Updating Your Wardrobe and Other Musings

Happy Monday, ladies. I hope you enjoyed a nice Veteran’s Day weekend. As I mentioned yesterday, my beautiful new grandson was born this weekend, a whole ten years after my first grandson. Babies are such a blessing, and we are so excited to welcome him into the family. I was so happy to be here to meet him in the hospital and rub his tiny little face. What a treasure.

As a result, we hunkered down at home this weekend to spend time with the family. My daughter Vanessa flew into town, and we enjoyed some quality time with the rest of the family.

Updating your wardrobe

matching wooden hanger for jackets on A Well Styled Life

Vanessa was on the hunt for some new clothes this weekend, so we spent some time unpacking what she was looking for and how to add to her wardrobe in a cost-effective and meaningful way. First, I asked her to describe her style. What three words would she use to describe how she wanted to dress? Second, could she pull some photos either from Instagram, blogs, or Pinterest that she likes? Once she had done that, we could spend some time deconstructing what it was that she liked about them and what she might like to add to her wardrobe.

You may also enjoy The Three-Word Method To Find Your Personal Style

It turns out she was in need of some new pieces to complement a good set of basics. Some new accessories and a few unique pieces that could elevate her wardrobe. She actually bought a few pieces that I picked up a couple of weeks ago and will be featuring on the blog later this week.

Updating your wardrobe can be fun, frustrating, expensive, exciting, all of the above. Here are a few things to think about when you are updating your wardrobe. Does it fit? Does it really fit in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident? Has it held up through the test of time, and do you still feel your best wearing it, or is it time to retire the piece? And, can you update it with an accessory or an affordable on-trend accent piece?

Holiday Traditions

This year, we put our Christmas tree up earlier than normal, which I am quite happy about. We have a trip to Canada on the books later this month, and it feels wonderful to have the tree up and ready to welcome the festive season. This has me thinking more about holiday traditions and how we will be embracing them this year.

This weekend, we put one of my favorite Christmas albums on, the music from the Nutcracker Ballet. Oh, how I love this music. When I was growing up in Toronto, my mom brought me to the Nutcracker ballet each holiday season. And as my kids were growing up, I did the same with them. This year, we are planning to take my older grandson and my daughter again. It’s such a warm and happy memory, dressing up, heading into the City for the evening, and enjoying the beautiful dancing and music.

Over the years, our holiday traditions have evolved as our kids grew up, as we moved, and of course, with the addition of our grandkids. Nothing puts me in the holiday spirit (even early!) quite like the music of the Nutcracker.

Strength training

My daughter brought me to the gym this weekend to try out some strength training, a departure from my typical walking and light weights routine. She has spent the last several months working out with a personal trainer and learning how properly lift heavier weights.

I’ve read a few books that pointed to the fact that strength training becomes increasingly important as we age. Weight-bearing activities on a regular basis support our bone density and keep us strong and balanced. I’ve been taking it easy for the last couple of months with my hip bugging me, but I was able to try a few new moves out this weekend. I appreciated that it only took about twenty minutes for a full routine of strength training and to be on my way for the day.

Soup for dinner

vegan carrot coconut soup

Please settle a debate in our family this weekend – is a bowl of soup a suitable dinner? When the weather cools, my husband and I love to enjoy a bowl of soup in the winter months. And in the last few years, as he has learned to cook more and more, he has perfected a few favorites! Chicken noodle soup, a vegetable stew, and prawn-dumping curry soup.

My daughter was laughing at us this weekend for eating soup a few nights in a row, but I find it nice to eat a lighter meal and something warm at the end of a chiller day.

Wearing Color

As we shopped this weekend for a few pieces to add to Vanessa’s wardrobe, I was reminded again how little color I have in my closet! I really value the beauty of a nice neutral, monochromatic ivory, taupe, black. Perhaps my favorite color of all time is taupe. And while I like seeing color on other people, the reality is I rarely reach for it when I’m getting dressed in the morning. Also, in the hectic pace of daily life, I like the calmness and gentleness of a soft, neutral palette.

