This blog post will be very short, my friends. That’s because I have spent the last week putting together a YouTube video with all the good things I can think of to update you on my “Rule of Five Challenge” progress.

First I did a closet switchover, then a spring and summer wardrobe inventory, then I went shopping with my friends Marina and Linsey. As planned, we visited a couple of consignment shops, made a couple of purchases, and then decamped for lunch. We had a great day. But you can see all this in the video.

Also in the video I give you an update on where I stand with respect to my “Rule of Five Challenge.” There is some good news. And some not quite as good news. Ha. But you have to watch the video to find out.

So pour that second cup of tea, and have a watch. The video is only twenty minutes long. I had to be really strict with myself and NOT blither on too long. If you like the video, please click “like” and “subscribe.” This really helps the algorithm to recommend my video to others.

Hope you enjoyed that. I had fun making it.

I’ve included a few still images of the outfits from the video. I think the new Burberry top works really well with what is already in my closet.

This is my favourite outfit of all. I’ll be wearing this soon. If the weather ever gets warm enough to go without socks in my shoes.

Burberry top, Vince sweater, Rag and Bone pants

So, that’s it for me this week, folks. Any spring shopping news you want to share with the rest of us? Or maybe you also pledged to buy only five new things this year. If so, how’s that going?

P.S. There are no shopping links in the post or on the video. But you can buy me a coffee if you want to support the blog. All funds go to pay for my blog costs.

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From the archives

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52 thoughts on “All Good “Rule of Five” Things for Spring”

  1. Thanks for that . I really enjoyed it . Thanks too to your co-stars for humouring us . I like both your recent buys . I can understand your reservations about the jacket but it’s a great shape & I think switching the buttons will make all the difference . I’ve cut off many gold buttons in the past & replaced them with something less glitzy . We have a tiny local shop called Dutton For Buttons which is like a little treasure trove of buttons & braid – a properly old fashioned haberdashery . l wonder if the people who donated the items you & your friends chose will watch your film & wish they’d kept them now ?
    No shopping here & no wardrobe sorting yet . We are spending a couple of weeks in Somerset & Devon , based quite near Bath but wandering around the little villages of streams & thatched roofed cottages rather than the cities . Cream tea at Periwinkle Cottage in Selworthy was as idyllic as it sounds . We even have sunshine . Unbelievable .

    1. Thanks, Wendy. That cream tea does sound idyllic. I hope Max is a good tea companion. Stu is not. One year he deigned to accompany me to tea at a sweet place on Prince Edward Island where I usually went with my friend Lynn. She and her husband joined us most years for part of the week we were on P.E.I… but not that year. So Stu agreed to go wth me. He ordered a Coke, had nothing to eat, and was not impressed with the tea cup selection. Sigh. It’s hard to gush when your companion is rolling his eyes.

      1. Max & I met when we were seventeen & he’s about fully trained now 😉 I can take him out in public & he usually behaves quite well . Plus it helps that he loves a cream tea even more than I do .

  2. Please go back to writing your column. I can read way faster than watching a 20 minute video. Yours is not the only column I get on Sundays.

    1. Sorry that you are not interested in watching the video, Judy. 🙁 But honestly, I’m not sure you’d be interested in reading what I had to say about fashion if it had been a written post. At least considering the opinions you have shared in the past. I realize you like the book posts best, and I’m happy you like them. But since you often say you don’t like all my talk about clothes, maybe you can just give this post a miss altogether.

  3. I am hearing impaired and couldn’t enable the cc button for some reason. I did view some of the YouTube.
    Sorry to complain. I am not usually a complainer.

  4. Hmmm, I don’t think you like the white jacket. You should listen to what you say on the video. Can you return it? You say you won’t be wearing it for many years. Why keep it? Especially since you are doing the 5 purchase thing. You do make me thing about how many items I have already bought this year (maybe 10 already but not all new. I buy a lot from Ebay). I really should think hard about what I keep also! And I wondered why you had to pack up all your winter clothes for the summer, but then I saw the size of your closet! No wonder!

    1. Ah… no… can’t return it since I bought it in Fredericton. As I said, I like it but I don’t love it as much as some of my older jackets. As to the size of mu closet. Yep. It is tiny. But we live in a tiny house. Plus I enjoy the wardrobe switch process. We always did that when I was a kid, packed winter things away, and brought out our summer clothes. It’s kind of a ritual. And it gives me a chance to revisit what I have, and make decisions.

  5. I second your inclination to change the buttons on the white jacket. The gold ones don’t seem to be a good fit to your personal style. Replacing them may well turn your new jacket into a favourite. Try Darrell Thomas in Almonte for a great selection of really special buttons, or if you want a jaunt to Montreal, Rix Rax is a treasure box of buttons and trims. Switching buttons has always felt like making my clothes unique.

    1. Thanks for that, Diane. I now have an excuse to drive to Almonte for lunch. Ha. The style of the jacket is just what I was looking for. And since it wasn’t expensive, my friend suggested the button switch.

