Sunday, June 1, 2014

Wardrobe update ~ summer style.

Retirement has meant a change in lifestyle and along with that my wardrobe has been completely revamped.
Work clothes are a thing of the past.

The 30 pound weight loss achieved through the sensible and simple Weight Watchers plan was the instigator.
I needed to replace everything and that could have been very expensive...
I am now on a pension so this proved to be somewhat of a challenge.

Shopping mostly thrift and consignment shops...I opted for classic timeless basics.
And in case you were wondering most pieces are black.
There are numerous white tops and a great pair of Club Monaco jeans and some grey sweaters in the closet.

It's hard for me to justify shopping at boutiques these days and pay the prices that I have in the past
especially when I can find a perfectly good garments for a reasonable price second hand.

The Burberry quilted coat and the Barbour vest were the big ticket items (investment pieces) last fall.

I stocked up on new white cotton tank tops this season as they get worn a lot as layering pieces and they get worn out quite quickly. I love the look of a freshly laundered and ironed white tee or tank top.

The other thing that I have been replacing quite a lot are those white cotton padded sport socks....they do cushion my feet in comfort, so better the socks wear out than the pads of my feet. New walking shoes are at the top of my list as mine have seen better days and many kilometers!

I've been shopping and found a few pieces which are a bit of a departure for me and I wanted to share them with you.

They are fun clothes,
clothes with a bit of a bohemian vibe,
a little edgier than what I am usually attracted to...
perhaps even a little gaudy.
Fasten your seat belts!

Linen print top which looks great layered over a white tank top and skinny jeans.

Blue and white printed fabric reminds me of the summer ocean breeze...
gauzy and cool.
Which leads me into a segue of blue and white...

Blue and white together are a harmonious marriage...
do you like the classic Blue Willow pattern?
Harumi Ota uses this combination in most of his contemporary porcelain pottery.
I am quite smitten with his work and own three of his bowls.

My friend Louise made me this necklace several years ago and I like to wear it in the summertime.

Beach glass beads mixed with pearls and sterling silver.

Cut Loose linen top which makes a great de-constructed jacket.
Looks good over a white cotton tank top too.

Pretty Shell buttons

Flared cuff detail at the bottom of the sleeves which are not too long so I can show off some silver bracelets.

My flip flops are getting out and about...
OPI Animalia an orange shade that I am loving.
These pants are super comfy and look good with my Gap denim jacket.

The GAP pale wash denim is rather like my grey hair
and speaking of grey...

I collected a bunch of clothes that were too big and took them to the consignment shop a couple of weeks ago...
when I tried on the remaining garments that I thought would fit I was aghast...
all too big and baggy and such a waste having all these garments hang about idle...
so I picked up the phone and made an appointment to consign the rest of them.

This skirt is really more of a pewter shade, but it is hard to tell in this image.
I plan to wear this casual skirt instead of shorts on the boat.
I can see it with my denim jacket or the white linen top.
I could wear it to run errands, to an outdoor cafe or when wandering about in a garden.
It's very different and I quite like the feel of it on with bare legs and flip flops in the heat of the day.

Loose skirts are comfortable, provide decent leg coverage, and are cooler than pants.

My summer shopping tote and one of my straw hats.
If you want to purchase one of these Nicholas Randall on Oak Bay Avenue currently have them in stock.
I bought mine last year at The Bungalow on Estevan Avenue.

Ah Summertime...

flip flops
 straw bags
lemonade and iced tea
paddling pools
ice cream cones
lounging on the deck
feeling the sand between your toes
blue skies
white clouds
watermelon slices
potato salad
cold chicken
beach walks

The sun is out and the birds are chirping.
 It is June the 1st today 
and it feels a bit like summer.


  1. I love this evolution. And the striped pants slay me - so fun, classic, casual, crisp.

  2. Leslie, I bought a crisp sleeveless white blouse at a consignment shop just the other day--tags still on the blouse.

    I also have clothes to clear out of my closet. My issue is that our consignment shop only accepts clothing in season--so my out of season clothes will languish unless I just take them to Goodwill--which I may well do.

    1. It's the same with our consignment shops so I hung onto most of the better quality name brand and designer pieces from last summer and am just getting around to consigning them now...I stored them in my hobby room closet so they were not in my way. I got several hundred dollars from the winter things I consigned and that has been put in my Paris might be able to do the same and then you'll have a bit of extra money with which you can reinvest in smaller sized garments!

  3. I too am trying to simplify my wardrobe so that I only have pieces that I wear often. I really like your linen pieces. They are classy and very European. I love the blue and white combination. In the 1970's I collected Lotte as my everyday pattern (I still have it 40 years later) and Blue Willow. Do you remember the Hoban book "A Tea-set for Frances?" The combination is timeless. Happy June! Almost a whole year of retirement!

  4. I love that bag! It may have to go and take a look at would be a real nice edition to my summer wardrobe and accessory collection. Those flip flops look really comfy and fashionable.

