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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.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Look book - "go to" turquoise

When asked what their "go to" color, people often answer "black". That is what they fall back to on those days when they just can't figure out what to wear and don't have time to think about it.

Black used to be my "go to" color. Then it was red - a traditionally suitable color for the dark-haired and dark-eyed ones. It wasn't until I started reading books on finding one's style that I discovered that I could actually wear colors traditionally reserved for the blondes and the redheads. My biggest "aha" came while reading Trinny Woodall's and Susannah Constantine's What Not to Wear For Every Occasion and What You Wear Can Change Your Life. Well, actually it was two big "aha"s: 1) brunettes can and should wear turquoise; 2) turquoise goes very well with dark reddish-brown colors, like chocolate, coffee, mahogany and burgundy. Who knew?!

Ever since then turquoise became my "go to" color - by itself or worn with dark reds and browns. And you know what? I find it to be a much more flexible option than black, because it travels very well across seasons (try wearing black in the summer in North Carolina).

This particular look is not just a good example of my "go to" combination, but also of how one can create a "layered" look - a kind of two outfits in one. For the outdoors we have a brown suede jacket, dress bootcut jeans in dark wash, brown lace-up "granny boots", gray beret, gray suede gloves, dark red bag, and a gray-black-red scarf that ties it all together.

The bag is not a laptop bag. It's a red shoulder tote from T.J. Maxx I bought along with my fabulous purple ruffles bag for the whopping $25. I simply refuse to use traditional laptop bags (the big ugly nylon black ones) and opt for inexpensive interesting ones that are big enough to accommodate a laptop. Having more than one forces me to completely empty them on a regular basis and get rid of all the junk that tends to accumulate in there.

For the indoors, the gloves, scarf and beret come off to reveal layer two - turquoise one-piece, decorative belt and a fun necklace. The jeans, the boots and the jacket still work fine, making a cool workday look with a bit of a twist.

The boots are dressy enough for the office, with adjustable laces to be comfy, and a heel that is high enough to give me some leg when combined with this style of jeans or pants, but shaped to provide plenty of support for running around all day.

A word on the necklace. This piece is from my "Beautiful Glass" collection and is available for sale at Pyrography M (hint). It is definitely one of my favorites and I do wear it on occasion. There is a popular belief that smaller women should not wear big jewelry. Actually, that is not entirely true. I would recommend trying different things and taking notice of what looks good.

In this particular case, the medallion of the necklace is rather large - 2-1/2 inches in diameter - but the necklace, or rather a choker that supports it is fairly delicate and open in design. It also helps that I am fairly broad-shouldered for my height, which allows me to carry off the strong medallion without looking like I tied a millstone to my neck in preparation for drowning myself.

The wood and amber beads plus the shades of blue and bronze combined in the medallion work with all the other colors of the outfit making it all come together in one coherent picture.

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