Tonal Denim and Ornate Paisley

ootd chambray paisley

I’ve found a masterpiece in you, a work of art it’s true. And I treasure you, my OOTD.

Although the paintbrush and I have never been close pals, I guess I could still call myself an artist. A painter may mix paints on his palette to create masterpieces, but I also mix styles, patterns, and accessories to create the perfect OOTD in my chain reaction fashion series that even Bob Ross would be proud of. And in this case, an ornate splash of 1970s paisley over a denim color palette.

Chain Reaction Fashion: March | February | January | December

ootd chambray paisley

vintage paisley blouse (similar) | Old Navy chambray blouse (similar) | Levi’s jeans (similar) | vintage Dooney & Bourke (similar) | White Mountain booties (similar) | Calvin Klein beanie (similar) | Urban Outfitters necklace (similar)

OOTD chambray denim paisley

I picked up this blouse from an artist’s studio of sorts. It was a small neighborhood cornerstone that always appeared perpetually closed for business, the window displays dusty from neglect. One sunny spring day it was actually open, with boxes of goods placed outside as if for a sidewalk sale. The owner sold knick knacks from the ghost of decades past – old vinyls, collectible toys, faded posters, and my favorite of all – vintage clothes.

“You’re welcome to go into the back, there’s more through that door,” the friendly owner said to me.

vintage paisley blouse (similar) | Old Navy chambray blouse (similar) | Levi’s jeans (similar) | vintage Dooney & Bourke (similar) | White Mountain booties (similar) | Calvin Klein beanie (similar) | Urban Outfitters necklace (similar)

OOTD chambray paisley

I tepidly wandered towards the rear of the small store, through an open doorway. It led to a surprisingly larger room that was sparsely furnished and in need of a clean up. Probably used as a storage space for the store front, it also resembled an artists studio for building Burning Man sculptures. I thought I saw remnants of what looked like the cross section of a rocketship, complete with three fins and a circled window. It seemed like the kind of space where dreams are realized and art comes to life, and also where I might find a rat or two.

Along with cans of old paint brushes, on a table hidden under a pile of fabric and clothes, I saw the sleeve of this blouse dangling out.

A little bit oversized, with a slight trapeze silhouette, it is big enough to throw over my outfit as an artists smock shirt, complete with side pockets. Perhaps it had a hand in painting masterpieces in its former life, and fate had spared it from being accidentally marred by paint.

With an ornate paisley-esque print in a color palette that is so 1970s, I couldn’t think of anything more complementary to wear underneath it than a tonal denim look, featuring my chambray shirt from last month. The resulting outfit reads off duty artist who turned in her wooden color palette in exchange for a vintage Dooney purse in hand.

I recently passed by the corner where the studio once stood and it appears vacant now. A faded “for lease” sign by the window is patiently waiting for another business to see potential in its space. I suppose the previous owner has launched himself into another artistic venture. Or maybe, to outer space.

WOW Rosie!

If you don’t know Rosie the Riveter, she was the World War II poster girl that encouraged women everywhere to contribute to the war effort. As men lined up in droves to fight in the war, they left behind vacant factory jobs – a void that women filled. For the first time, women took on jobs traditionally reserved for men and experienced economic independence outside the home. The work they signed up for was no easy task either. It was often dangerous, and in addition to riveting, they also operated heavy tools, bagged gun powder, and made weapons such as rockets and bombs.

It is for these reasons that the famous image of Rosie remains a well known cultural icon. She blazed the way for independent women everywhere, and without even knowing it, also became a style heroine in her own right. Rosie is proof that fashion is not frivolous – instead, fashion is strongly connected to world events. Because women worked in factories during the war, they had to wear the appropriate pant and work shirt uniform. And ever since then, women everywhere have been able to share in the delight of putting on their pants one leg at a time, just like men.

I’ve been on a bit of a denim craze lately, mainly on the hunt for a denim trucker jacket. However, I stumbled upon this utilitarian jacket at Crossroads – it’s just the right type of denim jacket I never knew I was looking for. The pragmatic design seems appropriate for the modern day Rosie. For a more uniform look, I wore it with my new favorite pair of chambray jogger pants. A well worn in tee shirt with patches completes the “we can do it” look. Can’t you tell from the patches that I’m a classy lady? I don’t mind rolling up my sleeves to get my elbows dirty.

Of course, Rosie wouldn’t be without her headscarf. I’m thankful that this vintage headscarf is a fashion statement, and that I don’t actually need it to protect my hair from the flying sparks of a rivet gun. My flexed Rosie pose may not be as fierce as the poster girl, but I’m stronger than I appear.

Dare to look riveting!


vintage scarf (similar scarf) / thrifted Gap jacket (similar jacket) / Zara tee / Urban Outfitters jogger pant (similar jogger pant) / vintage Yoyo shoes (similar shoes and shoes) / airplane necklace (similar necklace)