I have a new method of deciding what I will wear, folks. When I plan to wear something besides sweatpants, that is. I’m calling it intentional dressing. Which is just a pretentious way of saying that I plan to make some rules for myself and stick to them. Hopefully. More or less. Ha. You can’t get any more definite than that, now can you?

So the deal is that I “intend” to wear those “problem pieces” I identified in my fall wardrobe review. Pieces that I just wasn’t wearing enough for whatever reason. I’m going to set aside a week for each piece. And the rule is that every time I leave the house to go anywhere, except for walking or cycling, I will style that piece using my closet “regulars” and wear it. This week was camel Adrienne Vittadini jacket week.

Until last January, this old jacket had been hanging in a garment bag, in my storage closet since the nineties. I bought it on a shopping trip to Montreal with a friend. I remember clearly the afternoon I discovered the Adrienne Vittadini boutique in the old Ogilvy’s store on Montreal’s Sainte-Catherine Street and felt as if I’d arrived at my spiritual-sartorial home. My oh my, I’d never been in a store that so completely met my wardrobe dreams. And that so completely emptied my bank account. But I told you about that adventure in a post last winter. You can read all about my “indulgent years” here if you’re interested. I wore this jacket with the matching skirt, and with other skirts, and with my jeans for years. Then big, menswear-inspired jackets went out of style, so I put it away.

Last winter I hauled the jacket out for a post I wrote on jewellry. And since over-sized, menswear-inspired jackets were on trend again, I thought I’d show my old blazer some love. But this year it became a problem piece because of my white hair. Camel doesn’t look great next to my face anymore.

But, what if I tried it with a scarf that has a cool pink in the pattern? And pull in the green in the scarf with my Everlane long-sleeve tee, which so exactly matches the green in the scarf it’s scary. Then add some Frame boot-cut jeans, and my brown Paul Green ankle boots (similar)? I love this outfit. Partly because it utilizes my old and much-loved jacket, partly because I love it on me. And partly because it so totally is a re-envisioning of the kind of outfits I’ve loved since high school. Jeans, boots, jacket… forever… it would seem.

Adrienne Vittadini jacket is the object of my intentional dressing. With Everlane tee, Frame jeans, and Paul Green boots.
This outfit is a walk down memory lane in more ways than one.

So I was all set to wear this outfit to drive to Kanata to pick-up my order from The Unrefined Olive, and then head for a takeout coffee. But when I got into the car, the belt dug into my ribs; I am very short-waisted. And it was too warm to wear the scarf wrapped around my neck. And I was just too darned uncomfortable. So I whipped back inside, removed the belt, untucked the tee, and unwound the scarf. And, I’m afraid to say, hauled on my khaki suede jacket instead of the camel blazer. I know. Good intentions were not enough. See proof of my flouting my own rules below.

On my way but not wearing my camel jacket.
Breaking bad. Flouting my outfit intentions.

I had one more outing this week. And thus one more chance to wear my camel jacket. This time I wore it with my black, pull-on, Liverpool “Gia Glider” skinny jeans. These jeans are so very comfortable. I also wore my Stuart Weitzman ankle boots and an old slouchy black cotton turtleneck. It’s funny how I love some of my turtlenecks more the older they get. This one is stretched out and not good for skiing anymore, but looks great with skinny jeans because it has lost its clinginess. I tucked it in a bit at the front. No belt this time. I pinned one of my favourite vintage brooches to my lapel, a black cameo I bought at the Merrickville Antique Fair eons ago. And carried my new AllSaints cross-body bag with this old Michael Kors grey animal print scarf.

Intentional dressing week one: Adrienne Vittadini jacket, LIverpool jeans, Stuart Weitzman boots.
Boots, jeans, jacket… again.

After I dressed, I went outside to take photos of my outfit on our deck. I was happy with the way these jeans looked with the jacket, and how the grey scarf and bag softened the black and camel contrast. And just happy period. Because I was off for an outing to get my hair done, and have a lengthy chat with Carmen. And it was a beautiful day.

