March of the Art Jewelry, Part II

Directorate!  Forgive my absence? Turns out that wrapping up a career takes longer than I expected. But now it’s done: transition memos written, notices of withdrawal filed, goodbye emails sent, personal effects removed. I’ll publish two posts this week (to whet the appetite) and then next week, it’s VACATION DIRECTRICE ON LOCATION IN ECUADOR.

This week’s posts will feature Old Clothes, but they are dressed up with new pieces of jewelry from the frenzied period of acquisition that started in December 2022 and slowed down (it hasn’t really stopped) in the spring of 2023.

First up, this exquisite brooch by Joohee Han from Jewelers Werk here in Washington D.C.

It’s made of iron wire and plaster — very light — and resembles sea anemones.

It also resembles two doughnuts — a happy thought

A doughnut would taste really good right now

Doesn’t matter what time of day it is

Brooches add so much polish to an outfit. Perhaps that is because they are really incorporated into the clothes — more so than a necklace (which is clearly on top) or a bracelet (which may not even touch your blouse/sweater/jacket).  The placement of the brooch also adds to its interest.

Come closer, take a bite

I mean look! Take a look

I wear a lot of round-neckline tops and dresses and generally like a brooch at my collarbone like so. Occasionally, I even have it extending above the neckline as seen here.  If I am wearing a collared top or dress, I place the brooch just below the collar or — depending on the style of the brooch, partially over the collar.

Never allow uncertainty about how to wear a brooch deter you from buying a brooch. There’ll be plenty of time to experiment once it’s yours.

One last hot tip related to this outfit. I bought this Marques’ Almeida denim top on The RealReal. It’s very similar (but so different) from the cowl-necked version that I showed you several years ago (which I still have). This one, sans cowl-neck, can be layered under a jacket. But both tops required a wrestling match to get on or off — a match in which I was simultaneously winner and loser — until I asked Fatima to insert a side zipper. Et voila: nothing could be easier than taking this on or off with a zipper in the side seam. Remember this fix when you are next faced with a semi-fitted top made of rigid fabric.

The zipper extends up to my ribcage, has reduced likelihood of shoulder dislocation by 90-95%

If that hot tip wasn’t worth the cost of your Directrice subscription,* I don’t know the value of anything.

Switching gears, I wanted to show you the Talbots dress that I suggested you buy several months ago.

It’s cute, right? The cotton is lightweight and therefore fine for a summer day.

I’ve paired it with Chuck Taylor high-tops which, not to nag, I have also recommended as versatile footwear. Always cool, always chic.

My outfit looks great with this Safeway truck

My youth restored!

This pair is almost identical to the pair my mother bought me when I was in junior high school. It’s nice to think that there are some ways in which my style has not changed at all.

Actually, when really think about it, I would say my style has changed some, but not radically, since I was in high school.  If I had to rate it in terms of mathematical degrees, I would say maybe 30 degrees?  What about you?  Zero degrees means nothing has changed; 180 degrees means you are utterly different from, possibly opposed to, your former self; 360 degrees means that you’ve experimented widely and ended sort of where you started.

This Liberty-like print brings a surprising number of colors together: navy, orange, light blue, yellow, and pink. Bright-clears mixing with pastels!

And speaking of pink, have you seen Barbie?  The Photographer and I loved it. My favorite scene was Depression Barbie.  What was yours?

I pinned the collar closed with a safety pin; you know The Directrice likes to be buttoned up!

Denim top: Marques’ Almeida (always showing up on The RealReal); Pants: Prana Halle II; Shoes: JCrew Fisherman Lug-sole Sandal; Bag: Orla Kiely; Brooch Joohee Han; Dress: Talbots Belted Shirtdress (still available, also comes in other prints); Sneakers: Chuck Taylor All Star Lift Platform (make-your-own option); Bag: Weekend Max Mara Pasticcino bag

* Technically, this blog is free. But it costs you the value of your time — which I do rate very highly.

9 thoughts on “March of the Art Jewelry, Part II”

  1. I’m so happy you’re back — and I love that blouse and the sea anenomes — also all the links to all the different ways to wear brooches.

  2. I love the degree way of framing your fashion journey! I think I’m at 180 currently because of job dress requirements, but I’d probably be less formal and actually at 100 from my high school self. Older but wiser and all that!

  3. That hack about putting in a side zipper on the denim top? Genius.

    I love the sneaker/dress combo – in fact I’ve been dabbling in wearing sneakers with suits and the brighter the better. I feel way more mobile at work between meetings, and several people have commented positively on the choice.

    Your absence just makes our hearts grow fonder. Please never stop posting.

  4. So happy to see this post—I thought the previous one might have been the last before your great escape! Wishing you very happy travels and congratulations on embarking on the next phase of your career. The world is lucky to have you in it for so many reasons. The anemone-doughnut is fantastic, and I love your advice about not worrying about not necessarily knowing how to wear the brooch right away. So liberating!


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