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A Neutral Outfit With Texture

Happy Monday ladies. If you’re new here, welcome! These musing posts are a bit of a hodgepodge of things that have crossed my path and what’s on my mind. I want to start by thanking you for your lovely emails yesterday. Many of them brought me to tears. You are so kind! I know I’m not alone feeling stressed this time of year, and I’m so grateful for your support. Let’s face it, this entire year has been a gong show of epic proportions, and sometimes we just need to feel all the feels before we can move on.

Here are a few things I’m musing about this week-

Neutrals

I love wearing head to toe neutrals. They’re elegant and easy to accessorize but an entire outfit of neutrals can get boring without the addition of texture. Here’s how I added texture to this outfit.

jennifer connolly of a well styled life wearing beige sweater and pants on stairs of old building

WEARING /  CASHMERE SWEATER similar color  /  CASHMERE SCARF 6 other colors  /  LUXE FAUX SUEDE PANTS  /  WATER RESISTANT BOOTIES  /  EARRINGS on sale   /  HANDBAG old as the hills and a big favorite  /  BROOCH also old from CHICOS

My cashmere sweater is a “vintage” Everlane. I’ve had it so long, it has their original label! I love it with these faux suede pants. They have a soft nap and very subtle sheen. They’re a perfect cool-toned taupe and one of my favorite neutrals.jennifer connolly of a well styled life wearing neutral outfit with varying textures

I wore them with suede booties and my vintage Kate Spade bag which has a furry texture. My cashmere scarf is a few years old and gets worn a lot. They have 6 new shades this fall and I am seriously tempted to add another one. It’s simple and gets the job done by adding a bit of coziness when a coat isn’t required.fashion blogger wearing cashmere scarf

The scarf and sweater have the same texture but the sweater has heathered coloring which looks like texture. My earrings have a brushed surface and shiny pearl which adds even more texture to my outfit. My life is so glamorous these days, this is what I wore for a drive to the nursey so my husband could get a branch of a struggling tree diagnosed. Be assured, we wore masks and used copious amounts of hand sanitizer.

Expectations

You may remember, I had surgery to release a trigger finger and remove some Dupuytren’s lumps last summer. My recovery has not gone as well as I hoped. The scarring is worse than anyone anticipated and I’m struggling to get my strength and flexibility back. I do my PT exercises diligently, which should help with the scarring but I now have two other fingers that are triggering on the same hand.

Last week I saw a specialist at UC Davis for a second opinion. He examined my hand and asked me why my scar was halfway up my finger. Apparently, trigger fingers get released through the palm. The surgeon who did the work is very close-mouthed and hasn’t been forthcoming with anything other than to say I had tendonitis.

The new doc gave me two steroid injections, hoping to calm those triggers down. Frankly, he’s doubtful it will help so I’ll probably need more surgery. He sent me to get an X-ray and as the technician laid my hand out for the X-ray and asked why my scar was on my finger. She proceeded to flip both her palms up and show me her four scars from her trigger release surgery, They were all on her palm.

The doctor who performed my initial surgery came highly recommended but I should have gotten a second opinion before having surgery. Hindsight is always 2020 (wow, that’s a bizarre expression now), and lesson learned. What’s done is done so I need to get over myself. I’m lucky to have a hand to worry about so I need to suck it up and keep on keeping on.

I’d love to hear any experiences you may have had with either trigger finger, Dupytrons, or both. Maybe there’s more I can be doing.

Wireless Bras

How’s that for a transition? Sales of wireless bras and bralettes have shot up over 40% since this time last year. It’s not a surprising statistic because comfy is king these days and few of us want to struggle with a wire that pokes or is uncomfortable. I discovered the joy of wireless bras two years ago and have never looked back. This has been my favorite, which I have in several shades of nude and black.

Have no fear, this is the first and last dressing room photo of me wearing a bra. I think my son would have a heart attack if there were more…in fact, this one may be too much for his comfort level 😉 I found this True & Co Wireless Bralette last week and love it! It fits terrifically, in no small part because it has adjustable straps!

