Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall Wardrobe basics, after the heart rocks...

I started out thinking about rocks when I sat down to write today's post but I segued into my thoughts about my wardrobe quite quickly...so bear with me as I take you on a bit of a romp from rocks to clothes!

Collecting heart shaped rocks has proved ot be quite a challenge.
They are rather illusive on the beach and searching requires a lot of concentration and patience.

Thoughts flutter through my mind as I am in a meditative mood when sorting and seeking rocks.
I sit on a log and scan the area at my feet...
I am the first to admit that it is an odd activity. 
I wonder why I am preoccupied with only the heart shapes
 as there are so many beautiful stones in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes.

The collection is small enough to fit into a vintage silver compote.
These few hearts represent a few hours of beach combing in a calm and focused state.

Alone with my thoughts
 in a natural setting
of beauty.

Shaped by the tides
they feel smooth in my palm.

Each one is different...

This was the first one I found
while walking along the beach off of Dallas Road waterfront 
I did a double take when I saw it and knew I had to take it home.

Places by the ocean offer up opportunities
 for thoughts to bubble up 
which in a peaceful place 
help me sort out things that might be preying on my mind.

The days are getting shorter as the seasons are in flux.
Soon we will be cocooning indoors by the warmth of the fire with mugs of hot tea to chase the chill away.

Speaking of chill chasers...
sweater and vest weather is coming...

Last year's investment piece, a Barbour vest,
 I wore it often.

Hermes scarf in shades of white and grey...
a great accent piece to add to my basic casual tee and jeans.

These reliable and machine washable Merino tee sweaters will be back on the beat.
They were purchased at Costco last year and look as new and fresh as the day I brought them home.

Shoes will replace sandals...

The quilted Burberry will carry me through the Fall in style.

This Breton striped top layered with the Barbour vest and worn with a Hermes scarf and jeans is an easy look to put together for a day of errands.
It is comfortable to wear to the grocery store.

I'll be wearing boots a lot...

My cashmere cardigans get worn most fall and winter days during the week...
they are my "go to basics" for they offer warmth without the weight and bulk of most wools.

I have a few dressier items in the closet for dinners out and parties.
Peter Nygaard skirt.

A basic black dress can take me almost anywhere.

A vintage beaded cardigan is incredibly versatile and it's a fun and whimsical piece to add some interest to a basic black and grey wardrobe.

A little black skirt can take you most places...

A sweater like this can do double duty as a jacket.

A pair of basic dressy shoes like these will go with everything.

I love my jeans and I practically live in them now that I lead a casual lifestyle...
retirement dressing is so much simpler than when one is working.

It doesn't mean sloppy dressing for me...even my walking gear is pretty.

You'd be surprised how few clothes I have left hanging in my closet.

Since I started blogging I have become so much more aware of my tastes 
 what clothes suit my shape and what I feel good wearing.

Not all my clothes are purchased new.
Some are investment pieces and others are bargains...
this jacket is a wonderful example of a thrift shop find.

This soft cashmere Burberry scarf was a gift from my sweet husband.
It kept me warm and cozy last year and I can hardly wait to wear it again when the temperature dips.

A nod to colour...a bright walking jacket.
Cheerful for our rainy days to come.

A Chanel inspired jacket can elevate a pair of jeans and take me out to lunch.

I like to use accessories to make the most of my basic minimal wardrobe.
They change the mood and feeling and add interest.
They needn't be expensive and can be readily found in stores.
Don't overlook gallery and museum gift shops, ethnic import shops and thrift shops.

Have fun hunting for the pieces that you like and you don't have to settle for the mass produced plastics...
look for the unique, vintage, designer pieces or if you are creative make your own! 

Tune into your inner voice and wear something that expresses a little bit of your personality.
I dare you to push the envelope with accessories.
Fashion should be fun.

My take on dressing is to keep my wardrobe small and manageable.
The basic palette is black, white and grey.
I like to have something hanging in my closet for any occasion so there is no panic shopping required.
I take stock each season of the garments and their condition before storing them.
If they need repair or if they need to be replaced.

