It’s truly fall now, my friends. In every way. Including the leaves turning and the temperatures dropping. So if I want to continue to avail myself of the company of friends on a patio somewhere for lunch or dinner, that means “rugging up”, as the New Zealanders say. Yep, rugging up for lunch or dinner, if one is dining outside, will be de rigeur from now on. I’m not talking about donning my down jacket, and a hat and mittens. It’s not winter yet. Something in between a winter outfit and a normal fall ensemble is required. Something comfortable enough to eat in and warm enough to sit outside for a couple of hours. Rugging up for dining out takes a bit more planning than usual.
Hubby and I first came across that expression when we were on a farm stay in New Zealand in 2003. We headed out with Doug, our host, in his four-wheel drive for a tour of the sheep paddocks, and he suggested we “rug up” since it might be cool in the open vehicle. We did, and it was, and what a ride we had over the hills on their farm. Opening paddock gates, closing others, watching the dogs herd the sheep. Hopping back in the vehicle just in time as Doug spun his wheels and we were off again. So much fun. And Hubby and I learned a new expression which we still say to each other. That memory always makes us giggle. Especially when we recall my shriek as the jeep topped a hill at speed and all four wheels left the ground.
So these days for a casual lunch in my favourite bistro in our village I will need to rug up. I might wear my new forest green Everlane long-sleeved tee with my old suede moto jacket, my Frame high-rise straight-leg jeans (similar), and my Paul Green loafers (similar in black patent). Rugging up means no bare ankles. So I will need socks of course. And the lovely scarf I bought at Chatsworth when I visited there in 2017. And if the weather is extra chilly there’s always the option of wearing long underwear. No joke. Scarf for the neck, long underwear for the bottom.
My new long-sleeved pocket tee fits like the short-sleeved tees I bought in the summer, just long enough and just loose enough to be casual and comfortable. In fact, I think I could have worn a medium instead of a large. The tee works well with my old khaki suede moto jacket from Marks and Spencer. I won this jacket on Alyson Walsh’s blog That’s Not My Age in 2016. I love the colour, and deliberately sized up so it would be loose, which works really well this season since everything is loose, it seems. The Marks and Spencer jacket is no longer available but AllSaints has a really similar style, and everything is 20% off on their site at the moment. You can check out their jacket here.
Or, when I’m dining al fresco, which is the only way I’m eating out these days, I might wear my other new tee shirt from Everlane. This navy, square mockneck cropped tee. I like this style. It has a dropped shoulder and is really loose around the middle. I bought it to wear with my navy sweats. But I like it with jeans as well. It has a kind of early sixties vibe to me. I like both of my new purchases from Everlane. It appears that I have filled that hole in my wardrobe by adding these two light-weight fall tops.
For a trip to town the other day, I paired my navy tee with my Frame high-waisted, boot-cut jeans, my sneakers, my new Vince cable-knit sweater, in case it grew chilly, and my AllSaints tote bag. I bought this bag at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale in 2017. But they still sell a really similar style. Mine is smooth leather and doesn’t have the added cross-body strap, which is a shame.
I’ve been on the hunt for a small cross-body bag for a while. And when I met my friend Susan for lunch on the outdoor patio at Nordstrom earlier in the week, I spied these AllSaints cross-body bags. The “Captain Square Cross-body bag” is just the right size and shape for what I want. I didn’t buy it right away because I wasn’t sure about the colour and the salesperson said they might have other colours on the AllSaints website. That’s when I discovered that everything on the AllSaints site is 20% off. Sadly, for me, although the other colours are lovely, they are not exactly what I want. So I plan to order the grey one from Nordstrom when we get back from camping next week.
This is what I wore to lunch at Nordstrom. I didn’t intend to actually use this shot, featuring Hubby’s colourful drip bucket placed where the eavestrough leaks. I usually remember to move his buckets. But I was in a hurry and I just wanted to check that my outfit didn’t look weird. I don’t always trust my mirror. I left my white jeans out of storage last month in hopes that I might get one more wear out of them. And I quite like them with my new Vince sweater, my black Stuart Weitzman boots, and my ancient black messenger bag. I tried my old Max Mara blazer, but it seemed too structured for this outfit. So I swapped it for this reversible black and grey camo-pattered windbreaker from Theory. Funny that I’m getting more wear out of this jacket lately than I have for ages. Must be my white hair.
Susan and I had a lovely lunch on Tuesday. The rooftop patio at Nordstrom is really nice, spacious to allow for good social distancing, with propane heaters to keep the chill off. You know, I’ve been saying for a while that I think the restaurant at Nordstrom is the best lunch spot in town. The food is always delicious and the service always friendly. Susan and I both had their fish and chips. Oh my. So good. And as a transplanted Maritimer, I do know my fish and chips, people. And since we were both sufficiently rugged up for a sunny but chilly late September day… we had a marvelous time.
It always pays to dress for the weather. Makes life much more comfortable.
And speaking of dressing for the weather, today I am packing my long underwear and old wooly fleece, my raingear and my fishing boots, and even a pair of shorts and a couple of tees. We’re off for five days with our tent trailer, and the weather forecast is… well… variable. Hot one day. Cool and rainy for a couple. Hopefully it will be good in the evenings for a campfire. I love campfires. I have packed heavy socks, lots of tea, and several books. So I am well prepared for a couple of inclement days stuck in the tent. As long as there are no bugs. Please let there be no bugs. It would be unusual for bugs at the end of September. But it is 2020. So who knows what the week will bring.
You know, it’s much easier to rug up for camping. Just layer on the turtlenecks, heavy socks, fleece, rain jacket. No one cares what I look like. Not even me. It’s the staying warm when I need to look presentable that is more difficult. Rugging up when one is patio dining and still wants to look good, and be warm but not too hot, takes more planning.
So what is your secret, my friends, for dressing appropriately to dine out of doors when the weather starts to get chilly?
*** All links to clothing and bags in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link I will earn a commission.
Joining Catherine’s #IWillWearWhatILike link-up over at Not Dressed as Lamb.