57 In Getting Dressed/ Women Now

Analyzing an outfit I wore for days in a row to garner no attention

Jean outfit

Having the energy to put my own outfits together again

 

One of the things we do together on this blog is analyze outfits. As a forever-student of fashion I’m fascinated by how fashion feeds us, soothes us, brings excitement and vitality to us. Clothing items put together in outfits are little miracle workers. They can make us feel confident even while we’re lacking confidence. They can lift our spirits when we’re feeling low. They can demonstrate our happiness and enthusiasm about life when we’re feeling happy and enthusiastic. There’s hardly a more wonderful tool in our toolbox for life than choosing which clothes to wear on our backs.

So here’s an outfit I’m curious about. It’s an outfit I wore for days in a row during the Wine Country fires while we were evacuated from our Sonoma home and staying with friends in Mill Valley. The psychology of that outfit has me pondering. I’m still trying to sort it out and I think your experiences in life will help me do that.

 

KUT from the Cloth jeans

KUT from the Cloth distressed jeans dry over the shower rod

 

Back in the house and doing laundry

When we got back into our home after several days of being away, I was happy to be doing laundry. I washed two core pieces of that outfit I wore for days in a row: a pair of distressed jeans and a man’s T-shirt in a similar color.

With our fashion analyzing hat on, here’s what you need to know about these two pieces.

I’ve had the KUT from the Cloth distressed jeans for many months. They have that look like they’ve gone through the washer a thousand times. They’re a boyfriend cut so they have a relaxed fit.

 

Cozy cotton T-shirt

Cozy T-shirt brings comfort in stressful times

 

The other piece is a cotton V-neck T-shirt that I spotted near the checkout line one day at TJ Maxx. I loved the loose fit of this T-shirt but mostly I LOVED the color, kind of a gray-blue. It struck me as so calming. The loose-but-not-baggy fit made it perfect for a writing day at home outfit. And if I wanted to head out to do my usual run of Staples, Starbucks, and seeing Phil, my acupuncturist on a Friday afternoon, I could add a cute scarf and a fun jacket to it and be chic enough.

That day back home when I was laundering these two pieces, I had a feeling of thankfulness. Those two unsuspecting, humble clothing pieces were the most comfortable, soothing items to me at a time when I was on pins and needles day and night.

 

TJ Maxx cashmere cardigan

Wearing my grandpa cardigan from TJ Maxx

 

I need to mention one other piece that I wore during that time and that’s a shawl-collared cashmere cardigan that was also a TJ Maxx purchase some years ago. There’s a picture of me (above) wearing it with plaids and checks and a bling necklace. I call it my grandpa sweater because it’s so darn cozy and old-fashioned looking. It was chilly in the mornings and evenings in Mill Valley where we were staying and that soft gray sweater melted into the other pieces for a trifecta of comfort.

 

What do these three pieces have in common?

So what have I observed about that trifecta-of-comfort outfit that I wore in public in broad daylight in Mill Valley, a outfit that would never leave the house like that if I were in Sonoma?

The three pieces are:

Basically monochromatic, only the slightest of changes in hue between them

Plain; really low on texture

No embellishments

Soft

Low contrast

I was wearing lipstick most days but no makeup and no accessories.

If that outfit was food it would be mashed potatoes, white bread, or Tapioca pudding from a college cafeteria.

 

A not-seen-outfit-on-Instagram

You know me; I love having fun with fashion. My Instagram feed is full of pictures of me doing just that. But what I needed now from my clothes was solace, an absence of stimulation, and a way to block input. I was maxed out and couldn’t let more in. My pretty, sparkly, fun clothes were of no use to me now.

So here’s the thing I love: That plain outfit gave me exactly what I needed! And I’m so grateful!

 

Comfort from animals

Me and Boscoe, my roommate during our stay in Mill Valley, take a selfie. “Love you, Boscoe!”

