Thursday, September 30, 2010

Go Big or Go Home

Today's red is a tomato-y red, with deep orange tones. I like all shades of red, however. I wanted to wear this dress again:
The Pouffiest Dress Ever returns! I took Steph's advice from last time I wore it and safety-pinned the top of it to my bra. The things we do for fashion.

And as per the title, this outfit is all about The Big. Big dress, big necklace, big belt, big shoes.
I think I could stash about 16 bags of marshmallows in the skirt alone!

The stuff:
Ah, sweet giant shoes. Maybe you won't believe me, but these do not hurt my feet at all. Still, I'm very careful when I walk in them.

Dress (Vita Boutique Couture, thrifted), cardigan (Kersh), belt (Gap), shoes (Carvela), necklace (Club Monaco).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prickly Plaid

Continuing my "power colour" theme, today I'm wearing my red plaid skirt:
I managed to actually remember my top this time, which is this sequined one-shoulder thing, last seen here. It's not the same shade of brown as what's in the skirt, but I still thought it went well. It's very prickly. Sequins are not comfortable.

The olive green jacket is new-to-me - I got it over a month ago, but it's been too warm to wear it.
Seeing as "military" is a big look for autumn, this will probably go into strong rotation. I really like the seaming on the waist of it, and the flap pockets (none in the boobular region! hurrah!). I think it was around $18. It also doesn't match the skirt, but it still goes with all the fall colours.

This outfit also has an item that I have had for over 10 years and never worn:
The scarf! Remember around 1999-2000 when it was the "in" thing to tie big fringe-y scarves around your hips, over your jeans? I worked in a women's clothing store back then (Fairweather, when it was good, for you Canuck women who remember those days), and I bought this for around $12. It was clipped on a pant hanger for all these years, getting dusty. I needed pant hangers recently so I tossed it into my basket-o-scarves and what do you know? Here it is.

The stuff:
I kept the accessories down to just the cuff and simple hoops because of all the shiny shiny sequins and shiny shoes and fringe-itude.

Speaking of fringe:
Yes, that scarf has some.

Jacket (RW & Co., consignment), top (Express, thrifted), skirt (Casual Corner & Co., thrifted, vintage 80s), shoes (Jessica Simpson), scarf (Fairweather), cuff (Oscar & Libby's), earrings (gift from L).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ruby Slippers - and Best Thrift Ever!

So I kind of have a theme going this week: red. I just feel like wearing my power colour, and yes, I am feeling a little festive (October is always a majorly good month for me because of my birthday). Plus, you know how it goes - you get a few new things in the same colour family, and pow! You have a theme.

Yesterday, it was the jacket, today it is the blouse: Which we will discuss in a minute. I've worn this strapless dress every way BUT strapless (last seen here and star of the 3rd Wardrobe Challenge here). I just love the look of it over top of a button-down shirt.

I pushed it with the lacy tights, but I've been dying to wear tights, even though it's been too warm the last few days.
Okay, the blouse. I got it at Value Village for $3.99. I spotted the fabric initially. When I thrift, I scour the racks visually for colours and patterns that appeal to me, then I touch them to see if they are a good quality (I remember being taught about "the hand" of a garment to test for quality when I sold women's clothing). This one leaped out at me - it's a very soft polyester (yay! washable!) and I love the mini check.
It had no label, aside from the care/fabric tag (which is really faded), but it fit (a wee bit snug in the chest, but otherwise, lovely), and the price was right. But, because I'm all about the details, I checked out the snaps.

Don't you just love snaps over buttons? They're so much better. Especially these snaps: Yes, that says what you think it says: PRADA. And the care tag says "Made in Italy". Are you kidding me? I found a Prada blouse in Value Village for $3.99?? This is my best thrifting find EVER. I am so tickled.

Let's calm ourselves and look at the stuff:
Not even taking into account the PRADA blouse, I love all these pieces. My wonderful shiny red Fluevog "Listen Up" Audrey shoes.

A close-up:

The zipper rose that I got in London, my stud cuff and black bangle, and my trusty red belt.

Dress (Club Monaco, consignment), blouse (Prada, thrifted - hee!), belt (Plum), shoes (Fluevog), brooch (V&A Museum), cuff (80s), black bracelet (Le Chateau).

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Little Whine

I'm really good at whining, you know, that really annoying whine that kids can do when they reaaaaalllly want something? Oh yeah, I'm the master.

