Another ode to joggers

Are you shopping these days?  Online I mean.  I know many of us are struggling on this.  On the one hand, I do want to support business that I love.  On the other hand, when I think how many people have to be out there to send a package, it doesn’t make me feel good.  So I haven’t been shopping.  I don’t know if that is the right call, but that’s where I’m at right now.

I have found myself perusing sales though.  Particularly for cute clothes.  There are SO MANY SALES right now.  And then I remind myself to back away from the website.  Even before the lockdown, I was trying to limit clothing shopping.  I have a whole closet of things I don’t feel like wearing right now (zippers, and buttons, and nonstretch fabric, oh my!).  I really don’t need any more.

I was close to declaring an all out shopping ban, but I decided to limit myself to shopping from a list.  Are you curious?  This was the list:

  • Workout sneakers to replace my 5+ year old ones
  • Fashion sneakers to replace ones with a hole in the bottom
  • Black tank top
  • Jeans
  • Cream/white high quality sweater

I’ve made some headway on it during 2020.  I found a black tank top that I love.  (So much that I bought two which is not great for the point of this exercise, but it really is all I want to wear these days.)

I bought some black workout shoes that I love so much I wear them when I would need any “fashion sneaks.”  Two birds with one stone!  Also, I keep marveling at the advancements in sneaker technology.  The new sneakers are so much lighter than the old ones.  It’s insane.

The jeans and sweater I am deliberately holding off on.  Right now all my jeans are of the skinny, stretchy variety and might not even fit.  I’d like to dabble in some of these other denim silhouettes and styles the kids are wearing these days.  But do I need jeans right now?  Nope.  Same for the sweater.  I’ve identified a wardrobe hole, and I think this item would be useful.  But not right now.  No matter how many sales I see.

This lockdown lifestyle has made me thinking about an addition to the list.  Yup.  I’m talking joggers.

I’ve loved joggers for a long time.  They are comfy travel pants.  They are helpful for getting into churches and temples.  They are fantastic for when you want to feel comfortable but also show that you tried.

They are also the only thing I want to wear these days.  I have two pairs of pajama pants that I love, but they both SCREAM pajama pants.  Wearing them all the time does not help my mood.  And they both lack pockets so I misplace my phone even more than usual.

I’ve also found that I don’t like to wear leggings all the time.  I think they start off as comfortable, but then they switch to being restrictive.  Also, many don’t have pockets as well.  (Although shout out to the best leggings ever at Four Athletics that do have pockets.)

And we’re back to joggers.  My beloved black joggers also have over five years of wear and have developed a tiny hole in the backside.  It’s not super noticeable, but I was self conscious enough about it that I stopped wearing them out and about.  I started searching for a replacement before reminding myself that, conveniently, I’m not going out and about these days.  The joggers are fine.

But I would like to add them to the list.  Black joggers.  #joggersforever #joggers4lyfe  They are the best.

What are you wearing these days?  Do you have an amazing brand of joggers I should investigate?  How are you handling shopping these days?

What to wear to Rome this summer: 3 winning combos to beat the heat and get you into churches


Pants, Tank, Scarf

OK, remember how I said that Romans are still bundled up in spring?  Forget everything I said.  Starting around May 1, everyone in Rome decided to acknowledge that temps are in the 80s and switched wardrobes, seemingly overnight.  I see legs!  Arms!  Sometimes much more.  The outfits are definitely interesting.  I’ll have to try to capture some street style for you.

I’m glad for the switch.  It has been over 90 the past few days, and it is only May.  I’m a little leery of this summer.  Because we arrived at the end of August, we did not get the full Roman summer experience.

All of this to be said, if you are coming to Rome in the summer, as many tourists do, expect to sweat.  It can be pleasant in the shade with a breeze, but prolonged exposure in the direct sunlight is brutal.

Unfortunately, you can’t just pull out your easy summer dresses and call it day.  Because CHURCHES.  Many churches, most notably St. Peter’s, have a knees and shoulders must be covered dress code.  Some churches don’t have it.  Some churches don’t enforce it.  But you don’t want to wait in line for an hour only to be turned away.

Here are three combos that will keep you comfortable in the sun and get you in wherever you want to go.  These outfits also pass the Rome-test.  I’ve seen versions of all of these on locals.  Stick with these, and you won’t have to worry about sticking out as a tourist.

Option 1:  Easy top + Lightweight Crazy Pants + Breezy Scarf

This outfit is my go to, and I’m not even worried about church access 99% of the time.  It is just SO comfortable.  The fun pants make me feel like I tried, but it feels like I’m walking around in my pajamas.

