Friday, February 1, 2013

Miller Time Friday: Wardrobe Wakeup, the perfect vneck cardi for Margaret and Foreveruary!

Happy Friday!

I find the weeks just fly by.  I would like to say this is because I am so busy.  But really, I am not that busy.  I just seem to, well, fill up my days.  I do feel like I am getting re-aquainted with the real world again, have discovered how disorganized and dirty my house was despite cleaning ladies (all those organizing books about an overly cluttered house being emblematic of an overly cluttered mind, well they are right.  Oh I don't mind clutter - i love my stuff - but if you are holding on to 20 year old christmas mugs that no one has used in 20 years, well you just gotta let them go.  They are not going to increase in value...)

But it is February.  Or as my friend Brian has aptly renamed it: FOREVERUARY.  The longest short month of the year.  I am hoping that getting my trip to NYC planned and working on our family room will make the time fly by!

But that is not a worry for us today, since it is Miller Time Friday.  What will it be today?  Well it is February now, so it should be the month of the pink or red drinks.  So I will go first - how about a Strawberry daiquiri?  And when I drink stawberry daiquiris, which is typically only about once a year in July, I like to have a nice tart cheese.  I will let you decide which one Dani! 



So many things to discuss today - must get right at it.

First - we need to help Margaret find a short-ish vneck cardigan!

Margaret wrote the following yesterday in response to my "Mind the Gap" post on Wednesday:

This is a great thread of comments! I have recently identified one specific gap based on the fact I am always trying to reach for such an item but own few: v neck cardigans which are not long. I want them to go over dresses and other outfits and let the outfit peek out, hence a v neck, not jewel neck. I have several long cardigans (hello JCrew) with v necks but not shorter ones. This is a super specific gap and now I am looking for that. Funny how I shop (and buy) all the time but when I am looking for a specific item, very hard to find!

I don't want her question to be only answered by me since you are all so much better than I at knowing where such things can be acquired, so thought I would re-ask her question today (hope you don't mind, Margaret!).  I suggested Brora (I am a convert!) but know there are lots of other places where they can be gotten, so do you folks want to jump in and help?

And this question segues nicely into my next topic: a book that I read this week called The Wardrobe Wakeup


It was only recently published and I must say, this is the best book I have ever read on figuring how to reinvigorate one's style, though it is really witten for people over 40 and mostly over the age of 50.  So I cannot recommend it fully to anyone under 40 - I think you would not enjoy it.  And who wants to read about sagging and wrinkles well in advance?  Of course, I could be wrong, and often am!

But for those of us women of a certain age - this is a fabulous book.  The chapters:

CHAPTER 1: SAME OLD CLOTHES...GET MORE OUT OF THEM. 10x the fashion power and less worry about body issues- honest.

CHAPTER 2: MONEY CHANGES EVERYTHING...style for less though you might yearn for more. How to downsize without losing your fashion mojo.

CHAPTER 3: I WANNA BE ME... stick with your own look but get fresher, hipper, hotter.

CHAPTER 4: AGELESS VS. ADULT style choices for tricky times... what's too young, too dumb, too bare, too boring, too mumsy. Why body language is crucial after 40 and how to dress when dating again after divorce or widowhood, public speaking, going to court

CHAPTER 5: TO WORK OR NOT TO WORK...like it or not, it's a younger, dress casual world. how to dress when your boss and colleagues are half your age, you go from commuting to working "invisibly" at home, when you're interviewing for jobs and the competition is 32?

CHAPTER 6: SO WHAT NOW? Special situations after 40 require pro advice. You're getting married at 45? Married again at 50? You're mother-of-the bride and don't want to look like one, you're moving to Arizona and hate your hot weather clothes.

