Tuesday, August 5, 2014

White Dresses, Flowered Midis and Smartphones

I'm a party girl today. Pictures first, then, of what I wore to some lovely, summery linky-parties:

I'm finally getting to come out to play with the always- glamorous Sacramento of Mis Papelicos at the current Share In Style with her partner for this week, the very lovely Alicia, our own fabulous Spashionista. Their theme is Flowers. Yummy idea.

Of the skirts I've made for myself this spring and summer, this wrinkle resistant, faux-linen skirt is my favorite. I like my florals to be a little stylized, and although these big blossoms break the rules for petites, I love them anyway. They make me think of my favorite white-floral fragrances, an obvious choice to wear with this combination as well. As if I need an excuse. And the top is from Calvin Klein, happily had at a deep discount at TJ Maxx. I see why it was on sale; it was boxier even than you see here and hip length. I cropped about half of it off and I just love the effect of the drapey fabric and the tailored front detail .... nice to have a little breeze going to show off the movement. I wore this out to dinner with Dan, and I felt fabulous and smelled really good as well!

My  LWD ... for "How I Wear My ____"

And later in the week, you'll see this LWD at How I Wear My _____ , hosted by that ultra-chic and unstoppable team comprised of the fabulous Adrienne at The Rich Life on a Budget and the gorgeous Jill at Everything Just So. The theme this time is White, so I also submitted the skirt and top above as one of the ways I wear white; in a creamy shade combined with other neutrals.

 I've never had a LWD, and thought that this summer might pass without finding one. But my style-luck has been with me of late, and I found this Crown & Ivy eyelet embroidery dress at a summer sale. I wear white with trepidation, but I love the cut of the upper bodice of this very forgiving sheath style dress. It wasn't too short, too young, too tight or too expensive, and once I tried it on, it was true love. I liked it best with my little coral d'Orsay pumps (hope these stay around for a while, 'cause I have a mini-collection of them now) and a cute cork clutch.

When I wear this combination, I can't help remembering that deep down, under this old lady skin and psyche, there's still that California girl from 1968 who wants to dance in her dress, barefoot on the moonlit beach of a summer night.


An update on my post mini-disaster phase:
After last week's Snicket-ish series of unfortunate events, you'd think that I'd choose to kick back and savor the simple absence of catastrophe.
But no. I just couldn't manage it. I was still too adrenaline-pumped to quit, so I let Dan draw me into further adventures with communication technology, right after the router debacle. Not really up to the level of adopting a Transformer as a pet, nor was it a mini-disaster like the flooded business, but still a little daunting; we changed mobile carriers and got our first smartphones.  Woo hoo.

Ch-ch-ch changes, especially for Dan. He has to bid his battered old flip phone goodby. We're learning our way around new phones in between doing everything else, but Dan is completely in love with the ability to do it all by voice. Voice texting, voice generated email, voice Google searches, voice generated grocery and to-do lists ... all that has eliminated his frustration with little buttons and big fingers. He maintains that phones are for talking, and it seems that technology is finally his friend. And our bill is cut in half (!!!) and we have tons of data and voice that we didn't have before. Worth the effort, absolutely.

As for me, I'm looking forward to being able to use new ways of communicating with customers and keeping up with so many of you guys that use Instagram! I have Twitter loaded, but no account yet. I will figure it out sooner than later.

But what I want to know from you, my style-and-tech-savvy friends, is how you use your mobile technology to support your personal style fixations? I need to make this little smarty-pants-phone work pretty hard for its keep. Obviously, it's easier than ever to shop on-line, but what else can a smart phone do to to make my life easier or more interesting in the wardrobe department? Any ideas?


  1. The smartphones are a lot of phone, and addictive. I feel lost without mine.
    The way in which you did your floral is perfection. Your skirt is the voice in this ensemble and it speaks volumes. You look fantastic in both your looks!

  2. You know .. I don't have a LWD! I really like your eyelet dress .. perhaps now is the time for me to pick a white dress up .. end of season sale you know ;-)

    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

  3. I'd skip Twitter and just do Instagram myself. And you can load Pinterest and Bloglovin' apps to keep up with those sites. I also have Amazon and thredUp on my phone - did you know thredUp offers free returns if you order via their mobile app? Lessee...what else? Basically, my phone is my mini computer on the go - I obsessively check email on it - and I've become a texting fanatic. I used to think like Dan and regarded phones as talking devices but dare I say that texting is more convenient and also less urgent; it's like the 21st century version of call waiting. ;p

    That eyelet dress is to die for. I just culled my closet and got rid of mine so I covet yours.

