Hi all

It’s all systems go here at project "dark romance" HQ. Here’s the post in which I outlined my plan:


After that post a few people asked me to report on developments.

In summary, I made a raid on Etsy and am in the process of acquiring quite a few new accessories. Fortunately most of them were inexpensive (vintage costume jewellery). Even the handmade items were not expensive. I also found some more things in my wardrobe that could be used towards a dark romantic look.

Pearl mania

From Etsy I ordered 4 vintage “pearl” necklaces in different styles.

2 are traditional white pearls and gold, one is black (beads) and gold and one is grey pearls (as suggested by Diana and Angie). All are faux.

I also resurrected a shorter, multi strand of real pearls given to me over 20 years ago.


I was overwhelmed by the choices on Etsy and I ended up ordering 3 different styles. They are Baroque and Victorian (more ornate and romantic) and Celtic (more fierce and dark).

Lace top

I said that I would like an ivory lace blouse. I have to be picky about lace because a lot of the nylon versions make me itchy. I happened upon a cotton/silk blend, collarless blouse on Yoox. It’s by Derek Lam 10 Crosby and was only 63USD (supposedly reduced from 390). It is definitely a change for me because it’s a very pretty, ornate style that I am not usually attracted to (Jussie, the embroidery pattern resembles polka dots - never say never). The sleeves are gorgeous. I can always layer it under a vest if the whole look feels a bit much.

Lace cami

As suggested by Gryffin and Aida I got a white lace cami. It is high fronted, which works well for peeking out of v necks. And cotton, yay!

Fingerless gloves

As suggested by Janet I ordered some fingerless gloves, handmade from Etsy. I was tempted to get a lace pair but lace isn’t very warm, so I went for functionality. I ordered a black studded pair that is much prettier than it sounds.

Floral handbag charms

Gryffin suggested that I take a look at the Coach range of floral bags and bag charms. They are totally delicious but outside my budget at present.

However, I really liked the idea of a floral charm to freshen up my existing bags. So, I got a red fabric rose charm from H&M. (Tip: items sold as key rings make cute and inexpensive handbag charms!) The first pic shows it on a handbag that I already had.

I also ordered a black leather rose charm (handmade) from Etsy.

Tulle suggested looking at Ted Baker. I have my eye on a Ted Baker dark floral handbag that is currently half price. Still thinking on that...

Lace up boots

I got some knee high lace up boots on sale. This was the most expensive addition. I got them in black (I was torn, because burgundy was also available). Initially I thought I could resurrect an older (10 years +) black lace up pair that I already have but I tried them out and decided that they are a little too worn and RATE for my current style.


I checked out Etsy, as suggested by Srah, for velvet coats and jackets. I didn't find exactly what I am looking for. I am looking for longer, single breasted, mandarin collar, and a bit military. In plum, burgundy, dark green or dark teal. As this will be a big spend, I’d like it to be something fairly classic in style. That is, fairly streamlined and without flounces or peplums. The search continues.

In-closet finds

I went through my closet and found some additional items that could contribute to the look. See Finds for pics.

*black waistcoat I bought in the 90s. I wore this once during summer in the challenge.

*black suede Furla cross body. Looks a lot like velvet. It’s around 10 years old. I forgot I had it. I think it will work nicely with this look.

*black mesh top from Witchery.

*black ruffled skirt from Metalicus.

*black military style cardigan.

*wine coloured embroidered silk blouse from Anthro, which has been waiting for me to do some repairs on it for at least 2 years. My bad. I did them on the weekend so it’s ready to go now.

I have been playing around with a few ideas over the last couple of weeks, and I have included a few snaps to show how it’s going so far. Pic 1/2 shows the new H&M handbag charm. Pic 3 shows the resurrected pearls. I think I will be able to do better when my other accessories start to arrive

If you’ve made it this far, I welcome any comments or further suggestions.

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