Not only do they feel like an actual outfit, but they are high on function.  Want to climb on a bike in Borghese?  No problem.  Snagging a Vespa pic?  No awkward shifting needed.  Forgot to shave your legs because you have ALL the sightseeing to do?  No sweat.

In theory, the pants could also provide some protection from the punishing Mediterranean sun and those annoying mosquitoes that won’t take a hint.

Also, I think crazy pants also look good with most jackets.  Denim, leather, military, you name it.  Many cardigans would work as well.  Just in case you need a little more warmth at night when your trusty scarf isn’t cutting it.

Speaking of scarves, if you go for a tank option, the scarf is key.  As you approach the church, drape it around, and bare shoulders no more!  After many years of not knowing what to do with scarves, I am now fully obsessed.  Besides being a go to nursing cover, they are like washable necklaces!  Perfect for #kidlife.  Also, if you pack fewer clothes, they can help you spice up your wardrobe.  If I don’t wear different shirts in my normal life, you’d better believe I’m taking a minimalist approach to vacation packing.  Seriously, though, who cares what thousands of strangers you’ll never see again think?

Rome is a great place to stock up on scarves, as well.  I see them all over the streets for about three euro.  Functional souvenir?  Now you’re speaking my language.

When selecting your pants, go for a lightweight, breathable fabric.  Pass on the polyester.  I also steer clear of linen, but that is just because I don’t iron anything ever.

For style, I prefer the tapered leg, but you have about a bazillion options.  Wide leg, harem, palazzo, gaucho, you name it.

If you don’t like colorful patterns, you can get the same comfiness with a solid pant.  BUT if you ever felt like getting a little crazy in the pants department (name of Amy’s sex tape), this is a good town to try it.  Seriously, I’ve seen drop-crotch harem paisley pants walking down the street.  Just own it, and you can pants however you like.  Yeah.

Old Navy has TONS of crazy pant options. A cheap way to test drive the style.

A wider leg option. Forever21 also has tons of pants. Another cheap way to dip your toe into the crazy pants waters.

Uh. Well, then.  I would really like to see a conversation at the Vatican about these.

Ooo, I want these. I love that joggers are having a moment. What are things I NEVER thought I’d say even two years ago.

Option 2:  Maxi Dress or Skirt + Scarf

I don’t really do the maxi because, while I have many blessings, the gift of height is not one of them.  Also, I’ve gotten so lazy that I can’t handle any dress that requires a special bra.  So many of the cute dresses have spaghetti straps or some such tomfoolery.

But if you are into the maxi, this would be a great option for Rome.  I’d look for one with side slits, possibly two for movement and breeziness.  And remember!  If you don’t have sleeves, don’t forget your scarf.

This one just looks so cool and breezy to me. Side slits FTW!

Side slits for breeze, and sleeves mean you don’t even need a scarf. I think this would be super cute with sporty sneaks. Sneakers and dresses are a thing now. The internet told me, and it never lies.

Breaking my regular-bra-only rule, but I’ve never met a stripe I didn’t like.

Option 3:  Breathable Leggings + Tunic or Blousy Top

This option is also not at the top of my list, but I promise I see locals rocking it on the reg.  On the one hand, there is high opportunity for crazy pants.  On the other hand, fabric suctioned to my body does not sound cool and breezy.  BUT, if you get athletic wear, those pants are supposed to breathe, right?

My other issue with blousy tops is that so many are sheer, which would make me reach for another layer, which sort of defeats the purpose.  But, again, this is Rome.  I have seen completely sheer shirts, lace shirts, crochet shirts, and shirts with holes cut to the waist; all worn with regular bras.  (I have also seen many women exercising in regular bras, but this is another topic for another day.)  Also, bum coverage should not be a concern.  Do it if you are more comfortable, but I promise you won’t stick out.

Pretty! I love a good shirt mullet.

Bad ass.

I could see a lightweight button-up being perfect on its own or as your extra layer.

When doing crazy pants, go big or go home, I always say.

Clicking the pics should take you to the products.  Nothing affiliated; these are just things that caught my eye.  Old Navy and Nordstrom are both having sales.  (Although isn’t Old Navy always having a sale?)

So there you have it.  My formula:  easy top + crazy pants (or skirt) + scarf.  Everything you need for your upcoming trip to Rome.

But Melissa!  What about shoes???  You’ve forgotten the most important part!

I agree.  Shoes can make or break your travel day.  That’s why I’ll cover shoes soon in their own post.  [UPDATE: Shoes HERE.]  (And maybe dude style if I’m feeling ambitious.)  Till then, may the crazy pants be with you!

Have you embraced the crazy pants?  What’s your usual warm weather travel wardrobe?