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I have a friend and former colleague who, every year when I arrived at work in a fall blazer or skirt for the first time that season, would exclaim,”Sue! You’ve turned your closet!”

It became a joke in our teacher prep room, and our male colleagues eventually began competing with her, trying to be the first to notice I had officially ushered in the new wardrobe season, or chastising each other for wearing white after Labor Day. Their teasing was gentle, like the kind you’d get from a favorite uncle, and I’d always play the fashionista role, giving a twirl to show off my new fall outfit, replying that summer was “So over, Dahling!”

“Turning one’s closet” is a rite of passage in a four season climate. I remember so clearly, each year when we were kids, my mum opening the big cedar chest in which were stored our winter or summer clothes. It marked the beginning of the new season and was almost as exciting as back-to-school shopping. Almost.

But this year I’m not ready to even think about turning my closet. I’m trying to make the most of my summer clothes because I’ve hardly worn them. I’ve been sidelined with a severe case of shingles, and much of the summer found me in baggy tees and loose pajama bottoms, moaning and looking for a cold compress.

Besides, early September is too early to turn my closet. I traditionally do this right after our Canadian Thanksgiving which is early October. But it’s not too early to wear my spring blazers and jackets, which are lighter than my fall ones and will work in temperatures in the low to mid-twenties. I’ve been pairing my black Helmut Lang jacket with my white jeans which have barely been out the door this season.

I tried them with my long-sleeve striped ALC tee, and to make the outfit more seasonally appropriate, I’ve been wearing my black, Stuart Weitzman loafers and a Burberry scarf.

Or a light-weight, grey hoodie from Aritzia and this scarf from Nordstrom.

I like both of these looks so much I’ve put them on my packing list for our trip to Italy. We’re off in a couple of weeks, and I’ve been planning and making lists, and then rethinking and making more lists. I’m not finished with my travel wardrobe planning, yet but on that final list will be: black jacket, loafers, an assortment of scarves and my white jeans.

“How shocking,” my former male colleagues might say in jest. “To be wearing white jeans after Labor Day.”

But in reply I’d just twirl to show off my outfit and retort, “That old rule is sooo over, Dahling.”



  • 1010ParkPlace September 14, 2018 at 8:29 am

    I love that some of the old fashion “rules” have gone by the wayside. I love Aritzia and bought one of their thermal tops to wear on my trip to Montana. Layering isn’t something I think much about in Texas. xoxox, Brenda

    • Sue Burpee September 15, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      I like Aritzia and have had good luck with many of their pieces. Ordered a couple of midi-dresses this summer, though, and returned them because the quality was not great. Plus they looked dreadful on me:)

  • Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski September 14, 2018 at 8:34 am

    What a wonderful classic look. I live in California so we wear white anytime. I’m bad about getting it schmooched, though.

    • Sue Burpee September 15, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      Thanks, Rebecca. I have to be careful wearing white out to dinner or lunch… food just seems to find its way from my fork to my lap. I should probably stay away from tomato sauces when I’m in Italy and wearing my white jeans.

  • Antionette M Blake September 14, 2018 at 10:07 am

    I love wearing white especially in the winter and you have made your jeans into a perfect Autumn outfit. Unfortunately, I cut my white jeans into shorts for the summer – oh well, there’s always next year – thanks for the inspiration!

    • Sue Burpee September 16, 2018 at 7:30 am

      DIY cut offs… good thinking:)

  • Lynda Davis September 14, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I presume you plan to get the shingles vaccine now. It’s so important for people our age.

    • Sue Burpee September 16, 2018 at 7:35 am

      Oh yes. I have to wait a year, but I will get it. Here in Ontario, the shingles vaccine is covered by our public health care plan, but only when we are 65. I think that’s why they don’t suggest it for patients who are younger than 65. After my experience, which was a very nasty case, I’m told, all my friends and many of my blog readers are lining up for the vaccine. So all those cold compresses did some good anyway:)

  • Candi Randolph September 14, 2018 at 11:54 am

    I love your early Fall, black and white look, dahling! Sorry to hear you spend so much time suffering with shingles, hope all is well in that regard. I always enjoyed the changing of the wardrobe when I lived in the Midwest. Now that I am in SW Florida our seasons are much more subtle, but I still get to pull out some long sleeves, slacks and jackets in the winter months.

    • Sue Burpee September 16, 2018 at 7:37 am

      All is well now, thanks Candi. And we are off travelling soon. It will be wonderful to be out in the wide world again!

  • Diane September 14, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    We rather skipped summer here as well, though I have nothing like your excuse! We had smoke, so had to remain indoors for much of our warm weather. Now snow is here and we are truly lamenting!

    • Sue Burpee September 16, 2018 at 7:39 am

      Oh no. I have friends in the west and the smoke was terrible apparently. My sister’s picture of her Calgary balcony covered in snow the first week of September a couple of years ago was shocking to us here where September is often hot and humid.

  • Victoria September 14, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    I am still trying to find a white pair of jeans. lol I have tried on so many pairs I got tired of looking. Love both of your outfits though and they will look great on your trip.

    • Sue Burpee September 16, 2018 at 7:41 am

      Thanks, Victoria. Jean shopping can be arduous indeed. So many, many styles and shapes, and most not for us.

  • Joanna September 14, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    It’s far too hot in Ontario to even be thinking of fall clothes. What is happening? It snowed in northern BC & Alberta in September! And, we on the west coast are getting rain. What?! That’s our winter weather.
    I was late to the game buying white jeans this past spring. They are so versatile!
    Have a wonderful time in Italy! I’ve been three times and still haven’t seen it all. So many places to go, so little time.

    • Sue Burpee September 16, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Thanks, Joanna. This is my first trip to Italy. I’m very excited.

  • TJ September 19, 2018 at 6:34 am

    Very nice Sue! Love both outfits. In Australia, we would say they are ‘trans-seasonal’. I wear white jeans in winter with navy striped tops too.


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