After the funny sort of Summer we've had, September's glorious weather was nothing short of a blessing. Thus, it was quite a shock to the system when, almost like a bolt from the blue, Autumn had turned wet and windy by the time October rolled along. So much for mellow fruitfulness, while the mist was of the kind that follows in the wake of non-stop rain.
But I'm being hasty again, as here I am on Sunday the 19th of September, enjoying another Indian Summer's day, with the mercury indicating a balmy 23°C.
There wasn't much need for my mustard cropped, short-batwing-sleeved cardigan - would it be correct to call it a shrug, I wonder - and indeed I was carrying it over my arm and almost lost it if it weren't for a nice guy winding down his car window to tell me I'd dropped it, complimenting us both on our attire in the process.
We were on our way to our car as we were having a lunch date with our friends Inneke and Maurice to mark the occasion of both mine and Inneke's birthdays. We are the same age, and have known each other since secondary school, reconnecting via Facebook after 30-odd years in 2009.
Until that very morning, I hadn't put much thought into what I was going to wear. If I'd had anything in mind at all, it would have been a maxi dress or skirt.
Rummaging through my shelf of blouses, this gauzy peacock feather patterned and pussy-bowed one all but leapt out at me, so who was I to deny it my outfit's starring role. It's from the Libelle Collection, produced for the eponymous Dutch and Flemish women's magazine, and picked up from a flea market stall for all of € 1! I secured its pussy-bow, as I'm wont to do, with a vintage scarf clip.
Same as the mustard cardigan, the wide blue midi skirt I picked as the blouse's companion is H&M by way of the charity shops. My blue wedge shoes adorned with tiny tan bows were charity shopped as well, as was the by now familiar copper and turquoise cuff.
My vintage snakeskin belt - nothing faux about that one - was a flea market find, and I bought the tapestry bag during last year's Think Twice birthday trawl.
Our restaurant of choice was 't Kasteeltje (transl. as little castle), a mansion built in 1900 in so-called cottage style, in the nearby village of Boechout. It is somewhat reminiscent of its contemporary, Chalet Schabaillie, which we visited when in Poperinge.
The food was delicious - I had vol-au-vent, a Belgian classic - and a lovely time was had by all. On top of that, we had the most entertaining waiter, a guy called Dovy, who made us guess his country of origin by dropping little hints each time he passed our table, telling us only a handful of people had got it right so far. We soon guessed - correctly - that it was Israel!
Back at home, what was left of the patio plants were in urgent need of a drop of water.
As Maurice had noticed that the construction site across the road had stopped pumping up groundwater while we were on holiday, we tentatively gave our hand pump a try and were overjoyed to find we were once again able to draw well water to quench our garden's thirst. Huzzah!
It was back to business as usual on Monday, even a three-day weekend being over in the blink of an eye. With the weather still on its best behaviour, treating us to lots of sunshine and a temperature which kept hovering in the low twenties, I ventured a bit further afield during my lunch breaks. I indulged in a spot of shopping too, even if there was nothing which tickled my fancy at Think Twice and the vintage per kilo shop.
As for outfit photos, I'm skipping a couple of days to Wednesday, when we finally found the time and energy to take some after work.
Ideally, my hair would have been freshly cut and coloured, courtesy of a hairdresser's appointment during lunch break. Alas, it turned out I'd got the time wrong, arriving at the salon an hour late. Michel, my hairdresser, had been quite worried as not only I'd never been late in the 26 years I've been going to the salon, for some reason he hadn't been able to reach me by phone ... While he was relieved to see me turn up after all, there was nothing for it but to reschedule to the next week!
There's more than just a hint of Autumn in the colours of this button-through Diolen dress I bought in a vintage shop in December 2017. Therefore it will come as no surprise that I mostly find myself reaching for it this time of year, although I've been known to wear it in April as well.
It came with its own self-fabric tie belt, which I usually replace by a belt in one of the colours of the dress's flower pattern. More often than not, it'll be yellow, which here I used not only for the belt, but for the beaded necklace and perspex ring as well. I'm even wearing a watch with a yellow strap.