 

Getting back to normal

I’m back to wearing clothes again like normal. I can handle wearing sparkles, mixed prints, multiple accessories, and rich colors. If you saw me somewhere, you’d recognize me for sure. I’m out there having fun with stripes.

 

Wearing stripes

Enjoying double stripes in this outfit

 

Or seeing how many ways I can bring the color merlot into an outfit.

 

Wearing merlot three ways

Triple merlot! Pants by J.Jill, shoes are AGL, and bag is from TJ Maxx

 

Or pondering new ways to wear my mushroom colored Calleen Cordero bag now that I’ve made it easier to find things in it.

 

Creating a Beauty Bundle

Musing over shades of gray

 

The fashion wheels are turning again.

 

I need your help please

So here’s how you can bring your wisdom and experience to this post. In general I’m thinking about how clothes give us what we need but sometimes in unexpected ways. Are there times when you need an outfit that will disappear on purpose? Are there times in your life when you just don’t have the energy to think about clothes? Maybe it’s when you need to cocoon or recover from something? When do you need outfits like that and what do they look like? What do they have in common with the outfit I wore for days in a row?

I can’t wait to hear your fashion musings and words of wisdom!

 

XO

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57 Comments

  • Reply
    stephanie ashworth
    November 6, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Comfort. Ease. Lack of stimulation. All acceptable explanations for the monochromatic not your ususal BK outfit. I get it.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      You really do get it! Thanks!

  • Reply
    TJ Southwell
    November 6, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Dear Brenda, I think your outfit was not only comfortable, but appropriate for the situation. Ok, I see it as ‘mourning clothes’. How could you be bright sassy while people’s homes were burning? You’re a sensitive soul. Yes, you needed comfort too, but I think it was also an expression of respect. Also, your Sturdy Gal came out and you needed to be ready at a moment’s notice for anything, so sturdy clothes that would see you through a range of temperatures and shoes that gave you a good footing and allowed you to be comfortable all day were the thing. I loved that you bumped into the people you knew and made new friends of the little family at the cafe. That’s the kind of thing I do, and most people don’t. My daughter finds it awful, but my son rolls with it. They are grown now, so not often with me anyway. Maybe that’s why I talk to strangers. Anyway, you had a lot more on your mind than worrying about creating a new outfit everyday.
    I also find that when I travel, I make one or 2 outfits (usually pack for way more that doesn’t get worn) but I find an easy rhythm in just wearing the same thing such as the same jeans, only with a clean shirt or t-shirt. When I go away, I usually ask my hosts if I can wash my things daily. That way, even though I have only a small selection with me, I have the whole lot ready to go – and I love fresh pjs, they have to be clean ones every night, so they must be washed daily.
    I see that TJ Maxx has arrived this year, in my country Australia, only they call it TK Maxx. The nearest one is 20-25 mins drive from me, but I think I will ask my bestie if she’d like a trip to check it out.
    I love your blog Brenda. You’re like the stylish Mom I don’t have. Bless you for the light of life that shines through your soul and your words. And your lipstick. XXxxxxx

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      I am so warmed by your comment! And the term you used, Sturdy Gal, is perfect! Sturdy Gal did come out and she had to make decisions, and make them fast. It’s interesting. There was no time for any negotiating on some things. I knew what I needed to do and did it. I guess that is Sturdy Gal! I like your travel system. Clean pjs every night sounds like a real luxury. I love it! Your kindness is just so generous. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’d love to be one of the strangers you talk to!!

  • Reply
    Elle
    November 6, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Something old, soft, worn-in. A flattering color. Nothing that would call attention to me.

  • Reply
    Jane
    November 6, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I think your clothing was perfect, and nothing would have been weirder than to be all dressed up in finer things in that kind of situation. I also think that somehow you felt like yourself in those comfortable clothes, without special concern about how you looked, because that was no time for fussiness. They suited the situation, and they were soothing, which was just what you needed. They were something you could relax in, if such a thing were possible. How lucky that’s what you happened to have on that day you had to leave!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      You are so right about that outfit being one I could “relax” in, as much as one could relax. No fussiness, indeed. Just comfort and soothing pieces. Thanks for your kind perspective on the situation.

