Fashion as Therapy: Tweed Edition

I have long used fashion as therapy, as a cure for what ails me. By fashion therapy, I don’t mean shopping and buying new clothes, although I have been known to resort to retail therapy. No, I mean dreaming of clothes, not necessarily buying them.

Clothes dreaming has helped me through many a difficult life situation. When I languished for weeks in ratty pyjamas the summer I had shingles, I dreamed of what I’d wear when I was able to tolerate wearing real clothes again. Back in the eighties when my life changed course drastically after I quit my job, put all my furniture in storage, and returned to New Brunswick for a year, I’d lie in bed at my parent’s house wondering if I had made a huge mistake. And I’d think of my much loved suede skirt suit hanging in the closet. And I’d be reassured that I was still myself, just on a new course. I know that sounds horribly shallow. But there we have it. Clothes have always been a useful therapy for me.

When I was an insecure teenager, a well fitting pair of jeans was a sort of armour. Just like that suede suit when I was an insecure twenty-something. And in later years, when I was not so insecure, dreaming up outfits took my mind off my pain, both physical and emotional.

This past week, I’ve been dreaming of fall fashion. Big time. Partly because fall is approaching, and I’m excited to wear my sweaters and jackets. And partly because being at home in New Brunswick was a bit fraught. Mum turned 95 when I was home. She enjoyed her cake, and the visits from friends and family, but otherwise, this has not been a good time for her. Not good for my sister who is her full-time carer. Or for those lovely ladies who arrive twice a day to help out. Or for me. Family dynamics are always complex, I know, for all of us. So I won’t belabour the point. Just know that flying home to Ottawa on Thursday was both joyful and guilt-inducing at the same time. Poor Hubby.

But I didn’t want this post to be about the pain. Just about the antidote. Fashion as therapy for what ails me.

Fashion as therapy can take several forms. It may involve looking at fashion photos and videos, using magazines and, in the past few years, online fashion shows as sources of inspiration. It may involve dreamily anticipating the seasonal changeover of my closet.

For years the seasonal changeover was a well-oiled process: I listed what I owned and would wear again, did my trend research, planned how I wanted to wear what I already owned, and made a list of what I needed or wanted to update my closet. In the past, this was followed by a visit to my friend Liz at Holt Renfrew where she was the personal shopper. How cathartic to spend the afternoon with Liz and my list. Worrying thoughts of the impending school year, book budgets, lesson plans, and timetables would be banished by fall fashion immersion therapy.

These days, I spend my fall fashion immersion day in my own closet. I still list what I have and will wear. But my list of what I need or want is very short, and at times non-existent. Especially after I embraced slow fashion. Nowadays it’s all about how to morph what I have into what I want to wear, and how I want to look. I’m particularly excited to plan fall outfits this year using my newly identified “three style words.”

This past week, I mentally took inventory of my fall closet as I walked the trail in New Brunswick. At the airport in Fredericton I listened to the latest Tibi Style Class video with Amy Smilovic. I don’t have the same style as Amy or her co-workers, but I love to listen to the fashion chat, and imagine how to use their style tips in ways that would work for me.

For the last day or so, I’ve been revelling in fall fashion shows on YouTube while I’m on my exercise bike. Especially the Chanel Fall and Winter 2022-2023. Many of the big high-profile fashion shows leave me cold. And I’ve never been much of a Chanel fan. But this one captured my imagination in a big way.

The Chanel website describes this collection as “a luminous tribute to the landscape of the River Tweed so dear to Gabrielle Chanel.” And goes on to say that “Virginie Viard pays homage to tweed, an eternal code of the House of CHANEL.”

I swear, I watched this show three times in a row. And I loved everything about Virginie Viard’s vision for Fall-Winter 2022. I’m not about to run out and buy some Chanel tweed. Nor even to wear the tweed I own in exactly the same way as the models in this show. But I must say, I loved watching this. I smiled throughout.

I think it’s the irony I love most.

