Clothes have been sparking joy for me from the time I was a kid creating outfits for my Barbie dolls. That makes me sound a bit like an airhead, doesn’t it? But there we have it. I love clothes. Pulling on an outfit I love, which makes me feel like the best version of myself, has always boosted my confidence and felt, well, joyful.
But, this time of year when I am sick to death of winter, weary of snow and ice, and longing for spring, my winter wardrobe is hard pressed to spark any emotion other than despair. I know that sounds like hyperbole. But despite my best efforts to have fun wearing old stuff I haven’t worn in years, the fun has been short-lived. Don’t get me wrong, pulling those old jackets on felt great. Felt like I had new clothes, without having to schlep out to the mall. Without spending a cent. But, to be honest, that good feeling was fickle and melted away with the arrival of March.
Now I am longing for lightness and colour and sunshine. And spring. But since we still have a ton of snow, and we’re supposed to get more snow later in the week, I cannot abandon my winter clothes just yet. So I’ll settle for adding some colour instead. Like this cheery red Banjo and Matilda coat sweater which I bought at Holt Renfrew back in 2012.
I’d say this Banjo and Matilda sweater is old, but compared to the jackets I’ve been hauling out of storage this past while, it’s relatively new. Yesterday, I de-bobbled it using my little battery operated fabric shaver that Hubby bought me. And then I pulled it on with my leather pants, my black short-sleeved Vince tee, and black Stuart Weitzman boots. I’m trying the necklace layering thing again today. My silver chain and pendant add just enough interest to the black tee, in my opinion. And are a nice change from a scarf. In fact, this outfit is pretty much what I wore in my post about playing with jewellery, except with the red sweater instead of my camel blazer.
My pendant is a sterling silver willow leaf with a tiny twig on a silver chain, from Magpie Jewellery here in Ottawa. I bought it as a retirement gift to myself. It’s a piece by Winnipeg designer Hilary Druxman. You can find my necklace on her site here, as well as lots of other cool jewellery. I love that Magpie promotes Canadian designers. That’s where I buy all my Anne-Marie Chagnon pieces.
And then, because I wasn’t going to sit around the house after getting all gussied up, I donned my Max Mara tweed coat, and this gauzy, multi-coloured scarf from Holt Renfrew. I bought this scarf in 2012 too. It’s been a boon to my closet ever since. I bought it to pull together my spring coat and my newly purchased gold tote from Michael Kors (similar). But, man, I have worn this scarf with almost everything I own. I take it travelling because it’s warm but not hot, and can work with any colour. Last year in Slovenia and Croatia I wore it with my burgundy Uniqlo vest. And it works with this pink coat, and just as well with the red sweater. This scarf sparks joy for me. Big time. Time after time.
Now let’s have a little chat about the joy of owning a great pair of leather pants, shall we? My leather pants are “vegan leather”, bought at Holts the year I retired in 2013. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll have seen them a million times. They are my go-to going out pant in the fall and winter. I can toughen them up with my Stuart Weizman boots and a heavy sweater, my preferred way to wear them. But I’ve also worn them to Christmas parties with flats, or low-heeled pumps, a silk tank, and a dressy blazer. I was delighted to see that one of the big trends this upcoming season is leather for spring. I’m going to try them with my red loafers and a light jacket come spring. I’ll let you know how that goes.
But what I really wanted to say is that a good pair of faux leather pants is a wise investment in my view. Not cheap, overly-stretchy leggings that make you feel like you’ve been vacuum packed. Ha. But a good quality pair that fit like jeans or pants, and which have a nice soft lining that doesn’t make you think of that awful scene in Friends when Ross got stuck in his pleather pants. Or rather when he hauled them off in his date’s bathroom when he became too hot, and then couldn’t get them back on. My faux leather pants are still soft and supple after years. Are not too shiny, and not too tight. And have served me very well.
I’ve been keeping a list of faux leather pants on my Shop Style site for a while now. Every so often I check to see if I can find pants that meet my requirements and which I feel comfortable recommending. I’ve included a few choices at the bottom of the post. I think it’s a good time of year to take the plunge because almost all of them are on sale.
So, it’s been all about sparking a little joy this week for me. That red sweater worked a treat yesterday, and made me feel all springy paired with my pink coat and that beautiful scarf. Then when I ventured outside there was a cardinal singing his heart out in the tree behind our house. That was the icing on the cake. Spring must be around the corner.
And while we’re on the topic of sparking joy. This is my handsome nephew below. Yesterday, he texted me and his mum this photo shot by a friend when they were out and about. He is adorable, don’t you think?
Just the sight of him sparks joy for me. And makes me remember one weekend he spent with us years ago when his parents were away. At age four, he sucked up information from television nature shows like nobody’s business. And on the drive from their house to our house on the Saturday, he regaled Hubby and me with a litany of facts he’d learned. Very serious the whole time. About beavers, and turkeys, and goodness knows what else. I tried to keep up and make serious comments back. Trust me, I was drawing heavily on my university biology background to do this. My sister Carolyn said that when he came home on Sunday night, he said to her, “You know Mum, Aunt Susie is very knowledgeable.” That always makes me laugh. High praise from a four-year-old.
Here’s a selection of faux leather pants you might be interested in, if you’re interested in leather pants. I tried to find ones that were NOT leggings. And which were good quality at a not exorbitant price. Of course, exorbitant is all in the eye of the beholder. My reasonable price may be outlandish to you, I get that.
Now I must go and help with supper. Roast chicken with tarragon, white wine, and lemon, mashed potatoes, and loads of veggies. We’ve been all about getting our 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables since Hubby’s heart surgery. Then I think we’ll watch the new episode of Vienna Blood we PVR’d on Sunday night. Anyone else out there watching that program? We’re loving it. Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and a good murder mystery on television will be sparking joy for us both tonight.
How about you my friends? What are you doing to spark joy this week? Wardrobe-wise or other-wise?
P.S. Except for the links to Magpie Jewellery and to Hilary Druxman’s site, all links in this post are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you click my link and make a purchase.