my lying mirror

Just to let you know that publishing this post proves once again that either I'm an idiot or as my friend says, a narcissist with low self esteem. I'm pretty sure i'm both.  You can see what i'm really wearing this fall here.

In the above picture I'm wearing what my cyber-friend slim hopes to never be caught dead in.  Mom jeans.  I don't like mom jeans either but i looked high and low last year for a jean that Katherine or Marilyn would wear.  Sort of a weekend at the cabin look.  I found these jeans and the waistline comes to just above my naval and i thought they were perfect.  Wrong, turns out they are just mom jeans, and quite unflattering.  But I swear in the mirror, they looked good.

Next up is another disaster that I really loved.  My chambray shirt and a pair of high-waisted, wide legged jeans.  This outfit is so comfortable that i feel like I'm wearing pajamas.  And it turns out that it looks like I'm wearing them too.  The shirt is far too loose with the jeans and just looks sloppy and not the casual hipster i imagined.

Here are the same pants but with a more form fitting white shirt.  In my eyes it still looks awful.  At this point, I'm thinking it's the jeans.  It couldn't possibly be me!

Because I wear all black at work, this would be something I would wear quite often.  I would just take the jacket off when I began working.  So these Theory pants and a black t or mock turtleneck for the fall would be a standard outfit.  This is not bad with the jacket but look at how awful it is without...

Was anyone ever going to tell me how awful my bustline looks?  I am so embarrassed that I've been traipsing around in this outfit for like 2 years now thinking i was looking good.  That mirror lies I tell you.

This is not a fashion blunder but as long as I'm here exposing myself, I'd like to get this off my chest.  You all know I'm a passionate vegan but you don't know that in my closet is my favorite piece of clothing and it's a vintage cashmere coat with a fur collar.  There i said it, phew.  And i plan to keep it.


  1. Began wearing Mosquito Clothes this summer. All linen. Long linen dress, long sleeved linen shirt.

    Great for working in the garden or designing landscapes.

    Jeans too hot, & hard to get off quickly for restroom.

    Iron the linen? Discovered thicker linen doesn't need ironing.

    My grandmother made me that exact style coat when I was a little girl. Loved it. Looks great on you, as did all your clothes.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  2. Love everything but that coat is just fabulous and my favorite image of you!

  3. I thought all your outfits looked really cute, but if you're not feeling it, it doesn't matter what I think. I hate that, when you think you look good in something only to see a picture of yourself and say "what was I thinking?" Honestly, I don't think it was you OR the clothes...I think it's the camera. :)

  4. You're way too harsh on yourself! Lx

  5. tara - i love linen in the summer too. how lucky that you have a handmade coat.

    t - thanks.

    karin - perhaps you are right.

    laura - you are def right. but i'm catholic.

  6. I janet! I totally agree: photos tell the better truth! I went through wardrobe this spring and took pics with the automatic release. I could tell by the photos what works and what doesn't.
    I will do this again! Our brain is a miracle, especially when standing in front of a mirror.
    What will you do with the space in the closet you gained? Or did you keep both jeans?

  7. Ha! 'I'm catholic' Love it!

    I love the coat, ALL the outfits, and I think you boobs look fabulous!


  8. I am laughing with you on this post. Oh, the mirror........jeans for me are all about comfort and for the life of me will never be a fashion statement. So it goes.

  9. Since I live in faded jeans and black leggings, I don't claim to be a fashion expert but I definately know that you look fabulous in each of these outfits! You need to delete that first paragraph of this post!
    Everything about you is stylish and classy - I love the vintage looking "Katherine at the weekend cabin" look - even if they are mom jeans. :)
    Don't look in the mirror - they all lie. If you feel good when the clothes are on, you look great.
    I'll forgive you on the fur - you're recycling and that's just as good. :)

  10. I LOVE your cashmere coat with the fur collar...and you look radiant in that photo...
    I too have wide legged pants that feel like PJ's...I have been wondering if they look awful on me...they must or I wouldn't have that niggling feeling.
    Your all black look shows off your tiny waist and I say embrace your assets!
    Dear Janet...put that coat on now and channel radiant beauty!

  11. You look great in all of these! I especially like #3, #4 and #6. By the way I found that chambray shirt on and ordered myself one. I'll let you know how it works out when it arrives.

