I’m not much for jumping on trend bandwagons. I love to keep up with trends, in that I love to research, read, and look at pictures of what is on trend. But shelling out my money for trends, especially of the ‘here today gone tomorrow’ variety… not so much.

smiling woman in white tee and navy jacket
I’m looking pleased with myself, aren’t I?

For instance, I ignored the off-the-shoulder trend altogether. Anything off the shoulder is not for me. Ickk. It makes me look like a linebacker. Since my shoulders are already quite broad, I don’t need a great wack of ruffle to accentuate the fact that I’m top-heavy. I also eschewed the cold shoulder riff on the off-the-shoulder thing. Equally ickk. You might love these looks and maybe they look fabulous on you… but as I mentioned in my last post about a much more serious topic… we’re not all cut from the same cloth. Ha. Pun intended.
I also backed away from the bedroom slipper as outdoor footwear trend. You know, those rubber slides that are either fluffy fake fur covered or completely bejewelled. Now those are just plain silly. I’d forgotten all about that trend until the other day when I was at the gas station, and a young woman walked past me to pay for her gas. She wore pricey work-out wear, of the Lulu Lemon kind, leggings, and a nice zippered athletic jacket. And black fluffy slides. For a moment I thought, “Oh my goodness, she forgot to take off her slippers before she left the house.” And a second later I realized with a gulp and a snort that I had just witnessed my first glimpse of this trend in the wild. And then I thought, “I wonder how she cares for those things?” No, really. Does she have to comb the fur? Or vacuum it, maybe? They must pick up all kinds of dust and other detritus from the street. Doesn’t bear thinking about, actually.
woman in navy suit with hoodie and red shoes
How I’m making my Veronica Beard suit work with my red loafers
Now, one trend that has been around for a while and which I quite like is the graphic tee or sweat shirt. I don’t want to wear a shirt that advertises a brand, or anything commercial. But I could go for a tee shirt with a lovely artsy print. Or maybe an appropriate message tee. Not of the “I woke up like this” variety… ha. But something that speaks to me… and of me. And if I could find a cute graphic or message tee with some red on it… now that would be just the ticket.
But let me go back a bit. The outfit below is how I’ve been making my navy Veronica Beard spring suit work with my red Earth brand loafers. By wearing a red cami underneath the attached hoodie, or part of a hoodie, more like, since it’s just two front panels and a hood which zips onto the jacket. Earlier this spring, I had envisioned a glimpse of white cami, under a lightweight red hoodie, underneath the navy jacket, with the attached grey hoodie removed, of course. But I couldn’t find a lightweight red hoodie anywhere. So I’ve been wearing the red cami instead, and I like the look. But there is a problem. I can’t take the jacket off if I get too warm because the hoodie will come off at the same time. So, it’s a great look for right now, but in a few weeks, the suit will have to be sidelined. Unless I find something suitable to wear under the jacket without the hoodie insert.
woman in navy suit and red shoes, sitting in front of a deck, old wagon wheel behind her.
I love this outfit for a sunny, cool-ish spring day. But soon it will be way too hot to wear.
Thus, I’ve been half-heartedly looking for a suitable graphic or message tee. I say half-heartedly looking because I didn’t desperately need a new tee shirt. It was just a thought I had, the idea of a graphic or message tee with a bit of red. And as a result I haven’t been on a dedicated hunt, as I am wont to be at the beginning of a season. I did a little research on-line. And each time I’ve been in the mall replenishing my supply of loose tea, or stocking up on my tinted mosturiser and day cream, I’ve taken a turn through the tee shirt section of a store or two. The shirt had to be exactly what I wanted and, since it’s just a novelty look, could not cost as much as a wardrobe staple.
I didn’t hold out much hope.
And then last week, I walked into Zara. “Oh, ye of little faith,” I said to myself when I saw this tee shirt.
woman in navy pants, white tee, and red shoes, holding a navy jacket
My new red and white tee, with my Veronica Beard suit, and my red Earth brand loafers.
Zara has a whole wack of what they call “slogan tees,” and mine was under a rather messy pile of other shirts that a hapless saleswoman was trying to tidy. I passed on the one that was the right colour and size but bore, when I looked at it more carefully, a picture of the cast of the 1985 kid’s movie “The Goonies.” Ha. Not appropriate, methinks. Neither was the one with the slogan “I am my own real boss.” Since I’m about to turn sixty-two, that statement seems slightly redundant, don’t you think? I liked the shirt with the message “good people age better,” but when I held it up, I saw that it was cropped. Like… really cropped. What we used to call a “pop top” back in the day. Ha. I imagine my wearing that shirt would, sadly, reveal evidence that contradicted the slogan. If you get my meaning.
woman showing the words on her tee shirt: "some heartfelt words."
Now that’s a slogan I can get behind. In fact, you might say I am behind it.
But this one was perfect. Clean crisp white, nice high neckline (I can’t do droopy), with red lettering. And a slogan which I can get behind. I like it. In fact, I love it. Exactly what I was looking for and very reasonably priced. It looks good under the jacket, and without the jacket.
woman in navy suit, white tee, and red shoes
I like this tee with the jacket, too.
And when I add the red leather cuff which I bought in Covent Garden in London last fall, and the small cross-body bag that I found on the same day that I found the tee shirt, I’m really happy with this outfit.
As you can see.
woman in navy suit, white tee, red shoes and red bag
Yep. I’m pretty pleased with my two new purchases.
As I said, I’m not one to try to board every trend bandwagon. Especially the silly ones. Or the ones which I just know will be gone by next season. I’ve tried to get on side with others that look to have some staying power, and which I quite like on other people, and in magazines. Cropped wide-leg pants, for one. But they look absolutely dreadful on me. And, if we’re honest, not all looks are meant for all of us. As I’ve said before, we’re not all cut from the same cloth.
A lesson we should all take on board. Don’t you think?
black rubber slide decorated with fur and pearls
Now, this shoe is an example of a trend that no one should attempt. Bejewelled and furred. Gives me the shivers just looking at it. I spied this in a store in Toronto last summer.
I mean, have you ever seen anyone actually wearing these… like… in public?
How about you my friends. Where do you stand on trends? Any ones in particular you hate or love? Or ones that you’d love to love but realize that they’re definitely not for you?
P.S. And speaking of “some heartfelt words”… I like to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who commented, so sensitively, on my last post. So many comments. So many wonderful thoughts. So appreciated by me. xo
P.P.S. Here’s the link if you want to check out the graphic and slogan tees at Zara for yourself.


