Today I am all about my fall “haul,” my friends. I’ve recently taken delivery of two tops which I ordered on-line. And these two pieces plus the belt I bought on my shopping day with Liz constitute my entire fall haul, thus far. A small fall haul this year. But, let’s be realistic, since I’ve retired, I haven’t needed as many clothes as when I was working. I have more free time to shop around for the perfect item so the pieces are chosen more carefully, and spread out over time. No need to shop for a big haul all at once. Plus, I am consciously trying to limit my shopping for new clothes by shopping my closet instead. So as a result, these last few years, I have come to understand the joys of a small fall haul, rather than a big fall haul.

On the deck in one half of my fall haul. My Everlane sweater, worn with cream Aritzia cargo pants, Stan Smith Adidas, and a gold Michael Kors tote.
One half of my small fall haul.

Back in the day, I used to be big on big fall “hauls,” as the fashionistas seem to want to call the multiple purchases we lug home after a day of shopping. Not that I called them hauls, back then. Not that I consider myself a fashionista either. Ha. I use the term to refer to myself only in jest. But back in the day before I retired, during what I call my “indulgent years,” I did have a fall shopping routine that consisted of one big shopping day early in the season. A day when I sallied forth with my list, and made numerous purchases to do me for the season. Now the sight of a gleeful shopper returning home with bags upon bags seems so old school to me. And in slightly poor taste, considering the current climate of less is more.

I’m pleased with this purchase. Can you tell?

I’m very pleased with my new cashmere sweater from Everlane. As you can tell above. The collar and open neck are a nice change from a crew neck or a turtleneck which are my usual default styles. The cashmere in the sweater is soft and light. And the dropped shoulder and loose style are just what I needed to wear with these Aritzia cargo pants. I ordered the size large, so the sleeves are nice and long too. This is how I’d intended to wear it, with a white cami underneath. But it looks great over a white tank top or a short sleeve tee as well. I tucked in the front a bit and bloused it over the waist of my pants, then let it fall loose in the back. When it’s untucked it falls to my hips or just below.

I love the soft green colour. Everlane calls this shade “kalamata.” It’s not quite olive and not quite sage. The sun was in and out of the clouds on Friday, making it look a slightly different shade in every shot. Anyway, whatever colour it is, I like it with my cream cargo pants, as I said. And with my Stan Smith sneakers. And with this old gold Michael Kors tote bag which has been stuffed in my cupboard all summer. I actually think that the shade of this sweater is one that I shouldn’t wear. It’s a bit too “warm” for me. But with a bright white tee or cami under it, I love it. Besides, a good friend once told me I paid too much attention to the “shoulds” in life. So I’m following her advice, ignoring the “shoulds”, and wearing what I please. Or what pleases me.

On the deck overlooking the Rideau river wearing Everlane sweater, cream Aritzia cargo pants, Stan Smith Adidas, and a gold Michael Kors tote.
Ignoring the “shoulds’ with this colour.

It also pleased me on Friday to change up the cream cargoes for my high-waisted, straight-leg Frame jeans, my Paul Green burgundy loafers, and my favourite travel piece, this Uniqlo burgundy, ultra-light down vest. Funny how the burgundy and the green look good together, don’t you think? I tried this colour combination back in 2018, with the vest, a burgundy sweater, and olive green jeans. I loved it then too. Paul Green has been making styles similar to my chunky-soled loafers for a few years now. Here’s the latest iteration. And here’s the link to the Uniqlo vest which has been such a boon to my travel wardrobe and, to be honest, to my stay-at-home wardrobe as well.

I amazes me that I like burgundy and green together, but I do.

As a matter of fact, now that I see the two outfits together, I prefer the second one. I like the first look, but I think that it’s too summery with the cream pants and white sneakers. Too washed-out looking, perhaps, for a good fall outfit. Maybe if I had chunky, caramel-brown loafers, but I don’t, so we won’t even go there. I am NOT shoe shopping this fall, people. I still have boots to buy. And maybe a coat.

I love this fall look.

I still have one more fall purchase to show you. The other 50% of my fall haul. But I’ll save that for another day. Actually I think my small haul is too small to even qualify as a “haul.”

