Saturday, June 3, 2017

About Purses

A fun little quiz turned up on Facebook, titled "What Does Your Purse Say about You?"

One of the questions was, 'Have you ever borrowed a purse?' Of course not.  The next question was, 'Have you ever loaned a purse to a friend?'



Yes I have. She was a former neighbor who had to make an appearance in court. Our mutual friend next door asked for her if I would lend a proper handbag for going to court. I loaned her a bone color plain leather clutch, not too big, not too small. I still think of her every time I see it in the closet.



My favorite purse is vintage Etienne Aigner, classic tan leather with a strap. Do you remember when Etienne Aigner stopped making leather shoes and bags? It was a while ago that I bought this handbag.  It will probably outlast me.

I learned from Kelly at Alterations Needed about using neutrals as a pop of color. This camel color purse pops with all those greys and blacks I enjoy wearing during the winter.




My second fav is crocheted, a summer purse. It is in semi-retirement while I look for a replacement that suits as well, maybe one by The Sak.






I denied that I'd ever bought a knock-off. I forgot about the cheap Chanel-style purse with the chain strap. Even with tassels back in style, I still dislike it probably because it's faux leather. Plastic.

You can see a Real Chanel Purse here and one for half the price of that one: Classic Tassel Bag by YSL. Of course they have no idea I linked to these and I get nothing for doing so.


According to the quiz, my purses say I'm all bid'ness, pretty much my feeling about handbags. They are a necessity for carrying essentials, some ID and a bit of cash.


Sometimes you don't need a purse, you need a tote. This is my favorite tote, made of sturdy canvas that stands alone and has pockets around the sides and ends from narrowest pouches that would hold only a pen to double pockets on the end. It's actually a Rigger's Bag from an import store that features tools of all kinds.The other items are my striped sun hat from my neighbor and the butterfly umbrella that was a gift from my daughter-in-law. With all these, I'd be prepared for anything.

One thing leads to another. I need to show more tote bags, among which a fav is a tote bag made from a pair of discarded jeans. Double seams along the leg form handles, the rest of the legs make the body of the tote and back pockets are reused on the outside. I even picked off the little watch pocket from one pair to sew on. Next time.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Recipes for Ageless Style

Jodie of Jodie's Touch of Style talks about recipes for dressing in a more dressy manner. I usually start with a dress and add to the basic style.

On the other hand, my 'recipes' are for choosing garments that are stylish, will last and have a comfort factor before I get to the point of choosing what to wear to Church.

I happened on this dress at Saks Fifth Avenue. It's a plus size, which is not quite where I am. Yet. On the other hand, if I look at plus sizes, I can see how someone short like me will sort of look and fit in one of the larger petite sizes. Proportions are similar, there's just no long leg from knee to ankle.

This is a lined silk dress. I do not aspire to silk, nor to pay several hundred dollars for a dress.
What I looked at was the vertical lines of piping at seams. Then I searched palm prints to see if this was a trend this summer, which it is. 

Here's the dress I found at Norm Thompson: Palm Print Dress in cotton.
   The original price was $119.99. Patience paid when it was reduced to a fraction of that price.

It differs from the Saks dress in that there is a vertical line of piping center front and a horizontal line of piping near the hem that breaks up the big print. The dress  is lined.

I tried a beige elbow-sleeve tee to give it sleeves. I didn't like it. A brown 3/4 length sleeve might work but I haven't one.



I tried it with a long duster-type cardigan from Macy's JM Collection in cotton, nylon and rayon that I bought earlier in the spring. The look is okay but a long wrap is a little warm for our Southern summer. May be perfect for fall.

 The khaki shrug I ordered ran big. I could have worn a size smaller. Washing and drying did not shrink the sweater despite it being cotton.


The description mentioned khaki piping with cream and khaki in the print. I can find no cream, everything in the print has a grey tinge rather than the yellow of cream. The background is white. The fabric is cotton with spandex, washable. Cotton works much better than polyester in our climate.

When I wore the dress to church, He-Who-Mows and I agreed a white cotton poplin jacket looked better than anything I'd tried. I didn't set up a camera to capture that look. Even better may be a short-sleeved white cotton sweater. I do like plain 'third pieces.'

