Thursday, July 30, 2009

Like Butter - "Mad Men" Inspiration

I don't watch "Mad Men" (I tried an episode and it didn't grab me, sorry, my taste runs more to "True Blood"), but I love love love the 50s look in women's clothing. Today's outfit was partly inspired by that show and partly by this very cool link that my friend Celia sent me: "Mad Men" Yourself , where you can play with the clothes and looks (even body type!) of that era. I enjoyed it, hope someone else might.

Anyway, I had this lovely butter yellow sundress that I found while poking around in my regular consignment shops this weekend, so I went a little "Mad":
Put it with a cardi for work, my bronze sandals, some vintage jewelry, and I am ready to sip martinis, baby.

Here it is without the cardi (just a wee bit too boob-tacular for work):
I felt very Doris Day all day, and flounced around appropriately. This gorgeous dress was only $22. It's fully washable and was so comfortable in the (slightly less) heat. I did, however, find out that it's pretty much see-through. Note to self: buy more skin-coloured underwear!

The stuff:
You can see the lovely eyelet fabric of the dress in the background. Mom's vintage bracelet, and Grandma J's 50s clip-on earrings make for pretty green accents to go with the herons on the cardi.

And look what I found in the side of my picture:
Who's a hot kitty? Inigo is!

Dress (tag cut out, consignment), cardigan (Lucky Brand, consignment), shoes (Naturalizer), bracelet (60s vintage, Mom's), earrings (50s vintage, Grandma J's).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Toasty in Turquoise

Another day of sweltering weather - up to 34 degrees, with humidity making it feel like 38. My deck thermometer shows 35 right now and it's 8:16pm. Yikes.

I went for cooler clothes today:
New-to-me shoes are the featured item. I just did a simple embellished tank (I do like my sparkly), with my old favourite skirt that I've worn a million times.

Please ignore the hair as I am fresh out of the shower after an exhausting dragon boating practice of two hours. I'm wiped.

The stuff:
The shoes are so cute - they were under $20 - and I love that they are leather and have that adorable kitten heel.

Speaking of kitties...
Digging for carpet mice - it's Inigo! Cutest kitty ever!

Extra special bonus: this is what I wear around the house (although I will be barefoot), and will shortly be getting groceries in:
That is Inigo I'm holding - he's giving me "I love you" bumps on the side of my head. Yes, he is a massive cat.

Top: Tank (Reitman's), skirt (Mexx), shoes (Ann Marino, consignment), bracelets (gift shop, vacation), earrings (gift from L). Bottom: t-shirt (Kensie), skirt (Gap).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Too Hot - But Not For Leopard

It is 31 degrees out right now...I am melting. I am also cranky because the laminate flooring we were ready to order and get installed in the next few weeks has been discontinued and the colour we want (a dark warm brown) does not appear to be made by any other company. Grr!
Don't mess with me when I'm wearing leopard! My hand is a blur because I'm fanning myself so hard.

I'm also grouchy because the grocery store had a power outtage so we couldn't get any groceries, and I had to walk home in this sweltering heat.

Grouchy! Cranky!

Calm....calm...take it down...

This is my new-to-me skirt, purchased for $4.29 at the Salvation Army last weekend. It's a silk-cotton blend and was very comfy all day.

The stuff:
You can see the nice detailing on the skirt. Groovy Chinese Laundry sandals, funky necklace. It's too hot to wear much in the way of accessories.

Top (Mario Serrani, consignment), cami (InWear), skirt (Ann Taylor, thrifted), shoes (Chinese Laundry, consignment), necklace (Melanie Lynne), double hoop earrings.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Red Hot - and Welcome, Sydney!

Oh, it is very, very hot out this week. I am a delicate West Coast flower - I wilt in this. Bleh.
Went shopping on the weekend and got this top - I love the colours. Pulled in all my reds and oranges to go with.

The stuff:
The orange shoes that make my toes look weird. "Do these make my toes look long?"

The "Welcome" is to my newest niece, Sydney, who was born this morning. Welcome to the world, sweetie! She's got long fingers like her auntie.

