Thursday, July 23, 2015

What I Wore, Island Summer Style,

Oh, you're all so kind, and I thank you for the understanding and encouragement about my temporary (I hope) recalcitrance about writing on the blog. Honestly, there's no worry about my stopping, especially right now as I enter retirement. The blog provides a continuity, a structure, a community, and a creative outlet, and I can't imagine being without it. It's just that I'm sorting through wants and shoulds and trying to match those categories with time and energy available, and I suspect it may take a while to get the balance that works.

I'm toying with a few different approaches for structuring the blog as I move forward: more regular appearances of certain topics on a predictable calendar, for example, or photo-only or featured sketch or short anecdote days, saving my more wordy essays for less frequent posting that, nonetheless, gives me a chance to indulge my thinking or remembering in ways that might be interesting for writer and readers both.

Meanwhile, though, I'm going to stick to the approach a friend once shared with me, one that her counsellor had offered her as one tool (among many, don't worry) for getting through depression: "Just keep showing up." Quick disclaimer that yes, sometimes that's not a good enough answer for clinical depression and, disclaimer # 2, I'm not currently depressed, although my blog may be mildly so. But I have often adopted this path when I'm faced with doubts about my abilities or the worth of what I'm doing, and I've generally found it useful and productive.

Today's instance of "just showing up" is a round-up of What I Wore shots taken over these last lazy, hot weeks of island life. You can look at these and know that I'm retired, and that I've completely given in to Pacific Northwest Island life. You can also see why, much as I loved Sue's unpacking of the word "chic", I know that it's beyond my aspirations. And even Lisa's change of shoes and application of lipgloss wouldn't help me (although I should perhaps consider copying her attention to hair -- my wild curls, oh dear!).
But I've been living in these Aritzia lightweight cargo pants (elastic waist!), the faded Levi 501s, the JCrew T and sweatshirt, as long as it's below 25 (anything higher and I'm not taking photos). And my orange-strapped Hermes watch, as my only hope for outfit elevation...

I did decide to dress up a bit when Paul and I headed to a local restaurant's lakeside terrace for lunch last week. Two more J Crew pieces that I love (hmmmm, are you sensing a trend here?). This Boy Shirt is the softest, lightest, airiest blend of silk and cotton -- I love it! And the skirt is linen -- isn't it a great colour? Yes, I should have searched harder for more credible shoes, but I'm thinking I may try going for a twinned claim of age's impunity and a modicum of eccentricity as I move forward.

Not sure it will be a credible claim, but sometimes you just want to get out the door in flat shoes that don't clash and you don't care if black is a bit stark against your lily-white legs. . .
And then for a complete change of pace, but still an example of island lifestyle, I wore this combo to a house concert just a few doors up. My neighbour's beautiful house hosted 50 or 60 of us to listen to some islander musicians who had just returned from a two-week tour and were amenable to one last performance. Not sure if I'd wear this outfit off-island, but I thought it was island-boho fun for that evening. The little Gap shift I wore in Bordeaux last summer but have been finding too revealing of my sweet old knees. A bit too short as a shift, it may be just a bit too long as a tunic over my long silk skirt, but I loved them together. Then I draped my latest scarf (bought in Paris, le Marais, bien sûur) over my arms so that its gauzy silk organza might keep the mosquitos at bay. . . and I added Birks and my usual watch and armload of bracelets, pinned my hair up, and even added that slick of lipstick.





































If you're thinking I should have swished the iron over it all before heading out, you might be right. But trust me, we islanders are a very accepting group, and this outfit is about as dressy as it gets here, wrinkled fabric and all.

Not much more than a month from now, and I'll be in Paris again (and then Bordeaux, Rome, Turin, and who knows where else along the way). One of these days, I'll have to rouse myself from my Island Mode and think about what wardrobe items might play well in the European City. For now,  'tho, it's Summertime and the Island Living is Easy.

And what about you? Does your Style change considerably in the summer or does your workplace demand that your sartorial standards remain firm? Have your feet lost all memory of imposed structure or are you still wearing closed toes and even an occasional heel? And do you have a vacation place you go to that allows for an all-easy wardrobe, or do you prefer going somewhere that promises the excitement of dressing for restaurant dinners or an evening at a jazz bar?  Now that I've exposed my lazy summer style, I'd love to read your comments on the topic.  . .


23 comments:

  1. Style is lazy around here, too. I'm not closing in my toes until I absolutely have to, and that may only be while hiking.
    I love the easy, breezy look of your musical evening outfit. The dress might be easy to take up a few inches. What really makes it work for me is the scarf!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did wear boots today though, Lorrie, and happy to -- did you get a good rainfall as well? Wasn't it great?
      I think the dress could be taken up quite easily, but I have to admit that come the really hot days, when I'm mostly home anyway, it's my go-to simple shift and I don't care that my knees show -- but don't want to show any more leg! ;-)

      Delete
  2. Those are three quite different summer outfits, but each appropriate to the situation - good choices! I probably look more like your first photo most of the time, khakis or linen pants and t-shirt.

