Reel Women: Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

please don't eat the daisies

1. wallis white blouse | 2. polka dot scarf | 3. charlotte street yellow kate spade  | 4. alice and olivia 5 pocket skinny jean | 5. darby printed loafers | doris day image via dorisday.net

In the 1960 movie version of the novel, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Doris Day is a rather frustrated housewife whose once family-guy husband is quickly becoming an aloof, career man when his drama-critic job suddenly blossoms. While the now famous James Mckay (David Niven) is being seduced by actresses, celebrated at fancy cocktail parties, and heralded at posh, New York clubs, his wife Kay (Doris Day) charges ahead with their former dream of moving to the country to give their four boys a better life than stuck-in-an-apartment, city-life.

Of course, because it’s a Doris Day movie, though she has four children, a huge fluffy dog, is fixing up a run-down country house with her mother-in-law, trying to win her husband back, volunteering to sing/dance in a country show to raise money for the school…she always looks perfect. Ridiculous? yes. Unrealistic? of course. But do we love it? YES. Seeing reality reflected in films, tv, and magazines is a new phenomenon that I don’t really understand. I see reality 22 hours of the day, everyday, for the two hours I might set aside for a movie, I want somethin’ fantastically unrealistic. No one looks up to reality or strives for reality. Reality just happens. Doris Day? There’s something wonderfully unreal about her and that’s something to dress up for.

– <3 A. 

Vintage Muse Modern Views: Easter Parade

vintage easter outfit ideas

1. Leona Tunic dress by Darling | 2. Brookmont Structured Purse | 3. Contessa Snakeskin bow pumps | 4. Every Day Memory Book | 5. Mini Diana and Flash set in Blue

I don’t know what holidays would be without Irving Berlin. From White Christmas to Easter Parade, the man single-handedly composed (pun intended) the aura of  nostalgia surrounding the the 1940-1960 American holiday that we moderns still pine away for. It really is quite astonishing. Of course every generation has its trend-setters, but to be a 70 year and counting tradition-setter, now there’s something. His 1948 film Easter Parade and associated lyrics are quite the perfect vintage muse for a modern Easter, a lace dress with all the frills upon it, a clover colored handbag, shoes worthy of fifth avenue, something to let you be this year’s photographer, and of course a place to write a sonnet just in case the spring air has got you feeling rather eloquent. Happy Spring and Happy Easter!

– <3 A. 

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Style Secrets from: Emily Dickinson

woman in white

Posthumously made famous by the publishing of her nearly 1,800 poems she kept mostly secret during her lifetime, Emily Dickinson is one of the most prolific poets of all time. Known for her ethereal and abstract poetry, Emily was also known for her seclusionist lifestyle and  plain living. Dressing almost always in white during her later, most eccentric years, Emily became known as “the woman in white,” hardly ever seeing visitors and almost never leaving her house, she seemed to take on the ethereal nature of her poetry. Perhaps it was eccentricity, or perhaps Emily just knew the power a clean, white palette gave to the creative mind, but whatever it was, her simple life helped her to produce some of the most beautiful poetry of all time. January gets a bad rap for being glum, gloomy, and colorless. Sometimes though, white is subtly more powerful than the most vibrant red or the deepest blue. Used in the right way, as Emily knew, white can lend a pause of calm, a strong contrast, or a soft touch that no other color can.

dickinson collage 1. Floral Milk bath soap from Anthropologie. A nice long soak in a hot bath with this mix of buttermilk powder, essential oils, and Epsom salts sounds beyond amazing and a much-needed drench of hydration in this winter weather.

2. Owl cakestand from West Elm is on sale right now! Please tell me you can’t resist this, because I couldn’t.

3. Ceramic Fox Speaker from West Elm: it’s a speaker compatible with most mp3 players! Just plug it in and you’ve got the cutest speaker I’ve ever since in my life. There’s also a bear and a squirrel if you aren’t feeling foxy.

4. Last Snow Drop earrings from Anthropologie can make you feel like spring is on the way even if the real snow drops are far from being over.

emily dickinson whites

5.  Peach Cloud Mobile from leptitpapillon is a mobile for a baby of course, but I   don’t think babies are the only ones who need a little something to help them sleep.

6.  Tail Me More Mug from Modcloth has a little fox-tail for a handle and a hidden surprise that will make you smile in the morning as you slurp down some liquid life (coffee).

7. Marshmallow nail polish from Essie. Nothing chicer than a winter white.

8. Woodland Park Elephant salt and pepper set from Kate Spade. Yes of course tiny elephant, you can sit on my table.

January has almost slipped by us, but for many places, winter has many more months to go and I think with Emily’s style secrets in mind, some winter whites could actually do the body good.

