Styling My Anti-Haul Haul

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I have decided to call the three recent additions to my wardrobe (two dresses and a skirt) an anti-haul. Pieces which I did buy in “bulk”, sort of, but which fill a niche in my closet, and which I will hopefully love and wear for a long time. Even if I did buy all three at the same time, and didn’t initially intend to keep all three. But, well, you know that story already.

The concept of the shopping “haul” has long been an anathema to me. All those shopping haul videos on YouTube. Serving mostly to get young women whipped into a buying frenzy, driven by the urgency to have whatever the influencer is touting. I won’t say that I have never purchased several items at one time. Back in my working days, I shopped twice a year for all the staples I would need to add to my wardrobe. But I always did so after I’d completed a closet inventory, researched current trends, and crafted a well-thought-out list. I was lucky enough to have a friend who worked at my favourite store, and I’d spend a few hours with her every August and March. Then, after I’d seen how my new purchases worked with what I already had in my closet, I might add a few specific pieces to the original “anti-haul”

I’m calling my wardrobe acquisitions an anti-haul because buying them was anything but frenzied. And not impulse driven. I might not have known exactly which jacket or skirt I would choose before I left home, but I always knew I needed a jacket or a skirt. Or that I did not need jeans or boots or whatever. And I always knew exactly what I owned ensuring that I didn’t buy something which was already hanging in my closet. That’s because I always had my little book of lists in my purse. Dutifully updated.

I say “dutifully” in jest. I was dutiful in my wardrobe organization because I love to research and to organize, to make lists and keep track of things. Most of the time back when I was still working, I’d do this when I was marking in the evenings.

Sitting at my desk in front of the computer, I’d tell myself that I’d mark three or four more projects or essays and then I’d take a tea and fashion research break. Then I’d scroll through Vogue.com, read articles on current trends, or start my seasonal update in my book of lists. After a few minutes I’d go back to my marking. Seriously, in the last two years I worked, it was the only thing that kept me at my desk in the evenings. After almost thirty years of marking every night during the week, I was well sick of student essays. Teaching was still a joy. Marking was hell.

Sometimes I intended my seasonal purchases to take my wardrobe in a new direction. For instance, one year I discovered that everything in my closet was either black or went with black. So that year I began to add browns and golds and cream. A jacket, some cords, a wonderful chocolate brown knitted vest and a matching silk ruffled blouse. I remember a male colleague looked at me at work one morning and said, “What’s with brown?” Ha. Brown was the new black.

Now that my hair has changed, it seems that grey is the new black. Or maybe the new brown because I find myself wearing more black than I have in a while, and brown not at all.

Aritzia sweater dress and Prada ankle boots.
Aritzia dress and old Prada ankle boots.

But let’s get back to my recent anti-haul, shall we? The shot below shows how I originally styled my two new sweater dresses from Aritzia. Tall brown suede Stuart Weitzman boots with the long grey dress, and low black Cole Haan Chelsea boots with the short dress.

Yesterday I tried the long grey dress with my old Prada suede ankle boots and brown tights. See above. I like these boots even better with the dress. They have a small heel and are a bit more dressy that my flat SW boots. I wore dangling Anne-Marie Chagnon earrings that are a mix of gold, silver, and black bits. I love these earrings. You can find similar pairs here. I like all of Anne Marie Chagnon’s work, and I have several pairs of earrings and bracelets.

In the shot below, I wore the matching Anne Marie Chagnon bracelet. But yesterday I wore instead an old necklace bought years ago at the Vintage Clothing Show in Ottawa. It’s not vintage but it was made from old things: a mish mash of bolts and washers on tiny bits of chain, a small square of hammered brass, an old rusted bottle cap, and a sparkly bit of rhinestone. Sounds dreadful, but I love it.

That necklace always reminds me of a unit we did in art class in high school where we were encouraged to find random discarded things that could be art. We then brought them to class and drew them. That was my favourite assignment all year. Imagine the scope I had on the old farm. I eventually settled on a bunch of identical rusty concave discs strung together on a piece of heavy wire. They’d come from the inside of an old milk separator. But they were art to me. Ha.