Blouse (Bianca Nygard, consignment), cami (Esprit), skirt (Kensie), shoes (Enzo Angiolini, consignment), wood jewelry (Oscar & Libby's), bead bracelet (Plum).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Casual Friday - Doing that Rocker Thing

Ooh, I love Fridays. This is the new skirt that I got at the swap a few weeks ago - I've been saving it:
I've done this combination of my cashmere striped sweater and red rocker t-shirt before (but as a very casual weekend look), but this is the first time I've done it for work. I thought the addition of the buckle-y belt and the kitten heels helped keep it from being too too casual.

It was slightly cooler in the morning, so I did a jacket:
I look so "not amused" here, ha! It ended up getting a lot warmer, so I had to carry the jacket around.

No stuff picture, but I did get some pictures of us dragon boating on Wednesday night. Here is our boat getting some instruction about form from our coach (he's up at the front). I am 2nd paddler from the front, in the white ball cap (click to enlarge):
Resting after a hard paddle:
There I am again - and that's Madame Splashy-Pants behind me, resting before she showers me with cold salt water again.

Have a great weekend!

Sweater (Majestic, gift from Caro), t-shirt (Libertalia), skirt (Bebe Sport, swap, Caro's), kitten heels (Kenneth Cole Reaction, gift from Cat), belt (Jacob), necklace (Heart's Content), jacket (Bebe, thrifted), bag (Liz Claiborne, gift from Vero).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Green and Groovy

I told Tina I loved her "pirate sleeves" and that I would emulate them today:
Yar! These sleeves be puffy!

I love this dress - it is like wearing jammies to work. Since it was a bit cooler today (and since I've seen people wearing boots in the summer), I dragged out my favourite boots from the back of the closet, tossed in the grommet belt and the loopy earrings and I'm feeling groovy.

The stuff:

Yup, that's stuff.

Dashing off to Book Club! Up for discussion: "Three Day Road". Next book on deck is my choice (insert evil cackling here): "Snuff" by Chuck Palahniuk. Heh, I love doing different books. Over the years, I've also chosen "Fanny Hill" (download here for free) and the graphic novel "V for Vendetta". I get bored of reading the same Book Club Edition novels and Oprah picks. Bah!

Dress (I.N.C.), boots (Cougar), belt (gift from Ruth), earrings (don't remember).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm a Rocker, I'm a Roller

You may recall that I'm an old time metal chick from back in the day. I still like to indulge myself in rock and roll accessories now that I'm in my 40s.
Please disregard the hair since I just got back from a 2 hour dragon boat practice and Madame Splashy-Pants sat behind me and thoroughly soaked me, AND I was wearing a hat, so I have hideous hat head now that the salt water has dried.

This is a strictly summer dress, since it's cotton and not lined - maybe when I find a crinoline I'll put it into rotation for other seasons, but for now, it's summer. I love the 50s vibe of it, but thought I'd contrast that this time with both colour and detail in the accessories.

The stuff:
Once I noticed that this awesome tattoo belt went with the turquoise in the dress, the rest was easy. My wicked cool Fluevogs in that great cherry colour, and my leather stud cuff (with a nod to Kasmira who's been sporting hers lately, and is often an inspiration), and then the fun bug scarf (check out the gold bugs!) to soften it up a bit. I also feel very Audi in this...hmmm, I need to get a tattoo!

Points if you know what song the title of this post is from; bonus points if you also name the band (and no, it's not Chuck Berry or Eric Carmen - who?).

Dress (Le Chateau), belt (consignment), shoes (Fluevogs, gift from L), cuff (don't remember), scarf (Smoking Lily, gift from Janet for my wedding shower), silver hoop earrings.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Feel Matchy, Oh So Matchy

First, I want to apologize for not visiting all of your blogs this week - I try to get to all of them every week, but with our bathroom being renovated (today was my first shower in over a week!), dragon boating and other social obligations, I've had no time. But I will visit soon!

Now, onto the fun stuff: clothes! When I picked out this outfit last night, I didn't think it would be quite as matchy-match as it ended up being:
Too much? I love the shoes, and they match this mustard cardi perfectly. Well then, I HAD to do the blue shirt, right??