    You must be so excited for your trip - to see your daughter and family in their new home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really getting excited, Patricia! Our little girl will be toddling, I suspect, by the time we get there.

      Delete
  3. Oh,this island community is great,what a wonderful choices you have,to go,see,hear.... I was actually thinking about you yesterday because I realize how important element in my life is sea( I was traveling)
    I like this skirt first time you posted it ! And like your first outfit :-)
    Here in my little city/village at sea it is easy going,and stone pavements make heels look ridiculous and dangerous. As after 12 years I'm kind of native, I cover myself a little more than turists who are going around in swimsuits
    I wear linen dresses and pants,straw hat is a must(because of sun), and flat sandals
    And always have something for a possible posh evening out,like silk trousers,with a flats!
    I like straight hair(and have curls) but after years of struggle here on the coast ,I' m comfortable as it is!
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is a wonderful community, Dottoressa! And isn't it true how quickly the sea hooks us in so that we really miss it when we're away.
      Somehow, I picture your little city as being something like Peschici, where we spent a week last summer. It's in Puglia, Italy, and I recognize that mix you describe of tourists and the locals near the seaside.
      I bought a flatiron a few years ago and figured out how to straighten my hair but it's just too much work and then the curls come back at the first hint of humidity anyway. Better to embrace them, right?

      Delete
    2. Yes,our Dalmatian cities are very alike Italian ones! Although I live in Zagreb,our capital,where I was born,I feel great near see,I could just sit and look and be happy! And I adore swimming
      Dottoressa

      Delete
  4. Best thing about summer dressing? No need to wear socks, tights or anything else between foot and sandal, ballet pump or Converse trainer (what do you call them over the pond? Charlie sneakers? Love them either way) And the occasional bit of dressing up seems so much easier too somehow.

    Love the first look. Not at all retiree in my book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've always called them runners, really, at least for the generic, although sneaker is, well, sneaking in. And Converse generally just get called Converse. I've never heard Charlie sneakers, fun!

      Delete
  5. Just my style. Comfortable, reflective of you, and looks good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Easy summer dressing -- the best, right?!

      Delete
  6. Comfy cool linens are what I am wearing in the heat of summer
    I love your BoHo swishy ensemble...perfect for a casual neighbourly get together...
    It's exciting to think that you'll be meeting up with your family soon...and a side trip to Paris!
    Lucky you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really can't beat linen in the summer!
      And yes, I'm very spoiled with the travel this year, having taken that extra trip with my sister and having to visit my daughter (oh, the hardships families impose ;-)

      Delete
  7. Linen tunics and pants, ballerina flats from Paris or Joseph Seibel sandals, no more straightening or colouring of hair, tinted moisturizer with sunscreen and a bit of lipgloss are my standard attire. Not too chic. Active retirement living with a 70th birthday lunch, Lear at Bard on the Beach, Music at the Cannery, bagging bread at the Community Meal, yoga at the Seniors' Centre and an 8 week old puppy…..Your skirt and organza scarf inspire me as I have an upcoming musical evening with Monsieur (boho Euro groupie). I wonder if there could be such a style. You're probably right about just "showing up" Because I live with a person with a mood disorder, "just showing up" and working to manage my own retirement life is a positive strategy.You must be getting excited about seeing the family in Rome. Happy week-end!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so active in your retirement! I'd intended to get to Lear, but I'm not sure if that will happen now. What kind of puppy did you get? How's s/he settling in? I remember the work of those early weeks, but oh, I also remember the cuteness. I'd love another dog, but not until we've stopped this back-and-forth-and-away stuff we seem to be doing. Happy weekend to you as well!

      Delete
    2. She is a lovely miniature dachshund and after one week she is content and paper-trained. It is like having a baby because we don't leave her alone for long periods. My daughter is bonding with her so if Brian and I are both away, she has an acceptable alternate.

      Delete
    3. Wow! Paper-trained in a week, clever girl! Such a sweet breed, and great that you have an alternative home for her so you can still get away.

      Delete
  8. You look comfortable and at ease in your skin. All variations of outfits I would probably wear, may in fact have worn. Enjoy your retirement and the casual laid-back vibe of summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mardel! I'm beginning to get the hang of this, and summer's a good time to set a relaxed tone for retirement, I'd say.

      Delete
  9. To my mind you look more like the self I know from the blog, and the brief in person meeting, than ever before. Also cute and pretty. xoxox.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I do hope I'm settling toward an authentic presentation that still looks good and works for my lifestyle. . .

      Delete
  10. My favourite Rome skirt makes an appearance (still beautiful and occasion-appropriate when less smoothly pressed) :) I like that white dress as a tunic; do you think it might work with pants, too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased with how versatile this skirt has turned out to be, especially as it was bought in response to some travel meltdown, not always the most auspicious of shopping conditions. Good idea about the dress as tunic. I might try it with pants, perhaps some slim white linen ones...

      Delete

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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...