Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind? .... How to Decide What To Wear

Every day it's the same thing. What to wear...what to wear? It's like that old song from the Lovin' Spoonful... "Did you ever have to make up your mind? To pick up on one and leave the other behind?"

 I have no trouble deciding what to buy... I am very organized about shopping (to put it mildly.) I always have a list. I wrote about my shopping philosophy and about my "list" in this post a couple of weeks ago.

It's the deciding what I want to wear on any particular day that I still find challenging. Probably that's because I put too much stock in what I'm wearing; I've always been like that, even as a little girl. If the clothes I'm wearing don't match the occasion and my mood on that day... I get cranky. The outfit just has to "feel" right, or the day goes all wrong. Weird , eh? But there it is... I can't help it. 

So how to choose the outfit of the day; that is the question... "To say yes to one, and let the other one ride.."

Sometimes I refer to my "inspiration board"over my desk. This is a collage of pictures that I have ripped out of fashion magazines because I like the overall look or because an item resembles something I already own and I like how it's styled. These pictures give me ideas. I don't spend a lot of time creating this... I just stack the fashion magazines on the reading "lectern" that my husband built for me on my exercise bike. Whenever I am pedaling, which is several times a week, I flip through the magazines and tear out pictures I like. Then I slap them on my bulletin board. Easy.  

I tore out the picture below because I love this look and because I own a tan safari jacket and a full, brown, pattered skirt. I never think of wearing them together, though. So I have this picture to remind me.

June Issue of Vogue

I also collect the free corporate magazines and "look books" which you can pick up in stores, showcasing the brands they carry. The picture below is from the Max Mara Spring/Summer 2014 magazine. I love the relaxed feel of the model's outfit as well as the combination of navy blue and khaki. The sweater is slouchy but the pants look quite tailored to me. I love this combination. I don't do slouchy terribly well. But a slouchy top with a neatly tailored pant is a look I can love.  

The layout below is from a tiny look book showing the Brunello Cucinelli line for this season. My friend Liz gave me this booklet. Liz is the personal shopper at Holt Renfrew. I love this outfit. The slim, rolled, pants and flowing top. I'd wear this in a minute if I could find a top like that.

But none of these usually helpful sources inspired me on Monday this week. First of all, most of the looks on my inspiration board are for spring, outfits with jackets or long sleeves.  Summer is okay. But, you know, I'm much more of a spring and fall girl... more at home in jackets or sweaters and jeans with boots, than in shorts and beach wear. 

And the forecast said Monday would be hot. So jackets were definitely out. Totally wished I owned that black top above. But I don't. Sigh.

And besides I was feeling inspired by something completely different. Coral toes. Yep. Last Friday when I was NOT playing golf, I went for a pedicure. You can read my post about why I love golf  here. Wink, wink, knowing look, knowing look ..... to quote Monty Python. 

Not playing golf last Friday. And my inspirational toes.
Anyhoo... I absolutely love the colour of the OPI nail polish I chose. A beautiful, bright, clear, coral-y red called "Red Lights Ahead."  And I wanted to match my outfit to that colour if I could.

So...what did I own that might fill the bill? The outfit would need to have some red in it and yet be nice enough to wear to my book club luncheon and cool enough to sit outside comfortably on my friend's deck. 

 The choices:

#1 My red, liberty print blouse, very light cotton with a lovely red cherry pattern and my white, cropped Hudson jeans.
#2 My short sleeved Burberry blouse with the heart pattern and my black Theory capris. 
#3 My coral Elie Tahari jeans from two years ago and a loose sleeveless blouse from Judith and Charles. 

Hmmmm. The Burberry blouse and Theory capris didn't even make the first cut. The top makes me look washed out with my hair this colour and the pants are too much like work wear. This outfit bored me. 

Hmmmm. I love this Liberty print blouse. The pattern changes inside the collar and cuffs to dark red poppies. So cute. I also like this shirt with my white jeans. Spiffy enough for book club, casual enough for lunch on the deck.

