30 In Anatomy of an Outfit/ Getting Dressed

It’s sweater weather in the movie theaters, double up!

Vince cardigan and saffron yellow sweater by Grana

Enjoying my double cashmere in this sweater and long open cardigan


I know where I’m going to be on December 25th: sweatered up and sitting in a movie theater eating popcorn but not until the actual movie starts. I have a rule about that. No popcorn consumption (not even two kernels) until the previews are over with, the short video about not using your cell phones in the theater is done and the demonstration of Dolby sound was wowed us for the umpteenth time. The opening credits begin, still no popcorn, but when the first scene actually starts rolling, my fingers hit the white, unbuttered popped kernels in the junior size bag and away we go.

Do you think there’s some OCD there? Maybe! But let’s get to the sweaters. There’s no better place for sweaters than in drafty movie theaters. I’m going to suggest you wear a sweater and then wear a longer tunic style sweater over the first one. Let me demonstrate.


Wearing crystal pendant with saffron yellow sweater

Adding my crystal pendant to this color combo


In this combo, I’m wearing a cashmere saffron yellow sweater from Grana.com, a company in Hong Kong. They asked me if I’d like to try their product and this is what I chose. I love the color! I just checked the website and I don’t see this color available now. Drat! But take a visit anyway.

What I’ve put over the saffron sweater is a long, covers-my-butt olive green cardigan sweater by Vince. I got this at SAX Consignment in Sonoma. When I’m worried about being cold I like wearing something that is long enough to keep my butt warm. It can make all the difference!


Buffalo plaid cashmere wrap

Getting cosier with this buffalo plaid cashmere scarf


I grabbed my large buffalo plaid scarf to throw over my shoulders. Now I’ve got triple cashmere on me and it should be enough. I’m wearing it with flared Kut from the Cloth jeans in deep indigo. I LOVE the simplicity of this color combo! Saffron yellow, deep olive green, dark blue, and my warm cognac colored Paul Green booties. It’s so calming to me, yet grounding. I think I stand taller in this outfit than in many others. I’m like a tree!


Accessorizing my double sweaters

Of course, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to wear the gold chunky pendant necklace I put together this fall. It contributes to that grounded feeling. The earrings are also grounding. They’re by an artist named Jenny. Her company is Ajna Jewelry Designs. The name for these earrings is Mini-Goddess. Her goal is to make earrings that help women connect to the feminine divine within themselves. Could this be part of what’s making me feel great in this sweater outfit? I would think so!

Jenny follows me on Instagram and reads my blog. She reached out during the fires and said she’d like to gift me a pair of earrings if I’d like. She understands catastrophes. She’s from Florida and was in hurricane recovery. She was so compassionate! I’m happy to show her how great they are on me!


Mini-goddess earrings

Mini-goddess earrings from Ajna Designs Jewelry


Are you wondering about the book I’m reading in some of these pics? It’s Know Your Style by Alyson Walsh. I’ll be raving about it in an upcoming post. I could bring it with me to the movies and read before the movie starts. I’m someone who likes to get there early. I could reread my highlighted parts!


Wearing yellow and olive green together

Swooning over this color combo



Second sweater combo coming right up!

If I’m telling the truth, and I am, this next double sweater combo is one I may have worn for days in a row. It’s what I’ve changed into once I got home from work.

I was inspired by a comment from one of you about wearing red and decided to finally purchase something in red. This is a cashmere sweater from Macy’s. It’s by Charter Club. I thought it was going to take energy to wear something red but that hasn’t been the case. Isn’t it crazy the things we come up with sometimes? I truly thought this would be a sweater I’d wear on occasions. Like on Valentine’s Day. Instead, I’m wearing it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. No problem! No extra energy required!


Red cashmere sweater

A brave day arrived: I’m wearing red!


I wasn’t quite sure I was an embroidered jean person either. See those flowers on my thigh? I thought I was allergic to flowers on the thigh but it turns out I’m not! “Is this silly?” I asked Russ when I purchased them. “No, I don’t think so. They’re cute! Plus, they really fit you well,” he said. He was right about the fit for sure! Wanna take a guess at the brand? Kut from the Cloth! Remember, that’s where my indigo flares are from in the first sweater outfit.


Kut from the Cloth jeans

Deciding whether I’m a flowers on the thigh kind of woman


I wasn’t quite sure I could wear these jeans outside of the house. I decided I’d practice wearing jeans that had flowers on the thigh within the confines of my home. I’ll tell you what made me braver: this navy blue swing cardigan. Erin pulled it out of her car one day and said, “Do you want this?” I didn’t want to decide on the spot so she said, “Take it home and try it.” She wore it for awhile but decided it was a little big for her. It was perfect for me!


