I just don’t know who I am anymore

by Erin on August 15, 2012

To wit: I am hungrily awaiting the arrival of this fabric:

That, my friends, is metallic silver seersucker. It’s very subtle, but it is definitely metallic. I also bought some light-gray seersucker, which was also described as having a metallic silver thread:

light gray seersucker fabric

and I’m eyeing this dark-gray version, too:

And this is despite my long-held conviction that metallic fabrics ARE NOT FOR DAY. This opinion may mark me as the oldest living resident of Getoffamylawnville, but I think that metallic fabrics in the daytime are tacky. (There — I said it. Other things I think are tacky: visible dark bras under white tops; high heels with shorts; giant designer logos … the list goes on.)

Now, just because I think some things are tacky doesn’t mean I don’t love them to death … on other people. In fact, I should probably replace the word “tacky” with “not for me.” If you rock out in your short shorts with skyscraper heels and a black bra under your white tee, carrying a bag with huge initials on it that aren’t yours, I will probably say “Damn, she really owns that look.” (Which I may or may not follow up with “Bless her heart.”) But it’s not a look I think I can own.

But maybe this fabric is a way for me to um, rent-to-own metallics in the daytime? I have absolutely no idea what I will make with this fabric (other than another 9929, thank you). Or where I would wear it. It’s not suitable for a guest-at-a-wedding dress (too white); seersucker is too casual for most evening events (and I don’t go to many fancy evening parties). The only place where I think this might be appropriate is a restaurant with an outdoor patio, for a late-night summer dinner. With a silver lurex cardigan (or a white silk one) and flat silver sandals. Which is EXTREMELY SPECIFIC, for dress planning, isn’t it?

The white-and-silver version would also look good in this dress (which I did eventually find in my size), and would be ideal for a 1970s summer disco party. Which I’m invited to all the time, aren’t you?

Where do you fall on the burning question of metallics in the daytime? What should I make with this fabric, whenever it shows up?

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Packrat August 15, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I’m with you on what you consider tacky. Those things are right up there with b*** cracks showing and shirts so tight that one can see the wrinkles in the rolls of fat. I’ll admit I’m old-fashioned. I grew up when it was a “sin” to show a bra strap. As to not wearing metallic fabric during the day, I tend to agree with you on that, too, but it really depends on the amount of “shiny”. A tiny stripe is probably okay for day wear. The fabrics you are showing are very casual, so be wild and wear them in daylight. :)

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edgertor August 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

i think that the metallic in use with a REALLY traditional fabric–like madras, seersucker, or tweed, is ok for day.

i have some tweed stuff with tiny metallic bits. you hardly know they’re there.

now either scattered or full-on sequins, i’m not sure about. i even pulled all the sequins off a cotton scarf i had, bc it felt weird to be so sparkly.

metallic shoes are ok anytime, though, imho. A men’s style suit with a pair of glitter tennis shoes would be awesome. I wear a minimal pair of bronze-y flat sandals with pretty much anything in the summer.

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Nicole August 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm

To me, these metallics are very muted — I think they would be appropriate for daywear. I would have thought these seersuckers were in various shades of gray until you indicated they were metallic.

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ParisGrrl August 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

For the record, I’m down with sparkle any time of day. Seersucker makes a terrific lightweight suit fabric…I made a yellow pencil skirt and matching jacket with a little front bow closure that I wore to death and always got compliments on. Something like that could be great in your fabric.

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Cris August 15, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I think that the metallic looks subtle enough to rock at all but the most casual occasions. If it were up to me, I would make something with an A-line skirt, set in pockets, sleeveless or short-sleeved with either a moderate scoopneck or a V-neck. (If it were actually for me, I’d go with sleeveless and a bateau neckline, but that’s because I’m a member of the itty bitty titty committee and low-cut necklines don’t flatter me at all.) Basic, non-shiny accessories will allow it to be its awesome self in a casual setting, and you should definitely break out the silver flats or the lurex cardigan for moderately fancy occasions (garden parties! summer dinner parties! cocktail hour!).

If you want to be casual and fun, you can always go with two accessories in approximately the same bright color – green sneakers and green belt, or bright blue cardigan plus blue shoes, or pink belt and pink necklace (with white sneakers or ballet flats?), etc.

Dangit, now I really want some of that metallic seersucker. Curses. You cruel temptress!
(I have enough fabric. I don’t have space for more fabric. I have enough fabric. I don’t have space for more fabric. Ommmmm. . .)

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Elizabeth August 15, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I love sparkly things; I’m a magpie. I made a brocade skirt that I wore all the time to my conservative wall st job. I never saw raised eyebrows, but I don’t have eyes in the back of my head.

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Iris August 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I just got this fabric in the mail today. The metallic thread is exactly that–one thread on one side of the dark grey stripe. I don’t think it’s too much sparkle for daywear!

