summer treasures, summer fails

When mid-summer clothing sales first made themselves known at Flintstone Towers, I wondered whether I should buy or wait. I must say this attitude hasn't done me much good in other markets, but I waited. Either prosperity is in fact just around the corner, or I will convince my building's Board of Directors that the resident/owners ought to be allowed to take in boarders. I suspect some are doing so already.

Finally I jumped on a few things that I thought would not lead to regrets. To date, I haven't seen anything except my bank statement that makes me regret having spent on spring/summer sales without waiting for a fuller view of what fall has in store. Here's the Executive Summary:

or perhaps not. Blogger's version of bullet points leads to Executive Gibberish.

Of course the best buy was the navy matinée trench, in my correct size, thus no tailoring. You can see the documentary evidence at this post.
To my surprise, however, the greatest love was the Metallic Linen Slicker. I don't generally "do" metallics, and when I first saw this in a store I felt the hardware was too bright and big and bulky (is that the beginning of a song? didn't think so, whew!) for the style and the fabric. On sale, on promo, it looked a lot better, and as usual when I tried it on at home I fell in love. Neither of these will be a go-to raincoat, however, because they are too short. I am an easy target for curbside splashes and similar mishaps, and in really stormy wet weather I need a coat that covers me at least to mid-shin and maybe even to the top of the ankle.
I gave in and grabbed the tipped linen blazer. My arms are nowhere as long as the model's, so I had to have the sleeves shortened. This led to quite a discussion with the tailor, who insisted that the proper way to do this was to remove the sleeves at the shoulder and lift from there, then re-setting the shoulder. For what I paid? It now fits me perfectly, the excess fabric having been removed from the top of the cuff. The seam that re-joins the cuff to the rest of the sleeve looks like part of the design, and I didn't have to worry about whether the elbow would still bend if the shoulder were expensively reset. So far I've worn this with black tanks, tan linen or silk pants, pale tan denim jeans (thank you, Ralph Lauren!), and black jeans (ditto).

Although most of the summer has been too hot for "jacket plus" outfits, I have collected a jean jacket in bright pink. It's from Urban Outfitters, and it came in several garish colors. This pic is from their website, and the color is not accurate. It's much more like Schiap's Le Shocking. UO calls it a cropped trucker jacket, and again it's on sale now for $29.99. There are more colors. For me, it works over dark or white jeans, and also over maxi-dresses. I wear it with this dress, which is 100% cotton, came in a lovely pea green as well as the yellow and in white, and is now on sale at You should watch for a 25% off sale promo at Rugby, there are other cotton maxis there as well. So, bright pink jacket, pea green maxi, rope belt if I feel the outfit needs a touch of color.

Of course I bought some new chinos, and I have to say, I'm not thrilled with anyone's this year. Alas, nor am I thrilled with what's left of mine from last year. Still, on cool damp nights at the beach, jeans pick up moisture from the sea air, and on hot days in town, jeans pick up moisture from me, so there just are times when chinos are called for. RL has shrunk the marker to the point that many of the chinos are unwearable. I tried JC men's chinos, and was told by someone who could have been my grandchild if I'd only been the slut my mother-in-law gave me credit for, that JC never ever ever made men's pants in a 28 or 29 waist. This kind of supercilious expertise is worth its own post. The JC women's chinos have lost the double front beltloop and the pointed beltloop end, and the nice interior detailing, and have dangerous back pockets - dangerous in the sense that they won't even keep a hanky safe. I paid $19.99. One pair is on back-order, and I will bet you that the day after the back-order expires, those pants will be back in stock at full price.

I am getting a lot of wear out of a high-waisted blue denim skirt and out of a pale green denim skirt. Does anyone need suggestions for what to wear with dark blue denim? Gee. A shirt. A tee. A tank. OK, hint: just about anything other than more denim. Naturally, being the sweet well-raised girl I am, I don't wear sequins or glitter with denim either. Well, there was that time at the barbecue place in Nashville, but what happens in Nashville stays in Nashville.  I love the pale green skirt, love it with solid cotton knit tanks in various shades of blue and green that tone in without matching. Again, too hot to try it with jackets.

Shoes. Oooooh. I hit the sale at Simply Soles, and got the Chie Mihara Fredy sandals in taupe calf for $188. Love them! The sale will be on for another day or two, you might want to look here.
I fell in love with the looks of the JC Drea peeptoe pump, tried it on in a few sizes in a few stores. I kind of suspect that the factory to which this style was out-sourced, re-out-sourced it to several lower bidders, because each color fit differently in different sizes. One color was actually life-threatening, in that when I stood up to take my first step in it the shoe was soooo loose that it slid off and under my other foot. Fortunately a kind person was close enough to grab my elbow and help me. Two comments: first, this  is not the way I choose to meet guys. Also, I don't have to tell you which color because if you tried it on, you too left it in the store, and if you had it sent, you also sent it back. Sad, it's a good idea, very poorly executed. My money went to the Chies.

