Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekend Wear and Two Book Blurbs

We had a nice quiet weekend - I only went out to Weight Watchers, lunch and a brief foray into one of my favourite thrift stores (new-to-me outfits coming this week!). I like picking a dress for WW - they're nice and light!
I last wore this dress here - but the tights are the scene-stealer for sure.

It was a little chilly in the morning, so I loaded up with my beret, fingerless gloves and cashmere scarf, as well as my leather jacket:
I didn't need the beret or gloves in the afternoon at all.

Dress (Gap, consignment), tights (Trasparenze), boots (Aldo, consignment), jacket (online auction), scarf (Club Monaco), beret (Jacob, consignment), gloves (Parkhurst).

I finished a couple of books this week: "How to Be a Budget Fashionista" by Kathryn Finney, and "Going Solo" by Roald Dahl.
"How to Be a Budget Fashionista"
Ruth gave me this book for my birthday, with a note inside: "Read it, then write your own, Sheila-style!" I have to say...I could do better.

Stats: 218 pages. Started around October 10th, finished early last week.

Blurb: This how-to guide seems to be intended for fashion lovers who have no idea how to shop, don't know their own style and are completely clueless when it comes to fashion. I feel like it missed out on its real target audience: women who already know all that stuff, but who now want to be fashionistas on a budget. Crucial difference there.

I already know my style (I don't need pointers on how a white blouse and an LBD are essential to any woman's wardrobe) and are there really that many women out there who don't know a bargain when they see one? Do they really need tips like "Shop the sale racks" and "The importance of undergarments"? I don't.

What I would have liked to have read about is more along the lines of "How to find the treasure in a pile of junk at the thrift store" or "How to know when consignment items are overpriced" or even "How to negotiate better deals from stores." There are only 5 pages dedicated to second-hand shopping!

This book is so light it practically floats, and there's a lot of filler like charts (this column is expensive vs. this column is cheap) and little somewhat amusing anecdotes that don't really relate to shopping on a budget. Even the "case studies" are thin - someone looking for ideas on what to wear to a high school reunion is told to wear an LBD and pumps. Um, yeah.

"Going Solo"
Most people know Roald Dahl's children's books ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "James and the Giant Peach", for example), but he was also an amazing writer of adult fiction ("My Uncle Oswald" is one of the funniest, raunchiest novels I've ever read). He also wrote several collections of short stories, which have just been reissued - they are wonderful and well worth looking for. Dahl brings his slightly gruesome and comic touch to everything he writes, and I've collected nearly all of his books over the years.

Stats: 210 pages. Started and finished within the last 2 weeks (early to mid-October).

Blurb: "Going Solo" is the sequel to "Boy" - they are the two autobiographies of Dahl. "Boy" covers his childhood and "Going Solo" covers his experience living and working in Africa before learning to be a pilot and fighting in WWII. His tales are absolutely amazing and are not at all tedious or boring - he is an expert at seeing what is the most interesting in a story and at evoking that experience for the reader. I'm not usually a huge fan of books about war, but this one is superb. Loved it and devoured it quickly.


  1. Ah! the totally awesome tights are back! I love those tights.

    Hey, on a side note... The walking is getting easier. Hubby and I are working hard at changing out diets too. I have to do it slowly, so I don't feel deprived. Deprived=binging for me. So far so good.

  2. I read a lot of Roald Dahl (including "Boy") while growing up, but have never read "Going Solo." Thanks for the recommendation, Sheila!

    I like your cheeky striped tights under the gray dress. Scene-stealing for sure.

  3. I love those tights! You are a constant source of wardrobe inspiration.

  4. Love the dress and the whole finished look.

    I've read the style book-ok-blah, yours would be much better.

    I am reading The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova right now, I am really enjoying it. Hoping to finish it today so I can see how it ends. Have you read it? (I think it is a few years old) There is nothing new out there that is appealing to me at the moment.

  5. Yes, the cool tights are a scene-stealer, but with the outerwear, they recede a little in prominence. I like 'em both ways.

    To me, wearing tights that draw attention is a clever fashion-choice because nobody ever expects that.

  6. Hey Shero

    Writing your own book sounds good to me. Perhaps conducting some shopping tours to London, Paris, Montreal, Toronto, or New York etc. Colleen Johnson at Visions 2000 travel has a women's travel club, I think it's called women's travel connections. Having to look for another job, always opens up new opportunities and usually ends up much better than your previous employment. Shelley

  7. Me too, Alison, thanks! Hey, that's great news! I knew it would. Good for you - take it slow on changing your food habits, so that the new habits stick. :)

    Kari, he's such a great writer. Thanks so much!

    Thanks, Jody!

    Lesa, thank you! Ooh, that sounds like a good book. I'll look it up.

    Ralph, I like to mix it up. Nothing's more fun than funky tights!

    Thanks for the suggestion, Shelley. I appreciate your comments.

  8. Write the book, Sheila! There's a market out there for it. I'm always being asked to take people (like work colleagues) on second-hand/charity shop/ consignment shop tours in my local city! You write the book, I'll add it to my 'tour package'. Hee hee

  9. Nice tights! I think tights/boots/sweaters are the only justification for cool weather--otherwise, why bother?

    You should absolutely write your own book...


  10. I love the tights with that grey dress. It really plays well with bold accessories.

    You're reminding me I need to get to reading. I've been so busy writing school papers, I've fallen behind.

  11. Secret Squirrel, maybe one day! Thanks for the encouragement!

    Hi, Tamia, thank you for commenting. I love cool weather clothes, but yeah, a few months of them is fine by me! Hmmm...maybe I should write a book.

    Megan, thanks! Ah, but school must take precedence. Maybe set aside some weekend reading time, just for you!


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