Back to Basics–and Some Clothes Talk!



And Hugs and Kisses!!  Thank you for being a part of my Birthday!!


And now, let us resume with today’s post:

Bonaparte and I had a great date night for my pre-Birthday dinner on Saturday evening. We returned to Ma Maison in Ardmore for another enjoyable meal.

One great thing about the Philly area is the overabundance of BYOB restaurants.  I wish this was the norm everywhere!

Bonaparte poured…

..while I enjoyed a starter of duck rillettes..

..and he had a salad. But the food pics stop here. Bonaparte asked me to refrain from taking photos and just enjoy the meal.  He was right. And I did. And I really did!

My date night outfit.  My bio hair!  I also wore my plaid Lady Jacket, new jeans I purchased at Marshall’s, an old–very old cotton shell from Talbots that I wish was still sold and a pair of red, pointy-toed heels from Vince Camuto.  YES. This is how the OVER-60 woman dresses!!  

Wearing that plaid jacket got me to thinking about my favorite madras shorts and the fact that I needed to find them because the warm weather is finally here!  I went to sleep dreaming about them.

I woke up this Birthday Morning to a very nice gift card to my favorite store!  Bonaparte knows what I like!

And Bonaparte does not want me using any store credit cards either.  I can’t wait to use this card!!

I  also woke up on this Easter Morning and thanked my buddy, Hipster Jesus, for gifting me with another year.  Then I went on to ask him to please return to Earth so that he could remind people the true meaning of Christian behavior.

Yes, you did. And I was one of them and, like the song that Little Peggy March sang back in the early 1960’s, I will always follow you!

You know, things like compassion, empathy, love for all humanity, equality, kindness, non-judgemental behavior.  The Basics. They have gone into hiding and need to resurface.

Then I asked Him for help.  I know—this is just so awful, but He knows me.

I asked him to help me find my favorite shorts. The madras Bermuda shorts I got last summer at J. Crew. I love those shorts.  And I want to see how much tailoring needs to be done on them since my weight loss.

My favorite shorts of all time.  I needed to find them. And I asked Hipster Jesus to help me. They fit me last year!

And off I went into the garage in search of my all-time favorite pair of shorts.

In my search, I discovered quite a few dresses that I had forgotten about. I also found other shorts that I wore last year but my madras shorts alluded me.

Not quite in a panic, I shrugged and figured that eventually—meaning at some point today, I would find them.  Even if it meant taking every closet apart as though I was a police officer with a search warrant, I would find those shorts.

In the meantime, I rummaged through the clothing that I did find and came across some gems from a few years back that became too tight. But–the good thing was that all the dresses were pretty much basic–nothing trendy and they could still be worn!  I laundered, ironed the clothing because after sniffing and carefully inspecting for stains, I only needed to put one skirt in the wash.  I’ll wash it later on in the week.

So I ironed and tried stuff on.  To my surprise, the shorts from last year were very loose. Way too loose, in fact, to wear.

I really like these striped nautical shorts but the waist was incredibly big..

I was shocked at how much room was in the waist. They fell down to my hips when I walked down the stairs.  I can’t wear them this year.

I did throw on the neon yellow eyelet shorts and wore them with a belt. Monsieur Bonaparte, Fashion Expert, informed me that the shorts were, in fact, too loose to wear even with a belt. They will be placed back in storage with the other shorts that were too loose.

They don’t look bad at all from the front, but in the back they were just sagging too much. The GOOD thing is that Bonaparte said he would take me shopping and buy more shorts for me. 

But, I will share with you the clothing that made the cut–and they are all basics:

This is a dress that I purchased at J. Crew Factory some years back. It’s a bit on the shorter side and I never got around to wearing it. At all.  The weight gain made it impossible to get over my thighs.  It fits now. And yes. It is still on the short side. I wouldn’t wear it to work, but it is a nice summer dress to wear after a day at the beach or if we go out in the evening.  I wore my Rondini “Bikini” sandals in the pics because I plan on getting a lot of wear out of them this coming summer. They are comfy as all get out. Back to the dress. I love the way this yellow statement necklace looks against the navy.

and with hair pulled in an updo, it is a nice warmer-weather look!

Same basic dress only this time with a scarf–which is great to wear in air-conditioned movie theaters.

and what better way to hide Turkey Neck?