The stuff (reminder that these yellows are more washed out than the ones above - which are accurate - due to excessive sunlight):
I love these shoes! Heh, you can see my Dr. Scholl's inserts (the leopard inside yesterday's shoes were also inserts, by the way) - gotta have those! My lovely Shi Studio jewelry.

Blouse (Do & Be), cardigan (Jacob), skirt (Suzy Shier, gift from Heather), shoes (David Dixon, consignment), skinny belt (forgot, from The Bay), jewelry (Shi Studio, gift from Mom).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lazy Monday - Rust Dress and Leopard Shoes

Mondays...worst day of the week. And with this weekend being so action-packed, it came way too soon. So what do you do? Wear a dress!
I actually started with the shoes and was feeling lazy (I know, shocking), so put them with this lovely rust dress. Add the belt and some jewelry and it's all good to go.

The stuff:
New ring - the last of the 3 new ones I got a few weeks back. The earrings are two pairs that I combined; one was from Reitman's and one pair was a gift from Elaine from H&M. Since they had the same tiger-eye type of bead, it made sense to put both on one earring.

Inigo helped me pose:
Happy paws!

Dress (Le Chateau), belt (Le Chateau), shoes (Steve Madden), bracelet (Lucky Brand), ring (Fossil), earrings (combo of Reitman's and H&M/gift from Elaine).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Casual Friday - Feelin' Groovy

Happy Friday! Although since I'm posting this on Sunday, Friday now feels a long way past...and a long way away. Here's another one of my swap items: the groovy stretch denim top.
The split sleeves are visible - I feel very 1998, ha! I thought the shape of the skirt went well with the top.

I got my hair cut after work:
I don't know why all of a sudden my photos are coming out super blurry. I blame the camera.

The stuff:
The top was very sparkly - I kept glancing down at my boob region all day. "Ooh, sparkles!" Those are my vintage 1992 earrings from when I worked at Suzy Shier. Mom's 70s choker.

Added bonus: what I wore to lunch yesterday:
Fun wraparound dress, easy shoes...and no makeup! Yes, that is what I look like with no makeup.

My girlfriend Caro and I did a surprise for our husbands for Christmas (if you know me in person, please keep this hush hush): Bella Boudoir photo shoots! I can't wait to see how the pictures turned out! I told L we spent the afternoon at a spa - I had to totally smuggle all my outfits/shoes/accessories, and when I got home, I had to mess up my hair and wash off all the makeup before he saw me. I think I managed to pull this off.

My photos will be ready in a couple of weeks (after they Photoshop everything), so may have a link for you.

Top (Moa Moa, swap), skirt (Marc D'Alcy), shoes (Nine West), choker (Mom's, vintage 70s), earrings (Suzy Shier). Polka dot dress (Vero Moda), jean jacket (Ann Taylor Loft), shoes (Naturalizer).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What Do You Mean, It's 29 Degrees Out?

Unless I'm going to be outside, I don't really factor the weather into my wardrobe planning for work days.
Hence the sweater, lined pencil skirt, lined wool-blend jacket. Hey, at least I'm not wearing nylons!

I based my oufit around the fabulous shoes. Since I turned my ankle last night - did I mention I'm a klutz? - I wanted to wear low heels. The shoes are trimmed in a grassy green, with brown and black zebra, and the sparkly decoration.

The green is much more green than this - the top photo is more accurate. I photograph my accessories on top of a shelf about 3 feet closer to the den's window, and it's amazing how the light leaches the colour out of things. For example, the burgundy shoes I wore yesterday look bright red in the "stuff" shot (Alison, you called it - they ARE burgundy).

That's my new Fossil ring up there (complete with bandaid, because it's too big) - click to enlarge. I waited for that to get marked down for ages - it started out around $45, and I got it for around $5. It's a knuckle buster, for sure, but I love the brown metal and the dome shape of it. The earrings are vintage clip-ons, and the necklace is one of my Grandma J's vintage pieces from the 50s.

Suit jacket (Kenzie), sweater (INC, thrifted), skirt (Kensie), belt (Plum), shoes (Hale Bob), necklace (Lisner, Grandma J's, 1950s), earrings (vintage), ring (Fossil).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Shorts, and My Stupid Shoulder

Finally happy with an outfit this week!
My dress shorts, a nice blouse, matchy shoes ('cause I'm match like that), and the boyfriend cardi to help pull it all together.

