Monday, May 23, 2016

Moving in Style? What I Wore from an Edited Wardrobe


Wow! Tumultuous days, one after the other. This moving business is not so easy, and the challenge is compounded by this contract Pater has taken on. He's at the airport as I type, heading off for ten days after a whirlwind ten at home. After our garage sale, he stayed on the island to dispose of everything that was left over -- many trips to town transporting boxes of used goods and bags of garbage and recyclables via wheelbarrow, boat, and car to thrift shops and dumpsters and recycling centres. He emptied our freezer and packed boxes of books and cleaned the oven and cleared out the shed. Meanwhile, I did some recharging via runs with my sister and on my own, a facial and massage, visits with my daughters, a bit of shopping. . .  And we managed a few days together in Vancouver to babysit and to celebrate my birthday and to view a few possible future homes.  We will be taking a tentative step towards owning one of those, but we're trying hard not to get our hopes up as every listing in Vancouver generates multiple offers, all of them significantly above asking price.
I'll let you know when there's news on that front, and I'm pleased to advise that I've (finally!) almost finished my post on The Greying of My Locks! and another long-promised post on Why Now? in regards to this big move/lifestyle change.
For the moment, I'll share some recent What I Wore photos, perhaps the last ones taken using that mirror, that funny old doorknob photobombing itself into posterity. . .

In the photos above, I'm wearing more colour than has been my wont lately, but I do love these Gap Khakis in their faded gold. I've long loved a grey and yellow combination, but yellow isn't kind to my face. This way, though, I can pair sunny pants with a soft grey merino sweatshirt (short-sleeved, J Crew).  Wardrobe culling has drawn my attention to some great pieces that were somehow being neglected -- this blue Bompard lightweight cardi is one of them, and I've been making up for lost time with it lately. But that was a changeable spring day, and a trip to town for yoga class was going to need a scarf against possible cloud cover and perhaps a bit of wind.  So I tried out two possibilities, the (also Bompard) camel cashmere or a silk organza scarf I bought in Paris last year on my Sisters trip. Which do you think got the outing?

Below, a very different look, and yet I felt completely me in both of these. You've seen the wide-legged cropped jeans (Citizens of Humanity) quite a few times now, but this might be the most challenging version for those of you who dislike the style, and even those who do might be shaking your heads, "No, no, no, she shouldn't do that."

And I get the argument (proportion, overall volume, wide bottom -- skinny top, etc., etc.).
But I still like this. I felt very comfortable in my Club Monaco trench (I rarely do up the belt, waist not being my strong point -- instead, I tuck the belt ends in my pockets), wide (okay, floppy!) jeans, and my new Vince sneakers. . .

Even tried a different pose to suggest how the look changes in motion. But we don't need to agree, do we?
And below, a different look again, and yet, again, something I felt "completely me" in. Same Vince sneakers with a pair of finally-beginning-to-fade-perfectly raw denim jeans I bought in London five years ago. Smythe blazer I've had even longer, Michael Kors leopard belt older still, and a white J Crew t-shirt. I'm pleased to note that the sneakers and the t-shirt are the only new items of these three outfits (the jeans, purchased late last fall, being the next newest). In fact, I'm amused to see that I was wearing a very similar outfit -- the same blazer, the same jeans -- way back in May 2011.
To me, that consistency underlines something I'm trying to see for myself here, what is being revealed about my personal style as I leave behind the "performance dressing" of my pre-retirement life and as I cull a slightly bloated wardrobe in preparation for a new urban lifestyle in a smaller space.

Definitely some navel-gazing going on here,  as I'm looking at myself in the mirror, contemplating what I wear. I think it's useful stuff, though, trying to pin down what makes me feel most like the best me, especially as I try to choose something much bigger than a pair of shoes or a cut of jean. This next commitment -- a home, its furnishings and adornments -- this is a 20-year gig, we're hoping, and I'd like to get it as close to right as possible.

For now, though, I'm off for a long run with my sister. Curious to hear your response to anything that strikes you here, although I'm not asking for approval of my outfits nor of suggestions to improve them. Nor, I hope it's obvious, am I offering them as any kind of model for anyone else.  But I am interested in a conversation about the process of recognising and valuing and honing a personal style -- particularly a style of dress that might reflect or extend into other aspects of aesthetic expression in one's lifestyle (home decor, choice of car, vacation preferences, garden, music, art, cuisine -- the possibilities are boundless, right?)


32 comments:

  1. Look at us twinsies: (http://bit.ly/1sxLJNa)!! So of course I love it on you (in fact---I like it with your silver shoes even better)
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jodie -- always glad to meet a twin ;-) although the link you included seems to be broken. . . .

