Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tartan Ruana

Ruanas are a very stylish alternative to sweaters.

I love the elegant look of sweeping one side over the other shoulder.

This Tartan Ruana is from Foxcroft. All of their items are very high quality. The styles are timeless and elegant.

I wore the ruana with black jeans, a silver-gray long sleeve tee, and D'Orsay suede heels.

On an earlier occasion, I wore the ruana with a black long sleeve tee and black pencil skirt with short boots and opaque tights.

It would also work very well with faded blue jeans and a black turtleneck.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Foxcroft Sweater Jacket

Foxcroft products are always top-notch and so easy to mix and match with other items I already own.

For over twenty-five years, Foxcroft has provided impeccably made, well-constructed clothing that makes their pieces so comfortable to wear. They create for the confident woman who looks for casual but versatile polished looks when she updates her wardrobe with new elements.

Head designer Laura Poretzky-Garcia gives classic patterns a fresh, updated attitude.

I will reach for this piece again and again. The sleek silhouette is an added layer that is soft and comfortable without adding bulk.

The close-up below shows the beautiful texture and colors of the front panels. The back and sleeves are solid black.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lobster, Vintage Fur and Diamonds

We recently joined friends for dinner at Café Pacific. It is located in North Johnson City.

We have quite cool temperatures now in the evenings, so I wore a vintage fur-trimmed black cable front sweater by Ralph Lauren. I have a few jackets and high-end sweaters that were fabulous gifts from my friend Mitzi when she also recently downsized. When I wear a vintage piece, I keep the look sleek and simple and wear it with very modern elements.

The pants are pieced faux leather front leggings from Chico's. The Adea tank is my all-time favorite!

We had not been to Café Pacific in several years, so we had forgotten what a treat to the eyes and the palate it is to have even a small meal there. We share and order small plates often.

There was a delicious amuse-bouche from Chef Scott. Amuse-Bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but when served, are done so free and according to the chef's selection alone. These are often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to the art of cuisine. This one is strawberries with herbs and a balsamic reduction with a passion fruit juice chaser.

The warm pieces of bread were served with whipped herbed butter and pesto olive oil for dipping.

The lobster bisque is a divine dish that is so rich we recommend sharing.

Everyone had a delicious seasonal salad.

Have you ever had a dessert amuse-bouche? This tiny bite was so full of fall flavor!

Now for the real dessert! We also shared this fabulous decadent chocolate dessert with fresh berries and a delightful light cream sauce. 

The shoes are by BCBGeneration via Dillard's. (Aren't they fierce?!) The antique amber watch, the ring, and earrings were gifts from Mr. Mickey. The evening bag is from T.J.Maxx.

Many of you have asked me how to keep my weight down while going out to eat so often. Mr. Mickey and I share a few small plates and then order a salad as an entrée. I get to taste several different dishes without feeling I have to eat the whole thing.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Starting Over

Someone asked me a great question this week. "If you were buying a whole new wardrobe, what would you start with?"

The points you need to consider when starting a capsule wardrobe include lifestyle, personal style, and colors that work for you. If you never attend a formal event or work exclusively from home, you might not need many dressy pieces in your wardrobe capsule.

The black, white, and red combination work well for me, but black is too harsh for many people. Brown, cream and rust or perhaps navy, ivory and plum might be better groups of colors for you.

A nice pair of slacks in a dark color would be one of the first things to buy. Next would be a good quality fitted jacket that you can wear with everything (remember not too boxy). A great jacket can make even a nice pair of jeans look appropriate for many events. Jeans are considered neutral but not too faded out works best for most of us.

Scoop neck long sleeve tees and tanks in your color grouping allow you to change the look of your first pieces. I chose scoop neck over V neck or turtleneck because they are more flattering to most face shapes. If you wear a jacket with a V neck top, it sometimes gives you two of the same V shapes. Contrasting shapes are more pleasing to the eye. If you add a necklace, remember this tip. Three necklines of the same form can look cluttered.

