Weird and unwelcome weather

We had some lovely weather a while ago. Right around and after Easter, it was lovely. (Of course, earlier that week it went from 71F and sunny  to 33F and snowy in a matter of hours.) But it’s been all over the map lately.

Anyway, this morning was gray and rainy and I sort of hate that, so I decided to react with color.


I was initially going to wear a different top, but I saw this one in my closet and realized I hadn’t worn it since last fall (at the most recent). I almost went back for the mint green pumps, but I wore them yesterday (and also that’s super matchy-matchy).

Now that the weather’s getting warmer, I find myself wearing all of my shoes with bare feet (except my golf shoes and my running shoes). Not only is it not really great for your shoes, but my tender toes are getting rubbed raw. Poor little piggies! So as soon as I leave work, I’m off to buy some of those toe cover things and hope for the best. I haven’t had the best luck with them in the past, but I’ve been buying cheapies from Target. Tonight, I am stepping up to Hue. Those ones with the clear sling back look like just what I need.

I couldn’t be completely colorful and spring-y today, though. I had to wear my trench and a neat hat.

Where in the world is Jenna Sandiego?

I wore the lovely seafoam scarf and the hat out to lunch, and naturally, it became gloriously sunny, warm and very, very humid. Oh, well!

Outfit fail

And here we have a prime example of why you shouldn’t buy clothes in the same place where you can buy toilet paper and cat food.



For one thing, this short-waisted turtleneck has got to go. I’m tired of constantly pulling it down. I swear it was longer when I bought it, but I doubt it was ever a flattering length. In fact, the more I pictures I take of myself, the more I question my sanity in ever buying a turtleneck sweater. I have a short neck and a square-ish face. I should be wearing vee and scoop-neck shirts whenever possible.

And these pants… *sigh* I had such high hopes for these pants. I bought them last fall, but haven’t worn them until now. They’re a neat idea in concept. I like the pattern of the fabric (black and white dots on a cream ground). However, they are poorly designed and sewn. The pocket material inexplicably extends across the front and the fabric is thin enough that the seams show through the front (thin enough to see the various divots and bumps of my legs, too). And the zipper placket is somehow not deep enough, so the top of the zipper is actually visible. I used a binder clip for these pictures to get the placket pulled over far enough to cover the zipper.

What do I like about this outfit? My shoes and my jewelry.

How I wear my… flu?

April’s “How I wear my…” theme is skirts, and I just happen to have one of the prettiest spring skirts I have ever seen. Are you ready?

BOOM! Skirt of my dreams.

BOOM! Skirt of my dreams.

I bought this Liz Claiborne skirt late last summer after finding it on the clearance rack at JC Penney. I actually found it and then had to enlist a salesperson to help me track it down, because it got taken away to be put back on a rack while I was trying on bras. It was the only one in the store and just happened to fit me perfectly. I think I actually got three different people involved in the hunt for the missing skirt, but when it rang up at $13 I looked at my SA and said, “Totally worth the effort!”

And my not-so-secret identity: the Amazing Awkward Arms

And my not-so-secret identity: the Amazing Awkward Arms

It’s a gorgeous, vibrant oversized floral chiffon and it absolutely floats around me. I like to wear the skirt so that the skirt is the chief focus of the overall outfit. That day, I wore it with a black long sleeve tee (Mossimo from Target) and very opaque black tights (Hue). But I can’t resist awesome shoes, so my fuschia Chromatic Gallerie pumps picked up the similar hot colors in the skirt.

The day after that, I got hit by an incredibly awful flu, which just happened to coincide with my first Tigers Opening Day.

One of my favorite places

One of my favorite places

I will spare you the details of my miserable week. I honestly didn’t care what I was wearing for most of that time and on Friday, I found myself looking in the mirror and amazed at just how terrible my outfit looked. That is what comes of getting dressed and thinking “I just need a shirt. Any shirt.”

I’m not necessarily feeling 100% healthier right now, but I am feeling at least 80%  cuter and that’s almost as good!

Awkward Arms strikes again. I do not know what's happening with my left arm.

Awkward Arms strikes again. I can only assume my mannequin arm was to show off the bracelet..

