I fielded a few invitations to parties and events in December and so far in January, a few of which called for various degrees of "festive" dress. I like the idea of festive -- as opposed to formal, which can be festive or not, and often is far too serious -- but I struggled nonetheless. It seem that I although I have developed a comfortable relationship with my wardrobe and my style, at least on a casual, day-to-day basis, I have somehow found myself in a place were I have no party clothes, or very few, and what I do have does not play well together.
And so, I've started thinking about the word festive and what it means to me, at least in term of clothing and style, as well as how various degrees of festive dress could play out, from festive-but-casual, through the various stages of festive dress, in ways that worked with my wardrobe, and with my evolving sense of comfort and style in dress, of my increasing awareness that it does indeed matter to me what goes with what, and how I put myself together, but also that feeling feminine doesn't necessarily come from dressing in a frilly or girly way, but from feeling comfortable in one's skin.
I'm in no rush. But at the same time I'm ready to start thinking about adding a little festivity, and not, perhaps, just for special occasions, although I think I will start there, with having a few things I can count on to see me through any situation.
I've started collecting a few images of things I like, that I could imagine myself wearing, and I've noticed a few things. For one thing, the clothes that seem to say "festive" to me are a bit more colorful and a bit more traditionally feminine than, for example, what I was wearing yesterday, in the above photo. At the same time I also recognize that I would never wear the pink shoes with the pink purse with the pink floral and leopard dress. I would wear the pink shoes with simple pants or even jeans, and although I probably do need a dress or two, a dress that could be dressed up or down, such as the Dries Van Noted dress on the Right (pink floral with leopard) or the St. John Dress at the top (too short), I would probably get a lot of use out some judiciously chosen accessories as well as a couple of dresses or skirts. Perhaps what is really happening is that some other part of me is just waking up, a part that went into hibernation for a while, that same part of me that bought sexy perfume in Paris. Although I can honesty say that sexy cocktail dresses are most definitely not my style.
But for now I need to spend a little more time assessing what I really want, and how it works with what I have and the life I lead. Like all good things in life, decisions need to evolve over time. But who knows.
Apparently I am knitting a festive sweater. I don't believe that is why I chose this pattern. In fact I don't think it was a conscious decision at the time, just something I grabbed from my closet, telling myself that it would be a fun knit. But maybe I was thinking about parties and glitter, and needing a little sparkle in my life, even if I hadn't yet put that yearning into words.
The piece shown above has actually been ripped out because there were too many errors, but I've started reknitting it. This photo gives you a better idea of what is to come than the tiny corner I have knitted now. I wrote about the pattern and why I was ripping it over on my knitting blog, purslandmurmers, and I will continue to post updates there, as that makes sense for me as a project notebook, but I won't bore you with all the knitting details.