Just Messin’ With Black and White

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I’ll never forget my first encounter with the Irish writer Roddy Doyle. Back in the nineties, Hubby and I watched the movie The Commitments, based on Doyle’s book of the same name. We loved it. It has great music, quirky characters, humour and pathos (uh…of course.. it’s Irish), lots of swearing, and that weird combination of despair and hope that the Irish do so well. I was off to the library the next day to find Roddy Doyle’s books. One expression that stuck with me from that movie, and from its sequel The Snapper, is “messin’ with ya.” You know, as in “Don’t get mad. I’m just messin’ wit’ ya.” I don’t really mean it. I’m just playing around, teasing.  

So that’s what I’ve been doing this week with some of my new wardrobe pieces. Just messin’ with them. Playing around. Seeing what works and what doesn’t. 

In particular I wanted to play with my new black, cropped “Simone” pants from Rag and Bone. These are high-waisted, lovely and stretchy, and skinny, without adhering to my legs like leggings. The Rag and Bone website says that the “four -way stretch material was originally developed for Olympic level equestrian riders.” Ok-ay. Then they definitely shouldn’t bag in the knees on me. Since I won’t be doing any riding in them, only maybe sitting down to lunch for a couple of hours. I’m also wearing my new Eileen Fisher tunic which you’ve already seen in this post. And. And. On my feet are my new Paul Green Lydia flats. Black suede with laces. These are the result of my search for a shoe to wear with my new black and white striped midi-skirt. And they were on sale. Yah. 

black cropped pants, black laced flats, grey and white striped tunic

black cropped pants, black laced flats, grey and white striped tunic
So the pants look great with the shoes. You were right about that, Liz. And I like both with this tunic top. But I thought it needed something on the neck. Maybe. And since I don’t really do “statement necklaces” it had to be a scarf. I’ve had this white chiffon, white on white print scarf hanging in my closet since I retired. It was a gift from a student who said, kind of breathlessly when I opened the package, that she loved clothes, and she knew I loved clothes, and since she loved this scarf, she was sure I would love it too. That’s pretty much a direct quote. I was touched. And the scarf is lovely. I’ve just never been sure about that fringe. And I’m not sure about it now. As you can see. I may throw it on when I wear this outfit and see how long it lasts before I stuff it in my bag. That’s usually the test for me with unusual accessories. If I go into the lady’s room at the restaurant, look into the mirror, and cringe… into the bag it goes. 
     black cropped pants, black laced flats, grey and white striped tunic
When I started hauling things out of my closet yesterday, the original plan was to find tops to go with the black pants and shoes. And I thought my loose, short-sleeved Vince tee shirt (which is very casual) would work with my black Helmut Lang jacket (which is a bit structured, and more serious.) But, you know, combined with the black pants and shoes, this combo is too serious. Too “work-y.” Even ecclesiastical. Could I throw on the fringed scarf and make that work? Uh…no. This outfit is not going to happen. Maybe with faded jeans. But probably not. 

black pants and jacket, black lace-up flats, white tee and white scarf     

Then as I stored the white scarf away, and was about to change, I spied this colourful scarf. I bought it from a lovely lady at the Chivay market in Peru. Maybe this is what I should wear to book club tonight? Serious and studious with a dash of colour. Almost collegiate. We’re discussing Amor Towles book A Gentleman in Moscow. And one needs to be at least a little serious to discuss Russia, don’t you think? 

black pants and jacket, black lace-up flats, white tee and striped scarf from Peru     

This is a better look at the scarf I bought in Peru. You can see that it has several Inca symbols on it: the mountain, the puma, the llama, the symbol for Pachamama or mother earth, and the condor. Cool, eh? 

black pants and jacket, black lace-up flats, white tee and striped scarf from Peru
Okay, enough messin’. For now. I’ve lots of time tomorrow, or the next day, to play with my new black pants and shoes. But I have to leave for my book club in just over two hours, and… akkkk… I still have almost two hundred pages of A Gentleman in Moscow left to read. 
No. Wait. As my stepdad used to say in times of emergency when the rest of us bustled around stressed and stressing, “Now, just hold on a minute here. Let’s not get too excited.” Good advice. Because I know I’ll never finish that book in time. That would require rushing. And this is not a book to be rushed through. This is a book to be savoured. Stopping every few pages to ruminate about Towles’ use of language, or an interesting idea, and maybe discuss that idea with Hubby. Which is the reason, of course, that I’m only on page 293. Sigh. 
Maybe instead of rushing through the book, I’ll focus instead on what I’m going to wear tonight. That at least I can achieve in the time I have left. 
It’s good to set reasonable and achievable goals, I always say. See how much we can learn from our parents?
And while I decamp to my bedroom closet, have a look at the trailer for the movie The Commitments. I do love this film. 

