Sartorial Saturday–Plaid Pairings

Here’s a look back at all of the unique ways I’ve styled my black and purple plaid Long Jun skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing. I love how versatile it is!

A Markel Family…Halloween?

As a family, we’ve never been into Halloween. Not once have the children dressed up and gone trick-or-treating, nor have they gone to any Halloween parties. Sure, we visit the pumpkin patch every year, and we listen to the Baby Snooks 1946 Halloween special and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown multiple times every October. But come October 31st each year, we celebrate Reformation Day instead of Halloween.

Kind of. As the years have gone by, we’ve edged a little closer to a traditional Halloween celebration. I think it all started with Legends and Lanterns, which we’ve visited faithfully every year since its inception. While we still don’t go trick-or-treating (and honestly, we only have one, maybe two children who are still of the age for doing so, anyway!), we have carved a pumpkin (an activity that the children thought was fun to try once, but have no desire to do again!). We’ve also started having a special dinner featuring recipes from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. So I thought this year, I’d take a look at how we’ve come to celebrate Halloween.

Halloween breakfast has always featured either Cap’n Crunch’s Halloween Crunch or one of the General Mills Monster Cereals. This year, it was Franken Berry (while we listened to Baby Snooks):

I also found a special treat to go with lunch…pumpkin pie Rice Krispies Treats:

Of course I had the perfect outfit for the occasion:

And a “Little Luther” thrown in, because it is still Reformation Day, after all!

On to our feast for the day. I made one favorite recipe from the cookbook (pumpkin fizz), and tried three new options…”ghoul”-ash (I came up with that version of the name, and I’m rather proud of it!), and glazed carrots for dinner, and chocolate eclairs for dessert. They were all delicious!

We spent the day watching our favorite movies and TV shows that fit the theme…Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Bewitched, The Simpsons, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch (we watched Meet Me in St. Louis recently, which is a family favorite, and has a great Halloween scene, so we didn’t watch it again today, although we often do on Halloween).

So that’s our not-really-Halloween, Halloween celebration. It’s still not my favorite holiday, but I really do love the fun ways we’ve found to put our own spin on it, and it’s definitely something I’ve come to look forward to each October!

Sartorial Saturday–Purple and Grey

Last week, I shared a bright and bold pairing for my new plaid Long Jun skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing. This week, I’m wearing the same accessories, but I went with a neutral Sabrina top…I love how this outfit has a completely different look!

Don’t purple and grey look lovely together?

Stay tuned for more outfits featuring this gorgeous skirt, because I have several other ideas in mind!

Sartorial Saturday–Inspired by the Scottish Highlands

I’m so excited to finally have my black and purple plaid Long Jun skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing! I’ve been looking forward to it for months, ever since Laura Byrnes previewed a sample of the fabric. I’ve been wanting a plaid skirt, and to be able to pre-order one in purple…it was a dream come true! I decided for the first wearing, I’d go bold and pair it with a PUG peasant top in Baton Rouge:

If the plaid didn’t have enough of a Scottish feel, this lovely Jacobite rose brooch from Daisy Jean Floral Designs (an Australian company that is pretty new to me), has me wanting to visit the highlands! I also went with all my favorite purple and grey Splendette pieces (Duchess bangles, a glitter bead necklace, and earrings), to finish the look:

I only had one concern about the skirt when I ordered it. It isn’t made of the standard cotton sateen that I think every other Pinup Girl Clothing skirt I own is made of. Instead, it’s a poly/rayon/spandex blend, and I was especially worried that the weight of the skirt wouldn’t be meet my standards. My concerns were totally unfounded, though…the fabric is not at all flimsy, and has a nice heft for twirling!

This skirt is completely gorgeous, even more so than it looks in pictures. The colors are so lovely and vibrant and saturated, and I’m just in love…it’s definitely going to be a fall staple for me! I just wish my wardrobe had more plaid in it now!

Sartorial Saturday–The Erstwilder Lucky Dip

I recently did something rather out-of-character for me…I ordered an Erstwilder “Lucky Dip.”

