, it’s off-white. I’m nuts. But it looks dynamite in a sea of black and gray winter coats.
    And lastly, my gigantic black tote bag, stuffed with laptop, diapers, baggies of Cheerios, and my tiny Prada (my one bit of glamour) makeup bag.

    Summer:
    The aforementioned sunglasses, hoops and moonstone ring.
    A knee-length or ankle-length sundress. No Laura Ashley-esque tiny florals, though. If it’s a long dress, I go more boho. If a knee-length dress, then I tend to be more 1960’s ladylike. (Something like this, but obviously in a bigger size! http://www.smartset.ca/index.cfm?lang=en)
    Flat, boho-esque sandals if wearing a long dress. High-heeled sandals if wearing a knee-length dress.
    A giant straw tote, filled with the aforementioned working-mom detrius.

  4. daisyj June 9, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Dressing as me in four simple steps:
    1. Cotton jersey dress
    2. Cropped blazer
    3. Statement bag (no logos)
    4. Sigerson Morrison flats

    (I tried to do links for all, but it would only let me do one. So I picked the most important, obviously.)
    .
    .

    Also, on the subject of linen dresses, I recently had some good luck with Eileen Fisher, which was surprising because that’s a brand I usually associate more with my mom, but older.

  5. Margo A June 9, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    I work at home and live in the country, so my life is very casual. I’m 53, and working to make my personal Bohemian style age appropriate.

    1. Short or long sleeve T in purple, red, blue, rose, black, or white
    2. mid calf length flow-y skirt, in summer, or dark jeans, in winter
    3. Largish ethnic necklace, usually silver
    4. silver cuff bracelet
    5. Large shoulder bag, often one I made myself

    Due to knee issues, I’ve been wearing flat shoes for the last few years and am just now venturing to wear wedge espadrilles for a few hours at a time.

  6. Miss B June 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I’m in the midst of figuring this out. A few signature items are:

    silver jewelry (larger earrings these days due to my bob haircut)
    jewel tone of some kind leather handbag (no logos)

    The rest is coming together as I suss through things. :)

  7. Plumcake June 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    @Miss B: How exciting for you! Of course, a signature hairstyle can be a great part of a “you” costume. My style varies from Jean Seberg gamine to Mrs Slocombe/Sybil Fawlty excess, but there’s always a streak of perfectly salon-maintained blue or violet.

    @Margo:
    Well played indeed. It’s so important to make your look work for your lifestyle without giving in to the Dreaded Frump

    @DaisyJ: I am so envious of your jacket-wearing ability. I collect vintage dinner jackets but can’t wear contemporary jackets at all!

  8. La Petite Acadienne June 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    I plan on dressing exactly like Margo when I’m 53. It sounds chic, artistic, but comfy.

  9. KellyGirl June 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    The ultimate Kelly outfit is:

    Top – Either a black button down (short or 3/4 sleeves) untucked with a shirt-tail hem or a peasant-y style top (if it’s black eyelet, all the better).

    Bottom – Slim or skinny jeans or capris

    Shoes – Black/silver Privo flat sandals in summer, some sort of sporty maryjane in between, and girly motorcycle boots in the winter.

    Bag – Crossbody either schoolbag or something a little sportier (currently Kipling).

    Other: Swatch, winged heart silver ring, deco style diamond ring I inherited, liquid eyeliner.

  10. Jassy June 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Love this question! For summer I do various types of dresses, generally empire waisted, ethnic styles and prints, Mexican or African. I take Freida Kahlo as a muse. I even do the braided hair with appropriate jewelry. I vary this look with my version of a preppy inspired look, espridrills and dresses with more classic patterns like gingham or solid primary colors. I will also do a petal pusher pant with a gingham shirt on occasion.

    During winter I tend to adopted the preppy look more since it’s warmer in general. Black shirts, or dresses with white shirts and cardigan. I feel like I could be taking an exam at Cambridge or Oxford, generally all that’s missing is the academic gown. I’ve hoarded some Isaac Mizrahi dresses that have a 50’s vibe and try to liven up the perpetual black I wear by using fishnet tights with a longer skirt, otherwise I feel I look like I’m going to a funeral and after a while that’s just so wearying in bad weather.

