Vintage Hat Styles for Winter

Ooh! Look! More elegance! The blogger over at Vintage Dancer has a post, with plenty of pictures, showing vintage hat styles for winter. Adding a hat during the winter is an easy way to add elegance. No one thinks twice about wearing hats when it's cold. And you can cover your head respectfully during Mass without feeling like people are staring, as some ladies say they feel when they use chapel veils. I often wear a beret in the winter to Mass but am considering being a little more adventurous this year with some vintage hat styles.

Check out the post at Vintage Dancer.

Storing Costume Jewelry

Elegance doesn't equate expense in my book. Tasteful accessories, well-chosen to complement your outfit, can look as elegant as the most expensive jewels. 

I prefer collecting hand-made and vintage jewelry to add an unusual touch to my outfits. I love pearls, glass beads of all sorts, and unique handcrafted earrings. Even though I work from home every day, I always wear earrings and a necklace, and on the weekends or when I go out to dinner, I add my favorite brooches, pins, and other jewelry to my outfits.

The problem, as anyone who collects multiple pieces of inexpensive costume jewelry can attest, is how to store it all. I've tried keeping it on the cards that it comes with, or placing it back into the boxes when I buy jewelry on Etsy or at a craft fair. The boxes end up in a jumble, and the earrings always end up detaching from the cards and tumbling into profusion and confusion in my dresser drawer.

I have a jewelry box, a lovely gift from my husband when we were dating many years ago. But it doesn't have compartments for earrings. I puzzled over how to store my costume jewelry in a way that would make it organize, easily searchable, and yet keep it together in my dresser drawer.

I hit upon this gem of an idea after watching my husband store nails in his workbench: hardware storage cases!

These little boxes are actually plastic storage containers to store screws, drill bits, nuts and bolts. The compartments are adjustable. You can take the little plastic slots out and make small compartments for earrings or big ones, like this one for my vintage bracelets:

Vintage 1950s and repurposed Victorian china made into bracelets, all in one compartment.

Earrings go into the small compartment.

Two organizers, each priced around $4 at Lowe's Home Improvement, organized all of my costume jewelry.

I store the earrings several pairs to one compartment, but I try not to store two of the same type of earrings in a compartment. For example, I wear a lot of small, colorful pearl stud earrings. Because I get dressed in the dark so as not to wake my husband, I made sure to place only one pair of pearl studs in one compartment. I can be assured this way, even fumbling around in the dark, that I've got a matching pair.

These little cases keep my jewelry clean and organized. It just goes to show you that you don't need to spend a lot of money on fancy organizers or jewelry boxes for storing costume jewelry!

Real Women in Fashion: True Beauty

Oh, how I love this video from fashion designer Carrie Hammer! If you don't know who Carrie Hammer is, she's a former advertising executive turned fashion designer. And she's the woman who sent real women down the runway wearing her fashions, including a model in a wheelchair, the first-ever to be on the catwalk during New York's Fashion Week.

This video is part of the TED Talks and it's worth the 18 minutes to listen to it. Carrie speaks about how the beauty we see in the glossy pages of fashion magazine is false - false to the point that 99% of all fashion images are manipulated beyond recognition. Twelve-year-old girls are dressed up to look thirty, and women wonder why they can't be that thin. Body parts are photoshopped onto models who lack smooth legs, or curvy shapes, or whatever the current fashion of the week is within the industry.

This is why I am passionate about a return to elegance - not fashion. Elegance speaks to women of all ages, sizes, colors, and shapes. You can be an elegant 50-year old black woman or an elegant 30-year-old obese white woman. You can be a 90- year- old elegantly taking tea with her granddaughters or you can be a 21-year-old elegant newcomer to the business world. Elegance is about how you carry yourself, your demeanor, how you put your outfit together, how you comport yourself.

Beauty is fleeting. Fashion is transient. Elegance is forever.

Watch the video below.