This is a dress that I absolutely love and haven’t worn in over two years. It is by “Cos” and I picked it up in Paris many years ago–when I was lean enough to buy clothes. in the City of Lights!  The dress is high waisted but I still like it. The top is knit and the bottom cotton and it has pockets!  Honestly–what is not to love. It is also a very basic dress. There is nothing trendy about it and it is about eight years old.

The length is office friendly and I can dress it up a bit with heels.  In all honesty, I should have changed my bra before trying this on. A less padded one makes the dress look even better!

Another J. Crew Factory purchase from a few years back. To tell you the truth, I’m not crazy about the dress because I wish the waist line was lower.  The Cos dress has a purposely high waist line–so it’s almost an empire waist. But this dress is made for women who don’t have a long waistline.  I like stripes though. And I can wear this to work so it’s a keeper…

…and I happen to like the way it looks with this lightweight dotted scarf!

A great shirtwaist dress is difficult to find. Many of them have a tendency to look a bit frumpy. This dress–is just great. I cannot even remember how long ago I made the purchase. I can’t remember if it is GAP or GAP Factory. I do remember that when I made the purchase the arms were way too tight and I wore it maybe once. I am so happy I held on to this dress. It is basic as all get-out, but I love it. 

I can belt it if need be, but I would rather keep it more like a shift.  I can wear ballet flats to give it a more polished look for work. I’m telling you, this is a great, great dress that has managed to keep classic over the years!

OK. I gotta tell you a story about this dress and the next dress I’m photographed in. Bonaparte took a photo of me in this last summer. I literally started crying because I had gained so much weight that I looked like a white whale in it.  I was shocked. And I was sad because this has been one of my favorite summer dresses. It is loose to begin with so I’ve been able to wear it through thick and less thick times.  I’m happy that I can wear it again this year.  It’s also very airy and lightweight. This is another GAP dress.

This is me last summer in Theoule.  This dress was tight!  VERY tight…

This is the dress this year. Yeah. I’ll be giving it a lot of love!

Basically, it comes down to this—don’t buy anything new before you check to see what you already have.  Everything old is new. I found a couple of striped dresses. Guess what?  Stripes  are in mode now (I refuse to say “on trend”. I cannot stand that phrase).  I have another post-in-progress about stripes. Stay tuned!

Take that older item and make it new with a scarf, or shoes or accessories. If it is basic, you can work with it.

And this scarf?  I can wear it with the navy shift dress or even the white dress. It’ll look completely different!

Oh..and I did manage to talk some more to my Hipster Jesus. He told me that what I was looking for may not be what it used to be.

Darned if He wasn’t right!!!  After another trip down to the garage and another rummage, this time in an old chest of drawers. I found my beloved shorts. And I tried them on. And they don’t fit. They are way too loose.

Look at how ill-fitting my madras shorts are. The crotch area is not where it should be..

That is NOT the crack of my ass. It is the small of my back and the shorts fell down to my hips and not in a flattering way.  Do I get them tailored?  I said yes, but looking at this pic, I’m not so sure…

The one pair of shorts I managed to salvage. Stretch denim. J. Crew. They were tight as a vise last summer.  Now they are a normal fit.  I’ll probably wear these to the threads this summer.

Lesson learned?  I’m glad I’m a “Basic”.  If you stick to basics you will be able to hang on to clothing for years. In the blogosphere of fashion, my thinking may be a bit…well, basic but I don’t care.

That’s the beauty of wisdom with age. It isn’t about following trends anymore. It’s about what lasts and what you like and what you know looks and feels great for you.  We old ladies got it going on!!

Oh! And guess what else I found?  Remember the gray Old Navy $15 T-shirt dress that I raved about. The one I put on last week and discovered not one, not two, but three stains all in the course of about a minute?  I discovered another one of the dresses that is still in the plastic!  Oh yes!  Now I have an older, brand new, never-worn dress to stain!

Why I buy multiples!! 

And today’s song–let’s have some fun!  Little Peggy March “I Will Follow Him”!  You know who I’m talkin’ ’bout!



About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Back to Basics–and Some Clothes Talk!

