LogoAfter a week during which I published a couple of fairly heavy posts about the fallout from Covid-19, let’s finish off with some fashion fluff! During this time when most of us are spending more time at home than usual, what are you wearing on your feet?

When I was growing up on the coast of British Columbia, we usually wore our shoes in the house. If I remember correctly, that was common in that time and place. Here on the prairie, however, almost everyone takes their shoes off at the door and when I settled here, that quickly became my habit too. Though I live in town, this is farming country and I suspect that taking your shoes off simply developed as a way to keep from tracking barnyard dirt into the house. It was a habit that served us well when we moved to Japan where homes traditionally had tatami mats on the floors and shoes are always taken off at the entrance.

My preference has always been to go barefoot, but since we live in a climate that isn’t conducive to that except for a few months of the year, I usually wear slippers in the house. Until fairly recently, my slipper of choice was a mule; comfortable and easy to slip on and off. Last winter, however, I took part in a falls prevention program put on by our local health authority. One of the topics that was covered was footwear. It was then that I really began to notice that my slippers weren’t very secure on the stairs which I usually go up and down several times a day. Since they were beginning to show signs of wear anyway, I decided to replace them with these.

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The moccasin style is warm and comfortable as well as much more secure on my feet and the rubber sole provides good grip when it’s needed. They’re available in eleven different colours and I notice that they’re even on sale right now.

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Whatever you’re wearing on your feet, I hope you’re staying home, staying safe, and coping well in spite of all the restrictions brought on by the pandemic!

What’s in the suitcase this time?

LogoI didn’t actually think that there was going to be a Fashion Friday post this week. Life threw us an unexpected curve a few days ago when we learned that my very frail 96-year-old father had taken a turn for the worse. He isn’t expected to live and we’re once again on our way to Vancouver.

There were a lot of details that we had to take care of at home in order to clear our calendars and get on our way. Very little thought or planning went into what’s in our suitcase. Thankfully, we travel a lot and packing has become second nature to me. When I looked at the clothes laying on the bed in our guest room, which doubles as my packing room, I realized that I’d automatically chosen mostly neutrals and that everything coordinated so that I could put together many outfits with just a few items. The latter is a very important key to packing well.

We spent many hours on the road yesterday and at one point I found myself thinking about what was in the suitcase. I came to the realization that, for the most part, I’d packed what might best be referred to as comfort clothes. Comfortable, yes, but also comforting. Clothes like my grey and white Breton t-shirt and my tan cords that feel like old friends. I may not be a shining fashionista in the things that I packed, but in these challenging days, I’ll be dressed in clothes that bring me comfort.

What about you? Do you have clothes that you instinctively reach for on days when you need comforting?

Dressing for an autumn hike

Dressing for a hike is all about comfort, not style. I don’t want to look terrible when I’m on the trail, but I’m much more concerned about wearing clothes that are comfortable and well suited to the conditions. When we set out last Saturday morning, the sky was overcast and the temperature was 17ºC (about 63ºF). We knew that it was likely going to get warmer as the morning went by, so as always, layering was the key.

I started with a long sleeved grey and white striped Breton tee and a comfortable pair of jeans that used to be black, but are now faded to a dark charcoal grey. (Any tips for keeping black jeans from fading would be much appreciated.) Both items are several years old. Next, I added a lightweight athletic jacket that I bought at our local thrift store back in January. It was like new and was definitely one of the best $3 investments I’ve ever made! It’s been to Mexico and Europe with me and I’m sure its cost per wear is already just a few cents. The final layer was my Uniqlo ultra light down vest.

I wear a ball cap to shade my face. There’s a good reason for that. I have no depth vision. I never have had so I don’t know what I’m missing. My brain has other ways of compensating, but wearing sunglasses removes whatever sense of depth I have and makes walking on uneven ground treacherous. As a result, I never wear them when I’m hiking.

Being surefooted on the trail is important, so good sturdy footwear is vital. My Merrell hiking shoes may not be particularly glamorous, but they’re comfortable and provide excellent support.

One thing I’m not wearing is makeup. Why would I? I admit that I look a little washed out in the photos, but I was hiking! I did wear sunscreen though. Even when it’s overcast, I want to protect my skin.

As the morning progressed, the sky cleared and the temperature rose. Layers came off and by the end of our hike the jacket was tied around my waist, the vest was tucked into it’s little sack and tied to one of my belt loops, and my sleeves were pushed up.

3Cs… classy, confident, and comfortable

LogoIn one of her most recent posts, Pam Lutrell of Over 50 Feeling 40, one of my favourite fashion blogs, presented her readers with a lengthy list of adjectives and asked us to choose the top three that we would like our wardrobes to say about us. I chose classyconfident, and comfortable.

In my mind, the first two go hand in hand. When I know I look good, I feel like I can conquer the world and to me looking good means dressing with class.

As I mentioned in last Friday’s post, now that I’m retired, I want my wardrobe to be what I would call classy casual.

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So what makes an outfit classy? There are no one size fits all rules, but here are a few tips to help:

Learn how to dress your body type  –  What looks good on some of my curvy girlfriends might do nothing at all for my boyish figure and vice versa. Look for garments that highlight your best features and don’t draw attention to the ones that you’d rather conceal.

Fit  –  In the words of Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear fame, “If you don’t have fit, you don’t have style.” The key is to try things on and look in the fitting-room mirror with a critical eye. Do shoulder seams lie in the right place? Are armholes sufficiently high without cutting into your armpits? Does the garment pull across your shoulder blades? Is the length appropriate? Is there puckering or wrinkling anywhere? If you’re unsure about fit, try on another size for comparison. Then, if you’re seriously considering buying an item, leave the dressing room and head for the three-way mirror! Don’t buy anything without first checking the fit from behind!

Know which colours look best with your complexion  –  Wearing the right colours can make your hair look radiant, your eyes pop, and your skin glow. On the other hand, the wrong colours, especially worn close to your face, will make you look tired or washed out.

Modesty  –  I’m not talking about hiding under a nun’s habit or a burqa here, but there’s nothing classy about overexposure! Unless you’re at the beach or beside the pool, keep your cleavage and your belly button covered. Underwear is meant to be worn under what you’re wearing, so keep your bra straps out of sight too and please, please remember that leggings are not pants! Make sure your butt and your crotch are covered. ‘Nuff said!

Accessorize, but don’t overdo it  –  Jewelry is meant to enhance an outfit, not overpower it. In my opinion, understated is better than garish or overly ostentatious. Scarves are a great way to add colour and visual interest to an outfit and don’t forget that your shoes are also an accessory. There’s nothing like a cute shoe to add a little class!

When it comes to classy, confident dressing, learn to trust your instincts. Wear what makes you feel like your best self. Think about the outfits that you feel happiest wearing and the ones that you receive the most compliments on. Chances are, they make you look classy. And don’t forget that dressing classy doesn’t have to cost a lot. Yes, you could spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on designer clothes, but you can also find comparable looks at reasonable prices, and if you’re like me, you might even find some wonderful buys in your local thrift stores! Check here for 18 tips to help you!

Comfortable is my final C word and to me, that’s a no brainer! Regardless of how well a garment fits and whether or not the colour suits you, if you don’t find it comfortable or you don’t like the texture of the fabric, you won’t enjoy wearing it.

What words would you choose to describe what you would like your wardrobe to say about you?