Monday, September 30, 2013

Keeping My Cool ... Then Remembering Where I Put It

As I write, it looks like fall has finally decided to visit western Mid-Nowhere. The sky is gray, deep in clouds that brought us some very welcome rain yesterday, and the cooler-looking looking skies are a relief from the sun-pounded days of our summer.

But looks can be deceiving. It's also almost 80% humidity and the temperature will reach 80° F (or, not quite 27° C) in the next couple of hours. And I'm trying to figure out what to wear to the Big City where I will be until evening when it's due to drop 15 degrees.

There are things I love about summer dressing, and I'm always invigorated when fall-winter "coat weather" begins, but this is a problematic time. It feels weird to go summery and sleeveless, but it's too warm for even a light jacket, much less a coat. Until I need it after the sun goes down.

But for once ... I'm on top of it. I got it covered. Or me covered. And I've managed to avoid just throwing on a cardi. Cardigans are wonderful tools for transitional seasons, but not all cardigans are created equal. But one of my personal prejudices is that I think they can sometimes look a little extra-elderly on me now that I'm of advanced age. This impractical peculiarity of mine comes from memories of my little maternal grandmother; silver-blue haired, stooped and fragile. She always had to have her sweater. We'd all be piled in the car, heading somewhere to enjoy a summer family event, and someone would be sent back to get the sweater, just in case it miraculously cooled off. And just about as often, we'd have to double back to retrieve what my grandfather called "that damned sweater" that Granny had forgotten and left behind.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I apply this caveat to no one but me! This is not meant as a rule or suggestion for anyone. This is just my own issue. I know I'm not yet in Granny's physical state of decrepitude. And I constantly note fabulous looking women of my age and older running around, all cute in their cardigans. I think, though, that since there are style options for even us seriously advanced citizens, we ought to sometimes apply them.

Look at it this way. Young hipster guys are sometimes seen in "grandpa cardigans" and a bow tie. It's a look. Put that on a bona fide old man, and you have a whole different gestalt. Some looks can define you in ways that might not be optimum for your self-image. Just saying.

Like I said above, though, I got it covered. Look, a faux-leather cardi! Or a leather-cardigan hybrid. Whatever you call it, this little Willi Smith item will be just the ticket later in the evening when I need it over this silky little shirt!

Granny wouldn't have touched this kind of sweater with a ten-foot pole.

(Update ... Monday afternoon, just before posting: I went looking for that cool-cardi this morning, and I found I'd forgotten it in the back of the car that Dan took to work this morning. Yikes. I can hear Granny laughing, and it's more than a little creepy. )


  1. Cu-ute! Where'd ya find it? I want one! :)

  2. Now that's a compliment from a baby like you! TJ Maxx is where I found it ... that also means it was a bargain!

  3. Oooooh...I do like this version better. Very sexahy.

    BTW...I featured you last week


  4. Great looking cardi! Very cool.

  5. You found the perfect cardi, Jan! It covers you lovely.

    I feel completely different with cardigans. When I wore summer dresses as a child I always got said that I should take a cardi with me because the weather maybe could change. So when I wear my dresses with cardis I always ponder whether they are not too childish for me now.

  6. Hahaha, your grandmother got you back for posting about her!!! Your "cardi" is definitely more chic than the one I just posted - and I'm definitely on the prowl for a new one. I'm going to look around and see what I can find, and yours is a great idea. Loving it!! With your haircut and leather you are just so chic! And I'm just like your granny too... I don't leave home without an extra layer - blame the AC!!
    xo ~kim & chloe

  7. Very pretty, that's not a granny coverup. Love it! Looks like a piece that will go with so many items. I must say I love your hair this length. Something about it seems just right. What do you think?

    blue hue wonderland

  8. What a funny story - I never associates with sweaters with grannies! Love this fun faux leather cardi! Have a great week!


  9. I think you look AWESOME and FABULOUS in the cardigan!!!

    I'm hosting a giveaway of 1.68 carats diamond nexus earrings set in 14k white gold setting giveaway at Please stop by and enter for a chance to win!


