Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Boho Last Gasp of Summer

We've been having unseasonably warm weather for the last couple of weeks, and I know it won't last forever, so I'm squeezing in as many summery things as I can before the rain comes.

I've only worn this skirt twice since I got it while on holiday in July:
And gotta get those sandals in before my toes are shut away for the next 7 months! I actually planned this outfit around the top, a plain navy rayon tee that I got on consignment over a year ago - I was cleaning out my t-shirt drawer (it's bulging at the seams) and found it, and felt completely guilty for not wearing it for months and months.

I have very little navy in my wardrobe, so voila! I paired the two items together, after agonizing over a belt (Red belt? too formal. Ah! the groovy belt Mom got me in London!) and jewelry for about 10 minutes before bed last night. This outfit had the potential to bomb, because I didn't "test drive" it. I had worries about how it would look at the waist, but I am pleased with it overall.

Here's a shot of the bohemian-inspired accessories: I always forget to put the bracelet on my right hand for photos - dang.

Ha, there's often a surprise in the outside edges of the pictures when I go to crop them:
Inigo in the hall, licking his paw after his dinner. Aw! Kitty!

Blue top (Zara Woman, consignment), gypsy skirt (no label, consignment), metal/stone belt (gift from Mom, London), brown leather sandals (Nine West), wood rose earrings, red bead bracelet.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fluevogs and Preppy

Whenever I wear the sweater-vest, I feel like a totally preppy keener. Coincidentally, my office-mate also wore a black one today, so he and I were all matchy-matchy. Hi-larious!
I got this skirt on consignment a couple of weeks ago - I just love it. The classic houndstooth, the pencil cut, even the length is just perfect. And it's washable! It's going to get a lot of wear.

The blouse is t-shirt material and was also consignment. I like that it has a couple of rows of ruffles down the front.

Have I mentioned how much I love Fluevogs? I've been a fan since John Fluevog created the super pointy-toed shoe back in the 80s. I remember going to Vancouver and wishing I could afford to buy some of the crazy punk shoes they used to make. Now, I treat myself once a year (more, if I'm lucky) to a pair.

These are the ones I got in Vancouver when we were there for Alice Cooper. I felt so chic all day with my green satin shoes on!

Sweater vest (Esprit), t-shirt with ruffles (Pink Martini, consignment), pencil skirt (Nygard, consignment), shoes (Fluevog), silver/black bracelet, silver filigree earrings.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Shopping Clothes - Oh, the Pressure!

Ruth and I did a downtown shopping tour yesterday - we were in a group of 10 people, and we walked around town, getting to see all the cool little local shops we have that carry all kinds of designers that are usually found in Montreal or Toronto. It was pretty cool, but the pressure to wear something that would look fashion-forward but still be comfortable to walk in and shop in.

Of course, when walking for any duration, the first consideration is shoes. And since it is officially Fall (my favourite season!), it is boot weather! These are my Cougar motorcycle boots. I love them and I wear them a lot - I finally got around to getting the heels re-soled this summer.

My darker outfits don't photograph very well - I might have to use the flash. This is my ruffled-front black buttoned-down t-shirt, black pinstrip vest, and denim poufy skirt. The tights are grey heather. Kept the accessories simple: white gold hoops and red lips again.

Inigo was happy to see me - he came in for the shot, which is why I'm laughing.

Black shirt (Vero Moda), black pinstriped vest (Vero Moda), skirt (Jacob), tights (Hue), boots (Cougar).

Vintage Jewelry - Casual Friday - Purple 60s

Friday's outfit was deliberately more casual than I usually do. Planning all these outfits takes time!
The weather was a bit cooler, so I wore this cotton sweater I got on summer clearance at Jacob a month or so back. I thought a solid colour would help show off the necklace. Also, I wanted to wear my purple raincoat!
It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I love bright colours, and I absolutely love that I own a purple satin trench. It's even water resistant!

The star of the outfit was, of course, the necklace, which is another one of Grandma J's. I think it is from the 60s. I don't know what the Chinese symbol means. There are no markings on it anywhere, but the gold metal seems to be good quality (it has no tarnish and doesn't have that smell that cheaper gold metals have). The beads are glass and are a nice jade colour.

