Monday, May 6, 2013

Blue Monday (With the Fulvia Ring!)

I couldn't resist wearing my new-to-me cerulean blue shell today - it went so well with my grey thin wool skirt. Of course, that meant lots of blue! Blue everything!
I may have been humming "Blue Monday" by New Order all day...
The top was just purchased yesterday (here) for $8.50. It's by I. Magnin, a chi-chi brand from the 80s.

With a boxy top like this, you've got to define the waist. Classic 80s looks with those bigass shoulder pads were all about creating a V to the waist, then having an exaggerated hip (hello, peplums!) to emphasize the waist even further.
Pencil skirts are never really out of style, but high-waisted ones, like this 80s wool skirt (last seen here with mint green), were designed to counter the wide, bold shoulder look. A real 80s belt of this era would have been snakeskin - very luxe and expensive-looking.
Yeah, I know, I missed zipping all the way to the top - I caught it in the morning!
Part of the "power dressing" look of the mid-80s was about women gaining a measure of equality in the workplace. Men's power suits were translated for women, with the addition of "take charge" elements like big gold buttons, epaulettes and other trim. Skirts were a little longer (we wanted to be taken seriously, not treated as objects!), and shells (like this one) and blouses with neck bows covered up the cleavage (cf: taken seriously).

We take much of our freedom in workplace clothing for granted now, but a woman in a managerial, directorial or vice-presidential position (who wasn't a secretary, basically) was a Big Deal back then, and in order for her to earn her place and the respect of the men around her, she had to put on her armour, her uniform. For a big blast from the past, check out the movie "Working Girl" to see how Melanie Griffith's character takes on this transition. Women were figuring out how they could "have it all" against a lot of resistance from the old guard. And there was a lot of resistance. We've come a long way.

The stuff:
My shoes aren't vintage, but they have 90% of the look of 80s shoes. Real 80s shoes have higher vamps, whereas modern shoes show more toe cleavage. Again, with trying to look serious and powerful, but not overtly sexy. I last wore these shoes here with my blue and white painty blouse.

A close-up:
L gave me that pendant for Christmas this past year. I also wore my Wendy Brandes lapis lazuli ring, my Scottish ring, my vintage snake ring, and my circle ring, along with my St. Paul's Cathedral bracelet.

Oh, and mustn't forget my vintage 70s/80s belt. No power dressing elements here; this is 100% disco, baby!
Not bad for the couple of bucks I paid for it.

Blouse (I. Magnin, thrifted), skirt (Bianca, thrifted), shoes (Feet First), belt (vintage, thrifted), necklace (gift from L), lapis lazuli ring (Wendy Brandes), snake ring (homegrown 80s vintage), circle ring (Nine West), sodalite ring (holiday in Scotland, 1996), cuff (St. Paul's Cathedral gift shop).

I think I scared the mailman to death when he dropped a box off on my desk today - I squealed so loud, I may have shattered glass. I treated myself (because I'm worth it!) to another Wendy Brandes Jewelry item*.
*all links because I love - I paid for it! 
Ta-dah! The Fulvia Ring! From Wendy's page is the description of Fulvia:

Of the Roman noblewoman Fulvia (wife of Marc Antony), the historian Plutarch wrote, "She was a woman who took no interest in spinning or managing a household, nor could she be content to rule a husband who had no ambition for public life: her desire was to govern those who governed or to command a commander-in-chief."

So, see? It's all about women's equality. Although I am a classic secretary/receptionist, you know who really runs the office, right? *wink wink*
Well, duh!
This is a blue topaz set in brushed silver. I gave it a light scrub with soap and water and a toothbrush to make it gleam.

It's ready for its close-up:
I love the size and weight of this piece.

The topaz looks gorgeous in the natural light.
I like to wear statement rings on my index fingers (plus, I have skinny fingers, and that's where most rings fit me).

This is a major statement:
A real knuckle-duster.
As I plan to wear this a LOT, it's bound to get scratched up, but I strongly believe in wearing your good stuff. Jewelry is meant to be worn. I figure 2 years and I'll have my cost-per-wear down to about $1.00 a day.

Of course, it is stamped.
I note that the one on Wendy's site has the stamp on the inside of the band (at the narrowest part). There's still one left, and it's half price, so be my Wonder Twin (Wonder Twin powers - activate!) and treat yourself to something nice.

