Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Crashes In

Rather than her usual dignified and gently gradual arrival, spring's appearance here felt more like a teenager slamming through the front door and flinging herself dramatically on the couch, shouting "I'm HOME!" in case you somehow missed all the commotion. Two weeks ago, my pasture was snow covered at 28 degrees, followed by another week of mostly rain with temps in the high 30s, turning my pasture into a soggy gray-brown mess. A couple of days ago it was 74 degrees and sunny, followed by a couple of days of soft rain. There's green grass that's suddenly all over the place and some of the white-blossomed trees are already in bloom, but today we're under our first major thunderstorm alert with tornado watch at 78 degrees.

I wasn't ready for this kind of arrival. Although I knew logically that spring would be here any minute, this winter seemed eternal, and I was not ready for this Snow's Gone-I'm-Here-Right-NOW entrance. Consequently, I'm suddenly digging around for warm weather clothing, and our springtimes don't last very long so we could be into summer in nothing flat. Yikes.

Happily, I can now wallow in a satisfying fantasy of looking and feeling lighter and more optimistic after the weight of this last winter. To last winter's receding back I shriek, " ... and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!" I always look forward to winter's arrival, but am particularly relieved to see the back of this one.

Google Keep is a list-making app on my phone that I've been using to record notes on Spring Stuff that Appeals and Interests. This year especially, the array of retro ideas that designers are re-approaching is extra fascinating. I'm charmed with the idea of evolved versions of my old favorite statements and silhouettes. Since I'm old enough to have loved and worn earlier iterations, it's like personal validation to see them enjoyed and appreciated again, with fresh inspiration applied in current context. Feels good to know what was groovy then still shows some potential now ... just like me!

More playtime with old playmates, but with the advantage of hindsight. I have questions, though. The best part of fashion revivals is that they're not exactly the same as the first time around. So how, exactly, does that translate, and how, exactly, is the old good idea made new and better? Here's some of the ideas that interest me the most:

Consider implications of modern Boho elements.
I actually wrote that pretentious little exhortation to myself, but it's not a bad bit of advice to me from me. See, although I love the Romantic era as well as Bauhaus modernism, I have a hard time integrating them into a single visual idea. After a few seasons of fascination with more minimal silhouettes, my little soul is craving a bit of Boho. Maybe. Where do I put it, though, and how to play with it this time around? No set opinion on this just yet ... stay tuned.

Shoes! A broad subject always of interest to me with several elements:

1. Platforms ... shop the closet!
As a short woman, my joy at their renewed availability is palpable. And I'm smug that I didn't pitch my favorite ones in recent purges. Out they come.

2. Big, blocky heel sandals, lowish & high
These haven't been around much in recent seasons, and I'm happy to see them again. The first time around they felt rebellious, as we differentiated ourselves from our mother's stilettos. Nice to have both shapes playing nice in the store windows!

3. Mules
Here's evolution; I wouldn't have worn these on a bet when I was a younger woman. They had a louche quality to them when famously worn by bad-girl bombshell actresses of the late 50s, suggesting high-heeled bedroom scuffs, festooned with marabou pompoms. They've changed a lot and now look more modern and a bit tougher with a higher vamp or strappier versions with a chunkier heels. I like that remaining hint of their slightly sinful past along with what seems to my eye a more sophisticated, cooler construction. They've come a long way, baby, and I like the new iteration a lot.

4. Red sneakers ... just because.
Got 'um, love 'um. My size goes early, so very specific shoes are always a first seasonal purchase. So cute, I think. You'll see them soon. As Dan said, though, they're "very un-Jan-like" but that's probably the best reason to add them to my mix.

5. Nude Sandals and Shoes
I have several pairs of these, in different shapes and styles, all much admired but rarely worn. They go with everything, are said to lengthen the leg, but they always seem the second best choice. But with such a strong emphasis on neutral colors, I intend that this will be the spring-summer when I figure out how to best style them. I really want to know how to wear them to best effect. Any ideas, tips, rules I don't know or silly-wild-ass-guesses are welcome.

Graphic dress and shift dresses
Sewing projects!? Yes, I think so. Stay tuned. The two ideas combine in my imagination. I love the idea of a graphic print in a shift shape. A classic shape that is noticed again and welcomed with pleasure. Below, I recently pushed the season a bit and gave this bright shift it's first outing. Making it cower beneath a blazer and pairing it with work shoes isn't the best presentation, but you'll see it again in sleeveless comfort as the weather warms.