This is my new bag that I picked up a week ago at Plum: It's a shiny python stamped on faux suede. I like the chainmail detail on the handles. This replaces my old Betsyville rocker chick bag.

A shot of my boots:
They are so cool - I love the cutouts. I got these at my favourite consignment store over a year ago - they are Zara.

Purple sweater (Jacob), black cami (InWear), jeans (Esprit), boots (consignment, Zara), necklace (vintage), gold hoop earrings, bag (Santi), purple raincoat (London Fog).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Vintage Jewelry - Black and Gold

The reaction to today's outfit was "Wow!" but I think that was more about the bright red lipstick that I chose to wear than the outfit, although I do find the mustard yellow and black to be very striking.
I love the black top underneath the cardigan - it's got sort of a ropey lace V edged with a couple of rows of drapey ruffles, but the high neck keeps it from being too risqué (even though that's technically a lot of cleavage for work).

The skirt is new to me - I got it at my favourite consignment shop for about $16. It's a cotton velvet and is denim weight - it almost feels like cheating on the dress code at work, ha! I love the pencil shape of it.

The vintage jewelry is the bracelet and earrings set. A close-up with my lovely leopard pumps: I got this set from L as a Christmas present about oh...6 years ago? I can't even remember. I think I've only worn this set once, but I do like it. There are little birds and some sort of other winged creature...a dragon? a phoenix?
There are no marks on it - each of the little "tiles" is attached to the yellow metal backing with prongs. The black part is painted onto the base - the yellow bird shapes are the background, but the gold lines are painted over the black. The gold parts also have incised strokes to make "feathers". The tiles are all done by hand, as each one has individual variations.

I have no idea how old this is, or what country it's from (it doesn't look North American or European to me). Maybe India or China?

Mustard yellow cardigan (Jacob), black ruffled sleeveless t-shirt (Lady Dutch), black velvet pencil skirt (Armor Jeans, consignment), leopard pumps (Steve Madden), black leather belt (Plum), vintage black and gold bracelet and clip-on earrings (gift from L).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vintage Jewelry - Bling, Baby, Bling!

This was an easy outfit. I love these pants - they fit perfectly and I feel very tall and empowered in them (especially with a funky shoe). And the style and colour of this blouse is so pretty. I rarely wear it since it always needs ironing, but I tell myself that no one notices the creases. Ha!
It was rainy today, so I did the straight hair for a switch.

Today's jewelry selection is brought to you by Grandma J and Mom. I liberated the bracelet from Mom's jewelry box some time in the 80s - I love the colour (it matches the blouse, which refuses to show its colour accurately in photos), and that it's curved to cup the wrist, kind of like an inner tube (although that sounds weird). It has no marks on it, but I'd guess it's the late 50s/early 60s. There's a row of the green moonstone-type of stones, then a row of green crystals, then the middle row of large moonstone stones. Sorry the photo's blurry - I was in a hurry to get to my art class. The necklace was given to me by Grandma while I was in university the first time, so around 1986. Each link is a leaf and piece of branch - it lays beautifully on the neck. It is marked "Lisner" with a copyright or registered mark (which my research tells me means it's after 1955):
If you Google "Lisner necklace", you'll see that a lot of their styles were organic shapes, flowers and leaves. Mine has no colour accents (which a lot of the ones online seem to have), and the gold colour is wearing off a bit. I know it's not top quality, but it is another piece that I have worn a lot over the last 20+ years.

I know my Grandpa J liked to buy Grandma costume jewelry - I'd like to think that he bought this piece for her. I'd guess it's from the early 60s.

