outfit of the [yester]day: floral fish!

floral fish (4 of 4)floral fish (2 of 4)I attempted to create a more nuanced title for this post, but let’s face it–with a concept this incredible, there’s honestly not much I could possibly improve with a pun.

Meet the floral fish dress! I’m not sure which Lindy Bop fabric designer is responsible for this quirky land-meets-sea mashup, but they are my type of person. Its triangular collar provides some needed variety to my wardrobe, which is currently so devoted to Peter Pan [collars] that it might as well be a Lost Boy.

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outfit of the [yester]day: return to the sea

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Two years ago today, I published my first cautious “outfit of the day” post, showing off what would become two classic staples of my personal aesthetic: Peter Pan collars and nods to marine biology. At the time, I possessed only that one vintage-style dress, and I wore it so often that I ended up buying its twin in another color. I’d never identified as someone who was Into Fashion, but there was just something about that dress–as soon as I zipped it up, I felt like a cheerful, quick-witted girl detective equipped to handle anything with anachronistic flair.

In the time since, acquiring pieces for my quirky wardrobe allowed me to feel more confident and more myself than I’d ever been in jeans and sweaters or Young Professional Workplace Wear. Now, if I so desire, I have the ability to wear colorful retro dresses literally every day. Even a skirt decorated with galactic, bioluminescent mermaids and sea creatures is at my fingertips! But — as my absence from this blog might have suggested — over the past few months, I’ve begun to lose confidence in my bold fashion. In some moments of confusion, I’ve almost wondered if I might have to abandon the style that I love and start showing up in slacks or skater skirts!

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outfit of the [yester]day: tidepool time

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Every time I think I’ve finally acquired the paragon of ocean-themed dresses, another fabric designer decides to add more nautiloids and seahorses to their novelty print!

I wore this for the first time on my last day of work, and it seems a fitting ensemble for new beginnings. The menagerie of sea creatures softly swirling* in these watercolored aquamarine polyester depths soothe me as I transition into life as a student again!**

*I don’t fully understand why those scallops and sea stars and conch shells are just suspended in what is presumably the middle of the water, but perhaps this skirt is more of a fabric tidepool!

**Plus, this is also the best match I’ve found for my turquoise-haired mermaid brooch so far!

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outfit of the [yester]day: in puffins we trust

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Would that this post were filled with photos of actual puffins soaring (and waddling) their way around the Scottish coast! I dreamed of spying my favorite seabirds during my trip to Edinburgh, but it was totally wistful thinking, as those guys tend to show up around later in the spring. Until next time!

Amazingly, I can host an entire colony of puffins thanks to this most novel of novelty print dresses. Even more amazingly, it turns out that other plural terms used for a group of puffins include “a circus of puffins” and “an improbability of puffins.” Could these birds get any cuter?

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I walk the crinoline (Lindy Bop net petticoat)

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You knew this day was coming, folks. After a yearlong foray into the glories of 1950s- and 60s-inspired fashion, I’ve finally purchased one of those dang petticoats. In fact, it’s a cheerful pastel crinoline consisting of enough layers of yellow, feathery tulle to evoke Big Bird at the ballet.

When I tore open the airmail package on Saturday and came face-to-face with the reality that I had purchased an archaic garment intended to make me resemble one of those bizarre Barbie doll cake toppers, I’ll admit that there was a moment of existential doubt.

Still:

  • it was only $10 on sale – and that’s probably the equivalent of what one might spend at a certain New England donut and coffee purveyor over the course of three days, so I think I’m all good, and
  • I’ve kind of always wanted to capture the aesthetic of one of those bizarre Barbie doll cake toppers, I guess?

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Outfit of the [Yester]day: Broken But Bioluminescent

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I am so excited for my neck pain to vanish magically so I can continue my thrilling life as a regular blogger! I’m sure you’ve desperately missed me, and to make up for my continued absence, I have the world’s best skirt to show off today.

You’d think I would have now reached the point at which no novelty print could possibly surprise me–and then this “bioluminescent constellations of galactic ocean creatures” design from Lindy Bop found its way into my heart and closet. Nebulae of whales, seals, mermaids, hermit crabs, anchors, and seahorses dance across a midnight sky of polyester fabric. Every time I’ve worn this to work, many a colleague has commented that the skirt seems like “the most Keely thing ever”: at least I’m being true to myself!

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My recent fixation with Lindy Bop prints has led to some interesting discoveries about their sizing options. I can fit a medium dress quite well, but this medium-sized skirt is a little too big for my waist. The cut suggests that it’s supposed to be worn on the waist – and yet the poor thing keeps falling past my hips! I suppose I need a thin belt of stars to hold it in place.

(You know what else would be a great accessory for this outfit? A little softly glowing whale that somehow can live out of water and hangs out on my shoulder? And you know what would be even cooler? Shoulders and a neck that aren’t injured! See you the next time I’m feeling better…)

7 Curious Things That Should Be Novelty Prints

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It’s now been a year since I bought my first novelty print dress (as an adult). I saw my beloved shark dress on Poshmark and couldn’t believe my luck–in a world of solids, polka-dots and stripes, had someone actually designed a quirky marine biology dress in a non-kid’s size?

Ever since, I’ve plunged fully into the world of whimsical clothing. Hey, if it’s affordable and boosts my mood and self-confidence every time I wear it, why not? I’ve managed to expand my collection to include dresses featuring dinosaurs, seahorses, mermaids, and rocketships, but as a historian and natural history nerd, I have a few ideas for some extra-strange novelty prints that I’d like to see some day…

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