  • Reply
    Ann
    November 7, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I completely understand your need for comfort clothing during that stressful week. The softness, blue-grayness, oldness, and roominess. You were a refugee. You needed the weight on your back of only what you could carry.

    I’m weathering something similar now — my beloved husband’s cancer reoccurrence. These last few weeks I’ve been wearing unicolored outfits in well-washed denims and soft cottons and sweaters. I totally get it.

    Thanks for your post. I now understand better why I stand in my closet lately, feeling like I should choose brighter autumn pieces that would “cheer me up,” but defaulting to older pieces my body knows the insides of so well.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      Ann, the clothes you are choosing right now sound like the very best medicine for what you’re going through. I pray for your beloved husband and for you. If it brings any comfort, remember that people can survive a reoccurrence. I’m doing that now. But boy, what a tender time. Sending you very warm hugs and praying for good care and good outcomes. Give him a kiss on the cheek from me!

  • Reply
    Trinnie q
    November 7, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Oh what a beautiful article , and such wise responses from everyone so far! I totally agree with all that has been said! The clothes you chose remind me of the scrubs I wear at work, action clothing, calming and reminding me of my strengths, even comforting to wear ! Some might find that hard to believe ! But appropriate and functional . THats how I view your lovely refugee outfit. I get it Brenda ! Thanks for sharing your story of survival ! As always, sending love from Oz

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      Trine, I can really see scrubs through new eyes right now. You’re right. My outfit was very nearly scrubs! I so appreciate your love from Oz!

  • Reply
    Diane
    November 7, 2017 at 3:21 am

    I totally understand Brenda. Having sat by my moms bedside this past week,I needed quick but comfortable clothes. I wore my fave broken in skinny jeans and really soft pullover sweaters. No concern for how I really looked, just comfort and ease. My cousin insisted that I buy a new dress for the funeral, and for once I didn’t really care, just bought the one that was most comfortable and appropriate. I find I am still needing the comfort sweaters this week to get me through, no blouse or stiff fabric will do. I hope to get back to my love of jewellery and print soon. I love your explanation of your (my) feelings. I like how you have bounced back for us, even though feelings are still raw. Love you

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Diane, I send you my condolences. I have been in those shoes, sitting at Mother’s bedside. I appreciate how you kept yourself comfortable. As someone has spoken of here, the part of the brain that makes decisions gets so overwhelmed in the face of loss. You will return to your love of jewelry and print. You will. I have so much faith in the process of grieving. I’m sending you a hug. I love you, too! Be gentle on yourself.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    November 7, 2017 at 3:43 am

    I think your outfit centered you. Putting together an outfit calls for attention and focus, in times of stress we pull into ourselves. There is no extra energy for the details only the essentials matter. In those circumstances in my life, I just wear a tried and true blue jogging suit and white tee shirt. No thought required, presentable if I must leave the house and comfortable. I do wear my lucky jewelry pieces to comfort me and keep my stress down…..usually have to touch them ten times
    a day to reassure myself. As always, you look lovely, quiet and calm!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      I love the idea of touching your jewelry pieces. That is awesome! I can see the comfort in that. It’s like they are talismans. Thanks for sharing your formula!

  • Reply
    Courtnie
    November 7, 2017 at 4:23 am

    When I am in need of some TLC, I reach for outfits which are warm and comfortable. An example would be an oversized sweatshirt, jogging pants, and running shoes. This outfit lets me go for a walk or sit on the couch in comfort. I appreciate all your insight on fashion and the time it takes to blog. I’m glad to are feeling like yourself again.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks Courtney for weighing in! I can certainly see the comfort in your TLC outfit! It does feel good to be feeling better. Baby steps, right?

