“Can I pull it off?”

by | Jul 22, 2020 | a slice of life, Style | 54 comments

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored collaboration with Magnolia Pearl.  We received a great response from our last collaboration, so we decided to work together again!  As always, all opinions and words are my own.

I saw a pair of shoes in an e-mail from Magnolia Pearl a few weeks ago and right away, I was smitten.  They look like antique leather baby shoes, but they are shoes for adults!  Oh my…I couldn’t send Red an e-mail fast enough to see if they had them in my size.

magnolia pearl shoes miss mustard seed

While I was waiting for the reply, doubt crept in…  “Can I pull them off?”  I’ve been marinating on this question and how I squashed my own excitement for a pair of shoes I was immediately drawn to and excited about wearing.  And I realized I do that to myself all the time.  

Can I pull this off?  

What is that question really asking?  Will other people think it’s weird?  Will I get made fun of?  Am I confident enough to just love what I love without asking for the approval of others?  

That question is all about self-doubt.

And I also realized I didn’t use to be that way.  When I was a teenager and into my college years, I wore what I liked.  Yes, I cared about what people thought of me.  I wanted to be well-liked, but I really didn’t care if people liked my clothes or not.  They were a reflection of my style and I didn’t see that as something that needed input from others.  And I wore some crazy things!  There was the “mirror ball shirt”, the “salad dress”, and the “nun shoes” to name some of the most memorable articles.  Even into my 20’s, when I worked in the corporate world, some of my co-workers called one pair of striped corduroy pants I wore “the seizure pants.”

When you wear clothing that gets nicknames, you know you’re off the beaten fashion path!

I ordered a new Pick Box from Magnolia Pearl, so I could at least try the shoes along with a few other things.  I haven’t been clothes shopping since the last pick box I received in December.  I’m not a big clothes shopper, anyway.  I’ll go a few times a year to buy things, but you’re more likely to find me shopping for books or my home than clothes.  But, I have a stash of birthday money from April and I’ve been missing going to a few stores to try things on.  So the Pick Box is the perfect way to find some new, pretty things to wear!

magnolia pearl pick box miss mustard seed

Opening this box felt like I had discovered a trunk in an attic and it was filled with well-preserved dresses and slips from the 1920s and ’30s.  Embroidery and lace and dainty details.  Their clothes are so exquisitely made; works of art even.  This craftsmanship and attention to detail are why their clothes are priced as they are.

magnolia pearl pick box miss mustard seed

Let me pause for a moment and explain how the Magnolia Pearl Pick Box works…  You can select items you want to try and then they will select a few other pieces for you.  They ship the items to you and you have a chance to try them all on in your own home, pick what you want, and send the rest back.  (There is already a return label inside the box to make it really easy.)  I love this method of shopping, because I can try everything on with all of my clothes and accessories at hand.  There are so many times I’ve bought something I really like only to discover that I don’t really have anything that works with it.  I can try each piece on, experiment, and take my time.  This allows me to make a strategic purchase instead of an impulse buy.

This is also a nice service because Magnolia Pearl’s clothes are one-size-fits-all.  It sounds a little crazy, but everything I’ve tried on has fit me and I’ve seen people larger and smaller than I am, taller and shorter, looking awesome in these clothes, too.    A lot of the garments are adjustable with ties and multiple buttoning options, so you’re able to make them work.  But, there are going to be some pieces that fit better and are more flattering than others and you have a chance to really try them to make sure you love the look and fit.

magnolia pearl pick box miss mustard seed

I have learned to try on every single piece whether I think I’ll like it on or not.  There have been pieces in the past that have really surprised me.  I loved so many things in this box that it was really hard to pick what I wanted to keep.

magnolia pearl pick box miss mustard seed

I was absolutely in love with this dress, but decided that the length wasn’t as good on me as some of the other shorter shirt dresses.

magnolia pearl pick box miss mustard seed

I didn’t take pictures of everything I tried on because I am an awkward model!  But, here are the pieces I decided to keep…

magnolia pearl pick box miss mustard seed

This shirt is one of my new favorites!  I love the polka dots, the pleating, the length, and it even has a little cross-stitched MP at the bottom of the buttons.  Of course, it stands for Magnolia Pearl, but it’s a happy coincidence that those are also my initials!  The shirt is oversized and comfy but still looks sharp and put-together.  It’s called the French Cotton Poplin Cordelia Night Shirt in Freckles.

