Aubrey

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20190114_184229Meet Aubrey. Yes, she’s cute. And her fur on my clothes is extra cute but I don’t care. I have four pets in my household which consists of three cats and one yellow lab. I am one cat over my “limit” which is the kitty you see here. But who could resist a face like hers, not to mention whiskers!
My sweet husband recently bought me a new camera and I am in a beginner’s mode and trying not to put my fingers on the lens. It’s a new Canon Rebel T6 and I hope to show you some “stunning” photos in my next post. So please bear with me in the meantime during my learning curve. I was previously using a Canon Powershot SX160 IS and my Samsung smartphone (mainly my smartphone).
I thought I would take this opportunity to review some pictures I took over the summer.  And I say summer as it seems soooooooo very long ago and a distant memory from our current sub zero temps. 20180929_152156I love this long denim jacket and plan to wear it A LOT this coming spring (which will be precisely 6 weeks from February 2 per Punxsutawney Phil, right Phil???).  I like the long, clean lines of the coat and its versatility.
Here is another favorite of mine:20180929_125735The moto jacket can be dressed up or down.20180929_15020420180929_145717Here are a few more pics from the summer and early fall:resized_20181014_135937_7372.jpegJackets with pants3resized_20181014_144438_8320.jpegunabashed picture of aubrey
This pose really captures the essence of Aubrey’s personality. She is a true rapscallion at heart and I say that fondly.
My next post will demonstrate my mastery of the Canon Rebel T6–stay tuned and thanks for visiting.

Beating the Dead of Winter

“We turn not older with years, but newer every day.” –Emily Dickinson

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Hello Everyone, it’s been very cold this past week here in New England and when it’s winter, it seems like it’s always winter.  The cowl neck sweater above is so soft and cozy (97% polyester and 3% spandex). The jeans are straight legged and extremely comfortable.
I was reading some tips on how to beat the winter blues and one suggestion was “seeing your friends and family.” So that’s what I did last weekend–my husband and I visited my brother and sister-in-law and we enjoyed having dinner with them. I got to see many of my nieces and both of my husband’s sisters and their spouses. The food was delicious (as usual) and the company excellent. Here are some pictures of my sister-in-law’s beautiful and cozy home.diningroom.jpgimg_7934livingroombetterdiningroom2abbiefireplace
What I wore:
Cowl neck sweater, Tahari, TJ Maxx
Jeans, Jones New York, TJ Maxx
Booties, Mattise Nugent Wedge Boot, eBay
This is rather a short post and my next one will be more in depth as I continue to “beat the dead of winter.” Thank you for stopping by.
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Emily Dickinson Inspired Style

“A Quiet Passion”

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Hello Everyone, I hope you all survived the holidays in splendid fashion with yet another one upon us, New Year’s Day. Today’s post strays from the subject of the Flapper era and is about my favorite poet, Emily Dickinson. By the way, sometimes I think I should change the wording of my blog to fashion for “women of all ages” rather than for “older women” as I focus on women’s styles all throughout the ages.
Emily Dickinson, considered one of America’s greatest poets, was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830, and died on May 15, 1886, at the relatively young age of 55. Even though she lived a short life, her poetry remains forever in our hearts and minds. While she was known for living a life of simplicity and seclusion (she was a recluse), she wrote poetry of immense power through the use of many metaphors and the ability to write effectively about her feelings. She provided a significant impact to American literature.
In spite of Dickinson’s prolific writing, it’s noted that less than a dozen of her poems were actually published while she was alive. She was literally an unknown poet when she died. However, her younger sister Lavinia discovered a collection of almost 1800 poems after Dickinson’s death!
You may wonder what this has to do with women’s fashion?  I am going to incorporate my favorite poet of all time, Emily Dickinson, with one simple fashion of her day which was the day dress or house dress. The 1850’s dress was still relatively conservative and not quite as elaborate as that seen in the coming Victorian era. Day dresses were common to this era although they still had a lot of fine intricate detail and did not seem conducive for house work in my opinion. I can see the bottom of those skirts catching on fire easily, too. (Both pictures are from Pinterest)
Below is a depiction of Dickinson from A Quiet Passiona 2016 biographical film directed and written by Terence Davies about the life of American poet Emily Dickinson.
Quiet passion Emily DickinsonEmily Dickinson is portrayed by actor Cynthia Nixon (on the left) as the “reclusive poet.”
The white dress pictured below is thought to be the poet’s only surviving dress and belongs to the Amherst Historical Society in Massachusetts. The dress is a typical house garment of the late 1870’s and early 1880’s, worn when Dickinson was in her late 40’s and early 50’s. For many of Dickinson’s fans, the white dress symbolizes the essence of their beloved writer. There is an exact replica on display at the Dickinson Homestead (now part of the Emily Dickinson Museum) in Amherst.
According to the Poetry Foundation Library, “Dickinson seems to have adopted the habit of wearing white sometime in her thirties for reasons unknown.” It was reported in 1881 by Mabel Loomis Todd that “she dresses wholly in white, & her mind is said to be perfectly wonderful.” I love the “perfect” way that is worded.
The white dress above is my inspiration piece. Are you ready for this (and don’t laugh; well,  okay, you can a little)?  Here is my interpretation of the garment with items of clothing I already had. Do you think it looks better in a sepia tone or in color?
20181230_203535.jpgOne of the candles below literally moved by itself during this photo shoot. Should I be concerned?20181230_195121
Here are two of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson although I have more than two!
My #1 Favorite

