Road Running and What I’m Wearing.

I’m so excited to be finally writing a post, my friends, that my mind has just gone blank. I’m serious. Like when you see a friend for the first time in a long while, and you’re waving and waving as your car drives into their yard, but when you finally stop blubbering, and stand back after the big hug, you can’t find anything to say. Because you’ve been gone for too long, and you have so much to say that you don’t know where to start. Until your friend says, as you walk into the house, “I love that sweater.” And you laugh because that’s as good a place to start as anywhere else. What I’m wearing, what she’s wearing, those are universally interesting topics for me and my friends.

So. I’ve been gone a week from the blog. Hope you are all well. I’ve been running the roads, as Mum used to say when we were teenagers. But I’ve been trying to document what I’m wearing as I do it. I’m trying to wear all the clothes in my closet. And being only moderately successful, if I’m honest.

The other day, my walking buddy Linsey and I drove to visit a friend with whom we both worked. Since retirement, she has moved from Ottawa into a beautiful new home about a half hour away. We had a lovely afternoon catching up, sitting in Karen’s screened porch. Ever the gracious hostess she served canapés and a delicious light dessert. I wore my A.L.C. striped silk skirt, my Everlane white tank, flat black sandals, and tied my Theory crochet sweater around my neck.

Sitting in red Adirondack chair wearing white Everlane tank, cream crochet sweater around shoulders, A.L.C. striped skirt, flat black sandals.
Off to visit a friend.

You know, I admire people like Karen. I somehow never developed good hostess skills. I get yakking and then I always forget something in the fridge or, worse, on the stove. Whenever I hosted book club when we were doing full luncheons I used to sweat buckets for days (and nights) beforehand. Somehow over the years the idea to serve a simple light lunch morphed into feats of culinary expertise with which I could never hope to compete. Not that it was supposed to be a competition. But still. I always hoped to not be an utter failure. I wrote about that stressful spectre looming over me in a book post a couple of years ago. You can read that here if you’re interested. The pandemic saved me from that particular stressful event, if nothing else. Ha.

And speaking of pandemic. I went off for my first in-person doctor’s appointment a week ago. Since it was a showery day, I wore my Frame straight-leg white jeans, my black Vince short-sleeve tee, and my old reversible black and grey-camo Theory windbreaker. I followed up my appointment with some errand running, and a lovely peaceful hour sipping take-out latté and reading my book. I never travel without my book, people. Hence the big bag

Last week I met my buddy Erica in beautiful Almonte for lunch on a patio overlooking the Mississippi River (no not that one). Almonte is almost an hour’s drive away, so I dressed for comfort. These yellow, linen pull-on pants by Theory (similar) are getting out more this summer. I wore them with my white Everlane tank, Stan Smith sneakers, and threw my Theory crochet sweater on again. It appears I am loving the look of my cream sweater with a white tank this summer.

This outfit does not make me look particularly svelte, I realize, especially around the middle. But you know, I’m working on body positivity this summer. I’m thinking that when I get to be eighty, I don’t want to regret not wearing what I wanted to wear in my sixties. I’ve spent too much of my life worrying that I was too skinny, then that I was getting fat. Sheesh. Enough already.

Red geraniums, red deck chair and table. Woman in yellow linen trousers, white Everlane tank, crochet sweater around her shoulders, and straw bag.
Road trip for lunch in beautiful Almonte.

This is what I wore shopping the other day. My Rag and Bone navy and white checked Simone pants, this Eileen Fisher tee with a shirt-tail hem and three-quarter sleeves, my Stan Smith sneakers, and my navy cashmere Vince sweater. I was buying supplies for Hubby’s birthday supper. We had tacos. And chocolate cake. He loves tacos. And chocolate cake. We ate and ate and binge-watched Escape to the Country. Altogether a satisfying birthday for him, and for me. We are quite addicted to Escape to the Country. Hubby likes to throw the odd comment like “dual aspect room” or “character elements” into conversations now. And then we both laugh.

To meet my sister and her son for coffee in Manotick the other morning, I wore my black Everlane tank, flat black Michael Kors sandals, and these new-ish cargo pants from Aritzia. I wasn’t sure if I would like these pants, but I love them. The loose, casual fit, the high waist, and the colour. The only thing I don’t like is the button fly. They have a tab and two buttons at the hem which is really cool. So they hang straight and loose, or kind of pegged like this, depending on which button you use.

It was soooo lovely to see my sister and my nephew. Although I talk to Carolyn almost every day, I haven’t seen her in a couple of months. And then we were masked. And I haven’t seen my nephew since the pandemic started.