You know, I tried several ways of accessorizing my midi-dress yesterday. Belts, jackets, scarves. But I like it best worn with very little of anything else. There’s so much dress, maybe that’s why. Besides a jacket covers up the lovely, slightly-puffed sleeves, and a scarf hides the neckline.

Two sweater dresses from Aritzia.
Look #1 for both dresses.

I feel much the same way about the short grey dress. During the Christmas holidays, I wore it to run errands. I put my black wool leggings on underneath, and wore my Stuart Weitzman lace-up ankle boots, my newish cream and grey scarf, and my very old charcoal alpaca coat from Max Mara. See below. You know, I think I prefer it with tights and Chelsea boots. I feel that both of these dresses look best worn simply. And I think they will be lovely to just throw on with boots and tights and head out the door. No styling required. Whenever we are able to head out the door, that is, for a reason other than walking or skiing. Or shovelling. Ha.

Aritzia sweater dress, Vince wool leggings, scarf from Indigo, Max Mara alpaca coat, Stuart Weitzman boots.
Look #2 for the shorter dress. Layered for warmth over my wool leggings.

This is my third purchase from my anti-haul. A black, faux-leather pleated midi-skirt from H&M. I already had the fast fashion discussion in my last post. I’m hoping that this skirt can be morphed into slow fashion and will be with me for a long time. Certainly, as my friend Frances commented, pleated midi-skirts are not exactly a flash-in-the-pan trend.

H&M faux leather skirt. Vince sweater, Uniqlo down jacket, AllSaints bag.
My new H&M skirt with Vince sweater and Uniqlo down jacket. Look #1.

You can see, above, how I wore the skirt the first time I tried it: with my Vince cable-knit sweater, my Uniqlo down jacket, grey AllSaints bag, and Stuart Weitzman ankle boots.

Yesterday I went unrelentingly black all over. I wore my skirt with an old black cotton turtleneck, my quilted Lafayette 148 zippered sweater, tights, my Stuart Weitzman boots, and a black Mackage cross-body bag. You can find a similar zippered Lafayette 148 sweater here, same style but without the quilted front. And the same sweater in plus size but greatly reduced in price here. I really like Lafayette 148 clothing. But mostly I get mine on sale at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in July. My Mackage bag is no longer offered, but here’s a similar one in the same pebbled leather. And here’s the black version of my AllSaints bag, which obviously I like just as much.

My anti-haul faux leather skirt from H&M. With a Lafayette 148 sweater, Mackage bag, and Ray Ban sunglasses.
Beautiful, if breezy, winter day. Look #2 for this skirt.

In this shot you can see the necklace and earrings that Hubby bought for me for Christmas. I chose them from the collection at a local village shop called Lasting Impressions. You can find the necklace here. It’s handmade in Ontario by White Lotus designs. Now I just need a half decent, not stretched out by years of wear, black turtleneck to wear it with. Ha.

New jewellry from Lasting Impressions in Manotick.
Admiring my Christmas gift from Hubby.

I’m pleased with this casual look for the skirt. It felt so easy and comfortable, and just edgy enough for me. I know it’s all black, but I like the mix of textures. The slight sheen of the faux-leather skirt and the quilted portion of my sweater. The matt black of the rest of the sweater and the turtleneck. And the combination of black leather and suede in my boots. I tried a scarf for a pop of colour under the jacket, but it just looked too fussy. What with the vertical lines in the skirt and the horizontal ones in the jacket, I felt that there was enough going on to give the all-black-ness some interest. Anyhoo. That’s my rationalization and I’m sticking to it.

You know, I’m just getting used to seeing my skinny legs in a longer shirt with ankle boots. I’ve been inspired by Frances over at Materfamilias Writes. She really rocks the long skirt and ankle boot look, or the long skirt with brogues. You can check out her lovely new sweater dress acquisition here.

My anti-haul faux leather skirt from H&M. With a Lafayette 148 sweater, Mackage bag, and Ray Ban sunglasses.
I know I’m all in black, but I love the different textures in this outfit.