Ghosts

One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.
Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.
Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one’s own self encounter
In lonesome place.
Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror’s least.
The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O’erlooking a superior spectre
More near.
My #2 Favorite

‘Hope’ is the Thing With Feathers

‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—
And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—
I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.
The only bird picture I have is our wild turkey that make their daily rounds even in winter although they are not “little” birds. This guy below took a selfie it seems.

turkeys in back yard

painting of emily in white dress.jpgIllustration by Maira Kalman20181230_200125
What I wore:
White gown, Barbizon, thrifted
Shoes, Funtasma Costume Footwear, Ebay
Thank you for visiting my blog.

The Winter Solstice and New Beginnings

Resized_20181222_153212_682Hello Friends,
Winter has officially arrived but the longest night of the year has come and gone. We are past the winter solstice which occurred on December 21, 2018. The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning ‘the Sun stands still’. This is because on this day, the sun reaches its southern-most position as seen from the earth.
When I think about the days beginning to get longer again, it made me want to wear something light and mood lifting. This is a pale blush eyelet shift dress from TJ Maxx that I purchased on sale (of course) during late summer and didn’t have a chance to wear, so I am wearing it now to celebrate the promise of longer days ahead and new beginnings. The lacy shawl is worn in lieu of a necklace and adds some intricate detail.20181222_17555920181222_175443-e1545568539290.jpg
The bottle of wine is 19 Crimes Hard Chardonnay and I love the label. Here is a close up of it. I did not really have any wine and it’s a prop from my 1920’s era posts (really didn’t have any in spite of my glassy eyes, ha!)20181223_071602.jpgI was also drawn to this cream colored blouse and paisley skirt. I do not own many belts and had to borrow this one from my younger son (yes, that’s right). But I think the color of the belt worked well with the skirt making this outfit seem more finished. Also, I have worn this vintage tassel pendant before. 20181222_175807Here is a close up of the vintage pearl tassel pendant. 20181223_073152.jpg20181223_070657 (1)
My skirt blends well with the wall here which was not intentional but I went with it.
I found this gorgeous dress on Pinterest.com and it’s called the “Winter Solstice Dress.” It’s breathtakingly beautiful in both its detail and simplicity. What do you think?

I hope everyone is enjoying this time of year with family and friends and thank you for visiting my blog.

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What I wore:
Pale pink eyelet dress:  Sharagano, TJ Maxx
Paisley pencil skirt:  White Mark, thrifted
Cream colored blouse:  Rose + Olive, thrifted
Pale blush suede heels:  Sole Society, eBay

