Thursday, 31 July 2014

Work Horses in Your Closet?

Earlier this summer I wrote a post about a fabulous pair of pants that I had just bought against my own better (or not better, as it turned out) judgement. I say that because I had publicly in one post said I would NEVER wear draw string pants, and then had to eat my words in another post when it turned out that I loved the pants once I tried them. 

And in the comments on the second post a reader (Frances from Materfamilias Writes) exhorted me to "...go buy another pair of those pants right this minute. They are obviously work horses and they look great." And workhorses they turned out to be. 

That term "workhorse" has stuck in my mind all summer. Maybe because we had workhorses on the farm at home when I was growing up: great, strong, clumpy beasts. Patient and lovely. My stepfather adored them. Hated to make them work, actually, he was so fond of them. And so the term "workhorse" has extremely positive connotations for me. 

Prince and King... early 1970's.
My little brother was not very creative with names, especially since King was Prince's mother!

And now that I'm considering what to pack for our two week trip to the Saguenay in Quebec, I'm thinking... "Hmmmm.... Which of my lovely workhorses will be coming with me?" What items in my closet are reliable, hardworking, versatile and .... lovely. Or maybe not lovely, exactly, more that they make me feel great when I'm wearing them. Every time I wear them.

Workhorse #1. Of course my black draw string pants

Perfect for daytime super-casual (aka enroute in the car), daytime shopping/out for lunch, and for a casual evening dinner. 
Check, check, and check. 


I'm packing the pants, the blue striped tee and the black and tan silk blouse. The cream Rag and Bone top didn't make the cut...not because I don't love it. But it's a bit more dressy than I want for our super casual days.

Workhorse #2. My coral Elie Tahari jeans from two years ago.

I love these pants. They are a true mid-rise, so they don't feel like I have to hike them up all the time like a low rise... and they hold in the... well...middle-age middle. I like the ankle length and even roll them a bit shorter for a more casual look. Paired with my sleeveless Judith and Charles top, they will be good for sightseeing and browsing through shops on a hot day. They also look good with the beige, loose-knit, short-sleeved Gap sweater I bought earlier this summer. Which in itself is a work horse...since I can wear it with my black pants or with jeans or shorts. 


Workhorse #3. My summer staple...white jeans.

I love white jeans. I think that I have worn white jeans of one style or another ever since university in the 70's. My current favs are a cropped pair of Hudson jeans from last year ... kind of boyfriend style in that they are looser than a skinny...while still being narrow in the leg. I will wear them for dinner when we are at our hotel on Ile d'Orleans with a loose black V-neck sweater from Banana Republic and my black sandals. Then for daytime running around with my blue striped Gap tee shirt, running shoes and my Theory anorak. 


Which leads me to ...

Workhorse #4. My new-ish Theory Anorak.

I love this jacket. I bought it because I couldn't find a new spring coat that I loved and that was different enough from my old black Michael Kors coat. Then my friend Liz at Holts showed me this jacket. Love, love, love. It's on one side and kind of grey/brown/white/with a little bit of turquoise/camo. It looks great over a white top, or my blue striped Gap tee shirt (above) or this pastel sea green one (below.) I wear it with jeans, and love it with my white pants, or my black shorts. I will even wear it into fall with jeans and boots.

Workhorse #5. Tailored shorts 

I'll undoubtedly pack my black Theory walking shorts (above) and a beige shorter pair that I bought at the Brooks Brothers outlet store in Florida last winter. Both pairs can be very casual and with different tops and shoes a bit more polished. The longer Theory shorts, in particular, I'll probably wear to dinner one night with my Elie Tahari black and tan silk top.  

And serving in supporting roles...not doing the heavy lifting...but necessary to the final product nonetheless.... those versatile tops that go with everything. Those pieces that multitask over and under just about anything in your closet.

In the shot below I've included the Elie Tahari black and tan silk top, the tan Gap short-sleeved sweater, my black 3/4 sleeve V-neck sweater, and three Gap tee shirts (white, the sea green one and my current fav blue and white striped one.) And of course the indispensable  jean jacket. I love my Paige jean jacket. And my anorak. They all work with black or white or tan bottoms, or blue jeans....and most of them will go with my coral jeans. 

I'll definitely pack everything in the shot above for our trip. I haven't decided about my coral pants, workhorse though they are. I will of course add in a couple of pairs of sweats and a heavy sweatshirt along with cycling pants and rain pants. And c'est tout. 

Oh...and our French-English dictionary. 

So those are my summer workhorses.

What's in your stable?   

Linking up this week with What I Wore Wednesday


  1. This summer, I'm surprised that my white jeans have been on workhorse duty -- at least until the current heat hit! And my Birks are always first out of the stable in the summer.

    1. Love that...first out of the stable! I've been wearing long pants much more than usual as well. Such a cool and rainy summer, that's why.
      Thanks for reading.

  2. You look great in those clothes Susan. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe...

    1. Thanks. I love the idea of being able to "cross-reference" so many items in my closet. Thanks for reading.


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