  1. Aimee R says:

    Love all your newly found again outfits! Love your style..I agree about the basics! I follow the same philosophy! So exciting to try on clothes after having lost some weight. I’m still trying to get down before summer officially begins!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Aimee! I’m with you there sweetie! After the past four weekends of the kids visiting and eating and baking, I’m happy to be back on track!!! But yeah, basics rock!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  2. hipchick66 says:

    Basic is beautiful! Love your style, you shine through it, not swallowed up by it. Mostly I love that a lot of what you wear comes right out of the Sixties, the same clean lines and basics, yet it still looks fresh and new! And yay for you fitting back into so many great things! I’m on a mission myself, I’ve gained 10-15 lbs since being home with Mom, and I’m now determined to lose it. A few tweaks of food intake and a bit more time added to workouts and I’ll get there. Then I’ll be comfortable in my clothes again 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lori! I put the weight on when I was home from being unemployed! That’s why I’m glad to be back at work these days. I think, though that the food intake is the most important thing. After cutting down, and then spending the past few weekends overindulging with the kids and the dinners out, I feel almost lethargic. Today I had no carbs and am back on track.
      But it’s funny you mention my clothing being influenced by the 1960’s! THEY ARE!!! OMG! The 60’s were the best clothing decade ever. That’s why my favorite designer was Andre Courreges–his clothing was nothing more than simple and basic lines. You get me so much!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. Momcat says:

    Hey you, Happy Belated Birthday/ bonne fête tardif!! Your dinner looked delicious, I adore duck rillettes…I brought three tins back from Québec City. Wow you are looking fabulous AND you have marvellous legs…I have short & stubbies which I can live with ( no choice there) but it’s the darned spider veins…yuck. Like I have tattooed fishnet stockings, done by a drunk tattoo artist! So no shorts but I like my maxi dresses and capris. Anyway I hope hipster Jesus watches out for you this year XXOO and yes 60+ year old ladies DO dress like that, I would say they are ALLOWED to dress like that because there are no fashion police dictating that you gotta wear plain and sombre after a ‘certain age’ so why the heck not!?!?!

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Momcat. Bonaparte and I need to take a trip to Quebec City. He would be thrilled because he cou+ld speak in his native language. I would be thrilled because I would purchase a season’s worth of duck rillettes and I just want to visit Canada! Yeah, I hope Hipster Jesus watches out for all of us!! It is a constant reminder that 60+ year old ladies can dress nicely–contrary to what the fashion industry and publishing industries say!!! XOXOXOXO

  4. Charlotte says:

    When I lose something I immediately start praying to St. Anthony. He has helped me find countless items (and maybe my sanity a time or two :)). So fun to find items that you forgot you had and now are “new” again.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Charlotte. I decided to give St. Anthony the day off since it was Easter! I think he gets tired of my constant reciting of “St. Anthony. St. Anthony, please come around. Something is lost and cannot be found” He rolls his eyes and just says “Oh God. HER again??”
      Yup. It sure is fun to find items that are now new–especially nice on the wallet!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  5. peggy daley says:

    keep up the weight loss tips. You inspire me. Happy belated! You look great.

  6. Happy belated birthday! Isn’t it fun finding clothes you completely forgot about? Everything looks really cute on you!

  7. Margaret says:

    Happy Birthday Catherine, and Happy Easter, a bit belated because I was very busy for the Easter holiday ( I had a dozen family members over, it was my mom’s bday too. This cleaning the house before and after company comes Thing is exhausting, lol). The flowers and card your kids sent are beautiful, as was your bio hair blowout! Love the Jesus twitter photo, you’re so right, we do need to get back to The Basics. Kudos on finding clothing in the garage, sounds like you hit the jackpot there!

    • Catherine says:

      Wow Margaret! YOU had quite the Easter weekend! I hope you had some assistance with the cleanup after dinner! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  8. Rhonda says:

    You look GREAT! You are such an inspiration to me! I have to admit, I’ve been a bit weirded out about turning 60 this year, but you have shown me that ALL IS WELL, and not to worry! Your weigh loss reminds me, clean, simple basics are best, too many treats..i.e. cocktails, sweets, the good salty stuff and my fav of all- CARBS! Should only be in moderation…..(and I can do it….it’s just always a struggle, isn’t it??) Also, btw, I agree with Charlotte–I thought all Catholics knew about St. Anthony, the patron Saint of Lost (EVERYTHINGS!) 🙏🏼😇…apparently hipster Jesus heard your prayers, too! 😇🙏🏼 Blessings to you and thanks for your chuckles and candid truthfulness😘

    • Catherine says:

      hahahaha! Rhonda. See my reply to Charlotte. I have hounded St. Anthony for decades–I decided to give him a well-needed rest from me on Easter Sunday so I hounded the big guy instead!! It’s ok to be weirded out about 60. I have an admission to make. I was a bit weirded out about turning 62–I’m still a bit strange about it because I don’t feel any different than from when I was 30–and I’ll bet you feel the same way!!!
      I tracked everything I ate today. I have to tell you, I do much better with pen in hand. Tracking really keeps me in check. We can do this together Rhonda!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  9. Bridget says:

    I’m glad you had a good birthday, and got to go out for a nice dinner!