  10. No, me neither! I'd rather freeze than wear a cardi, I just don't feel right in them, maybe it's the lack of boobage as big busted girls look great in little tight ones.
    Yours is edgy and fabulous, just like you! x

  11. That is so NOT a cardi!
    I wear cardigans a lot, but they have to be small and fitted and colourful. I can't do big and chunky or baggy. I don't know quite how to explain the difference, but I feel fine in the former, frumpy and bulky in the latter. And I don't possess a single sweater. Can't quite say what the difference there is either. I'm not very articulate this morning, am I? Blame the lurgy!
    Let's just focus on beautiful you, Jan! You look wonderful! xxxx

  12. Love it...extremely cool looking! And it's not a cardigan, it's a lardigan...a leather cardigan...ha!
    Debbie :)

  13. You are so funny! Give Granny her due - she was just a product of her times. As are you in your rock chick "cardi" which looks fabulous! Looks perfect for transitional weather, and even further into winter.

    I've got a few cardis for work, and you helped me decide what to wear today - snow leopard print cardi over neon(ish) green.

  14. I love that jacket. It looks like pleather and cotton together? Perfect combo and can be worn with so many things. Excellent purchase.

  15. Nice new take on the cardi, and it will certainly blend in well with a whole lot of stuff I have in my closet! nice outfit!!

  16. Great faux leather cardigan! I do love sweaters and to avoid the granny look, I try not to buy heavy cable sweaters, but ahhh, those are the nice, cozy warm ones .. no wonder why grandma's like 'em.


  17. Thank you so much, Suzanne. I'm so flattered to be in the company of some of my favorite women, anytime, anywhere! This means a great deal to me.
    Yours is a blog I read for content especially ... I'm still mulling over your post from yesterday about opinions.
    Glad you liked my fake leather cardi. Whether I'm justified in my avoidance of cardigans or not, this makes me feel better generally, and that ... these days... is worth a lot!

  18. Thank you. I thought of you when I tried it on, actually. Not quite as cool as you, but heading in that direction. BTW ... I've found my moto! Inspired by your excellent post. When it cools off down here, I may show off!

  19. See? It's all context! You know, as I think back, I remember my mother turning up her nose at cardigans because she didn't want to look like her mother. Boy did I get a dose of cardigan-fear.
    You look great in whatever you choose ... don't worry! For me, it's like red lipstick. I love it on other women, wish I though it looked good on me, try it and just don't think I wear it well. Life goes on ... without cardigans, it seems!

  20. Nope. I don't think so (regarding your adorable shrunken cardi you wore with stripes and florals, right?) That little number has a deep neck, short length and is made to be that third piece. You look quite fabulous in it ... I just would have never tried it, to my loss. Not all cardigans are created equal.
    As I said ... not advice, just personal peccadillo!
    Thank you so much for liking the leather-stuff. Super easy to wear.
    Love, love, love to hear from you!

  21. When Dan finally got home last night, with sweater on a hanger (what a guy ... I'd just tossed it in the back.) I tried it with a belt ... not a go, I'm afraid. It's shorter in back than in front ... hits just at my waist. That's my silky top hanging over my butt in the picture. Good idea on that shape, though.
    And yes ... structure is a big deal for us. That's one of the great things about leather and leather-looking stuff in construction ... it has a structural integrity that works even if it's the drapey kind.
    I appreciate the idea ... I have other pieces where it might be able to apply it!
    Nice of you. And grand of you to stop by with ideas!

  22. It was a pretty good value ... I'm a fan of Willi Smith. He's gone, of course, but his company still makes reasonably priced clothes that have an interesting edge to them ... lots of tailored pieces.
    Poor Granny, my fanny. She ruled with a white gloved fist in spite of her osteoporotic delicacy. ( I miss her to this day.)

  23. Thanks, Ann! I do think it has a certain something ... I've noticed that it actually forms a "rough out" side lapel I didn't show in the photo. Nice contrast.
    I also thank you for hair compliments! To be honest, I'm still not sure about it. I tend to experiment a lot more on my clothes and accessories (SHOES!!!!) than hair. I do think my longer hair was looking dated, but I wasn't quite ready to cut it. Sometimes I really like it, sometimes not. It makes a surprising difference in the type of neckline that looks best now! I'm actually liking a higher neck ... not that it hides much (too much oldness to worry about there) but the proportions are suddenly different. Just had a bit more angle cut in, and am learning about tools like styling paste. Your opinion means a lot ... and I am definitely noticing similar cuts. I feel like I'm in a different club, now!
    I'm always tickled when you drop by, Ann. 'Preciate it.