Today was supposed to be my first dragon boat practice, but I am injured. And what an injury: I did it in my sleep! I sometimes sleep on my stomach with my arms above my head, and on Monday night, I woke up to excruciating pain in my right rotator cuff. It was not so bad yesterday, but when I woke up this morning, I could barely move my arm.

My coworkers staged an intervention and took me to the walk-in clinic this morning, where I waited for an hour and a half for a 5-minute visit with the doctor (insert rolling eyes here). He said I have an inflammation of the bursa in my shoulder, probably carried on from my aikido injury back in January. He gave me some exercises to do and told me to take ibuprofen...but needless to say, I couldn't paddle today. Sad! But he did say I can still do it, if I paddle on the right.

I went anyway, since some of my friends and L are on the team, and walked around the waterway, watching them. I'll go to the Sunday practice as well and watch (maybe sit in the boat if they are short people, to balance it), but no Ultimate for me either this week. Dang! I hate being old! What's with the stupid spontaneous injuries?

Anyway, enough complaining, here's the stuff:
The earrings didn't really go (the gold on them), but eh, I don't care.

Cardigan (Express,consignment), blouse (Thanx Collection), shorts (Club Monaco, consignment), shoes (Predictions, consignment), necklace & earrings (Plum), belt (Nygard).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cats and a Summer Dress

I didn't really like today's outfit. The dress is too long, the bow at the waist is set a bit high for me, and the shoes didn't look right. Ruth said she'd hem the dress for me which I think will take the fuddy-duddy out of it. Here's a better idea of what the dress looks like, as I've deliberately obscured it with a cat (Othello) in the only picture of about twenty that even looked half decent. Bah!

The stuff:
The pin was worn at the bust, and I finally found some big pearl earrings! I have a bigger pair too, as they were two pairs on one card.

Cat pictures! Both cats were very accomodating last night and settled onto their scratching posts out on the deck. cute! This is Inigo. He's about 7 years old, I think.

And this is Othello, who is nearly 14. I love his funny pose with his feet hanging over. That's a 5 foot tall scratching post.

Dress (Connected Apparel), lace blouse (Express), shoes (Le Chateau), mink brooch (vintage, thrifted), earrings (Aldo Accessories), bracelet ("Gucci", gift from Mom and Dad).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Red and Blue Suit - And Checking In Halfway Through My Wardrobe Challenge

When I arrived at work and went to change into this outfit, I realized...the pants are tight. Just a week bit tight, but it serves to remind me to stay on track and watch what I eat and to exercise more. Still, not the kind of thing you want to be reminded of on a Monday. Blech.
However, I love the look of these shoes, and I do like this suit a lot (but I don't wear it much). This is the new red top I got at the swap last week.

The stuff:
Blue, blue, blue cheap shoes...They pop nicely against the red, don't they? They look good, but they are crap quality. I have major Dr. Scholl's in them.

So, I hit the halfway mark of my 2009 Wardrobe Challenge on June 30th, and I was feeling pretty good about it...until this week.

I'm feeling frustrated by not being able to have gorgeous trendy shoes. I want pretty summer dresses. I want nice light skirts. These are the hardest things to find second-hand, and I am really jonesing bad for a shopping trip! I expressed this to L today, and what a dear, he offered to take me shopping and "cheat on your resolution."

Well, that pulled me up short. I have my "gift loophole" (having a bit of a lawyerly bent, I love loopholes), so he could have taken me shopping and bought me new pretties as gifts. But that defeats the spirit of the challenge, if not the letter. I can't do it - but just wait for me to milk the gift aspect when my birthday comes around (gift cards will count as gifts)!

I have a huge admiration for Jane at workthatwardrobe, as she nears the final days of her own "no buy" challenge (hers is much more strict than mine!). Another 5 1/2 months to go...and summer is the hardest part.

