What Jeanne Wore: Outfit Adjustments

striped culottes | Two Take on Style

striped culottes | Two Take on Style striped culottes | Two Take on Style striped culottes | Two Take on Style striped culottes | Two Take on Style

Nordstrom Jacket (similar), Zara culottes (similar), Banana Republic shirt (similar), Zara belt (similar), Ann Taylor shoes, vintage brooch (similar), old earrings (similar)

There are many mornings when I put on an outfit I selected the night before, take my pictures for the blog, and then change up outfit details before I go out the door.  Somehow the process of photographing my outfit makes me re-think the “look” of the day.

With this ensemble, it was only once I got dressed that I remembered the problem with these culottes – fun pattern, great price when I bought them, BUT unflattering with a tucked-in top. Wearing a wide belt helped, but I was still dissatisfied.  Just the same I left for work without making any changes.  Around midday when the weather warmed up and I took off the jacket, I finally figured it out.  I untucked the chambray shirt (long shirttail) and put the belt over the shirt – voila! No pictures of this change, but next time I’ll remember how to wear these culottes successfully!

Shop my picks:

See another way I’ve worn these culottes:

striped culottes and denim | Two Take on Style

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What Jeanne Wore: Black Pants with Half-Skirt

Black Pants with Half-Skirt | Two Take on Style

Black Pants with Half-Skirt | Two Take on Style Black Pants with Half-Skirt | Two Take on Style Black Pants with Half-Skirt | Two Take on Style Black Pants with Half-Skirt | Two Take on Style

Anthropologie pants (get the look with black pants and a wrap skirt), J. Crew top (similar), Jeffrey Campbell shoes, Kenneth Jay Lane earrings (similar)

All I ever do is wear pants!  I have to break this cycle but I think fashion and my age are conspiring against me.  While you might think this outfit is all about the crazy shirt I’m wearing, it is really the pants with the half-skirt built into the front that I love. Anything that adds interest and spark to a pair of black pants is a keeper in my book.  I don’t think I’d like these pants without a tucked in top, but perhaps a more cropped top would work. Hmmm… think I’ll try that next!

Shop my picks:

See another (similar!) way I’ve worn this green shirt:

neon green | Two Take on Style

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Wearing a Weekend Wardrobe for Six Weeks

packing

packing

Remember that great post on packing a wardrobe for six weeks?  Well, dear readers, I’ve lost the opportunity to take advantage of my own advice!  Because I’m now 2500 miles from my closet, laid up recovering from my fall, and, instead, stuck with a weekend wardrobe for six weeks. Talk about a fashionista disaster, right?

Let’s look at the positives:

  • My weekend wardrobe is made up of cute items
  • There will be less to wash and manage
  • Moving from place to place will be simpler
  • For a lot of the next six weeks, I’ll be wearing

Here’s what I’ve got:

OK, now DON’T judge me just because I take a lot of clothes with me for one weekend.  If it were winter, I’d have fewer items, but it is so easy to pack more in warmer weather.  But really, it is not a bad collection to mix and match for six weeks, is it?  The crisp white shirt has to be professionally laundered and ironed to look good for more than one wearing and I should have included either more workout pants or sloppy pull-on pants for the work ahead – helping to take care of a first-time mother and newborn and packing – but I can borrow stuff from my daughter for this.  Oh.. and I don’t have a light raincoat!

But I know I can do this and it will be an interesting challenge for someone accustomed to a lot of wardrobe variety. And if I get really out of sorts, I can always order something darling and on sale and have it sent to me here!  By the way, here is a compilation of tips for efficient packing for your next trip.

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What Jeanne Wore: Red Track Pants

red track pants | Two Take on Style

red track pants | Two Take on Style red track pants | Two Take on Style red track pants | Two Take on Style red track pants | Two Take on Style

Stella Carakasi jacket (similar), Topshop pants, C Wonder shirt (similar), Sam Edelman shoes (similar), J. Crew earrings (similar)

Some days I wonder where the color in my wardrobe has gone. I can’t help that I love classic black mixed with everything, as well as navy and shades of olive.  But it is uplifting to dress in red and white as you see here.  There is nothing, in my opinion, better than a true, clear red and these pants qualify.  They will be keepers in my summer retirement wardrobe!