  4. Pure class, Jan! Love both your outfits! I'm especially fond of that midi skirt, with the pretty black shoes and that cool clutch! Find me on IG @fashionshouldbefun!


    Dawn Lucy


  5. You are killing me over here - because you're killing it with your sewing projects that are completely couture-like on you! Love the skirt, LOVE the skirt, and we'll have to take your word for whatever was wrong with the top. You are really finding your fashion voice! Even the white dress with that bag and those shoes says "Jan".
    I have a really hard time with the little buttons and crippled fingers dynamic that comes with any tiny technology. I can read and navigate on my Galaxy Note 10.1 but it's too difficult for me to type so I can't comment unless I'm at the actual PC. I do love using Pinterest and Instagram on the peripheral devices.
    Watch your data usage. Many people go over the limit and end up having to pay additional charges.


  6. HappinessatmidlifeAugust 5, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    We got a 2 for 1 this week!! This skirt is pretty on you and it's one of a kind! As for your white dress, I love it paired with the coral heels & cork clutch - just all meant to be.

    Congrats on getting a smartphone. I can't imagine my life without a smartphone. When I am out and about and an outfit catches my eye, I will snap a picture of it and categorize my pictures for outfit inspiration. When I am on the road, I use it for live traffic. When I am bored, I do play a ton of games and I am obsessed with Instagram (my handle is @happinessatmidlife). Do you have an account? Would love to follow you?


  7. Hooray for breaking the rules! Your skirt is a complete win in my opinion! You look lovely, and the top has that easy, breezy CK feel! I've always loved his design aesthetic. Now the eyelet dress....I'm not sure why, but it feels ever so slightly a departure from what we see you wear...maybe the colour? Who cares though! I LOVE it so much! Now, you go and enjoy your parties girl!

    Yeah, um, no cell phone for me. I know, I know, the crazy Canuck up north living, not just in the dark, but apparently the dark ages. It just all seems so much. Too much really. I already feel disconnected from reality due to blogging and Pinterest....and I will tell ya...I'd be all over Instagram if I did have a cell phone. I do have a Twitter account...which I check periodically...from my home computer. So, it's not really all that useful to me and I keep telling myself to delete the account.

  8. You are a party girl, I love both outfits on you and that wonderful clutch bag. I hope you get to dance barefoot in the moonlight like the 1968 Jan.
    I'm probably the only person in the world without a Smartphone. Much as I love the internet I love to turn off my clunky PC and be free, uncontactable and able to enjoy what's going on around me without the need to share it. xxx

  9. You look FAB, Darlin', simply fabulous! Love the dresses. I'm with you on white. I don't have much of it in my wardrobe. It makes me nervous. And NO white dresses. How lucky you were to find yours! It fits you so nice and you can accessorize it in so many different ways.

    As for phones...I still have a dumb phone. I know one of these days I need to change it, but I hardly ever use the thing (not much of a phone person).

  10. My dear friend you always brighten my day. Love, love, love your skirt and all about you.
    Tins of loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee ALWAYS

  11. Really two amazing outfits, my dear! Love the party girl attitude!!

  12. Glad to hear your dramas have settled. Enjoy the new phones and finding out to drive them, always a puzzle to me.

    Stunning in both outfits, Jan, the perfect party girl. Love the skirt , your sewing skills just get better and better.!

  13. Oooh! I'm anxious to see you on instagram! I love it for peeks into others lives and what they loved on that particular day. It's easy to send a quick comment to each other too. I think you'll love it.

    You really have a lovely collection of accessories. I love both of these clutches so much. I wish I could wear shoes like yours. My feet are so horrible and bad shoes really can break a whole outfit. I love what you say about the 60's. It's so important to hold on to our inner youthful version. And I would suggest dancing to the Beach Boys when you're home at night after a day's work. I do stuff like that once in a while. My husband and dog are not a very good audience but it's still amazingly therapeutic to do. I just have to be careful not to use my knees too much. LOL

    Great job on the skirt too!! Since I've learned to sew a bit suddenly there's not enough hours in the day to accomplish what I'm excited about. But for now, since I've recently lost the last 5 years of my business documents (damaged firmware on external drive) it's going to be pretty uncreative around here for a while. ;(

  14. Thanks for joining us for "How I Wear My: White." You are in both of our posts! I am not on Instagram because I don't have a smartphone but I LOVE Twitter, it's so fast and fun, let me know when you get going on there so I can follow you. XO, Jill

  15. Love both your How I Wear my outfits! Can't imagine that you made that skirt, very beautifully made. Yes so what on the huge patters for petite ladies?! Sometimes I think fashion has no more rules based on what I see on instagram. Speaking of, what is your instagram ID? I would love to follow you there and connect!

