Friday, December 30, 2011

Frill AND a bow!

Another Flissmas over for another year. It's hard to believe we are down to the final hours of 2011.It really is true what they say. Time goes much faster as you get older. I swear this year went by in a total blur...

I chose this dress for my final post of 2011. I also chose it to wear to my family Christmas dinner on the 24th in fact. Lucky I already had the picture ready to go- as I managed to dribble gravy right down the front of it at dinner. I blame the pre-food gins but in all honesty it probably would have happened if I was sober too.

If it isn't the fabric that grabs me on a potential new frock- its the additional details. You know. An asymmetric hemline. A faux button detailing. Any intricate or even (dare I say)  un-necessary addition will often be the straw that breaks my bank accounts back.

This is a dress that managed to pull me in with not 1, not 2 but 4 major hooks. First up is the fabric. A stunning mint green with an almost metallic pearl sheen to it with light undertones of white gold throughout. This alone absolutely screams out to me "50s formal wear".

The 2nd hook is the frill detailing down one side of the bodice. It's an unusual touch- and ties in particularly well with the 3rd hook- a cowl neck feature that continues and tapers out at the waist.

The 4th hook and possibly even my favourite of the lot- is the SUPER CUTE bow on the shoulder right above the 2nd hook frill. If I wasn't already totally in love with this dress (and let's face it- I was pretty much already there...) then the bow was the definitive detail to really send me over the edge.
I have paired this dress with a skinny red belt and red heels for not only this picture- but for all it's wearings so far. I know that I have other options available- but I really think I am onto a permanent winner with the red/mint green combo.

I have worn this dress a few times now and I would hesitantly even consider it as a late entrant into "Frock of the Year 2011". As this prestigious title hasn't even really existed until I typed it just now there won't be any awards thrown out willy nilly. As I have been surprisingly reserved with the all over dress buying in 2011-  I have found myself mainly riding on the coat tails of last years purchases. I will forgo any last minute pomp and ceremony for 2011- but am formally committing to a post in roughly one years time to honour "Frock of the Year 2012!"

As I bid 2011 adieu I can't help but ponder what to wear to our annual New Years party at our place. This dress is currently a front runner but I feel like it has already has it's time in the festive seasons limelight. The last party we have hosted this beauty made an appearance so that means it can't be worn to this one too... (my worst fears were recognised at the same gathering when a party goer pointed out that she had seen me wear the same frock teh party before as well! ) I am considering putting together this years party ensemble from the ground up and starting with the shoes. This is largely due to a huge blister I have recently aquired from a pair of jandals. The other (and ridiculous I realise) thing to consider is that I am capable of expertly matching my drinkig vessel and even straw with the evening's outift. While I recognise this is taking things waaaay too far- I also know that it makes me happy knowing that this level of co-ordination has been reached. Now if only I can just stop pointing this out to people after a few drinks...

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vintage Violet Vision

I have spent the last few minutes trying to work out how to incorporate this gem of a tune into this blog post title. It didn't work- but I thought it was worthy of a listening option for you nonetheless. After I conceded "Purple Pleated Greeter/Beater/Cheater/Meeter or Bleater" weren't going to quite work - I went back to the drawing board. Other titles I toyed with included but are not limited to "Violet- it's a colour and a flower", "Violets with Violets" (except the flowers on the fabric aren't...) "Violet- more than just the colour of a bruise" which then morphed into"Violets not Violence" which is just silly. In a final flailing attempt at alliteration it even briefly paused at- "Very Violet Vintage Vision Vavavoom". I definitely over shot on that one.  I realise that I have definitely over thought this one- so I may as well just draw extra attention to it now.

I have also learnt since typing this long winded intro that the word Violet starts to look like it isn't spelled right when you look at it for too long... Now that all of that is out of that way - lets press on with the actual frock talk shall we? Yes lets.