So. What have you been messin’ around with lately, my friends?

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38 thoughts on “Just Messin’ With Black and White”

  1. Love your new shoes and having a peep at your experiments while ye were messin around. White scarf lovely as it is is not the one for this outfit imo! Nice Peruvian scarf. Interesting that you're a Roddy Doyle fan. Maybe your irish roots come into play here. Really enjoyed your last post. Very thought provoking. Always feel those posts deserve a more considered response which requires more time. It's easier to comment on the fashion ones quickly but you know I love the variety of your posts and I'm not messin' ! Iris

    1. Thanks, Iris. You know, I think it is my Irish roots coming into play. The dry humour of Doyle, the working class roots…all seems so familiar to me.
      Thanks for the comment on the "variety of posts", Iris. The fashion posts are much more popular as far as number of readers. But the non-fashion posts are much more satisfying to write.

  2. Love the pants,the shoes (it is such an injustice-some of Paul Green shoes are produced in my country and all the beautiful models are not sold here!!!),and EF tunic (I am jealous again-no EF stuff here )- all in all-you look great!. The Peru scarf is amazing!
    I've seen Commitments musical in London-it was great fun!
    I've read Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha last year. Just now,I'm reading the last Maisie Dobbs novel
    The Gentleman in Moscow has some great reviews-you like it,too,don't you?

    1. I had no idea that Paul Green shoes were made in your country. That seems so unfair that you can't get the full range of styles. It reminds me of the time Hubby and I were downeast where I'm from, and stopped at a restaurant in a fishing village. All they served was frozen fish, the fresh stuff all was all shipped to the U.S. I though that was pretty ironic…we could see the boats from the restaurant…but couldn't buy the fish.
      I am loving The Gentleman in Moscow. As soon as I'm finished and have collected my thoughts, I'll do a book post on it.

    2. The story with the fish would be unbelievable,but I think there are a lot of such paradoxes here.
      Yes,I'm afraid,a part of PG production is here,near Varazdin city. I have one of their black patent brogues,but they have a much wider range of beautiful shoes (like yours :-))

  3. Oh, that white scarf is gorgeous, if not with that particular outfit. What a touching gift. And the Paul Green shoes, well, what's not to like there? 🙂 Also, the Peruvian scarf is a marvelous souvenir!

    Yes, better to savor the book later once you know you can't rush through it in time. I don't know about your book club, but there are always those who haven't finished the book at mine. No worries.

  4. I myself would wear the white scarf with something in pale muted colors so that it blended in rather than contrasted so strikingly with the black. The Peru scarf is stellar, and it looks quite sheer?


    1. The Peruvian scarf is made from alpaca, not that thick but not sheer. The other…well…I'll have to try harder to find something to wear with that one.

  5. I saw the Commitments playing in our local park in Sussex. It was a fab night and music. I rather like the top look without scarf. It would look so fab with a long necklace. Shame you are adverse to them. How about one of those small neck scarves?

  6. Have to comment first that I really liked your last post although I never managed to write anything there — much to think about and much I can relate to.
    I had a similarly white-on-white scarf, oblong, though, with fringes at the end, and then I misplaced it, have been thinking about picking up a new one. If that were mine, I'd probably try downplaying the fringe by working the triangle into an oblong and wrapping perhaps once more 'round, if that's possible without making it too close to your neck. Hard to tell if that would work for yours — I'd have to mess around with it 😉

    1. I was thinking something similar – start with the white scarf in front and wrap the ends around the back of your neck and bring them round to the front again. It doesn't seem as if it's bulky and would look a little more like a cowl and less like a shawl.

  7. Your new outfit looks great, love the shoes and the EF top looks a real winner. I agree with others who have said that the white scarf, although lovely, is not quite right here. The Peruvian scarf is gorgeous and what a lovely souvenir that you will keep and wear for years as a reminder of all your recent adventures.

