Summer is here, folks. Not officially. But now that the long Victoria Day weekend has passed, and my birthday has come and gone… no more almost sixty-two… it feels like summer to me. Time to sum up spring. Wardrobe wise. 

This time of year, I like to assess how my new purchases fared, whether the new pieces fit in with the not-so-new, and what’s working for me versus what’s just hanging around in my closet.

I’m happy with my spring purchases. I bought a Montcler spring coat, two tee shirts (a white, short-sleeved Eileen Fisher one, and a Zara message tee), a pair of AG jeans, a Vince sweater, my red Earth brand loafers, a red cross-body bag, and three scarves. 


woman in three outfits with navy Montcler anorak and jeans
I’ve worn my Montcler anorak a lot. Once with my Veronica Beard suit. But mostly with jeans, with my pink Vince sweater, my yellow Brooks Brothers v-neck sweater, and numerous times with my white Eileen Fisher tee. I wore it with sneakers and loafers, and with a couple of different scarves, especially my new navy, red, and white Burberry scarf. That scarf is definitely a “forever piece,” as they say. 
woman in three different ways to style a navy pants suit
My Veronica Beard suit is once again a work horse in my wardrobe. I’ve worn it mostly with my red Earth brand loafers. With the attached hoodie and a red cami, with my Zara message tee, sans the hoodie, and with my Eileen Fisher white tee and a Vince Camuto coral and tan scarf. I’ve swapped out the matching pants for jeans numerous times. Funnily enough, this spring I’ve been wearing almost constantly a pair of tiny, red stud earrings I’ve had since high school. A couple of times I tried bigger earrings, but the small ones seemed, well, exactly what I wanted… just a tiny pop of red.
woman in pink sweater and coat, navy pants suit, and suede khaki jacket and jeans

I’ve tried hard not to ignore the older pieces in my closet. I wore my black Stuart Weitzman loafers and a white Lafayette shirt with my pink sweater and tweed coat for shopping and lunch earlier in the spring. And my much loved Twiggy khaki suede moto jacket, with a cream and mod-flowered Equipment blouse, jeans, and sneakers for a coffee date one day and errand running on another. But my truly vintage Max Mara suit with the wide-legged pants, well, I tried. But the pants are definitely too tight around the waist. Uncomfortably tight. That middle age middle has expanded since 2002. Ha. So, I’m taking them off to the seamstress this week to see if she can let them out a bit. Inspired by this post on Alyson Walsh’s blog, I’m dying to wear that suit with sneakers. 


woman in navy jacket, jeans, and red loafers sitting in a red Adirondack chair
I’ve been singing this song all spring.
So my spring fashion choices have been pretty much variations on one theme. Navy with whatever. This outfit of VB navy jacket, AG Farrah jeans, loafers, and Burberry scarf has been out so often, it became almost a uniform. With a long-sleeved striped tee, or a short-sleeved white tee, and even with an old red Gap tee, it’s the scarf that finishes the look, that ties it together, no pun intended. But frankly I’m getting a bit tired of my uniform, and am happy that it will now be too warm most days for this outfit. 
Yesterday when I went shopping for my pre-birthday treat, planning to spend the gift certificate I won at a fashion show a few weeks ago, I decided to change up the colour palette. To no colour. I hauled out my old favs, Rag and Bone black silk tank and Helmut Lang jacket, and wore them with my DIY cropped white jeans, and Paul Green flats. Not a new look for me by any means; this shot is from last June. But I do love black and crisp white together. It must be summer if I’m wearing white jeans. 
woman in black jacket, white jeans, and black flats sitting on a deck bench.
In black and white this time last year.
So you could say that my spring has summed up quite well, wardrobe wise. I’m pretty satisfied with my spring shopping choices. I didn’t break the bank on spending. Okay, the Montcler anorak and Burberry scarf were pricey, but they are investment pieces. It’s been years since I bought a new spring coat, so I didn’t upset the budget too much. The tees and jeans are so basic to my wardrobe that I know I’ll wear them a lot, have worn them a lot already.  And the red loafers (and bag) … well… they have certainly perked up my accessory choices. It’s been white sneakers, black loafers, black flats, and black sandals for too long. I’m still struggling with how to style my vanilla Vince sweater. That purchase may yet turn out to have been a mistake. We’ll see. 
One of my goals for the next while is to figure out a way to wear that sweater. I also want to put a couple of older blouses back into the early summer rotation; my red loafers have given me some good ideas of what I might do with them. And skirts. I need to wear my skirts. I don’t have many, but they don’t get out nearly enough. 
Sigh. This time of year always makes me think of how much I love assessing and evaluating and then making a plan to go forward. I used to love doing that when I was teaching. Looking back over the year to see what activities had worked and what didn’t, then planning for next year. 
But between now and the time for final assessing and planning, teachers still have to get through June. And that is no picnic, let me tell you. Especially if the weather is hot. How well I remember the squirming in seats, the yearning to be outside, the longing to be anywhere but in the classroom. 
And that’s just the teachers. Imagine how the kids feel. Ha. I feel your pain, my friends. I do. 
Now, I really have to finish this post and go rescue that bottle of Pinot Noir that’s chilling in the fridge. The wine expert said no more than fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, Hubby is labouring on my birthday supper. Filet mignon with a red wine, wild morel, portobello, and chanterelle mushroom sauce. Baked potatoes and fresh wild asparagus, handpicked by himself. Then I do think it’s chocolate something for dessert. I don’t know what. It’s a surprise apparently. Yum, with a feast like this who wants to go out, eh? 
So, how about you, my lovely bloggy friends? How has your spring summed up? How did you fare with your spring shopping acquisitions? Everything work out according to plan? Going forward, do you have any goals for making your wardrobe work better? 



