Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Right to Bare Arms . . .

Two of my last three posts have the word "death" in their titles. Not so light, really, is that?!

But you know I can do light. I can do light very well indeed and today that's what I'm going to do. I find light to be a very good balance to dark/heavy, actually, which might be why I headed out shopping the morning after this. Shopping concentrates my mind quite effectively. And this was the kind of shopping that requires concentration -- since I really didn't need anything, I was only interested in very good buys -- summer clothes, end of season -- that I would still think were good buys next time we had weather for wearing them. I was shopping at The Bay, which I rarely do, it having dropped so far away from its previous identity over the last ten years. But this was a sale that added "40% off the last mark on the price tag" which was already 30% off the original price.


I bought a black sleeveless cotton T/tunic by T Tahari, body-skimming but loose enough to leave my back fat alone, lovely ruching-type gathering around the scoop neck, no picture available.

The Anne Klein top pictured above, lined silk chiffon with, in the orange I haven't been able to wear but am committed to trying more, and in this combo, it works beautifully -- This was new for Fall so not on sale, but I loved it so much I bought it anyway. It works well under a thin/fine black cardigan, grandpa-length. I am most likely to wear it without the belt.

Both these purchases, and the two great dresses I bought (both by T Tahari -- one all-over animal-print in black-white linen, silk lining, fabulously smart and comfy/casual at the same time, imho; the turquoise silk jersey above, with same-colour beading dramatically enlivening the scoop neck, empire, will do for dress-up this winter as well as for travel next summer) were part of my "political" wardrobe enhancement. I've decided that my upper arms are not an ugliness that it's my responsibility to protect society from. They may be heavier and older than my magic wand would make them, but they're Pilates and kayaking and grocery-hauling toned, and I'm a bit tired of this nonsense of disguising body parts that I generally find useful simply because they don't look photoshopped.

That bravado may be a clear result of the heat wave we're now moving out of, and I may retreat into meek compliance with the cultural gaze that deems older women rather nasty. In that case, I will have wasted not so much money last week and/or I will have to invest in more cardigans to cover up. Meanwhile, though, I'm getting used to these old arms finally getting a bit of colour.

I did buy one short-sleeved top, though, because I couldn't resist its prettiness. I can't find a photo of it, a sweet royal-blue and yellow overall floral print in silk chiffon over a white cami, very blousy, peasant neck with a loose bow at one shoulder(Calvin Klein). Spectacularly on sale.
And one cardigan, when I do want to cover up (or stay warm) -- navy with cream polka dots from Liz Claiborne, sturdy cotton knit, bracelet sleeves, very smart, very cute with the reverse colours on the inside.
None of these labels find their way into my closet very often -- they generally seem rather like an extension of preppy, somehow, excepting the T. Tahari which I know nothing of. But the quality seems decent in all of them, and I am confident I'll get seasons and seasons from each piece.
Light, then. Happy? I am! And thanks to the sale prices, so is my budget.
More lightness coming up when I do the meme assigned/awarded to me by my latest blog crush, Privilege: A High Wasp Stops to Consider.
Meanwhile, how are you doing? I love your comments, you know!


  1. All of these sound delightful and a sure way to lift your spirits. Shaken up, now styled up! Went to that big Bay sale too, in my city, but found nothing. T by Tahari line is fresh and appealing. And you know I will stand and applaud that arm attitude!

  2. Wow, you did some serious shopping! I couldn´t follow up in your pace, cause I stopped to admire the first picture. What a nice top! I could imagine getting one for myself, though for me there should be more colors from the `summer palette´. Sleeveless tops/dresses are ok IMO, but I feel a bit more secure, if I have my pashmina somewhere near me ( just in case ) ;)

  3. I'm all for arms. They are so useful after all, and no reason to condemn ourselves to heatstroke just because we are no longer newly formed.

    Thanks for the link as well. I have just whiled away far too much of the afternoon perusing that blog. What a treat.

  4. Kudos to you for baring your arms! I haven't done this for many years as I'm rather Popeyed in proportion, but I love what you've got here. Your delight in color and cut is so fun to live through vicariously.

    Personally, I'm on a quest to design Boleros for myself: something that won't accentuate the shoulder/arm girth but highlight my trimmer torso.... It's a dream, I guess.

  5. My great aunt Sook showed arms into her 70's, and more power to her (and my mom and my grandma, who also bared arms). I don't understand the uproar.

    It's summer, wear sleeveless even if you don't have great arms. You'll feel better! (and tonight, I'll be using weights).

  6. Duchesse: Applause welcome! We'll see how long I stay brave and defiant. . . The T Tahari is new to me, but I quite like it, obviously. As for The Bay, I was very surprised to find so much I liked -- not the norm.
    Metscan: It's a very versatile print -- the orange is closer to coral and the browns are light, warm, and mushroomy.
    Mardel: Isn't that blog great?! She's such a clever writer, and she's honest and open about class matters that we usually don't speak of, despite our curiosity.
    PM: Will they be shrug-ish? Or a bit longer? I remember making boleros whenever the folklore thing happened early-to-mid 70's. God, I'm old!
    Now, the last thing I want to show off is my torso, which is NOT so trim, altho' Pilates does keep my core strong.
    Post your bolero, would you, please, as/when you create it?
    Nanflan: I realized how important it is for me to get my arms out there when I heard my beautiful young daughter complaining about hers being too fat/ugly -- and they're not! It's that whole "Be the change you want" thing, right?

  7. Here in the US Mrs. Obama has done her best to liberate our arms. So let us all do our best to support that initiative. Looking forward to your meme. I really do enjoy your writing very much.

  8. That gorgeous turquoise makes me want to break out into summer clothes even though it's winter here! Excellent use of retail therapy.

  9. LPC: Well, Mrs. President has the arms to bare, certainly! Mine are more mature but hope featured right alongside the Obama arms, did it not?! Thanks! I enjoy your writing as well.
    Tiff: Isn't that a great colour?! Uplifting AND flattering, retail therapy at its best!

  10. Mater, I think your arms look just fine. I've had a "thing" about my upper arms ever since childhood, when a few careless comments from adults made me very self-conscious about them. During the summer, I look for elbow sleeves and light linen sweaters to wear over my tanks. One of the few places I'm comfortable going sleeveless is in Palm Springs, where everyone no matter what age goes about blissfully bare-armed.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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