We have a few more days with the family before a trip up to Canada.

What are you looking forward to this week?


  1. Soup is a choice for my husband and I now that the weather is cooler and we prefer a lite meal later in the day.
    I am looking forward to the next three weeks as our daughter and her husband will be staying with us while they are in the area putting up Christmas decorations for her clients.

  2. Congratulations on the birth of your grandson. You are so lucky to have been able to be there for the birth. All of our grandchildren are adults now and we just had a new great granddaughter, Elowyn Grey. She is the 14th one and probably last. However, all of our children, grandchildren and greats live in other states. We both love soup and eat our heaviest meal at lunchtime and a light one for supper. I am a short cool summer and prefer navy as my neutral and prefer a column of color. I live in denim, knit tops with a flannel shirt as a topper as it is cooler here in Colorado now. We are looking forward to only one doctors appointment and enjoying our new rescued Havanese dog that we have now had 3 weeks.

    1. It’s sad when they live so far away.

  3. Karen Shoemaker says:

    I too welcomed a new grandson this year! Congratulations! I’m getting ready to go celebrate my oldest grandson’s birthday this week and I can’t wait! Soups for dinners are the best. As soon as it turns cool (and sometimes when it’s still hot, I make a pot of soup to enjoy. I love the leftovers! As far as color in my wardrobe, I too trend to neutrals, although this year I’ve picked up a burgundy zip front cardigan (Talbots) and a red v- neck sweater from Amazon to wear with jeans. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  4. Shellia McCormick says:

    I loved reading all you had to say today. You are blessed and I realized that with only 2 step children and step-grand baby with one on the way, I am truly blessed as well. My step son works with me and my step daughter and I get along wonderfully. I would love to hear about wearing blue jeans every day from you. I work in an office that does not dress up, so blue jeans are the norm. I would love to dress them up, though. Any thoughts?

    1. I love to dress up jeans so will have some posts upcoming.

  5. Our grandchildren were 11 and 9 when a new grandchild arrived. It was such a fun experience for them! They had never been through the “baby cousin” phase before. This will be a treat for your older grandson. ☺️
    We love soup for dinner. Try Ina Garten’s minestrone; it’s substantial and delicious.

  6. My son is coming home from Paris tomorrow. That’s what I’m looking forward to!! We have soup-er Sunday every week at our house.

  7. Like Sandra R, as a winter, I like gray as a fall/winter neutral. I like, black, navy, and white but am looking for something a little different this year. If you choose to write about gray as a neutral, I’d welcome hearing what you have to say. A big ‘yes’ to soup and the Nutcracker and the fun of shopping with your daughter. You are a fortunate woman.

    1. I know how blessed I am. That’s a great idea about grey. I’ll see what I can do.

  8. Welcoming a grandson sounds special! Living solo, I love soup for dinner…even for breakfast! Protein, fiber and comfort. Do try a minestrone with white beans, spinach etc. Warm moist cornbread with honey butter. Easy to share with a neighbor. In both fashion and decor I favor cool pale neutrals with touches of pewter metallic. Pewter color is more versatile than all gold or silver. I continue to love the pewter Lo & Sons crossbody bag you introduced me to three years ago. Their quality products bring longterm joy! Defining one’s personal style adjectives certainly saves time, money and frustration.

    1. I agree about pewter. I have worn my Ecco pewter slip ins to bits!

      1. Jennifer, I just bought a pair of pewter Ecco slip ins this week after admiring yours for a long time. I’m generally a difficult fit in shoes with my narrow heel, but these fit so well I picked up a pair in navy as well!

