Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No little Black Dress required................

Over the weekend I was helping the man of the house rake the trillion times ten oak and other leaves, endless in their descent, falling everywhere and blanketing the garden day and night. Our four foot tall leafy mountain range now snaking along the curb should be vacuumed up this week as the city makes the first sweep - there will be two more later through the Winter season. This alone tells you that Raleigh is named correctly as 'City of Oaks', trees are old, tall, thickly planted, and exceptionally healthy to produce so many leaves each season......and I swear half of them end up in our yard!

As soon as the early morning chill was gone we were in our gear and outside........and yes, my entryway walls are a very dark charcoal, almost black! Sometimes a small space is much cozier painted in a deep color......just go ahead and try it. Also, I'm useless at taking pics of myself through mirrors - never know where to place the camera, whether to force a smile, frown, make a silly face, try to look serious, or at least sensible.

Sorry I digressed a bit there - can't you tell this busy life has me longing, yes actually longing, to have some decorating time.  It's been too many months since I moved things around, scouted the antiques and thrift shops, spent a lazy hour or two browsing through wonderful SuzAnna's Antiques - sad that I no longer have a space there to share my treasures........and besides all that, I have tins of Annie Sloan's wonderful chalk paint sitting here waiting to glorify my armoire, some tables, and anything else needing a new color or just refreshing.

While chatting about autumn and Winter, don't you love Autumn into Winter clothes? Cooler weather makes me want to dress up a bit more. I layer these days, thin over thin, topped with something textured or chunky. If you just want the perfect, comfy, thin layer try Cuddl Duds Warmwear - I love these pieces under a sweater, a fleece or a cardi - and take them on my travels as they're very light and easy to pack. Some pieces are reversible - V-neck to scoop neck, a great idea. I buy mine at Kohl's where the discounts are amazing.

I like to roll my sleeves, add scarves and, love scarves and jewelery. My favorite colors right now, besides black, are all shades of grey from silver to gunmetal and charcoal, deep, dark blues from navy to purple. Yes, I do have the black dress - it's a basic knitted cashmere/wool blend and can be dressed up or down for daytime or evening.

My footwear for Autumn........tall leather riding boots, classic Oxfords, slip-on soft leather loafers, flat ballerinas, and of course that one pair of very high heels I teetered around in on the cruise ships this year when I had to do the formal nights! Here on terra firma they will be worn only when seated in a restaurant enjoying dinner with a bottle of wine, and when I'm dropped off and picked up at the door......twenty steps at most in those heels.


  • What do you enjoy wearing most at this time of year? 
  • Do you buy special Holiday clothes or dress up your casual outfits with accessories?
  • If you could just buy one clothing item/accessory for your Holiday wardrobe this year, what would it be? 


  1. Good morning Mary. You are a very stylish dresser when it comes to the casual wear I've seen you wearing in your photos. I love that style of clothing - comfortable and casual. I wear jeans all the time except for church when I'm singing in the choir. We are into mostly winter wear here now although today it's almost 50 F and one could get by with lighter clothing. I dress in layers all the time as I'm always cold. Your city must be very beautiful with so many oak trees. I noticed an oak tree yesterday that is still fully 'clothed' in bronze. :) Have a great day.

  2. Hi, Mary! Good to see you and hear you must be feeling better if you are out and about raking leaves. Love the textures in your outfit and the stylish clothes you chose for the collage! Have a great day and I hope you are able to get to some of your projects. I know that feeling you are describing!

  3. I have always admired your sense of style Mary. I really need a whole new wardrobe. Of course I always have plans of losing a little weight before I buy clothes, so I tend not to buy any-lol. I would love a new pair of brown leather - to the knee-boots.

  4. Beautiful! If I could buy anything for this season, it would be everything in that second photo and on the right hand side of the third photo. :-) Lovely!!

  5. I tried taking a picture of myself in the mirror one time and it just didn't look good at all no matter what I tried. I'm so glad our weather has finally changed so that I can actually wear my Fall/Winter clothing now -- tights and boots with layers and scarves. I don't do high heels at all anymore. And never, ever wear dresses. I'm all about comfort. Have a great day! Tammy

  6. Like the others, I've always admired your style, Mary. We share a love for layering. This past year I discovered the Merino Wool long-sleeved 'Ts' from Costco and bought them in black, grey, teal, mauve and brown. They are as light as air, washable, and layer beautifully. I'm heading down to the Seattle area at the end of the week and will have a look for the brand you recommend at Kohl's. (we don't have Kohl's in Canada) The Great Dane and I are planning next year's travel and I am starting to pull together the wardrobe!

  7. Mary, your style is timeless. I love your layered look! That's what I mostly wear as well. Autumn and Winter are my favorite seasons for clothes because I get to wear sweaters. Have always loved the texture of knitted wool. ;-) I'm mostly in casual clothes all the time and use accessories to dress things up. Love simple cashmere sweaters. They seem to be my uniform............Sarah

  8. I love scarves, too, and often roll up my sleeves. In fact, I have quite a scarf collection and have taught scarf folding. I never depart with them, especially the silk scarves, because they always seem to come back into fashion. Oh, and winter scarves... Yes!

    By the way, you have a very cute figure!

    Smiles from Idaho,

  9. Mary, your style is what I call casual elegance. I love it. I wear scarves in the winter/fall/spring, and love layering. Accessories are so much fun. I like the things you've shown us.

  10. are such a stylish dresser, I've seen you and have seen pictures of you. You are tall and thin and made to wear beautiful clothes. I love layers, too, but only when it's very body temp is always sky high if you know what I mean. I notice you always wear jewelry and your nails are done. That's a good sign of self respect, you take time for yourself. I like scarves, they hide a multitude of things for me! ;-D

    Hope you are having a wonderful week!


    1. Jane dear, you are much too kind! Tall perhaps (5'8") but thin, never! Always a struggle, but right now I'm happy because I've dropped about a stone (14 lbs.) in the last 12 months and do feel much better in my clothes. You know how I love fashion, comes from growing up in home surrounded by fabrics, patterns, the sound of the sewing machine, picking up stray pins everywhere.......and my dear mum who was such an amazing dressmaker!

      The array of scarves now available in the shops is awesome - I was overwhelmed by them in Turkey but it's looking like the selection is getting almost as good here! I do have a lot - just passed some along to Jasmin who loves them too - but am always on the lookout for the next perfect one!


  11. No heels here, but am longing for some black ballerinas. I just ventured to J.Jill this week for a pair of jeans. I love their fit. Then I have been looking for a red dress half heartedly all year and found one there along with a nice black skirt. Can you believe I hadn't bought a dress for almost 10 years. There just wasn't a need for one when I worked for a casual sport company (Nike) and wore jeans most of the time. The dress and skirt will be lovely for traveling since they are knit. So that is my adventure into fashion this week.

    Mary, I do love your style! Scarves and Jewelry are always a plus to dress up even jeans.


I would enjoy reading your comment - thanks so much for stopping by.