Tag Archives: velvet

SIA interpretation: Dido Belle portrait

A quick note, the poll is open for you to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from last month. Thanks in advance!

Now it’s time for my interpretation for the Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge and artwork that I chose to host this go-round.

SIA inspiration:

I chose the double portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray, circa 1779, once attributed to Johann Zoffany. (The actual painter is still unknown.) This was the portrait that inspired the 2013 film, Belle, about the real-life, mixed-race young lady, Dido Belle, who was born into slavery in the British West Indies and ended up a heiress in London, England. The two ladies in the double portrait were second cousins. You can read more about the painting here, in this article about how this enigmatic painting inspired a movie, and more here about the real-life Dido Belle.

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage of SIA artwork and my interpretation, Double portrait of Dido Belle + her cousin

My interpretation:

Usually, my SIA-inspired outfits build up from a very specific starting point, be it a color or texture or piece of clothing. This time, multiple inspirations came together at one time for me, including:

  • pearl jewelry, as it’s one of the items that visually link both women in the painting
  • floral-print dress, to bring in the various florals in the painting
  • beret, to echo the look of the turban on Dido’s head
  • feather clip, because of the feather on Dido’s turban
  • winter-blooming camellias in our backyard, to capture the backdrop in the painting

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of accessories, beret + feather clip

This is the second time I’ve added a feather clip to this beret — you can see the first time here in this post, another SIA-inspired outfit! — and it just felt right. It captured a literal item in the inspiration painting, the feather in Dido Belle’s turban, and it felt like it captured the mood of the painting. I have several pearl necklace options (pearls being my favorite gemstone), and I chose this multi-colored pearl necklace because it pulled in multiple colors from the painting. Plus, it felt like a modern way to pull in the pearls.

The bright pink in the photo below is the lining of this purple velvet blazer. This beautiful lining rarely gets featured, and I just wanted to give it its due. The inspiration painting features a pale pink, through Lady Elizabeth’s dress, but I don’t have any pale pink in my wardrobe. It didn’t bother me in the least to darken that inspiration color to a dark purple through my velvet blazer — and shocking pink lining! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of accessories, velvet blazer + pearl necklace + beret + feather clip

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

It was really hard for me to get any usable photos of me mimicking Dido Belle’s gesture of her hand in her cheek. It’s such a, well, cheeky pose! 😉 And it’s realllllllly hard for me to do the slight smiles on both ladies’ faces in the inspiration painting — whenever I try to smile without showing teeth, it just comes out like I’m angry — or snobby. It always feels more natural for me to smile wide, as you can see below. You do you, ladies. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Weather:  Cold and clear

Where:  Work day at the library

What:

Please note that I get commission for clicks made through affiliate links in this post. This goes toward covering my website and file storage fees, so thank you for helping support this blog!

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion LinkupTop of the WorldThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

There is still time to participate in SIA:

Everyone is welcome to participate — bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! Just send a pic of an outfit — selfies and flat lays are also welcome — inspired by this week’s SIA artwork to this week’s curator, me, at librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com, by tomorrow, Tuesday, March 6th. I will then include you in the SIA round-up on my blog this Wednesday, March 7th.

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Follow your heart times two

Today’s outfit started with my shoes, a pair of patent leather pumps with velvet bows that I scored at an estate sale, which I mentioned in last month’s budget post. I thought they would look cool paired with my chevron tights, and the rest of the outfit came together from there.

There’s actually a lot of texture in this outfit, including the velvet bows on the shoes, the crocheted tights, and the nubby texture of the pencil skirt.

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown with new patent leather pumps

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown with new patent leather pumps

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown with new patent leather pumps

Hello, patent leather and velvet! True love, y’all. ♥

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown with new patent leather pumps

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown with new patent leather pumps

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of painted rock + patent leather pumps

And the day I decided to wear this outfit, Sam came home with a painted rock he found while out and about. (There’s a “Tacoma Rocks” movement to paint rocks and then leave them around town to brighten people’s days. The first “Tacoma Rocks” we found is featured here in this post.)

So it was meant to be that I wore my “Follow Your Heart” sweater on the same day Sam found a rock painted with the same sentiment. There are not enough heart emoticons in the world to describe this serendipity. ♥♥♥

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of 'Follow Your Heart' sweater + painted rock

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of 'Follow Your Heart' sweater + painted rock

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of painted rock

I’ve got one heart in my pocket… 😉

And finally, a look at the overcoat I wore over this work outfit. More burgundy!

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy coat, sweater + chevron tights

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy coat, sweater + chevron tights

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy coat, sweater + chevron tights

Weather:  Cold and a bit drizzly

Where:  Work day that included a Reference Desk shift

What:

Please note that I get commission for clicks made through affiliate links in this post. This goes toward covering my website and file storage fees, so thank you for helping support this blog!