Know Your Style by Alyson Walsh

You’ll hear more about this book, Know Your Style, soon


Isn’t the texture of this cardigan divine? The light from the window is blowing the color out a bit in this closeup. But I swear, those bubbles of knitting actually hold in the heat better than flat knits do. And what is more fun to wear than red and navy blue? Of course, you’re starting to realize that I love lots of color combos. That’s true. Wearing red is a novelty for me. Wearing navy blue is easy for me. So wearing these together gives me all the confidence I need!


Navy blue swing cardigan

Feeling safe in my navy blue swing cardigan


Truth be told, the swing cardigan with pockets does cover up the flowers on the thigh. I’m not always as brave as you think I am. But I am getting kind of used to wearing the jeans in public. When you think about it, two parts of this outfit are daring to me because I’ve never done it before: wearing red and wearing flowers on my thighs. The navy blue cardigan says, “That’s okay, Brenda. You’ll be just fine. I’m here for you.” Thank you, Navy Blue!


Sending you love from Sonoma!

Whether you’re watching a screen from a movie theater seat, your couch, or your handheld device, stay warm! And now, I insist you share with us all your favorite flicks, okay? Have you seen any of the newly released movies? I’m hunkering down for some serious screen time and I want it to be worth it!


Expressing joy from Sonoma

Wishing you a joy-filled holiday!


Jenny, the earring designer, shared some sweet words with me in a recent email and I’m passing them on to you. She said, “I am looking forward to 2018 and new hopeful joyous energy. May your New Year be filled with much prosperity and loads of FUN FUN FUN.”

I’ll sign up for that! Will you too? Hoping you have fun days ahead. Sending you heaps of love!




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  • Reply
    Trinnie Q
    December 20, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Oh how delightful ! The popcorn ritual is intriguing Brenda ! BEing in the high 30 ,s here in Australia, celcius that is, it is hard to remember, double and triple wool days, but how cosy and beautiful all those combinations are. I love the red and navy on you, and how fun are those embroided jeans ! Good on you for taking your advice to us , and being brave ! At this time of year, I drive my kids mad by wanting to watch Christmas movies. Even little Dominic says ‘ oh no Mum, not another Christmas Movie Especially the chick flicks, as we call them . ie romantic stories. So ,nothing terribly inspired by new releases, but , Thelma and Louise, breakfast at Tiffanys, and In her shoes, are some of my favourite re- runs, for the Christmas season . I hope all the lovely , community out there, have a safe and joyous Christmas and wonderful 2018. Sending much love to you Brenda, and all of you, and your loved ones. Sending love from Oz .

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Poor Dominic, having to endure the movies! Give him a hug from me. Thanks for the list and yes, you’re in very different kinds of layers right now! Thanks for all the love you share here–with me and readers. Always appreciated more than you know. Love from Sonoma and Happy Holidays!

  • Reply
    La semaine d'une gourmette
    December 21, 2017 at 5:20 am

    Red doesn’t need energy from you, it *gives* you energy! And I love your jeans with the flowers.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Thanks for flower jean vote of confidence. You know, as a proclaimed introvert, I have always felt that bright colors demand energy to wear rather than the other way around. I look at my extroverts and there’s nothing they won’t try, but you’re right! Red is giving me energy! Have I just crossed the line and entered the extrovert arena?

  • Reply
    Susan Taylor
    December 21, 2017 at 5:24 am

    You look wonderful in red- keep it up! Love the jeans, too. My family and I really enjoyed the new Star Wars movie, if you’re in to that genre. As for my favorite classics (for binge watching at home), I love All About Eve, How to Marry a Millionaire, Philadelphia Story, Mildred Pierce, Woman of the Year and One Foot in Heaven…to name a few! Happy Holidays from Texas!

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 10:18 am

      Thanks for the great list!! Nothing sounds more delicious than sitting down and watching those classics!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2017 at 6:50 am

    I like to see color on you! The embroidered jeans are lovely! Not planning on doing any movies soon. Planning on sleeping and reading!!! Merry Christmas

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Oh, sleeping and reading. I want to fit that in as well! Merry Christmas to you, Kathy!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Oh boy!! Great idea for layering up while in a movie theater. I have pieces similar to yours so this will something I can put together quickly but had not thought of it. Thank you! Enjoy your day at the movies.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Thanks, Diane! Enjoy yours too! Maybe in January, we can all share our favorites!

