So, there’s a new summer skirt in the house, my friends. One I purchased when I was in New Brunswick recently. To wear to my niece’s wedding. And then didn’t wear. Sigh.

But let me backtrack a bit.

I had my outfit for the wedding all sorted a couple of weeks before we left for New Brunswick. I’d had a try-on session. I tried everything in my wardrobe that might be remotely suitable. Planned an outfit. Decided what I needed to work with the pieces I already had. Bought the item I needed, slim cropped trousers. And hung them in the closet. The day before we left, as I was packing, I tried the new piece with my older pieces. The result looked dreadful. Why, oh why had I not double-checked when I came home from shopping?

Because the trousers were exactly what I had set out to find, that’s why. Because they fit well. Because I was overconfident. And busy. And yadda, yadda. Somehow, when I tried them on with my black silky tank from Rag and Bone, my lovely black collarless blazer from Helmut Lang, and my pointy-toed, low-heeled Stuart Weitzman pumps, I looked… well… more like a department store security guard than a wedding guest. The proportions were all wrong. The cut of the trousers was wrong. The fabric of the trousers was too heavy. The colour too dark when paired with the black jacket. The whole look was too sombre, too humourless. Too weird.

I’ve yet to decide what to do with the offending, overly sombre pants. Which, unfortunately for me and my shopping goals, became my third new purchase of the year. Sigh.

But back to the day in question. I stood in a pile of about-to-be-packed clothes in the spare room and started from scratch. I tried on everything I owned that might be remotely suitable for a wedding. Again. I ended up packing my short, navy Rag and Bone dress. Bought back in 2016, it’s now a bit too tight around the middle. And, hence, too short because, as happens to the best of us, when one’s horizontal girth expands, the hem of a dress rises. It’s geometry. Or physics. Or something. Ha. Nevertheless, I packed my flat, cream sandals and a navy, light-weight cashmere scarf that would work as a wrap artfully draped around my middle, and vowed to go foundation garment shopping when I was in Fredericton. Then I tossed in an old white sleeveless tee and my navy Max Mara summer pantsuit… just in case.

In Fredericton, I phoned my friend Debbie and we went shopping the next day. For Spanx or something similar. But I was already second-guessing the decision to wear the short dress. So, you can imagine what happened. Deb and I stumbled into one of my favourite shops in Fredericton. And I bought a dress. Well, a skirt and co-ordinating top, actually. See below.

Because I can’t really wear the top with anything else, I’m counting the outfit as one item. For the benefit of my beleaguered “five new items this year” plan. I know, I know… it’s kind of cheating. Still, I’m considering this purchase number four, and that’s all there is to it.

Deb and I had a great time shopping, trying pretty much every dress that Eloise had. And they have a lot of great dresses. Deb bought a striped, knee-length dress that will be great for summer lunches and walking about town. I bought the one above. After a plethora of patterned and floral options, this one felt like a palette cleanser. I love the combination of the fluffy summer skirt and the quite plain top with the three-quarter length sleeves. The skirt has a shorter underskirt, which gives it its volume. The stretchy waistband of the skirt is meant to be folded over.

Like a cummerbund. Or is it cumberbund? Apparently the former. We just think it’s the latter because most of us mispronounce it. And so cumberbund has become common usage. Funny how language works, isn’t it?

In the photos above, I’m wearing a white stretchy camisole under the top, so I don’t show my midriff when I raise my arms. Or if a stiff wind blows the top up. But I think I prefer the outfit like this. With the skirt hiked up and worn as a sleeveless dress.

New blue summer skirt and white cropped top.
I like it like this better.

Later over coffee, Deb and I talked of the ways I might be able to wear the skirt alone. I was desperately trying to justify this fourth purchase. I started a summer skirt Pinterest board to find ideas. You can find that here.

A few ideas from my Summer Skirt Pinterest board.

And yesterday, I finally had a try-on session with my new purchase. I tried the skirt with a short-sleeve Everlane tee shirt, my white Theory blazer, and Vejas sneakers. I liked this okay. But it felt too bulky on top. Maybe a tighter tank under the jacket would balance out the volume of the skirt.

Woman in blue summer skirt, white blazer and tee shirt, and white sneakers.
Meh.

I didn’t think of it at the time, but I should have tried the skirt as a sleeveless dress under the Theory jacket. That might look okay. Or not. After the wedding outfit debacle, I am no longer trusting that I can imagine what something might look like when I put it on.

I tried the skirt with a couple of cropped summer sweaters. The cream, crochet one that I only wear around my shoulders as an accessory now. Nope. I also tried my cropped, lilac Vince sweater. That looked okay. Not as good as it looks with my slimmer, striped A.L.C. skirt, though.

woman in blue summer skirt, black sweater, black cross-body bag, and black sandals
I like this one the best.

