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Styling a Blue and Pink Summer Outfit for SIA: Dr. Seuss

Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge is the curator for this round of Style Imitating Art (SIA), and she selected the 1961 painting "Gosh! Do I Look as Old as All That!" by Dr. Seuss. She chose this artwork--one of 11 paintings in the La Jolla Birdwomen series that he based on the society women of La Jolla, California--in celebration of her upcoming 50th birthday. Certainly a decked-out woman looking in a mirror (even if she is a bird) feels appropriate to a style challenge, but hopefully we will be happier about our appearance than she is!

Style Imitating Art selection
Source: shelbeeontheedge.com





I took my inspiration from two elements of the painting:

  1. The dark blue and pink color palette

  2. The idea of "old"

Rather than looking old or feeling old, I interpreted old to mean "items in my wardrobe that have been around for a while." So I took this opportunity to pull out some old favorites and put them together in a way I haven't worn them before. When something is old but timeless and awesome, we often call it "a classic," so I decided to include some classic pieces to my look.


My starting point for the outfit was the knit top with a navy background and pink flowers (Kohls, 8/2019, $17.33, 23 wears, $0.75 CPW). I continued the blue and pink theme with the navy pencil skirt (Walmart, 2/2018, $10.50, 19 wears, $0.55 CPW) and lightweight open weave cardigan vest in a vibrant punch pink (Kohls, 11/2015, $11.04, 16 wears, $0.69 CPW). This created a nice base outfit for a warm spring/summer work day.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 5/14/24

Of course I wanted to layer necklaces for this outfit, but I kept it simple and neat (no #neckmess this time). I wore a classic strand of pearls (Macy's, 12/2013, $19.50, 26 wears, $0.75 CPW--I purchased it for myself for Christmas during one of their mega-sales and presented it to my husband as an "oh, that's exactly what I wanted!" gift) and a silver tassel necklace (CJ Banks, 7/2020, $4.98, 12 wears, $0.42 CPW). I wouldn't consider a necklace from 2020 old, really, but I liked it best of my long chain necklaces to pair with the pearls.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

I continue to wear my versatile nude wedges, bringing the cost per wear down almost to my under $1 CPW target (Cole Haan, 11/2013, $119.90, 116 wears, $1.03 CPW). These are my second most worn footwear in my closet; my brown flats are just ahead at 127 wears.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

Outfit total cost per wear (not including earrings and bracelets, which I don't track): $4.22. My outfit CPW target is under $5, so I met that with a bit of room to spare!


My daily bracelet stack is based on the paper bead bracelet set I made from Coldwater Creek catalog pages specifically to coordinate with this floral top in a navy, bright pink, and silver color scheme. I rounded out the stack with 4 DIY bracelets using glass pearls, glass beads, wood beads, and stone beads. The navy/silver bracelet was purchased from CJ Banks in a set. That was the first set of bracelets I bought to test whether bracelets on stretch cord would sit closely enough to my wrist that I would be comfortable wearing them while on the computer. I found that the answer was YES, and thus began my stretch bracelet making obsession. {page to bead photos here with Outfit 4} {stretch bracelet tutorial} {bicone paper bead tutorial} {tube paper bead tutorial}

DIY paper bead bracelet set

My earrings are another DIY bead soup pair in the classic "3 beads [plus spacers] on a stick" style. It's funny, I made these earrings to go with the pink/magenta/grey/navy knit scarf I was wearing in Outfit 4 in the previously referenced post in which I was also wearing these paper bead bracelets. Pink, dark blue/navy, and grey/silver is a favorite color combination of mine, so I'm not surprised that I have multiple items that use these colors, but it's interesting to see how these coordinating pieces come together. I could probably put together a pretty neat beauty bundle/accessory set/module in that color palette.

DIY bead soup earrings

Now for the main event: our Rabbit Imitating Art selection! The photograph organization gods were working in my favor because I knew exactly the kind of bunny I wanted to feature and before I could even contemplate how long it might take me to find one in my archives, there it was...the very first rabbit in the folder! Introducing the extremely luxuriously-furred English Angora rabbit with the typical distinctive ear tufts. You can see in this photo (taken at the Minnesota State Fair at the end of the summer) that our rabbit has shedded fur down the center of the back, leaving a visible line where the very furry side and the less furry back meets. And yes, Angora rabbit fur is harvested to make wool (just like in the Beatrix Potter stories).

Rabbit Imitating Art selection

While the birdwoman looks with despair at her aging face, our Angora rabbit rests peacefully at her feet. Rabbits rightly consider getting older a cause of celebration! Another day lived is a mark of success, and to be able to relax in peace and safety is a wondrous thing. Let us eschew the birdwoman's self-criticism and embrace the wisdom of the rabbit!

SIA artwork improved with rabbit
Artwork "improved" with rabbit

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 Shelbee on the Edge.


Do you struggle with looking and/or feeling older? Do you continue to celebrate your birthdays? Are you styling any older pieces in your closet this summer? What do you think of the blue and pink color combo?


Blogs I link up with are listed here.

10 Comments


Di Cook
Di Cook
May 25

I love the whimsical piece of artwork Shelbee chose for this SIA-Dr. Suess is so much fun! The poor forlorn expression of that bird! I celebrate my birthday and hope to continue to, all of the years of my life. I like the Angora's philosophy-glad to be here another year to celebrate. Love your pink and blue color palette, those colors look very pretty on you, and are a great fit for the challenge. I use the term "classic" also-it has a much more positive connotation than saying old. I cherish those pieces in my wardrobe more as quality clothing is harder and harder to find. Thanks for sharing and hope you enjoy the holiday weekend!

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
May 25
Replying to

Such a good point that older/classic/vintage pieces are more prized as time goes on and new clothing quality diminishes! It's crazy how much things have changed even in 10 years. Glad to hear you're another celebrant of birthdays! It's sad when people think they're too old to celebrate. The older we get, the more worthy of celebration every year is!

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dame.eleanor
May 23

I love the outfit and the rabbit's philosophy!

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
May 25
Replying to

Thanks, Dame Eleanor!

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mlrbanks57
May 23

You always surprise me, Sally! That is such a clever approach to this art! I think you look beautiful in these colors and also think they fit the challenge so well! Now, to my favorite part...that bunny looks so peaceful and just right in the art. But, I have a question...does it hurt them when the fur/hair is harvested? I am always so unsure about what I should and shouldn't be wearing!


https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
May 25
Replying to

Great question about the rabbit fur! Angoras can be kept and fur plucked humanely, but often it is NOT humane, so I don't think I can recommend angora rabbit fur unless you are confident about the source.

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jodie filogomo
jodie filogomo
May 23

I love how you used "classic" items from your closet. Great look, Sally, XOOX Jodie

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
May 25
Replying to

Thanks, Jodie - I enjoyed leaning into the "old" idea this way!

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Doris Arthur
Doris Arthur
May 22

This is a great look! I love how you used the blue and pink from the painting. Your outfit is classic and stylish. The pearl necklace and tassel necklace look so good together. Happy birthday and here's to a great year ahead!

Doris/ <a href="https://purelifegem.com">Pure Life Gem</a>

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
May 22
Replying to

Thanks, Doris - it was interesting to put this outfit together!

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