The romantic background music could have been the soundtrack for a 1930’s ultra glamorous show, the kind where a vendeuse describes each gown as a rail-thin model wafts among the prospective buyers. Have you watched that old TV series House of Elliott? Well, like that. But in this case the music accompanies a parade of girls mostly in tweed skirts and jackets, thick socks, and short wellies. Romantic music and wellies… so ironic. The oversize blazers and coats, sweaters over turtlenecks, and bulky bomber jackets make me think of drafty highland country houses. Upper class but not wealthy. Like the Mitfords. Low-heeled pumps and pointy-toed flats, hair held back with barrettes. Nothing is overdone, except maybe the layers of necklaces, and even those seem tossed on. As they are supposed to seem. These are clothes that say, “We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

If I owned sparkly pants, I’d wear them this way.

Chanel designer, Virginie Viard, below, looks as if she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She looks so, well, approachable, and easy. As if she is comfortable in her own skin. Like Amy Smilovic and Phoebe Philo, Virginie Viard seems to embody how I want fashion to be. Fun, but not ridiculous. Creative without being over the top. Wearable. Real.

Virginie Viard at the Fall 2022 Ready to Wear show

These women designers look the way I want to look. Not literally. I don’t want to dress exactly like they do. But I want to look like I don’t take myself too seriously. Which I don’t. I want to feel comfortable. But modern. Current without looking as if I’ve tried too hard. Perhaps a bit looser than in the past, maybe even a bit thrown together. Like Amy says, creative but pragmatic. Take the model in the turtleneck, tweed jacket, and sparkly pants, above. She looks as if she dressed for warmth as much as style. Maybe she’s hosting a dinner party at her country house, so she wants to glam up a bit. But the family pile is colder than blazes, hence the turtleneck and jacket.

If I owned sparkly pants, I’d want to wear them just like that.

But of course I have no need of sparkly pants. Neither am I likely to wear woollen socks and rubber boots with my skirts. Nor to pin my hair back with a barette. It’s the overall vibe of this show that has appealed to me. And which has me thinking of how I want to wear what I already have in my closet.

Have a look at the video yourself, if you’re interested.

So yeah, I’ve been dreaming of tweed this week. And using fashion as therapy for what ails me. Like a nice cup of tea and a gentle read, dreaming of clothes usually sets me straight.

And, of course, now I am well and truly excited for fall to arrive.

How about you my friends? Does fashion as therapy appeal to you? Or when you’re stressed or worried or fearful does a cup of tea and a good book work its magic? Or maybe, like me, you have many therapies?


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69 thoughts on “Fashion as Therapy: Tweed Edition”

  1. Yes, books, fashion, books on fashion, makeup tutorials, and on and on. Thanks for adding the whole video of Chanel fashion show. I am in LOVE with that opening pink coat. I must say it was not as out there as some have been in the past and I can see how much of that will filter down to retail stores. I have got ideas running around in my head so perhaps I should get some of them noted down before I forget. I must start looking for a pair of looser pants that are not too stiff to wear over boots, at least before the snow flies. I can honestly say that this is the first I have really thought about fall fashion, you have sparked my desire.

    1. The pink tweed is so lovely, isn’t it? And the pieces don’t look at all girly. Gives me ideas for my pink tweed Max Mara coat which I haven’t worn much in the past two years.

  2. Ha! I think you’ve influenced me . . . even before reading this post, I caught myself thinking today about a plaid tweed skirt I bought late last winter, tucked away for a few months now. . . I started remembering other wool garments similarly stored, and — here’s where your influence will be obvious! — I made a note to pull those boxes out from under the bed one day soon (not if the temperature goes back to mid/high 20s again, as it probably will this week, but soon) and see what I’ve got.
    At the same time, though, I decided to pull all the summer pieces that haven’t got much wear this season — and wear the heck out of them for the next two weeks! I mean, I get the yearning for Fall and boots and tweedy gear, but Summer is so evanescent here and there are so many rainy months. . . (and against the pain of that realization, I can do some Clothes Dreaming Therapy and mentally envision my rain-slicker-yellow Fluevog boots with a pleated grey tweed skirt I’ve had for ages . . . See what an Influencer you are?! xo

    1. Me too, Frances. I’m happy to be back home in time to get more wear out of my favourite summer outfits before fall sets in. Not sure I’m much of an influencer… I just need an outlet to ramble on about fall fashion. 🙂

  3. I’ve always been a big fan of tweed , right back to my dad’s old Harris tweed jackets when I was a girl . Love a tweed jacket with a nubbly wool jumper , the subtle variations of colour & texture can be really special . Not sure about sparkly trousers , think I prefer denim jeans . I’m a fan of the river Tweed too , my dad was born there when my grandfather was a gamekeeper on a big Tweed estate in the early 1900s & we shall be up there for a visit next week .
    Having read something of CC I’m not one of her fans . These pics of her old house in Scotland are interesting though . It was still a crumbling ruin when I was there last year .