Then I thought to try the skirt with my slim black cashmere sweater from Everlane and my black Birkenstock sandals. This was much better. I like the slim-cut sweater with the full skirt. And the sweater with the heavy sandals and the leather COS cross-body bag toughens up the fluffiness of the summer skirt. While the blue and white outfit with the cream sandals might be a nice outfit for a wedding guest, it lacks toughness, and feels a bit too sweet for me.

woman in blue summer skirt, black sweater and black sandals
Off I go.

And so back to wedding-guest outfits. What a shemozzle, as my step-father always used to say.

My sister’s original planned outfit did not work out as planned either. The navy jacket she’d decided to wear with her navy pants looked dreadful. The chosen sandals did too. She, like me, planned what to wear and didn’t try it on together until the day before. So we dug into her closet and, it transpired, into mine… and found her a great outfit. She wore her old slim, cropped black dress pants, black flats, a lovely white sleeveless top, my new white jacket with the new buttons, and carried my small black cross-body bag. She looked great.

And because the temperatures had plummeted since we’d arrived in New Brunswick, from 29 degrees to expected highs of only 17 degrees C on the day of the wedding, I jettisoned the idea of wearing my new summer skirt and top. And instead I wore my old Max Mara navy pant suit with my white tank, and my cream flat sandals. I carried my sister’s cream cross-body bag.

Poor Hubby. He sat trying to watch a baseball game while Carolyn and I traipsed back and forth in front of the television, from one bedroom to the other, wearing various combinations of outfits, swapping them back and forth. Like teenagers.

What fun.

And we looked pretty good on the day, I think. If I do say so myself.

I love this photo of us.

So. To recap. I have two new purchases in my closet. One I am considering returning, if it’s not too late. One I like, but purchased unnecessarily, it turns out. I should have just gone with the navy Max Mara suit from the beginning and saved myself the trouble. And the money.

This five new things pledge is not turning out too well for me. I’ve used up almost all my purchases. And I’ve stumbled around doing so. Uncharacteristically disorganized and indecisive leading me to make mistakes. Like with the white jacket. Or overly planned and overly confident with my choice which also turned out to be a mistake. So. I’m just going to not shop for the rest of the summer. I don’t need anything. And I need to wear what I already own.

Smiling and but too sweet. Ha.

Trying to plan what to wear for my niece’s wedding was difficult. Planning for an occasion that is usually dressy but is being held in a venue which cries out for super, un-dressy outfits was hard. Plus I second-guessed myself and generally over-thought the whole thing. As I am wont to do.

You know, planning what to wear to a wedding has always been a hard question for me. Even my own wedding. I didn’t want fluffy and lacy. What they called “meringue” in Four Weddings and a Funeral. I ended up wearing a cream, three-piece skirt suit which I loved. Totally un-fluffy. And not very bride-y, according to my mum. Gee, thanks, Mum.

My new skirt aside, I don’t do fluffy very well. Nor sweet. In fact neither my sisters nor I do “sweet” when we get dressed. It doesn’t feel like us. My mum didn’t either.

Would that be because all the women in my family have a tendency to be somewhat… uh… sharp, at times, do you think? I mean, we all have a bit of a sarcastic tongue. Especially if we’re trying to be funny.

In fact I’ve been called many things in my life, sarcastic and funny among them, but I don’t recall ever being called sweet. So maybe we dress according to our natures. What do you think?

Now, it’s over to you, my friends. How are you faring with your shopping goals this year? That’s if you made shopping goals. Which, of course, is not a requirement for reading or commenting on this blog. Please feel free to weigh in on anything your heart desires.

Speaking of reading this blog. There’s a book post coming up next week. And thanks for your continued reading. And for your support.

P. S. There are a few affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a commission which helps to pay for the blog. If you don’t want to shop the links, but want to support my blog, you can always buy me a coffee. 🙂

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From the archives

travel

Home and Back Again.

We're back home from our trip to New Brunswick. We were happy to go and we're happy to be back. Hope you enjoy the vlog I made of our trip.
books

Writers Writing About Writing

I love to read writers writing about writing. Especially if there's a mystery involved. So I'm excited about Jo Baker's new novel.
fashion

Signature Style Evolution

Letting my hair go white has triggered a change in my signature style. I feel a loosening up of all my old style rules.

