May 12, 2023
Is it beginning to feel like summer where you are? (assuming Northern Hemisphere, of course; I know that some of you are moving headlong into autumn and winter!)
Chicago has finally warmed up; now that I have looked at warm weather clothing for a few days, I think we need to consider adding accents – maybe prints? – to our wardrobes…
The first interesting accent that caught my eye was this cognac sparkle tee. Sparkle! Cognac! What’s not to love?
for all of us who are short-waisted (i.e. the distance from our neckline to our waist is shorter than the distance from our waist to our hipline), cropped tops might be just the right length!
the leaves on trees around here seem to have appeared overnight…
I’m really eager to know how everyone feels about this white top with the cool red print pants; I know that the white tops were the LEAST popular with the black gingham skirt from Wednesday.
We are already seeing dandelions going to seed…
I really wanted to show you this next outfit – you can add an accent outfit to your wardrobe WITHOUT having to buy new accessories; if you have the essentials in gold (or silver), you can adding any color you want!
This photo could have been taken just a few steps from our building!
Here’s another outfit that didn’t require new accessories – assuming that you already owned chambray blue espadrilles!
What are these flowers?
Of course I had to include some stripes – and some black! I would be accused of being an imposter if I didn’t…
Alliums like this are about to bloom in our neighborhood, taking the place of the millions of tulips that are on their last legs…
We walk out every day to check on the progress of all of the flowers…
p.s. Next exactly nine years ago, I gave you my best advice for successfully shopping through the mail. Now that there are fewer and fewer store in downtown Chicago, I find this more and more useful…
Good morning, thanks for another lovely post. Here in Holland we are having such a cold wet spring it doesn’t feel like summer will ever happen. The flowers are bluebells, I have lots in my garden and they love the rain. Have a great weekend
Beth T says
The woods in England are carpeted with bluebells at the moment. It’s a stunning sight and the scent is amazing.
Diane Smith says
Lovely clothing here.
I think you’ve hit something for everyone this morning and they are lovely. Beautiful photographs. When out walking the dog I can smell the neighbor’s lilacs 1/2 a block away. Everything is so beautiful right now. Here in the PNW after an exceptionally cool April we are getting a temporary heat wave which may break so records by the time it’s done. Bringing out the linen pants so this is very timely. Decisions decisions. Have a good weekend everyone.
Yes! I am in the PNW too and it’s predicted to be in the 90’s this weekend. Unheard of around here. Someday I’ll get A/C, until then it will be windows open and pray for a breeze! :) Janice I love the white top with the print pants. My only problem with wearing my white tops is spilling on them. They clean up, but when I’m out and about (like work) and spill then I have the spill on me for the rest of the day.
For some reason, my eye likes the white top with the red and white patterned bottoms but didn’t like it with Wednesday’s B&W gingham skirt. Go figure! Maybe it’s because the red is dominant in that pattern so it almost reads as a solid red garment.
I always wondered why those flowers were called “bluebells” when they seem more purple than blue. It’s lovely to see photos of flowers here; my corner of Eastern Canada doesn’t have any/many yet and the trees are just beginning to show hints of baby leaves.
What are your favorite stores for online shopping?
I wasn’t sure if this was just for Janice but a general question. I order from the same vendors i see here: Land’s End, LLBean, J Crew (I usually have to go up a size in tops from J Crew), and I have a couple of things from Alex Mill. I like Lands End tshirts a little better than LLBean because they seem to be longer – just my preference.
My least favourite is the red. Everything is too fussy! The pants (although limiting style wise) need a very simple top..with all the accessories the overall look is too much for the eyes. Not a fave and I like red and white in the summer..I’m Canadian!!
My favourite ( and I don’’t wear these colours so it’s a winner) is the cognac one. It just looks so cool and sophisticated, polar opposite of the red.
The black is very cute, that’s my neutral. Though try as I may never could get my head around shorts with any height of heel. Probably because we had a neighbour who gardened in short shorts wearing high heeled mules! Her ‘bend over’ position made for a lot of laughs from the kids…she was in her late sixties. My Dad used to shake his head and say “I guess if you gottem smoke ‘em” My smoking days ended in my twenties…
The white top with the red patterned pants is fresh and chic, especially with the solid red espadrilles.
The gorgeous blue top and pants is a lovely outfit.
Beth T says
It’s not warm enough for linen but I’m between corduroy and cotton trousers and long/short sleeve tops depending on the temperature. Cotton trousers and short sleeves are winning out though. Even in high summer, I always wear corduroy for country walks. It is hard wearing and thicker which gives better protection against brambles and nettles. I’m going to do a clothes swap at the weekend.
I’m up for anything sparkly or metallic. I like short cardigans and jackets. Cropped tees have a tendency to ride up and expose skin which isn’t a good look when you’re nearly 60.
