Saturday, June 8, 2013

Perky in Pucci: How to brighten a blah day.

Dress: Route; Sandals: Wonders; Bra: far too visible, Warners, I think
Who says a short woman can't wear a maxi-dress? Not I! 
I had two thoughts when I got this dress. 

Okay, three. 

First, I wondered what kind of bra arrangement I could manage with this thing. I haven't really sorted that out yet, though I'm on the lookout for a strapless bra that actually works.

Second, I thought of Mrs. Roper.

Pucci's work, probably 1960
And, third, naturally, obviously, I thought of Emilio Pucci. Who on earth wouldn't?

Emilio Pucci at work
His prints are gorgeously exuberant and unrestrained. It does take some chutzpah to wear them, or knock-offs off them. But I have chutzpah, so, no problem.

Jean jacket: Levis, thrift
Though Pucci's work is not restricted to the 60s, I associate him primarily with the 60s. Besides, I was going to a decidedly hippie-ish restaurant, so I thought I'd go with it. After all, their mural outside would match my dress perfectly. 

Yes, I do think of things like this.

Pucci's work, probably 1960
 You may have noticed that I seem to have a bit of a pash for orange these days. If I do, if it's excessive, I'm in good company.

I'd been feeling pretty stressed lately, what with Beau's move into town (moving is always stressful), and teaching, and my back injury, and its cause... 

Bright colours cheer me up. Orange is a new favourite. No harm in that.


I love this image because I think I look a little Hamlet: pensive, and haunted, adjectives that often, sadly, describe me quite well. 

See the ghost behind me? 

There's an irony in this photo. I was posing with the word "fragile" and pointing to myself because I was feeling very fragile. But it's Beau's image that is framed in the fragile tape. 

Like I say, moving is never easy and Beau's been pretty stressed lately too.

I hope we take good care of each other. I know we try.

Sometimes, the best solution is chocolate cake. This was the first time Beau's boys had tried the cake here and they thoroughly approved.

Another solution is not futzing with my hair. It's been really frizzy lately, frizzy enough for even me to curse my Jewfro, something of which I am usually very proud and fond.

I just slicked my hair back when it was wet, braided it, and caught the braids in a butterfly clip. No fuss, no muss. I'd meant to leave the braids down but it was just too young a look for me.

Ring on left hand: Birks; Pendant watch: heirloom; Bangles and flower ring: thrift
And, of course, anyone who knows me knows that one of my best solutions to a blue mood is bling, especially if its vintage. Today was not a day to stint on the bling or aim for understated jewerly. Some people might say this print calls for minimal jewelry. I'm not one of those people

This pendant was my paternal grandmother's and I'm guessing she got it in the 60s or early 70s. It's turquoise and gold-fill, with a Swiss movement. 


The movement has seventeen rubies! It's pretty great.

I like the gold-plate, filigree chain too, but I'm pretty sure it didn't originally come with this pendant. I wish I knew more about both.

The light on this day was incredible.

Colours were saturated, shadows were long...

... and everything looked extra beautiful and, somehow... significant or mysterious, if that makes any sense.

The light just lent itself to artsy photos of the day's bright colours.

Everything seemed to glow.

Austrian crystal earrings and matching brooch (below): vintage
Even human skin glowed with a strange beauty.

My vintage, daisy earring and brooch set went perfectly with both the light and the 60s outfit. 

(The only other time I've featured them in this blog was in a post called Sixties Housewife Goes to Town; it was a fun spoof of the novels inspired in large part by Betty Friedan.)


It's really nice to have Beau and the kids here in this neighbourhood now. It's the kind of neighbourhood where a local venue's stage doubles as a kids' play area during the day. Note the microphone stand. A young man was setting up for a gig as we had our cake.


And the toys are gender neutral too!

I'm not really a fan of the whole hippie scene, having seen the worst of it as a child, but I'll take it over conservative suburbs any day. 

Besides, the counter-culture encompasses a lot more than just hippies and my neighbourhood is no exception. This is just one hangout of many and this one is hippie-ish.

Glasses: Geek eyewear; Shirt: Old Navy
Have I ever told you how funny Beau is? He brings out the child in me, in a good way.

If you wanted a closer look at the art work behind us, here it is. Even it seemed to go with the day's fashion motif.

And here, because she recently passed, is the wonderful Jean Stapleton, in what must be a Pucci piece.

And so the sun sets on another beautiful day in the neighbourhood.

I'm posting this on the 100th Visible Monday over at Not Dead Yet Style. She wants us to "compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day." I'd say this one definitely fits the bill.



  1. Oh this is indeed a beautiful post Charlotte. The light is strong yet warm, so different to the strong, white, glaring light we get here in Brisbane in summer. I do love your maxi ... whoever said one had to be tall to wear one, must have been tripping! The mural is gorgeous against the colours of your dress and bangles. I've never seen the inside of a watch with jewels, aren't those rubies beautiful? I'll take hippy over conservative any day! xoxo

  2. Thanks! I really do think my part of the world is one of the most beautiful and the light was incredible that day. It's always gentle here: gentle sun, gentle rain, gentle heat, gentle cold. It's unlike most of Canada, which has horrid winters and brief, humid summers.

    I went to a jeweler and asked him about this watch and that 1940s one I got vintage a while ago. He opened both and both have rubies. It's so cool!

    I was raised by hippies and I'm not a hippie at all, but I am counter-culture, through and through. People seem not to realize that hippies are only one small subset of the counter-culture.

    Funny you should mention tripping. I actually did trip and wipe out that day -- skinned my knee and elbow, yelled the f-word in front of the kids -- but I'm quite sure I didn't trip on the dress. At any rate, it didn't hurt my back and that's the most important thing.

  3. Wow, what an amazing post. I've never been to your blog before, but I'm impressed. Found you at Visible Monday. Love your colorful maxi and chutzpah. :)

    1. Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope to see you here again.

  4. You are indeed glowing, Charlotte. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with Visible Monday!

  5. Love your dress. It looks great on you.

  6. Hi Charlotte, a lovely post. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such wonderful comments. The watch is fabulous and the rubies what a find. Your pictures are rich and dazzling in color and thought.

    Barbara @

  7. You look fabulous in this maxi. I laughed at your Mrs. Roper reference and really enjoyed your Pucci retrospective. His pieces are awesome! Mechanical watches are the best - and yes, partly because they have jewels. Chocolate cake has been known to cure many ills.

  8. As a sister-shortie ... yes! We can wear anything we can monkey with and adjust proportions. Or not! Dress looks great on you. Try Spanx Bra-llelujah underwire strapless. Pricey, at bit, but I wear mine constantly. Actually comfortable throughout the day and freaking stays put. Think of it as an investment. Great shape as well.
    You have my sympathy with a move going on. I'll put it all in my pasture and burn every bit of it before I move again.
    Good luck, kids.