(Shift dress from JCPenny)



Long tunic tops / Asymmetric tops with leggings or skinnies
I love this look, and I love how easy it is to wear, dressed up or down. Especially with cute summer sandals. I'm all over this one, but I know when I'm this dizzy for a look, I'd better check twice in the mirror for proportions.

Chokers
I welcome these back too, and I love the sleek, minimal ones. Maybe these are the elusive, summer-time Third Piece solutions to my personal style puzzle. A good style principle, but always a challenge in hot humid climes.

Suede? Really? Suede for summer?
Interesting. What if I made an easy Ultrasuede tunic or even just a minimalist top? (Not likely to see any of this in stores around here any time soon.)
A recent Dillard's sale netted a ridiculously low price on some light cognac-ish suede sandals that I adore, and that might about all I can manage for this intriguing idea.

Straight leg jeans
Here's where I have lots of questions. I dug out some "straight" leg jeans from my past, but nowadays they look like wide leg jeans. Terms have changed, shapes evolve, and I've found that a modern take on this cut is basically a skinny that is straight from the knee but not tapered to the ankle. That's what I'm using as a working definition while I figure out if these can be flattering on me or not.
Again, stay tuned.

(I'm serious.  I need some feedback about modern straight leg silhouettes and how to wear nude shoes to best effect.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I'm heading over to the Inimitable Patti's at Visible Monday
Come see how spring is evolving for a whole lot of fabulous people!

70 comments:

  1. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleMarch 24, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    I love how you mix your creative and analytical sides, Jan! I am on board with shift dresses and the Boho revival (again) and any shoes that are low to the ground. That graphic dress is gorge on you. Thanks for sharing the joy with Vis Monday, xox.

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  2. So lovely to hear you chatting again! It must become very soul wearying by the end of a dark Winter. We are headng into coldness over here, but for the first time ever, ai'm not dreading it! I know what you mean about Spring's abrupt arrival. We had 40 degrees C in Nov last year and thought our Summer would be horrendous. Instead it was a cool wet one. Got all the heat out of the way in one day?
    Wishing you joy in the heat. I hate it! And suede??? No thanks!
    Nude shoes are difficult for me as well. I think I miss the bookending dark or strong coloured shoes provide. I was always one for a border on art :-)
    Boho elements have always been part of my look, so I'm struggling not to feel unoriginal. Maybe a touch of lace, fringe or embroidery on your more pared back clothing would be a way to start? Or maybe a chandelier earring?
    The leg shapes? No idea! But your definition sounds good for a working hypothesis. Intereesting that wide legs are returning after we have had so much

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  3. Narrowness, and high waists after so much lowness. As always food for thought Jan.
    (Sorry hit reply too early) xo Jazzy Jack

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  4. Ooh, I like that dress. Very spring-like, without the door slamming. ;-) I'm still giddy at the prospect of suede for spring and (gasp!) summer even. I'm still sorting out the jeans thing, looking for that perfect pair of slim straight legs.

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  5. That is so true about the changes in the descriptions of jeans. Your description is perfect for the modern take on straight legged jeans. I like them because I have "man calves", or rather "man cows". I think they are good for shorties too and easier to wear than wide legged jeans.


    You know I'm "all over"that Boho look.


    I also have a pair of nude shoes I never wear. I always, always choose colour. This year I can see a small shift in my style though and I think I might wear them more often. (Well...check back with me in a year and we'll see...)


    Your dress is stunning! L. O. V. E. it! The colours are fantastic.


    You are lucky that Spring/Summer has arrived. It hasn't been above zero here yet but for one day. Two days ago it was -19 with the windchill! I'm beginning to wonder if Spring or Summer will make an appearance at all this year.


    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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  6. Hey Baby. Come on over to the Boho side. We'd love to have you. Don't you just love the change of seasons? I see you in lots of bright colors this summer!

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  7. Love this dress on you and all the colors to mix and match with your shoes.

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  8. HappinessatmidlifeMarch 24, 2015 at 10:55 PM

    Great dress and your work heels are so pretty too. I love wearing nude shoes, they really do elongate the legs. I basically wear them when I have no idea what shoes to wear.

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

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  9. Nicolene RichardsMarch 25, 2015 at 1:54 AM

    I envy both your dress and writing ability. Ditto.