    Congrats on upgrading to a smart phone! Was chuckling when you said that your hubby is no longer in flip phone mode. Well....even though I'm a gadget freak, my husband still has his office flip phone and wouldn't let it go. We got him a smart phone for personal use but he still loves using the flip phone. He lost it late last year I believe and requested AT&T for the exact same replacement instead of using the opportunity to get an iPhone or android! Men...

  16. You always look great, cool and chic. I like both outfits and I like the idea of you barefoot on a California beach in your LWD. I have come to think of high heeled D'Orsays as Jan shoes.

  17. Both outfits look lovely, and your accessories are just dreamy! Can you helieve, I don't have a smarphone (addicted to my iPad, though), and don't have a clue when it comes to social media. I'm not even on Facebook! My LinkIn page is a mess and I have yet to figure out how Google+ works, and Instagram is a total mystery... Been using Pinterest, though. But then again, who has time for all that?

  18. Oh lovely, lovely. I cannot pick favourites. Love everything. You are doing so well.
    As for the phones. I prefer a tablet if I have to go on the internet, but when I am travelling, the internet connection by phone can be time saving. Train and bus times, checking my mail (big one), playing a game (Wordfeud) with my mother, checking Facebook, taking photos and putting them on my No Fear of Fashion Facebook page (or Instagram, or normal Facebook or whatever). And using Whatsapp.
    You both should download Whatsapp. You can text everybody who has this app (you can see who has it) FOR FREE. No charges like with textmessages. And you can upload photos on Whatsapp too. Very easy, sending it very fast FOR FREE.

  19. I don't think that barefoot California girl is so deep down after all, Jan - in both of these outfits, I think you could kick off your admittedly gorgeous high heels and party till dawn on the beach! Love the big floral print, you did a wonderful job with that skirt, and the white broderie anglaise dress is simply chic and perfect for summer.
    No advice re phones and how they help with clothes, I'm afraid - I don't even know how to use the camera on mine! Rubbish, aren't I?! xxx

  20. I am a bit jealous about everything in your first outfit. The front part of the top, the gorgeous skirt that you made yourself nonetheless, the superb heels and the lovely studded clutch.

    Uhm, my smartphone? I don't use it for anything wardrobe related, as in I have no apps or somesuch that help me plan outfits or organize my shoes. Only Instagram & Twitter. No online shopping from the phone. To be honest, I got a bit tired of online shopping anyway.

  21. I wish you happy hunting. Besides trying to maximize what I've aquired for summer, I'm now beginning to try to save a bit for fall things ... it's not our busy season as we move into winter, and my budget is much tighter during the holidays. But there are bound to be pieces that trip my best intentions up! Thanks, Monica, for stopping by!

  22. ( I know I'm far behind with your wonderful awards ... I'm gonna git 'er dun purty durn quick here in a bit! )

    Thank you, Maricel! Glad you like my eyelet dress!
    I think you're right about texting being somewhat less of an urgent medium. It also makes it possible to send numbers or instructions, or details so much more politely than waiting for someone to find pen and paper to jot things down. Good tool. Probably won't do Pinterest or Bloglovin' because I don't use them anyway, but I'm sure I'll put the new toy to good use. I want to use Twitter for the restaurant weekend-features. Facebook is becoming crap for that. We'll see how hungry I can make people with only 140 characters ... has to be good for self-editing practice!

  23. Thank you so much, Dawn Lucy ... I'm really happy to have finished and worn the skirt. Almost didn't manage it before fall, although I can wear it easily for transition-time and maybe later!
    Haven't started figuring out Instagram, but will follow you the minute I do! Thank you!

  24. Wow! High praise from you, Alicia. I'm tickled you like it! It's one of my favorites now as well. That top, even with necessary alterations, was such a happy find ... it flows just like it looks like it does. All french seams and neat details. Sadly, a simple skirt is pushing my talents about as far as they go. I've got some plans for fall, though. We'll see how much I can learn!
    Do they make a version of Dragon for tablets?
    Thank you, too, for the advice about the data usage! I went looking and found out how to un-sync constant mail checks and keep the background stuff from running amok! Saved a bit of bacon for me, so I'm glad for the heads up! You rock, as always.

  25. I hardly ever do more than one, do I? Glad you liked the twofer! I'm pretty happy with all my results here, so thank you so much for the sweet comment.
    Great ideas for using this new toy! I loaded the app for Instagram, but haven't messed with it yet. Will be following you the minute I figure out how to work it. Thank you for the info!