Shop my picks:

See another way I’ve worn this pink shirt:

dressed up jeans | Two Take on Style

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Planning for Retirement: Stepping Into the Void

I know my readers aren’t necessarily in the same boat as I am right now, but I’m hoping everyone can learn a bit from my experience.  I’ll have little to say about fashion per se today – hope that works for you!

In about a week I will be retiring for the second time.  The immediate future will be very busy because Kate and her husband are having a baby (you can follow her progress on Instagram) in a few weeks and moving a few weeks after that AND R and I are moving 2500 miles from the Bay Area to Knoxville, TN.

Yes, I am stepping off a cliff.  No, I don’t know what the future will look like.  R has been retired for a few years and he has been quick to find a million projects to keep him, and more particularly, his brain occupied.  In short, he cannot understand why I choose the expression “stepping off a cliff” to describe how I feel at the moment.

Maybe this is the way I should feel – stepping away from a career that I never envisioned in the first place and in which I had way more success than I ever thought possible.  I’m still the same person as before, but just one stripped of my professional credentials and accomplishments.  It doesn’t bother me that others will categorize me as old because I retired – I dealt with that shock when I first used my Medicare card!  But it is more that I call fall in the “former”/”ex” category.

I’ve taken an inventory of who I am today and I am determined to focus on the positive dimensions of the inventory spreadsheet and maybe that’s all I need to do until we get through the baby birthing, the packing and the move.  I also have a written list of things I want to do in this new stage of life and I can keep adding to that over the next two months.

So for now I am this: humorous, curious, intelligent, grateful, pretty good partner and wife, lucky all my life, pretty good mom, fit and determined to remain so, well-dressed, interested in the world, travel and many, many topics, organized, full of love, a Quaker in my core values, a lover of beauty, gardens, man made beauty and art. That’s what I’ll hang onto until all these life changes have happened.

P.S.  AND the whole process of change has taken a different slat because I took a bad fall last Friday at my daughter’s house.  I fell on and hurt my right hip and won’t know for a few days what will be required to get better.  Until then, I’m basically immobile and useless.  This definitely was NOT the plan.

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What Jeanne Wore: A Dressier Work Outfit

dressy work outfits | Two Take on Style

dressy work outfits | Two Take on Style dressy work outfits | Two Take on Style dressy work outfits | Two Take on Style dressy work outfits | Two Take on Style

Asos skirt (similar), J. Crew Collection shirt (similar), French Connection shoes (similar), J. Crew earrings (similar), old chain belt (similar)

Here is an outfit the likes of which I’ll probably never wear again after I retire in a few weeks. I mean, this is for sure a work outfit on the dressier end of the spectrum.  So today’s outfit is an homage to dressy work ensembles – silk blouse, VERY dressy skirt, heels and fancy costume jewelry.

As we all know, every year work clothes have come more casual.  All the while I have strived to maintain a higher standard of work fashion – the result is that my colleagues have seen me as sort of a “fashion icon”.  It’s sad that business fashion has come this route to the present day – at least sad to to this fashionista!

Shop my picks:

See another way I’ve worn this mint blouse:

cardigans and button ups | Two Take on Style

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What Jeanne Wore: Plaid Coord with Long Vest

plaid coord with long vest | Two Take on Style

plaid coord with long vest | Two Take on Style plaid coord with long vest | Two Take on Style plaid coord with long vest | Two Take on Style plaid coord with long vest | Two Take on Style

Topshop top (similar coord top and bottom, or get the look with a dress), Anthropologie vest (similar), Ann Taylor shoes, Banana Republic earrings

This Topshop combo top and skirt was pretty inexpensive when I bought it a few years ago.  I thought it might last a season, but it has proven to be a real workhorse.

Today’s outfit is my latest ensemble.  I’ve combined it with a long burgundy vest I found on sale at Anthropologie and I think the vest really gives additional punch to the top and skirt. Long vests and dusters work like that for me: they make a standard top and bottom – whether skirt or pants – look chicer and more polished.