I started thinking about the concept of hauls and anti-hauls when I wrote my last fashion post and used the word “haul” to joke about my three new purchases. But since then I’ve come across the term on some of the YouTube channels I watch. I thought the idea of hauls was dead and buried. With so much talk about slow fashion and ethical shopping in the last couple of years, I’d assumed that everyone was trying to buy less. But when I think about it, buying “less” is relative, isn’t it?

In a comment on that last post about fast fashion, Marion recommended this article from Refinery 29. “Is Fast Fashion a Class Issue?” by Tabi Jackson Gee makes interesting reading. The article deals with the idea that sustainable fashion does not have to be expensive. But it also looks at just how much of what we buy is not necessary. Or even used. It seems once that must-have-something-new itch is scratched, we frequently forget about what we’ve bought. A study conducted by M&S and Oxfam found that, on average in the UK, 57 items of unworn clothing per person are hanging in closets. “One in 20 people have over 50 items in their wardrobe with the tags still on.”

I’ll admit, I was gobsmacked by those statistics. And I began to wonder… exactly who IS buying less?

I agree with Dilys Williams, Head of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion, who says that the problem is we “undervalue fashion” and overvalue “novelty.” We think of fashion as “disposable – as a cheap commodity not worthy of our love or care.”

My anti-haul faux leather skirt from H&M. With a Lafayette 148 sweater and Mackage bag.
How many different shades of black can one women wear, eh?

It may sound simplistic, and probably insufferably Pollyanna-ish, but whether we can afford to shop more sustainable and ethical brands, or if we can only afford to shop fast fashion, we need to start buying only what we need, what we love, and what we will wear. We need to embrace the anti-haul, instead of the haul. And take care of what we own.

My anti-haul skirt from H&M. With a Lafayette 148 sweater and Mackage bag.
I feel a bit Edwardian in this. Except with leather instead of lace. Ha.

I know people are busy. Everyone leads busy lives, work, family, after school activities, whatever. Being organized with respect to our wardrobe and our kids’ wardrobes takes time. And the initial organization can be daunting. Caring properly for clothing takes time.

But I’m just wondering if maybe we took some of the time that we must be spending shopping for clothes, especially clothes we never wear, to do this other stuff…. well… you know where I’m going here. Don’t you?

But, I’m probably preaching to the converted.

I do know that my mum worked full time when I was a kid. As a single parent, she raised my three older siblings and me. On a very limited budget. She had few clothes, some of which were hand-me-downs from a close friend. And she was always neatly and stylishly turned out when she went to work. And so were we. We all loved clothes in my house. Even my brother. We were raised to shop wisely and to care for our clothes. And now I’m wondering… how in the world did she do that?

I guess one of these days I’ll have to sit down and cipher it out.

How about you, friends? Were you raised to shop wisely and care for your clothes?

P.S. About affiliate links. Some of the clothing links in this post are affiliate links. If you click my link and make a purchase I will earn a commission. Other links are not. Uniqlo and the jewellry links to Anne Marie Chagnon and to Lotus Designs are not affiliate links. I just thought you might like to check them out.

Linking up with Catherine’s #IWillWearWhatILike over at Not Dressed as Lamb

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60 thoughts on “Styling My Anti-Haul Haul”

  1. I admit that I have been guilty of shopping to scratch an itch. I have many items that don’t really suit me and instead of saving money I have spent ridiculous sums of money on clothing that is just okay. I am now on a six months buying hiatus. When I do shop again it will be with a well thought out list. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. You are welcome. I have also bought things that I didn’t love. But were just okay. Especially if I was under time pressure. Or just sick of looking. But not for years now. If I start getting impatient on a shopping trip, I just go home.

  2. As a teenager, I never felt right in clothes of the 70s. Too short, with large chest, small waist, round hips, I was the antithesis of the looks of the time. As a result my wardrobe was often a hotch-potch of what might fit and, importantly then, what might be in fashion. As a young woman I was much the same and there was no cohesion so a lot of dissatisfaction and stamping of feet. No longer. I know exactly what I like and what doesn’t like me (fortunately, we are in accord there) and since I also prefer black, white, grey – like you, cannot wear brown now – things work well so I like getting dressed each day. Clothes don’t fill any aching voids for me which means they are simple pleasures in themselves. At last.