    You found some real goodies in your rummaging! I always enjoy finding something I already had that fits better – it’s like getting something new for free!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Bridget! EXACTLY!!! When you find something you have that fits better after years, it is like getting something for free!!! Thank you!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  10. Sandra says:

    Joyeuse anniversaire, Cathy!

  11. calensariel says:

    I just love those yellow eyelet shorts! SO cute!

  12. junedesilva says:

    Duck rillettes – miam, 😋 miam! Love, love, love the white shift dress!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi June! Hope your Easter was a great one! Oh duck rillettes are so freakin’ great! Although I have to admit, Bonaparte is a fan of the salmon rillettes I make at home. I’ll take the duck ones though because they are fattier!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  13. JulietC says:

    Loving your outfits – you are looking brilliant, I really enjoy your take on what you wear and you make me snort with laughter (NOT good when I am having a wee sneaky read at work), as always so much to think about – that’s what I love, you are gorgeous and funny and so thought provoking

  14. Mike says:

    “Bonaparte asked me to stop taking pictures and enjoy the meal.” … 😂 , yeah, I’ve been guilty of that too.

  15. witchy727 says:

    LOL! I love your posts. I, too, have a lot of clothes I have rediscovered, but with my arms being what they are I tend to like 3/4 sleeves! I found some great striped dresses on Old Navy, swing dresses with the higher waist, that look great with leggings, either capris or full length. I like Gap and J. Crew too, a traditionalist at heart I guess. Now I need to find those madras shorts hidden somewhere in the closet!

  16. Sharon Daly says:

    You are such an inspiration, Catherine! I look forward to trying your favorite BYOB restaurants when we move to Media later this year.

    • Catherine says:

      Get out! Sharon! When are you moving to Media? We have to get together! One of my very good friends lives in Media–you would love her–she’s an artist! This is great!! XXOXOXOXOXO!!!

      • Sharon Daly says:

        Great! Will begin to live there part time end of June. Full time by Dec. 1. Would love to meet your pal!

  17. Susan D says:

    Only just read your post, but so identify having lost 16 lbs. I shouldn’t complain, but all my trousers, which happily now fit, have dropped a little and so need shortening. I can’t wear shorts, but do wear long shorts and they were always a little loose, but nowhere as lose as now. I can’t replace so have had to do my own alterations I go away in just over a week so they will have to do.
    You look brill with your weight loss and you are so right about having much more energy.
    Glad you had a happy birthday.
    Susan D

  18. Sarah says:

    Hi Catherine. I just found your delightful blog. Love the way you write and your your positive outlook on life. You have great style. Congratulations on the weight loss. Are you on a specific plan? I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Sarah! I’m supposed to be following Weight Watchers. But the past month I was shoving food into my mouth with the speed of a Hoover vacuum cleaner. I’m back to just watching what I eat. And hope to get back to the meetings soon!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!

  19. kenneth says:

    I, too, have a lot of clothes I have rediscovered, but with my arms being what they are I tend to like 3/4 sleeves! I just packed them away for the next time I have a weight gain!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Kenneth! I’m glad that you feel the same as I do!! I love rediscovering my clothing. Ugh. I don’t even care anymore about the arms–as long as there are no “capped” sleeves in my house, I’m fine (actually capped sleeves should be outlawed!! ) XOXOXOXOXXX!!!

  20. Sunaina Das says:

    Omg Love the outfit 💗👌🏻👌🏻
    Plz check out my latest post on Blue Off The shoulder mini dress –
    Hope you will like it 😘
    Xoxo 💗

  21. Computer says:

    I just packed them away for the next time I have a weight gain! !

  22. markmhamann says:

    ! I just packed them away for the next time I have a weight gain!

  23. Harold's says:

    ! I, too, have a lot of clothes I have rediscovered, but with my arms being what they are I tend to like 3/4 sleeves!

Leave a Reply