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February 6, 2011 / ilegirl

Casual dinner outing

We are enjoying one of several breaks from the winter chill – something which happens nearly every year in this part of Northern California.   There’s a terrific gardening book which discusses the temperate San Francisco Bay Area microclimates, Strawberries in November.  Author Judith Goldsmith goes into some detail about the predictable weather patterns here, and it’s a useful reference both for natives and those new to this area.   The first time I read it, I began to observe the weather patterns, and sure enough they are pretty well predictable: a thick morning fog from mid- to late-June, burning off to mild heat in the coastal valleys just after noon; the periodic convergence of cool air and heat in August which causes some short-lived lightning storms during the heighth of fire season; the afore-mentioned minispring in February. I’ll never forget the February in 1995 when temps in San Francisco reached the 90’s, prompting me to rush into the local grocers where I purchased cold sodas for the over-heated construction workers at the jobsite where I worked as an office gal. 

On this temperate February day, I ran a few errands and needed to turn on the air conditioner to cool down the interior of my car.  I experienced a bit of guilt at the thought of those across a width swath of this country, who are suffering from some harsh cold.  Schools are shut, roads are impassable, people are struggling to stay warm.  In several areas conditions are stranding travellers.  I’m feeling fortunate to live in a beautiful place where I don’t have to confront such difficulties.

Nope, the ‘difficulties’ I confront are of a much less dire nature.  This evening we met one of my husband’s coworkers and her family for dinner.  I’d never met these folks before, and wanted to make a good impression.  But, what to wear?  He’d decided that as we were going to a casual restaurant he’d wear jeans, and he picked out a shirt for himself (my favorite!) which features a lot of teal in a small repeating pattern.

I decided on denim as well, but the top was more challenging.  The evening was cool enough to warrant a sweater, so after some debate I landed on a bell-sleeve knit over a patterned silk cami.

Which shoes?  I picked these because they were (a) comfortable, and (b) comfortable.  The other candidate was a pair of open-toe jeweled wedges which would have looked great (I even did a quick pedi to prepare) but in the end my toes were simply too cold to be exposed. (I kind of feel like a wuss for that, to be honest.)

The ensemble was augmented with a pendant I really like, just slightly gaudy but not crossing over into positively garish.  I like, too, that it’s strung on multiple strands of what feel like flax, dyed green, as this gives it an overall organic feel.  The bracelet is also costume jewelry, and it’s hard to properly capture it in a photo but suffice to say it’s vintage and very vintage-y in appearance.  Finally, the dangle earrings are little swan origami strung with glass beads – love these earrings, but they are too fragile to wear frequently.

Overall, the look was casual.  The necklace dressed it up a bit, but not too much.  I felt pretty comfortable too, though I wish the knit top was a different color – it feels kind of drab, and in looking at the photo it is drab.  The cami is a piece I adore.

The main pieces were all thrifted.  The only items purchased new were the origami earrings and the shoes.

Knit top – thrifted (Express)

Black floral silk camisole – thrifted (unknown)

Jeans – thrifted (label lost during tailoring)

Shoes – Liz Claiborne

Necklace – thrifted

Vintage bracelet – thrifted

Swan origami earrings – street vendor in Martinez, CA

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