About Me

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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Look book - classic

Today's look came together so well, I simply had to share. It is no secret (or surprise) to anyone that I am addicted to vintage. Not all vintage, mind you. The 1960's flower child togs hold little attraction for me as do the 1980's butt bows and shoulder pads (shudder). 1950's "new look", however, or good replicas of the 19th century styles... Now that is a different matter entirely.

The walking suit I wore today is a 1950's vintage and definitely built to last. They certainly knew how to make clothes in those days. Besides, it is wool and so warm - a huge plus with the freezing temperatures we've been having. I bought it on eBay two or three years ago for something ridiculous like $25 and have worn it both as a suit and separately many times.

With such an amazing foundation to build upon, everything else had to be just right. The blouse is a black ruffled one-piece from Chadwick's of Boston. I have another one just like it in white and I love them both. They are incredibly soft and comfortable, as well as wrinkle-resistant. The design, however, allows them to fit in with a classic look I was trying to create. The ruffled placket and the fluted cuffs worked perfectly for the purpose.

The hat and scarf are my two recent Target finds. Who knew that a seller who generally prefers to appeal to the young and the hip would offer such a perfectly classic little cloche hat! Some people did look at me funny - for some reason a woman wearing a perfectly ladylike chapeau is, apparently, an oddity on the streets of America. But who cares!

I am a huge fan of all things multifunctional, and this scarf is definitely one of them. The colors allow me to wear it with lots of different things, and it unfolds to make a nice wrap. Besides it is divinely soft and warm! What more can one ask of such a simple and inexpensive accessory?

Thank god these shoes are so sturdy! I bought these high-heeled Oxfords at Wal Mart four years ago and have been absolutely wearing them to death. I know I'll have to replace them eventually, considering how much I love them. When I do, I will very likely get a pair in dark brown as well. I have worn these with skirts, dresses, slacks, jeans, you name it. The only time of year I don't wear them is summer. Despite a fairly high heel, I can run around comfortably all day. The heels are stacked and very stable, and the base of the shoe is wide and allows the ball of the foot to spread out and rest comfortably. Love them!

To keep the outfit from looking frumpy, I did wear my black fishnets. I honestly cannot recall where I got them from - I think it was on a whim at a local pharmacy.

A word on the bag. There is a separate bag article coming up shortly, but I wanted to showcase this little masterpiece here as well. This is my Mango Tango distressed leather laptop bag from eBags.com. It may look expensive, but actually costs less than $30 - if you don't believe me, please feel free to go to the web site and search for "Mango Tango laptop bag". "Inexpensive" does not mean "cheap" - as in "cheaply made". I've had this bag for two years, and it is still as good as new. It may look small, but it accommodates comfortably my laptop, the laptop power source and mouse, my work binder and an assortment of stuff most normal women truck around with them. So, if anyone ever tells you that hauling around an ugly nylon backpack is your only alternative for a work bag, please feel free to send them to hell on my behalf.


Sonja said...

Love your outfit! Looks so good on you! Thanks for the tip about the cute bag. May just have to snag that. I've been toting around a traditional laptop bag and am tired of it. I totally need something cuter! :)

Maria K. said...

I am actually working on a bag blog, so more ideas are to come!