    1. With no chest or hips the seventies styles were right up my alley. But I still couldn’t find pants or tops to fit me in the early to mid seventies. Too short in the legs, baggy in the butt, and short in the arms. Sigh. Being a teenager was not fun in many ways.

  3. We were definitely raised to buy the best we could afford and to take care of what we had. My mum too worked (more than) full time and raised for children. She had and still has taste. Do I shop wisely? Well, I do have clothes with tags on, they are my “joy insurance” for the days when I need a boost. And I do have some “ridiculous” clothes: my Yeti coat and my patched boilersuit come to mind but they put a smile on my face, on the face of my coworkers and even of strangers in the street. Great clothes in my book!
    I don’t know ho many shades of black a woman can wear but I certainly know ho many shades of blue one can wear: a lot and some more 🙂

    1. If I buy more than one piece at a time, I always wait a bit of time before wearing everything. Just for the fun of having something new waiting in the closet.

  4. Mary Lou Hartman

    Wonderful post. I feel that I won the birth lottery and I was taught to shop wisely and take care of my clothes by both of my parents. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. I’ve never been one of those who could do haul shopping. I continue to learn what works for me and fits into my workplace (which I’ve noticed has become even more casual during the pandemic). So I’m pretty selective as to what goes into my closet. As I work towards retirement I keep that in mind. My retirement wardrobe needs will be much different!

  6. Madeleine Guindi

    My mother has always been very chic and sewed her own clothes and ours (3 daughters) as well. By the time I was interested in sewing myself, I realized she was using practically only Vogue designer patterns. So the first pant suit I made for myself was a designer one, in a beautiful linen. Natural fabrics were easier to find then, in the early 70s. And since I’m only 5’ tall and there were no “petite” clothes back then, I was sure of having clothes that fit me perfectly if I sewed them. I always had an extensive wardrobe consisting of the designer clothes I sewed and of beautiful pieces I would find on sale. It is only after retiring at age 65 that I started reducing my closets. Instead of 100 pairs of shoes and hundreds of items of clothing, my wardrobe has shrunk to about one quarter of what it was. At 71, I can say that it is now almost a capsule wardrobe! With the pandemic, I have barely got into my closet, except for jeans and loungewear. Hiking and walking gear do not count.😄

  7. Great post Sue! Love you dresses and skirt. I am trying to wear my dresses and skirts more often – even at home. My Dad was a minister, so we didn’t have a lot of money. But, my Mom loved clothes and always looked stylish – she was a woman with style! Every year she would take me to the “nice” department store and we would purchase a few good pieces of clothing for me. She also sewed many pieces for me. We took good care of our clothes and I even wore hand me downs from my sister (she is ten years older) that my Mom remade for the fashion of the time.

    I wore all my clothing over many years (once I stopped growing). Once when I was in high school a boy came up to me and said, “isn’t that the same outfit you wore last year?”. I was deeply hurt/upset by his comment, but I loved that royal blue mohair jumper. I didn’t let him stop me from wearing it. And, I guess he was noticing me…. 😉

    1. I remember waiting with longing for my sisters to hand down my favourite pieces from their wardrobe. I had a lilac angora wool sweater that I wore for many years. Loved it so much.

  8. Thanks for the mention, Sue. I love the way you’ve styled your new dresses and skirt and I’m with you on preferring the simplest versions. I’ve been finding the same with some of my dresses: I’ll wrap a scarf around my neck and then decide it feels like too much (unless it’s chilly and then I say Bring the Cosy Layers!!).
    Also, I like your characterization of an “anti-haul.” I’m nowhere near as organized as you, but I recognize that pattern of being too busy to shop often (when I was working) — or not being able to for pandemic reasons! as now — so that when I do shop I’ve got a mental list of wardrobe items I’d be happy to find. By this stage in life, I know that my Style Wants aren’t always catered to, so if I hit a shop or a trend or a brand or a sale that has what I like, I might come home with more than one bag. More than two. More than. . . . well, you know. There’s definitely room for improvement in my Slow Fashion efforts, but the anti-haul isn’t a big offender, and I’m grateful your post so clearly articulates why not. There’s always already enough for me to feel guilty about 😉

    1. Cosy layers are the way to go when it’s cold, that’s for sure. I know what you mean about stacking up the wants. Especially if we don’t shop frequently. I always have something that I’m looking for, even if I don’t go looking very often. And despite all the bad press about browsing on-line, I love it. I browse a ton on-line and irl and buy rarely. `

  9. First of all, can I say how lovely your new dresses and skirts look on you.
    I still find clothes shopping a joy. It’s now about finding the one (or three!) item that makes you look and feel great, not about having the “latest and trendiest “.

