Musings + Essays

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 178: On Learning to “Live Care-ingly,” as Mary Oliver Put It.

By: Jen Shoop

*Image above from Pierpaolo Piccioli, designer for Valentino, featuring the stunning model Adut Akech wearing the most showstopping dress from one of his haute couture collections.

My Latest Snag: The Horror Vacui Skirt.

I finally got my hands on a piece by Horror Vacui, a cult-following label I have lusted after for some time, when Net-A-Porter made further reductions on its already discounted selection earlier this week. I also love this skirt and this top. I am planning on wearing my skirt with a simple white tank in the summer and a crewneck sweater in the fall.

P.S. Also can’t miss from the final reductions in the Net-A-Porter sale: this dress, which, while non-maternity, was totally my pregnancy and post-partum style; this cheery floral; and this on-trend Doen.

You’re Sooooo Popular: Boho Mini.

The most popular items on the blog this past week:

+This chic boho mini — on sale! — which is sort of like an elevation of the Amazon nightgown dress we all own.

+Gorgeous bone inlay mirror.

+Ultra chic sweater-jacket hybrid for fall. (Chanel vibes. Upgrade pick — also on sale — here.)

+Face masks for fall.

+On-trend update on the white blouse.

+This Doen-esque $34 dress, now restocked in most sizes and colors! I own in black and white.

+Gap’s take on the nap dress.

+Everyday pants — as comfortable as sweats, but decidedly more stylish. I would style these with a crisp white tee or dramatic white blouse (also love this).

+The exggerated collar trend for under $20. (More picks on this trend here.)

+Mini’s new favorite loungewear ($14 for the set!)

Weekend Musings: Learning to Live Care-ingly.

What have you learned so far in 2020?

I try to check in with myself along these lines somewhere around the midway point of each calendar year. As I sat with myself, reflecting on the intensity of 2020 to date, C.S. Lewis’ words came to mind:

“Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn. My God. Do you learn.”

Though I would surmise that this year will be a year that asks rather than a year that answers for most of us, I also think it will represent a period of reckoning —

Reckoning in our personal relationships — especially with family, from whom many of us have been forcibly separated or forcibly kept together by this virus — for better or worse;

Reckoning in our understanding of race in America;

Reckoning in our sense of community, especially as we navigate this unprecedented public health threat;

Reckoning in our understanding of what really matters.

I have endured my own comeuppances across all of these categories this year. I have felt humbled, hurt, reassured, confused, determined, terrified, remorseful, optimistic. As a result, I am more careful than ever before in my interactions with others, and I will admit that the care stems from both self-serving caution and a will to afford others the benefit of the doubt. I see the vulnerability with which we are all living at the moment–so many of us just trying to get through our days, grieve our losses, nurse our wounds, all while living under such tremendous pressure that we will lash out with disproportionate angst at the most inconsequential of slights. I am guilty of this, too, of course: I stumbled through an uncomfortable conversation with a loved one a few weeks ago and then cried on and off for two days, unable to think of anything else. I knew my reaction was outsized, intemperate. But I had been living at my emotional capacity; I could not bear its added intensity.

So this year, so far, is the year of learning (in the words of HRH Mary Oliver) “…to enjoy, to question — never to assume, or trample….to observe with passion, to think with patience, to live always care-ingly.”

What about you?


+One of those wear-forever dresses you’ll never regret having in your closet. So elegant for a million possible occasions: bridal shower, dinner with parents-in-law, cocktail party, date night.

+Ultra-chic neutral finds.

+Still grieving the loss of my good high school friend. It feels good to write about her.

+Darling knee socks for your little one ($6!)

+Ordering this Liberty floral dress for mini’s fall wardrobe — $32! I love the idea of styling it with ribbed rights.

+Just the prettiest blouse. I have a thing for scalloped edges…I love this Innika Choo romper with scalloped detailing I wore here, and though it’s sold out in shortall form, it’s still available and on sale for $88 in a transition-to-fall long format here.

+Speaking of transition-to-fall, how amazing is this strawberry sweater?! I’m on board with the retro-leaning whimsical knitwear this season!

+This $36 dress is speaking my love language.


+An inexpensive mirror with clean lines for a modern bathroom.

+This bag is perfect.

+And this bag is a dupe of the Loewe stunner!

+A pretty blockprint tablecloth.

+Eyeing these cashmere blend joggers ($60) for fall!

+Stylish face masks.

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6 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 178: On Learning to “Live Care-ingly,” as Mary Oliver Put It.

  1. I love the toga skirt! Would love to get my hands on one. Did you get the green print? Yours must have sold out. So great to add a crew neck for the fall. I’ll try to find it on another site. I love all of your finds. The mango bag is a good one!
    Happy weekend!

  2. I think you (and Mary Oliver) are onto something with the exhortation to “live care-ingly”. It would do us all well to remember this, especially during such a fraught year for so many reasons!

    OMG — so jealous of your Horror Vacui skirt! I LOVE their ‘Agatha’ skirt on N-A-P, too. I’ve started to slowly turn my eye towards fall buys — slightly challenging, since there are so many good summer deals to be had! I need to go through my wardrobe and make a list of holes to fill this season. I find that it helps me focus in on what I really “need”, instead of going overboard on duplicates. Sometimes easier said than done, though!

    That Anine Bing bag is grandmotherly in the best way! Chicccc.


    1. You are so wise with your approach to fall shopping. I’m trying to be more strategic too, but — true to form — I am such a magpie when it comes to shopping, only attracted to the glittering need-it-right-now kind of stuff.


    2. I know, I have those magpie urges as well! What has helped me is creating a private Pinterest board where I can stash images of things I’ve liked but not bought, for one reason or the other. Then, when I have free time (even months later!) I can go through & search for items on The RealReal. Haha!


      1. So smart! And I also love RealReal 🙂 Have found many a beloved high-end label pieces from there. xx

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