Tag Archive for: fashion

Fashion Makes Sense but I’m Wearing Shorts and a T-Shirt

It’s hot and sticky in the South Carolina Lowcountry. 

I don’t water my plants in the morning because the forecast calls for rain. I end up watering my plants that afternoon because the rain passed us by. Or it rains when I’m inside working, and the humidity leaches up all the moisture into the air. 

I’m obsessed with fashion. I put on QVC every morning and play it in the background while I’m working. The mindless chatter of the host and the brand representative filter out all the other noises in my head. 

Susan Graver, a designer, talks over the host most of the time. She’s a true chatterbox. I feel her. I’d do the same, plus her clothing line has some nice items.

Carolyn Gracie, a QVC host, and Gary Goben, the senior apparel designer for Denim & Company, have stuffed squirrels that talk with one another. I find it strangely comforting that a grown woman and man play with stuffed toys on a national television show. 

On QVC Martha Stewart shows up from her house and talks about her rather matronly line. Joan Rivers accouterments still look like they’re from her time period, but I’m oddly drawn to them. 

I’ve purchased metal slinky water hoses (see the need for one above). A pair of cute Earth shoes that remind me of a pair of wooden slides I owned for years that one of my dogs chewed a bit of one heel and I still wore everywhere. I can’t find them now. I’m glad I found a similar pair. 

Since I’m working from home, I’ve purchases skorts, T-shirts, and Cuddle Duds attire. 

I have quite a collection of fashion catalogs. North Style, Serengeti, Coldwater Creek, Soft Surroundings, Lands’ End, and Talbots. I’ve been trying to find outfits to take on our twelve-day cruise to the British Isles that will most likely NOT depart from London in late August. I have not purchased a darn thing but have dog-eared the pages of fifteen catalogs.

A dear friend of mine has a lovely fashion sense and her own Instagram account and a blog about fashion. She looks put together at all times. She never looks dowdy as I often feel. 

At eleven in the mornings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Style Finder Boutique, a shop in Raleigh, NC, hosts fashion shows, tips, and sales via Facebook live. Michele and Michelle (or double L as they call her) seem to be around my age. Sometimes they aren’t that streamlined in their live show, but they handle mishaps with style. 

They explain fashion terms, color schemes, core closet, and what looks good on different bodies with different face shapes. I had no idea the shape of your face has anything to do with what clothing to wear. I have a symmetrical oval face according to the online eyeglass site I recently visited. When I had my “colors done” with a Color Me Beautiful stylist back in the day, I was told I am a summer. 

I’m wearing pull-on exercise shorts and a T-shirt I got for participating in the Charleston Yoga Fest two years ago. I am learning, just not putting into practice, obviously.

Do y’all like to watch fashion shows, flip through catalogs, and follow fashion pages and shops on social media? Tell me I am not alone. 

I’m going on a “dues cruise” with the Charleston Tour Association next Monday. We board a tour boat at 5:45 p.m., have cocktails and hors d’oeuvres whilst wearing face masks, and enjoy a cruise in the Charleston harbor. I’m a tour guide and the treasurer for this group. We’re allowing half the attendees we normally do for one of our most popular meetings. I have to wear a coordinating outfit for this event. I have not a clue what that outfit will entail. O.o


Charleston Tour Association: www.tourcharleston.org

This post, while silly and all about fashion, isn’t meant to be an escape from what’s happening around us, but perhaps a bit of a respite for the few minutes you’re reading. 
White privilege doesn’t mean your life has been hard. It just means the color of your skin isn’t one of the things that makes it harder. Please take the time to learn about more than what’s in our little bubbles. 


Robin Hillyer-Miles writes romance of the contemporary, magic-realism, and cozy mystery varieties. “West End Club” appears in the anthology “Love in the Lowcountry: A Winter Holiday Edition.” She’s writing “Cathy’s Corner” a 45,000-word contemporary romance set in the fictional town of Marion’s Corner, SC.
You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RobinHillyerMilesAuthorTourGuideYoga
The anthology is offered on Amazon in paperback or e-book here:

Garanimals for Grown-Ups

by Susan McBride

I love October, and not just because it’s my birthday month. The older I get, the happier I am when summer has ended. Since I shun the sun (how else can I keep my ghostly pale complexion?), I’m a lot less fond of shorts and bathing suits than I used to be. I long for crisp days when jeans and sweaters are the norm. And I’m thrilled that scarves are in, even with T-shirts. I’ve never worn scarves much before, except thick woolly ones to keep the cold at bay; but my fashion sense keeps changing as I, um, mature. When I go shopping now, I realize I’m drawn to items that I would’ve bypassed maybe even a year ago. I’m less prone to buy trendy things and more enamored of classics (although I’ll never dress in Polo head-to-toe again as I did during my early college days!).

I guess I’ve got clothes on the brain as I desperately need to clean out my closets (more like purge) and sort out what fits, what I don’t wear, and what I’m lacking. The last four years have kind of ravaged my wardrobe as I’ve gone through so many changes. Back in 2005, I had shrunk down to a size zero after eating healthier (read: going vegetarian) and trying (successfully) to get my cholesterol down. I had new author photos shot, and the photographer had sent me out with a stylist because “you’re much cooler on the inside than you are on the outside,” as she put it. I was advised that my hairstyle was too “anchor-woman-ish” and my sweater-sets had to go. The stylist definitely kick-started my interest in fashion again. I realized, too, that when you’re the size of a clothes hanger, everything looks terrific. I had wonderful outfits that I wore with high heels to speaking engagements, conferences, social outings, wherever. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex & the City” (minus the cigarettes and the promiscuous sex).

Then came my breast cancer diagnosis in late 2006. The first thing I craved out of surgery was a hamburger (which I inhaled–God, it tasted good!–but haven’t had since). I was told on no uncertain terms to eat more protein during radiation therapy so I consumed plenty of yogurt, nuts, fish, and chicken. My doctors were thrilled when I put on 10 pounds, and my friends and family breathed a sigh of relief, too. I hadn’t realized until then that everyone thought my skinny (albeit very healthy and energetic) self had resembled nothing more than a “bobble-head doll” or a “human lollipop.” Nice. As for my fashion sense during this rough period: I lived in camisoles and sweats. Comfort was key. I worried more about healing and feeling strong again and less about dressing like a magazine cover girl. So my chic little clothes and high heels gathered dust. Once I recovered from treatment and started working out again, I lost a few pounds as I got back in shape; but my size zero days were gone for good. Which meant I had a closet filled with clothes that didn’t fit.

Once I donated some things to charity and gave others to petite friends and relatives, I was left with a wardrobe mostly comprised of various colored zip-up jackets with matching camisoles, jeans, and sweatpants. Perfect attire for writing, but not exactly how I want to dress when I’m doing a bunch of speaking gigs this month…or promoting THE COUGAR CLUB next February.

I wish there were Garanimals for grown-ups with colored tags that told me what went with what. It would make life so much easier. I find it amazing how my tastes have changed over time. I want to look good, but I need to be comfortable. I’d like fewer pieces that work together better. I want to wear heels on some occasions and flats on others, depending on what I’m doing. It’s kind of like my changing wardrobe reflects the changes I’ve made in my life. I’m learning to focus on fewer things that are more important, to toss the bad stuff as fast as I can, and to celebrate all the good stuff. It’s taken me awhile to figure out that it’s the good stuff that never goes out of style.

P.S. I’ve done a MAJOR closet overhaul, donating three fat bags of clothes and shoes to charity. Whew. That calls for a little shopping to celebrate, don’t you think?