Standing on the deck by the red table and chair in black Everlane tank, Aritzia cargo pants, and Eric Javits straw bag.
Bound for coffee with my sister and nephew.

Last Saturday was book club day held beside my friend Sue’s pool. We were a small group, but we ate, and chatted about books, and it was so sustaining. The book we read was Crow Winter by Canadian indigenous writer Karen McBride. It’s her first novel and has been really well received. I am a bad book club member; I haven’t finished it yet. But Sue says it has a wonderfully satisfying ending. You can read about Crow Winter here if you’re interested.

For book club, I wore my now ubiquitous black Everlane tank, my flat black sandals, and my DIY white shorts, made from cutting off a pair of NYDJ white jeans. I tied a black sweatshirt around my waist in case I needed a bit of sun coverup, or if we decamped to the air-conditioned living room. I almost always carry or wear a sweater or jacket in the summer. Sometimes I get chilled in air conditioning, sometimes I drape it over my shoulders for sun protection. Besides, I feel a bit naked, or at least unfinished, without a third piece. A “completer piece” as Stacy and Clinton used to say on What Not to Wear. Stacy and Clinton may have given a title to my third piece, but I’ve been wearing them since I was a teenager.

Sitting on the deck in Everlane tank, NYDJ cut-offs, H&M hoodie, Michael Kors sandals.
Ready for book club by my friend’s pool.

I had the girls over the other night for a hilarious evening on the deck. As suggested by my friend Joanne, we had potluck appetisers for supper. And I provided the dessert. There was lots of food and drink, and even more conversation and laughter.

These are my best buddies from work. Except for Sheri (in the blue skirt) who was my partner in crime around the department heads’ table (she is head of Math at my old school) all of these girls were teachers in my department at one time. Some have moved on to other schools. Some are now retired like me. And even though I haven’t been their department head in years and years, I still feel protective of them. Weird, eh?

What a great bunch of women! Our ages span several decades, and we could provide some lucky researcher with an excellent sampling of what life is like for women after thirty, after forty, fifty, and even after sixty. Some of us have young kids, some grown kids, and some no kids at all. We have a ton of teaching experience among us, and just as many funny classroom stories to share. Or, depending on the year, rants about the state of education.

For our potluck evening on the deck I wore the exact same outfit which I wore to my coffee date earlier in the week. Except I swapped the black sandals for black flip flops. The easier to kick off and go barefoot.

Gosh, we had a wonderful evening. Just being together. As my friend Marina said the next day, it just felt so… normal.

Girls from work on my deck.
I’m still the most senior member of this group.

All in all it’s been a wonderful week since I last posted. Despite having something scheduled most days, I’ve managed to squeeze in a walk or a pedal on my exercise bike every day but one. And most afternoons I’ve had time for an hour or two with my book. That is the definition of perfect retirement life as far as I’m concerned. Time for exercise, time for socializing, and still time for lolling. I love to get my workout in early if I’m going out for lunch or to an appointment or shopping. Then I know that when I get home, I’ve an hour or two before supper for a cup of tea and some quality book time.

early morning on the Rideau River.
Misty pre-dawn on the river.

Yesterday, the day after my deck party, it rained and the wind blew. The air was cool enough for long pants and a sweater. And after a busy week, I was ready for lolling with my book. And maybe even a little napping. Sigh.

I have two more lunches and a dinner with friends, as well as a shopping day, scheduled before we head down east in a couple of weeks. More scope for wearing more of what I own. Or that’s the plan.

Uncharacteristically, I eschewed the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this week. I don’t really need fall clothes. Well, except for boots. And I did not have the heart to throw myself into fall trend research and a wardrobe inventory to enable smart purchases. I much prefer to plan fall outfits when fall is imminent. Besides, without Liz on duty at Nordstrom, shopping there is not nearly as much fun as it was.

Instead, I’m enjoying what I have in my closet. And enjoying finally, finally having somewhere to go to wear what I own.

You know, it’s wonderful to fall asleep at night dreaming of meeting up with friends and family, and dreaming up outfits to wear when I do so. I know that’s shallow. But there you have it.

But I also fall asleep at night thinking of how amazingly lucky I am. Lucky to be healthy, and have good friends, and supportive family, and the opportunity to get together after months and months and pick up right where we left off. I’m looking forward to many more reunions this summer. With family down east. And with old friends.

There may be blubbering, people. In fact, there probably will be blubbering.