I haven't tried black at all with this dress. It may be yet another color to use this fall. We're far south enough for a palm print to work until really cold weather.

My Recipe for choosing clothing is to find the nicest garments that flatter an old lady and then try to find similar looks in appropriate fabric, size and price.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ten Spring Wardrobe Essentials

As a fashion blog follower, I love posts with lists so I can see if my closet measures up, as if there is a contest of sorts.

Beth at Style at a Certain Age had a wonderful post this weekend featuring Ten Key Pieces for Spring. Could I pass the test? Hardly, but it sure was fun.

white jean


A navy polo with white and yellow stripes on collar and cuffs.


easy dresses
 

This dress has khaki piping on gored seams, at the neck and armholes and above the hem. Neiman Marcus has a similar dress in palm printed silk with piping. It shows up on my sidebar at every site where there is advertising. This one in lined cotton was much more affordable and is washable.

I wish it had sleeves. He-Who-Mows said it was okay without sleeves. My upper arms are not that bad, but I hate bare arms.  The vest is new, with wider lapels than I expected. It's a great piece but I wore a plain short white jacket over the dress on Sunday so I would have sleeves.


Plain tank in a geometric pattern. I have to wear a slip.
A basil color tee underneath works for me, so a half slip or petti.
Needs some bold jewelry.
New sandals! Cobb Hill Aubrey, in Pewter leather. 


pattern blouse

Here's one I can look for. I haven't a summer blouse with stripes nor a print.  

trench coat

My trench coat is a winter coat. I have lightweight jackets suitable for summer rain, no trench for a wrap in warm weather.  Probably will not pursue this one.

Oh, wait. I do have a short khaki trench, waist length. Never wear it. Maybe I'll trot it out and try it with the dress below or the one with the khaki piping.

lightweight cardigan

I do have cardigans.  This long cardigan is lightweight and the dress underneath is an A-line with lace bands. My new fav is a blush color cotton. I frequently wear a sweater to church because of the air conditioning, and shrugs over sleeveless dresses.

shorts

Skipping shorts. I shall not reveal my fat knees. It is never so hot that pants over the knee will not be almost as cool. 

denim skirt

Yes! I have light gray and regular navy. These also cover my knees.

sunglasses

I bought a new pair when I forgot to take my orthopedic shades on my last Opthalmologist visit and walked out into bright sunlight with dilated pupils.
 
New prescription sunglasses are in my future plans.

fancy tees

Breton stripes are as fancy as I'll be. I don't do graphics.

White jeans again with a striped tee. 


flats

Beth reminded us about ballet flats and loafers, besides thongs and sandals. I always think I need to buy more while some are going unworn like the bone loafers above with the striped tee and white jeans.

This was a fun exercise. 

 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Thrill of a Box of Clothing

e services which choose, box and mail items for one's wardrobe intrigue me.

How could they ever ask enough questions to know that a top longer than 22" leaves me looking 22" tall? Or that I don't go to work? They don't ask about Church attendance, my most frequent activity outside home.

The excitement of a box is still great when I am both the shopper and the recipient. Are my items going to fit? They can be exchanged from any vendor, usually without a charge or extra shipping. (Return shipping charges usually apply when an item is returned for refund in most cases.)

I try to make sure before I hit send that I expect everything I ordered to excite, suit and fit. Except for a rare costly item that I thought I must have, most can be passed on and the cost of giving it away pretty much equals return shipping charges so I don't feel bad about giving it away. I pay close attention to reviews that suggest whether or not an item is true to size.

As I write, I am waiting for UPS to deliver a package containing an ivory colored dress with angled lace bands. I must remember the long sweater waiting in the closet for a match. If it isn't perfect, there is surely a 'third piece' that will make it so. A navy shrug, a jacket of some kind or something that I haven't yet thought of will do the trick. Navy shoes and beads, too, maybe not all together at once. The Khaki shrug might work, or not, different shades and color runs.

There's a cotton shrug in Khaki that may work with the palm print dress with khaki piping. I hope so.
There's a Basil tee with elbow sleeves that I've crossed my fingers it works with that tank dress with the green geometric print.