  12. I feel that way about many things I've bought! What was I thinking? And I have some leather that I bought before I was enlightened. What to do?


  13. I think it doesn´t matter what you wear, you will always look sooo good and pretty!!! Loved the cashmere coat!!!
    Did you realize that a capricorn is kind of keeping in good shape as it´s getting older....?
    hugs my dear Janet,
    maria cecilia

  14. The next time you look in the mirror, I want you to repeat, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me!'

  15. Hi Janet,

    I'd rather see a woman with a decent figure in mom jeans vs. an unfit woman with muffin top!

    I have the same boob issue, I feel self conscious in anything too tight, and have to make sure I have a supportive bra. I have a few pictures that I should tear up. Isn't it funny how women that pay for them want to expose them as much as possible and ones with God given big ones want to camouflage them??? Guess if you shell out all that money...


  16. You look fabulous in all. Don't see me posting pictures of my hot body now do you?

    Change your mantra to I am beautiful inside and out.

    xo Sister Mary Jane

  17. Hmmmm--I'm not seeing the problems you mention. Maybe you could benefit from an appointment with a personal stylist, or maybe from some software program where you can enter your exact dimensions and then it tells you the shapes and lengths that are considered most flattering. That way you can decide just how much of the advice you wish to follow, or to deviate from the advice with confidence. Also consider your irritation with how you look in favorite clothes a possible sign of a change in life or direction, one you can't even put into words yet. Maybe you want your outsides to line up with your insides, or maybe you want the outside to shield the inside. But just based on your clothing selection and how you look in the pictures, there's nothing unsuitable or unattractive. So there! ;)

  18. paula - the jeans are sitting in a bag to go to the salvation army.

    sue - thanks. so you understand catholic mentality.

    julie - i love a woman who can laugh at herself.

    sarah - thanks for the pass on the fur. it means a lot to me coming from another vegan.

    leslie - maybe all wide legged pants do that. any fashion experts out there with advice?

    paige - i'm going to old navy dot com now!

    claudia - i have made up my mind that i am keeping anything that i love that just happens to be an animal product. nothing new but i'll keep the old.

    maria cecilia - i forgot you are a catholic capricorn too!

    karrina - you crack me up!

    linda - i thought b/c i wear a support/minimizer that i was safe. ha.

    sister mary jane - love you!

    meg - i think i would benefit most with an appt with a shrink.

    patricia - thank you dear.


  19. me thinks your mirror is okay, but perhaps 'you' need glasses as I think you look fab in every photo! the "narcissist with low self esteem" comment was toooo dayumm funny! you look very "mad men" in the coat- it is fabulous and I am sooooo glad to see it, as I was afraid of your comments when I (if I:) show my mink pillows I have. They are made from old muffs and you can't just throw them away, way too beautiful..... :)

  20. Another thought...have you ever tried on "Not Your Daughter's Jeans"? I bought some and I really like them! The majority of them run too short on me tho...


  21. Well i heard that mom jeans are making a comeback. As far as the rest of the outfits, I think you have a cute figure and you can wear anything you want and it looks cute on you.

    I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear that you have a vintage coat with mink collar. I pick up vintage mink coats, collars, stoles all the time and I didn't want you to know. Now I can post about my new old mink stole/throw.

    You look like a movie star in that coat by the way--beautiful!


  22. a) your mom jeans look great, actually b) what a hell of a figure you've got! Rocking someone's world:). I hope you enjoy it to pieces c) I'm going to agree with you on one thing - the black turtleneck doesn't do you justice d) the coat is worth a little cognitive dissonance e) I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying your humor these days.

  23. A narcissist with low self-esteem. LOVE it, I think a lot of us could describe ourselves that way!

  24. I'm a new reader, and I was shocked by your comments. You look absolutely so cute in your jeans! I agree that something isn't quite right with the 5th photo. I think it's that you need long sleeves and a little jewelry to jazz it up. It would also be really cute with some bright colored flats or a fun headband.

    Regarding the fur collar on the coat, you are doing the right thing. At least if the animal is already gone, then it's a fitting tribute to it's beauty to wear and appreciate the fur. And, you do look lovely in it.

