Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Dress (The Limited); Wellies (Zoubaby); Purse (Anne Klein); Watch (Michael Kors); Mandarin Garnet and Diamond Ring (Aronstam Fine Jewelers); Belt (eBay); Watch Pendant (Forever 21)
I recently read a post by another fashion blogger who opined that the only color that shouldn't be paired with black and white is orange, because it can look "too Halloween."  Well, Halloween is my favorite holiday and orange is my favorite color so, naturally, I couldn't resist adding a little pumpkin spice to my workday wardrobe this week.  A few touches of orange added to a favorite black and off-white dress is bold enough to evoke the seasonal "spirits," but subtle enough to avoid "boos" for looking like a preschooler (jack-o-lantern embroidered cardigans are adorable on small children, but ugly-sweater party territory for adults!)  The forecast has been really wet this week, and my favorite monogram wellies complete the transformation of this striped cotton dress from a spring and summer staple (see it here) to Fall festival fashion.

I did, however, seriously debate whether I could get away with wearing my "banshee eyes" to the office on Halloween.  As much as I wanted to, my office is just not a Halloween costume sort of place. How do you scare up the Halloween spirit at work? 
These creepy "banshee" contacts from Vision Direct are my favorite aspect of the traditional witch's garb I donned for a Halloween Bash at the Indianapolis Children's Museum.  As hard as I tried, however, I couldn't figure out how to wiggle my nose like Samantha...
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Catch Up with Mustard

Bag (Ellepi, Marshalls); Scarf (; Jacket (Jones New York, Macy's); Pants (Larry Levine, Dress Barn); Watch (Anne Klein, Macy's); Shoes (Nine West, Zappos)
So, I am a big fan of mustard (both the color and the condiment).  When I wore this outfit to the office recently, it got lots of compliments (especially the scarf, which was only $12 from Amazon last year).  I have a great navy and mustard envelope clutch I considered pairing with it, but I liked the idea of adding a different pop of Fall color through the deep red, whipstitch leather bag and the red pumps with their navy and mustard stripes.  Somehow, though, when I downloaded these pics, my first thought was, "wow, I wish I hadn't worn navy trouser socks with open toe shoes."  My second thought was, "hmmm, if I wasn't anchoring this look with the navy blazer, I might pass for Ronald McDonald's cousin."  So, while I love the combination of mustard and navy (here's a different look), I'm pondering whether the ketchup needs to be reserved for my sandwich?!

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Linked up with:  Three-fer Thursday

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stepping Out In Style

Clockwise from top left:  Yours truly styled by Broadripple boutique Marigold; US Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue looking regal in clothing from 8Fifteen; Me in cocktail dress from Marigold; Indianapolis Colts Vice-Chair/Owner Carlie Irsay-Gordan rocking the runway in Nikki Blaine Couture; Me in Margold; Just Pop In! co-founders Mandy Selke and Carly Swift strutting in Nikki Blaine Couture.  All Photos from Faith Blackwell Photography.   
I've said it before, but it's worth repeating, "the best clothes money can't buy" come from Dress For Success Indianapolis (DFSI), a non-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.  

Last month, I was honored to participate once again (albeit in an unexpected way) in the organization's largest annual fundraiser, Stepping Out In Style.  As a founding board member of DFSI and the first chair of Stepping Out In Style, it has been incredible to see the evolution of this event over the last eleven years.  In its inaugural year, the event was attended by 330 guests and raised $7500 to support the cause.  In the second year, attendance doubled and the funds raised increased to $50,000. Each there thereafter, attendance and community support have continued to grow.  This year, nearly 1000 guests enjoyed the evening of fashion, food, and fun, which raised close to a quarter of a million dollars!  These funds enable the organization to offer life changing support and ongoing programs to more than 1500 women in the central Indiana community each year.

One of my favorite things about Stepping Out In Style is the way it pulls our community together - the fashion show features local community leaders as "runway role models," wearing clothing and jewelry from locally owned boutiques, and is sponsored by a bevy of local businesses who appreciate the importance of the success of each woman to the community as a whole.  The annual participation of local heroes from the Indianapolis Fire Department is also a big hit, though I'm not sure who enjoys it more - our female guests or the firemen themselves!