I mean, doesn’t the very word “haul” imply that it must be big? Doesn’t a haul usually consist of a variety of purchases to give the reader or viewer a sense of a whole line offered by a brand? Hence the “Zara Hauls” or “H&M Hauls” which were so ubiquitous a couple of years ago. If you read the hashtags or disclaimers carefully on these “haul” posts, you’ll more often than not see these are not purchases at all, but items gifted to “influencers” by big brands who want their approval. And of course the approval of their multitudes of followers. And sometimes I do wonder if “content creators” feel as strongly about their gifted items as they rhapsodize.

That whole paragraph sounds a bit waspish, doesn’t it? Kind of snarky. After all, there’s nothing wrong with being given items as gifts in exchange for an honest review or a photo of the influencer wearing or using the item on their IG account. I’m not even sure that “hauls” are as much of a thing as they once were. Hauls have become, as I said earlier, kind of reprehensible, representing as they do the worst side of fast fashion. But gifted items in return for posts are definitely still a thing.

Some professional bloggers like Catherine Summers at Not Dressed as Lamb have been campaigning to persuade bloggers and vloggers to value their services more highly than the odd gifted item. Catherine explains that by accepting a couple of dresses or a pair of shoes for a post, bloggers are providing to the brand a service that is worth so much more than that dress or pair of shoes. And as such a brand should pay a reasonable remittance to the bloggers for their time and talent. She says she sometimes says to brands that shoes and dresses don’t pay her mortgage. And I support her in that. I’ve learned so much from Catherine over the years. She is a professional blogger who makes her living from her blog and does it with professionalism and panache.

I’ve been offered gifts in exchange for posts, but usually the gift is not something I want, need, or would consider wearing. I always politely refuse. I’ve been asked if I can post links to commercial travel sites in my travel posts, a practice which will apparently benefit both our sites, not sure how. I always say… no thanks. Or if I will consider posting on my blog, for a fee, articles written by someone else. Ah… nope. I like writing my blog. That’s why I have a blog. And lately, I’ve been asked if I am interested in “joining” this or that company which promises to find brands that want to “work with me.” “No. I don’t think so,” I always reply.

On the other hand, I am NOT a professional blogger. I don’t live on my blog earnings. I could quit blogging tomorrow and still be able to pay the mortgage. If we had a mortgage. I make a commission from some (not all) of the product links I provide in my posts, that’s if a reader clicks the link and then makes a purchase. That commission pays my hosting and tech support fees. And ironically, gifted items would not help with that at all. Of course if Vince or Max Mara ever comes calling, offering me that fall coat or sweater I want, or if Stuart Weitzman or Paul Green says they’ll pay me to say the things I’m probably saying already about their products I may reconsider. But I don’t see that happening, do you?

And you know, to be honest, the fact that my blog earns anything at all gives me a little thrill. As if I am being paid for my writing. And it’s the writing that I would want to be paid for. That’s what has value for me. Not product placement.

But I have digressed very far away from the concept of “hauls” and what I bought for fall 2021. For that I apologize. That’s if you’re still reading and haven’t fallen asleep, or gone back to your book. Ha.

I’ve been enjoying finding ways to wear my small fall haul. The joy of a small haul is that one cherishes each piece more than if one has too many new things to play with. At some point this fall, I may add to my haul. (I must stop calling it a haul.) I’m still shopping for a pair of black boots to wear with my knit dresses. And I’m considering purchasing a black down or quilted coat of some sort. I want it to be longish, not a jacket, loose-fitting, and with no collar. I have a very clear idea of the shape and proportions I want. Maybe too clear an idea. That often bodes ill for my finding what I want.

Maybe I should be more open about what I’m looking for. But as I said above, I’m trying to not pay too much attention to the “shoulds” in life. My friend Mary Hall advised me long ago to stop worrying so much about “shoulds.” I met Mary when I first started teaching; she was sixteen years older than me, and she was a hoot. I loved that woman. I learned a lot from her. And you know, she learned a lot from me, mostly about clothes. Now why doesn’t that surprise you? Mary passed away a few years ago, and I’ve been thinking about her lately. Partly because of the “shoulds.”