At the start of a new season I look at what I already own before embarking on a shopping spree.
I make and use a list so that I do not fall prey to impulse buying...
Too many dollars have been wasted when I shopped as a hobby.
I record all my purchases in a book since retiring and it gives me an idea of how much I spend on clothes.

I am enjoying dressing on a budget and find that I am much more selective and creative with less.

Are you happy with your wardrobe?
Do you have a few choice garments or a closet crammed full of clothes?

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”
~ Coco Chanel ~


  1. I still have more clothing than I need, but find it difficult to downsize. I have, however, been culling my wardrobe, bit by bit, for the past two years. And I have stopped "recreational" shopping. For a trip to Switzerland and Germany this fall, I added a new grey sweater and two pairs of dressier jeans. Otherwise, I have stuck with shopping the closet.

    1. I think I was fortunate that very few of my clothes fit after my weight loss so it made the culling job pretty easy. I might have been tempted to keep more otherwise.
      It is a challenge to hone a wardrobe...Janice at The Vivienne Files has some great posts if you don't already read her fabulous blog.

  2. Beaches are wonderful places for gathering one's thoughts along with the heart-shaped rocks. I have a few of them, too, along with sea glass.
    My wardrobe has never been large, but I'm more deliberate about what I purchase now, and want to make certain that things last for a long time. I indulged in a blue leather handbag that I'm really loving as it adds a pop of colour to my usual black, grey and white.

    1. I'd love to see your bag paired with your outfits...perhaps you'll show us in a future post?

  3. Hi..what do you find are the best cashmere cardi's...? thanks Carolyn from Vancouver
    P.S I second your thoughts on the costco merino.....have you tried costco's
    cashmere ?

    1. I like Johnson's Scottish sweaters but they are frightfully expensive. I have several cashmere sweaters from Lands" End and one Lord and Taylor cardigan.
      I'd suggest you browse the Brora or Eric Bompard websites to see the variety of styles and prices available. If you are in Vancouver you might pop into Holt Renfrew and see what they have...and compare the quality and price. If you are lucky you might find one in a higher end consignment shop.
      Costco cashmere is not to my liking...I like a 3 or 4 ply weight and I know that all cashmere pills eventually but the Costco sweaters seem to pill after the first wearing...good luck in your search Carolyn.

  4. I have spent the majority of the last two days working on my closet and dresser drawers--weeding out items from my wardrobe. I am determined to have a much smaller wardrobe--and my colors are going to be the same as yours--black, gray, and white. Why? Because it is easier! I am into accessorizing as well--with scarves and jewelry.

    It is amazing how many articles of clothing I had! And this is after donating/consigning items every year! Hopefully, going forward, I will be a more astute shopper.

    I am finding that I need certain items to wear at our farm--jeans, t-shirts, etc that I might not wear in Dallas.

    1. It's a daunting task isn't it?
      I love easy dressing with a basic pallette and accessories are where most of the colour comes in. Have fun!

  5. I have been working at downsizing (wardrobe and self) but I still have too many clothes. As some become too large, it is easy to donate them. I bought 2 Costco merinos last year and they are great. I have been quite good at selecting grey and blue as my neutrals but I can get carried away. I should record my purchases and be careful not to buy duplicates or impulse. items. Rocks to wardrobe is an interesting jump but walking does seem to be a major retirement activity and there are so many interesting shapes and sizes of rocks on the beach.

    1. If you have a great consignment shop you might consider taking in your extra garments...I was successful selling most of mine and in exchange I got some money to reinvest in pieces that I could really use.
      It was a rather abstract tangental segue....

  6. I was proud of myself for not purchasing one single item of clothing this summer. I know I won't be able to say the same,this fall. I love sweaters,boots, and coats too much.

    1. Your winter season is much harsher and longer than ours so I understand the need to invest in warmer clothes. I hope you'll share your new garments on your blog.

  7. Such a beautiful wardrobe you've created - it suits you so well. And heart-shaped stones are a visible expression of all of the love that comes out of your pores...
    big hug,

    1. I owe a lot of my success to your wonderful advice and guidance. Your blog has been influencial and you are a gifted and creative writer. Thank you Janice

  8. I still have too many things in my wardrobe - the result of still working. What I wear to work isn't always what I'd like to wear in my private life. I look forward to the day when my closet is pared down to what I love. There's really some great advice here!

