Monday, November 16, 2009

Jack Aubrey

This outfit began as a Girls' Night Out ensemble, and I liked it so much that I parlayed it into work wear. I thought it was an interesting mix of neutrals and also a great way to wear these cute shorts.

This outfit is a great example of how to mix brown and black together in an outfit. The real trick for this or any other difficult color pairing is to repeat, repeat, repeat. Don't just throw on brown shoes with an otherwise black outfit and hope it's going to work; the best way to really pull it off is to throw in several pieces in each color and try to break them up by alternating black over brown or vice versa. Although it's not a great idea to mix different shades of black, using several different shades of brown is another great way to mix up an outfit comprised entirely of neutrals. I know the colors are difficult to discern in these photos, so I'll walk you through what I did here.

The top is a deep olive green; I used this in order to bring in some variety, but really any neutral would've worked just as well -- ecru, perhaps, or gray. The scarf is actually a deep chocolate brown, which is much more apparent when you see it in person, particularly when it's next to a true inky black such as this jacket. The shorts are a medium brown herringbone pattern, the tights are black, and the boots are brown. Alternating the black and brown makes the pairing look much more intentional.

I told you I've been getting a lot of use out of this customized military jacket, and here it is once again. I love how the brass buttons instantly make any outfit look more structured and formal. Plus it really feeds into my fantasy of being a heroic 19th century ship's captain like Jack Aubrey, though I suspect that if I'd lived back then I'd have been a lot more like nerdy naturalist and hopeless landlubber Stephen Maturin. What, you've not read all 21 of the Master and Commander books? Well, if you've got a love of the high seas and a hundred or so hours to spare, I'd highly recommend them. I've just finished the last one and am tempted to start the series all over again, so much do I love the characters. I also think I need to get myself a pair of epaulets, pronto.

Which characters, fictional or real, inspire your style?

Jacket: F21
Top: Victoria M. Ortiz
Scarf: Duke et Duchesse
Shorts: Mango
Boots: Bata


Anonymous said...

That outfit is incredible!!

I love the skull scarf :D

Style on a String :: Because style has nothing to do with money.

Chan @ Chanmeleon said...

This is a great look. It's neutral but not boring in the least.

My style inspiration has been Carrie Bradshaw for years. I don't really try to copy outfits she wore, but many times I've gotten dressed and then thought, "This is SO Carrie Bradshaw."

Lately, I admire Lady Gaga. Woman is fearless!

A-C said...

I love all things Laurell K. Hamilton. That being said, I don't think I ever go anywhere near what her characters wear. *However* your corset-wearing and leather belt-making might inspire me to be a bit more daring, but not for school or work.

LyddieGal said...

Great outfit, I love all the bold pieces. I think it's so odd that many people don't think you can wear brown and black together!

Sara said...

Okay, I've been a fan of your blog for months now, to the extent that I have evangelized about it at length to friends, but I am finally moved to comment by this post title. I adore the Aubrey/Maturin books! Right now I'm re-working my way through the delightful audio versions read by Patrick Tull.

But back to your blog: can't tell you how much I appreciate the combination of smart style and smart writing, and how you take into consideration folks who are shaped differently than you are when you talk about how different styles can work.

Raquelita said...

I love this look, and I like to envision Stephen Maturin as played by Paul Bettany, who is gorgeous. Nothing wrong with being a gorgeous, nerdy naturalist while dressed as a ship's captain! :)

Radhiana said...

loveur jacket :)

Anonymous said...

Geez, there are 21 of those books? I had no idea!

Those Bata boots get a lot of wear, Audi, and it's a brand I've never heard of. Is there a story there?

Unknown said...

Hello, I have been kind of a fan of you since a few months ago, first comment from me. I am Peruvian and in my country fashion is like into 2 extremes: or totally crazy teenage colour uncoordinated or very serious and boring; so your blog is refreshing! I have seen people wearing shorts like you, but with tights too colourful, so I totally love the way you are wearing them. Actually I will recommend your blog to a Peruvian blogger right now! :)

bekster said...

I wish I had known that M&C was a book series before I watched the movie. I'm sure I would love the books, but now they're tainted...

I am influenced stylistically both by "old" movies (1940s to 1960s) and by SciFi shows (like Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, etc.), though this is more of a felt thing than a literal translation of style.

I don't know that there is a particular character that I tend to emulate, but I have been on a quest to find a good "Bajoran earring" like the one Major Kira wore.

Sheila said...

I love the M & C movie - my husband's read a couple of the books. I don't know that any books I read influence my style (um, Chuck Palahniuk? Robert Heinlein? Dan Simmons?).

I love this funky look on you!

ambika said...

Love brown and black together & love that jacket!

Una said...

I have been following your blog for some time and love your style, both in fashion and writing (I have that same jacket!) - but what finally inspired me to comment is that I too am a huge fan of "M & C". My book club almost gave me the boot for picking the first book as our monthly read, which I found amazing. Sadly I think some women can't get past all the ship and war jargon to see the unbelievably dry humor and Austen-like social commentary about life on the high seas... Not to mention a wonderful male friendship. Sigh.

Please keep up your photos and comments - your style is clever, unique and inspiring!

Healthy and Homemade said...

I may have said it before, but I just love your blog! Your style & writing is amazing, unique, ridiculously creative, and uber chic.

I nominated you for the Divine Blog award, check out the post on my blog if you get a chance! =)


Jean said...

That's a very chic outfit there Ms Nerd.

kristophine said...

Pretty much any colonial British character, and/or space queen. I keep trying to work up the nerve to acquire and wear jodhpurs.

Audi said...

Oh, I'm so excited to see fellow Aubrey/Maturin fans on here!

Sal: Yes, these boots are the workhorses of my wardrobe. Bata is a European brand that I've never seen here; I got these in Prague. Of course I love them a little more dearly for that, but also they're just wonderfully comfortable and have exactly the right amount of scuffs and break-in to have that rugged equestrian look.

tini: Welcome to the blog! How exciting to have a reader from Peru -- it's on my short list of places to go!

Thanks for all the comments everyone!

Ms. Falcon said...

great outfit. simple look with amazing details!
love the jacket!

I'm looking forward to read about the blogger meet-up!

have fun!

Nadine said...

AMAZING outfit!

Gina said...

Fantastic outift! The character who inspires me is Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell's version). She's not just a sartorial inspiration, but she's a good example of living life to the fullest. Life's a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!

Poppy Buxom said...

Oh dear, I'm late to dinner in the wardroom AGAIN. I.e., just commenting as I work my way through your archives ... I love Patrick O'Brian, too and own all 21 novels in hardcover AND all 21 novels as audiobooks.

Have you read Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, the Aubrey/Maturin cookbook? I think you'd enjoy it. It's nerdy yet droll.

A glass of wine with you, ma'am!

Audi said...

Poppy Buxom: Which I just logged on to Amazon and ordered the book, nerd that I am. Thank you kindly for the tip!

Anita said...

Fantastic outfit! :)