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30 thoughts on “Message Tees and Other Trends”

  1. Someone designed that shirt precisely for you! Absolutely perfect, and it couldn't find a better styling, I'm sure. And I love that your post didn't just offer "some heartfelt words" but also some vintage ones — "pop top"!! That's what we used to call those as well! Pop tops — to be worn with pedal-pushers. . .

    1. I think they did design it for me. It was exactly what I was looking for, at any rate.
      Re: pop tops… I hear that pedal pushers are making a come back. There will be Sandra Dee look-alikes everywhere:)

  2. I'm usually not too fond of words on clothes (same for my college-age daughters, which is more surprising for their generation!), but I have to say that this t-shirt was made for you!

  3. Perfect t-shirt for you-clean white,perfect cut and mindful (heartfelt :-)) words! Just lovely!
    I like to keep up with trends( reading…loking…,as you) but more in mind than reality- I'll style things I wear in a new way,add some accessories….
    If I could (and like it) I'll adjust trend in my way (things change ,even classics,so,I'll embrace what I think suits me)
    Apsolutely no for very cropped,gaucho like wide pants. I've wear linen pants almost always wide (it is meant for summer warm days,no?) and long-I may keep the ones that have cropped slightly in washing 🙂
    I have a couple of graphic t-shirts (all of them I've got as a present),I may start wearing them not only for the exercize

    1. Ha. Cropped in washing is one way to look at it:) I have lots of souvenir tees, from the Stratford Festival here in Ontario, with Shakespearean quotes on them etc. But they are so boxy I only wear them camping with leggings, or like you for exercising.

  4. How fun to have found a tee shirt that fits how you well you write on so many various topics! Had to have a little chuckle that this tee shirt was meant to be found and incorporated into your wardrobe…love the way it looks with navy pieces and the red loafers. I don't wear tee shirts that advertise a brand or have inappropriate slogans on them…a crisp white crisp tee shirt worn under a jacket is more my style. I have avoided purchasing wide legged pants, cold shoulder tops, wide sleeved tops, linen or rayon clothing (an iron would need to be my constant companion), jeans with holes, cuts and missing areas, bedroom 'slippers' worn as street wear (ugh!) and pants that are way too short, too tight or heaven forbid see-through…hate to say this but some individuals need to check themselves out in a mirror from all angles before heading out their door…last weekend I noticed a middle aged lady who had selected hot pink patterned underwear to wear under skin tight white pants. The idea that some styles don't suit every body type is a notion that needs to be explained again…each of us can learn to identify what looks best on our body shape and feels wonderful to wear. It takes practice and being honest with the image we see reflected back in a mirror but it can be done…trying on clothing in a store before purchasing a trend is great but some trends are discarded before an attempt to wear them as just plain silly. Bedroom slippers is a case in point! Fun to think what designers will be pushing us to wear in future seasons…I look forward to wading through the quagmire of trends to find those updating pieces that really do suit my lifestyle, personality and body. You do a beautiful job of illustrating how it can be done with class….Cheers, Alayne

    1. Thanks, Alayne. I forgot to add the cropped short denim shorts trend. Oh. My. They look awful on most people who wear them. Excepting seventeen year olds. And even then… it's not always a good look. I think a 360° look at oneself is a must before we leave the house.