Green ruffled blouse (Esprit), brown plaid pants (Vero Moda), brown belt with jewelled flower (Plum), two-tone peep toe wedges (Unlisted), bracelet (vintage, Mom), necklace (vintage, Grandma J), crystal earrings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vintage Jewelry - 50s Businesswoman

I love the whole look of the 40s and 50s - I think I was born in the wrong era. Of course, if I'd been born then, I would have had no choice in having kids, so there you go. I'd rather live now and not have kids. Not that there's anything wrong with kids - they are lovely for other people to have.
I was determined to show this great blouse off to better advantage than last time I wore it (http://sheilaephemera.blogspot.com/2008/08/consignment-week-neutrals-with-pop-of.html), and there's nothing like a high-waisted pencil skirt to do that. This one is a nice stretch crepe and has shiny ("Look, shiny!" says the crow) square beads at the waist, which I just love. Add the fitted jacket, the classic black platform pumps and the lovely necklace and Bob's your uncle (I actually did have an Uncle Bob, but that's another story).

This choker is another piece that comes from Grandma J: It was filthy when I got it; I scrubbed it clean with a toothbrush and a bit of soap. I think the beads are jet - some of them are slightly chipped, unfortunately. It broke a couple of years ago, so I tromped down to the bead shop and bought all the stuff to fix it...then found another bead under the dressed months later (one side only has 4 beads). Anyway, I love the look of it and the feel of it - it's easily the vintage piece I wear the most.

I have no idea how old it is or what make it is.

Grey cotton jacket (RW & Co.), patterned grey blouse (H&M, consignment), black skirt (Kensie), black pumps (Calvin Klein), vintage necklace (Grandma J), crystal stud earrings.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Vintage Jewelry - Baby Blue or George Washington?

This week's theme (how I do love order...) is vintage jewelry, whether inherited, given to me or purchased by me. All of this week's outfits have been built around making my vintage look funky and modern. Will it work? Who knows. I've done the bottom half of this outfit before here: http://sheilaephemera.blogspot.com/2008/08/consignment-week-lah-di-da.html, but wanted to wear this new jacket that I picked up a couple weeks ago at my favourite consignment shop. It was only $26, and I think it will look fab with jeans too.

I ended up feeling dissatisfied with this outfit - the bow on the back of my neck, coupled with my wind-tossed hair today makes me look like George Washington, plus I think I have to institute a "One Ruffly Item Per Outfit, Please" rule on myself. I would like this better with a less girly jacket or a simpler top underneath.

But enough of that, here's my vintage jewelry:
The rhinestone clip-on earrings were pilfered from my mom's jewelry box around 1984. I remember wearing them to high school, along with a pair of her gloves from the 50s (which I also still have). I think these might have been a Christmas gift to Mom? Mom, I need some info on these.

The brooch is one of Grandma J's; it was left over after all her jewelry had been gone through after she died. I love the shape of it, and the delicacy of the work on it. It's stamped on the back: "Pastelli" with some sort of symbol. Research tells me it's made by Royal of Pittsburgh. Oh, this is cool - it's an ad from 1963 - I think that might be one very similar to mine, second from the bottom: And this is a kitty digging for carpet miceBaby blue velvet jacket (consignment, Gap), cream ruffle-front blouse (Vero Moda), velvet colour-blocked skirt (consignment, Banana Republic), pewter booties (BCBGirls).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Crazy...What I Wore to Alice Cooper

Oh, there have been some excellent concerts this year! And none were better, in style, music and outrageousness, than that master showman, Alice Cooper. L and I are devoted Alice fans (we own 23 of his studio albums), so when we heard he was coming to Vancouver, we got our tickets!

The concert was amazing! It definitely goes down as the best concert I have ever seen (although Rush is a close runner-up).

Of course, as devoted fans, we had to represent in full Alice fashion: That's a little dark, sorry. That's a full ballroom skirt that I picked up when I worked at Fairweather about 9 years ago. It's a bit large in the waist, but the corset top holds it in. I wore this same top and skirt for my Hallowe'en Bride of Dracula costume last year. I'm wearing my black patent boots under all this, which were perfect for stashing my ticket, ID, lipstick...cash was stuck in my bra, 'cause how can you do a bag with this, when you're rockin' out at a concert? You can't be worrying about it.

A better shot of my big long gloves (also from my stint selling women's clothing), and my lovely jewelled cross (a gift from L a few years ago): And a good shot of my make-up (copied from the "Along Came a Spider" album cover) and my vintage 80s Le Chateau top hat:
I actually wore my glasses all night with this, taking them off for pictures. Sorry, no pictures of L, although he had the classic Alice eyes, top hat as well, black tails, blue vest and shoes and shirt with frilly cuffs - awesome outfit.

