Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crowing For Black

With winter’s chill finally settling upon the east coast (and a scattering of snow on the ground to prove it), I pulled out an old staple today from long, long ago – a basic black, long-sleeved, fitted T-shirt dress by Fads for JCPenney that I have owned since the mid-1970s. Made in Canada, I knew the thick cotton would envelope me in warmth; the simple, unadorned fabric an ideal backdrop for a splash of muted color on this pale, sunny day.

I paired my tea-length frock with tall leather black boots by Pleasers that are just as old as the dress and a triple-buckle stretchy black belt from The Limited Too. For jewelry, I chose a smoky crystal pendant necklace and crystal beaded earrings with matching bracelet that had belonged to my grandmother. To add some color and a little more warmth, I donned a shawl of silk chiffon flocked with hand-painted velvet roses colored softly in pink and lime, a luxurious birthday gift from my dear friends, Robert and Jan, several years ago, and fastened the shawl at my shoulder with a "snowflake" pin of rhinestones, another heirloom of my grandmother’s.

My commute to the Library of Congress was uneventful, save for the incessant squawking of a large crow from the top of a light post as I walked across the long parking lot at the subway station. As I walked toward the train, the crow flew from one light post to the next, staying with me, squawking down at me all the while. I wondered what on earth about my attire had him so agitated. Then it dawned on me. I looked up at him and smiled. "Yes, Crow, I know you like shiny, sparkly things, but you can’t have the rhinestone pin gleaming up at you from my shoulder". Goes to show you that complements come in many forms!
Ma Petite Shoe owner Susannah Siger shows me colorful heels from designer Jeffrey Campbell
After work today, I stopped in the wonderfully eccentric Hampden section of Baltimore city to check out a tiny boutique called Ma Petite Shoe (, and was blown away by their selection of gorgeous and creatively designed shoes. I’ve been dying to take a look at their inventory of unique footwear for a long time, and shop-owner Susannah Siger made me feel welcome at once. I saw some colorful high-heeled pumps to die for, and had I not had trouble with the parking meter out front, I would have spent an exorbitant amount of time trying them all on. Alas, I had to leave before succumbing to temptation, although I did see a pair of cognac-hued leather fringed cowboy boots whose siren song just might lure me back with a gift card that has been burning a hole in my pocket since Christmas.

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