Beach cover-ups:
I have a caftan from long ago which is really a caftan, it's thin breathable cotton, floor-length.

This is a shirt that is called a caftan, but is just a loose shirt. The point of the caftan, worn outdoors, is to protect the good clothes from sand and dirt, and worn indoors, to keep the entire body covered but to hint at movement. The proper name for this garment would be "knit top that someone thought might be a caftan but took a smoke break instead of looking up the word."

A caftan with a hood can be called a galabeah, by the time I was in a part of the world where I could buy one PLUS had time to shop, the manufacturing of cheap clothing for locals had been out-sourced to a different part of the world, the one where "all-cotton" means "we had some extra labels and we waste nothing."

I don't need any really dressy stuff this summer, there will no doubt be a trip in early fall.

Update: tiffany rose suggested it could be helpful to see how the sleeves of the Tipped Blazer were shortened. The seam at the top of the buttons and "tipping" is where the extra fabric was removed. Same for lining. Hope this is helpful. BTW, my idea, not the tailor's. He prefers not to "take shortcuts," and would have preferred to recut and reset the entire shoulder on both sides. NFW!


  1. I can't wait for even a dab of weather to wear my metallic linen slicker. Don't recall if the tipped linen blazer has the same problem for me but the beloved tipped lexington jacket sleeves are ridiculously long. I'm wondering if you'd mind taking pictures of how your tailor solved that, showing the seaming ...

    My first pair of Chie Mihara shoes arrive on Monday but I'm on a plane to Texas so I won't know how they are until Wednesday night :( So excited because I got them for a fantastic price. I'm tempting the sale shopping jinx by even talking about that. Wish me luck that I will soon have a great source to share with my bloggie buddies ...

  2. sure, tiffany rose, I'll add a close-up to the post.

    i'm excited for you about the Chies and looking forward to your report!

    1. Thanks so much! The pics are really helpful.

  3. How attractive was the price of the linen slicker, and where did you find it, if I may ask? :D Love the Chie sandals!

  4. H, Rose, the slicker was one of those early morning pop-backs on the website, which meant it was destined for me because I almost never see them. It wasn't as dramatically priced as the matinée but no complaints.

    1. I got mine on an early morning pop-back too. And during a time with an extra % off woohoo! It was destined for me because I did not even make a compromise on the size (you know how we will try to make next size up work because something is hard to find or such a good price).

  5. I've had several jackets shortened by my tailor who also insists upon taking the sleeve out, cutting it down and resetting it. When there is something a the bottom of the sleeve, this is her preferred method. I seem to have the shortest arms in America and it is very seldom that I find a jacket or blazer I don't have to alter. The method your tailor used was actually ingenious.

    1. Hi, Desert Flower, I don't think this would work with every sleeve or with every fabric, but here you really don't see the new seam when the jacket's on. If you do notice it, it just looks like part of the fancy cuff.

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  7. So, I think we have the same in-laws.

    Thanks for the closeup of the sleeves-- great idea; I would not try this at home. I do make curtains from time to time-- different skill level.

    Cute bright jean jacket-- I like the bright on top with neutral bottom look rather than all those neon jeans. We have a UO now (!) so maybe should go take a look.

    Are all the Chies high? Any 2" or lower? I just don't need the height ,and I am a faller.

  8. Hi, Lane, I'm actually glad to hear that my ILs may not be unique, I was thinking of doing a long post about them, but was afraid that people would recognize them.

    The chies I showed have a 2 1/4 inch heel, the wedge makes it very secure and comfortable. I'm past the stage in life where I need to totter.

  9. I always wondered about that linen "caftan", glad to know that it is just a sweater.
    Happy you got the slicker, I used mine quite a lot. Funny how I ordered because I needed something LONGER to protect me from the rain. It is actually longer on me than the matinee, that I ordered and returned twice.

  10. Hi, Ema! The matinee visited my house several times before I gave up on it! Then when I found it at a give-away price, it just followed me home. I'm thinking of sewing a little plastic comb into the hood to hold it in place, or threading a tie through the hem of the hood.

    I like a really long raincoat or wool winter coat for awful weather, slim so it doesn't flap around in the wind, and coming to just above the ankle for warmth and protection. The slicker isn't that long, obviously, but I won't be wearing it in winter tempests. I just hung it next to the matinee, the slicker is about 4 inches longer hanging up.

  11. I'm in the linen slicker club. I will be loving the rain this year, if we get any. That linen caftan came to my knees. It was ridiculous, so I returned it.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing the sewing tip. I've long feared the suggestion of re-setting sleeves via the shoulders and although I don't sew, it's been a huge turnoff. I figure it would cost, well, an arm, so I've passed on many jackets that aren't 3/4 sleeve or petite.

  12. Hi, Gigi, yes, somewhere someone thought that so-called "caftan" was earthgirl wear. It's not.


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