August 2, 2021
The weather here in Chicago is great for sleeveless – some days! Other days, we’re wearing cardigans and long pants… One never knows, right!
When you’re starting to get really quite tired of your summer wardrobe, having a “suit-like ensemble” in a neutral color can be really handy. You’ve got a perfect system in place to treat yourself to a new top, and maybe an accessory or two!
Maybe you can test-drive an accent color that you’ve never worn before?
Any color can be worn with black… and are you ready for a new pair of sandals? I managed to cut my foot CATASTROPHICALLY (I swear I could see my Achilles tendon!) and I’ve been wearing the only pair of sandals that work for weeks… sigh…
If you don’t like high contrasts and bright colors, there are still prints for you too!
Beige and white are quintessentially summer:
If you’re still a tie-dye person after all these years, here’s your chance!
As always, I include the list every week – I’m sort of startled to see how fast time flies!
I’m breaking out a pair of black shorts that I haven’t yet worn this year, and I found my white linen shirt! Feels like a real update to me…
What are you wearing in frequent rotation? I have black knit shorts from Lands’ End that I seem to wear at least twice a week right now!
p.s. Six years ago, our heroine was going to spend the week at the regatta with her mother-in-law…
Beth T says
Hope your foot is healing – did you need stitches? Tricky to heal because feet are under constant pressure. I cut the ball of my foot a few months ago – thank goodness for Steri-strips which are more flexible and comfortable than stitches.
I’ve bought several new tops in lilac and teal floral patterns this summer adding to my purple wardrobe and expanding my teal options. I had too many plain tops that lacked the interest I like to have.
It is a good idea to try another colour sometimes just to expand the tones of accents or neutrals. This is how I came to like prussian blue, blue teal and dark blue-gray. These look lovely with my favourite salmon pink. I recently bought a blouse for autumn which goes with these new blues and also has the cameo rose that I introduced for autumn a couple of years ago. I was not convinced about putting a warm pink with cool navy but teal green and prussian blue are softer combinations.
Thanks for the look back. Up to the pandemic, I’d been going to Henley Royal Regatta for the last 30 years with my in-laws. We took the opportunity to ‘glam up’ in dresses and hats. Though you would never get me in a rowing boat!
I also enjoyed reading the look-backs on either side. Over the past few years, we’ve taken to having short breaks and long weekends almost on the spur of the moment. Sadly, as everyone is now staying in the UK, the cost of accommodation has risen dramatically. However, your packing instructions come in very handy.
I also could identify with the lady who had teenagers at 60. I had my kids in my mid to late thirties and my style and my wardrobe went to pot! I could never get the smart-casual look right compared to other mothers who just did. Even just wearing a blouse and skirt to a school event got me weird looks as if I was over-dressed. I think it was because people wore the same clothes all day so changing for a school event in the afternoon was viewed as ‘trying to impress the teacher’. Once I went back to work, I found sanctuary in work clothes. So the idea of Casual Luxe really appeals to me and I hope that I’m now getting it right thanks to you.
The most worn thing in my rotation right now is a denim shirt I got 20 years ago – company swag – that has a logo on the pocket. Use it as a topper w/sleeves rolled up. I’ve been wearing it daily – mainly to help protect whatever top I have on as the work I’m doing can be dusty and dirty. After Beth T’s comment I had to go back and look – since I had my twins when I was 47. I have always (and still do) tend to be a little “better” dressed than other mothers at events and even now at work. I think this goes back to my parents when I was growing up and at home. It was always very important to them that we look “nice”. I think I’ve managed Casual Luxe fairly well over the years, although Seattle is very casual. I do love your blog for showing me new ways to combine things. I’ve been investing in more solid tops lately vs the usual prints and patterns I favor, due to your influence. We’ll see……. Have a great day everyone – Janice, hope your foot heals well. That is a very tricky area, because how do you NOT use it????
Beth T says
My changed several times a day. Morning clothes, Housework clothes, Afternoon clothes, and evening clothes. She also changed for when my Dad came home from work. She was quite strict about what we wore. “Looking nice” or “clean and tidy” was ingrained. Jeans were not appropriate for going out. My teenage years lacked denim…. ? I’m glad times have changed.
Beth T says
*mother = missing word!
Ooh, I remember that! I remember not being able to wear pants to school; we wore them under our skirts or dresses and pulled them off in the hallway by our lockers. It was LESS modest than any pair of pants could have been! I was part of the “strike” that finally got us permission to wear pants between Dec. 1 and March 30. In western Maryland, that was NOT LONG ENOUGH… but we took what we could get!
Yes Janice, same here – about the pants at school. At some point in my high school years that policy changed – except at our house. When I was a senior my Dad finally relented and let me wear jeans after school for play practice.
Beth T says
We put up a petition to the school council to wear trousers and polonecks under our shirts.
Sally in St Paul says
My mom also went through the “no pants to school” era, though she never mentioned an at-home rule about pants/jeans. The dress code fight of my school years was the “no shorts” rule. In junior high, a group of boys wore skirts to school to protest. We did get to wear shorts after that, no more than 4″ above the knee. And yep, rulers were used on both skirts and shorts.
