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Dressing Down a Fancy Skirt for SIA: Still Life by Kristy Goggio

Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge is the curator for this round of Style Imitating Art (SIA), and she picked the 1990's painting "Still Life" by Wisconsin painter and teacher Kristy Goggio. Shelbee chose this oil painting because she found it at a local thrift shop for $13, and after a makeover of the frame, has it hanging in her bohemian bedroom in upstate New York. It has beautifully rich colors for creating a summer outfit.

Style Imitating Art selection

Both the pink + blue color scheme and floral motifs of the painting are a slam dunk for my style. But as blue and pink outfits are something I wear all the time, and I have been enjoying experimenting with various softer alternatives to navy this summer, I decided to focus on the blue tones and the floral elements of the painting, saving the pink as an accent color.

I started my outfit with my slate blue skirt that I had identified over the winter/spring as a high priority wear item for summer 2023. I purchased it secondhand from ThredUp in June 2020 for $20.15. I have worn it 14 times for a current cost per wear (CPW) of $1.44. Befitting its high priority wear status, four of those wears are since May 1, 2023.

It is a pretty fancy skirt by my standards...not in a "going to the ball with Cinderella" way but in a "high dollar professional wear" way. It's MM LaFleur brand, from that brief period of time when they actually sold plus size clothing (they currently offer a grand total of four plus size items on their site on final sale because they are abandoning that market). Their skirts start at about $195, so $20 secondhand was a steal. And unlike many higher price point items that seem no better than my usual brands, this skirt really is nice quality. Look at the lovely invisible hem on it, for example.

Painting and skirt with similar patterns

So in my mind, this skirt seems "fancy/professional" rather than "every day WFH," and my life is full of the latter and devoid of the former. But I've been challenging myself this summer to just wear the skirt. It's comfortable, and it can even be washed in the washing machine on the delicate cold cycle, so there's no practical reason not to wear it. But sometimes categorizing something in your mind in one way can preclude you from taking full advantage of the many diverse ways it can be worn, and I was bumping up against that limitation with my "fancy" skirt.

For this blue-themed SIA, I decided to make a point of dressing down this skirt for a normal WFH work day so I added my new-ish navy blouse and left it completely untucked for a more casual look compared to the fully tucked SIA: Suntan outfit. I then topped it with a button up shirt worn as a shirt-jacket, which is a styling technique that has a wonderful "finished but laid-back" vibe to me. From the waist up, I definitely look like I could be wearing a pair of shorts, cropped pants, a knit skirt...something comfortable and relaxed. I like how these pieces, styled this way, dressed down the skirt. It's not an outfit you'd wear to a corporate office, job interview, court date, or other professional/dressy function. It feels just right for my summer business casual WFH lifestyle.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 7/12/23

I loved incorporating this softly colorful floral shirt in the outfit. Although the warm pink flowers aren't a perfect match for the pink flowers in the painting, they have a quite similar shape! This is the second year for this shirt to be on my high priority wear list for summer as I drive down the CPW (currently $1.75 after 24 wears). (And as you know, I just love a navy-based print, especially a floral one.) I went relatively light with my layered necklace look: a DIY multi-strand seed bead necklace in multiple shades of blue plus a pretty pink crystal floral pendant (from my mom) to bolster the pink floral element.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

I repeated the pale pink from the flower pendant with a pair of light pink/silver tone drop earrings and wore lipstick in a "background of the painting"-esque shade of rich dusty pink.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

I often wear this skirt with my nude wedges, but I wore nude flats this time because that felt more casual (and more playful with the studs).

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My daily bracelet stack is in a mixed muted shades of blue color palette with grey and silver. It contains three DIY paper bead bracelets, a DIY grey glass pearl bracelet, a purchased navy/silver bracelet, and a DIY light blue glass bead/silver bracelet. The top and bottom paper bead bracelets are part of a set I made to coordinate with a navy plaid skirt I have; the second (dark navy/silver) one is a supplemental bracelet that I wear with various sets.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

The top paper bead bracelet with the silver focal bead (which I think is a snowflake but I treat it like a flower in the summer) started out as this wonderful full-page whale drawing in an alumni magazine. The navy, soft indigo, soft blue, and taupe/beige colors were spot on for my color palette, and I knew that the very small pops of red could be easily covered up with marker. I edged the strips with metallic silver marker to create silver stripes on the final beads. The predominant navy and taupe/beige colors resulted in beads with some nice contrast.

Paper bead page-to-bead example

The bottom bracelet was made from this page, which is a full-page ad in The Economist with a gorgeous range of silvery-blue tones. It's almost too bad that rolling paper beads obscures the pattern on the paper because this fantasy landscape is quite interesting to look at. I edged these strips in silver marker as well, producing more striped beads; the stripes are more subtle here because they blend in a bit with the low contrast blue paper.

Paper bead page-to-bead example
Paper bead page-to-bead example

Now for our Rabbit Imitating Art selection! Of course I thought about choosing a blue bunny, and as I was scrolling through my photo archives, I was thrilled to come upon this delightfully fluffy Jersey Wooly rabbit (which I had called "jersey wooly or wig" in the file name). The rich depth of blue tones and luxurious fur were a great match to the feathery blue leaves on the plant on the right side of the painting, as you will see...

Rabbit Imitating Art selection

...when the rabbit enters the scene and changes a still life to a still life with bunny. Like me, he has taken an interest in the somewhat mysterious low-growing plant life at the lower left corner of the artwork. "What is that?" I wonder. "Is this food?" he questions. It certainly could be some kind of herbaceous plant. In any case, he's checking it out thoroughly with the nibble test. (It occurs to me that choosing a wooly rabbit for this painting was a wise choice because it gets cold in upstate New York where Shelbee and the artwork reside! It may be summer now but we all know that winter is coming...)

SIA artwork with rabbit
Still Life "improved" with rabbit

I checked out Goggio's gallery and found that paintings with rabbits are actually right up her alley. Here is an example of one of her rabbit artworks; check out her gallery for more bunnies, butterflies, crows, other birds, moons, honeybees, sunflowers, other flowers, trees, lush landscapes, and Mother Nature personified!

Having Each Other's Back, 2020 (source:

Thanks for joining me today for this Style Imitating Art + Rabbit Imitating Art post!

To see other outfit interpretations of this artwork, check out the review on Shelbee on the Edge.

Do you like to wear pink and blue together? Do you have a "fancy" skirt or other item that you tend not to wear in your day to day life but could? What are your tricks for dressing down a fancy item?

Blogs I link up with are listed here.

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