Hustle and Bustle

Bustles were wildly popular in the Victorian era when they, like corsets later, were used to accentuate those delicious parts of a woman that would have been too salacious to expose in public. Nowadays, the bustle marks the transition from a walk down the aisle to busted moves on a dance floor, serving to bundle up the length of a wedding gown and prevent the entrapment of feet in satin and tulle that, in combination with the requisite alcohol, would certainly lead to a chipped tooth and hurt feelings. Hardly seductive. I think bustles are underutilized. They are like a volumizing shampoo for a dress, giving some depth and drama to a piece that would otherwise lay flat. Not to say that I want to appear to be smuggling a sack of rice in my rear, but I think used in the right way, the bustle can turn a been-there-done-that dress into a wow piece.

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Enter my sleeveless, dress that I could just twist around a fork and serve with marinara. I mean, isn’t it just the most?! That hemline just grabs the eye, doesn’t it? Like it’s searching for the cord to makes those drapes creep up just a little bit higher. But despite that little bit of sexy, it just a very pretty silhouette, well suited for all occasions. I have worn this dress with a high bun, statement jewelry and no-nonsense pumps for an event. I have worn it with simple studs and flip-flops for running about town. Such versatility.

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Had I been thinking clearly, I would have shown you the other elements of this dress that make it special. But, as I am still a baby blogger and have not yet mastered the art of this, I will just tell you about them. Like the ties sewn into the sides that I have crisscrossed around the front and tied in the back. And the fact that you can actually let out the bustle for a straight flowing gown that isn’t drama, but is still beautiful. And the fact that when you spin, the dress gets caught up in the most satisfying twirl.

I love the color white. It is so beautiful and I love the contrast on my skin. What I do not love, however, is my knack for covering it in food I don’t even recall eating. So as much as I admire the hue, I tend to pass it up. That was not an option for this blazer. With its oversized boyfriend cut, I was smitten with the way it hung on me. This is another one of this pieces that can be dressed up or down because it is so simple. No dramatic shoulder, no gathering at the waist, no pattern and no ornate buttons. A blank canvas, if you will. And I will!

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These shoes are very special to me. I got them while on a trip to SFO at the Diesel StyleLab before this concept was absorbed into the rest of the Diesel brand. The Lab was an experimental line with only a very few of each piece made. I have in my head that I was told that there were only 20 of this shoe made in the world, but this sounds insane to me. She must have said “in the country.” Anyhoodle, she could have said they were one of 20 made that day and I still would have been a woman obsessed. I hemmed and hawed but eventually broke down (within about 2 hours of walking around SFO) and was subsequently invited to a StyleLab party that I later learned was attended by Britney Spears. I, needing to work double overtime to pay off the shoes, was unable to attend.

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I am not one to hold more expensive items hostage in my closet, but it did take a lot for me to wear these beauties out. And do you know what happened the first time I did? Do you see that small scuff on the toe of the right shoe? One of my tipsy acquaintances stepped on it! Now, I am not violent person but I may or may not have punch him soundly in the back of the knee, saving them from further damage. What’s not to love about this shoes? The distressed burgundy, called “Schrunken Red” is stunning. The brass studs and grommets are edgy. The ankle strap and point of the toe add sophistication. And the tassels — the way they drag on the floor while walking — they just ooze this attitude of being too fabulous to care how fabulous you are.

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My accessories are pretty simple. A faux leather crocodile embossed bag. I am a sucker for bags that open this way. What is it called? With the hinges in the middle? I trust one of you will be able to help me out. But it is such an interesting detail, rather than a clutch that flips or zips open.

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A rose gold and crystal cuff and a rose gold knuckle ring round out the arm and hand candy. And my earrings, brushed gold with glass beads in the same color family as the dress, also tie in the gold tone in the bag and the worn metal of the shoes.

Any questions? ‘Cause that was a long one! See what happens when I don’t blog for a while? I hope you enjoyed spending time with me. Please feel free to comment, leave ideas, ask questions, make requests. Until next time,

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Peace, Yinz.


Dress – No tag, so no idea (no longer available).😦 From Folly (do yourself a favor an check this designer’s store out. Also has a FB page); click here for a cool take on a bustle

Blazer – Tildon, from Nordstrom (no longer available); click here for similar

Shoes – Diesel StyleLab Gillan (old, no longer available)

Bag – Stella & Max faux leather clutch, from Marshalls/TJ Maxx; click here for similar

Cuff – The Limited (no longer available)

Ring – from Sloan boutique, click here for more info

Earrings – The Limited (old)

9 thoughts on “Hustle and Bustle

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