    1. Coco Chanel’s politics and her whole approach to life are a bit of an anathema, aren’t they? And I was never a Karl Lagerfeld fan. Love this new girl, though. Have a good time in Scotland. Don’t forget to pack your tweed. 🙂

  4. Pink-in fall? Yes please. I adore that pink was used as we often just associate the color with warmer seasons or little girls. I had to take a couple of runs thru the video because I can’t take in the details with only one viewing, I must say the show was enjoyable. I can see using some of the elements or concepts with things that I own. I can recreate my version of a few of the outfits and feel comfortable wearing the same. It’s good to be inspired heading into fall. I haven’t begun to think of fall because of the lingering heat.. but with a grandchild returning to preschool I guess it is upon us. Thank you for the gentle nudge to start planning. Clothing always has provided me with the creative outlet to express who I am or want to be….even if I’m pretending. I love the process of putting something together that makes me feel good and yes I dare say happy! So nice when we feel vulnerable to have a suit of armor…..tweed or not. Suit up as you enter the next season of your mother’s life. I hope you will find comfort as you do. Best

  5. I have been thinking of fall clothes too, although fall is far off from Florida.
    But thank you for your post! I’m not much for pink, but tweed is one of the things I wistfully miss from my time in colder climes.
    As I said, I have been thnking of fall, and I have a few ideas that include things like tweed and flannel. And most of my ideas came from our trip to northern California last month, where it was much cooler. So the ideas could be tried out there, but also the tolerance to allow difference in my approach to fashion, and therefore encourage my creativity to come out and play.
    Anyway, I’m adding your words today to my arsenal and my excitement about the eventual arrival of fall.
    By the way, the friend who introduced me to your blog died quietly in her sleep last week. She was a very classy lady who made her own style and somehow encouraged mine. I’ll miss her terrribly, but I still have High Heels in the Wilderness!

    1. I am so sorry to hear about your friend, Eva. Did she ever comment on the blog do you know? I often wonder about readers who disappear, and hope it’s because they have found other interests.

  6. Fall is a ways off here in Portugal, but you’ve got me thinking about it anyways. I have some lengths of tweed that my dad picked up for my mom probably 50 years ago while he was in Ireland (post-Navy, he was working for a government contractor and wound up on a ship for 3 months… The more things change!) that she never did anything with and that I couldn’t bear to sell/give away after her death, so it might be fun to do something with one or more of those. I don’t have a sewing machine at the moment, so I’d have to buy one, or find a tailor, but it could be a good project. Thanks for the inspo!

  7. I’ve been dreaming of tweed and plaids and cooler weather (probably because it’s been hotter than Hades here in TX) . We watched the Royal Tattoo (?) gathering in Edinburgh last week on PBS. Plaid and kilts galore! In high school I wanted a kilt, and my sweet mother made me one, working on it while I was in school so she could surprise me. A lovely Black Watch plaid with top -stitched pleats to make it figure flattering. She even bought a golden kilt pin to keep it closed. The Chanel clothes you shared here have me thinking I could get out my sewing machine and make a few pieces that could be worn with what I have to liven things up. All I need is some Wellies. Thank you for the inspo!

    1. My high school uniform was a stitched down black watch plaid skirt and I loved it. It lasted all four years of high school. Over the last 10 years ago I started buying pieces in the plaid, a pair of pants, a blouse, vest and scarf. I wear them with navy, black or dark green pieces. They take me back to a happy youthful time.

    2. I also saw some of the Royal Tattoo online, Donna. How stirring the sound is of all those marching bands, and the bagpipes. Hubby has a great fondness for bagpipes. His father was a drum major in a RCAF marching band.

  8. Well, this all hangs together for me. Fall is my favorite fashion season anyway, and I also have an aging mother that I’m about to visit. So naturally, I have ordered several fall items as therapy. Add a couple of good books, and I hope to get through the next month with ease. Hugs to you. It’s not easy watching our mothers age.

