Ah... like... all the time, kid. It's amazing how many times I use the skill of manipulating fractions or playing with percentages in real life. And I don't mean manipulating fractions like when Hubby decides that he's going to double or triple a recipe for chili, and he needs to know how many 1/2 tablespoons of whatever. I'm talking fashion.
Fashion Math. And it's been a long time since math class for most of us, so we need a summer school refresher course. On fractions and proportion. Don't you think?
Now, I don't mean proportion in the sense of choosing a short, slim jacket over wide leg pants, or a long, loose top over skinny jeans. Although I would probably wear those combinations. In fact, do wear those combinations. I'm not talking about the changing proportions in fashion either, all those huge pooling pants, or hilariously long sleeves. Let's not go down that road again. Been there, wrote the post. I mean proportion in the sense of achieving balance between the feminine elements of an outfit and the masculine, between the edgy and the classic.
|Original sources on my Pinterest board.|
Like these two looks above. A casual yet classic sweater, with masculine pants, albeit rolled into edgy cuffs, and casual cool sneakers. I love this look. 1/2 classic and slightly serious, 1/2 casual sporty. Or the gorgeous, feminine full skirt on the right, with that primly buttoned blouse, sleeves rolled up in a very masculine fashion, and anchored by those sneakers. This look inspired me to try my full skirt with my Stan Smith Adidas. Minus the pom-pom on the purse. This one is 2/3 lady-like and 1/3 edgy casual. And 2/3 +1/3 = 3/3 = 1 very pulled together outfit. Are you still with me, class?
Or the outfit below. Toughening up and dressing down a feminine dress and strappy sandals, on the left, with a leather biker jacket. Or dressing up distressed jeans and a sloppy sweater with a sheer lacy underpinning and very feminine pointy-toed pumps. I would have worn this back in the day. I used to love wearing high heels with my jeans.... back when I wore high heels. I mean high heels. But even though I might not wear stilettos anymore, the idea is transferable. The idea of balancing the percentage of masculine with feminine, or dressy with casual. Fashion fractions, if you will.
|Original sources on my Pinterest board|
Achieving this balance is important for me. Especially now that I'm... ahem... a person of a certain age. And a retired one at that. I want to look casual, but not old-lady frumpy. And be comfortable, but not look like I've given up on style. And I want to look modern, as if I know what the trends are, but not embarrass myself by following them slavishly.
And since I'm committed to my curated closet. To trying to update the pieces I already own. And not shop too, too much. I tried styling some of my former work skirts, this spring, so they were a bit more edgy, and a little less prissy. I've embraced the idea of sneakers with skirts, instead of pumps or sandals. Edgy is just so darned comfortable, people. And the math works out. 2/3 classic, business wear + 1/3 trendy casual = 1 happy middle-aged errand-runner who feels modern, but not like mutton dressed as lamb.
And I recently tried to play with the proportion of feminine in styling my new Rag and Bone dress. I wore it to a retirement party and dinner with my new Munro sandals and my pink Cole Haan bag (seen here.) Very lady-like. Dressed it down a bit with my black flat sandals and Mackage bag. Okay. I like this. And then tried the same with my sneakers and just felt silly. I thought I was using the same proportions as in other outfits, but the numbers didn't add up. Whatever the reason, I just didn't feel good in this combo.
Speaking of my Munro sandals, in the spirit of my curated closet ethic, I really should be wearing them more. And this sleeveless, silk Judith and Charles top with the navy panels in the sides has yet to make it out the door this season. This top can look a bit frumpy if not paired with the right bottom. I never wear it anymore with the navy capris I bought to go with it. Ickkk. But I do like it with skinny, dark denim, like these Paige high-rise jeans, and my Munro sandals. The colour of the sandals goes well with the top, and the jeans keep the shoes from looking too fussy. I'd wear this shopping or out for a casual lunch.
And if the weather cools down I can add my Paige jean jacket. Double denim toughens up lady-like shoes. I might even carry my pink bag. So that would be 3 lady-like pieces + denim x 2 = uh... who the heck knows. See, I knew I needed a refresher course in math. My fashion instincts tell me the proportion of feminine to sporty casual is right. But it's just like math class; I leap to the correct answer, but don't get full marks because I can't explain how I got there. I can't "show my work." Ring any bells? Sigh. As a kid I found that frustrating. But as a former teacher who has good friends who are math teachers... whom I love and don't want to alienate... I totally understand the principle involved. Sheepish grin here.
So that's it then, folks. No earth-shaking fashion inspiration, nothing too edgy, or terribly fashion forward. Just changing up a few old pieces with some newer ones. Looking for the balance between being sixty but not dead, and not being twenty. Gad. Not that I want to be twenty again.
Because for me the formula for getting older but staying current and modern is a balancing act. A matter of proportion. It's not rocket science. It's just Fashion Math.... Fractions Refresher. See how useful fractions can be?
Okay that's enough enough school for now. It's summer. And despite the fact that I'm more of the Alice Cooper "School's Out for Summer" vintage... I've never been much of an Alice Cooper fan, in all honesty. I prefer this joyous, 1980s, we're not in school, let's go wild and crazy, scene from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I loved that movie.
How about you folks? What formula do you use to stay current but not look like you're trying to be twenty?
Linking up this week with these great blogs: Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, #IwillwearwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb, Thursday Favourite Things at Katherine's Corner, What I Wore at The Pleated Poppy, Passion 4 Fashion at Rachel the Hat, Fun Fashion Friday at Fashion Should Be Fun, and Friday Finds at Forage Fashion and My Refined Style at The Fab Journey