  25. joanie - and i'm so glad you will maybe show your muff's. that just doesn't sound right. but i'm an esthetician.

    linda - i think i'm gonna stick to my levis. but thanks and i will check them out.

    julie - show your fur! (i can't help it)

    lpc - what a thoughtful comment. A)don't know who's B) thanks. C) thanks for the honest appraisal, much appreciated. D) my whole life is cognitive dissonance. E) thanks again.

  26. Dear Janet, The thing is, those are the jeans Kate or Marilyn would wear 'at the cabin',no low, or mid rise for them! They would wear them with the hem turned up a couple inches. Picture the jeans with your RL flannels. I understand if you pass them on though, I had a pair and the top drove me crazy as they were so uncomfortable. Janet, you look really, really stunning in everything, you just do. Hugs, Joyce

  27. Janet, what ever you do, don't throw out those high-waisted pants. I think they look great on you, even with the slightly bulkier chambray shirt. You can get rid of the jeans though. Not that they look bad as your figure is so enviable, but they are just so-so in style. With your black high-neck top, I can imagine it better in a scoop neck (not so low as to have cleavage, and not v-neck, but scooped down a bit and out, towards your shoulders. If I learnt one thing from Trinny and Susannah it's that polo/turtle neck tops are bad news for bigger busts. Get the scissors out. Vintage fur is OK.

  28. Would you STOP! You look great. And I am not just saying that because I am a nice person who likes to suck up to people I like. You are a very beautiful woman and trim and fit and you look GREAT in those outfits. I could see no problems except the black one, which wasn't the most flattering.

    You are so funny. I have a large bosom and think I look great in stuff and then see photos and only see my giant boobs which I thought looked great. I often wish they would disappear as they really hamper my cute girlishness and looking coolness.

    You look fab. And your glowing beautiful inside makes that double beautiful! :)

    xo's Terri

  29. Janet I think you are being far too hard on yourself and I also think you have a trim figure that looks good in ALL the outfits! I am sorry but I can't really be comfortable in jeans that are far too low and like them to be nearer my waistline too!!
    Sarah (SemiExpat)

  30. joyce - i will say one thing, those mom jeans sure are comfy.

    fiona - i agree with you on all points. esp. the scissors.

    terri - thanks, and why does everyone want big boobs?

    sarah - thank you, i think the super low ones are the worst, comfort-wise.

  31. Hi Janet,
    First, you look fabulous in each and every photo - love all the jeans on your beautiful figure! AND you look like a movie star in your gorgeous coat.
    Beautiful woman, beautiful make everything you wear look amazing!
    X Trina

  32. Dear Janet, I think you look fine in all those outfits and are too self critical, in particular the black outfit, you have a lovely figure, you really do..but you are right about the coat, it is fab on you, fab ! i think we all go off things we liked, I do it all the time, and I often try things on in the shop, come home, re -try and wonder what on earth I was thinking..

  33. I think you rock the early Katherine Hepburn look in the white shirt and wide-legged trousers -bet the gorgeous tweed jacket would look good with that outfit. I find hidden heels under long trousers work wonders for lengthening/slimming legs - which I really need being rather short in the leg dept!!

    These photos look great to me but I am always appalled at how I look in photos compared to what i see in the mirror. What is that??

  34. Dear Janet, I do not know how cold the winters are with you, but with the winters of Budapest striking -20C, fur is the ONLY thing that keeps one warm. Red fox for me.....there I said it!

  35. julie - i think that applies to most people i know although i doubt they would agree.

    jbeets - welcome and you'll get used to my comments, i hope.

    trina - you are a dear friend. thank you.

    joanie - ha ha. glad you came back for a peek.

    blighty - thanks, i'm def off that black turtleneck!

    belinda - i don't know why that is. what the heck are we supposed to do?

