Even before COVID and the current stay at home orders, I’ve meant to tell you about the easiest jean outfit recipe I’ve ever made. It’s so effortless to put together, yet it looks like a million bucks thanks to this Dressori kimono jacket.
The plan was to meet my friend Vicky at MacArthur Place in Sonoma, a hotel and spa. It has a great coffee shop, an outdoor patio, and a light-filled lobby with cool art and small tables for catching up with ones you love like Vicky.
Don’t run over there now; it’s closed because of COVID.
Our pre-COVID get together over coffee
But this get together was on March 6th when we couldn’t have imagined how much the world would change in the coming weeks.
It was a bit chilly out, but I was so excited to wear this gifted Dressori kimono jacket. Vicky is a fashion lover, and I knew she’d appreciate it. I left my just-in-case warmer coat in the car and skipped into MacArthur place to meet her warm, beaming smile. Everyone deserves a friend like Vicky.
Three easy pieces
Anyhoo, the outfit was easy to put together. I wanted a simple background so the kimono jacket got all the glory it deserved. What’s simpler than a column of navy? Maybe a column of black.
I slipped into my DL1961 slim frayed jeans (medium wash) and grabbed a cashmere navy sweater with a high v-neck. I bought it from the men’s department at Saks Off 5th in the Petaluma Premium Outlets.
Jeans and a sweater had the background covered.
The kimono jacket color is called denim. There’s a shibori pattern on it that has shades of orange, sage green, brighter blue, and soft mustard.
Three easy accessories
When it came to adding accessories, I used my honey-brown leather pieces to pull out the warmth in the jacket colors. On my feet were my Cole-Haan ankle booties. I pulled out a leather belt in a similar color that I bought in town at the leather shop on the square. I buckled it near the end, so it hung on my hips, not my waist.
I added my honey-brown bag which came from SAX Consignment.
The boots, belt, and bag neatly tied the jacket to the column of navy. Is that simple or what?
Thinking ahead to wearing the Dressori kimono in spring
It was easy to imagine wearing this jacket in May with jeans, a tank, and sandals. I love the luxurious feel of the jacket and how it billows around me as a walk. I could see wearing it on closet appointments with clients or shopping trips or meeting girlfriends for lunch or wearing it to go out to dinner with Russ.
Ah, but those adventures are on hold. Plus, it’s been cold in Sonoma and I’m not at all tempted to wear a tank or sandals quite yet.
But I did wear this outfit on Monday when I was busy meeting writing deadlines and working on lesson plans for a 4-week class I’m planning to teach soon on style. Virtually, of course.
Changing the recipe slightly for my home office
I changed out just a couple of things from the original recipe to make my Monday work-from-home jean outfit. The belt feels like too much fuss to wear at home. Instead, I wore a pendant that my friend, Alice, sent me from Minnesota. It’s a crystal and a key hanging off a brown leather cord. It was an easy substitute.
It felt so good to wear it all day because it reminded me of her and our meeting in a coffee shop in Fergus Falls, MN. You may remember her, too in the post I wrote about her adventures in style while recovering from cancer treatment.
Back to my substitutions: My Cole-Haan booties have a small, chunky heel. For my home office, I went with my brown suede Prada booties. Flat, super comfy, and it was great to get out of sneakers. I wore my tortoise-framed glasses instead of the blue ones (also from Uber Optics).
I asked Russ to pictures for me. You can see that this outfit fits in well with the warm brown tones favored in my office furniture.
From melancholy to acceptance to appreciation
I was a little melancholy prior to putting on this outfit on Monday. I wanted to wear it, yet I felt sad. I had had such visions of bouncing around Marin and Sonoma having a lovely time wearing this kimono. And here it was just me, indoors on a Monday, again.
But was it just that? I was in my office surrounded by things I love. I was writing materials for members of the Monthly Marketing Bundle Program that I started in 2009. I adore the image consultants and stylists in this program who will use these materials. We’re there for each other, especially now.
I’ve spent the last few weeks working on a class that I’ve wanted to teach but never had the time to develop.
I’m referencing my books as I write the course and remembering how my last book was written here in this office.
I recall taking a break from writing back then and meeting Vicky for coffee as we do. She commented on how I’d accessorized my outfit, and the term Beauty Bundle was coined. Just in time to make it an essential tool in a chapter of Brenda’s Fashion Makeover.
Accepting today while dreaming about tomorrow
Do I wish I could be bouncing around Sonoma, Marin, Napa, and San Francisco Counties? Yes. But being at home in this office writing, thinking, remembering, and creating has its rewards. The slower pace offers me the opportunity to appreciate relationships, connections, God. I’m not rushing.
It also affords me time to worry and be anxious–I’ll admit to that! But that’s where the friendship loops back in again. Comfort and solace aren’t far away when I remember to reach out.
Your readership and comments, here and on social media, have been such good company. I feel the connection we all have for each other and our loved ones. I imagine that feeling of coming together will be a hallmark of this extended time with normal life on hold.
I hope you and yours are safe and healthy. From the window in my office, I’m blowing you a kiss.
Please share what you’re discovering about yourself during this unplanned extended time at home.