and next week will get back to a regular posting schedule.

The Fairmont Empress at night. Great place for high tea!

I Said I’d Never Talk About Fashion

When a teacher of mine suggested that I find a more narrow focus for my blog, I said, “Well, it’s for women at midlife and beyond, and we’re complex.” I am interested in too many things to limit myself, and I think many women of my age feel the same way. I decided, then, that I would meander a little, exploring and sharing whatever I found interesting — and to trust that the audience I would attract would be those women, and some men, apparently, who aren’t just interested in One Thing.

I was absolutely certain about One Thing, though. “I won’t EVER write about fashion!”

I meant it at the time. I don’t enjoy shopping, and I’m not particularly girly. But then I discovered hats and made an exception. Once done with that, though, I retreated once again into my declaration. I won’t EVER write about fashion again!”


I figured I came well prepared to Washington State with my convertible pants for hiking and multiple layers. In this part of the world, we’re a pretty casual bunch, so even though I have limited wardrobe right now (moving van is headed our way!), I have managed to be comfortable.

Then I noticed that many of the ladies in town wear scarves. Shoot, a lot of the guys do, too, and it gives them that cool, casual European look. “Hmm,” I thought. Even my Puritan brain thought, “Okay, they seem to serve an actual purpose of keeping people warm.”

In the interest of looking as though I’m “in the know,” I purchased a selection of scarves at a local store:

A Swirl of Scarves

So, I’ve bought a few more hats — also handy to have when the wind blows. Done, right? Now I can move off the fashion topic?

Not so fast.

Last weekend, Port Townsend held its annual Victorian Festival, celebrating Port Townsend’s rich Victorian history. The town is dotted with picturesque Victorian homes and buildings, created at a time when high hopes were held for Port Townsend to become a major center for commerce.

For the festival, many residents enjoy dressing in full Victorian costume for the events that include a fashion show and ball.  Here’s a link to some cool local residents who love to dress this way year-round — and no one here bats an eyelash, which is one big reason we love living here.

Hubby and I, being a little late to the party, attended just a few events, and wore our normal wardrobe. We wouldn’t miss the Victorian tea, though. We’ve been to a few at the Empress in Victoria, so we were excited about a local version. This one was held at the Blue Gull Inn B&B, and several of the ladies (hubby was the only guy) were resplendent in gorgeous gowns of taffeta and lace, with hats, gloves, the works. (Note: I apologize I did not get photos of these gorgeous gals. If I run across any, I will pass them along.)

If you haven’t been to a Victorian high tea, run to your first opportunity! Besides sipping elegant teas, you get to eat finger sandwiches and all kinds of goodies. Here’s the dessert tray to entice you:

High Tea Desserts! Yum!










Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Anyone?










We had a great time, though I confessed to feeling underdressed and promised my new buds that next year I would be better prepared. After that I started shopping online…I’m thinking a daywear dress and perhaps an evening gown

Who knew I would be pondering my own Victorian wardrobe? My God, if this keeps up I may end up writing about *gasp* shoes!