  9. I’ve been avoiding thinking about fall, but you hooked me with this post! Like Frances, I’m going to continue wearing the heck out of my summer clothes for as long as this fabulous weather continues, but you’ve got me dreaming too. Dreaming of a sweater that I picked up at a thrift store during the summer and haven’t worn yet. Dreaming of an oversized blazer that I bought toward the end of last winter season. Dreaming of boots and jeans and beautiful fall days…

    And yes, a cup of tea and a good book is my kind of therapy.

  10. Fashion is definitely therapy but for me a good book and a cup of coffee works too! Love your posts, look for forward to reading each one.

  11. I have been considering what I want to wear this autumn and winter but I don’t think it will be tweed. This year I have to do a bit of personal auditing, make a few changes health-wise but this does not preclude buying a classic black turtleneck and some new, stout footwear. Last night I watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for the first time and the storyline, light as it was, passed me by because I was so busy looking at the wonderful clothes that Jane Russell was wearing. Hope the guilt is not too corrosive; we do what we can, according to our lights and our situations.

    1. I love some of those old movies simply for the costumes. Watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s the other night for just that reason. Okay… partly for George Peppard too.

  12. Love the straight skirts, don’t need them for my casual lifestyle but always felt well dressed in a skirt and heels

    1. Me too, Brenda. The black and red skirt suit was one of my favourite look. Although a narrow skirt like that would NOT be good on my present shape. Ha.

  13. Leslie in Oregon

    I watched the first five minutes of the Chanel show video and will finish watching it later. I loved the colors and the tweeds (although I very rarely wear wool) and enjoyed the whimsy of the boots and the music, but I’m always puzzled by the stone faces on the models. I have not been very interested in fashion since I stopped flying internationally, had children, started my law practice and jumped into family life. But reading this post and watching the video, I began to remember when fashion did interest me. And I began to understand how fashion can be therapy, even though for me, a good book, a session in my garden, or a swim in open waters can indeed be magic, particularly if I am feeling overwhelmed by reality. Likely I will stick to my current clothes until my life can change, as they work well for me now. In whatever future life I have, who knows? 😉

    1. I gather from your previous comments that your life has changed drastically in the past while. Hope that life going forward is good for you, Leslie. xo

  14. Thank you for sharing the video-how fun! I look forward to the seasons changing and seeing my clothes with fresh eyes. I do add a few pieces and this always makes me happy. This fall, I am going to try to avoid impulse buys and look for more investment pieces. Fingers crossed! I also wanted to share a new author of gentle reads that you might like. I recently discovered Susan Scarlett which was a pseudonym for children’s author Noel Streatfeild. From what I can gather, she wrote about a dozen books under this name. I have read two and loved the descriptions of family life and fashion of the time (1930s-40s). They are romances, but I tend to agree with a reviewer on Amazon who called them “vintage chick lit”. And all the best to your family during this difficult time.

  15. I’m with you, Sue! Fashion as therapy can do wonders! I also have a range of ‘therapies’ depending on my mood…reading a good book, watching a great movie, walking, creating, chatting, planning. Thanks for another great post!

    1. My therapies change with my mood as well. Right now I am champing at the bit to dive into fall and fall fashion. But I’ll have to be patient. It’s a bit early still. 🙂

  16. Love tweeds and plaids and fall clothes and weather. Thanks for a wonderful blog, and thank you for writing in the midst of family life…all the best.

  17. I loved this post. Fashion therapy is definitely part of my life and you described it so well. Thank you!

  18. Yes, yes, yes! Part of my life too, sometimes even helping me get to sleep. Still trying to decide on my “3 words” but “effortless” is a must. Thank you for a great read.

  19. I used to enjoy fashion therapy looking and sometimes buying, but I’ve become frustrated, very frustrated with clothes and fashion over the last 10 years or so. Your inspiration does help, though.