  • Reply
    Heidi Woodmansee
    December 21, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Hi Brenda, Well I’ve been following for awhile now but it’s my first time commenting! I have a pair of unworn embroidered jeans that have been sitting in my closet for months now! I love them but feel the same way you do, sort of nervous about wearing them out of the house. So, I will try your idea of doubling up sweaters, and being brave and venturing forth! I enjoy your blog and always come away with new ideas for myself in this new era of dressing for my new “mature” body and life.
    As for movies, I mainly stick to TCM and love “Christmas in Connecticut” (as do my 20 something daughters!), Love Actually, and all the Christmas classics. New movies, so far nothing. But waiting to see “The Man Who Invented Christmas” about Dickens writing his most beloved story “A Christmas Carol”. Have a wonderful Holiday, and thank you for sharing all your great advice and positive energy!
    Xo Heidi

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 10:22 am

      I need to see the Dickens movie too. And TCM is my POM (Peace of Mind). I SO LOVE that channel! I need to get out our copy of Love Actually. It’s a movie I can watch over and over and over again. You really “get it” about the embroidered jeans. It was fun for me to hear that. Thanks so much and hey, thanks for commenting for the first time! Come back, come back!!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I agree with Russ, the embroidered jeans look cute on you! I also like the slimmer leg — I’m old enough to have done the flare leg style at a moment in my life (always ended up going back to my trusted and comfy Levi’s 501). Chuckled at your popcorn ritual…I was saying just eat the damn popcorn. And…a junior bag…no idea what that is! I go for the box! Believe it or not, since moving here from NYC ten plus years ago, I have not seen a movie in a theatre. This coming from someone who would go two times a week! SoI’m watching a few holiday favorites while working in the studio. The Bishop’s Wife is my all time favorite. Happy holidays to you and everyone in your circle.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      Tanya, you make me laugh! Yes, the movie ritual is a bit quirky. Russ didn’t get it. He’s someone who will have all his popcorn (medium size at least) eaten by the time the opening credits of the actual movie start! I want to savor it! If I go to the theater hungry, I get a regular size but I still won’t eat it until the movie starts. Movies two times a week sounds like heaven! But it’s not that common for us. My perfect getaway which I haven’t done in years is to go alone to a matinee. Oh, that’s nice!! Okay, The Bishop’s Wife. I’ll look for that! Thanks for the suggestion! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  • Reply
    Laurice Gilbert
    December 21, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    You look amazing in red! I can’t think why you thought you couldn’t wear it, especially after you embraced orange. We introverts have to be prepared to stand out a bit without necessarily changing our (leopard) spots. And I might go in search of some embroidered jeans, now that I’ve seen how you rock them. Or possibly embroider some myself, when the weather cools down here in New Zealand. I am such an unashamed Brenda mimic!

    I saw ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’ (the Dickens movie) and loved it – but then I share his birthday and am a total Dickens devotee anyway. But for all-time Christmas movies, I can’t miss ‘Love Actually’, which had its annual airing on TV last week. I still cry every time I watch it.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      I especially love the opening and closing credits in Love Actually. Those closing credits always bring big tears and fills my heart with love for everyone I’ve ever loved! I think you’re the second person who’s mentioned the Dickens movie. I’d love to see a writer movie. Always inspiring!

      One thing about the embroidered jeans is that it brings back memories of being in college and embroidering my jeans. That was at the University of North Dakota. It was a great winter project there where it was cold, cold, cold!

      Thanks Laurice for all your fun comments! Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    The embroidered jeans fir you so well! I have to say that I think the straight leg suits you better than the flares (or maybe I’m just going off flares).

    Movies we watch for X-mas:
    The Family Stone
    Just Friends
    The Holiday
    The Ref

    All upbeat & fun!

    Happy holidays!!

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      In thinking about it, I think one reason I like the flares is that they have a way of making my thighs look a little bigger which I’d like! I feel like I have sticks for legs sometimes and I’d like to make myself look a little curvier. I let go of my super skinnies and do have straight ankle jeans which I like (like the one with flowers!). Gosh, thanks for the list! There are a couple of them on there that I’m not familiar with! I LOVED The Holiday!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Love your red and trusty blue outfit. I suggest looking for a movie with a character who would dare to wear flowers on the thigh, or something like it. Help! Today I read that boot cut jeans need to be retired in 2018. Does this mean all boot cut pants will go off trend soon? I have found boot cut pants flattering for curvy hips, thick thighs, and small waist. Skinny pants are my scary place. I do like to wear black leggings with a knee length dress.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      You are funny! I wonder what that movie would be where the heroine (or did you mean she was the protagonist?) was wearing flowers on her thighs! Flares are a classic jean style. They fade into the background from time to time but this last round when they came back with a flurry I thought, “Wow, why haven’t I been wearing these? They’re so flattering!” I love how they make you look like you have legs for miles. And they’re great for all the other reasons you’ve given too. I haven’t heard they’re disappearing. I’ll plan to wear them anyway. We’ll be holdouts together, Amy!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    My theme for 2018 is also FUN FUN FUN with my peeps who also love to wear red and floral jeans! You look amazing in colors, Brenda, wear them and be wonderful! Enjoy your movie.

