When I opened the front door and saw all the wisteria that had blanketed the front walk I knew it was a day for wearing a white jean outfit.
I love this time of year when the wisteria arbor above the front porch gets loaded with blooms. It happens every year at this time. With the front door open you can hear the bees buzzing. It’s the Tabernacle Choir of bees and they sing all day. Looking up and seeing the overhang of beauty and listening to the bees…well, it settles me and all is well with the world. This week we had heavy rains and many of the petals gave way.
Starting with wardrobe staples
Using the soft blanket of wisteria blooms as my outfit inspiration, I headed to my closet and pulled out my white Chico’s So Slimming Girlfriend Ankle jeans. It was fun to slip into these old friends!
It was chilly so I thought I’d wear my gray wool 3/4 sleeve J.Crew Tippi sweater. Two easy pieces, two hard-working wardrobe staples. I didn’t need a coat so I leaned into a denim jean jacket. I love the color of this one for right now (Ci Sono, purchased at TJMaxx). I have a lighter one and a brighter one, but this one felt like the right color value for the gray sweater and early April.
It’s not sandal weather for me yet. I need to schedule that pedicure before any toes of mine are prancing around in the open air. So what would I wear with my white jeans, gray sweater, and jean jacket? My beat up looking caramel-colored Lucky booties from a few years back. I like the lived in look of them and how they pull in the color of the buttonholes on my jacket.
I needed a scarf for around my neck. I don’t feel secure leaving the house without one. Not yet and almost never when it comes to Bay Area living. The wind picks up, it gets breezy in the Valley of the Moon or the fog can roll in. Having a scarf planned for every outfit whether it’s used or not is as necessary as choosing underwear. If I ever leave home without one, I regret it.
I went to look for my shorter scarves. I found one. It’s one I call Mother’s scarf but it’s really not hers. It came from SAX consignment store but it looks exactly like something I’d have found in her scarf drawer. Perfect, I thought. This goes great with my caramel booties.
Next stop: small handbag bin
Ever wonder how I store my handbags? I store them in bins like this one, labeled, and on the top shelf of my closet. Two different brown bags were on my mind. I rifled through the stack and pulled out a vintage one.
Excellent, I thought. I love this vintage bag and I love it with the scarf. But wait. Remember the bed of wisteria on the walkway? That was the starting point, this outfit’s inspiration. This combo was feeling heavier than the mood of the fallen wisteria. Soft beauty. That’s what I was after. This combo was pleasant enough and would be grand on another day but today was about soft beauty. And I’d missed the mark.
Back to the handbag bin
I went back to my small bag bin and took another look. There was the soft (like butter) woven leather shoulder bag.
Because of the lightness of this bag (in color and in mood) I’ve only worn it in spring/summer. It feels right with lighter weight fabrics. I have to be very careful about wearing it with denim jeans, however. The indigo dye rubs off on this soft leather. The backside of this bag shows some evidence of that. But I wasn’t wearing indigo jeans; I was wearing white ones. This was a possibility!
Do you know that I never wore this bag once last year? (Here’s how I used this bag two years ago in a modern work outfit.) As I pulled it off the pile of small bags I wondered how that was even possible. I ADORE this bag. It reminds me of my wearable art years when I created garments using Seminole Indian patchwork techniques. (Here’s an article about Seminole Indian garments if you’re interested.)
Those are really happy memories. I have a real soft spot for this soft bag.
I took off Mother’s scarf, put away the vintage handbag and slung this Caterina Lucchi bag over my shoulder. It was purchased at Robindra Unsworth in Petaluma. It molds to my hip. Now I needed a lighter colored scarf. The first one I found that fit the right mood was this apricot pashmina. It’s so soft to the touch and I love the soft color.
Was I closer to soft beauty now? Oh yes! This was exactly the feel I was after.
I searched through my bangle bins and pulled out three of them. I passed up my more thin bangles and went for some that had weight to them. It’s nothing I spent a lot of time on.
The caramel colored one related to my caramel booties. The angled vintage Lanvin creamy bangle had the light color. I liked it with the handbag. And the Alexis Bittar cuff with white, gold, and sparkles had a feminine feel. It went well with the soft beauty mood.
I was satisfied! Delighted, actually. I took my journal, the newspaper, and a book with me and headed to town. First I went to an exhibit called Barbie: Rescued & Reinvented at the Sonoma Community Center. That’s where I met the cutest cousins. We had a lovely little chat about our favorite Barbies.
Then I went and grabbed a seat at the bar at El Dorado Kitchen, had some lunch and read the paper. It was a lovely, soft way to spend the day. I came home a couple of hours later feeling refreshed and relaxed.
I love how an outfit can set the mood for the day.
How about you? Do you have outfits that help create just the right mood for you? I always say clothes are like puppy dogs; they just want to please you like crazy. What’s pleased you lately? Do share!