26 Jan 2021

Look Down: A Whole New You?

Look Down: A Whole New You on vickiarcher.com

Have you found a whole new you this last year? Have we changed forever the way we are?

I have been pondering this. I feel differently about many things – small and big – and I suspect Covid is to blame or to thank? The answer is a little bit of both.

There is no doubt “resentment” comes to mind when reflecting on illness, lost opportunities, friends missed and moments cancelled but there is also “gratitude” to be found. I am behaving differently; I am more paced, more thoughtful and less frenetic. This is not a bad change. I doubt I’m less ambitious in my projects but simply more patient. The classic, “I’ll get there in the end”, an expression that would normally annoy me is quite in line with my thinking right now. And it’s ok.

We have all been stuck this past year, wherever we live, and while it’s different circumstances for everyone there has been a monumental change. There is no escaping our smaller world and the loss of our global freedom.

It’s not only the big stuff.

My love for fashion hasn’t disappeared but it has made a sharp U-Turn and come to a few grinding halts some days. I still dress up one day every week and have a “red” lips day but when I meander through my regular sites my search words are completely different. Think sweater, hoodie, sweats, tracksuits and trainers as opposed to midi, maxi and little black dress. Lace still manages a workout but less frequently.

My birthday is coming up. Who is this woman who requested a new hoodie? Seriously I swear someone has kidnapped the real VA.

I know the kind of sweat pants I like and the length of the hoodie; I can tell what is comfortable for lounging and walking. These are not thoughts I would have boasted about a year ago. My trainers are wearing thin and they are top of my list to replace – I’d like a whole new wardrobe of trainers because they are earning their keep. What happened to my endless love of the pointed, pretty and feminine? Will I ever wear a heel again? I seriously wonder where and when? It’s going to be tough when I do.

Maybe I should practice walking in them every day for five minutes to keep the balls of my feet in shape? I’m not serious but it will be a shock.

Back to my trainer /sneaker crush.

I don’t go for designer styles – rather sports brands. The designer trainers, while sometimes completely fabulous, aren’t necessary to rock the look. They are one area we don’t need to spend thousands of $$$ on to look the part and feel the pleasure.

My go-to trainer seems to be Nike – for no other reason than I like them.

They are not only comfortable but also offer so many colour combinations it’s impossible to be bored. My moods switch between the monochrome, the pastels and the madness of full-on colour. I like their padded soles, their wacky laces or not and I love the way they feel cosy and firm on the foot. Looking down at the colour of my trainers is a new joy.

Silly? Yes. I say take it where we can. xv

Looking Down

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Terry Applegate

It is so true – so much has changed and my mindset in particular. I love the heel thoughts – I do not know if I can do it again either so they just sit and wait :-)


I think my word for 2020 was “change.” I divorced, moved to another part of the country; spent much time alone, but time with family and a couple of new friends was like gold; rescued a little coton de Tulear dog(or did she rescue me??); spent money decorating my fabulous apartment and am enjoying a sense of joy and freedom for the first time in years. 2020 was a year of gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. While both of my adult children have had covid, they are both back in good health; again, gratitude. I wake up every morning and thank God for everything that is in my life. New Beginnings!!!


Dear VA. You have put into words exactly what I have been feeling in your Looking Down post & for that I thank you. Many of us have been changed forever & you are right – it’s not all bad. Your viewpoint has been very helpful through this.


The younger crowd will likely get back to heels but if you are in the older crowd….heels may only be for special occasions where there is not much standing and a lot of sitting. The padding on the ball of the foot gets thinner with age and no amount of wearing heels to “get used to it” fixes that. Chock that one up to another new normal


That is not where I need to get thinner, Lauren!!! It seems entirely unfair 😂 😂 😂 😂
Maybe I have lost weight on my soles with all this walking ;) Heels will just have to be a distant memory…


you express exactly what I feel…. from the first sentence untill the last. But….why we must getting older in order to realize what we really need and is good for us!?