87 thoughts on “Summer Skirting”

  1. Interesting! I find myself drawn to your “too sweet” combinations, and I have occasionally been described by others as sweet, so perhaps there’s a correlation. I enjoy edgier styles on you, but they wouldn’t work well for me. I think that if our fashion choices are discordant with our personalities, it feels like we’re wearing someone else’s clothes.

    On a slightly different subject, I wanted to mention that I purchased Jones Road Miracle Balm a few weeks ago, after reading your blog post and doing lots of other research, and it fits very well into my minimal makeup look. Quite subtle, but it adds a healthy glow to my face and the colour I chose looks very natural on me. The first time I used it, my husband (who almost never comments on my appearance) said, “You look good!” :o)

  2. Not doing so well on the 5 item challenge, and I know I really do need new walking/running shoes. However, I am doing better than in previous years and I think I have a greater appreciation for all of my clothes–if that makes any sense. I really like your new blue skirt. I think that you will find ways to wear it that won’t feel overly sweet. What about that denim vest you purchased second hand. That might look really good with it.

  3. I really love the new skirt on you Sue! It’s a beautiful color! I think you will find many ways to incorporate it into your wardrobe this summer. Maybe throwing a jean jacket over a tee with it. Anyway you will figure it out as usual.
    As far as the 5 item challenge I think I’m at 3 right now which I think is not bad as it’s the middle of June. I’ve also got around it by shopping thrift, which is fun for me anyways. The thrill of the hunt! Lol

  4. Oh , this post rings lots of bells for me . Special occasion outfits throw me right off kilter . Perhaps it’s because special occasions are so rare in my life 😁 I hate being overdressed at anytime – like I’m trying too hard , not cool ? I think , like you , I have a sarcastic sense of humour which could explain why I can’t do ‘sweet’ . I always thought my square , broad shoulders made it difficult too . You’ve put yourself under pressure rather with the rule of five . Decisions that you would have made in an easygoing way have become more stressful . Some of my favourite old wardrobe items were not worn for a while after I bought them . They needed to settle into my wardrobe & often turn it in a slightly different direction . Sometimes they felt like a mistake at first but it didn’t really matter . It’s quite boring playing safe all the time . I’m not advocating staggering out of Zara with armfuls of the latest fashion items but I can see why you are floundering a little bit . I’ve bought four items so far this year & one might be a mistake , a gathered skirt – Not as full as yours & not quite as long . It’s a dark blue & black vertical stripe & I love it but I’m struggling to match any tops to it . I thought navy would go well but the blue in the skirt is more a dark turquoise & navy isn’t right . I wear very little black as it does me no favours now so I’ll try grey , but not warm greys . I’m not going to worry though . It’s so chilly here I can see it being unworn this summer . I think you hit just the right note with your wedding outfit ( in the end ) & you & Carolyn complimented each other very well . I’m waiting for the video of you & Stu bopping on the dance floor ……

    1. With respect to “staggering out of Zara.” I sometimes can’t believe that influencers are still posting “what’s new in my wardrobe” posts with ten or fifteen new items. Guess they didn’t get the memo. Ha. By the way no dancing videos will be posted of me on the dance floor.
      P.S. I always struggle with skirts these days. Not sure why. I’m just out of practice wearing anything that is not super casual, I guess.

      1. I wasted a little time the other day watching Trinny from Trinny & Susanna frantically wading through her wardrobe . Racks & racks of clothing being moved around – like in a department store . I felt quite overwhelmed & panicky at the thought of so much stuff . Another one who didn’t get the memo .

  5. I love that skirt, love all the ways you’ve styled it with whites, not so much with blacks. Maybe, as others have said, a little denim jacket, or a sweet little cropped cardi and/or fitted white T’s or singlets is the way to go. You have style, a lovely figure and great legs and ankles. You’ll work it out. But if you’re getting rid of it, can I buy it off you?!
    Rule of 5?
    Golly – I’ve utterly blown it and I hate what I was forced to buy.
    I’ve just had a bowel resection and developed a hematoma on the midrise section of my belly and so wearing anything other than leggings has been a battle. I decided cargo-pants might be the go but its winter here in southern Australia and finding them was hard. Finally found two denim pairs, purchased and every time I wear them I feel like a clown so folded them away in the bottom drawer where I don’t have to look at them.
    Then in an ‘old lady’s store’ (where I would never normally shop despite that I’m 72), I found navy ponte pants. They actually don’t look too bad with a long shirt and longsleeved semi-fitted sweaters over the top. But in the end, they’ll be for the chop too after everything’s healed. (I go back into hospital tomorrow for further surgery.)
    I also have regular ballet and theatre attendances coming up, but NOTHING is comfy over the remaining (healing) wound. So I need new black trews – and new black patent ballet flats.
    Maybe the rule of five wasn’t a good one for me to have this year…

    1. I’d lay the rule aside for the time being. And definitely get those black patent ballet flats, joy to be had there. The very best of luck to you.

