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

Stylin’ it “White Christmas”

white christmas irving berlin

December isn’t December, and Christmas isn’t Christmas without watching “White Christmas.” I’m always envious of how absolutely picture-perfect their holiday is: an adorable inn set in the woods of Vermont, snow, some Irving Berlin tunes, and hot milk and sandwiches eaten by an open fire.

Probably my favorite part of the movie though isn’t really Christmas-ey at all, it’s the Haynes sisters’ chic wardrobe: perfectly tailored and unfailingly classy, their sweater sets, pumps, gowns, and even robes just scream “feminine.”

white christmas haynes sisters

white christmas haynes sisters

Regardless of where you’re spending your Christmas, even if it’s not the ideal, snowy woods of the East Coast, you probably (or, rather, hopefully) have a few holiday parties on your calendar: perhaps a coffee date, a meet the parents night (eek!), the looming office-Christmas-bash, or an evening at the Nutcracker. If you’re fretting about what to wear, channel a little Haynes sisters this year and go for a modern view on some classic, feminine chic:

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1. J. Crew “Sara” dress | 2. Modcloth Tracy Reese Orchestral Arrangement Dress | 3. J. Crew “Heidi” gown

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4. Modcloth A Lady and a Collar Top | 5. Etched Stretch Bracelet | 6. Scalloped Teardrop Princess Earrings

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7. Rosemary Pumps in Wine | 8. Modcloth Back to classic Skirt | 9. Modcloth Lace Your Love Grosgrain Cardigan

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10. Modcloth Just Teal a Story Dress | 11. Over the Moon Heels | 12. Modcloth My own Rendition earrings in Mint

Shopping isn’t really one of my favorite things, but with a little vintage musing, it’s so much easier to brave the stores in search of a modern version of the picture-perfect image in my head. I think with a little help from the Haynes sisters, this year’s round of holiday meet-and-greets will be such a breeze, hope you’re inspired!

– <3 A. 

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.