My Wedding Dress

30th Wedding Anniversary

I married in 1982, one year after Princess Diana.  Many of the dresses of that period look dated but my lucky bargain dress stayed stylish and beautiful.  This photo (set) was a gift to Teddy on our 30th wedding anniversary – 6 years ago.  My wedding dress had not been cleaned in all those years and had traveled across continents.  It was in a plastic bag in our attic in Texas and after I lost weight, I decided to try it on.  It looked amazing so I took it my local dry cleaner who made it like new for less than $10.  It is ivory satin with tulle and Belgian cotton lace on the bottom.  I was struggling to find a wedding dress in Scotland because my skin is really more sallow than it looks.  All the bright white dresses washed me out.  Finally, my mum and I went to Fraser’s department store in Glasgow and found this dusty ballgown (not a wedding dress) reduced from 100 to 15 GBP.  Even then that was a steal.

As soon as the photographs were taken, I took the dress to my local thrift store so that some other lucky bride could enjoy it.  I felt somewhat guilty for having ignored it for the previous 30 years… Below is the dress on the original day, 19 July 1982.

Teddy and Bunny, with our Mums at our side in 1982

So this is the original color of my hair and also Teddy’s glorious blonde hair.  My hair is naturally curly and covered in confetti.  My mum had sewn up the low cut neckline for modesty but the stitches burst open as soon as I stepped (elegantly) out of the taxi.  At least Teddy and his grand-dad looked really happy at the view!  I was 21 but looked like a teenager – nervous about marrying a virtual stranger and living in a new country.

The anniversary photographer had a make-up artist so I posed for a variety of shots.  Teddy proudly displays them in his office and delights in visitors saying “Is that your wife??”  Yes, she is. ❤

An Irish Lady, an Egyptian Man and me

Me, in Mexico, last week

I am sure I am not alone in loving the discount corner of my local supermarket – actually Teddy loves it even more than me. We call it Compost Corner after the first discount area that we found in a furniture store. About 30 years ago, I said “we are going out to buy a dining table for £10”. Teddy was incredulous but we came back with a beautiful ‘teak’ table that £10. We loved it and my mum claimed it when we moved on to another table.

I digress… Today, I was lurking around my supermarket’s discount area and starting chatting to a lady with a northern accent who looked completely Jewish. We discussed our various finds, from $1 Italian wine and myriad other exotica. She and her husband called it the WooHoo section. We were joined by a man who looked Middle-Eastern. He joined in the conversation and we agreed with him that it provokes you to try something new when it is discounted. He was handsome and the ‘Jewish’ lady heard his accent (swooned a little) while asking him where he was from.

Then it turned into a competition. I knew he was Arabic so I guessed Lebanese and greeted him in North African Arabic. No to Lebanon but my next guess was right – Egyptian. I should have known; he was in the discount area although he was probably a doctor and both charming and chatty. Then the Jewish lady revealed that she was Irish American. She absolutely did not look Irish. So, then they had to guess where I was born (San Francisco, Hispanic/Irish hybrid). Nobody got that right.

So, we had a Hispanic (me) who looks Irish and sounds Scottish; an Egyptian man with an ‘olive chin’ that hints at his ancestry and a ‘Jewish’ lady who was really Irish. We all started laughing about how typical this was in both our area and the Houston area. The Egyptian man commented that this was makes America great – (if only everyone agreed with him). I told him about the barista who longs to speak Arabic so I imagine he will visit there next. As I left, I bumped into the barista and told him about speaking Arabic to an Egyptian man – his face lit up at the idea of a potential new friendship.

Black and neutral summer capsule wardrobe

linen slacks 2
I am wearing a black and cream top from Old Navy (circa $20) with last season’s linen pants (Lou and Grey). The pants were elasticated at the bottom, harem style, but I took it out, as one leg was always up and the other down – not the sophisticated look I was going for. 🙂 I am wearing suede espadrilles from last year with my mother in law’s black antique hematite necklace.

chevron shorts gray2

New knitted and lined chevron dress shorts from Ross (circa $9) with last season’s lightweight knitted silver sweater. Black high heeled Crocs from last season.

linen skirt

Previous black and ivory top with Tommy Bahama’s lined linen skirt with ruffles. Cream high heeled Crocs – incredibly comfortable and light.

chevron shorts black

Previous chevron shorts with plain black v-neck t-shirt from Old Navy (circa $8). Black studded leather flat sandals from JC Penney and turtle pendant – a gift from friends who were living in Trinidad and Tobago.

It drives me to distraction that US stores have separate Junior and Adult women sections. I am 4 years away from age 60 (a senior citizen…) but we can all wear the same clothes in the less expensive stores. I like to mix them with some more expensive items like the Tommy Bahama’s skirt which was a much loved indulgence from a couple of years ago. My hair is a little blonder for summer and shorter. All the shoes were bought on sale from DSW, Amazon or JC Penney. Makeup and nail lacquer in muted neutral tones. I wear Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer in the summer with some bronzer, blusher and illuminator to enhance my slight tan

Thrift Store Chic

DSCN1040front chinese jacket
When we visited Nacogdoches this summer, I noticed that the local thrift store had a summer sale. Win, win! I would have gone in whatever – just to browse. This was a gold mine – most of the clothes were in excellent condition. The shop was large and very well organized with different colored tags to tell you how much the sale item cost. Well, either somebody gained or lost weight or more sadly died because I found half a dozen items that looked like they were made for me. I gave everything but the jacket a quick wash but I could have worn them straight away. The fabulous jacket was from Chico’s originally and would have been very expensive and was under $5. Always recycle your clothes through friends or organizations. If they are worn there are industries that use rags and I cut up the soft clothes to make dusters or cloths. If you click on the red link you will see two more garments.THRIFT STORE CHIC click here