Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bohemian Spring

Well, now. I typically tend more toward "uptown" when I dress for the Library of Congress than über casual. But today I could not pass up an opportunity to go really bohemian. As I continue my current trend of wearing green in honor of spring, I came across a pair of sage hued, well-worn, combed cotton pants in my drawer this morning by Air Express. They go beyond vintage, as my mother found them for me in a thrift shop back in the 1980s, so these trousers were already old when I became their owner over 25 years ago!
Their timeless appeal, however, cannot be denied. No ordinary waistband here. These unusual straight-leg trousers have half their fly buttons facing outward and the other half facing inward at the top of the waistband. Once a belt is woven through the rather low-set belt loops, the top of the extraordinarily wide waistband, with its peaked "lapels", is folded back down over the belt. Now the top buttons are on the outside of the pants with the others.  Sheer genius!

And oh, so unique. How could my late mother have resisted buying them for me, knowing I would love such an unconventional detail? She couldn’t resist, and neither can I. I adore them, and have not been able to wear them for almost two decades, as my weight had increased beyond their diminutive size.

Now, however, they fit me perfectly again. Last summer, when I first unearthed several boxes of favorite old clothes I had stashed in my cellar after gaining weight, these pants were part of that serendipitous discovery, though they were missing some buttons. I searched through my grandmother’s extensive button collection and found a set of eight matching horn buttons, enough to put the pants back into action. I sewed on the buttons and put the slacks away for the winter. It was pure joy to find them in my pants drawer this morning, all ready to go. I couldn't resist building an outfit around them!

I dressed the trousers up a little with a sage green, stud-embellished Tee-shirt by Style & Co. from Macy’s, then guaranteed a laid-back vibe by donning a loose, black cotton International Concepts (I.N.C.) vest with a fluttery border, also from Macy’s. I wove a vintage braided black leather belt through the belt loops and tried on my favorite black platform loafers by Studio Paolo for JCPenney. Perfect. Adding only a bracelet of black stones, a simple chain necklace and earrings of olive and amber glass beads by Mixit, and a delicate woven brass ear cuff from last year’s Renaissance Festival to ensure a bohemian sensibility, I declared myself ready and set out on my way.

Über casual never looked so chic!

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