Sunday, February 21, 2016

Short and Sweet, Rediscovered -- and What I Wore

Sometimes I'm curious to see what the "links within" widget I've installed thinks "You Might Also Like" (see the bottom of each post), and I occasionally click on those links myself to say what I said Once Upon a Time. . . The other day, this led me back to a post from last summer which had me thinking about my wrinkles and the way my mother's face was emerging so forcefully in my own.

I continue to be mesmerised by this phenomenon, which is not lessening, as you might already have guessed. But what also struck me from rereading that post was that as part of trying to renew my blogging practice, I'd made a few resolutions last summer. And to make these realistic, I started trying to keep one weekly post Short and Sweet -- using the app BlogGo on my iPhone helped me keep the post brief and topical. Unfortunately, I didn't use a separate tag for these, but I scrolled through my archives and found a few examples.

This Short and Sweet approach seems worth returning to, especially in the light of attempting to do 20% of some things. There's no question that keyboarding impacts my wrist, elbow, and shoulder, nor is there much question that some of the more thoughtful, extended writing I'd like to do simply takes too much time to be pumping out every few days, or even weeks.

I'm not sure yet whether I'll try to sort out a regular day for a Short and Sweet post, nor whether I'll even try to keep it regularly, but for my first 2016 attempt at creating a habit, here's a What I Wore instalment, snapped as Pater and I headed to yoga class Friday morning. It was pouring, as it's been doing with depressing regularity lately, so my knee-high Hunters and a comforting sweater were key. I was inspired to snap not because I thought the outfit particularly stylish but because I've been living in some version or other of this combo -- jeans, comfortable sweater, mostly neutral, often cashmere although in this case* the most delicious blend of wool, yak (yes! the magic ingredient) and spandex, and boots. . .Accessorised by my collection of bracelets on one arm and my watch on the other. Topped off by my greying curls. . .

And then I threw on my leather moto, which is getting the beat-up cred I've waited years for but which may not always be accompanied by a hat like this. . .

I found myself repeatedly drawn, though, to the windows in the Borsalino hat shop down the street from my daughter's home in Rome. Nearly entered, once, and then remembered that I already have an Italian-made hat I haven't worn for ages, a Grevi that I blogged about way back here when it was a new purchase and I had far fewer wrinkles, longer curls, and was still disguising my grey. . .

So that was Short and Sweet to put together, except for finding all those links, and now I'll have you doing a wrinkle-check over the last 9 years (I can scarcely believe I've been blogging that long!)

But you needn't be short, in your comments, although it's always great if you're Sweet! (truly, though, that's not necessary either). I hope you've had a good weekend. Any default outfits you find yourself favouring these days? (Duchesse posted an interesting piece on Self-Styled Work Uniforms recently, for another perspective on the comforts of defined or default dress.)

*The sweater is from Artizia's Community line and is one of only three garments I've bought for myself since we got home last October -- two sweaters and a pair of wide-legged jeans, a considerably more thoughtful and restrained approach to retail than I've managed for a long time, and I'm feeling really happy getting more from the wardrobe I already have.





31 comments:

  1. YAK? I had no knowledge of this as a yarn...Aritzia has some fine garments....oh and I do lust after some of them more than others!
    Your moto is earning it's wrinkles...speaking of
    Wrinkles...I have them too and wonder if my grandmother lamented about hers...she live to a ripe old age but I never ever posed the question.
    Congratulations on being a voice on the blogosphere for 9 years!

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    1. Yes, it's a wonderful yarn with some of the same properties as cashmere but fewer of the "harvesting" eco and fair trade problems, apparently -- and that's the mandate of Aritzia's Community Line.
      Well put, my moto earns its wrinkles while I do -- I remember my grandmother being self-deprecating, but briskly and with humour -- she would have considered worrying about her wrinkles far too self-indulgent every to discuss, I suspect. And TY -- I don't hit the actual 9-year mark until this summer, but it's getting close.

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  2. Nine years - that's almost back to the dawn of blogging, isn't it? :0) Well done on keeping it going for so long. I think I've been reading you for at least 8 years.

    I don't do a lot of clothes shopping either, but I must say that your leather moto jacket is giving me ideas ... I've been looking at the All Saints site, they have some nice ones in ink blue.

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    1. It does seem as if it must have been the dawn of blogging, except that my daughter blogged for perhaps a year before I started -- and I urged her to after reading some knitting and some Paris ex-pat bloggers for a couple of years. . .
      All Saints have some great jackets. Mine is Mackage, a Canadian line which is also good, I think -- you could check them out at Artizia where they usually have a few styles in leather. Ink blue sounds scrumptious!

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  3. Ooh, yak -- intriguing! I just thrifted a 100% alpaca crochet-y vest thingy and am having fun playing with it, so yay for unusual fibers.

    I like your sweater-boots-motto ("motto" was an autocorrect but I'm Leaving it because it's awesome) uniform. I find that I'm coming around to the uniform thing more and more. Not out of any high-mindedness, but just because I'm noticing that there's a certain fairly specific outfit formula that I feel best/most "me" in, so...why not just wear that pretty much all the time?

