Tuesday, April 2, 2019

OOTD: A New Approach

This post is a bit of a departure for me: it's "just" a style post. Actually, it's not so much a departure as it is a return to this blog as it once was. I won't abandon what it has become, but I'd like to add back what it was in the beginning. 

Sublime Mercies started out as a style blog and nothing else. All my life, style has been a great source of creativity, joy, playfulness, and comfort for me. In emotional and physical pain, it has given me succor. That's why I started this blog: to help me cope with my constant, extreme pain

I also really wanted to join the growing number of women writing style blogs that showed us all that fashion can be an ordinary, everyday thing, for ordinary, everyday people. People like me, people like you. That's the other reason I started this blog. The photos might not always be stellar. My hair might not be at its best. But it's real life, real style, for real people.

Over time, Sublime Mercies has become so much more than I ever imagined it would be. I now write about a huge range of topics, many of them very serious and even upsetting. And people are reading it! A lot. I'm absolutely thrilled about that.

But those posts are hard! They take a lot of time and energy, both of which are in short supply with a severe disability like mine. I've been managing to write a post a month, if that. 

And, in the midst of all this gain, something has been lost: the sheer fun of having a style blog, just a style blog. So I'm going back to my roots and bringing back the fun, not instead of my more serious posts, but in addition to them. Because, seriously, what is life without a little fun? 

Skirt: Dax; Shirt: Jessica; Sweater: Mak; Shoes: Ecco; Sunglasses: Reitmans; Necklace: vintage
Just the thought of making this change in my blog put me in brighter spirits right away. When Beau came out to help me get into the house (yes, I need help now), this is how I greeted him. 

Yeah it's true: I'm still in love with my husband. How lucky am I?

As you know if you read Sublime Mercies, I wear dresses most of the time now. I do love dresses, so it's not a huge hardship, but the real reason I wear them is that waistbands hurt my back a lot. I don't miss pants that much, but I do miss skirts. And I miss wearing nice shirts which, of course, can't easily be worn with dresses. 

So I recently went online and ordered a bunch of skirts, all of which have stretch in both the waistband and in the fabric itself. It's an experiment. The first three skirts arrived yesterday. I returned two of them immediately. 

But this one? I like this one! It's not super painful, and it is super pretty and versatile. So far, so good.

I immediately remembered this t-shirt which has languished at the back of my closet for a long time now. I was happy to be able to wear it again. I must say, it makes my chests look pretty grand, even if it does afford taller people a glimpse or two of my bra.

Diana Ross
It makes me think a lot of the late, 1970s, exercise inspired, striped top (and everything else) craze. Part of me feels ashamed to even mention this, because I am now so much plumper than anyone who wore this fashion.

But I do take care of myself, the best I can. It's not easy! If any ableist creep tries to tell me that I'm just lazy, and could "get better" if I just "tried harder," I shall give them a glimpse of these triceps. These arms didn't get this way through inactivity, that's for sure! My arms now have to do all the work my core can no longer do. And they are powerful. They serve me well. They're not beautiful, not to me anyway, but they are proof that I work hard to be as active as I can. It's not anywhere near as much activity as I'd like, but it's enough to build pipes like these. 

You bet I'm proud of that.

But back to the outfit. The pale pink went so well with the beautiful spring days we've been having for a few weeks. The rain will return soon, but the flowers will continue to brighten my beloved city. 

And yes, in looking at these photos, I am again aware of the obvious: 

I am very very white. It's always caused me to be really uncomfortable in the sun, but, other than that, it's been fine. Lately, it's making some of the signs of aging show more; with skin this white, there's no hiding the reddening of my shins, or the little burst blood vessels on my chin.

Whatever. It's not like I can change it, so I run with it, in my way.

Besides, pale skin and auburn hair almost always go together, and I do like my hair. I wish it was this colour in the shade as well as in the sun.

Lately, some variation on this hairstyle has been my go-to style. Just two clips. Sometimes loose, sometimes with a tight twist, sometimes high, sometimes low, and sometimes also pinned at the back in a simple bun. So easy. 

But I do notice that I need some new clips. See? This really is an everyday style post, not fancy.

This little cardigan was an obvious addition to the outfit, since it matched so perfectly. I have this same cardigan in several colours. It's a staple for me, either loose over an outfit, or buttoned up with a matching cami.

And, oh my gosh, this necklace! It's the genuine, Art Deco article, circa 1920s. Both its colours and its geometry seemed a great match for both the shirt and the skirt.

Something used to hang from each side of it, maybe two more pearls. But that's okay. I got it for $10 and I love it. 

That scratch on my chest is courtesy of Chuti, who was not in the mood for a cuddle the other day. I have a permanent scar just below it, courtesy of Ketsl. I'm of the opinion that one should have one scar from each cat that one has ever loved, to remember them by. I have one on my finger from Morgan, and one on my lip from Bobby. All of these scars were inflicted accidentally, so I was never miffed about them.

Chuti above, Ketsl below, as usual
The kittens are doing well, by the way. They're full grown now, and still in love with my walker. They're constantly all over it.

Speaking of mobility aids, now that I need two canes at a time, I've decided to treat myself to even more of them, so they always match each other, as well as my outfit. 

Pink and black outfit? Well, that calls for a pink cane and a black cane, darling. I always say, if I've got to be disabled, I'm going to make it a fashion statement. 

I'm also slowly switching to these sturdier ones with the triangle top. They provide much more support and ease my back pain more effectively than the straight ones. 

If I can't feel fit, I can at least feel fierce.

The sunglasses were also an easy choice. The theme was simple: pale pink and black. The sunglasses are pale pink. Done. Simple. 

I have been wearing glasses when I go out on my mobility scooter. You've seen them in my recent posts. It's brilliant to be able to see properly when I'm "driving." But, when the sun's out and I'm not wearing sunglasses, my eyes water and I get a headache. I haven't found a solution to that yet.

When I do wear sunglasses, and I push them up on my head, Beau thinks I look super sexy, and says, "You did the magic thing again!" Sometimes he's easy to please.

And so we come to the end of the first, "just fashion" post I've written for a long time. What do you think? Fun? Boring? Would you like to see more? I would, for my own mental health. They help me. I hope they help you too.

(I'm sharing this with Not Dressed As LambStyle Nudge, and Not Dead Yet Style.)


  1. I think more frequent postings where you celebrate yourself through fashion is a great idea!

  2. Loving the pattern on the skirt!

  3. I love your style posts! Unsurprisingly, as I've been here since the beginning of your blogging days. I love it when things go together as perfectly as that skirt & top! xx @jessiejessyg

  4. Hello, lady of courage. I missed your posts and I am glad to read more from you again. Your messages inspire me because you are a survivor. Sending you energies of strength from Manila!