A simple solution

LogoFashion Friday is back! You may recall that we started our six weeks of travel by heading north to Dawson City, Yukon to attend our nephew’s wedding. In my grandmother’s day, it would have been considered scandalous for a woman to have shown up at a wedding with bare legs, but this is 2017 and the wedding was outdoors on a very hot, sunny day. Bare legs would have been perfectly acceptable, but on an older woman they can look terrible. Could I really thumb my nose at the current “no nylon” trend?

I chose a dress that falls just above the knee. My legs are well-toned, but I don’t tan well so they’re pasty looking and freckled and bear other signs of aging. They definitely needed help, but even the sheerest pantyhose would be hot and uncomfortable.

Prior to our trip, I experimented with leg makeup lotion in the store. It promised “flawless-looking, irresistible, sexy legs” but even the palest shade looked orangey on me. That’s definitely not my idea of sexy! Besides, reviewers advised not wearing it with sunscreen as it would smear and I definitely needed sunscreen.

Tinted sunscreen was another option, but rather than buying it, I decided to create my own. I simply mixed my regular sunscreen with some of my foundation and the results were amazing! Not only did it even out my skin tone perfectly, but it lasted for hours and didn’t rub off on my clothing. It was a simple solution that I will use often in the future!

Sunscreen + Foundation = Beautiful legs!

Packing time again!

LogoIt’s packing time again! I seem to spend a lot of my life packing and unpacking, but I’m definitely not complaining. The gypsy in me can hardly wait to be on the road again!

This time I’m preparing for six weeks in our 24 foot trailer. Much of our time will be spent exploring remote and wilderness areas, but we also have a wedding to attend. We’ll be travelling in Alberta, BC and the Yukon, so weather will likely be quite variable. Closet space is limited and opportunities to do laundry may be few and far between. So, what do I pack? 

First of all, I need to think about what we’re going to be doing. In addition to the wedding, there will probably be a couple of social evenings out when we’re in urban areas. For those, I’ll need outfits that are dressy casual. Much of our time will be spent hiking, kayaking, and sitting around campfires though. Those are times when comfort is of utmost importance and I’m less concerned about what I look like. We might not have many opportunities to use them, but our golf clubs are going with us, so I also need to pack appropriate golfing attire. Our final week will be spent at our church’s district wide family camp, a time of fun and fellowship where I’ll be doing lots of socializing, attending worship services and listening to speakers. The camp is located in a rustic, forested setting on the banks of Alberta’s Little Red Deer River. I don’t want to be overdressed, but I do want to look well put together.

Fellow fashion blogger, Jennifer Connolly, of A Well Styled Life is also spending an extended period of time in her RV right now and she recently wrote this post which contains some great tips. As she points out, layering is always an important key to coping with varying temperatures. I’ll definitely want to be able to add or subtract layers as the days warm up or cool off. I’ll also be following Jennifer’s advice and packing a variety of accessories. They take up very little space and easily add polish to an outfit when that’s what’s needed.

A change of shoes can also give an outfit a lift. That’s one area where I can indulge myself on a trip like this one. When we fly, the number of pairs of shoes I can take is limited by suitcase space, but when we travel with our SUV and trailer, I can fit in many more! I’ll need dressy shoes for the wedding, of course. I was thinking of wearing heels, but after looking at the venue online, I’m guessing that the ceremony will be held on the lawn. If that’s the case, I’ll want to wear flats. There’s nothing worse than sinking in and feeling like you’re aerating the grass with every step! In either case, I’ll be taking a pair of dressy flats as well as a couple of casual pairs. I’ll also pack my rubber boots, my hiking shoes, my golf shoes, one or two pairs of sandals, and some flip flops.

Hats are another important item. I even bought a couple of new ones for this trip, but perhaps I’ll tell you about those in another post.

For much of the time that we’re away, we’ll be without internet access. In the past, I’ve discovered that even when a campground or RV park advertises that it has wifi, service can be extremely unpredictable. As a result, I don’t expect to be able to post very regularly and Fashion Friday may not appear every week. I’ll do my best to share some travel posts, however, and hopefully I can also do as Jennifer did and share a little of what I wear along the way.

