Almost a Year of Grey

Since I was 12, I have been interested in fashion. I picked berries and baby-sat in order to choose and pay for my own clothes. I always loved reading the teen magazines and my cousin and I even attended Teen Charm School at a local department store.

I didn't have a lot of clothes but I rotated outfits and chose pieces that could be combined with others
to create a new look. Sometimes I chose fabric and my aunt or grandmother sewed for me. That was the sixties and as a teen, I worked within my means to create a look that suited my life.

In the decades that have passed, cheap available goods, credit and more disposable income has lead to excess. I have been "weeding" my closet for the last few months and I have learned which items are useful and are worn often and which items are seldom worn. I have chosen my neutral colours:grey and navy to suit my newly grey hair. It's almost a year without hair colour!
My grandma had nice grey hair.
In the 1980's, I had very dark (natural) hair with blue/green eyes and fair skin. Vivid colours with cool undertones were definitely my preferred palette. Nary an earth tone or a warm hue. Some time passed and my hair (now greying) became reddish. Rust, orange, khaki and brown were my warm go-to colours. I have gradually been eliminating bright colours and warm colours from my wardrobe.
Print has been a passion of mine for the last ten years. I've put on weight and it seems that larger (14-16) sized clothing seems to include a lot of pattern. As I age and (hopefully) shrink a little, my tastes have moved to the more subtle.

I have been greatly influenced by Janice Riggs' The Vivienne File blog and I am working on a basic wardrobe that can be dressed up or down with accessories of colour and pattern. The common core pieces (mostly grey) are my daily uniform right now. I am learning to restrain my buying which means "don't go to shops to pass the time or to visit with shopkeeper friends." There are a few things that I need: grey boots (low) and a grey bag but I am not going to be using them in the next few travel months so I don't need to buy them right now.
In 2013, I loved rust, orange and gold. There was no grey.

Grey is a life choice. I no longer have to spend 2 hours at the hair salon.

Grey can be dressy with lace and sparkly silver shoes.

A year ago, I had no idea about grey. I just wondered what it would be like to let my hair revert to its natural state. It is quite liberating to have little hair care time or expense. Now that I am retired, it seems comfortable to embrace my ageing self and to make simplicity a way of life.

Grey can go for a walk under October skies.


  1. Isn't grey wonderful? I've been grey for about four years now, I love the money and time saved but most of all I love the look and the health of my hair. Like you I'm choosing different colours -- grey, navy, magenta and red along with black -- but most of all solid colours.

  2. I love grey in addition to black.
    I went to charm school at the Hudson's Bay Co. when I was a teen here in Victoria.
    It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about skincare and makeup, hpw to walk, sit and act like young ladies!! Our parents thought it was like a finishing school on a budget!
    Happy to see that you are having fun with your clothes.

    1. The Hudson's Bay did a great job with that charm school. I remember learning to use Bonne Belle and Yardley and even being fitted for a bra. My cousin and I would meet at the Bay and have lunch at the Seymour buffet after our class. We definitely enjoyed practising our young lady manners.

  3. I just realized that your blog was not on my blog roll so I have added it and please accept my apologies. I am so sorry that I have been remiss.

  4. Wow, you look good both ways (warmer and cooler). Maybe I thought that in the end, skin tone would make one or the other look marginally better, but honestly, they look equally natural on you. Watching your new wardrobe develop is fun. :-)

    And meant to say before, thank you for your info re the Mexican school. I passed it on and hope my friend visits and/or supports it.

  5. It's odd but I must have a neutral complexion. The Mexican centre is really worth visiting.

    1. I love watching you become even more beautiful as you embrace your new color choices. The softer gray really suits you.

      I am surprised at the colors I now gravitate towards as my hair becomes a lighter gray over time. Currently I am wearing bright cobalt blue and receiving lots of compliments. It is not a color that I would have even considered a few years ago when my hair was a darker gray.

  6. Cobalt blue is a beautiful colour that I look forward to wearing again. As your grey hair changes, different possibilities appear. I was previously unaware of how each person's grey hair is different and changing.

  7. So interesting -- I've found exactly the same thing with my colouring. In fact, that top photo is so close to ones of me during that same period.. . I'm not yet ready to test the grey waters and make the required wardrobe changes, but I'll have you as inspiration. You look wonderful in your grey.

  8. The wardrobe changes, even with a neutral complexion are, extensive. For the last few years, orange and brown have been my favourites but no longer do they suit me. You would still be able to wear your blue items of clothing. Testing the grey waters is probably best left until you have been retired a while and feel comfortable with your new life.


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