You have come to mind so often when I check the latest fashion scene Vicki – and I feel for you because it’s your ‘business’, a job, your income, your great love, and you do it so well. I too like to keep up with fashion – or did – even though I’m so much older. One of the greatest disappointments regarding ‘fashion’, for me, is what I’m seeing in VOGUE (US Edition) which is the only ‘fashmag’ I subscribe to currently. Terrible in every way and I will not continue my subscription when the time comes to renew. I also note that fashion trends (other than the ridiculous as seen in VOGUE) really do revolve around comfort clothing and little else now – I never thought I’d actually be re-ordering so many black joggers, lol!!!!
I have not been able to find comfortable NIKE sneakers yet. My last pair are the knitted type but I find they have no support and my foot goes forward making them feel short at the toe. Perhaps it’s because I have very narrow feet and they are just too wide. My favorites for many years, for walking and wearing anywhere, especially their booties, sneakers and oxfords, are definitely Cole Haan brand. Yes, ‘heels’ are way at the back of the closet these days – and perhaps staying there forever for me!
I had my first Pfizer COVID vaccine jab last Sunday – second one due on Valentine’s Day!
Stay well and safe in London dear Vicki.

P.S. This past weekend I put French Essence out on my coffee table to read and enjoy again – cover colors are lovely with my decor! Little touches such as this are required these days to make the days, weeks, months at home more cheery!


Thank you, Mary… I always buy a size up in a trainer because my feet go forward too. It makes a world of difference to me and I have become used to extra space when I’m walking. I tie them very tight with the laces. Well done to have gotten the vaccine… that’s great news :)


Whoa Vicki!! I actually thought the image was you in an advanced yoga pose!!! That was the new you! Not that don’t think you could manage this pose but …
I’m not a trainer lover but do like the variety of flat ankle boots I have and wear the selection I have constantly. I have though just purchased a low heel pair of suede, pale green, peep toe sandals just in case the sun comes out and. it’s warm and I can go somewhere!


Good morning Vicki!

You have yet again touched on a very relevant subject with a lot of heart and soul. In June, it will be one year since my retirement and since March, it will be one year since we teachers were sent home to do Distant Learning/Teaching. So much of my identity has changed or rather, has grown into what I think is a better version. Like you, I enjoy (present tense here!) wearing my red lips, little black dresses, pumps (yes, even to work where I taught young kids) and other elegant, feminine accessories. All of those pieces I enjoyed wearing are hanging in my closet like ghosts. Will I ever wear those dresses again? I am going to make it happen at some point. But like you, I am pacing myself more. There is no longer a need to literally rush to my next activity or my next ambition. Now the challenge for me is to learn the difference between complacency and patience and be comfortable with that. I will be honest here: my biggest fear now as an almost 63 year old retiree is to find myself sitting down all day doing nothing. So far, I haven’t let that happen and we are in the middle of a Minnesota winter so as soon as spring emerges, I hope to as well.


I can never imagine you sitting quietly and doing nothing Anita! You are far too engaged and enchanted with life :)

Jacki F.

Happy New Year Vicki! You have inspired me. My preferred brand for the fit is actually NewBalance (which I currently have in a black with a leopard patch on the back), so I decided to order a lighter-colored pair in “overcast” (looks to be a whitish-gray). Like many I am doing a lot of walking these days so I think I can used them!

Judy Morgan

Vicki….this is such a positive post and I am thrilled to read your thoughts/perspective on the change we all need to embrace. Comfy shoes (always with style) also top my list. My $$$ are now spent on creating/re-imagining spaces in my home and garden where I can entertain friends, family and neighbours, supporting one another in our ‘new normal’. Great and delicious food is also at the top of the list. We still dress smartly and comfortably, as long walks are on our agenda. Appreciation for good health and the beautiful climate and environment we have here in Oz, is no longer taken for granted.


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