I used to wear red a lot when I was younger. Then I went off it. Last week, I realised that I didn’t have any red in my wardrobe. A bought a couple of red and blue floral tops from a charity shop. I can only wear it in small doses. I would probably choose a red patterned tee with navy trousers.
I like the red and white together….I think it looks good and I would wear something like that to work on a hot day.
It’s definitely the beginning of summer here….we no longer need coats or sweatshirts, even in the early morning.
Thank you for the pictures of Lakeshore East Park!! I use to live in a apartment along the park & walked there everyday! It always had such beautiful tulips in the spring! But all year there was something beautiful in that little hidden park!! I miss it 😢
These are all lovely, and perfect timing for me. Within the last week we went from unseasonably low temps to record-breaking highs, so we are in full-on summer mode now while still having to deal with jackets and sweaters.
I love the style of the cognac outfit, though I never wesr those colors. I would definitely wear a white top with the red print pants, though not that one. I’d eather wear a simple white tee or a crisp, sleeveless white button down. The black is the most “me”, though I seem to have inadvertently switched to mostly navy for my dark neutral. This makes me miss my black.
Sally in St Paul says
This is where I land on the white top + red print pants outfit, too – I like the white top idea, but would wear a white top in a simpler style rather than this fussy popover blouse (perfect description, Ally). The red sandals are too fussy for me also – I’d rather see a simpler shoe. But that’s just my personal aesthetic coming into it. The outfit as is could be great for the right person.
Everything about the cognac outfit is so me, except the color. It is so soothing and classic. I am trying to imagine the same ensemble in blues and it just doesn’t hit the same note of simple refinement. Maybe navy would work, but it would probably have to be paired with a lighter blue and I am not sure the effect would be the same. I would definitely wear the blue outfit with silver accessories.
Sally in St Paul says
The column of azure blue + gold accessories concept is wonderful, but I do not love the specific top and bottom pieces. I simply don’t understand summer polyester (that isn’t a tech fabric for moisture wicking etc. as in exercise/hiking gear) so the blouse is off to me, and I don’t much care for the “silky” smoothness of the pants either. Looking at this outfit, t’s clear that I definitely prefer “less smooth” textures for myself, so that’s interesting. But on a sleek, smooth styling heroine, esp. a tan blonde, this would look very pretty.
I am 100% about the soft green LL Bean outfit…though I would switch in my chambray ballet flats for the espadrilles. I don’t dislike espadrilles but I am very picky about which ones I would even consider, and the wrap around the ankle here is definitely too fiddly for me. I would also back away from any with platforms/flatforms or wedges because that feels like an accident waiting to happen with my notoriously weak ankles. Flats are my friends!
I like the double stripes in the black and white outfit, though I agree with Ally that shorts + heels is not a natural combination for me.
Those bluebells are gorgeous. Now I understand why people in Europe make a big deal out of bluebell season! In Texas, bluebonnet season was our equivalent. There’s just something about blue (or light blue-violet) flowers.
I was quite sick for two weeks, and when I re-emerged into my life, we had moved through the cool spring to warm spring transition in Minnesota. The trees are full of green leaves, which is a welcome sight. I have already started wearing my new 100% linen tops from Lands End and absolutely loving them.
I love to wear Cognac! And I’ve always thought I was long-waisted, & just now measured & confirmed yes I am–I’m 1.5 times longer neck to waist than waist to hips, so I’d love to see clothes for those of us who are long-waisted.
Vicki from New Zealand says
This is puzzling. I’m approx the same as you, but have always considered myself a bit short-waisted! I wonder what the average is.
Good question! I’m not sure what the average is; I’ve always worn Long Torso swimsuits, so that’s why I’ve always considered myself long-waisted.
I like the cognac outfit, probably because of the flat front of the pants. And the sparkle. Most of the others seem to be some variation on gathered or drawstring pants. I don’t need any more volume at my waist. Weighing in on the shorts with heels. I no longer wear shorts but with those fairly modest espadrilles perhaps a longer walking or Bermuda short would feel more proportionate.
Dear Janice, I love that your outfits look much better than the store sets. For example, a cognac t-shirt becomes noble with these trousers, and on the shop website it looks rather tacky in combination with a striped skirt. You work wonders!
I agree that the stripes with the metallic wasn’t my favorite…
I have always believed that English bluebells have the flowers one side only and the. Dutch ones have the flowers all the way round. Happy to be corrected i this is incorrect.
I have just returned from a cruise to Norway and summer clothes didn’t make much of an appearance.
I’m reading and commenting on this a bit late…but I wanted to let you know that the bluebells are everywhere here at the moment. So, if you want to see them at their stunning best, schedule your next trip to Ireland for mid May. Just about every wooded space will have them.
I hope all is well.
Duly noted! Although I suspect that my next trip to Ireland will be as soon as we can manage it!