A note: like all my “pin reviews,” this is not sponsored in any way and merely reflects my desire to share my whimsical adventures in collecting small metallic works of art. Onward!
I remember a brief period in my preteen life when all “friendship”-themed accessories – handmade bracelets, necklace pendants that matched, and of course the quintessential “broken-in-half” charms – absolutely transfixed me. Considering that I am now more than a decade away from being twelve, perhaps it’s a little unusual that I, a grown adult woman, wanted to share this set of pins with my grown adult sweetheart for Valentine’s Day…but I suppose I am more than a little unusual by nature.
And I can’t resist a good cetacean-themed accessory.
Last week, I returned to my keyboard for the first time in months (inspired by my inescapable desire to sing selections from the Mary Poppins Returns soundtrack). To my great shame, a layer of dust covered the music stand and even its tinny electric sound felt alien to my ears.
Given how long it’s been since I practiced piano in earnest, I almost feel undeserving of this dress – how dare I wear these stylized keys around my neck when I’ve neglected them for so long?
Though all blogs, diaries, and long-lost firsthand personal narratives remain selective in the facets of an individual’s life that they present, I assure you that my love for dresses as expressed through my social media holds a very strong basis in reality. I wear dresses (and occasionally skirts) nearly every day – I can remember with perfect clarity each of the few instances in which I’ve chosen a pair of leggings or pants instead over the past year.
Given that I have become what can be fairly described as a “dress collector,” of course, I now prioritize different qualities in garments than I did in the past. I love dresses that seem to last forever, and can be worn countless times in various situations. Some of this past year’s acquisitions, fortunately, appear able to withstand any challenge – and will ideally remain part of my wardrobe well into 2020 and beyond!
I’m running out of opportunities to coordinate my outfits with local blossom activity! Fortunately, this dress offers a spectacular grand finale. I’m not sure if the embroidered blooms that wind their way around the neckline and sleeves of this gown represent dogwood specifically, but they match well enough, and I feel like a flower fairy whenever I wear it. The moth-pixie profile pin by Hannah Kienzle Illustration, one of my absolute favorites, further affirms my fay attitude.
I’ve searched diligently through my blog archives to determine whether or not I’ve referenced one of my most cherished poems–Yeats’ “The Song of Wandering Aengus”–in a post before. As it turns out, I quoted its opening lines two years ago while recounting a flower-gathering walk I’d taken in nearby woods. I suppose that enough time has passed to merit some reminder of its almost-mystical transformation from trout to woman:
When I had laid it on the floor,
I went to blow the fire -a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
– W.B. Yeats
Until such a time that I have access to apple-blossoms for hairstyling purposes, I guess I’ll have to rely on the sun to manufacture glimmer instead! I’m thankful, at least, that my love is not the sort who will disappear into the brightening air (except when we lose connection on a video call).
This dress reminds me of a more gently colorful and joyous period in my life: that brief stretch of my youth wherein I acquired an admirable collection of pastel-hued, fantasy-themed 90s toys. I wish more than anything that I had kept my Starcastle, which boasts the unique distinction of serving as both protective fortress and enchanting carousel alike. (Not to mention the fact that it apparently turned into a tea set.) Alas, my younger equivalent could never have imagined that her Mainland-dwelling, engaged-and-in-grad-school future self would have genuinely wanted to display a glittery plastic castle—I understand the success of eBay with the nostalgia generation all too well.
The advent of floral embroidered sweaters has changed my life in so many wonderfully palpable ways. In prior years of my Mainland exile, I’d feared the approach of winter and the need to replace thin, pastel cardigans with (to my mind) unappealing, bulky knitwear – now I can carry my flowers with me until spring appears again! (They also serve as the perfect complement to cotton sundresses that I should really retire until April but, realistically, will continue to wear until such habits of dress become physically impossible!)
There’s absolutely nothing nineteenth-century about this dress–the vintage reproduction company from which I purchased it touted the style as 1940s-inspired, I believe, and collar dresses are sufficiently popular at the moment for my look to pass as something simply romantically contemporary.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been spending an unprecedented amount of time in a house inhabited by a nineteenth-century poet, but for whatever reason, I feel like this simple dress captures some of the Victorian aesthetic nonetheless. At any rate, I’m thinking it will be most suitable for leading historic house tours in the future, assuming I won’t have access to authentic Victorian period dress!