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  10. Ok, here we go. First of all, I had to laugh over " ... and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!" I love that expression. Of course I can seldom use it. I only have English speaking friends. No enemies, at least not that I know of😀.
    Your shiftdress is delightful. You are knocking the jacket and shoes with it, but I find them great transition pieces from winter to spring. They look good with the dress. I very much like your shoes. No idea why they would be working shoes. They would kill me if I had to be in a restaurant on my feet all they in these, but they sure look pretty.
    As for nude shoes: I bought a pair, wore them twice and I think they are out of fashion now. So it is a rather difficult to advise you. A bit like the lame helping the blind (Dutch expression, you know we are not that subtle). Here is a wild idea (one I would never use myself): put colourful little silkish socks in them.
    Another idea: pair them with earth colours like cream, white, brown, soft yellow.
    Jeans: yes the shape changes. Fortunately my highly beloved skinnies are still in vogue. The straight ones are different from the past, exactly how you described them. I still have a pair that fit the bill so I am good. I hate the mum jeans which are now in fashion. I hated them then (but knew no alternatives) and I hate them now. With these kind of jeans, you need a perfect, curvy figure. I have no hips or bum, so as soon as I put something on top which ends at the waist I look like a stick or an inverted triangle or a man with lumps at the front. Not my style at all. I will see how I can avoid them.
    Long tunic tops: I have many so I am pleased. Just layed my hands on a beautiful white/blue/yellow one, very thin but with 3/4 sleeves: ideal for an older lady in summer.
    Chokers: two inexpensive shops sell great modern jewellery: hm.com and their sister shop stories.com. Especially the last one surprised me.
    Well.. This comment is long enough... Bye.
    Greetje

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  11. Love simplicity of this dress. Interesting combination of colours makes it a real beauty. Enjoyed reading your fashion anylysis, I wish I could write like that.

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  12. Your writing expression is priceless! Can only wish I can do half as good :) I love boho/festival look, but I seriously think only some with certain personality could really pull it off. Been trying but didn't feel quite right somehow. Nude footwear is in my list this spring/summer and finding a correct shade for my skin is not easy. I think finding the closest shade to your skin color is a key to successful nude footwear trend and done properly could make our pins look miles long (inches more likely) and very sexy too. As for straight cut jeans, in my opinion it is the most versatile cut as it can be dressed up and down, cuff or not depending on the look.It can be very polished too if done properly. What am I rambling about here? It is not like you need any styling tip judging from your pairings!

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  13. I wished my english could be muuuuuch better so I could first: understand better what you write and second: answer in the way and depth I would do it in German. The online translators are horrible!!! Had also to laugh about your "don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!" Here in Germany the spring is coming but veeeeery slowly.. can´t see snow and can´t feel this cold wind anymore. I´m ready for... SUMMER!! :D

    Your dress is gorgeous! Great pattern and colors, love also the length.. you look amazing in it!! And your shoes.. fell in love with them right now!!! :)

    have a good time dear friend
    Dana :)
    http://danalovesfashionandmusic.blogspot.de/

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  14. I love the dress! Great find at JCP!! My mom, who is in Montana mentioned the same type of weather pattern. She would like to do some gardening/planting, but never knows if it's still going to snow :-P


    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

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  15. So nice to see (and read) your post. You're looking good in this shift dress and I like it styled with your blazer. Great shoes, too. And yes, as a former Arkansan, I can sympathize with the sudden changes in weather.

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  16. I just bought some nude danskos on line this morning. I love a nude color if what I'm wearing above the waist is light colors. Like ivory, light grey, white, beige, etc....If I'm wearing straight or skinny pants I always reach for something in a tunic length on top.
    A gorgeous dress on you! I think JC Penney just keeps getting better, don't you? Their fabrics are pretty and I especially love the ana brand.
    I'm ready to usher in the spring temps but in Seattle you know that comes with heaps of rain. Yucky!

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  17. Oh, Jan! How I've missed your erudite and engaging posts! Lots to ponder here, and I can't really offer opinions on straight leg jeans since I own none and, being fun-sized, I may never own any; the silhouette is just too visually stumpy-fying for me. As for nude shoes - I treat 'em like a foundation. Independent of the style (pump, peep toe, wedge), I grab mine when I've gone crazy wild up top with color or pattern and need something to ground the look.

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  18. That is a really pretty dress... graphic and flowers, all in one. And spring clothes!!! I want some, too! Well, I'd settle for spring; It started snowing this morning...

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  19. Wonderful post, you are so insightful, Jan! It could be an accurate description of Spring arrival in the Southern Ohio where I lived for a while. And the next thing you know.. it is Summer, hot and humid! So unlike the PNW where every day gets just a little greener and more colorful... love it! I also agree about jeans - you are so right about changing the definitions!


