fashion plates: clara’s clutch and a date night

A great vintage piece has incredible sticking power.  That’s how I look at vintage pieces, not really to see if they’re on trend at the moment (I’m looking at you acid washed normcore hipsters), but to see if they’re going to be useful for many years of outfits to come.

This clutch was given to me when my grandfather’s (Bill) cousin moved into a nursing home when I was a teen.  Her name was Clara and she had served as my mom’s stand-in grandmother for many years.  Clara and her husband, Hubert, were childless and fulfilled the roles of grandparents for my mom and aunts.  Even though she wasn’t truly a grandmother, she is one of my greatest style inspirations.  They owned many gorgeous items and I was able to inherit a few things before Clara’s passing.

My sister, Clare, was named for Clara.  It was only after her passing (during mom’s pregnancy with Clare) that we discovered that Cousin Clara’s given name was ACTUALLY Clare.


I’ve carried this clutch since I was in college.  I also carried on several dates as a youngster with a very cute tall guy who’d eventually be my husband.  I carried it again on Saturday night to see the incredible Kristin Chenoweth at the Orpheum Theatre.  It’s my favorite date night accessory.

The combination of the needlepoint flowers, beaded accents, and glittery motifs make it one of my most favorite possessions.  Grandmother chic at its finest.  It’s even laminated in plastic to make it more grandma chic.

It’s hopelessly tiny and really only holds my phone, a lipstick, and my ID.  Practicality is never necessary when talking about date-night attire, right?


On Saturday I styled it with my striped tunic from Old Navy (yes, again, I’m addicted to stripes) worn with a high waisted black skirt (my mom made the skirt!).  I wore my favorite gold jewelry, a Noonday necklace* that I wear almost daily, a few vintage bracelets from mom and Grammy (Virginia) and Grandaddy’s watch.  I finished it off with my black pointed flats, old faithfuls.  We had to hoof it from dinner to the show thanks to our food being late and I’m glad I chose flats this time!

(Side note- who is actually able to wear heels for a night on the town? I am a major wimp.)

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The show was a fabulous time.  Kristin Chenoweth is an incredible performer. I know she probably gets tired of singing “Popular” every night.  She put on a great show and it truly seemed that she was actually having a good time on stage.  Her performance of “Maybe This Time” was more amazing than I could handle.  Sweet Brandon wasn’t her biggest fan beforehand (it’s ok with me that my husband isn’t a huge fan of show tunes) but he seemed to have a genuinely good time.  As a bit of a Broadway dork, I love seeing that she can make a career last by singing show tunes and standards.

This was my final birthday celebration for this year.  I think I did a pretty nice job stretching my celebrating out for almost two whole months this time.  That might be a new record even for me! High fives all around.

IMG_3743-1No matter what we do, dates with this guy are just plum fantastic.

{*Here’s a bit more about the Noonday Bethe Rope Necklace I’m wearing in the outfit photo.  Noonday is an incredible company that supports women all around the world.  Here’s a great video of one such woman.  Plus it isn’t hard to support them because their pieces are all GORGEOUS!  Thanks to my friend, Carolyn, for all this info!}


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