What I Shopped Last Week

Susan Blakey of une femme d'un certain age wears a soft and cozy hoodie sweater from J Brand.

Comfort Takes The Wheel…

With our current stay-at-home situation, my style focus has certainly shifted. A few weeks ago I would have told you that my biggest wardrobe gap was “going out clothes.” You know, those pieces to create cute outfits for meeting friends for brunch or a date night with le Monsieur. With going out on the back burner at the moment, (Zoom get-togethers notwithstanding), I’ve been keeping an eye out for pieces that:

  • have wear-now-wear-later potential: comfortable enough for at-home wear, but put-together enough for being out in the world once we’re doing that again.
  • are lightweight enough for Spring or Summer, and can layer. (I have a lot of warmer sweaters, but few lightweight tops and sweaters.)
  • are washable

I find I’m mostly veering away from anything complicated or trendy, unless the “trend” is something I’d wear anyway. Keeping it simple feels grounded and reassuring at the moment. And more than ever, I’m holding out for quality over quantity.

Above, that cotton-cashmere hoodie is one of my new favorites. It’s SO soft and lightweight, perfect for cool mornings and evenings, and has a refined appearance. Despite the “dry clean only” care label, I’ve washed it with no problems. (Cold water, gentle cycle, cashmere wash, in a lingerie bag, then reshape and dry flat.)

(Fleur-de-lis earrings from French Kande. Her new collection is Ahh-mazing!)

Eileen Fisher silk jersey tee. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ve long been a fan of Eileen Fisher’s silk jersey pieces. They’re comfortable, refined, great for travel, washable, and (in my experience) wear like iron. For the last few seasons, short-sleeved tee shirts have been missing from the lineup, but I spotted this one a few days ago and have it on order. I’d wear now as a lightweight base layer underneath a sweater, and later with a jacket or even on its own. Also available in Black and Lunette (silvery grey) color, in Misses, Petite and Plus sizes.

Birkenstock Arizona Essentials EVA sandals in Zinnia. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Shifting gears a bit… working in the garden over the weekend made me wish I had a waterproof slip-on/slip-off sandal. I remembered seeing these while searching for something else, so went back and ordered them. I figure I can wear them for yard work, to take the bins out to the curb on trash day, and wash them to wear around the house. Stay tuned… (Lots of other colors available too.)

A Mini-Facial At Home

Angela Caglia vibrating Rose Quartz face sculpting roller. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’d planned to start getting regular facials this year but, there’s another plan that’s on hold. I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about facial rollers lately, and decided to give this one a try. It’s supposed to relieve muscle tension (hello, frown lines) smooth and tone the skin. I’ve been using it the last couple of days in between my serum and moisturizer, and find it relaxing. I do think my skin looks a little smoother and less puffy afterward, but will have to report back on long-term results.

How is your wardrobe holding up with our “current normal?”

Stay in touch.

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  1. Barbara
    April 20, 2020 / 4:52 am

    Those plastic Birks make great beach shoes too (and would be so cute in Puerto Vallarta). Sand rinses off like a breeze!

  2. Kelly
    April 20, 2020 / 5:05 am

    I’m usually what I guess you’d call a smart casual dresser but have found myself wearing more comfort clothes (kind of like the comfort food we’re eating more often). I have a lot of nice tees in stripes and solids that I’ve bought over the years and I’m wearing them with a cardigan or utility jacket, cropped jeans and van sneakers. Like you, trendy doesn’t really interest me right now, but I still want to look and feel like myself when I’m out of the house on walks.

  3. Kellie
    April 20, 2020 / 5:43 am

    Susan, the ivory color is lovely on you. I’m also a very fair light blonde. White drains me, but ivory is warming and much more complementary. I’d order that top in a heartbeat if I wasn’t caring for a new puppy (10 weeks old, and teething!). I’m living in sweats and tops that I don’t care about—not very fun, but practical. Even when I go out to do a grocery run (very stressful), I feel like I can’t wear anything I care too much about. I return home feeling like I need to go into a decontamination chamber. The coat I wear stays in my garage. After this nightmare is over, I’ll probably never want to see that coat again! I miss dressing stylishly, as that’s my “normal”, and something I’ve always enjoyed. I still start the day doing my hair and makeup, as it helps me feel a small sense of normalcy. And I don’t scare myself when I pass by a mirror!