  6. ‘morning, Sue! I just finished watching your video; I love your new white blazer more than you seem to like it. I esp. like how you styled it with a more casual bottom half (jeans + sneakers) – this is a visually interesting high/low mix. If you are really thinking of swapping out the gold buttons, I think black, chunky, square buttons would be an interesting look.

    Anywho, I admire your “Rule of 5″ goal; my life would be much simpler if I could pare down the closet (Ok…closets) and then be more mindful of my purchases. However, every time I try to Marie Kondo my clothes, I panic and tell the piles that ‘I can’t quit you” and everything goes back into the closet (closets). The silver lining is that I have not one, but several 1990s prom dresses that you could borrow for the summer wedding, if you’d like. I have already offered them to my daughter for her grade 8 graduation (yes, dresses and nails and shoes and hair is A BIG THING for this event!), but she has informed me, in no uncertain terms, that clothes were “really ugly back in the olden days and no-one would EVER wear those dresses again.” Which means that I should wear one of them to her grade 8 graduation just to make a point.

    Back to shopping. I’m happy to read that you are exploring second hand and vintage stores; I purchase almost all of my Lululemon clothes at kids’ consignment and second hand stores. Why pay full price when it can be purchased in excellent condition for sometimes a quarter of the cost? I think the only thing I can’t wrap my head around is second hand shoes….too much of an ick factor for me.

    1. Ah Jo… I’m beginning to think those 90’s prom dresses are a myth. Maybe you should change that by wearing one to our next get together. 🙂 I’d borrow them for the wedding but they’re probably size zero. Maybe two sewn together would work?
      P.S. Hope marking and report card stuff is going well.

  7. Loved the video, please keep doing!
    I’d like to try and change your mind about the white jacket. I get it, I try and stay away from gold details as well because of my gray hair/fair skin. That said keep in mind the following:
    Gold buttons aren’t bad. They work well with the color/fabric of the jacket and feel more like a neutral than a color. Also the buttons made the jacket look elevated and expensive. Would have thought it was an expensive designer brand.
    Will make a great black/white outfit. I can imagine it buttoned up with black wide leg cropped pants, pretty flats or even a sneaker.
    I can equally imagine it worn open with a black/white striped tee, jeans and loafers, flats or sneakers.
    You can dress it up or down. Lady jackets/cropped toppers are really big right now styled with tees and cargos, jeans, chinos etc.,
    Will make a perfect third piece/topper on those days you might need to take something for cooler temps. Think of it as an alternative to wearing a jean jacket and since it’s not expensive you don’t have to worry so much about it, wear and enjoy.
    Last but not least it looks fab on you. Sometimes it’s not the most expensive items we fall in love with it’s the ones we use the most, our go-to items we’re comfortable in.
    I think there’s hope you just might fall in love when you find yourself reaching for it more than you thought you would.

    1. I hear you. Recently read something about how our most loved things are the things we interact with the most. Maybe if I start to interact with that jacket it will stimulate love. 🙂

  8. Hi Sue!
    Enjoyed the video! I like the white jacket with the black Uniqlo cropped jeans. It fits and is a good length. I have swapped out many a button over the years! It may take the jacket from a “like” to a “love”.
    Cheers,
    J

  9. I quite enjoyed the video and your thought process for outfits. I am not a fan of gold buttons, so would also switch them out. It is the style of the jacket that is the perfect find, so make it your own unique piece. I finally broke down and made my first purchase for the year, a pair of linen wide leg pants, which are full length that I prefer. After looking for a year, I found them in our small town in a little shop, After watching many of your ideas, I am excited to wear them with a white summer weight sweater or shirt, sleeves rolled, collar popped and chunky necklace tucked into neckline. Can you tell the waiting has made it fun. Maybe a trip to a consignment store or two in the next month is in order, I still love to look.
    Thanks for all the effort you put into our morning tea on Sundays.

  10. Hi Sue,
    Loved the video…very helpful in helping me to grasp the idea of ‘styling’ indifferent ways. I agree with the idea of changing the gold buttons on the white jacket. The ‘perfect’ buttons seem to make or break the garment IMO. We are now living in Ottawa – Ha! – BUT in the building next door to the ‘new build’ that we signed up for. Being patient – it will be lovely when complete!
    Waiting for tulips!
    Miriam Hedderson

  11. I love that your doing the Five this year!! Last year I did a no buy year except for what I needed and I bouht Spring/Summer PJ’s and for my Birthday/Christmas I bought two pair og good shoes!! I feel I did great!! I went from buying several items a month!! I’m also doing the same this year!!! Good luck to you!!!

  12. Thank you for this content, Sue, and I enjoyed the video very much. The fact that you are not a professional videographer actually helps me relax, relate, and enjoy the narrative. I have loved fashion all my life, and I remain intrigued that at 60+ I am still explaining myself to myself by examining how I present myself to the world :-))

    1. Ah, thanks, Kris. I have to keep telling myself that I don’t have a “vlogging” camera like many YouTube creators, nor a “studio space,” nor a techie husband to do all my editing. It’s all me. Still, Hubby’s cooking is more valuable than editing in my opinion. Ha.