As you know, our breasts all sit at varying heights on our bodies, and the older we get, the lower they tend to be.#factoflife Being able to adjust the straps is a pretty big deal when you’re looking for a bra that will actually hold you up. That got me thinking about women who are more well endowed than me. Is there a wireless bra that works for them and actually provides support? Apparently yes, and there are many with great reviews.

  • This Wacoal Back Appeal is a best seller with women over 40 who are well endowed but hate underwires. It’s full-coverage, wireless cups have an inner sling that provides smooth support under close-fitting fabrics. It’s available in sizes 32D – 40DD.
  • This Wacoal How Perfect No-Wire Bra has foam-lined cups and side boning which gives you even more support. This is available in sizes 30D – 40B
  • The Elomi line of bras gets rave reviews for support and comfort. This Cate Full Figure Soft Cup is available in sizes 36DDD -48G. Its three-part cups provide a full-figure lift and the flexible side boning enhances anchorage and support.

I could start musing about my new red toenail polish but I think I’ve caused enough mental whiplash here this morning:)

Make it a great one ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

 

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90 Comments

  1. Susan
    December 7, 2020 / 9:27 am

    I happened upon ‘A Well Styled Life’ about a month ago while shopping online and have enjoyed it ever since. It’s so refreshing to read fashion ideas and tips from a contemporary, and not from a young ‘thirty-something’ who thinks she knows how an older woman should dress. Hadn’t shopped Loft in over twenty years, but snapped up the gray speckled sweater poncho when I saw it on you in one of your recent posts, and am loving it…plus I got it at half price! Also love the eyeglass frames that you’ve worn in a few of your photos…today’s bra photo, for one. We have similar jaw lines and I think that frame style would look good on me. Would you mind sharing the vendor? So sorry to hear about your health issues. Slow down, take care of yourself, and appreciate what you have. The one good thing that has come out of this horrible pandemic for me is never taking anything again in life for granted.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:54 pm

      The brand is called Aspire. I would check on google for optometrists in your area who may carry them. Life is full of surprises and I am still learning how to roll with the punches:)

  2. Gerri
    December 7, 2020 / 9:23 am

    Ok, here is my story, not about fingers but b**bs 😜. This year my husband and I have stayed active by playing singles tennis 3-4 times a week. I have felt that I have lost some belly fat because of it🥰. At 72, I have also prided myself on still having “perky” b**bs. Recently though, I have noticed them sagging a bit 😖. It occurred to me that perhaps with the loss of my belly fat, I also lost the “shelf” that may have been holding my b**bs up! 😱 Oh well, life is glorious and a gift everyday! Best wishes for a better outcome with your hands.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:56 pm

      Could be true! I never looked at it that way. I just lost 3 pounds and every single one can off my face…not what I was hoping for.

  3. Patricia
    December 7, 2020 / 9:23 am

    Jennifer, your posts bring me such valuable information and I love the many options for styling you give.
    I’ve suffered with anxiety and chronic depression for years. I am on medication and they are a life saver for me. No one likes to be on medication but for me they give be a quality of life, I would not have otherwise. I try very hard not to get stressed. Please take care of yourself. None of us want to see you suffering. The issues with your hand obviously have really had an impact on your stress levels, plus doing these blogs to keep us, your faithful followers, happy. If you need to take a break, do so, Jennifer. Your health is the most important thing you have. We will always be here for you….

  4. Valla
    December 7, 2020 / 8:53 am

    Hi Jennifer,
    Good luck with your hand. You certainly have a good attitude about it.
    Question on the bra you are wearing- It looks like there are no hooks- is it hard to get on?
    Thank you!
    ~Valla

  5. Shawn
    December 7, 2020 / 8:45 am

    Malpractice issue? 😕

  6. Lisa
    December 7, 2020 / 8:35 am

    I’m still waiting for the day they make a wireless bra that would support me, a 32H! And yes, I had a breast reduction many years ago. I asked to become a C cup, the surgeon said that would be too drastic of a change and I wouldn’t feel like myself. Ridiculous. Why did I listen to that man? Years later, his wife told me he just likes large breasts! True story. Even well respected surgeons can be wrong.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:29 pm

      Oh wow!! That’s awful. It’s a big surgery and you get to decide about your body!! I’m sorry.