  26. Hey, dear Sue! Proud you like my skirt ... whenever I sew I try not to cut corners 'cause I don't think you do ... at least not any that are not skillful sewing hacks that only you experts know! I'm pleased with the combination.
    You don't have to like the eyelet dress, kiddo! It's really not much of a departure because I have a closet full of fitted sheaths ... this is just more of a retro-styled shift. It looks better IRL , really!

  27. Previous Post Continued: (Sorry, hit return too fast!)
    As I was saying, thank you for the kind remarks!
    I'm feeling less bad about being a late smartphone adopter now! Lots of smart women don't have them, you among them. I'm finding that many of my Kindle Fire uses are indeed better served in the larger format, so I probably won't read books or look at magazines on the phone, but communication tasks will be easier. I am looking forward to following a lot of folks on Instagram, but I can't even keep up with Facebook!
    Hope you're having a fabulous summer, darling girl!

  28. Thank you, Vix, for the nice wish. Probably won't dance on many more beaches (no real beaches around our landlocked part of the world) but I can remember what it felt like! I'm sure you know what it's like!
    I'm pretty sure I won't be using the net much on my new phone ... but texts, messaging media for the restaurant, and the phone part, of course, really keep my life more secure out in the country here, we're on the road a lot, and with the business 20 miles away, communications are a big deal for us. But like you, I'm not sure I always need to be reachable, and I so agree with not having to share photos of my every meal. I promise to be selective!

  29. Oh, but I DO love it Jan! For whatever reason, my brain thought, 'This is a new look for Jan', but, of course, you're right...you have worn this silhouette before. It's very flattering!!

  30. I think you look fabulous both in white and florals! Hope you do get on instagram - recently joined and it is a lot of fun and inspirational especially if you like photography - I actually like it more for the non fashion stuff and follow a few great photographers.

  31. Love your stylish elegant outfits! Glad to hear about your new phones. I have an Instagram account -- lets connect "Oksanai1" Have a wonderful relaxing weekend!

  32. That cork clutch is the coolest thing ever!

  33. Hi my dear!! Sorry I haven't checked in with you for a while- you look absolutely amazing and your hair style is gorgeous!! I love to play on pinterest and I'm also on Instagram and Twitter too! xx

  34. Your LWD is fab. You always look great Jan!!!! xo

  35. Jan, you look fabulous in your outfits. I have nothing of white hanging in my closet. I'am a color person. Everytime I see someone wearing white, I say that's lovely.
    Last month I have change my cell phone from the end of the 20 century, to a modern Iphone.

    Joly Look

  36. You are the most adorable woman alive. Thanks, Sue ... I have been wearing a lot of fit and flare, along with a LOT of fuller skirts, so I get your impression. It's only for the hottest days, this dress, and one I probably won't wear to work much (white at the restaurant is begging for a bowl of bearnaise to splatter on it!) I'm ready to wear it out for dinner sometime soon!

  37. Thank you! There's white, then there's white. I really think creamier versions suit me best, but I chanced this cooler white after a few weeks of pretty good slatherings of gradual faux tan cream. Otherwise, I look a bit Miss Havisham in white-white. I think, anyway. And then there's the breadth issue. But this has some interest in the top that helps there, I think. It looks lots better IRL, actually. Strictly a non-work dress!
    Honestly, we're not smartphone-happy yet. So often it's just an intrusion, but feeling more and more necessary for business these days. Everyone suddenly wants to text you a receipt or to have your send your order in a text message. Dan's having a blast with the voice-to-type thing, so I guess it's a good change. Gotta keep those neural pathways increasing!

  38. Thank you, O Lovely Sacramento! I got to your Share In Style but haven't had a chance to make my visits yet ... I'm glad it's every two weeks. I hope to be done by the 18th! Thank you so much for inviting me.

  39. Yup. Once a California Girl, always a California Girl, no matter how old you get. When I was born, they used to give out certificates at birth proclaiming us "Daughters of the Golden West" ... I've always liked that. Thank you, Romy!

  40. Thanks, Jill! The unpleasant dramas are done, at least these episodes. There's rather a lot pressing, but it's much more interesting stuff. Low on drama, high on the creative part of our business, which is what keeps me going.
    I'm going to learn some new sewing skills this winter, I'm determined!