However, I'm not going to whine. I just wanted to pun off "wine":
Yes, I know, I have a serious Velvet Addiction. I even weeded out my closet in the spring and eliminated 4 or 5 of my old velvet blazers. I can't resist them! They call to me. This one actually fits me well (shorter length, nicely nipped in at the waist) and I love the colour. It's a Zara jacket and was $10 in the thrift store. Score!

It was a little too warm to wear it for most of the day, though, so this is what I really looked like:
I got a few "fancy-schmancy" comments from my co-workers.

The stuff:
You can see the nice rich wine colour of the jacket better there.

The gold bits:
Grandma W's brooch again.

Blazer (Zara Basics, thrifted), top (Lady Dutch), skirt (BB Dakota), shoes (Steve Madden), brooch (Grandma W), earrings (Foxy).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Bare Face and a Book Blurb

I mentioned on Friday that I was going to share my bare face, following the inspiration of Sal at Already Pretty (who was in turn inspired by Rabbit Write).

Well, cover your eyes, kiddies, here I am: Fresh out of the shower, with wet hair. I've got SPF 15 moisturizer on, and nothing else. I think I look pretty good for my age (I'm almost 43) - I've been wearing sunblock daily since I was 17 years old (when Oil of Olay was the only company that made a moisturizer with SPF 15), and it's paid off. I'd also like to thank my mom and dad for the good genetics.

This is all my make-up. I don't use most of the potions on the top shelf (they are super-duper night cream and eye cream and some hair gunk for when I do my hair spiky).
I clean out my make-up annually and toss anything I haven't used in a while (I save all my MAC containers for trade-in).

Here's the face with base:
I have cover-up under my eyes, on my lip scar, and on any zits (arg, in my 40s and still get zits!).

These are my usual base materials: I start with the MAC tube of Select MoistureCover and the sponge and tap that on. Then I use my big fat brush and swirl on the MAC Studio Fix. This gives a really sheer powder base (I have super oily skin, so I can't use any kind of liquid base or it'll be melted off within a couple of hours). I can also apply the base with a round sponge (that comes with it) for more coverage, like for a party or special occasion where I want to look more "done".

Another powder base I use is L'Oreal True Match Naturale mineral powder base (with SPF 19). It gives a very smooth base with high coverage (it's in the lower left corner of the cabinet in the above picture). I like that for evening or times when I won't be wearing make-up for very long, as it tends to settle in the wrinkles after a few hours.

I follow either base with a light dusting of the Mineral Wear Translucent Glow (the stuff with the flecks in it above) to pick up a bit of highlights around my cheekbones.

I do blush and the eyes next:
I don't like really noticeable make-up during the day, so although I wear a lot of make-up, it's not the first thing you see when you look at me.

My tools:
1. My brown eyeliner (I also have black, navy blue, dark purple and olive green). I usually use Rimmel's Exaggerate Full Colour Eye Definer because I don't have to sharpen it. The brush beside it is my smudger for blending the line. As I get older, I find that smudgier is more forgiving than a sharp line.

2. My eyeshadows. The two pots are MAC: the under-brow highlighter at the top (Shroom) and the lid colour below it (Woodwinked) - both are pearl finishes. The darker colour in the two-shadow compact is my crease colour - it's one of the "no show taupes" by Clinique. I like a non-frosted/pearl neutral in the crease.

3. My blush. It's "fresh bloom all over colour" by Clinique in Almond Blossom. I like this for daytime, to give a titch of colour with a bit of sheer highlight along my cheekbones. I also have a MAC blush that I use for evening, which is a solid peachy colour. In the daytime, I tend to have a constant flush on my cheeks anyway from all the walking I do, so I don't like a heavy blush.

4. My brushes. From the top: highlighter, crease, eyelid and blush brush.

Here's my face basically finished - mascara and eyebrows are done:
I like a little extra definition in my brows (which are starting to come in white - oh thank you, Gods of Aging). I do extra mascara when I'm going out, including wearing it on my bottom lashes. I never wear it on the bottom during the day, as I'd end up with big racoon eyes (even with waterproof - it's scary).

Right now, I'm using Maybelline's Great Lash in black (the waterproof formula).
That's my favourite brow pencil: Clinique's Brow Keeper in Honey. I hate sharpening it, but the colour is perfect, and it lasts, and I love the little brush for grooming my brows.

Face without my cheesy grin:
Oh, and I finish with some sort of gloss usually. My glosses:
The two on the left are those permanent paint-on types of lipsticks (one in red, one in a brick/brown shade). I also have a couple of Rimmel glosses and two of Cliniques plumping glosses (they last forever). I see a Clinique lipstick as well (green tube), a tube of yummy Rimmel gel gloss and that leopard ball is a beeswax gloss.