  11. Abby June 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    Well this is timely, because I feel in a bit of a rut. The forties is hard, y’all! You need to be impeccable, but you’re not yet old enough to pull of Lady of a Certain Age insouciance. And I’m not really rich enough for impeccable. So what I need is discipline, buy what works, blah de boring blah.

    Anyway. Dark trouser jeans, tops that are fitted at the waist – I’m a pear. I love a kimono type sleeve, or really any interesting sleeve. Dressier days – riding type skirt, fitted shirt, nice belt, scarf. That latter should be my uni because it looks great, but I wonder if I’m aging out of it, or if it veers towards too something. Secretarial?

    I have these sunglasses in black and HEART them. Which is odd, Betsey Johnson is so not my thing. They were on deep clearance, total impulse buy and I wear them every day.

    http://www.betseyjohnson.com/Studded_Sunglasses_/pd/np/500/p/1173.html

  12. Melissa June 9, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    I have spent years and years perfecting a look and now I’m so sick of it I could die. Usually I’m in a pair of perfectly tailored trousers, a twin set/blouse/man’s shirt, art deco diamond earrings, a strand of pearls or scarf, and my Max Mara eye glasses with black cat eye frames – not too pointy, I’m not a charicature. Add in a big designer handbag – nothing covered in logos, I’m not a billboard – and shoes that compliment the rest of the look, flats, heels, boots, whatever. Think Talbots with less granny and more edge.

    I just hit 38, I’m a technical writer, and in my branch of the defense industry no one cares what I wear. As a matter of fact they would prefer that I look less feminine and a lot more casual. Lately I’ve been scaling way back and *gasp* wearing jeans to work. My favorite thing right now is super casual – ripped jeans, a well made (seamed and fitted) v-neck tshirt, mary jane style chuck taylors or flip flops, my very favorite James Avery pendant necklace of the state seal of Texas, diamond earrings, and if my way-too-long hair is in a pony tail there is a scarf involved. I’m pulling out more linens, softer lines, summer skirts with skimmer flats and such. My version of life less formal.

  13. Lisa June 9, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Well, Ms Plummy, you’ll have to come visit me and see if I smell bad! Today, however, I am wearing Vetiver Extraordinaire, not Rossy.

    BTW, that linen dress it too damn darling for words.

    ANYHOO, my uniform:

    My baseline style is pretty much exactly like the lovely woman from Mai Tai’s picture book, only on a much chubbier, much less chic, and decidedly un-French me. I wear black and dark blue jeans, a white shirt, a beautiful scarf, a beautiful handbag, pumps (usually), a blazer of some kind, usually leather, though in the summer I wear linen blazers, and I never leave the house without makeup. I refused to do a conference call on Skype without makeup. The handbag makes the outfit.

    Today, for example:

    1) Chloe sunglasses
    2) Red LV suhali bag
    3) Stonewash denim jeans
    4) White t-shirt (as it’s summer, and I only had to meet with students today)
    5) Razza scorpion necklace (I have tons of costume jewelry; is there anything better than Ebay? No, there’s isn’t, except for puppies and licorice allsorts)
    6) Robert Ciergerie wedge pumps
    7) My “square root” watch. It’s a math joke. I know.

  14. Sarah June 9, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Earlier this week I got to dress as my Ideal Self. Now maybe it isn’t the ne plus ultra of style, but I was awfully comfortable and felt good. Oh, and I was coming off of a minor shopping spree at Avenue, which helped.

