Pretty in Python…

I have a gift for finding AMAZING bargains! Energized by the thrill of the hunt, I am always in search of something unique, special, and classically feminine with a hint of je ne sais quoi. I’m not ashamed to admit it; I have adopted a uniform—a signature silhouette, one that suits my lifestyle, my figure, and my budget.

My formula is typically: one part dress, one part jacket, with heels, a belt, and sometimes a scarf. I mostly wear dresses, because I feel more feminine and elegant, especially in a fitted sheath, such as a body con, shirtdress, or fit and flare. I generally pair (part one) with a blazer or long jacket. The second part of this equation is multifaceted. I am almost always cold, so a jacket is practical for warmth. A jacket also finishes an outfit; I feel more polished and pulled together, but I’m also petite (5’2″) and curvy (37-25-36), so it helps to sometimes camouflage my voluptuousness.

Almost every outfit of mine is belted. I am fortunate enough to have amassed a fantastic collection of vintage belts: wide, narrow, leather, calf hair, exotic, fringed, printed, solid, laser cut, embellished, neutral, metallic, etc. I never met a waist cincher I didn’t like. The belt is key to defining and shaping my “signature silhouette.”

Given my small stature, it should come as no surprise that I live in heels!!! Most of my heel heights vary from three to four inches, with a handful of kitten heels and another handful of higher heels, i.e. five to six inches tall. I prefer a pointed or almond toe box to lengthen the leg.

As for jewelry, I wear the same pieces almost everyday: diamond studs, a diamond necklace, and antique diamond rings on each hand. For an edgier ensemble, I may wear a statement necklace or layer several daintier pieces or stack bracelets—and for more formal occasions, I rely on my beloved gram’s pearls…

I was recently struck by how much of my wardrobe, excluding footwear, is sourced secondhand, probably ~65-70% has been purchased from a consignment shop, flea market, vintage boutique, or eBay. Admittedly, this requires considerably more time and patience; you’ll need to know your body well, i.e. your measurements and what works best for your body type—and above all else, find a good tailor!

The monochromatic outfit pictured above is a perfect example of my trusted sartorial equation. The dress, jacket, and belt were all sourced from eBay. The Calvin Klein khaki shirtdress is a wardrobe staple, which I had altered through the hips to be more fitted. The python coat, billed as a Tuleh sample, is a statement piece that would pair as easily with a t-shirt and jeans for a weekend brunch. The vintage Judith Leiber belt not only elevates the classic silhouette with an exotic texture, it also incorporates elements of femininity and sophistication a la the rose quartz cabochon stones at the buckle. I finished the outfit with a classic pair of nude Brian Atwood Pumps.

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