Monday, June 10, 2013

As Simple as Black and White ...



Black and white. Simple.
But not always that easy ...

Black and white combinations are out there, big time, in the aethers of the Collective Style Consciousness. We all have black and white separates in our closets, so it should be easy, right? To my eye, it's been a "classic" combination so long, it seems more like a clichƩ the way I've been wearing it.

So, to make a fresh start with an old combination, I put a toe out of my own comfort zone, and turned some of my old combinations upside-down.



I automatically wear dark on the bottom. Always. But I quite like how this combination looks.






While this is dark on the bottom again, what is new (for me!) is the "tuck". I've never tucked in my shirts because  I'm very short-waisted.  But I've found that a little lower rise than usual and a half-tuck under a sturdy belt makes my waist look just a bit lower, and produces a more proportional me! 
Live and learn.




I've never worn this little black and white sheath in the summer.  The fabric is light enough to be comfortable, and I freshened it up with very skimpy, 
very summery sandals/heels.
(But I do look strange with black hair, don't I?)

************
And of course, there is my black fan, and a white fan and one of my black and white fans  ... very common combination in Asian folding fans.  I think they add to the timely look of a black and white ensemble.


Kate Dengra, 
Fan merchant extraordinaire !

And speaking of fans ... I've found the most beautiful fans, customized and painted by a very cool young English woman who happens to live in Spain.  Her name is Kate Dengra. On her site she describes her life with her Spanish husband:
"We live in a cave house in rural Andalucia (real Spain - the heart of flamenco and free tapas). In 2005 we reformed 2 of our outer rooms and set up a Bed and Breakfast Guest House. I run the B&B with my Mum and my sister and we have now become famous for our homecooked meals."

Lovely!

And if that isn't enough to grab you, she's sold fans to celebrities Jessica Chastain, Cristina Aguilera and Emilia Clarke.  See her site and a post showing a LOT of celebs fanning around ..."Celebrities with Hand Fans" .  Then pop over and see her Etsy Shop, Dengra Designs with a huge selection of lovely hand fans at an absolutely affordable price a vast variety of styles and colors.

Here are a few of my modern-looking favorites ...










I'm looking forward to my first purchase ASAP!
************
And finally, just for fun, a blast from the past and yet another a fan ... (with thanks to Wendy Brandes for the reminder.)



Have a great week! 
I'll see you over at Patti's 

83 comments:

  1. You look fabulous, Jan! I'm a big fan (haha) of black and white, and I love the peplum top. The fans are wonderful too.

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    1. So kind! Thank you so much. I'll get over the fans in a while, promise.

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  2. I adore these pictures. They are fun and clever at the same time. You are quite the lady looking fab in your black and white and the fans are beautiful art objects. Great post!

    blue hue wonderland

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    1. You look fantastic in these black and white outfits. The first one is my favorite!
      No matter what age we are is always a good idea to understand our bodies proportions and how to dress it up. That is what personal style is all about and talking about personals style: love your fans and can't wait to see which one of Dengra's are you going to purchase.

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    2. Thanks Ann! My poor fans may look arty, but have to be sturdy to be crammed into my purse all the time, with all kinds of items squishing and rolling them. Glad you liked my goofy pictures. I'm trying to master layers in this digital painting and composition, and am having a hard time.

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    3. And thank you, too Ofelia, for your kind remarks. I'm looking forward to choosing from among her many styles of fans as well!
      What a treat ... and I need to get on that!

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  3. You have created very flattering silhouettes with each of your looks Jan. I guess that is another positive to having lived in our bodies for the number of years that we have. Some things, like leg length, or the distance between our ribs and hip bones ain't evah gonna change. And, intelligence tells us we can look amazing despite what we, in earlier years, may have considered a SHORTcomings.

    I have pretty much eliminated black from my day to day wardrobe. I still have a gorgeous pair of Hugo Boss wool crepe trousers, and a LBD or two, but haven't worn them in years.

