Posted by: Kate | February 12, 2016

Friday Quote

Most of the clothes she had brought with her were useless, the kinds of things she thought of as casual and utilitarian in New York which here seemed as grand as a gown.

~Still Life With BreadCrumbs, Anna Quindlan

This resonated with me. Having moved from a city (not a big one, but a vibrant capital city) to a much smaller city (I think of it is as a town, as do most of the residents) I can relate to the sentiment. Place does matter when it comes to how one presents oneself. If I were to wear office attire here that would be in place in Victoria it would be far too formal. I never thought of it much, didn’t think of fashion or style, when I lived in the bigger city. But here, where people think it is odd that I wear dresses or skirts a lot of the time and don’t wear my jeans as much as most, I feel it.

Anna Quindlan has a way of expressing a sentiment that is just so … right.


  1. I’m laughing because I have lived out the reverse of the quote. So many times I’ve thought I was nicely dressed for something, only to show up and realize I was very underdressed. I attribute this to having grown up on a farm. Thanks for the reminder about this book. I have been meaning to read it, so just loaded it onto my Kindle.

    • Definitely can go both ways.

  2. I have lived my life underdressed. I seem to have managed to go about my teaching job and the rest of my life too dressed casually! I never have felt comfortable in ‘smart’ attire! ;-) Ros

    • I never thought that was me, until I moved here. It’s all relative.

  3. First, while I certainly know the name of Anna Quindlan, I’ve never read anything by her. As always when this happens, I get to ask you…which one do you suggest I start with? ;)

    Second — I went from rural to rural and into a profession where clothes don’t matter. it’s one of the things I love most about my job. I’m not fancy and in fact, think I look downright silly when trying to be fancy (Rationally speaking, I doubt I look silly but it’s just so far from my normal that I feel quite strange and uncomfortable!). But my job means that work pants or jeans and a t-shirt or sweater (the attire I grew up in and am most comfortable in) is fine 364 days a year. The only time I have to dress up is for professional meetings and I’m pretty sure the ‘formal’ clothes I wear for those wouldn’t be considered formal in any other field!

    • I never thought of myself as fancy when I lived in the city, and honestly still don’t. But I do like dresses and skirts for comfort more than anything.
      I will think on an Anna Quindlan recommendation.

  4. I totally get this. Having come from New York to a tiny village surrounded by farms, I’d say the bulk of my wardrobe has only accumulated dust since moving. On the one hand it’s nice to be able to live in much more comfortable attire but I have to admit I often miss getting a bit dressed up for a night on the town.

    • My son said to me one day that I should work in the city. He sees me as working in a big office, having coffee at a sidewalk cafe. Shocked me, but I can see how in this town I strike as that type of person.

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