Saturday, 18 August 2018

Of Sweat Shirts, White Jeans, and Cross-Body Belly Packs.

I'm a great believer in stocking my closet with good quality basics. That sounds kind of self-satisfied, doesn't it? A bit preachy. Nevertheless, there are certain items which I always have in my closet. A pair, or three, of good white jeans for summer. Black flats, in this case my trusty black patent loafers from Stuart Weitzman which have been doing yeoman service since 2014. And, for most of my adult life, a good quality black sweatshirt. 

woman wearing white jeans, black sweatshirt and black loafers sitting in a red deck chair
Loving my new black sweatshirt from Aritzia. 

A few years ago, for some reason, I stopped wearing sweatshirts, except for exercising, lounging around the house, and camping. That's probably because the stores where I always stocked up on sweatshirts and sweatpants went out of business. I began to wear yoga pants for exercising, and bulky hooded sweatshirts with my school's logo for camping and such. 

Then last summer I found a perfect pair of sweat pants on-line at Artizia, a lovely lilac sweatshirt, and a long, lightweight hoodie which is great for layering. I told you about those purchases here

And now, it turns out that Aritzia has a whole line of 80s-style sweat pants and shirts. Including a black crew neck cotton one that is reminiscent of one I owned and loved for years back in the eighties. 

I've been half-heartedly looking for a nice sweatshirt for a while. One that's not too bulky, has no hood, and no logos. And which does not cost an embarrassing amount of money... like the Burberry ones.

This TNA black "perfect crew" sweatshirt from Aritzia fills the bill. I love it with my white jeans and my black loafers. I ordered on-line, so I was pleased to find that size medium was long enough in the sleeves, and not too puffy through the body. The fit is described as "relaxed- an easy shape, just shy of being loose." You can check out all the Aritzia sweatshirts here if you're interested. 

In fact, I may go back to the Aritzia site and order the gorgeous yellow hooded sweatshirt. Wouldn't it be perfect for dashing to the library, sitting on the deck this fall reading, and, after a few hundred washes, for sitting round the campfire? My old bulky, hooded school shirt which I use for this purpose has too many holes in the elbows now. Hard to thread my arm through the right hole when I pull it on. Ha. And no wonder, I bought it when I was still teaching at Nepean High School. And I left there in 1999. 

woman wearing white jeans, black sweatshirt, and black loafers, holding a red windbreaker
I could pull on this old red Columbia rain jacket if need be.
Now, let's move away from sweatshirts, and talk about belly packs for a moment, shall we? Waist bags, or "belt bags" as they seem to be called these days. For the benefit of anyone from Australia who may be reading, I will resist using the term fanny pack. Ha. 

I own a couple of these bags. Mostly for exercising, but Hubby bought me this black "Pack Safe" bag (below) the year we went to France. I wear it for travel, but also for cycling, and walking. I didn't know it was a fashion item until recently. I'm told by Preston Davis, over at Keep It Chic, that wearing them as a cross-body bag makes them look more "modern," and not like the "oft derided" belly pack at all. In fact, I read on another blog that all the cool, young things in New York were doing this way last fall. 

three shots of a women in black top, white jeans, black loafers wearing a black belly pack and then trying to get it over her head
Cross body belly packs. They're a thing... just not for me.
Okay. I'm neither young, nor particularly cool, but I was game to try. So I expanded the strap on my bag as long as it would go, and hoicked it over my head. It rode so high on my body, I couldn't get my arm back far enough to reach anything inside; I could barely undo the zipper. And then, well, I got stuck in it. Or almost stuck. I couldn't see to undo the double safety clasp, designed so thieves can't easily have it off me in a crowded place. Then I tried to pull the bag back over my head, which was not so easy, as you can see. Ha. Now, maybe the strap on my bag is too short, or maybe it's too wide and sturdy. Or maybe I'm just not young or cool enough to wear my "belt bag" like this. But I'm pretty sure the smug look on my face in the middle shot, above, is saying, "Give it up, woman. If the darned bag is made to be worn around the waist, then why not just wear it around your waist?" Wise advice.

woman wearing white jeans, black sweatshirt and black loafers sitting in a red deck chair
Happy to feel a cool breeze today, even if I'm not heading out just yet.
So, when I finally head out for an afternoon of errand running, and perhaps meeting a friend for coffee or a casual lunch, in my new black sweatshirt, white jeans, and black loafers, I think I'll eschew my belly pack, and wear my black Mackage cross-body bag. So much simpler.  

