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Blue Gray UNIQLO, Meet Lavender J. Crew: The Back Story

UNIGLO Field Jacket

This is a story about color, and other stuff.

I’m wearing a UNIQLO jacket, Anniel oxfords, chandelier earrings from Beladora, lavender pencil skirt and French blue tee from J. Crew. (They can call it Heather Blueberry all they like but I refuse to participate). Also hair which is now 100% whatever color it so chooses, and a ponytail avec velvet scrunchie. Lavender is how purple evolves for summer. Nude oxfords are how you walk to work in San Francisco. Scrunchies are my Sturdy Gal must.

But I was also taking photos in a slightly odd context. This is one of San Francisco’s Urban Gardens. I wanted to mix things up with the blog photo locations, so at 8:15am last Friday morning I stood myself and my tripod on a path to side of a site filled with flower and vegetable beds. All of the 4 or 5 people weeding, harvesting, or planting were older Asians. The garden sits right behind a primarily Filipino retirement community.


I couldn’t help but feel a little self-conscious, in context. What did another generation, another culture think of me and my urban semi-Artsy getup? Hmm.


I myself felt quite the Young Thing. Quite the Do Not Go Gently Into The Dark Night. Have you noticed how many young women now wear dowdy old woman clothes? Curious but true. I almost managed I Might Have Been A Ballerina, another young woman fashion trope. Hence the high pony. By the way, I was a terrible dancer in my youth.

Outfit posts for the over-50

As far as color, I was particularly happy with the combination of lavender and French blue, set off by the Beladora earrings. And with finally having managed a nude shoe moment.

(I was also pleased with having recovered my Rolex Cellini from the watchmaker for the umpteenth time. Note to community: buy a Timex if you want a man-styled watch. These fancy pants timepieces break all the darn time.)


The chandeliers felt just right. Living large, danglers in the office. Then I hung one earring on a potato vine for its self portrait.


Again I wondered, what must the urban farmers think?

Style is 50% aesthetics and 50% social context. But the social context is mutable. Some of us live with a compelling internal lodestone, and don’t care what others think. Some of us watch the fashion horizon for trends and statements. And others, me among them. look to functional and relational context, to the Appropriate, for guidance.

When I got to the office, people told me they liked the colors of my clothes. That they’d never seen me in a ponytail before. They smiled. Better out of the vegetable patch than in.


I was still thinking about context when I went out to lunch. I snapped my reflection in a glass door, figuring this was a better representative of real life style than early morning fourth position in a garden. Hence the Bottega Veneta cross-body bag, over-sized Ray-Ban aviators, an wrinkled tee and open jacket. Oh, and lunch was a patty melt, and fries.

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43 Responses

  1. Absolutely gaga over the photo of the earring on the foliage. Not to mention how much I love the combo of the jacket and skirt, very chic on you! I’m off to visit Beladora, their jewelry pieces are always stunning, and I never pop in without pointing things out to The Consort. Just as a hint.

    Sending you a smile,

  2. Your hair is absolutely beautiful!
    Interesting how refreshing the rather standard office blue-ish on the bottom + pink-ish on the top looks, when turned upside down in your variation

    1. I hadn’t considered the pink and blue reversal, but you are right!

      And thanks for the kind words about my hair:).

  3. Those earrings look fabulous!
    I think that community gardens are a great way to use an empty lot and they provide a wonderful opportunity for a mix of volunteers to get together and work with their hands.
    I must compliment you on your svelte shape. You are looking very hip and healthy and definitely not dowdy!

  4. I don’t know what other generations, culture or urban farmers might think of you and your urban semi-Artsy getup – I think you’re beautiful.

    I see a ring on that finger, too. ;)

  5. Interesting, again, how different office cultures view personal style choices differently. I used to wear my hair in a pony tail occasionally until I was told it looked unprofessional. I work in an academic setting.

  6. It would have been interesting to know what the gardeners thought about your photoshoot. They were probably happy enough if you picked up after yourself and didn’t trample anything.

    That jacket has nice length and scaled-down details. Sometimes utility jackets get so many pockets, flaps and zippers going that you look like you’re on your way to a fishing trip.