CHAPTER 7: FASHIONABLY FURIOUS...the style taboos and clothes dilemma we're dying to talk about

CHAPTER 8: CRACKING THE FASHION CODE...how to shop smarter after 40. Women say they have spent thousands on clothes they can't wear or wish they never bought. Lois explains why clothes look different in magazines and on retail sites than in real life ( and how not to get fooled ), the reason why some trends keep cycling back and why they're never really the same(so don't save for a come-back), why some items are just for show

I must say - I learned so much from this book and will probably have to read it several times to glean it all.  She has some great stylist tricks that would benefit anyone, but especially someone going through an age/life/body transition (I was surprised she hadn't dedicated the book to me and my belly).  There are great pictures and great advice throughout.  And the author, Lois Joy Johnson, used to be fashion editor of More Magazine.  She is a funky cool woman who is holding her own.  Our Gayle could benefit from a little Lois in her styling.

If you get it, let me know what you think!

Homestyle, part deux:

Trying again.  Today was pink and brown day.  Not sure how successful I am.  Underneath the pink cardi is a heather brown tshirt I found in my dresser drawer with the tag still on.  Not proud of that fact.  The trousers are unlined wool trousers from Judith and Charles I got in the fall and have only worn once or twice.  They are lovely trousers, but I think they should have been lined...A wee itchy.  So they do not pass the scratch and sniff test for comfortable-wear-around-the-house trousers.  Oh it is a cruel world.  They now go sit in purgatory with the dressy work clothes, unable to cut it in the small league!  As an aside, I think the colour of my daughter' wall is such a nice colour to stand in front of and you are welcome to use it whenever you like, but you must pass through the realm called CLOTHES-ON-THE-FLOOR and pass the scrutiny of SHE-WHO-WILL-NOT-SMILE-BEFORE-NOON.  It is a perilous journey and many have perished along the way, thrown up against the rocks of You-are-so-uncool.  And still I smile.  Move over Mother Theresa, I am coming!



So besides my daiquiris at Dani's with the rest of you, I do not have any big plans for the weekend.  Maybe a movie?  How about you, what fun activities are you up to this first weekend of Foreveruary?

Have a happy Friday and stay safe out there!

47 comments:

  1. Oh yes, a strawberry drink, it's just about warm enough here for that. Re: the v-neck cardi short enough to look good with dresses ... I find the Jenna v-neck cardi to do the trick, they got that one right. This weekend I'm looking forward to sleeping and a sigh of relief from the incessant work at work. I will never have it all done even if I don't ever sleep.

    You look pretty in that vibrant pink. Love it.

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    1. Thanks Tiffany Rose - I keep forgetting to ask which of the fancy pants you like? If I decide to switch careers and only work part-time, I might just wear brocade trousers all spring! I will become a bit of an urban legend in my town! Oh I wish it was warming up here! We went from +14 yesterday with freak storm to -8 again this morning!

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  2. I am so delighted that February is here, I utterly loathe January and now I don't have to see it again for another year. Nothing much happening here, same old same old.

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  3. I will stick with red wine for the month, although a strawberry margarita actually sounds great for the Superbowl. I have Charla Krupp's books from several years ago - How not to Look Old and How to Never Look Fat Again- and was saddened to hear she passed away last year from breast cancer. I found those very helpful. Love the pink with the scarf. Itchy top is one thing, itchy bottoms I could not tolerate.

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    1. Hey BB - oooh Strawberry margarita - love that! I have Charla's books too and was also sad to learn she had passed away. She was so vibrant in interviews I had read! If you liked those, I think you would like this as well or better.

      Itchy bottoms are indeed the worst - you begin to wonder how long your damn legs could be!

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  4. That is too bad about the itchy bottoms!

    Bye bye Christmas mugs.

    I like your outfit and you are kind to smile despite the perils.

    This weekend I will spend one day studying statistics, and the other rock climbing in an alpine valley with my husband. One needs a good balance between fun and work!

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    1. Oh Abby good for you - I am not a friend of heights! I would like to be in the Alpine valley, just on a balacony, sipping wine, enjoying the view! And statistics - gotta love statistics - I was actually good at them in the day although I think I have forgotten all!

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    2. Thanks, WMM!

      Well, if your idea of Alpine enjoyment is sipping wine with a view, you must come visit Switzerland. It seems as though the end-goal of every moderate hike is reaching a small restaurant at the top of a hill. And then there is much wine and fondue!