Now let's get back to closet basics, shall we? I know that my opening line sounds like one of those blog posts on the "five classic wardrobe basics," or "what you need to buy this autumn." I read these kinds of posts all the time, but I don't write them. I'm not a fashion or style expert. I can't tell you which pieces you absolutely need in your wardrobe, or what you should buy this season. I'm just interested in having a conversation about clothes. 

I started thinking about my own closet basics a week or so ago when I wrote a post on my black Helmut Lang jacket for Brenda over at 1010 Park Place. And I realized that a good black jacket or blazer is an essential piece for me, and has been ever since high school. A black jacket, black flats, black low-heeled boots, white jeans, blue jeans, a white shirt, several white tee shirts. And now, once again, a black sweatshirt, a well-fitting black sweatshirt, not a big hoodie. 

I don't wear black and/or white all the time; I've been loving navy for a while now, and I've always loved burgundy. I have lots of other pieces in my closet, pieces that come and go, of course. But these are the basics I replace decade after decade.  


What basics do you stock up on, my friends? See how cleverly I avoided ending that sentence with a preposition?



P.S. I haven't worn my new black sweat shirt and white jeans yet. I'm not quite back on the road yet, but I'm hoping for next week. When, if luck is with me, I'll actually be able to wear upper body undergarments. Ha. Funny, but not funny. 






Linking up this week with: Visible MondayFake It Till You Make It#IwillwearwhatIlikeTurning Heads Link-upStyle Me WednesdayThursday Favourite ThingsFabulous FridayFancy FridaySaturday Share Link-Up

19 comments:

  1. You look so great in the white jeans and black sweatshirt.

    I fell prey to the preposterous amount of money for a sweatshirt bug, buying one from Alexander McQueen. It is covered in little raised black swallows. But I love yours, and it's cotton!, so I will definitely look Aritizia's gear up. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. This shirt feels just like the ones I owned back in the eighties... I know how much you loved the eighties. Ha.

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  2. I love your preachy posts :-) (if there were some)and your black and white combination. It is perfect. I did wear sweatshirts a lot,till recently (don't tell anyone,but I borrow my son's hoodies and sweatshirts while he's working abroad),and am trying to find my own one again,maybe navy or grey
    Belly bags are my sport gear,all the time,when they were out of fashion and now when they are not-cross body bag would be my choice, too,for othe occasions
    What I need to have always in my closet?
    The answer is very similar to yours-I was never without white jeans,dark wash jeans,black shoes and boots,black suit jacket,black trousers,black velvet trousers,black or tan leather jacket,camel coat,white silk blouse,navy cardigan,navy or black bag......so,yes,dresses are new addition
    And something more....I always have chocolate (first one bought in Naples, 45 years ago) or leopard print bikinis,as basics
    So happy that you are much better
    Dottoressa

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    1. Thanks, Dottoressa. I used to wear silk blouses much more when I was working. Funny how we move away from certain pieces, isn't it? I've looked for a lovely silk tie blouse to wear with blazers and jeans but haven't found one yet. They're either too pricey or too cheaply made.

