Matters of Chic: The Red Beret

 

Urban Outfitters

 

The beret is back.

No less an authority than Vogue confirms it: the classic beret is in the midst of a moment. Or another moment, more precisely; one in a line of moments that began in the 1920s.

With the right clothes and some styling savvy, the beret can be more surprise than stereotype. Square at the intersection of class and sass, this French topper practically begs for a Breton striped mariniere and knotted neck scarf.

Resist! Unless you are off to The Ride Beret Baguette or Anjou Velo Vintage — either of which I encourage, fear NOT the twee — that is no way to treat a beret.

Why not re-think it in red?

A zesty testament to the confidence of the wearer, a rosy topper telegraphs a certain savoir-faire. Sophisticated with a classic trench and flats, or continental with a sharp-shorn bob, the beret is a hall-of-famer; versatile, ageless and timeless.

With proper styling, you’ll never be mistaken for a vigilante in your red beret. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. If you’re going to be a vigilante, you might as well be a stylish one, right?

 

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tumblr/cali vintage

Red lip, black trench + beret = cosmopolitan.

 

Style Bubble

From London’s Tweed Run. Very 1930s! More info on the annual dapper dash through London on bicycles at tweedrun.com.

 

Pinterest

Monochrome magic.

 

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Peony Lim

Berets. Making pretty girls even prettier for nearly a century.

 

PInk Lemonade Design

A party on your head!

 

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Tweed Run

Another bicyclist dressed to the nines in 1930s vintage for London’s Tweed Run. (Be still my heart!)

 

Besting the boys at the menswear game.

 

Over 40 Style

Softening the moto jacket and knife-pleated skirt. Lovely!

 

Pinterest

 

RetroStyl

This blogger’s vintage style is a favorite of mine. The face of an angel to boot.

 

Peony Lim

Peony is actually wearing a striped shirt here, but I’m mesmerized by those fearless brocade trousers. Advanced style, not for the meek.

 

Style du Monde

Paired with echoes of another classic, the camel trench. Fresh, young and modern.

 

tumbr/cali vintage

 

Color Love: Sea Mist, Menthe, Celadon Green

 

I’ve never been especially fond of green. Not when there are so many other lovely, far more feminine colors to cherish. But all greens are not created equal. Have I missed the boat on green?

One way I like to explore color is to assemble a set of pictures incorporating that hue. The catch? I have to be drawn to everything about the images, except the color. Mood, subject, composition, these are first and foremost.

When I do that, and then line them up, the color I don’t like can be transformed. Not always, but it’s possible. Apparently, I am a fan of pale, delicate greens. They lend themselves well to a fairy tale mood.

Who knew?

 

Art Photo Expo

 

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The Cherry Blossom Girl

 

Ann Street Studio

 

Vogue

 

Pinterest

 

Zsa Zsa Bellagio

 

dymoonblog

 

The Everyday Sacred: Mother Mary

In my Catholic childhood, iconography was a part of everyday life. At French Catholic grammar school, in the church and chapel, there were religious statues everywhere. Like the rosary, they served as prompts to prayer.

Though no longer a practicing Catholic, I can sometimes find comfort and reassurance in these iconic images. Back when the world was still a wide open plain, uncomplicated and full of possibility, those serene faces watched and waited.

In the neighborhood there were homes with a Virgin Mary statute standing inside a stone shell in tidy front yards. The inside of the shell was usually color washed a soaring sky blue. Blue is the color associated with the Blessed Mother, for reasons I’ve long forgotten.

In the Spring, flowers often bloomed in the grass around her. Perhaps her tears of sorrow helped them grow? She was the Lady of Sorrows, after all.

The petal-soft pastels of the time-worn Mary figures here is soothing. I like to think they’ve been well loved, and become more precious in the process. On Good Friday, Mary gently reminds us that there is something beyond the long night, the broken heart, the pierced hands.

 

White and Faded

Christine Walllace on etsy

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Casa Dulce Casa

Etsy/ Edith and Evelyn

Color Love: Beautiful Browns

Have you ever noticed how beautiful brown is? I’ve always had a soft spot for it. There is a warmth there, a richness and a comforting earthiness.

Brown trees. Brown bears. Brown chocolate. Brown stallions. Brown spices. Brown fur. Brown is what it is, out to fool nobody and at peace with itself.

When it puts on its sassy pants, brown gets a little (or a lot) honeyed up. It is russet, cocoa, copper, caramel, amber, oxblood, rust, truffle, tobacco, terracotta, chestnut, mahogany, sienna. Velvety shades of ancient earth and grounded magic.

In other words, brown can be brilliant.

Behold!

Flickr

Pinterest

gunnerandgrace

Larecetidelafelidad.com

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Laurie Shupp via Pinterest

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TuukkaKaski.com

LosTrabagaldes.net

theultralink.com

The Lady of Shalott

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro’ the field the road runs by
       To many-tower’d Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
       The island of Shalott.

 

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
1842

 

 

Inspirations: Romanticism; Pre-Raphaelites; Tulipomania (2001), Rembrandt van Rijin (1606-1669).