18 In Anatomy of an Outfit/ Getting Dressed

Anatomy of an Outfit: Take one new scarf, add an old earring and watch magic happen

white jean outfit

New scarf, old pieces, fun new outfit


It’s the Summer of Love here in my closet. You could say I was playing matchmaker but really, I had nothing to do with it. Well, almost nothing. When love shows up like this you can’t take the credit. You just sit back, watch it happen and say what Mother would say, “Oh for cute.” (Pronounced oh-fer-cute and from now on will be spelled “oh fer cute” in Mom’s honor.)

All I can say is that I was there when it went down. It was awfully sweet. I’ll do my best to “show” you what happened.

Unconscious Coupling

It’s happened before. I brought something home that was outside my comfort zone. Although I worry and fret, love often shows up right under my nose.

I didn’t see this one coming and I don’t think you would have either.

I was tagging along with my friend Sandi from Fargo who was doing some shopping on San Anselmo Avenue. I was basking in her company. She went into the dressing room with a dress and I wandered around. I spotted a demure silk floral print scarf-white, orange, gray, and a yellowish green. It looked like a scarf Mom would have liked. I didn’t have anything like it and I couldn’t really see it in my wardrobe. I petted it and then went back to check on Sandi and the dress.

I could hear something calling out to me on my way to the dressing room. It was the scarf. It said, “Brenda! Brenda! Don’t walk away. I want to go home with you. Please, please.”

I heard its cry, but focused on Sandi. The dress was a miss. While she was putting her own clothes back on again, I found myself drawn to the the feminine, printed silk square scarf. I picked it up again. It was precious like a little kitty cat. Within five minutes I found myself saying, “Okay, Darling, let’s go home together.”


Silk floral print scarf

Hello pretty scarf


Regret set in but was soon replaced with lightheartedness

I got it home and realized I had a scarf that didn’t go with anything. I preach “shop with purpose” and was feeling sheepish.

I knew I had to dive deeper and work at styling it. I hate owning things that I have no use for so I buckled down.

I’d start with earrings. I had little hope of finding the right one. I opened up my earring tray and scanned the contents. There in the middle of my stash was an earring with the same qualities as the scarf–sweet and feminine.


Banana Republic earrings

Earrings languishing in the earring box


These earrings hadn’t come out to plan in over 12 months. I put them next to the scarf. They were a match made in heaven.


Scarf and earrings go together

New scarf meets old earrings


Suddenly my heart lifted and I knew this was going to have a happy ending.


Column of white

Choosing to wear a column of white


I followed the lead of the love birds and thought, What else would feel light and sweet in the summertime?

How about a column of white? White is fresh and hopeful and reliable, a good base for the scarf and earrings.

I pulled on my great-fitting Chico’s So Slimming white jeans and a white t-shirt from Jigsaw on Fillmore Street.

I added the had-to-have scarf and the pearl and sparkly-with-green Banana Republic earring that was now going through a renaissance.


Silk floral scarf

Love at first sight, this scarf and those earrings


To keep with the feminine vibe, I decided to add a white vintage handbag. Actually, it was Mother’s handbag. You know what she’d say if she saw this budding Beauty Bundle, don’t you? “Oh fer cute.”

Why do I call this a beauty bundle? Well, you know that a beauty bundle is made up of three things or more that go together or relate to one another. These accessories are so darling together. The next time I come up with a combo of clothes and think of one of these items, I’ll remember all three of them and I’ll be able to polish the outfit in 30 seconds with this beauty bundle. I could wear this oh fer cute beauty bundle with my white cotton dress or my white linen pants and green linen shirt or jeans, the white tee, and a jean jacket. Lots of possibilities exist.


feminine Beauty Bundle

Wow, now we have a Beauty Bundle


This outfit needed a little more action because I’m wearing just the two pieces. Not that I wouldn’t adorn the wrist anyway, but I grabbed my lightweight summer bracelet group and my Victor Sanz gold ring. I love the light feel of these thin bangles together.


Summer bracelets

Summer bracelet grouping is lightweight


All that’s needed now are light colored shoes. I go for the platform Gabor dove gray suede slingbacks. Oh, it’s so nice to be wearing these again! They’ve been on hiatus. See all the things that happened when this scarf walked through my front door and met those earrings? It’s a love fest!


Gabor summer sandals

Sand colored Gabor sandals keep the outfit light


Dear friends, has there been some hanky panky going on in your wardrobe between accessory pieces or clothing items that are making summer love right under your nose? Have you brought something home and had “what was I thinking moments” only to score big with a great outfit?

Let’s talk about some lovin’ here today! Please share!


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  • Reply
    Ramona Puckett
    July 17, 2018 at 4:14 am

    I absolutely love this! You are so clever in putting everything together! This is why I love your posts! I learn so much! Thank you!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2018 at 5:00 am

    You look beautiful Brenda and that outfit is a huge success. Leave it to you to put it all together. Something drew you to that scarf and I like to think it was your Mom above us.

