Sunday, April 8, 2018

What I Wore, Suddenly too Sombre For the Not-Yet-Spring. . .

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments congratulating us on our new grandson and welcoming him into the world.

It's been a while since I've pressed "Publish" on a What I Wore post, so I thought I might begin the week with a recap of March outfits as we wait for Spring to bring some sunshine and warmth.
I've been quite pleased with a comfortable, classic, and just ever-so-slightly, dare-I-hope, teeny-tiny-bit-edgy-or-street-or-something wardrobe that I've been rotating over the past few months. I'm wearing a smaller core of pieces I really like. Keeping it focussed, not worrying as much about variety as about consistently enjoying what I'm wearing.

And every once in a while, I think to take a few photos in a nearby mirror -- as in the one above, taken in our hotel room in Portland last month.


We had one delightfully sunny, almost warm day, but generally, this charming crosswalk captured the Pacific Northwest climate that Portland shares with Vancouver, BC, albeit generally several degrees warmer below the Oregon-Washington border. . .

I snapped another photo, delighted with this mirror in a charming shop where I bought a deadstock/vintage orange leather tote for $70. I've wondered at the purchase ever since -- the orange I'd read as Herm├Ęs orange in the shop seemed a bit too yellow once unpacked at home. But perhaps you can see why I succumbed. It appears that the wardrobe I've been relatively content with all winter is suddenly far too sombre, too stark, despite the addition of a printed scarf.

And yes, you're right, those Vince jeans with their wider, ankle-cropped legs are an uncompromising pant. But I can't help it. Despite their refusal to flatter, they please me, even when worn with the far too sensible sneakers. That hip-length cotton gabardine coat is years and years old, a Gap spring purchase once upon a time, and I love its shape, but can see here that it needs a slimmer silhouette below. Nor does wearing the bag at my hip make me look svelte.

Still, something to be said for an outfit in which each piece captures and expresses something of one's attitude, and in which each piece has a provenance that includes some time in one's own closet.

And really, each of the three outfits on this page is very well suited for the weather we've been having and seem fated to have for at least the next week or two. The photo below was taken at home a week or so ago, and although I probably wouldn't need to double up on sweater dress and wool coat this week (we're moving into the low teens, Celsius), I'd still feel comfortable in either (The wool coat was new this past winter, as was the sweater dress, but those low-heeled ankle boots were bought in Paris seven years ago. The M0851 bag was a Fall 2016 purchase. All of these pieces have been in heavy rotation this winter, and now into spring).


Spoiler alert, for those who might begin to sense where this post is heading: Yes, I bought a few lighter pieces in Portland. Unfortunately, there hasn't been any reason to take them out of their tissue-paper wrapping yet, but someday, surely, the sun will come out again, and the weather will warm enough to wear a navy-with-white-stars cotton button-front shirt; an olive-green linen popover with wonderfully ruffly sleeves; and a lighter olive-green linen dress, perfect for wearing poolside in Hvar or for lunch in Paris this summer or for grocery-shopping back home on Main Street. . . .

I probably should have unpacked one of those pieces and brought it along on our baby-sitting gig last week. Yesterday morning, as we were getting ready to leave my son and daughter-in-law's, our sweet Three looked at my very cool (at least, I thought so! ;-)) Tiger of Sweden, olive-gold velour top, and said, "Nana, are you wearing that again?" (okay, sure, it was the second wearing of the week, but it had been a few days. . . ), followed by, "Could you change into something different?" This from a girl who'd insisted on wearing her "jammy pants" to daycare one morning. (You pick your battles, as a baby-sitting Nana, just as much as you did as a Mom, and she promised that the next day she'd wear her "reg'lar pants.) . . .

So I'm thinking about injecting a bit of colour in deference to the spring, although it's not yet warm enough for lightweight cotton or linen.

And meanwhile, there's whimsy under the rain clouds. . . (excuse that bit of thumb in the left-hand corner. I was so annoyed when I noticed this, too late to go back for a retake).

What about you? Are you getting a bit restless with a wardrobe that seemed just right until one day it just wasn't? (Considerably chicer bloggers than I --my two favourite Susans! -- have recently written great posts on a related topic, that of elevating their off-duty wardrobes).  Or are you sensible enough to suspect that before too long we'll be wearying of the heat, worried about drought, fretting about exposing upper arms in constant heat. . . Ah, we're a fickle crew indeed.

23 comments:

  1. I love the idea of a core that makes you happy. I go through long periods where I cab be content wearing the same thing over and over, until suddenly something changes. Perhaps I need a Three....

    I was in Texas last week, where the weather was warmer. But now I am back in layers and even wool sweaters, itching for a change, but the world is not cooperating.

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    1. We had a splendid few hours of sunshine this afternoon, and I could begin to imagine. . .

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  2. Oh my, did you manage to keep a straight face at the fashion critique from your Three? Adorable! I'm looking forward to seeing your new navy shirt with white stars sometime - I've been looking for just such a piece for ages!