P.S. The clothing and book links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a commission. Except for the Aritzia link. Aritzia doesn’t support the Shop Style Collective which is how I make my commission. Too bad because I usually like their clothes. So that Aritzia link is just a courtesy.


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From the archives


Hunkering Down With My Book

When darkness comes early you'll find us hunkered down with a good book. Or three. Here's what we've been reading.

Outfit Dreams

I'm having outfit dreams these days. Dreaming of what I will wear when my shingles have gone and I can wear real clothes again.

Outfit Love in the Time of Social Distancing

You know it's hard to maintain my love of fashion in this time of social distancing, and isolation. But I am doing my best.

46 thoughts on “Road Running and What I’m Wearing.”

  1. I can feel the joy that your outings have given you. Stay safe and enjoy the reconnecting with family and friends.

  2. That sounds like a brilliant week – a celebration of simple, good things and good times. If we don’t take that lesson from the past 18 months, then we really haven’t been paying attention at all.

    1. I agree. The pandemic has taught us to slow down and enjoy the small things, if we didn’t already know that before. Or had forgotten like I tend to do.

  3. I had the same feelings when we got to meet friends & family again . What a happy bunch of teachers you look with your big smiles . I know what you mean about babbling so much that you stop concentrating on the task in hand . When my sister visited between lockdowns we were so busy catching up I picked up the electric kettle & sat it on the gas flame without thinking about it . What a mess . I do prefer the replacement kettle though . Those new cargoes are perfect . You’ve done well not to order them in every colour .

    1. Oh… I am bad when it comes to talking and paying attention. Lucky that the purchase of those cargoes was precipitated by a desire for a pair of off white pants. I hadn’t thought of looking at them in other colours. But now that you mention it. Uh oh.

  4. Enjoyed seeing the picture of your co-teachers. From the devilish smiles, you all must have had a lot of fun ad gotten up to some mischief out of the class room. I still keep in touch with a fw former co-workers. You encouraged me to re-evaluate the blessings of retirement. I have not been very good at that-the why,poor me syndrome! enjoy your upcoming travels.

  5. Fantastic photo of some wonderful colleagues! Everyone looking so well. Hugs to all of you if you see this comment !

  6. I was just thinking about how a jacket/sweater third piece can pull an outfit together. It does seem harder with only two items. Love the yellow pants, black Vince t and cargo pants. Enjoy your visits. It is wonderful.

  7. So many great looks! I just got a pair of linen cargo pants and I love them. Like you, I’m working on body positivity this summer. I love the thought of not looking back in my eighties and wishing I had worn whatever I liked.

    The morning view on the river is so beautiful!

  8. Good for you to jump right in and have such fun this past week. We did survive without the extra post. All of your outfits look perfect for the occasion and remind me to put the extra thought into working out ways to wear what has been sitting for so long. I too had a face to face appointment this past week and did dress up in a skirt and nice top for it. That felt good. That comment about the competition/not competition with the food made me laugh. We had a bit of that a few years ago, and it was quite stressful to come up with what I thought was up to the challenge. I was quite relieved when that ended. I am also a big fan of Escape to the Country and also Escape to the chateau, so that comment about the dual aspect was perfect. Oh, also, so glad you are getting use out of the yellow pants again, I think they are fabulous with the white tops. Enjoy the coming week with more wonderful outings and lunches.

    1. It’s funny how even very casual outfits feel dressed up now. And so wonderful to be able to say… “Wonder what I’ll wear tomorrow.”

  9. So glad to see you in beautiful neutrals. Some of the bloggers I follow have gone into the color analysis system in such a big way that I don’t see the black, white, cream, gray items that I love…and that fill my edited closet. Thank you!

  10. Love all your outfits! It is good to see you out and about with your friends and family. And, looking forward to more reunions soon.

    We have had two wonderful reunions in the last few weeks. Out daughter flew out to spend a week with us and then we flew to California to visit relatives. With the Delta variant spreading all over, don’t know when we will travel again – scary. We are back to wearing masks when we are out, even thought we are both fully vaccinated.

    It was very hot and dry in California, so I was glad I brought linen capris and cool tops. But, I did use a third piece quite often to keep off the sun. And, my broad brimmed hat. Most were wearing masks in CA, so it felt quite safe.

    Looking forward to hearing about your trip East. Safe travels. ❤️

    1. I’m finding light sweaters so useful these days. I hear you about the Delta variant. It doesn’t have a foothold up here yet. But if it did I’d be backing off a lot of my activities.