NY Collection tee, Prophecy pants, both at Carson’s/Younkers/Bon Ton what have you. The onyx and sterling drop earrings were a Christmas gift from my parents about 25 years ago and the twisty silver bracelet was bought at the little jewelry store inside the Mexico pavilion at Epcot. I’ve actually bought a couple of very cool jewelry pieces in that store. This bracelet was pretty inexpensive, but it’s handmade and I like how unique its twists are.

And just because it’s my blog and I love this, here’s that skirt again.

So pretty

So pretty

Think pink! (And sometimes black)

Yesterday dawned gray and cold. So naturally, what did I think? Pink! I must wear pink!

Think pink, think pink when you shop for summer clothes!
Think pink, think pink if you want that quelque chose!

It was almost as if Kay Thompson did her best ersatz Diana Vreeland and ran around my room, picking out clothes. (Sidenote: I love Funny Face so very much.)

Actually, what happened is that I bought a new shirt and couldn’t wait to wear it.


Pink, because PINK

The shirt is pink gingham from Lauren Woman (I kind of hate typing out Lauren – Ralph Lauren). I got it (and some great Oscar de la Renta sunglasses, not shown) at Marshall’s. I’m not sure about the sleeve length and eventually, some princess seams will be happening to this. As it is, I gathered and tucked all the excess material into the back of my jeans. I don’t understand button-front shirts without princess seams. But I couldn’t resist such pretty fabric.

I wore it with jeans and a darker/brighter pink floral scarf for a bit of interest. Even my running shoes have pink accents. My ankle was bothering me, so I stuck with my most comfortable shoes.

Pink makes me very happy!


But sometimes, I like to wear a lot of black

I followed up yesterday’s pink-stravaganza with head-to-toe black today. I think it’s the continued influence of Kay Thompson, as pink, black and red are the primary colors used in the Eloise books. I am rawther fond of Eloise.

A friend of mine gave me the lovely black top from Avenue. It’s a sweater with an attached faux chiffon blouse. It didn’t fit her, but she thought it “looked like something [I] would wear.” Well, when you’re right, you’re right. It’s a little large, but I like the oversized top/slim bottoms silhouette. Especially paired with my ancient square-toed boots. These boots look so much nicer than the beat-up suede boots I wore on Monday (though they’re not as comfortable).

Wearing o’ the green

This past weekend was busy, busy, busy! I have friends who have an Irish rock band, so the evenings around St. Patrick’s Day are usually jam-packed. Additionally, my birthday was Saturday, and that added to the social whirlwind!

On Friday, it warmed up enough that I briefly retired the brown down and snow boots and wore a trench and my Frye engineer boots instead.


Ignore the snow- spring is coming!

I’m so looking forward to all that snow being out of the picture and watching that sad and barren rose bush come back to life!


Cyser and cider

Later that night I met up with some friends for dinner and drinks before heading out to see the band play.


Sad about some disappointing manchego

I’ve been trying to add a little more variety to my accessories, because I do dress somewhat plainly. The scarf is a relatively new purchase. I’ve resisted scarves because they just seem so fussy. I told my friend on Friday that “I don’t really know how to scarf.” This one has some of my favorite colors and it’s a nice way to add some seasonal green for St. Pat’s, but not look like a leprechaun. And yes, that’s really the only decent picture I have of myself from that night. (I really need to get better at that.)

On Saturday, I met a friend for lunch in Ann Arbor at the wonderful Zingerman’s Delicatessan. Zingerman’s happened to open on my 11th birthday, so I say it’s the best birthday present I ever got!


#23 Mary’s Commute with both an old and a new pickle and a slice of hummingbird cake

I always order the same sandwich at Zingerman’s, the Mary’s Commute. It’s chicken salad, made with hand torn Amish chicken, just the right amount of onion and mayo, and applewood smoked bacon on challah. I would marry that sandwich if it wasn’t against the laws of man and nature! I’m faithful to my sandwich, but not my pickle so when asked “Old or new pickle?” I always answer, with a sheepish, “Can I get both?” New pickles are crisper and more cucumber-y. Old pickles are complex, briny and garlicky.

And because it was my birthday, I got a piece of hummingbird cake!


The hill is starting to wear green, too!