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion LinkupTop of the WorldThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFriday FavoritesFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Monthly budget adventures (November 2017)

A quick reminder to please vote for your favorite outfit of mine from last month — thanks in advance!

And now it’s time for my monthly budget adventures! I spent a grand total of $12 this month, all on new-to-me items that I picked up at an estate sale in Portland over the Veterans’ Day holiday weekend. We had gone down to Portland to stay with some friends, who happen to be experts at estate sales. (Tips they gave us:  Be polite; Dress well but not fancy; bring cash; and be prepared to walk away if the seller won’t agree on a lower price.)

We went on the final Sunday for an estate sale in the very nice Laurelhurst neighborhood of Portland, where I found these lovely items for half-off the original price:

  • Patent leather pumps with velvet bows, Franco Sarto {similar}:  Priced at $12, paid $6
  • Snakeskin and patent leather cap-toe flats, Bandolini {very similar!}:  Priced at $8, paid $4
  • Small square silk scarf {similar}:  Priced at $4, paid $2

Please note that I get commission for clicks made through affiliate links in this post. This goes toward covering my website and file storage fees, so thank you for helping support this blog!

Librarian for Life + Style | Brown patent leather bow heels, estate sale find

Librarian for Life + Style | Snakeskin and patent leather flats, estate sale find

Librarian for Life + Style | Olive + burgundy silk square scarf, estate sale find

Librarian for Life + Style | Olive + burgundy silk square scarf, estate sale find

Librarian for Life + Style | Olive + burgundy silk square scarf, estate sale find

Budget recap:

Total spent for this month: $12
Total savings for this month:  $125 estimate

Total spent for this year:  $832
Total savings for this year:  $720


I have a few gift cards for Lands’ End that I’ve saved up, so I’m planning on some Christmas shopping for myself!

Raspberry velvet, if you please

A quick note that the poll is open to vote for your favorite outfit from April — thanks in advance!

Like I mentioned in my most recent clothing budget post, I snagged this AWESOME velvet fedora at the iconic local men’s clothing store, Mr. Mac’s. When I got the hat home, I realized that it exactly matched my self-made obi-style belt made out of vintage ties. And that my new raspberry gingham shirt fit the color story coming together in my head… 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

I will most likely rewear this combo in the fall, but it’s been a very cold and rainy spring thus far. And it was a VERY comfortable outfit to wear, with my burgundy brogues.

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

This velvet (or velveteen?) fedora really does catch the light, doesn’t it? And yes, it was pouring down rain when we took these photos. (That explains the random spots all over the button-front shirt!) I also got quite a few compliments and questions about my tie belt during the day — it is a statement piece, isn’t it? 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Weather: Raaaaaaaaainy and cool

Where:  Work day with meetings

What:

  • Fedora:  New, local men’s store
  • Gingham button-front shirt:  Lands’ End, new
  • Tie belt:  Made from two of my dad’s vintage ties, old
  • Wide-leg trousers:  White House Black Market, last fall
  • Brogues:  Clarks, last spring
  • Bead earrings:  Made by my paternal grandmother, vintage
  • Wood watch:  c/o JORD, couple of years ago

Shop my outfit:

very similar gingham button-front shirt  //  very similar velvet hat  //  similar tweed wide-leg trousers  //  similar obi-style belt  //  very similar wood watch  //  very similar burgundy brogues

Librarian for Life + Style | Gingham + velvet outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Today’s work outfit was really all about remixing my pink- and purple-print dress for a work-appropriate combo. The first time I wore this print dress was for a special anniversary night out in the summer. This time I wore it for work in chilly spring temps.

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing a pink print dress

2015 post: Feeling special in my new print dress

A blazer can work magic, instantly making any dress — even a sleeveless dress like this one –more work-appropriate simply by layering it on top. That’s exactly why blazers are “completer pieces,” because they really do serve to finish off, or complete, an outfit.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink dress + bronze heels closeup

I also made the look more work-appropriate by adding brownish-burgundy opaque tights and bronze heels. These tights are AMAZING, by the way. They can look more brown or more reddish depending on what it’s paired with. With this dress, the opaque tights help “tone down” the print, at least in my head.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

And there is ALWAYS time for twirling! 😉

Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Pink + bronze + purple velvet

I did wear the blazer buttoned up most of the day, mainly because the top of the dress is a bit lower-cut than most of my dresses. It worked, although I think next time I will add a white cami or sports bra underneath the dress so there’s another visible layer there.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Weather:  Chilly and rainy spring day

Where:  Work day

What:

  • Velvet blazer:  Gap, over a decade old
  • Print dress:  Maggy London, thrifted, old
  • Tights:  American Apparel, old
  • Heels:  Franco Sarto, thrifted, old

Shop my outfit

very similar purple velvet blazer  //  similar print dress  //  Mary Jane heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + print dress outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp