Say Cheese

November 11, 2014

Say Cheese ful

Sometimes posing for pictures is agonizing.  Remember those times as a kid when you were instructed to “say cheese”?  Inevitably I cheesed a little too hard, all teeth and gums, feeling awkward and wishing I was someplace else.  The alternative was the half-smile, which I mastered a little later.  Now the half-smile looks like a smirk, and no smile looks like I’m mad instead of sensuous or moody.

Say Cheese shoes

So here are my feet in thrifted Docs, minus the flap which I cut off.  Super comfortable.

Say Cheese detail

The silk shirt was thrifted and rarely worn, the scarf is from TJ Maxx (I think), and the leopard skirt was thrifted and upcycled with a humane waistband. :-)

Say Cheese

The thrifted jacket is an extraordinary piece (haori?) made in Japan.  The navy blue wool is exquisite, with a subtle black thread running throughout.  I love it.

Say cheese headshot

My hat is handmade.  I’ve had it so long I truly can’t remember where and when I got it.  The earrings were lovingly made by the precious Lynzee Lynx.  My smile is real, although I had to talk myself into it.

What was really funny, however, was the walk I took after these pics were taken.  I decided to check out the new shopping complex near my house.  I was startled to see identical, multiple pieces on the racks, and disappointed to see the poor quality and high price tags.  It’s been a long time since I’ve wandered through shops like these.

Say Cheese

As I walked, I heard a few ladies passing by say something about “freaks”.  Ummm…I’m guessing I was included in that group, based on their attire and the majority of the other folks there, plus the timing of the comment.  But ya know?  As that 80’s song said, Le Freak C’est Chic!

Now I’m really smiling.

A short thank-you to all who are following Dross.  It’s truly a journey of transformation.  My time and focus are elsewhere, taken up with family transitions.  I miss you all, and will be back.  Who knows, maybe totally liberated and, dare I say, freakier?!!  Then again, I could go in the opposite direction….  Nah, unlikely. :-)

To be continued…XXOO



27 Responses to Say Cheese

  1. Willow on November 11, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Ah, yes, posing for photos can be so difficult sometimes! I’m okay if the photo is being taken by my mum or one of my sisters, but otherwise I’m absolutely petrified! Especially if it’s in public. Your smile is always so lovely. I just realised that I think you actually look a little bit like Joanna Lumley.
    I love that jacket and the term “humane waistline” – brilliant!

    • Jean on November 12, 2014 at 12:25 am

      Just had to google her…yes, perhaps a little…a very little. :-) She’s lovely, so thank you!

  2. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas on November 12, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Jean, I was just thinking of you. It’s always, always nice to see your lovely smile. And…I’m sporting a most genuine smile myself, after reading your funny, yet truthful words about smiling for a camera…especially one with no one behind it. :)

    You do look ever so chic…not a tiny bit freak! From your gorgeous beret right down to those killer Docs…you are owning it, and looking fabulous Jean!

    And please feel enveloped in a warm cyber hug from me…family transitions, this journey we’re on…it can be challenging and heavy work for the heart…

    And to end on a lighter note, I’ve totally got Le Freak replaying in my head, so I best dance it out, like my twenty year old self would.

    • Jean on November 12, 2014 at 10:28 am

      I recently saw a documentary about the disco era and haven’t been able to get that song out of my head either! I’m beginning to understand the lure of nostalgia. XXOO (Hugs back. Thank you so much for yours.)

  3. Vix on November 12, 2014 at 5:09 am

    I love the leopard maxi, the pretty design on your scarf and the hat worn at a jaunty angle. Your smile always looks beautiful, warm and genuine.
    Freaks, indeed! I think people who are content to buy mass produced tat at inflated prices are the real freaks! xxxx

    • Jean on November 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Agreed!! It’s hard to fathom the mindset, isn’t it.

  4. PinkCheetahVintage on November 12, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I absolutely hated posing for pics. I become so unnatural and weird looking. I LOVE real smiles and/or laughing pics! You look fantastic—love the layering. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a real retail store. Lolzzzzz at those ladies mumbling about ‘freaks’!!!!

    • Jean on November 12, 2014 at 10:34 am

      What makes me laugh is that I really think I’m quite conservative. Guess it’s all relative. Glad I’ve got my on-line “tribe” of style artists and free spirits etc.

  5. pao on November 12, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Who says you’ve gotta smile for pictures anyway? Look at all those famous paintings of portraits out there, the majority of which aren’t smiling. Models can’t hold a pose for days on end while smiling, it’s just not real(istic). So there, do whatever you want. Except maybe go to malls…now there’s a dose of a different “reality.” Were you thinking you needed punishment?? I know, I know it’s a dis-orienting lost-in-space time being with the parental units these days, weeks, hours, months, minutes. But you know, you do look yourself and beautiful as you go on and through it. Thanks so much for checking in with us when you can.

    • Jean on November 12, 2014 at 11:21 am

      I really don’t know what was on my mind! But I was quickly reminded why I don’t go, that’s for sure. :-) Thank you for making me laugh!! XXOO

  6. Curtise on November 12, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Jean, it’s always so good to see a post from you! And your smile always looks completely natural and effortless to me (I assumed your modelling background helped with that.) Now me, I can’t smile to order to save my life, hence I always look pissed off in photos, unless I am laughing naturally with friends, and then I look deranged. Some middle ground would be nice…
    Gorgeous in leopard print and your Japanese jacket, and if you’re a freak, then so am I, and proud to be so! Love that song, and love you too! xxx

    • Jean on November 12, 2014 at 11:23 am

      LOVE YOU BACK!! All I have to do is think of you and the smiles just come naturally. Like right this minute. XXOO

  7. Anne-Marie Bruun on November 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    You have a wonderful smile. You always look so lovely. Every time I read your blog, what I always do, and I have missed you.
    You make very beautiful things. I like the white to leopard, the mix between animals black and white is perfect. I’m inspired. X

    • Jean on November 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you’re inspired. :-) I haven’t been able to blog much, but at least I can see you on Instagram, which makes me very happy!!