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I did indeed have to buy a whole new wardrobe in 2011. Not even my shoes fit after I lost 45 pounds. I wish I had known how to use this formula then. It would have saved me a lot of buying mistakes.

A straight black pencil skirt to wear with opaque tights and boots might also be a good look for you. The long cardigan would look great with jeans too. The purpose of choosing a capsule of three colors and essential pieces is that almost all the pieces can be mixed and matched to create a lot of different looks without having to spend a lot of money.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wear It Wednesday - Choices

A few years ago, I was about fifty pounds over my ideal weight, and I was ill quite often. My fashion choices were plunging into the depths of frumpy old lady styles. I had given away all of my jeans and cool shoes because I was convinced I should start dressing in a more mature style.

A print knit top with ugly khaki slacks and a strange summer weight scarf to top it all off was my look for our tour of the Barnsley Garden ruins in the early spring of 2010. Check out those sensible shoes.

In 2011 I read the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It gave me the information I needed to help me make healthier choices at mealtime. 

Over the next few months, I lost more than forty pounds and found my confidence again. My health improved dramatically. I returned to wearing my lifelong favorites, including jeans and solids in neutral colors. I now have many styles and colors of jeans and wear them with attractive shoes almost every day. I am honoring my true self.

The top photo was taken when I was four years younger, but the extra weight and style of clothing makes me appear ten to fifteen years older.

The choices we make at every meal, and each time we get dressed, reflect our self-image. Your selection of clothing is silent communication with those who see you, but those clothes also send messages to your inner self. Each time I saw myself in a picture or caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror during that earlier time, I was filled with self-loathing. My inner voice would always say, "What has happened to you?" 

It makes a monumental difference when I am at or near my ideal weight and wear clothes I feel comfortable in. Not just comfortable on my body but also clothes that reflect who I really am. I grew up on a farm in western North Carolina, so I was always a bit of a tomboy. Floral prints, dresses, and ruffles are entirely against my nature.

The moral of this post is, wear what makes you feel comfortable. Wear what reflects your true self. Don't try to fit anyone's perception of what is right for you. Be your best self, and celebrate who you truly are every day.

The black jacket, white tank, and jeans are from Chico's. The belt is from T.J.Maxx. The shoes are by Nine West from Ross. The bag is from Finely House Couture in Blowing Rock, NC.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday Drive

The weather was beautiful on Sunday so we drove out to the country to view the changing leaves against a clear blue sky.

I wore a vintage St John Country white jacket which was a gift from my dear friend Mitzi. The long sleeve gray tee is from Kohl's. The straight leg jeans are from Chico's. The reptile and suede short boots are by Vince Camuto from Nordstrom.

The earrings are old from Stein Mart. The ring is one of my favorite gifts from Mr. Mickey. The pony hair belt is from T.J.Maxx.

White, orange, and green pumpkins in a huge field along the way.

A stream runs through the Laurel's Recreation area.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Shopping With Mr. Mickey

When Mr. Mickey takes me shopping, we go to Chico's or perhaps Kohl's, Stein Mart, or T.J.Maxx.

I shopped in Stein Mart on Friday where I found this fabulous faux leather jacket in a plum color.

On Thursday I found this black leather belt with silver hardware in T.J.Maxx.

A few weeks ago I was shopping in Asheville, NC. I wore pointed-toe black flats that day because I knew I would be walking a lot. Halfway through the day, I had to stop in Ross and buy these strappy black shoes with a heel because the flats were so uncomfortable.

The black jeans were purchased at Chico's earlier this year.

The bag is perhaps ten years old. I think I bought it at T.J.Maxx. The long sleeve white tee is from Kohl's.

We stopped by the MeadowView Marriott to have a late lunch after our day of shopping for Mr. Mickey. Above is a view of the entrance rotunda looking up. Below is the entrance hall to the convention center part of the hotel.

Behind me is one of two waterfall features near the entrance.

The ring and earrings were special gifts from Mr. Mickey.

You may ask, "What does Mr. Mickey buy when he goes shopping?"

Congratulations my dear! 

May your new purchase take us on many wonderful adventures.