Summery Sums, or a Summary

With a few more weeks of summer to go, I feel ready to reflect on the season's successes and fails, so I can prepare for my warm fall capsule, which I plan to haul out in probably the second or third week of September. 

I haven't taken photos of every outfit this summer, or showed all outfits -- but as usual, many were repeats or near repeats. You have seen most "first tries" and some experiments as well. Below are a few that I don't think I showed at other times. 

What's obvious right away is that our weather was different than usual. In what other July would I be wearing a wool sweater? (Pic 3. I actually popped a blazer on top of that!)

So some of what I loved and some of what I loved less about getting dressed this year may be related to our peculiar and unusual weather this season. I need to keep that in mind for next year, when the season is unlikely to be so chilly.

I began this summer capsule around the first of June. So by capsule's end, it will have been just over 3 months. 

The Stats: 

Number of items: 55 (not counting shoes). Counting (non-gear) shoes actually worn — 60

(5 dresses; 3 skirts; 3 pants; 5 jeans; 9 shorts; 4 jackets; 5 LS shirts; 10 sleeveless tops; 6 tees; 5 sweaters.)

New items this season: 25 purchased, 2 drawn from daughter’s donate bag and kept, for a total of 27!!! 

Unworn items: 1 (the dress in Pic. 8. May still find one occasion to wear it.) 

Items worn only 2-3 times: 6  (2 of these are special occasion only items; another is the dress in #1. Opportunities for wearing severely limited by weather, and also by the fact that my strapless bra conked out and I have yet to get a new one.) 

All other items in very regular rotation. Worn between 5-25 times over approximately 90 days. Or in the case of the Bernias, worn about 50 times in 60 days or so....

Items worn more than expected: Summer knits and jeans. It is normally too hot for knits and jeans in summer here, but not this year! 

Number of trips taken during period of capsule: 8
Packing mostly stress free. Clothing travelled well. This is extremely important to me, given my lifestyle. 

Boredom level with outfits: almost 0 

Happiness factor for outfits: very high on the whole -- highest ever on average. 

Okay. If you have followed me so far, thank you. 

And now for some reflections. 

I felt great about my clothes and my wardrobe this season.I had so much fun shopping in June! :) And overall, when I looked into my closet, I felt the happiest I have ever felt with what I saw there. Getting dressed was fun and easy, I was never bored, I ran into very few laundry bottlenecks, and I never had that: "I hate my clothes" or "What can I wear?????" feeling.'s take a step back here. 


Is this what it takes to make me happy? 

An average of 10 new items a month????  (and this doesn’t even count accessories, gear, undies, etc.) Quite apart from the financial burden, is this not a bit crazy? 

In my own defence, I really have been in closet "building" mode and it is possible I would not need to purchase so many items in another year. I had to retire at least 10 tops this season due to wear and tear and the fact that they were no longer current cuts. 

But yeah, there is the rub --- I seem to demand "current" if not "trendy" from my clothes, and that is going to necessitate a bit of churn no matter what. 

I do not think it is a coincidence that the unworn dress in #8 is 3 years old. I loved it at the time, but it no longer feels perfectly fresh, even though it is in great condition and is, I think, quite flattering. And Mr. Suz loves it on me. 

On a more positive and less self-critical note, I feel really good about this approximate number of items for a 3 month capsule. It seems to work really well for me, and I'm going to keep it as my benchmark moving into my fall capsule. Of course there will be plenty of overlap with denim and some shirts into the next capsule, and I will build my variety with footwear, other tops, jackets, etc. as the weather cools. 

Thank you for reading this far and I welcome your observations and thoughts. 


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Outfit lab: Inspired by Tanya

Inspired by Tanya's cool "long baggy shorts" look, I took a peek into my closet. 

I happen to own the very same shorts she is showing, but being only 5'4" to her 5'6" mine were much longer and proportionately a bit funny on me at purchase, so I hemmed them. They're still long -- but very clearly "shorts," if you know what I mean. (Pic 1) 

So instead, I decided to try with my Zara sarong shorts, which are longer and more culotte like. (pic 2) 

That felt a little plain, and I worried it was too dark on the bottom. So I tried with my DVF leopard sweater sort of tucked under for a cropped effect. Alas, this wouldn't stay put and irritated me, so off it came. (pic 3) 

Next I added a necklace. Now, I don't own many necklaces, not being much for jewellery in general, so I made do with what I had. I don't think it really adds anything and maybe even detracts, but oh well. I wore it for supper with Mr. Suz and he didn't seem to think it was weird or anything. (pic 4) 

And then I took off the shorts and changed shoes because we decided to go out for a short walk and it was chilly! So pic 5 was the outfit the world saw in the end. 

The cropped over long is a new proportion to me completely. And I'm not really sure how to wear it. But it's fun playing around. 

