Smell the Flowers

One of my all-time favorite stories (and subsequent cartoons) is Ferdinand the Bull, the story of a bull who would much rather smell the flowers than fight the matador. In 1938 Disney made the beloved book into a cartoon, and while the cartoon won Best Short Subject: Cartoon at the Academy Awards and had many toys in the 30s and 40s, it does not get a lot of stage presence and merchandise today, which is why I was so pleased when I found a Ferdinand pin during our visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum.

People often comment telling me how well I accessorize. And I must admit, I never gave it much thought. Accessorizing is just easy for me. It’s like I am building a collage that I get to wear! But I do think I have pinned down one key element to accessorizing, and I think this outfit highlights that method perfectly. So what is it you ask? Start with an accessory.

In sticking with my new mantra of wearing what makes me happy, I chose to wear my Ferdinand pin and revolve my entire outfit around it.

Thankfully this Ferdinand pin has a lot of colors to work with and I decided to throw them all on my body. I pulled red from the matador’s cape, and I chose my red wool skirt I picked up at Jet Rag during our last visit to LA. To keep in line with the Spanish flair, I picked a peasant blouse, and selected the one that featured a design of flowers. A green and white belt highlights the flowers that Ferdinand is smelling. As it was slightly chilly, I chose a sweater that reflected the yellow in the matador’s outfit. I’ve really been digging patterned knit tights, and picked a pair that had a slight floral design to them, to reflect Ferdinand’s love of flowers. To draw in more of the colors in the pin I loaded up my arms with bangles, but kept the necklace and earring situation simple, with just black bobbles. All of these colors were also in a pair of Miss L Fires that I have and I slipped my feet into them. While a tooled leather purse first came to mind to pair with this, I decided the wood and blanket “Bonnie Bag”, as it’s labeled on the inside, highlighted the colors of the outfit much better. Once you decide upon one item you want to wear (it can be a piece of jewelry, or a jacket, purse or a hat), the rest just falls into place.

Sweater: Gift
Peasant Blouse: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon
Skirt: Jet Rag, Los Angeles, California
Belt: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Tights: Target
Bangles: Here and there, though some are from Retro Rejuvenation
Necklace: The Clothes Horse, Eugene, Oregon
Earrings: Umm…most likely Antique Alley
Purse: I’m not sure…I have like five of these bags…
Ferdinand Pin: Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco, California

18 thoughts on “Smell the Flowers

  1. So cute! I love the whole outfit! I’ve had a thing for red and yellow lately 🙂 They pair so well together!

  2. Love the color combo in this outfit! Right up my alley. (Although that’s probably a given. lol) Love all the little elements to your outfit, and in particular that purse in a knockout that just ties it all together so well!

  3. I love your outfit–so cute! But I mostly commented to share my love of Ferdinand the Bull. I had no idea there was a cartoon, but I have loved the book ever since I was a little kid!

  4. Love this outfit, and I too often find myself planning my outfit around wanting to wear just one particular hat, necklace or pair of gloves. It’s a different perspective on outfit-building and I always find I come up with the most interesting results doing it this way!

  5. I ought to try building an outfit by picking an accessory… I only have a small jewelry box’s worth, so it shouldn’t be too hard! But that’s a helpful way to think about accessorizing; I usually do the reverse, which is probably why I never wear accessories. Challenge accepted.

  6. Splendidly fun, punchy, cheerful outfit!!! All of these colours look so fabulous on you, dear Janey!

    I love your advice to start with one accessory and build the rest of your look around it. That’s a technique that I’ve long adored putting to work in my wardrobe as well. Sometime as tiny as a pearl stud earring really can be the statistical for a whole outfit and it’s so fan to return to the same pieces again, too, to see how you can use them as your inspiration for a completely different outfit a second, third, etc time.

    ♥ Jessica

  7. Very colorful. Everything looks so pretty together. My favorite accessory are brooches. Vintage brooches are the best! They come in so many fun and unique styles, I get happy every time I look at my collection. It seems since vintage brooches are still plentiful so you can score these lovelies pretty cheap. Agreed, that accessories make the whole outfit pop.

  8. Ooh, such a vibrant outfit! It all comes together so well, and I do love your brooch! I have to say, though, that my personal favorite part of the whole outfit is your belt. It’s so much fun! I may just have to try basing my next outfit around one accessory, too…


  9. I love vintage novelty accessories: pins, buttons, jewelry, everything, but don’t really own much myself. I think your pin is adorable and I love how you styled an outfit around it. The colors work really well together, too.

  10. That outfit is everything! You put everything together so well, and you have yet to be off point on anything. I especially love that bag – do you have any recommendations as to where I could be on the lookout for one? I wish there were better places to shop for vintage in NY – it’s such a shame 😦 I gotta move back out west!


    Veronica Vintage

  11. Great idea to revolve the outfit around the accessories rather than the other way around which is what I typically do. I’ll have to try this. Great inspiration and you look fab as per usual!

  12. Oh, I love it! I like the idea of inventing an outfit based on an accessory, and the bright colors you picked are so cheery and reminiscent of warmer places.

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