Sunday, November 13, 2011

For Love of a Forest Green Dress by Gail Carriger

I haven't done an outfit post in a while, Fashionable Reader, and I am procrastinating packing for The Move. So I thought I might do one on an old favorite . . . the green dress!

This dress looks deceptively simple and a little conservative, but that's why I love it. It has a real 1940's feel to it, although I have a sinking suspicious it's probably from the 1980s.

It's by All the Jazz and is %100 acrylic, which makes it very warm, and reminds me of the wonderful Meryn Cadell song.

Forest green is difficult (both for many complexions because it can be quite harsh, and to find matched accessories) so I tend to pair mine with chocolate brown. Although I might go for cream if all my cream accessories weren't so spring/summer. And this is definitely a fall/winter dress.

Here's the accessories I wore for the signing with Patrick Rothfass early this year.

LAMB stiletto booties, Nordstrom Rack, $50; Vintage purse Hubba Hubba, LA $35
Pen necklace, gift. Wrist muff, Chirchmouse Thrift Store, Sonoma, $15
Gloves, self-dyed; the infamous tarantula hat, from Decades of Fashion, Haight Street, $30

Sadly, one of the downsides of doing author events is that the primary interest is not (surprise, surprise) my outfit, and if I forget to take a full picture (which I often do) all I generally unearth are half shots. So here you are, wish I had full shots for you.

I adore wearing green, I'm a brunet with a sallow complexion and green eyes, so I tend to think it suits me. I also consider it "safe." Its' not as shocking or a daring as red, nor as dull and non-committal as black. Yet at any given event, almost no one else will be wearing this color (rather like royal blue). This makes green of any tone a wonderful choice if you are attending a birthday party or a wedding or a black tie event.

That said, this color and style of dress is also very very vintage. Perhaps most iconically on Jane Russell in the marvelous Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1953) or Liz in Cleopatra.

But there are plenty of vintage fashion spreads and shots with this style and color.

And it's showing up for modern retro as well.

Queen Dita in two takes on green.
The Hours BBC show.

And not willing to commit to that much green? There's some amazing green based jewelry out there.

1920s jabot pin via Christie’s

What to read while wearing fashionable green? Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold.

The precursor to her Vorkosigan saga, this is an omnibus of two books featuring Miles's mother, Cordelia. It is amazingly well written and not only a wonderful sweeping Space Opera but quite romantic and sweet. The first installment is essentially a survival story on an alien world with enemies forced to survive, and uncover treachery, together. The second half is more political as Cordelia, now an outcast from her own culture, enters Vor politics in her own fierce and indomitable way.

Cordelia is witty, snarky, and tough, with an innate sense of right and wrong and true grace under fire. I'm more interested in her character than in the events leading up to Miles' birth, as I've never had the time or inclination to commit to the full (seemingly endless) Vorkosigan saga. Please don't tell me how sad this makes you, or how I should rush out and buy now now now, it's my retirement plan.

The true beauty of this omnibus is that it stands alone, and gives great insight into Bujold's brilliance.


  1. I always look forward to seeing you at cons, both for your work, and because I admire *your* grace under fire. I hope the move treats you as well as such an event possibly can.

  2. I ADORE forest green as a colour. I actually just got a 1940's inspired winter coat in the colour. Though I do have some issue with accessorizing with it at times.

  3. Oh, how I've always loved the colour green, and then especially the deeper shades of it. My whole wardrobe consists of purples, blues and greens. Maybe a tad of white and black inbetween.
    As you mention it, I even have a royal blue dress in my closet - worn once or twice...

  4. Adore green and adore Cordelia's Honor. It makes me absolutely happy to know one favorite author likes another favorite (I think you already mentioned Wrede at one point so this makes two)

  5. I am working my way through the Vorkosigan saga at the moment. Alas only 2 volumes left to go & then I have to wait until November 2012 for the next installment. You will have a great time reading these when you retire (do writers retire? I thought they just wrote themselves out of the storyline)

  6. Oh my - I LOVE those LAMB boots! Stunning!

    I'm a big fan of the green dress (but then I'm a redhead, so green is my best friend!) and I think brown is the perfect companion colour for you. I must pair more long-sleeved dresses with gloves though - this looks marvellous!

  7. THANK GOD for forest green! THAT's when I know She must have been a Redhead!


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