  10. Cynthia Blaylock

    I love all the styling of your new “anti-haul” pieces, but especially the all black look. It works because of all the different textures and the contrast to your beautiful skin and hair color. My mother, also a widow and elementary school teacher, loved clothes, bought classic pieces, and taught me to take care of my clothes, but she loved color more than I do. I love the neutrals – black is my favorite pastel! and camel and navy. I’m looking forward to reading the article you cited and I do think as a culture, we are valuing “trendy” and “novel” over sustainable and classic. You see it in home decorating as well – every year the bloggers come out with their annual list of what’s trending. I value a more layered, collected look. BTW, I am so glad I stumbled on your blog … we will be moving from sunny Southern California later this year to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – not too far from Canada – and your layering and insights on cold-weather living are inspiring me.

  11. Yes, I was brought up to shop wisely and care for my clothes, something that I continue to be grateful for half a century later. As a young teen, my parents started giving me a modest clothing allowance instead of buying my clothes. I supplemented that with babysitting money and learned to budget carefully. A generation later, we did the same for our kids. I can’t even begin to imagine having a closet full of clothes with the tags still on! Though I’ve always bought mostly what I needed or what I loved and what would go well with what I already have, I’ve become even more intentional about these things in recent years. I guess I’ve always been “anti-haul”. I’ll never forget the day a few years ago when I bought two dresses on the same day. Something like that was so foreign to me!

    PS. I agree that simple is better when it comes to styling your new dresses.

    1. We bought our own clothes in high school too. My parents signed over the monthly child allowance cheque, which was twenty dollars if I recall. With that we bough clothes and whatever we needed, except in case of an emergency. But I remember choosing a top and putting in on “lay away” then paying it off from my allowance and the money I earned working at a canteen one night a week. Sometimes it was a slow process.

  12. My mom sewed all my clothes when I was a child, and enjoyed it, so I had a fairly large wardrobe with a lot of choices, something that follows me into adulthood, even though I don’t sew much anymore (do masks count?). So I still have a large wardrobe with a lot of choices, even though I haven’t had much opportunity to wear any of it for the past year, and even with the pre-move paring I’ve done. It’s quite the luxury, I admit.

  13. I LOVE your new hair. The white is fabulously hip and edgy and it allows you to pull off these simple looks so well.
    I understand why you low-lighted the front (it takes a while to see yourself differently) But know how jealous I am of the white!
    I think you will love the ‘new you’ purchases for a very long time. I too have an H&M pleated skirt which is practically the basis of my dressier looks. So comfortable , easy to wear and flexible.
    Thanks for your blog. I always look forward to it.

  14. I just started reading your blog and am impressed with your writing. I can tell you are a teacher. So thoughtful and well planned. I hope you are writing a book! I learned to write well in college and then in the TV news business we were taught that short sentences and small words were necessary to keep attention in news. I spent 30 years doing that.
    I love clothes and jewelry and spent way too much money as an anchor lady on clothes etc..
    I thought about blogging but seems too much like my old job with people looking and judging.
    I grew up in a family of 12 kids. Both my parents worked in the family business. I was older and took care of kids. There was no real money for shopping, even when we worked ourselves. It was all money saved to get through college etc. Clothes are great but as a now retired person, I need less. I am always trying to pass things along and I live in Florida where I only wear dresses. I finally got to haul out sweaters during the recent chill. I had given most of them away when I left cold weather.
    You make me dream of moving to the wilderness. Maybe I will. I have spent the last 9 years traveling the world. Let’s hope we can all get back at it.
    So fun to read. Thanks

    1. Thanks, Judy. No… no book. I think that’s too much commitment for me. I too am hoping that travelling can become a part of our lifestyle again one day. Before we get too old. Ha. 🙂

  15. I am guilty of having several pieces in my wardrobe with price tags on them. They were purchased last spring for a conference/mini vacation right before everything shut down for COVID. They are not the lounge around the house type of clothes so I hope I can wear them this year because I feel sad every time I look at them. I did not return them because I knew the owner of the store was struggling as it was. I have purchased more from her during the last few months because I hate to think of all of the small, independent stores that have closed during the pandemic. We will lose so much if all that is left are the large department stores.