Did you check out the pictures of the model wearing the ring? She's doubled it up other Wendy Brandes ring!
My rings are famous, yo.
I bought this ring in February 2012 as a treat for myself, and you can see that the original matte finish on it has rubbed to a shine from the amount I wear it. I am down to about $2.00 per wear on it, because I wear it all the time.

Two friends, reunited again.
Thank you so much, Wendy! I really treasure these and will be wearing them every opportunity I get. Now, about that Marie Antoinette ring...(when I win the lottery!).

While I was having a grand old time taking lots of pictures of my new ring, someone was Up To No Good.
"Is it L? Is he watching another hockey game?"
 No, you little devil, it's not L. Get away from those shoelaces.
"But I like shoelaces! They're so good for biting!"
Vizzini is incorrigible.


  1. OH WOW! Wendy's jewelry truly are treasures. Yours are so beautiful. I'm still sad I had a computer meltdown and never got to order my Candytuft ring.

    Naughty kitty! Sounds like he needs his own pair of shoe laces tied up somewhere to chew? That's how my mom got the cats to stop tearing up paper. She gives them the junk mail and old newspapers.

  2. My lordy that's a gorgeous ring! Also loved the post. I had 'forgotten' the politics behind the shoulder pads, so thank you. I might add, I also recall slipping shoulder pads into t-shirts ALL THE TIME. I love your pencil skirt, too. I would never, ever part with that baby. ;-)

  3. Ohhhh, Sheila!!! WOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Just amazing. "Fer shure" I share your wry affection for the 80s, and appreciate your historical accuracy / sense of play. Beautiful rings, beautiful styling.

  4. I knew that blue top would rock on you - i think you'll wear it more than you think.
    The ring is the cherry on top - what a magnificent piece of jewelry and I love the fact that you're a Commander in Chief.
    Go Sheila!

  5. Vizzini is such a ham!!!
    That cobalt blue blouse is gorgeous on you!! and all of the "bling" looks amazing with it!!
    WOW--your new ring is stunning!!
    Oh how i remeber the 80's and power dressing. Try being an engineer in the 80's--or an engineering TEACHER (I was at one point the ONLY female drafting teacher in a high school, vocational/technical school or college in the state of Maryland!!)

  6. Wow, stunning ring! And yes you deserve to treat yourself to these gorgeous pieces. Wendy is the queen of fab jewelry, isn't she?

    I remember "Working Girl" - love the transition from secretarial pool to executive, but the sneakers remained : >

    Great outfit, with an 80's vibe! xoxoxo

  7. Oh, what a beautiful ring. Wendy is a true artist. The two blues look beautiful together. I think I would squeal the house down too! The postman probably just felt appreciated! Love the new blue top, definitely a keeper.

    I really liked your history of 80's fashion, I learned stuff! I am not at the dizzying heights of senior management, but am getting there, and I thank my female predecessors for treading a fairly harsh (not to say bits of it weren't good) fashion line. I feel privilegged now to be able to outstyle my male peers in dresses, trousers and skirts, basically whatever I like. I am all about the drapey knit and nothing about the suit. I think I look much smarter than all the men in suits.

  8. Stunning ring!! I am dying for the studs giving the bird!! WANT! 80s fashion is so much fun,
    Becky :)

  9. OMG, that ring is stunning! You're right, it should be worn. It will always look amazing, even if it gets scuffed.

  10. So jealous of your ring! It looks great with all the blues in our outfit. The blue of your shoes is quite an "in" colour right now. I'm seeing it all over TO.

  11. You have such an eye for a great ring. And Vizzinni what is a cat to do with such good temptations peaking out of your closet....

  12. Beauty in blue. Love that outfit you have on. And the ring, I'm sure you'll get it down to even less than $1, it's so stunning. Two Wendy pieces. Excellent! I see she is sold out of this gem at the moment.
    Maybe Vizzini is like those meditation people who swallow string and then slowly extract it, it's an enlightening ritual... ?! Or not.

  13. That ring is beautiful! Great purchase :)

    I really like the blue and grey together - and the fact that thanks to all of the hard work of the ladies before me, I am free to dress in my own way without having to be worried about not being taken seriously at work :)

  14. I'm so glad that the ring got there safely and that it fits well! Melanie is right: there were two of the rings and you got the second one, so I'm sold out forever :-)


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