This little number is another reconditioned vintage piece of fabulousness from Smoove. (refer here for that days full shopping experience) I like that it has a "High Tea" sort of a feel to it. You know. The sort of dress that should be worn with white wrist gloves whilst eating hot scones with jam and cream and sipping on tea served in matching floral china tea sets. I'm not one for scones or tea truth be told- but this frock would be the perfect outfit should my tastes suddenly change.

I am quite fond of the colour purple and its derivatives- yet the purple dress section in the wardroom is actually a little under represented. I can assure you- I was just as shocked as you must be. This particular shade is right on the cusp of a deep violet with subtle undertones of cornflower blue. I love that this is off set by the coral red, ivory, baby blue and sage green in the floral print. The colour combination overall is quite striking in my humble opinion.

(As a side tangent I have always been a big fan of purple paired with canary yellow- or a bright tangerine orange. If I ever decide to get into fabric design you can expect to see those colour combo's in abundance)

The fabric itself is a beautifully floaty light weight. Not quite chiffon but not quite crepe either. It glides with you when you move- but is light enough to require a built in slip. Even then I think I will potentially steer clear of any intentional standing in front of bright lights. What is the point of a lovely feminine and demure dress if you are just going to take away all the mystery by flashing your silhouette around willy nilly?
Upon re-reading that last statement I think I may have just officially just morphed into a 60 year old woman living in the early 1900's...

This fabric has a slight "crinkle" to it- and this is further defined with a fine pleat in the skirt. It is a nice finishing touch I think- and gives the skirt a little bit of extra movement.

For this photo I have teamed it with white belt and shoes- but have also worn it in real life with my good old default setting of red belt and shoes. I swear those things are starting end up on every second outfit that walks out of the wardroom on me. Someone even said to me this very morning "Wow- you wear those shoes all the time huh"  It is besides the point that the statement itself  is blatantly true. It bothers me that with a room that has more pairs of shoes than I can even count - (because of my current stacked up storage system. Not because I am actually stupid and cant count...) that other people are starting to notice I wear one pair all the time. Time to lift my shoe rotation game I think...

While I'm sure this glimpse into my psyche is entertaining and a little scary- I will sign this post off by pointing out that I am particularly fond of the juxtaposition of the label on the frock itself. Nothing sums up a pretty feminine floral dress quite like words "Smoove as F**K".

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hibiscuses and Pin Up Girls (or The Emotional Spenders Lament)

Most of you will know what I mean when I throw out the term "Emotional Eater". You may even understand the phrase "Emotional Drinker". While I have certainly dabbled in both of those- I am also an "Emotional Spender". This is equally as destructive as the first 2- but for very different reasons. At the risk of sounding particularly shallow- stuff makes me happy.

There. I've said it.

 (I'm sure you are all suitably shocked and stunned by this revelation)

So logically- if stuff makes me happy (especially new and exciting stuff) then if I am not happy for any reason- this could be a good way to cheer myself up. Right?

Now I'm not trying to say that buying things (or clothes more specifically) makes my problems go away. It certainly isn't a long term fix. It does often take the edge off though. I can honestly say that some good old shopping therapy goes a long way to help with my overall frame of mind. Sadly it doesnt' have the same affect on my bank balance as a general rule...

The danger with the Emotional Spending (Or E.S as I shall refer to it for the sake of word over usage here) is that the risk of post purchase regret is much higher than if you are spending in any other frame of mind. There is an element of ... desperation I guess. There is more hope pinned on a purchase to lift my mood and it means that I am not as likely to really think through whatever it is I am buying. I have certainly had a few E.S moments that have gone pear shaped in the cold sobering light of getting them home. Thankfully today's frock- (while bought in a frivolous E.S moment) is not one of my regrets.

I had a wedding to go to of 2 very special friends back in November. I even had a job at the wedding. Yes thats right. I was entrusted to stand up in the ceremony itself and read out a poem. I felt ever so important and knew that this meant there was extra pressure to wear something awesome if everyone was going to be looking at me for a few minutes. (haha) This pressure didn't translate into an immediate need to go out and buy something. I have many a party dress in the Wardroom that hasn't been worn out yet, so I figured that this was my chance to get one of them out into the real world. I had not yet chosen the right dress for this auspicious occasion- but I knew I probably already owned it.