  24. I didn't realize it was shorter in the back. Taking that into consideration I agree, belting it would not be smart LOL!

  25. hahahahahahaha... I had to laugh so much over this post. You write brilliantly.
    I always try to make people laugh as well, but my command of the English language is not as good as my own language. (Fortunately I have this excuse. It is better than admitting I have less talent than you. LOL)
    Even the title is good. But you leaving your faux-leather cardi in the car, really did me in.
    You look ever so good in this cardi. What a great find.

  26. ROFLOL!!! I love this surprise as I love all your witty rambles dear Jan! I love your thoughts on the humble cardigan and I too feel the fear of looking like granny with a tissue up her sleeve. I get the occasional power surge and wearing easily removable layers are like a security blankie for me. How not to look aged has been a conscious mission for me as well. Trust Willi Smith to find a stylish solution. I love it! And ironically, as I've been googling for vintage Vogue sewing patterns, Perry Ellis is a favourite, I've been reunited with my love for Willi, and have added him to my must collect list.

    I've been away drinking wine in BC's treasured wine country and behind on my posts. That and this weirdly transitional season for clothing...I'm not lost forever though, and will be hitting the keyboard soon! xo

  27. I think I remember you mentioning that you are petite? Proportion wise I think this length really works. Hair length can change everything about how one looks doesn't it? As women we hold some of our identity in how our hair looks. I love the color too!

  28. Tamera Ferguson WolfeOctober 2, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    LOL--I needed a good chuckle today!1 loved this post.
    The new cardigan is FANTASTIC--Love the whole outfit!!!

  29. Jean at Dross into GoldOctober 2, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    That's just a soft jacket-thingy!! A cardi has buttons that you button either just at the top or a few at the bottom. It's probably a pastel color, sometimes lacey, or if you're my mom, it's a shetland wool in a heathered greenish-blue. Don't forget the grosgrain ribbon down the placket.

    I hope your trip to the big city was much fun!! You look wonderfully style-y and not at all "granny". XXOO

  30. Yes, of course you're right about proportion. I just had it trimmed, and a little deeper set of layers cut in. Not still getting it to look like I want, though ... so what else is new! I'm going to give it some time and some maintenance ... I'm still not seeing myself in my mind's eye with the bob when I wonder if a particular piece or silhouette will work on me or not. Time.
    I appreciate your gentle encouragement to stay realistic.
    Thanks, Ann!

  31. Glad you enjoyed it ... I hope to entertain and edify. But if I can't edify, I can still make you laugh, I hope. Thank you ... glad when you can drop by, Alice ... you're an icon of mine!

  32. Then I'm in good company, Vix. I see other women in cardigans, looking sharp, and can only admire how they do it. I never get cold enough to wear one except in this strange hot-cold season ... soon it will be coat season.
    My poor old boobage is more and more problematic to dress these days as they want to wander. I've always admired the small cup contingent ... clothes ALWAYS look better on you guys.
    Thanks so much for your kind remarks ... I appreciate your dropping by, and you're always welcome here!

  33. You are one of the women who wear them so well. Part of your vintage magic! They really are classic. On some.
    Had to go look up "lurgy" ... got it. Poor baby. My sister-in-law called early yesterday to tell us that her famously-malingering son was diagnosed with viral meningitis (the less awful variety). So take care, darling Curtise , and if you feel pukey for long go see the doctor. Amazingly, when I finally get to the point where I think I have to go see ours and actually make an appointment, I get better almost immediately. Urk.

    You're so kind, kid. Nice of you to tender compliments ... I so trust your excellent eye.

  34. Yup ... it's got a knit back and sleeves. That puts it into cardigan territory for me. I think of it as my Not-Quite-Cardi.
    Glad you like it ... a little leatherette goes a long way, huh?
    Thanks, Debbie!

  35. Please. Granny was the light of my life, but her sweater mishaps were legendary. You're so right, though, that's what little old ladies wore.
    Now a white leopard cardigan can't ever be dowdy. It can be a lot of things, but not that. Perfect, I'd think, over bright green!

