purple reign

For this week's FBFF (Fashion Beauty Friend Friday) questions, the topic is how we go about choosing an outfit. So I'm illustrating it with a little photo shoot I did last Sunday with my old man, Mr. D. I feel this is a perfect example of not really getting it right. Last summer while on holiday with my friend Annie & her cool sons in the Dominican Republic, I got inspired by the colours during lunch at the beach in the rain. I wanted to wear forest green and luminescent shades of purple and navy, so I built this ensemble around that lunch. In my head.

But as Mr. D pointed out, somehow I ended up looking like someone's mad Gran. Still, since Tabio so kindly gifted me my choice of two pair of tights that really cover my whole wardrobe this winter - one in purple, the other in beige - the least I could do is post these shots here, if for no other reason than to show you what not to wear.

Jury's out: what do you think? Tell the truth: I can take it. And besides, soon as we took the shots, I ran inside and changed.

My FBFF questions:

1. How do you determine what you will wear that day?
The process is similar to how I cook: I'm usually in the mood for something, and I kind of have this idea in my head.. then I see what ingredients I've got handy in the closet or refrigerator, and whip it together. Like with my cooking, it's not always successful. But I rarely starve, or walk out naked.

2. Do you plan outfits out in advance for a whole week, month, weekend?
Oh, god, no. Absolutely not. Does anyone? If so, I'd like to meet her (or him) and shake their hand.

3. Do you have any specific way of tracking outfits and items already worn so you don't repeat?
Haha, no, but I remember as a teenager, we all had these little diaries. I'd cram so much information into these tiny white square in a really fine point pen. The girl who could go the longest without repeating won, obviously (my rotation goal was about three weeks). But then again, I did grow up on Long Island, so that should explain a lot. I will often meet a friend a few weeks after I've seen then and realise I'm wearing the exact same 'outfit' I wore the last time I saw them. These days, I dress primarily for comfort and mainly wear the same pair of nude H&M riding pant style leggings.

4. How do you discover new combinations of items in your closet? (Trial try-ons? Hanging items together?)
Like a musician, I start composing in my head: it's an 'organic process'. I usually don't try things on, just feel in the mood for something. Sometimes I can't find a key ingredient and have to take everything off but usually I'll just substitute something else. I hate that feeling of being out across town and being stuck all day in the wrong outfit, but there are worse things to happen in life.

I was fascinated recently during our recent a sleepless sleepover with Shini, Kit and Jen, to watch their getting dressed process: Kit in particular did that stylist thing of wrapping a belt, say, around a dress on a hanger, or holding something up together. I probably should to that, but I don't.

5. To streamline the process for 2011 what is one new thing you can do to cut down your dressing time?
Well as I get dressed really fast (I'd make a great fireman), I don't know how to cut the time down. (And that still doesn't explain why I'm often late: probably because I'm not as good at time management online). I'd love in 2011 if we redid our home and I had a really really fabulous closet/wardrobe/storage system, because my closet is actually divided in two rooms and the thing under the bed, and sod's law, I have to look in all three til I find what I want. My organisation system is totally crap. But even with the most wonderful storage system, I still don't know if that would help me get out the door on time. I suppose giving away my laptop would help speed things up.

I am wearing: vintage fifties faux fur jacket, Claude Montana purple leather biker's jacket a British friend gave me in the 80s in NY in lieu of the $100 she owed me, thrift shop skirt I bought 10 years ago for £1 and haven't worn yet (should I? I can't decide), very very old v neck navy jumper, oversized navy AA sheer shirt (which has zero bulk factor), forest green leather backpack by Coach that I bought before I got married and got put on restricted spending, SNOOD which was the most thoughtful Christmas gift from Jennifer, by Jigsaw, necklaces I made myself, sunglasses by Fabris Lane, vintage shoes by Prada, and my warm luscious tights, thank you TABIO.