  6. Wedding dressing…my all-time favourite outfits were a heavy cotton summer dress (white) (I know…) with a lovely blue hat in 1983 and, in 1995, a black, fitted dress (I know…) with another, even more beautiful, huge blue hat. Plus sunglasses. Both made me feel very much myself, and I think that is key. When it came to my own wedding dress, I knew exactly what I didn’t want, but couldn’t seem to light on exactly what I did until, one night, I suddenly thought: silver and grey. Bang! Turned out I was spot-on. It’s that magical moment when you know you have made the right decision for you, stuff everything else. PS I like the skirt-as-dress, it saves all the hoo-haa about what to wear as a top.

  7. Love the skirt, I would wear that with a linen waistcoat worn closed as a blouse or open over a sleeveless tee, but then I love waistcoats and above are my goto for this summer.

  8. I too don’t wear sweet. I think you may be on to something regarding dressing to match our personality. I too really struggle with wedding dressing. Maybe we have preconceived ideas of what one should wear to a wedding which clashes with our not so sweet wardrobes. As for shopping, as of yesterday I decided no more shopping (new or used) this year and to wear the clothes I have.

  9. Faith Mattison

    I love the blue skirt as well! The white top balances perfectly!
    I recently had a formal, and was excited to go with daughter and her hubby, son and new wife. Overthought, but settled on a beautiful black skirt at a thrift shop, and made a vest of stunning black and gold material. I even made a little evening bag with leftover material! All set! Night of, I feel bloated and the vest feels uncomfortable…. Quickly took a sequined jacket I owned, sewed up the front and wore it as a top. Felt much more comfortable but sad that my “outfit” hadn’t made the cut. This happens so often with planned outfits for weddings, formals, etc. I love the challenge of finding just the right outfit for the event, weather, mood, or body weight though.
    Your 5 buy challenge has made me more aware of all my unnecessary purchases, thank you!

  10. The skirt is great! The color blue suits you! The black and blue combo looks wonderful, but I always like to add something black.

  11. Something that helps me is to have a special occasion wardrobe. Sometimes I rarely wear the pieces but when I need them they are there. So, this flies against all the stylist ideas of how wardrobe pieces should work but it works for me. I have summer and winter wraps dresses. A navish/royal blue silk for summer and black for the winter. I also have a black linen wrap dress that is extremely versatile. Then there is a summer and winter version of a black silk shirt that I wear with black or white trousers. Not terribly creative but it gets me through those occasions.

  12. Love the “sweet look” but think the navy outfit was the right choice for temperature. I think you look great in all the outfits with exception of black sweater and black Birks with light blue skirt, it just didn’t balance to me. I admit I try on and retry many times for an event to be looking my best and feeling it too. Great article Sue.

  13. Special occasion dressing at age 75 is so difficult. I have always been super slim but have purposely put on 10 pounds because my face is quite hollow. Unfortunately at least 9.5 of those pounds now pad my waist and hips. I’m currently searching for a dress to wear to a fall wedding and finding shopping for an in-between season to be its own special hell. Thanks for taking us through your own wedding outfit shopping odyssey, Sue. It made me smile and I admire your ability to admit to make a shopping mistake then pivot!

  14. I just love your skirt purchase and as you’ve shown, it’s versatile, In my old age, I’m starting to wear skirts and dresses, having considered myself a pants person forever. We never lose the capacity to change, even in our dotage. At least I’m hoping that’s the reason…

  15. I like the blue skirt outfit in all the various ways on you. Too bad that you didn’t get to wear it to the wedding as planned. Although I haven’t had any special occasions in a while, I think that a mistake I often make is wanting something new for the occasion. It is probably better to go with something tried and comfortable. I hope I remember that the next time I do have an occasion.
    I am probably one of a few women who shopped alone for my wedding gown. My mom did go back with me before I actually purchased it. I still love the dress, but on the day, the shoulders kept slipping. And now the beautiful dress and veil sit in a box in the top of a closet. . .
    You are doing better on the Rule of 5 challenge than me. I think I am up to about 7, though I have excuses for some of the purchases. I am hoping not to buy anything new for the rest of the year. I am not sure if I read this in one of the rule of 5 articles, that any new item must go with at least 5 things already owned. Since all of my purchases thus far have been basics – t shirts, jeans, shoes, earrings – at least I have met that criteria.