    1. Just think how exciting to have all those new things in your closet next spring! Even the large department stores are threatened I hear. The Bay, here in Canada, is closing all its bricks and mortar stores, apparently. And moving all on-line. I hope they are able to reopen after all this is over. It would be sad for there to not be a Hudson’s Bay store after so many, many years.

  16. I blame my parents for my addiction to new clothes. They owned a ladies fashion shop from 1966 for 20+ years, which we lived above, so my wardrobe was always updated with whatever was the latest “thing”. Although Mum’s philosophy was that items “had to earn their keep” in her wardrobe…
    I’ve tried to live by that, but as I’ve gained, then lost, then gained again, excess weight, I’m loath to get rid of the really good “keepers” in my loft wardrobe. (The boxes of stuff that’s too small!!!) I have about 30 items that I wear regularly, and are my go-to, but I’m always on the hunt for some great trousers/shirts/ tunics, etc… 😊 Maybe one day I’ll bite the bullet and sell it all off.
    And I love that skirt, I’ve bought it myself! I also love the all black – I frequently wear all black, so it doesn’t look odd to me. 😉

  17. I had already thought that your all-black outfit looked Edwardian before I got to your caption under one of the photos. It is the skirt, the boots, and tights. I love it. You look magnificent in all three of your new pieces. Your blog is the most well-written one I read. Thank you for the weekly treat.

  18. Sue, those dresses are real treasures. It’s such a pleasure to watch your style, honed over the years with care – what looks good on you, anything that did not already abandoned, literally and figuratively. Love those lace up boots with skirts – yes, delightfully Edwardian.

  19. I always enjoy your thoughts – and you’ve given me an idea for a pleated pleather midi skirt I have in my closet….☺️

  20. I love your posts….the clothes always look great in that classic way that i love.
    I might have missed it…..but where did you find wool leggings?

    1. My wool leggings are from Theory and I bought them a few years ago in Montreal. They are more like pants in that they have a zipper and a button.

  21. You look wonderful Sue – so stylish, and the shades and textures of black and grey suit you so well! It helps that you look so trim and fit. My resolve is that, post Covid, there will be no more impulse buys! Meanwhile I’m shopping my closet and there is plenty there. We are not going anywhere nowadays, so it’s mostly stay at home clothes (even in New Zealand).

    1. Thanks, Gaynor. I use Pinterest to inspire me to shop my closet. I save any shot where I like the outfit and I already own some portion of the look.

  22. It’s so nice to see new people finding & appreciating your blog Sue . The first one I found was when you bought the claret puffer coat , which doesn’t sound very well now ? Since then there’s been years of entertaining & consistently well written posts . I don’t know where you get your inspiration from . You never sound bored . Consequently , I think , you get very interesting comments & people seem to open up to you . Teaching must have been a big part of this but perhaps it’s in your genes too ? I’m guessing some of your mum’s 😉

    1. Thanks, Wendy. I have noticed quite a few new readers. I have no idea where many of them are coming from. I guess I should ask. That old down coat is still in my closet, but it’s looking a little worse for all the wear it’s had. Still. It’s there in case I have to go out when it’s -20°C.