My brooch, an old flea market find, echoes all the colours in my dress! How is that for matchy-matchiness?
On Thursday, my final office day of the week, my lunch break was spent having coffee and a mammoth catch-up with my friend Inez. We used to do this almost every week pre-Covid, but this was the first time we picked up where we left off about 18 months ago!
As our previous haunts have closed down, we looked for pastures new, which we found at Maurice, a cozy coffee bar located in a 15th Century chapel.
The dress I was wearing was plucked from a rail of deadstock Diolen I came across at an outdoor flea market in May 2018.
It has a rather unwieldy tie belt in the same fabric as the dress's colour and cuffs. As I didn't like the latter at all, I tried replacing it with a green fabric belt belonging to another dress, only to end up ditching it at the office and spending the rest of the day wearing the dress belt-less. Although this did make me feel slightly better, I still wasn't happy with it, which was only confirmed when I saw the outfit photos we made that evening.
I tried it again with an orange fabric belt on Friday, but that still didn't convince me either so, after chucking it into the washing machine and rejoining it with its original belt, it has now been relegated to the flea market pile. Don't get me wrong: I love the dress - that print is absolutely delightful - but not on me.
As it was Friday, we went for a charity shop rummage as usual, although our choice of shops was limited, the direction we were driving in dictated by the UCI World Championships 2021 which were passing through our village for three days running.
My treasures that day included this floaty blue maxi dress and a maxi skirt with a ditsy purple, green and white floral pattern, both of which are proudly showcased by the always obliging Angelica.
I already wore the skirt myself in the meantime, but that'll be for a next post.
The jewellery display came up trumps again as well, with a longline necklace featuring cream heart-shaped beads and a multi-strand pink and magenta one.
These red Rieker shoes with elastic straps and jelly-like red and pink heels look virtually unworn and turned out to be extremely comfortable. They've got just the right height of heel for me too.
I couldn't wait to wear them, so that's what I did on Saturday.
It was a day of pottering and running an errand or two, visiting grandson Cas and his parents, and marvelling at how much he'd changed since we last saw him back in August.
I played around with my wardrobe, trying to wear as many items of my Summer wardrobe before the big changeover.
This midi-length circle skirt was charity shopped in December 2019, and is something of an oddity. Although there is a label, I suspect it is a personalized one, and the skirt is somebody's handiwork. Apart from its mid-century style print, it has a visible red side zipper and features random felt circles and visible stitching, strangely enough on the front left side only.
The blue three-quarter sleeved top was charity shopped as well, and is from the same label as the peacock feather patterned blouse I wore at the beginning of this post. To tie in with the cream edging and shoulder buttons, I wore a cream beaded necklace and barley twist bangle, both of which are vintage.
The vintage celluloid brooch featuring three Scotties in its turn ties in with the mid-century theme of the skirt. The millefiori bracelet and the belt - the latest stretchy one to join my collection - were both bought on the high street.
Finally, in other news, it has been a while since I shared my reading matter.
I've started this epic 592-page novel during our holiday, and I'm only just now into its final pages.
It's not that I haven't been enjoying it - although it does go on a bit - but I only seem to find time for reading in bed lately, again often falling asleep mid-sentence after only a couple of pages!
I'll be rounding off September in my next post, for which I hope you'll join me again. Until next time, please do take care!
It is so lovely to be able to meet up with old friends again and I'm so glad you were able to do so. And what lovely locations you met up in.ReplyDelete
Loving the outfits; especially the skirts and tops. Your charity shop bargains were fab. I haven't found any nice jewellery for ages - just as well really, as I have too much!
Hope you have a lovely weekend,
Thank you Vronni! To be honest, I've got more than enough jewellery as well. I'm trying to resist but it's futile :-) xxxDelete
Wonderful charity finds Ann. You are the best in finding good stuff.:) You look amazing in this peacock blouse and this restaurant is very nice.ReplyDelete
with a very huge hug Tina
Thank you Tina! xxxDelete
its great that your well is spending water again so that your colourful garden can have a free drink or two :-DReplyDelete
speaking of colours - your oufits are bomb - love the patterns and accessories.....
meeting friends at cafés or restaurants was very overdue - had to look up your meal: delicious!