Then I realized that I was standing in the middle of squirrel highway. One very energetic red squirrel, with a ginormous nut in his mouth approached, enroute from front yard to back yard. Whoa. He changed direction in quick order. And as he, or she, pelted around the side of the house, I heard Hubby quip, “Oh yeah. Of course he’s heading straight for the shed. Looking for stray gloves no doubt.” Sigh. It’s hard to take serious fashion photos with all these interruptions, you know.

So, this outfit is definitely a keeper. I love it. Carmen did too. I’m not sure what the squirrel thought.

Intentional dressing week one: Adrienne Vittadini jacket, LIverpool jeans, Stuart Weitzman boots.
Go. Away. I’m trying to take photos here.

And I guess “Intentional Dressing: Week One” has been 50% successful. I wore my camel blazer once instead of twice. But at least I have two outfits I love, all styled, and ready to throw on at a moment’s notice. No need to ponder how I will wear my old jacket with my new hair. And that’s good. My next “problem” piece will be my charcoal Vince coat sweater. That will be an easy one. That sweater goes with everything.

But that post will have to wait for a couple of weeks. Hubby and I are going hiking tomorrow for a few days. We were due to leave for Africa in week or so. And we’re consoling ourselves with a few days of hiking. So the only intentional dressing I will be doing is layering for warmth: long-underwear, waterproof pants, turtleneck, fleece, my Gortex jacket, gloves, warm hat, hiking boots… you know. Keeping my head, and hands, and butt toasty while we explore some trails we’ve never been on before.

I’m quite looking forward to our adventure.

How about you my friends? Do you have any problem pieces that you might target for a little intentional outfit love? Tell us all about them. We love to talk clothes around here.

P.S. The clothing links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a commission.


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From the archives


Building My Jeans Wardrobe

After years of searching for that one perfect pair of jeans, I have given up. I am embracing the concept of the "jeans wardrobe."

Meanwhile… Back At The Ranch… Taking Stock

Let's have an update on our fall so far, shall we? Our painful adventures. Or should I say, our adventures in pain. Back at the ranch.

Illuminating The Luminaries…

Everyone it seems loved The Lunminaries. Everyone but me.

40 thoughts on “Intentional Dressing: Week One”

  1. My husband has been in the hospital for three days (surgery not Covid). Fortunately he is allowed one visitor, so I’ve been using that as an excuse to dress up the basic jeans and tee I usually wear. I make the top a dressier blouse and add a third layer (a jacket/blazer), and a necklace.

    1. Hope your husband is recovering quickly, Kate. But I must say, visiting him must have been the highlight of your day… for more than the obvious reason. 🙂

  2. You are clearly not a math teacher – nor an optimizer :). Your experiment was 100% successful because you wore your camel blazer once more than you otherwise would have. Extra credit for learning and responding to your need for physical comfort.

    Although at 5’0 with “long legs” I laughed at your comment about being short waisted. There were foolish years where I would have given “anything” for your long legs and proportionally shot waist. What a waste. (Pun intended).

  3. Love both the outfits so I’d rate the week as a big success. The pink and green scarf and those Weitzman boots are gorgeous.
    I spent most of last week out of town in the Blue Mountains about a 90 minute drive from home. Beautiful scenery and masses of spring flowers, especially rhododendrons and more occasions to dress up than a normal week at home. We went to a fancy restaurant the first night so I dressed up a little but nothing too startling as life is pretty casual here – “good” jeans, a scarf and a coat sweater with more jewellery than I wear when I’m doing errands. Happy hiking!

    1. I love that scarf. Partly because I bought it at Chatsworth in the UK. I love a wearable souvenir. P.S. We were in the Blue Mountains in 2008. So beautiful.

  4. I especially like the camel and black outfit which I would describe as edgy. I have a similar scarf , that I’ve probably worn more than any of my other scarves.
    Such a good idea, “Intentional Dressing “, I’m going to try it !
    Enjoy your hike !

    1. Thanks, Maisie. That animal print scarf by Michael Kors was bought in support of a campaign against breast cancer years ago. Very reasonably priced, and a great cause. Win, win. Plus I’ve been wearing it for eons.