    • Anon
      April 20, 2020 / 3:25 pm

      I do the same thing…coat stays in the garage, long with boots, gloves and hat. I don’t wear nice clothes to go out of the house.

  4. April 20, 2020 / 5:44 am

    So true. With the focus shifting from outside to home, comfort reigns as chief concern.

  5. Diane
    April 20, 2020 / 7:27 am

    Love the color of those shoes.

  6. Wendelah
    April 20, 2020 / 8:30 am

    The cream sweater looks so great on you! Keep showing us what color can do for a person; you’re like a breath of fresh air! I’ve been retired for eight years. Before that I wore scrubs to work, so for a long time, my at-home clothing has been about comfort as well as style. I have nice sweats and good leggings and t-shirts galore, and thanks to Universal Standard, I now have a comfortable pair of jeans (yay!). The only thing I could use right now is a light-weight cardigan to put on while on one my rare forays into the air conditioned wilds of Ralph’s Market. With the temperatures heading into the nineties this week in my area, I don’t need hoodies or anything that can’t easily be removed when I get too warm. The material has to stand up to a washer and dryer. I have arthritis in my hands so I don’t have the energy for fussy fabrics or dry cleaners, and anyway, there is nowhere to put a garment that has to dry flat. I like Eileen Fisher’s designs but I won’t buy anything now that has that dreaded “wash by hand, reshape and dry flat” on the care label. It hurts my joints! Except for my brassieres, I am done with hand-washing. (Someone not me needs to start an easy on, easy off, easy care fashion blog for people with arthritis. LOL)

    • MARLA
      April 22, 2020 / 1:47 pm

      BTW I put a thick bath towel on my dining table and lay my sweaters etc on that AFTER it comes out of hand wash cycle in my MACHINE. EF is great stuff. I have mobility issues and zero energy interest in fussing. Maybe this helps. Take care. SB great blog!❤️

  7. Janie Cozad
    April 20, 2020 / 8:46 am

    Love that cream hoodie—could you tell us how the sizing is? I’ve never ordered tops from J Brand. Thanks!

    • Susan Blakey
      April 20, 2020 / 8:47 am

      Hi Janie, I think it runs pretty true-to-size. I’m wearing a Small.

  8. April 20, 2020 / 8:57 am

    Those slip on-slip off sandals look good. I need such an item as well. Now I am ruining my ballerinas.

    • April 20, 2020 / 8:58 am

      PS I needed some more pictures of the sweater. I post too many, you post too little haha.

  9. Ann
    April 20, 2020 / 11:08 am

    Your hair looks good. Are you cutting it yourself? I love the sweater.

    • Susan Blakey
      April 20, 2020 / 11:11 am

      Thanks, no I had it cut at home by my friend and stylist about 5 weeks ago.

  10. Carol Marx
    April 20, 2020 / 11:33 am

    Thank you for continuing your blog. I look forward to it everyday. Given that we are likely to continue with many health related measures including masking for several months I would love to see your take on masks. I am bewildered by the choices and I know many are scams. I have been evaluating square cotton scarves for this purpose— assuming I am not sick. I saw some pretty ones on the Talbots site.

  11. Susan
    April 20, 2020 / 11:57 am

    I am finding that a lot of places are advertising sales and taking orders,but not actually shipping and they can’t say when things will ship.So it’s not possible to order online,the things I need now at home.Are you finding that?

    • Susan Blakey
      April 20, 2020 / 12:07 pm

      Hi Susan, I’ve found that some retailers may take a few extra days to ship, while others ship right away. I haven’t had any problems with not receiving orders.

  12. Angela in NZ
    April 20, 2020 / 1:13 pm

    Pre covid I had been buying only clothes that would also work for overseas travel. We had started, and booked further, to visit countries outside of the European grand tour scheme. After lockdown, for the foreseeable future, it will be New Zealand domestic travel only. There is talk of an international regional travel scenario of New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands and Singapore but who knows if that will play out.

  13. Kay
    April 20, 2020 / 2:36 pm

    I applaud you for the orange shoes! Just the bold stroke the world needs now!

  14. April 21, 2020 / 9:24 am

    I’m living in sweatpants and wellingtons since I’m gardening a lot. My pre-pandemic self would be horrified but I need to feel cozy right now. Stay safe!

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