      So far so good with that stats, I can't believe I made it so long without taking a course! I am having a lot of aha moments.

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    3. Abby, that is my kind of hike! :-)

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    4. Well I love it when you take a course and you have those moments! To be honest, I am having them every day, as I am reading so much non-related-to-work stuff these days that I feel like my head is going to explode with new information!

      I would love to visit Switzerland! Is definitely on my list!

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  5. CARDIGAN: J. Crew's Jenna is not a bad cropped cardigan (merino), but mine is a round-neck and I don't think they are stocking them at moment? Brora would be my first pick too, specificially for cardigans to go over dresses and skirts. Other options: Eileen Fisher elbow sleeve crop in organic cotton-cashmere blend, bateau neckline, several shades now on sale via Nordstrom for about $100; Gap and Old navy also do cropped, v-neck cardigans nearly every spring; Anthropologie would be another good place to check; and for black, Caribbean blue and grey versions Ralph Lauren Black Label has a nice version out now, but I didn't care for viscose and wouldn't pay full retail, pricey!
    COCKTAILS: Up for Stawberry Marts, but regardless of the weather and my shaker collection, IMO there has to be a frozen option - hey Vitamin C from real fruit, and a good splash of Grand Marnier for sunshine. (Happy to lug uber-blender).
    CLOSET: WMM, ta for the book review. While I am not keen to read about (more) wrinkles and many "style" guides same old stuff, definitely going to give Lois a look-see. Dressing for different office environments (and meetings with peeps I am a decade older than) in one day still challenges me (can't keep dashing home to change) and shopping smarter is never a bad thing, any age. That scarf looks great on you and with the neglected shirt. If lacking casual option, just swap out offending trousers for some EF jodphur style pants like Dani's (check EBay/ "chocolate") and done.

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    1. Gah, that was Margs, must be the Foreveruary factor - I need a drink, soon.

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    2. I think in Foreveruary, North American Drinking times automatically sync with Glasgow drinking times, or perhaps German. That said, it is now approximately 2:21 (I think!) in Germany. No reason not to have a glass of white with breakie, GF!

      Thanks re: chocolate pants - THAT is an actual wardrobe gap as I have two similar black versions which as SOO comfy!

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  6. Maybe I will record the Superbowl and fast-forward the game and just watch the commercials. Other than that, no big plans. Still getting better, this sick thing kicked my butt. That book sounds great, please share any highlights. For Margaret, Boden has a cashmere cropped v-neck cardigan, although it has some gathers at the front shoulders that I am not sure about. I don't own it, but saw it on the web site. J. Crew did a merino one (maybe that is the Jenna cardigan mentioned above?) with gold buttons that is quite cropped, not sure if it is still for sale, though. I like the pink and brown combo on you, the bright pink is grounded by the earthy brown, they look nice together! Sorry the pants didn't work out, why does anyone make unlined wool pants? Cheers!

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    1. Cate - sorry to hear you are still on the mend! I don't know what I was thinking about the pants when I bought them. They didn't seem itchy in the store and they are Judith and Charles, so I think they were expensive. I think if I wore spanx shorts that would cut the itch factor, but I must be honest, I am not starting to wear spanx at home. Is that a sign I am giving up?

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    2. Thanks! I refuse to believe that not wearing Spanx means one is giving up. I don't even own any, I despise tight clothes. If I ever have to go up on stage to accept my Oscar, maybe then I will reconsider :-)

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    3. Heehee...well, I wear Spanx at home, and they don't bother me at all. I just do not like to feel my jiggly bits hanging out, and the shapers solve that problem. Well, except for my upper arms which have become more of a problem over the past 6 months.

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    4. Cate, FFM - I think you are wearing the right size spanx, FFM, that could be my issue! I am now beginning to exercise again and it is quote a shock to my poor old body, that was only used to sitting on the couch or at a desk this last year due to so much work!