I also loved this cream cotton poplin shirt dress.  The asymmetrical collar is visually interesting, I like the chunky cuffs that can be rolled up, and the A-line shape is flattering for a figure like mine (even after the quarantine weight-gain!)  It’s the Cotton Poplin Isobeth Shirt with Quilted Asymmetrical Hem in Natural.

magnolia pearl pick box miss mustard seed

And, I was dying laughing at my transparent legs when I was editing these photos!  We had beach plans and pool plans this summer, but none of those have happened, so my legs have not seen even a little bit of sun!  The scarf is from Magnolia Pearl, too, but I ended up not keeping it.  I have tons of scarves and I try to be very selective about the items I keep.

magnolia pearl pick box miss mustard seed

The shoes are what started this whole thing, so let’s talk about the shoes.  I loved them as much in person as I did in the pictures.  They are so unique and, the best surprise is that they are sooooooo comfortable!  I was afraid they might feel stiff or wouldn’t provide enough support, but I’m pretty sure I could easily wear them all day long.  I used to dance and they feel a lot like jazz shoes.

I really took my time making a decision on the shoes.  I kept circling back to those initial doubts and insecurities about what people would think.

magnolia pearl shoes miss mustard seed

In the end, I decided that I am going to pull them off!  Whether I do or don’t isn’t going to be in someone else’s hands!  I’m just going to wear them and enjoy them.

If you’re interested in trying a Pick Box from Magnolia Pearl, send an e-mail to red@magnoliapearl.com and she will get you squared away!  I met Red a few years ago at a book signing event and she was the most delightful person.  She’ll take good care of you.  Their products sell out so fast, so not all of the items I shared are listed on their website, but just reference this post and Red can help you find a piece.

You can find my other post about Magnolia Pearl HERE.


  1. Kaye L Thornton

    I think they’re great and you’ve paired them beautifully w/your outfit! Love that scarf too!

  2. Betsy

    First of all if that box had arrived at my house I would have needed smelling salts after I opened it! I love their clothes and they are so you (or what my idea of you is). May I say the shoes are also you!!!! I have multiple tops but I have such a difficult time with pants. Have you found any brands that work ?

    • Bettsi

      Betsy, I felt exactly the same when I saw the open box! Like absolute treasure!

  3. sandi m

    There is a boutique near me that carries many of the MP pieces; so fun to look at them. Love what you selected. Yes, those shoes are you!
    Regarding body shaming, take a look at Stasia’s Style School. Her story and how she has helped women is wonderful. She is also a TEDx speaker; lives in Vermont.

  4. Teresa

    YOUR HAIR IS MAGNIFICENT!!! You should wear it like this always. So pretty. Sally Hansen Air Brushed Legs is a wonderful solution for “transparent legs.” I wore it on my legs it at Disney World in September (a few years ago) and it stayed on all day. And believe me, there was a lot of sweating. It’s my go-to as I’m of an age where I avoid sun. It ‘s not one of those awful tanners that smells bad or has to wear off. Simply wash off with soap and water in the shower. Just make sure to dry off with an old towel. 🙂

  5. Kate

    I have more of those “Can I pull this off” thoughts as I get older. I definitely know I can’t wear in my 50s what I wore in my 20s. My post mutli-partum figure is not the same and it just looks ridiculous, like I haven’t embraced my age and am trying to look young. I know it would definitely be embarrassing to my kids. I even looked at a mumu recently and thought it might be quite comfortable and maybe with a little alteration stylish. I came to my senses – I’m not that old yet.

    I found that the transparent leg issue isn’t as jarring with sandals or flats. At the beginning of the season, I wear lighter colored pants with darker tops so the focus is up top instead of down under.

  6. Cheri Dietzman

    Girl, you rock those shoes! I’m glad you decided to keep them — they are so you. I’m proud you didn’t let “what people might think” dictate your choice/decision. Wear them with confidence my friend!

  7. Amanda Pennington

    I echo Teresa in that your hair is just lovely! Soft and so very flattering. I love the clothing choices and they make me want to go play with some vintage linens and trim I have to recreate something similar. Thank you for a wonderfully beautiful interlude today!

  8. Teddee Grace

    You look cute in these clothes and shoes. I’m not sure I would, but the prices are just way beyond my budget. I’ll just have to enjoy seeing you pull off “the look.”