    Shirt: White lurex-stitched tee, just a little heavier than tissue-weight. http://bit.ly/ca3Lxt
    Skirt: Brown tiered jersey skirt. http://bit.ly/bwUMRF
    A skinny grape purple scarf woven with love by my grandmother, with little sparkly seed beads and shiny ribbon scattered throughout
    Shoes: brown mary janes (I’m working on that)
    Earrings: Blue and purple crystal button-like earrings
    Bag: Summery cotton tote, tan

    I felt good, looked good, and got the “OMG you’re not wearing black!” seal of approval from a co-worker. :)

  15. Deb June 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    Okay this inspired me. I’ve fallen to the Dreaded Frump (stay at home mom, rural area, no one will know or care what I wear). Also, kinda broke. But, nonetheless, I went to Target and bought two (on sale!) v-neck three-qtr sleeve sweaters that are totally me and a pair of linen pants that are more like what I’d like to be.

    Thanks, y’all.

  16. TropicalChrome June 10, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    Glasses. I am nearsighted with astigmatism, and my one foray into contacts was, to put it mildly, a disaster. My glasses are always reasonably up to date, since I buy new ones every 2-3 years – but always with an eye to what looks good on ME first, trendy second. I wear glasses nearly constantly, the exceptions being in bed, in the shower, and in the pool (but I have a pair of corrective swim goggles so that may still count).

    Midrise bootcut jeans. I don’t give a good goddamn if the style is now skinny jeans, a well-fitted pair of bootcuts make my legs look *amazing*.

    In winter, heeled black leather ankle boots. In summer, heeled sandals.

    A black, purple, or other cool toned tshirt under a cardigan, or used as a shell under a jacket.

    A good, well-fitted bra. I am topologically gifted and going without is painful.

    Brightly colored nail polish. If I’m going to take the time to do my nails, I’m going to make sure they’re noticed.

    My Citizen watch whose face is solar cell that recharges the battery so I never have to worry about it stopping (and you’d never notice, it looks like any other professional watch), my art ring, and my wedding ring.

    Please note this is my costume for going out to dinner or parties or rare professional face to face meetings. I work mainly from home, and since my days often go something like: Write press release. Send it off for approval. Clean bathroom while waiting for approval. Receive approval and post appropriately. – I don’t dress up at all. It does not make sense to clean the bathroom in good clothes.

  17. Lisa June 10, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    @Deb I have to say that I went through a period of writing every day in my pajamas or my sloppy clothing, and I just plain got depressed. So now, even if I am staying home all day, I get up, I groom, I put on makeup, and I put on some nice clothes. I was raised with the whole “these are “good” clothes and these are “banging around” clothes” dichotomy, and while I still do that (I don’t write in a cocktail dress or diamonds, but maybe I will someday)…my banging around clothes are still pretty, nice, and clean. Because I like ’em that way–it’s not about anybody else–and my day feels more structured, and I get more work done than if I don’t even bother to change.

    And though my husband would never say so, were I him, I’d get sick of looking at the slouchy version of me all the time. And it’s easier to flirt outrageously with the beefcakey UPS guy when I don’t like heck.

  18. Lisa June 10, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    oh and @TropicalChrome: I’m with ya, re: eyeglasses. I think eyeglasses are one of the most overlooked accessories ever. From my perspective, you should love love love them, and they should 100 percent as comfortable as possible because if you really need them, you wear them all the time. And that type of use merits investment.

  19. TeleriB June 10, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    I love to wear costumes. Maybe it’s a moral failing, but every time I’ve seen Plumcake dissect a vintage look and advise us on how to update this or that element “so it’s a style and not a costume,” a part of me goes, “NOOOOO I want to look like I just left the community theater rehearsal.” Any day I can wear a structured white oxford, khakis and just enough leather (usually hat and boots) to evoke Indiana Jones is a good day.

    Ironically, I’ve spent enough time in my re-enactment gear that it no longer reads as ‘costume’ to me. It’s “clothes for the weekend.” (The more recent pieces I’ve made have finished seams and facing at the neckline and edges, for crying out loud – that’s better worksmanship than most of my ‘real’ clothes!)

  20. HurricaneDeck June 10, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    I work about 50% of the time in a very casual office, and the other 50% of the time in the oilfields (or, soon to be oilfields). I am usually wearing a short sleeved button down blouse, a pair of Carhart jeans, and steel toed cowboy boots. No jewelry, and my hair is usually in a braid.