But also because an IG friend and fellow blogger MK suggested I write a post about a trip I took back in the eighties with my friend Mary. My first ever trip abroad. To say that Mary and I were babes in the woods on that trip would NOT be exaggerating. But I won’t go on. You’ll have to wait to hear the stories. Thanks for the idea MK. By the way, you can find MK’s blog here.

Now I really must go and finish packing. Hubby and I are camping for the next six days. So I won’t publish a post on Tuesday. But, I’ll be back next Saturday.

And it’s your turn now, my friends. What’s on your fall shopping list? Any helpful suggestions for the perfectly proportioned black down coat? Any thoughts at all … we’re all ears.

P.S. Most of my clothing links are affiliate links. Except the Uniqlo one. If you make a purchase after clicking my link I will earn a commission.


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31 thoughts on “The Joys of a Small Fall Haul”

  1. Spending weekend in London, in the company of my daughter, an extremely intelligent charity-shop shopper. Amazing items picked up for a few quid, very stylish. Rather a joy to behold. BTW the shoulds: I am in favour of cramming them as far up a metaphorical fundament as they will go. They make life miserable and constricting. Good morrow.

      1. I was thinking “self restraint”! But I think now I like cramming them up….maybe “less is more” is better after all. I think it might be just slightly cooler this AM. Maybe!

  2. I love that jumper . It’s my favourite neckline & has been for years . It disguises too much up top ( not your problem ) , stops me getting over warm & is very flattering to the face . There’s also the option of little scarves or necklaces for variety . The colour is perfect . Green is having a big surge of popularity here & the few things I’ve bought lately are mostly green . Not sure if it is the right colour for me either but I’ve got hazel & green eyes so perhaps it’s allowed – allowed ! I can’t recommend a black padded coat but I bought this one the other day
    It isn’t a range I usually buy from but my sister is a fan & I visited the shop with her . Apart from the neat shape & interesting asymmetric zip fastening it is waterproof – very important on a uk dog walk . Most padded coats don’t like much rain . It looks good open & flapping around too . And it’s made using old bottles so I’m trying to be responsible . All three colours were tempting but I chose navy which is more practical when we meet friendly leaping dogs . I’m so pleased with it . I’m wearing the same expression as you in your jumper pictures .
    I am not receiving any payment for recommending this item 😁

  3. Trying to achieve this. It is difficult this year, as I feel all delightful shopping excursions that were missed during the pandemic. The new Fall clothes are so tempting. However, like you I am retired and my circle is smaller and less fashionable. I tell myself to stay strong!

  4. Like the idea of a few fundamental, well thought out items.
    The sweater is a great piece.
    Here in New England, getting attractive, comfortable hoodies guarantees they’ll be worn. I like the idea of the vest, have two, but don’t think to wear them often.
    Thanks for great post.

  5. Surprising how many still have the gall to display their big fall hauls, long after the concept has begun to pall, even hit a wall. You, on the other hand are a doll, having a ball with the small fall haul. Not always at the Mall, trawl-ing for All the clothes, All the time. . .
    Okay, I’m done. But that was fun!
    And I, too, like the second outfit best, but I like the first very much as well, especially for these transition weeks — and it may be that after the weather gets more serious and drearier, the lighter combination may be quite welcome as a change. Such a comfortable yet chic outfit, cashmere and sweats, Mmmmmm!

  6. That is the style of neckline that works well for me, with or without the collar. I do like it with the cargo pants as well as the jeans. I have never enjoyed the quilted vests, or any vests for that matter, since my arms get just as chilled as my torso. I do like the look on others and that has prompted me to try a couple times, but then, not worn. My shopping haul days are long gone, and only pick up a few things to round out the items at home lately. However, I was with a friend who was looking for dishes for crafts, so we went into Goodwill, and I spotted a winter jacket… new, soft raspberry, down, quilted hip length that fit perfectly. Well, I had to bring that home, and I love it, sooooo, my mini haul was a new jacket and a plant pot. That certainly lifts the spirits on a chilly rainy day. Sue, enjoy your camping trip coming up, it looks like the weather will cooperate with a bit warmer temps for your area. Chilly evenings for tea and books, have fun.