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From the archives


Road Running and What I’m Wearing.

I’ve been running the roads this week. Out and about, enjoying my summer. And documenting what I’m wearing as I do so.


Reading at the Automat

Ever eaten at the automat? A panoply of food stretches off into the distance and you try not to choose everything. Kind of like with reading.


Holiday Reading: A Discussion

Holiday reading is such an important part of this time of year for me. I’ll be settling in for a long winter’s week of reading. Hopefully.

44 thoughts on “Spring Summed Up”

  1. Many happy returns Susan! Your birthday supper sounds delicous. Like you I have suddenly a taste for the color navy. It could be because we live on the coast again.

    1. Thanks, the meal was delicious, the wine was lovely and we lolled around watching a favourite British TV show. Our kind of evening:)

  2. Happy Birthday Sue, sounds as though you’re having a great birthday and that Stu is cooking a delicious celebratory meal! Yum! Enjoy! … sure you will 🙂
    Loving all your combinations, coordinating old and new … something you do so well! The touches of red work really well .., I do like you in simple black and white though!
    Enjoy the rest of your special day…

  3. This morning I spent some time in my closet assessing what's in there. And I have to say, all I want to wear is my 501s and a white blouse. It's time for me to ditch a lot of the "interesting" things I thought were such good buys these last three years, but that I really don't wear. I'm ready FINALLY to spend some REAL money on some GOOD clothes that I will love enough to wear over and over.

    In the next few weeks I'll be doing much of what you've just gone through — evaluating, recycling and planning what to do next with my clothes and closet. Thank you for this kick in the butt.

    Ann in Missouri

  4. Happy Birthday Sue and that supper sounds delicious except for the mushrooms (serious allergy for me). Love how you put together outfits and those pops of red certainly give a lift.

  5. That sounds like a perfect birthday celebration!
    I think the way you evaluate your purchases is a great idea. I'm sure it makes you a more thoughtful consumer as well as a responsible spender! I should really try that approach.
    Happy Birthday!
    Suz from Vancouver

  6. I envy the methodical attitude you have to your wardrobe . I’m far more flighty . I often buy something & ignore it for ages . Brand new things can make me self conscious , so I wait till I’m more comfortable with them ( is that just me ?) I even forget I’ve bought things so I keep note now . Occasionally I buy something a little too ‘ cutting edge ‘ but gradually it seems right & I begin to wear it . I go off things put them away & bring them out months/years later & love them again . I make mistakes too – how can I be so wrong at my age ? I worry about myself sometimes 🙂
    Wendy in York
    PS Hope you have had a very happy birthday

    1. I do that too.. let things sit until I feel comfortable wearing them. My mum is very bad at that… she sometimes lets things sit for months… says that she's letting them season. What I hate is when something that I've loved all of a sudden seems to look wrong. Then I put it away. Like Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca… "I put that dress away. When the Germans march out of Paris I'll put it on." Not sure that is the exact quote. And I'm not waiting for Germans of course:)

  7. Happy birthday Sue. Birthday meal sounds delicious. Well done on the shopping front once again. Loved Alysons look. I think it will suit you very well. Sadly I don't have the height for it. Iris

    1. My birthday dinner was lovely, thanks. Re: Alyson's look… I just hope that there is enough material in my old pants to let them out.. we'll see.

  8. I would love to own the red shoes but I have a narrow foot so can't wear that particular brand. You make such wise purchases. I am getting better at it. I have been transitioning over the last five years from work clothes to casual clothes. I sometimes miss having to buy certain things because I know I will not wear them in my current retired status. I do love to look at clothes and buy new casual outfits. Just purchased a dress online today as I have two weddings this summer. Hopefully it will work.