  5. That’s perfect for you , very subtle . I don’t do words on my clothes – can’t bear being a walking advert either with designer bags etc . I flick through rails discarding anything with a makers name visible , grumbling all the while . All those latest fads pass me by . I like good fabrics in the right shape to suit my body . Nothing girly , twiddly or fiddly , whatever the fashionistas say . Bubbles to them – but I am a grumpy old woman now 🙂
    Wendy from York

    1. I don't like girly or fiddly either. I think off the shoulder styles must be the fiddliest of all. One must always be having to adjust them.
      P.S. Ha… you are not old, nor grumpy, my friend.

  6. What a great t shirt for you, fits perfectly with your outfit!
    Agree about some of those unusual clothing and odd footwear options. I was in a large, main department store here in Vancouver recently and ALOT of the women's shoes reminded me of clown shoes….ugh….and $$$ – they were not on a clowns budget !
    Suz from Vancouver

  7. Hi Sue
    Your suit was the best investment! I love it. I wonder if it's still available? 😉
    I usually don't wear a tee with writing but for Canada's 150 I went wild. Ha! I agree, the words will call to me.
    I also am rethinking the colour red!!
    Looking good!

    1. Thanks, Robin. The Veronica Beard suit is one of her staples, and was carried again this year by Nordstrom. It was pricey, but I have thanked my lucky stars that I bought it every time I wear it. The pants never bag at the knees due to the stretchy fabric, and the jacket even after being packed in my suitcase always looks good.

  8. Spot on! Love how you are so adept at adapting trends to suit you. Cute bag too. A few well chosen accessories and Veronica Beard is good to go. Great example of investing in quality wisely. Glad you resisted the furry footwear. Ridiculous. Although perhaps with a "there are no words" statement t? Iris

  9. Hi Sue, as I mentioned on IG, I feel this outfit is “very you” I remember your previous visits to Zara were less than positive, obviously this t shirt was meant for you! Serendipity that the writing is in red as well 🙂 I haven’t followed the various trends mentioned either, although I have bought one slogan tee, grey with “ rosé “ printed on in dusty pink, in simple font. I wear it casually in the summer and often get a smile and a comment from other women! Fur on sandals especially mixed with baubles makes me cringe! 🙂 Each to their own, I guess.
    I wish that I could wear a jacket as well as you do 🙂 and as others have mentioned, your suit has been such a good buy. I seem to remember you were wearing the jacket when we met in Stratford. Layered between a grey hoodie and your waterproof … stylish, yet casual… again “very you”
    I’m glad that you found a red bag as well.
    As you’ll see, I’ve finally figured out the problem on my phone that meant I had to comment anonymously:)
    Have a good week, hope your weather stays good. Lovely and sunnny here today!

    1. That Rosé shirt sound perfect for you. It literally has your name on it… or close enough. I did wear my VB jacket when we met, with the zipped out hoodie replaced by a real hoodie for warmth. That jacket is, as you say, versatile:)

  10. I am always concerned about how things are kept clean (e.g. do furry topped mules have to be combed to get the crud out…..or are they thrown away when soiled? Or,horrors, worn dirty?). And now that I think of it I seem to have quite a few pieces of fabric, some made in to clothes, with cursive writing on it, usually illegible. Not much in the way of slogan tees, but of course I have never found one with quite as appropriate a slogan as yours.


    1. I can't imagine wearing my bedroom slippers in public…same with those fluffy shoes. Or those mules with the fur lining spilling out the back. Ickkk.

  11. The last "trend" that I hopped onboard with was the Stan Smith sneaker obsession. I love this outfit on you, and have been thinking (for years) about a pair of red shoes!.

  12. Trends, fads, new designs that wind up having staying power..sometimes it's.hard to tell one from the other. I agree with all your opinions except that I gave a pass to black step-in sneakers with the wide white band around the sole. Those shoes look cute on you but to me living in a city centre they just spoke of a very quick onset of muddy grey.

  13. That is so perfect! I agree with the fuzzy slipper, shoe trend and also did not do the off the shoulder. I have one dress in the "cold shoulder" look. Living where I do if it is warm enough to bare skin, it is warm enough to bare a lot of skin, and if it is cold, I don't want any skin showing! My mom is a seamstress and would say they were running low on fabric so cut parts out and made it a trend! I do like a graphic tee and am picky too. I also don't want it to look like I am trying to be young. You are the one who inspired me to cut off my Gap white jeans from 2013 and have wide leg jeans and that was all of that trend for me. I need to lose weight to fit into them!!! Enjoy your new look, love the red bag!

    1. I remember writing last year about the cold shoulder sweaters… what's up with those? If I'm cold enough to want a sweater, I don't want skin showing.

  14. I love this outfit, the red accents look great with the navy and white. I had a look at the T-shirts in Zara the other day but couldn't find anything I liked amongst the messy pile. I can't do cropped tops either – not only do they not look good on me but I don't find them comfortable either. I definitely wouldn't wear furry slides, I dread to think how dirty they would get!

    Emma xxx

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