Having chaired the event for seven years, served on the committee for two years, and modeled in 2011, this year I have to say I was looking forward to watching the action from the audience, buying raffle tickets, and digging for diamonds during the cocktail hour.  And then, just a few hours before the event started, I got a phone call.... Unfortunately, one of this year's models was unable to participate at the last minute due to a death in the family, and an "understudy" was needed to walk the runway in the clothes she was set to feature.  With assurance from the fashion show coordinator (the fabulous Murph Damron) that these clothes I had never laid eyes on would fit, I pulled on some Spanx and rushed off to the JW Marriott for dress rehearsal, hair, and makeup.  As last minute as it was, it was a delight to be part of the backstage madness again, and I enjoyed bonding with my fellow models as we helped each other primp, prep, and practice our runway walks.  I'm also happy to report I did not fall down on the runway or even stumble (I'm not always graceful - remember the Calamity Jane post?)

You can read more about the sponsors, models, and boutiques featured in Stepping Out In Style here, and you can see a "behind the scenes" video and more photos of the event from veteran Indianapolis Star photographer Frank Espich here and here, and from professional photographer and long time DFSI supporter Faith Blackwell here.  If you're local, I hope you'll join the fun in 2014!
Behind the scenes, clockwise from top right:  IFD's finest serve as model escorts and help collect donations (Photo by  Faith Blackwell Photography); mugging for the camera after hair and makeup with my fellow model, United Way Sr VP of Resource Development Angela Dabney; Event program; Indiana's First Lady Karen Pence and I getting our glam on from the experts at Makeup By Sparkle (Photo by Frank Espich, Indianapolis Star); In my own dress and hat for the Afterparty - a Byron Lars creation from event participant Enza's Boutique (Photo by Faith Blackwell Photography); Center photo - detail of lace and embroidery work in Byron Lars dress.
 Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Grandmother's Leather Legacy

Jacket (vintage Montgomery Ward); Wool Plaid Dress (Willi Smith, TJ Maxx); Carnelian Necklace (Steinmart); Bag (Ellepi, Marshalls); Boots (Ralph Lauren, Zappos)
Other than my wedding dress, this milk chocolate nubuck leather jacket is probably the most significant garment I've ever owned.  You see, it belonged to my grandmother, Dorothy, and wearing it gives me a visceral connection to her even though she passed more than twenty years ago.  It's been far longer than that since we passed long hours together in the back room of the home my grandpa built, playing Black Beauty and noshing on homemade apricot butter slathered on long, thin strips of toast carefully placed on bright Fiesta Ware from the nearby china hutch.  She always cut her toast into strips instead of on the diagonal like most people.  I don't know why, but somehow those narrow little slithers of crisp white bread were better that way.  I can almost taste the apricot buttery goodness as I write this...

But, back to this gem of a leather jacket, for which I have this blog to thank!  The jacket was passed along to me this summer after my Aunt Linda found it while cleaning out closets in her own home.  She regularly keeps up with my blog, and as a result thought I might be interested in the vintage piece. Words can't adequately describe the emotion I felt when my mom presented it to me at a family reunion in August, or the joy I felt when I slipped it on over my sundress to discover that it fit me like a glove.  Thank you, Aunt Linda!

Like me, my grandmother appreciated quality things, and kept and enjoyed those she most treasured for years and years.  So, I suppose it's not terribly surprising that the jacket was in pristine condition; the leather still supple and velvety; the contrast stitching tight; the Montgomery Ward tag unsoiled.  But then again, considering she got the jacket new in the 1940s, its condition is actually astonishing.  I mean, really, this jacket is approximately 70 years old! 

I didn't remember her ever wearing it - she'd probably outgrown her "leather jacket phase" by the time I was born, though she was always a stylish dresser and I distinctly recall her penchant for purses to match every outfit (just one of so many things we have in common).  My Aunt Linda remembered the jacket well, however, and relayed that grandma wore the jacket regularly in the 1940s and 50s.  In particular, she often wore it with jodhpurs and knee high boots on Friday evenings to accompany my grandfather to the motorcycle races!  I knew my grandparents as Buick driving bowlers in their later years, so it was beyond cool to get this glimpse of their younger selves.  