What is a lucky dip, you might wonder? It’s basically a mystery item. It could be something general, like a scarf or a necklace, from a variety of collections, including some of Erstwilder’s more vintage pieces. Or it could be more specific, like a brooch from the recent Sesame Street collection. It all depends on what kind of lucky dip you order. And they’re offered at a discount…the items are 10-50% off the normal retail price. I don’t usually like blind items like this, for several reasons. What if I get something I already have? Or what if it doesn’t go with my wardrobe? And even the rare possibility of what if I don’t like it?

But when I received an e-mail coupon from Erstwilder that I could use on a lucky dip, I decided to take a chance. I hadn’t purchased any items from the Art Deco collection, even though I liked pretty much everything in it. So I figured that between the coupon, and the markdown from $39.95 to $29.95 (Australian dollars), it wasn’t much of a gamble, because even with international shipping, I was going to spend less than $15 US dollars. Plus, I knew there was a 33% chance that I could receive the black “Burst of Sun” brooch that was a special exclusive gift for people who attended the Art Deco launch party in July, and I really loved that piece.

I guess I really do have good luck, huh? I’m so excited to have a limited-edition item, and even more so because it’s a perfect match for the Downton Abbey era! It’s everything I wanted, and I’m so glad I took a chance!

Quote of the Day

“Oh, my dear, in my time I wore the crinoline, the bustle and the leg-of-mutton sleeve. I’m not in a strong position to criticise.” Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey

Quote of the Day

“Chic is, in a manner of speaking, a form of architecture. The costume, like the building, must have such coherence that the separate parts are in themselves hardly visible, and both at their best are founded on simplicity.” British Vogue, 1927

Sartorial Saturday–Inspired by Animal Crossing

It’s not often that I do a Sartorial Saturday post that focuses on one single brooch and nothing else (actually, I don’t think I ever have!), but today’s brooch has a special story.

I think I may have mentioned what a huge fan I am of the Animal Crossing series of video games. In the most recent game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, one of the big features of the game is designing and expanding a camper that is your home and means of transportation in the game:

Erstwilder, my favorite purveyor of brooches, recently launched a “Fan Favorites” collection. And I was excited to see the “Happy Glamper” in the collection, because I’ve always liked that particular brooch in its various colorways, but never added it to my wardrobe. Even though it’s cute, I wasn’t even going to buy it this time, until Ryan looked at it and called it an “Animal Crossing Brooch.”

Well, that was the end of that. How could I pass by a brooch that represents my very favorite video game? Lucky for me, I had been saving my reward points with Erstwilder, so I didn’t even have to pay full price. And it’s just as adorable as I expected!

I even temporarily re-designed my camper in the game, both in retro shape and colors, to match the brooch as closely as possible!

I can honestly say a video game has never motivated a fashion purchase for me before (although I did come pretty close to buying an Eevee brooch this summer!), and I’m not planning on making a habit of it, but I am glad that I was able to pick this one up!

Sartorial Saturday–Sausage Dogs Scarf

I’m not usually a neck scarf person. I’ve tried quite a few of them in the past, but I always feel overheated or strangled or something. But when I saw this adorable sausage dogs scarf, with its quirky print and bold colors, from Erstwilder’s new neck scarf collection, I knew it was something I wanted to add to my wardrobe!

The material is nice and lightweight, so even wearing it in the summer, it wasn’t too hot. And I didn’t feel strangled at all! I’d definitely think about buying another one of these from Erstwilder because all of the prints are so adorable, and it’s really fun to wear!

Sartorial Saturday–Barbie Girl

The very title of this blog post is amusing to me, because I’m the opposite of a “Barbie Girl.” I had a few Barbie dolls growing up, but they weren’t a huge part of my childhood experience. Even more than that, I’ve refused to buy Barbie dolls for my children, with the exceptions of a curvy Fashionista doll, because I appreciated that they made a doll that looked different from the standard, and a Katherine Johnson doll, because, hello, Hidden Figures. In general, though, I’ve always thought that the unrealistic body proportions of Barbie dolls sends the wrong message.

Enter Unique Vintage. When I saw the coral and white “Busy Morning Sundress,” which is modeled after a vintage Barbie outfit, plus the matching sun hat, I fell in love. Add in a sale, and I was, well, sold. And while I may not be your typical Barbie Girl, I loved this outfit (including the matching pin that came with the dress), from the moment I put it on.

A faux pearl necklace and Splendette Duchess Bangles in shades of pink and floral were the perfect complement to the outfit:

I really appreciate that even fashion can help me step outside of my comfort zone!