    1. I am not good at on-line shopping yet. Unless I have the option of returning the items to a bricks and mortar store, I don't order anything on-line. Probably because I know that of ten things I try on in a store I might buy one… maybe. So I'd be mailing stuff back all the time.
      This spring I ordered two sweaters from Aritzia online to be delivered to a local store. Ended up returning both. Ordered two more from their sale, delivered to my home, returned both to the store. Ordered three tees on-line from Gap, returned two to the store. See what I mean?
      Good luck with your dress… hope it fits and is what you wanted.

  9. First of all, that vanilla sweater. I think the problem is that you're trying to layer it with the same color cream as the sweater. I'd try a filmy white tank underneath,, that was loose enough to sort of drape at the bottom, so that the color and texture is quite different. I think it'd look great with your white jeans then. I don't really buy for "seasons" in Los Angeles. The biggest change for me is footwear – from low booties to sandals? Sweaters I had bought for "winter" I'm wearing now at the end of May and it was in the 90s at Thanksgiving. Your birthday sounds perfect, and I hope it was a very happy one.

    1. Good thought. The sweater was styled with a filmy tank in the store but it was almost as expensive as the sweater so I demurred thinking I'd easily find one more reasonably priced. Ha. But I did find a sleeveless white tank from Vince on Friday that looks good. Hopefully it will work better.

  10. Happy Birthday Sue, it sounds like you had a lovely day topped off with a delicious meal.

    Navy has been the linchpin of my wardrobe for years and years, so I just love all the outfits you have shown. I'm saving this post in a folder I call 'chic role model'!

  11. Navy is a work horse for many women's wardrobes and it looks beautiful on you especially with the red accents. I tend to be a 'magpie' and like the bird am always attracted to anything high contrast in black and white. Love the black silk tank and Helmut Lang jacket with white jeans…perfectly coordinated! It would also do very well with the red accents. Any of the four seasons will find me drawn to black and white which makes it very easy to coordinate a look…in winter perhaps more black and in the summer perhaps more white. The vanilla sweater would work very well with black especially since the crochet pattern would be more evident than against a lighter colour. I discovered a beautiful pale blue leather handbag and have been trying to find clothes that coordinate with what is in my wardrobe…not much luck so will head back to the richer colours as an accent. Do hope that your birthday celebration was the start of a healthy and memorable year…embrace all that it offers! Happy 62nd birthday Sue! Cheers, Alayne

  12. Once again you've listed some of my favorite brands: Equipment, Vince, Rag & Bone, Helmut Lang, AG Jeans, Stuart Weitzman, plus I've been thinking about looking for something from Veronica Beard. LOVE your red Paul Green loafers and little red ear studs. Since high school!! Special. Happy Birthday, friend. xoxox, Brenda

    1. You know that line about wearing something since high school and its still fitting? Ha. That's my red earrings. I saw the latest incarnation of my Veronica Beard jacket the other day, rust linen with a zip out denim shirt instead of a hoodie. It looked fabulous. I'm still thinking about it.

  13. Happy Birthday, Susan! I hope whatever surprise chocolate you had with dinner was delightful. Your spring wardrobe sure was a delight to behold, especially those red loafers and your suit. I am in the market for a suit but haven't found one that works well for my frame or style. Seeing yours gives me hope.

    Cheers to you as you welcome in another year!

    – Sherry

  14. Fun spring wardrobe wrap up was fun! We have definitely moved into shorts and t's here in the south…. so hot and muggy already. Happy Birthday! Sounds like an amazing meal. Do we share the same birthday on the 27th?

  15. I enjoy reading your wardrobe analyses. It helps me to get a grip on what I need and what I spend in this retirement life. Thank you for sharing your candid reviews. And…rather late to the party, thank you for sharing your two posts on childless/childfree and confidence. Food for thought and for new considerations and sensitivities. 🙂
    Happy Birthday, Sue!
    Charlene H

    1. Thanks, Charlene. Getting a grip on retirement is not always a cake walk. We're not exactly riding off into the sunset. Wow… I'm really mixing my metaphors this morning:)

  16. I am definitely squirming in my seat, June is the longest FRIDAY ever!!!! LOL. Apart from that, you did great on your spring wardrobe and I am crushing on those red loafers. I always struggle with a bold red shoe, though I love them, because I never know how to pair it but you seem to do it effortlessly. Thanks for linking up with Continental Drift and hopefully we will see you next time on July 1st. Until then, we'll keep in touch. 🙂

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