  16. Both your sister and you looked great and stylish at the wedding
    I don’t like sweet as well,but I like your skirt,it looks lovely with a sweater-I wear one of my silk dresses only with turtlenecks during colder season and it looks just right
    Dottoressa

  17. I love your skirt purchase…it truly is a workhorse in your wardrobe! Very versatile… it looks like very good quality, quite possibly expensive and well worth it. I can visualize it dressed casually with your denim vest or jacket too…maybe even a graphic tee.
    Five things in one year is a tough test…i just took 7 items to the consignment shop so i figure i have room for 7 more purchases:-))

    Leslie
    Hostess of the Humble Bungalow

    1. Oh I like that Leslie! Whatever number of items go out of the closet the same number (or less) items can come back in! This might be easier to do and would save over flowing closets. That is if the closet wasn’t overstuffed in the first place. 😉

  18. I’ve bought seven pieces this spring. I bought nothing the first three months of this year and felt very proud of that accomplishment. My problem is going shopping with a friend. I tend to get into a different frame of mind and buy alongside of them. I did need both sandals to fill a gap. I wanted cropped pants so those two were approved by myself. But, the tops were not necessary and now I look at my very long row of spring/summer tops that I already had, and just added onto, and sigh. I’m determined to not buy anything more until fall and then only what I really need to fill a gap or replace an old.
    I guess my 5 will most likely be 10 by year end. But, at least you have me thinking and that’s a step in the right direction. Perhaps, next year I’ll do better.
    I detest dressing for weddings/formal events. I never feel good in my dresses. I’m more of a pant person so I struggle. Plus, it is a lot of money for something to hang in your closet taking up valuable space waiting to be worn again.
    Your light blue skirt is dreamy. I’m sure you’ll dress it down and wear it out to lunch with friends. I love the look of a long skirt with a white button down shirt – the yin and yang.

    1. You’re right, Joanna… being conscious of our purchases is the first step. I must try the button-down idea. I tried it with am older summer skirt but couldn’t make it work. But the high waist band might solve the issue. 🙂

  19. I really enjoy your fashion posts. Personally, I love the blue skirt, and with the white top, it looks stunning. Of course I do have a soft spot (pun intended) for that type of dressing. I just may have to try the dress trick with one of my longer ones as well. My husband was away for the day recently and I spent time with a full length mirror and summer clothes. I ended up sending quite a few to thrift and am trying to keep only what I really like. Trying not to shop and so far at 2, and one thrift shop linen skirt. It certainly makes me think things through when a friend says ” let’s go shopping after coffee”. I help her look. I have 2 weddings this year, and one is formal (!!) while the other more smart casual outdoor, so am a bit frustrated for these.
    You both look very comfortable and able to enjoy the wedding, not worrying about uncomfortable outfits. Wonderful outcome.

  20. The blue outfit is very pretty but..hmm it’s not you! You don’t seem the fluffy dress type, more pencil skirt/slim pants and blazer. What I don’t understand ( forgive me if I missed something) when you are travelling that far for a wedding why wouldn’t you have your outfit issues sorted out before you left. Maybe it’s the ADHD in me but I have to know exactly what I’m going to wear from the underpinnings outward to shoes, bag etc. I try on an outfit to see if it needs cleaning/repairs, polish the shoes, clean out the bag, choose my makeup. I know people who fly to weddings and take their chosen outfit as carry on…so if all else is lost they have that outfit!
    As far as weather change that’s what cashmere wraps are for or 3/4 sleeves or layering or…weather reports.
    Yup I admire your on the fly attitude but could never put myself through the anxiety. You ended up looking fabulous in your navy suit which didn’t cost you anything…though you had a fun day shopping with your friend so there’s that consolation.

    1. I did plan what to wear but it didn’t work out. Then planned again, packed a cashmere wrap, and the weather scuppered that idea. Wraps cannot cover bare legs unfortunately. Weather forecasts are so unpredictable. We arrived almost two weeks before the wedding with the forecast for the day going down, down, down as the days passed. My “just in case suit” tossed into my garment bag was a good idea after all.

  21. Perfect light and bright skirt for a wedding. The black outfit pre-planned – much too somber as you already noted. Your choice of pale blue is perfect for mixing blue tops or white tops with it. And the white blazer makes it look so put together. Of course you must count this outfit as your number 4. I have given up counting. There are too many fabulous sales – like 50% off and free shipping. How can that be bad???? Your red toenails are perfect. Wish my toes were so straight.

    1. The black would have been fine with lighter pants, though. The bridesmaids all wore black dresses as did the mother of the bride. Unusual, I know…but bride’s choice.

