I got a visit from an old friend this week. One of my orchids finally flowered! I have quite a few plants around our home and love the little reminders of summer when I’m looking out at the white blanket of snow on the ground. I have four orchids and the last petals fell off months ago. I’m not sure why or how they decide to get their bloom on but so far only one of the four got the urge. I’ll take what I can get! In China I lived in apartments for the last several years before moving to America so never had the chance or the desire to have a garden. But now that I have a yard I’ve developed quite a green thumb. I love working in my garden and can pull weeds for hours! This kind of activity is great for the body and soul. Fresh air, sunshine, no need to think too much and you can actually see the results of your labor. And then of course there’s the reward of sitting in the shade sipping on a cool adult beverage!
I adore bold colors so when I saw this floral blouse, it was love at first sight. The colorful mix of flowers, leaves and stems over the dark background form such a statement print I knew I had the base for a very cool ensemble. There’s nothing better than bringing a bit of summer into a winter wardrobe to warm things up a bit. I love to use the colors of the ocean or a garden to take the chill off of winter white and stark grey or black. To me staying in the chic zone is always my goal. Luckily it’s a pretty big target and can range from tough to elegant. I think today’s outfit hits more towards the elegant feel which is just where I was aiming!
One of my style laws is that less is more. Since this blouse has so many flowers, colors and prints I paired it with a crisp white midi-length skirt. I’ve mentioned before that the two directions to choose from are staying in the same color family or going with a contrasting color to complement your cornerstone piece. I could have pulled out one of the colors from the floral print but here I thought the contrast color path was more appealing. The blouse is a bit on the dark side, so to keep in the spirit of contrast I went with light for the skirt. So far, so good. I wanted to keep the whole look clean and elegant so went with basic black tights and black heels. But I wouldn’t be ColorAndGrace without my signature bloom of color so pulled in my just right red purse. It’s got some tasteful and welcome bling with shiny metal corner trim. I’m crazy busy lately it seems but always try to pause long enough to put together the right look. After all, you still have to make time to smell the flowers!
Floral Blouse @Ralph Lauren @Lord & Taylor
Skirt @White House/Black Market
Red Purse @Michael Kors
Black Heels @Nordstrom Rack
As you may know, I’m a teacher. There are several teachers in our family. My husband’s older sister is a retired teacher. She’s never had kids of her own but she’s had hundreds of her kids over the years that still remember her when they happen to cross paths. I’m somewhat similar. I have a stepdaughter and stepson. My stepson is married with a 16 month old daughter and another child due this summer. So, that means…seven plus five carry the two…oh my…I’m a GRANDMOTHER! It’s really the best deal around. I get to have the fun of spoiling an adorable baby without ever learning how to change a diaper! It seems that in my family, having children skipped a generation! When I tell other people that I’ve got a granddaughter they can’t believe it. I have to agree that when I look in the mirror, I don’t see your typical Grandmother type. And believe me, I’m not complaining!
In every woman’s closet there are several items that are true must haves. These are go-to pieces that can save the day in an emergency and let you be ready for any occasion. In my closet three of these items are a denim jacket, button down plaid shirt and the leather skinnies. I’ve said before that I consider leather skinnies to be oh so useful that I call them my Swiss Army Knife item in my closet. They help you dress up, dress down, heck, even dress sideways if you need to. Of course there are other can’t do without basics but these three can really become building blocks for a lot of different looks, styles and moods.
Speaking of moods, today mine is to create a layered outfit. I started with what else; the on trend leather skinnies of course. This time I paired them with a summery silk dress with a short train flowing behind. I covered the dress with an oversized plaid button down shirt. That’s item 2 from my list of must haves. I hope you’re taking notes, there will be a quiz! The plaid shirt adds interesting layers and a bit of color to the mostly black outfit. It also takes the dressiness down a notch which is a good thing. After all, even a Grandmother likes to have fun! And fun is never in doubt when you add some leopard and leather heels to the mix. I topped everything off with a fitted jean jacket. The key word here is fitted as the jacket helps to create the figure I want but maybe don’t have! I also believe that if a little leopard is good then a little more is better so I’m using my leopard bag. This bag is almost as useful as the skinnies so let’s call it the Swiss Army Spoon maybe. Grandmothers still like to be feminine so I finished up with a jeweled knit hat and some bright red nail polish and lipstick. And now I’ve got to go. This Grandmother’s going clubbing!