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Style Imitating Art (SIA): Feeding in the Light by Jerry Garcia

Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge is the curator for this round of Style Imitating Art (SIA), and she (with her husband) selected this exuberantly colorful painting by Jerry Garcia...yes, the Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. Shelbee notes that Garcia began a second career in the late 1980s as a visual artist producing drawing, etchings, and paintings. She chose this 1991 artwork that represents "Garcia's interpretation of the colorful marine life that he witnessed scuba diving in Hawaii" because "the colors are so joyful and summery."


I really like the bright colors with the soft colorwashed effect, and I immediately decided that I wanted to include these three elements in my outfit:

(1) Tie-dye and/or stripes

(2) Colors: yellow, orange, pink, blue, green

(3) Fish or other ocean motifs

Element (1) was a bit more challenging than you might think because I don't currently own any tie-dye clothing. So I turned to my scarf collection and found this lovely tie-dye/ombré scarf in neon pink, neon peach, and cream...which also checked off the pink and orange colors in element (2). I dithered a while before settling on my favorite striped jacket that brings in the stripes from element (1) and the array of colors in element (2). The linen fabric of the jacket causes the colored stripes to have a softened look, which felt just right for the inspiration artwork.

Next I decided to layer my sleeveless chambray shirt underneath the jacket to reinforce the blue color. But I got a bit stymied when it was time to pick a skirt or pants to complete the outfit. A nice sage/aloe vera shade of green goes well with this jacket, but that color lacks the vibrancy of the artwork. I really wanted to wear my brighter green pants to match the green at the bottom of the painting, but was uncertain how that would work with the jacket's duller greens. Ultimately I decided, Screw it, bright green pants it is. And I think the combination is a success!

OOTD 7/25/22

You may find it amusing that wearing these green pants with this striped jacket feels like a step outside my comfort zone, but I am so matchy-matchy that it takes me a bit of effort to try something like this. It wouldn't even have occurred to me as a possibility under normal circumstances. It's one of the things I enjoy about the SIA style challenges - they do inspire me to try something new and different.

I was initially planning to wear the scarf in more of a faux-finity style around the neck, but at the last minute I had the idea to pull out this fish pendant (a gift from Jodie) to represent the marine life in the painting for element (3). I wore it on a thin, very nice silver chain that was a gift from my mom...which is just the right length for the fish to dangle in the V of my shirt. So I ended up doing the good ol' summer scarf under the collar trick instead. I like how this brings in both a loose/flowy aspect and a vertical aspect to the outfit in one go.

In addition to the fish pendant, I wore a pair of the world's easiest DIY earrings with dark blue/navy seed beads and silver fish charms. (It wasn't until after I made them that I realized the dark blue beads could represent water and therefore I should have added the beads all the way around the hoop so that the fish would look immersed in water. Instead the fish appear to be popping up out of the water. So perhaps they are jumping fish. Oh good, that makes sense now. Don't you hate it when your jewelry causes cognitive dissonance? So much better when the narrative makes sense.) These water-themed artworks make for an easy hair styling decision: leave it in waves.

For my DIY bracelet stack, I started with the three paper bead bracelets and pink glass bracelet that I made to coordinate with my linen beige striped top (detailed here). To that I added the green/silver bracelet (reinforcing the pants color), gold/silver spacer bead bracelet, and square lapis lazuli bead bracelet, all made by me. It's not necessary, of course, but I do like to incorporate a mixed metal piece like this gold/silver bracelet into the look when I have multiple metals going in a bracelet stack or an outfit. Even if literally no one else notices, it eases my mind in some way to add that little touch that says "Yes, I am wearing multiple metals on purpose, as you can see from this mixed metal bracelet, not just by accident."

I had a lot of shoe options but decided to double down on stripes with these Payless ballet flats. These shoes are an example of "doesn't match but goes" with the rest of the outfit. Luckily there are so many colors in these shoes that they tend to coordinate pretty well with a range of outfits. I hadn't worn these shoes since April 2020 so it was nice to pull them out of the closet for this outfit.

It's not that I had gotten sick of these ballet flats or that they don't fit well or are falling apart or anything like that. I simply have been prioritizing shoes with a higher current cost per wear (CPW). These striped ballet flats are another illustration of the lower price->lower cost per wear phenomenon. I purchased them on sale for $7.99 in November 2015, and after 20 wears, they have reached a CPW of only $0.40. And they are still going strong!

Here are some summer OOTD photos I haven't previously shared on the blog that feature the ombré scarf or the striped jacket. I have only worn this scarf twice before, and both times, I wore it with my sleeveless chambray dress that has both pink and coral/peach flowers in the print. (Scarf's current cost per wear is $1.20. It will reach <$1 with just one more wear. Buying scarves secondhand for the win!)

Mint T + black capris - Summer plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Mint T + black skinny pants - Summer plus size outfit idea for women over 40

Now a few OOTD with the (also thrifted) striped jacket that has a current CPW of $1.12 after 12 wears. I think a lot of these outfit ideas would work with any statement print topper layer (jacket, cardigan, vest, kimono...). First, dark wash straight leg jeans, shades of pink, and a green necklace follow the "road map styling" formula.

Next, another outfit with brightly colored ankle pants that coordinate but don't match any colors in the jacket (I'd forgotten about this one!). The top is a dark chambray colored knit top that I treat as a neutral. I finished the outfit with this beautiful silk fish scarf that I like a lot with this jacket and that inspired not only one, but four, sets of DIY paper bead bracelets.

This outfit shows the shade of aloe vera green that I like to wear with the jacket because it's such a nice match. I'm wearing dark denim in the form of capris; I just really like how chambray and denim work with the blue stripe in the jacket. This time I'm wearing the silk fish scarf as a headband and have repeated the fish motif with the necklace. I like the pop of color from the bright pink ballet flats! (These flats are another of the Payless pairs that I picked up in 2015 with the pink striped ones in the SIA outfit. They have all held up extremely well.)

The classic inner column of color makes its appearance in the aloe vera green that matches the darker green stripe in the jacket, and the loafers are a pretty good match to the lighter green stripe. I jazzed up the plain column with a layered necklace in shades of green, yellow, and gold.

Finally, another inner column, this time in navy/dark denim, accessorized with yellow, green, and silver.

When it comes to rabbits with a colorful striped/tie-dyed print with soft washes of color, a Japanese Harlequin in the diluted blue/orange colorway is hard to beat!

Blue Japanese Harlequin rabbit

Our intrepid bunny has taken a great interest in these strange forms of marine life that are noshing on mysterious food, and the curiosity appears to be mutual. The pink shrimp-like creature appears to be gesturing at the food, telling the rabbit "Don't worry, it's a vegan buffet tonight. You should join us!"

Feeding in the Light "improved" with rabbit

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

Do you like wearing tie-dye? Have you ever done your own tie-dyeing?

My 6 year-old nephew made a tie-dye T-shirt at camp recently, and when my mom saw it, she told him that Aunt Sally has made tie-dye. I did about half a dozen T-shirts back in high school, and I wore them until they fell apart some time after college. (These were the men's Hanes Beefy T that are very durable in my experience.) It would be fun to do it again. This DIY shibori (Japanese manual resist dyeing technique) tutorial looks cool.

Blogs I link up with are listed here.

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