    Transitions here are miserable weather-wise. It's still freaking hot and humid this week, but looks like it might fall into the 60s next weekend. I wait, with bated breath ... sigh. Bitch, whine, moan, complain ....

    Glad you got a laugh, darling Val. Makes it worth writing.

  36. No, not cotton ... sadly, it' poly all the way, but less baggy that way, I think. At least it is versatile, as you say. I'm just happy with the compromise, and actually got a compliment or two when we went to dinner in city, yesterday.
    Thanks, Zalina. So happy to have you drop in.

  37. Wow. If you see value in it, Nicolene, I'm on the right track. You have fabulous taste in anyone's book. Kind of you to take time out from Milan to comment. I am really enjoying your report ... hope you have a safe and happy return home!

  38. Granny's crazy cardigan days were right there in SoCal, so she only wore the light weight ones ... the kind with pearl buttons and often part of a twin-set. Context is everything, isn't it? I perceive fisherman's sweaters as outdoorsy, for an active life, and fresh this winter combined with skirts ... and if not precisely youthful, then at least classic. I won't wear them much as they are pretty warm for our crappy climate, and I shy away from bulky looks most of the time, too.
    So glad you liked my faux leather compromise. Thanks!
    And happy you wrote ... always fun to hear from you!

  39. Wow! I have to concede that if you're out enjoying wine country, then I have an edge. Of course you think it's funny! Wine goes with everything ... even my style-silliness! Gotta remember that.
    Seriously, if you took time out during holiday, then I need to say extra thanks! So nice of you, but then you are undoubtedly one of the most adorable bloggers on the planet. I know all will agree with that.
    You have it just right ... it's how you wear a cardigan. When I start putting a tissue up my sleeve, of ANY garment, then please help Dan put me in the "home" ... I'll be past help.
    I never knew about Willi Smith until I got down here ... way late to the party. The Internet is no end of a resource ... don't know how I ever lived without it. Nice to be able to look at any designer's work in depth, just by typing in a search.
    It's still so flipping hot here. I'm quite distressed with the humidity ... we still are running the air conditioner, 24/7. I may regret whining about this later in winter, but I don't think I will. This is ridiculous.
    Travel safe, and will look out for posts from you soon as you feel like it!

  40. You, lady, are one of the queens of how to look good in a cardigan. You look fresh in one always ... I sometimes think it's your hair (youthful, like your smile) and that you always pair it with something cool and of the moment. See ... I do try and follow good examples!
    Thank you, Doll. Glad you got a grin. Happy, too, that you liked the faux-cardi.

  41. Did you already read my Amsterdam tour posted this Monday?
    There are more tours to come. I plan on doing one every month.
    And I am glad you like it.
    Sometimes people only look at the pictures, but I am trying to put some humour in my writing as well. Making people laugh is the best about blogging.

  42. Highland FashionistaOctober 3, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    LOVE that leather card on you Very chic. I like that you paired it with a floral underneath to balance the hard/soft thing.

  43. I bow to your expertise ... you are quite right in your description of what it is that I'm trying to avoid. I'm just way past the age of being able to wear it ironically. Glad you like my jacket-thingy, and that it works alright.

    Big City is just my euphemism for Fort Smith, which is not much of a city by anyone's standard, but it's better than nothing. I'm pretty sure there's more than I get to see there, but affording it is an issue. There's high-end, and big box, a few boutiques that think they need to be high-end, and second hand Walmart shops. Given that my trips twice a week net me maybe 2-3 hours per week for personal shopping, I think I'm learning the ropes. I do get to eat food from another restaurant, though, and for that I'm grateful. I should stop whining about this, but it's a constant frustration. Better to laugh about it, I think.

    So nice of you to take a minute to drop a line! Are you still vacationing? You're in my thoughts a lot, as I'm in "alterations" mode for the winter things I'm getting ready to wear. No excuses this year!

    XXOO back at you, darling Jean.

  44. Hey! I didn't think a lot about the shirt ... it's one I wear all seasons and in this case, just needed something cool to wear. But I'm happy you made me aware of what I did. (I should have just said ... "Yes, I meant to do that!") So glad you stopped by to point that out. You rock!