Do you like it better with or without the necklace? And if this one isn't right, what kind might work? 


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Speaking of duplication

Shannon's post on her bone and silver shoes got me thinking about my Sofft Bernias. 

As you all know, I have worn these sandals literally every day since they arrived in June. And -- as is usual for me, when it comes to walkable sandals -- they are definitely showing signs of wear. This is no poor reflection on the shoes. You have to understand -- I WALK in these babies, often 5 miles a day or more. And sometimes I get caught in the rain. So. Yeah. They are not pristine any more.  

It's Austerity August and I have not shopped except for a pair of gear running shoes (on sale) -- which I assume does not count since I do not wear for fashion. 

Would it make sense to duplicate the Bernias? 

Oh -- and CAN I? I have searched in vain for my size (7B) and colour (anthracite). 

I am even wondering if a 6.5 might work in the C width...that's how much I love these shoes. 

Then again, if they are this popular, maybe Sofft will come up with something similar next year. 


WIW: For Eirlys and Sveta

Forum member Eirlys just celebrated her 84th birthday -- in beautiful, bright style. As well as a few stripes. 

It disappointed her a little to see her fellow diners wearing ultra casual clothing -- and she wondered if she was alone in liking to dress up a little bit for dinner. 

Well, it happened to be a gorgeous evening where I live. So Mr. Suz and I elected to go out for an impromptu patio supper at a local bistro. 

My daytime outfit consisted of my Bernias, a pair of Mexx bermudas, a silk top from Costco, and a "matchy matchy" bag. 

It took me all of 3 minutes to switch things up -- traded the shorts for a Vince Camuto tube skirt, and the sandals for my Okalas, for a second hit of matchy-matchy. 

Dressed up? Yes, a little. Yet every bit as comfortable as the original outfit. 

This multi-layered silk trapeze top came to me courtesy of Sveta, who found them at her local Costco last year. I seldom wore mine last year because it was a little bit long for me proportionately and I never could style it properly. 

A quick trip to Wonder Woman East fixed that -- I had it trimmed just the smallest amount and now it feels much better on me. Yet another orphan-turned-workhorse.   :)   Sveta had challenged me last year to wear this striped skirt with bright colour as opposed to my fallback black or white, so Sveta, this is also for you. 


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Mama Mia: Experiments in plaid

It's playing in the closet day on the forum! :) 

I think Sveta's posts have already established what a workhorse item the plaid Mias from the NAS are going to be in her closet. The same is true for me. They seem to work with just about everything. 

Here are a few options, some of which I already showed, and some of which are new, along with a few questions for you. 

Do you like them with the tan boots? (#5) These are a Parsley find from last year -- an odd little boot that I have yet to wear out of the house. But nice soft leather. They lace up in the back. 

I was astonished to find that I actually like these with my suit jacket. Am I nuts or does that work?  (#8)

I probably wouldn't wear IRL with the grey boots. (#8) The heels are high and I always feel a bit "tarty" with tucked jeans and a higher heel. (Just my personal feeling, BTW). But I wouldn't mind finding a pair of flat heeled grey boots to wear with them, that's for sure. Of course that is a bit of a HEWI for me. 

Sveta mentioned that she did not care for hers with black boots. So i wanted to try mine with black boots to see. (#9) Do you think they can be worn this way? I think they should be fine with black booties or ink booties, although I have not yet tried that. Or with the black moto boots, perhaps. It might be that a smaller expanse of black will work better? 

Would love your thoughts. 


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Laundry mishap update

So...we tried the soak of my print linen tee in oxi-clean. No difference whatsoever. 

I suspect I'm going to have to get used to wearing a lavender tee.  Sob.  :(

It could be worse. But I mourn its passing. I really loved that tee. 


Summer Lemming-Aid (Pic heavy)

Does your summer style lack sizzle? 

Well grab your wine spritzer and take a good long sip. Because really, nothing could be simpler. To add pizzazz to your wardrobe, all you need to do is go shopping with YLF in mind! 

Copy Angie’s ensembles (casual linen; ultra casual blue and white; pink and olive; ink, brown, grey, black; white sneakers.)

Join Janet (and Jackie) in singing the blues, with the GAP’s camo BF shorts. 

Share Shevia’s excitement about some black&white brogues…or pointy toed ankle straps with heels. Boyish, feminine -- it's all good! (Extra points for cognac accents...). 

Sport a sack-like shirtdress — like Angie! 

Let it shine…like texstyle and Beth. (What would I ever have done without my pewter belt and Bernia gladiators this summer???)

Or sashay along in sarong shorts, like Janet. 

Let the cat out of the bag, like Rae, Mary, and Vicki.  

Apply Angie’s favoured fix — add white! Snip with your scissors to make your jeans the length you’d like. (Janet did that, too....) 