  41. I'll come find you once I have an Instagram account, Joni ! As you know, it's a busy technical time here, but I need to get to it soon. It'll be fun, I'm hoping!
    Short, square girls generally have lots of good accessories ... they generally don't require many alterations. Although I've shortened long chains a time or six. I've always loved shoes, and come by my shoe addiction honestly. My mother was a "collector" too (ahem.) And handbags are always a weakness. I'm already thinking of a good structured bag for fall!
    I try to get up and dance around when the music is good. One of my poodles is my dance pardner ... they're so smart, and he's a pretty good dancer!
    I'm sorry about your recent data loss! Horrible! Hang in, kid ... hope you get caught up easily and quickly!
    Thanks, Joni, for dropping by. Always such a pleasure to hear from you!

  42. Thank you, Jill! I really appreciate your monthly topics, even if I can't play. I'm so far behind at comments, but will get there I swear!
    When I get Twitter rolling, then I'll come find all you guys!

  43. Jan, you have more than one poodle?? You must let me send you something.
    my email is jettjames at g mail dot com. If you're comfortable with giving out your address via email I want to send you a surprise!

  44. The minute I get my Instagram account going, I'll be out looking for all you guys. Haven't done more than download the app in a couple of places.
    So happy you like my skirt and dress. I think this skirt is my favorite of the ones I've made. And the dress is just so much fun to wear. It's youthful without being too young, and looks pretty ... much better IRL than in the photo! Thank you!
    Dan's such a changed man about his phone, he's like Scrooge on Christmas morning. He has such a blast texting by voice, and especially list making by voice. Sometimes we have to translate his notations, but that's half the fun. "Man aze" for mayonnaise, "hoakies" for hoagies, etc. Suddenly he can use his phone! I never thought I'd see the day.
    So happy you dropped by, kiddo ... I'll get around one of these days with comments, I promise!

  45. Awwwh. You're such a sweetie. Thank you. I assure you, I rarely feel cool (figuratively or literally) or chic, so it's a wonderful thing that you think so! See you soon, and I'm so pleased you dropped by, Shawna!

  46. Thank you, Glamorous Tiina! Glad you liked my outfits. They're among my new favorites for the summer. I'm on FB primarily for our restaurant, but since I've connected with my bloggy friends with similar interests, it's lots more fun. Sadly, I'm a bad correspondent there. I get overwhelmed but the sheer size of it all! I'm finding LinkIn a bit of a pain, and am likewise mystified by Google +. Never got interested in Pinterest, but may figure out the appeal one day ... but you are right. Who has the time? Unfortunately, when our wintertime slow-down comes, I'll have way more time than I want!
    So happy you dropped in!

  47. Hello, Gorgeous! Glad you like the outfits. I know I'd use my phone more if we had the wonderful luxury of public transportation. When we first came to Arkansas, I could not believe that even the crappiest house trailers and shacks had big, fancy cars parked in front. Didn't take me long to figure out that it's 50 miles to everywhere else from wherever you live, and there are almost no buses, much less trains. Everyone lives in their car or truck. And the phone is a no/no here unless you have a good hands-off system. They're getting better at going hands free, but most people here don't think anything about texting and driving(!), and wander down the road, yakking on the phone and not paying a lick of attention to anyone else who might be trying to get home alive! Of course they can't use a turn signal .... no hands left ... so there are lots of accidents from that.
    Sorry. Rant over.
    Will look into Whatsapp! Thank you!
    I've got lots of new ways to take photos, with the phone and my Kindle HDX but haven't learned yet. Have to take an afternoon and figure it out ... I could use better photos!
    And someday, I'll be a better Facebook friend ... just hard to get over there to look around!
    I miss writing to you more often than I have of late ... thank your again for your sweet patience!
    Have a great week, kiddo!

  48. Howdy from Crazytown, Adorable Curtise! I miss California so much sometimes, but been there, done that, as we say. Waaah. Thank you for liking my skirt ... it's one of my favs for the summer, and know I'll find a way to wear it this winter, even if it is faux linen. It is my understanding that seasonal confusion is not a neurosis but a style statement. Who knew?
    Broderie anglaise ... that sound so much more elegant than old, homespun-ish eyelet. I'm almost embarassed how much I love this dress. It looks so much better IRL.
    I'm so overwhelmed with technology right now that it's ridiculous. Not only do I need to figure out how to use the camera on my smartphone, but on my tablet. I join you on the rubbish heap and we shall have tea, shan't we?

  49. Thanks, Alex! Glad you like what is becoming my favorite outfit ever. The little top was labeled Dry Clean Only, and of course, I had to try to wash it. Came through like a champ and dried without so much as a hint of a wrinkle. Whew. Yeay!
    I've never shopped online for much, with the exception of Amazon. They have my undying loyalty for so many reasons. But beyond that, I want to touch and try on and pay cash if I can! So happy you dropped in for a chat.


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