Code Red

March 11, 2012

Historically I’ve worn mostly black.  It’s easy; everything goes together, my weight can fluctuate and it doesn’t matter, it’s easy on my cleaning bills etc. You know, all the usual reasons.  I’m guessing, though, that my friends and family get tired of seeing me in all black and quiet as it’s kept, so do I.

Occasionally I crave color, bright vibrant color.  In the past it’s made me nervous though.  I’m afraid I’ll be out somewhere and suddenly wish I were back in my trusty black. (It’s happened.) But with this sweater, I finally figured out how to hedge my bets.

I can start out by wearing the red to the front and if I get a sudden attack of color phobia, all I have to do is turn it around.  Voila, I don’t have to see it, and if my friends start to complain, all they have to do is step back.  Finally, it’s a win-win.

(I made the sweater out of two thrifted sweaters.  The pants are thrifted Donna Karan and the belt is so old, I don’t have a clue.)  Also, don’t forget it’s coming up on Monday, which means a party at Patti‘s place.  See you there!

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33 Responses to Code Red

  1. Pearl on March 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Really Great sweater, in either direction! I do love your style. I’m always looking for inspiration as I don’t want to look frumpy ever, but nor do I want to look like I’m trying to compete with 20 year olds…I’ve never been told I look like either of those, and thanks to inspiration like your blog I hope to keep it that way!

    • Jean on March 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      I’m so glad you’re back for a visit! I suspect you look great and I’m glad I can offer inspiration. I love going to other style blogs for ideas (a few of those are listed in my favorites). Hope you enjoy.

  2. Rose on March 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Yes, there’s safety in wearing the same thing all the time, whatever it is. Black is something a lot of people fall back on. Wearing jeans is another. For myself, I look sick in black and jeans are so hideous on me I daren’t subject people to that sight! I do have some black skirts I wear to death though.

    Incidentally, your hair is so GORGEOUS! Just love it.

    Love from England,

    • Jean on March 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      I think I’ll always love black, but I’m trying to stretch my boundaries. I’ll do jeans occasionally, but I don’t really like them on me, plus I don’t find them comfortable. But this just gives us incentive to be creative, right?

  3. Tamera Beardsley on March 11, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Such a lovely idea. I so appreciate your creativity and style! Happy to have found your blog on Patti’s link.

    • Jean on March 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      I had trouble linking up to your site, but after googling you, I struck gold! Thank you for commenting and I’ll definitely be coming back for more.

  4. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style on March 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    So brilliant, Jean! I rely on black a lot too, and have to push myself into colors. You look terrific; thanks for sharing with Visible Monday.

    • Jean on March 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      The pleasure is all mine!

  5. The Style Crone on March 12, 2012 at 9:36 am

    The photo of you gorgeous hair flirting with the triangle of red in your creatively designed sweater is very striking. I too wear black frequently for all of the reasons that you mentioned. Spicing up a black background with color through the use of accessories has become a habit I can live with.

    • Jean on March 12, 2012 at 11:36 am

      My hairdresser will appreciate your comment, as do I!!

  6. Melanie on March 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    You look beautiful. Your stance is always so relaxed, so natural. I like the pop of colour, but I understand the attraction of black. The creativity in your upcycling is inspiring.

    • Jean on March 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      But I was thinking your poses are the best!! Good to see you here, hope all’s well!

  7. Jeannie on March 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I am SO with you on black! It is the predominant color in my wardrobe as well.
    Such a classy look…I adore that sweater!

    • Jean on March 12, 2012 at 11:46 pm

      I appreciate your comment! Aside from the fact you have a great name (only a few people call me that now), I love your style. The post with the torn jeans was especially fun. Thanks for visiting and please come back!

  8. Bella Q, The Citizen Rosebud on March 12, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I love the peek of red in the flow of black. Great look front or back.

    • Jean on March 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      Beautiful Bella!! You could rock this sweater, I think, with a leather mini or something, and some funky hosiery. It would keep you warm in Seattle, but wait, I think you’ve got that covered. Congrats!

  9. Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell on March 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Jean, you are such a lovely woman! Your hair is gorgeous.
    Your talent in refashioning clothing is nothing short of amazing. I love how you did this top. I especially like what you did on the sleeves!

    • Jean on March 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      My favorite part of this sweater is the wrist treatment, too!! I love the idea of pulse points/warmth and tried to enhance that feature. Thanks for noticing!!

  10. mary jo on March 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I love the back version, it’s so ingenious!

    xo Mary Jo

    • Jean on March 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      So easy, too. Even if you don’t have a sewing machine it’s possible to hand stitch the inserts and finish off all the edges with a basic blanket stitch. For me, the rougher the better!

  11. Terri on March 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Jean–I like your thinking about black. My go-to color was always grey before I began blogging. I have tried this reversed cardigan trick a number of times, but I don’t think I have the right cardigan that makes it workable. I like your version a lot.

    • Jean on March 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      This piece started out as a simple pullover. I enlarged the neckline front and back, cut a slit in the front and added the triangle of red, also adding red at the inner seam of the wrists. Cardigans can be a little tricky. My favorites are the ones with the drapey front pieces so common right now. A general rule for reversing sweaters is to enlarge the neck opening and be prepared to have the shoulders feel a little funny. Let me know how it goes!

      • Jean on March 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm

        P.S. It’s funny, but since I’ve been growing out my gray hair, I’ve been gravitating towards gray as my “go-to” clothing color, then accenting with other colors, as needed. I’m guessing as I continue to blog, that will become apparent.

  12. Kiah on March 14, 2012 at 12:07 am

    WOW! That sweater is all kinds of fabulous! I love the red streak! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by my blog. You are too sweet! Kiah

    • Jean on March 14, 2012 at 12:33 am

      I’ll be back to visit for sure!!

  13. SACRAMENTO on March 14, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I have just found your wonderful blog. I couldn´t get to it somehow.
    You are not only chic and gorgeous, but also so beautiful, ahhhhhhhhhhhh
    Following you everywhere and adding you to my blogroll this second, yeahhhhhhh

    • Jean on March 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Now I’ve arrived! Thank you so much for checking in. I have been following you forever, admiring your zest and incredible pattern combinations. Looking forward to more.

  14. Lisa on March 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I rely on black quite a bit too, but have been trying to branch out into more color the past few years. I find it’s easiest to add color to black, as you have with your red. You get the flash of color, but still all the benefits of a coordinating wardrobe. I found your blog via Sylvia’s blog and am very glad I did.

    • Jean on March 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Black is still pretty much the backbone of my wardrobe and you’re right, it makes it easier when you add color accents. I had to smile when I saw your most recent post, by the way. A few months ago I thrifted a beautiful pair of Bettye Muller kitten heels. I wasn’t familiar with her but I knew I’d scored something special.

  15. WendyB on March 15, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I rely on black — and jeans — soooo much for daytime.

    • Jean on March 15, 2012 at 10:21 am

      And from what I can tell, you always look good.

  16. LaJuandrea on March 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I just love it! My teen daughter enjoys your blog too.

    • Jean on March 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      I’m so glad to know you like it! You can tell your daughter that she’s pretty styley, too! I liked the way she was so creative with some of the upcycled pieces we looked at together over the holidays.

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