  13. By chance I just spent a couple of hours pulling summer stuff out of closets and drawers, as we’re off to Ibiza later this week, and I needed a deep dive and memory jogger to create my packing list. Memo to self: do a better job organizing the absolute seasonal stuff. Still looking for one particular lightweight sweater!

    I’m doing okay on the 5: one pair of wide-legged cropped jeans, a Betty sweater from Sezane in the most gorgeous dark teal that turned out to be my favorite wardrobe piece of last week’s Paris trip, and, hanging my head, an impulse purchase of a Paris Olympics t-shirt because I love the logo so much. I only remembered when I got home that it is one of my 5! Oh well.

    I’ve had to give myself a small out on the rules: with the amount of walking I do, on Portuguese calçadas, I have to replace my Hokas every 3-4 months, so I’m not counting them against my 5.

    I love the new blouse (the way the Burberry plaid is incorporated is so charming!) and I think different buttons will make the difference with your jacket. I remember doing something similar with a jacket in the 90s, and made a pilgrimage to a fabulous button store in Chicago to make it happen. My husband thought I was slightly cracked until he saw the finished product, and then he thought I was genius.

  14. Enjoyed this – thank you! The white jacket looks great on you. Fresh! Although I agree with you about the gold buttons. Perhaps silver instead? The purple top also a winner!

  15. Thank you for the interesting and informative video. I really like the white jacket and would switch out the gold buttons for a burnished silver look or something totally colorful and unexpected. However, I am not sure whether there is a gold trim on the jacket front pocket. If there is, maybe going with a button more of the color of the jacket would be good. I think you will enjoy both the jacket and the purple top. The Rule of Five is helping me be mindful of my clothing purchases.

  16. Liked the video and good job on pressing forward with the rule of five. I went into the bowels of my closet to really assess my needs for summer if it ever gets here. I discarded several tops and replaced them with only one new purchase. I find the rule of five makes me be creative when assembling an outfit. I really have all I need. I am contemplating a trip to a local consignment store to see if I can replace a summer tote that I needed to let go as well. I admire your inventory list of clothing. You are very organized!

  17. Always enjoy your videos Sue! I always feel like I’m listening to a friend and it is nice to hear your voice! I am following your lead and trying for five new items this year. So far I’m at two. I always enjoy a good second hand or consignment shop so I don’t think it will be that hard. We will see! Lol

  18. I do enjoy your videos and your blog as well. This is the year I will splurge shop for spring and summer. My spring, summer wardrobe has become worn out and needs a lot of work. Last year, I waited too late to update linen tie waist pants. The ones I wanted were sold out in April. Linen anything is a must. Our summers are hot, humid and long. Warm to hot weather can last from April to the end of October. Last week, we had temps into the mid 80’s. People are already wearing sandals and tank tops. There’s really no autumn and winter can be relatively mild. Since it gets warm early, I start spring shopping early, even then the linen pants once again were back ordered or sold out. I’m buying a lot, but reason tells me, since these are my most worn clothes I should make an effort. I’ve neglected my spring and summer wardrobe for a while. Fall and winter clothes are so much more appealing, but I really don’t need them as much. Summer dressing is such a challenge. It’s the longest season we have. This year I decided to buy things I like and need so summer dressing isn’t such a burden.

  19. I love this jacket on you, much more than the B. top, you definitely need to replace the buttons as you suggested, and it’s going to be a great one for the next couple of years 🙂

  20. I love your dedication to mindful shopping and can’t wait to see the wedding outfit. I have a fundraiser for our local food shelf this weekend and wearing an outfit that is consignment. I continue to have a very bad, no good, terrible year, laid off April 1st, husband still divorcing me, so treated myself to shopping consignment about 20 minutes from me and they had 20% off! Yikes, I got a Kut pair of jeans for $12, a J Jill linen blend dress for $22, a pair of Athleta pants for $17 and a pair of big buckle Birk sandals for $54. My total was less than the Birks would have been new. I need to be done though! I think I’ll get a new bra and really try to stop shopping as no dinero! Love the video and you! I also like the jacket and think it looks great on you! I like the butttons.

    1. Thanks, Christa. Sounds like you really needed that shopping trip. Have you ever heard of Laura Brown? She used to be the editor of In Style magazine until she got canned. And now she and a friend are writing a book about getting fired…called All the Cool Girls Get Fired. I follow Laura on Substack and I love her energy and commitment to causes etc. Sounds like you and she might be sisters under the skin. Hang in there, my friend. 🙂

  21. The white jacket looks good on you, it looks like a short shirt 👍 but if your like me no matter how many people say you look fab if I’m not 100% about it myself I’d never come round to living wearing it 🥴

  22. So fun to see you have the same COS bag I just purchased in Stockholm a few weeks ago. Hubby was waiting outside so I only had about 10 mins to shop. I needed a bag because the Target bag I purchased (and still decided to use as it was practical) still had the security tag on it and I couldn’t go into certain stores without it setting off the alarm. Lol (will have it removed when i return from trip).

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