I slipped and fell while dancing on Friday night, and turned my ankle pretty badly. So not only was I sticking with running shoes, but I was trying to keep my weight off my foot. I was registered for a 5K on Sunday, but clearly that wasn’t going to happen. I wore this pretty, but not really seasonally appropriate shirt to lunch, to church, to a St. Patrick’s Day party at the church, then to the Gaelic League in Detroit for drinks and music.

The Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day is the date of the annual Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade, or as it’s better known in Corktown, “Parade Day.” Corktown is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood and is named after County Cork, where most of the settling residents originated from. It’s one of several renaissance areas in Detroit and is home to many cool bars and restaurants.


Awesome Irish rock band, Bill Grogan’s Goat

I spent most of the day parked in front of this stage at PJ’s Lager House. PJ’s is one of my favorite places to see live, local music. Besides being a genuine rock club, they have a great staff (fantastic sound engineer), and on Saturdays and Sundays serves up one of the best vegan brunches in the area. On Parade Day, though, it’s a “limited menu, limited bar, cash only” kind of day.

We also went to the first distillery to open in Detroit since Prohibition, Two James Spirits. Had some lovely bourbon, met some lovely young men. When one of them identified his hat as celebrating the “Oregon State Beavers” I had to have a picture taken in it.


But really, GO DUCKS!

That lovely cheetah-print top is actually a CuddlDuds thermal shirt. It was 28 degrees on Sunday and I paired my All Ireland kilt with long underwear and wool socks, because that’s how I do Parade Day.


So, so tired

Today, I am dealing with the after effects of three straight days of celebrating, so my St. Patrick’s Day evening is going to be spent doing laundry in my pajamas. But today I wore my gorgeous scarf with all black.

How did you do your green today?

Back in boots

It snowed again yesterday. We got about 6.5″ locally, which brings us within striking distance of an over 100 year-old record. I have pretty mixed emotions about that because, on the one hand, breaking the record means more snow; but on the other, if we don’t break the record, what was the point of this horrible winter?

Anyway, I wore my snow boots yesterday and swapped them for cuter shoes when I got to the office. In fact, the whole outfit was cute. Unfortunately, I’m working in a different office this week, so I haven’t been able to take a picture until today.


I really need to stop doing that with my chin

I’m wearing my favorite plum cord jacket again today, this time with a black boatneck tee and a gray and black houndstooth skirt (both from Target). I was going to wear the new black cardigan with the skirt and tee, but it needed some kind of color, even if it’s not necessarily the brightest or sunniest color. One of the things I love about this jacket is that it has a very feminine cut, while also being not very “frou frou.” The jacket’s cut gives me the appearance of a defined waist, which I don’t have naturally. (Actually, I have a defined waist on one side and not on the other. Scoliosis. What’re ya gonna do?)

Before leaving the house this morning, I gave my boots a quick polish. I have had these boots for at least ten years and they’re showing their age a bit, but they are remarkably well made. They’re Naturalizer and I got them at Marshall-Field’s (RIP out-of-town department store that replaced my beloved Hudson’s).

Working in the other office makes it hard to find a place to take a picture, which is why I’ve got this strange, antiseptic-looking lobby setting. I’m dying to get some natural light, but the cold and snow just haven’t been conducive to pictures. The fact that I took this in the lobby also means that I was posing for pictures while people were coming and going, which lead to some pretty funny pictures, honestly.


Exit, stage left!

Is spring finally on its way?

If so, that’s good, because we’ve already sprung forward and it’s officially spring in ten days. Unfortunately, the weather forecast does say we’re getting more snow on Wednesday. Because of course we are.

On the way home on Friday, I went to Carson’s to look for a better black cardigan solution. I think I tried on every long-sleeved black flyaway cardigan that they had, before deciding on this Calvin Klein sweater.


This exact sweater available at Carson’s/Bon Ton.

I like that it has open detailing on the body, but solid sleeves. It makes it a lot more versatile, as well as adding some visual interest. I couldn’t wait to try it out, so I wore it to see my friend’s band play on Saturday night.

I was running late to meet up with my friends, so I had to take a picture while I was at the restaurant. They had this strange mirror in the ladies’ room which I found absolutely mesmerizing. I probably stood on that platform and looked at all those angles of myself for far longer than I should have!


