Puzzle clothes #1

August 26, 2012

I’ve had a few nicknames through the years.  Some memorable ones include Ostrich, Queen Jean, Jean the Bean, and the one I chose for myself (and won’t divulge) the summer I went to church camp at age 13.  Most recently however, Lynx gave me the best name yet: Queen of Puzzle Clothes.  I love this.

Puzzle clothes are garments that don’t appear to make sense when you look at them, or they might be regular clothes worn in an unusual manner, for example upside down or inside out.  In this case, my puzzle garment is a silk robe or dressing gown.  I found this gorgeous silk robe at Goodwill a while ago and couldn’t wait to experiment with it.  After trying it belted, I tried pinning the front bottom corners together behind me and then securing it with a belt in the front, creating a fish-tail, one of my favorite silhouettes.

But the real surprise comes when it’s turned upside down, creating a draped top that hits just below the waist, with a beautiful shawl collar that you can snuggle into, or drape casually around your shoulders, falling ever-so-suggestively off.  This works best with soft fabrics that drape, but I’ve tried it with thin linen, cottons etc. with great success.

So try turning some of your things upside down.  It might surprise you!

Details: Vintage velvet hat-consignment shop, earrings-a store in the airport, Donald J. Pliner shoes- on sale at Dillards, belt-I can’t remember (!!) it’s that long ago, ring-a gift from Lynx.

Speaking of upside down, I’m beginning a new work project.  I will be in a major transition (all good!) for the next few weeks so I might be a little distracted.  Please know I’m thinking of you even if I’m not commenting or posting as frequently.  We’ll catch up and compare notes eventually.  In the meantime, try turning your clothes inside out/upside down.  It’s so much fun, and it’s free!!  I’ve got more puzzle clothes coming in the future and I can’t wait to share them with you.

While you’re here, make sure you join Patti and all the other creative fashionistas for a fabulous Visible Monday and also over at Monday Mingle for a great way to start your week.  XXOO

P.S. It’s now heading into the latter part of the week…check out Ta-Dah Tuesdays, too!!




34 Responses to Puzzle clothes #1

  1. Joni on August 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    My head is swirling right now with ideas and I must run to my closet to see what I can turn upside down. And idea I would never think of without you opening my mind Jean! The gown looks amazing upside down on you.

    Have a great break…I mean transition with work and we’ll see you back soon in your favorite chair and hat!

  2. WendyB on August 27, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Wow .. total glamour!

  3. Sylvia @ 40PlusStyle on August 27, 2012 at 4:18 am

    You are so smart and creative with your clothes. Love what you have done with the dressing gown. Bigger pictures please next time. I want to see more details…. That hat looks fabulous too!

  4. Desiree on August 27, 2012 at 7:20 am

    You’ve got a convert on your hands here Jean:)). I LOVE “puzzle clothes” and what a beautiful example you’ve made of this fantasmagorical way of looking at a garment. I adore every single way you’ve styled your beautiful silk robe:)). Enjoy your new work project, you sound really excited! xo

    • Jean on August 27, 2012 at 8:59 am

      I forgot a simple one!! Tie it around the waist and belt or not. Because of the proportions, it looks like a long skirt.

  5. Veshoevius on August 27, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I love what you did with this silk robe! The billowey sleeves are fabulous! When you’ve worn it long (pic below left) I am reminded of the designs of Paul Poiret. Fabulous raspberry beret too – it’s perfect with the robe.

    • Jean on August 27, 2012 at 8:55 am

      I hadn’t thought of Poiret but I can see that! I’ve also been enjoying a book about Erte and I just realized I must have been channeling him as well, although all the glorious detail and complexity isn’t the same.

  6. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style on August 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Like Joni, I will have my head in my closet soon, turning things upside down! This is just beautiful, Jean – it’s so elegant. Good luck with your new project.

  7. Vix on August 27, 2012 at 9:19 am

    You are such a clever girl! I love that robe and they way it looks upside-down is just well and truly mind-blowing! You’ve opened up a whole new world of possibilities! xxx

  8. pao on August 27, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Very cool. Haven’t thought of that! You do look like an Erte drawing, especially in your first pic! Have fun on your new project and as always, happy sewing.

  9. Rachel @StyleHigher.com on August 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Jean, I love what you did here with this silk frock. You gave me some ideas too. Thank you for sharing and inspiring me on Monday. :-) xo

  10. Tamera on August 27, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Wow–I love it!! You look stunning and this has given me some ideas!
    Have fun with your transition!