ABOVE THE KNEE???? You couldn’t have verified that anybody in my high school even HAD knees, except the cheerleaders and (male) basketball players. Ah, the days before Title 9 were lovely…
Oh Janice, so sorry to hear about your foot! But those blue suede sandals are unbelievably gorgeous… might they be a consolation prize for you?
I got an ecru denim skirt (banana republic) that I have been loving this summer. With skinnies, of course. But I am looking forward to fall and wearing chartreuse for the first time.
beth byrd says
My black sleeveless and animal print sleeveless tops have seen the most wear this summer. In between the crazy hot-cool-hot weather and inconsistent heating-cooling at the office, I find it easier to wear layers. And fortunately I have lots of jackets/cardigans that I can pair them with so they don’t get boring!! These tops have been a real godsend this year.
I do hope you foot recovers quickly. It sounds like it was pretty bad injury — don’t forget the Vitamin C to help with the healing!!
Sally in St Paul says
Of course my favorite is the navy-based exuberant floral print with the navy “suit” and orange accessories. I like the soft watercolor-y wash floral print in the first outfit, though I would prefer it in a blue or teal colorway, but with the high neckline, polyester fabric, and dry clean washing needs, it strikes me much more as a “shell to layer smoothly under an ACTUAL SUIT in a highly climate controlled environment” than a top to wear casually. Sometimes it can feel tricky to find a sleeveless top that is dressier than a standard knit tank top but isn’t made in a fabric/cut that is clearly most wearable in a cold A/C business setting. You seemed to find a pretty good range of options here.
With the heat of summer upon us, I’ve been wearing more stand-alone short-sleeved tops than usual, both knits and breathable woven fabrics. I’m so addicted to that “third piece” that it’s been stretching my style muscles a bit. Throughout work from home, I’ve stuck to a very similar level of dressing to my in-office looks, so my daily look isn’t very different from the usual (except for my hair, which has been much more often in ponytails and braids that I have not historically worn to the office).
Sally in St Paul says
P.S. A foot injury is so difficult. Wishing you a full recovery!
I have been wearing black sleeveless tops almost every day paired with various patterned maxi skirts that have black in them somewhere. I usually live in white trousers in summertime but this year the weather has been dreadful and with Covid it’s been a mostly stay at home few months. When I have ventured out it’s been jeans and blazer with a top.
I love the Anne Klien top and I wish I could purchase it here in the UK. as I need to try on before buying.
Hope your foot is healing quickly.
NATALIE K says
Janice, I have been earing all my linen skirts and linen toppers ith a nice tee underneath or instead the linen skirt ith a cotton blouse both ith unusual standout necklaces and less pronounced earrings. So, so hot here in Arizona that I’m earing just about only cotton and linen all summer!! I ould say “Casual luxe” is very close to my natural style of dressing hich is “casual elegant chic”. I as taught to dress this ay by my mother groing up. I never ever ear jeans or any pants. The most casual I am is a jean skirt. This is me!! I’m not trying to impress anyone!! I just feel most comfortable dressing this ay!! It is me!! I am so sorry to hear about your foot injury. Please take good care of yourself. You ill be in my prayers!!
I’ve been wearing my linen shorts and pants this summer to the max. I just love how linen feels with a little bit of a breeze running through it. Most of my tops this summer have been have been with some kink of pattern to them as it makes for an easy switch out if I would happen to spill something on my shirt. I’m looking forward to bringing out my fall wardrobe in hopes to find something as versatile as my summer one. Hoping for a speedy recovery!!
Amanda Hudson says
Lots of linen! Shorts, pants, shirts, dresses. Now that we’ve hit August I’m wearing all the white linen as I won’t reach for it after Labor Day. I have finally come around to white jeans with a dark top but just can’t do white linen shorts pants or dresses come September. Lucky for me I have plenty of other linen to choose from as September in Sugar Land TX is hot as you know what!!!
Every single collection here is polished and pretty. I see two I’d wear and that would fit right into my palette. My daughter is especially beautiful in black and royal blue, so that one’s a nice suggestion for a high school teacher!
My rotation? I found one aqua dress and one navy dress in knit cotton at Lands End this summer. They get worn a lot. The weather here in the west is so hot, I’m not getting a lot of wear out of my long sleeved shirts or cardigans…not even in “meat locker” air conditioned rooms.
Hi Janice- great ideas as always – and more importantly, “ouch” and “heal quickly”!
Janice – I’m always amazed at the outfits you put together…the time/research you do is phenomenal in what it brings to us. Thank you, thank you! I have a very old over-sized white EB linen shirt that’s in my closet but think….”will I look outdated when/if I wear this?” I love the look of linen but, unfortunately, I don’t see many women in my area wearing it. I hope your foot heals quickly and nicely because, when our feet hurt, everything else hurts! Ouch…just thinking of your injury makes me flinch.
Ouch ! I hope that your heel — heals and soon !