I totally relate to the Narcissus myth

I wore the new cardigan with Torrid’s “stiletto jeans.” Jeans that skinny might seem like an odd choice for a larger woman over 40, but I get so many compliments when I wear them.  Appropriately, I wore them with leopard print stilettos. I was wearing those shoes when I tried on the jeans, which is one of the reasons I bought the jeans!


Don’t question the allure of impractical shoes

Today, it’s back to work and apparently back to jeans-style corduroys.


Since starting this blog and photographing myself in my clothes, I’ve been noticing details about what I wear (for instance, the poor fit on the black cable cardigan last week). Any other day, I would have stopped at the sweater and the cords and called it good. Today, with a slightly more critical eye, I decided to add the scarf. (I wish I had decided to up my shoe game today, though, because those Merrell loafers are looking a little ragged.)

I’ve never been much of a scarf person, so I don’t necessarily know how to really wear a scarf. This scarf was designed by Lilly Pulitzer for Ford’s breast cancer awareness fundraiser way back in 2004. I love Lilly, secret super-girly preppy that I am.


Outtake from new work badge photos

Those colors just scream “SPRING!” to me, which definitely suits my mood. And they go perfectly with the raspberry pink of the sweater. It’s a little gray outside today, so the brightness of this is exactly what I needed.

Sunny day blue and gray

I am not at all blue or gray about today’s weather. It’s above 30 degrees and it’s sunny, so I am pretty nigh on ecstatic!

But today’s outfit is shades of blue and gray. I think this is my favorite outfit of the week.


I seriously don’t know what to do with my hands in pictures.

Work is fairly casual all the time, but I tend to wear jeans only on Fridays. In spite of that, I own a lot of jeans. My current 40 piece wardrobe is 10% jeans. These are my current favorites and I got them at Kohl’s. It can be really hard to find pants that fit and look good when you’re at the top of straight sizes, but the low end of plus sizes. I carry most of my excess fat in my belly, but I don’t have large hips. So pants that fit my waist usually look ridiculous on my hips. And don’t even get me started on low waist pants for larger sizes. Why is this a thing that exists? I shop in both misses’ and women’s departments and will try on dozens of pants trying to find the right fit. And most of the time, I’m still not happy. I think this pair from Sonoma Life+Style fit me pretty well (that’s also the store/brand of the corduroys I wore yesterday).

The navy hoodie is BCBG and is very, very old. It’s a rayon/spandex sweater knit, so it seems a little more elevated than your standard sweatshirt hoodie. Also, the lack of pockets makes for a sleeker look. The tee is Mossimo from Target. I love their lightweight long-sleeved tees for winter layering.

And I have to talk about those clogs for a minute. I got them at DSW a couple of years ago. BOC leather “Peggy” clogs on clearance for under $25. Comfy, casual and great with jeans. (Though I do have a tendency to subconsciously clop my feet a little more loudly on linoleum- Riverdance, here I come!).


The warmer weather means I didn’t have to wear a hat today and I totally took advantage by adding this scarf for a little pattern in a similar color. I don’t often wear scarves, but I like this one.

Now I just need to get out of the office!

What’s in a name?

When I started this blog, I really only had one thought: “I want to start a blog and it’s primarily going to be about my clothes.” Unfortunately, I hadn’t given a lot of thought to things like a name or a tagline.

After some brief brainstorming, I thought, “Well, my outfits are pretty ordinary, so let’s call it ordinary outfits. But make it in French, because what says ‘fashion’ more than French?” So the blog became Mon Tendues Ordinaire. Then 20+ year old memories of French class and grammar rules flashed back and it became Mes Tendues Ordinaires. The tagline was “The title’s in French, so you know it’s fancy.” I thought that was cute, because of the juxtaposition of “ordinary” and “fancy.”

But I got to thinking. I follow several fashion blogs with French names. For one thing, did I want to look like I was aping more experienced bloggers? And for another, my “cute” tagline could be seen as mocking those bloggers, which was certainly never my intention. I’m a technical writer by training and trade, so I decided to go for a more “plain English” approach.

