Hi, all --

Life continues busy busy busy with three days of on-campus work (and all kinds of prep and grading and meetings from home). But I've continued to shop for replacements for worn-out essentials. A few reviews and observations:

As some will remember, I've been on the hunt for simple merino sweaters, particularly in navy and grey. I ordered from (and returned) items from Marks & Spencer and Club Monaco (via the Bay), and considered but ruled out a few more.

Met with success at last when J. Crew restocked some of their Margot crewnecks. This sweater is like the Tippi of yore, except long sleeved and a little more fluid in fit. I already own two (in true red and a paisley print) so I purchased two more in navy and "frosty berry" (shown) which IRL is more or less my lip colour and is a colour I'm always happy to add to my closet.

The grey looks too warm in tone, so I didn't bother with that and am still on the hunt for a grey crewneck merino. But will live without it just fine.

On my feet, Ecco's Modtray Chelsea boot. I was in need of a waterproof easy-on/ easy-off boot for suburban winter walks that might involve the odd patch on the trails. A lot of the lug-soled boots I canvassed were simply too chunky for my frame and for my needs— more fashion boot than actual walking boot. I tried Blundstone's, which I love, but as usual, the fit was off for me. (I own and love the women's heeled boot, which works great, and I've worn the chisel toe successfully in the past-- but neither of those has a rugged enough sole for this purpose, and the Blundstone styles that do have the right sole just don't fit my foot.) Anyway—black is a bit boring, but that's okay -- it's also undemanding. Very comfortable, a bit higher shaft than some, room for an insole (for me), very easy on and off. An excellent boot if you have similar needs and feet!

Finally, a tale of 4 sweaters. As many of you know, a grey duster cardigan is pretty much essential to my style. I'd worn through a couple over the past four years. I wanted to upgrade to a more luxe version than my old, pilled up BR duster (pic 7), and tried Club Monaco's cashmere cardigan (Finds), but it was both ridiculously thin and ridiculously large on me and shorter than I wanted. Then I found (on sale) an exact replica of one I'd worn through a few years ago (pic 8). But I wasn't thrilled because I knew it would pill quickly, too, and the fabrication did not give me joy. Anyway, before I cut the tags, Mr. Suz suggested one on sale at Bloomingdale's in cashmere, so I ordered that one to try, as well. The Bloomie's sweater is the winner (pics 4-6) -- I have returned the other one.

If you are in the market, I'd recommend the Bloomingdale's cashmere. The quality feels quite good, although I can't vouch for whether it will pill easily, of course. This particular sweater has a raglan sleeve (making it easy to layer) and a nice rolled cuff. Deep slits in sides and pockets, and not too long for short me.

I can't wear cashmere as a pullover in my current climate -- I find it too hot, and it makes me itchy with the humidity out here. (Hence my search for merino pullovers, which I do find wearable here.) But I can and do wear cashmere as a cardigan and I adore the luxe feel of it.

No high fashion here, just a regular work from home day!

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