Growing it out

LogoDry hair, oily hair, straight hair, curly hair, thick hair, thin hair, coarse hair, fine hair… is there such a thing as a woman who is truly happy with her hair? It seems that we always want the hair that someone else has! Apparently, we’re also willing to spend a lot to get it. I have no idea how accurate it is, but one estimate that I read recently stated that American women on average spend approximately $700 annually on their hair. That would include haircuts, perms, colouring, shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, and other styling products, as well as accessories including combs, brushes, curling irons, straightening irons, and clips.

Like most women, I get tired of my hair. A few months ago, after keeping it short for many years, I started wondering if perhaps it was time to try a longer style again. I asked you what you thought and several readers urged me to let it grow. Here’s what happened:

 

In today’s photo, I had just come from the hairdresser. She trimmed the ends, shaped it a bit, trimmed the front and thinned out the top. She also had fun playing with my natural curl so it’s a bit wilder looking than I usually wear it.

I still haven’t decided what my ultimate goal is or how long I’ll let it grow, but reaching the point where I could tuck it behind my ears was a milestone. Summer probably isn’t the best time to be trying to grow it out, but it helps a lot to be able to tuck it under the edges of my cap when I’m golfing, especially in the wild winds that we’ve been having lately.

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While we were chatting today, my hairdresser (who has only been doing my hair for the past couple of years) asked how long it’s been since the last time I had long hair. I honestly couldn’t remember, but it must have been back in the 90s. Here’s a photo from way back then!

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Yes, I’ve aged a bit (okay, maybe a lot!) but I still have incredibly thick hair. I lose a little after each of my cancer treatments, but still my hairdresser has to thin it! I know… some of you would love to have thicker hair. I wish I could share a bit of mine with you. As I said, we always want the kind of hair that someone else has!

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Retail therapy

LogoI’ve never indulged in retail therapy. I don’t shop because I’m feeling lonely, stressed, depressed, or bored. I confess that the fact that I live 85 km (53 miles) from the closest mall might have something to do with that! On Tuesday, I travelled that 85 km to spend two hours sitting in a dentist’s chair. On the way, I stopped to have several vials of blood taken for post treatment testing. No one could blame a girl for adding a bit of shopping to a day like that, could they?

Just before I left home that morning, I checked my emails and discovered that Payless ShoeSource had a BOGO (buy one pair, get a second pair half price) sale starting that day. Of course, I had to stop in and check it out!

In my world, there are two kinds of shoe shopping. If I’m looking for shoes (or boots) that I’ll be doing a lot of walking or hiking in, I want quality, support and comfort. I’m willing to pay for that and Payless isn’t the place I usually go looking. If, on the other hand, I’m looking for something fun and I don’t want to spend a lot, it’s definitely my go to. I’ve actually been surprised, however, to discover that most of my Payless purchases have stood up well and have been very comfortable. Hopefully that’s true of Tuesday’s purchase! Here they are, the Fiona Pointed Toe Ghillie Shoes by Brash.

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I knew they were going home with me the minute I tried them on! They’re perfect for wearing with summer’s shorter pants. Here, I’ve styled them with a pair of capris that I bought off a sales rack in the middle of winter and the white sateen crop pants that you’ve seen several times before. You first saw the black lace top here.

Shopping Payless, especially their BOGO sales, is a bit like thrift store shopping in that they don’t always have a particular shoe in the size you wear. I was lucky to find this pair in my size, but I couldn’t find a second pair I wanted, so I bought a package of socks to take advantage of the BOGO savings. I can always use more socks, especially at half price. The shoes themselves were a fantastic buy. Marked down from $49.99 to $16, they actually rang in at $13! Bonus!

I’ll be back to town for more dental work next Tuesday and the Tuesday after. Hopefully retail therapy doesn’t become a bad habit!

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An unusual find

LogoAs many of you know, I love thrift store shopping. It’s the thrill of the hunt and finding something unique or special that keeps me going back. That, and the prices! It’s not looking for something that I need, but finding something I can have even if I don’t need it because every item in the store is so affordable.