Ordinary Outfits.

It’s what I wear. It’s who I am.

Catching up with dépêche mode

That would be the lower case “dépêche mode,” which means “fashion update.” Or, if you were as big a fan of teen mags in the mid-80s as I was, you may think of it as “fast fashion.” Either translation works in this case, since I’m writing an update on my clothes and my clothes are still currently the equivalent of fast food.

Because I started this blog on a Wednesday, and the Wednesday post was about something I wore on Sunday, I’m a little behind on the “what I wore” front. As part of my push to get to quality over quantity with my wardrobe, I’m doing a modified version of Project 333. To be honest, the idea of only wearing 33 articles of clothing sends me into a cold sweat. Especially if you go 333 classic and include outerwear, shoes and accessories. There’s a saying that “the best diet is the one you can stick with,” and I think that’s true with decreasing the size of your active wardrobe, too. I’m Catholic and Lent is upon us, so the number 40 is pretty prominent in my mind right now. So I decided on 40 articles of clothing. Just clothing. Not shoes or accessories, and given it’s supposed to be spring in two weeks, counting outerwear is not even worth considering. I’m planning to do a separate post about my selections, rules and exceptions later, so this is just a bit of background.

Snow Boots 2: The Return of Snow Boots

Snow Boots 2: The Return of Snow Boots

It was really cold on Monday, so I took that into consideration when getting dressed. I had to wear my snow boots and didn’t want to change out of them. (They’re so comfortable!), so I wore skinny legged khakis with thermal bottoms underneath. Not a fan of squeezing that many layers over an already bulky body, but I have very little tolerance for cold these days. I love the color of my shirt, but the sweater is an example of a pretty big problem with my wardrobe. I have four black cardigans. I picked this one to be part of my 40 pieces because it’s comfortable and cozy. But what it is not is flattering. The cables look nice, but they add bulk while also reducing drape. And the sweater hits me at exactly the wrong spot. The combination of my full bust, round belly and that zipper mean that the sweater angles up in front. I tugged it down for this picture, but it often pulls up above my waist. I think what this look really calls for is an open front, drapey cardigan. Which is an item I don’t currently own. I saw them in stores last fall and earlier this winter, but assumed they wouldn’t look good on me and would add bulk. I’ve tried on similar styles and discovered that I was wrong. However, the options are decidedly picked over in March.



I forgot to take a picture of Tuesday’s outfit, but I’m sure I’ll wear it again at some point in the next three months. I wore this black and red look on Wednesday. It’s a remarkably comfortable outfit, but it has an odd dearth of pockets. The ponte pants and knit jacket both feature false pockets. I can understand that on the pants, but on the jacket, it just seems like a cop-out. I got the jacket at Target last fall and it just doesn’t seem to make much of an effort. Also, it’s supposed to be machine washable, but I think it shrunk a bit. I remember it fitting better last week.

The jacket covers up one of my favorite things about that red top.


How cool is that lattice detail? I love it. I got this top at Torrid last summer in my first visit to the store. I had always dismissed Torrid as the plus-sized version of Hot Topic, which it is, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have cute clothes for 40-somethings, too.

Before I took these pictures, I had to deal with a little problem.

Funny, I don't remember ordering a Bump-It

Funny, I don’t remember ordering a Bump-It

The drawback of short hair in winter is horrible, horrible hat head. This isn’t even that extreme, by my standards, but it had been like that for hours and I didn’t realize it. This is why I keep a little container of styling paste in my purse.



Today  went all ladylike with a cream colored sweater with black lace and blouson sleeves. I’ve paired it with black straight leg corduroys and oxford style shoes. I love black and white graphic tops in general, but this sweater is a favorite. I’m not convinced that it goes perfectly with the cords, but they are comfortable and right now, I just really, really need comfortable pants.


The source of “cat hair chic”

You know who else finds these pants comfortable? Mlle. Rosie Roo Darling-Starling the Encroacher. She does this every time I lay clothes out on the bed to wear. Naturally, she’s especially fond of black clothes. If I had a black cat, she would have undoubtedly gone for the sweater instead. Cats know. They know!

Rosie is wearing a blue patterned collar and tag purchased from Pet Supplies Plus.