Hello, partners in style! Thanks for all your help with the casual sandals last week. I don’t know which pair I will keep but I think I have two good options on their way to me. Yay!

(This has become a long missive, so if you want to cut to the chase, my request is at the bottom. Thanks!)

Did I mention that apart from some long underwear and a pair of grey skimmer jeans on super sale -- and my ill fated butt-vest -- I did not shop at all between November and mid-March? Well, it's the truth.

When I finally broke my shopping fast it was to purchase footwear for Israel, and then a pair of booties in Israel as my souvenir of the trip. (Thank you, Shevia!)

Now it’s time to consider the summer closet more seriously. I finally did the great closet switch out on the weekend, so I have a better idea of what I’m working with. And not.

On the positive side: I did so much shopping last year that my essentials are in pretty great shape. I mostly just need some updates and refreshers. You can see most of last year's (extensive) summer purchases in this collection. And this one. Of course I have a few more items in my closet including bags, denim jackets, etc.

On the negative side, my budget this year is more limited. And I am looking to add that “oomph” factor — a bit of originality. I don’t want to say “edge” since I think “edge” is probably the wrong word for what I aspire to. At any rate, I don’t want hard edge.

Texstyle commented the other day that Angie's graphic tee post was a lightbulb post for her, giving her permission to dress for her real life.

It was a lightbulb post for me, also -- partly for that reason, but also for another. For me, it highlighted the concept of juxtaposition in a useful way. I suspect that this is what I am really trying to create in more of my outfits.

In my fantasy life, I'd like to dress a bit dressier overall. But the reality of my lifestyle is largely casual. The easiest way to finesse this and to add a bit of "cool" factor is to juxtapose. Combinations that work super well for me:

  • Jeans with a silky shirt and jacket and sharp footwear.
  • Casual skirt or dress with a denim jacket and great footwear.

These are my FFB favourites. But they're not that practical for high summer in my climate.

How can I inject more of that into high summer looks? Maybe with a bit of jewellery? I am a bit more open to this now that I am wearing specs less often. In fact, Mr. Suz just bought me a gorgeous necklace for our 25th anniversary. (I'll try to snap some pics soon).

In terms of summer shopping so far, I've ordered some tee shirts. These are replacements/ upgrades.

I am not much of a tee shirt woman as a rule. Generally I like a top with a bit more structure. But I have truly enjoyed the linen versions from J. Crew in the past few years. I am still lamenting my destroyed Hummingbird tee” — in fact, I’m still wearing it even though it has been dyed lilac, but I don’t like it as well. (Should I order it from Ebay where I found it? About the same price as I paid originally for it. But a size up.)

There is a good chance I will be spending two weeks this summer in an exceptionally hot climate in a very casual environment. This is why I think a few new tees will not go amiss. I also like a boat, envelope, crew, jewel or high vee neckline and enjoy the opportunity to wear it in the warmer months. (In winter I am covered by turtlenecks and scarves all the time for practicality and flattery). The more open neckline changes proportions a bit and that is fun for me.

I also added a Zara backpack. I gave my black one to my stepdaughter at Christmas. Then, after hunting for months for a similar leather one, I came up empty handed -- and realized how much I missed the one I'd had. So I ordered the navy. I actually like its texture much better than the black, so it's win/win.

Phew! This got very long. My apologies.

My request:

Show me some great "statement" type items or "so 2015 items" that won't break the bank and could work with my style, climate, and wardrobe to refresh and upgrade my summer style.

Some ideas:

Casual skirt or dress


Interesting lightweight topper (because toppers don't get much wear in high summer here)

Footwear (I am almost set but could add one pair)

Thank you so much in advance for your ideas!