When Artsy Siblings Give Their Sturdy Sister Presents

My brother and my middle sister are infinitely Artsier than I. This has proven helpful to my wardrobe over the years.

For example, last month, as my 56th birthday approached, my sister and I had the following discussion. By cellphone, of course.

S: What do you want for your birthday?
L: Um.Nothing really. A book. Or, if you wanted to actually get me something, how about a top I don’t have to tuck in?
S: ???
L: I am tired of holding in my stomach all the time. What is it with midlife midriff? No more t-shirts for me.
S: *words of agreement and knowing laughter*
L: And most of my button-fronts look less than their best, left untucked.
S: *murmurings of support*
AT&T Wireless Service: Drop that sucker! No family fun allowed!
L: *various mutterings, shaking of fists at presumed cell towers, and stomping off to work*

Come the day, despite our terrible wireless coverage, I unwrapped this top from Jigsaw London. The Henley Peasant Top.

It’s a modal sort of fabric, with slight gathers at the shoulder, and light elastic at wrist and waist. Believe it or not, even this much flow and drape makes me feel veritably avant-garde. Not my usual strict tailoring. But it’s navy blue, which comes with a Classic Style Get Out Of Jail Free card. Supremely comfortable, and much kinder to my midlife waistline than a standard tee.

I wore it to work with 7 for All Mankind Dojo jeans, and the J. Crew Downtown Field Jacket in Mossy Brown. The color otherwise known as olive green. Etro scarf courtesy of my Artsy Brother, several years ago.

What with the San Francisco pinkish-purple brick background I’d scouted out, a flowing shirt and patterned scarf,  it was a thrilling day for the Sturdy Gal.

Enjoy your Hallowe’ens, everyone. May all those on the East Coast in Hurricane Sandy’s path recover quickly.

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  • Nice henley tee. I have a similar one in navy, bought years ago in Paris. I think they also look great with a contrasting tank underneath and a few more buttons left open. I used to spend my wardrobe thoughts on ways to minimize thighs, and had a flattish stomach, which I took for granted. Now, it’s all about the middle, which seems to have a mind, and life, all of it’s own.

  • Arrggh, the midlife midriff indeed. I was advised recently the word is “gravity.” If this is gravity then I don’t care for it. At all.

    On the other hand, you look splendid, your artsy sister did a stellar job with the top, and pairing it with the J Crew & Etro scarf makes a fabulous ensemble. Very stylish indeed Miss LPC. :)

  • That is a fantastic look! love the soft colours of grey and plum and the indigo jean against the brown jacket. Beeee-autiful.

  • I have that now, but for me, the cause was a 10-lb baby, which was 1/11 of what I weighed pre-pregnancy. I think I’ve gotten as close to a flat stomach as I can, but there will always be a little pooch unless I worked out for a living.

    Cute top. I love that jacket.

  • Okay, you have all kinds of cool and artsy going on here! Well done!

    12:43 pm
    Lisa said...

    Aha! Spoken by an Artsy in validation! Thank you.

  • so pretty! happy halloween to you to lisa. xo

  • Well done you. I love that you scouted out a purple painted brick wall background – outfit and photo composition are superb!

  • You look gorgeous in the top (but then again, you pretty much look gorgeous in every photo I’ve seen of you). I’d never be able to pull off a blouse with elastic at the bottom.

  • Lisa
    You’re a treat today! You look cool and sophisticated.

  • You’ve pulled it all together nicely and that scarf is a great touch.
    What is it about the mid section and women of our age?
    It definitely has a mind of it’s own despite mindful eating….
    Happy Halloween Lisa!

  • Nice tee! I’m also on the lookout for tops that are gracious to the midsection without looking like a poorly pitched tent.

  • Looking good Lisa,like your hair lose.
    I have no waist/stomach problems….bohoooo thighs/hips are the bane of my life.Ida

  • Fabulous! Love the top (and the whole outfit)! So thankful for siblings–mine teaches me how to style my hair.

