One Saturday night a couple of weeks ago I was flicking through tv channels trying to find something to occupy me for few hours. In the absence of anything else , I settled on Jane Austin’s Emma. I had seen it years ago but was happy to watch it again. As I watched I started thinking about the morals and ethics that were considered so vital for woman to possess in that era. A gentle spirit, humility, intelligence, the ability to sew, draw and sing, and conduct yourself with decorum were all qualities that were much admired and desired or rather demanded in woman.
We’ve come a long way since those days but I started thinking about decorum and what it means. The dictionary definition of it is’ behaviour in keeping with good taste and propriety’. So at what age these days do you need to behave with decorum. Is it ok for young woman in their 20’s to have fun, throw caution to the wind and be a bit outrageous, wear op shop clothes, stay out at clubs all night and survive on cappuccinos but it’s not ok from your late 30’s and 40’s onward. That kind of behaviour gets you labelled as eccentric at best and irresponsible at worst. Why are you suddenly expected to behave in a decorous and responsible fashion because you are getting older and does that mean you get a bit boring. I remember being in my early 20’s and spending my entire salary on earrings (there was a very expensive trendy accessories shop near me in the early 80’s and I must have kept them in business when they first opened!) In fact, looking back that is where my life long love affair with accessories started. I didn’t care that I would be eating toast for the rest of the month or that I would have to walk to work as I had no petrol money, it just wasn’t an issue. I couldn’t cook much then and used to take fudge, cold crab legs and champagne as my contribution to picnics or lunches and I didn’t mind if I couldn’t produce a Martha Stewart meal. When does everything change? Maybe people don’t judge you so much when you are younger as they think you haven’t grown up yet. Maybe your priorities change when your life starts involving other people, husbands and children and you have to consider them and not just yourself or maybe you want to be judged by your achievements, what you can do rather than what you can’t and you, not others, thrust responsibility on yourself. Surely you can still occasionally throw caution to the wind in your 40’s and 50’s and have a bit of irresponsible fun.
There are so many wonderful textures around at the moment, houndstooth, stripes and tweeds and they look amazing mixed up and worn together. Patterned trousers and skirts look great teamed with patterned jackets and printed scarves. It is not always an easy look to put together ,you can end up looking like a bag lady if you are not careful and you need a common thread like a colour if you are going to mix a lot of textures and patterns. Obviously black and white or tan and black are easier combinations to put together and adding a textured or printed scarf can pull the whole look together nicely. Here are a few things I found this week.
My daughter bought these flat black boots from Kmart ($25 ) the other day and because I really felt like gluing things together, and I had nothing else to do, I decided to ‘bedazzel’ them for her. I didn’t have any loose crystals lying around but I did have a wrap around bracelet that I haven’t worn for ages so I cut that up and attached it to the soles and buckles of the boots using gel medium. As I have said before, it is my experience that gel medium will stick anything to anything quite firmly and leaves not visible residue so I always use it.