On a bright and sunny day in August, Diana and The SC wandered the exterior areas of the Denver Botanic Gardens HERE.  Within walking distance from my home, this Denver treasure offers hours of magical splendor that I enjoy several times a year, throughout the seasons. However, today we barely touched the surface of what is located within this landmark by lingering along its boundaries on both sides of the street that passes by its entrance.


As I composed an outfit worthy of the Botanic Gardens, each piece that met my gaze was decidedly vintage.  This vintage straw headpiece adorned with its brilliant red poppy and wide black taffeta ribbon which drapes to the nape of the neck, caught my eye as I walked into the hat room. This was my starting point, and the memories of wearing this hat in the 70’s, dancing with abandon, brought a smile to my face.  It’s about time this beloved beauty had another outing!

The red skirt flew out of its closet as soon as I noticed that it matched the red of the poppy.  The skirt consists of two layers of organza, and has slits on both sides, almost to the waist.  I chose to accessorize the hat with a vintage black silk satin slip with sheer silk trim at the hemline and lace trim which emerges from the neckline of the vintage sheer blouse with large collar. Its long attached belt wraps around the waist and when tied in the back, creates a peplum which gives me pleasure.


I’ve noticed that in ‘Discovering Denver’ I have become aware of changes within myself. As I focus on the beauty that greets me daily in the city that I love, I have a new appreciation and gratitude for my life in the here and now.  I feel more alive and tuned in to my surroundings.

To have been well-loved, appreciated for who I am to the bone, to have been accepted unconditionally and not destroyed nor injured in the midst of conflict which makes a visit in any relationship of substance, I emerge from the intensity of grief to explore the world in a new way.  This love will always be with me, bathing every cell with its powerful abundance. Living with Nelson was a gift that continues to give, that changed me and now allows me to embrace the life that has come forth from the embers of loss. To greet each day with a newly opened heart.  To breathe in new experiences and let the sun shine on my face as I admire beds of flowers and a multitude of vegetation, dressed in vintage from head to toe.


That’s not to say that grief is finished with me, as it can take hold once again on anniversary dates or when an experience that triggers a memory ignites a new insight or perspective.  Similar to shedding the red skirt, another layer emerges.  One more playful and lighthearted, as we explore the sculpture within the parking garage across the street from the Garden’s entrance.


The mid level of the sculpture, along with concrete and metal, provides the background for the change of sheer gloves to red lace, and the rhinestone earrings bounce off the bling of the buttons on the sheer black blouse purchased at The Vintage Studio HERE. Except for the blouse, the red earrings from the Artisan Center HERE, and the rhinestone earrings from a consignment store,  all pieces in this ensemble were discovered at estate sales over the years.

IMG_5143The top of the parking garage reveals the tip of the sculpture, which is difficult to see because of the blazing sun.  But somehow I like the effect.  Sometimes that which is unseen can be the most intriguing and complex, as in the feelings that I experience in the 70th year of my life, without my partner, but with a desire to participate in the richness of life with all of its twists and turns and the awareness that I, as the lovely Patti would say, am Not Dead Yet HERE.


The flat stone at the base of the sculpture provides a platform for the vintage shoes that peek from beneath sheer silk.  The shoes, with a Neusteters label, are open toed suede pumps embellished with suede detailing.  By the 1920s, the Neusteter Company was the most fashionable women’s clothing store in Denver.  Sadly the department store closed in 1985; I have found many treasures at estate sales with its label signifying elegance and timeless style.


Returning to the black sheer gloves provides a third option of self expression, allowing The SC to participate in Spy Girl’s 52 Pick- me-up: Triple Play HERE.  Though the changes are subtle, there are three outfit combos included in our romp through the fringes of the Gardens.


Photos by Diana

Twirling on flat stone adjacent to the Garden’s grasses for the ‘sheer’ delight of the moment!

Just because I’m alive!

