All Buttoned Up
Happy day, Reader Dear!
Where do you find style inspiration?
Catalogs and magazines?
How about at the museum?
During spring break, I spent the week on a mini-pilgrimage of sorts. One day, I my travels took me to the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens to visit the exhibition, Weath and Beauty: Pier Francesco Foschi and Painting in Renaissance Florence. Foschi’s work was stunning and the colors rich and vibrant, but the work that has haunted me since has nothing, No. Thing., to do with Foschi or the Renaissance.
The work that haunts me still is one of Nick Cave’s Soundsuits.
Now, this may not be your taste in art, but stick with me. This piece was riveting. The scale. The detail. The textures. Are you wondering how this could inspire my (or your) style? At first glance you might think a white column of color with rainbow accents and you wouldn’t be wrong. Inspiration comes in many forms. But,
A Closer Look…
Apparently more than one of Cave’s Soundsuits are covered in buttons. My mind first jumped to the Pearly Kings and Queens.A button covered suit would be heavy and uncomfortable for everyday wear. Not practical! Imagine sitting on all those buttons! But(ton), seriously, buttons are underrated.
Where does this inspo go for everyday? One of the easiest ways to change a garment is to change the buttons! My Navy uniform suit jacket (from 1986) made the transition to civilian life and lived well into the 2000’s with multiple button changes. At one time it sported silver cherub buttons. Another, black laquer. Still another, gold buttons with multicolored jewels in the center. I miss that jacket. I wore it to death.
Recently, I suggested a client change the gold buttons on a croppped tweed jacket to woven leather and now it feels perfect for her more relaxed life and style. That’s a style win!
Other Button Ideas
Why not trim the edges of a jacket with buttons? Of whatever color suits your fancy. Think Chanel/Nick Cave/Pearlies mash-up. Or sew your plain white shirt buttons on using different stitches? I see plus signs, minus signs and equals above. A four hole button can also be sewn on in an arrow design. Or a Z. Why not use embroidery floss of multiple colors to sew on your buttons? I’d love to see a white button down with black buttons sewn in multiple floss colors! Or why not choose multiple colored buttons? That’s what I did last year when I saw this shirt on my discard pile and realized the bright white buttons were what bothered me.
Now I wear it every week. Why did pink, green and light and dark blue buttons feel right? That I can’t tell you. But it did. An easy start? Choose buttons in your favorite color and use them to add some spark to an ordinary piece. Basic doesn’t have to mean boring!
All this button talk has me thinking about sewing buttons in a floral pattern on the lapel of a jacket… How does that sound to you?
How About You?
If you want to learn more about Nick Cave and his Soundsuits, this Public Delivery article is a start. What do you think of the Soundsuit? If the Soundsuit isn’t your thing, maybe this post about art inspiring a color palette will be more your style! Where do YOU find your style inspo? Are you a button-front shirt wearer? Have you ever made a button necklace or bracelet? Do you ever change the buttons on you clothes for a style refresh? How would you use buttons to personalize your style? Do tell! I love to hear from you…