Monday, August 16, 2021

Inspired by Estuaries (A Fall Clothes Story)

This mostly-thrifted travel wardrobe is posted in honour of National Thrift Shop Day (August 17th),  and is inspired by similar stories on The Vivienne Files.

Their sister-in-law is an artist and designer who works in natural and hand-dyed wools on beeswax-coated board. Recently she sent them a notecard with a photograph of one of her pieces, inspired by a summer on the St. Lawrence Estuary. 

"Do we have any estuaries around here?"


"Could we go somewhere that's sort of like an estuary?"

"How about Owen Sound?"

"Oh, cool. We could go see the Tom Thomson Gallery, and do some hiking."

"I'm in."

What will she pack? She starts with this teal jersey dress. 

No, it's not a silly idea. She knows lots of different ways to wear it.

By itself with a belt and a necklace

With a long cardigan and ankle boots (and tights, of course)

(There's another way you can wear the cardigan)

Under a vintage ultrasuede coat

Tucked into a black skirt
With a denim jacket

With a blanket scarf/shawl and black jeans (leggings would work too)

Under a teal pullover, with a scarf (and tights)
With a poncho and a grey beret
Well, she can't just live in the dress, especially if they are going hiking. She already has leggings and black jeans in the pile, so she adds a black square-necked top, that can go with either the skirt or the jeans, and a long-sleeved grey t-shirt. (If they were going to stay another day or two, she would put in a blue t-shirt as well.)

 How about this tunic top? It's nice to have a different colour along.
That makes nine items of actual clothing, if you don't count ponchos and outerwear. Ten with an extra t-shirt. Nobody can accuse her of overpacking. Overdressing, maybe, but not overpacking.
She has a few other outfits in mind (besides the dress). The black top and skirt can go under her jean jacket
Or under the purple coat.
The black top and jeans can go with the long cardigan.
Or with the poncho.
And any of the t-shirts she brings can go with the jeans and her jean jacket, or under the teal pullover.

The tunic top can go with the jeans, or the leggings. Or it can get tucked into the skirt.

She is taking three pairs of shoes and boots: her new teal ankle boots, her thrifted Kate Spade snake print loafers, and her Allbirds Mizzles, bought last year, that are good for walking on trails.
Here are her coat and jean jacket. If she's smart, she'll remember to pack her warmer jacket as well.
The poncho and blanket scarf
A couple of other scarves, her beret, a purse, and a belt
She remembers to put in this other scarf (it's a bit warmer)
And some jewelry
And she is absolutely going to bring her Fierce Wisdom bracelets.

Well, that's settled, then.

Thank you, Kathy!


The Vivenne Files said...

This is genius - you just get better and better with each post!
big hugs,

Mama Squirrel said...

Thank you, Janice!

BritzThotz said...

Cool! Saw this linked on The Vivienne Files and had to check it out - great job!! Love that you’re a fellow Canuck too!! 😊

Emily said...

This is great! I'm a big fan of the Vivienne Files and I love seeing how it works with someone's real wardrobe! (And have a great trip! 😁)

Mama Squirrel said...

Thanks for your kind comments!

Emily, at this point our trip is still imaginary (reopenings not quite there), though not too far outside the realm of do-able

Anonymous said...

So much inspiration here. You are encouraging me to look at my closet with new eyes.

Elizabeth said...

Amazing picture - your sister in law is ingenious for using wool to make a collage. You've given me lots of ideas for my packing. It all looks very comfortable to wear. I have a teal dress which I don't wear very much. The dress has a half belt at the front with a silver buckle, which I could easily thread a teal scarf or shawl through. I'm glad that you have the confidence to wear different shades of teal together; I always think that they look a bit 'off' on me. Perhaps I shall reconsider. I'd certainly wear purple/plum and teal together. I bought a load of silver wool recently to make something with. Perhaps a poncho or wrap as I have a chunky silver cardigan already.

Mama Squirrel said...

Elizabeth, good point about mixing teals...I try to stay with the greenish ones, because the more blue ones do tend to mix things up a bit too much.

You can read more about how the wool/beeswax process works here:

Kay said...

Super ideas here, great job! Thanks to Janice for the link. :)

LisaP said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LisaP said...

Such great combinations! And thrifted pieces make it even more fun! Hope you get to take that trip before too long…it’s such a beautiful area.

Mama Squirrel said...

Thanks, Lisa!

Shirley Jarrett said...

What a great idea, starting with a simple dress in your colours. & built from there. I like that your post is like an everyday achievable wardrobe segment. Thanks for sharing, thanks to Vivienne for sharing your link, too!

melmi said...

Actually what caught my eye was the "vintage" ultra-suede coat....I have one in my closet; and, seeing it for $10 at an estate sale, it made me almost cry because of the original price. Any ideas about wearing this once again?

Mama Squirrel said...

My purple coat, I think, was handmade. It was part of a two-piece skirt suit, that the thrift store first had hanging with ladies' suits, priced at fifteen dollars. Nobody bought it. A few weeks later, it was moved to the last-chance corner, which at that time was a dollar an item. (This was five years ago.) I bought the two pieces, figured I'd never wear the skirt and turned it into a tote bag. (Which I still have, although it's pretty worn--I use it inside a cupboard to hold some other things.)

So although the coat isn't lined and was meant to be worn as part of a suit, I mostly wear it as an outdoor coat myself, when the weather allows.

melmi said...

My coat was lined; purchased by an "ex" who thought to impress. I am now thinking of bringing it out of the closet since I was embarrassed, years ago, to wear it due to the $$$. Definitely this coat is not a cold weather coat. Hmmmmm, I'm pondering this....thanks for the inspiration!