Cropped leather jackets are en vogue this Fall, so I was excited for weather crisp enough to wear it, and knew from the moment I tried it on in August that I'd pair it with an autumnal plaid. As fate would have it, Aunt Linda was an avid photographer in her youth, and a bit of searching through boxes of old photographs uncovered an image she captured of grandma wearing the jacket in the 1950s while walking with their collie (below).  To my delight, she also wore the jacket with a classic plaid.  My grandma had good taste.  

It makes me proud to hear my mom recount the many ways I remind her of my grandma.  I hope my grandma would be proud of me, too.
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pink Sweater: The Journey Begins!

A fun tidbit about the Pink Sweater - it is an Albertina Roma creation, an illustrious Italian knitwear house that has garments included in the textile collection at the Museum of Modern Art!
If you read last week's post introducing the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pink Sweater, you already know how excited I am to be part of this project, and I hope you will come along for the ride as this vintage 1960s sweater travels from one philanthropic fashionista to another on its yearlong journey to raise money to help fund breast cancer support services in Central Indiana.

As detailed by my friend and collaborator, Crystal, in her recent post, every woman who receives the pink sweater selects the next woman to wear it and become part of the Sisterhood.  Each woman will style and wear the sweater in a way that is uniquely her own; share photos in her social networks; make and invite friends to make a donation to the Pink Ribbon Connectiona 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide information and resources to those touched by breast cancer in Central Indiana to assist in their personal journey…because no one should face breast cancer alone."

The sweater will travel in its own, cotton candy pink, vintage 1960s suitcase.  A journal will also accompany the sweater, so that each woman who wears it can record her thoughts about the project or their own breast cancer survival story; pay tribute to loved ones who have traveled their own path with breast cancer; or share a message with future "pink sweater sisters."  Crystal and I can’t wait to read the stories and meet all the women who will become part of the Sisterhood over the next year, and we're planning a big celebration for October 2014 when the sweater comes home!
You can track the sweater’s movement by following this hash tag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest:#SisterhoodoftheTravelingPinkSweater. Crystal and I will also give regular updates on our blogs, so stay tuned, follow the cause and join the fun. 
As Crystal so aptly summed up in her blog, the sweater's journey "symbolizes the road so many women travel on their way to recovery. It also reflects the solidarity of everyone who cares for neighbors, friends, sisters, aunts, cousins, mothers, daughters, wives, and girlfriends affected by breast cancer."  I invite you to donate to the Pink Ribbon Connection. (It’s important to use the donation link because that’s how the organization tracks the money raised by Traveling Pink Sweater).  I've already made a contribution and hope to see it grow over the next year.  Please share this initiative with your friends and family and ask them to consider a donation, too. The Pink Ribbon Connection makes it easy to donate by accepting PayPal and credit cards. 
Whether you donate or not, you can help us by spreading the good word about the important work of the Pink Ribbon Connection - simply share this post with your friends and family! 

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Guest Post from Professor Blazer

Jacket (Lauren Ralph Lauren); Herringbone Wool Vest (Bushwacker); Scarf (Ralph Lauren); Booties (Frye); Jeans (Coldwater Creek) 
She calls me her "professor blazer."  I suppose it's because my heavy wool glen plaid fabric has always reminded her of the garb of the quintessential middle-aged male college professor.  A lesser blazer might be offended with the moniker, but I let it slide because I know I'm so much more than that stereotypical description would imply. 

Yes, I've seen the inside of a college classroom, and yes, she's even worn me in her role as a guest lecturer at her law school alma mater.  But, I'm equally at home in a conference room or a country cabin in the woods.  I look good with jeans, dress pants, and skirts.  My style is timeless (though she did recently criticize my shoulder pads as a bit strong), but completely on trend (hello - have you seen all the menswear inspired looks on the runway this season?)  

I've also been more places and been part of more important moments in her life than any other jacket in her closet.  In the 18 years since she brought me home from Parisian, we've been around the world together.  During her three month stint working in Sydney, Australia, she wore me at least once a week, both to the office and for weekend outings.  I must say I preferred cuddling up to koalas, kangaroos and wombats on the weekend over spending my time in a library while she researched aboriginal intellectual property rights (bottom photo).  I was also the jacket of choice for her engagement photo shoot (middle photo).  