Shop my picks:

See how I’ve reworked the top part of this coord:

checks | Two Take on Style

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Packing for Six Weeks in Hot Weather

hot weather

hot weather

1 / 2 / 3

Well, first let me say that I’ll never look like any of these women in hot weather.

I’ll be spending five or six weeks between Washington, DC and Knoxville, TN this month and next.  I grew up in the humid hot muck that is the east coast in summer so I am not a newbie. But I haven’t been in that weather for an extended period since the days when I wore lots of shorts, sleeveless tops, and cute little sundresses.

I’ve been developing the criteria for my hot-weather wardrobe knowing that I have to fit everything into a 22″ roller bag and a smaller carry-on bag and my trip won’t involve any “dress up” occasions.   I, of course, want to take all my favorite cute clothes but there is no way I’ll be able to do that.  Here are my guidelines:

  •  Four pairs of comfortable pants – no tight skinny jeans which will just be too hot.  But here I’m talking chinos like these:

  • One pair of cropped flared jeans and one pair of denim midi culottes so I can get my “trendy” on.
  • Six tees – two long sleeved (good for wearing over exercise clothes to gym) – given my proclivities these will probably be striped or white.
  • Two dressier tops – I just bought this, for example:

  • One button front midi dress or a long vest – I can wear the former as a dress, a tunic over pants, and as a duster.
  • One skirt – probably my Shoptiques version of this one because I love it so much and it screams summer:

  • One long sleeved crisp white shirt
  • Outerwear – my light apple green Eileen Fisher anorak
  • Two sweaters – undecided here but one will be black
  • Three sets of exercise clothes

I cannot even think about shoes (could take up 50% of my available space!), jewelry, or other accessories – I’ll report back on that next week!   What have I missed here?  What tips do you have for hot weather packing?

Check out these beautiful on-sale hot weather clothes from Banana Republic and H&M!

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What Jeanne Wore: Plaid Tunic and Black Skirt

plaid tunic and black skirt | Two Take on Style

plaid tunic and black skirt | Two Take on Style plaid tunic and black skirt | Two Take on Style plaid tunic and black skirt | Two Take on Style plaid tunic and black skirt | Two Take on Style

Zara tunic (similar), Gaultier skirt (similar), Zara shoes (similar), Natori necklace (I paid much less!)

Today I am taking a leap and showing an outfit that did NOT work.  So, for Heaven’s sake, don’t try to copy this look!  The idea was to wear my long tunic over a black top and column skirt.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  What went wrong?

  • The tunic fabric clung to the skirt fabric so the outfit had no “flow”.
  • Nothing delineated my waist and the result is very unflattering.
  • The necklace I chose is too bulky for these light fabrics.  The collar of the tunic slipped around, so I buttoned the top button.  Also a mistake.

Many lessons in this outfit for me… the biggest one:  if I have doubts when I first put the outfit on, TAKE IT OFF and try again!

Shop my picks:

See a way I’ve worn this tunic that worked better:

check tunic with leggings | Two Take on Style

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What Jeanne Wore: Mustard Lace Skirt

mustard lace skirt | Two Take on Style

mustard lace skirt | Two Take on Style mustard lace skirt | Two Take on Style mustard lace skirt | Two Take on Style mustard lace skirt | Two Take on Style

Ann Taylor skirt (similar), J.Crew shirt (similar), Anthropologie belt (similar), Sole Society shoes (similar), old silver earrings (similar), old silver bracelet (similar)

This is an interesting outfit for me to analyze.  I love, love, love this mustard skirt but I find it hard to combine with other items in my wardrobe.  I mean, I love the mustard color and the lace, but mustard is a hard color to combine with other other colors AND the skirt is a sort of feminine cut, i.e. not a harder-edged pencil skirt.

So I attempted to go a little ethnic/bohemian (I mean – what else can you call this belt?) and I’m still not sure this worked.  Maybe the skirt needs to skew more casual (pair it with tees) or dressier – I just don’t know.  Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten the skirt in the first place.  What I do know is that it will be much more casual in the future when I launch my re-retirement!

Shop my picks:

See another way I’ve worn this floral print shirt:

sleeveless trench and cropped flares | Two Take on Style

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