      2. I’d love navy. I haven’t seen those!

  9. Cath🇨🇦 says:

    How lovely to have another wee baby in the family.Congratulations! Enjoy all of the cuddles. And having everyone together there for the event is so special.
    As I follow your articles, Jennifer, and seeing how much some colour makes you shine ( maybe a colourful top or scarf) , perhaps try steering away from your neutrals more . I agree that taupe looks good on you, Jennifer, but adding colour to a taupe outfit might be fun. I love colour and know what suits me, but I need to try more neutrals, so I am the opposite of you !
    Once we have chilly weather and ham left from our Thanksgiving 🇨🇦 dinner, my guy begins cooking up some warming soups that eventually fill a shelf in the freezer…ham and split pea, beef barley, leek and potato. I tend to make some vegetarian alternatives , often with curry, cauliflower, and kale. Crispy ciabatta with olive oil and herbs under the grill are yummy accompaniments, unless there’s fresh sour dough bread to enjoy. Love shopping the freezer for some lunches and dinners. And like another reader, if I watch the bread portion, it’s an easy way to have a light but nutritious meal on colder days and keep my weight steady. I remember going to see The Nutcracker with my daughter, an aspiring dancer, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. But both kids came to The Christmas Carol playing during December too.
    Good memories. Welcome back to Canada soon! 🍁With snow now dusting the North Shore mountains, Vancouver never ceases to look splendid !

    1. Amazing!! Bread is my downfall 🥰

  10. Soup? Of course!! Another favorite my husband and I have is a “breakfast dinner.” When it is cold, dark and rainy in Seattle, a breakfast dinner is the perfect antidote.

  11. Soup for dinner? Yes! But I’m sure the Mister would expect a bit more- a salad? Bread? I have celiac disease so home made is the only soup I can trust to not include gluten and no yummy breads. Sadly. But a great idea!
    I wear very few vibrant colors- definitely neutrals here too! My week includes healing my back ( SI joint injury two years ago Is acting up again—very painful).

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your back, Paulette.

  12. Thank you for your posts Jennifer. I really enjoy them and appreciate your interesting and varying array of topics. I, too, love neutrals and TAUPE, but have found it difficult in the last couple years to find a nice taupe. Perhaps you could do an article on that elusive colour!
    Kind regards,

  13. Soup for supper? Yes! This isn’t something we did when our kids were growing up, so they might think it strange too, but now that we’re retired, I enjoy making a pot of hearty soup and serving it for supper, usually with warm homemade biscuits.

    Congratulations on the birth of your new grandson! Grandchildren are such a blessing!

  14. In the past week I’ve made borscht and split pea soup. Sometimes I add a can of white kidney beans to make the soup more hearty. Please share your daughter’s wardrobe updates. What a combo to have your expertise and Vanessa’s!

  15. Congratulations on the birth of your new Grandson. Grandkids are so fun! I made soup last week and it reminded me of how much I love it. This was a new kind of diet taco soup. Turned out well. I’m with you about neutrals. I always reach for that but I’m trying to add more color just in case I looked washed out. I know black and silver seem to look well with my now silver hair.i wish our tree was up!

  16. Jennifer, congratulations on the birth of your new grandson! Grandchildren are such a blessing! Enjoy your new little grandson!

  17. My husband and I love homemade soup for dinner! He makes a huge vat of vegetable beef soup each fall to freeze, and we enjoy it throughout the winter. We share with my parents, who are also soup lovers. However, when our two boys were growing up, they considered soup an appetizer! I’m a very classic dresser, and lately my neutrals have felt a little boring. I’ve been attracted to more color recently.

  18. You hit on my favorite topics: grandchildren, soup, and neutrals! (Notice I didn’t mention weight lifting, haha). Yes, we frequently eat soup for dinner … my favorite is lentil. I like a warm, filling, nourishing meal I can make once and eat for a few days. Since I’m on a weight loss journey, soup fits into my meal plan. Our alternative dinner is a big salad, which even my friends say is too hard core. To each his own. I too love color, but I’m a neutrals person also. Over the last few years, I’ve been gradually replacing my black with navy, which is more flattering to my warm complexion. And I love this year’s chocolate brown. I would have that as my core neutral, but most years you cannot find it in the stores.