    Sue xo

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    1. SHORTcomings ... ha. You are a laugh-riot, darling Sue. I'm finally getting it figure out. I'm drawn to neutrals, including and especially blacks and grays ... they don't hold a lot of negative vibes for me, and I love nothing better than a dynamite charcoal study or a Kline painting. But also color ... it's more emotionally packed for me, and almost always in a good way.
      I've learned a lot about that from you, dear friend.
      Have a great week, and hope you are steadily recouperating!

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  4. I love your backgrounds - they're the perfect complement to your black and white outfits. I'm planning to wear a new black and white tunic tomorrow (if it fits - I didn't try it on) and send the pic to Tamera (Menopausel Supermodel) for her black and white party.

    I was going to paint some fans myself, but the plain ones I found were too clunky. I'm glad to hear that trend is catching on, though. Perfect for women of a certain age.

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    1. Thanks, I miss the drawing. Photos annoy me as I have a great deal less control than when drawing. And I love drawing, photography not so much.
      Will look for your black and white tunic ... and must get to Tamara's with B & W if I can find anything left!
      And Oh Yeah! Saw your Vogueoff submission! How cool are you, lady ... I know it wasn't supposed to be cute, but you just look adorable and gamine. So fun. Good for you!

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  5. Hi, Jan! You look great in your black and whites. I do like your shirt tucked, but I'm hesitant to tuck mine because I hate accentuating my wider than I'd like hips. Maybe a partial tuck would work better for me. Love your summer sandals too.

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    1. Yeah, that's the thing ... you can tuck on the side (and there are whole articles to tell you how to do this, believe it or not ... just Google)and let the opposite side drape across your hip on the diagonal. Sure moves the eye in ways kind to those of us who would prefer narrower hips.
      Thanks for your kind comments, and am always glad to see you here!

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  6. Hi, Jan. You look great in your black and whites! Love the partially tucked top and your summer sandals too.

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    1. The delay in your posts appearing is 'cause I moderate them all ... it's a compromise because there are too many who don't like Captcha. I get so much spam when it's not on that I feel I need to check each one, and it sometimes takes me hours or a day to do. Sigh. Thanks for trying again, though!

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  7. I swear black & white is just forever chic!! You look great in the white pants. I have NEVER been able to pull of white pants-- jealous :)

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    1. Bet you could though... you really know how to direct the eye, and I think that's a tool to wearing white britches. White pants, dark top, lots of neck and ear-wear, no bracelets, and heels. Maybe?

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  8. Fabulous, Jan! You are right, I also tend to go for black bottoms and white tops but it looks great the other way round, too! Love the peplum top which is very flattering - my favourite look.
    The half-way tucked in shirt is also a good idea!

    We still need umbrellas rather than fans over here... but it can only get better.

    Greetings from Germany,
    Annette
    Lady of Style

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    1. Yes, I've noted some strange weather and flooding in your part of the world! Hope things get better soon, and that you have a lovely summer ultimately.
      We lived in the Pacific north-west for a decade or so, very like your climate there. I miss cooler summers. Hence, the fans!
      Glad you liked my experiments. You're so trim that you can wear just about anything, though!
      Thanks for stopping by, 'cause you are always very welcome here!

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  9. As much as I wear color, I do love wearing classic black & white. All 3 looks are great Jan but my favorite is the 1st one - I like how it accentuates your waist.

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlfie.com

    P.S. I am hosting my 1st giveaway and hope you will stop by and enter!

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    1. Hey, Alice ... WOOT WOOT ... I saw your magazine photo! Pretty slick, Lady! Congrats! What a big week for you all in all.
      Thanks for your nice remarks. And thanks for stopping in. Can I have your autograph?

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  10. All right! You can SO wear that black on top. Gorgeous. I like all your combos. I'm a bit short-waisted too so low-riders work well, but sometimes high-waisted are good with a high platform shoe and long pantlegs that can make your legs look mucho long. I love how you've done the graphics here.