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    1. I've knit quite a bit with alpaca (lots of drape, much less memory than wool, lovely lightweight warmth), but never with yak (way higher price points I suspect, but I'm going to check it out now, having worn it).
      My Motto is Moto -- yes, I could work with that! It IS awesome! And that's the same way I've worked my way into the uniform thing -- not consciously but just finding I reach for the same pieces because I like them, they suit my lifestyle, and they're as flattering as I need them to be...

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    2. I'm also kind of tickled by the idea of an actual motto as part of one's "dress" or accoutrements for the day. Like: I never leave home without sunglasses, Chapstick, and a motto. Maybe I would have several mottoes that I might switch out from day to day. A capsule wardrobe of mottoes, if you will. I'm not sure what mine would actually be, but it's something to ponder with amusement.

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  4. Well, this post was pretty full for being 20%......but I am not going to complain about it as I always find something to think about from your posts. The OOTD is a good look for the weather we've had lately. I like the hat too, and it goes well with the shorter curls. The wrinkles - we talked a little about those. I could say that I've earned mine, but sometimes it feels as though they've been imposed. Then again, maybe I just got a little more of my dad's dry, Scottish skin than I'd like!
    Nine years, eh? Me too!

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    1. I know! As you saw on Saturday, 20% less chat on my part is still lots of chat ;-)
      I meant to say re the wrinkles -- I remember seeing them suddenly appear on my mom's face after Dad had had a bad week in his last years with cancer. She would look shockingly older, within a couple of days. But then she'd come back from them, which I hadn't realised until then was even possible -- she'd get some sleep, I guess, remember to hydrate, eat a bit, and relax into the new reality. And the wrinkles would loosen their grip a bit. So taking care of ourselves is key --- and all our lovely rain lately must be helping, right?
      Nine years! Let's try for a decade!

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  5. Congratulation for your nine blogging years!
    I wouldn't care about wrinkles (and I don't about mine very much- it is so good to be near sighted ,everything perfectly blurred in the morning mirror....) if I were you. You look excellent (I have lens now,for the record!)
    Beautiful hat (I love all kind of hats-except knitted,for me,don't like the feeling on my head-,especially rabitt hare ones which can be folded and tossed in the bag. Last year I bought "real" hat,it is beautiful,but I can't drive wearing it)
    Yak is so nice,it must be very warm,no? I have two vicuna sweaters,almost transparent but warm enough!
    I love uniforms ,so trusty when you find your formula and than you can play with textures,lenghts,accessories.....
    I am working on closet shopping more and more and realy like it
    Dottoressa

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    1. Thanks, Dottoressa. Isn't it funny?! I'm actually fascinated by my wrinkles, by watching my face change -- after all, I'm changing more than I ever have since my teen-aged years.
      I did some reading on yak and it does get grouped with vicuna, cashmere, and quviuk yarn -- wonderful for travel as they take so little space but provide so much comfort.
      My hat is felted rabbit hair -- I haven't tried folding it. I'll have to test that!

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    2. Be careful,you can fold it only if it is soft felted rabitt hair (I have one of them in my bag during winter,it is very soft, but my new one-also felted rabitt hair- is stiff in its form and I wouldn't dare to fold it-ever!)
      D.

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    3. Thanks for the warning -- mine isn't so much stiff, but it does have a defined shape, and I'm thinking I'd better not fold it.

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  6. Wow. Nine years. That is a great achievement, much grit. Thank you for sharing some of your life with us over all this time. Please don't stop anytime soon.

    As to every day wear, mine is pretty similar to yours. And many others by the sound of it but I do aim for something more business casual when I'm lecturing. Cannot stand up in front of the class in jeans and trainers. Must be something about clothes as armour. Still haven't quite got it right when it comes to conference dressing yet. Hitting the spot between looking as though you try too hard and try not at all (because your mind is on higher things). Must be a real challenge for ministers of religion. Referencing Duchesse's very thought provoking post on self imposed uniforms, I'll second what she says about the security of the dress code.

    Last week I graduated. And I stuck rigidly to the what to wear instructions (white shirt, black skirt or trousers, black shoes) - such a relief. None of the 31 dresses, three city search for a dress that wouldn't argue with the academic gown rigmarole that my daughter went for. Just wish there was such a simple solution for all the formal events in our life (don't get me started on Mother of the Bride outfits).

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    1. oh yes, I love the hat. It is perfect with that outfit and I love the embellishment on the front of the brim

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    2. Congratulations! This is your convocation for your doctorate you're talking about, if I've been following correctly, am I right? Or a Master's? As cumbersome as those academic gowns are -- and hot?! sitting on the stage under lights for the couple of hours of a convocation, sweltering in the wool! -- they are wonderful for erasing any concern about fashion. Of course, those who are attuned to the distinctions marked by the various hats recognise the implicit hierarchies, but still, we're united in all that long black flappery! I've been surprised to see the heels some of the young graduates choose to wear to counter the gender-neutralising cloaks -- no doubt, they're looking forward to flinging off the gown as soon as they can to reveal the dress they've dragged their mother all over town to shop for.