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  7. I have the answer to the v-neck cardigan quandary. Lands' End has a new cardigan shape "Fine Gauge Supima Dress Cardigan", (they need some help with naming items is always my first thought) it is in supima cotton which perhaps Margaret wasn't looking for, though some women prefer cotton and wear it year round if they are sensitive to scratchiness.

    http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-34-sleeve-fine-gauge-supima-dress-cardigan~250075_59.html

    Crack me up! Your daughter's FLOORDROBE.
    I think I'll have red Lillett if we are doing red drinks, have you ever had that? It is delicious over ice with a big squeeze of lemon. It comes in white and red but obv we'll red for FOREVERUARY which is also hilarious!
    I'm really enjoying these morning posts WMM, really you are making waking up much easier for me!
    We went to an Apple Dinner last night, the apple farmer was there and was very charming, the dinner was 5 courses and delicious. Tonight we stay home thank heavens and tomorrow night we have a dinner at the house of a Prof we know, he's a real character so it's sure to be interesting.
    Looks like I need to visit the Cheese Shop for Miller Time today! xox!

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    1. Dani, that's a great link and for once they have done a couple of core colours in addition to what I usually find to be very pale/ young pastels. My only reco in LE would be read reviews, size down and/or go petite if you are on shorter side. Even their fitted tops often run large.

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    2. I need to know what the courses are - I love apples! Was it at the farm? How nosty am i? I have not had Lillet - will look at the liquor store today! You are having a busy social life these days! I forgot that I am having breakfast with girlfriends on Sunday - it was supposed to be lunch, but got moved up! Thanks GF on the LE info - I have found that the canvas line sometimes runs small depending. I think they sell to woman with smaller breasts, because that is always my problem area - chest too tight, waist too large!

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    3. WMM, definitely a split in Lands End sizing. Canvas is aimed at a younger demographic so narrower backs and smaller chests in things like cardis, blouses. I do find their cords etc. pretty generously sized. And they are definitely starting to upgrade fabrics, i.e. cotton velvet skinny pants and silk twill scarves this past holiday season. Skirts and dresses mostly short, again targeting the 20s-30s.

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    4. WMM it was at our favourite restaurant which is french country in style (GF has been there!) and is around the corner from our house. The chef does special dinners and works very closely with local farmers so sometimes brings them in for a theme dinner. There was smoked arctic char on apple slices, then a rye blini with scrambled egg (and bacon for the pork-eaters, I had the veg options as I don't eat pork), the blini was topped with apple sauce. There was a savoury apple galette. Then a celeriac and apple salad. Then pork and apples but for me a vegetable hash topped with a baked apple. Are you full yet! Then a classic apple tart with ice cream, all accompanied by hard apple cider. Which I gave to MrBP who felt a little green around the gills this morning!
      You would have loved it!

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    5. I was just coming over to suggest the same Land's End cardi. It looks so perfect!!

      Here is another one, very similar, in different colors and on sale!

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    6. I completely agree with GF about the Lands' End sizing. Most of the time I have to order the smallest petite size, and even then the clothes are still too large for me. Really a shame that they don't offer smaller cuts, as they really do have some nice items.

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    7. I know FFM, I am most definitely not a OOP anywhere else. Pity, there was a coloured coat this past winter I loved, but smallest size was swimming.

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    8. Okay - two different topics here! Love that!


      Dani - dinner sounds amazing!

      Re; LE regular sizing - with you completely on that one! Just overly generous and I still find they are a little boxy..

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  8. Dani, LE needs you to help come up with product names-- that's partiularly uninspired one. Where is the marketing team?

    Love the pink on you, WMM!

    Super Bowl weekend but who cares around here as the Pats are not playing. Many will descend here any way so I will have lots of food and drink. Saw "Lincoln" last weekend-- wonderful-- so I don't know what's out there now. A nice red Malbec tonight sounds good to me.

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    1. Oh I love Malbec! I might have a wee glass with you after the daiquiri!

      I am contemplating making short ribs for the superbowl - haven't made them in so long..

      I agree - Dani needs to be the product namer for LE stat!