Thank you Katy Rose of Modly Chic for hosting FBFF. You spark off the most interesting conversations. Oh and if you want to read a hilarious and accurate depiction of the getting dressed process, run don't walk to today's post on the Style Crusader.


thekiwibex said...

You know, I actually quite liked the ensemble until I read the 'someone's mad Gran' description and now that's all I can see! Anyway, I do think it works, but maybe without the faux fur jacket?

jill said...

; ) see, that's what I mean: it's all so subjective, style, I mean. If Chris Bailey had the models wearing it at the Burberry show we'd all be queuing up.. it's all so Emperor's New Clothes (fashion) which is why, I feel, we should never get too fussed about it. It's meant to be fun.

Thank you KiwiBex! I posted and was thinking - is anyone even out there? It's such a beautiful day I hope everyone's gone out - we're about to soon as I make a yummy coffee.

daisychain said...

This is such a fabulous outfit, I love how it's all purple but the textures add dimension. Just wonderful x

Pearl Westwood said...

I love the outfit, I think its just when you pulled the scarf up which made you look like mad-gran, the rest looks rather flapperish if the flappers were in (erm what the hell do we call it now the teens??)2011 and not the 20's. I loved the way you wrote this post, really got me thinking too. How do I get dressed? Usually I just pick outsomething and throw other stuff at it, but sometimes I wil style up a stock of outfits I want to wear and have them hanging ready to go! xx

Anonymous said...

I agree with TheKiwiBex - the outfit works without the jacket. I do also think that if you accent it with the beige tights it also might work.

BTW - I think of my outfits from night before - I have been doing that FOREVER!


styleeast said...

Jill, I think this outfit is fabulous, you're like a cooler Jackie O with the headscarf and shades. And I adore those shoes, and the colours, everything!

I usually start the getting ready process by thinking what particular item I want to wear (today it was my creepers shoes, so it needed something a bit girly to contrast, have gone with a midi jersey skirt), then decide if I feel like blending in or sticking out (hat or no hat, lipstick or not, heels or flats etc etc). And, sad though it is, I always have a reserve 'bank' of outfits in my head that are just waiting for an occasion! I probably think about clothes FAR too much...

jill said...

Me too (think about clothes probably far too much) - it's not even conscious, it just keeps floating into my head. Sometimes I'll be staring off into space and he'll ask what I'm thinking and it sounds so superficial to say 'I was just wondering if I carried the heels to wear with those leggings what shoes I'd wear that are light enough that when I switched they could fit into my Coach backpack.' So I'll just say I was thinking about the situation in Tunisia, or whatever.

They say men think about sex every 20 minutes. I wonder if anyone's done a study on how often women think about what they're going to wear.

I love your answers so far - thank you. xx

Unknown said...

Love your answers, getting dressed really is a bit of a formula for me. How to wear something old I'd forgotten about but can't bring myself to chuck, with something bought the previous day with the tags still on in a way that is flattering and appropriate for the occasion. Love the different shades of purple within the outfit. I can relate to planning outfits in your head which don't quite work in reality, though I love the 'mad gran aspect' of this. Even though I don't take outfit pics all the time, having a blog has certainly helped with figuring out new combinations for things,

Katie said...

I love the skirt! You really should wear it :)

The first pictures with the snood did make me think gran after you mentioned it, but I really like the rest of the outfit. Then again, if it's cold, throw on the snood. Fashion's really whatever makes you happy.

Kit said...

I love the whole purple thing here and you're bang on trend this season, maybe add a cream skinny belt for accent colour, plus a 1940s style felt hat to add chicness (SHUT UP KIT, STOP BEING A STYLIST FOR ONE SEC).

Love Food said...

I read your comments and a couple of people said the fur jacket doesn't go-I don't agree, I think it looks amazing with the purple skirt (which by the way you should wear all the time-it's gorgeous) but the purple skirt goes perfectly with the shade of brown in the jacket. Also I love the combination of the purple tights and brown shoes.

