Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lady in Red Has a Story to Tell

Earlier Drafts:
I wore this scarf as a neckerchief with Breton stripes for Dress Your Best Week.
I paired this bangle bracelet with blue and orange for my brother's graduation.

red patterned scarf (a giveaway from La Merce in Barcelona, Spain)
silver necklace with dove charm (Ornamental Things in Austin, Texas)
red dress (Ya via Party Dress in Fells Point, Baltimore)
bracelet (thrifted)
yellow flats (Target)

This weekend I learned something about myself:  whenever I travel, I dress in trinkets from past journeys.  For me it's instinctual.  Perhaps that's why I haven't noticed until now.  Apparently I like story pieces, garments or accessories or shoes that remind me of where I've been.  My sister recently recalled our all-time favorite set of Story Shoes: a banged-up pair of suede cowboy boots, now too ragged for use.  She wore them for a year in high school during her grand Tour de Colleges.  Then she flew to Barcelona to visit me, at which time she graciously entrusted the boots to my care.  Those trusty, well-worn, high-steppers carried me all over Spain and through much of the U.K.  They led a full existence, those booties, and they mark for my sister and me what we consider a life-changing year for both of us.

This Fourth of July weekend, I traveled with my husband to visit his family in Bethany Beach, Delaware.  We've been celebrating Independence Day at the Delaware shore for five years now, since before my husband and I married.  Five years doesn't sound like a long time now that I type it, but it has been long enough to accumulate memories and some sentimentality to boot.  Normally, once we arrive, I spend the weekend in bathing suits and his sister's hand-me-down Bethany Surf Shop T-shirts.  This holiday, however, I kicked off the occasion with a new dress, the first red frock I've ever owned.  Perhaps now, after sporting it during fireworks and the like, this fiery number will acquire significance of its own.
I paired the dress with other items that hold meaning for me.  The scarf I snagged for free during a crazy festival weekend in Barcelona.  Since headscarves have my attention this summer, I wore the red patterned fabric as a kerchief.  The necklace I purchased at Austin City Limits music festival last fall.  The dove and rose charms made me feel pretty all weekend, even though the rest of me was coated in mud from the torrential downpour.  Ah, fond memories.

The latest addition to my story piece collection is an antique brass cameo ring, which I purchased last month at a boutique in Savannah, Georgia.  I wore it last week in an easy outfit inspired by the charming city itself.

  • Do you wear certain items of clothing specifically for the memories you associate with them?  If so, tell us about your favorite story pieces!
  • Have you recently acquired un recuerdo?  Where did you find it, and how does it function as a memento for you?
  • Has anyone seen the play Love, Loss, and What I Wore, now running at The Westside Theatre in NYC?  Have any of you read the book on which the play is based?  I'm dying to see the show, because, from what I can tell, it relates to women and the histories our clothes tell.  Fun!
  • Anyone else feel conflicted over the associations between women and the color red?  I can't clear the mental hurdle of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.  Am I too limited in my understanding?


orchidsinbuttonholes said...

I love how breezy and fresh and cheerful this outfit looks! The kerchief is the best touch, and I love how you paired the red with yellow shoes.

I love even more that some of your pieces have stories to them. Many of my favorite closet items have stories associated with them. I love remembering past moments when wearing those things, and I love that with each wearing I add to that story. I've not heard of Love, Loss and What I Wore, but I'm intruiged!

Scholar Style Guide said...

I get attached to items of clothing for sentimental reasons, too, and I choose to wear them at specific times based on those attachments. I thought I was the only one who did this until I read fashion blogs and found out that it's pretty common.

Red can definitely have a negative connotation, but I choose to ignore it because I love red. At my conference in April, I developed a style (and intellectual) crush on one of the presenters from one of the Scandanavian countries, and she wore red 2 out of the 3 days I saw her. (Stalkerish, I know.) On the final day I finally told her how much I enjoyed her talk and her bold fashion sense, at which point she told me she always wears red at conferences because it has a cultural connotation with good luck! I thought that was awesome.

You look great! I like how the way you've accessorized the dress makes it seem more casual, when I can also imagine that it could be styled up to look more dressy, as well.


What Would a Nerd Wear said...

you look terrific in red! this look is such a winner!