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    1. Thanks Mel ... and congratulation on the massive success that the current Vogueoff must be! I had such a blast showing it off to Dan.
      Nice of you to stop by, and I appreciate your very kind comments, always. Must go find my high-waisted jeans and see how they look now-a-days! Certainly makes sense!

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  11. Thank you Jan for the mention! If you, or any of your readers use the code THANKS you will receive 10% off any purchases from my online store. All the best Kate x

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    1. Thanks Kate ... you and your fans ROCK. Very nice of you to offer a discount. Know it will be appreciated.
      Will see you as soon as I can to be a real customer!

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  12. Stunning! And you look super sexy when you go casual in white tee and black jeans! I like you in casual wear, you look like the 20 something Jan! I seriously think you should do the fan trade mark.. very original, never seen fans on other bloggers..

    GREETINGS FROM DUBAI
    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES (a fashion and life-style blog)
    http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.ae/

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    1. Dan really likes that second one as well ... I had to use the photo editor to cut it out from the original background, but it's the poor focus that hides all my old-lady flaws! Such a kind thing to say.
      I'll get over the fan thing when I've shown off my favorite fans ... they are such a help her in the miserable, high-humidity heat and at the restaurant. This is just me trying to make a style-virtue out of necessity.
      Happy to see you, and thank so much for the very kind remarks!

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  13. You look fabulous in white pants, Jan - and the black peplum top too. All these looks are wonderful; thanks for sharing them with Visible Monday xoxox

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    1. Thanks for reading, Patti. Again, congrats and know how much we appreciate the opportunity to meet great new women. In my increasingly isolated environment, that ability has lots of meaning for me!

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    1. I dunno about that, Alison, but it's nice of you to say so! Glad you stopped by, as always, and I wish you a great week full of wonderful stuff.

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  15. You're killing me with those fans! They are gorgeous and I'm sad I can't use one :-(
    Speaking of gorgeous you are just hitting it out of the park lately! I'm short-waisted, too and I'm definitely going to try your little "half-tuck" trick. Thank you for being so vivacious and daring!

    Spashionista (Alicia)

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    1. I'm sorry, Alicia. Am I being inconsiderate? Nah ... as I said, you're too cool to need a fan. I'm your fan, along with everyone else. Thanks for your extremely kind remarks.

      I'm still trying to figure out the half-tuck ... it's one of those things that are carefully contrived but shouldn't look so. I don't know how to do effortless ...
      Have a grand and happy week, kiddo!

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  16. Great black and white llok.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. Thanks, Sacramento ... so glad you popped in! You're welcome always!

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  17. You created very versatile looks with black and white. For me it looks like you travelled a bit around the world. Visited Tokio in the first pick, Paris in the second and Granada in the third.
    Now you draw my atttention to a fan I will try to find one as well, maybe on our trip in Portugal.

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    1. Love that you found a narrative there, Sabine ... you were pretty close! I just keep looking for ways to draw, and it seems like most folks like photos of real outfits, not just my avatar. So I keep trying.
      You're going to Portugal? Lucky you ... do buy a fan while you're there and show us all when you get back!
      Thanks again for your nice thoughts, and come back soon!

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  18. Ohhhh... I want to go home (I am in Stockholm for two days) and pick out my black and white peplum tops and recreate the first outfit! At the same time, I also want to be as eloquent as you are (but is pretty hard in another language)! I like your blog very much Jan!

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    1. I'm always aware, Anna, that I (and most Americans to our shame)don't often speak a second language. We all should. I have a smattering of Spanish and French, even a little bit of Irish Gaeilge but not enough to write or communicate effectively. I try hard to be fluent in my own language, at least.
      Know that your English makes for some pretty eloquent posts from you. I'm always so impressed with that.
      I'll look forward to seeing you in your peplums. Thank you so much for your kind remarks, and I wish you a wonderful week!