  7. Have you noticed how many young women now wear dowdy old woman clothes? Curious but true.

    i blame the olsen twins.

    1. I blame Hillary Clinton. If the smartest person in the room, the most admired person in the room, the person who will be the next president, well if she can show up looking frumpily upholstered every single time, then, well…

    2. Word. I also blame Kim K–whom I’m sure is a nice lady, but I’m afraid some of us see all that and overcorrect.

  8. I’ve read your blog forEVER, but I don’t think I’ve commented (in writing) before. However, I nearly always comment to myself! I love your style and learn so much from your writing and photos. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to this ol’ sturdy girl (with aspirations for being more artsy).

    1. Thank you Carole! And hello! So happy to help a fellow Sturdy. We are under-served:).

  9. Lisa I like seeing you in a more natural, cute, yet classic style. The pony tail and the earrings are the perfect touches!

    Art by Karena
    Giveaway from Splendid Sass.

  10. You look so great! I like your hair in a pony. Really flattering and you definitely pull off the former-dancer look. Of course your brogues are wonderful and the color combo is lovely. Happy to see your ring, too… The earring ‘portrait’ was whimsical but worked!


  11. Good outfit and surprisingly like the earrings. I’d love to have eavesdropped on the elderly farmers. Can’t imagine what they would have thought.

  12. Adore this outfit, Lisa–not just the colors (admittedly perfect San Franciscan’s compromise to spring pastel), but also the whole texture and shape of it, especially the ingenious shoe pairing. Also, I know everyone is ogling your earrings in that closeup, as they should, but I can’t get over your hair. The texture, the flossy silver. I am generally in the anti-pony camp but you have the bone structure to make a ponytail look seriously chic.

    On an unrelated note–last week, for the first time, I experienced what you must mean but being so overwhelmed by colors that you nearly faint. There’s two huge, gorgeous, death-defying Rothkos at the Yale University Art Gallery right now. I had to turn away. These are hardly the first I’ve seen in person, but for some reason they bowled me over like nothing I’ve ever felt before, an almost physical impact. Thinking about it now still makes my head hurt, in a good way. As someone who’s generally less prone to overwhelm, I’m a little envious of your propensity. It really is a kind of euphoria. If only I could recapture it just by walking into a Uniqlo unforewarned!

  13. Now I want a patty melt. Oh and your shoes, abdomen and way with words.

    Guess I’ll have to make do with a few almonds and dried apricots.

    So not fair.

    xo Jane

  14. The colors of the clothes are lovely but…the big deal is that you must wear a ponytail more often! It’s so flattering and the color of your hair is amazing, too. It’s truly the best part of the whole outfit. You look youthful and chic. My hair will never be ponytail worthy. It’s too fine for me to get it to grow long enough. I’m a long bob kind of gal who believes a haircut cures a myriad of ills so I vicariously revel in your easy-chic ponytail.
    Lastly, I’m puzzled that you didn’t mention your covetable BV crossbody bag. I love that, too.

  15. The high pony looks great on you, shows off your beautiful earrings even more.
    Lavender and French blue look so lovely together on you, the first photo captures a very youthful facial expression which marches perfectly with your ring!!!

  16. This is your first office pony? If you don’t mind me asking, how do you usually wear your hair to work? A pony is usually just one glimpse in the mirror away for me! ;-)

    1. I wear ponytails, but low ponytails, which have much less impact! Or I braid it, or wear the pony pulled back through.

  17. What thrilling earrings, and the colours!

    I was shocked to read the phrase “dowdy old woman clothes”. I wondered what you saw those young women wearing. Does an “old woman” necessarily wear dowdy clothes?

  18. Of course, I would like the artsy shots.The off the wall shots of earring resting on plant, beautiful and the “Oh is that my refection in the door?” Yes, love the reflection. “I’m not trying to hard” look.
    Truly your body in one to aspire to and envy! You rock it lady.

  19. Hi Lisa, I love your color combo and the “fierce” attitude + nude shoes. btw, my best guy friend always grumbles about my “contrived” instagrams. The advent of the camera + social media will no doubt be something people study in college 30-40 years from now haha.

    xo Mary Jo

  20. I love both the high pony tail and the earrings! Love the color combo as well. Social context indeed!

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