Weirdly enough, I’ve been quoting (or misquoting, actually) Tolkien a lot in the past few days. Ever since I found the perfect scarf. The one scarf.

You know the line I mean, from Lord of the Rings: “One scarf to rule them all, and in the closet bind them”… or something. “Them” being all my jackets and coats and sweaters and shoes. The one perfect scarf I need to unite all my reds and my blues.

It’s a gorgeous Burberry scarf. Navy and white and red plaid. And since it’s Burberry I paid too much for it. I know. But it is the perfect navy, and the perfect red that I need to go with my new Montcler anorak, and my red loafers.

woman in navy coat, jeans, white tee, plaid scarf, and red shoes
The exact scarf I need to match my new coat and loafers.

And my new scarf is the right size and the right weight and texture for the casual look I want. That other scarf I was playing with last week is too light, too silky, too ladylike, and looks kind of silly with a casual tee shirt.

But, this scarf is the ONE. And … what a lovely feeling to pull this coat and scarf out of my closet, throw on my jeans and a tee, push my feet into my red loafers… and feel fabulous. Even if I am only going to the grocery store.
woman in navy coat, jeans, white tee, plaid scarf, and red shoes standing on a deck
This scarf makes me happy, and the sunshine helps too!
The other day, when I was playing around with outfit combinations, I pulled on this old Max Mara suit from 2002, a red Gap tee shirt, my red loafers, and my Burberry scarf. Huh. I like this outfit too. I left the scarf loose, for a softer look, since the jacket is long and softly structured, and the pants are wide in the leg, and kind of flowy. Or more flowy than I normally wear, at any rate. This scarf seems to be the exact shade of navy for all my navy pieces. Old and new.
woman in a blue suit, plaid scarf, and red shoes standing on a deck
Looking serious in my new scarf and shoes, with my old Max Mara suit.
But, my go-to outfit all week has been the one below. My new scarf with my navy Veronica Beard jacket, a pair of high-rise AG jeans, my red loafers, and a tee. I’ve worn this to a breakfast meet-up with fifteen of my former colleagues, all happily retired now. To a doctor’s appointment, to the library, shopping. It’s my current favourite running around town to wherever look.
woman in navy jacket, striped tee, plaid scarf, jeans and red shoes standing on a deck
Is there nothing in my closet this scarf doesn’t love?

I may have swapped the striped tee, for my white Eileen Fisher short sleeved tee, one day, and changed the loafers for my red and white Stan Smith sneakers. But if you saw me anywhere this week, I was probably in red, white, and navy.

I do believe I’m going to be downright boring for the foreseeable future, outfit-wise. But I’ll happily pass up variety in my closet for a few pieces that I love. And which all work with each other. Boring for some maybe. But eminently satisfying to me to feel that rush of pleasure when everything feels so right together.

Sigh. I even match my deck furniture.

Okay. Now that was accidental.

woman in jeans, navy jacket, plaid scarf, and red shoes sitting in a red deck chair
A lady does like to co-ordinate with her deck furniture.

And since I’m on a Tolkien kick, once I finish this post and hit publish, I may adjourn to the sun room to read my book and partake of my second breakfast. In true hobbit style.

The joys of retirement… second breakfasts. Elevenses. Lunch with the ladies. Followed by a more rigorous walking schedule if I plan to continue to fit into my skinny jeans.

But therein lies the beauty of investing in a lovely scarf, my friends.

It will always, always fit. Ha.

Now if only I could find the ONE bag. A lovely, red, cross-body bag. I’ve been looking, but I don’t expect to find everything I’m looking for at the same time. Where’s the challenge in that?

By the way, I wrote about fashion inspiration and my old Max Mara suit this week over on Brenda Ray Coffee’s blog 1010 Park Place. Here’s the link if you want to have a look.

So, what fashion adventures are you having this week, folks? Made any small additions to your closet lately? Small additions that make a big difference?


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From the archives


New Tricks

I’ve had my make-up look updated. And I’ve learned some new make-up tricks at the same time.


Girls’ Getaway to Montreal

We went on a girls’ getaway to Montreal. Where we walked and walked. Shopped. Ate and drank. Shopped. And yakked. So much yakking.


Signs of Spring Outfits

Spring is here and with it the urge to wear spring outfits and pack my winter stuff away. But I’ll settle for a hybrid closet for a while.

39 thoughts on “The One Scarf”

  1. On Friday, after the PD workshops, I went to bayshore. The boys were at my in laws and B was out of town. I was totally solo for a night! I could take my time and meander. I ended up buying (gulp) 3 pairs of pants, 4 pairs of shoes, a sweat shirt, a dress shirt, 2 tank tops and a belt. I was on a roll! I might have taken the “can’t decide so buy both” a bit too far! Haha

    1. Ha. You make me laugh. FOUR pairs of shoes! FOUR! You are putting me to shame, Erica! Then again, I'll bet with full-time teaching and two small boys, you probably haven't had the time to shop for ages! So good job, kiddo. So proud of my mentee. Ha.