The cost of this package was not much more than the charge for a shopping box service where only one garment would be covered by that charge if I kept it. I watch for flash sales once a price gets near my target.

After note: The Basil tee is perfect for the green geometric print tank dress. The Ivory colored dress fits. The Khaki shrug is rather big on me but I'm going to launder it and run it through the dryer; it's cotton. The white pants are snug but not too. Thin but if they are too thin I have a divided slip. Happy Day.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Fun Box in the Mail

Rural Mail Carrier brought my box to the house. This is the first time in a while that Orchard Brands sent my items in a box, maybe because there was a box of shoes to fit in the package.

Besides the fun shoes which are Rockport Cobb Hill sandals in Pewter with closed toes, a low heel and real buckles, there were two dresses and a vest.

The Oatmeal vest is long, made of silk and linen and will rest while the wrinkles try to hang out until fall when it will go over sweater dresses and other fun garments. I waited a long time for this garment to go on a sale that would make it worthwhile.

One dress is a cotton blend tank in a tiny green and white geometric print. He-Who-Mows and gives advice and I agreed that a GRAY jacket or tee would be best with it, or white. The Basil color tee I ordered is perfect with it.

The second dress is a lined cotton and spandex print with palm trees. The description said it featured khaki and cream. I found no cream at all, white is the background and the  browns are cool shades. All the seams are piped in khaki. Sleeveless, with large armholes, it begs a shrug or a tee for underneath. My stone tee will work. So would a black sweater, short or long. Maybe my short khaki trench in the fall. There's a khaki shrug on the way.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day and Beyond

I can't get the right pics to go with the post. This is the dress I wore, but not exactly.


I wore nude sling-back shoes. No jacket or vest, I just took along a plain white sweater just in case the Church got cold.



No jewelry. The night before, He-who=mows asked me if we didn't used to wear roses on Mother's Day to indicate in honor or memory of our mother. He had noticed some buds on White Dawn. He declined to wear one but thought I should. His late sister used to make a big event of Sundays where corsages from the florist were worn.

I got up early and cut some rose buds and a bit of fern. I thought of Barbara Regan, who used to make the rosebud corsages at Boxwood Gardens. Found some wire and floral tape and a bit of pink ribbon among my treasures and put together 3 rosebuds in a corsage with a pink bow of picot ribbon. No jewelry, I even forgot my watch.

I won the prize for being the mother whose child came the farthest -- a hundred miles -- to be with us.
The gift is a solar lantern. Cute, and it worked when I put it outside in the sun and checked on it after dark.

I am anxiously awaiting an order with shoes, 2 dresses and a vest. My credit card shows the order as in progress as does the vendor site -- since May 10. I wonder if they hold orders with free shipping back, on purpose so you'll learn to pay for faster delivery?


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It Isn't Easy

When I get my new post-surgery glasses I hope I'll feel more like taking photos and dressing up to discuss fashion.





Meanwhile, there's nothing new to show but I want you to know I'm still alive.

I haven't been shopping and my plans to order online were thwarted this weekend when one of my favorite vendors had a great sale going and the site went haywire. Emails to customer service received a promise that the site would be restored on Monday -- the sale was over then.

I had honed and refined my order down to one dollar over the minimum for free shipping.

It's a long wait for another great sale. It's hard to find plain, classic clothing at a super price, too.

If I didn't have so many 'rules' to go by:
    Nothing sleeveless unless it's a dress that can have a little shrug or jacket.
    Sleeves that cover my 'farmer tan' -- I'm loving elbow length sleeves, I hope they last.
    Garments I don't have to hem. Sometimes I make exceptions. I hate hemming.
    No long tops that make me look as if I have no legs. I know they don't really 'hide' fat.
    A minimum of ruffles and extra fabric.
    Smooth material with a matte finish, no satin finishes.
    Flat knits, no cables and boucle.
    All cotton where practical. Boo for Spandex.
   
That's just a partial list.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Navy polka dots and a Wild Striped Sweater

When Glenn was a very small boy, he looked out the window one Sunday morning as the neighbors across the street were leaving for early Mass and said, "Don't Miss Frances look pretty!"