Just last weekend, she paired me with a herringbone vest, paisley scarf, bootcut jeans, and a gorgeous pair of Frye booties for a Fall road trip through Kentucky bourbon country (top photo).  So, she can call me her professor blazer if she wants.  I know I'm a lot more than that, and I'll be around for many years to come.
Flashback to Fall 1996:  Engagement photos at Ft. Benjamin Harrison
Flashback to 1998 in Sydney, Australia
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pink Sweater

I paired the 1960s sweater with items already in my closet:  a Maginn leather skirt (Nordstrom); candy-striped Poetic License shoes; and pearl earrings that belonged to my grandmother, Dorothy, who exhibited dignity and grace throughout her own battle with breast cancer. I know she's with me in spirit for this journey.
 The bubblegum pink sweater I’m rocking in today’s post is vintage 1960s glam, and I was excited to juxtapose it with an ultra-modern navy leather skirt.  Although it’s not a shade of pink I would typically choose (we redheads are cautious with our pinks, after all), I fell in love with its classic style and unique details.  Almost immediately, I envisioned wearing it with multiple items already in my closet.  But alas, I’ll wear it just this once.  You see, the sweater does not belong to me.  I’m merely the first step in this vintage jewel’s year-long journey to bring a little sparkle and style to philanthropic fashionistas in the central Indiana community while raising funds for an organization that supports those affected by breast cancer, a disease that has affected the lives of too many women I love and admire.

As detailed in this introductory post from my fellow blogger and vintage fashion lover Crystal Hammon, the idea for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pink Sweater is the result of our desire to collaborate on a project that highlighted vintage fashion and its relevance in today’s world.  When we originally discussed a collaboration, we thought it would center around a demonstration of how a vintage garment could, and would, be styled differently for real-world wear by vintage fashion lovers of different vintages (ie, we were born in different decades).  But, when we settled on the month of October as the kick-off for our project, this particular pink sweater spoke up and let us know it was destined for a larger purpose.  After all, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the color pink has become synonymous with the cause.  And check out that collar - it mimics the iconic pink ribbon!  

Speaking of pink ribbons, we wanted to keep the project local, and we selected the Pink Ribbon Connection as the recipient organization for funds raised through the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pink Sweater.”  The Pink RibbonConnection is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide information and resources to those touched by breast cancer in Central Indiana to assist in their personal journey…because no one should face breast cancer alone.”   You can read more about the Pink Ribbon Connection and how to donate here.

Crystal and I are energized about the prospect of making a pink sweater connection with many philanthropic fashionistas as we join in sisterhood to support the work of the Pink Ribbon Connection, and we look forward to sharing the sweater’s journey with our readers over the next twelve months!  In my next post, I’ll link back to Crystal’s blog, Dressed Her Days Vintage, where she’ll explain the sweater’s traveling arrangements, and how you can be part of the journey.

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Sure Bet for Fall

Jacket (BCBG); Skirt (Focus 2000, Steinmart); Bag (Burberry Prorsum); Agate Necklace (Steinmart); Boots (Aigner, TJ Maxx)
Last weekend we traveled to Lexington, Kentucky with dear friends to spend a day at Keeneland.  I love horse racing, but I never place more than small wagers.  When I lose, I can't help but think that the money could have been used on a new pair of shoes!  I also tend to pick my winners based on the name of the horse or the color scheme of the jockey's racing silks (an admittedly silly practice), so it's a good thing we set spending limits in advance.  

There is, however, one sure bet when I head to the track - I'll be sporting a hat!  While Spring meets and big Stakes races like the Kentucky Derby call for dramatic chapeaus (see my Derby post here), for this outing I chose a simple burnt orange wool cloche.  I picked this hat up on clearance at Macy's last spring for ten dollars.  It coordinates perfectly with the subtle orange stripe in my BCBG portrait collar jacket, agate necklace, and orange suede bag.   