    Love you in this bold dress - you look amazing, just gorgeous! It made me want to visit JC Penny. :) I don't think I bought anything in that store before.


    And about nude shoes... if I'm not mistaken, Carelia of My Small Closet wears them beautifully, maybe you can get some ideas or inspiration from her blog. I own 3 pairs of nudes and I must admit they are not my favorite to wear, though I noticed just recently that they look great with bright bold colors/patterns - lengthen my legs too which not at all bad. :)

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  20. What a great dress! Very pretty. Spring is coming very slowly here. -1°C in the mornig is pretty cold,isn't it?
    Have a good time
    Sunny

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  21. Firstly - good to see you! That dress is fantastic, Jan. (Or even Jantastic!)
    Now - your list. Oh goodness, I don't know what to say about any of it, and certainly can't advise you about jeans, since I never wear them! Aren't flares supposed to be cool again this year? I think nude shoes would feel slightly dull compared with coloured, but platforms and block heels, yes please. And I look forward to seeing your sewing projects - your dress proves how great you look in a graphic print shift so yes please, make more! xxx

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  22. So good to see you, glad Spring has arrived with a bang in your part of the world. Our Autumn/almost wintery weather has arrived in much the same fashion.
    Love the bright shift dress Jan, you always wear them so well. Not sure about some of the other things on your list, suede real or otherwise looks wonderful for the first two wears then for me at least it marks and gets shabby so quickly.Nude shoes always seem to look good on others but on me are a limited wear option. I am sitting on the fence about the boho look, not much here for Winter but there will be by Summer, I can admire those in the Northern Hemisphere then decide.
    Will enjoy your take of the things on your list as your Spring continues.

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  23. Glad Spring has arrived for you, Jan! I love this shirt dress and I think it will also look great with your nude pumps for spring. I love nude pumps/sandals. They can ground a bright outfit and also extend the length of your legs, especially for vertically challenged people like us! Have a great week!!!


    xo,
    Janise

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  24. Your writing is so spectacular! I'm so happy to see you back and in this colorful shift. It makes me think that spring is really here.


    I'm not much help with wearing nude shoes, as I don't own any (yet). Perhaps you'll convince me to purchase a pair after I see what you do with them. As for the jeans. I'm not on top of that one either. Not much help here, am I!

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  25. Love this look! My 'list' has a lot of the same items on it as yours... :-)
    Darlene
    http://whosaprettygirl.com

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  26. My dearest jan, join Instagram today pleaseeeeeeeeeeee. it is so much easierto keep up with friends in hospital.
    Much loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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  27. You are the best of the best when it comes to writing. We seriously need to get some of your post published in a monthly magazine (yes, I'm being serious here). I hear you load and clear on the entrance of spring but I thoroughly enjoyed your way of kicking winter right out the door, I always feel the same way this time of year, and trying to shout, "don't come back until your invited".
    I'm quite thrilled, as you are, with this seasons take on restoring or bringing back some of how most loved memories. And, your exhortation is a PERFECT take on this. I adore the freedom the boho represents and I'm simply in love with the romantic side of this fashion twist. I've been on the hunt for a new floral and tie-tied maxi dress for the season. My one problem is my incredible height, so most of these babies drag about 6 inches on the ground and I don't sew like you and Sue. My other hun was for a floral shift dress and now just look at you! This is style at it's best.
    As for the nude shoes, I love these. I tend to pair mine with white, it seems to give just the perfect balance to an overall too clean slate. I also pair mine with denim all the time, basically as in everyday. And with the straight leg silhouettes, I also adore these, and yes and big fat yes, you can wear them. I wear mine with basic sneakers, especially slip ons and then when I need or want to dress them up just throw on a pair of heels and you have an entire new look. These straight jeans can be worn with any and every oversize shirt you have or just a fun basic tee and then throw on a blazer. Have fun with all your new/old styles, my friend.
    My one revival out of the closet this season will be me wide leg jeans and platforms, which I'm so glad I didn't give away.

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  28. Thanks, Patti. Right brain, left brain ... no matter. Give me a topic and I'll overthink it for you!
    Half my fun with style is the challenge of making things that are not made with my shape in mind work for me. Glad you like my dress ... I intend to show it later as it might be better worn in deeper summer.

