Tuesday, March 13, 2012

White Picket Fences

"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."-Annette Funicello

Living out of a couple of suitcases really drives home the appreciation for reliable go-to pieces in my wardrobe. Clothes that serve a function with style. Classic but quirky prints that jazz up the now daily uniform of jeans and a T-shirt. Here in Seattle I am appreciating the appeal of a charming raincoat and some good rain boots. While Sacramento is still boasting mild and nearly summer-like weather, my new clime of the Emerald City is taking in a cold North wind, a possibility of snow and the inevitable rain shower. My California blood is having a time of it adjusting. A solar-powered soul, I'm finding it difficult to stay warm.

I can see why the Seattle-ites focus more on utility than style. Layers are needed for varying weather conditions, and one must always be prepared for a little rain. Fashion is built differently up here.

Not Perfect but Wonderful: Exploring the neighborhoods for a sense of place.
No sign of the formerly ubiquitous cut-off short-shorts and tights. The outer wear and shoes that are worn seem to be strictly chosen for utility, so you see lots of Colombia brand rain-proof coats and thick rubber wellies. In fact, the whole look is a bit less dandy than what I've been used to on the sun-soaked sidewalks of Sacramento.  Materials that are most likely water repellent are the fabric of choice here with barely a hint of bright color unless its lashed up on a bicyclist riding at night.

Waterproof is key. And yet, strangely enough for me, the landscape isn't dotted with umbrellas. It seems to be a tourist thing to do, to need and use an umbrella. Lucky for me, I've already lost mine, so today's afternoon walk in the rain, I slid over the sidewalks like a native. The landscape is lush and beautiful. The rain keeps the fauna satiated and plump. Right now, the lawns are littered with flowering bulbs like daffodils, crocuses and hyacinthe. My favorite thing is seeing the trees on the verge of blossoming. The tips of the boughs are swollen and ready to burst with bright flowers. Some of the trees have already begun to burst with bloom, looking like premature fireworks. It's a very beautiful sight.

These pictures were taken on an overcast day in Sacramento a few weeks back; I think I imagined I'd be dressing more like this in my new rainy-day home. It is pretty cold still (there was a light snow flurry this morning!) so imagine a few more layers, some sweaters, a knit caps and two pairs of tights, a pair of gloves and a heavier and wet wool overcoat, and you've got the picture. I'm not sure what I pictured my life to be once I got here. I'm still trying to find my stride, and into a swing of things.

There is so much to appreciate in my new locale, but there's also so much to miss. I'm trying to find a balance and absorb the sights of Seattle more as a resident, and less as a tourist. I like the look of the weathered white picket fences- and there are plenty here; the fences remind me of the ideals and reveals of what we are in search for when we seek a place to call home. Possibly, the thing I'm trying to find is less a sense of adventure and more a sense of home. Here's to the white pickets fences that point the way to it.


Melanie said...

Ah, yes. It's like the emergency broadcast system is set to blast out at any second: GO HIKING NOW! HIKE NOW!! (Or it could just as easily be YOGA NOW!) You are the city's fresh beacon of style and you must carry your umbrella high!! Don't disappear into your rain boots never to be seen again I implore you.

mispapelicos said...

people who are used to live in the sun find difficult to adapt to the rain.
It happened to me living in Englad for 10 years, but I wouldn´t have missed that time for the world.
You will florish wherever you are planted because you carry the light of life within.
MIl besos, amiga mía.

Franca said...

Most people in Edinburgh don't carry brollies either. Too windy. Though I did destroy three of them before I worked this out.

Hope you're settling in ok!

Señora Allnut said...

love to read how you're exploring the city and trying to manage with rain and cold!, everybody need an adaptation time to different weather conditions!
besos & sun

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Someone told me once that "real" Seattle natives don't ever use and umbrella...that is how they know the tourists!! Have fun learning your new city...You look great! Choose to enjoy every moment!

mtg said...

style with function? you got it, girl!
love how though your outfit is black and white, you still making it look fun.

lasophia said...

Change of climate, what a fun challenge. When I moved back from Mexico I had no coats or sweaters anymore, i feel you. Good thing you have love to keep you warm. Someone told me I looked like annette before. They thought I didn't know who she was cause I was "too young." and if it makes u feel any better, I think it's showers all week in Loomis. I've moved too. Yayyy.

