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Styling a New Summer Outfit Combination for SIA: Mary Koop Umbrellas

Salazar at 14 Shades of Grey is the curator for this round of Style Imitating Art (SIA), and she selected a colorful 1925 London Underground poster by Mary Koop. She picked this artwork because the vibrant umbrellas are a perfect source of inspiration for summer outfits.

Style Imitating Art selection
Source: 14shadesofgrey.wordpress.com





While print mixing is an obvious sartorial direction due to the variety of patterns on the umbrellas in the poster, that isn't much of a stretch for me; I mix prints all the time. But I was quite struck by the idea of combining a black print with two of the solid colors of the umbrellas. With yellow, blue, orange, pink, magenta, and mint green to choose from, I decided on a combination that I haven't tried before: a green-teal tank (that resembles the mint green) and dusky rose cardigan (for the soft pink).


I doubled down on the novelty by pairing them with a black-based botanical print skirt that has a lot of different colors in it. The green-teal is in the span of the various green tones of the skirt, but the dusky rose is a bit of a wild card; there is a slight bit of a very pale cool pink but it really doesn't match the cardigan. I was pleasantly surprised by how well these three pieces worked together!

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 6/1/24

I accessorized with that summer styling staple: the layered necklace. I started with the 3-strand faux pearl necklace with sparkly rose gold/rhinestone spacers because it's a piece that I haven't worn very often, and I thought the rose gold would be pretty with the cardigan (Kohls, 12/2020, $13.26, 10 wears, $1.33 CPW). My gold tassel necklace, which is by contrast one of my most worn necklaces, served as the long pendant layer (Kohls, 12/2014, $20.00, 20 wears, $0.22 CPW).

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

That left the middle length open, so I decided to try something very new: a DIY seed bead wrap necklace I had just made to coordinate with this skirt. I will go into more detail about this project in a later post, but it's an approximately 88" necklace strung with 11/0, 8/0, 6/0, 3mm, and 4mm seed beads and bugle beads on Chinese knotting cord. I had chosen a color palette that drew on the black, white, and warm colors (yellow, rust, green) from the skirt's print plus a mix of metallics. I felt a little weird about adding this right next to the soft and muted dusky pink cardigan, but it looked just fine, of course. One nice thing about seed beads is they're small, and even with the necklace wrapped into 3 loops, you don't really notice any kind of dissonance between the yellow-based colors and the dusky rose. To bulk up the wrap necklace, I made two quick chain necklaces to wear with it: a two-wrap in rose gold and a three-wrap in gold. I think you'll be seeing more seed bead wrap necklace + metal chain combinations this summer!

DIY seed bead wrap necklace

I chose a simple pair of black flats to repeat the skirt's background color, though gold or a nude-to-me color would have been a great option too. These shoes are ones I have often chosen to wear into the office on warm rainy days because they are a faux patent leather that repels water well, and that seemed fitting for the summer rain implications of the artwork's umbrellas motif.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

Outfit total cost per wear (not including earrings and bracelets, which I don't track): $5.70. My outfit CPW target is under $5, so I came pretty close. The cardigan and faux pearl necklace both have a CPW over $1 so that put me a bit over target.


My daily bracelet stack is based on a DIY paper bead bracelet set in green and orchid tones that I made to coordinate with a different skirt. The colors aren't a perfect match for my outfit but are in the same general color families so I figured that was close enough. I supplemented my stack with a rose gold bracelet from Amazon (that is really started to show some wear but somehow I don't mind that) and several beaded bracelets I made from glass (the two pink ones) and quartz (the dark green one). {stretch bracelet tutorial} {bicone paper bead tutorial} {tube paper bead tutorial}

DIY paper bead bracelet set

The top bracelet with the flower charm started out as this full-page ad on the back cover of The Economist. Some judicious application of permanent marker in dark green, light green, and pink on the paper strips covered up the white text, the grey concrete, and the blue hat, resulting in rolled beads fully within my desired palette. The juxtaposition of the solid pink against the leafy green pattern looks really cool.

Paper bead page to bead example

I made the bottom paper bead bracelet from this mostly orchid/lilac page from an old calendar. I covered up the rusty-orange with a gold marker, which I also applied along the cut edges to cover the white paper core. I love the irregular striping of gold and green against the dominant pinkish color of the beads.

Paper bead page to bead example
DIY paper beads page to bead examples

My earrings are another DIY bead soup pair in my go-to, dead easy stacked bead style. I used a very simple color palette of pink and green with gold, to coordinate with the paper bead bracelet set, but the different sizes, shapes, materials, and finishes of the beads add visual interest to a very basic design.

DIY bead soup earrings

Now for the main attraction: making our Rabbit Imitating Art selection! Given the various black and white prints on the umbrellas, I knew I wanted a rabbit with a black "broken" pattern, and this luxuriously soft (and shedding) lady mini rex with her perfectly plump dewlap and delicate paws was absolutely impossible to resist. Summer elegance at its finest!

Rabbit Imitating Art selection

She looks upon this scene with interest because finally the humans are being sensible - they are going underground, like any reasonable creatures should. Pet rabbits are the domesticated version of the European rabbit, a wild breed of bunny that lives communally in underground warrens (just like in Watership Down). Interestingly, it's the female rabbits who do most of the digging work! "Big burrows are complex excavations which may descend to depths of several feet. They are not constructed on any specified plan, and appear to be enlarged or improved as a result of promiscuous activity of several generations" (Wikipedia). Groucho voice: And the digging's not the only promiscuous activity in those warrens, if you know what I mean...

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 14 Shades of Grey.


Do you like the soft pink + green-teal/mint color combination? How would you have interpreted this poster in an outfit?


Blogs I link up with are listed here.

6 Comments


mlrbanks57
Jun 06

I always love your neck "messes," and this one is no exception! I think it's amazing you just threw together this seed bead necklace! I always love to hear how you come up with your outfits, and this time was so good! I honestly didn't even notice there were plain umbrellas! And, of course, the Broken Mini Rex looks on with great favor at the plethora of umbrellas!


https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Jun 11
Replying to

Thanks, Marsha! It was such an interesting piece of art to work with, and so many different interpretation possibilities!

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jodie filogomo
jodie filogomo
Jun 05

I love how you put this together. Your right, from a distance you don't notice the beads but it helped seeing them near the skirt!

Xoxo

Jodie

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Jun 11
Replying to

Isn't it interesting how different something can look at a distance versus close up??

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Di Cook
Di Cook
Jun 05

Salazar chose a very fun, but very challenging piece of artwork for SIA this month! The first thing I thought of was the patchwork prints in clothing a few years back, when Cottagecore was would a big influence. I would definitely combine the pink and green colors in your outfit. The combination blends very nicely together and works great well for the challenge, too. Enjoy the rest of your week and thanks for sharing!

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Jun 11
Replying to

Oooh, the reference to Cottagecore would be a fascinating direction for this challenge!

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