7 Jul 2021

The Simple, The Essential And The Everlasting


That’s been on my mind.

I wax and wane about fashion and all the choices right now. I am so fickle and it is unlike me.


One minute I want to be dressed up, literally in the most feminine of get-ups and the next I want to be lazy and cosy in the sweats. My mind is fractured when it comes to what I want to wear in the morning. It’s to do with so much change in the last 18 months – I can only presume this. My once very ordered, if somewhat chaotic, life has completely changed and become stationary. While the UK is opening up slowly, inter-European travel is not easy and so we haven’t moved; once upon a time, I was on the move most weeks.


Life has taken on a slower pace for a host of reasons and I am not complaining. In some ways, it feels against my character but in others, it feels so right. The English countryside, a destination I was once so unfamiliar with, is now very much in front of my mind and I am enjoying it. Perhaps it does not have the spice of Italy or the glamour of France but there is no denying its soft beauty and enduring charm.


I have been discovering the Cotswolds as my daughter starts to make a home there. Apart from falling in love with the rolling hillsides, golden stone and nature’s soundtrack I have also realized I am ill-equipped when it comes to country life. A city slicker through and through – small city, a big city or medium city, those I know how to navigate. The fast and furious pace I understand – long and lazy days in the garden not so much. I’m getting there.


How to dress for the country life?

The answer is not as I do.

I get it worng every time. Miss judge the weather, what is practical v’s the impractical and how messy I will be. This is why I am re-focussing on the essentials – good jeans, tee shirts by the dozen (I like the essential and the vintage styles from Madewell for my everyday tees), a light jacket, an easy dress, a couple of pretty blouses and a throw over sweater. Nothing new here, but for me, pieces that needed an upgrade or a replace.


And I wear them all with these boots, a new version of Wellies, or these sneakers.



Buying Jeans: A few tips I have figured out the hard way

If I get them right – I always double up and buy multiple pairs because in my experience trying on jeans is the worst.


Buy a couple of different sizes and always buy the tightest ones – more than is comfortable – because in about 30 minutes they stretch up a size.


Lay flat on the bed to get the buttons or zipper up, even if you can’t breathe comfortably, they will definitely stretch.


Don’t buy them with the hems too long – they never alter well.


If you have hips, never fear, try skinnies and a longer tee; it’s super flattering.



If all else fails, the essentials are an easy fallback- add an accessory or two – and we are ready, set and go. xv


The Simple, The Essential And The Everlasting

See THE EDIT – my simple, essential and everlasting everythings.




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15 Comments

anitapelayorivera

Hello Vicki!

Well, I wish I could be in the English countryside. It’s been my dream ever since the beginning of Covid. So what do I do? I pretend as I drive five minutes away from my home to discover the beautiful meadows of a local lake and wildlife park. But when I go there, I have to spray myself with greasy bug repellent and wear my Wellies so as to not get attacked by Lyme ticks and other nasty creatures while I explore with my camera and haul my photo props! But if I was perusing villages and walking along foot paths, I’d be wearing my Wellies no doubt but my choice these days are the flowing, carefree and forgiving summer dresses made very popular by Just Belle on Instagram. Yes, that suits me just fine.

Reply
Vicki

Your photographs of course don’t show any of the “work” to capture them… they are effortlessly beautiful Anita. Please beware of those ticks though… that is a terrible problem if they attack..🙀
Your English countryside will be waiting for you, whenever you can come :) Me too!!

Reply
Jennifer

The Costwolds sound so charming, Vicki! I’m having the same feelings each morning and find a tee and jeans is usually the answer. Having the quality basic make life so much easier.

Reply
Vicki

Anything to help with the decision making works ;) Jeans and tee are a great what-to-wear solution, wherever we are…

Reply
Linda B

This is a timely piece for me, Vicki! A week ago, my husband and I made our third annual summer pilgrimage from Tucson, Arizona (a mid-size metro area of more than a million) to Corvallis, Oregon (a small town of about 60,000) where our daughter and her family live. Corvallis is a university town surrounded by farms. Tucson is not exactly a fashion capital, but in comparison to Corvallis it is! I always have to gear down for simpler dressing here, due to both the general lifestyle and also being full on as grandmother here. This time I brought way fewer dresses and skirts with me. Jeans are the best, in all forms (for me, including denim shorts for the hotter days); I have a fabulous, active granddaughter to keep up with, and another one due next month. . . Happy times. Easy dressing.

Reply
Vicki

Yes easy dressing is what you need Linda! I do love a dress after I’ve had a bit of time in my jeans but there is nothing easier than jeans and a tee with a cute jacket. Enjoy beautiful Oregan…

Reply
Sarahkate

Linda, you might like The Clothes Tree, Inkwell, or Many Hands Trading in Corvallis. Consider also shopping in Eugene just 30 minutes south of Corvallis – my recommendation would be the stores in Oakway Mall which is really lovely and has excellent restaurants and isn’t the typical mall experience by any means. I live and work in the Corvallis area; while it is a typical college town in many ways I have found that the boutiques and small retailers are interesting, creative, affordable, and offer a wide range of fashion choices from business office attire to gorgeous hand-made imports from around the world. (PS I don’t work for the Chamber of Commerce so this is my own opinion!)

Reply
Alexandra

If you are petite you learn quickly that jeans always require alteration so you only purchase a straight so shortening is easy. Otherwise, veer to a denim or corduroy skirt. Barbour are great for jackets and gilets …. “Country” means a great wax jacket, and really good wellies and brogues. There is very definitely a sense of “country style” just as there is “city slick”.

Reply
Vicki

I’m learning slowly ;)
I will have to find my own interpretation, Alexandra :)

Reply
Marsha Scott

Hi Vicki, I’ve been MIA for family reasons, but now I’m back! I don’t wear jeans, never have. I do wear all different kinds of pants, however. The English countryside calls for more layering than Houston, of course. Right now, I’m wearing cotton crops/Capri’s with beautiful sandals, a pretty top & a long cotton scarf (just in case of cold A/C). I’ve been in the Texas hill country off & on throughout the Covid, where the word “casual” must have been invented. Every person there wears jeans. The women are coiffed & jewelled, but hugely casual otherwise. Right now, after seeing the new Armani Prive’ Collection yesterday, I’m impressed with his showing of FLAT or KITTEN-HEEL shoes through the show. So the casualness & comfort of the population has moved up into Haute Couture, hasn’t it”

Reply
Vicki

Casualness and comfort does reign supreme these days, Marsha :) Whether Capri pants or jeans… I love both with either flats or kitten heels.. Great call Mr Armani … and of course the sneakers or boots …
Welcome back :)

Reply
Rena.spain

I appreciate your honest and sincere exchange of thoughts unlike many others they sugarcoat everything.
Yes, life and style has changed for many of us and it is not the worst to rethink the past and are bold and
willing to change. Spending your time in the countryside is a wonderful experience and saying good bye to
heels and jewellery would be OK for me too. Enjoy this new part and let life flow. All the best.

Reply
Vicki

Thank you, Rena :)
Life must go with the flow… it’s the only way :)

Reply

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