Suit (Vero Moda), red top (Le Chateau, swap), shoes (Anne Michelle, consignment), necklace (don't recall).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Swap-O-Rama Roundup

I had fun at the Swap-O-Rama the other night, but most of that came from the social aspect. It was for a good cause (Big Brothers & Big Sisters), and I got to have an evening out with some of my favourite people. But from a clothing perspective, I've gotta say: I don't think I got as good as I gave. Tell me what you think.

These are my fifteen items that I culled from my closet. Some of these were in the giveaway pile, and some were still in rotation or I'd been saving as "too nice to just give away". Every person attending the swap contributed fifteen items and was able to take fifteen items home. I didn't find fifteen items to take home.

Club Monaco trousers (worn here - I've put in links to all of these items in outfits). These are crisp and a good fit and work with flats best (they are a little short on me and I'm 5'4"). The colour is a mid-grey with a slight purplely tone.
The "Are Those Leather Pants?" pants. 'Nuff said.
The Bum Skirt, also Club Monaco. Lovely on, but hard to match anything to the blues and greens.

Tommy Hilfiger skirt with beaded hem (all of the white part of the design on the bottom 4 inches is done with clear beads). Too long on me.
Louben blouse with bow. I like this blouse, but I don't love it. It was a bit too old-fashioned on me.
H&M satin blouse in two-tone grey. Just kind of blah.
Gap velvet jacket. Gorgeous piece...I just love this, but the colour is all wrong for me.
Banana Republic silk velvet skirt. Not my colours, but otherwise I really liked this.
Jacob silk and beaded dress. This is a size 13/14 and is one of the lovely dresses I had when I was heavy.
Here I am wearing it about seven years ago:
My lovely wraparound dress. It was just time to let this go.
This newish grey Mexx sweater dress. Love the shape, the feel, but the colour was not good on me.

I love this purse, but it's another case where I have nothing in these colours to wear with it (I used to have a turquoise skirt that went with it, but gave it away when I lost weight). I have not used it in over two years.

The shoes. My wonderful Bronx sandals that tear the crap out of my heels, my Le Chateau pumps that are too big and my Feet First shoes that rub my heels.

I felt like I'd donated good quality items. Maybe not to everyone's taste, but there's some nice stuff there, I think.

This is what I got, and I really struggled to find items that fit and that weren't ripped, pilled or REALLY out of style.

Stretch denim rock and roll t-shirt (the sleeves are split at the cuff). The design is glittery.
I don't think I'll get more than two or three wears out of this (it's not really work appropriate, even for a casual Friday, but that hasn't stopped me before, ha!).

Slinky red top. This is a little young for me on its own, but it'll look okay under a jacket.

Bluish t-shirt top.
This used to be Ruth's - ha!

Denim skirt with asymetrical stitching:
This is probably my best find. This fit me like a glove and is the perfect length. I was actually looking for a new denim skirt. Of course, these were also Caro's!

And this is the second best find, a plain long black jersey dress:
It has a great V-neckline, is exactly the right length for a heel, and is slit up to just above the knee on each side. I have a party coming up in early August, so I think I will wear this. A good classic long dress can last for years, just by changing up the accessories.

Some Gap jeans:
I have these on right now - they are total hang around the house jeans. They are quite worn, but they fit me perfectly and they feel great.

Caro's khakis, as worn on Friday:
Good weekend pants and I didn't have anything like them.

Worst grab was these black boots:

They fit perfectly and in the dark swap venue, they seemed awesome, aside from a little dinging on the heels, but once I got them home in the bright light, I discovered that the black finish was peeling off all over the ankles (you can see it where the tip of the lace is touching), and the toes are all nicked up. Not good quality. These might be fine to wear out dancing in a dark club or with jeans overtop of them, but for me, these are no good. Into the giveaway pile they go.

And because I'd grabbed one too many tops, I had to get rid of a top from my collection. I chose this navy blue Zara top. I wear almost no navy at all, and it has a little hole in it.Buh-bye!

So, there you have it. I would give the overall experience of the Swap-O-Rama a 3 out of 5. I wish there had been more participants so that there would be more sizes and variety, and I wish that they had been a bit more strict on quality control of the donations. Despite that, as I said, I had a good time and I'm excited to try out all my new items!