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  29. Believe me, Jack ... no joy in the miserable humid heat, either. I hate it and resent that I have to dress for it or suffer. Boho: I'm such a little block that most haute-hippie nouveau swallows me. So your suggestion is apt about silhouettes. Additionally problematic is that some of the "granny" styles that I used to love now look AWFUL since I'm definitely a granny age! But I can see how a fringed bag, a Mucha-esque shoe or bangle could read right. Thanks!

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  30. Oh, thanks ... means a lot from you. I just dug out a slate blue-gray suede jacket I had from the way back and am rushing to try to wear it before it gets too warm. I found a pretty good pair of straight leg skinnies from Old Navy ... cheap and cheerful, but functional too! We shall see how I manage them!

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  31. Thank you, Suzanne. I've pulled out all my "nude" shoes, and have them where I can grab 'um fast to see how they look in each situation ... trying to do that before a color or my favorite darks. I've finally figured out that a nude chunky shoe works better for me than my favorite black. Live and learn, but I just wish I could figure it out faster! Clock's ticking!!!!!
    Found a pretty good pair or two at Old Navy. Love their bottoms for my bottom!

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  32. Far OUT, Connie Snow! Thanks! Maybe just at touch with plain shirt and bottoms ... a shoe, bag, and bangle, maybe. I have to avoid to much of the "granny" looks that I used to love. They just make me look too "Granny" these days!

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  33. Thanks, Neti ! You are so right ... I have at least four different color sandals that will work with this dress a bit later on when the heat comes on strong.

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  34. Hallo Jan great post again. I look fab in your shift dress, love the colors and the pattern.


    Catherine
    www.jolylook.be

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  35. Thanks, Alice! I've got my nude and near-nude pairs out and handy so I can try them first, before I decide arbitrarily on bigger, brighter or darker colors. We shall see how I manage. Then, of course, I'll go overboard like I tend to do .... sigh.

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  36. Hello, Nicolene!!! Thanks for dropping by ... I'm trying hard not to be such a slug and get out and about more. Kind of you to say such nice things to your lazy little friend from Mid Nowhere!

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  37. You're a doll, Greetje, as always. My poor old black blazer just works so hard for me, but I fall back on it with so many things this time of year. I like that structure in the shoulder that is hard to get in summer, so I'll miss it when it gets too hot.
    Here, our version of that expression is "the blind leading the blind" but I like yours better, and it is more subtle!
    I've put all my nude shoes and sandals close to hand so I can try them first before I immediately go to color. I think they might be the cure for my non-specific suspicion that I often look like I "try too hard" with my shoe choices. So often though, it's the shoes that are my favorite part of an outfit. Grounding ... that's what I'm looking for, I imagine.

    Nothing you could ever wear would make you look like a guy with lumps! But I get what you mean. We'll see if a less mumsy version will work for me. I've been pulling out my long tunics to wear, as well, and will see if I can wear them with leggings this year ... discretely, of course.
    Thanks for the choker links! Will check them out!
    So happy to hear from you, always. I hope to stay in better touch this summer!

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  38. Thank you, Olga. I'm not thrilled with how I look right now, so I'm glad that you like my choice. I'll never be one of those women that show great looking outfits on their great looking figures, so I can only write about my process trying to make things work for myself. Kind of you to say such nice things, Olga!

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  39. Thank you, Mrs. C! I think you're right about Boho looks and personality. I love it when I see it on others and think it can be great on other "completely mature" women, but much of it ages me more than I'd like. I always hoped that I'd attain a certain amount of sophistication as I grew older ... sadly, that quality alludes me as I am a complete smart alec and master-class goofball. I've got to try the "bit of Boho at a time" approach ... I admit that it's not really my first choice of genre. I just hate not being able to come out and play in whatever I want to try. Stubbornly, I persevere.
    I've put my nude shoes and sandals closer to hand to try with things I normal dose with a bright shoe. We shall see how I fare! My pins will never look long, but they might look better!
    On another note ... I'm still working on your site addy on my sidebar. Got your emails and will address your suggestions in the next week, ASAP. Thanks for your help on this.
    Have a great week, young lady!