When I saw this particular garment, I knew I needed it. Well, actually I just wanted it really badly! I wanted it to fit perfectly. That’s the only problem with thrift store shopping; everything is one of a kind. If it doesn’t fit, there aren’t any other sizes to try on.

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As is often the case with second hand clothing, the size tag had been removed, but it looked like a possibility, so I headed for the dressing room and discovered that I was in luck! $2.50 made it mine!

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I’m not actually sure what to call it! Made of delicate translucent polyester with slits almost to the waist in front and on both sides, it clearly isn’t a dress. Perhaps tunic is the right word.

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Whatever it is, it’s incredibly lightweight and comfortable and the black piping is a nice finishing touch.

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In these photos, I chose to wear it with black and white camis and last year’s white sateen crop pants, but it looks great over black leggings too. Though I haven’t tried it yet, I think it would also look good worn unbuttoned as a long vest which gives it added versatility. Its final advantage is the fact that it packs well taking up almost no space in a suitcase and adding virtually nothing to its weight, something that I almost always consider when buying clothes.

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How much is too much?

LogoIf you know me or you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you already know that I’m not a Trump supporter, but what does that have to do with fashion?

Earlier this week, while traveling with her husband, Melania Trump stepped into the Sicilian sunshine wearing a colourful appliquéd jacket by Italian fashion house, Dolce & Gabbana, that sells for $51,000 USD.

Excuse me?

$51 000! 

And that probably doesn’t even include the matching clutch!

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For those of us north of the border, that’s almost $70 000 CAD!

Contemplate for a moment the fact that electing Donald Trump was considered a triumph for the common man. He fashioned himself as a proud champion of the ordinary American who was fed up with big money running the country. Then consider that his wife’s jacket sells for just $5516 less than the median household income for the United States in 2015 (the most recent year for which data is presently available) which was $56 516. I don’t know of any common man, or woman, with a clothing budget like that one!

I can’t help wondering what the common American would do with that $51 000. Pay off their mortgage? Send their kid to college? Pay for health insurance? $51 000 would buy a lot of groceries!

One of the things to consider when trying to decide if the price of a garment is too high is cost per wear. It makes sense to put more money into an investment piece that will be worn many times season after season than an item that will only be worn a few times. If Mrs. Trump wore her jacket once a week for the next five years, it would still cost almost $200 a wear!

Unbelievable, and in my opinion, inexcusable!

We aren’t what we wear

logoI recently had an interesting conversation with two young women that I tutor. Members of the Old Colony Mennonites who have been relocating to Canada from Mexico in recent years, they wear traditional dresses and kerchiefs. I’ve been teaching them to read, a skill they didn’t have the opportunity to learn as children. One of their many reasons for wanting to learn to read  is so that they can read the Bible, so we’ve been using a children’s Bible story book as one of our texts.

“Do we have different Bibles or do we just understand it differently?” M asked me after one of our recent sessions. “Our Bible says that we should wear dresses and cover our heads,” she continued. She was clearly referring to the fact that I don’t dress that way.

So what does the Bible actually say?

“A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.” Deuteronomy 22:5

We talked about what that might mean and M was quick to point out that though we might both wear blue jeans, her husband would never wear a top like I was wearing. No one would confuse me with a man because of the way I was dressed!

There was a time, not too long ago, when regardless of what they wore during the week, everyone dressed up to go to church on Sunday morning. Heaven forbid that a woman should wear pants or a man show up without shirt and tie! Thankfully, for many of us, that has changed.

Several years ago, before it became commonplace, I made the very intentional decision to begin wearing blue jeans to church. I don’t wear them every Sunday, but I do make a habit of wearing them quite often.

Why?

There were several young families in our church at the time who were struggling to get their teens to come to church on Sunday mornings. One of the issues of contention was what they wore. The kids rebelled at the idea of having to dress up. It always boggled my mind that anyone would consider one fabric (blue denim) less holy than another and rebel that I am, I felt that if I, sometimes considered a leader in the church, wore jeans, the younger parents might feel more comfortable allowing their kids to do the same.

Who knows? Maybe someday my young Mennonite friends might feel comfortable dressing more casually too. In the meantime, they wear their dresses and I wear my jeans and we have a wonderful time together! After all,

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

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