Monday, February 11, 2013

the neutral zone

As if you didn't already know for my nattering on about Farragut and Cameos, I am a bit of a geek, albeit a nerd that has always known how to have a good time and wear sparkles and nice shoes while doing so! 

One of the things that my dear husband and I have in common is a long-time love of Star Trek, all incarnations, but if pressed I will always defer to the original series.  It could be because my cousin Cindy had a picture of Leonard Nimoy on her wall (sans the ears) in 1968 and told me he was sexy.  I didn't know what sexy was then, but I thought Leonard was it and would still rather have a date with him than some young Hollywood stud (excepting Ryan Gosling, good Canadian boy..)

I couldn't recall the exact definition of neutral zone in Star Trek, but Wikipedia to the rescue:

In the Star Trek universe, a neutral zone was a sort of "buffer zone" between the territories of two different powers. If either party entered a neutral zone it was an aggressive move and usually considered an act of war. The Federation had two neutral zones: one with the Klingon Empire and one with the Romulan Star Empire. Used on its own, "the Neutral Zone" generally refers to the Romulan Neutral Zone. A Neutral Zone in all but name also existed between the Federation and the Cardassians.


Do you ever ask yourself "why do I pop in here?'  Well just keep going, we are getting to fashion dearies!

For Wendy, the neutral zone would be described thusly:

"not a jewel tone.  Not a colour from the Crayola box of 64 crayons that Wendy would ever colour with..."

Look, I am not against beige.  I am just scared of it.  It can be, for someone of my colouring, "The great ager"...(cue scary music and a picture of Joan Rivers)

But, darn that Dani, she is making me try harder, what with her scarf/colour stories.

So for my 50th birthday, I got a lovely silk/cotton scarf from Sandwith from a good friend.  Now, I would never have chosen this scarf for myself.  Ever.  But I decided to try and "make it work".  You be the judge!




Okay, the scarf is a combination of browns, greys, whites and black. 

I dug out a j crew cashmere cardigan that I have had for 2 years and worn ONCE!  It is the colour cobblestone and I got it on a great sale.  I can never think how to wear it so it is flattering to me, so really a great sale is only great if you wear something, isn't it?  In this colour story, I have paired with with a caramel/dark camel coloured long sleeve t, grey minnies, a bracelet I got on Etsy a year or two ago and earrings.



To bling it up, I paired it with a pair of amber earrings.  These were a gift from my husband, purchased in Poland when he was travelling as part of a group sponsored by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.  Aren't they beautiful?  I think of him and this special trip honouring human rights whenever I wear them.  I also think of my Polish friend, AJC.  Poland is now definitely on my list of places to visit!



To add a little more fun, I dug out a bracelet I purchased on Etsy a couple of years ago,  It is a charm bracelet, a combination of newly made charms (meant to look old) and vintage cracker jack prizes.  I love this bracelet, although I do jingle something fierce when I wear it!




Because it was cold, and I wanted to wear hose, I paired it with my little brown brogues.  However, I would also pair it with my little calfskin hair ballet flats which also added a pop of texture at the bottom:



To try to also make these neutrals pop on me, I wore a lovely pink lipstick from Clarins and some rosy blush, which you may not be able to see very well from these pictures!

So what do you think?  Success or not? 

Thanks for all of your great advice from yesterday!  Based on all the good advice, revisitng my old spring clothes, etc, I am going to invest in 3 key pieces for Spring:

1) a dress
2) a new purse
3) new shoes

By focusing on these three items, I will get more bang for my buck and will choose quality items that will be more timeless than perhaps items I may have chosen in the recent past.  I forgot to mention yesterday that I have purposefully decided to NOT spend as much on spring/summer this year, not only to save money, but because the season is just so darn short here.  I would do much better to invest more $ in fall/winter and will so those budgets will be slightly larger.  I also remembered that summer clothese can be gotten much more cheaply and believe me when I tell you that I have lots!  You were all so helpful and I am quite excited to have a mission!
Happy Monday and stay safe out there!

36 comments:

  1. Good morning WMM! So I hung on and got to the good stuff - your scarf is lovely and I really like the outfit you put together! I actually really like neutral colours - camels and mushrooms and beiges. But you're right - there needs to be a bit of colour, and your lipstick and jewellery provide that. I LOVE your amber earrings, they are a beautiful colour. Top marks to Barry on the jewellery-buying!

