The idea of owning special, joy inducing pieces is a wardrobe topic near and dear to my heart. As career women, mothers, wives, or students it is very easy to gloss over those garments that make our hearts race and settle for the more utilitarian pieces that can take us from school to work or from the kids’ soccer practice to a night out. This sort of rinse, wash and repeat attitude towards dressing has become so commonplace that we are thrown for a loop when invitations for special occasions come our way. Reducing our closets to monotonous garments with a few pieces we save for a more extraordinary time is equivalent to using the good china once a year or covering the couch with plastic. It seems silly and dreadfully boring to me.
The pieces that bring me the most joy or confidence are those with just a bit of whimsy and a whole lot of femininity. In the case of this dress, I adore the feminine lines and vintage feel, which make this dress a go-to piece for any of life’s occasions. I’ve worn this dress to my daughter’s birthday party, to work, dinner with my husband, and will wear it throughout the holiday season.
The Gatsby Kate Spade book clutch has been on my radar for the better part of three years, which proves I don’t always follow my own advice! It has found its way to my online cart a million times (full price and on sale), but I have never been able to actually click purchase out of a sense of guilt and responsibility. Over the years, my husband has heard me weigh the pros (“The Great Gatsby is my favorite book.” “I am an English teacher, after all.”) and cons (“I can’t carry it every day.” “It’s a lot of money that could be used elsewhere.”) and must have reached his limit because this little gem was my birthday present this year.
Perhaps you don’t have the budget to indulge every whim, I certainly don’t, but there is nothing wrong with aspiring for something a bit out of your budget’s reach. Maybe it means skipping your daily coffee shop stop or placing the item on a gift wishlist in order for it to happen, but if it’s something you truly want it will be worth the wait. The hard work and discipline it took to make the purchase or the thoughtfulness of a gift giver who gave you exactly what you wanted will also make that piece more meaningful and something you will treasure for years to come.
This clutch is truly one of my favorite pieces because of my love of Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age, because it represents the thoughtfulness of my husband who kept an eye on this gift for three years, and because someday after my own daughter has read and fallen in love with The Great Gatsby I will turn this clutch over to her and the adventures she will have. To carry this clutch is to see the phosphorescent glow of Gatsby’s house on the weekends, taste champagne, and hear the siren call of the big band pulling you to the dance floor. Combine that vibe with a lovely dress, killer accessories, and a swipe of red lipstick and who knows where the day might take you!
This might seem a silly subject to be so passionate about, but I stand firm in my belief that the beauty of taking the time to dress a little more thoughtfully each day, no matter your personal style, is that it has the power to transport you from the drudgery of everyday life and puts you in a position to carry yourself with a little more assurance, a little more poise, and a lot more joy.
Style Notes: Anthropologie dress (summer 2013) / Banana Republic shoes (fall 2010) / Ban.do clip (fall 2012) / Anthropologie earrings (summer 2013; love these) / Anthropologie belt (2013; now on sale!) / Kate Spade clutch (summer 2013; birthday present; Ebay options)