These outfits are comprised almost entirely of golden oldies, which feels good after sporting lots of new items this Spring and Summer. Apart from our rainy weekend, we continue to have record-breaking extraordinary Summer weather which means that I can wear sheer and flimsy separates with open-heeled shoes and no topper. Glorious!
Creating outfits with a soft, pretty, refined and ladylike integrity is one of my style goals, which makes Retro Futurism the style persona I aspire to on this leg of my journey. This means wearing updated Retro pieces with a big dose of Modern. In both of these outfits the tops are Retro and their support acts are Modern. I love the delicate fabrication of the tops and their intricate design details. They make the outfits feel more refined and soft, which is just what I’m after.
I seldom pair two black separates to create an outfit because I find the combination too severe for my style. And it just doesn’t make me happy. But in this instance, there are several factors that soften the pairing. My skin peeking through the black lace breaks up the expanse of black. Green specs, gold clutch and pony footwear break up the black a little further, and the cropped length of the pants and the short sleeves of the top showcase less black and more skin.
My silk harem pants are six years old, and my cropped lace blouse is three years old. Both pieces are still going strong and have a high longevity factor. The blouse is too retro to date, while the pants are too avant-garde to be affected by trends. The pieces work well together because the pants look best with a cropped top that showcases its high waist and very poufy and pleated silhouette. I wore the outfit with sheer black hose, gold ankle strap pumps, and radio clutch to a cocktail party last year. This year I updated the dressy combination with animal print ankle strap pumps and a gold clutch. No need for jewellery other than my watch and wedding ring. It’s the most comfortable cocktail outfit of all time.
The A.L.C Clay print silk top is a recent NAS purchase, which I adored from the moment I saw it because of its glam retro appeal. I bought it to wear with my black fit-and-flared Valentino skirt and these harem pants. Although both bottoms look best with shorter tops, the welt of this blouse makes it sit higher on the hip which creates interesting proportions that are just flattering enough. It also gives the roomy front pleated drape of the pants some structure.
I’m generally not into wearing this much drape in one outfit. But the fabrics are woven, keeping them crisp and dressy, and the lengths of the pieces are short, minimizing the potential for arty drape to overwhelm my frame. The pony pumps mimic the pattern of the blouse for a bit of matchy-matchy fun. Why not! I’ve worn this combination out to lunch with a friend and to shop with a client and felt fab on both occasions.
These outfits make me smile for reasons that go beyond my love for the actual silhouettes. First, harem pants were my “poison eye” until we visited Tel Aviv and saw women sport them with verve and panache. I was greatly inspired and bought these soon after that trip. They remind me of how important it is to keep an open fashion mind. Second, the lace top was a birthday gift from my sweet Papa which makes it extra special. Third, I keep on wearing these pony Okala ankle strap pumps because they kick things up a notch. That’s a good reminder to wear the HECK out of the pieces you love.
And last, my very feminine and ladylike late Mum would have turned 74 today. She loved wearing black and white, making these outfits dead right to post on her special day.