  20. Sorry to hear about your Mum. It is tough when your roles are reversed. I found that putting up a photo of my mother in her better years showing her laughing was a way to remember the good times.
    Down in NZ we are heading into spring so I am looking forward to packing away the winter woolies and boots. Mind you we have had such a mild winter here that I have worn very few of my thicker jumpers. We have had a few warm sunny days and my freesias, magnolias and daffodils are out and a hardy rose has bloomed even though I haven’t pruned them yet.
    I enjoyed your thoughts on tweeds. My parents were Scots and my mother had a lovely collection of tweed and tartan skirts. In fact I still have a tartan skirt my Aunt, who was a tailor, made her along with a Fairisle hand knitted top. Neither of them fit me now but they bring back fond memories of them both and of times gone by. So I guess fashion can be cathartic.
    Stay strong

  21. This post touched me. My partner spent the first year and a half of the pandemic as the physical caregiver for his 93-year-old mother. I was the one on the phone listening to the gauntlet he was running with respect to her physical care (and twice hospitalization), at the height of the pandemic in Italy. I know how tough it can be, and also the family dynamics that can go awry (with a sister who was happy to pass judgement but who never physically did the caregiving for either parent (not suggesting that is you – that was their situation)).

    But on a happier yet slightly conflicted note…I also always loved fashion as therapy in the way that you describe it. I’ve had a more difficult time feeling enthused in the last couple of years. My sewing has tapered off to a trickle and I have purchased a grand total of two t-shirts and a pair of jeans in each of the last two years. I don’t know if it’s me, or if it’s just that the world feels so troubled that it feels too uncomfortable to think about fashion. I had an encounter here in Ottawa on Friday evening, with someone who was aggressive/menacing with me in a store because I accidentally/absentmindedly stepped into the wrong place in line…and it just made me wonder what we’ve come to as a society. I haven’t been to any stores to try on clothing in more than two years, because I minimize the risks I take for others in my life who remain vulnerable.

    That said, I wouldn’t have watched the video of the Chanel show had you not posted it and I also love the vibe! I had given up skirts, but surprisingly I love the skirt suits in this and might even try to make one for back to work in Sept. I will adopt the differently-coloured wooly tights look too. As a pants person, generally, I quite loved the pants suit that came after the sparkly pants look you posted above (seemed to be a knit, with cuffed trousers with pink cuffs) and all of the pink tweed coats. I’ll be pulling out the plaid tweed coat I sewed in 2020 for sure this early autumn.

    Thanks for the inspiration and take care of yourself.

    1. My mum is not at her best right now. And my sister and the other carers are feeling the brunt of her very strong personality. Not easy at all. 🙁 Still, once Mum was in bed in the evenings, my sister and I browsed outfits online and watched Netflix. And ate Key Lime pie. Ha.

  22. Firstly, I’m so sorry that your mum and you are having a tough time. I recall the guilt and all the other difficult feelings when my parents were elderly and unwell. Fashion is a great distraction and the Chanel show is fun, with many elements that can be adapted to real life. I love tweed. I had an English teacher who wore Chanel-inspired suits in the late 60s – very classic and a wonderfully elegant antidote to the prevailing aesthetic of the time. I recently bought a relaxed Chanel inspired jacket after having looked for one for years. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close, and I wore it last week to our daughter’s much delayed (due to Covid) graduation. What a day that was – the pride, the happiness and the sadness that my baby is no baby anymore, and that none of her grandparents are around to share in her achievements. Life and its roller coaster moments can be very humbling.

  23. Loved the video, thanks for sharing! The last part was really inspiring as the models all came out together. That moment really coalesced what the trends will be going forward. What appeals to me is the use of lovely colour, dark pinks, purples, sage greens ( instead of autumns ubiquitous rusts and browns)! The legs…can we talk about them? Again colourful tights or thigh highs in every colour but black. Some even reminded me of the cable knit tights I wore as a child. Black is back for evening wear but it’s sparkly or lace! Lots of texture…gleaming leather dresses with matte opaque legs! I did not care for the horrid rubber boots or the thigh high hip waders!! Over all lots of fun!
    I well understand the ‘phase’ you are going through with your Mom. Going through that with my 97 yr old father. He’s losing the spark, a trip to visit Mom’s grave this weekend had him rather melancholy and confiding that he wasn’t sure how long he could go on, he says he’s tired. It’s difficult isn’t it? We are so blessed to have them for so long that it’s hard for us to accept that our parents might be entering this last phase. I remind my brothers that we have the privilege to shepherd Dad through this phase as he once guided us, no matter how long it takes. Hugs.