In fact, make it a column of white! Shannon & Ornella & Elizabeth will show you how. 

While you're at it, join the J. Crew linen tee and linen sweater brigade, along with Gaylene, Sveta, Elizabeth, Tanya, Inge -- and many more. 

Vivify like Viva and Angie with a J. Crew tux shirt (best shirt ever). 

Go “tubing” — along with Shannon, Mo, Ms. KK, MaryK, Sveta, Tanya, Diana, Joy, abc, and who knows how many other rabid VC fans!  (Do it in white sneakers for an extra jolt of 2014.)  Question: was there every a skirt that worked so well for so many body types and so many different styles? I seriously doubt it. 

Cruise along in J. Crew linen pants...

Follow Sveta's scintillating lead. When all your shopping is done, yes, ALL of it -- shop once more at the GAP’s 30% off sale and snap up the grey linen trousers. Because two new pairs of linen J. Crew pants are just not enough!! 

There you have it. 18 ways....and make you want to hug your closet. 

If you read this far, thanks for indulging me. This is the first year in my life when I have actually ENJOYED getting dressed and ENJOYED shopping in the summer.  (Maybe even a little too much, LOL.) 

And this is my way of saying THANK YOU!!!  

If my fall closet is even half as much fun, it's going to be an amazing season!


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Last of the NAS

I am insanely and I mean insanely in love with my final three NAS purchases. Each one makes me unreasonably happy. :) :) :)

First up, the best jeans ever. Kut from the Kloth Mias in plaid. 

I own last year's version of the plaid Mias, and I love those, too, but they are completely different. 

Last year's (pic 3) are a darkish grey plaid, with a high poly content. They are extremely stretchy and sleek with a bit of a sheen IRL. But they are definitely calf-sucking. And rather warm. So I wear them as a legging jean in winter only, tucked into boots. And I sized DOWN for an extra sleek fit. 

This year's version (1/2) are a lighter, more cotton rich and less stretchy fabrication (although they do have stretch). I sized UP for a bit of slouch. And achieved it -- I need to wear a belt to hold them up. They could not be more comfortable. They speak to the prep and the punk in me. Plus, they go with almost everything in my closet. (Which makes sense, since most things in my closet are blue or grey, LOL. ) 

 they coordinate with my hair. ;) Yay for Angie picks!! 

I'm really happy because these will help me further my goal of "lightening up" in the winter months  -- something that is not easy (especially when it comes to bottoms) given our usually sloppy weather conditions. And they will make my outfits cohesive because of the way they work with my hair. 

Shown with my J. Crew tux shirt (1/2), AT silk camp shirt in navy (4), Zara silk/cotton dolman sleeved sweater (5), ink blue Reiss blazer (6). 

By the way, these are plenty long -- I will probably have to hem them and they will still be full length but able to be rolled as shown. 

Next up, the Trouvé textured tuxedo jacket. I hadn't even noticed this until Ummlila posted it. But I loved how it looked with her sheath dresses and since I've been wanting a topper to wear with mine in cooler weather, and I did not own a black jacket, I decided to give it a whirl. Love the texture and the collar style, and the fit is perfect. It's got a bit of stretch so it is comfy to wear. 

Finally, the Halogen striped midi skirt. I am over the moon about this. I have no idea when I will actually wear it, but oh, how I love it! So pretty and feminine. For styling, I'm shamelessly copying Angie here with my Okalas, leather sleeved denim jacket, and welted pullover. I also love it with chambray and the Okalas. Something about the juxtaposition of pony print, chambray, and satiny fabric makes me smile. 

Can I wear it with the Trouvé jacket also, or is that jacket too long for it? I think it might be borderline. The jacket comes higher in back. 


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Feeling blue: Laundry mishap

You might recall the J. Crew silkscreen print linen tee I wore for my first travel day (and several days during my recent trip.) Bought this tee last year and love it. (Pic 1)

Well, on my return, Mr. Suz put it into the laundry, delicate cycle, cold water, with a bunch of my other stuff...including my stepdaughter's cheap purple cotton maxi skirt. 

Guess what happened??? 

It may not be obvious here, but the background of my shirt is now a faint lavender rather than a creamy white. And I am so, so sad. :(

It also shrunk a wee bit but that is easy to deal with -- it sometimes happens with this shirt and I just get it wet and block it to the shape I prefer. 

Fortunately, I can wear lavender reasonably well. But I would far prefer to get the stain out! 

We tried bleach for unbleachables already, to little avail. (Blue might be a little less, but not much.) 

Anything else I can do? 


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WIW for a little cross border shopping

I'm back from my Maritime adventure with my mother. 

So Mona and I made a trip across the border today to pick up the last of our NAS items. Pics to follow soon. In the meantime, what I wore for the trip on a hot day!