  7. Virginia Whelan
    December 7, 2020 / 8:00 am

    UC Davis? Jennifer, where do you live? I had both trigger thumbs repaired, in Stockton of all places. I lived there 17 years. Started with cortisone shot. Worked like magic 6 months to the day. Then condition resumed. Both surgeries successful, tiny scar close to palm. It has been years and I do have a little arthritis at surg site now which is to be expected. Otherwise pain and motion-free. Not having your dominant hand in working order is the pits! Best of luck as you pursue other options.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:27 pm

      Thanks, Virginia. I am up near Sacramento

  8. Kay
    December 7, 2020 / 7:58 am

    I had trigger finger surgery many years ago. My scar is in my palm. Have had other bouts but physical therapy along with finger braces relieved them. So sorry you got a bum deal.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:26 pm

      I sure hope this shot helps me and will be sure my next surgery puts the scar in my palm.

  9. Debbie Z.
    December 7, 2020 / 7:49 am

    Jennifer, you look so elegant and beautiful in this neutrals outfit. I saw the first picture and thought, Wow. You are such a class act. I will be praying that another doctor will be able to give you relief and good success with your hand. Getting older is hard enough without a physical issue thrown in so you are in my thoughts regarding that. Thanks for sharing with your readers.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:25 pm

      Thanks, Debbie. If it’s not one thing, it’s another as we get older. I hope to retain my dignity and positive attitude as the body deteriorates:)

  10. Jeri Ray
    December 7, 2020 / 7:32 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    I’m so sorry you are struggling with your hands. I can relate as mine have been challenging as well. I’ve had bilateral carpel tunnel release, two trigger finger releases (both middle fingers), and an additional tendon release in my left wrist. I’m fortunate that my surgeries have all been successful with a lot of help from great physical therapists. My trigger finger releases were both done in the palm of my hand and the scars are barely visible. My hope for you is with a qualified surgeon you will get relief and be able to get back to normal activity. Keep the faith – it can happen.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:24 pm

      You’ve sure had some struggles! Thanks for the encouragement, Jeri.

  11. diane
    December 7, 2020 / 7:29 am

    Thank you, Jennifer, for helping all of us “step up our game”, even if it’s waiting in the parking lot of the grocery store!
    I adore the understated look, too,. Especially thank you for helping with the bra issues – we all have them, the discomfort, the straps, ugh.
    I’m sending positive energy for your hands. I, too, have Dupuytrens, the bumps and only an injection for the trigger finger. Is there a chance you have a piano you would play? I wonder if that form of exercise keeps mine at bay?
    Stay well and safe, my friend.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:22 pm

      Thank you, Diane. Piano’s are so soothing, you are fortunate to play.

  12. Ellen
    December 7, 2020 / 7:14 am

    Thank you for sharing, jennifer! As we get older and stumble over all these small health issues, we often only learn about them from friends or brave people like you. Nobody else wants to hear about our health issues. I’m sorry your hand issues have been so problematic. Finding the right doctor in these situations can be a struggle. It’s hard to go off just a couple of recommendations from Friends and we were brought up to be so polite and not ask for a second opinions we were brought up to be so polite and not ask for second opinions. I injured my hand in August and got what is called mallet finger and had to go see a hand doctor. Fortunately it turns out they don’t do surgery for that so I just have to wear a splint for four months, which has now thankfully come to an end. I am doing the hand exercises as well and still have a droopy fingertip but that’s something I can live with. Good luck with your hand going forward. And thank you for the bra recommendations! I, too, have had both hand issues and wireless bras on my mind a lot these days! I haven’t found one that I like but I will definitely check out the ones you mentioned. It’s really really helpful. Thank you.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:21 pm

      I’m glad you avoided surgery. It’s never a sure thing. I was told it was a simple procedure and I’d be back to normal in a few days…I should have done more research.

