How to Wear a Spiderweb Shawl

I took a temporary hiatus from my blog and I really missed being away for so long. Plus, it seemed that it has rained almost every day for the past couple of months which made it challenging to take outside pictures. My post today is about a new shawl that has an unusual design…a spiderweb one. You heard right–SPIDERWEB.

My husband and I visited Salem, MA, recently and I was influenced by the fashion styles there as you can tell. I bought this spiderweb shawl at a quaint shop called Modern Millie which is a vintage inspired clothing shop that has both vintage and modern consignment as well as new vintage reproduction clothing and accessories. (

I cannot wait to show you what I have on order that will go beautifully with this shawl–it’s a vintage style Victorian blouse and a steampunk, lace-trimmed ruffled skirt. So stay tuned for that in a later post.

I already want to go back to Salem, MA, as I just loved my visit there. We stayed at a charming bed and breakfast called the Amelia Payson House (, and I highly recommend it. Our room had a king-size bed and it was adjustable and so extremely comfortable. Okay, it was THE MOST comfortable bed I have ever slept in! The innkeepers were very hospitable and knowledgeable of the area and its history, and the breakfasts were gourmet quality. Here are a couple of pictures of our room.

Do you like my new earrings? They have some very neat shops in Salem and my eyes were drawn to these particular ones at a place called The Emporium (

Below are some more pictures of our trip all taken with just my cell phone camera and I think they came out okay.

Dining at The Village Tavern, Salem, MA (great food, great service

I really want to go back to Salem as soon as possible even for just one night. But the state mask mandate went into effect on 8/23/2021 and my husband wants to wait until that is lifted. In the meantime, please stay healthy, happy and safe and I’ll be back soon with my steampunk skirt!

Dresses in February?

I love to wear dresses all year round regardless of whether it’s 8 degrees or 80 degrees. Not every day, of course, but when the mood strikes. When I wear a dress or skirt to work in the dead of winter, I will include a half slip underneath as they actually add warmth in addition to other benefits. Many women today no longer wear slips and some may not even know what they are! It is thought that the advent of the sewn-in lining has contributed to the demise of the slip. However, a sewn-in lining can ride with your dress when you turn or bend over which is of no use. A separate slip will act as a silky-smooth go between allowing for more fluid movement. This article talks about three beautiful reasons to wear a slip although there are way more than three: 3 Beautiful Reasons Why You Should Wear a Slip.

Here are a few of my favorite slips:

The black slip was purchased at Walmart for $8.00! The red one is vintage and has been in my wardrobe forever.

The slip above can also be used as a skirt or dress extender which is another practical purpose for the slip.

This teal blue dress comes from Shein and it was $15.00. A coworker told me about this company and they charge $3.99 for shipping and orders over $49.00 are shipped for free. I have two houndstooth skirts from them that I will show you in a later post (one is pink and the other is black). This dress is stretchy and comfortable but you may need to have someone zip the back of it for you. The material is on the thin side and a slip is a must for this dress.

Mabel recently received a birthday card from Chewey as she will be 2 years old on March 2! Do dogs go through the “terrible two’s?” Mabel is not telling.

Stay healthy and smile.

Styling With Polka Dots

I have a thing for polka dots apparently as I examined my wardrobe recently and found many items with that spotted fabric. Polka dots are either something you love or hate and I am on the love side. Also, they are a classic print that will always be in style.

Below is a dark polka dot blouse that I am wearing with a black skirt. The blouse is by Adrianna Papell and the fabric is very stretchy and comfortable. My skirt is also stretchy and it has a walking slit in the back (I cut off the tag and I cannot recall the brand.)

And polka dot pantyhose, too! These are Hanes control top premium perfect tights with a graduated compression. The leg has 24% spandex which feels so comfortable.

Did you know that polka dots came from the polka dance? According to this Cosmopolitan article, it was called the polka from the “Czech peasant dance of the same name, which picked up some steam in the 1840s and continued through the 1860s.” I think polka dots are very feminine and fun.

I was given a polka dot mug by my boss and it blends in perfectly with my blouse (purely coincidental). Thank you, Sherry! It’s my new coffee mug and the perfect size cup for a coffee lover.

Mabel did a photobomb. She was groomed yesterday and she is all fluffy and soft with a puppy fresh scent. This blouse is also by Adrianna Papell in a beige with black polka dots. I purchased both blouses at TJ Maxx.

This little black jacket has a moto style and I have worn it before here. It’s by Premise and another TJ Maxx find. I love the horizontal zippers on the side which provide a slimming effect.

I absolutely love the graceful flow of this black blouse by MSK. It has 5% spandex so it’s on the stretchy side. As you can see, I have the same blouse in red below. The black polka dot skirt is by Rachel Zoe and another TJ Maxx find. I am doing the polka dance below…

Pure Bohemian chic. That’s what this outfit makes me think of especially with the black Mary Jane platform clogs by B.O.C. which are insanely comfortable. And they are extremely lightweight in spite of their heavy bulbous style and three-inch heels.