  2. Your Burberry scarf is fabulous and I really mean it!
    When I was buying my first Burberry scarf (it was actually the second one-the first was gift for my mother and it was easier for me to buy -better say,pay a lot-something for people I love),I had to think a lot about it-but when my scarf has come home-a bliss! It goes with everything (I'm a scarf person,so onlly in the heat of the warmest days I may be without it) and I could wear it every day,even now (a couple of years-and scarfs 🙂 later!)
    I usually avoid things that scream brands but Burrberry print is an exception
    Enjoy your scarf,it is beautiful and I think "it is the begining of a beautiful friendship"!

  3. Hi Sue, I just love your scarf! I was almost tempted to put love in capitals to emphasise how much!! 🙂 You obviously do, as well, hence the comparison to Tolkien’s Ring!
    I totally agree how important size, weight and texture is … sometimes the colours and style are right in a scarf but it just doesn’t drape or tie well. Yours ticks all the boxes! You’ve styled it beautifully and it’s very “you”
    I’ve bought a cute bracelet recently that’ll work well with summer outfits. I’ve also finally worn the long, as in just above my ankles, trench coat I bought before Christmas. I wore it with cropped wide trousers and a fairly simple black sweater and it felt really smart and easy to wear. I had worried it was too long ie I’m too short for the length!! So I wore high ankle boots and that seemed to work!

    1. I loved the shots of your new bracelet on IG. It will be perfect with all your blues and whites etc. Your trench outfit sounds very stylish. I have yet to find a pair of wide cropped pants that fit me. I am sooo behind the curve on that one!

  4. Oh Sue, I love what you've done here. Sometimes one piece is all it takes. During late winter I bought a berry cardi and instantly knew it was the missing link, the piece that binds. Your Breton combo is the bees knees and I can see it's pretty darn perfect for most of what we get up to in retirement. Super pieces which that special scarf binds to make the perfect outfit.
    Our cat demands two breakfasts these days and we joke that he's become a hobbit in his retirement!
    Hugs, my dear, x.

  5. Managed to find myself again! Let’s hope it lasts! Meant to add … good luck with the quest for a perfect Red Cross body bag! Looking forward to seeing the result!

  6. Hi Sue
    I love it! At this time of year our spring coats are not always warm enough. I bet your new scarf is warm and cozy.
    Great investment piece!

  7. That's definitely a Forever Scarf! It pulls together every one of these outfits with such easy polish. . . Who needs variety when you can have that more elusive élan on repeat?!

  8. I do like checks . Most patterns get on my nerves after a while but not checks & stripes . Our weather is so chilly again , after the little heatwave , that I can’t think I’ll need any new summer clothes this year ! Good job I don’t swear 🙂
    Wendy in York

    1. Last week was the first I've worn my spring coat and not frozen to death. So I feel your pain. I remember last year I said I wasn't tired of my summer clothes in August because I'd hardly worn them.
      P.S. Now I'm wondering if I was swearing when we had lunch last fall. Hope I didn't offend.

  9. Perfect scarf! Thanks for this great example of quality over quantity and intentional wardrobe building! I love every combination!
    Finally added white sneakers to my wardrobe…good quality ones with solid support for comfort. Love the dynamic they added to my So. California casual retirement wardrobe.
    Charlene H

    1. Thanks, Charlene. I'll have to remember that phrase…"intentional wardrobe building." Sounds like a great title for a blog post. I love my white sneakers. Especially with skirts and pants that otherwise might be too dressy for everyday.

    2. Actually, I think you initiated the topic of "intentional wardrobe building" through your marvelous analysis of your seasonal closet. Then I enjoy your fun treasure hunt to find the right addition.
      I tried the same thought process with my new white sneakers and was excited to see the new dimension it added to my closet. I also tried "to choose" not "settle" which I do quite often. It made the end result so satisfying. Thank you, again!
      Charlene H

  10. Still one whole month 'til winter here and I am already living in warm winter clothes !

    Scarves I have worn in the past, but they haven't adorned my neck since I saw a documentary on Isadora Duncan who died suddenly when her long scarf was drawn into the rear axle of the convertible she was travelling in and… well, you can guess how that ended.

    1. Her driver is alledged to have warned her as she got into the car to be careful with her scarf and she somewhat stupidly chose to ignore him.

      She died a victim of style and dumb ego !

  11. I know which bag would look good with your “new” outfits – The Loewe small puzzle bag in red 🙂
    But your wallet won't thank you… Mine was my 50th birthday present! Marie

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