  • Reply
    July 17, 2018 at 5:32 am

    You always make a great story out of a purchase Brenda!! And I think it’s showing that it can be good to try things that don’t always SEEM to go in our closet. We can be surprised if we take a little time and work at some new pairings!!
    We tried taking a problematic piece in our closet earlier this year and styling it. And it’s funny, once you get over the hump, then you find out it works with more than you thought!!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2018 at 5:44 am

    What can I say? Just beautiful! I love the soft colors! Isn’t it fun to bring pieces of clothing/accessories together in a love-fest?! It’s romantic match-making! xo
    I find that I buy what I love, and then I mix N match in ways I never thought of at the time of purchase. It’s really a love-connection going on!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2018 at 6:04 am

    Great job Brenda. Looks like I will have to spend a bit more time in my closet playing with combinations. Thanks for the inspiring words. There is a reason some clothes just call out to us.

  • Reply
    Bobbi A Mouzon
    July 17, 2018 at 6:37 am

    The beauty bundle photo is gorgeous and inspiring! And the first photo of the scarf made me fall in love with it, altho I wouldn’t have had pieces to wear it with either! It is so feminine and vintage looking. Love how you put it together….oh fer cute!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Jill Garrett
    July 17, 2018 at 7:12 am

    The scarf, earrings and your mother’s handbag are an inspired trio…really lovely. But I’m not loving the red glasses with this outfit. Do you see them as a neutral? Are they separate from the outfit? Are they a little more orange-ish and go with the lipstick and the orange in the scarf? Do you wear lip color that “goes” with an outfit? (Sorry for all the questions. I have a pair of red reading glasses that I privately refer to as my “Sally Jessy Raphael” glasses!)

  • Reply
    Marjorie Sargent
    July 17, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Reading your delightful post is the perfect way to start what will be another very warm day up here. From head to toe, your look is so clearly one your mother would have adored on you!

  • Reply
    Cathy D.
    July 17, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Brenda, this is so interesting. Like you, I recently bought a scarf I liked but thought I didn’t really need. There was something about the color of blue (my color) that made me buy it. But then, unlike you, I stuck it in my scarf drawer and forgot about it. Thanks to your inspiration, I’ve found the perfect earrings, ones I haven’t worn for a long time. They are pearls and sort of match the white dots in the scarf. Now all I need is the bag or whatever, but will have to go shopping. This happens to me so often. I find two-thirds of a beauty bundle, and can’t complete the rest. Perhaps I just don’t have a large enough collection of accessories. Thanks for focusing my attention and helping me complete the job!

  • Reply
    Tracy Webster
    July 17, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    I so look forward to your blog posts Brenda – it is my sneaky ‘work-time’ indulgence. I get my coffee, close my door to the world and open the door to Brenda Kinsel, and it makes me so happy:) ( I work in the Wellness industry so I can totally justify it!) I just wanted to say thank you for the creativeness of how you put your outfits together and are not always showcasing the latest clothes – which some blogs I follow seem to be becoming. I am refreashed by how you work your wardrobe. I love seeing that you pulled out earrings you wore a year ago, and thought about howthings can work together. I am trying desperatly not to buy a lot of clothes at the moment as I am working on shifting some weight, and I am finding it really hard! but your blogs encourages me to make my wardrobe work for me as well, and I am looking forward to making an evening of it tonight that I sort out some new outfits from my existing clothes. I am also noticing that when I am selecting my jewellery for the day, I am taking on your ideas of how to groups colours or textures togethers. I bet you didn’t know, but you are everywhere Brenda Kinsel! Have a fabulous day:)

  • Reply
    July 18, 2018 at 2:37 am

    What a fantastic look and you had most of it lurking in your closets already, just waiting for the sweet scarf to show up and unite everything! Love it a lot.

  • Reply
    July 18, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    I love your sense of humor and sense of style. You make me smile when I read your posts. Now I have to go search through my scarves!

  • Reply
    Laurice Gilbert
    July 18, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Great story, out of which I take that even Brenda can fall prey to an impulse buy! You give us all hope that our impulse buys can be adopted into families we already have.

  • Reply
    cindy hattersley
    July 19, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I love Laurice’s comment!! Please share your nail color…love it!

  • Reply
    Trinnie Q
    July 20, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Like beautiful garden fairies, and maidenhair ferns in the cool shade of a tree in summer ! Pavolova on an Australian Christmas table ! Perfect x Sending much love from Oz

    • Reply
      August 1, 2018 at 11:18 am

      Oh my! I am lost in imagery. I LOVE maidenhair ferns. So beautiful and yes, they love that shade. All so pretty in my mind. Thanks for that Trinnie! xoxox

  • Reply
    July 23, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Hi, Brenda
    You are a great story teller! You really did create a beautifully delicate composition. So you are also an artist!
    Thanks for the inspiration,

    • Reply
      August 1, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Thank you, Angie!

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