Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sapphires And Chocolate

As surely as these are two of my favorite delights (sapphire is my birthstone), so, too, was today’s temperate clime an unexpected but welcome delight. Drizzly fog was forecast, but instead the day dawned bright and clear. And while only the palest beams emanated from winter’s orb, the temperature soared, despite it being a January day in the mid-Atlantic. Yesterday the high was 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Today reached a balmy 71 degrees in our nation’s capitol as I made my way from Baltimore, Maryland, to the Library of Congress for a day of research on behalf of my employer. A week ago today the temperature never rose above 22 degrees at my house.

Still, as I sat at my dressing table this morning putting the finishing touches on my makeup, I had no idea what I’d be wearing, nor how warm the day would get. As I stepped into my walk-in closet, I found myself looking around and saying: "Well, inspiration… Strike!"   Surely there was something I hadn’t yet worn that was cool enough for a mild day but not a sleeveless summer frock. Then I spied it: a gorgeous V-necked top by Tribal from Bulgaria with three-quarter length sleeves in rich tones of deep brown interspersed with faint hints of sapphire and cream, overlaid with a satiny floral design in dark chocolate. This shirt was among many interesting and beautiful garments tucked into several boxes of cast-off clothing sent to me last year by my best friend’s mother, Joyce, in Spokane. I thought I had worn, and previously blogged about, everything I had received from Joyce. But here was this top, hanging there, begging for its day in the sun.

I tried it on with leggings, but no. That wouldn’t do. I settled on classic, vintage bellbottom jeans by Levi Strauss & Company which I have owned since the 1970s, the denim itself a serendipitous discovery in some boxes of my own, which I had hauled with me as I moved from state to state over the years, finally unearthing after losing 70 pounds in 2011 and finding I had nothing to fit my new, slender self. I was amazed when I realized I had saved all my favorite vintage clothes from that era, and ecstatic when I discovered that, having lost so much weight, everything in those cardboard containers fit me perfectly again. In fact, that’s why this blog was launched in November of 2011, to celebrate my reprisal of this eclectic collection from my youth.

I wanted to bring out a bit of the blue in the top, so I selected earrings and a bracelet of iridescent, indigo-hued beads from Macy’s. I chose my tallest platform loafers, by Studio Paolo, to lengthen and accentuate the belled pant legs, and donned a fringed, faux-fur sweater vest by Belle Fare, a 2011 Christmas gift from my dear friends, Robert and Jan. I added a toast-colored faux-fur neck wrap, a gift from my sister, Leslie, and headed out into the sun. I soon ditched the sweater and the neck wrap. What a marvelous day!

Snow is forecast for this coming Saturday, and by the weekend they’re saying we’ll be back in the 30s here in Baltimore County. No matter. Today I enjoyed a mini-spring of sorts, a "May day" with no flowers, save for the wispy coffee-colored blooms on my shirt. It was glorious.

“Hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown. Once you're brown, you'll find out you're blue. As blue as indigo. And you know what that means. Indigo. Indigoing. Indigone.”
-- Tom Robbins
, Jitterbug Perfume

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