This outfit would give me the chance to wear my new Kate Spade bracelet (outlet shopping in Florida!) and the Kate Spade earrings I got for free with my promotional gift card from Holt Renfrew. I timed the purchase of a coat I wanted so as to take advantage of their 25% promotion and voila...free earrings.

Nah. Not feeling the love. 

On the other hand, I felt drawn to my coral jeans. I rolled them up, the better to showcase my new sandals and newly painted toes. The Judith and Charles blouse would be cool on a hot day. I never actually thought of pairing it with these pants before, but I like them together. And I added my cheapie gold hoops with the red bobbles that I bought at Pier One Imports (while shopping for furniture...)

And the colour match with my toes was perfect, as least from up here.

So the decision was made. I finally decided to "pick up on one and leave the other behind." My outfit would be comfortable and spiffy enough for my book club meeting. And it totally suited my mood. It  just felt right. This would be a good day.

 Post Script... 

This is the book we read for our book club discussion. Well, kind of read; I only managed to get half way through it. I was definitely NOT feeling the love. And that was pretty much the consensus of the other members of our group. Ah well, at least the sun was shining, the wine was cold and the food delicious. 

And....note that the cover of the book is the exact colour (well, almost) of my newly pedicured toes! 

Sigh. Life is good.

What do you do to make up your mind in the morning? To "finally decide; to say yes to one and let the other one ride."

This week I'm linking up with the Thursday Blog Hop at Over 50 Feeling 40   and Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style


  1. The outfit you chose is way more edgy, polished, etc. Love to see how you think through an outfit. Quite the eye.

    1. Thanks very much! I think that polished and edgy at the same time is what I strive for most of the time.... just not always successfully.
      Thanks for reading!

  2. I love the outfit you ended up in. The jeans and toes are perfect together. I have a jeans lifestyle and yet I keep buying skirts. I love skirts and I do wear them if I go out anywhere, but I am mostly at home. I know what you mean about just needing to figure out what you are in the mood for, and also about preferring spring and fall for clothes. I do too. At least here on Vancouver Island our weather is more like spring and fall most of the time anyhow.
    I'm interested to hear you didn't enjoy that book. I kept looking at it and thinking, I don't feel any inclination to read that and yet I feel as though I am supposed to. LOL

    1. Thanks, Shawna. I love summer ...just not me in summer clothes. About 100 Yr Old Man... at my book club e puzzled about why it had so much hype. Most of us thought it was mildly amusing and then...in the case of a couple of us...just annoying.
      Hey...there should be no more shoulds as far as reading goes!

  3. I am beginning a little time off...I think you just inspired me to do an inspiration board! Thanks for sharing on the Thursday Blog Hop!!

  4. I love that old tune! And your red trousers too, very cool. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xo

    1. Thanks, Patti. And thanks for hosting Visible Monday...so many fashion ideas...all in one place!

  5. I have a Liberty print blouse, which I love for the delicate print and the softness of the cotton lawn. My husband calls it my "old lady blouse" . . . so I don't often wear it! Yours is beautiful, I think it goes well with the white jeans.


    1. Husbands...what do they know, eh? I like my Liberty print blouse....with white pants or a jean jacket, it doesn't look old lady-ish. Of course I leave my knitting at home when I wear it! lol.
      Thanks for reading.

  6. Ha! The outfit needs to satisfy on some mysterious level. Me too, even as a little girl. But there's a point for me, usually after I lock the house as I'm heading out, I just give up if I don't have it right.
    I admit a slight (but only slight) preference for your second set of choices ... the sleeveless is so sharp and polished on you. Cooler, overall I think. Speaking of polished, love your toes, too!

    1. Thanks Jan. I do that too...give up at some point sometimes...especially when I was running late for work. But, then I'd not feel comfortable all day.
      Thanks for reading.


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