  45. Yes ... I'm so happy I signed up for your email notifications. I read it a couple of times and showed it to Dan to read. He's a fan, too!
    I love, love, love the long, thorough tour ... plus the map! And all the photos. I NEED a houseboat on the canal. Reminds me of the inner-city lakes of Seattle, and the bazillion house boats, but only for the well-to-do. These look almost affordable. So cool to step from the deck to an urban street. If one likes living in a damp, floating closet. It's always a trade off, yes?
    Yes, more please. No, no, not too long at all.
    And yes, I enjoy your humor! Always sweet ... some things translate across languages ... threadbare bathrobes being one of them. What a doll he is, your Ron.

  46. Ron has a great sense of humour. It is often like a cabaret in our home.
    If you like houseboats, have a look at this link. It is "real estate-selling for houseboats". Of course it is in Dutch, but you can click the pictures. The price is around EURO 3.500,- per square meter. And the price also depends very much on location. A chique area costs more than a lesser area. That is the same everywhere. Here is the link:

  47. I've never seen a cardi like this! Looks absolutely fabulous on you and the addition of color with your black coolness would turn heads anywhere. Date night???

  48. Dawn @ AlterEgoFashionistaOctober 4, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    I'm lovin' the mental picture I get when reading the word decrepitude! You are far from it, Missy! What a cool leather will go with just about everything!!! It's very hip and practical, while still being edgy. No more creepy laughter from Grandma!

  49. Wonderful! Thank you! Day dreams only, but that's low cost. Great stuff, and Google translate works pretty well!

  50. Thank you, Judith! Now it just needs to cool off long enough to wear it. Cooler today, very wet, but 70s and 80s coming this week. So nice of you to stop by!
    Date Night ... ? I'll definitely wear it to our version of that!

  51. No ... Granny's been quiet. I expect she'll take notice when I bring home the Moto jacket and vest I have on lay-away! This hybrid cardi looks kind of cool when I walk ... moves in a pretty way.
    Thank you, Dawn, for your nice remarks. I really appreciate hearing from you!

  52. Dang! What a cardi! Like no other. Feel free to get your cool on, in that cardi. You look foxy xxx

  53. Oooh Jan I so love this!! Would you believe I have a similiar cardi? I shall have to fish it out! I love the layering you've done in this outfit and I love the digital print on the shell top for a pop of colour under the black. I might steal this idea - I've descended back into my all black habit with the worsening of the weather here and this is such a great idea to break up an all black outfit. I enjoyed reading your memories of your granny. I do find cardigans of the knitwear variety invaluable for dressing in the variable UK weather. Key for layering and these days they don't need to be stuffy in design. I have a couple of knit ones cut in the same flattering drapey shape as your leatherette one here and I find them invaluable!

  54. How wonderful is this cardigan and I can see no granny anywhere near your look! I love it! So cool! You look freakin 20 years younger and it definitely suits you! Rock it any day!!

  55. Thanks, SS, so much! High praise from my favorite young reluctant hipster! I really like this one. It's a nice change from sweater-dressing.
    I immediately feel more polished when I put it on.
    Have a great week, kiddo!

  56. Veshoevius! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such encouraging words. I'm in the best possible company if I have anything approaching your style choices! I'm really feeling some monochromatic dressing, too, and am trying hard to pay attention to textures and shapes ... black is always the most fun and flattering to mess with.

  57. Awwww ... that was so nice of you, Anja. Has to be the fuzzy photos that help. Glad you like my leathery-cardigan thingy. I like the way it polishes up my outfit. See you soon!

  58. I loved it back the minute I saw it on the rack. Happy me, especially with nice comments from you. You have been an inspiration this week, by showing yourself in "boyfriends" ... answered some questions for me!
    Yes, the hair seems to be seen as an improvement. Also learning about that, too. My month to take on new things, some of them whether I want to or not!
    Thanks and hope you are enjoying your week!

  59. Jan, thank you for your lovely comments on So What to Twenty.You are very kind. I once saw a twenty something in a red cardigan worn with a huge over sized flower pin and ripped jeans. I will never forget her look. She looked vety parisian. She looked chic and reminded me that cardigans are for all ages.

    And...I'm drooling over your black cardy :)

  60. Your cardi doesn't look like a typical cardi at all. Very modern and stylish look, Jan.


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