  9. Marylisa

    Looks so comfortable and very flattering. Once you find a pair of shoes that you love and they are comfy GO WITH IT !
    Going to check out the site.

  10. Robin Leach

    We must have gotten the same email. I’ve been drooling over the catalog for days. I can’t afford anything they have except the lip balm! But the clothes look exquisite and are exactly my style.
    Oh, Marion, THE SHOES! I’m so glad you decided to just do YOU. Never let anyone’s opinion cramp your lovely style!

  11. Robin Leach

    P.S. Your hair is gorgeous!

  12. Geri

    Love the shoes! Everything else is great also.Thanks for sharing

  13. Beth

    Love the hair !!!!

  14. Linda

    I’ve been to the Magnolia Pearl store in Fredericksburg, Texas. It’s an amazing shop–interiors, clothes, shoes, everything! I just drooled, but didn’t buy anything–I was in my late 60’s and thought the clothes were too young for me. But everything is gorgeous there! When the virus has left us, I’d love to return and see if I can find something. Your finds are so great, you’ve inspired me!

  15. Pam Phillips

    Wow it’s really good to find out someone has been confronted with something like the am I ok wearing this ? When in the past I cared but would still wear some of my crazy outfits !! You look great in your new clothes and those shoes yep they’re you!!!

  16. Diane

    Those shoes. Love love love them! You rock em!

  17. Cindy

    Oh my god I love them! It is my highest ideal to have at least one Magnolia Pearl piece of clothing in my world


  18. Mary Ellen Eckels

    Totally, totally, totally works!! You look adorable. Love it.

  19. Lp

    Love your hair!
    The shoes, sorry, not so much.
    But you go girl.

  20. Cassandra E

    I just fall in love whenever you share Magnolia Pearl. I wish I could afford, but am just as happy to see others supporting actual craftsmanship and looking so cute. The shoes are amazing. They do look quite comfy.
    To be honest, I am sheltering in place so hard right now, no one sees my clothes, but I still want to look cute or more to the point wear things that make me happy.
    I can’t get over your hair! It’s so long these days. How fun to pull off so many styles.

  21. Kathie B

    How exciting! I loved reading this. I love all your choices but I especially love the shoes and their gorgeous rounded toes. Since getting my first pair of school shoes more than 50 years ago I have always loved round toe shoes even when fashion didn’t agree. Of course you can pull those shoes off. You’re a trend setter not a trend follower.

  22. Linda

    You look wonderful!!! I Love Magnolia Pearl clothes , when we used to be able to go out and about ( remember those days ? ) people would actually stop me and ask where in the world I got these amazing clothes! Yes, they are expensive, but for a very good reason, like you said, the detail is amazing and they LAST through many many washings. I hope that you wear your shoes with pride,, you will be amazed how many people will come up to you and inquire about them😀👍

  23. mary m

    You have not posted any pictures of yourself in a long time. I must say you look wonderful and very happy!
    They remind me of the 1930’s when women wore shoes like that in white with long slim white crisp dresses. I don’t know about the long tongue sticking up.

  24. Alice

    You definitely rock the shoes! Love your hair!

  25. Jodie Felten

    It’s totally you, Marian! You look wonderful in the shoes and the outfits!
    So happy for you!
    Jodie in Oregon

  26. Julie

    Super cute!! I love the shoes and the polka dot shirt…..I have a thing for all thinks polka dot!! I love Magnolia Pearl. I have never bought anything there, but I love to browse in their beautiful store. I was so disappointed when we went to Fredricksburg last weekend that they were closed. I couldn’t believe it! Oh well, I will try on the next trip. You look great in their clothing!! Enjoy your cute things!!

  27. CJ

    The answer is – yes, yes you can!

  28. Michele M / Finch Rest

    OMG I adore those shoes!!!!! They are soooo cool.

    I have square feet, hobbit feet – and those would work so perfectly with my foot shape.

    Went to site and they’re not even an option showing anymore.

    Marian – and I am serious – if you happen to wear a 6.5 and ever want to sell those shoes I’d buy em. I think they’re as cool, funky, unique and awesome as you are.

  29. Anne

    You totally pull it off with those shoes and blouses… super cute!!! And your hair is gorgeous. You’re rocking it!!

  30. Jody K

    Marian, of course you can pull off the baby shoes! Just don’t wear a bonnet with it, lol. I am 64 years old and I dye my hair blue. And it makes me happy. Be you.