Speakeasies and the Prohibition

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Hi Everyone, This post is third in a series about the 1920’s fashion, lifestyle and history which includes the Prohibition Act and speakeasies that flourished as a result.
Bootlegging, prohibition, speakeasies? All sounds rather secretive and forbidden which makes it all the more fascinating, right?  According to www.american-historama.org/, “Speakeasies were illegal drinking dens, saloons or nightclubs that sold illicit alcoholic beverages during the Prohibition Era (1920 – 1933). Speakeasies (speak-easies) was a nickname for these bars because patrons had to whisper code words to enter the establishments.” I confess that this all sounds very intriguing to me and hopefully to you, too.
The Prohibition Act, also known as the Volstead Act was passed by Congress on October 28, 1919, over President Woodrow Wilsons veto.  Herbert Hoover called the Prohibition  “a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose” and became known as the Noble Experiment of Prohibition. But according to www.alcoholproblemsandsolutions, the Noble Experiment “failed miserably and was counterproductive; worse than doing nothing.”
I had the opportunity to go to a modern day speakeasy recently called 815 Cocktails & Provisions in Manchester, NH.  Their website is:  www.facebook.com/pg/815.  It was an amazing experience and will definitely go back. My husband and I entered what looked like an entrance to nowhere; see below. Is he the bouncer?20181215_192604Once inside the door, there were no signs anywhere pointing to a drinking establishment. So we ventured up the stairs and saw another hallway that led to something that looked like a phone booth: Resized_20181215_192454_6737We then saw a buzzer, pushed it and waited for someone to open a hidden door at which point they quietly asked us for the “password.” The password can only be obtained by going to their website and the password changes weekly. The best part is:  I was asked to show my ID! Haven’t been asked that in a long time (ha!). Once inside, you immediately felt like you were stepping back in time, dim lighting, Victorian sofas, old chairs, black heavy drapes, and oriental carpets. 20181215_190240Resized_20181215_181342_858420181215_180459My armchair was very cozy and comfortable. They also serve food and snacks and we had the “lime-roasted chicken/queso/passila crema//pico de gallo/cilantro” tacos which was delicious! My husband had an “old fashioned” cocktail made with Old Grand Dad bourbon which he said was very “soothing.” I had a 603 Air Horn double IPA, of course.20181216_175202Here is a picture of the bar area. It’s a very cool place.Resized_20181215_192346_8765Loved this mirror in the ladies’ room.20181215_190110Here are two more photos below taken by Sarah Maillet from Philbrick PhotographySarah Maillet photographyImage Credit: Sarah Maillet from Philbrick PhotographySarah Maillet Prohibition Sigh.jpgImage Credit: Sarah Maillet from Philbrick Photography
My experience at 815 Cocktails & Provisions was intriguing and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a unique experience. The staff is extremely friendly and the service is super fast–cannot beat that combination!FlappersSpeakeasyBar
Image courtesy of riverwalkjazz.stanford.edu/
According to http://www.history.com, “in early 1933, Congress adopted a resolution proposing a 21st Amendment to the Constitution that would repeal the 18th. It was ratified by the end of that year, bringing the Prohibition era to a close.”
20181216_153942Yes, I am reading the Bible here, my favorite book.
What I wore:
Skirt, Bob Mackie Studio, thrifted
Sweater, Loft, thrifted
Shoes, Funtasma Costume Footwear, Ebay
Thank you for checking out my blog.  And special thanks to my handsome photographer!

The Vintage Pleated Skirt and 19 Crimes

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Hi Everyone, I hope you’re staying warm during this chilly late fall season with winter almost upon us. My post today focuses on the pleated skirt, in particular, the vintage pleated skirt of the 1920’s which ties in nicely with the post I did on The Age of the Flapper. The pleated skirt lasted the duration of that entire decade and remains a timeless wardrobe piece even to this day. My skirt above is an example of the early high-waisted A-Line midi skirt that was popular in that decade. Here is my inspiration piece:
1920s vintage gray skirtAccording to 1920’s Skirt History https://vintagedancer.com women wore pleated skirts “around the house, to visit friends, traveling, and running into town in casual, comfortable attire.” They were not considered dressy enough for evening wear and they became part of the “sporty” look movement. The pleated skirt was incorporated into many sport uniforms that included golf, tennis, field hockey and bowling. It was the go to outfit for everyday leisure activities. Notice they all are “sporting” short hair styles, too?

tennis pleated skirt

According to Vintage Dancer, when the economy improved, women started wearing one piece dresses that resembled two separate pieces but was actually a skirt attached to a dress resulting in a skirt and blouse effect.

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Here is a black pleated skirt that I recently got at TJ Maxx which goes to show that this skirt is still in vogue and is the perfect piece for this post. However, I personally do not care if something is in style–if I like it, it’s mine and I will put my “mark” on it forever.