Speaking of the lovely Patti, I’m twirling off to Visible Monday HERE, eager to see what the other gorgeous bloggers have to reveal in August, as the morning chill hints of fall and more substantial layers to come.

Many thanks to Ari Seth Cohen for the inclusion in 30 Of The Most Wild And Wonderful Hats You’ve Ever Seen at Advanced Style HERE.  Now there’s a post that instantly provides a “hat attack” of enormous magnitude!

Which leads me to mention that Hat Attack will be featured again on September 1st HERE.  I’m waiting in anticipation to gaze upon the beauties sent my way!


  1. OH EM GEEEEEEEE!!! I had to click through and comment really quick! This outfit, WOW, WOW, WOW, I have to go into my closet right now and pull out an outfit that reminds me of this one. SUCH FANTABULOUS INSPIRATION FROM THE STYLE CRONE! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, THIS JUDITH!!!! YOU MADE ME SO HAPPY TODAY. Love you!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo!!!

  2. Judith, you are gorgeous in every incarnation of this outfit. That hat is truly outstanding!

    Grrr…this keeps telling me I’ve already submitted my comment. Please forgive any duplication.

  3. Dear Judith, I am mesmerized by the all of the sweeping curves and glorious angles – of everything – setting and sculpture, hat and shoes, blouse, slip and skirt, flowers and gloves, and the moving story of your coming through again to joy.

  4. You are vibrant, stunning, and just gorgeous! These posts around Denver have been some of your best. I can see the lights in your eyes, Judith. In the past couple of years, I also have gained a new appreciate and joy from the city where I live….San Antonio is amazing!! You are so lovely and just glowing.

  5. Wow Judith you are so enchanting in that colourful poppy bright and silky bright ensemble. I am enjoying your Denver posts, your pleasure in posing for them shines out of the photos. Each vintage garment is delightful, and put together by you they sing with vitality and renewed joy.
    Not to mention that wonderful poppy hat, which I adore! I would love to see you wear it again and again please!

  6. You are truly an inspiration, both in how you view the world and how you dress. Thanks for doing this blog!

  7. “Sheer delight of the moment” that’s it… the mood these pictures capture. I love them. I can imagine seeing you making them and smiling at the delight! I love this hat and the memories you expressed about it. You are such a special lady.

    blue hue wonderland

  8. Your composition deserves a standing ovation! Not only from the beautiful and vibrant outfit you cleverly put together but also to the story and uplifitng words you shared today. To hear the words of ” the gift of love that keeps on giving” just made my day. I’m now heading to my mirror to write these words “Greet each day with a newly opened heart”. Thank you, dear lady for sharing this incredible piece of art.

  9. Layers. Changes. That which is unseen being intriguing and complex. New experiences and perspectives. Love. Grief. Delight.
    You bring so much thoughtfulness and insight to your posts, Judith. Of course the outfit is stunning, and you look beautiful, that goes without saying! The silhouette and the glorious starting point of the hat, with its wonderful associations, right down to those elegant peep-toes, the whole ensemble is perfect. But it’s your ability to link your clothing to your surroundings and your experiences, your past and your present, which delights me the most. Clever, wise, beautiful Judith! xxxxx

  10. Love you loving our beautiful….oh the joy of you and Diana off to capture magic! Thank you!

  11. Peplums please me, too…but that pales in comparison with the impact of the whole outfit! It’s absolutely brilliant! Every piece is killer-awesome, but adding the red lace gloves and the perfect hat (with a giant red flower) makes it magic! WoW!

  12. This outfit, for me, is quintessentially you – glamourous, but not over the top, elegant, incredibly flattering and beautifully stylish. The hat is icing on the cake.

    It sounds like you’ve arrived at a good place where you are able to think of your time with Nelson, and the love and acceptance he gave you, with more joy than pain (not that the pain is gone). You are so blessed to have had someone in your life who loved, accepted, and supported you unconditionally; it is what all of us hope for. I hope you continue on this path of renewed engagement with the world.

