Monday, November 4, 2013

Red Rain: How to Brighten a Dark Day

Hat, brooch, earrings, and boots: thrift; Jeans, sweater, and camisole: Reitmans; Raincoat: London Fog; Ring: boutique
It's autumn now.

It's the season of bright and beautiful leaves.

And more beautiful leaves.

And, if you live in my part of the world, lots and lots of rain. Seriously: a LOT of rain, sometimes for days or even weeks on end. Note the river in the gutter by the red leaves above.

Now, I don't mind rain as much as many people do. It doesn't tend to dampen my spirits all that much. But, if I'm already in a bad mood when the dark, rainy stretches hit, well, it doesn't help.

I was already in a bad mood when when this dark day rolled around. I was cranky and angry. I was angry with the people who abused me and left me crippled. I get stuck in a bad mood cycle: I'm in a terrible mood because I'm in physical pain, I'm in pain because I was abused, I could feel better if I could exercise, but I can't exercise because I'm in pain, and that's because I was abused.

And, no, the rain didn't help.

So I couldn't exercise vigorously as I used to. At least I'd walk as much as I could -- not much, slowly, with pain, and in the rain -- but maybe it would help, at least a little.

And I'd brighten the dark day as much as I could. Maybe that would help too.

It started with the boots that I found for a mere $10 at my local Value Village.

Up until the last ten years or so, this city was crying out for bright, cool rain boots. I used to wear gumboots, those dismal black and brick rubber things you'd imagine wearing to muck out a barn. But, in the last several years, designers have been putting out great, crazily coloured, rubber boots. I really like this idea of feminizing things that were once considered too practical to be pretty: rubber boots, hammers, whatever.

Needless to say, brightly coloured boots are a fashion trend that was readily embraced in my part of the world. On this day, Beau commented that all the women were proudly wearing them for the first time and it's true. We were.

He also commented that we'd all be sick of them in a few months and that's true too. We will.

But, for now, I was excited to wear my polka dot boots.

Once I'd picked the boots, the rest of the outfit came together from there: brightness was the key.

When I bought this ring, I thought it would be perfect for summer days but, by the time I'd walked out of the store with it, I'd changed my mind. This was a ring to make the dark rainy days a little brighter. This was a winter ring.

I wouldn't normally mix pink and red but the boots do and it seems to work, in an eccentric sort of a way, so I went with it.

And since I was going with going with clashing red and pink hues, I added these earrings to continue the polka dot theme in my boots.

And any dark day is made a bit better with a ceramic flower brooch, especially if it matches the mural behind you. I'm glad I live in a murally sort of a neighbourhood.

This pink wall is new in the neighbourhood. I really must thank those at JQ Clothing (formerly known as the Jean Queen) for choosing this colour for the wall of their new location. It's so fun, I have a feeling it's going to show up a lot in my blog...

... especially on days when the brightly coloured leaves so quickly turn to a brown, mulchy mush like this.


I've also got to thank Beau for loving my curves so much. When I took off my jacket for him to take this photo, he made a happy noise of appreciation. I knew he would. He loves my skinny jeans. I've gained weight since my back got bad and I just wouldn't have had the confidence to wear a "body con" outfit like this before Beau started bolstering my ego.

I've  been explaining to him about "plus sizes." He thinks the term is ridiculous. Lately he's taken to looking at me and saying, "Plus sized!" and then bursting out laughing at the absurdity of such a term applied to me. He thinks I'm wee.

There really is something very wrong with an industry that refers to healthy, normal sized women as "plus size." We need to get rid of the term altogether, for all women, of any size.

But, if there is anything about me that's "plus" now, it's my curves, and Beau thinks that's a very good thing.

He was supposed to be photographing my earring here. He thought he was being sneaky by getting a cleavage shot -- but look in the mirror behind me. Beau's busted!

Not that curves are very evident in weather like this, we're all so covered up. They'll re-emerge in the spring.

Until then, we'll all just have to recall spring in our outfits. Check out the flower on this hat! I got it for $10 at a local thrift store. Is it too flashy? I thought maybe it was but I got lots of compliments on it and the wide brim really kept the rain off, so what the heck? Besides, I love the current revival of cloche style hats. It's sooo 1920s.

One more bit of rainy weather sparkle? The rain drops themselves, rolling off my London Fog raincoat, caught in the flash of my camera.

There's a metaphor in there somewhere but I'll leave it to you to figure it out.

(I'm joining the fun on Style Crone's Hat Attack, Spy Girl, and Visible Mondays at Not Dead Yet because, hey, look at my hat and boots!)


  1. I love the combo of red and pink, which you display beautifully. The pink wall frames you to perfection. Thank you for sharing your red hat with Hat Attack!

  2. I've always prefered Vivacious Vixens, but it didn't roll off the tongue easily, so Curvy Chicks it is!
    Polka dot boots are sure to make any rainy day seem brighter! And I love the hat.

  3. I love your cloche hat. I don't think it's too bright at all.

    I just read a previous post of yours and it is shocking, traumatic and quite honestly gut wrenchingly horrible. I am so sad that you were abused. In all honesty the fact that you keep going despite your physical challenges is truly a testament of strength. To be able to see anything beautiful past your pain is a miracle.

    Very inspiring.


    1. Thanks, Suzanne. Honestly, even I'm not always sure how I do it and, some days, I really can't. But I guess I'm stubborn or something. But there are days when I run out of courage. I don't want anyone to think it's easy.

  4. First off- you've captured two outstanding images- the one with the boots in the yellow and red leaves- what a great pic- and the last one. That last image sums up the resilience of the human spirit to me- beauty determinedly shining anywhere and everywhere. I agree with Beau- you are regular sized- not plus size- not skinny, not chubby, just curvy- kudos to him for bolstering your ego and retraining your eyes.
    Those are great and cheerful rain boots- thank you for sharing them with Shoe Shine!

    1. See? I knew someone would find the metaphor in that last photo. I was actually kind of in teacher mode: I had an answer in mind but I wasn't going to tell the reader what it was, so she could find it on her own. Thanks for the compliment on the boots in the leaves. I like that one too.

      Poor Beau: he tries and tries to make me see myself the way he sees me but I'm not very good at it. Kudos to him for his persistence.