May 25, 2009

Monday Muses {May 25th}

Rarely does a week goes by when a particular colour (or combination of hues) isn’t on my mind, inspiring and enriching my life (and sometimes my wardrobe) in one or another. I’ve always been deeply wild for the rainbow, crazy about the colour wheel and positively giddy when staring at a wall of paint chips. As we’ve now passed the less-than-a-month-until-summer mark, I can’t help thinking about a wonderful – one might say luxurious – colour that has once again returned, via the marvel that is sunlight, to my world: gold!

From the pricey metal in bar form to bottle of nail polish in this rich hue, warm gold and golden sunlight are my Muses on this last Monday in May.

It almost goes without saying that gold can conjure up thoughts of the rich and famous, of opulence and grandeur, yet it can also sweetly simple and understated. Think of a plain gold wedding band, a pair of gold hoops adorning a child’s ears as her first earrings, the wrapper inside a chocolate bar.

The colour (as opposed to the metal) gold fades in and out of vogue continually. One has only to think of the “harvest gold” kitchens of the past or the way this shimmery shade ruled discos everywhere to be reminded of gold's trend-ability. Yet gold is also timeless. Worn tastefully it works as well today as it ever has – perhaps even more so given the wide range of gold toned fashions on the market these days.

Where once wearing the colour gold was reserved more for evenings out, fancy events or dancing alla Studio 54, over the past few years metallic colours have become considerably more mainstream. Gold bags, shoes, shirts, make-up and certainly accessories seem to have become a fixture in many clothing shops. Style experts like Stacey and Clinton from What Not To Wear have even said that it’s perfectly alright to mix metallic tones within the same outfit (thus lending gold even more versatility).

I can never pick a favourite metallic shade. One day I feel that silver looks the best against my pale skin, the next gold seems to bring out the green in my eyes more vibrantly, and yet the next I’ll love the way bronze highlights the red in my hair. For those days when I’m in a golden mood though, I definitely want to embrace this gorgeous colour in such a way as to seem timeless/vintage, as opposed to like I have disco fever or am trying imitate a Renaissance monarch.

Luckily gold spun its way into numerous looks from the 1940s, 50s and early 60s, all eras that I strive to dress like. As a fabric colour gold blends excellently with cream, ivory, brown, fawn, dark and sage greens, deep blues, royal purples, pumpkin, and many shades of red, amongst other hues. With these same colours and certainly others, gold can also make for a sophisticated and timelessly pretty accent throughout your home, such as in the mid-century dresser below.

{Practical and pleasing to the eye, this hand painted vintage dresser from etsy seller Decor8 Renov8 is available for $400US (which includes free shipping within the continental US), and would make a lovely and functional piece for a bedroom, guest room, craft room or anywhere else you need storage and a glimmer of gold.}

Whether in astoundingly high priced designs or the more affordable realm of costume pieces, gold is most definitely at home in the world of jewelry. I don’t own much real gold, but I do have a few gold toned and gold plated items such as earrings, which I certainly put on when I want a subtle twinkle near my face. As gold has been such a popular medium for centuries, most certainly including the twentieth, jewelry collectors can easily find pieces from any decade of the last century to suit their budget and tastes.

{Isn’t this gold toned, cat-eye glasses pin too cute for words? If this pin – which is available from Viva Vintage Clothing for $15 – was mine I’d be tempted to wear it with just about every button front cardigan I own, especially when heading to the library! :)}

Gold is certainly not reserved for jewelry alone though, it can take pride-of-place in a dress, glisten subtly via metallic threading in a skirt or be used as the stitching colour in a pair of jeans, for example. Gold goes well with most skin and hair tones and can easily be worn by people of any age. When I think of gold hued clothing from the past, I always think of graceful, well dressed women with their hair up serving guests at a dinner party or attending a fête someplace lavish and lovely.

{One look at this sublime, embroidered vintage dress and your eyes can’t help but light up. The pairing of gold and a gorgeous emerald meets turquoise hue is down-right enchanting. At $58US, this reasonably priced frock from etsy seller Beta Boutique will make for an absolutely gorgeous buy for one lucky gal.}

{Should you be looking for more of a subtle spark of gold, why not slip into a fantastic pair of dancing shoes such as these 1940s black velvet and gold heels that UK vintage seller Candy Says currently has a pair of for £60 (UK pounds).}

Like most members of the yellow family, gold is a cheerful, slightly energizing colour. Its natural luster and adaptability as a metal, and a hue, make it suited to the fashions of any era, the not the least of which is mid-twentieth century - as evident by this delightful selection of gold infused images from Flickr.

{Vintage Midas Touch}

1. Nancy Tang 054, 2. West Bend Harvest Gold Salt and Pepper Shakers, 3. 04-20-2009, 4. Gold laurel vintage nut dishes, 5. gold brocade, 6. Vintage Gold, 7. Vintage Glass 24K Gold Jar 03, 8. fancy lady vintage gold cocktail bag., 9. Avon puffed leaf solid perfume pin, 10. locket, 11. vintage gold + grey, 12. Golden Slumbers Vintage Button Pin, 13. Everything gets a little better with Salvatore Ferragamo {Click on a link to see a larger version of a particular image and/or for photographer information}

I hope this post has spread some golden sunshine (and vintage inspiration!) to your day – putting it together has certainly done so for mine.


  1. I'm smiling, another beautiful post and what delish shoes!!

  2. Gold has always been my favourite colour & I just love the vintage dress & shoes above. I can just hear the dance music already...!
    Have a great week!
    Take care

  3. Hi Jessica!

    Oh wowwwwww! You have such a way with words! What a writer! I loved this blog post.

    Happy Memorial Day!


  4. Gold is beautiful. Personally I've always liked silver better, but I do like gold. Nice post. I hope you are doing well. Cheers!

  5. Thank you each very much for your lovely comments!

    @ Nora, Matilda, and Amanda, I adore those shoes too! I think they would pair really well with a multitude of items, from cocktail dresses to suit pants (trousers).

    @ Spencer, thank you dearly for your beautiful words. To say that you made my day would be a huge understatement! Many beautiful blessings to you as well, my new friend!

    @ Keith, I can never pick a favourite metal, they're all so lovely! I flip between gold, silver, brass and copper hued pieces with equal love for all those hues :)

    Many thanks again everyone for your terrific comments, I love hearing from you!

    ♥ Jessica

  6. that green and gold dress and those gold shoes make my heart beat really fast. love them.

  7. I like the glasses!

  8. @ Poke Salad Annie, I felt exactly the same way, my dear! (BTW, awesome blogger user name! :) )

    @ Brittany Tucker, so do I! They are too adorable for words. I really hope to encounter a pin like that while out thrifting one day :)

    Thank you both for your lovely comments, I hope you have a splendid weekend!
    ♥ Jessica