Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Inspiring Interpretations: Reader Submissions

Welcome to Inspiring Interpretations!  Our challenge in this activity is to draw inspiration from a photo by creating an outfit out of our own interpretation of the image.  The only rule?   If we already own the same piece of clothing used in the picture, we cannot use it.   In doing this, we hope to develop our creativity by interpreting the inspiring images we see rather than simply rushing out to buy the exact same pieces depicted.  Read more about the background of this feature here.

This round of Inspiring Interpretations featured an outfit by Dea of The Dea Diaries.

Dea said:

The Crocheted Clouds dress was something that I liked from afar but wasn't wowed by it. I tried it on for the first time and thought it was okay, then asked my readers to weigh in on their opinion of the dress. The outstanding majority declared this was not the dress for me and that if I was on the fence I should keep looking, but something pulled me back and so I tried it on a second time and against all caution and advice, I brought it home and love it. It's a dress like no other and the beige, intricate detail reminds me of the hand-made crochet pieces I have inherited from both of my grandmothers. The tablecloths, the doilies on the furniture, the tiny details on the bed sheets - all hand-made and reminders of my childhood. I chose this cardigan for layering because I really liked how the subdued purple matched the tea bag-stained color, and the lengths were complementary to one another. I paired them both with these Seychelles because they have a high heel and elongated my body so I wouldn't appear shorter due to the skirt's length.

Here's what you all came up with!


When Dea said her dress reminded her of doilies, I immediately thought of my Lacemaker Skirt, which definitely has a similar, old fashioned, doily-ish feel to it. I then added my Volante Tee to stay in the tea-stained color scheme of Dea's dress. I also thought that the feather print on her sweater sort of looked like ruffles, so I added my Boucle de Souffle jacket on top. I wore this outfit with my Dotty Clusters tights and with my Naya Caitlin pumps.


I don't own any of the pieces Dea wore in her photo, so the "no wearing the same items" part of the challenge was easy.  Dea's Crocheted Clouds dress was the inspiration behind my interpretation. The Crocheted Clouds dress resembles the crocheted skirt I purchased from a 'recycled' clothing store and it seemed like the perfect centerpiece for this challenge. Like Dea's dress, my skirt, has this romantic, vintage feel and I paired it with a watercolor-print blouse from Anthropologie and rugged, yet feminine, boots (also from Anthorpologie).

Top: Floreat blouse from Anthro
Skirt: To The Max
Boots: Martingale from Anthro
Belt: Linea Pelle from Anthro

Thrifty Threads

Dea's outfit appealed to me for its expert use of bold jewel tones to accent a lovely, neutral palette. I also found coherence in the outfit's proportions, as Dea layered a long cardigan over an a-line dress that falls below the knee. For my re-creation of this look, I replicated the long length of Dea's dress and cardigan by using the full-skirted "In a Twinkling" dress and a micro-striped cardigan edged with a beige chiffon ruffle. Because the neutral tones in the dress and cardigan provided me with a blank slate, I called upon ruby and amythyst accessories to tie the look together.


I took my inspiration from the lace detail on Dea's dress. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the dress I'm wearing in this picture has a pretty lace motif. I also loved how Dea styled her dress for cooler weather with the cardigan and tights. I've always seen my white dress as very summery (and a little bridal since I purchased it for my wedding rehearsal), so it was a challenge for me to style it for early spring. I think the dark cardigan and gray shoes provide a nice transition between winter and spring, and the bright belt was just fun.

Bobs and Doodads

I loved Dea's colors and outfit, but sadly I don't have anything that seemed similar to her pieces in my closet ... so I had to get creative!! After several different outfits, I settled on this one. The pieces are similar to Dea's in essence - a flowy dress, a long cardigan, chunky heels, simple necklace (I decided to forgo tights because it's 80 degrees here, oh my!) ... but then it's obvious where our pieces differ! My cardigan is a chunky Grandpa cardigan; I choose to play up the fabric in cardigan, not the dress (Dea's dress is delicate whereas mine is plain and stark white). I also used the colors in the cardigan to pick my shoes - they're chunkier shoes, like Dea's, but they fit the colors of the cardigan I'm wearing well (just as Dea's do hers). The same went for my necklace - it's a fossilized ammonite, and I thought "well, I'm wearing a dog cardigan ... why not be the crazy animal lady and add the ammonite to match the nude belt, make this outfit a little 'Mandy'?" The nude belt came from my own personal love of belts and cardigans - I always love throwing a belt over a cute cardigan if I have the chance! All in all, I love what Dea's outfit inspired me to create! I would have never paired this dress with this cardigan otherwise!

Indeed, my outfit isn't similar to Dea's unless you read through my thought process! :) Thank you for giving me the opportunity to dress up, Dea and JG! This has been a most delightful test of fashion! :)


I chose to echo the purple in Dea's Elodie Lily cardigan with my Waffle Weave dress. You'll just have to take my word on the fact that it is purple since the lighting in my bathroom is terrible. I then wanted to play off the delicate nature of the Crocheted Clouds dress. Why not my longer version of Charlotte Tarantola's Field Game cardigan? I finished the outfit off with my Looping Lanes belt, gray tights and grey t-straps.

Steph (Yes, she was inspired twice!)

The wooded landscape where Dea shot her photo was the inspiration for my ensemble. The whimsical print of my skirt features a wooded and mountainous landscape in full bloom. I wore it with a lacy and embroidered blush colored blouse, skinny belt, low pumps, and a simple necklace.
Dea has a feminine and romantic style which I attempted to emulate in my photo. Thanks for letting me participate in this challenge, can't wait for the next inspiring interpretation!

Skirt: Vintage
Top: Anthropologie
Belt: Anthropologie
Necklace: Gift
Shoes: Nordstrom

Anne's Blog Spot

I loved the vintage feel of Dea's crocheted dress and went with that! My mother crochets, knits, embroiders--you name it, she does it! Mom has that same love for the details in the crocheted that Dea spoke of. So that brought me to my lace forever 21 skirt, and my banana republic outlet trapeze tank with crocheted lining and straps. I loved how Dea's cardigan really brought color to her outfit, so I picked my for-now-favorite color cardigan--my JCrew buttercup ruffle. It is not a coincidence that blue and yellow are the same colors in my Mom's favorite flower: Iris! And the jewel toned blue/purple in the iris flower is coincidentally very close the shade of blue eyes my Mom has. :)
J. Crew cardigan
Banana republic outlet tank
forever 21 belt
forever 21 skirt
sofft shoes



I loved Dea's lace dress and that formed the bulk of the inspiration. I also took note of what Dea wrote about how the details of her dress were like reminders of her childhood. I feel the same way about lace dresses - my family home had lace curtains and I remember how I used to wrap the curtains around me, pretending it was a dress!

Jewish Girl

For me, the key aspects I pulled from Dea's outfit were: flowy, purple, lace. Not to be confused with flowy purple lace, which would have been somewhat of a different direction. The top is the flowy, the tights (which complement the top) are the purple, and the booties are the lace. The necklace---a sort of old-fashioned watch, with accompanying metaphors of time elapsing---is my ode to grandparents.

Top: TJ Maxx (I call this my "Fake Bianka" Blouse)
Skirt: Anthro
Tights: Hue
Booties: Anthro Lace Lovers Booties
Necklace: UO
Earrings: via Ideeli
Watch: Fossil

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