    1. A working wardrobe is so different from a casual one and it is definitely bigger and more professional clothes are required.
      You'll have fun when the time comes to pare down :-)

  9. oh i love your rock collection! it is small but very mighty. it looks perfect against the beautiful silver. x

    1. Thank you Janet.
      I have been thinking about your lush and beautiful garden the changes that you have recently made and wondered if you were inspired by your trip to the UK last year?
      Travel and trips do have an impact on us long after we return home.

  10. How amazing. I never thought about heart shaped rocks and here in the same month I come across 2 mentions of them! The other is in a book I'm reading, "This is not the story you think it is: a season of unlikely happiness" by Laura Munson. That author too, looks for heart shaped rocks and collects them. But in Montana... A wonderful book by the way. When in Michigan I look for Petoskey stones, I will now broaden my focus to include heart shaped stones as well. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, now I'll want to reserve that book at my local library...I have a friend who told me that she collects heart shaped rocks too!

  11. Thank you for sharing your collections of stones and clothing. An unusual pairing, they reveal care, deliberation, and impeccable taste.

  12. I love the style in your wardrobe. You have made some excellent choices. I especially love your Hermes scarves. The gray and white is gorgeous! I am looking forward to purchasing my first and was wondering if you prefer the larger or smaller scarves?

    1. I like a variety of scarves and have no preference as to size

  13. Very pretty! I have the same Burberry plaid scarf, or at least when one of my sons does not borrow it!

  14. My stepmother has a heart rock collection. She gave us one when we got married:). Means a lot. Yours is wonderful.

  15. Thanks for the update on your upcoming wardrobe, its fun to view others clothes from afar, I'm in Australia. We are moving into Summer, Spring first of course and at present I am loving the splashes of colour around and have just bought some lovely easy wear clothes.
    I am truly more Southern (cooler) than Northern (warmer) but at present am looking forward to Summer and lighter clothes to wear even if its hot, enjoy what lies ahead for you the lovely cold, just love it, but living in Australia doesn't offer as much cold as your country. Thanks for your input, enjoy those clothes they are lovely you are a girl after my own heart.

  16. Hi Hostess
    Your wardrobe choices are lovely.I'm longing for a fresh start with my wardrobe were going into summer down under. Last year I don't think I bought much and my wardrobe is sadly depleted. I've really lost my mojo when it comes to clothes I'm a pretty good seamstress but with working and all the other things that need to be done I don't get much time to sew. When I do go shopping I come back most times feeling disillusioned at the fit and quality available. I'll be 60 in a couple of weeks and am hoping to retire my husband has been very sick for the last year but is now recovering I'm longing for a rest and the chance to do what I want to do. I've never thought of looking for heart shaped rocks yours look lovely in the silver dish.
    Kind Regards

  17. One of the most difficult things I did when I retired, was to "retire" my work clothes. Difficult psychologically, because it meant the end of a very big part of my life. I actually didn't do it until three years after I actually retired. I gave the clothes to a charity, Dress for Success, that provides clothes for formerly homeless women who are now looking for jobs.

    Even with that good deed, it was hard.

  18. I loved reading your post. We are still having warm weather here in the south, but I am ready to switch out the closet. I agree, fashion should be fun. Enjoy the remainder of the week.
    Hugs, Bonnie

  19. I was just going thru my wardrobe too and it's very similar to yours. Where would we be without the neutrals? I love the beaded sweaters too, but there is a pink, vintage Chanel jacket which has faded to almost white down one sleeve. (Vintage find) I think I might be brave and dye it. It might be interesting to see what I get on top of the pink. Think I'll go for a neutral warm grey. Wish me luck.

    1. I agree with you that neutrals are key colours for a classic basic wardrobe.
      Oh you should take a before an after photo...I'd love to see the results....lucky you to have found a vintage Chanel. I had an opportunity to buy one several years ago but it was too snug...30 pounds down it would fit me now...still haunts me that I did not buy it .
      Good luck on your dye job!

  20. Great Post! Thank you for proverbial kick in the posterior, love the rock collection