  11. Sounds like you made very good use of your time this past week. Clearly you are a happy camper (so to speak).

    Did get a bit of a chuckle of the photo of you wearing the yellow pants. Wonder if Stu put that yellow bucket on the deck behind you as an accessory to your outfit. Almost a perfect match. Lol

    Have a grand time visiting family down east. Say hello to Mum!

    1. Ha. That darned bucket. All the buckets, actually. We need to replace our eavestroughing; the buckets save the rain water from running right into the basement windows. Sometimes when I take photos I don’t have time, or forget, to move the buckets.

  12. You look great and sound happy! Keep at it. As Annie Green said, it’s a valuable lesson to learn from the past 18 months!

  13. You look great. I’m so glad you’ve gotten out and about. Food for the soul. Also, I’ve always loved those sandals on you and my affection continues unabated;).

  14. Please say more about that fabulous oversize bag appearing frequently – I love its versatility!

    1. I love that bag too. It’s a medium size “Squishy tote” from Eric Javits. It appears as if they don’t make that size anymore. They do have the larger one but not in the plain peanut colour which I think is best. So I didn’t link up to it.

  15. Love all the outfits for all the outings. Good use of your closet. I too always have my third piece, would be lost without a cardi. Question, I always say “back east, out west, down south and up north”…is it a regional thing?

    1. It must be a regional thing. In Canada we don’t really have a “south.” We say up north, out west, and down east. That might be partly because before Confederation, Ontario was called “Upper Canada” and Quebec and parts east “Lower Canada.”

  16. So happy to see that you are running the roads and enjoying! Me too,I’m back from the sea side (it was great,but so many people,more than before covid…) and it is so nice to see my friends and relatives after many months again
    Lovely outfits-I’d like to steal your Simone pants!

    1. Ah… I’m now imagining the Croatian seaside. I’ll bet it was lovely. I remember in 2019, when we were in Trogir, saying to Stu: “We’re swimming in the Adriatic. Imagine that!”

  17. I’ve already ordered the Aritzia pants. They’re just my style. Hope they look as good on me.
    At 75 I’m a decade older than you but our styles and body type are quite similar.
    I have a question for you and your readers. After a rapid weight loss a few years ago my arms developed the dreaded creepiness. I’m so envious when I see women going sleeveless, especially since I live in hot humid Atlanta.
    Should I just go with it and wear sleeveless or short sleeves or should I try to cover my arms as my older friends do?

    1. Hope you like the cargo pants, Judy. I used the sizing chart and the reviews on the site to make my size decision. With respect to the baring of arms, as my friend used to say. I think, and this may just be me, that a high neck sleeveless top, with a cutaway shoulder is more flattering than a round neck one. And I think neck style and sleeve style have to work together to be what works for you. I dislike a round neck, regular sleeveless style. I think it’s unflattering on women our age. But again… that’s just me. And depends on one’s individual arms and neck… of course. 🙂

  18. What a wonderful week! Full of family, friends, fun and food. Enjoy your next trip and stay safe.

  19. Lianne MacGregor

    I’m so glad you haven’t abandoned black and white. Lately I’ve noticed a lot of the blogs I read are emphasizing having one’s colours done and dumping black and white (and grey and beige) in favour of colour. I’ve also been feeling these women don’t look as sophisticated or classic as they once did. Their outfits strike me as both busy and forgettable (if those two things can co-exist). So it felt like a breath of fresh air when I looked at your outfits and recognized the timeless appeal of black and white or navy and white. Pops of colour are lovely and can add a spark of interest to an otherwise “safe” look, but I’ll continue to base my wardrobe on neutrals until I come up with a better plan (hasn’t happened yet).

  20. You’re looking very stylish during your fun summer activities. I’m working on paring down my clothes to only what I wear. I seem to be making some progress.
    Thank you for always sharing such great tips on fashion.

  21. It’s great to see you out and about, and to see all of your casual outfits. You look terrific in them.

  22. Hi Sue, late to reading your recent posts, but glad you are taking a step back. For yourself! I too have similar feelings about getting back out there: glad for the activity but only up to a point. Yesterday was barre class, last session with the dog trainer, and then a dental appt (two crowns!! I’d have rather spent the only on travel, but what choice do we have???). Anyway, like you I finally have places to wear some things besides my at-home outfits. Hooray!!!
    Even if I’m late to your posts, I always relish them. Especially on days when I don’t have barre class, like today. I’m reading The Lost Family by Jenna Blum, a brief detour from reading about race the past year, and I feel like I’m really getting away with something!
    Hope you have great travels, and if you decide to only post once a week in September, all will be well. Thank you for your writing.

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