12 In Getting Dressed/ Series

The Anatomy of a Transitional Outfit in Marin


a white shirt in April

Facing a hot day in white cotton shirt


The weather report suggested we’d be in the mid-80s last Wednesday. It surpassed that prediction and got into the mid-90s.

Two days later it got all the way up to 61 degrees. The rain was coming down so hard as I was heading to a client shopping appointment that I thought I had Dolby theater sound inside my car.

I swear April is scheming every day: “I’ll surprise them tomorrow with some lightening and thunder; wait, how about 90 degrees in the day and then 40 degrees at night; I could stir up some high winds so the pollen flies all over and burns people’s eyes!”

If April were in therapy, the therapist would be probing to get to the bottom of
this erratic behavior.


The Serenity Prayer helps to deal with April


There are some things you just cannot change and April’s disposition is one of them. It brings to mind the Serenity Prayer, which I learned in Al-Anon, a 12-step program. Al-Anon helps family members deal with the predictably unpredictable alcoholic behavior of a loved one (uh, does ‘predictably unpredictable’ sound like any month you know?). The Serenity Prayer is recited in every meeting. Here it is:


God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.


To find fashion sanity, one must accept that April will do what April does; we can’t change it. We can find the courage and creativity to adjust to it one day at a time.


Here’s how I adjusted on Wednesday


spring outfit on Brenda Kinsel website

The anatomy of my transitional outfit


I got out summer pants for the first time: a blue-gray stretchy pant by Lior Paris. It’s mostly viscose, some polyamide, and a little elastin. It’s a favorite. It’s lightweight but still can look professional. It came from J. James in Sonoma.

Then I put on a lightweight white cotton tunic blouse, lower in the back than the front. There’s something so classic about a white shirt. I usually like to wear a third piece (jacket, blazer, cardigan, vest, bolero, or jean jacket) to finish an outfit but when it’s hot, I have to get creative.



cool colors help me feel cooler

Feeling cool in light colors from the waist up


My Flintstone’s inspired Beauty Bundle


I created a Beauty Bundle that looked light but still had some pep to it. In my thinking, a standout necklace can be the third piece you need in the summer.


spring beauty bundle on Brenda Kinsel website

My Flintstones inspired Beauty Bundle


A friend gave this necklace to me. I love how it has that Flintstones, pre-historic feel. Don’t you think Fred’s wife, Wilma Flintstone, would wear a necklace like this? Using Wilma as my influential fashion icon, I chose to add an earring that’s very airy. To me it looks like lava. When I write up outfits on my wardrobe charts I always call them my lava earrings.


marble bangle on Brenda Kinsel website

My marble bangle fits right in to the color palette


I searched through my bangles and found one that echoed that organic direction. This bangle looks like marble and it fits into the color scheme.

I decided to go with lighter shoes as well. I wore my AGL patent leather oxfords in this light shade of taupe to finish off my transitional outfit.


In closing


We’ve covered a lot here today: April’s erratic behavior, Al-Anon and the Serenity Prayer, the Anatomy of a Transitional Outfit, a Beauty Bundle, and the Flintstones. If it seems like this blog post went all over the place, blame April!



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    April 25, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    I love the way you think! Thanks for reminding me of the statement necklace when it’s too hot for the 3rd piece. I grew up in Ukiah, north of where you live. Thanks for the reminder that northern California is a great place to be from.

    a faithful fan,

    • Reply
      April 26, 2016 at 7:59 am

      Love Ukiah! That is a great place to be from. Yes, the statement necklaces are a perfect go-to styling piece. Thanks for sharing, faithful fan. Xx

  • Reply
    Mary Carroll
    April 26, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Nice styling~I am south of you in Tucson and a 3rd piece is often a hat or scarf in the summer. That necklace is fun.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Yes, in Tucson, that would do it! Do you have a hat collection that adds style to your outfits?

  • Reply
    Lisa White
    April 26, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Love a white shirt! They always look chic and how you styled it here is fabulous, crisp, and chic. The statement necklace amps up this look and adds a lovely feature to surround your portrait. It is such an incredible piece and one that will look good with so many colors…against a blue would be striking, or a cream, or black, brown…endless pairings! Earrings have an organic pattern that is wishing they were in my jewelry collection. WOW!

    • Reply
      April 26, 2016 at 9:29 am

      Thanks, Lisa! Yes, I do wear that necklace with solid blue and solid orange and would love to look at it with cream too. Also can see wearing it with a column of white. Since its a new addition, I’ve got lots of playing ahead with it. I recently picked up a silk dress with sleeves just past the elbow in an orange and white pattern. As soon as it warms up I’ll be using it with that dress (as a tunic). You’ll see pics soon! Wish I had an extra set of those earrings to gift you!! I haven’t seen them again. Thanks for sharing your styling ideas!

  • Reply
    Penelope Chandra- Shekar
    April 26, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    You look fab in any weather. My problem is that post menopause, I am so sensitive to heat. I couldn’t possibly wear long sleeves or a heavy necklace. I have to go sleeveless, not my best look, natural fabrics and minimal jewelry. Maybe just large light earrings. In other words as the temperature soars, my chic factor plummets. I am always on the lookout for gauzy loose tunics and tops to see me through.

    • Reply
      April 27, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Oh gosh, when I read “as the temperature soars, my chic factor plummets” I had a big smile on my face. I know exactly what you mean! Summer is not my favorite fashion season because of all the workarounds I have to do to feel cool enough. I don’t think I have a sensitivity to heat like you’re describing but still, hot is hot! That day I was inside a store shopping with a client for hours so I wasn’t outside in the heat. That makes a difference for me when there is air-conditioning. I bought a gauzy tunic one year (which sadly I got a permanent stain on a few months later) that was exactly what you’re describing. I probably need to be on the lookout again for that before June hits. Thanks so much for sharing what goes on for you!

  • Reply
    Nancy Madlin
    April 29, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Thanks for sharing your simple AND chic outfit … Simple is so key when it is warmer. I especially enjoy seeing your beauty bundles, and I like how this one coordinates not matches. LOVE the Wilma Flinstone concept, and the cool bangle, shoes and earrings added to that amazing necklace! p.s. I also have a familiarity with Alanon and 12-step for many years. Thank God for that Serenity Prayer, and the peace and better life it brings.

    • Reply
      May 5, 2016 at 7:43 am

      So fun to hear your familiarity with the Serenity Prayer. Yes, there are so many great things to learn in that program! I loved that necklace my friend gave me but it was a challenge to work in a Beauty Bundle theme but in the end, I was satisfied with it and I didn’t have to go out and buy anything. Thanks for your share!

  • Reply
    Nancy Madlin
    April 29, 2016 at 11:17 am

    P.p.s. I have to wear a heart monitor on my wrist due to a heAlth condition, which is very sad for me as far as fashion is concerned because I have a great jewelry and bracelet collection, vintage and new, and I wore stacked bracelets in the summer for many years… But seeing your bundle has renewed my commitment to find a way to enjoy my bracelets again – maybe I can wear my monitor on one wrist, and bracelets on the other, or keep my monitor more discreetly in my purse..

    • Reply
      May 5, 2016 at 7:44 am

      Well, we certainly want that heart monitor doing its job for you! But you’ve got a great idea there about stacking bracelets on one side. I often do that myself. Especially with a collection like you have, you MUST get those bracelets out their drawers and on to your wrist and into the public domain. I bet they’re fabulous!

    Leave a Reply