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Layering a Sweater Over a Dress for SIA: Evening Poplars + Dressy vs. Rustic DIY Bead Soup Earrings

Marsha at Marsha in the Middle is the curator for this round of Style Imitating Art (SIA), and she selected the 1885 oils on board painting "Evening Poplars" by Hoosier Group artist TC Steele. She shared a biography of Steele in this post, and one fact I found amusing is that his three children were named Rembrandt, Daisy, and Shirley. (Rembrandt is a lot of name to live up to, isn't it? He leaned into it and became a designer-architect in Indianapolis.) Marsha wanted to pick a Hoosier artist as her first selection, and Steele is one her favorites, leading her to this painting in the Indianapolis Museum of Art that can be interpreted literally or "from a more abstract frame of reference."

Style Imitating Art selection
Source: marshainthemiddle.com




My SIA outfits usually come about in one of two ways: I examine the artwork to identify different elements that can be interpreted in my outfit with various items, or I feel an immediate resonance between the artwork and a particular item in my wardrobe and use that as my guide. This time, I wanted to work within the confines of my fall/winter capsule wardrobe, so I started by considering if I had any items in my capsule that would work with the painting. Luckily both the dark neutrals and the nature setting in the artwork found their echo in the one dress in my capsule, a flower/leaf motif print in dark olive and black.

SIA artwork and feature item(s)

But I faced a slight dilemma in that I had recently worn this dress with black and wasn't sure I wanted to do that combination again so soon. But I found a way to wear the dress slightly differently the second time while staying true enough to the spirit of the artwork. I'm going to share both of these outfits in today's post because both of them work well with the inspiration painting.


First, the "precog" outfit (before the painting was revealed) brought out the black pullover sweater and black moto jacket noted below with the red 28 (because this is the 28th outfit I'm sharing from my capsule wardrobe).

Capsule wardrobe

I layered the black pullover sweater over the top of the dress so it functioned more as a skirt. This is a great layering technique for moving a sleeveless or short-sleeved dress into winter weather, but you can do it with any sleeve length. Once I had the dress and the sweater on, I didn't need the jacket right away; it was was warm enough without it so I left it off to take my photo with just the sweater over dress. (I did pop the jacket on and off during the course of the day as desired.) I did add a warm thrifted pashmina in a lovely olive and black paisley design around my neck.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 2/2/24 - Capsule outfit #28

I continued the black theme with black tights and my sleek-and-slightly-edgy black ankle boots.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My daily outfit photo routine was cut short so I didn't get a photo of myself wearing the bracelets, but here's the image of my DIY olive/black/silver paper bead bracelet set and supplemental bracelets from my digital closet.

DIY paper bead bracelet set

The white and green beads were made from a full-page image of damaged leaves against a white background in Audubon magazine. I added black marker to cover the core of the paper and add some nice contrasting stripes to the finished beads. I always love the range of green colors I get when using a nature photo to make paper beads.

DIY paper bead page to bead examples

Another nature image was the source for my second bracelet also, this full-page photo of leafy green trees from an alumni magazine. I edged the strips with silver marker to cover the white core in a more subtle way than in the first bracelet. Because the size of the leaves in this image are much smaller than in the first, you can still get a "leaf" feel from these rolled beads, whereas the first set of beads are just stripes of color.

DIY paper bead page to bead examples

The third bracelet with the turtle charm is technically not part of the bracelet set but it's a wonderful supplemental bracelet to wear with it. I used this close up of an olive green corduroy top from a Coldwater Creek catalog for these beads. I cut the strips 0.5" wide at the end instead of 1" for variety. The corduroy wales and the shadows in the photo create nice visual texture on the final beads.

DIY paper bead page to bead examples
DIY paper bead page to bead examples

It is a truth universally acknowledged within a world of my own that a paper bead bracelet set in one's possession must be in want of a pair of coordinating bead soup earrings. Or more than one pair! I found two black bicones, two black round glass beads, and two olive glass pearl beads to create my bead soup stack earrings. When I'm using very basic beads like this, one way to enhance the earrings is to add bead caps and fancy spacers (like these daisy spacers) to the design. The detail, delicacy, and shine of the metalwork can elevate the earrings to a dressier vibe. Sprucing up earring designs is a good way to use up small numbers of fancy spacers and bead caps. For example, the taller bead caps on the bicone beads were the only two that I had in this style (they probably came from a Boss's Bead Bag or other random mix).

DIY bead soup earrings
Design bead soup earrings for a paper bead bracelet set

Now let's turn to the outfit I created for this challenge. I started with the same dress, but instead of a black sweater, I pulled out the aloe vera one indicated below with an aqua 29 (for the 29th capsule outfit).