This is a casual office/librarian skirt that goes perfectly with these Mary Jane clogs. The skirt is by Talbots and is fully lined.

And these clogs can be worn with jeans. This is my favorite style as I am combining relaxed and refined pieces for a smart casual look. These skinny, high-rise jeans are by Denizen (by Levi’s) from Target.

Mabel says let me chew on that for a while and I will get back to you. Stay safe and healthy everyone.

Victorian Goth

What comes to mind when you think of Victorian Goth clothing? Do you think of dark flowing dresses, a cloak, dark stockings, and maybe a long ballroom dress? I am drawn to this style due to its feminine and elegant charm combined with a mysterious dark and modern twist with a hint of rebellion. Maybe more than a hint.

The dress I am wearing is called a Victorian Goth mermaid dress. It is characterized by its fitted style and it flares at the knee which creates a mermaid-like tail. It’s truly a style of elegance and requires the perfect occasion to wear it in public. My husband insists I will be able to wear it somewhere and that it will not just hang in my closet.

This is a peek at my Victorian Goth girl cave. It is my private escape and also my blog studio during the dark winter months. I love how the dress gives me a preternatural appearance with this dark brown filter.

Victorian Goth is inspired by Victorian-era mourning clothes.  This style is marked by dark clothing, dark make-up, and a pale complexion.

I love the high neck style and vintage inspired rose-patterned black lace.

Mabel says it’s her girl cave, too. And she wants to explore more Victorian Goth. So stay tuned for more dark fashion during these dark winter months to come.

Similar Style Dresses:

The Longfellow’s Wayside Inn

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors …

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

This is without a doubt my favorite inn. It’s located in Sudbury, MA, and is the oldest operating inn in the United States. Originally known as Howe’s Tavern, this quaint inn was made famous when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow employed it as the setting for his book of poetry, “Tales of a Wayside Inn” in 1863. This charming inn has everything you could possibly want: a full restaurant, an old tavern, historically appointed guest rooms (especially rooms 9 & 10), picturesque function and dining rooms, an outdoor canopy tent, museum exhibits, beautiful gardens, a gristmill, and walking trails. And the best part? For those who have a fascination with the spirit world, it’s considered to be haunted by the beautiful Jerusha Howe (wayside inn ghost real or imagined). She was known as “the belle of Sudbury” and she was famous for her musical and artistic skills. It’s reported that she owned the first piano in town and regularly played for visitors. Today, some guests claim they have heard ghostly tunes played in the middle of the night…

Here is her famous piano

This is the entrance and staircase when you first step into the inn and to the right is the old tavern pictured below.

The tavern actually dates back to 1707 and is part of the original home of David and Hepzibah Howe.

One of the famous drinks in the tavern is the coow woow, considered to be America’s first cocktail which consists of ginger brandy and rum. It’s one very strong drink!

The breakfast room where full sumptuous breakfasts are served

Here is our room and it was very comfortable with this king-sized bed.

These are some of the many dining areas.

I just love these old worn wood floors
The staircase to the left with the “Private for Guests Only” leads rooms 9 & 10 (room 9 was Jerusha Howe’s room)

My husband and I had a chance to stay overnight in room 9 four years ago. We had to reserve it months in advance due to its popularity. I did not experience anything but my husband, a no-nonsense firefighter, was awakened in the middle of the night by a sweet delicate fragrance. He woke me up and asked me if I could smell the perfumed fragrance, and I could not smell it. The fact that it was strong enough to wake him up speaks to the fact that it was not his imagination. He swears that he was not making it up and I believe him. I later found an article online that stated Jerusha makes herself known to men through her citrus perfume.

There is an odd and unique custom that has developed over the years at the inn which is referred to as the Secret Drawer Society. Little notes, usually reporting on any ghost encounters (or no encounter) are stuffed into little cracks, crevices, and drawers all throughout the room. Some of the notes go back decades. Often guests will spend hours searching the room and reading the secret testimonies of those who have come before. Here is a picture of some of the notes stuffed in this ceiling beam.

Here is an old chest full of notes left by guests over the years.

The inn has 10 beautiful guests rooms and this hallway reminds me of the Stanley Hotel. What do you think?

This delicious breakfast is complimentary at the inn with an overnight stay. The omelet was to die for…

I highly recommend the Longfellow’s Wayside Inn. This post was a brief reprieve from fashion. I hope you stay healthy and safe.

Animal print is timeless

I have always loved animal print, especially leopard and I have some of it in my wardrobe. This year, however, it seems that I see it everywhere and as a result, I have inevitably acquired more! It’s a timeless classic with a touch of chic. This skirt is by Ann Taylor and the top is by Calvin Klein. I love the top’s graceful cowl neckline. You have seen these shoes before–they are leather pumps by Array and the heel height is just two inches so they can be worn comfortably all day long.