    1. All those coloured legs are so wonderful, aren’t they? They reminded me of the “over the knee socks” we wore in the early seventies before we were allowed to wear pants to school. Thick, coloured, often ribbed, and held up by our dreaded garter belt. Ha. Makes me want to wear my coloured socks, although not with my skirts. Thanks for the kind thoughts. 🙂

  24. I adore fall fashion — love the textures of tweeds, plaids, wool, etc. Every Labor Day weekend since the mid-80sforever, I purchase the September editions of the big fashion magazines (Vogue, etc.) and spend a fun afternoon paging through all the glorious fashion. It’s my transitional tradition. I’m still working, but fashion has certainly become more relaxed in the workplace. Love the comfort and ease of it. Don’t like when it sneaks into sloppy.

    1. Ah… me too. Love the September issues! Finding the fashion shows online is not the same as turning the pages of a magazine. And like you I love all the texture of fall clothes.

  25. I remember repeatedly pouring over the Seventeen Magazine fall issue and planning my imaginary wardrobe (funds were limited for actual purchase). Somehow, I’d like to get that enthusiasm back, especially for fall and winter clothes. However, there’s something very freeing about bare arms and legs and not needing socks or a coat. The first year of lock-down, I made it a point to get fully dressed every day. This last winter, not so much. Here’s to working on a renewed interest in fashion as therapy.
    My sister also was the main caretaker for our mother (we lost her a year ago at age 93), while I made the periodic 6-hour drive. It’s hard to not be there to help out, but I often sent my sister gifts (flowers, massage gift cards, food, books) to help keep her spirits up.
    Thanks for a blog that I can “connect” with, as I’m sure many of your readers can.

    1. Oh those imaginary wardrobes. I remember Seventeen magazine well when I was a young teenager. Poring over the pages and then drawing lots of “girls in outfits” in my sketchbook. Even if we’d had money to buy the clothes wouldn’t be available in my hometown… nor even in the Eaton’s catalogue. Ha.

  26. Sometimes in heels

    Thanks for embedding the fall 2022 Chanel show! I would never have watched it otherwise. The collection was almost entirely beautiful. The beginning echoed the 50s, the middle conjured the mod 60s, and the whole thing felt, as you said, glamorous, practical, comfortable, and current. What a relief Virginie Viard seems up to the challenge of succeeding Lagerfeld!

  27. Yes,family dynamics…I understand it so well and think about you….
    Sorry,I’m so late ( and I still have to read the comments and watch the video), it was a busy week,good but exhausting
    Books and fashion,always here as support and comfort. We have still high temperatures and I love my summer wardrobe but have to think about the direction for fall,to find new ways to style my outfits. I haven’t plans to buy a lot,maybe a piece or two-(the best way would be to exercise more,because I couldn’t do it as much as I should,it was tooooo hot during the summer and now it shows). Nevertheless, I’ve bought knitted light beige trousers-if the winter would be cold as predicted,I’m ready!

    1. There were times this summer when I was very glad to have my exercise bike in the basement. Cycling and walking in the heat did NOT appeal. Thankfully temperatures here have cooled down considerably. Making my longing for fall grow. 🙂

  28. Sorry that things are difficult for your Mom and your family right now. Growing old is so darn tough. I wish you all the best.
    I can get into a little fashion therapy from time to time, mulling over what I have to wear during a new season or how I will wear a new piece of clothing.
    I really like tweed and that pink coat is wonderful. I also like the red jacket and skirt. The sparkly pants do look great the way that the model is wearing them.
    I’m not quite ready for fall, but when it comes, I’ll look forward to wearing my new denim shirts that I bought last spring. I don’t think any of my old tweed will fit this fall, but I like the idea of wearing tweed in the cold weather.
    Maybe that beautiful green cashmere sweater that you wear will be back in stock.

  29. I hope it’s not too late to add a comment , I just sat down to watch the Chanel video. Gorgeous ! As others commented, it was so nice to see different colours for Autumn . instead of the usual camels, rusts etc. Which don’t suit my colouring anyway, but I could really lust after the pink coat. It set me thinking about new combo’s for my Autumn wardrobe, without ( hopefully) being tempted to buy anything new. A scenario that popped into my head as soon as I read this post was, imagine that Chanel’s Highland home has been tastefully restored into a hotel, and you are curled up in an armchair in one the cosy corners, wearing ( of course ) a Chanel tweed skirt and a jumper, reading a good book, with a steaming cup of tea to hand. To add to the atmosphere it’s either lashing with rain outside, or everywhere is blanketed with snow, according to taste. Thank you Sue for yet more inspiration, and fashion therapy to take our minds off of whatever troubled times we are going through.

