About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Closet Fashionista

(Our hostess for this week's Fun Monday is Alison's 13 year old daughter ,Cassie, over at RDH Mom . Cassie wants to see the inside of our closets. She needs to know if adult closets are as messy as hers. Well Cassie, this is a timely topic because over the past few weeks I have been thinking about what's in my closet. As you can see from the photo below, my closet is not messy, but it is very bor-rr-ing! Let me tell you why.)

Look at this sad wardrobe. Just a lineup of black, brown, and grey slacks and sweaters. On the floor there's an equally boring pile of sensible black and brown shoes. This is what I buy and wear. Over the past couple of week I've decided that I definitely need a fashion makeover. Tim Gunn, can you help, please!

I've miss you all for the past couple of Fun Mondays because I've been on vacation in Europe. That's where I began thinking that my wardrobe was the pits. Before leaving on the trip, I bought new black and brown slacks and sweaters and sensible Hush Puppies walking shoes from Land's End catalog, my normal fashion shop. No sooner had I arrived in London than I began to start comparing my non-wardrobe to the high fashions of European women. My hotel in London was within walking distance of Oxford Street, one of the city's busiest fashion spots. And, the London Fashion Week was in full swing. Look at these store windows with their fantasy designs in the colors of the rainbow. The only designer I recognized was Stella McCartney, Sir Paul's daughter.
And then the first day of touring I snapped this early photo out the bus window of young designers lined up with their latte skims waiting to get in the show area to set up for the Fashion Week runway activities.

From London we travelled on through The Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland. No fashion insecurities there. Everyone seemed to dress as sensible as the tourists. Then we

stopped over in Venice. Oh my, were we not pitiful in our functional travel pants and athletic shoes! Take a look at these Italian women, turned out perfectly to stroll through the streets for morning bread.

Even injured puppies made a fashion statement.

We shopped for exquisite handmade lace blouses and skirts on the small island of Burano near Venice one afternoon. I didn't buy because the largest size appeared to be zero. . .

However, back in Venice I took the fashion plunge and bought a beautiful Italian shawl to
wear with my black/brown wardrobe. Willie reluctantly agreed to model it because he's not afraid to nonchalantly throw one end over his shoulder. I'm hoping to get up enough fashion attitude to do the same soon. . .

Most of the women on the tour couldn't resist these beautiful fashion accessories. They wore them during the day to escape the chill on the water or as a coverup for an on the bus nap. Everyone broke out their newest shawl purchase for evenings out to dinner when a little dressing up was called for. I wore this one on our final evening in Paris when we saw an authentic caberet/can can show. More about that later!

After leaving Italy the next fashion stop was in Paris. Everything about the Parisian women spelled elegance, no matter what they were doing. The photos below were shot from the bus early one morning as we drove down Paris' famous Champs-Elysee. Can you believe these women were going to work? Note the heel heights, suits, and handbags. Anything for fashion!

Parisian women even look good riding their bikes to work!

So, Cassie, what are you learning from your peeks in our closets? From mine I'm sure you've learned some big fashion "nots"! As a 13 year old girl, I'm sure you're interested in fashion. Hope you and all the other Fun Monday participants enjoyed my European fashion tips. Now I'm off to check out some closets!

(Click on the photos to embiggen. Best way to get the details of fashions captured in motion.)


Sayre said...

I'm afraid my fashion sense is similar to yours - functional but not much else. I'm trying to rectify that with some color but I could definitely use Stacy and Clinton's help (and that $5000 credit card with my name on it!).

RYC: My son is nine. He just joined cub scouts and keeping your room neat is one of their requirements. We just gave him a little head start!

Tiggerlane said...

OMG...I am SO JEALOUS! I would love to go on a tour of Europe...and during FASHION WEEK?!?!? Sigh...and there you are, NOT wearing fabulous shoes.

I noticed the lovely shawl hanging in your closet, and I, too, have a problem staying away from black and browns. It's just that those colors are so slimming, you know?

Heather said...

Your vacation sounds divine! I lived in England as a little girl but haven't gotten back since then. Your shawl looks beautiful!

NariceatL4 said...

Wow. That was a delicious trip! Thanks for sharing! Back to closets. I did not share any of my organized closets. I shared.... the one... the dangerous closet... the 'don't move anything because it will all fall out' closet. (It's scary.)

the planet of janet said...

ooooh. vacationing in europe... jealous here!

glad you tried to liven up the closet there!