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    1. Patricia - you made me laugh out loud this morning! Honestly, I would like to be able to avoid the tangents my mind takes me on, but it simply impossible!

      Thanks for the kind words - they are quite spectacular! I have almost NONE of those colours in my wardrobe, so it was a stretch to look for them all and not add something over the top (although the bracelet would qualify as over the top!) Have a wonderful day!

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  2. Gasp, those are my favourite tones up there - all together like that they make me feel so peaceful and calm. WMM, our eyes are the colour!

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    1. I know - you are right - I was quite shocked as I NEVER wear these kinds of tones. FOr me, it was the scarf that really made it all work as there was lots going on, but in a subtle way!

      I am going to have to try more of this..

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  3. FIVE TREK MIND Wendy at least you didn't decide to go with a Vulcan inspired wardrobe. Although I think as a collective we sometimes share the feeling of closet as Deep Space Nine.

    I think that outfit is very chic and the fun bracelet and lovely earrings embellish it. I bought a heather stone cashmere Tippi to complete an outfit last fall, after consulting with our own DBP. While I was initially afraid it would "oatmeal" me, now one of my most-worn jumpers. But you are correct, make-up and reflectors like pearls, earrings or other sparkle a must.

    I enjoy when thoughtful friends give a wearable gift that's outside our habit (not Christmas sweaters you get my drift). Often good to try a different look. Happy Monday!

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    1. Hi! You are right - when I was purging closet this wanted to stay so I had to figure out how to wear it. Plus it is slightly older JC cashmere and actually seems better quality than some of my newer ones!

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  4. Wow - I've never seen you look more beautiful, or younger either. I love neutrals, and only wear them, as I find a lot of color quite aging. Neutrals are so elegant, and you have a lot of "color" in your face, eyes, hair, etc. You look great and hope that you continue down this path.

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    1. Thank you Kathy - that is such a lovely compliment! I was really surprised at how nice this looked in the end! You know, I think all of the colour was drinking way too much crewlade. I like colour and always will, but it was starting to go over the top and wear me out, so everything is now getting toned down and i really noticed that in my keeper piles...

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  5. I agree you look beautiful! When you wear neutrals we notice the glow of your pretty face and excellent personality! Well done!
    I like this three item list. In my most calm inner wardrobe mind I think three things a season are perfect. I wrote about that on Frock Phil but I have never stuck to it, maybe now it is time to revisit the concept?!

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    1. Well believe me - I am NOT going to get high and might about it! Remember disastrous fall list? What is really helping me is the budget and being accountable to you all and husband. It makes a huge difference! I want to be really choosy so I am happy. I look at the Cinzia ROcca coat I got for Christmas which cost and arm and two legs, but which is elegant and that is what I want to start to do, just as I said on your blog this am - less, but all lovely! The interesting thing is that even cheap things can be lovely if they are right for you - for example, the tshirt above cost me $15 at smart set. I have decided that tshirts are not worth spending a lot on as I am always spilling or going through them too quickly. Jeans on the other hand, should be more expensive and fit well I think.

      Oh we will see how we do - it is quite a journey!

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  6. Why do you feel you need to wear the scarf with neutrals? I would pair it up with turquoise, aqua, royal purple or cobalt blue. The outfit is fine but adding your signature blue would give it more zing IMO. I find browns like camel, beige and nude tones go very well with certain blues.

    I've never watched a single episode of Star Trek so I'm right out to lunch on that one. All I know is that there was much more diversity than people would expect on television at the time, it was groundbreaking.

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    1. Hi xoxo - I was using the scarf as the inspiration for the outfit, which is why that scarf. I agree that in the future I could certainly pair the same outfit with one of my blue or other coloured scarves for sure! thanks for the advice!

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    2. Well you know Wendy, sometimes I am pretty dense. I totally missed the part about the inspiration.

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    3. xoxo - you will go no critique from me! I have menopause brain!

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  7. Hi WMM, thanks for the mention. Amber jewelry is very popular in Poland. For some reason, I was never into it but my friend has many beautiful pieces and she always buy a new one on her trips back home.
    As you know I love various tones of beige, especially with black and I love you scarf inspired outfit. Funny that you mention cobblestone, I am wearing cobblestone cardigan today and I love it. In fact, I think it goes with about everything, perfect with my Terra paisley dress, red skirts, black, gray and brown. I will add today's outfit to my post for tomorrow, although no outside pictures due to nasty weather here.