She was wearing a blue polka dot dress and a hat. (It was a long time ago.)

I had a polka dot dress that finally got too tight. I could never decide if it was black or navy. I think it was navy but too dark to be obvious.



I ordered a new dotted dress from a Macy's sale. I could hardly wait to see it.
It came a day early, UPS did not hand it over to USPS.


















It's perfect! Perfect length, perfect fit.
Navy blue, perfect white dots.

I tried it alone, with a white cotton short sleeved sweater,  a thin white summer jacket,  a navy cotton knit shrug and a long sweater that I ordered along with the dress. I tried navy pumps and bone pumps.

It's a thin long sweater in khaki and white that is exactly the color of my khaki pants.





















Jodie of Jodie's Touch of Style encouraged mixing prints this week. This is about as adventuresome as it gets for me.

Almost forgot that I tried the navy ramie knit sweater vest, too. I guess if I was really bored I could wear the blackberry one, too. I'm fond of these vests which are mostly plain and perfect when there's a need for a third piece that doesn't add a lot of warmth and weight.

The other items ordered were a Bali bra and a pair of hue pajama pants with gold dots. I love dotty pants. These have cuffs that can fold back because the pants are too long and roll down to keep them around my ankles which tend to get cold. Now I'm already looking forward to winter again and hot weather has hardly arrived. They're not dots; little gold hearts -- even better.

BTW, those are not purses in my pics. One is a tote and the light color one is a canvas rigger's bag, good for all kinds of projects.

Vests as a Third Piece


Ramie/cotton vests in a plain knit are my favorite third piece. I have a blackberry(purple) and a navy. I aspire to all kinds of vests. One I rarely wear is a kind of denim-look knit that has possibilities for all kinds of casual outfits.

I keep watching and waiting for a real steal. I'd like a white denim or twill suitable as a summertime third piece.

There are no affiliate links here. I put these in so I could find them again. I'll try to remember to keep checking and take them away when they're no longer available.

Chico's $109

With a classic notched lapel and sleeveless jacket styling, this linen vest means business— without being business-as-usual.

Dillard's, review complained about bottom band being wonky.
It's only $14.75.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mother's Rules

Nurse Diane and I used to talk about mother's rules. My mother's rules had to do with graciousness and the feelings of one's hostess. Diane's mother's rules were items like, "If you wear a yellow dress, you must have yellow shoes."

Diane's mother's rules have changed with the era. It's still impolite to tell your friend you don't like what she's serving for lunch.

Shoes and purse need not match; in fact it dates us.

Hemlines are all over the place. My personal notion is that knees should be covered. Few really pretty knees are noticed except on the very, very young.

Upper arms should be covered where there is the least hint of flab. I understand trying to stay cool but fashionable and cool are trumped by pale flabby upper arms that need screening from view.

I'm struggling with belts. A glimpse of a belt does indicate a waistline under there somewhere when the flanks are covered with a jacket or best.

Collars: there needs to be a revival of collars. Statement jewelry just overwhelms me. Button down shirts with a strand or 3 of pearls makes a better statement that says something like, "I'm an old dame but I'm chic."

White Denim Capris

No particular reason to chose a lavender shirt; I was focused on these pants.




I was going to hem these up to clam digger length. I've changed my mind.

Next time they appear, they'll be pressed and possibly taken up to fit better. I'll pair them with more attractive tops with better shapewear. I should have put on striped tees to see how my new tops look.

Color of the Year Is a Green

I don't know what possessed me to order this green dress. It's made of Tencel, a wood fiber product fabric. It washes well and just a little pressing makes it wonderful. It had darts that made it too tight. I picked them out with a seam ripper and washing took care of the tiny holes.

 I like these long ramie knit sweater vests. This one is Blackberry color.
The dress looks better to me with nude color pumps. The belt was a trial run, ordering off. It's too neon. Wonder if the sun would fade it? Maybe my snake print belt. I don't think I tried that. It came with a self belt/sash.



