outfit of the [yester]day: not-really nineteenth-century

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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!

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outfit of the [yester]day: cute + cephalopoda

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Hey, remember last summer when I felt an undeniable urge to re-curate my outfit photo wall? I loved that marine-themed wall art, but like any museum professional, I also know that you can’t display works on paper for too long without risking damage from the sun and other elements. Consequently, those free printables–I mean, works of art–have returned to my obviously high-security storage facility, and I’ve reinstalled a selection of early modern natural history illustrations of cephalopods, odd deep-sea fish, and phytoplankton.

Then I happened to find this vintage dropped-waist dress in a quaint secondhand store in Pennsylvania, and its cheerful pastel tones nearly perfectly match the faded hues of my new squid-themed mini exhibition. I–alas!–do not currently own a squid pin, but my second (!) mousemoth pin by Minnow & Moss, this version in green and yellow, complements this dress excellently.

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pin review: mousemoth by minnow & moss

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My menagerie of pins continues to grow, broadening into a bestiary of the most fantastic creatures! The newest member of my merry band of enamel revelers is this gorgeous leafy creature–a mousemoth by Minnow & Moss.

It’s been many a year since I darkened the door of a certain extremely popular microblogging site, but in the days that I did, I used that platform exclusively to discover enchanting artists. Among those lovely illustrators kindly introduced to me through Tumblr was Olivia Chin Mueller: now you too can spend hours poring over her magical portfolio!

Anyway, Minnow & Moss is the combined efforts of Olivia and her mother Tracye, and they have a variety of beautiful pins for sale. I bought this mousemoth as a seconds-sale item, which usually means the pin has some kind of minor flaw (hence the discounted price)–though I can’t for the life of me figure out what it might be! This mousemoth is perfect just the way she is.

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outfit of the [yester]day: she buys seashells

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I have never, in fact, purchased a seashell in my life–I much prefer to find them on my own–but a dress with shell embroidery? That I can’t resist!

You’re about to experience yet another classic Mailbox Mermaid dress-acquiring narrative, consisting of the usual progression of:

  1. discovering a newly-released, retro-inspired garment, likely with marine or nautical influences
  2. bemoaning its pirate’s ransom of a price
  3. waiting patiently like a gulper eel for a sale to transform said garment into something vaguely reasonable for my budget

I have to admit that this iteration of the story had a more tragic bent, because I was legitimately saddened when I first glimpsed this incredible dress and then released it retailed at just under $80. I assumed I’d have to wait until fall for a pink and summery mermaid dress to go on sale: but as luck would have it, a surprise one-day-only clearance brought us together, resulting in nearly the same degree of personal satisfaction and delight as finding an unbroken conch or cowrie!

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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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nesting

Edinburgh 2017 (10 of 10)Edinburgh 2017 (5 of 10)Edinburgh 2017 (8 of 10)You’d be forgiven if your first reaction upon reading this post was something along the lines of “Wow, Keely, was your trip to Scotland last week secretly a dragon egg acquisition mission?”

Well, no, on two counts — first of all, I think there are probably some serious customs restrictions on the importation of magical dragons-to-be, and, more importantly, these eggs were actually waiting for me upon my return! Their provenance is Irish, not Scottish: the beautiful work of my crafting-genius pen pal Emma.

Can you guess how she made them? It’s genius, but I’ll let you discover it on your own. In the meantime, enjoy the fruits of the silly fifteen minutes I spent photographing myself cradling these eggs as though they were my own draconic brood.

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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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