I  thought I’d sworn off crew necks forever, but this top has convinced me that a flattering version might actually be possible. It’s Vogue 8151; project details are on the “Stitched” page.

The skirt is old Lands’ End. My goal is to replace it this year with a self-drafted version in a more substantial fabric (I’m on draft #3, all part of my 2017 sartorial mantra “no rush,” wink-wink).


Shoes are second-hand Salvatore Ferragamo. I searched eBay for months after reading a rave review on the zero-waste blog Paris to Go. They do not disappoint: sturdy yet sleek, comfortable but not clunky. Acquiring them filled me with a sense of triumph that would probably be more appropriate for civil rights milestones or breakthroughs in cancer research. Alas.

Any second-hand shoe scores to share? 


Monday at the Office

Eileen Fisher silk tee, second hand; EF pants, Pendleton cardigan; gifted necklace

For the past three years I have been fortunate to work 25 hours a week at a family-friendly non-profit. Gone are the 55-hour weeks, the commute, the trips to DC, and the impulsive shopping.


Calvin Klein vintage shoes, second-hand; B.Ella  hosiery; Eileen Fisher Pants

Clothing purchases are made with the long haul in mind; I allow myself slightly more whimsy with accessories.  I sometimes wonder what my wardrobe would look like if I’d exercised this kind of discipline and discernment when I was working full-time, with a full-time income. But for me, mindfulness was made possible by larger life changes.

Hope your week is off to a good start.


Welcome to Brave in Ribbons, an edited chronicle of my ordinary-and-flawed-but-mostly-happy life.

My days are spent parenting a 14-year-old daughter, working part-time at a non-profit, connecting with my husband of 19 years, and when I really manage my time well, sewing, cycling or jogging, and knitting.

My teenage magazine habit instilled a love for style; my parents’ public school salaries required that I express it frugally and creatively.

At age 48, I still get a thrill out of a luxe bargain or a beautifully-executed work-around.

I’m so happy that you stopped by.