Thank you Beate! We were so glad to have our well water back. It's free and it's much quicker to pump up a watering can's worth of water. It took ages using the tap! xxxDelete
I am exactly the same as you at the moment when it comes to reading. I’m limping through my latest book - almost through it now. I love your new blue floaty maxi dress - looking forward to seeing you model it. It’s great that you are able to catch up with friends now and the chapel coffee bar sounds charming - just the kind of place I would seek out! xxReplyDelete
Thanks Claire! I have FINALLY finished that book. Phew! I think the blue maxi will have to wait until next Spring! xxxDelete
You have a lovely garden and your outfits are well put togatherReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing. Have a beautiful weekend.
Thank you so much for your comment! xxxDelete
Meet-ups are something I'm looking forward to, but we're still a long way off from that being possible. It looks like you found some interesting spots for a meal and coffee.ReplyDelete
I feel your pain of a dress that no belt works with. Life is too short for trying on every belt you own.
Thanks Goody! We're still limiting the number of people we meet up with, though. I am that dress go, it doesn't seem to work for me ... xxxDelete
Oh very colorfuloutfits darlingReplyDelete
Thank you! xxxDelete
Loving the peacock print on the blouse. Blue and green are definitely meant to be seen together in my book. Also loving the last, hand made skirt, which I'm finding challenging to date. The print has kind of an early-80s-does-30s vibe, going by the colour scheme.ReplyDelete
Thank you Fig! I totally agree on blue and green. The skirt is indeed challenging to date, although I do think it is more recent than the 80s. xxxDelete
Didn't it feel good to have your coffee date with Inez again! Back to normall. And to go out for dinner with friends. Love the first outfit, that blouse is so gorgeous on the skirt. How annoying that you missed the appointment. I hope to be back a bit after next week, I have corona, there will be some changes.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your comment Nancy! It was quite a shock to read, and I do hope all is well with your both! xxxDelete
It's nice you were able to catch up with so many friends again! I love your peacock print blouse, it's so fun with the blue and mustard :) You bought some nice things too!ReplyDelete
Hope you are having a lovely weekend :) We have had a fun one with a couple of events.
Away From The Blue
Thank you Mica! That outfit was one of my very own favourites! xxxDelete
The peacock feather print blouse is absolutely gorgeous. I love how you paired it with that lovely skirt and a cardi that you almost lost.ReplyDelete
So nice you had birthday lunch with a friend you knew from school and were able to reconnect with the help of Internet. Cool to hear about the waiter who kept you guessing the country of his origin, he seems like a fun guy.
I loved the printed dress outfit.. and the maxi skirt one. Great new additions to your closet as well.
Thank you Ivana! I'm so glad Inneke and I were able to reconnect after all these years! xxxDelete
What a wonderful place for a cozy coffee bar! I just love that old door.ReplyDelete
Looking good, as always!
Thank you Nikki, and yes, that door is just incredible, isn't it? xxxDelete
Your post is filled with so many delightful things, Ann! Love your first outfit - I would not call that a shrug, which are (to my mind) just connected sleeves - this cardi has too much "front" to be a shrug. I had a very similar one about 10 years ago.ReplyDelete
Your birthday lunch sounds wonderful, and love your purple print dress with the dark yellow pops. Just lovely.
I'm not terribly taken with that third dress either - it's just not good enough for you! A big WOW to that new maxi! I'm jealous, as I had very poor shopping luck this weekend.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend, my dear!
Thank you for enlightening me, Sheila! That mustard cardigan is one of my very favourites. The dress has been relegated to my flea market stock, and I don't think it'll be a regret-me-not :-) xxxDelete
It must be such a joy to join your friends again for lunch , as well as sharing coffee with Inke .ReplyDelete
Glad your well is still functioning to give your pretty Autumn garden a drink.