    1. You know, that’s probably why the video caught my eye first. The pinks and burgundies. I love camel and rust but can’t wear them anymore. I am picturing myself in a pink tweed suit in that highlands scene you describe, with my book and a cup of tea. And fresh hot scones. Yum.

  30. Hello Sue – I’m just delighted to have discovered your blog recently and have been revelling in your past posts. I’m based in NB (Sussex) and its always lovely to read about another maritime connection in the in “inter web” space! I’m also just 2 (hopeful) years from retirement and already beginning the mental and emotional transition of how my wardrobe will change and how I can continue to enjoy dressing well without a professional stage on which to display… Covid certainly helped as I’ve effectively, and gratefully, transitioned away from structured pieces, blazers, (zippered waistbands in general except for jeans), and have adopted more flow, softer lines, longer cardigans etc. I also acquired a little Eileen Fisher habit that isn’t doing the visa any good (I don’t think you have any EF or at least I don’t recall you commenting on that brand which seems it would suit your frame and fabulous “look” quite well!). I’m also loving your book recommendations and am an avid reader – I’ve been able to pad my library Wishlist quite well with your reviews and recommendations, and I have one for you — Louise Penny, a Canadian author who writes the most exquisite, thoughtful and character-rich mysteries I have ever read (can you tell I’m a groupie?). Her “three pines” series in particular (set in the Quebec townships) is just like candy for the soul, and her lead inspector Gamache is someone I would describe as akin to “Foyle” in the Foyle’s War BBC series in case you’ve not seen it (and would perhaps enjoy). Her female characters are wonderful as well – complex yet simple, quirky yet substantial… Anyway, I will recommend you start at the beginning of the series, with Still Life, and hope you enjoy as much as I do. Thank you for reading my meandering comments, and I look forward eagerly to your next post!

    1. Welcome, Lolo. It’s so lovely to have another New Brunswicker read my blog. I love Eileen Fisher as a brand, but I only own one tee shirt. Her sweaters and tops usually have the style of neckline that look terrible on me. But I do sift through the EF offerings when I’m at Nordstrom in hope that I might find something. Her clothes are so well made. I have read some Louise Penny. Her books are so popular and considering the setting and the characters I assumed I would love them but I don’t. I cannot explain why. There’s just something about her style. My mum, with whom I usually share my taste on books, loves them. Hope you continue to find something on the blog that appeals. 🙂

  31. Hello: new to the blog. Thank you for your comments on fashion therapy. It does indeed become a comforting space to “park” one’s mind after the trials and strains of the day. Love the Channel Fall show. Watched a terrible runway presentation on a very popular TV program which chose a winner who is completely beyond my taste or comprehension (the winner seems like a nice person). Therefore, I am so glad there are still places where craftsmanship, style and tradition mean something. Regarding caring for one’s mother, this is such a tender but difficult time. The best advice I ever received was to just go one day at a time. It is also hard for the siblings who are not on deck to feel they are doing their share, but in my family every one of my sibs (we are 7) did what they could for Mom and Dad. I happened to be the one who lived the closest. You have my good thoughts and prayers. You are doing a good work.

  32. Hi Sue, I’m very late in writing here, maybe you read my comment…
    Sue, I can feel you with your mothers situation. We have the same here in Cologne with my Mum, she is turning 96 upcoming December. I am very sad, when I see my formerly so fastidious, always ‘très chique’ dressed mother in her present situation in a nursing station for seniors. One of the readers wrote, to keep the memory of her previous self with a photo. I think, I will try this to keep her in my mind in a way, which corresponds to her life.
    All the best for you and your family, sending you hugs,

    1. Thank you, Susa. No worries about commenting late… I always see all the comments. Dealing with our aging mums is hard, isn’t it? Hard to see them diminished. I keep thinking how lucky Queen Elizabeth was to be quite well right to the end of her life. I wish my poor mum was still able to get around. She finds it a torment to be so sharp mentally and so well physically.

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