  • Reply
    Cara
    November 7, 2017 at 4:52 am

    Gray is a neutral, comforting color and everything was soft which added to the comfort.

    Everyone has already written most of what occurred to me, but I was wondering if, because you weren’t in your usual haunts and didn’t have people’s expectations of the clever, cute outfits you usually wear, that maybe it was a relief just to wear something basic.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      It actually felt odd to me to not be enjoying my usual escapades with fashion. It’s such a happy place for me. It entertains me to no end. I guess you can surmise that I dress for my own pleasure and am lucky that others find it to be pleasurable too. But wow, I was not in the mood for entertaining myself at all. I was on high alert most of the time. I wondered about how I’d react if I ran into someone who recognized me, someone who might have expected me to look different than I was. If anyone did recognize me, they didn’t say anything but I think I was incognito, disappearing into the woodwork. I have several clients in Mill Valley but didn’t run into a single one. I love that you brought that up! I felt incapable of putting any more effort into it than I did.

  • Reply
    Geralin Thomas
    November 7, 2017 at 5:39 am

    This makes perfect sense to me as I think our outfits magnify our emotions. When Mother Nature, or life, spin out of control it’s normal to exercise as much control as we can by selecting garments that provide comfort (or structure) and security.

    By re-wearing garments you removed the age-old challenge of decision-making; lIfe became a little less complicated and a little more predictable with less clothing options.

    Plus, I can’t help thinking that your subconscious may have played a big part in selecting shades of of blue (water) when threatened by smoke and fire. I know I do this too. When dealing with dark, I go bright. When things are overly complex, I go simpler and subtler.

    • Reply
      Katherine Cramer
      November 8, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Like Geralin, I thought of blue as representative of water, healing and soul-nurturing. Dressing is a creative act and the choices often communicate inner conversation and story. Being conscious of how our choices respect our world’s pulse and mirror understanding–is a very powerful melody that joins other harmony. I imagine the mood and music of post fire was somber. If it could have been captured…it was likely harmonious with flashes of discord. Comfort becomes so important and held on to like a lifeline. Brenda does have a bit more responsibility to dress as she advises. I assume she generally fulfills this because she truly wants to–not because she feels she must hold to some sort of standard. Yet, during this awful, surreal time–she takes a leadership step back… into the whole…joining grief respectfully. It’s OK for all of us to blend into the fog of bereavement. I think it is interesting how BK expressed this in her soft, distressed, foggy-colored and fluid outfit.

      • Reply
        Brenda
        November 8, 2017 at 8:31 pm

        I’m going to make some comments here too. You’re so right, I just do this because it’s me. I love all the creativity. Fashion is like my puppy dog, always there to love and be loved. I knew things were radically different when I just wanted to wear the same thing each day. But I love the benevolence of fashion. It was truly there for me in the good times and the bad. Just like puppy dogs I guess!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      I have tears in my eyes! If indeed my inner self chose those blues (water) during that threatening time, I just want to give it a hug. I can’t imagine wearing any other shade, not one. And you’re so right about how that eliminated any need for additional decisions. There had been so many decisions to get to where we were, sheltered by friends. It was time to as the saying goes, Let go and let God. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Geralin.

  • Reply
    Theresa
    November 7, 2017 at 6:07 am

    clothes during times of stress! I always gravitate toward monochromatic pieces when I am feeling a little overwhelmed and need to find my center of balance. I am so happy to have found a kindred spirit in your posts and appreciate your insight, humor, and ideas for putting together a fun wardrobe!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks Theresa, I’m glad to have found you here! Kindred spirits indeed. Thanks for sharing your recipe for finding balance!