We walked to the venue from our hotel - got a lot of odd looks, heheh. When we arrived, we were immediately grabbed by the radio station sponsoring the show and photographed (we'll be up on their website). We were by far the most (and best) dressed-up there!

Naturally, I can't go to Vancouver and not stop at Fluevog. Look what I found on sale! They're actually a dark hunter green satin.
I wanted a shot of the sole, since it'll wear off eventually. It says, "My memories of Love are all of you."

This one's for you, L - thanks for being my true partner in craziness!

Black felt top hat (vintage Le Chateau), black corset top (consignment, Le Chateau), black organza skirt (Fairweather), black patent boots (Expressions), black gloves (Fairweather), jewelled silver cross necklace (Plum, gift from L), crystal stud earrings.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Shopping Clothes - Studied Casual

I spent my day off shopping, naturally. Isn't that the best thing to do?
I have a pair of patterned mesh tights on here - and I admit, I took them off (even though I think they look really cute with this). Reason being: this skirt rides up when I walk and the tights drove me nuts after about 5 minutes. Off they go.

It was a successful shopping day (great shirt, skirt, party dress, tights and some earrings, oh, and a few books, can't resist books), but yet another wardrobe malfunction revealed itself as the day went on:

The guilty party this time: the bag. Cute bag, but every time I had to access my wallet, this big monster strap and buckle had to be moved. It became a huge hassle, so I switched all my stuff into the new bag I bought. Pictures of all the new stuff will come as I wear them.

Tweed distressed jacket (Oxmo), gold blouse (La Classe Couture), denim skirt (Smart Set), shoes (gift from Cat, Kenneth Cole Reaction), tights (Hue?), bag (Aldo), gold hoop earrings.

A Tribute to Alice - Black Dress

I do not understand how people can wear nothing but black all the time. It's so boring! I am craving colour after only 3 days!

This is a favourite dress - I found it at Winners last year and wore it for my 40th birthday party. It's so comfortable.
I felt very chic with my big statement necklace and my turquoise shoes (they have a great 50s vibe to them).

I'll be back on Saturday or Sunday - I'll post at least one picture of my in my Alice outfit and make-up, heh heh.

Black dress (Max Studio), turquoise suede shoes (Le Chateau), silver rings necklace (gift shop, vacation), rhinestone stud earrings.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Tribute to Alice - Back in Black

I forgot my jacket on the back of my chair at work tonight, so here's the rest of it. The jacket gave it some shape. This top is an extra-large; another example of how sizing is so erratic. The pants are a size 4, so go figure.
I always feel very Audrey in these pants and shoes.

Suit jacket (not shown, Max Studio), sheer top (Mexx, consignment), black cotton sequined cami (Esprit), pants (Focus 2000), black patent kitten heels (Wild Diva), white gold hoops.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Tribute to Alice - Black and Blue

L and I are going to see Alice Cooper this week, so my outfits are themed accordingly: black, black and perhaps a touch of black.

Naturally, I can't forgo colour altogether, so here's a touch of dark blue.
Eee. I used the flash so that I wouldn't be a big black blob...but I kinda look scary. Rar! Crazy old lady coming through!

Damn, I like those shoes. Best Shoe Purchase from a Small Town...ever!

Black cardigan (Vero Moda), blue camisole (no label, Point Zero?), black skirt (Kensie), grey ombre wedges (Qutie), black wood double hoop earrings.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Return of Dress Week - Casual Friday - My Own Bit of Sunshine

I felt like going with straight hair today - thanks again for the flat-iron, Ruth.

As always, I look half-awake in the mornings. It's like I need toothpicks to hold my eyelids open. This is why I warn my clients not to call me before 9am.

Love the dress, love the denim jacket - great fit, colours, and of course, my own little bit of portable sunshine in the yellow flower. Not too many days left where I can do a light dress and sandals so milking it as much as I can.

The earrings are Book Club booty!

Happy Friday!

