When I first saw this red cardigan, it immediately reminded me of Mr. Rogers’ iconic sweater. Unlike many of my US friends and readers, I didn’t grow up with Mr. Rogers and only heard of him when I went to college in the US. Still, Mr. Rogers was such a major figure in pop culture that I couldn’t help but become familiar with him and admire him for everything he did. So for this outfit, I took some inspiration from the man himself and put together a Mr. Rogers-esque outfit with these pants and shoes. I don’t have a pair of canvas shoes like his, so I made do with my saddles shoes instead, and my cat brooch is a nod to the puppets on his show. Tom Hanks, eat your heart out.
For this week’s SIA, inspired by Albert Huie’s “Counting Lesson”, I knew I’d want to wear something with polka dots, but I haven’t worn polka dots in so long – it’s all about stripes and plaid for me now; polka dots just seem too twee for some reason – that I don’t quite know what I would wear. Luckily, I remember these polka dot socks that I bought earlier this year and never got around to wearing yet.
For the rest of the outfit, I wanted to mimic the colors and textures in the painting – the wall and the curtain behind the girl, and the chair she’s sitting in – so I went with this blazer and sweater. The bow of my trousers’ belt is a nod to the bow on the girl’s dress, and I also added a lace collar to mimic her Peter Pan collar, and topped it off with a red brooch to mimic her red bow. Overall, I’m happy with the outfit because it feels more “me” while still reflecting the inspiration, rather than being a direct copy of the inspiration without reflecting my style.
This outfit seems like your average layered look, right? But if you look closely at the lining of the blazer, you can see that it’s printed. And of course, the real story is at the back, which makes the outfit really fun. I thought about adding a brooch to the blazer, but then I decided the outfit had enough interest already.
Another point of interest in this outfit – these boots. They look like your average Chelsea boots, right? Nope, they’re rain boots! They’re one of the few new things I bought this year, and one of the best $20 I’ve ever spent on shoes.
Since my rediscovery of thrift/secondhand/vintage shopping earlier this year, I’ve been leaning hard into my vintage-inspired style, especially 1940s style. I’ve always been drawn to 1930s-1950s style anyway, but 1940s style is a lot easier to recreate than 1950s’ (no puffy skirt, no shapewear), and it’s more functional and practical than 1930s’ too. Of course, I don’t want to look costume-y, so I tend to look for clothes that can be translated into modern outfits. One such piece is this short-sleeve sweater. I paired it with my paper-bag pants for something like this or this, and the pattern of the sweater is interesting enough on its own so I kept the rest of the outfit simple.