  5. I need to keep reading your wonderful effort to things in the regular rotation. I seem to be losing steam and just throw on jeans and a sweater, add a scarf and a bit of jewellery. All the extensive collection of rings, earrings, necklaces and so on are calling out for attention as are numerous toppers. Just this week I went and got a stash of velvet hangers and started to go through the scarf collection. Hanging them seems to make a difference as I had no idea there were over 60 packed away in hat boxes. I now know I do not need any more for quite some time. It is so easy to sort through and find just the right one now.
    I am eagerly awaiting your next video on coats etc. In the meantime, have a wonderful time out in nature stocking up on experiences to get through the winter.

  6. I loved camel back in the day when I had dark hair. I’ve stayed away from that colour with my silvers. But you nailed it with the accessories….nicely done Sue.

  7. The camel jacket with black was a total winner in my book…classy and sharp looking! A wonderful experiment to get clothes not used often back into rotation…well thought out and successfully done for week one! Looking forward to seeing another garment rescued from the back of the closet and I will attempt to do the same with some of my old favourites.

  8. I’ve always avoided camel . Blondes with the right colouring look luxurious in camel but I just look drab . You’ve managed to work it well here especially with the black & grey . I shall be wearing your hiking uniform for the next three weeks now . So nice to be back in our favourite part of the world at last . Enjoy your hikes too .

    1. I got the idea for the grey with the camel from Pinterest. I was surprised that I liked it. So happy for you that you were able to get back to Scotland, Wendy.

  9. You look fabulous in both outfits. Love the idea of intentional dressing. I’m only a bit into sorting out my closet, bet I’ll find a piece or two that I can wear again in some fashion or other. Love the squirrels from your last post and this…I keep noticing them on my walks now.🐿💖

  10. I love your camel and black outfit! Stunning. I am regretting that I sent four or five menswear blazers from the 80s and 90s to the Goodwill. I should have hung onto them. They may have needed some shoulder pads removed, but there was one tweed one that I especially wish I had saved. When they went out of style, I remember feeling that they looked too boxy and mannish, so out they went. Thank you for the reminder that all styles circle back around eventually. Have a relaxing hiking trip with your husband. I am sure the fall colors will be beautiful.

  11. You hair looks smashing! I like both your outfits too. Good for you for getting more mileage out of your jacket. I’m impressed that you hung onto it for so long.

  12. Love both scarfs. I was hoping the you would have a hair update since you went to visit Carmen. Love the natural hair but wondered about your highlights. Have you thought about making them blonder?

    1. Oh, trust me, Pat, we’ve discussed all the options about my hair. So much so that I was tired of thinking about it. That’s why I haven’t done an update.

  13. Intentional dressing… what a great idea! I would say your first week was a definite success. You came up with two great outfits even if one of them did need a bit of tweaking for comfort’s sake. Interestingly, I also pulled out a jacket from my teaching days this week and it’s scheduled to appear on my blog on Friday. One good thing Covid is doing for us is sending us deep into our closets and storage spaces instead of to the mall. Our bank accounts will appreciate it even if we don’t! Have fun hiking!

  14. I love your camel jacket very much,especially with all black combo,this is the way I wear mine. Or with jeans and navy cashmere turtleneck (or navy silk shirt when weather is mild)
    I almost always wear a scarf,sometimes a light weight one with the turtlenecks- this is the way I add colour to my outfits and my face,but you know it already 🙂
    Take care

  15. I love your white-hair styling. I need to do some mixing and matching to get my silver hair in synch. Haha, yes, I’ve walked into those soul-mate store and could have spent a king’s ransom!

  16. Fabulous black and camel! As for the other combo — I wonder if you recall that we sometimes wore our scarves under the lapels for a shot of colour and to stand up the jacket collar a little? Maybe that would be a way to wear the jacket & muli-colour scarf combo without overheating.

    1. Yes, I do recall that. Good idea. I often just wear my scarf loose and hanging down. But in this case, I needed the scarf next to my face instead of the camel.

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