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  3. You really do suit black and white ... it’s occurred to me that I rarely wear them together ... so I’ve made a note to try my wide crop white trousers with a Cos black top, I love ... :) I do like to wear grey and white though ...
    My basics! I like to have white, grey and black tees, white trousers ... slim and wide, black and navy smart trousers and a selection of ponchos/wraps from fine linen to cashmere .., so handy to pop over various outfits either for warmth or to “dress them up” a little. I also like to have a chambray and a denim shirt and more recently a denim dress ...oh and cashmere jumpers and tunics for the cooler weather, and scarves!
    So glad you’re starting to feel better, such a shame you’ve had to cancel trips though ...
    Looking forward to reading about your shopping and packing for Italy! :)
    Rosie

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    1. I don't wear grey tops anymore, same with denim ones. The colour doesn't do me any favours. I do have a lovely grey Vince Bulky T-neck. And grey jeans is another trend that I haven't bought into. Not sure why.
      We're still holding our breath that the Italy trip will be a go.

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  4. Oops, forgot about jeans! How could I!?? :)
    In indigo and grey ... light and charcoal.

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  5. Because I tend to dress a bit too conservatively in black, white and gray, I am always looking for a bright scarf or an interesting piece of jewelry to add a bit of pizzazz.

    I don’t think you are preachy. I think you have strong opinions that you express tactfully, a trait I always admire in people.

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  6. "I'm just interested in having a conversation about clothes." Me, too! That's exactly why I love your clothesey blog posts so much, Sue.

    By the way, you look wonderful. :) I'm happy to hear that your medical house arrest is ending soon. You'll surely feel like you've been sprung from prison!

    My basics also include sweatshirts, although I don't have any from Aritzia and will check out theirs. A few years ago I bought a couple of Pokemon-themed sweatshirts (I liked them for their playfulness, but had no other experience with or knowledge of Pokemon), which has led to some delightful conversations with young people all around the world who've stopped me in stores and hallways and on the street to express their delight that I am an apparent fan of their favorite character -- Pikachu. That's one way that a personal style (even an accidental one) can brighten our days.

    Like many others, I'm a jeans freak and, lately, loving the boyfriend cut, which makes me feel stylishly slouchy and comfy. Last spring I bought a white pair and a grey pair (my first grey jeans) and have worn them tons this summer. However, my lifetime favorite jeans are 501s.

    This summer I finally bit the bullet and bought a new black blazer for fall. Don't laugh ... it's your basic Pendleton single-button wool blazer. Yeah, I know. But I bought it for its familiarity, reliability, and a little nostalgia. I figure it will work well this fall/winter in combo with edgier pieces, since I like to mix classic and rocker. The nostalgia is from my high school and college days when my mother and I looked for a few Pendleton pieces that would serve me well at school. They were pricier than other clothes we could afford, so I still think of Pendletons as "better clothes."

    Ann in Missouri

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    1. I knew the Pendleton name but couldn't conjure up what their stuff looked like. So I just spent a few minutes on their website. They have lovely classic pieces. I fell in love with a burgundy Glenn plaid jacket. Some of the jackets remind me of Smythe jackets. Simple but well cut.
      What we would we wear without our jeans, eh? Wish I could have seen my Mum in a pair of jeans back in the day, but when we were younger they were so much the province of the young she would never have tried them.

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  7. Traditionally we suppose to wear white on the top and black at the bottom but I like to wear it in reverse, similar to yours
    https://lookingfabulousat50.blogspot.com/

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    1. Ha. Me too, Anna. The reverse makes one look too much like a waiter.

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  8. I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks that! :)

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  9. ok, now I had to laugh, as I was wondering what a belly pack was! US is "fanny pack" and is it on your fanny? I think not! UK its bum bag, which has me laughing as well. I do think they are very nice for not having to carry things when you are traveling or out and about.Lovely black and white look.
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx
    www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

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    1. Thanks, Jessica. I think I'll call them waist lacks from now on. I hate the term belly pack, or bum bag. And in Australia or Ireland where "fanny" means female "parts" it has a whole nother meaning! Ha.

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  10. My last sweatshirt literally fell apart a while back and I haven't replaced it.

    These days I prefer woollen knit sweaters :)

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All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.