    1. There’s lots of chocolate this year so stock up.

  19. Hello Jennifer – I read about your new grandson yesterday in your newsletter, so let me congratulate the whole family here!
    I just realised how long I have been reading your blog – I well remember seeing photos of your older grandson when he was just a toddler. I’m sure he’ll be a marvellous big brother.
    We are going to see The Nutcracker at the end of the month here in Ottawa, together with our older son, his wife and his in-laws. Very much looking forward to that!

    1. That sounds so fun!!

  20. Congratulations on your new grandson! Grandchildren are one of life’s glorious pleasures. Soup! Yes, soup is a meal in itself. My husband and I love soup for dinner on chilly, cold days. Like your husband, mine has perfected chili, beef and noodles, and gumbo. I need to revisit my three words. I think I have tried to stay true to them, but I know there are some awkward ones in my closet.

  21. Jennifer, I am so envious of you shopping with your daughter! I have one daughter too, and I love shopping with her, but we rarely do it because she lives in Canada, is working a lot, and living her best life with 4 children and a husband. I do shop for gifts for her and her daughters, though! You should see what I bring across the border at holiday time. I often cringe when I think of the possibility of border guards making me unwrap all those Christmas presents!

    1. Lol, those border guards have seen it all!

  22. Just finalizing details of our family trip to Rome. Dreading the long plane ride, but looking forward to the fun!

  23. We eat our largest meal at lunch, essentially dinner at lunch. The. Dinner is a lot smaller, soup is perfect this time of year. We’ve lost weight easily with this new routine without going on a DIET. Feels perfect!
    So YES to soup fir dinner!

    1. I like to eat lighter at dinner too.

    2. Christi S. says:

      We started eating our large meal at lunch with a very light dinner. We have discovered that only eating two meals a day works better for keeping our weight in check. And, soup is an excellent light dinner.

  24. I love soup in the winter…..as long as I’m doing a balanced diet through the course of the day, thumbs up. It’s nice and appreciated when the guy finds his thing to do in the kitchen for meals.
    I love a splash of color or the unexpected to make an outfit suit me 🙂 and I love that your daughter and you each enjoy and share fashion and the Nutcracker tradition.

  25. Yes to soup for dinner. I make a large pot every Sunday and have it for dinner four or five days during the week. It’s a great way to get three or four servings of vegetables in.

  26. Francesca B says:

    Hello Jennifer happy Monday!
    I am looking forward to my son and his wife coming home to us for Thanksgiving. We have them here for a whole week and we are very excited.as we have not seen our new daughter in law since they got married last September. (They are both in the military and so you have to adjust to their timetable).Our daughter got married last month so this is the first Thanksgiving with both our chicks and their spouses and we are a family of six! So much to be thankful for!!

  27. Leslie Alexander says:

    Hi! Yes, soup is totally acceptable as a light meal. We do that often in the cooler months. Just add a baguette with butter, some fruit and a cookie and enjoy. How about sharing those recipes with us? Welcome back to Canada!
    Leslie Alexander

  28. Maggie Fieger says:

    Congratulations on the birth of your new grandson. That’s so wonderful!
    I’m going wedding dress shopping with my future daughter-in-law and her family, and it involves a road trip! Double fun.m
    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Have fun. Weddings are so joyous.

  29. Soup is a perfectly fine choice for dinner. I usually serve it with muffins, rolls or something like that. It’s one of my favorite dinner choices.

  30. Not only is it ok to eat soup for dinner, it’s a wonderful, light way to end the day. Our bodies don’t need the heavier meals we used to eat at night. Assuming the soup is nutritious and isn’t high in sodium, I say go for it ( and as a former nutritionistI told patients the same thing!
    I too , reach for neutral in my closet ( for me it’s gray of all shades, but paired darks with darks, lights with lights to not chop my short body in half!)

    Congratulations on the birth of your new grandbaby!
    Here’s to many years of cuddling ahead!

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