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  40. I always love your posts for you writing, your wit and your attention to details and lists. I am always aware of the trends and latest fashions but rarely actually follow them. Of course I am likely to fall for the boho influenced things unless they are made with polyester, which has been my main complaint about the fast fashion versions of them for the past several years. I have absolutely no helpful tips at all on nude shoes or straight leg jeans. I have observed that a very trouser like look in denim is showing up in the fashion mags and I think that would suit you. A sort of flat front trousers look in dark denim would be very versatile I think for either a classic look or a trendy twist. I picture you in a cropped jacket with trouser style denim. Nude shoes, I would suggest, can be paired with a colourful graphic print shift dress to keep the focus on the dress and not the feet. This would just be an alternative to pairing the dress with shoes in a matching colour. There, that's my two bits worth. xoxo

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  41. Hahaha. Your account of Spring's arrival and Winter's hasty retreat gave me a great laugh.
    I think you've covered every style group here. You have great instincts and always look put together. I know you'll pull off some fantastic outfits from your hit list.
    Maybe you would enjoy a day of dress up, trying out extreme Boho looks in the safety of your home and then paring down (or not) for public. I love that you got the runners too. I've always thought that jeans can be worn with anything - heels, runners, boots, blouses and blazers. I used to have nude pumps that I wore with tailored suits and pantyhose and they made me feel very elegant indeed. I look forward to seeing some of your stylings.
    Oh, I love that bold print shift!

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  42. I am happy to hear that spring arrived in your area, even when it has the behaviour of a whimpsical teenager. Spring is the most surprisingly season I think. I read your trend recap with pleasure. What I appreciate most is the revival of flat shoes and straight jeans. But you are right, straight formerly feels different. But maybe because our eyes are used to see only skinny jeans for too many years.
    You look lovely in your shift dress dear Jan!
    Sabine xxx

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  43. Oh, Dana ... I have no German at all, so you are light-years ahead of me. I'm always so impressed that much of the rest of the world speaks multiple languages. That's the way it should be, and we here in the US are far behind in that, world wide. Glad that spring is coming your way, and I'm so happy to congratulate you again on your second bloggy birthday.
    Thank you always for your kind words.

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  44. Thank you, Monica! I try to check in there at JCP at least once a week, just to keep up. They have mixed success in giving us current ideas, but are worth keeping up with. Hope your mom gets her garden in at just the right time... and that you both have a wonderful spring!

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  45. Some day I will catch up with everyone ... I have so much to send to you and old replies that I want to get out. Please forgive! I will get my act together.
    Thank you, Shani, for your kind comments about my dress. It really wants to get out in nicer weather, and I'll photograph the event. Looks like it will be close to 80 today!

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  46. Thanks, Joni for the nude shoe suggestion... that's a nice visual idea. You're great at styling tunics, and I've taken you with me on shopping trips (in my head, of course!) to advise when looking for them.
    Yup. JCP here is an important resource. Ours suffers from a lot corporate change from last year ... for a while, they got pretty spiffy and a bit cool. Now, not so much. And are getting a little dowdy in some sections. Oh, yes ... I have more than a bit of ANA in my closet. Great basics. I like Bisous Bisous, too, and just picked up a Call It Spring bag on deep reduction!

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  47. I see a shoe post in my future! I'm in agreement with you about platforms and chunky heels (Yay!) Looking forward to seeing your warm-weather sewing projects, and loving that graphic print dress!


    Alicia
    spashionista.com

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  48. I know your standards for erudite gotta be higher, but thank you for the high praise. I'm happy to take engaging, though! What's fun-sized? I'd prefer not to shave any more inches off the ends. Stumpification? In the past, I've found straight leg jeans elongating. But I've still got to tailor the hems on the two pair I have, and won't really know until I figure out how to wear them in this modern straight cut.
    I think you have it exactly right about the nude shoe thing. I sometimes feel that wearing color in ways that I've attempted make me look like I'm trying to hard, and that a nude shoe might be a better solution in a lot of cases. I've brought them out and have them handy when I put together outfits ... at least I can try them first to see what's what.

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  49. Thank you Tiina ... glad you like my dress. I has some of your best colors in it, yes? Hope you get spring and spring clothes, as soon as you want them!

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  50. Thank you, Natalia! I miss the Northwest every day, and I'm happy to see your move into spring going so well.
    JCP is one of about 6 big-box stores that where any variety is available. The last few years, it has gone through some conceptual extremes, from dowdy to pseudo-trendy and now back to somewhere in between. I don't think I ever had to go into a Pennys when I was in Seattle. So much variety. But like Target, I'm grateful to have one close nowadays, here.
    I've put my nude shoes close to hand so I can try them first when planning an outfit. I tend to go overboard, but I hope to be able to figure out how to best make them work without beating the idea to death!

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  51. Thank you, Sunny! We've had a cool morning or two here, lately. Hope your spring comes faster for you! And I hope ours is mild and not too humid. Enjoy your week!