I don't tend to plan my outfits, although sometimes I do think about what I'll wear the night before but more times than not I'll end up wearing something completely different anyway. If I get it wrong, I do feel very self-concious when I'm out-although we can't all get it right all of the time.

Oh and your biker jacket looks great too-more of a relaxed look!

Lydia xxx

San said...

Jill, I hate to break it to you, but your lovely Mr. D has no clue of womens style. ;-) Nownow, I think your outfit is perfectly alright. And even if you look to him like "someone's mad Gran", better that than looking like an ordinary Gran, I say.

Thank you for your kind comment and counting me as one of your friends, I feel truly honoured. And yes my cold is almost gone.

Have a great new week.

Anonymous said...

Great analogy. Dressing IS like cooking!

The Auspicious Life

WeShop said...

I think the outfit works well, Jill. The wee flirty skirt is balanced out by the T-bar shoes and the faux fur is of the non bulky variety. Love the colour of the tights too. A success! xx

Shini said...

I would wear this EXACT outfit to LFW if I had the choice Jill, and especially loving the fourth shot with you and the glasses. Seriously cannot connect this to that secret you told me today. (I'M SO TELLING EVERYONE.)

I kid I kid.

Style At Every Age said...

I don't think a mad gran would have legs like that! Wow what a pair of pins! I don't think there is anything wrong with the outfit and I like the way you styled it. If you saw one of your cool friends, oh god I have forgotten her name, the brown haired girl who looks good in H&M, you would be snapping away like mad thinking she looked really good and so would we!

Ellie said...

Mad gran?! I don't think I'm looking at the same photos because I think you look great! Especially with the fur, not despite it. :) x

Unknown said...

Wow. It's been quite some time since I last commented! I have been reading though. Personally, I don't like the fur coat with that skirt only because it's too much of a shiny combination for my eyes. I do love the leather jacket on the other hand! I love the skirt as well. The wrinkles in it give your ensemble really cool texture.I also love your stockings and your necklaces a lot! I think with the leather jacket the outfit looks very feminine chic with a punch of punk-rock. Oh, and to add to your post...the way I go about choosing what to wear is simple. Since I spend a good amount of time reading fashion blogs and websites daily I think of the look I want to show off whether it be preppy or rebellious or whatever and I put my ensemble together. I start of with choosing the shoes and work my way up from there.

Check out my trendy blog!

Marin said...

'Mad Gran?' If so then I'm all for the mad gran look. I love it!

Heather Fonseca said...

I like it! I think I like the leather jacket better than the fur one, but purple is hard to get right. I've been thinking about the color ever since I bought a pair of purple pumps. It's not an easy color to work with. I'm hoping to find a purple purse, but it's not easy.


when BABI speaks said...

i love the skirt! i think the outfit works well even without the jacket. just put some bold/statement accessories and you're done! :-)

Babi :-)


adrielleroyale said...

I LOVE this color combo!! Great outfit!

Anonymous said...

Oh your comments are so hilarious and delightfully supportive to wake up to on a rainy day! Looking Fab, I think I know the 'friend' you mean and she's actually an ex friend - she literally unfriended me on facebook because I finally said no to one of her 'favours' (I can say this cause she's definitely not reading my blog no more ; )

Truly: it is such a nice feeling to know not just how supportive you are of me, but we all are of each other (well, most of us). Pret that quip about Monica Bellucci had me roaring in the aisles.

It's 'pissing down with rain' as Mr. Dot would say but today I'm letting my smile be my umbrella! Have a lovely Monday chickens - I'll be posting later today. xoxoxoxoxo

(oops forgot to sign in: it's jill/dot)

Anonymous said...

p.s. TRENDY DWARF!!! Hello darling! I was thinking of you and wondering if you were still out there - yes that is the best advice and actually that's how I start: with the shoes and work my way up. I shall quote you as the theme of a future post and link back to you. Thanks for your lovely comment, I'll visit you back later.

Martha said...

Love the outfit, the different shades of purple work really well together I think.

