WIW: Modern Folk

I’m having a lot of fun this season styling this embellished skirt by Ivko which I bought in Serbia about 10 years ago. For the longest time it languished in the closet waiting for me to decide what to do with it until 2010 when Christopher Kane came up with floral embroidery on black leather. Then the flared midi started to appear on catwalks again and it all came together with Dolce e Gabbana’s adventures in Fairyland this autumn. 

I’ve always loved this skirt even when I’ve been incapable of styling it. I like the silhouette on my body shape, and the bold punch of the florals on the dark grey feels very dramatic. I’ve kept things simple up top with a grey marl sweatshirt from Uniqlo, and set off the embellishment with stripy ski socks and heels from Balenciaga circa 2008. A guest appearance by my coffee tin adds a further folksy touch. 

I now feel fully vindicated for hanging on to something which I really liked and waiting out the fashion cycle. I’m curious as to whether this is a familiar pattern to anyone else. Are you sitting on any wonderful items that you love in spite of their irrelevance? If so, how do you know when something’s worth the storage space?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Alassë replied 6 years ago

    It's definitely a pretty skirt. (Also nice to "see" you!)

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    I LOVE the striped tights with the floral midi. Such a fun juxtaposition. Nice with the fitted sweat shirt too. 

    I have shoes that go in and out of favour in my wardrobe. I don't wear a pair for years - and then all of sudden - I wear them a lot. Do not get rid of comfy shoes that you still like. 

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    I love this outfit on you. Modern, ladylike and edgy. It's great inspiration for me, as I would like to add some embroidery into my wardrobe (since I can do it with my sewing machine), but embroidery is typically not my style.
    I just pulled out a coat that I've hung onto since 1992. I altered the shoulders a couple of years ago and thought I'd wear it again, but it still felt too oversized. This year it feels more wearable.
    It's so hard to decide what to keep, though. I still wish I had kept my old Levis from college.

  • E replied 6 years ago

    Oh I love this! I'm a big fan of folk stuff in general, and that skirt is a great example. Makes me want to go put some felt appliques on one of mine! You've styled it very nicely too. :)

    I haven't been into dressing long enough to have things cycle in & out. And honestly my personal style is fairly trend oblivious, so it's not been an issue for me yet. I'll let you know in another decade, hehe.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    thanks everyone! 

    Hi Alasse, it's nice to see you too!

    Angie, that's some wisdom right there. I'm going to keep it in mind when I next pass over the Santonis which are refusing all styling for a pair of cheap-as-chips Top Shop platforms which I can't get enough of right now :/

    Firecracker: I'm not much of an embroidery person myself, which is why this has been impossible to style for so long. I've flirted with it on the sewing machine though. No advanced programming capabilities, just a bunch of stitches. And I love your coat! I'd meant to comment on it when you last posted it, but lost track of the thread...

    E: The Dolce & Gabbana collection I linked to above is full of inspiration for appliqué. Not usually a fan of what they do, but that show is really interesting.

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    I have a penchant for the folkloric, so had to stop by your thread :)

    I do have things I'm sitting on, simply because they are beautiful and well done. Occasions come around (!)

  • Kirstjen replied 6 years ago

    That is a beautiful skirt, and I love the funky touch that the striped socks bring.    Your style makes me smile.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    I love this outfit on you. No wonder you hung onto that gorgeous skirt. 

    I have a really hard time knowing what to hang onto and what to let go of. But in my twenties I worked for a store that sold Finnish fashions -- Vuokko and Marimekko designs. We got to buy samples for a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately, the samples were mostly too large for me, but I bought some dresses anyway and held onto them for years. A few years ago I tried to have them altered, but it wasn't really a success, alas. 

    In general, I'd probably hang onto anything that I adored, fit me really well, and was impeccably made --- if I had the space -- and especially if the item had a bit of drama. That's the reason I'm hanging onto my vintage Biba kimono jacket. I knew enough to snap it up when I saw it. But after I bought it, it sat in my closet unworn for a good three years. I had no idea how to style it until last year. 

  • Dimity replied 6 years ago

    I too love the striped socks. They make the outfit by taking pretty and feminine embroidery and turning it funky.

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    Yes I used to hold on to all my treasures & feel thrilled when they finally worked :) Now, not so much. I'm not sure if it's part of the ageing process but I find that lately I prefer to have a leaner wardrobe & a less eclectic style. I still love seeing you & others make it work though. I guess the defining factor is whether it's fun or not.

  • unfrumped replied 6 years ago

    Love that combination!
    Happens once in awhile.
    I think the item has to have some element of perfect fit and usually flattery. So that you just like how you look in it, so one day    it might all come together.

    I find that a useful concept when doing wardrobe review of "holdiing zone".
    Sometimes the item was great in my last memory of it, but now the fit is off. Not just talking the fluid vs oversized thing, but, really doesn't fit. Then I can tell it needs to go.
    For example, I had a long black A-line skirt for formal occasions and had not worn it in years. But, tended to think it was "classic" and waiting for a top. This fall I tried it on and it was actually too big  in some areas, but  also it just no longer looked like anything I would want to create an outfit around. So, pouf, out it went.

    But the keepers have something about them such that you could say, if this were featured in stores now I'd want to buy it.
    The most common items like this for me are skirts and dresses, since I don't have as much of a skirt and dress life both due to lifestyle and to footwear, and a few wide-legged pants.  If the fit remains really good I'll keep it and consider it might get a new life. Of course it may be that only a "new version' will do, so they may get tossed after awhile.
    Also footwear as Angie said. Again, have to try on at least once a year to see if it is what it was.

  • Aubergine replied 6 years ago

    Love that skirt! Such a flattering shape and the embroidery is just awesome. The sweatshirt is also a great juxtaposition with it.

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    I would have held on to this also I think. Not if you said to me grey skirt with floral embroidery but if I saw it and it grabbed me. And I do hold on to stuff like that, often in my boxes of stuff I may or may not sell, until one day I look at it and it doesn't interest me at all anymore or else I love it and it comes back to my closet. And I am definitely capable of having shoes sit in my closet quite a long time until suddenly I am wearing them all the time.

    And I love how you styled it here with opposing elements.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    What a lot of wisdom in this thread! Thanks ladies!

    Suz, such a shame about the Marimekko, those Finnish brands are amazing! And have you posted any pictures of the Biba kimono? I'd love to see it ;)

    unfrumped, shevia, it seems we're all applying similar criteria when turning over the holding area. Fit and quality are usually the deal breakers. Interesting what you say about comparing your older stuff with things you might find in the shops now. If I found this skirt new I'd probably not find it that interesting, but I'd snap it up if I found it in a vintage store.

    Weirdly I do find myself more comfortable in some of these older pieces precisely because they are beginning to feel a little bit retro and I love pulling that into some contemporary styling. I don't know if this is a good thing, because I'd like to think I'm much sharper in my head than I probably am in real life :P
    caro, interesting what you say about streamlining. It's entirely possible that a couple of years from now I'll have ditched my current approach for sleek minimalism. Who knows?

  • Vickie KY replied 6 years ago

    I love this skirt & I love it on you.

  • catgirl replied 6 years ago

    That is a fabulous skirt.  This would be a perfect dressy outfit in my environment.  Are those Smartwool socks?  I may have the same ones.

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