30 March 2010

Special Occasions: Passover (First Night)

This time of year is always pretty exciting for me. To combat the often-dismal weather, there's not only my birthday (today!) but the big family gatherings that come with Passover, the Jewish springtime festival celebrating freedom.

I am exceptionally lucky: both sides of my family are truly awesome. We don't get the stereotypical infighting, cattiness, and awkwardness that make family get-togethers a gold mine for the crueler type of comedy writer. Instead, I get to spend time with my terrific cousins, uncles, and aunts, and enjoy the delicious food that accompanies the holiday.

today's outfit, WIWT, Liberty of London dress, jacket, skirt, stripey stockings, boots

today's outfit, Liberty of London dress, jacket, skirt, stripey stockings, boots

skirt, stripey stockings, boots, closeup

Jacket: Ann Taylor Loft
Pink layering tee: LnA, remixed
Dress, Liberty of London for Target
Belt, Ann Taylor Loft, remixed
Skirt, Ann Taylor, thrifted, remixed
Pink vertically striped tights, Betsey Johnson, TJMaxx
Boots, John Fluevog, remixed 

Yes, I'll admit it: I stole this look, wholesale, from Sal at Already Pretty. I can't help it! It looked so great on her, I had to try it myself!

I'll also admit that yes, I wore a nightie to a family gathering for a religious occasion. In my defense, though, it's a substantial nightie, and one I layered so aggressively that I would have been fully dressed if I removed it. I thought the print was perfect for a spring festival, and the babydoll silhouette (controlled by the tailored jacket and belt) ideal for what I knew was going to be a meal of epic proportions - seven courses, including three different (flour-free) desserts, plus the requisite four glasses of wine.

today's outfit, WIWT, closeup, jewelry, earrings, necklaces
Origami fan earrings: Magokoro New York
Carved bone necklace: inherited from my grandmother
Carved orange-and-black necklace: inherited from my great aunt, via my mom

I went a little crazy with color and pattern in this outfit, and I got to wear some really fun, unusual jewelry that's not in regular rotation in my wardrobe.

The earrings are tiny origami fans made from Japanese mulberry paper. I love how they pick up the pattern on the bottom of the dress and weigh almost nothing.

I also was really happy that, for such a family-oriented event, I was able to wear two pieces of jewelry that belonged to women in my family before me. The carved orange necklace is really spectacular. I have no idea of what material it's made, but my mom tells me it's hand-carved. I do know that it's such a dramatic piece that it's difficult to work into outfits. In the past, I've always tried to wear it with something very, very simple, to let it take center stage, and I've never been happy with the results. I think it works much better this way, in concert with a busy pattern that picks up its colors.

Liberty of London dress, jacket, skirt, stripey stockings, boots
photos: Fabulous Husband

Last night's gathering, with my mom's side of the family, was a little on the casual side, so I could get away with the funkiness of the floaty dress over a skirt. The blazer might almost have been a bit too formal, but the cropped sleeves, oversized buttons, and pick-stitching kept it relaxed. Tonight's Seder, with my dad's side of the family, is a bit dressier, so I'll break out something more structured.

Finally, Fabulous Readers, I owe you an apology. I didn't get a chance to get pictures of the outfits I wore to the two Gypsy Nomads concerts last week. As soon as I get a chance, I'll take an afternoon and re-create the looks for your enjoyment!


  1. That is freakin' adorable.

    Please excuse my ignorance, but it must be a bit of a rarity to be a practicing Jewish with Irish heritage, no? Please educate me!

    I can't wait to see how you step it up for Seder!

  2. You have just blown my mind with the awesomeness of this outfit! I never would have known it was a nightie!

    Good Pesach!

  3. You look amazing. Absolutely love the striped tights.

    You should have posted the outfit that you wore to the gypsy feast!

    It was great meeting you guys. Hope to see you at another event soon.

  4. Thanks for all the positive comments! I love hearing from you guys.

    @Emily Kennedy: Don't let the red hair fool you! My heritage is entirely Central/Eastern European Jewish.

    @LHdM: That means a lot coming from someone as stylish as yourself. The jacket covers up the fact that it's a little strappy and scanty up top...

    @surrealsm: A pleasure meeting you too! I wish I had gotten pictures of the outfits I wore for both concerts, but I managed not to. I'm hoping to do a photo shoot next week to re-create them.


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