I don't see the "mad gran" image. Teehee x

jessica said...

I actually really like the outfit, with out the jackets. If I had to pick one though, Id go with the faux fur and if I had been wearing it, I think perhaps a little blazer could have been super cute wit it. The colors are good together and also... well done with those pins! :)

chinadoll said...

I'm saying the fur + the sunglasses + the pulled up snood is less 'mad gran' more Russian oligarchess going incognito - as of yet not a look sent down the catwalks much. Maybe a case of the less-is-more, I think without the snood it's lovely.
It's so interesting to hear about other peoples getting dressed processes. I tend to pick an item then dress up/down/around from there, often to the point where I'm not even wearing the original item as something better turned up...


Style Odyssey said...

i don't see anything "mad gran" about this. but hey, it could be a quirky thing, i mean you could really push it into mad gran territory IF that suited you (which i don't think it would because your style, as you've said, is more "classic with a twist") but still...food for thought.

anyhow, i think this look is fun and i love the color combos! i always like dark moody colors worn together. this outfit is different from what you normally wear but i think it works, especially with the claude montana jacket.

it's smart that you hold on to clothing which still fits and is in good shape. you have no idea how much i regret getting rid of SOME of my older stuff from the 80s, 90s and beyond.

such an interesting post, great comments, too. the psychology of getting dressed runs rather deep, don't you think?


the Citizen Rosebud said...

Since I subscribe to the Grey Gardens aesthetic, you KNOW I like your Gran ensemble. Well, honestly the skirt and down. And the coat. But yeah, it's slightly off, but very very close.

But I love seeing pics of you, my Polka Dot. And your grand legs. So more please, purple rain down on me! -Bella Q

Krystle said...

Mad gran??!! No way!! haha! I think the skirt is the best piece here, and looks great!

SabinePsynopsis said...

Aaahhh Jill, you made me laugh so much. With your legs you just CANNOT look like a mad granny. But I know what you mean - I had this vision of purple, brown curdoroy flares and stripes this morning. Classic 70s. SHOULD have worked, but it did not. At least I didn't feel it. Others might have thought it perfectly fine... Like your outfit here. In the end it has to FEEL right. I already gave my spiel on the question at Veshoevius' blog - the one that made me really giggle was 'Do you wear an outfit twice?' What the heck?! I normally wear 'a uniform', I can't fill my brain with bothering if I've worn something before. xoxo

Shopgirl said...

Haha! I love your comment about how often women think about clothes vs how often men think about sex, Jill!! Reckon it's probably MORE often that women think about clothes!! Haha!!

I think the outfit works really well in the 3rd/4th photo with the leather jacket (minus the faux fur and the snood).

I'm like you that I usually have one piece that I'm "in the mood" for and build an outfit out of that and whatever else is clean!! Haha! I repeat outfits ALL the time! If something works and I feel good in it, I'll wear it again and again. Like you say, there's nothing worse than being stuck in something that doesn't work for a whole day! If I'm experimenting, I'll make sure it's a day I'm at home for most of it, so I can change if needs be.


mtg said...

Even Mr. Dot gets it wrong sometimes. Jill, you look fantastic in both jackets or without. And I remember those beautiful summer pictures you're referring to. How could I forget those colors?!
how clever of you to add coral nail polish.

xoxoH said...

I love the outfit. All the different shades of purple with the added brown is perfect! The biker jacket is incredible.


TM said...

I think you're adorable! If anyone can pull of the outfit, you certainly can. They are all great pieces seperately and I'm opposed to them being worn together either. I just laughed loudly at my desk reading your answers - I'm glad you rarely starve or leave the house naked! (I use the same process cooking and getting dressed and so far so good!)

Kiki said...

i like the whole outfit and for me the faux fur jacket gives the whole outfit more edges - i think the most important thing is, that you feel confident in your outfit - than it cant look bad, because fashion has so many ways of interpretation - some people will like some not!