    I enjoyed your previous post very much and as others have said much to relate to and lots to ponder.

  8. I agree about the white scarf – would it roll like a sausage to hide the fringe ? I do like a necklace but I'm very picky . Not too delicate , not too clunky . My jeweller ( that sounds rather posh ) is a lovely , goth who lives in the very far north of Scotland . She uses mainly semi precious stones combined with a little silver & gold – never twee or boring . With your EF top I'd wear my agate stone pendant that has two diagonal bands of silver across . Patricia made it from a beautiful large pebble I found in a cave years ago . She's very clever . That SA scarf is too pretty to hide in a drawer & should be on show in your sun room .
    Wendy in York

    1. I do have a couple of pendant necklaces which I like and a few similar to what you describe… not too delicate….not too clunky. And quirky, I love quirky. Especially jewellry made from bits and bobs of metal and stones like yours.

  9. Loved our trying on session today! That EF tunic is going to take you to so many places. The shoes are cute but to me look complicated to take on and off , with lots of bending of my less than bendy body. Like others, I became immersed in your previous post, so filled with your thoughtful reflection which comes with our years, but it deserved a considered reply and I ran out of time.

    1. Thanks, Mary.They are a bit complicated to tie up. Especially as I'm tying them in the back. It was easier the second time than the first so I think I'll get used to doing it. Thank goodness the suede ensures that they do not untie or fall down. Now I just have to find a away to stop the black suede straps from dying my ankles black:)

  10. Those are really great pants, and could be paired with almost everything! Your colorful scarves are gorgeous! Thanks for linking up with Fabulous Friday. Hope you have a great weekend!

  11. You are a bad, bad influence on me….those Paul Green shoes are in my Nordstrom shopping bag right now. I have a pair of PG suede wedges, very simple and extremely comfortable, so I'm hoping these flats will work. I was searching for comfortable, supportive ballet flats and these are a nice variation.

    I hear you on the accessorizing and later taking items off front, I have the same struggles. The white scarf is beautiful, IMHO the outfit doesn't really need anything at all: the lovely stripes and black and white effect, together with those boffo shoes and the bracelet is just perfect. The scarf makes it look a little too schoolgirl. Perhaps with a sleeveless linen summer top/dress, draped in a soft cowboy cowl (untied)?

    1. Oooops. Sorry. But I don't think you'll be sorry about the shoes. I love flats but they often hurt my narrow bony feet. Mostly because my feet get hot and swell and the shoes always rub somewhere creating a blister until I break them in. But I wore these the other night and they were like wearing slippers. Sigh. So glad I bought them.
      Re: the scarf. I came to the same conclusion you did just before I left for my book club. Left the scarf behind and changed to a bit more interesting earring and it was totally enough.

  12. I love your Peruvian scarf. Vivid colours and a rather sober shape make a good combination to go with a lot af things, like your "book club outfit". As for the white one, I very much like the fabric, but I agree that the fringe is a problem. If different tying techniques don't do the trick, can't you wield your scissors again and get rid of those tassels?
    I only just found your last post (after an extremely busy week) and could not agree more. For me, the realization of how lucky I was in terms of the "birth lottery" carries the obligation to find ways of supporting those who do not have that luck.

    1. Thanks, Eleonore. I've been pondering that myself about how to contribute/ support. Will be making inquiries around town about Syrian refugees and how I might help there. Problem is we are away so much a regular schedule won't necessarily work for me. We'll see.

  13. The white scarf is great with the grey tunic – don't bother hiding the fringe – right on trend. With the black jacket, it would look great with faded jeans – – too much black with the black Rag and Bone pants. And off to reserve that book at my local library!

    PS The Peruvian scarf is such a great souvenir. I find it a bit too bold with black – and would love to see it with a white outfit for summer. But that's met my opinion.

    1. I know….I agree. Just thought I'd toss on the Peruvian scarf to keep my neck warm. But… it is too…something with all that black. Think I'll keep it for fall to wear with my Max Mara coat.

  14. That Eileen top is super cute and versatile. Love the boat neck, and love the pockets. I think I would live in that tunic top! Looks great with the pants!

    The white fringe scarf looks really beautiful. Dressy. So what do you wear it with usually? (I live in my scarves, even in the summertime.)

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