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Recently my brother shared this delightful Australian wine with me. It’s 19 Crimes Cabernet Saugivnon, 2017. Here is the link to their website https://www.19crimes which lists the so-called 19 crimes. Their wine celebrates the “rules broken and culture built by British rogues” whose punishment was banishment to Australia. It’s very smooth, slightly earthy with a vanilla undertone, and medium bodied. It’s downright, down-under delicious.
Women of the 1920’s greatly enjoyed defying society’s rules and prided themselves in their independent and rebellious attitude. So I am incorporating the 19 Crimes wine in my post to depict their defiant spirit with “spirits.” four-flappers-drinking

clara bow pleated skirt

I love the poem below which sums up the style and attitude of the women of this amazing decade:
“With silken legs and scarlet lips
We’re young and hungry, wild and free,

Our waists are round about the hips
Our skirts are well above the knee
We’ve boyish busts and Eton crops,
We quiver to the saxophone
Come, dance before the music stops
for who can bear to be alone?”
James Laver – The Women of 1926
glamourdaze.com/history-of-womens-fashion
As you can tell, I love the fashion and history of the 1920’s and I may have another post on this subject soon. Thank you for checking out my blog.

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Here’s to 19 Crimes and not counting…
A special thanks to My Photographer

 

 

 

History of High Heels

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Hi Everyone, My husband has jokingly called me “Imelda” on occasion but I told him I have only 1,190 pairs of shoes to go to reach her staggering collection. I confess that I have a weakness for shoes especially high-heeled shoes so I’m dedicating this post to a brief overview of its history. Thank you, Imelda.
You may think of high heels as a relatively modern concept associated with only women but they were actually first worn by MEN. High heels reportedly go back to the 10th century and served a very practical purpose for the Persian cavalry who wore heels while on horseback so their feet would fit better in the stirrups. Also, did you know that Louis XIV wore them?

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According to Lisa Small, who helped to create an exhibit devoted specifically to high heels at the Brooklyn Museum in New York: “Height and elevation has always had something to do with indicating class, privilege, power” and even the color of the heel. France’s King Louis XIV declared that only aristocracies could wear heels that were colored red and could only be worn at court, a law which existed only in France.
The French heel was of mid-height, curvaceous with an outward taper and later became known as the Louis heel after King Louis XIV.

louis heel

During the mid 18th century and what was known as the Rococo time period, heels became longer and more slender which contributed to the concept of eroticism or foot fetishism. As French gowns got longer hitting the ankle, there suddenly seemed to be an erotic interest in the high-heeled shoe, as it made the foot appear smaller and narrower, and gave the ankle a feminine delicate shape. Men were now wearing heels of less than an inch so that they could walk on cobbled streets that required a low-heeled shoe or boot. A refined lady, however, did not walk the streets but traveled by coach or other means so a high heel was appropriate for most occasions.
Below is a collection of footwear that would have been worn during the Rococo time frame. What do you think of the pastel colors and elongated pointed toe?

Rocco collection of shoes

The footwear of the Rococo period ended with the French Revolution but its ideas strongly affected future fashions for decades.
It’s been noted that the height of heels can be an economic BMI indicator and in an economic downturn, the heels get higher as consumers turn to a more glamorous fashion statement as a means of escape and fantasy. At the peak of the economic crisis in 2009, the average height of women’s heels was at an incredible seven inches. In 2011, it reportedly dropped to just two inches.
I could not finish this post without mentioning Judy Garland’s ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz.  The Wizard of Oz, produced in 1939, is considered to be the greatest film in cinema history. The ruby slippers were actually stolen in 2005 from a museum in Grand Rapids, Minn. But they were recovered  by the FBI in September of 2018. They are estimated to be worth at least 1 million dollars.

Ruby Slippers worn by Judy Garland

Here they are–the most iconic shoes in human history. The shoes were originally silver according to the first script. But the color of the shoes was changed to red in order to take advantage of the new Technicolor film process being used in that era. A number of pairs were made for the movie and five pairs are known to have survived.
Here is my modern version of the ruby slipper.
20181112_145718-e1542057208972.jpgMy yellow lab shared some of her fur on my shoes.20181112_161532Resized_20181014_151633_7722 (1)
Gotta run and check out the latest shoe sales–thanks for stopping by.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/stepping-out-a-history-of-high-heels/
to http://www.shoeshistoryfacts.com/history-of-footwear/high-heeled-shoes-timeline/
https://historyofeuropeanfashion.wordpress.com/tag/rococo/
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