Herb of Grace said...

Congrats on the addition to your wardrobe ;) and thanks for your comment on my blog. I do plan to keep trying to join Fun Mondays. It looks like it would be a blast!

jsi said...

Hi there - a very neat and organized wardrobe you have.
And terrific travel log info from your European trip.
It looks like you have had a wonderful time!
Thanks for sharing!

hulagirlatheart said...

Okay girlfriend, I want to see some red in that closet by November. Love the vacation pics!

NariceatL4 said...

Hi Faye,
It's me again. Yes, I LOVE Pride and Prejudice! I must read it every year, and see every adaptation that comes out (OK, I must see every Jane Austen movie adaptation that comes along!) And yes, I LOVE the 5-part Colin Firth version (and can't tell you how many times I've watched it). But, I do love the Kiera Knightly one also (even though I felt affronted at first with the liberties it took). I love the soundtrack to that movie so much I use it for nap-time for my kindergartners each day.
Thanks for sharing--I appreciated it so much!

Melanie said...

My fashion is pretty similar to yours. But, if I could go on a trip like that I wouldn't even care!


Alison said...

I have learned alot. I like bright colors. Your closet is very, very neat.

Thanks for playing this week!!

Gattina said...

I love London and have been there quite often when my son lived there. It is not very far from Brussels.

To your comment : no I don't live in an old house, but in Europe we do not have such closets as you in the states. Houses which have them are quite rare. That's why a bedroom is always sold with a wardrobe.

Debs said...

What an incredible trip and so many great photos.

I'm glad you had such a wonderful time and I have to agree with you about Italian and French woman, they always appear so glamorous.

Lane said...

I think Faye, in the other side of your closet - the part we can't see - there are ball gowns and elegant outfits in glorious colours:-)

It's easy to feel a bit dowdy against the type of women in your photos. How do they do the high heels all day? Willie on the other hand looks positively suave!

Sorry to have missed you on your trip. Next time or next time I'm in Kentucky:-)

Lane said...

btw I struggled to see an elegant woman in your Venice photo, just a rather lovely elderly lady shopping. Then I embiggened it:-)

Faye said...

sayre--too bad adults can't earn merit badges for de-cluttering their spaces!

tiggerlane--agreed, black and brown just feels so right. Sadly the last time I had really fabulous shoes was in college--navy Nina ballets with the first rounded toe.

heather--what part of England did you live in as a child? Hard to chose a place that wouldn't be special.

nariceat14--I'm trying to remember the soundtrack for Kiera K. adaptation of Pride and Prejudice--will have to revisit(no problem!). I feel the same about the Martin Phipp soundtrack for BBC adaptation of Persuasion. It breaks my heart.

hulagirlatheart--red is ALMOST a neutral color, don't you think?

jsi--thanks for visiting my blog and nice comments about vacation pics. Studying them after awhile is like re-living the trip.

herb of grace--see you next week!

planet of janet--the older I get the more pressing it becomes to see as much of the world as possible. Do you feel that way too?

melanie--on travels, function and comfort is the most important in a wardrobe, but there were places where I wanted to be glamouous. . .

alison/cassie--good job hosting--you had the best beaded "doors"of all the closets we saw.

gattina--fron Dover we took the ferry across to Calais and then followed your Belgium coastline for awhile on the way to Amsterdam--loved the countryside.

debs--I just wish I cared enough to put the time and effort into looking glamouous--too much like work.

lane--every year I plan to buy the perfect "culsha" outfit. Unfortunately it's more black and no dresses. These legs don't show unless in tights. I'd love to have you visit Kentucky for the Derby. We could wear over the top hats and wrangle a race viewing spot on Millionaire's Row!

lisaschaos said...

I'm glad you had such a great trip! :) I love your new shawl!!

Sauntering Soul said...

What a fabulous vacation!

I used to wear nothing but black. Then a (dorky male) co-worker said to me one day "Why do you wear black every single day?" and I figured when dorky guys think I need to spice things up I'd better pay attention. I began branching out and it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. I actually saw a skirt in one of your photos that is similar to one I have and wore to work on Monday. But I still have my all black and all brown days from time to time too.

P.S. In response to your comment about Hot Brazilian, I've written a little about that in a post today.

Ari_1965 said...

Lovely shawl. Welcome back.