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.

Later entry: Fall came. Wore this dress one more time with nude heels and a black Jean jacket. Best look yet.

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.


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.


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. 


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.