Your outfits live up to your usual colourful standards.
Thank you Jill! In fact, we only used our well once since it's been reinstated. We've had lots of rain to quench our garden's thirst ... xxxDelete
Meeting up with old friends is important. Gladly you had the opportunity to see an old friend of yours. Hopefully, you will see her now and then in the future.ReplyDelete
All the best!
Thank you Regula! I'm seeing both friends regularly now! xxxDelete
Splendidly lovely outfits across the board, dear Ann. Blue is truly one of your most becoming colours.ReplyDelete
Regarding the first ensemble, I'm fairly laidback when it comes to the definition of a shrug and think this saffron hued beauty can fall under its relatively broad header.
It could be called a cropped cardigan or even a knit bolero (of sorts) as well. Whatever moniker you give it, that is one thoroughly perfect piece for the not too hot, not too chilly days of early fall.
Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life
Happy belated birthday wishes to Inez! What a lovely place to celebrate your special day in that swanky looking castle. I'm intruiged about vol-au-vents being a Belgian classic. Here they're tiny things, served cold at buffets and very much with cheese and pineapple on sticks as kitsch 70s fare!ReplyDelete
Loving the peacock blouse on you and I remember that fabulous 80s skirt when you bought it, it's such a quirky piece.
Gah! Elizabeth Gilbert - I absolutely loathed Eat, Pray, Love - I hope your book's an improvement! xxx
Thank you Vix! I think you might be thinking of canapés, not vol-au-vent ... The latter are puff pastry cases filled with a chicken and mushroom ragout! They're usually served with fries or mash ... xxxDelete
Looking fab in these gloriously colourful outfits, love this golden close!.ReplyDelete
Your peacock blouse is so beautiful, and looks so fab with the mustard shrug. No wonder you've been complimented!. Loving your bracelet and bag!.
So lovely to be with friends again, having a lunch or a coffee, and chatting!. I've missed my (mínimum) social life!.
Love particularly your Diolen dress in floral print, those purple, orange and mustard colours are some favourite ones, and you enhanced them so nicely with brilliantly picked accessories!
Sorry that the cute dress didn't fancy you anymore, totally agree that its print is delightful!.
Lovely finds too, particularly the blue maxi dress, those pink-magenta beads and cute shoes!. So lucky!
I'm loving your circle skirt, so beautiful shape and print, and the handiwork makes it more special!. Lovely colours indeed!
Thank you Monica! Indeed, it's been lovely to see friends again. I only have a minimum social life at the best of times too. Nice to meet a friend for a face to face chat though, and perhaps go vintage shopping together again soon ... xxxDelete
Hello Ann, I am prone to falling asleep whilst reading too! Isn't that restaurant mansion an incredibly quirky building. Fab peacock blouse. Red shoes - love 'em (I have a long love of red shoes - must be a Wizard of Oz thing). So good to catch up with friends over coffee. Lulu xXxReplyDelete
Phew, I'm glad I'm not the only one. Oh, I do love red shoes too. And boots, I've got two pairs of red boots as well :-) xxxDelete
Fab outfits and how nice to be able to have a coffee chat with your friend again.ReplyDelete
Thank you Gisela! xxxDelete
I have such love for your Rieker shoes. I really like their shoes- so comfy and well made!ReplyDelete
I can see what you meant about the ditched frock- none of the belts worked with it.
I do love the maxi dress.
So nice you got t8 meet Inez and the cafe location sounds super interesting!
Thank you Kezzie! I remember having a pair of Rieker boots a couple of years ago, which I wore to death! xxxDelete
It was good to get some nice weather in September, wasn't it? Though you're right that autumn's been a soggy letdown.ReplyDelete
You've found some great places to eat and drink. The Little Castle looks really smashing - I'd want to go there just for the building.
I thoroughly enjoyed the sunny September weather. The Little Castle is my kind of building, and the food was lovely too! xxxDelete