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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.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Look book - winter reds

It's easy to fall into a rut during winter months. The jeans-and-sweaters-with-thick-socks-and-boots sort of rut. I often gravitate that way and so do many others. On a really bad day the streets are filled with dark, shapeless, genderless, waddling bundles. I realize that in some areas, the weather necessitates not merely warm clothing, but warm-or-else-I-might-freeze-to-death clothing. But we do get a few warm days here and there. So, when that happens, take an opportunity to emerge from your winter cocoon and toss in some color.

Enter the sweater dress. Wrinkle-free, washable, patterned, warm, comfortable, and, very importantly, colorful to brighten up the winter blahs. I have several: one in basic gray I can easily punch up with colorful accessories and jewelry, a purple one, a chocolate-brown one and this one, in burgundy red. I am one of those people who go very pale during winter, and having a nice rich red near my face draws out whatever little bit of pink I have left.

This particular piece can be worn with or without a belt and easily goes from a casual day to a reasonably pretty evening look with lighter hose, smaller shoes and more prominent jewelry (like a large brooch for example). Worn here with one of my favorite and most versatile pairs of earrings that pick up the colors of the dress and the accessories - light-brown patterned tights and two-tone red-brown laceup booties.

Ladies, the times of opaque shiny taupe pantyhose are over. There are tons of sellers out there who sell fantastic legwear in all sizes, shapes, colors, textures, patterns, and warmth levels imaginable. Actually, there are some unimaginable out there too. Just Google "patterned tights" and browse away - there is bound to be something out there that is warm, comfortable but also fun-looking for you.

The boots have enough of a heel to be worn with dresses and skirts - both short and long - but work equally well with trousers. They can be unlaced and re-done to accommodate the size of your calves and ankles, and then you can just leave them as is and use the zipper on the side to get in and out.

While the overall look is fun and girly, it's actually quite practical, warm and comfortable for running errands. Throw on a coat and taller boots - and you can even venture into a snowstorm.

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