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i heartNYI just got approval for three weeks of vacation from work and we are now shopping around for tickets to France!  We will be travelling in August and ever since my last trip, I have been trying to supply my wardrobe with clothes worthy of a Normande summer.  Normandy is located in the Northwest of France and is bordered by the English Channel or as the French call it, The Atlantic Ocean.  It is as romantic as it sounds with its gorgeous stone houses and lots of open beach.  There are more bustling areas such as the city of Caen with its university and Cherbourg (with its umbrellas) but the area where my husband’s family resides is St. Vaast La Houge, a quaint fishing village.

fishing gear cu  churchboat 2boat

When preparing to accompany my husband to Normandy for the first time two years ago, M. talked a lot about frolicking on the beaches.  I learned once I got there that the people are apparently frolicking in order to keep warm!  Flying in from 90+ degree weather in New York into the breezy, sunless 50s of Normandy was hard on the old constitution – and I’m from Chicago so I can normally handle the cold!  I spent the next 25 days wearing some combination of everything that I packed at the same time!  The locals must have thought I was nuts!


The first day: a boys’ jacket I bought our last day in New York (thankfully! From Zara, I think. I’d check the label but I left it in St. Vaast), jeans, boots, linen scarf, grey cardigan.  What you don’t see: black cardigan, leggings, socks, tank top, black v-neck long sleeved tee shirt.


Grey cardigan, black cardigan, yellow tank top, striped blouse, linen espadrilles, jeans.  And: grey over-the-knee socks, scarf and jacket (in bag).


It got warm enough one day around noon that I removed my cardigan and showed some skin.  What you’re not seeing: leggings under the jeans.


There’s a lot going on underneath.  I got busted for leggings under my jeans while taking this picture.  Also worn: scarf, black long sleeved v-neck, tank top, black cardigan, linen shirt dress (worn belted), jeans, ballet flats, turquoise necklace.


Wide linen pants are great for disguising leggings!  Also worn:  black long sleeved t-shirt, blue-striped shirt, white cotton dress (tucked in).  Not shown: scarf and jacket (in bag).

Lunch alfresco

Lunch al fresco on a sunny, cool day.  Wearing: leggings (of course) under jeans, socks and linen espadrilles, pink t-shirt, black cardigan, striped cardigan with hood, pink scarf.


What’s on:  Open knit cardigan, ever-present scarf, cotton blouse, grey cardigan, black cardigan, t-shirt, two pairs of leggings, linen espadrilles.


Believe it or not, I played the dutiful Normande wife and actually got in the water! Even with sun, it barely crept past 65 degrees.  Not shown: fuschia bikini.

This time, I am determined to do better.  I have a collection of scarves and lightweight sweaters… and tons more leggings!

Beach Weather

Normandy beaches, good for storming on Germans, not so good for… fuschia bikinis.