      That said, as much as I appreciated the way an academic gown solves the problem of What to Wear, I quite enjoyed dressing for the lectern over the years -- like you, I did some version of Business Casual, mostly with an Artsy Twist. I miss having that venue, somewhat, but it's interesting to see what I settle into, uniform-wise, without it. . .

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    3. Thank you. How kind and clever of you to know. (Yes, a doctorate - scarlet and purple gown. Love, love, loved it. No hats as the first time women were admitted to my particular university the men threw away their headgear in protest. Nice to commemorate these moments, eh?)
      yes, I'm with you on dressing for the lectern. Sometimes I try to allude to the theme - community gardens of NYC necessitated a map of Manhattan scarf - but it's a fine line between interesting (good) and self consciously wacky (not good).

      Very interesting conversation about our everyday uniforms here. Thank you for getting it going.

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  7. Hats are such fun! I have many and I seldom wear them. Richmond is such a conservative community. Sweaters are my favourite but I have culled to 5. Nine years of blogging is a long time. Your OOTD suits you and the West Coast climate.

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    1. I can't quite imagine culling my sweaters to 5 -- good for you! Right now, of course, I would guess you don't need any of them. Soak up that dry Mexican heat!

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  8. Alas I cannot wear wool (dating back to a childhood incident involving a grandmother-knit mohair sweater and a Very Bad Rash), but a uniform, oh yes! I exchanged my black pants/skirt and jacket with white shirt for a home uniform of long-sleeved tee and joggers or jeans. All neutrals. I like that sweater you're wearing above. I did break out of my rut to buy a very-marked-down thin cotton knit dress that is of that same style, but falls to below the knees. I wear it with leggings. I love it but there is something about the way it narrows a bit at the bottom that reminds me of those baby gowns that tie up like a sack, if they still exist!

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    1. I'm always sorry for people who can't wear wool and relieved that I escaped that restriction.
      I haven't seen those baby gowns for ages (nor the little singlets we used to snap or tie ours into, conscientiously) -- we used to call them Swee'Pea suits, after the Popeye character -- I'm sure your sweater dress doesn't remind anyone else of that, though ;-)

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  9. The sweater looks warm and comforting, like a cozy blanket, and so wonderful for all the rainy days we've had. The sun is shining now and is supposed to linger for a few days - hooray!

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    1. It's such a comfortable sweater -- your blanket analogy works for warmth, but the sweater is so much lighter -- the warmth without the weight. We had sunshine today as well, and so far, it looks as if we might again tomorrow. Crossing my fingers!

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  10. This has got me thinking about my 'uniform'. Usually a tunic dress with tights in the winter, bare legs in the summer, or else skinny jeans and a jumper In winter, or a long linen shirt in the summer. No blouses, nothing with a waist, nothing with a low neck and never, ever, anything with breast pockets x

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    1. It's good to have that so clearly articulated for yourself, isn't it? Yes, I suppose it's good to break out occasionally and try something different, but it's even better to know what really suits us, particularly in terms of silhouette. Then we can concentrate on colour or texture -- or last night's Netflix binge or the book we're reading or music or whatever else we want to think about instead of our clothes. . .

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  11. I really like your shorter curls... you look younger and “bouncier” :)

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    1. Thanks, Mare-Odile! Bouncier is good! I'd like a bit more length, but ideally most of it will pull up into the curls -- it's an ongoing experiment...

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  12. How I long for a uniform! Like all schools in Scotland in the 1970s mine had a uniform - so much easier than choosing what to wear. My children's schools also had uniforms, which were strictly enforced. Greatly appreciated by parental budgets and as a leveller by the kids. I wore a uniform in my first 2 jobs (in tourism, so it was a variant on the kilt). Then a career in a university - casual dress code, but the posh frocks come out for a formal or external meeting. I am now so bored of choosing what to wear each morning for work. In retirement I want to aim for a pared-down 'look', which is based on very many fewer items, of better quality, which I love and will wear out rather than tiring of or feeling that they've gone out of (someone else's) fashion. I have leanings towards Japanese simplicity, predominantly navy, grey (to go with the hair), chambray, indigo.

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    1. Yes! As much as I have loved the fun of dressing up and I do sometimes miss the venue of the lectern as an excuse for my retail indulgences, essentially, the Choice and the Variety become boring. And having enough garments for that kind of variety makes it unlikely that you will love each one enough -- as suggested by the repeated cullings we find ourselves doing, often in response to blogposts or books or fashion magazines.
      That's a compelling wardrobe image you've sketched in your last sentence -- I imagine you'll achieve it and find much quiet pleasure and satisfaction.

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  13. You look so relaxed and gorgeous! And that outfit is chic (and practical).

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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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