Capsule wardrobe

To mimic the tall, narrow poplars as best I can (a shape that does not come naturally for my own body), I layered a black quilted vest on top of the green sweater and print dress and wore the same paisley pashmina as before draping long down the center of my body. I thought that the two long black vertical shapes created by the vest and dress on either side of the scarf was my best shot at replicating the appearance of two dark trees against a lighter green sky.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 2/12/24 - Capsule outfit #29

Here's a closer look at the rich, warm olive green of the pashmina with the softer, greyer aloe vera green of the sweater and darker olive green in the dress. While my eye can be bothered by non-matching versions of a color, it's pretty accepting of various olive-y green colors put together in one outfit. Perhaps that's because I'm so used to seeing a range of green colors together in nature.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

To switch things up slightly from the previous outfit, I wore my tall black boots instead of ankle boots. They both work well with this dress.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My daily bracelet stack is a repeat from an earlier capsule outfit, built around a paper bead bracelet set in black, olive, beige, and rusty orange with silver.

DIY paper bead bracelet set

And yes, I have bead soup earrings to share for this bracelet set as well. I pulled four pairs of wood beads (definitely from the Boss's Bead Bag) in black, light olive, and beige for the stack. I appreciate the light weight of wood beads when making earrings, and for this pair, the wood felt right with the natural/outdoorsy feel of the bracelet set. To tie in with the bracelets, I added to each earring a hammered silver spacer bead exactly like the focal bead in the middle bracelet above. I finished the top and bottom of the earrings with very simple round spacer beads. I think these have a nice rustic vibe compared to the dressy vibe of the first pair.

DIY bead soup earrings
Design bead soup earrings for a paper bead bracelet set

These two outfits added four neutral-tone accessories to the accessory capsule, shown circled in yellow.

Accessory capsule

Now it's time for our main event: selecting our Rabbit Imitating and Improving Art! Inspired by the high value contrast of the dark trees against the light background, I picked out a rabbit that combines dark and light in his coloring in a color-blocked way: the Dutch rabbit! This bunny was quite curious about the entire situation.

Rabbit Imitating Art selection

Some people aren't sure whether rabbits are creatures of the day (diurnal) or creatures of the night (nocturnal), and the reality is, they are neither. Rabbits are crepuscular, which means that they are active in the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. So if you ever find yourself strolling down a country lane in Indiana just as evening starts to set in, you might, if you are very lucky, see a rabbit hop out of the trees and into the road. Don't be afraid. Well, unless you are a plant. If you are a plant, it's time to be very, very afraid because the rabbit is out to feed!

SIA artwork improved with rabbit
Evening Poplars "improved" with rabbit -> Evening Hoplars

Thanks for joining me today for this Style Imitating Art + Rabbit Imitating (and Improving) Art post!


To see other outfit interpretations of this artwork, check out the review on Marsha in the Middle.


Do you like to wear the sweater over a dress outfit formula? Do you ever add a scarf to this combination? How about a third layer like a jacket or vest over the sweater? Do you have a preference for tall or short boots with dresses?


Blogs I link up with are listed here.

15 Kommentare


ameliasfleurs
24. Feb.

Love your interpretation of the prompt and those bracelets are fabulous. Thanks for joining Ageless Style this month.

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
24. Feb.
Antwort an

Thank you! The SIA challenge is always fun to participate in.

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Angela K Stewart Church
Angela K Stewart Church
18. Feb.

love the look your style is very much like my own I like to look dressed up but comfortable. Thanks for sharing come see what we shared at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
19. Feb.
Antwort an

Thanks, Angela - I enjoyed seeing the diverse content on your blog.

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Shelbee On The Edge
Shelbee On The Edge
17. Feb.

Sally, this dress is absolutely perfect for this painting! I love your bracelet stack. The warm green tones are all so pretty. And I do believe that I have that exact same green and black paisley pashmina! It is so pretty and such a gorgeous shade of green. It is a truth universally acknowledged that I cracked up at your Jane Austen reference! Well done as always, my friend!


Shelbee

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
17. Feb.
Antwort an

Thanks, Shelbee! And I'm so glad you recognized the reference; sometimes mangling quotes to our purposes is just irresistible! That's funny that we are green pashmina sisters; it's a great one though, isn't it?

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Di Cook
Di Cook
15. Feb.

These are two great interpretations for the SIA challenge! The painting is dark and moody and it and it is interesting to see how all the ladies styled it. I am a fan of dresses in general, and the sweater or jacket over dress formula is one I use frequently...and you know how I love my scarves! I really like your bracelet stack, and how nicely your paper bead creations compliment this outfit.

Enjoy your weekend, thanks for sharing!

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
15. Feb.
Antwort an

Thanks, Di - I had wondered if my outfit was a bit too dark for the painting, but you're right that the art has a dark and moody vibe to it, so I think it works!

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Joanne
Joanne
15. Feb.

Both looks are really great! I love how versatile that dress is.

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