As I mentioned in my previous post, the husband and I escaped to Napa yesterday for some weekday fun before all of his weekdays are claimed by The Man. In addition to the beautiful landscape, the amazing wines and the incredibly warm weather, something else remarkable happened yesterday. I prepared myself to leave the house in about 15 minutes flat. It may have taken longer for me to put on my make-up than it did to choose my outfit, which has not historically been the case.
But I find as I get older, my getting ready time gets shorter. You might think that’s because I’m old now and have given up on caring about my appearance, but you would be 100 percent wrong. If anything my vanity and interest in my personal aesthetic has increased as I’ve gotten older. It’s also not because over the years I’ve amassed a vast quantity of clothing, making choices easier. Scientists actually believe that more choices lead to confusion and bad decisions. So what has changed? I know you’re on the edge of your seat so I’ll tell you: I now have go-to outfits.
In my youth I wanted to wear something new and special for every occasion. Instead of wearing my most favorite, well-fitting and comfortable garments, I believed if something hadn’t been purchased recently and didn’t adhere to the trend of the moment, it was old and boring. But now I realize that the tried and true are exactly the garments that make me a happy camper during whatever activity, be it a gala, a regatta gala, a kid’s birthday party, or a day in wine country, like yesterday.
This super-thin cotton dress is about three years old and by DaNang. The shoes are Jeffery Campbell from last year. The loose cotton sweater was purchased at Ambiance in San Francisco two years ago. I bought the cross-body bag from (would-be cheap if it weren’t for the crappy exchange rate) boutique in Paris in 2008. All have served me well and came together to make yesterday effortless and wardrobe-malfunction-free.
1. Unless you’re planning on partaking in athletics, start with a simple, pull-over, preferably lightweight cotton dress. It’s basically a giant t-shirt — no pants required! Choose a basic design with one unique characteristic, whether it’s an asymmetrical hem, an off-shoulder neckline, or a fun but versatile print.
2. Add an easily removable layer for chilly restaurant AC that you can shove in your bag: a lightweight, loose-fitting pullover or cardigan, or your favorite long-sleeved T-shirt or light sweatshirt.
3. Add a pop of color in the form of a bright belt, bag or shoe. This will prevent your tried and true outfit from feeling boring. A little well-placed brightness goes a long way.
4. Unless you’re headed to a fancy shindig or a nighttime soiree, don’t wear heels. As much as I adore them, it’s just not fun hobbling around wine country, a county fair, a park or what have you in sky-high heels, especially when its 80-plus degrees. Opt instead for one or two inch wedges. They’ll still give you a little height. Plus flats can lead to a sore back.
And remember, all of these items should be fave pieces that make you feel like YOU and are super easy and comfy. That’s one more thing contributing to you having an awesome time doing whatever you’re doing, and that’s the whole point!