Denim blazer (Bisou Bisou, consignment), floral dress (Kenzie), brown wedge sandals (Nine West), wood earrings and fabric flower pin.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Return of Dress Week - Polka Dotty

I have had this dress for over a year and only worn it once due to it being a fairly skimpy halter. Inspired by Kasmira's post about wearing a halter to work, I thought, "Why the heck can't I do something to make this work-appropriate?"
I'm quite pleased with the result. I felt very chic in a 1950s kind of way, particularly with Grandma J's faux pearls on. I was going to wear my mom's old sweater clip for the shrug but I can't find it! Very sad if that's gone missing.

Inigo wants his food. He looks like he's going to bite my ankle, but he just rubbed on me.

I dyed my hair last night - it's a dark kind of burgundy shade. It will lighten up over the next couple of days. I like it.

Off to Book Club! I'm baking Peaches Disarono for our 5th Anniversary Bash and Gift Exchange. I'm not very inclined in the kitchen, but this recipe only has 4 ingredients and any recipe with booze is a winner in my book. Ha!

Cream/red polka dot wrap skirt halter dress (Vero Moda), black cami (InWear), black shrug (Debut), black patent shoes (Wild Diva), Grandma J's faux pearls (vintage, probably 80s), rhinestone earrings.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Return of Dress Week - Aqua Overload

I think 3 is enough aqua dresses.

This is my "I'm not impressed" face. That's because I took my picture, thought I had uploaded it, then deleted it off the camera. Being the ditz that I am, I had not uploaded it entirely (I've done this before...I get distracted). So, I had to put it all back on again since I had already changed into my comfy clothes.
I think I am well on the road to Crazy Old Ladyville with this outfit. I get a kick out of the very 80s vibe of it (you should have seen it with a wide belt - whoa! It's 1982!), including the oddly cut shoulders. This thing has almost no shaping at all - those big darts at the bust are it. It was regular $59 on sale for $17. I think it will look good with a sweater and tights, jacket over it, boots.

It was actually quite fun to watch people's faces when they saw me today. Mostly "Whoa!" Love that reaction.

Aqua satin dress (Lori M. Collection), black turtleneck t-shirt (Esprit), black kitten heels (Kenneth Cole Reaction, from Cat), black/silver bracelet, black twisted hoops. Whackadoo hair!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Return of Dress Week - Grey Schoolgirl

Dark grey pinstripe dress (Mac & Jac), black cotton blouse (H&M), burgundy shoes (Bleka), black and silver necklace (vintage, gift from L), crystal stud earrings.
Back to crazy hair.

This is one of the new dresses - I adore this sort of schoolgirl look. I plan to wear this dress with pretty much every blouse and sweater that I own - this is a wardrobe staple. If you can find a neutral dress that is a similar cut to this, buy it, you won't regret it.

Sorry the picture's so dark. Here's a closeup of the pattern, along with the necklace:

I LOVE that this dress is lined in dark red!

I got a lot of compliments on this outfit - not to mention the shoes - I'll wear this again.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Return of Dress Week - Swirly Kimono Dress

Patterned kimono dress with matching blue belt (Vero Moda), rust cami (InWear), two-toned wedge shoes (Aerosoles), wood cuff and disc earrings.

I had a spastic moment this morning with my new hairstyle. It looked like a Brillo pad mated with a Tribble. Bad, bad news. Hence, the old faithful straight hair.
Did I mention I love dresses? I love dresses.

I'm really getting my $9 worth out of this dress this summer - this is a repeat from June when I went to see "Sex and the City", right down to the shoes and jewelry. There isn't a whole lot I can do with this dress - the colours are somewhat limiting (rust, cobalt blue, white and pale pink). Matching it up with the browns is the easiest - I don't have any other cami other than this rust one that I can wear under it (and I have a kazillion camis, so I don't need anymore!).

I think I could do it with a turtleneck underneath and boots and tights for fall/winter. Cobalt would look good.

Suggestions for how else to wear this dress? Let's see how creative you are...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Casual Friday - and an Evening Out.

