What is your reaction when I mention the 60’s? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Chances are it’s one or the other. Very few people seem to be able to stay neutral when it comes to the 60’s. It was a decade of extremes – extremes in politics, extremes in culture, extremes in music and, yes, extremes in fashion! While the adults of the day may still have leaned toward the conservative dress of the previous decade – men in collared shirts and suits, women in shift dresses, pencil skirts and cigarette pants (i.e. The Dick Van Dyke Show), the youth of the day were feeling a new found sense of freedom with their clothing, pushing boundaries like never before. Those effects are still strongly felt in fashion today. In fact, while the children of the 60’s dreamed of futuristic space-like styles being the norm of OUR day, to the contrary, we’ve taken our cues from THE PAST and are taking styles as far back as the 20’s and revamping into our modern day styles!
One of the most popular trends of the 60’s was, of course, the Hippie movement. Famous for bell bottom jeans, Psychedelic prints and peasant blouses, the Hippie movement has been revitalized in our present day as Boho Chic! I admit, I have more than a few Boho pieces in my own closet! One of the most popular looks of the Hippie days was patchwork skirts and wrapskirts. Frequently long and flowy, they were almost like artwork. By the 70’s the patchwork started to disappear, but the wrapskirt lived on and took on even greater significance with Diane Von Furstenberg’s famous wrap dresses. Well, the beautiful patchwork wrapskirt has returned with a beautiful modern look!
I found this skirt, and the wonderful artisan skirt maker who creates them, Kristen Leonard of Charley Girl Skirts, last Christmas when she had a kiosk set up at one of our local malls for the holidays. I fell in love immediately! Though the skirts are pretty when you see them on her Etsy page, seeing and feeling the fabrics in person just takes them to a whole new level! By the time the holidays were over, I was the proud owner of five of these fabulous skirts, either by my own purchase or as gifts, and with their beauty and versatility, I still wish I had more!
I’ve chosen one of the most versatile of the skirts to share with you this time. It’s versatility lies in the wide range of colors and fabrics used in this particular skirt. You could grab almost any top in your closet, almost any pair of shoes and make this skirt work. As well, the mid-range choice of fabrics Kristen used here, allows you to use this skirt all year long.
The first look is a casual spring/summer look. I paired the skirt with a basic black tee (Banana Republic, thrifted) and mustard yellow, stacked heel sandals (American Eagle, thrifted). I chose these particular shoes because they have a wonderful vintage 60’s/70’s look, even though they are a modern shoe. They are also surprisingly comfortable for such a high heel. I used a colorful, bold bead necklace that picks up the colors in the skirt without being overly “matchy-matchy”. Because my necklace is bold and close to the neck, I kept my earrings to simple gold/rhinestone studs, but I did add a stack of wood and bead bracelets that pick up one of the bead colors from the necklace. (All jewelry thrifted) Not a “heels girl”? You could easily throw on a pair of flats with this instead. I’ve done this with both a dressy flat and just a casual canvas flat. (Very versatile skirt!) Of course, you could dress it up even more by switching out the tee for a blouse and exchange the small earrings for a pair of statement earrings, and you’re set to go!
For the Fall/Winter look I exchanged the black tee for a burnt orange cardigan. (J.Crew, thrifted) I love the use of the burnt orange here. It would have been a little “safer” to go with, say, black or brown or even the gold or red in the skirt. They’re a little more obvious. But, as stylist Andy Paige says, we should do something a little unexpected everyday with our outfits. It adds an air of sophistication and that touch of personal style we need to add to our look. There is burnt orange in the skirt, but it is definitely the “lesser” color. You have to look a little harder to find it, and so the sweater “pops” just a little more because of that. I added a pair of brown tights and brown leather knee-length riding boots (clearance sale, Ross). Because of the beautiful detail at the top of the sweater, I did not do any kind of necklace or scarf, but did go for a slightly larger earring in a brown tone. Additionally I added a stacked bracelet with brownish orange beading. (All jewelry thrifted) Again, this is a casual, day-to-day look. It could easily be dressed up a little by adding a boot with more of a heel, a dressier blouse or sweater, and less casual jewelry.
You know from previous posts of mine that I am all about being thrifty when it comes to my shopping and styling, but I want to state here that there are times I make exceptions and these skirts are one of those exceptions. Here’s why. There are various reasons for making exceptions – quality, need for a particular fit, urgency of purchase, special occasion purchases – I may go into those on later dates. Charley Girl Skirts, first of all, definitely fall under the category of quality. The level of sewing craft, fabrics etc. is exceptional. They also fall under the category of art, in my opinion. The skirts are all completely unique. No two skirts are alike. Each is individually crafted. The unique eye that it takes to know what fabrics will not only look beautiful together, but will sew well together and clean well together… all of these things take the eye of a master craftsperson. Kristen has achieved all of these things. Finally, and the major point for me, is my desire to support local small business. Kristen’s business is located a short half hour drive from where I live. (I wish I had discovered her much sooner!) Smaller businesses are struggling in today’s economy to survive against large fast fashion companies. And though I believe there is room in the business world for everybody, these wonderful, talented artisans will disappear if individuals like ourselves aren’t willing to once in awhile pay a little bit more to support their beautiful artwork!
If you’re interested in Charley Girl Skirts and are local, Kristen is located in Doylestown, PA and is often found at local festivals, fairs and mall kiosks. If you are not local, or can’t find her at one of these places, you can find her on Instagram at Charleygirlskirts or on Etsy, just type in Charley Girl Skirts and they’ll take you right to her. Her skirts are available in every length from mini to maxi, and also in little girls. She hems for free, but will not add length. Give them a look! I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of my Charley Girl Skirts on here!
Here are the the side angles to give you a better idea of the different fabric/color/texture panels on the skirt.