  36. Hi Janet,
    I think you look gorgeous- I know you are a grandma- you have the looks and figure and youth of a woman in her 20s!
    I hate mummy jeans but I still think you look good in these photos!
    And I LOVE the fur collar. It is very very chic. Does the fur made you sda though?
    Trinny and Sussanah say that turtlenecks do not suit those with what my mum would call a "bust".
    I say v nnecks should be your friend!!!
    I'm about to eat my croissant and hightail it to the coalface. xxxx

  37. And another thing. I have seen your teeny tiny wardrobe (you'd say "closet"). I'd love to come to california and take you shopping and get you into some new clobber because I KNOW you are working with a very small amount of clothes here, and I know you play it safe and probably think only a few things suit you when really probably lots of things you wouldn't consider would look STUNNING on you. If the dollar holds up maybe I'll come next year! I love you in caftans and capris and your summer colourful frocks too. J, the universe might be telling you to embrace a New Look! xxxxx

  38. Like everyone else, I love you in that super coat - the soft colour suits you and you must feel cosseted and fabulous in it because you look so happy. The black top you have to give away now! You look very dainty, don't you like crops?
    I hate wearing hipster jeans that leave my back open to the elements but find it impossible to find ones that fit at the waist. If 'mom jeans' is the name for them in America, then it's mom jeans that I'm always hunting for! I like wide leg sailor pants as well, but they do me no favours, my legs are too short. Oh, to be like Katherine Hepburn!

  39. The mum jeans are ok, and the black top could do with a lower neckline. But everything else is absolutely stunning and you look really really chic in each outfit! PS - I would still like to hear how you keep your hair so nice, and do you dye it.

  40. I disagree with you about the wide leg jeans, they look fabulous, flattering and stylish! (Not keen on the "mom jeans" though, you are right about those)

  41. ff - the fur kinda makes me sad but not sad enough to give the coat away. please come to so cal. i would love to waltz around redlands in caftans and big sunglasses.

    rosemary - the top is already in the bag to go. what is crops? i love you brits.

    janey - i thought i answered you before re my hair. i just found out that it is not thick but coarse. lovely. the gal colors it with redken shades to cover the gray. i only wash it about every 4 days with aveda's brilliant line. which gives it a lot of shine. that's about it.

    anon - yeah, the mom jeans are in the to go bag too.

  42. I knew we were practically twins Janet.
    Catholic and Capricorn...we own the market on guilt.

  43. when i am in doubt i do take a picture since my hubs is to kind to tell me the truth or he thinks i look great in everything! i think if you buy vintage or second hand anything goes - right? you are helping the land fill.

  44. edith - i hope one day to be as classy/sophisticated as you.

    anne marie - is your favorite number 3 by any chance?

    cricket - i think it's such a good idea. i wish i had done this sooner.

  45. You are too hard on yourself! I think you look absolutely adorable in all of them, especially in the 4th and last pictures. I recently inherited a vintage fur collar from my grandmother, and didn't really know what to do with it. Your picture has inspired me and convinced me that maybe I can wear it, after all!

  46. Number 9 J.
    Which is kind of related to 3.

    Knowing you are Capricorn too is allowing me to really get inside your head lol.

  47. anne marie - yes 3 and 9 are related. thank god 9 isn't my fav # b/c then maybe i'd have 9 sons instead of 3.

  48. I think you look great in all of it....and I think I have all those same pants hanging in my closet!
    your friend, Dumbo

  49. Good grief, I must have no sense of style or fashion at all because I think all of those outfits look great and wouldn't hesitate to wear them. I'm curious as to what you think looks great.

  50. Janey, you look great and I can only wish I had your stunning figure.
    Don't throw out the mum jeans just yet but try them with your fitted white shirt untucked for a more casual look. It may well hide the mumsiness at the top but still show off your great shape and legs. You could always team it with a low slung wide belt.
    I love your fur coat, a real keeper.
    Great blog!! x

  51. Janet you look just fine in all the outfits.

    The black one reminds me of the old, "Man from Uncle" TV series. Dont know why, but very "spy" looking.

    I'm curious; did you HAVE to wear all black at work, or do you choose to?

    Anyway will probably be out next week. Crossing fingers here.

    Your Desert Rat sis,

  52. love the tan wallpaper BTW

  53. Oops that should read...

    "I'm curious; did you HAVE to wear all black at work, or did you choose to"?

    D R sis

  54. anon - yes black is required.

    anon - sorry you have all these pants too.

    marygrace - thank you.

    anon - the background is pink for breast cancer awareness month.

    anon - i guess i like the better fitting clothes in the 5 piece thing i did last week.

