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!


  1. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleMay 19, 2015 at 7:07 PM

    Wow, that is a great looking bag. I have the hunger for fringe right now and as you said, I don't care that I wore it before! I do love your popped collar too - it's the perfect frame for your face. Thanks for linking up with Vis Monday, xox.

  2. I've actually been dying for a fringe bag meself and have scoured the interwebs for the perfect one. You are so lucky to have scored this one. So jealous of you and your shoulder candy right now. :D

  3. Oh, very cool Jan! It's funny...my first thought was 'Wow...how could a vintage bag be in such fantastic condition?' Not a curl on the fringe, not a mark on the bag. Then I read that it was new, and now that you've pointed out the hits of current trend...well, I totally get it! Well done! Now, off you go...shake, shake, shake!

  4. What a wild bag! I'm always jealous of those that can carry around such monstrosities. I'd be sick after 5 minutes.

    Nice to see you back : )


  5. HappinessatmidlifeMay 19, 2015 at 10:33 PM

    Such a great outfit and loving your new fringe purse! I have been wanting a fringe purse but not sure what size I want and really how much use I will get out of it.



    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

  6. Wow, that's quite a bag, not for the shy... But it looks perfect with your understated outfit.

  7. I'm not a bag person but I'd kill for that one. It would be the perfect accessory with my psych dresses (from the Woodstock era). I might be able to get a cat and a bottle of wine in there, too! x

  8. Wow, gorgeous bag, Jan! And isn't it fun how we can mix pieces inspired from different eras? Hey, I'd love to have you join my link up on Fridays!


    Dawn Lucy


  9. The swaying of the fringe when you walk must look fabulous. Such a fun bag :-)

    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

  10. Gorgeous bag! Yup, boho indeed and I'm sure you will have a lot of wear from it.

  11. I am not a boho girl, I warn you in advance. But I can see that the bag and the shoes do uplift the outfit. (Can we get some more and close-up pictures of the whole lovely shoe next time? Or am I over asking?) The bag looks very rich and expensive. Not not your "put a few frinches on and be done with it" kinda bag. So does your watch. I remember your fascination for watches.
    I wore a suede bag as well in the seventies. With a sort of a iron bolt as pendant hanging at the bottom of the flap. Ah young and innocent... Oh well... young in any case.
    Your smile is the best in this post.

  12. This bag might overwhelm a mere mortal, but there's no chance of that happening when you have such a magnetic personality and style. Yes indeed, an awesome bag and worthy of revival love! Looks great on you. And it's good for whapping about.

  13. Love that look, and that fringe bag is amazing!


  14. Very cool bag! I bought a creamy ivory colored one last year and it's my favorite. I don't use it except on special outfit days just to preserve it. I love the 70's styles and even the era.

  15. Shelley@ForestCityFashionistaMay 21, 2015 at 9:08 AM

    I do love some fringe, and that bag is streamlined and funky at the same time. It adds a nice bit of "KAPOW" to the outfit. I agree with you that having lived through several decades of fashion allows you to pick and choose favourites from particular eras that you love and pair them with more modern pieces. We don't need to do head to toe 70's just because it's "In" because we've already been there and done that.

  16. Now don't you just look so cute?! You're going to be stylin' big time with that bag! I'm sure you'll be turning a few heads in Ft. Smith (actually, knowing Ft. Smith, I'm sure you do that anyway!).

  17. I remember suede fringed bags in the late 1960s-early 1970s; they were great, and your updated version is really cool. I like the notion that WE are more versatile and useful these days, not just our bags! You always look chic, Jan, whatever you wear, whatever the accessories, and it's always a pleasure to see you and read your thoughts! xxx

  18. Having lived thru decades of style myself I can sure appreciate this post and those skinny jeans fit you to a tee.That handbag has the right drop. It's not a "deodorant bag" at all and I love it.

  19. Dear Jan I agree, often the handbag makes the look. Yours is fresh and classy in any case but with the cute vintage inspired bag an absolutely feast for the eyes. A great finding!
    Have a fine time dear!
    Sabine xxx

  20. You look great! Fresh and modern because you've mixed things up. I don't subscribe to the head to toe or at least try to avoid it. Your hair is gorgeous too!

  21. Hello Jan so glad to see you and that great bag . I agree take whatever you want from the so called new trends and make them your own. Worn it before, so what , if you like it and it suits your own style go for it. With the jeans and the great white shirt and of course some great shoes, perfect.

  22. Wow that is a groovy bag! I think it is just perfect paired with items that speak to a variety of other eras because otherwise it can start to look like a costume. The classically styled blouses and the slim jeans really suit you and why the hell can't shoes or bags be the third piece? I say they can. I also say it's time to toss that rule saying we can't wear a trend we have already worn in younger days. When I revisit the boho/late sixties and seventies inspired things I am wearing what I wore in childhood and what as a child I admired on stylish adults. I get quite a kick out of that. Love your modern mix! You look chic with personality. xoxo

  23. Huge accessory crushes are the best. And I have noticed that we stay true to a few things we like about style and never change. Many times we lose the way and then come back.

  24. How on earth did I miss this? Oh, probably because I've been spending real time in life which consist of non-blogging, right? But, dang, this bag is the bomb!!! I hear you loud and clear, this is the perfect way to add a little boho fringe back into our lives without feeling or looking as if we went back to our teenage years. Where did you find this piece of artifact?


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