A couple of weeks before the wedding I was having a "meh" kinda day. I don't even think it was for any particular reason. I just felt flat and bored. For the record- I already know that this the worst possible time EVER to be browsing on trademe. My E.S cell count was too high for window shopping. I slipped on a picture and fell into an auction and bought a new (and completely unnecessary) dress under the pretence that I needed something new for the wedding. I wasn't even fooling myself at this juncture. The issue with this purchase isn't that I bought a new dress. I am always going to be buying new frocks that I arguably don't need. (pfft) The issue with this one is that I spent WAAAY more than I usually would for a single item. On something that I couldn't even convince myself that was required. The figure I'm talking here isn't bank breaking- but when you bring in as many new frocks as I do- you need to be a bit less frivolous. I spent $140.00 on this frock. That's heaps more than my usual bargain hunting brain would let me spend.

I love this dress. I really do. That doesnt' mean I still didn't get a bout of post purchase regret a day after I had paid for it. If I shopped around I could have bought many dresses for this price. I was disappointed with myself for giving into E.S in a moment of weakness. (Being aware of the dangers sadly doesn't mean you are in the clear. An E.S trigger can happen anytime. Anywhere. Be careful online shopping kids...)

I was still feeling a bit dumb for  buying this on the day of the wedding, but I was determined to stop dwelling on it. I put on my big girl panties (figuratively that is) and made a conscious decision to feel as fabulous in my new  and potentially overpriced dress anyway. I straightened my hair. Slapped on some false eyelashes. Donned some sky high red peep toed heels and a matching hair flower. I was starting to feel quite good when I left the house to go and get some cash out from the money machine downstairs. I had to walk past my local cafe to get to said money machine. There was a table of the classic rockabilly type girls sitting right outside that I had to walk past. I swear- every single one of them stopped talking mid sentence and stared at me as I walked past. I think one of them may have even had her mouth open! Now being a girl that likes to pay attention to what other girls are wearing- I am usually pretty good at picking these vibes up. I know the difference between good quiet and bad quiet anyways. This was definitely a good quiet- so I walked back home feeling like a million bucks.This was the moment that all post purchase regret truly left the building entirely- and I decided the dress was worth it's weight in self esteem. To top off this brief but 
 fantastic foray out onto my street- I also got a text from an acquaintance that had seen me walk past. All it said was "Goddamn those are some awesome heels...." My head was at least 3 sizes bigger when I got back home.

So back to the dress. It's one that is almost in danger of being on the "cliche" side of rockabilly. You know. That 50's reproduction kind of dress that may not scream out- but most definitely whispers "mass produced". Its a basic halter neck with a fitted bodice and circle skirt. Black with nice and bright hibiscuses and pin up girls. Even the occasional butterfly. While it came with a black belt- it was kinda dumb. I had a much better black waist cincher so threw that on with it too. Thisdress would have worked with a red crinoline (to go with the shoes and hair flower) but the black one just felt right. I listened to my heart on this one and stayed with the black petticoat. God knows I'm not usually very good at the less is more philosophy!

The beauty of having so many colours represented in this dress means that my accessorizing options are pretty limitless. I have an UH-MAY-ZING new pair of yellow shoes (yet to be featured) that are going to look pretty damned good with this dress too....

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blue Paisley

"So this one time- I went to swap a dress that didn't fit and accidentally came out with 5 more... "

You've read that story already.  I will spare you the re-details. While I am unsure if that is a real word- I am sure you understand what I am saying by the context I have used it in. Nobody can ever tell me I'm not doing my bit for the evolution of the English language that's for sure!