The sleeves have a tab and button to wear them rolled. I'm not fond of how that turned out, either. They needed rolling narrower.
Have to think on whether to put a blouse undernearth with a collar. It's already too hot for a scarf in the South. Back to the pearls, I guess.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Polka Dots

 New dress from Bedford Fair: cotton jacket from Coldwater Creek some time back. Bone shoes from Macy's. I wore this on Easter.


 
Tried a cotton sweater with poplin collar and cuffs buttoned in front. I fastened the wrong button. My shoes are Proxy. Proxy ceased manufacture in 2000.

Next purchases on my list are new shapewear.

Sunday Practice Outfits

The clothes I wore to church this morning were not very inspired. A jersey top with a draped neck that needs some altering so it lies flat and pretty instead of sagging with a crepe Talbots skirt with a panel that gives a wrap effect was my choice. I bought the same tops in red and cream in a size too large. They need work, too.

 This is how I wore it this morning, except that I wore a black bangle watch that I realized when it was time to start the service, showed 7:05 as the time. The one here is a dark tortoiseshell bangle. I rarely wear a bracelet; instead I wear a fashion watch of some kind. Caravelle Bangles are my fave. The jacket is actually a blouse from Appleseeds, a print with black, white, tan and gray print that they called an animal print. I see it as a kind of jungle print, not quite camouflage.

 So I tried it with a belt. I see no improvement.

When I thought of it, I decided a view of the back might be a good idea when deciding whether to wear a particular outfit. I think I'll leave off the belt even though I like it, a narrow round braid that is kind of grey, or maybe wear the belt UNDER the jacket next time.

I think this skirt needs replacing with one just an inch or so shorter. Besides being old, it is a draped crape that might better be replaced by something more straight. In photos, the draped panel in the front just makes more bulk.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Springtime Sunday

First Sunday of the Spring of 2017:


What I wore: a leopard print skirt from a two piece-dress that has passed out of style with its black top with shoulder pads and a leopard print collar. On top is a plain cotton knit top with elbow sleeves that I took the threads out that held up the cuff and make a true elbow. My new sweater is cotton and viscose knit in a pink meant to be blush. I've looked carefully at tops with Lycra or other stretchy stuff rather than 100% cotton and noticed that held to the light, they start to have thin spots over time. 

I cut off my feet the way others cut off their heads but I wanted my shoes to show: Trotters Sling Backs in Nude. 

The necklace is strands of tiny beads, pearls and pink gold chains knotted together.
The watch is pink gold with a grey band.

Camellias are just about done for this season.

Next time: I'll try wearing a black top, maybe in the fall. Maybe I'll find a new leopard print skirt too with less bulk.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Blogging Again

2016 is the year that I gradually let go of my garden blogs. 2017 started out with almost zero blogging. I had cataract surgery. I am beginning to see again, even without the new glasses to come.



My latest craze is fashion blogs, so I determined to resurrect a blog I started some years back. I deleted some of the more pedestrian posts and those whose photographs had disappeared into the ether.

Months of searching brought me some new imaginary friends who are more nearly my height, a little thinner and mostly younger. I am determined to be as fashion conscious. The only fashion blogger that I found who is older than I is a former Playboy Bunny whose heels are too high for me to imitate.


We Never Have Snow, but We Do Get Cold and Wet

The Outerwear online is so enticing in winter: warm wool coats, mittens and fur snoods, heavy boots, down coats. We have few nights when such might be appropriate. rarely in the daytime after the sun is up for a short while.

Our rainy days are usually the kind of cold that creeps into one's bones, especially those of us who are old. Rarely do I spend a day 'out in the rain.' From the truck to a store front doesn't need heavy gear that is cumbersome in a warm building.

Last year I treated my self to a new London Fog in a dull red, double breasted and hooded. My previous raincoats had zip-out liners that were usually zipped out more often than in. Layers will be more appropriate in this climate. I love the idea of a hood. Cold wind just chills me to the bone. Covering my head makes me feel cozy.

I started buying thin sweaters with a cowl neck. When I feel a draft, I just pull up the cowl for a little while and soon I'm warm again.  Pulling up a cowl in the rain would mean I'd have a wet area round my neck when I got inside, so the hood is a great idea.

I have a very lightweight tan London Fog jacket and a navy Anorak also from the same maker, both with hoods.