  7. Your new “kalamata”( I don’t know how kalamata olives look like before they are canned) sweater is so beautiful and it suits you well,no matter what “shouds” say. Now is the time to buy a collar sweater . Aritzia pants are beautiful too ,I love white-ish pants during the fall and winter as well,so,I’ve bought white/beige Massimo Dutti corduroy pants and will wear them with winter white turtleneck, old brown oversized leather jacket and ankle boots-all shopping my closet. I love your Paul Green loafers (and the new model is sooo lovely), but,as I have their black chunky sole oxfords (and navy ones that still wait in a closet-yes, I am a serial buyer :))…….it’s a firm no! Btw,temperature today was 27°C,so,I’ll have to wait
    I am looking for very specific kind of down coat (my old one is very old indeed but has everything I like-it was Marella): it has to be knee or 7/8 lenght,with detachable hood,concealed zipper and with snap buttons-we may discuss the colour (maybe),but it has to go with everything!

  8. I love both of the outfits you showed in this post. I adore green – sages, olives, “spring”, but not hunter or that 80’s green that showed up in so many wallpaper borders! I really like that shade of green with the vest, in the same way I like the green / red shades you find in a stick of rhubarb, if you know what I mean. Enjoy your camping! -Jenn

  9. I like your sweater, the color, and both outfits. I am not much of a shopper, and now that I am retired, I need, and want, even less. I would like a new robe this robe and a nice pair of leather oxfords. With the change of season, bringing out sweaters and heavier items is like having new clothes, especially since I didn’t wear a lot of those clothes last year! Enjoy your camping trip.

    I have been fascinated by blogs and bloggers, and influencers, though it is not something I would do myself. I follow a few, but often get bored and move on to someone/something else. I am glad that they are compensated, to various degrees. Thanks for sharing some of how it all works.

  10. I so enjoy reading your blog for your writing and speaking about real life topics. I have been wondering if the bloggers who are ” hawking” giveaways even wear them again or do they become part of the fast fashion cycle. I wonder who are they really……

    1. I get the impression that a lot of it just gets worn for the “photo shoots” and gets returned, or they are gifted

  11. I’ve got the same sweater from Everlane and have had similar doubts about it! I really like the style and the “kalamata” was the only color that made sense. I didn’t want or pastels and didn’t need the black. I hesitated for a while but kept getting back to it.( online that is). When it arrived I loved it, so soft and classic but different. Still not sure about the color. My hair is more grey/ silver than yours and worried it made my hair look Green. After I saw your pic with the camisole under, today I tried it with Navy under it and am much happier! Thanks for the idea. Have a great fall camping trip. And thanks too for the thoughtful way you approach this blog. I’m really tiring of some of the ones I follow pushing new outfits (etc)every day! Holy cow -one day Lafayette and Veronica Beard, the next Walmart!

    1. Cathy,
      Can you tell me more about the size and color of this sweater? I need a warm autumn green, and this looks almost gray. Also, size recommendations are confusing on the website. Do you feel it’s generous, or should I size up for a roomy fit? Thank you for any help you can offer!

      1. Elizabeth- I’d say it’s more of a sage/laurel green with grey/ blue undertones- or least that’s what I’m telling myself because I have cooler coloring. I was worried that it would be too warm toned. It is a lovely sweater- I’d say it is somewhat generously sized, except for the length. I like my tops longer. Why not give it a try? they’re very good about returns, see what you think.

  12. I just ordered the kalamata – my bff is moving here next month and has a suitcase dedicated to my shopping! I’m trying not to fill it, and am doing fairly well so far, but that sweater just spoke to me, so it’s coming to Portugal.
    When I was a child, my mother opined that green goes with everything, since flower stems are green and flowers are all colors. While obviously hue and undertone matter, her point is well-taken, as illustrated by your green/burgundy combo.
    I’ve got some winter white straight leg jeans from Peruvian Connection that I can see wearing with my new sweater, along with some Aquatalia chestnut ankle boots. I have several knit shawls that I can wrap around my neck that will pick up any or all colors once the weather starts cooling.
    Enjoy your camping week!