This was my first Fall Meet at Keeneland, so I had to commemorate the occasion with a visit to the track gift shop, where I picked up the bridle bit pearl bracelet, below, which I'm confident will get a lot of wear this fall and winter.  We also managed to pick a few winners, and ended up even steven for the day!
Fashion in what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Friday, October 11, 2013

IN Fashion Friday: Burberry & Basketball

Skirt (Burberry); Jacket (Ann Taylor); T-shirt (Indy Swank); Monogram Boots (Zoubaby); Bag (Dooney & Bourke); Watch (Anne Klein)
We Hoosiers love our basketball, and last Friday night we celebrated Hoosier Hysteria in Bloomington - a pep rally / open practice that serves as the official "tip-off" of the Indiana University basketball season.  This long-time IU tradition is a big draw, with students and fans lining up early in the day to get a seat in fabled Assembly Hall to witness the madness and show support for the school's basketball programs.  

If Hoosier Hysteria fell on a weekend, or if I'd had the day off work, I might well have donned my red and white candy-striped pants for the night (along with several hundred other fans sporting the team's official warm up gear).  But, since I had to make the trip to Bloomington straight from the office and a day full of meetings, a slightly more refined show of support was in order.  So, I paired my favorite cream and crimson t-shirt from local business Indy Swank with a Burberry skirt, monogram riding boots, and pearls.

If you live in the Indianapolis area and want to support local artisans and designers, Indy Swank is a must visit.  The boutique is locally owned and operated, and features lots of unique, Indiana-centric graphic Ts like the one I'm sporting here (I absolutely love that the net is shaped like the state of Indiana), vintage-inspired clothing, and an eclectic assortment of locally made art, accessories and gift items.
Indy Swank
1043 Virginia Avenue, #4
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Sun, Tues, Wed: 12-7
Thurs - Sat: 12-9
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Linked up with: Style Elixir

Thursday, October 10, 2013

IN Fashion Friday: BE in style for Fall!

Dress and Belt (Be The Boutique); Suede and Leather Boots (Bandolino); Suede and Leather Hamptons Bag (Coach); Semi-precious stone torsade and pendant (Ross-Simons)
 If you're a fan of boutique shopping and still haven't been to Be The Boutique, make it a "must visit" on your fall shopping list!  I picked up this vivid print dress and 8 Petals Design belt at Be in July.  I liked it as a bohemian, late-Summer dress (see my prior IN Fashion Friday post about Be), but I like it even more transitioned for Fall with tights and boots.  It's the perfect foil for this overripe cantaloupe-hued suede pair from Bandolino.  I've had these boots for years, but rarely wear them because, despite my love for orange, they are such an odd shade of melon that they clash with most of my wardrobe.  I was delighted to discover this dress as their "sole"mate!

In addition to a large selection of vibrant, hand-crafted fused glass jewelry and belt buckles from 8 Petals Design, Be just got lots of new stock in for Fall, including the on-trend leather embellished sheath shown here.  
5607 North Illinois Street
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Follow Be on Facebook here
While you're out, make an afternoon of it and stop in at neighboring G. Thrapp Jewelers and The Secret Ingredient for more local shopping delights, and by all means, treat yourself to a Red Velvet Elvis from The Flying Cupcake just a few doors down (that rich red devil's food smothered in cream cheese frosting is worth the indulgence!)

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Linked up with:  Everyday Fashion & Finance

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Have a Cowl, Man!

Sweater (Soft Surroundings); Pants (The Limited); Shoes (Seychelles); Bag(Brahmin); Watch (Fossil)
Fall means sweaters and suede spectators!  I ordered these cognac and green suede shoes last year and I love them, but they're an odd shade of jade green so I was thrilled when I found this coordinating green sweater with an oversized cowl neckline.  I liked it so much, I had to get it in black, too, and I can neither confirm nor deny that I also own the shoes in a black/ivory color scheme....

An interesting neckline can add drama and dimension to what would otherwise be run-of-the-mill garments.  The shape of your collar can also draw attention to features you like and minimize those you don't.  For the lowdown on choosing necklines that are most flattering according to your body type and face shape, check out this article on The Style Glossy.