  5. I love that Russel Hoban book and have a copy of it!
    It doesn't seem like a many years have you been retired?

    1. I will be three in June. It just flies by.

  6. Loving your vision for summer, Hostess!

    SSG xxx

  7. I really liked the striped pants . . . your casual fun look and congrat's on the weight loss too.
    It is a beautiful warm summery like June 1 here in Western Michigan . . . Just perfect for porch sitting!

  8. Hostess, you really have a knack for pulling outfits together. I love the linen and the tote!. Congratulations on your weight loss.

    We are planning a trip to Victoria this summer. Do you have a list of consignment and favorite shops that you are willing to share? Also, must-see gardens and historic homes?

    1. Gardens: Butchart's, Abkhazi, Royal Roads and if you go upisland Milner Gardens.
      Thrift Shops: Value Village, Salvation Army, Hospice Thrift and Win has several stores in various locations.
      Consignment: My Sister's Closet, Velvet Crease, House of Savoy and a la Mode in Oak Bay. Good Things for a variety of household, books and jewelry.
      Boutiques: Sundays Snowflakes at Matticks, Tulipe Noir in Oak Bay.
      Gift Shops; Nicholas Randall, Ivy's Book Store and The Bungalow on Estevan.
      The Royal BC Museum and Craigdarroch Castle are worth a visit.

      Hope this helps. You can always email me privately at

    2. Thanks so much!

  9. Great pieces. I love the blue beach glass mixed with pearls. That linen top with the square buttons looks wonderful. I totally agree about long skirt vs pants on a hot summer day. Looks like your summer is shaping up nicely!! xoJennifer

  10. I'd love to see what that crinkly skirt looks like on.

    1. I need to find someone to take my OOTD photos as the mirror is in the laundry room is so under lit that the pics are poor quality and way too grainy.

  11. I've also been wearing lots of linen, although a bit of color sneaks in every now and then. Your blue and white necklace and the porcelain bowls are both stunning. Blue and white is such a classic.

  12. Transforming the working wardrobe to the more casual, do as you please wardrobe is so much fun! I'll wager that it's even more fun replacing with a smaller size! Love all your new pieces and I must try my hand at a necklace like your friend's lovely gift... Very pretty! Smiles...Susan

  13. White tank tops are so useful for layering but I haven't yet found a good brand that makes it to my liking. Now, I'm not fussy, but I need something of a good quality stretchy fabric that is not see-through thin and something that is age-appropriate (i.e. not too short and low-cut)! Anyone with recommendations? Thanks! Emily :-)

    1. Try LLBean. They have some spandex, but it can get a bit warm in humid weather.

    2. Carolyn Vaile make some heavier weight tops which also have spandex and look quite dressy. Eileen Fisher has a great linen blend that I splurged on but it was too pricey to use everyday for housework and gardening!

  14. Love all of this. You're up for a sassy, stylish summer.

    xo J

  15. Hello Leslie,

    It feels so good to review one's clothes from time to time and reinvent oneself in the process. We are all for that.

    Your new choices seem to reflect a more carefree approach and that is surely good. Work brings so many demands that it is great to feel the freedom of not working. We never say retired!

    1. I am curious as to why you never say retired?
      Reinvention seems necessary when going through a lifestyle change...
      It's a work in process!

  16. So many darling wardrobe items! I love that great for summer and the striped pants, too!
    I usually steer clear of linen because of all the wrinkling it does but your blouse need not worry about that! I need to find a few blouses like it.

    1. I know what you mean about the wrinkles but linen is just so cool to wear when it is hot...and I love the feel of it.

  17. Love the print linen blouse. I'm hoping to wear more linen - it breathes so well in the summer. Isn't this a wonderful beginning to June? The weather is gorgeous and makes us just want to be outdoors!

    1. The weather is divine so I do hope you are out enjoying the day.
      I have been outside in the garden harvesting some radishes and green oninons.
      On my walk today I was glad that I took a bottle of water to keep hydrated.

  18. Pretty. I love blue and white anything and those Harumi Ota bowls are fabulous!

  19. Oh I love that blue and white shirt, am totally a sucker for anything blue and white , such a classic and I like the way it shapes in at the top and comes down lower. I am finding a few of my shirts are just too boxy for me these days, I'm more comfy with the coverage

  20. Love the striped pants, and must look great with your denim jacket. All the blue and white is beautiful too.

  21. Love your style!! The striped pants are so fun. Still working on losing the extra weight here, but my wardrobe certainly reflects a "fat" attitude--perhaps ditching that mindset will help? And blue and white is truly the most classic combination.....for décor, clothing, anything. It never gets hold. Jen in NY

  22. Love your new pieces. funny, I was just thinking that a little "bohemian" is good for summer. Loose, unstructured clothing, so comfy. I think it's a great idea to reassess the wardrobe every once in awhile to keep it current with our preferences and lifestyle. I love your combo of chic and comfortable.