This dress ticks a lot of boxes. Fabric colour. Fabric pattern. Fabric feel. (a nice floaty Summer weight) Dress cut, (length and the cute little puffed sleeves) and lastly accessory options. I think it rated well enough on my internal checklist that it made it through to become one of the 5 that followed me home that day.  

Often the first thing I am drawn to in an outfit is the overall colour scheme. Once that's grabbed me the other selling points become apparent- but you always need that initial hook to make you pick it up off the rack. Colour and pattern always seem to be mine. It has a nice mix of cornflower blue, aqua, beige and a deep gold over an indigo background. Straight away I could see that the options for shoe and belt colours would not be limited to one combination. I do like it when I don't have to commit to an outfit looking the same every time I wear it...

The paisley print gives it a very distinct 70's feel- but it isn't a typical style or fabric used to really encompass that decade.  Because it's a "revamped' vintage dress it's hard to peg the era it would fall under exactly- but I think the overall effect works well so it doesn't really matter! Is it just me or does anything in paisley also have that "old man pajama" feel? Maybe that is just me...

For the showcasing of this frock in the Frockstar forum- I have paired it with a bronze belt and matching wedges. Sadly these shoes are on their last legs (so to speak) - and I don't know that they would survive even one more last attempt at wearing them out of the house. They were dangerously close to disintegration even getting them to the lounge for the photo! It's a pity as the whole ensemble ties in exceptionally well with the particular shade of Le Specs I have on my head.... Must be time to find a replacement pair of bronze shoes so I can replicate this look again!

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's Flissmas Time Again!

I can't believe it's December again. It doesn't feel like it should be time for Christmas again already. Take heed kids. The oldies are onto something when they say time gets faster as you get older. While it is a little terrifying- the blow is somewhat cushioned by the fact that today marks the first official day of Summer here in NZ. (and was noticeably colder than any other day we've had in weeks. Thanks Auckland) Today also marks my own self imposed rules around Flissmas officially starting. It's put up the tree day. It's "can start listening to Christmas music" day. It's usually wear something red and green in my outfit day. I don't do Flissmas the way I used to though I must say. I haven't put up my tree in the last few years. My house is pretty well represented for the red green decor and fairy lights all year round. I do still listen to Christmas music- but only at work so I don't drive my boyfriend crazy. Of all my now dwindling traditions the only one that seems to be getting stronger is my "Festive P.O.F". All you need is green and red. Easy.

This years actual "1st December" outfit has already been posted about- but I have been saving todays featured frock to mark this auspicious occasion. How can you not think of festivities when you are looking at an 80's cocktail dress that is made entirely out of tinsel? Thats right. You can't.

This was the 3rd dress that found me at this years Grey Lynn Fest. It was the classic story of spotting it across a crowded market place and getting the magnetic pull. Up close it was even better than far away. The light catches all the individual strands of tinsel and creates something I can only describe as a glow. I don't recall ever thinking that I was missing a tinsel dress in my life before. As is so often the way - I knew I needed it in my life as soon as I spotted it and then wondered how I managed so long without it.

The dress itself is really hard to photograph. There is a lot of little... bits (?)  that all want to move in different directions for a start. The photos also don't really do the colour justice. In person it is a more striking deep red- but looks more like a terracotta here. (Is "Burnt Sienna" taking it too far? Too late. I went there anyway)

The zip has some issues that will need addressing before it gets worn in public. It has that slidey-ness that the most well loved dresses get with age. I'm sure I can get onto fixing that soon enough and deliver this little beauty into a new era of festivities! This dress is just screaming to be worn while sipping cocktails and listening to some sweet 50's Christmas lounge music.  I think I can probably make that happen without too much trouble... 

In other Flissmas outfit news... I caught myself wondering today how many days I could keep up the "Festive P.O.F" for. Red and green are the most represented colours in the wardroom after all. I was genuinely considering taking the opportunity to take December to a new Flissmas level and keep with the colour theme as long as possible. Then I remembered I am technically an adult- and that maybe just knowing that I could is probably enough.

To be honest adult or not- the jury is still out on that one!

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