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Leopard & Leather

Skirt (Maginn, Nordstrom); Blouse (Lauren Ralph Lauren); Cufflinks (Tiffany & Co.); Watch (Elgin); Scarf (Echo); Belt (Nine West); Bag (Michael Kors); Shoes (Bandolino)
Following on the leopard heels of my last post, I decided to further experiment with the "leopard as neutral" theory and pair it with a navy pleated leather skirt and classic white, French-cuff button down.  When I think about the pairing of "leopard and leather," the immediate image in my head is more "rocker chick" than "office chic," but I rocked this look for a day full of business meetings.

Leather is everywhere this year!  While leather skirts, pants, and shirts were once the primary province of bikers, musicians, and club kids, new shapes and fresh colors that shatter traditional notions of the material's use have resulted in accessible leather clothing that's suitable for everyday life.  I, for one, couldn't be happier about it. 

I've always been a fan of leather, and acquired my first leather skirt in high school.  I was sixteen.  The skirt was short, pale pink and on sale at Wilson's Leathergoods in the local mall for fifty dollars.  I begged my mom for it.  She said "No, no, no.  If you want it, save your own money for it."  So, I did.  And then, I never wore it.  I had a perfect vision of an outfit in my head when I bought it, but I was never able to translate it into reality.  The leather was so stiff and thick that it really wasn't all that flattering, either.  I finally got rid of it sometime after college graduation, tags still intact.  Mom - if you're reading this, you were right. But, I hope you'll agree my new navy one is a much better choice, and yes, I got it on sale!

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Leopard & Lace

Dress (Talbots); Cashmere Cardigan (Boden); Shoes (Bandolino); Bag (Brahmin); Watch (Charriol)
I've had these calf-hair leopard print shoes from Bandolino for a few years, and I've generally worn them only with black, brown and camel.  But, leopard prints are everywhere again this fall, and this time around they're being touted by stylists, fashion magazines, and fellow bloggers as a "neutral" that goes with just about anything.  

I'm not sure I completely buy into the "leopard as neutral" theory, but I do like touches of leopard paired with red, so thought I'd give it a try with a red dress.  I was a bit hesitant about wearing them with this particular dress, because the pattern of the heavy embroidered lace over the nude lining (another big trend this year) is already pretty bold.  But, matching red shoes actually competed with the dress and took focus away from the exquisite detail of the lace.  A basic nude pump would have worked well, but I didn't have any (What?! How can that be?!)  So, the "leopard as neutral" experiment was on.  I really love this dress.  I really love these shoes.  I'm pretty sure I like these shoes with this dress, but maybe, just maybe, I need to shop for a basic nude pump, too.  I mean, a girl's gotta have options, right?!

When it comes to animal prints, most people feel anything but neutral - they either love or hate them.  For my part, I'm a fan of animal prints in natural colors and small doses (meaning you won't see me around town in a hot pink zebra striped mini-dress).  How do you feel about animal prints?  Is leopard really a neutral?

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Dash of Haberdashery

Dress (Rachel Roy); Shoes (Saks 5th Avenue, Off 5th); Necklace (Paloma & Ellie, JC Penney); Purse (Bra-cketbook); Bracelet (Nadri, Nordstrom); Watch (Charriol); Smoky Quartz and Diamond Ring (David Yurman, G. Thrapp Jewelers); Earrings (Roberto Coin, Reis Nichols) 
Pick up any Fall fashion magazine and you'll quickly see that menswear-inspired pieces are all the rage right now.  Personally, I don't think this is anything new.  The nubby tweeds, herringbones, glen plaids, and warm textures typically associated with cool weather menswear have an intrinsic autumnal appeal, which makes them classics that come back in vogue time and again with the changing of the leaves.  And, it only takes a few menswear touches to add dimension to an otherwise decidedly feminine look:  here, the rich wool fabric of the shoes adds pattern and interest to a dark green wool sheath that, save for a knock-out neckline (my favorite part!), is otherwise pretty basic; and the purse, upcycled from a plethora of old neckties, takes that most traditional of menswear accessories in an entirely new direction.  

The upcycled tie purse from Bra-cketbook is particularly appropriate for October, which is breast cancer awareness month, because it was designed as a fundraiser for breast cancer research.  While the "pretty" part of this bag comes from neckties in traditional patterns, its "structure" comes from an upcycled bra!  Truly, this purse is a perfect blend of masculine and feminine elements.

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

Linked up with:  What I Wore and Style Elixir
the pleated poppy blog