  13. Nancy
    December 7, 2020 / 7:11 am

    Thanks for all your input Jennifer. I love your posts. It’s comforting to know that others feel the stress and madness at times. Sometimes we all need to step back and make ourselves priority #1. Anxiety can be a real struggle and I hear you. Wishing you slow and easy breathing, gratitude for the blessings you have and enough quiet time to yourself every day for meditation, communing with nature or whatever brings you peace.
    Blessings.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:18 pm

      Thank you so much, Nancy.

  14. DMC
    December 7, 2020 / 7:09 am

    I have Dupuytren in both hands affecting both little fingers; the right one much more than the left. I did a lot of research and badgered my primary care doctor for a hand surgeon recommendation so I could explore treatment options. There are three approaches these days: Needle aponeurotomy, enzyme injections, and surgery. My surgeon recommended that we start with the least invasive (the needle aponeurotomy) and see how it went. An approach I liked. Had this done in early October with great results. There is some hand therapy that includes sleeping with a splint as well as wearing a small splint during the day. Neither are a big deal. Back to the surgeon for follow-up in January. Get yourself to an orthopedic hand surgeon that specializes in this affliction. You have to really look but they are out there. Take care.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:18 pm

      I asked about the other two options, but my original surgeon didn’t think they would work. I do have a splint that I am wearing diligently. I wish I’d had your doctor.

  15. Laurel
    December 7, 2020 / 7:06 am

    Dupuytrens runs in my family on my dad’s side. He had it, his brother had it, and a couple of my brothers are starting to deal with it. So far none of the women in our family have had it, which is odd. One of my cousins had surgery and whatever the surgeon did made his hand pretty much useless to the point that he had to go on disability because he could no longer do his job. So I really hope for your sake that the new doctor is better. How awful to go through all of that and not get relief.

    I would love to wear a wireless bra and will have to try on some of these. Every one I’ve tried in the past just didn’t support me enough to be comfortable. But new styles really tempt me to give it another go.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:16 pm

      I should consider myself lucky that I can use it at all. People all respond so differently to surgery.

  16. jmp
    December 7, 2020 / 7:01 am

    Thanks for the bra recommendation. I checked on the link you supplied, but didn’t know how to determine a size since they ran small.medium, etc. Any suggestions?

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:14 pm

      The one I have on runs true to size. I’m not sure of the others.

  17. Lori
    December 7, 2020 / 6:52 am

    Sorry to hear about your post surgery issues. My husband had Dupuytren’s surgery a little over a year ago and had a pretty smooth recovery. I just looked at the picture of his incisions/stitches and he had two incisions. One went from the middle of his palm just past where the finger meets the palm. The second was from just below where the middle finger meets the palm to just above that crease (that incision was about 1/3 the size of the other scar. I also had a Carpal Tunnel release surgery with this surgeon, with no problems. It is hard to know for sure when choosing a doctor, and I always try to get someone recommended by others, but you did that too! Hoping you can find someone to resolve your issues!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:13 pm

      Wow, my scars are a lot longer than that!!

  18. Chris
    December 7, 2020 / 6:33 am

    Dear Jennifer, So sorry that you’re having issues with your hand and second thoughts about the surgeon you chose. We tend to give doctors too much credit sometimes. But what you have done, through this post, is enlighten me to the fact that I have the same problem with one of my fingers. I mentioned it to my doctor, when I was at her office for something else. She just asked if it happened often and I said no, because it hadn’t at the time, although it has occurred more often lately. It is a bit of a fright when your finger won’t go back into position and you have to manually put it back into place. She shrugged and said not to worry about it. So much for a proper diagnosis and some helpful advice. I had to read your post to find out what it was. Thank you for writing this blog. I hope you have positive resolution with your hand and wish you good health. Best regards, Chris

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 4:00 pm

      Keep an eye on it and see a specialist. Once they trigger for long enough the shots won’t help and you will need surgery.