  13. Wow, I love the style and colour of that sweater, and cashmere too! We are going into summer here otherwise I would be tempted to order it. Apart from a navy twill or light weight jacket (still looking for the right one) now for the first time I don’t plan to buy anything new. I will reevaluate that around Easter before winter. I am retired and we are still in lockdown, and I am shopping from my wardrobe and still reducing it too.
    I am reading a lot of blogs now and found your comments about blogging really interesting.

  14. You’re “camping for the next six days”? Is that a metaphor. Do you not already live in the wilderness?

  15. While I love the look of the Everlane cashmere sweater I stopped sort of buying it when I read that the “trim” (I assume collar, cuffs, band) has nylon and elastane (spandex). I am betting that Everlane thinks that makes it better but I have my doubts so back to looking at “The Cashmere Shop”, LLBean, and LandsEnd Cashmere. I may rethink and try the Everlane because I like that collar… and colour are exactly like a “Scotts” merino wool sweater I had in the 1970’s

  16. Like you, before I retired, I used to take a vacation day in spring and fall to “do” Bloor Street in Toronto. I would inventory what I already had, then make a list of what I needed to spruce up my seasonal business wardrobe. Shopping my closet lately has been so revealing; I’ve found all kinds of things I’d forgotten I owned. With COVID, aging feet, and reduced inventory in stores now, shopping doesn’t have the same appeal it once did. Love your shared shopping stories.

  17. Love the Everlane sweater on you. Yes, the polo-style is a wonderful change. Thank you, too, for the description you share about size, sleeve length, etc. It is so helpful!
    I am on the lookout for a pair of loafers and have three (gulp!) arriving today…cognac, burgundy, and tan. Thankful for the ease of online returns with Nordstrom Rack!
    Bought the Uniqlo vest (navy, collarless) last year after your recommendation. A nice addition to my other three. I find they add just the right bit of warmth and, truth be told, love wearing them at home without a bra. Oh dear, I hope I didn’t offend…not much to offend with. 😉
    Have fun camping!!! Hope there are some beautiful Fall colors for you!

  18. Thanks so much for the plug for my blog! It may inspire me to crank out a new post before the year is gone – ha! I also adore the new sweater, and if I had to choose, the first outfit is my favorite – just right for September and early Oct. here in the upper South. Also inspired by you, I did my “fall closet changeover” last week. My closet only holds half-a-year’s worth of clothes at a time, and opening the vacuum bags with all the sweaters is like Christmas! I just got back from 2 nights of camping myself, and I hope your weather is as good as mine was. Take care, Sue!

  19. Love the sweater and the white tee underneath makes it work well for your colouring but the vest looks lovely with it as well.
    About the bloggers and the gifted stuff. I am getting so tired of flogged items that are proclaimed to be gifted AND are also prohibitively $$$$. I added up an outfit one blogger had on ( most items ‘gifted’) and holy smokes it came in at over 1200.00USD and this is a blogger who is always going on about shopping her closet! I guess she knows her followers will buy, buy, buy ( at least the comments support that) I am beginning to doubt her espoused ethics and figure she has a warehouse somewhere to store all the loot as her closet photos don’t show a large space.
    I find the bloggers I enjoy are those that devote themselves to content, write for the joy of writing and aren’t doing it for the $. Ok a gift here and there or a kick back from a link once in awhile to stay afloat but when the blog is just a catalogue of gifted items and long lists of links then I’m out.

  20. I like both outfits but I really like the green and cream together. I’ve been looking at that sweater. I really wanted one like it in gray-inspired by Lydia Thomlinson’s workwear capsule. I’ll keep looking. I’ve purchased a green sweat shirt split neck with a zipper that I really like. Also, bought some black pants from Aritzia, they are gorgeous! My first purchase from them and I’m very impressed.

  21. We’re in mid-Spring and I don’t need anything for the warmer months, but I may pick up some boots and sweaters online for next years Autumn-Winter, though 🙂

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