Monday, November 8, 2010

Mommy Style Monday #14--How Catalog Images Can Help with "Wardrobe Block."

Happy Monday, everyone!

Real quick, before we get into what to wear when you are having a wardrobe block, I wanted to let you all know I have quite a few items for sale this week. Check out my polyvore for more info. :)

Once again, my weekend activities colored what I chose to write about in this week's Mommy Style Monday. Turns out that the Paris Catalog was hugely inspirational to me and my particular wardrobe decisions...yet here's the kicker...I didn't even realize what I was choosing to wear was based on the catalog until I actually sat down and thought about it today.

And no, I don't mean that I wasn't aware that both the library doll dress and the velvet Bella jacket were in the Paris Catalog, just that how I want to style both of them was based on the images in the catalog. That is how ubiquitous these images have become...the styling in them is now second nature to me because of how irrationally focused much time I spend looking at the catalog. Why do I spend so much time reading the catalog over and over? Let's count the ways...

1. Well there is the obvious...this is J. Crew at one of its high points. The clothing was for the most part made VERY well and the colors of the items were just so saturated and alive, it is hard to imagine someone looking at the images and not wanting to purchase at least one thing.

2. Who can resist smiling, happy people who are having a good time? Everyone in the catalog, from the women and men to the kids seem to have drunk from the "happy water," and honestly, after the long days I sometimes have (Mr. Dina works late a lot), it is nice to see fresh faces not beleaguered by the strain of every day life.

3. Since I lived in Europe for brief periods of time throughout my life, it is nice to see the backdrops of places that just simply do not exist in the USA. Washington, D.C. is certainly beautiful and does have an incredible skyline, but it is suffering from being overplayed, as I see it a lot. The Parisian monuments? Not so much (although there is a rumor, so says Mr. Dina, that we may get there for some couple's 10th anniversary!!!).

So, yes, I am a tad over-exposed to the Paris catalog, but it seems to be a good thing, because...



Had an Arbonne Party planned. Got canceled. E-mailed all my local JCA friends and said "let's have an afternoon wine party at my place." Four of them said yes. Whee!

Morning of...chose a gorgeous pink jacquard dress from 2004. Oops. Retaining Water. Fit is off. What to do? Will Spanx work? Oh, no. That makes it worse. Agh! Sh***T.

Look in closet for another dress. Am hostess. Cannot wear jeans and a tee. That would be bad. Have fashion blog. I know...LIBRARY DOLL DRESS. Ooh, yes. Shoes. Cole Haan Pointy Air Fionas in Chocolate Brown will work. Yum! Cardigan. Ooh, Ivory Ciel Etoile Cardigan should look good.

Do hair. Pin looks sort of cute. Maybe put hair back? No. Don't. It's okay...remember, dinagideon, open wine!

And this worked. By the time the JCAs arrived, all was good. :)

So you know where I am going with this, right?

Turns out that I basically recreated the whole entire look that Vanessa was wearing in the catalog.  Yes, I know it isn't brain science or heart surgery, but clearly, the image is SO SUPPLANTED in my brain that I created it without thinking about it.  Only difference was the hair, but come on now, I ALMOST put my hair back (see stream of consciousness dialogue I had with myself above).

Image from Catalog is above.  I love how she is flaring the skirt portion out so we can see the images closer.  BTW, Mr. Dina and I went to sushi after the party and he said that I was wearing Beethoven's bust on my bust.  He thought he was so clever.  ;)

Not a carbon copy, but the feel is for sure there.  Anyone want to take this over-tired momma to the River Seine and photograph me wearing this near it?  I'd be okay with that. 

Close-up of the upper portion of the dress.  I am wearing the deco necklace here.  My dad especially liked this outfit.  Maybe I should show him the Paris catalog. 

If you are on the fence on whether you want to purchase the Ciel Etoile cardigan, I give it a huge thumbs up.  It is a nice dressy piece that doesn't feel super-fancy.  Just the right amount of bling, you know?  I am wearing true to size here, size small.

So Sunday comes along and I go to Mint Condition to pick up some of my expired consigned pieces.  At the party, Kater (one of dear JCA friends) mentioned that there may be a purple velvet Bella in my size and that I should be on the lookout for it.  So knowing that this is a piece I should have in my closet (and don't), I scoured the shop for not only my items, but a potential new item.

And yep, Kater was right.  It was absolutely singing to me when I saw it.  Size 6, like new condition for $50.  That's right.  People are paying top dollar for these all over the place, and I score a like new, in my size Bella for $50.  The heavens decided I was worth it yesterday.  :)

Anouck Lepere wearing it on page 23, and copied it as best I could from my own wardrobe. 

Here is my version of the look in the catalog.  I almost sold those golden beads last week on the exchange, but didn't.  Guess they were meant to have a new life, in this very outfit.  I only wore this briefly today to make sure it looked decent but I plan on wearing it out for one of my excursions.  It is insanely comfortable and warm.  And the collar on this jacket looks so chic, I didn't feel like I had to overdo the makeup...

I am glad I copied the image.  Made dressing super-easy and convenient AND I felt good wearing it.  What crazed, overworked mom of toddlers wouldn't want that?

Here's the image from the catalog that I photographed today.  I have come close.  Clearly the necklace, top, scarf, and sweater are different, but certainly close enough to count as more than just inspired by.  This is a downright copy.  I wanted to do my hair the same way because there is nothing better than hair pulled back when dealing with a collar like this...especially since my hair verges on lion-like when it is down (Michael Bolton and I could be BEST friends with our crazy, thick-a%% big hair).

I tried the chicken wing pose.  LOL.  I think it works only for Belgians.

So I guess the moral of this story is SAVE ALL CATALOGS, even the ones you don't really like.  The more you study them, even with today's omnipresent scary hobo/witch effusive layering, the more these combos will become part of your memory.  I know we aren't in grad school trying to pass some insanely difficult test with the studying I am asking you to do, but think about it this are studying for a test that WAY MORE people get to see the results many people even give a rat's patooty that I had the HIGHEST grade in Anthropological Linguistics?  Maybe one, or two?  And they would only care if they actually knew how hard that class is...

I like that my wardrobe ruts are so easily solved.  After all, I actually want to live in my clothes--not have my clothes over-rule my living.  The less time I spend dressing means the more time doing things (even if my version of doing things is to talk about clothing--I never said I didn't have a double standard). 

Any of you want to send me pics of your versions of catalog images?  I would love to see what you come up with and share them with my readers!  (If enough of you send them in we could have it be a weekly thing that we show off once a week!)

Have a great week, everyone.