With lips and glasses:
I think it's a nice, subtle look that is appropriate for my age. I enjoy putting on make-up (I always have), and this full routine takes about 10 minutes.

I'm not going to be doing a "No Make-up Week", nor will I be going to work with no make-up. It's just not my thing - make-up for me completes my look, like the cherry on top. However, I have no problem going out without make-up on...I just prefer to wear it.

This is what I wore to Weight Watchers and out to lunch with friends:
Super casual and comfy! Wow, I can't believe I haven't worn this skirt in over nine months (last seen here).

It was a little chilly earlier, so I wore my jean jacket:
Jean jacket (Ann Taylor Loft), t-shirt (TMT), skirt (Marc D'Alcy), boots (Miz Mooz).

I also finished another book this past week: "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris.
I became a Sedaris fan after reading "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" and continued with "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" (blurbed here).

Stats: 272 pages. Started September 15th and finished September 20th.

Blurb: More of the same from Sedaris; hilarious, sad, touching and silly stories about his childhood in the first part ("One") and in the second part ("Deux") about his move to France and his attempts to learn French. I actually barked with laughter while reading the short essay "Big Boy". I made L read it right away and he nearly cried he laughed so hard. I really can't resist his books and will hunt down the other ones.

Hope your weekend is going well!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Casual Friday: Leopard and No Jeggings for This Gal

Well, it's Friday and I feel better - don't you?

I am also really happy with my outfit today:
Two new-to-me things here: the blouse and the boots. The blouse is by Planet, and was a steal at $30 on consignment. Planet's stuff sells new for over $200 (it's amazing quality), and even on sale I'd never find this lower than about $75, if it was even still available in my size.

This is the type of hallmark of quality that I look for when I shop consignment, second-hand and thrift:
The groovy little ball buttons are so awesome. That's the kind of detail I really like on my clothes.

Side note: when I was a size 16, shopping the sale racks in stores was so much easier! There is never anything good in my size (anywhere from a 4 to an 8) on the sale racks now. Grouch, grouch. Of course, I wouldn't trade my much-healthier self to go back to my self-loathing self, but I do miss those amazing finds!

I got that chill when I tried on the boots:
You know, that feeling when you see something and you're like, "Oh my god, I must have those, I hope I can afford them, I hope they fit, they are too cool, me want me want me want."

They fit (a bit big, being a size 10, but insoles and thick socks make them perfect), and they were definitely affordable at $35 (yes!). I actually had a credit at my regular store, so they were free! I had been wanting a pair of up-to-the-knee boots, but $200+ for new is just too much for me right now - this is so exciting!They are real suede and are so soft, although the right one really wants to scrunch down to my ankle more than the left one.

And since I never wear leggings, and certainly not jeggings (just a personal choice, not judging), this is how I make my jeans work with my boots:
Sexy sock-a-rama! I fold my jeans up into a cuff at my ankle, then wrap them around my leg snugly, then pull up my sock over the wrapped part and... voila!

Have a nice look at these booty-licious babies: Nom nom, I want to eat them up! I love the whip-stitched details. The heel is nice and solid and not too high (I wouldn't walk all day in them, but I could go shopping in them).

Have a great weekend, everyone! I was so inspired by Sal's post about going make-up free (she was in turn inspired, follow the link on her blog), that I'm going to bare my face this weekend and take a picture.

Blouse (Planet, consignment), cami (Esprit), jeans (Esprit), belt (Plum), boots (Le Chateau, consignment).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Plaid Cow in a Vest

I have been a cow lately. Very cranky, very up and down. I could blame the full moon, but really, it's just been a stressful year (and doesn't look like it's going to get any easier). Just a few of the good and bad things that have happened in the past 5 months:

- our condo roof is being repaired at enormous expense (has been ongoing for months);
- my beloved cat Othello died;
- we went on holiday with my mom;
- L's grandma died;
- I'm being laid off at my job;
- my brother fell off some scaffolding at work and broke two of his ribs;
- my aunt (Mom's sister) is in a homeless shelter (she has a mental illness).

Yesterday was the anniversary of my dad's death, too (which was another awful year like this one). We're also travelling again in December at some point, and will likely get a kitten if this roof work is ever done. Add the job hunt to that, and my extreme fear that being out of my routine due to being off work will lead me to stuff my face and gain back all of the weight I lost...and MOOOO!

L, I apologize to you now for being such a cow sometimes. I don't know how you put up with me.