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    1. Would love some ideas - I have never been able to part with it but really struggled to style it!!

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    2. I have that cardigan too AND the turtleneck, I loved that color so much. I wear it with the Timber tweed pencil that is in the same tone but it looks really good with the bright dahlia color. If you have a pencil or the cafe capris, try it and you will see. I guess any bright pink would also look great.

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  8. I love neutrals. I sit here in a grey turleneck, camel cardigan, and black pants. You look elegant in neutrals, I like you in blues, too.

    Never warmed up to Star Trek-- the most hilarious Trekkies are on "Big Bang Theory".

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    1. Lane - you are right - we laugh out loud at Big Bang Theory! I think I will have to try some more neutrals. They do feel calmer! or perhaps subtler shades of colour...

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  9. I love earth tones but Can look quite deathly in them. Your outfit is very chic and does put the focus on your face...looking radiant of course...ya look happy! I am slowly dipping my toes into the scarf strategy. May have to put some on my spring list.

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    1. BTW, I am Star Trek Next Generation girl. Very much looking forward to the new movie coming soon. Chris Pine is way sexier than Leonard ;)

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    2. BB - I cannot disagree with you about Chris Pine - he is very cute!!! I am really working the scarf thing right now - have so many and they are not used enough and they can really make an outfit! I really do not have much in the way of neutrals - that could be considered a gap and that might be a colour (caramel or camel) to look for in JC with my credit $!

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  10. You look very nice in that outfit. As others have said, it highlights you natural good looks and brings out your colouring. What a beautiful scarf, it's very flattering on you and clearly inspiring!

    Though I'm no Trekkie, I got a serious kick out of the first half of your post. I'm married to a true nerd, and am a nerd of a different manner myself (no SciFi or World of Warcraft for me, but plenty of other dorky pursuits).

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    1. HI Abby - thank you so much for the kind words. Honestly - I NEVER thought that people would think that looked good on me! SO there you go - I even have a book that helps you choose flattering colours and all of the colours above are "supposed" to work for me and still I didn't believe it. sigh... that could be a lot of my problem...

      I know - the star trek stuff is funny!

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  11. I love beige and black with a touch of red. Didn't you buy the Toni loafer in red? Perfect with the sweater. I find that a white or chambray shirt under beige brightens it up considerably. Your outfit is very pretty. I love your earrings and your charm bracelet. Very individual and delightful.

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  12. "neutral zone" makes me think of the football penalty, but do not worry, this is not a neutral zone infraction! You look beautiful, and I like your outfit, but I also like xoxo's suggestion of pairing the scarf with bright blue. I think the scarf would be more of a focal point if it were contrasted against cobalt blue. I think the scarf is lovely but gets a bit lost in the neutrals.

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    1. thanks Cate _ will try this for sure! I think xoxo always has great advice!

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  13. Is this blog for all readers or just specifically for Dani?

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    1. Hey Anonymous,

      I like to think it is for everyone - I do call people out now and then and mention them by name - Dani today because of her great post over on her blog about planning an outfit around a scarf. She is a bit of a style inspiration for me, but so are most of the other folks who comments here and always give me great advice. Would love yours too!

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  14. I think the outfit looks absolutely lovely on you, WMM! The colors are some of my favorites (and the ones I wear most frequently, along with black and navy), and I think that they really let 'you' stand out. I say the look is a success! :)

    I watched reruns of the original Star Trek often when I was young girl, and the Next Generation as an teenager and then adult. I have to say that Captain Jean-Luc Picard was always my favorite.

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    1. FFM - I have a terrible crush on Patrick Stewart! I love him! thank you for the great comment - I know you have the eye for this and it means a lot to me to get your advice!!

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    2. Me too, and X-Men had both him AND Hugh Jackman in it! My boys really enjoy that movie, so having the two of them in it, makes it much more enjoyable for me to watch. ;)

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    3. It is funny - you get to watch a lot of movies with boys that you would NEVER watch otherwise. All good stuff, but mine has the stomach for some scary stuff that I cannot do!

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  15. I like how all the colors in the scarf come together in your outfit, well done!

    On a totally unrelated note, we finished House of Cards. Episode 11 is definitely a turn and I thought it would go downhill from there on but somehow it manages to stay good. In Episode 13 you really feel the hand of David Fincher IMO, it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I hope there will be a season 2 and not in a year!

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