  31. DeAnna

    I love those shoes! In 1985-86 there were shoes I wore that were very similar to yours. I was 20 and pretty confident in what I wore back then too. I wore them with lace socks, scrunchy socks and basic white fold over socks. I think you rock them too! 👍🏻

  32. Jami

    I adore, adore, adore your hair! And the pieces you picked are lovely. I’m not a fan of capris, on anyone, and for me those pieces and those shoes would be darling with flowy, ankle length trousers. And, as always, your posts are a wonderful ending to hectic days!

  33. Sally

    All of those clothes and the shoes fit your unique, individual style perfectly! They look like they were designed with you in mind! Wear them with confidence. 👍🏻

  34. Jenn Anderson

    These clothes look perfect for you! I like them all and they look fabulous on you!

  35. Helen

    Those clothes look great on you. I just checked out the Magnolia Pearl website. Too pricy for me. Maybe in my next life.

  36. Gloria

    Love these clothes. They are beautiful. Are they made in the USA? They ARE very expensive if they are made in China. I am old and I would wear those clothes in a heart beat. You look adorable.


    Marian, those cute shoes were just made for you! I’m so glad that you followed your heart! Love the clothes you picked out, too! Everything looks so cute on you. These clothes are expensive but worth every penny as they are so well made and so unique. Your hair looks so nice, too.

    Enjoy the rest of your week and thanks for sharing all your lovely outfits with us!

  38. Carole Prisk

    I think your hair looks great too, and the clothes are cool but give me sticker shock.

  39. Lin

    I love the look but at my age, it is just a bit too young for me. Plus, the prices are waaaay out of my budget! But you look great and your hair is lovely!

  40. Glo.

    You are seriously adorable.

  41. Lisa

    I have these shoes and they’re great!
    I know what you mean about wondering what others will say. But I get so many compliments on my shoes! Wear them in confidence and have fun!

  42. Shelley

    Your hair is stunning, LOVE it.

    Now, I’m going to scold you. Don’t you dare let those self doubt thoughts creep into that beautiful mind of yours! You are beautiful inside and out. You shouldn’t care what others think! You do YOU… NO ONE has the right to judge what YOU wear, what looks good on YOU or not. You are gracious to give us all a glimpse into your life and your business but it ends there.

    So glad you treated yourself to somethings-you deserve each and everyone of them-even the beautiful scarf you didn’t keep!

  43. Louise


    Love your look! Your curls look so healthy and beautiful! As a fellow curly-headed wman, could you divulge what shampoo, conditioner, and products you use. I always struggle with frizz and managing my curls!

    Thanks in Advance,


    • Tammie

      I second this request!

  44. JC

    You can totally pull all of these off! Now your outfits match the style of your home!! I cracked up with the “seizure pants” comment! Yup, had a few outfits of my own like that in the past!

  45. Julie Ritter

    I love these types of shoes, and i love these specifically. You look great in them, and I loved the way you styled them. Your hair is super cool.
    I just started doing the Curly Girl method on my hair and i just love it this way.

  46. Jan

    Life is short—-buy the shoes! In my 20s, I had a dress that made me very happy. When I wore it, my husband called me “Svetlana Pavlova, Russian Peasant Girl”. But it made me so happy! By the way, I’ve raised my three girls with the mantra, “You will never go wrong with a dot”. Love the shirt!

  47. Lorie Pirtle

    After multiple foot surgeries and an ankle fracture my shoe game is severely limited from what it once was. but back in the day if a shoe spoke to me I bought it and I have to say I never regretted it for a second.

  48. Lisa

    PERFECT! Don’t worry another any one thinks! They are AMAZING! And so are YOU! 😍

  49. Olivia

    I am way too old to wear any of the clothes shown in their catalog. Just adding the prices in my head for a top, pants and shoes would be well over a thousand dollars. If I spent that much money I would want to look well dressed not homeless. This is just my opinion I thought all the items you bought looked cute on you. I am just judging the combination of clothes they presented in the catalog.

  50. RM

    I love the shoes and you will rock them! But promoting a site that sells $450 shirts and dresses in the middle of a pandemic, with 30 million people unemployed, is a little tone deaf.


    Don’t get mad but they look like big baby shoes. The shirt “in freckles” is so sweet

  52. Angie

    Do you know if the boots are still available? They are adorable!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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