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  19. I want your dark peplum top! You are very pretty in these outfits.

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    1. Hello, GeeGee! Thank you so much for your kind comment, and I really am glad you stopped by. Please come again!

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  20. Oh I love your black and white ensembles, though I have to say it seems strange not to see you in colour, Jan. Love the peplum top and the inversion of the trusted white top/black bottom look. And the dress is so pretty. YOU are so pretty! Your fans add extra drama and loveliness, as well as a cool breeze!
    Aren't Kate's fans delightful? Do show us if you order one. xxx

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    1. Thanks, Superstar! Know you've been busy, so I appreciate you taking the time to stop by. And for saying such sweet things! Aren't Kate's fans great? She seems like a great girl as well, and I'd love to visit her B & B. I'll definitely show off my purchase ... will make sure to get one before summer is over!
      Hang in, Curtise, enjoy the week and remember to breathe!

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  21. Love the black top with a white bottom. I think it looks very chic! I do think you look best with red hair. ;)

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    1. Yes, that photo immediately suggest a suddenly plump and grinning Morticia ... beckoning the viewer to "go into the light"! Good thing that project is out of my stystem.
      Thanks for the nice comments, and I hope you have a great week now that you're feeling better.
      Come back any time.

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  22. My closet is filled with solid black and white. I am trying to add more colors and patterns, but old habits die hard, just as you said. Since I have been joining Visible Mondays I have learned so much from all the wonderful ladies, like you. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.

    Barbara @ www.allmylivesnow.com

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    1. Happy to, Barbara ... and back at you! There are so many ways to stay stylish as we get older. And to define style. Now it's what we say it is!
      I don't particularly gravitate toward color. Where we live there's little I can find or afford beyond the Big Box stores, where color reigns. Neutrals that would be wonderful in good fabrics tend to look especially crappy in cheap fabric, I think. I prefer neutrals, but with age, my skin looks a little sallow in my old favorite beige and black.
      I really enjoyed your post, and have you marked for a return trip!

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  23. The white pants look great on you and I think we were on the same wavelength this week. And I love the 'tuck.' I think it's fun to move outside one's comfort zone and keep our neurons healthy. Blogging has helped me think in new ways, thanks to fabulous women like you!

    You are making me a fan of fans. A new accessory to explore and thanks for the link to the Etsy shop.

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    1. If you think I'm on your wavelength, then I know I'm in a great place! You're the kindest woman, Judith, and I'm always happy when you stop in. Thank you for the lovely remarks.
      You'd look fabulous with a fan, and my Colorado-born husband tells me that Denver gets plenty hot in the summer. I cannot be convinced that you don't have at least one, somewhere in your bazillion accessory collection! They are my secret weapon when I'm forced to stand in the hot sun for any time ... they make a great mini-parisol.
      Have a wonderful week!

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  24. I just stumbled onto your blog and adore the B & W outfits, nice blog all together and worthy of following!
    FF

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    1. Thank you, Nicolene! Of course I had to pop in to see you as well, and will leave a note today! Lovely and extrememly interesting blog you have there, as well! We have friends in common, it seems, so I'm in luck to find yours.
      I appreciate your kind remarks, and I look forward to prowling your blog with pleasure! You are welcome here anytime.

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  25. Jan, I am so impressed with your outfits and have been wanting (needing?) to try the tuck for some time now! I see it look so cute on lots of ladies and now you! Love all the fun edits you do with your photos too :).

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    1. Thank you so much, Tina. This is one trend that feels strange but looks right. There's a narrative going on, but I'm not sure I like what it says, though. Kids in the 50's were rebelling when they rolled up their dungarees, popped their collars and wore the white tee as non-underwear (shocking!) The half-tuck reminds me of that, but in another way. The narrative is that I was about to finish tucking in my shirt but got distracted by that shiny thing over there and walked out of the house without finishing getting dressed. Hmmm.