  19. Sheilagh
    December 7, 2020 / 6:30 am

    Hello from South Africa. We are heading for our peak summer months but having a comfortable bra still applies. Being honest, I don’t wear one at home. Love being FREE. But wireless has been my choice for 5 years now.
    I had surgery on my thumb and luckily the scar is the thinnest I’ve seen. He must have glued it with Super glue. Long as you have the use of your fingers, be strong. Hate this time of year (especially 2020) as my boys are on the opposite sides of the world. Look after yourself and stay safe. Perhaps even take a break from the blog. Think of YOU this month. Love your blog!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:44 pm

      Thank you so much. They do use glue sometimes:)

  20. Mary
    December 7, 2020 / 6:25 am

    Jennifer–
    I have had cortisone injections for Dupuytren’s in the past. Twice in my left hand, and once in my right–all at separate times, by two different doctors. The one thing I will note is that the injections on the left shrank my ring finger so much that my wedding ring fell off, both times. My finger eventually regained its original size (5.5), but it was unnerving–I returned to the doctor, and he wrote my husband (also a doc) a friendly note saying he might have to have the ring resized (I knew that would not be a popular option). I’d gotten my original wedding band, size 4, out of the safety deposit box and began wearing it. The other doc had an excellent reputation, had gone to college with my husband and me, then spent the whole appointment complaining that my husband had been admitted to our university’s med school and he hadn’t. I didn’t go back. Hand surgeons are an interesting breed. Those injections were 8-10 years ago. For both hands, I continue to do exercises. I do see tv ads with John Elway promoting some treatment for Dupuytren’s, and I wonder what that is, exactly.

    Thank you for the bra recommendations today. I recently tore a tendon in my shoulder, and it’s very painful to fasten a bra. I don’t want to have surgery (I did that for the other shoulder.) I’ve been looking for ones that don’t fasten, so these may just fit the bill.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2020 / 3:58 pm

      Oh wow, shoulder tears are brutally painful. I’m not finding any shrinkage in my finger from the shot, but maybe that takes time

  21. Barb
    December 7, 2020 / 6:02 am

    I bought a bra similar to that during the Nordstrom anniversary sale and love it. It feels like you’re wearing nothing. Didn’t think it would be enough support but it is. Never know as we get older! Good luck with your hand.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2020 / 6:43 am

      Thanks Barb. They’re are really engineered well!

    • jmp
      December 7, 2020 / 6:59 am

      Thanks for the bra recommendation. I checked on the link you supplied, but didn’t know how to determine a size since they ran small.medium, etc. Any suggestions?

  22. Kim Vardas
    December 7, 2020 / 5:58 am

    So sorry you’re still have issues with your hand! Love today’s look. You motivated me to dig out my lightweight cashmere sweater, since it’s finally cooled down in my area of Florida. I ordered the soft bra. I’m not sure if it will contain my larger breasts but I’m sure it will at least be great with loungewear at home. Comfort is key. Thank you.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2020 / 6:43 am

      Thanks Kim. Such a lovely time to be in Florida. Lucky you!

  23. Susan R
    December 7, 2020 / 5:47 am

    So sorry you’re having such trouble with your hand. Perhaps this new doctor will be able to put everything right.
    I love wearing neutrals; my favorite is gray. Your advice on texture makes so much sense! I will be sure to focus on that when putting an outfit together…which I still do, if yoga pants and a fleece top can be styled!
    I’m finding that my underwire bras aren’t as comfortable as they used to be. I’ll be trying one of the adjustable soft bras. Thanks!

