Green and Yellow Brights

If it’s what’s underneath that counts, maybe it should be worn on the outside.

fashion ootd dress

The story behind this petticoat comes from a faraway unlikely place. Not too long ago, I traveled to Bolivia and explored the country’s sights and culture from dusty small towns all the way up to the highest capital city in the world. My style eye is most alert when I’m in a foreign land, and I couldn’t help but be inspired by the traditional “cholita” fashion.

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“Cholita” was once a derogatory term for indigenous women in Bolivia. Only recently in the last decade or so has this term become a source of pride and empowerment. Even as society modernizes around them, older cholitas as well as younger generations still maintain this way of traditional dress that harkens back to the Spanish Inquisition. It varies slightly by region, but in general their ensemble consists of a bowler hat, shawl, blouse, full pleated skirt, and multi layered petticoat.

I’ll leave the full traditional dress up to the experts – the cholitas – but I found a way to integrate a part of their fashion into my vintage wardrobe.

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While the cholita’s petticoat is cloaked under colorful voluminous skirts, I think it’s too beautiful to remain hidden. I may have worn it as a petticoat in my last chain reaction fashion post, but this time I’m showing it off – or at least one layer of it.

Wearing the petticoat as an outer layer, I complemented its cheery yellow with a punchy lime green dress that’s just as bright. The sheer fabric lets the right amount of green peek through, offering a color contrast to the intricate floral embroidery and scalloped hemline. It clearly is a statement piece all on its own.

fashion ootd dress

chain reaction fashion: July | June | May | April | March | February | January | December

My Pretty Petticoat

When I want to add a bit of body to my bottom half, I put on my pretty petticoat.

fashion ootd dress

Petticoats have a long standing history in women’s fashion. In vogue from the 1500s to the 1800s, this popular undergarment was worn under dresses. It added fullness to the wearer’s hips and rear, creating exaggerated bootylicious curves that was all the rage at the time.

As with all trends, the voluminous petticoat fell out of fashion to make way for slimmer silhouettes. In the 1950s, Christian Dior’s “New Look” made room for this historical undergarment to resurface back to popularity under full skirts and fit and flare dresses. Nowadays, petticoats are less common, but I still found a way to incorporate it into my chain reaction fashion.

vintage dress (similar) | Forever 21 belt (similar) | Bolivian petticoat (similar) | J. Crew heels (similar) | green necklace (similar) | vintage purse (similar)

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The petticoat adds some dramatic flounce to my citrus-hued 50s frock. With my lemony peep-toe Mary Jane pumps matching perfectly with my pretty petticoat, I found it hard to leave my skirt down.

I’m putting the flair back into fit and flare.

fashion ootd dress

Chain reaction fashion: May | April | March | February | January | December

Day of the Dead

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little undead. Time to replace the duck face with a skull face for Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos).

With origins in Mexico, this holiday occurs the day after Halloween and is meant to commemorate the lives of the deceased with food, drink, and lots of lively celebrations. Although I have never participated in this, I am still astounded by the vibrant colors, morbid face paint, and psychedelic skeleton artwork that characterize Day of the Dead.

I’ve had this black dress for years and have never worn it, but the colorful Mexican inspired embroidery seems perfect for this holiday. The look wouldn’t be complete without a head full of flowers. My solution: I pinned a couple of oversized flowers to a pillbox hat, and voila, instant floral arrangement! I love how they match the embroidery in my dress perfectly. This black dress needed some umph, and a vintage petticoat was just the answer. I’ve always wanted a petticoat, and I’ve been so lucky to inherit this one from my aunt. Yes, the scratchy tulle makes things a little itchy down there, but at least it’s not caused by a transmittable disease. Huzzah!

Unfortunately, I am not very good at putting on makeup, and would be deathly incompetent in painting a skull on my face. Alas, my Day of the Dead inspired outfit falls short of looking sinister.

Without the skull face paint, I look pretty alive. Can someone throw me a bone?

Anna Sui dress (similar and here) / Forever21 pillbox (similar) / herringbone fishnets (similar) / Dollhouse booties (similar)