Burgundy sating blouse (Nygaard Collection), grey pinstriped vest (Kensie Girl), jeans (Esprit), black ankle boots (Rinaldi), silver hoop earrings, burgundy patent bag (KGB Studio), black scarf, burgundy shoes (Blecka).
For Diana, here's the boob vest. It's cropped, fitted, and hugs my boobs.

It ended up being pretty warm on Friday, so I didn't need the scarf, but it does look nice with the outfit.

After work, I went to the mall and found these magnificent shoes:
I can't wait to put together some new funky outfits around them!

I also found an ankle-length black winter coat (I don't have a long coat), a new "schoolgirl" dress, and a party dress. I just sent out the invitation for my birthday party, so I think I will wear the party dress for that.

Went out for dinner after my little bout of shopping; met up with Elaine and some of her friends for a Jamaican/Caribbean dinner and drinks afterwards. A lovely time! Happy birthday, Elaine!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Office Uniform

Black pinstriped vest (Oxmo), blue shirt (Plum), plaid skirt (consignment, Jacob), t-strap heels (consignment, JonesWear), white stone and silver necklace & earrings.
If I had to pick a uniform to wear to the office every day, it would be a variation on this theme: shirt, vest, pencil skirt, shoes, jewelry. I've done this look in a variety of ways, sometimes changing to a sweater vest or the boob vest, sometimes with a white shirt or a red shirt or another colour, and the skirt is sometimes black or grey or brown (but usually a neutral), then sass it up with the shoes and the jewelry. Can't go wrong.

I'm not even sure what drove me to put this outfit together; none of the pieces on their own are all that special (except the shoes, which I love).

I wanted to share my creepy bouquet that L gave me yesterday. As you know, it's been a craptastic week at work, and he is always so thoughtful in getting me some flowers when he knows I've had a bad day. About a year ago, he started buying these "Nightmare Before Christmas" bouquets:
I love the mix of light green, purple and grey - and thistles! I don't even know what those other weird flower things are - they look totally alien. Here's a close-up of some of them, and the great vase I put them in (a handmade wedding gift - I love monsters, gargoyles and this lovely scary fairy).
And this is for Carollyne, who wanted a close-up of my hair.
Of course, it's not as good as it was before I walked to work, worked all day then walked home (in the wind). And I do have a bit of a crazy look in my eye...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

70s-Inspired Menswear

Burgundy velvet blazer (Nygaard Collection), pinstriped white blouse (Vero Moda), brown plaid trousers (Vero Moda), brown leather belt with flower buckle (Plum), bronze t-strap shoes (Aerosoles), gold chain and tiger-eye stone drop earrings.
I felt very kick-ass, yet comfortable, in this all day. Some days you've got to just be tough, and some days you don't. Today was a "be tough" kind of day.

I adore a velvet blazer or jacket (I own 3 and am always on the lookout for more). There is just something elegant, timeless and chic about them. I've owned probably a dozen or more over the years - found this one on a clearance rack for about $40. They're a little too warm for summer, but Fall is in the air...my favourite time of year.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

Blue cardigan (consignment, Romeo & Juliet Couture), black dress with black bead neckline (Kensie), hose (Hue), grey ombre patent wedges (Qutie), rhinestone bangle & earrings.

Okay, so after the positive reaction my hair got on the weekend, both at the Fair and at the subsequent BBQ afterwards, I was waiting for the big reaction from my co-workers today.

Bah! Nothing! It didn't help that everyone was in an awful mood, coming back from the weekend to much unpleasantness. Which is why I overdid the outfit a tad today - if I was going to feel bad about work, dammit, at least I could look good.

This outfit would have been without the hose (which I think are rather funky), except that I forgot to shave my legs yesterday and our bathroom is in a half-renovated state and I have no idea where my razors are.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Going Out - To the Fall Fair and BBQ

Grey jacket (RW & Co.), patterned silk blouse (Nine West), black leather belt, jeans (Esprit), black boots (consignment, Zara), black wood hoop earrings, red bead bracelet.
I met up with my mom and my ex-sister-in-law and my nieces at the Fall Fair on Saturday. L and I had a BBQ to go to after, so I wanted to look nice, but also not too casual or overly dressed up.

I think I was the only person at the fair wearing silk, though.