It’s that time again when the ladies from JTouchofStyle and I pool our memories and photos to create a Fab Collab that spans the generations. Over this coming week we’ll share memories of summer get-away styles from the past as well as ways we style them today.
My story kicks us off with memories of The Stratford Festival and the scarves I’ve worn there, but I hope you’ll come back to see Jodie’s, Nancy’s, and Charlotte’s stories too. As many of you know, each of us was born in a different decade: Charlotte is in her 70s, Nancy is in her 60s, Jodie is in her 50s, and I am in my 40s. As a result, our memories offer quite a range of fashion history!
Below is a sneak peek!
The Play’s the Thing
The first time I went to the Straford Festival it was 2003. Back then it was still called the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Hubby had gone there in high school and he wanted to relive the experience as an adult. What he hoped was to impress me with the quality of theater he was exposed to as a kid. What he didn’t expect was how I’d fall in love with it and have to return year after year.
The Scarf’s the Thing, Too
Like the advice in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to always pack a towel, I always pack a scarf (or two) when traveling. Even in 2003, when I went to Stratford for the first time, I knew the value of a scarf (which is really like a fancy towel, for all you Hitchhiker’s Guide fans). Stratford in the summer is like Michigan and Minnesota in the summer–hot and humid. Outdoors, the sun and humidity combine to sear my skin and cause blisters, even with SPF-1-Million. A scarf provides a light layer of protection between me and that kind of heat.
In addition, windowless, air-conditioned buildings can get chilly, especially when I sit still for two hours at a time. Never do I visit my beloved Stratford without a scarf to keep the sun off and the chill out. It is both an accessory and a necessity.
A Scarf for All Seasons
These days I go to Stratford in September. Sometimes it still feels like summer and sometimes there’s a nip in the air that hints of snow. And sometimes both seasons play out in the same week! Because of this, I carry scarves that are lighter weight cotton or wool, but I make sure they’re long enough to wrap around my neck or shoulders, depending on the need.
All scarves pictured above were purchased years ago. Below is more info about each.
Lefthand side of collage: Scarf from Eileen Fisher. Similar here and here.
Upper Right: Purple ombre scarf from Talbots. Available on eBay here or similar new here.
Lower Right: Talbots scarf. Similar on eBay here or similar new here.
This year Hubby and I are heading to Stratford together. If the weather holds up, I will take along this Marimekko dress I purchased on eBay.
Find similar Marimekko sundresses on eBay here.
And, of course, there will be a scarf to go with it!
This scarf is Eileen Fisher. Flecks of copper dot the blue lightweight wool like constellations. I bought it around the time I started going to Straford annually. It has made the trip with me several times.
Walking to See Shakespeare When It’s Hot
Stratford is a small town so when thousands of people descend upon it to partake of the THEE-ah-tah, parking is a premium. I prefer to walk than drive, but doing this requires extra planning when it comes to deciding what to wear.
In the summer, I think about heat and sweat. As I mentioned in a previous post, heat is a big deal to me these days. If I walk a mile-plus to my destination and the sun is shining, I need to wear a lightweight outfit and comfortable shoes that breathe. But I still want to feel good about how I look, right?
Here’s why this outfit checks all the boxes for a summer get-away like the Stratford Festival:
The dress is made of cotton, which is a breathable fabric. In addition, it has a built-in shelf-bra. One less layer to generate heat. Also, my body isn’t encased in synthetics so it can cool off naturally.
Synthetic fabric + Constriction = Swamp Boobs and General Discomfort.
The dress has a full skirt which has some weight to it so wind is not an issue.
I’ve learned the hard way that heavy shoes, hot feet, and long-distances do not mix well. Heels and distances are no fun either, especially when trying to deal with cracked sidewalks and brick roads. Sneakers could work but I want to wear something a little nicer to the theater, even if it is a casual place.
So, the sandals, by Dansko, provide all the support I need. In addition, they have good grip on the sidewalk and they’re lightweight and the strap is adjustable around my ankle. This makes them comfortably secure on my foot and provides peace of mind when navigating uneven walkways.
I bought my sandals on Amazon here.
Order a whole size down, especially if you’re in between sizes.
And, of course, the scarf is a winner because of all the reasons mentioned above:
- Its lightweight coverage keeps the sun off my chest and shoulders.
- It’s just warm enough to keep the chill out in the theater.
- It looks nice as an accessory and finishes off the outfit without overwhelming it.
Test-Walk to the Theater
A few weeks back, I gave this outfit a test walk, minus the scarf. Hubby and I went to see the play Barbecue put on by The Intiman Theater group here in Seattle. Their plays are always so memorable. I can still remember shows I saw more than a decade ago and the emotions they stirred within me.
Before we went to see Barbecue, though, Hubby and I walked a mile to eat dinner at Meskel, an Ethiopian restaurant with a large outdoor patio. It was 80-degrees outside (26.6°C) but we walked the whole way and we sat outside in the shade. After we ate an entire vegetarian platter, we walked off the calories with another mile’s walk to see the play.
This was a good test because it is very similar to how we do things in Stratford. I was not disappointed. No blisters, no soggy mess–all was good!
I could have used my scarf in the theater, though. I got chilly!
Be sure to come back again tomorrow to catch Jodie’s post! Or, better yet, head over to her blog now and subscribe so you never miss out on the fun.
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