  • Reply
    Penelope Chandra- Shekar
    November 7, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Such a thoughtful post and comments too. So interesting how clothes can comfort and bolster us in times of need or announce our presence when we want to be noticed. For me, my comfort clothes would never include jeans as I find them stiff even if not tight. I would choose ideally a pair of velvet sweatpants if there is such thing(will have to find out) otherwise black yoga pants and a simple tee in a my favorite comfort color, lavender, and a crystal for my neck. Fluffy soft socks and comfortable kicks too. Let’s remember fragrance, maybe some lavender oil?

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Brilliant, Penelope! Lavender oil would probably have been perfect at that time. That is also one of my most favorite colors. I can’t really find clothes in it that work for me but just gazing at the color brings peace and calm. I think velvet sweatpants would be easy to find. You deserve them!

  • Reply
    Diana
    November 7, 2017 at 8:23 am

    I love your jeans outfit but especially the long necklace!!! Do you remember where you got it? I’m a jeans gal myself but always looking for ways to amp it up. Love your blog!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      I made the crystal pendant one. The other one is from a friend. So glad you’re enjoying the blog, Diana!

  • Reply
    LA CONTESSA
    November 7, 2017 at 8:33 am

    YES, I tend to wear the soft fabrics and a t-shirt when I know Im not going out!BIG SWEATERS to keep me warm!I’m always COLD………..
    I will be in CORTE MADERA on FRIDAY…………….there is a new shop opening WHICH I MUST SEE!I don’t even know the name!My girlfriend from SAN ANSELMO is the INTERIOR DECORATOR.How I found this shop was instagram……….SHOES from SOUTH AFRICA TO DIE FOR………..the price TOO!
    Perhaps if you are in the area a quick HUG could take PLACE?We will be lunching as well……..???XX

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Drat! I won’t be able to be there. So close but I have appointments that keep me from playing with you. Let’s keep trying though! I’d love that!

  • Reply
    Mary Arthur
    November 7, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Whenever I am going to be in a situation I am unsure of . . . not knowing anyone . . . not knowing what other people will be wearing . . . not sure of myself and how I will be received and/or liked . . . and especially when I am anxious or nervous about the situation I will be in . . . I choose my tried and true most comfortable (comfort is important to me), most flattering and least conspicuous outfit. Neutrals (gray is my fave) and soft knits are staples that I go to when I am in strange or unusual circumstances. I would never want to be way over or under dressed and stand out like a sore thumb! So when I am unsure I choose those pieces that can fit in anywhere, anytime . . . and under any circumstances! I guess those pieces would be called my comfort clothes. Comfort is a recurring theme for me and since I live in Florida I am always also concerned about overdressing and being too hot! So cool, comfortable and neutral items are what I like to keep for those rare occasions when I’m feeling not quite myself!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      It’s so good to have those reassuring clothes, isn’t it? I’m happy they are there to take care of you in those uncertain situations. I can easily see that color palette as a perfect one to lean on. Thanks for your share!

  • Reply
    Kathleen O'Brien
    November 7, 2017 at 11:37 am

    I can certainly respect your choices during those tough days. Your clothes always say a lot about you and how you feel, and for many of us too. When your mind and heart are in turmoil, how can you think of anything else! I also wear easy comfort clothes when I’m not feeling well or stuff is just going crazy – someone called them “mourning” clothes in their post and I really see that.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      Boy, I’ve thought a lot about mourning clothes. Friends of mine found it so hard to face people who seemed so oblivious about the people who were suffering 40 miles away. I understand it but wouldn’t it have been great to have “mourning” clothes to give fair warning that “I feel tender”, or “I’m brokenhearted”, or “I’m fearful”. That way words wouldn’t have to be used. It’s an interesting thought.

  • Reply
    Liz
    November 7, 2017 at 11:41 am

    There are what I like to think of as “back-seat” clothes–colors and cuts that take a backseat to serious situations. You put them on and then you don’t have to think about them. They allow you to forget yourself for a while to focus outward on whatever the needs of others or of the situation are.
    And goodness knows, as family members in Napa told me, during the fires people’s attention was focused outward–on the welfare of others, on what needed to be done, on the essence of existence.
    Not saying that style isn’t important–you looked great in a quiet way and that’s a real morale booster. You could just “set and forget” your style for a while with comfortable and low-key clothes.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Liz, you’re assessment is spot on. Back-seat clothes. I love that term. Clothes were still important, if even just to say, “Hey, I’m here for you. Do what you need to do. I’ll keep you safe.”

