Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mixed Messages

In the midst of our delightfully brisk mid-Atlantic September came this spate of warm, humid days this week – Mother Nature rebelling, I suppose, against our desire to have predictability in the universe. So today I rebelled too, in my own way, against the more trendy outfits I’ve been wearing all summer and chose a leisurely vibe, going against several conventions of the season in the process.

For instance, I selected casual Liz Claiborne slacks from a box of clothing sent to me by my best friend’s mother, Joyce, at the beginning of summer. Nothing wrong with that, per se, except the simple black fabric was dotted with tiny cream colored flowers, far more suitable for spring than autumn. No matter. They were pretty and I felt like wearing them, convention be damned. I topped the relaxed pants with a crisply tailored, button-down Liz Claiborne blouse in silky cream, a sort of fitted counterpoint to the trousers and their roomy, elasticized waist. Over the stylish blouse I wore a loose black cotton vest with a fluttery lapel by International Concepts (INC) for Macy’s, a decidedly laidback contrast to the collared shirt.

My exercise in eclecticism didn’t end there. I opted for summery jute-wedged sandals from Nine West’s Vintage America Collection, and paired a mixed-metal necklace that I bought in Ireland this summer with mixed-metal drop earrings I’ve owned for decades, and then stuck an unconventional cream and black Dea Dread into my hair, made by Thea Osato of Baltimore ( Perhaps the seasonally appropriate taste of a fashionista, even a vintage one, eluded me today, but I sure was comfortable! And besides, the balmy weather beckoned for summery clothes.
Despite having a vast online catalog of categorical information available to me at the stroke of a computer key, sometimes the unmistakably old-fashioned Dewey-Decimal system just works better for the type of period research I’m doing for my employer at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. My favorite librarian, Peggy Clifton, used her iPhone to snap this photo of me today working at the card catalog in my nonconformist duds, happily foregoing more glamorous garb for a time when Mother Nature chooses to communicate more clearly that winter is nigh.

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