  11. Anne @ The Frump Factor on August 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I am very impressed by your ability to envision such different ways of wearing things. I think it takes a very special eye — and a good spatial sense, perhaps — to create “puzzle clothes.” Nice!

  12. Sheila on August 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Every time I try something like that, people just politely tell me my shirt is inside out, but you pull it of ever so well Jean.

    • Jean on August 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Maybe you can sneak in an upside down one! I agree inside out is a little trickier.

  13. megan, the frugalista diaries on August 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    love this look – and you can steal anything any time :)

    Xo Megan

  14. Forest City Fashionista on August 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Yay! to playing with your clothes. I’ve only tried wearing things backwards, haven’t got to the “upsidedown” yet, but you’ve inspired me. That is a gorgeous robe, and wonderfully versatile.

  15. The Style Crone on August 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    This is brilliant Jean. As the ‘Queen of Puzzle Clothes’ you open up a whole new world of ideas. Silk robes suddenly take on a totally new meaning. Your velvet hat tops off this elegant ensemble with panache.

    Have fun with your new work project!

  16. Terri on August 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Upside down? My mind is already spinning with the possibilities. I love this look and the way the hat looks.

  17. Lynn Dylan on August 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    How cool is that!! You’ve got me running to my closet too!


  18. Jeannie on August 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Brilliant! I have not a creative bone in my body…I’m just in awe.

    I was called Jeannie beanie, Jeannie the meanie….should I go on?
    Don’t stay away too long!

  19. Amber of Butane Anvil on August 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

    So luxurious, Jean! I love how the cut-outs of the sandals echo the pattern of the robe, and that burgundy velvet hat and your amazing smile just light up the place.

    Your out-of-the-box take on clothing is just one of the many things I admire about you.

  20. SACRAMENTO on August 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Always so stunning, stylish and unique, my dear friend, ahhhhhhhhhhhh

  21. rosalind on August 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Oh that’s a brilliant bit of styling trickery – turning it upside down. I’m definitely going to try that. Also love the whole idea of puzzle clothes. And then there’s the delicious cherry on top of that beautiful hat.

  22. Kaffesoester on August 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    This outfit is so beautiful and decadent – velvet, silk, heels – in very dramatic colours! Knowing that you’re actually wearing the robe upside-down just makes it even more fantastic.

  23. pastcaring on August 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I swear you could wear anything, inside out, back to front, upside down, and make it look beautiful and stylish! Why am I so conventional? I never think of this stuff!
    I am excited about your mystery work project, Jean, let us know how it goes! xxxx

  24. Helga on August 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Jean!!!
    Vix was just pushing me in your direction…and then you dropped by!
    I am so pleased to meet your gorgeous self!
    Great robe inspiration,I have a soft green one I found a while back, and haven’t worked out what to do with it….I think I better have a play!
    I enjoy Piscean dreaminess and creativity!No one sees the world like a Piscean!! Oddly enough,I’d be sort of interested in the leprechaun….I’d want to fondle it!

  25. Gracey at Fashion for Giants on August 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    What a great idea! I wear items backwards sometimes, but have never thought to turn them upside down. Wonderful piece and wonderful suggestion.

  26. Megan Mae on August 29, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    This is a fabulous robe-turned-jacket! I love pieces that you can wear more than one way. It expands your wardrobe and creativity. I also adore your hat.

  27. Mrs D on August 31, 2012 at 8:02 am

    JKust to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award



  28. Anne-Marie Bruun on September 1, 2012 at 8:39 am

    You are a great artist with your clothes and I am so inspired and think – yes this is just a detail I can use – looks great – I really like the composition and with little hat as a ruby ??on your head – beautiful

  29. Rose on September 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I’ve never tried wearing something upside down, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything! You certainly know how to rock a look and get the most mileage out of it!

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary from foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.co.uk

  30. Serene on September 5, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Jean! This is BRILLIANT! You really are the queen of the puzzle clothes….you wear novel shapes and designs soooooo well! I’m definitely going to have to try this upside down thing! Hugs! ~Serene

  31. Practical Paralegalism on September 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Wow, Jean, I am awed by your ability to see a garment in more than one way. I just discovered layering and pattern-mixing this year…lol. You look gorgeous as always – and elegantly original.

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