      Delete
  2. Love the soft gold trews on you and the grey adds a nice subtle touch - I tend to go for the obvious (navy/white) with that sort of shade, which looks a bit, well, obvious. Lots of magazine spreads telling us yellow is the new black or sim. Not for 99% of the world's women if you ask me. Amal Clooney can wear it but then she accessorises her egg yolk dress with George and I suspect that he makes everything easy on the eye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ceri -- for making me chuckle (Yes, even I might wear yellow if I could accessorise with Mr. C. . . . (and may I confess to loving the word "trews" -- so much better than "trousers" from which I expect it derives; wish I could adopt it here!)

      Delete
    2. I am sure that Pater has just the same Clooney affect...

      Delete
    3. Affect. Effect. Whatever. Let's not try to cover up our typos by getting philosophical

      Delete
    4. So few writing on the Internet (or anywhere, for that matter) these days seem to know the difference between the two -- but of course you would, enough to play philosophy and enough that I might almost have believed it was neither typo nor spelling error. Pater can effect a certain affect in me, but to have the same effect as Clooney he'd really have to work . . . (getting a bit laboured, no? and I haven't yet pulled off the fourth possibility. Oh well, fun to play grammar nerds with you! ;-)

      Delete
    5. Wading into the conversation of which I am not a part ...but Pater gets the nod over George for wearing that pink birthday tiara. IMHO.

      Delete
    6. But of course you are a part, Susan. Yes indeed, Pater beats George any day.

      Delete
    7. Seconding Ceri in B's "of course," and anticipating telling Pater he's beat out our George. . .

      Delete
  3. I think you are hitting your stride with these outfits...I look at them and the first word that comes to mind is "HIP" they are fresh, fun and energetic. You look like you are having a great time with these posts.
    Hope things calm down a bit in the real estate market as it is all getting a wee bit out of control...same thing is happening here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L, if Ceri above made me chuckle with her reference to Amal and George, you've done so by using the word "HIP" with reference to me. Chuckle and blush, that is, so thank you!
      I've heard that Victoria's feeling the effects of Vancouver's market spilling over -- friends just sold their condo there for $$$. Good for them, tougher for my son and his wife who hope to buy a house soon (at least they have a condo already). In fact, the same conditions prevail to a lesser degree in Nanaimo, rippling up the island . . .

      Delete
  4. I really do like those wide leg jeans. They seem very "you." Argh, moving. There are few processes in life I detest more, though the clearing out and paring down, and starting in a fresh space is always invigorating. I'm looking forward to reading more about the impetus for the move, and your plans for the future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue. I'm surprised how much I like them.
      As for the moving, at least once this is done, we shouldn't be doing that again for a long time. . .

      Delete
  5. I like that you are making time for YOU during this hectic transition. Blessings to you and your family during this home search!
    I must also thank you for a February post that mentioned a Plein Air art class by Alison Watt in the south of France. I am now part of the class roster! You and Madame La-bas were my inspiration!
    I also thanked her in her most current post. Thank you, Materfamilias!
    Charlene H.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Charlene and a big you're welcome as well! I'm very excited for you, joining Alison's Plein Air class -- I took the class in Espedaillac three years ago, and I'm sure you'll thrive in it. I look forward to hearing about it in the fall and meanwhile, I'm sure you'll enjoy anticipating and planning for it.

      Delete
    2. Yes...still in "pinch me" phase! :) Did you do any posts on your Espedaillac experience? I'd love to read all of your thoughts and experience!
      charlene h.

      Delete
    3. I did, Charlene. Here's one link: http://materfamiliasknits.blogspot.ca/2013/07/painting-in-lot.html
      and here's another:http://materfamiliasknits.blogspot.ca/2013/07/shades-of-antiquity-in-lot.html

      Delete
  6. The little break and a little pampering did you good-you look fresh and with new ideas (I'm sure in the other areas as well!).
    I love yellow (mostly on others :-),although I was wearing lemon yellow jacket with LBD yesterday on Ivo Pogorelic concert- without mr. C!) and this golden shade of the trousers is a good way to wear it
    Your favourite outfit is so Annie Hall
    I think that it's the best when you find what works for you
    Best luck with the new home!
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just spent some time finding out who Pogorelic is (please excuse my former intelligence) and reading a bit about his talents and eccentricities and the controversy that has dogged him. More determined than ever, now, to get back to more concert-going once we're permanently moved to the city.
      And I love the image of your lemon yellow jacket with your LBD -- very smart!
      Annie Hall?! Why, thank you! ;-)

      Delete
    2. Whoops! I wrote "former intelligence" instead of "former ignorance"! That's worrisome. I'd rather be formerly ignorant anyday, and I hope whatever intelligence I have isn't going to desert me at AutoCorrect's behest!

