Denim shirt dress, thrifted
White tank dress, Amazon
White sandals, Dolce Vita Pela
Right hand rings, Wendy Brandes
It was waaaaay too warm for that outer layer. But I felt totally exposed in the tank dress by itself, so I just perspired in silence.
That’s right, kids, I sprung for a set of Wendy B’s swear rings. Little known fact: I swear like a SAILOR in real life. At least, I do when I’m comfortable around my audience. So these rings simultaneously crack me up and make me deeply happy. They’re my absolute favorite piece from Wendy’s current collection, and I’ve loved them since I first saw them on her blog nearly two years ago. Got loads of compliments on them, too, on their premiere wearing. They’re beautifully designed and marvelously tongue-in-cheek, a dynamite combination.
This was August 1, and therefore my first day to wear black since May. I’d been longing to wear this funky tee all summer, and had some bad stomach stuff going on, so combining it with these soft pants was just perfect.
Well, my dears, SUMMER BLACK-OUT 2010 officially ended yesterday. Although many amazing women joined me for a week of blacking-out back in June, I myself have been black-free since May 24. That’s a long time, if I do say so myself! Here’s a recap of the rules I followed:
- Black shoes, accessories, and jewelry were fine.
- Workout/gym duds got a pass.
- Black could be IN patterns but could not be the BACKGROUND of a pattern.
I’m a color lover throughout the year, but summer is when I most enjoy dressing like a paint store after an explosion. So although I had one or two twinges, this challenge was hardly a challenge at all. Here are some of my favorite BLACK-OUT ensembles:
A few things that I think made this challenge easy on me:
- I am not afraid to pair color with color. There are plenty of non-black neutrals mixed in here, too, but working to be as colorful as possible is fun for me, not frightening.
- I have loads of colorful shoes. I adore wearing color on my feet, and think that my arsenal of rainbow-hued pairs helped a TON.
- I don’t own a ton of summer-appropriate black clothing. I just don’t! Most of my black pieces are for fall and winter. And those get loads of wear.
- My summer alter-ego is a cowgirl. Cowgirls skew brown and khaki when it comes to neutrals. At least, my faux-cowgirl alter-ego does …
I’ve been trying to come up with some moral-of-this-challenge, what-I-learned kind of stuff to wrap up, but I honestly can’t think of a thing. I loved color at the start, still do. Maybe what I learned is that I should set harder challenges for myself!
I considered a mini-challenge, posed by several readers, of wearing nothing but black for a week. I even came up with an awesome name for it: BACK IN BLACK: THE BLACK-LASH! But I’ve gotta tell ya, friends, I just want some no-rules, no-challenges dressing for a while.
I’ve had loads of you gorgeous folks tell me that you’ve found the BLACK-OUT inspirational, and challenged yourselves to play more with color all summer long. Tell me what YOU’VE learned. Do you feel more adept at pairing color with color? Do you feel less dependent on black? Did you lean hard on other neutrals? What discoveries did you make about your patterns of dressing?
And if you didn’t participate, did you find this challenge interesting to observe?
Khaki tunic, eBay
Brown tank dress, via Amazon
Brown cropped leggings, Kohls
Wedges, Charles David Tinker
Coral necklace, self-made
This tunic hits me at the widest part of my hips when buttoned, so I tried wearing it open. I felt a bit like a doctor/anthropologist … but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A little hit of Temperance Brennan for a Friday at work.
Calling this necklace “self-made” is cheating. I bought the strand of coral exactly like this, strung it, and added a clasp. The strand was purchased at Art ‘n’ Soul in Stillwater and was such a baaaahgain.
Dang, check out those freckles. It is high freckle season, my friends!
Gingham dress, thrifted
Red belt, thrifted
Brown platforms, John Fluevog Haights
Turquoise necklace, polishedtwo
You can just barely see that turquoise necklace peeking out at my collar, which is perfect for this slightly cowgirl-y ensemble.
Olive tank, via Amazon
Paperbag-waist shorts, Phillip Lim 3.1
Burgundy wedges, Kork-Ease Donna
Carved agate necklace, hookeddesign
I have no idea why but I always seem to pair these high-waisted paperbag-style shorts with this necklace. Maybe the ruffly waist makes me think of the ruffly flower … or maybe I bought them around the same time. Do you have any pieces that you always inexplicably pair?
Pink slub cotton tee, thrifted
Brown skirt, The Mexican Shop
Silk scarf, Echo Design
Bronze peeptoes, Bandolino via 6pm
Bracelet, Fossil via Herberger’s
This is, in fact, a different brown skirt than the one I wore yesterday. It must be Unintentional Brown Skirt Week or something.
What is it about a silk square knotted close that SCREAMS “French lady”?
And that’s all I’ve got. Been kinda sick all week and I think the germs have finally reached my brain …
Some of you may remember me purchasing and wearing a vest much like this last summer. Posting about it caused others to post about how easy it would be to MAKE such a vest. So I made about six in different colors of jersey.
Cut rectangle of fabric. Cut circle in middle. Wear. Couldn’t be easier.
White tee, Amazon
Khaki skirt, eBay
Platforms, Nine West
Black necklace pile, various sources
If my mom were here, she’d say that it’s, “hot as blue blazes.” I’m not sure if other temperatures merit other colors of blazes, but it is, in fact, HORRIFYINGLY hot and humid here today. As in heat index of 105 degrees and staggering humidity. So I dressed lightly and simply. And in a machine-washable top to accommodate the excessive sweating.
Embellished top, August Silk
Red scarf as belt, thrifted
Turquoise pumps, DV Skye
Ahhh, such a Monday. This ensemble would’ve worked better with a bracelet. Almost ANY bracelet. But I was in a total haze when I woke up, and so my wrists are naked. Luckily there’s plenty of other stuff going on in the outfit, so I evaded arrest by the Accessorization Police.
Tunic, vintage sale
Platforms, John Fluevog Haight
I couldn’t resist. I had to wear my awesome harness again, this time for Weird Friday at the office. I am continually impressed at its ability to create structure where there is none. This tunic is straight up-and-down on its own, but looks fantastically fitted with the addition of the harness.
Bolero, Opitz Outlet
Turquoise dress, H&M
Platforms, Kork-Ease Bette
Cuff, a gift from Cal
Earrings, a shop in SF
It cooled off slightly on Sunday, so I was able to do some light layering. I love these two vibrant hues paired together.