Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunshine, Hope, and the Skirt of Defiance

The day I wore this outfit was one of the first good days in a long time. The winter was tough for everyone here: Trump won the election and the weather was ... well, it was a real winter, and we never get real winters here. It was particularly difficult for me because I use a mobility scooter and I was completely trapped in the snow. Now, the snow had finally melted enough that I could get around on my own again. And the sunshine promised that, though our spring would be late for us this year, it would come, and soon. Everyone's mood was noticeably better.

I wore an outfit to match the hope and optimism we'd all been missing for so long. 

A note about these photos: They are all unfiltered and uncropped, just as Beau took them, with no alterations. You see, part of why there have been some longer gaps between my posts lately is because the photo editing program I've been using suddenly became obsolete at the very same time my computer became so frustratingly crappy, I wanted to throw it through a window. I now have a new computer and a new photo editing program but I haven't learned how to use the new program yet. So, rather than wait even longer to write this post, I thought I'd just be brave and forgo all photo edits. This is me, really me, just as I am.

Coat: Hell Bunny; Boots: Keen; Skirt and Cardigan: Mod Cloth; Camisole: Reitmans; Ring: I don't remember; Brooches, earrings, glasses, and cane: vintage
Back to the outfit. After such a rough spell, I wanted to wear something that fairly sang optimism and good spirits.

I'm pretty sure I succeeded. 

This skirt seems to have become my Skirt of Defiance, the thing I wear when I'm having a rough time and I want to cheer myself up. I wore it for a post about how much I hate Christmas, and for another about how my father refused to come to my wedding. I think everyone should have a Skirt of Defiance.

Winter was till clinging here and there, as you can see from the snow in this alley, but I had my freedom back and that was huge.

Life felt so much better. 

Smiling back at someone smiling at me.
Everyone seemed to agree. People smiled as they passed, and smiled even more at my outfit, especially when they saw me posing with all this brightly coloured produce: a fruit among fruit

One guy shocked me and himself by saying "nice melons" ashe walked by.

Get it? Fruit. Melons. I don't get sexually harassed much anymore (thank you middle age!) so I wasn't sure how to react. But since he seemed so shocked by his own remark, I decided to be amused.

After all, I do have nice melons, if I do say so myself.

You know that, with my life experiences, I'm generally not too terribly fond of humanity, but on this day, I felt warmer toward humanity than I had in a while. For example, someone put a tiny disco ball in this tree. I found that adorable.

If you know me at all, you know that I loathe the heat and glare that comes with summer sun, but I love the sun in the cooler seasons. I'm not one to complain if the sun is out but there's a nip in the air, as there was on this day. Spring was definitely on the way now, but it was still fairly cold so I wore my fabulous, Hell Bunny coat

It's a bit too long for me and a bit too big, but I think it's still quite figure flattering.

And it's just plain fun. It has so much motion in it ... 

... as does this skirt.

I always get compliments on this coat, especially when I'm in my scooter. That's interesting to me because usually I become invisible when I'm in my scooter.

I do think it creates quite the striking sweep in my scooter, though I do have to be careful that my wheels don't make it too muddy. As long as it doesn't actually catch in my wheels, it's not really a big deal. That's what dry cleaners are for.

I always get compliments on my skirt too, obviously.

I wasn't sure if these boots would work with the skirt, but it was cold enough that I definitely needed them. 

By making sure to balance their dark red with a matching camisole, I think I did make them work. 

If it hadn't been for the boots, I'm sure I wouldn't have thought of wearing this camisole with this skirt.

The cardigan, on the other hand, was an obvious choice. I posted this photo on instagram a while ago and everyone exclaimed about the cardigan. I got it from Mod Cloth and have three more in different colours. With their short waist, they really flatter curves. I often wear them instead of shirts.

Just as I wanted to balance the darkness of the boots with the lightness of the outfit, I wanted to balance the lightness of the outfit with the darkness of the coat. So: bright brooches

I wish I had a better photo of this David Anderson, guilloche butterfly brooch, because it's pretty special to me: It's extremely beautiful, I got a really good deal on it, and ...

... it matches several more that I inherited from my paternal grandmother, one of the women from whom I seem to have inherited a love of beautiful jewelry. 

Obviously, my cane, with its matching butterflies, was a no-brainer ...

... and added to the festive spirit of my outfit. 

Just as Lorelei Lee loves to find new places to wear diamonds in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, I love to find new places to wear vintage brooches. I thought this Lisner brooch looked lovely in my high ponytail.

The ponytail itself was a reminder of the warm weather to come, and added another playful element to my outfit ...

... even as winter still lurked in the shadows ...

... and the shadows themselves still had a wintery look about them ...

... with the sun low on the horizon and setting early. 

Defiance against winter was the order of the day. In anticipation of our late spring, I'd recently become obsessed with pastels, especially pastel jewelry from the 50s and 60s. 

My maternal great-aunt's demi-parure fit the bill perfectly! She's the other one from whom I inherited my love of jewelry. She and I became quite close in the last years of her life so it always warms my heart to wear her pieces, pieces that the rest of her family planned to just throw away.

This set is metal, not plastic, so it's especially durable. I think it's from the 1960s. 

(You can see a little touch of eczema in my ear, a result of my not editing these photos. One of the blessings of getting older is becoming less self-conscious about such things.)

Once my aunt's demi-parure was on, the ring was a natural choice. Understatement was not in my vocabulary on this day. Fun was.

As you know, I'm not really a makeup kind of a person, not much anyway, but I wore a gentle green eyeliner and eyeshadow to go with my colourful look, and to match the green in my aunt's brooch and earrings.

Spring spring spring! 

Can we talk about these glasses for a moment? Aren't they amazing? They're gold-fill -- rose gold, white gold, and yellow gold, so they match everything -- and I got them for $20! When I took them to an optician to have my prescription put in them, he was super impressed. He kept pointing to the little gold-fill stamp on the inside, turning them over in his hands, and saying, "You got a really good deal on these.You did really well."

Also, it's nice to be able to see properly. I should wear glasses all the time, but I'm so vain, I don't wear them unless they happen to match the outfit I'm wearing.

I love these ones but I don't wear them all that often. They feel a bit costumey and they do draw attention so I need to be in the right mood to wear them.

But with this day's outfit, they just felt really pretty ...

... and in keeping with my overall look, both with the coat on ...  

... and with it off. 

That's all for my little post about a good day after a string of quite bad days ...

... my little post about the relief of long awaited sunshine, real and metaphorical, and the hope that it brings.

We all need that. Here's to more to come.

(I'm sharing this with Style Crone, Not Dressed as Lamb, and Not Dead Yet.)


  1. Thank you for sharing the sunshine, and the Defiance Skirt. That's a wonderful name, I have to ponder what items in my closet may qualify (other than my old John Kerry for President tees). You look lovely and hopeful, and don't we all need a little more of that? xox


    1. I think your John Kerry shirt qualifies. But I'm a fan of using fashion to say something without words. Even if others can't decipher my sartorial language, I know what I'm saying - to myself - and that's the important thing.

  2. Love, love, love your defiance skirt. I'm a big fan of 50s print swing skirts. And you really added some beautiful pieces to complete the outfit. I couldn't believe when I spotted your pastel flower brooch. I have the same exact one! It's one of my favs. And you are so lucky to have the earrings to match.


    1. It's funny that I've never thought of this as a 50s skirt. Of course it totally is one.

      I thank my great aunt for keeping those earrings with their matching brooch for all those years. She seems to have gone for the 60s daisy craze in a big way, which is adorable, considering she was well into middle age at the time. It's so great that you have the brooch too. I don't think I'd ever seen it before I got my aunt's.

  3. What a super colour Hun, I'm really into mustard/yellow now - having just bought a dress as a 'present' to myself for my one year blog birthday. It's a winner in my eyes.

    1. Yellow is a really new entry into my wardrobe. I always thought it would make me look washed out. But that mustard yellow is its own special category and seems to work well, even with my very pale skin.

  4. This outfit will cheer up anyone! You are the sunshine personified! It's one of my favorite skirts on you, and isn't this set of jewelry just made for it (or vice versa)?

    Glad that you got a new computer, and these photos are great as they are - but of course it helps to have a program for cropping and changing the color balance or contrast, I sometimes do such little things too.

    The new glasses are wonderful! They don't seem costumey to me at all, rather refined and classy!

    Have lots of sunshine, dear Charlotte!

    1. I am the sunshine. What a sweet thing to say.

      I hear that my new photoshop program is really good... I just have to learn how to use the darned thing!

  5. Your outfit could have jumped right out of my wardrobe. The only thing missing is the red coat haha.
    Enjoy the sunshine

    1. That's so fun. I highly recommend that red coat. I love it.

  6. What a lovely brooch to adapt as a hair accessory. It looks beautiful and perfectly suited to wear with your flowered skirt. Thank you for sharing with Hat Attack!

  7. That coat does look especially regal when you're seated on your scooter, so I can totally see how it would break people's can't-look-at-disabled-people averted gaze. And those brooches are lovely! I have, I think, a black version of the bright yellow rose, or something very like it. That makes me think perhaps I should wear it today for Good Friday. (I'm vain enough that even on the holiest of holy days for me, I'll be damned if I don't plan the outfit well!) Anyway, now you've got me thinking about defiance clothes. Perhaps my knee-length swim skirt, because it's a very clear declaration (to me) that I set the limits on who sees my body now, not fashion norms or anything/one else.

    1. There have certainly been periods in my life when my fashion defiance has been a kind of anti-fashion stance. I get that totally. Dressing attractively should never be a requirement. It should always be a woman's choice.

      Why not dress up for Good Friday? Isn't that a way to show respect for God?