Thursday, November 7, 2013

Red, Black and Chic All Over

I always do a happy dance when my best friend, Kari’s, mom, Joyce, sends me another box of hand-me-down clothing, and the box I received a couple of weeks ago was no exception.  Among the delights, which I will be featuring in coming weeks, was a red and black top by Clear Sky Petites, which still had the tags on it.  I happen to know there are no SteinMart stores near Spokane, where Joyce lives, but there is a SteinMart store in Dallas that Kari and her mom (and I) love to visit whenever possible, so this blouse must have been purchased during one of Joyce’s visits to Dallas to see her daughter.  SteinMart consistently has amazing bargains and quality merchandise. Whenever I visit Kari in Dallas, we always try to find time to buy a few fabulous things there.

I don’t know why Joyce decided she didn’t want this brand new blouse, but her wonderful generosity is definitely my gain.  I love it, and not just because red is my favorite color.  The oversized graphic houndstooth is up-to-the-minute and I adore the “twisted knot” of fabric at the bodice. I paired the top today with my favorite vintage black “travel” slacks from JCPenney, which I bought when I worked for the giant retailer in the 1970s during my college years in northern California.  I added comfortable black booties by Pink & Pepper, a black and red beaded necklace from Fire & Ice Jewelers of Baltimore, some drop earrings that are at least 40 years old, and a bracelet of painted wooden disks that I bought last year at Claire’s.

I can't say that the
badges I wear to
access buildings on
the NIH campus are
particularly stylish,
but wear them I must
Since the mid-Atlantic weather today started out rainy and mild but was forecast to turn clear and cold and windy by midafternoon, I added a rayon sweater by Elementz from Macy’s with ruched, three-quarter length sleeves and a gorgeously textured red knit scarf that I found at the American Craft Council’s juried craft show at the Baltimore, Maryland, Convention Center a few years ago. I carried my umbrella in my tote, which came in handy during my long commute by car, subway and on foot from my home in Baltimore County to the National Library of Medicine on the sprawling National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda.

No sooner had I taken a seat in the library’s main reading room when one of the senior archivists came over to pay me a compliment on my outfit.  He has been assisting me in my research and seemed quite pleased with my choice of today's attire.  As a matter of fact, so was I.

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