I’m a huge believer in buying quality pieces I love, and then wearing them for years. In making every piece in my closet work, and work, and work.
The navy Veronica Beard suit I bought in 2016 became, from day one, an integral part of my closet. Navy is such an easy colour with which to work. I’ve worn the pants and the jacket with the detachable hoodie (or half a hoodie, actually) with various coloured camis underneath, with sneakers, with my black Stuart Weitzman loafers, or my red Earth brand ones. I’ve worn the pants alone with a tee or a sweater, and sandals or sneakers.
The jacket with the hoodie/dickie zipped in with a tee shirt underneath, bootcut jeans, ankle boots, and a windbreaker is good on those slightly cooler days. And the jacket, with the attached hoodie zipped out and substituted with a grey, light-wool hooded sweater kept me warm all over England in the fall of 2017. I’ve worn the jacket over various tees, with my Burberry denim skirt, or with skinny jeans, sneakers or loafers, and a plethora of scarves.
From early on I tried to find alternatives to the grey zip-out hoodie. Veronica Beard does offer a couple of different choices; one is a woollen fisherman knit sweater that, to me, looks all wrong with the jacket, and another is a faded denim jacket which looks cool. But man, oh man, they are pricey. More than you’d pay for a whole sweater, let alone a half a sweater or jean jacket. Plus, I really like the look of the structured jacket with the casual hoodie. My grey, pullover from Aritzia works a treat. But, still, it’s grey, and even though it’s warmer than the zip-out hoodie, it looks too similar.
Last year I shopped high and low for a red, zippered hoodie to wear with the jacket, jeans, and my red Earth brand loafers. I wanted one that was not too bulky, but not too flimsy, not too cropped, but not overly long either. Such a sweater seemed not to exist. So I threw in the towel, bought a black, crew-neck sweatshirt from Aritzia to go with my white jeans, and forgot about the idea of a replacement hoodie.
Until last week, when I saw that Uniqlo had lovely, not too bulky, not too flimsy, zippered hoodies on their site. But not in red. At least not in the style and fabric that I wanted. I considered yellow for a nano-second. Then thought that this soft, bluey-pink one might be just the ticket. Not to wear with my red loafers, but with the burgundy Paul Green loafers I bought last fall.
And so the pink hoodie has turned out to be, as I thought, just the ticket. I tried it with my lilac socks and didn’t hate the look.
But on Thursday morning when I was headed out for breakfast with my former JMSS colleagues, the temperature was a chilly 5°C. I draped a burgundy, light wool scarf around my neck to keep me warm. The scarf goes well with my loafers and this old Marc Jacobs bag. The lilac socks with this outfit? Not so much. But it was too cold for bare ankles, so I have pantyhose on in this shot. I know, pantyhose under jeans are an anathema for some. But not me.
Then, later, when I had errands to run before my next engagement (book club luncheon), I jettisoned the pantyhose and the scarf. It pays to carry a large bag sometimes, people.
So, I’m pleased with my find. Even if it’s not what I wanted originally. This zippered sweatshirt will be great for travel. With jeans, blue or white. With my black and white checked cropped pants. Maybe even with my burgundy, plaid cropped pants and my burgundy loafers. It’s well made, neither flimsy, nor droopy. I hate droopy. I ordered an extra-large, and that’s probably a size larger than I need, but I like how it falls away from my body. Besides, it may shrink eventually. And I wanted to be sure that I could make this piece work, and work, and work.
Pink is not always kind to me. Especially orangey pinks, or peachey pinks. They make me look ill. I have quite a bit of red in my face, and as a child I had reddish hair, like my grandmother. Everyone always thinks that warm tones, peaches and corals will suit me, since I have a redhead’s complexion.
But according to Mona, my former hairdresser who was into all that colour stuff back in the eighties, I’m a “cool red”, and not a “warm red.” She did the whole colour thing with me one day while we waited for my hair-colour to process. She held up large bits of cardboard in various colours under my chin. The peach one made me look terrible; the colour seemed to leach from my face, I looked sick, and my freckles stood out. But the cool burgundy instantly transformed me back into the picture of health.
I never cared too much if I was a “spring” or an “autumn” like some of my friends who had had their “colours done” and never shopped without their colour swatches. But since that little chat with Mona, I’ve always looked for reds and pinks with blue undertones.
You know, I’m so pleased that making the pieces in our closets work and work and work is now the cool thing to do. I always buy pieces that I know will be flexible, and which will work with a variety of other pieces, for a long time. At least as long as they suit my body and my lifestyle. That’s always been the smart thing to do, as far as I’m concerned. And the right thing to do environmentally. But it hasn’t always been cool.
Not since the seventies when we all patched our jeans, and wore them until they fell off of us. That was only partly because it was the cool thing to do. The other reason had to do with the fact that most of my friends and I couldn’t afford to have ten pairs of jeans. Not when we made fours dollars a night working for my Aunt Phyl in the canteen at the Lady Beaverbrook Rink. There was no such thing as fast fashion. I remember we paid ten dollars for a pair of Levis at Chippin’s clothing store, the only store in Fredericton that carried them. And I remember when we heard rumours that, in Russia, kids were paying up to fifty dollars to get their hands on a pair of American-made jeans. Scandalous. Jeans would surely never cost that much over here. Ha.
I’m looking forward to making my new pink hoodie work hard to earn its place in my closet. I’ll be wearing it a lot this spring. With my Veronica Beard jacket… hopefully without the woollen scarf.
Hopefully… without a scarf. Maybe. But not today. It’s snowing out right now.
Sometimes I hate spring. It can be a perverse season. Especially when it plays coy, making us think it’s here for good. And then disappearing again.
Just messing with those of us who have stupidly put away the winter woolies. Sigh.
P.S. You can find that Uniqlo hoodie here, if you’re interested.