Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Tree Skirt

If you follow Red's Shoe Diaries, it probably won't surprise you to hear that I'm a Christmas tree in every room kind of girl. Even my closet gets a tree, albeit in the form of this ponte knit skirt from Anthropologie. No kidding, this bell-shaped skirt has so much structure that it stands on its own in the corner of my closet like a little fabric shrub. I bought it last Spring to go with a favorite cobalt and kelly green polka dot silk blouse that I've had since 1997. I expected to wear it only in Spring and Summer, but pairing it with black tights, boots, and a black turtleneck makes it suitable for Winter, and the color gives the whole look a little holiday flair. I guess it truly is an "evergreen" skirt!
Given my penchant for (excessive?) color coordination, of course I had to complete the look with a black patent and green suede spectator bag by Relic; a green watch; and an emerald ring. It might look like the whole ensemble was purchased together but, in fact, each piece was acquired separately and without any regard for the other items. It's rewarding to pull together a brand new look from items you already own (and easier on the budget!)
The simple colorblocked palette also provided the perfect opportunity to wear a unique statement necklace from offbeat British designer Tatty Devine.  Every bone of this quirky matte gold T-rex moves separately. I discovered it on a trip to London in 2011 and coudn't resist. It's a smash with my 7 year old nephew, but also a surprising hit at the office. Tatty Devine designs are not widely available in the US, but Nordstrom sometimes carries the line, and online retailer Asos is also a good resource. Currently, I'm coveting this season's alpine skier necklace...
Hopefully, my evergreen skirt won't be the only indoor tree I get to enjoy this year. I typically start decorating for Christmas just after Thanksgiving and work systematically through the house embellishing stairwells, door frames, and chandeliers to coordinate with each room's decor. I even swap out duvets, artwork and dishes for the season. And the house doesn't feel ready for St. Nick until I've put the Leg Lamp in the front window, that oh so glorious, tongue-in-cheek Major Award greeting every visitor with the soft glow of electric sex. I like to clothe the house in all of its holiday finery by early December so that we can enjoy it all month, and I can turn my attention to baking Santa Bread, making stained glass cookies, and hosting holiday soirees. 
2013's lineup of trees (clockwise from left): the Great Room tree trimmed in copper, burgundy, and gold; the "beach room" tree; the "cowboy room" tree; the basement tree with its theme befitting the lakehouse setting; and a guest room tree. There was also an additional tree in the entry hall and two more that stood sentry on the porch, flanking the front door, but apparently I didn't take any pictures of them. Yep-I'm definitely not good at moderation...
But this year, several competing interests have kept me from my festive decorating frenzy. Christmas is just one week away, and I've had to admit that I'm just not going to get it done. So I'm trying "simplicity" on for size this year, putting up only a few modest decorations (like my Grandma Coy's hand beaded velvet treasures). I'm not really good at moderation when it comes to that sort of thing...(which may be the understatement of all understatements), and when I look at photographs of last year's trees in all their holiday sparkle, I'm disappointed I didn't find a way to make more time this year. On the other hand, the time I'd normally have spent decorating was used, instead, to create some very special gifts for people I love. Few things (not even the Leg Lamp) bring me as much joy as surprising people with the perfect present. For me, it truly is better to give than receive, and this year I am bursting with holiday spirit even if the trees aren't trimmed.

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

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