  55. You're WAY too hard on yourself! You look great in those jeans, in my the bust thing, you might have a point there (no pun intended. Really!)

  56. rebecca - too funny. i could put someone's eye out!

  57. I had to refer back to one of your older posts about what you are wearing this fall...I thought maybe you were doing that 6 piece of clothing diet I keep hearing about. Honestly, you look amazing in may be that you have beautiful poise.

  58. annie - no but i just heard about the 333 project. it starts today and goes through dec 31st. you pick 33 things and wear them for the next 3 months. i just finished my list of 33 and am going to attempt it.

  59. too harsh
    too catholic
    too cute

  60. mary - how are you and the church? you are so right about 1 and 2. it's been a rough day.

  61. Have you seen this challenge?

    I really need to pair down, but I feel like I'm a state of wardrobe flux. I've been doing a more artsy look for years, and I'm finding myself gravitating to a more classic look as of late. My closet is such a mess right now...

  62. OMG- I am laughing so much about your Mom Jeans- sorry!
    Here's the thing- and God bless Marilyn-she had a fab style, but in my humble opinion those jeans did not look great on her, at least by today's standards. Take another look! Katherine wore them well but she was such a fabulous clothes horse, she looked great in pretty much everything.
    I have to be honest- lose the Mom jeans but keep the wide leg ones and wear them with platform shoes, a belt and a narrower proportion on top- a black v-neck you sexy thing you! I have more I'd love to add (there's a shock!) but my husband is shooting me stink eye for typing so late in bed. In Vega$ yet... Speaking of tasteful attire :)

    PS. I'm with F.F. - When's the no shopping moratorium over??!

  63. ali - i just found out about that project and i'm all in.

    slim - i just went back and googled marilyn in jean pics and she can make anything look great but i agree w/you in that they were not her best look. i'm gonna try the jeans styled like you say and take a pic and see. the shopping ban is over in april that would be one year but i may make it 6 mos. instead.

    ps - tell hubby to settle down, this is important shit.

  64. ali - being that this IS important shit - i might post on it.

  65. janet, i find this post of you so disarming. i think that's the adjective i want to use! your blog is so honest, from the depth of your inner person - whoa, way to deep. on a lighter note, i think you're being way to hard on yourself. i think in a couple of photos you could have used a belt, but it seems you are just so tiny m/b some of the tops just need to be taken in a nip? and that photo of you in the minnie black pants and top...wowzers! you're one hot mama! and i wouldn't be too hard on yourself over "a loyal readers" criticism of your posting the fur collared coat. we can only strive to improve who we are - none of us are perfect. as much as we try to control everything. oh, and ditto on Ali's comment ;). thanks for sharing- you're gorgeous!

  66. alicia - thank you for the lovely comment. the loyal reader was right, wearing fur is wrong.

    as far as me being a hot mama, that pic is so embarrassing. but i sure learned a lot from it.

  67. I have just looked at the Project 333 site, and am jumping on board - just the spur I needed!

  68. Hey Janet,
    I think you have a great sense of style, both in your clothing and in your decorating.
    That said, I couldn't help but feel sad in reading this post.

    When I look at all of those photos of you I see a really beautiful lady. The one of you in the black top and slacks looks fantastic, yet you think there is something wrong with your bustline. As a 45 year old woman who is a few pounds overweight I find it disturbing to hear you criticize your looks - it makes me feel both sad for you and also makes me wonder what the heck you would think of how I looked if you saw me - so in a strange way I feel criticized too. In the 12 years since I've stopped watching t.v. I've become very aware of how imprinted my mind was with "perfect female" body images. If you look around and see people as they really are you'll see that there are all shapes and sizes and beauty comes in all of them.

    I know your blog is your own self-expression which you are entirely entitled to, but as one of your readers I have to say that this post made me feel sad.

  69. You are way too hard on yourself! Love everything you wear! So simple and yet so classy and chic - please don't change anything!

    By the way - you are a gorgeous woman (and I love your blog).

  70. belinda - yes me too. are you going to post your 33?

    pink rose - thank you and point taken.

    anon - thankyouverymuch.

  71. No no you shouldn't keep it.
    You should sell it to me!
    I quite like the Marilyn jeans, I can just see her in those stills from the Seven Year Itch.


kindness is never out of style.

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