  • Superduper blouse; love the sibling Q & A, speaking of which I think you’ll like this:


    12:44 pm
    Lisa said...

    I couldn’t read it:(. Paywall.

  • The jacket I thought was a Barbour is in fact a J. Crew Downtown Field Jacket! This makes me inexplicably happy, and earmarks said jacket for a place on my Christmas list.

    I love the way you report the conversation with your sister and the gremlins in the telephone masts, complete with *various mutterings, shaking of fists at presumed cell towers, and stomping off to work*. So familiar and so funny.

  • At 60, I’ve noticed some changes in the midriff section myself. While at Soma buying a new bra last week, the fitter told me that I have an “hourglass” figure. I guess that means I still have a waist, for which I am grateful.

    I agree with another poster who says that you look great in every photo we’ve seen. And yes, I like your hair down. It’s beautiful that way.

  • Great shirt! Appreciate you bringing the ‘midlife midriff’ into the open. I’m going to exhale now. You look so fabulous. love the outfit.

  • What a beautiful top. Just when I was convincing myself I needed to focus on structure, structure for my wardrobe, you throw this little monkey wrench into my plans. Truth is, too much structure makes me want to yank my clothes off- this top is much more ‘me’. Love the scarf too… lucky you with those siblings.

  • You must do the “untucked” look! It takes care of all my problems (front tucked in, back out) and feels fun too. You probably know all this already but it has been my most stylish solution for wearing blouses and shirts with jeans. XX

  • Now we’re talking. I love that top, could you give your sister my email?

    looking good lady.

    xo Jane

    12:44 pm
    Lisa said...

    Hehe. I’ll put you on her list:).

  • Oh what a bright spot in otherwise cement colored chaos. Who knew we’d be trying to explain the cancellation of Halloween, no tricking nor treating. Thanks for the much needed cheer

  • Love that top-its color and style-and your artsy ensemble as well. That said, let me say that I am anti-modal. Or perhaps the starker truth is that modal is anti-me. Yes, for me it is like dressing in colored Saran wrap, not a look or feel I could ever rock, not now nor at my welter weight. I do appreciate the loose, no-tuck aspect of your top. I believe I am better served by some modicum of tougher polymers to prop my polyester up and out, hiding a multitude of sins as they do.

    12:45 pm
    Lisa said...

    I know. This is a leeeeetle bit clingy. But I’m ignoring it:).

  • Beautiful top! Your siblings must know you well to choose something that fits so well with your wardrobe and style and is just a little outside of your usual comfort zone. You look great in it.

  • Blue looks good on you and great that the top feels comfortable worn on.
    Comfort comes first!

  • Your style is such an inspiration to me! At what feels like an in-between age (37) and transitioning place in life (and not willing to begin doing all the physical modifications people do in trying to stay looking always the same previous age – but still wanting to stay stylish and hoping to become even more gorgeous over time in new ways), among all the things of interest I have found here, I am really thankful to you for your beautiful photos! Honestly, these reach me in a deep place and make me feel courageous and joyful about life and future.

    12:46 pm
    Lisa said...

    Thoughts and remarks like these are hands-down the best part of blogging. I am honored to be so regarded. Thank you.

    And thank you to EVERYONE who is so nice about my style photos. Much appreciated.

  • Wonderful more-than-a-tee top and the spark of the scarf is superb!

  • Tried something similar on at ON over the weekend. It hits at a flattering hip-waist spot., but I think it’s not for small chests. When the drape at the lowered waist is larger than the curve of the chest waist minimizing illusions are lost. Didn’t stop me from buying one in a cute pattern that will look nice under a sweater with a scarf to add some chest presence.

  • Gorgeous. I cannot dress down like this to work, but I definitely could wear something similar to it on the weekends! Your sister and brother have wonderful taste.

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  1. […] I first discovered Jigsaw London when my Artsy sister gave me this wonderful navy top as a birthday present. […]

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