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  52. Awwh. Thank you, Curtise ... glad you like my dress. I'm excited at the prospect of making a whole dress, but may not get there. I'm always so far behind ... I want to write and make digitial drawings and get back to the piano more often. Seems like I can pursue one thing at a time and not very far and less than well.
    Some shoes seem to me just beautiful as objects. A nude heel strikes me that way. I see what you mean about dull as opposed to color. I'm kind of a lover of neutrals, though, as they have so much potential for a different kind of visual drama. I like nude sandals particularly as they kind of allude to no shoes at all, a sort of barefoot look but with polish. Even an illusion of coolness is good to have here in our miserable heat! ( Not looking foward to that, but am enjoying this bit of springtime ... I'm going out and about in it today!)

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  53. "Fun-sized" is one of my former student's euphemism for "short", as in fun-sized bites of chocolate. And perhaps its' got nothing to do with height as much as it has to do with body type? I've got a non-existent torso and therefore a high waist, broad shoulders, a bit of a belly and muscular calves. I find that I can do bootcuts okay and of course we know my affinity for skinnies, but straight leg jeans look almost dated on me. :/

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  54. Welcome back, Spring! Even if it means a full change in your closet! :-) You look radiant in your floral dress!
    I often wear block heel shoes as they are comfortable, so I am glad to read that they are IN this year...

    Happy start of Spring, Jan!

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  55. I can't wait to see this graphic print shift dress! I love the classic shape of the shift, but it never looks right on me with my pear shaped figure. And yes, go for the red sneakers! Fun! Pretty dress you're showing here. You look fab as usual. NO missing mojo at all!

    OXOX

    Dawn Lucy

    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

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  56. Mmmm ... me too, to all but the broad shoulders and muscular calves. Makes me wonder if I should try them at all ('cause your taste is so excellent.) But I love my jeans, and will give this new version it a shot with a pair or two, which fit just like skinnies (to know them is to love them, I agree) except they aren't tapered at the ankle. I put all my wider-leg jeans "straights" away again, 'cause they do look dated. You're right about that.
    Fun sized ... I get it, now! Dan thought this was particularly amusing, and went on about it for some time. Men can be such pigs.

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  57. I know what you mean about Boho. I'm thinking maybe a piece or two to wear with a very clean outfit ... like jeans or trousers and tailored shirt or shell. A Boho-bag or bangle or sandal, maybe. I am just bowled over by some of the contemporary "world" ethic prints, well adapted and abstracted by good designers, but find that the inexpensive versions I can afford are crummy looking and generic ... sad. I can admire the good versions with cleaner lines and shapes, though.
    Suede ... I've found a pretty good suede protector, and just give up when they get too scuffed. But I've found sandals don't have as much surface area to ruin and last a bit longer!
    As with last year, I can see what I'd like to look like in the coming fall-winter by watching what you do!
    Thanks, Jilly, for your kind words!

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  58. There's a thought, Janise! Thank you. I actually have some already in mind! I'm beginning to get the idea of "grounding" ... my short, square frame will be able to wear prints more proportionally with nude shoes, I hope.

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  59. Howdy, Darling Judith! Thank you for all. I'm glad you get a kick out of what I write, and I can send the compliment back to you. Your posts are always an interesting read, and always lovely to see.
    I'm blown away that there are no nude shoes in your closet!!!! Look ... a rare, whole new thing for you to try ... you do everything else so freaking beautifully.

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  60. Thank you Darlene. Hope you and your pups are enjoying spring as it arrives! I've done a lot of wish lists before, but I find I pressure myself into fulfilling them, even when I've gone "off " the idea! So I made this more about ideas that I find interesting ... not so much pressure!

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  61. LOL You're such a creative writer Jan! Your shift dress is beautiful and I'm sure it will look fab without the blazer and keep you cool on hot summer days.