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2020 / 6:42 am

      Lol, may of us are styling yoga pants these days. They’re so comfy:)

  24. Bea
    December 7, 2020 / 5:44 am

    Jennifer, first of all, I hope you know that I (and your readers) will understand if you ever need to take a break from writing this blog. I hate to think that work might add to your feelings of stress. Your hand and your health are what is most important, and I wish you the best in pursuing answers about your poor hand. Now on to the important topic of bras. True confessions here – I have stopped wearing one around the house (and when I go out, if I have a coat on). Let me tell you that I should wear a bra because I am rather large on top! So I will definitely give a try to some of the wireless bras you recommend. Thank you and happy holidays!

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2020 / 6:39 am

      Thank you Bea. I think there are more of us steering clear of bras than you would imagine:) I hope you find one you like.

    • Liz F
      December 7, 2020 / 8:36 am

      Hand stuff is not a lot of fun, my sympathies to you. Fractured my wrist in June, carpal tunnel came after the first repair; that’s been fixed and PT is in progress. Some of us are just lucky to find a great surgeon to start. I wish you well, read all you can and ask a ton of questions. Also, the PT people he/she uses will have wise opinions.
      As for the wireless bras, try Evelyn & Bobbie — either Defy or Beyond bras. Great support & comfort!!

      • Jennifer
        Author
        December 7, 2020 / 3:29 pm

        The PT people seem smarter than my original DR!

    • Shawn
      December 7, 2020 / 9:03 am

      I must agree, Jennifer. If you need time off from blogging, you are well-supported (like a good bra?) by your readers.

  25. Jan
    December 7, 2020 / 5:29 am

    Who knew that neutrals were so gorgeous!?
    We escaped from our home yesterday and went for a long drive. I wore a new sweater and felt somewhat “normal” for just a few hours.
    It’s no easy trick to find that perfect bra! Trying to create some space between the bustline and the waistline can be a real challenge these days. Lol
    If I had any slight issues with my general health decades ago, it has done nothing more than become more apparent. I hope you can get some solid answers to your issues with your hands. We just need to know what can be done to makes our lives better.
    December 7, 1941 …. my thoughts are of my parents and their generation and how this date forever changed their lives.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2020 / 6:34 am

      I had not noticed the date. What an enormous impact that day had on our world.

  26. Becky Smith
    December 7, 2020 / 5:24 am

    I’m sorry that your hand is giving you so much trouble! I hope the new doctor can bring some new options for you.

    I enjoyed the tips on texture today, and I’m excited to check out some of the bras you featured. I don’t have a single one that I like right now, so this is very timely.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2020 / 6:32 am

      There are so many options now. It’s a welcome change.

  27. Marie
    December 7, 2020 / 4:49 am

    Great post, Jennifer. I hope you’ll get resolution for your hand soon. Happy holidays.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2020 / 6:31 am

      Thanks so much.

  28. Kate Smith
    December 7, 2020 / 4:48 am

    Great Post Jennifer! Thank you! I just finished my shopping❤️❤️❤️

  29. Cheryll Sampson
    December 7, 2020 / 4:46 am

    My late husband had Depyutron surgery in 2011, five years before his death from other reasons, but he had complications, had a cold hand that ached for months afterward. He always said he would not have had the surgery if he could go back and do over. Another opinion told him a nerve had been cut in the surgery and might regenerate in five to six years which he did not have.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2020 / 6:27 am

      I’m wishing I hadn’t had the Dupuytrens removed because that’s what a lot for he scaring is from.

  30. Paulette Levy
    December 7, 2020 / 4:31 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your poor hand, and all you have to do. I haven’t had any of this going on yet, and do my own hand exercises, taught to us by our former in person yoga instructor. (Miss her). Not sure if it helps but it seems to alleviate arthritis pain. (Only slight).
    I love neutrals…especially warm beige and white. I always got compliments. Since I don’t really see many people now, I’m not sure what I’ll be wearing this winter, but black leggings and dark wash skinny jeans.
    Can it wait for the vaccine!

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2020 / 6:17 am

      It’s funny but hand yoga make a lot of sense to me now:)
      Entire body yoga does too.

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