    For at home and on weekends, I can usually be found in a sarong that I’ve tied into a dress – I love the comfortable!

    And at dog shows, well, the more bright and colorful the suit, the apt I am to wear it. :-)

  21. Mrsbug June 10, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    I wish I could say I had a consistent style. I do loves me some vintage and try to incorporate many of my finds into my daily wear. However, I work at a university here in Michigan (Go Green!) and my office is very casual, so much so that I get asked if I’m interviewing somewhere whenever I dress up. LOL

    I’d say I trend toward the vintage/preppy: khaki pants, twin sets and pearls. Oh and Weejuns. LOVE my Weejuns. I have some vintage dresses I wear sometimes, plus since I have a small neck, I can tie a lovely vintage handkerchief around my neck as well.

    I’m determined next winter to start wearing these gorgeous black leather, long gloves my mom got me. They aren’t doing anything sitting in the drawer, for heaven’s sake.

    I have a couple men’s vintage bowties I’ve worn before; it’s a challenge to do it without appearing too androgynous or kd Lang.

    Oh, I feel I must make a confession: Hi, I’m MrsBug, I’m 42 and have a thing for heels with bows/flowers/tchotckes on their toes.

    MsPlummy, how do you wear your scarves? I’m interested in mixing up my look a little. Is this the classic, Italian over-the-head wrap look I’m picture Sophia Loren wearing?

  22. ChloeMireille June 10, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    I…don’t have a costume. My wardrobe is ridiculously inconsistent for a multitude of reasons that are entirely psychological. HOWEVER, there are two things that you will not spot me without.

    1. Oversized sunglasses. They look like these. Except I got them from Target over a year ago for $12.

    2. My Timex watch. I’ve had it for 5 years now, and the battery has only been replaced once.

    Also, Mrs. Slocombe was the first Woman of a Certain Age I actively aspired to become one day.

  23. Deb June 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    @Lisa Yeah, I was raised to “change into play clothes” the minute I walked in the door from school or church (especially church) and it’s been surprisingly hard to stop thinking I shouldn’t wear “good clothes” in my own house. Weird.

    But today I made an effort! Khakis instead of sweats. And earrings. And I dried my hair. In the house I go for the polka dot Tom’s shoes (comfort, whimsy, giving to others all in one shoe!) but when I go out to get the youngster from school I’ll go for clogs instead of running shoes. Small steps. :)

  24. Plumcake June 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    @Deb: A+ for effort! I think there’s great value in finding pieces that FEEL like schlubwear but look fantastic. A really easy soft knit dress in a good but loose cut feels like wearing a t-shirt but looks fantastic. As previously noted, since I live alone, I pretty much only wear my slip. That way I can make that mental switch from Work to Home, but if I catch myself in the mirror I feel like Maggie the Cat.

  25. Lisa June 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    @Deb HORRAY! Mostly, the routine of writing at home can feel confining. I know that doing without a commute in LA is heaven (I only have to go to campus on days I teach, and I don’t teach that much anymore), but if my loft is messy, or if I am messy, it just feels like…depressing villa. I am wearing a poet blouse today with yellow chiffon scarf as a headband, and a silver necklace featuring Roman coins.

    @Plumcake. The slip comment made me laugh, and also answered the question I had about why I have never been given anything by Hermes as a break-up gift. Though I am not a fan of the Birkin. I have a structured bag–which is what I think Birkins are good for, outfit-wise–that I bought in Italy a million years ago that is much less restricting in terms of how to carry it. The big deal about Hermes scarves, I totally get, many of their scents are divine, I just blew a wad on a Mors scarf ring, but the big deal about their bags, I just don’t get. There are some very well-made bags that don’t cost more than my first car.