Thrifted Shift said...

Right. I never carry an umbrella. I rarely buy a coat unless it has a hood! I'm enjoying the little buds on the trees, too. My lilac has quite a while before it blooms, but I can see it getting ready!

Forest City Fashionista said...

I'm sure you will continue to find many things to love about your adopted city. I love the black and white ensemble with the variation in the patterns!

Helga said...

Seattle! You're far North now,baby!
Sounds quite different! Sounds like once you get used to it,you could settle into NZ weather nicely!!!How exciting!I look forward to seeing exploratory pix,and seeing you mingling with the locals!
Take care,gorgeous!XXXXXXXXX

The Style Crone said...

It looks to me like you've managed to pull together a stylish ensemble despite the rain. I look forward to learning about your new city and life through your eyes.

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

I've been thinking about you lovely Bella, wondering how you might be acclimatising after the glorious Sac sunshine!! I love a challenge - yes, I'm solar-powered too, but I have a serious coat/jacket/cape addition which is crazy for living in Brisbane! I think your joyful spirit will relish the challenge of dressing for such a new climate and way of life. I'm really excited about watching your progress hon! xo

Casee Marie said...

Your change of locale sure didn't hinder your fabulosity! I can't wait to see how you Bella-ize Seattle.

I don't know if I'm used to one climate or another - being an ardent homebody probably neutralizes you to the weather, right? Between Michigan, Chicago and Omaha - the last three places I lived that I can remember clearly enough - there wasn't anything particularly iconic about the weather (not even the wind in Chicago, if you can believe it). The way I see it, I have a mood for all the atmospheric conditions - it's just a matter of figuring out which one to haul out every day.

Heather Fonseca said...

Thanks for bringing us along for the ride! Every town and city has its own look. You'll find a way for your style to come through. Just give yourself some time and a closet and I'm sure you'll do great!

Anonymous said...

What a beautifully written post--the white pickets pointing the way to a sense of home. I have only ever visited Seattle once, but I distinctly remember subtle colors...that played well with shades of grey and green. And I loved the mist in the air for the handful of days I was there.

Collette Osuna said...

I think you look lovely, despite the must be hard to get used too...I live in Michigan, enough can be 75 and Im still cold from freezing the rest of the year.

Hang in there hunnie:)

Stacey said...

That coat looks gorgeous! A change of scenery can be hard to get used to in that way - sometimes even the weather isn't what you expect.

doradadama said...

Oh your far now amor.
I love cold weather ,but the not having sun so much is making me more depressed than usual. Now I know why everyone here is always grey.
You will soon take roots Bella.
You look fabulosa in hounds tooth with the cute picket fence behind you.

Megan said...

Aw, hang in there :) I love this outfit, and that bag is so fun!

Curtise said...

A lovely thoughtful post about change and making a home. I hope you continue to explore, feel your way, and find yourself settling into your new city. And that you find a way to be water-tight yet stylish! xxx

Vix said...

What an adventure, Bella! I'm in awe of your bravery.
It is hard to live in a cold climate where it rains all the time. Most people in our part of the world favour practical clothing, cagoules and walking boots, so bloody dull.

Ly said...

I love your outfit!! I've always wanted to visit/live in Seattle. I'm not sure why...maybe the movie? hahaha.

CatieBeatty said...

Ohhh, that's why it's snowing! Because a Californian is trying to move here! The Seattle weather always does its best to discourage anyone from moving here. Sorry for the bitterly cold welcome! I do hope your move is going well, tho!

I'm hosting a giveaway on my blog. Stop by and say hello!

MissAdelinne said...

I love your glasses and the bag!

Missadelinne's Fanpage

DeniseAngela said...

I rarely use an umbrella but have sewed some scarflettes as I call them....a scarf with a hoodie to keep warm

You look fab in is this classic style.

Chantele Cross-Jones said...

Im loving all the check going on and your cute spotted socks!
Daisy Dayz

Front Row Spectator said...

oh Bella! I wish you the best of luck with your new location. Sounds to me like no matter where you are, you make the best of it. I hope to see you blooming madly in the windy city.

xoxoxoxo always,


Anonymous said...

I love the images, very artistic.