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.

Lucky in Gold and Green

This 1960s golden brocade shift dress was my lucky find at the end of the rainbow. The A-line silhouette is most flattering and the long sleeves help balance out the short flared hemline. My favorite detail is the button on the back. It provides an unexpected surprise for when heads turn to watch as I walk away. I’m cute as a button, quite literally.

To prevent me from looking too washed out in light gold from head to toe, I opted for a pop of color in a bright tight. Ruby red, midnight blue, or plum purple? Any jewel-toned hue will do, but my choice is emerald green, perfect for St. Patty’s Day.

Although the dress is plain in style, the brocade fabric is what elevates it. Brocade is a fabric woven on a loom, typically with multicolored silk threads. To identify brocade, check both sides of the fabric: the topside should look like embroidery throughout while the underside has layers of thread. For these reasons, brocade was a luxury fabric worn by nobility since way back in the Middle Ages. No wonder I feel royal in this dress, even though it don’t run in my blood.

To finish the royal look, I must adorn myself with baubles fit for a queen. Jewels on my ears and an emerald stone on my finger – how do you do? How about a gold blingy brooch with a bangle to match? Your royal highness requests it. Only the finest shoes will do for my regal feet; these velvet rhinestoned beauties simply beg me to kick up their heels in song and Riverdance.

Cute as a button in my noble gold dress and lean green legs, don’t you dare pinch me. Unless you want to be pinched back tenfold.


thrifted jacket (similar jacket & jacket) / vintage dress (similar dress & dress) / Xhilaration tights (similar tights) / Poetic License shoes (similar shoes) / vintage Dooney & Bourke purse (similar purse) / vintage brooch (similar brooch) / vintage bangle (similar bangle) / vintage ring (similar ring)

Green with Envy

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The only time of the year when Elphaba can feel comfortable in her own skin.

Unless it is my favorite lovable funny Irishman, Chris O’Dowd, I would prefer not to get pinched by drunken strangers. Not a problem, as I already have a stylish solution that will make you green with envy. Just call me Chic Shamrock.

Chris O'Dowd

When I first laid eyes on this skirt, it was love at first sight. Being a petite gal, I was pleasantly surprised that it was the right fit in the length – no hemming needed! I knew it was the one because I instantly imagined the countless combinations that I could wear with it. The rich green color and the pleats had my name written all over it.

To get in the spirit of the shamrock, I almost went monochromatic by pairing the skirt with my momma’s vintage muted mint green blouse. And before I knew it, I was paying homage to the Irish flag with cream and a hint of orange in my cardigan (okay, so I cheated with the white). The details in the accessories added the final touch; I especially like how the iridescent chunky beads contrasts with the soft knitted yarn bow made by a friend.

I toast my Guinness to corn beef, cabbage, riverdance, and Chris O’Dowd’s lucky charms.

St Pattys