  22. I love the blue/white dress on you, Sue. Very flattering!

    I have a wedding of a close friend’s son to attend in early August. The invitation says cocktail attire, but the venue is called The Barn. I just ordered some slacks for my husband to wear, as he has lost weight. But what about me? Surely I have something in my closet. Last time I wore a dress was to this friend’s daughter’s wedding in October of 2022! I have a linen/silk wrap dress that could probably work. Or a summery black/white ikat print jumpsuit with flowy pantlegs? And what about shoes?

    As far as the five items this year, so far I have purchased two pairs of jeans, a pair of linen/cotton pull-on pants that I probably shouldn’t have, and a navy gauze overshirt. Four already!! But I have been restraining myself much more than usual, as Joanna said, so that’s a step in the right direction. I have far too much already, and I retired as of May 31 after working from home for the past four years.

    Appreciate your revelations and look forward to the book post!

    1. Your two choices sound perfect to me. But as I know all too well… only trying them on with the event in mind will confirm that. I always change my mind about what to wear when I have to travel to an event. What would be fine here in Ottawa would not necessarily work in the small town where my niece was married.
      The same thing happens when we travel. Makes planning hard. Ha.

  23. What a great post Sue! I have just had to “dress up” for funerals the past 2 weeks and one more this week. Gad, I havent been to a funeral in years and now 3 this month. I shopped my closet (congratulating myself for ring prepared for lots of combinations) and will have worn something different to all 3.
    I especially tuned in to the skirt you ought, same style as one I bought last summer in white. It’s quite versatile and an Eileen Fisher linen poncho will function much like the white top you are wearing with your skirt with a whiny camisole underneath the poncho. I almost didn’t wear the white skirt to funeral #2, we’re supposed to wear black, right? But I did it anyway and felt good in my skirt and fancy white tee.
    Thanks for some more ideas!

  24. What a great post Sue! I have just had to “dress up” for funerals the past 2 weeks and one more this week. Gad, I havent been to a funeral in years and now 3 this month. I shopped my closet (congratulating myself for ring prepared for lots of combinations) and will have worn something different to all 3.
    I especially tuned in to the skirt you ought, same style as one I bought last summer in white. It’s quite versatile and an Eileen Fisher linen poncho will function much like the white top you are wearing with your skirt with a whiny camisole underneath the poncho. I almost didn’t wear the white skirt to funeral #2, we’re supposed to wear black, right? But I did it anyway and felt good in my skirt and fancy white tee.
    Thanks for some more ideas!

  25. I’m investing in items for the next few years now I’m a pensioner in the UK. I like edginess but also smart casual. I’m not a sweet floral person. I do really like the blue skirt with jacket, T-shirt and the trainers, although you don’t. I’m not sure I like the darker sweater with the skirt and can’t put my finger on why, it is different to what I’ve seen you feature. I do love black, white, bold cool colours; cobalt, cherry red, emerald. Pastels are not for me unless they have cool tones. BUT there are always exceptions to our rules. I’ve found things I used to love don’t inspire me anymore I’m looking for something new. Just wish the white hair would come through so it can be seen instead of hiding under the mousy dark grey!!

  26. Love this skirt and it is lovely on you. Pretty for a wedding. Wearing dark colors for a wedding, seems funereal to me. Any other colors are nice. The black sweater does not seem right…cashmere with a lightweight summer skirt looks wrong. Any summer sweater in many colors would work…blue, green, pink,white,yellow ,black if you like the combo.
    I appreciate people doing a 5 piece challenge but would never do it myself. I have a lot of clothes, but being older I have decided I will do the things I love and that is one of them. No guilt allowed! (It is not a financial strain.) Your new slim pants would look great with a midi length (below the knees,) blouse or sweater depending on the season.

    1. The bridesmaids and the mother of the bride all wore black… so I think I would have been okay in my black jacket and floaty black top if the pants had worked. Unfortunately the new pants look best with a short jacket or cropped tee shirt. The proportions were not right for my black jacket which is longer. Funny how I didn’t see that when I bought them.

  27. Your skirt choice was a surprise to me but it was a good choice for you for the long term. I had a total clothing fast last year 2023 and only bought what I needed being two pair of PJ’s. I wasn’t going to join you in the five pieces but for me this will be a total of five pieces of clothing NOT accessories!! I have so far purchased two linen blouses and one linen maxi skirt!! I’m very happy with my purchases!! I will try to maintain my goal of five pieces!!!