  26. Plumcake June 10, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    @MrsBug: I’m having a tough time imagining a way to successfully wear a man’s bowtie, tied, particularly for day. It might actually be cute left untied, or loosely tied in a knot (like you’d make a regular knot in a piece of string, not knotted like a tie). As for how I tie my scarf, it’s almost always kerchief style, for reasons I’ll go into later next week. I don’t wear my scarves Italian style unless it’s raining or I’m driving the convertible. It’s a look I love, but it doesn’t work in 2010 daywear. It’s too cartoony.

    @HurricaneDeck: What sort of doggies do you show?!

    TeleriB:
    SIGH.

  27. Deb June 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    @Lisa Thanks! It does make such a difference.

    @Plumcake Thanks! And by the way, I share your love of linen. Back when I did go to an office everyday, my work wardrobe was four linen skirts (straight, lined, solid) and a couple of linen jackets and a couple of silk tweed jackets. Add in blouses or shells appropriate to the season and I could meet with anybody! :)

  28. HurricaneDeck June 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    @Plumcake – Rat Terriers!

    I’ve grown to love the more colorful outfits – I used to be into ‘blending in’ – not anymore!

  29. Grace June 10, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    I’m another person who is kind of inconsistent on my style. I tend to live in pants, usually jeans or cords, and simple tops (cashmere v neck sweater, v neck t-shirt fitted woven shirts). I’ve been blessed with very thick, naturally curly hair that does great when I’ve got the right cut and let it dry with the curls intact.

    Where I go a bit more out of my way is accessories: I developed a ridiculous obsession with John Fluevog shoes (about 40 pairs), and distinctive bags (usually Coach, but always leather, not signature or fabric, often in a bright pop of color). I also am very particular about my jewelry. I mix up what I wear, but it’s always silver or natural stones, often a bit oversized and handmade. I’ve had to upsize my jewelry box twice, and I still have overflow.

    I wish that I could manage to wear scarves – I’ve tried to in the past, and I end up fussing with them so much they’re not worth the effort. Maybe that’s something that I’ll master in my old age.

  30. Mrsbug June 11, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    @MissPlumcake, the bowties are just the old clip-on kind. :) And yeah, I felt a little “hi, I’ll be your server tonight” the day I wore it. LOL

  31. Plumcake June 11, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    @MrsBug: Have you thought about maybe clipping it on to the BACK of your dress, or, somewhere askew on your neckline?

  32. zuzu June 11, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    I don’t really have a consistent style, either, but within the last couple of years, I’ve discovered the magic of the jersey dress. I can wear them with a scarf in my hair (I always feel like a flight attendant/den mother/strangling victim when they’re around my neck), with sandals in the summer and with tights and a jacket or belted cardigan in the winter. I do fun outerwear – I have a black-and-white-print trench that gets me compliments wherever I go, and I’m saving up for a really fabulous winter coat. Until then, I have a pink wool coat that I got from Burlington Coat Factory that cheers me up, and my mom’s fake fur.

  33. Ananas June 11, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    I am most often found dressed very prepily in the summer- brightly coloured polo shirt (classically short sleeved, thank you), dark jeans or long shorts as weather permits, generally with a scarf, or bandanna if I’m just tooling around, tied as an ascot. Shoes are generally a nice pair of flip flops with the shorts, or my engineer’s boots with the jeans. Jewelry is generally minimal– I dislike having things on my wrists, as I’m typing a great deal most days, and my earrings are generally as discrete as you can get when you have six holes in your ears and four of them are gauged. I am fond of cardigans in the colder weather, and my toes are always painted nicely and my nails are kept short and clean.
    (I am afraid that my father imparted that male fashion rule upon me– Thou Shalt Not Wear Black with Brown — and I have a small horror of having my boots and my belt not match, or wearing a black polo with brown boots, etc.)

  34. Mrsbug June 14, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    @Plumcake, great idea. I had someone else mention using them like a piece of jewelry and creating kind of a jewelry collage with them and a broach or something. I haven’t tried it yet.