      It DOES lengthen my waist, though, so I guess I'm stuck with looking a little dim-witted. I'm DOING it! And the side half-tuck comes next ... stay tuned.

      Seriously, I like it to show off a cute belt without looking too polished. I think ...

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Your kind comments really boost the old self-esteem, and I appreciate them so much. You are absolutely welcome any time.

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  26. Love that black peplum with the white jeans. I also usually do dark on the bottom. Well in part because I am a klutz and usually spill something on myself.

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    1. Yup ... gotta watch that. The afternoon I wore that, we went for Mexican. In spite of extra napkins, I found little salsa spots on my slacks, even one on the butt. What?!
      The up side is that you can bleach them out of white!
      My husband Dan really likes that outfit as well.
      Thanks so much for your sweet remarks ... come back anytime!

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  27. Black and white on black and white. You arty woman you! I need you to come and do my homework. Bravo on overcoming your tucking issues.

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    1. Yeah, well, I know it's a cliche, but I try. We aim to amuse.
      What homework? Are you taking classes in _____?

      Yes, it is really, really fun to be able to tuck the occasional shirt in! I always like how it looks on other people, but my proportions look exceedingly weird if not orchestrated with a bit of smoke and mirrors.

      Have a grand week, O Lady of the Layers!

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  28. I love all of your black and white combos so chic. I am like you and tend to wear darker on the bottom,so it's good to switch it up. I love all the sweet comments you leave, they are always so well written and make my day.

    Xoxo,
    Carrie

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    1. As I've noted before, you could wear a bag and look amazing.
      Sigh.
      So glad always to hear from you ... you're going to be so amazing in your old age, 'cause you're amazing now!
      Always glad to see you, Carrie.

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  29. OMG! We were on the same page with the "black & white" outfit theme. Earlier I meant to come to your blog but I was out of town and had to catch up at work. Thanks so much for posting on my blog, because it triggered me to come to yours. You look great! I like both the dress and pant set. I just bought on sale from Urban Outfitters two b&w dresses ($10 each), which will be a miracle if I wear because I don't have too many places to go to put them on. But, you can never go wrong with "black & white". I know the fan comes in handy in your neck of the woods. In California, we are experiencing June Gloom, which is overcast, cool and cloudy. I look forward to your next outfit.

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    1. Seriously, if you have dresses, just wear them wherever you want. You might raise some eyebrows, but it will be in a good way! The one nice thing about having the restaurant is that I can dress up or dress down and there's nobody who can tell me I'm not dressed appropriately!
      Love how your wore the little white dress as a tunic ... and boy-howdy, does it show off your jewelry.

      Never worry if you miss commenting here ... life gets in the way of blogging sometimes, doesn't it?
      Yes, I remember the June Gloom, but I've always liked overcast weather, and always kind of enjoyed it!

      See you soon ... you're always more than welcome here, whenever you show up!

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  30. I love your black-white combinations, Jan, all look great and interesting. And love the backgrounds you chose for the photos :) Lovely fans, l like the stripy one most of all.

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    1. So glad you stopped by, Olga. And thank you so much for your sweet comments.
      Hope you continue to have a great holiday. I so enjoy your travels and the great photos you share with us ... your own fashion tastes reflect such a happy internationalism! I love it.
      See you soon,
      Jan

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  31. I love the white pants and black peplum top in particular, so sleek and stylish. Jen really enjoyed scrolling through your blog;). You wear patterned pants with such style...and that's no easy feat:). Look forward to regularly readi your poss :)

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    1. Wow ... I'm behind! Thanks for reading this one as well ... I don't always catch it when folks read past posts, and I should! It's the ultimate compliment!
      Have a great week.

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  32. I love your first look, the white pants with black peplum top. You look so chic and stylish. Have a great weekend!

    xo,
    Janise
    http://MamaInHeels.com

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    1. Thanks, Janise. I'm always delighted when you stop by.