  • Reply
    Sandra Sallin-Apart From My Art
    December 21, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    First of all, you look beautiful in red. Secondly, I’m impressed with your self-discipline waiting to eat the popcorn. Impressive. Funny, I’ve just arrived up North. Spending the holidays with my kids and grandkids. Wearing a double coat. One long sleeve coat over a vest coat. It’s cold up here. I’ve been disappointed with sweaters lately. I discovered that moths attacked one of my drawers and ruined a number of sweaters. Always love your posts. Happy Holidays!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Ryan
    December 22, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Thank you Brenda for mentioning my earrings in your beautiful blog. YOU make them look good!! Your energy, vitality and inner beauty and spunkiness is captured in every picture. By the way, I LOVE those jeans – super cool. Think I am going to get some!I love reading your blog and just adore your INSTAGRAM feed – makes me smile every time. HAPPY HOLIDAYS Jennifer

  • Reply
    Sandi Mcdougall
    December 22, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Again I can relate to embroidery & UND. And I think I’ve mentioned how much Paul & I love the movies, both in the theater and at home. We have quite a home collection that we watch prior to Christmas when the few tv sitcoms we watch are re-running. In the last week or so we have watched: Love Actucally, The Holiday, About a Boy, When Harry Met Sally. I recently purchased from the Hospice Thrift Store the entire season of Nurse Jackie. We’ve seen it in its entirety and I’m not fond of the ending but Edie Falco’s acting is superb. Hope to see you in MN soon!

  • Reply
    Tracy McBride
    December 22, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Read your ’40’ book some years ago and just found your website. As a ‘financially challenged, no fashion sense at all, HATE to shop, 60 something’, you come as a blessing with the images posted of outfits. It has inspired me to try to put at least one outfit together so I can feel confident at the Christmas party where I’m usually in the corner invisible to all the in-laws!

  • Reply
    December 23, 2017 at 4:17 am

    You look wonderful in red, I can’t believe you don’t wear it all the time! My cinema ritual is to stay til the end of the credits, it feels so disrespectful to rush out when the film has finished. Have a fabulous Christmas xxx

  • Reply
    December 24, 2017 at 10:17 am

    I remember a great post you wrote some time back about iconic styles in the movies. I’m a film buff, and also enjoy many TV series on Netflix. What character might wear flowers on her thighs, or something like it? That brings to mind any of the leads in Carlos Saura’s classic Spanish flamenco dramas, “Blood Wedding,” “Carmen,” “El Amor Brujo.” There are also other film adaptations based on Bizet’s opera, “Carmen.” Lately I’ve become more concerned with how clothes are made, and how the fashion industry can improve working conditions, and cause less pollution and waste. “Real Women Have Curves” (2002) stars America Ferrera and Lupe Ontiveros as a daughter and mother who work as seamstresses. Ferrera also played the lead in the TV series spoof about a major Manhattan fashion magazine titled, “Ugly Betty.” I loved the Australian TV series, “Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries” (on Netflix). The subtly matched colors, silhouettes, and patterns between the outfits worn by lead character Phryne Fisher and her police detective friend, Jack, subtly emphasized their underlying affinity, in spite of their many comic disagreements. Phryne definitely has a blast with styles in every episode. The real life American dancer Josephine Baker wore bananas around her thighs as a stage star in Paris. There must be a documentary or feature about her life out there. Baker was also awarded a medal for serving undercover against the Axis powers during WWII. Sometimes a woman just needs to wear something related to what is wild, natural and vibrant in the world. It’s too easy for people to find themselves largely cut-off from nature in today’s world.

    • Reply
      January 2, 2018 at 4:12 pm

      What a rich share! I’m on my second run with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. With your thoughts I’m going to look more at Jack’s wardrobe. So loved Ugly Betty and the Real Women Have Curves movie. Hoping we’ll find more of that fare in 2018!

  • Reply
    December 26, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Brenda, you’re such a sweetheart. Your joy shines through in all of your posts. I also covet all your double-sweater combos and the flowery jeans. You’re lookin’ good, gurl!

    I hope 2018 brings you more joy and fewer demands for your resilience. I think we could all benefit from a little time off-duty. So I wish for both of us in 2018 more off-duty, self-care time that refreshes our bodies, minds and souls.

    • Reply
      January 2, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      I am saying yes to everything you’ve written! Yes, yes, yes to what you’re having!

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