  • Reply
    Sallie
    November 7, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I hear you on the evacuation clothes choices. Mine were eerily similar – AG slim girlfriend jeans + an old Eileen Fisher black tee that I chose because I really like it, have not been able to find a duplicate and I figured I would miss it if my house burned down (I made these choices in the 2 minutes I had to get dressed as I evacuated). Like you, I did not wear any make up other than lipstick and my only jewelry was watch, wedding ring and engagement ring. It’s taken me a few weeks to get back to feeling like putting outfits together. I am slowly getting there. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      That’s so interesting to hear what was going through your mind. And interesting to hear how you’re slowly getting back to feeling like putting outfits together. In the fashion anthropology of this event, I’d love to delve more into how clothes can be a barometer of what’s going on internally. So glad you’re safe!

  • Reply
    emma cook
    November 7, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I am a widow for 6 years now. When I’m feeling low, not wanting to see anyone, and just maybe dash in and out of the grocery store, I wear my “dog clothes.” Old tee shirts and time worn jeans and my hair in a pony tail. I call them my “dog
    clothes” because I don’t care if my 4 old doggies rub their noses on me or get in my lap, or cuddle on the couch or floor together. I always put on eyeliner every morning, though. I look like a stranger to myself if I don’t.
    Emma

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks, Emma. I can see those four dogs giving you loving nudges! I can definitely see this outfit as being comforting. I had the pleasure of falling in love with Boscoe while we were evacuated. I’ve always been a cat person but Boscoe had so much love to share it was amazing. I told his owners that I’d babysit any time! That was something fun that came of this. Imagining you with your dogs made me want to cuddle with Boscoe again!

  • Reply
    Laura
    November 7, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    It’s not the same, but I used to wear the same clothes all the way through finals. It was like having on armor or a uniform. Today when I need comfort I go for stretchy and loose and classic— boot cut heather gray yoga pants (that don’t look like yoga pants), a white cotton stretch tunic with a subtle grey stripe (given to me by a string woman friend) and a very light grey long cardigan. With black ankle booties. I layer in pendants made by two of my artist friends. In this outfit, I feel surrounded by the love of my friends, I look as professional as my very casual office could demand, and I feel like I’m cozy in pajamas! And those boots— well, they were made for walking, so I feel powerful too.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      I love all the ingredients you’ve laid out in your formula. I really hear the power of your friendships! So cool.

  • Reply
    Telynau
    November 7, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Evacuating puts things into a different perspective for an indefinite period. You brought your focus inward, to the “you of you”. You nurtured yourself in a truly honoring way. I have too, in similar situations. A camisole, a tee-shirt, a tunic, a pontee skirt. All in understated, harmonious tones. Comfortable low-heel shoes. A car sweater and scarf, maybe gloves. Evacs count in seconds… I’m thankful we can ponder things over hours together. It’s a balm to the Soul.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      You’re right, Telynau, this is all a balm to the Soul. Thanks for speaking of it so clearly.

  • Reply
    La semaine d'une gourmette
    November 8, 2017 at 3:10 am

    My go-to “I don’t want to be thinking about what to wear” clothes are 100% black. Either black slim trousers, a black fitted top (something soft, with lycra) and black flats, or a black dress (I have a least 20 black dresses, so a simple one), black pantyhose and black flats. Oh, and a black jacket (I have lots of those too – I just love black). No jewelry, just a watch and maybe a silver ring.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      Sounds like a perfect model for comfort clothes!