  28. Linda T from BC

    I love that blue skirt/dress and it looks great on you. Yes wedding dressing has radically changed with much more casual venues. And also shoes for weddings, I have to know are we going to be outside?(no heels on the golf course or in the vineyard) or do I need bedazzled flip flops for a beach wedding?
    I’m at my five already and know I have to buy Jeans for Fall/ Winter. (Big sigh) but I have been a much more conscious shopper with my five.
    First was a lightweight transitional black jacket I’ve been looking for for several years and it was $$$$ but I keep my good things forever and (as my mother used to say when she hit her 70’s) “this will see me out”.
    Second, I may have mentioned in a previous post that last summer I bought a pair of wide leg light wash jeans which I wore once and thought they looked terrible on me. I looked on Pinterest and found out how to take them apart and remake into a long denim maxi skirt. I sew a bit and it looked pretty simple. I had vein surgery on my leg earlier this year and have decided to try wearing skirts again. So long story short after successfully deconstructing the jeans and what felt like 50 hours of frustration the half made skirt went into the donation bag for a thrift store where either clothes or money raised goes to services for in need women. Someone else can finish it. I then found a denim maxi skirt on sale but our weather is so cold and rainy here in B.C., I have yet to wear it.
    Then a pair of “wheat” coloured linen wide leg elastic waist pants which I’ve also been looking for for several years and which enable me to wear a lovely floral print light weight button up shirt which is more than 10 years old and only ever went with black pants. I’ve already worn this outfit twice. I also have other pieces that will work with them. The pants were on sale and very reasonable.
    Next the pants set off a linen hunt and cruising through one of my local favourite stores I found two lovely linen sleeveless (70 something arms be dammed) tunics which will go with a multitude of things I already have and rarely wear so that’s a plus. Now we need some warm weather so I can wear said tops.
    So I’m at my Five and know I need to buy jeans this fall, but I do wear my jeans for several years, and jeans are mostly what I wear everyday.
    We used to have a couple of very nice, a little bit higher end, consignment stores closer to us but they have closed so we really just have VV boutique (I don’t like to shop there) and some pretty junky (and unfortunately smelly) thrift stores. It’s over a one hour drive to Vancouver to some really nice secondhand stores but if I can find something (I am very tall) it’s usually designer and out of my price range even secondhand and it’s just not worth the drive anymore.
    I’m trying and I really admire women who can stick to the “rule of five”. I certainly will continue to try and as I said I think it makes me a more conscientious shopper.

    1. I think the idea is to become more conscious of what we buy new. I am having trouble settling into this new pattern of shopping as well. I am so used to buying quality if I want/need, and then keeping it for ages. I’ve been trying to keep my number of new pieces to a minimum for years. But nothing near as few as five. This has been a good discipline for me. Even if I’m somewhat messing up my total. I have a 50 year reunion in September. I’m not sure I will be able to go to the events I’ve planned. to attend without shopping. Sigh.
      P.S. Thanks for your ongoing coffee support, Linda. Much appreciated. 🙂

  29. Sue, I love the casual vibe with the dresses flirty skirt. You know your best look and do it so well!
    Looking forward to your reading post. It always gets me into some new author. Still reading Tim Sullivan and his quirky protagonist
    Thanks for many happy hours.

  30. Had a moment of panic here, as I thought I’d hit my fifth thing today – my bff brought over a dress that no longer fits (she’s lost a ton of weight), but then I realized, “hey, it’s used,” so phew. Number 4 was a cute crocheted top from a local shop that I’ve already worn a ton, so now I’ve reached the danger zone despite it being a very good purchase. And I need a bandeau bra to wear with the gifted dress, but as I recall, underpinnings don’t count, right?

    Love your new skirt, and wishing you fun styling it out. I can relate to the away from home shopping panic – I once went to a weekend board meeting a thousand miles from home, and came into the board room on Saturday announcing that I’d packed perfectly wrong, to while one of my fellow bomems replied, “Me too!” So we went shopping on our lunch break and came back much happier.

    1. It’s a weird thing with me. The moment I arrive somewhere I realize what I should have packed instead. The fashion vibe can be so very different from one city to the next… never mind one country to the next. P.S. Underpinnings count as underwear in my books. And don’t count towards your total.

  31. I like the skirt and cropped top. It’s an unexpected but lovely look. You are tall and slender and can carry it off easily. I would probably opt for wearing the skirt with a graphic tee shirt and denim jacket or moto jacket in fall. Or with a white button down tied at the waist with my sleeves rolled up for a casual dinner date with my husband. I would probably wear a sleeveless long tunic under the top and pair it with leggings for a single color or monochromatic look.
    I’ve only bought three new items so far this year and have been wearing or culling items that no longer work in my closet. It’s challenging but satisfying at the same time.
    I always put too much pressure on myself for special occasions. I worry too much about looking appropriate but not over done, nice but not trying too hard…..I make myself miserable in the process! Ah the pressure we put on ourselves!
    Lovely you could swap clothes with your sister…sounds like you had a good time.