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  9. I have nothing new for cropped cardigans, Brora ones are wonderful of course but pricey, I think Boden has some nice ones too.
    You guys have me crave strawberry margaritas so badly ;)
    I am going to check out this book, looks really good. And I LOVE you outfit!
    Oh, the curtains are so pretty, I want them.
    Also, you cracked me up with 20 yo Xmas mugs not increasing in value, thanks for a good laugh!
    Have a great weekend, xoxo

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    1. Between the strawberry drinks and Dani's apple feast was starving so just ate last night's leftover pizza! The curtains were really cheap from our local wicker emporium - the poor canadian person's version of anthro and pier one! Off to clean and then groceries! Have a great weekend!

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  10. On the cropped cardigan front, I can highly recommend Boden's cropped cashmere v-neck. I received mine last week and it is the perfect length to wear over dresses (particularly those darned high-waisted J Crew frocks). It is a nice weight, thicker than the J Crew featherweight but still light enough to throw on for a cool summer evening, unless you live in the south perhaps. If you go to Dina's blog (mysuperfluities) she has a link for a discount which brings it down to $117. I'm going back to order it in a few more colors.

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  11. Love the pink on you WMM!
    I was looking for a v-neck short cardigan too and i dont get why jcrew doesnt have a basic v-neck:(.
    While i was browsing i did order a cardigan(merino coorblock cardigan).

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. YOu too - will be curious to see which one you got!

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  12. thanks RObin - that is so good to know!!! I will go look myself!

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  13. What a pretty outfit. Is it worth trying to have the pants lined? Or, could you wear them over tights? A daiquiri sounds wonderful, but I think I would prefer a nice hot Irish coffee to ward of a chill. I actually love Foreveruary because there is so much less rushing around from sporting event to sporting event. Time to knit, online fantasy shop and catch up my reading and some TV. Although an Irish coffee would improve all the above!

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    1. Hey knityarns, if I lose the 10 pounds, which I know I will, I will definitely line them. I think I never noticed it before, as you suggested I probably did have tights on and never noticed the itchy factor before as I would typically wear them with tights and heels. I love the term "fantasy shop" - I am doing that these days and it is quite satisfying and so much easier on my waller! MY knitting basket has been brought out but haven't got there yet - I am sure its moment will be soon!

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  14. Love the scarf such a pretty ensemble. No help on the cardigan search. I'm more of a pullover kind of gal. I always feel like cardigans are too short, too long, pull at the bust or have something other issue to bug me. Then there is the issue of what to wear under a cardilgan? A blouse witjh more buttons to fidgit with or tank. Tank tops are always too low cut for me especially at Jcrew. Who are they making those tanks for anyway? A nursing orangutan with breasts that are at belt buckle level! I guess I should be happy that the girls are not that far south yet!

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    1. OH my GOSH - you made me laugh out loud - nursing orangutan! I have one tank that is perfection - it is by Vince and It is perfect, makes me look thinner than I am, is great when layered and is perfect coverage! I have nice ones by James Perse but they are so expensive! The only thing that makes me made about the girls heading south is that they left me back here in the north in the cold!

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  16. I love pink and brown combos!

    I am organizing my paperwork for the accountant this weekend. I'll be the Excel sheet queen

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    1. Oh Rose - good luck! I have to start doing that for my dad's taxes and Barry and I's and my daughters' taxes. Much more complicated this year.

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  17. WMM, I've been lurking around your site for some time and look forward to your posts. The picture of you above in the pink sweater stands out because you look happy and refreshed. The sabatical suits you better than any piece of clothing.

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    1. Well thank you Anon! I am honestly starting to feel more refreshed! It turns out that working 60 to 80 hours a week for many years running is not the absolute best thing for one's health and happiness (unless of course you are doing a job that you love 150% and I say to those people: "Smart you!". I really appreicate the kind comment!

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  18. Just ordered the Kindle version of Wardrobe Wakeup and am enjoying it tremendously. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Oh you are so welcome - I am going to skim it again today!

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Kindness is a virtue...