    Happy Spring!
    ♥ carmen

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  62. Hey, Shelly! Hope your days are on the fine side as the season toddles in up there. I kid about having only a few minutes of spring, and today it looks like out time is up ... 80 degrees and on the steamy side. May be a false alarm, though, with a 15 degree drop coming by the weekend, so I won't put away the light coats just yet (some of my favorite pieces!)
    I've done wish lists in recent seasons, but this time I'm just trying to focus more on making ideas work ... purchases often necessarily involved (happily) but lots of closet shopping as there seem to be a lot of returning silhouettes this year that we've seen fairly recently ... wide legs, platforms, etc ... that can be pretty easily tweaked. Now there's some fun!
    I live in Big Box Land, and so rural that there are only a few consignment stores ... on top of that there's not the high incomes that generate cool stuff in the second hand stores, but more importantly, no ethic of recycling, renewing and reusing much at all. Lots of used things that once came from Walmart and more recently Target, mostly baby and kid stuff. I miss urban availablity of good used pieces. Dan's pride and joy is a glorious camel cashmere overcoat he scored in Seattle ... I can't tell you the amount of energy I've spent trying to figure out how to make it work for me! And to get him to let me when I figure it out.
    The nude shoe thing is one of my could-be-brainlessly-obsessive projects ... I've always had a thing for them, and now I'm determined to make them work as well as I can. We shall see, or not!

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  63. Wow, so much for no Mojo?! What a fabulous dress on you. I love the bold and block colors and the floral overlay. And, the black mules are perfect with it! I have to say I'm a sucker for red tennis shoes too - hi-top converse to be exact. Come on over to Style Nudge on the SHOE AND TELL LINK UP and post your great look and shoes!

    Cherie
    http://www.stylenudge.com

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  64. Hmm. You look great in that graphic print dress. Nude shoes!! Can we talk? They are just the greatest at lengthening the legs of those of us (you and me, I think) who are on the shorter side. Open toes, sling backs, all very flattering, and the D'orsay pump is so ultra feminine. The more skin you show on your foot, the longer the leg and the sexier the look. Sounds silly, but so true.
    Don't be afraid of a touch of Boho.
    Suede is not just for summer anymore (old rule - no longer applies). I'm packing a pair of suede shoes for my trip to Paris in a few weeks. Nude suede gives "nude" interest and texture.
    Proportion is always key, no matter the body type.
    Cheers, M-T of "The French Touch"

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  65. Okay...I'm sure you haven't been thinking, 'Where's Sue?', but I did read your post shortly after you published it! :) Just wanted to say too much in too short a time, so....I'm baaaaacck.


    'K....you look adorable in that shirt dress. Class act all the way sweet Jan!


    Onto your list...I found nude shoes last years...I'm pretty sure, thanks to one of your suggestions. Love them, and can't imagine not having them in my wardrobe. RED running shoes...YES please! I have a pair of 'faded' red tennies from Payless, but would love a brilliant red pair too. Straight leg jeans are a for sure...I'm so happy with the pattern I'm using to make jeans. And blocky heels/platforms. I keep eyeing a pair at Topshop, but walk away because I really do feel more feminine in either a mid heel pump, or even Audrey Hepburn-ish flats...but, they are definitely on trend, so I'll try them on again this weekend, and decide once and for all on the subject!


    Can NOT wait to see some me-mades by you Jan! Have a great weekend!

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  66. Thank you, Catherine ... glad to hear from you, especially with such nice things to say! Hope your spring is coming in just the way it should!

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  67. Hey, Shawna ... glad to hear from you! I think you're right about the trouser style jeans. I know the ones you are thinking of. I haven't seen many of them here, yet, but agree completely about dark wash denim and a tailored shape is a perennial favorite in my closet. I'll keep a close eye out.
    Not seeing much polyester these days ... lots of cotton blends with stretchy stuff incuded, rayon and viscose.
    I think you're right about nude shoes and big or colorful prints. As a shortie, I always fuss about proportions (until it keeps me from doing what I really want to do, then I throw good sense out the window and just go with what I want!) Seriously, though, they may work to help me look a little more like I'd like to, a little more often. Besides, I think they're often just beautiful objects and I'm recently drawn to them visually. Me and my visual enthusiasms ( not quite obsessions, but close!)

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  68. I am drawn to things that are black and look goth/witchy but they don't really suit me. I am trying to be drawn to things that suit me better-lol. I think you should have nude shoes and colourful shoes so you can switch around according to you mood and who doesn't want a good excuse to have more shoes? xoxo

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  69. You are an excellent writer. I always enjoy reading your posts. Here in Kentucky we generally jump from winter to summer, but this year we are enjoying a long spell of mild spring temps which I am loving. My thing this spring has been to replace all my shoes with comfortable ones! The hard part was finding cute yet comfy ones. My previously broken ankle tells me that the time of wearing uncomfortable shoes has past. And I for one, don't mind. Debbie @ ilovemylemonadelife.com

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  70. Hey, glad you are doing well and you look great. It's was warm last week and cool this week so my attire changes by how the temperature feels. Enjoy wearing the platform and some cute flats too.

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