A solemn thing—it was—I said—A woman—white—to be—And wear—if God should count me fit—Her blameless mystery—

– <3 A.

sources: hermitary.com for dickinson bio | vi.sualize.us for dickinson image | Selected poems of emily dickinson, fall river press, 2011

Other Style Secrets: 

yellow wallpaper copy      virginia woolf            wingback chairs

The Yellow wallpaper          Virginia Woolf                         Perry como

Ginger Your New Years

I’ll admit, I’m not a New Year’s fan. I love the Christmas season so very much that I hate to see it go, and planning for New Year’s Eve makes me feel like my favorite time is going by even faster than usual. Despite that though, this year I’ve decided that New Year’s Eve will come whether I plan for it or not, so I best plan for it and make the only night for dressing in all things glitter, count.

ginger rogers

When I think of glamour girls, the first lady who pops into my mind is Ginger Rogers. Unfailingly beautiful, graceful, elegant, feminine, and my muse for doing New Year’s Eve glitter-fest the classy way:

ginger rogers new years style

I thought this dress by Shoperuche was a pretty fabulous modern version of some Ginger-chic, and you couldn’t get away with those shoes by Kate Spade except for on New Year’s Eve so, why not? Ginger, of course, usually did a full-length gown for all her twirlings with the dapper Fred Astaire, but my parties usually aren’t quite glam enough to go all-out Ginger. Besides, I’m not competing, I have too much dignity for THAT.

ginger rogers and fred astaire

If you still aren’t buying the glitter-fest, regardless of whether it’s New Year’s Eve or not, I thought this hair-piece from Rose and Lemons Etsy shop was super cute and definitely something Ginger would have worn:

Sparkly Leaves Hair Barrette. Holiday Hair Accessories, Gold Glitter Leaves, Hair Accessories, Christmas, New Year's, Fashion

The Poppy Hearts shop on Etsy also had some adorable, yet subtle hair adornments:

Beaded Leaves Headband

I think with a little Ginger-musing, my New Year’s blues will be swept away. How can glitter, Ginger, and perhaps a little champagne not get you excited for whatever the next year will hold?

– <3 A. 

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Stylin' it "White Christmas"        Dee-lightfully Sandra 

Dee-lightfully Sandra

Last night I was trying to dress for a date with a very special man. It wasn’t going so well. Still too warm for sweaters, but too chilly for a dress. Tights and boots entered my head but quickly fled again–too winter just yet I decided. Scarves are hard to eat dinner in, have you noticed? So those were out. Then there was the whole different issue of my hair (or, my arch-nemesis). The front right side of my hair delights in making me exasperated, grumpy, and thoroughly frustrated almost daily. Last night was no exception. Pin it back? I look twelve. Curl it? That looks overdone. Straighten it? That looks even worse. Cut it off? Hmmmm…..

In the midst of my closet chaos and hair meltdown, I thought of a woman who seemed to never have these disasters: the always charming, Sandra Dee.

The Muse: 

You may only know her as the innocent, girlish star of the 1959 movie version of Gidget, or as the inspiration for the mocking songLook at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” in the movie Grease, but beginning in the 1940s she made quite the name for herself first as a model and later as an actress and singer. Whatever your opinion of her, sickeningly sweet or classicly beautiful, you have to admit, the girl’s got style.

 

Sandra Dee

What I love most is that she dressed so simply: usually a plain sweater, often in a bright color, paired with some outrageous patterned pant. Or, a simple dress with a beautifully tailored coat. Her look is timeless and so easy.

A Modern View: 

These pants from J. Crew are oh-so-Sandra. They weren’t, of course, helping me last night while I tried on combination after failing combination of outfit, but in the future they might come in handy if I am lucky enough to add them to my closet.

Or this jacket from Modcloth could have solved my outfit-issue easily. What else does a coat like this need?

Another find from Modcloth, this little black dress with a twist. Classy and a little retro–but definitively modern:

While watching one of Sandra’s movies a couple of weeks ago, I was entranced by a hat she was wearing while sunbathing at the beach–the hat had built-in sunglasses and I wanted one so very badly:

Such a brilliant idea, and, apparently, Kate Spade thought so too. In her Spring 2012 collection, she offered this little nod to some retro chic:

For all our attempts to be fashion-forward with each passing year, it seems you never can beat a little vintage musing. For your next closet catastrophe, hopefully thinking of Sandra will give you an inspiration.

– <3 A.