I love this asymmetrical skirt below by Michael Kors as it flows so easily. The black cardigan is by Premise and I think the zipper pockets that are slanted vertically at just the right angle provide a slimming effect. You can wear any color in the rainbow with animal print but I chose this vibrant red top which is sleeveless, stretchy and wrinkle resistant–great for packing (by Chico’s Travelers).

Mabel is partial to animal print, too (ha!). She just got back from the groomers here and she looks very proud of her hair and nails. Stay healthy everyone!

How To Wear Pale Pink Pumps

This may be part 1 as there are so many ways to wear pale pink pumps and I have only just begun. The heels I am wearing are by Jenn Ardor and they have a 2.4 inch kitten heel. I read several reviews on Amazon before buying them which precipitated my purchase. Truth be told, it was love at first sight. They are extremely comfortable to wear and true to size–I highly recommend them if you are looking for ankle-strap pumps with a manageable heel height and comfort combined. They are vegan leather.

My black skirt with white polka dots is by Rachel Zoe (TJ Maxx) and the material is polyester and spandex; machine washable. I love the feminine bounce of this skirt! Romance meets boho is the style theme of my top. I love the bell sleeves and delicate sheer material of this blouse. It has a built-in camisole top so that you cannot see through it. The design is by Elena Baldi and is a silk blend and hand washable.

I have the skirt paired with my black Tahari top that has a graceful cowl neckline. The material of this top is so incredibly soft to touch and stretchy. I wish I could find it in more colors as I absolutely love it. The fabric is 94% micromodal (which is very breathable) and 6% spandex.

I was a little hesitant to post this picture as I wasn’t sure if the pink top was the best color to wear with this pencil skirt (by Talbots); however, I think it works due to the variety of colors in my skirt which includes, pink, red, orange and green. However, I think that a warmer pink (salmon) would be perfect with this skirt.

These pumps can easily be worn with jeans. My observant coworker noted that she liked how the length of my jeans ended right above the ankle strap of the shoes. And she’s right!

This year my lupines were extremely prolific and took over my entire garden which isn’t a bad thing. They just popped up everywhere like sensuous little flowering buds out of control.

The lupine is named after “Lupus,” which is the latin word for wolf. And speaking of wolf, here is our sweet wolf Mabel who is loving her new play yard.

I want to continue with the subject of pale pink pumps as I am loving my new heels. In the meantime, I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during these Covid times.

How to Wear a Striped Dress Part 2

20200525_155145I have been on a striped dress kick and this is a continuation of my previous post here. This dress was so long that I had to take up the hem by four inches so that I would not trip on it. Now I am wondering if it looks too short for its style; however, you can see my pumps with this length. The material of this Liz Claiborne dress is 95% polyester and 5% spandex and I love the drape and flow of it.

One of my favorite styling pieces to wear with a maxi dress is the denim jacket. It makes for a great transition outfit before the heat of summer arrives, and the jacket adds a casual, chic look.

My leather pumps are by Array. They have a comfortable 2 inch kitten heel. I also have a blue shrug that goes perfectly with this dress and is lightweight and can be worn during the summer. I will have to show the dress to you wearing the shrug. This sleeveless dress is cool even on a very hot day when worn alone and with summer sandals.

This is a fun dress by LuLaRoe. It is a sheath-style dress and the material is 59% Rayon 38% Polyester 3% Spandex. It’s stretchy and very comfortable.

I like my lighter-colored denim jacket with this dress as I think it looks more summery. As a general rule, it is thought that lighter shades of denim draw attention to the body and darker denim creates a slimming effect. So at the risk of looking less than slim, I still prefer the lighter denim with this dress.

But I prefer the darker denim with this dress below.

Mabel loves her new play yard by the way. But you certainly couldn’t tell by her smile here.

How to Wear a Striped Dress

20200419_194733I have always been told that vertical stripes can make our body look slimmer and horizontal ones can widen our body. There is controversy about the size of the stripes in that narrow stripes pull in our waist more versus wider stripes. And that narrow black stripes on a white background are thought to be most flattering. I have broken every one of those rules in my colorful striped dress and have offset it with a solid color denim jacket. What do you think? Is it okay to break the rules once in a while?20200419_194325


20200419020849_IMG_3542The dress that I am wearing is by Calvin Klein and is super soft and stretchy. My shoes are by Patrizia and they have a cushioned insole–they are so comfy. My bracelet is something that I made with my coworkers last year and I love the colors. Here is it up close:20190709080516_IMG_1661I have more striped dresses to show you in my next post. And Mabel says hi. We have a surprise for her coming soon in the form of an outside fenced-in play yard!20200420_151252.

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