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    1. The straight face was a challenge.
      I'll try and show you the navy shirt before too long. I ended up wearing it yesterday -- I think it's going to be quite versatile

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  3. I love that your Three is so opinionated about fashion, which leads me to thinking about all the stages of self-expression through clothing: the childhood loves and hatreds of particular articles of clothing, the insistence on always--or never--wearing dresses, and on and on from the stages of childhood through the stages of adulthood. I'm happy for the moment wearing the same few things. (Hmm, when did that happen?) And yes, I need color after these endless grey drippy days--color in clothing, color in flowers, color in art--these hungry eyes will take anything!

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    1. Hmmm, you're making me think back to my own childhood thinking about clothes and when it did or didn't matter. . .

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  4. Yes - early spring does bring about that feeling of "need to lighten up these somber colours" - should be soon for us here in the Pacific Northwest!
    How fun that your granddaughter notices your outfit!
    On another note, I am not sure if you are in the market for new shoes and if you have heard of this company from New Zealand (lots of good reviews):

    https://www.allbirds.ca

    Well Nordstroms downtown has just opened a PopUp shop for them. I was happy to see that as I had been wanting them but was hesitant to buy shoes online.....I bought some this weekend and from limited indoor wear all good!
    Have a lovely day!
    Thanks for posting, Suz from Vancouver

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    1. Those are good-looking shoes -- so many in what looks like a felted wool. I don't think I need another pair of sneaker-type shoes right now, but I do like those pop-up shops as a way of checking out something we'd only ever see online. I'm like you -- I'd prefer to try shoes on and I'm not at all good about ordering and returning. . . Hope you're still enjoying your new kicks.

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  5. I am eager to stow the grey and black wooly warm clothes but it is still too chilly to venture out in my linen frocks! I wonder if the heat and sunshine will ever arrive? It seems to me that we have had a dreary Spring so far...
    Look forward to seeing your new things.
    As I type this I see that the sun is trying hard to pop out from behind the clouds...

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    1. Was today as glorious where you are? I was in Nanaimo where it began miserably but completely transformed mid-day.

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  6. I really like your skirt-and-brogues combos. I'm finding these days that adding color with accessories is the way to go. I've just cleared out my closet and am quite happy with a mostly-neutral, workable wardrobe. I've also been focused on wearing what makes me feel good, rather than trying to create different looks.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. I like it as well. The looks you've posted recently have been clean and fresh.

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  7. I'm currently pinning anything yellow. I now have a Pinterest board devoted entirely to yellow. And red... bright red. I know it's partly a reaction to the continuing cold un-springlike weather. But like you, I'm pining for colour. So the pining explains the pinning... if not the punning. Oh dear... that WAS bad. Sometimes I miss my grade nine English classes who loved my bad jokes. I think:)

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    1. Wincing here. . . have you ever read misscavendish.blogspot.com? She loves to pun, but I'm not sure she's ever piled them up quite as. . . um, cleverly? ;-)

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  8. I'm in a phase of needing and wanting very little from my clothes that I don't have. I just need a pair of high-waisted loose fitting jeans that are edgy not just baggy;). And I did feel a passing urge for a fuchsia satin blouse, going out one night, must be the 80s coming due again. I love these outfits - subtle but richly textured.

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    1. I had a fuchsia satin jumpsuit. . . . say no more. it was the 80s. . .

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  9. Living in the country now is subduing my fashion urges - what with wearing sombre work clothes (and shortly a uniform, although tailored exactly to fit), and spending a lot of time gardening there's not much opportunity for interesting dressing. But I'm just back from Bordeaux and my goodness did I think deeply about the clothes I took in my carry-on only bag. And I noted hungrily and rather enviously the outfits of my host, the mother of my daughter's school French exchange partner. Seriously considering booking a personal shopper when my husband and I visit in the autumn.
    Will you show us the orange bag?

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    1. You've spoken about a personal shopper before after visits to Bordeaux. If this happens, we'll need a report.
      I may well show the orange bag eventually. I think it will make more sense in the summer. For the beach. . . we'll see.

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  10. I like your pants and some of their cousins hang in my closet. I have been thinking since Sunday about your phrase 'refusal to flatter. Sometimes (okay, often) I like clothes that refuse to flatter. Rebels.

    I wore low leather boots (vs snow boots) out to run errands today...first time since November...felt like Hermes with wings on feet...

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    1. Uncompromising rebels! ;-)
      Oooh, low leather boots as winged feet. . . If Hermes lived in Winnipeg. . .

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  11. I think I wear more colour in winter than in spring or summer, as my warm weather wardrobe is almost entirely neutral (well, my whole wardrobe is). The only really colourful things I have are scarves and some shoes - I am hankering after a pair of red boots for the coming winter but can't really justify them ... Your apparently endless winter is matched down here by our endless (hideous) summer - 35 degrees celsius in the middle of 'autumn'.

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    1. Your approach makes sense in many ways, as it does seem we need the colour in winter, but somehow that's not the wardrobe I've evolved for now. Shall I be an enabler and tell you that red is really a neutral (okay, classic, at least) and they'd acquit themselves well on a Cost Per Wearing measure?
      Yikes to the 35 degrees. I can barely tolerate that in summer, never mind autumn!

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  12. Sunny days and there is a need of colour (and windows washing :-))
    Lucky you with your little stylist!
    Dottoressa

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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?

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