Tied Up With A Bow

I have never been particularly influenced by social pressure to conform. You can see for yourself on this website approximately 550 posts documenting my unflagging resistance to such things as heels, skirt-suits, and long hair (notwithstanding my new, super-long haircut). But I do feel some compulsion — and it must be coming from within — to . . . dress my age.

I recognize that the concept of dressing for one’s age has become politically fraught. Be assured, Directorate, I am a hard-core feminist, I don’t really care what everyone else is up to, and I am not advocating any bright line rules. All I’m saying it is that I want to look like Isabelle Huppert. Not Goldie Hawn. But I support your right to dress like Goldie Hawn, if you’re sure that that’s really what you want to do.
With that said, I must admit that every once in a while I wear something shockingly jejune.
Something like this

What was I thinking?
Perhaps you weren’t thinking at all

Somehow I could not resist this sweater decorated with an enormous bow.
Admittedly, the sweater has unimpeachable virtues: stripes, black and white, cozy knit.
Well, what’s done is done

Enormous bow
To mature the sweater, I am wearing it with wool pinstriped pants and sleek flats. Under the right circumstances, I like to combine horizontal stripes with vertical stripes.
Hot Tip: The black band around at the waist of the sweater blends into the pants. This effect is nice because it elongates my appearance. I tried the sweater with a pair of khakis and the contrast at the waist created a very choppy look.

Interestingly, the bow is dark grey . . . which gives it a little sophistication.
Just a bit.
I am providing a close-up, just in case you couldn’t see the bow in the other photos

In an effort to provide a useful takeaway, I am showing the sweater with another pair of pants and different shoes: wide-legged pants and assertive loafers. This is a more casual look for Freefall Thursday or Casual Friday.
An alternative, and possibly even more jejune, look

By all means, show them more ways to wear the age-inappropriate sweater
All I need to finish this look is a gigantic lollipop

O.K. Let’s stop the madness. I’ll redeem myself by showing you an excellent tote bag — which was a Christmas present from my beloved college room-mate.
After decades of shared closets, she knows my taste so well.
This bag is made from upcycled materials. The content label reads: RCA Dome Fabric, Upcycled Event Banners, Reclaimed Seatbelts. I accepted “RCA Dome” unquestioningly, but was tickled to learn, upon further exploration, that this tote was made in Indianapolis by a non-profit organization that made a mission out of recycling and reusing the component parts of a a demolished sports stadium: THE RCA/Hoosier Dome.
See the dome?

How fantastic is that? You can read about it, and find more great products on the PUP (People for Urban Progress) website.
Check out these great graphics: one side (of the bag)
And the other!

As if the RCA Dome wasn’t imaginative enough, PUP has released a collection called PUP x AMTRAK: bags and other products made from the leather salvaged from 6,080 Acela seats that were re-covered in 2018. As a Northeast Corridor enthusiast (I never fly to New York) I think I need to claim my piece of AMTRAK history.
Sweater: Sonia Rykiel from The RealReal; Bag: PUP Executive Handbag; Everything else: old and older clothes

7 thoughts on “Tied Up With A Bow”

  1. I love everything about that smart little sweater! The bow’s gray color and flat silhouette feel relaxed enough so that it reads as a perfectly fitting, non-age-related embellishment. I could imagine it as a detachable piece that you might include among your brooches, scarves, necklaces, etc.

    So glad you brought up the “age-appropriate” dressing issue. As a vintage-clothes addict, it’s agonizing to realize that even when I manage a SFW ’40s look, people unfamiliar with the era don’t see amazing collar or sleeve details, or magnificent buttons or beltbuckles or shoes (SHOES!), or graceful sweeping trouser legs; they just see “old” or “old-fashioned” or “old lady”. So it actually works in my favor to go for clothes that, back in the day, would have been worn by women younger than me (and never to work); sportier trousers and sweaters as opposed to skirt-blouse-jacket combos. I guess it’s a form of jiu-jitsu: choose “age-inappropriate” clothing in order to appear just right.

    I just want every piece of clothing that Barbara Stanwyck wore in every movie she ever made, which works out great since she played everything from dustbowl diner waitress to mid-level office secretary to glamor-girl/femme fatale. If I could pull off Joan Crawford or Rita Hayworth, I would, but I can’t, and I accept that.

  2. I like the second pant/shoe combination better as well. The round-toed shoes coupled with the bow are a bit too lady-like for me. The loafers, which we can see so clearly in the pant, look more fun.

  3. Beloved college room-mate here. (And hello Marie!) I am actually quite relieved that the Directrice likes the bag, because I am still to do this day learning how to BE like her and THINK like her.

    I would like to record a vote for the first combo – I think the whimsicality of the sweater is nicely balanced by the more conservative pants.

  4. I find the assertive loafers extremely pleasing, and instructive to see with the wide-leg pants, as I am in the market for one of each recently. Thank you for sharing your sense of style!


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