  32. Your blog hit me! I thought you were describing me. I swear the internet reads my mind!!!😊

    I loved the blue skirt and white shirt top but again, would be I wear it after the event? I would have to be creative, like you, and search my closet 🤔

    Yes, yes in book blog! I have enjoyed reading your suggestions as we live in different countries (US/Texas). I look at the used bookstore for your favorites (Munroe) and they look at me with a blank face 🤣

    Having fun with your sister is wonderful.

    Look forward to visiting with you each week

    1. I’ve had the same experience when mentioning Alice Munro to book store staff. I used to ask for Canadian authors in foreign book stores when I travelled, just so they might start to stock them. Ha.

  33. Carol Larochelle

    You looked so beautiful in the blue skirt with the white/cream 3/4 sleeve top!! You do yourself a disservice by not wearing it! Gorgeous!!
    We are our own worst critics!

  34. I love the white blazer with the blue skirt! Has anyone noticed the crew sock trend? My nieces(16 and 18) are wearing them with their cute shorts and miniskirts. It looks a little nerdy to me because I’m so used to no show or ankle. But after spending time with them one day, I wanted to be a cool nerd too and am thinking of ways to style them at my age. I think something similar to your long skirt/sneakers would be a perfect way to start.
    I predict this may be the next big thing- kinda like the middle part. If Gen Z says it’s fashionable, surely it must be! Hahaha!!!

    1. I have noticed that trend. Apparently it’s a marker for the young and trendy to be wearing them. Think I’ll pass for the moment. Can’t quite get the image of circle skirts and bobby socks out of my head.

  35. Well……skirting the issue (so to speak) of buying five items this year could be solved by donating one thing each time something new is acquired. My Mother started that in the fifties. Keeps things fresh and tidy when applied assiduously. Assiduously is the operative word.

    1. I think that assiduously would be the hardest part. As long as we don’t start clearing out our wardrobes and donating just so we can buy new. Over-donating clothes can cause its own problems I have read.

  36. I actually really like the skirt/top you originally planned to wear – even if it’s a bit different for you! And I agree, the skirt will look great with a white tank and light jean jacket (white or denim). And the white top will look great over a long, slim black tank dress or wide-leg black pants, etc. I don’t love the skirt with black – feels heavy – and you’re the best judge of what feels like you!

  37. Sue, I think your blue skirt looks great. Wearing it with the bolero-type white top or the black sweater were my favorites.
    Wedding outfits are so fraught, aren’t they? I have almost never liked what I wore. Including to my own wedding.
    My summer anxiety was attending my granddaughter’s graduation. I ended up wearing a white linen shirt, a red gingham check full skirt, and pointy toe flats. The weather was much colder than expected that week, I was very lucky to have a last minute warm up. I find myself on the old side of 70 trying to figure out what won’t look completely clueless.
    I’m with you on avoiding the super sweet. I remember when one of my (college age) students decide to retie my scarf. Transforming into a sort of finely pleated big bow. A work of art. I did not like that sweet bow, but kept it tied that way to be courteous. When I picked up my son after work he said, “What happened to you?” I still laugh when I think about it.
    Five items: if some of us need new underwear, or especially have had surgery or a big weight gain/loss I declare that it means a pass on buying more than 5! We need to be kind to ourselves!
    Maybe next year we can talk about frugality and clothes for different situations. Or not.

    1. Underwear or nightwear do not count in our totals, apparently. And I agree… I’d also not count anything that needs to be purchased for health of weight loss/gain reasons.

  38. You and your sister looked lovely at the wedding. I really loved the blue skirt with the short top too. that colour blue is just perfect for you

  39. I love the suit that you chose and it sounds like it was very appropriate with the black dresses worn by bridesmaids. It looks great on you.

    I really like the blue skirt, but I understand the challenges you are having with it. Pale blue is a hard color to pair with things. I think that the “casual” approach is right on. Perhaps a navy blue fitted sweater (like your black one) or a navy tee shirt? I’m just guessing. If you don’t return it, you’ll figure out ways to wear it. You are so good at creating outfits.

    1. Thanks, Dottie. I’ve been wearing the skirt this week with a black cutaway tank top and flat sandals. Still trying ideas… and suspect I will continue all summer. 🙂

  40. Sharon Hamilton

    I love your skirt and top. I really loved this post because of your local expressions like “took a header” and “shemozzle “ . Glad you enjoyed Old Home Week!

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