Frocks & Nature Walks

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If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.

Anne of Green Gables

When I shared a preview of this outfit on Instagram over the weekend, I mentioned that it reminded me of my favorite literary heroine, Anne Shirley–and although I still can’t figure out why, I’m happy for any excuse to reread some passages from those wonderful novels of my youth.

I’ve always identified with Anne’s wild imagination, flair for the dramatic, and initially complicated relationship with Gilbert Blythe (though nobody, luckily, ever teased me for my red hair!). More generally, we also share a deep appreciation for the inherent magic found in nature, and the feelings of awe, peace, and humility that spending time in contemplation of a forest, field, or coastline can inspire. So I wore this dress out on my first photo-walk in several hot weeks: fortunately, there were no nearby rivers to tempt me to play-act the final voyage of the Lady of Shalott.

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I bought this dress secondhand from one of my favorite blogger’s recent “shop my closet!” sales. It has a very dreamy forest-witch-in-training look to it, thanks to those cute wooden buttons and the obligatory Peter Pan collar!

(Would you believe me if I told you that this is actually a Forever 21 dress, albeit one made years ago? I can’t imagine seeing anything like this in an XXI megastore today. When I first saw it posted for the sale, I almost assumed it was handmade.)

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Of course, the floral pattern inspired me to visit some nearby plant friends at that charmingly liminal border between my apartment and the forest. It was thrilling to see bees gathering pollen on their legs–though I’m pretty sure the guy pictured above wasn’t quite a bee…

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To complete the “utter nostalgia” look, I decided to wear my charm bracelet for the first time in ages! My mom started collecting these silver charms for me when I was very young, and I tried to pick out a new one during every family vacation.

Featured on this side are a grand piano (2002), a Disneyland mermaid (2000), a manta ray from Florida (2004?), my high school graduation charm (2010), and the the Statue of Liberty (2005). Not pictured: an amazing kelp charm from Monterey Bay Aquarium! And there’s more, too–perhaps a charm bracelet post will come to pass in the near future. Did anyone else collect charms as a child?


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