But this isn't a plea for sympathy, really. I just wanted to explain that if I seem negative (I can be a terrible negative Nelly at times) or cranky, I don't mean to be...stuff just gets to me sometimes.

So when I'm feeling down, I always try turn to something I feel good in:
I love this plaid dress. I've had it for a couple of years and have worn it a lot (last worn very casually here, but last time for work here (and there are bunch of links to other outfits there)).
I picked up these shoes on the weekend - I walked into the thrift store and there they were. They're by Feet First (which I recently discovered is a division of Aldo), same as these sweet blue suede shoes. I paid $49.99 for my blue shoes - on sale - so I'd guess these would be minimum around $80 new. They didn't look like they'd ever been worn - and they were $18! Score!

The stuff:
Aren't they cute? Red suede, Mary Jane strap, stacked wood heel! Swoon!

We're almost at the weekend...pour me a glass of wine!

Dress (Vero Moda), vest (Le Chateau, from Ruth), shoes (Feet First, thrifted), belt (Plum), bracelet (Plum), gold hoops (gift from L).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Distinctly Chair-ish

I always want to wear this skirt more than I do. It's tough to make outfits around it; it's a really deep purple so not many colours go with it.
It also has just an elastic waistband that's really loose and tends to slip down and threaten to expose me in a bad way.

I usually end up wearing black and/or grey with it (worn previously here and here). This is probably my least favourite wearing of it, but I really didn't feel like putting in much effort today. Some days ya just don't.

The stuff:
The shoes are new-to-me - $30 brand new in a consignment store. I do love a kitten heel.

A close-up of the sparkly things:
I love the pattern of the chairs silk-screened on the skirt.

Sweater (Press), skirt (Smoking Lily, consignment), shoes (Miss Sasa, consignment), belt (Nygaard), ring (Oscar & Libby's), earrings (Plum, probably), bracelet (charity auction).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

All's Fair

Back to the grind after my nice long weekend!

After work today, I'm headed off to a job fair that a local company is holding. Having done my research on them, I know they have a very casual environment, so I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb in a suit and heels.
Hence, boots, a dress and a jacket. Minimal accessories (earrings and a ring only) aside from the belt. It's still a bit too warm for tights and I didn't want to look like an old lady in nylons (this company is very "young" in outlook).

Practicing my HR pose:
"Why yes, I'd love to work for your company!"

Would you hire me or pass me over, solely based on this outfit? Keeping in mind that this is for an IT-based company, every day is Casual, very laid-back environment. What would you do differently?

Edit: Hey, all, thanks so much for the feedback! I do appreciate it. I did forget to mention in the original post that I had to walk about 1.5 km to get to the job fair, so that's why I went with the low boots - purely functional (and funky).

Also, it was interesting to see how other women dressed for this. It was a mix of jeans/sneakers/hoodies/backpacks and way overdressed (suits and very high heels). I seemed to have made a good impression and many people commented on the bright green of my ensemble. I deliberately chose this dress because of the colour and the ruffles (which, you may recall, I refer to as "lettuce") - it's all about making a memorable impression, right?

Dress (Taylor, consignment), suit jacket (Jacob, consignment), boots (Aldo, consignment), belt (Gap).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Casual Friday: Wood Sprite

Whoa, what happened to the weekend? I had full intention (no, I didn't) of posting this on Friday (lies!), and then possibly on Saturday (more lies!), but didn't even think of posting it yesterday (true). I took a sick day today to hang out with my dear L, so for me, it's still the weekend. And that means casual:
My first wearing of tights so far this season! I wanted to wear boots but couldn't face my pasty white legs (sunblock works).

Inigo looks remarkably tolerant of me forcing a hug on him:
It's been a little cool and rainy in the mornings, so I added the outdoor pieces of hat and jacket:
Didn't need them, as it got sunny out later on.

The stuff:
I forgot to take my necklace off for the picture. I've only worn these boots a couple of times, last February (here and here).

This is how I layered my tights:
I wore solid brown, then put a mossy green fishnet overtop. Yes, I'm taking a picture of my leg on a table.

Unfortunately, the fishnets have a bigass hole right on the front of the leg. I tried to ignore it, but I don't think I can wear these much more.
Oh, and you all must check out In Professorial Fashion's "Wonder Woman Pose Conference" - I'm in it!

Jacket (Alison Wonderland, consignment), t-shirt (Truly Madly Deeply, consignment), green tee (Plum), skirt (Bebe, swap from Caro), boots (Hispanitas, consignment), hat (Shelley West), cuff (Catalyst Reaction Leather), earrings (Plum, gift from L).