  13. Judith–you ar an absolute treasure and inspiration!! How gorgeous do you lok in your red and black!!
    I’m sure Nelson is smilling down on you seeing you so joyful!!

  14. Judith,
    You are both a vision of beauty and an inspiration to the rest of us.
    I look forward to your posts every single week, and draw strength
    and courage from your words of hope for the healing journey and inspiration from your gorgeous taste. Thank You for sharing your vision with all of us.

  15. You know, sometimes a post just leaps off the page, it’s so extraordinary. For me, this one is special, with the astonishingly glamorous ensemble that suits you so well, your carefully chosen words that describe a continuing journey of courage and insight, and the generosity of spirit that shines through it all. Diana’s photos are an integral part, as well. There’s something about your collaboration that’s magical.

    The hat? Well, it may be my all-time favorite too. XXOO

  16. I have been a fan of your blog for some time and always appreciated your style and spirit. When my husband was diagnosed with a rare cancer in October your posts which talk about your transition to life without your love physically beside you became especially meaningful to me. My husband transitioned out of his body on July 31st and I intend to meet the future with the same appreciation for the beautiful love we had and expectation of good things to come that you exhibit. Thank you for sharing that part of your life with us along with your fabulous style!

  17. You know I love some narrative in an outfit, and there’s a whole novel here!
    I don’t know anyone who can wear such highly styled outfits and make the whole thing sing like you can. Your hat is beyond anything … and all the sheer elements are so lightening … makes black look perfectly seasonal in all these settings.
    My favorite photo is the seventh one. Makes the black sheer look ethereal in front of the shaded opaque panes of the sculpture. I’m interested not just in the transparency, but the crisp and soft feel of the shapes your sleeves make.
    Such a treat, Judith. I needed one today, so I thank you.

  18. Wow, you look amazing. And I have to tell you about one of my friends who is just setting up a vintage-inspired hat company, I’ve seen a few early prototypes and they’re fantastic. I’ll be blogging about her as soon as her websites finished.

  19. You always look bursting with vivacity and life, but your poses and facial expressions in this outfit jump out of the screen. Thank you for sharing your photos and your prose with us.

  20. I’m with Jan. The seventh photo is pure genius. Ethereal, heavenly…you are lovely Judith! Thank you for writing so candidly about the loss of a life partner. It’s given me greater compassion for my own Mom and the waters she has had to navigate after my Dad passed.

  21. Oh Judith… this is such a powerful post. It is a declaration of hope to anyone who has suffered the immobilizing pain of loss. Your journey through the darkness… and back out into the brilliance of a grateful life…is a continual inspiration to me.

    Once again… I thank you from the bottom of my heart… for sharing yours.


  22. There is something incredibly Parisian about this outfit. Perhaps it’s the brilliance of the red and black combo, or the flowing layers of the skirt with the peplum effect of the top, or the shape of the hat. Whatever it is, the overall effect is so chic that the word falls short in describing you. I am enchanted by your beauty this week, Judith! 😉


  23. Oh my goodness! Judith you look absolutely stunning!! I’m open mouthed at this outfit! I’m always amazed at the treasures you unearth from your closet but this vintage ensemble has to be my favourite – I’m completely floored. It is very moving to read about your journey through grief and beyond, certainly you have a radiance in these photos that speaks of that journey.

  24. I feel embarrassed about what I posted today when I read your blog — I’ve only recently discovered you and hadn’t realized yet how wonderfully you offer up your inspiring style in the context of a full life. I’ve been frustrated in so many “women of a certain age, wearing clothes” blogs lately with what seems to me too much emphasis on clothes at the expense of talking about what we wear those clothes for — I’ve been hoping for more visibility of other parts of our life. And then here you are, integrating a brilliant sharing of your wonderful Style with a wonderfully open and encouraging and courageous discussion of love and grief, all in a beautiful setting of sculpture and flowers. Brava! and thank you!

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