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Erin August 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Ooh, thanks! … trying not to go order it …

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Berenice August 16, 2012 at 12:15 am

To quote my children, “Sparkly is my favorite color!” Now I don’t run around with others’ initials embroidered in oversized metallic thread on my size 20 tushie, but I’ve been known to rock a sparkly shirt or two. One of my fav’s from high school was a black cowl neck long sleeved shirt with a tied waist line (’79 ish). The knit fabric had a red, green and blue metallic horizontal pinstripes about 1 inch apart. I still had 3 yards left, but haven’t convinced the girls that they needed a shirt to match mine! I loved that fabric but I haven’t figured out how it has survived in my stash for over 30 years… Hmmmmmm

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Melanie August 16, 2012 at 1:07 am

Hello!
I have also fallen in love with the white/grey combo of late and I agree with all the lovely advice here – bright accessories for day and metallic knit cardie for evening. And the genius of a seersucker suit! You girls are all amazing.

I also agree that metallics/sequins etc. in the daytime are a non-no, because what are you gonna pull out of your hat to look awesome in the evening if you’ve already rocked your sequins in the daytime? I’m sure that’s why those conventions exist. That and the fact that embellishments are no longer so precious and expensive to produce.

I think a little demarcation of embellishment makes it that much more exciting when you break them out for a big occassion. And oh, I also wanted to add, if no one’s inviting you to a 70s summer disco, throw one!

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Lorinda August 16, 2012 at 3:30 am

The halter dress has my vote, but whatever you decide will be great.

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Ruth August 16, 2012 at 3:38 am

I’m a sparkle for the holidays at any time of day person (Christmas and New Years, Valentines). I would wear a very subtle sparkle daytime, but Very Subtle! Just don’t really care much for sparkle unless it’s jewelry. Seersucker is a lovely fabric, great in the summer and wearable year round. I love it for blouses since I’m a pants girl (Gasp!), but it should be a great dress too.

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Jamie August 16, 2012 at 4:57 am

I’m with you and Packrat on the tacky aspects and basically the other points which you both made. I would love to see you in the long dress-halter 7431 Simplicity. With any of the stripping fabrics. You could where it just fine and it would be FUN. Tea dress length with a pair of Keds. That outfit would look great on you. Go for it.

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Catherine Daze August 16, 2012 at 6:43 am

Nothing wrong with metallics in the daytime. I have a silver lurex dress I really should wear more often. I don’t wear it to work but I have been known to go to the supermarket in it. I say go for it, the fabric is too lovely to keep for special occasions. I’m seeing something like Vivienne Westwood’s Sunday dress. Draped cowl neckline, narrow waist, big skirt.

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Lynn August 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I think California is getting to you! Next it will be flip flops to work. But seriously, those are pretty subtle metallics–I can see you at a linguistic conference in them.

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Erin August 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I can promise you will never see me in flip flops at work. I have a flip-flop phobia. (It’s the noise … )

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Tiffany August 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm

A little shimmer and shine is great for day! Can’t wait to see the dress you make!

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LinB August 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Just call yourself Princess Sparkleberry and all will be well … We wore blouses in the 1970s and 80s with subtle bits of lurex thread woven into the plaids and stripes, as shirtdresses, as tops for jeans at school and at home, and with skirts or trousers to work at the office — and they were appropriate and lovely and it was just fine to wear them in the daytime. Enough time has passed that this trend deserves to be resurrected. “Wear thy sparkly seersucker at thine own will!” sez I.

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Jamie August 17, 2012 at 12:08 am

Don’t forget the modest tiara should you go out as Princess Sparkleberry!

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Silver August 17, 2012 at 12:48 am

I think there are metallics and metallics . . . a silver metallic thread or any variety of silveriness during the day is pleasing to me – I draw my tacky line at gold in the daytime (not that gold ever suits me anyway). And as for bronze – just no. I don’t know why but I find bronze as a shimmery fabric colour slightly dispiriting – it’s the ugly cousin metallics prefer not to speak about.

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Skye August 17, 2012 at 2:53 am

Perhaps a daytime wedding (but not the white), bridal shower or baby shower would be fine…anything with champagne :)

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Amelia August 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm

i found a lovely linen recently, loose weave, natural colour, with a metallic sheen to one side of it. the weave is indeed too casual for evening but it also presents the metallic question. i think i’ll just make a day dress out of it anyhow :)

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Rita August 20, 2012 at 6:12 am

Wish the photos enlarged. I really want some fabric with a little silver metallic in it so I can wear my silver metallic suede sneakers.

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Lynn August 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I mostly agree with you on all the tacky things, including metallics in the daytime but I think it’s okay if it’s very subtle. If you’re blinded by the sun reflecting off of it then you probably shouldn’t wear it when the sun is shining but a few little metallic threads in an otherwise casual fabric wouldn’t set off my tackiness alarm.

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Sara August 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I just bought a pair of blue/white seersucker shorts on sale yesterday! I, too, am a sucker for seer sucker! Can’t wait to see your creations!

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nonfashionista September 5, 2012 at 8:38 am

WOW my blog was recommended here… I’m very proud of that! Thanks for sharing it :) xoxo

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