I was skeptical about this coatigan (coat + cardigan hybrid) when I bought it, so I am happy that this outfit came to pass. The piece itself is beautiful — so many neat details — which is why I couldn’t resist it; but, at the same time, it’s quite a bit quirkier than my current style. While it’s true that on weekends, I sometimes swing towards the boho end of the style spectrum, it usually happens when I wear dresses or skirts — almost never with pants. But why not? Somehow, the juxtaposition of the “frilly” topper and the jeggings/moto boots combo works. Maybe it’s all in the attitude?
By now, you guys know that I am addicted to coloured skinny jeans; I have a bazillion of them. They are *so* easy, though — and comfortable too. Currently, my favourite brands are AG, Pilcro, and Rag & Bone. I was thrilled to find this burgundy pair (along with an olive one!) at Goodwill. Nothing beats finding premium denim for under $10, especially when it comes in one of your fave colours. My skinny jean rainbow is one step closer to being complete.
I’ve been slowly making my way through the lengthy biography of the Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore, and to be honest, it’s been a bit of a slog. A part of my family comes from Russia, so I feel somewhat traitorous in admitting that; sorry, mom! It’s not entirely the author’s fault, and the book itself moves at a decent pace whilst still being quite exhaustive. The problem is that there are SO MANY personages to keep straight, and the names are only occasionally helpful. Ultimately, I think the book’s biggest problem is its overly-ambitious scope; a history of the Romanovs could comfortably fit a half dozen books, and that’s if you lump together all the lesser known tsars. The history itself is fascinating and well worth exploring. From my library, I would recommend From Splendour to Revolution: The Romanov Women 1847-1928 (Julia P. Gelardi); The Romanov Sisters and The Last Days of the Romanovs (both by Helen Rappaport); and Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia (W. Bruce Lincoln) for anyone interested in more Russian imperial history. As always, I welcome your suggestions in turn.
Since this has also become the informal what’s-happening-this-week-on-Victoria post … let’s tackle what happened this week on Victoria. Most importantly, the newlyweds started figuring out the whole “teamwork” thing. Victoria successfully plotted without the benefit of Lord M (missing but not forgotten … by me). Albert gave a speech. (I felt his pain; I hated public speaking for most of my life. And “barbarous” IS a hard word to pronounce.) Ernest bid adieu to his (married) lady friend, and England. I hope we see him again; the actor looks like Matt Saracen’s lost (naughty) twin, so I’ve developed a huge soft spot for him. But, spoilers: Wikipedia tells me not to expect his little romantic subplot to go anywhere. Some stuff happened with the Palace staff, and for once I wasn’t completely bored by it. (I’m still not going to recap it all, though. I smell “tragic end” all over that maid/chef storyline.)
A couple of history nerd comments. One, I liked the subtle nod to Albert’s priggishness, when he told his brother to back off the married duchess. Albert was the original Victorian, and actually had a large influence on the queen in that respect. Two, I liked that the show acknowledged that Victoria had a lot of reservations about babies. (The having of them, not the making, hah.) I hope they continue to portray her “curmudgeonly” side. As a person who is also not fond of pregnancy and babies, I feel a certain kinship with Vicky.
Lastly, I just want to say that I find Albert’s character fascinating. One thing to remember is that he was very, very young when he married Victoria. His position was difficult; in a firmly patriarchal society, brought up with certain ideals of what being a man meant, he ended up being the ornamental spouse. But he wasn’t a male bimbo; actually, he was kind of a nerd — earnest and hard-working, and legitimately interested in social causes. (Although I found the whole support-for-anti-slavery plotline a bit heavy handed.) I think his portrayal on the show is quite good in showing all these different angles. Sometimes, Alberta exasperates me, but other times, I find him completely sympathetic. As a feminist, I am really intrigued by all the nuances in Victoria & Albert’s relationship.
What I’m trying to say is … I don’t just watch the show for the eye candy. Honest.
On to other things I read on the internet. My inner voyeur loved this post from Racked, offering a glimpse into different people’s closets. This kind of thing needs to be a show. I would be hooked.
If you’ve swooned over Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (or perhaps Matthew Macfadyen is more your speed), then you might want to skip this next article. Apparently, the real Mr. Darcy was a pointy-chinned elf. I don’t know, you guys. I’m not really seeing Legolas; if I squint, maybe a young Alan Rickman?
[By the way, please admire my restraint in not using this as an opportunity to rehash the who-is-the-hottest-Austen-hero discussion. Or the let’s-fantasy-recast-every-Austen-novel-again exercise. You’re welcome.]
The comments on the Darcy discussion reminded me of one of my fave Tumblrs, My Daguerreotype Boyfriend. If you’re not already familiar with it, take a few minutes (or hours) to peruse its collection of attractive gentlemen (or rascals) from bygone eras. I love looking at old photographs, and if I wasn’t already half way to being a hoarder, I would definitely start a collection. Perusing the site did remind me that I do have one, albeit it much more recent, photo of a historical hottie.
I don’t know anything about this handsome fellow except that he was my grandma’s first beau.
You know what’s the best? Wearing a thick, soft sweater dress that feels like you’re wrapped in warm (but not too warm) puffy clouds. That’s what I wore last Friday, and it was a good consolation on a busy day when the office was too cold, and the diet Coke not strong enough. I adore this shade of blue, a close match to Pantone’s Fall 2016 colour, Riverside. (Was Club Monaco taking notes?) It just so happens that Riverside is one of the core colours I’ve settled upon for my wardrobe going forward. More on that next week.
As a total aside, the product name for this dress is “Edvard”, which is amusingly random. I always wonder who comes up with names like this, and where they find their inspiration. Is my dress an ode to Edvard Munch? Perhaps.
Who’s the worst?
This chica. For being wholly unable to resist buying yet *another* Club Monaco sweater dress.