Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wear It Out: Mastering Monochromatic

Photos by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Hello, again

I really look forward to fall every year--it is really great to get a chance to try new looks, get out my favorite sweaters, and give my closet a fresh feel for a new season. I love to read all about what is new for fall online and in the fashion magazines, although I am fairly outspoken about not being a fan of those lists dictating what one can/should wear depending on one's age bracket. I often find myself liking something that isn't in my "age category", and then holy cow, what does that mean? While many of these lists are meant to be a helpful guide on what to wear, I don't like the stereotypical way that they approach fashion. After all, isn't being a grown up mean YOU get decide what you love and can wear? That is my approach to this blog. It doesn't matter how many candles you have on your birthday cake, being stylish and feeling beautiful are as ageless as fashion itself. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Eva Chen, the former editor of Lucky Magazine once said," To tell you the truth, I never really understood why fashion had to be so serious. After all, its main by-product—shopping—is such a joy." I find shopping and the business of fashion to be just that, a joy, and an exciting adventure that is in constant motion. Joining me on this adventure is my friend Kirsten Beeksma Morse, an incredibly talented photographer whose beautiful pictures will tell the photo stories here at westfultonstreet. I am immensely grateful for her talent and her time, and I know we will make an awesome team.

Monochromatic Texture 

This week's post is about monochromatic looks that are brought to life by texture, movement and detail. With so much going on with each individual piece in this look, I felt that keeping it monochromatic would help highlight the unique characteristics of each element of this outfit and help them work together.


You would probably have to have been in a coma this past year to not notice that fringe is BIG. It is everywhere, but shouldn't be worn everywhere at once. Choose one fringe piece per look, like a handbag, a pair of shoes, or a jacket. I am in love with the BCBGMAXAZRIA Rashell Fringe Skirt, which is faux suede, but you would never know it. The micro suede fabric in a soft cream/taupe is lovely, and I chose it because it has layered fringe panels rather than just a fringe edge. The fringe swings and has beautiful movement that is both sexy and feminine. I have also paired this skirt with a black top and black heels too--it is a very versatile piece.

Open Toe Booties

Believe it or not, I bought these Michael Kors booties four years ago on a trip to NYC. They couldn't be more on trend right now with their open toe, laces and cool block heel. The block heels and open toe are not only perfectly on point for early fall, they will look chic with tights when the weather cools down. I love this neutral color of this bootie, which also looks gorgeous with denim. You can find a similar pair here, and I highly recommend added a black pair as well since this style can be worn year round. Last year I bought the rag & bone Noelle boot that became a wardrobe staple for me; this rag & bone Liam is every bit as awesome, and on sale.

Fur Vest

Whether you prefer a faux fur vest or are OK with the real thing, fur is super hot this fall. It is making an appearance in details like as over sized cuffs and pockets on jackets, collars on sweaters, and on accessories, shoes and more. The Love Token Rabbit Fur Vest from Nordstrom has a high low cut to it and the blush color is stunning with the light skirt. I think the combination of fur and suede are super chic. I wore a The Fisher Project Classic Collar White Crop Shirt underneath to keep the monochromatic vibe going, but a cream silk blouse would dress it up as well. 

What I love about all these pieces is together they are amazing, but as separates they are perfect for pairing with other things you have in your closet already. Wear the vest with your favorite pair of denim, tuck in a black blouse and wear a tall black boot with the skirt, or toss on those cute booties with tights and a cozy sweater dress. One thing is for certain, you will want to wear all three of these pieces OUT. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Graceful Living

I have been writing in this blog since 2008 and a lot has changed over the course of time. My busy life has made my posts become less and less frequent, but I am about to change that. As many of you know over the summer I had some major
surgery and the recovery process kept me down and out for a few months. The upside to this rough period is it gave me a lot of time to think. Sometimes when forced to jump out of the rat race one can really gets a chance to get some perspective on things, and that is what happened to me.

My writing has been mostly fashion focused here on my blog, but I have kept my age out of the picture in my writing. Let's face it, fashion is very youth focused--almost everything is very youth focused in our society. I don't know why I kept this part of who I am quiet; maybe I feared that telling my readers that I was in my 50's would make my voice less relevant. I know now that this is not true, it is actually the opposite of that. My experience and my age do matter, in a good way, because this part of who I am has helped make me a better writer than I was ten or even five years ago.

I have the privilege of working for a very cool online arts and culture magazine, Vanguard Seattle, where I am their fashion and style writer. It is part of the reason that I have neglected my blog, which is my own fault, but working for these people has been the best experience of my life. Sure, during the monthly meetings I am the oldest person there by a lot, but to be honest, other than the dream of that perfect 20-something skin, I don't feel envious, just grateful. The magazine has opened up my world to so many cool things in our city and beyond. Who wouldn't be thrilled to have such a great job working with such talented people. It is a good place to be.

Moving forward, I am going to be working with a friend of mine who's photography I have admired for many years. Kirsten Beeksma Morse has agreed to help give my blog a sense of consistency, of beauty, and help me tell the story of dressing well. Her creativity, talent, and enthusiasm are just what I need to tell my story better, so I am again, grateful. I hope that these weekly posts will inspire you to try something new, discover some great fashion, and feel great about who you are.

I have had a few life experiences that have taught me that growing older is not a right, but a privilege, and you can do this thing any way you want to, so why not do it well? I am a person who loves stylish things and I am not afraid to tell you what I think. That is me in a nutshell. I know that chances are I am probably not going to be very good at growing old gracefully, I am too feisty for that. But living gracefully. That I can do.