Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Artifacts from my Way-Back Machine

I'm always interested in bags and shoes. And shoes and bags. Always. But this year, stores and the glossies seem to be offering so much more of them both to love, so I'm not surprised that they are so especially intriguing to me. Some years for me it's skirts or dresses or tunics. This year looks like it's shaping up to be the Jan's Year of the Accessory.

We are enjoying strangely extended mild spring temperatures this year, with lots of rainy days, so I've been enjoying a few more days that I can keep comfortably wearing the perfect-for-me, long sleeved, crisp, white and black tailored shirts that I discovered last year. They'll make way for similar-but-sleeveless tops in the miserable heat that is coming soon (and as you see below, the transition is already underway) but I've been digging the unexpected extra opportunities to wear them with my recent and typically Jan-Come-Lately discovery of straight leg jeans on the skinny side. This very simple combination just begs for a great shoe and notice-me bag ... I know "third pieces" are not supposed to be about the shoes, but I think they can often function that way with very casual outfits. There are so many fresh looking shoe shapes, many of them creative iterations of retro classics, that it's easy to focus on feet-first outfit planning. A bag, too, can make a huge difference in how polished a basic shirt-jeans combo can look.

I was shoe shopping when I found this Boho-beauty, and it was a huge accessory crush for me at first sight. I had a similar bag long ago, a much loved and more rustic version in the way-back, that sported antiqued brass metal rather than the shiny and sleek silver fittings of this more polished design. My current tastes don't usually run to strongly Bohemian looks, although it has never gone away and seems to be enjoying some extra fashion-passion from trend lovers, classicists and vintage enthusiasts alike. I was there for the late 60's version and have frequently dipped a toe into some revivals in the decades between then and now. We eldest are so often cautioned that "if we did it the first time around we shouldn't do it again" but this bag, for me, is an illustration of why we absolutely should do it again and as often as we wish.

One of the things I love about having lived through the decades of style that I have is that I can enjoy the evolution that allows past favorites to reappear, renewed and reinvented and with refreshed relevance.

It occurs to me that the white, sleeveless shirt-waist, complete with popped collar was typical of the late 50s-early-60s. By the late 60s and 70s, it would have been looking dated, and the fringed bag would have been paired with quite a different look ... my straight leg jeans wouldn't have arrived yet and the bag would have paired with bell-bottoms. The wooden platforms were throwbacks even then to the 40s and 50s, and now I'm happy to reintroduce them (yet again!) to other pieces from other decades. Like the rest of the pieces, it's become a classic in it's own way, and I am delighted to field the compliments I've been getting. I fully admit to enjoying again the swish of fringe when I walk, without going full-on hippy chic from the Summer of Love. This slightly sleeker version of the my grubbier, rougher, Woodstock-era carryall has evolved, and so have I. (Just from the era ... I wasn't AT Woodstock.) Neither of us are exactly the same as we used to be, but both of us in our current versions are more versatile, more useful than we were then.

And if that isn't a perfect excuse inspiration to indulge in a new bag in a style from my youth, I don't know what is.

(The color isn't as true as the photo above, but you can see
what a nice drop it has from the shoulder.)

That's it for this week ... come with me over to Pretty Patti's 
Visible Monday and see what all the glamourati are up to!