Monday, July 13, 2015

SIA: The Hundred Dresses

charcoal tank gray tank straight leg jeans cardigan teacher style The Hundred Dresses
tank, Old Navy
necklace, gift
 cardigan, Macy's
Calvin Klein jeans, Ross

         Whoo! I am so excited about participating for the first time in Style Imitating Art. (Click here to learn more about this linkup and see previous posts and art selections). This week's pick by Jen of Librarian for Life and Style was "The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes and illustrator Louis Slobodkin.
        I had two days of math training last week, and wore this on the first day. Dressing for a training can be tricky: there's always the chance that the room will be overly air-conditioned and I'll freeze, and I need to be comfortable for a day of mostly sitting. I considered wearing my green silk dress, but decided to go for a look inspired by the colors of the book. The cardigan's design looks like scribbles, and picks up the primary colors in the artwork. The charcoal tank reminded me of the pencil shading that sets off the bursts of brightness.

multi-colored cardigan charcoal gray tank yellow glass pendant
         I'm sure that I read this book as a child, but I don't have any recollection of doing so. I picked it up from the library and enjoyed it - it's a slim novel with a wonderful message. Wanda is different; she wears the same dress every day, has a strange last name, lives in undesirable part of town, and read slowly when asked to read out loud.  Her female classmates, led by Peggy, enjoy "having fun" with her by asking her about the hundred dresses Wanda claims to have at home. A drawing contest and Wanda's departure shows her fellow students a side of her that they never got to see ... and they get to take a good look within themselves, too.
      As a teacher, I appreciated the teacher's short statement to the class after receiving a letter from Wanda's dad that mentions the bullying his daughter endured. The teacher gives the students the benefit of the doubt in terms of what motivated the teasing. Saying that it was motivated by thoughtlessness conveys her belief that her students have good intentions and hearts. At the same time, she exhorts them to think carefully about what they did.
       Estes also does a great job of portraying Maddie's feelings: she moves from rationalizing her actions as OK (based on her shaky status in the girls' pecking order, which is mitigated by her being friends with ultra-popular Peggy) to thinking long and hard about how to make amends to Wanda. It's really a great, sensitive portrayal of a child dealing with a moral issue on her own.

    I still wish that I could have worn a dress for this challenge, but overall I'm pleased with this outfit. It was fun to put together an outfit that captured the spirit of the book's illustrations.

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