  35. Margie August 12, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    I was browsing though older posts and came across this one! Just wanted to add my 2cents:

    Typical work day:
    Brown, Khaki, Black slacks
    Khaki or Brown corduroy
    Black stretchy/jersey top, short or long sleeve (sometimes dark green or cream)
    Black or light colored tank with pink or red or black cardigan sweater
    White or pale pink cotton boho tops for summer
    Black, Grey or dusty Pink ribbed turtlenecks in the winter
    Black ballet flats, Mary Janes, or my ever faithful all black suede Adidas classics or black Converse All Stars
    My “everyday” silver jewelry (white gold wedding rings, silver cuff bracelet, silver chain with small diamond pendant)
    soft black eyeliner, just enough pale eyeshadow, tinted lip gloss
    hair tied up in clip or ponytail, sometimes loose braid, minimal product

    For church:
    Same tops as above but with dark jeans and sandals or heels
    Long cotton skirts in summer
    same makeup as above, hair depends on how much time I give myself to get ready

    For weekend/bar/club:
    Dark jeans
    Dark tops (usually black)
    Vintage 50s dresses
    Heels
    Smokey eyes and bright lips
    LOTS of sparkly silver jewelry (long dangly earrings or large pendants, silver bangles or large silver cuffs)
    Anything with glitter or sparkle or beads!!!
    Hair is down and wavy or curly, usually fluffy and filled with product or slick high ponytail and short ruler-cut bangs

    Needless to say I prefer comfortable but when I dress up I channel 50s and 60s vintage. I always wanted to be a “pink lady” with the long pencil skirts and cardigans but hippie with the flowy skirts and bangle bracelets work well too!

  36. txbunny August 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    @ Miss Plumcake: Love the slip around the house. I certainly would not mind being Maggy the Cat.

    Summer Uniform – Dressy (also includes work):
    – A dress that channels the 50s or early 60s in a print. The print is bold, med to large in scale but not high contrast. Dress is often fitted/slim and most times made from cotton sateen or a jersey knit. Length is at the knee to 6″- 8″ above based upon dress proportion.
    – Always wear jewelry – most often includes a 60s era 14K hinged bangle about 5/8″ wide.
    – 4+ yr old Prada sunglasses with prescription lenses. Dark tortoise with dark lenses. Over-sized slightly squarish but not hugh. No ornament and very Jackie. Often perched on top of head.
    – Colored leather sandles with a 1″ to 2 3/4″ heel. Most often Cole Haan or Stuart Weitzman.
    – Yellow patent leather satchel – no logo and min hardware from Cole Haan. I love this purse more than any other I have ever owned except for some little evening things.
    – V neck rayon cardigan sweater 3/4 length sleeves in either black, brown, orange, or lime green for cold restaurants and movie theaters.
    – I have been channeling my inner Palm Beach socialite lately.

    Summer Uniform – Casual
    – Well fitted shorter shorts (5 1/4″ to 5 1/2″ inseam) or a denim skirt at the knee or 6″-8″ above based upon shape.
    – Drape-y jersey top that still shows a waist or a fitted scoop neck tee (no logo ever)
    – Jackie style Pradas or old school Ray Bans with gold frames and brown gradient perscription lenses
    – Earrings
    – Flat colored leather sandles with up to 1 1/2″ heel.

    Other summer options include:
    – very wide brimmed natural straw hat
    – simple denim or canvas fitted jacket to be worn with shorts only
    – canvas 4″- 5″ brim bucket hats for boats and very casual sunny situations
    – tortoise clip to put hair into a pony tail
    – tortoise large comb to put hair into a french twist

    Legs are always bare after temp rises above 85.
    Sometimes I wear a maxi if drape-y and not too much fabric around the body.
    Toes and finger nails are buffed with finger nails kept short (no chipped polish to deal with).
    Good, supportive, beautiful underwear is an absolute daily requirement.

    For me, it is too warm for jeans and scarves right now.
    Sometimes a scarf makes it to the purse handle but the print dresses fulfill my need for pattern until fall happens.
    No baggy clothes ever – everything is fitted to my shape.

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