  • Reply
    Sidney Park
    November 8, 2017 at 7:40 am

    I lost a daughter in a car wreck and although it has been 17 years, when I’m needing a hug from her I wear one of her old, soft tee shirts or a sweatshirt I kept. It just gives me such a feeling of comfort and closeness.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      Wow, Sidney, that is really tender. I mean REALLY tender. I get it. I can well imagine the comfort you receive. Thanks for sharing. I was seeing a lot of similarities throughout this experience with the fires to that of losing family members. Very similar. Thanks for sharing that image with us. You share a language that hardly has words.

  • Reply
    Amy Brookman
    November 8, 2017 at 11:46 am

    I notice that the outfit featured clothes that were what used to be called “Man-tailored” and you called the sweater your “Granpa sweater.” Part of the comfort factor of the outfit might relate to the sense of men or boys close to you in your life, and also, perhaps remind you of strengths in yourself that you, or others, may have considered traits that by tradition have generally been thought of as masculine. I see it as you finding your wholeness and strength in yourself at an extremely stressful and rushed time, so it’s not so thought out, but perhaps reveals great strengths in your core self that you might not be so aware of on the surface.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      Wow, Amy, that is very insightful! I’ll be pondering this for days! So very interesting. Thanks for putting that forth!

  • Reply
    Katherine Cramer
    November 8, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    The weather often dictates my ultimate comfort choice for unusual times. For warmer days…cool, loose linen or linen-like long pants or cropped in black, grey, blue or an earth color. A 3/4 sleeve length, v-neck tee shirt in black or flower colors, Dr Scholls soft slip-on sandals and a light cardigan or soft zippered jacket if needed. A hat and clip-on shades. Much like dog-walking clothes. For a cooler day that requires ultimate comfort: Pull on velour long pants (black blue or brown) clogs (socks optional) and a big pullover sweater that keeps my neck warm. If sweater is only a v-neck, I add a long, soft scarf wrapped (therapy-style: one loop and tails in front). I’ve added an over-sized Fisherman’s knit cardigan recently as it’s bulk feels comforting.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 8, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      There’s so much in here that made me smile. First of all, I need some clip on sunglasses! And your Dr. Scholls slip-on sandals need to be in my closet as well. I love the therapy-style scarf wrap. It’s what I do most of the time even though I’m not a therapist. Just love how you take care of yourself!

  • Reply
    Eileen
    November 9, 2017 at 9:32 am

    I get it, comfort clothes in a disaster, understandable; easy wash, non-fuss, darkish in case of cleaning up, loose in case of uncomfortable situations ( driving, walking, packing, cleaning, etc.) A change for you, who helps others dress. But it did get me thinking , many people dress in a minimal/ comfort way on a daily basis, maybe not your readers, but it looks very casual out there… Glad you’re ok, and thanks for the thoughts..

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 9, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks, Eileen. Sometimes I wonder if people dress simply because they aren’t inspired to do it differently. But when I went through this tragedy in our city, I had a lot of empathy for people who dress simply because they are coping with big things. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Nancy
    November 10, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Yes! Empathy for people who are coping with big things – on an ongoing, rather permanent basis, not just for a few days. Things like joblessness, family death, chronic illness of self and others, depression (that’s a biggie), overwhelming family responsibilities. All reasons for us not to judge the way others dress when we have no idea of their circumstances. It saddens and yes, angers me when I read a fashion blogger, someone older who ought to know better, who describes other women/strangers as looking “frumpy”, declares she will never dress this way and can’t understand why they do (not you, Brenda, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you do this, that’s why I enjoy you so). Besides, if beauty is “in the eye of the beholder”, why should “frumpiness” be any less of a judgement call? Are they not both just based on personal opinion?
    Glad you are safe and well and sincere sympathy to those who suffered loss.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      November 10, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Nancy, you’re so right! We never know what’s going on with people. And no, I am not the boss of anybody but me. We all choose and I am happy to be sharing why I choose the things I do to put looks together. Thanks for your good wishes!

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