  8. Melanie on November 12, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I’m listening to that song as I type – what a mood lifter!! Thanks for that.
    I’m glad you had some time and frame of mind to drop by here. It’s always a treat to read your thoughts and be tickled (twee word but I can’t help it) by your fabulous style.
    The whole smiling thing, yeah. I can relate to what you said. And the freak comment by the passersby… When I feel people throwing that vibe at me sometimes I want to push it even more, even though I know I should be a willow and bend with it. Once I get it out, I’m good to go for quite a while again. Like blowing my top… Hugs, Jean. You are often in my thoughts.

  9. Linda Davis on November 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Let them talk. Looks like they had a really good subject. You look amazing as always. Have a marvelous week

  10. Forest City Fashionista on November 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Having had front teeth that stick out my entire life, I developed a closed mouth smile very early, although now my friend that takes a lot of my outfit photos tells me that I am “pursing” all the time. Will have to develop a new smile I guess…You have a great smile, and wonderfully inspiring outfits. Come back when you can.

    I used to get a lot more of the “freaks” comments but not so anymore as I think everyone in this town is used to me, but it did used to annoy the hell out of me when I looked at the people who were making the comments and thinking, “I’m the freak??????”

  11. Natalia Lialina on November 16, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    You have one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen – it’s all in the eyes, Jean, it’s the sparkle in your eyes that make your smile so real. Many people smile only with their lips (“cheese”)… Love your hat, and the Japanese jacket, and you look very artistic and free, I would love to reach such level of freedom when it comes to my style. I’m on my way…

    Sending you love and tons of inspiration for your journey! xxxxx

  12. Rosalind on November 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    So great to see you and your radiant smile here again. There’s not even a shred of ‘agonised’ in your ‘lights up your face every time’ smile. I’m so glad that you stand out from the herd too: truly unique style is something not for sale in shopping malls.

  13. The Style Crone on November 18, 2014 at 10:38 am

    So happy to see your post and you in your gorgeous ensemble, put together in your usual artful manner. The hat is the perfect topper to your composition.

    A trip to the mall can be disconcerting, at best. I know the feeling. It’s reinforcement to continue our quest, and hang out with the like-minded and supportive. Which is why we find friends out here in blogland!

    Thinking of you during this time of transition. Take care dear one. XO

  14. Aya in Couturgatory on November 19, 2014 at 5:38 am

    You have a natural and warm smile. 😀 I take multiple timer shots myself, and choose the ones I dislike least.

    I always love your layering creations, but the haori jumped out at me on this one. It is as lovely as you say!

  15. Jan Graham-McMillen on November 20, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Oooooh, hello! Glad to see you just popped back into our lives for a quick chat. Hope all is going as well as possible with family things. We all miss you, and think of you so often. You look lovely in your wintry gear, of course.
    Cheeeeezzzeeee, indeed. I grin in all my pics these days as my saggy jowls just disappear like magic! Beyond that, I am often gigged for frowning when I am just thinking about something (I have a horrible case of “resting bitch face”. I really do.)
    I don’t have a pout either …. I look awful when I try. No serious gaze off into the past or future. No serious com-hither look. Only my dopey grin. How sad is that?
    Wait. What?
    Anyway, glad you are out and about even for a moment!

  16. Shawna on November 26, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Freak? How about Freakin’ Gorgeous! You look amazing and wonderful and not remotely freakish. You inspire me even though our styles are different. Maybe you should try muttering “normcore” or “yoga pants” when you walk past such people. I too have a really difficult time getting a proper smile for my blog selfies. Sometimes I just forget to smile and other times it looks forced and yet in life I am actually a really smiley person. Your smile looks lovely.

  17. Jazzy Jack on November 27, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I missed this post while we were away in N Z. What treat to find a post from you!
    I have a half smile for my camera these days, when noone is taking it…timer. But manage a better smile when one of the kids take it. Loove your Docs and your “humane” waistband! I will steel that line :-) Beautiful comfort, is it so much to ask?
    Mall shopping…aarrgh! I run a mile! Reminds me of the song ” little boxes on the hillside ” all looking just the same!
    Viva la difference! I shout! Keep smirking…we love you! (Totally NOT smirking by the way, just gorgeous elegance as usual )xo JJ

  18. Veshoevius on November 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Better freak that stands out and thinks independently than a mindless lemming who follows the crowd and does and thinks what the gods of commercialism instruct them to do or think. I think you look fabulous! So many people today are just willing to accept that they should be doing and looking like everyone else – makes for a very dull existence!

  19. Lawyerdoll on December 3, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Your outfit came together beautifully… I never would have thought that those shoes were Docs! I do wish that you had posted a close-up photo of the fabric from your jacket, it sounds amazing. I was also hoping for a better look at the shape of the jacket.

  20. Feda on December 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Sometimes we need to pose our way through tough times. I don’t think you’re capable of not giving a genuine smile even if you think you aren’t! Love the outfit especially the hat and earrings. Lynzee’s earrings are so beautiful! Miss you! XOXO

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