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  33. I love your first look, which is the white pants with the black peplum top. You look so chic and stylish. Have a great weekend!

    xo,
    Janise
    http://MamaInheels.com

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    1. Suspect that your second might be a system error at my end. Thanks eventhough!

      Delete
  34. I've just read your comment about losing comments! Mystery of my disappeared comment explained. I think the dark up top - light on the bottom look is my fave. Like you I would have followed the reverse rule in the hope of imparting a mirage of slimness to my lower half - just goes to show that we should ignore recieved wisdom from time to time. I especially love the peplum top. And thanks for the tidbit about the fan lady! I must look her up!

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    1. I'm really looking forward to your return to regular blogging ... you always write the best posts and are a bloggy beauty to boot! I'm happy you like my experiment with the peplum ... I have a couple to show, both recent purchases. I know they've been around, but it takes a while for availability to filter down to country mice like us. At least I have a while to see how a trend pans out and is styled before I try it!
      Been hoping you do a post about the fan and flamenco ... I've been leaving that hint around everywhere I thought you might read it!
      I'm sorry for the delay ... I'm slow.
      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  35. Jann, Where have I been all week? Black and white are my ALL TIME FAVORITE! Way to turn it upside down. All three outfits are amazingly wonderful and so classy. Doesn't black and white just make you feel put together? This is really the most stylish I've ever seen you, WOW.

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    1. Hope I can live up to that high praise! Thank you again, Trina, for your always sweet and encouraging comments. Some old girls like me (short and curvy... great euphemism, huh!) will never be stylish in the sense of being sleek and svelte and willowy. But I can try to be current and try to make tasteful choices.
      Sorry it took so long to reply to your post!

      Delete
  36. oh you look gorgeous as ever! keep stepping out of your comfort zone as the results are wonderful, i love the white on the bottom combo on you! thank you isn't enough for your beautiful comments on my blog! One comment from you and i literally can float for days on the kindness of your heart! It is a returned joy to know you even a little xxxxx

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    1. How did I miss your post? Sorry this took some time to get back to! Thanks, Jane, for your kind comments. I learn something new every time I go to your blog, and always feel something important and real... that's a rare thing among us girly style bloggers.
      Have a great week!

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  37. That sheath dress is to die for - so pretty!

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    1. Thanks, Sheila ... from one of my style-stars, that means a lot!

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  38. It's interesting how the look changes completely when black and white are turned upside down. I liked each on their own, seeing them side by side makes me prefer black bottom. Your legs look endlessly long in that outfit!
    And such lovely fans. I should really dig up mine, now is the season.

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    1. Hello, Juli! Happy you enjoyed my post, and thanks for your sweet remarks. Looking forward to seeing you with a fan this summer!

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  39. Love the top combination with the black peplum top. So classy.
    The second one is nice too and you found out about the waist. Clever girl. My motto: live and learn. And I added: and laugh.
    Beautiful fans and I love the picture of Karl Lagerfelt when he was still a bit chubby.
    Greetje

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    1. Aw, thanks Greetja! I aim to entertain ... fun to figure out a thing or two in the process. I've learned a great deal looking at all the the other thoroughly grown up women who show out a bit and share their ideas. Could not pass up the photo of Karl ... he's been unkind to those of us who don't meet his standards. I'm an admirer of his work, but don't really think that he understands the necessity of being at least a little kind to the hoi-polloi.
      Have a great week, and thanks so much for stopping by ... always a treat fro me!

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  40. I´m loving all your black and white looks especially the first one with the peplum top! Gorgeous. :)

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    1. Thanks so much ... so nice to hear from you. I so enjoy your blog and really appreciate your views from places I'll probably never get to see!

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  41. I really love black and white. It's one of my all time favourite colour combinations.
    Habe a good time
    Sunny

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