  23. I didn’t read the comments so far.
    Dresses are usually best as they are,they are meant to be simple,complete outfits. I like all of your (final) choices. Have you tried your leather skirt with knee high boots? This will be my first choice,although it goes very well with this particular ankle boots (I sometimes simply wear ankle boots in a combo like this, because it is much easier )
    Black,monochrome,grey are all fantastic choices….. I have very similar over the knee Tommy Hilfiger cotton-cashmere grey dress, literally for ages,lately (lately- before Covid lately :)) usually with black leggings and ankle boots for my physio-it is dressy enough for running errands or meet friends for coffee before and easy enough to take dress and ankle boots off and be ready for exercise later…with time,I’ve found pieces that go well with the dress: black leather jacket,some scarfs,necklace or two(or three)…
    Thumbs up for Stu and his Christmas gift!
    Dottoressa

    1. I don’t own black knee-high boots. I was going to shop for them after Christmas but then we went back into lock-down. So it’s shorter boots or none for now. Stu capitulated this year and asked me to pick my own Christmas gift. He says it’s because I have everything any woman would want. Ha. Which means I that don’t need hiking or skiing or fishing or cycling clothes or footwear or equipment. 🙂

  24. How about you, friends? Were you raised to shop wisely and care for your clothes?
    THAT IS A YES ALL IN CAPS!
    I still have sweaters from 30 plus years ago……………and funny thing is they are still my favorite!

    1. Me too. Last year I hauled out a jacket and sweater bought at Adrienne Vittadini in Montreal in 2001! The matching skirt is long gone due to middle-age middle. But the jacket and sweater are getting worn again.

  25. Your sweater dresses remind me of a simple grey Eileen Fisher dress I used to wear to work. So easy to style with jewelry or a scarf. But haven’t worn it in years. I usually hang onto my EF pieces, excellent quality and very simple lines give them longevity. I will try the dress again to have a Ready Outfit when there is someplace to go. Maybe I’ll dress up for the inauguration tomorrow!! Thanks for an interesting post, you always have ideas that inspire.

  26. This is my first comment, but I’ve enjoyed your blog for years. I, too, was taught to take care of my clothes. We changed out of our school clothes and into play clothes as soon as we got home. I was taught to hand wash my sweaters in Woolite at an early age (although now I use the delicate cycle). I was taught to buy wisely, too. Today, when I’m in a dressing room, I can hear my mother saying, “But it doesn’t dooo anything for you.” That message keeps me from talking myself into something that doesn’t really work for me. Thanks for all the work and sharing you do! You can tell it’s a labor of love.

    1. We always changed out of our school clothes and into play clothes too. In fact I still do that. I never ever sat around in my good work clothes. And when I get home I always change into something more casual. Kind of like your mum… when I’m shopping, if I don’t love a piece it doesn’t come home with me.

  27. Hope I’m not too late to chip in to say that these are some of my favourite outfits on you, the colours, the skirt, you should wear them more often ! Skirts, I mean.
    I have to say, I don’t think fast fashion is only about young women, I used to subscribe to a couple of British magazines that targeted women from 40 upwards, and the fashion pages were full of “must haves” and “you need “, never a thought of maybe working with what you already have. I guess they have to pander to trends and the advertisers, but I got sick of it , and stopped reading them. Mostly I prefer a blog like yours. Most of the clothes were very expensive and not for anyone with a real life, anyway !

    1. You are right, Maisie. It isn’t just the young who push “hauls” and the latest trend. “Hero piece” is my least favourite of all that trend lingo.

  28. Hi, Sue – I like your point in regards to going from fast fashion to sustainable fashion. Recently, I have slowed way down from acquiring new clothes. It’s a new thought that pops into my head: “But I don’t need that. I have enough!” I just don’t feel the need anymore and I’m really appreciating all I have. Like you, though, I do keep in mind what I need and keep my eye out for those things. I’m just naturally focusing better than ever before. Maybe it’s one result of the wisdom that comes with age. It is definitely a great feeling of contentment. I have a wonderful time using what I have to create endless outfits and I share that on my blog. I am impressed by your classiness as well as your orderliness and thoughtfulness. Glad I found your blog today! – Angie, http://www.yourtrueselfblog.com

  29. Hi Sue, I just recently started following your blog and enjoy your writing very much. I live in southern Ontario so it is refreshing to find a blogger who buys from Canadian stores. I love both those knit dresses on you. I have never had a large wardrobe and take very good care of what I have. This year I am committing to shop Canadian and hopefully find some good companies who manufacture sustainably. I think that is going to be a challenge. I’m losing weight during this lockdown so hopefully when we emerge I will need a smaller size. I’m glad I found you.

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