      Delete
    3. Who knows all the mistakes I've made!
      I'm very sorry ,it is my fault about Pogorelic,I had to write little more about.
      2Cellos are Croatian,too,very popular,I assume,but we here are so happy when they play classics,they are brilliant-but,of couse,fame and money are in different genre
      Thank you for compliment of my outfit:-)
      I think I'll wear this jacket and navy maxi silk skirt for my son's second master's promotion (so I'm trying all the combinations for the final decision)
      D

      Delete
  7. I just love those yellow pants and aquamarine top.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love your trews and cardigan together ! Really suits you. I do like yellow as long as it's more golden than a bright citrus ..hope that makes sense. It doesn't really suit my complexion but wearing it with other colours especially blue/grey/white it seems to work and always makes me feel cheery!Thinking about the use of the word trews! I remember having trews as a child but they were always tartan ..not sure if there's a link with Scotland?? I'll have to do some research :) I'm one of the many who mixes effect and affect ...its useful to be aware of how we use words in the wrong context at times. Commenting on blogs has been beneficial, as it makes me think about the use of words as I no longer write reports, official letters etc and txting the family probably has a detrimental effect on my use of grammar:)
    Hope things are progressing well with your house search.
    Rosie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a cheery-making colour!
      "affect" and "effect" are particularly challenging to get right, because each works as both verb and noun, so four different meanings for what sound almost the same to many -- and "affect" as noun is a word mainly used by those in professions dealing with matters of the psyche, and "effect" as verb has a rather narrow usage. And you're right, I think, that we get exposed less and less to those other uses as our reading patterns change, especially as we move out of the workplace. Interesting to think about. But if we're not all concerning ourselves with the difference between "affect" and "effect," we can use that energy into investigating more fascinating words such as "trews"!

      Delete
  9. Trews or Truis "tight fitting tartan trousers worn by some Scottish Regiments" Appear to have originated in the 15th Century as an alternative to the kilt ...in case you're interested! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course I'm interested -- especially as we find out that not only are these pants Scottish tartan, as you suspected, but they're "tight fitting." How tight, one wonders? Woven, they'd have enough material to allow unrestricted movement, I'm guessing, for military purposes -- especially if one had to choose between them and the generous freedom offered by a kilt. Fascinating!

      Delete
    2. Ooh I never knew they had to be tartan to be trews. I thought the word was a diminutive form of trousers in a Scottish accent. Thanks for this, Rosie.

      Delete
  10. I know this conversation is a bit cold by now but I just had to come by and say that I keep thinking about that last paragraph of your post and the relationship between personal style and the other aspects of one's life and lifestyle. There's so much talk on the Internet about about personal style and capsule wardrobes and such (I have two absolute monster posts in the works on just that latter topic) but much less on honing a personal lifestyle. Maybe we (by which I mean, of course, I) ought to think more about that. Could we build a whole life that is the outward expression of our values and preferences? In some ways that's what we all (or, those of us who are privileged to a degree and in a way that is likely to see us discussing these things in the comment sections of blogs) imagine we are doing. But I think there is a lot of falling into "default" choices as well. Maybe the constraints are such that some of those default choices are actually quite hard to get out of. But at least it's worth thinking about. Not sure I am articulating this well quite yet but just know that you've really given me something to chew on here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's actually one of my disappointments with the blogging format, Sarah, that conversations tend to die out just when I think they begin to engage... so I'm very pleased to hear that aspects of it continue to resonate and extra pleased that you took the time to come back and let me know. When I first started writing about what I was wearing, way back when, I began with shoes, and I do so tentatively but with a hope that they could express something about me. I was thinking of some of the interesting theorizing that's been done about collections and quotidian objects and -- cultural history, but brought to an individual level. . . Not that I think I ever succeeded, but it's this connection between my life(style?) and my clothes that interests me -- and that's what I'm most interested in other style blogs.
      I think your recent post on gardening got at some of this as well -- your gardening aesthetics and practices as a representation of so many other aspects of your life but also constrained, as you suggest above, by some default choices that are hard to resist. Can't wait to read your monster posts, but meanwhile, thanks for keeping this conversation alive just a little longer and pushing my thoughts on it a little bit further.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for this reply, Frances. What a generous comment. I felt really understood & heard. There are great conversations in this space you have made here, even though they may be somewhat fragmented and slowly unfurling at times.

      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...