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Thursday 4 August 2016

In Search of Smart Casual

It's been 6 long months and 6 days
Since I started writing this blog.

So, with a nod to Sinead, I'm going through a bit of a reflective period.  I'm revisiting my key objectives for this blog and the big one was to essentially smarten up my casual look in retirement, as Smart Casual has always been a bit of a mystery to me.  I need to 'get' Smart Casual.  More on that in another post.

A core element of my PP mission statement is to get away from my default scruffy jeans and scruffy t-shirt (the only casual I really know) and into something casual.  But smart.

And the idea with the blog is that taking OOTD photos is the shock therapy treatment I need to get me out of Default Scruff. Because retirement IS essentially smart casual.
Looking over my posts of late, I've been a bit too relaxed about taking regular OOTD shots. I need to get back on track.  With photos.

So today I'm giving you an outfit.  With a bit of a story, bien sur, there always is with me, eh?

My very special friend, seen here and on other posts, celebrated her XXth birthday yesterday.  I popped round with some flowers.
She was one of my inspirations to go on the quest for the elusive smart casual.  She does it so well.  She rocks it.  Anyway, she was wearing

 Womens Cashmere and Cotton Zip Neck Jumper

this summerweight jumper from Woolovers.  The colour IRL is a soft duck egg blue.  It's a cashmere and cotton blend and is in the sale for £15, a snip, and without VAT even snippier!

As we drank a morning coffee, I told her how much the colour suited her.  I then rambled on about having a cardi in the same colour, which I tend not to wear because the colour is difficult to match.  "But you could wear it with so much, like the outfit you're wearing today".  Well, duh!  I was wearing grey jeans, a top and a grey cardi.  And of course if I switched the cardis it would look OK.  Oh duh, oh duh.  Why don't I have that vision?
So I've switched the grey cardi for the duck-egg blue, jazzed it up a bit with a necklace and that's the simple OOTD you see on this post today.

I bought this beautifully soft cashmere cardi by Jones of New York in Arizona 8 years ago.  Now I've bought a few pieces from that brand over the years when visiting the States.  Great for business wear. Lovely suits, silk shirts, classy knitwear, well-cut trousers.  But this cardi unstitches along the front rib trim.  I haven't bought any more from them so I don't know if it's just a one-off Friday afternoon cardi.  
To my American readers, a question.  Is the quality of the brand still OK? 

So peeps, smart casual.  It really is not rocket science, is it?!
Do you get it?  Or have you struggled like me?

A la perchoine.


  1. I own a Jones New York linen tunic that I bought at one of their outlet stores in Canada. The quality is reasonable for smart casual and I wash it and hang to dry often. The robin's egg blue looks lovely with your grey jeans.

  2. Hi Madame, thanks for popping in to my humble blog!
    I'm pleased to hear your purchase is going well through many washes. My cardi must have been a one-off, then. That's good to hear as I do like the brand.
    Thanks for your nice comments about the cardi. And, how lovely to discover that you call the colour Robin's egg blue over there!
    Hope you pop in again soon.

  3. I fall into the rut of grunge at the weekend so I just know what will happen when I retire. I admire your challenge and can see exactly why you are doing it.

    1. You understand! When working I was comfortable in suits, black-tie dresses, party stuff and knee-jerk grunge for weekends. Smart Casual was a minefield. And essentially retirement is SC as a girl can only take so much grunge. I hope my heads-up will help you prepare for your far-off retirement.