Saturday, February 2, 2013

Post-Challenge: When In Doubt, Wear a Dress

This feels so weird! I admit, I struggled with what to wear on Day One after the challenge! After a year of only having 30 items to choose from, it was a bit panicky to review my entire closet (and all the stuff hiding underneath) to find something to wear - there's so much! 

In addition to the "Like it or Lose it" voting on my new items, I'm also going to apply the same voting system to the items in my closet that didn't get into a capsule last year, and yet remained in my wardrobe. The first item up is...this black dress!
I was lazy and just used the same boots I had in the January capsule (summary forthcoming at some point), last worn here. I took the harnesses off them this time.

I bought this dress at Winners in the fall of 2007 - it was part of the re-stock of my wardrobe after I lost 50 lbs. I wore it for my 40th birthday party, and possibly a couple of other times pre-blog. It's by Max Studio and I think it was under $40. It's hugely comfortable and easy to wear. But is it "me"?

I last wore it for our December 2011 Christmas trip to Powell River with tights (including these leopard ones) and boots. I wore it earlier that same month (2nd outfit) with...tights and boots! I'm sensing a trend. I've also worn it in summer (June 2011, 2nd outfit) with sandals, but in mostly winter (January 2011). I also wear it shopping (in November 2010) because it's easy to try clothes on with it. It's one of those lazy outfit dresses - a jammy dress (as worn in December 2009). I've dressed it up with heels too (September 2009), including orange ones (May 2009). I've worn it to feel better (January 2009), and as an all-black theme week before our Alice Cooper concert (September 2008). Speaking of concerts, I also wore it to Vancouver when we went to see Rush (June 2008).
I am looking forward to seeing if I can still make the dress exciting over the next 7 days.

Here we go! Time to vote.

The black dress: Outfit #1.

Black Max Studio Dress free polls 
The stuff:
Mismatched gold hoop earrings (I lost one, got a new pair and then lost one of them). That's the necklace Mom gave me for Christmas.

Dress (Max Studio), tights (Le Chateau), boots (Adriana Agnes, Fluevog), necklace (Global Village), bracelet (Club Monaco).

Remember the amazing bright strapless dress with the broken zipper that I thrifted a few weeks ago for only $10.00? I had the zipper replaced and the dress taken in two inches - by a tailor! This is a first for me - I have never taken anything to a tailor before. I found this old guy, Vlad, who has a little tiny shop in the basement of a building near my office downtown. He did a beautiful job on this, and it only cost me $40 for major seaming work on it!

I was happy it was ready in time to wear out to the Urbanite event at the Art Gallery on Friday night:
Rock on!
I have a thing for strapless dresses, especially when they are really fitted - this one was perfect. No tugging all night, and it wasn't too tight.
I showed off my ink, of course. Any opportunity!

There's something about pink legs that I love.
I bonded with several women (and men) over my Fluevogs. These are my Prepare Guides, last worn in July 2011, and featured in my May 30 for 30 capsule (recap).

I did a mix of new and vintage: old punk cuff, recent Shi Studio wrist-wrap.
Polka dots!

Fistfuls of rings.
Vintage snake ring, new Wendy Brandes lapiz lazuli ring.

A light jacket for the walk down.
We had a good time, but I'm glad the events are only 3 hours long - I was exhausted by the end and couldn't wait to climb into bed. Ugh, this is a nasty cold.

I debated whether I should include this dress in the Like it or Lose it voting, but I think my reluctance to do so may indicate where one of my weaknesses with keeping clothes is: it's pretty! I like it! I need to remind myself that I want my full wardrobe to be functional.

So...AJ Bari vintage dress: Outfit #1

Vintage 80s AJ Bari Dress free polls 
This one is going to be a challenge to re-mix!

Jacket (Le Chateau, consignment), dress (AJ Bari, vintage 80s, thrifted), shoes (Prepare Guides, Fluevogs), belt (80s vintage, thrifted), earrings (locally-made), studded cuff (vintage 80s), turquoise wrist-wrap (Shi Studio), snake ring (vintage 80s), lapis lazuli ring (Wendy Brandes), red/silver ring (Oscar & Libby's).

I'm going to be running votes on several items concurrently, as you can see. More fun that way!

Today, L and I met Chris and Alli for lunch. I felt like a kid in the candy store; whatever shall I wear out of all these clothes!
I chose this black midi-length leather skirt, thrifted here for $20.00.

My red silk blouse was featured three times in the August 2011 30 for 30 capsule (recap).
The vest was part of the January 30 for 30 capsule, and only got worn once (here, with the turquoise fringed skirt). Obviously an oversight of me not to wear it more!

One can never have enough pairs of red boots.
I've missed these lovely burgundy boots! They were in the March 2011 30 for 30 capsule (recap).

Since my white leather jacket was still sitting where I'd dumped it last night, I wore it again today.
Ready to vote?

Halogen black leather skirt: Outfit #1

Halogen Black Leather Skirt free polls 
The red shirt has a very strong pink-y tone to it, so I went with a pink and red necklace.
We're having a Super Bowl party tomorrow for all the players in the football pool - chili is simmering on the stove right now, filling the house with a lovely spicy smell. Mmmm!

Blouse (Elite International, thrifted), vest (Bisou Bisou, consignment), skirt (Halogen, thrifted), boots (Miz Mooz), necklace (thrifted), earrings (Plum).


  1. YAY for the return of the Guides! They look great with the strapless dress.

    The black dress is 100% you. Definitely a keeper.

  2. Hi Sheila....i voted on every item (all yes) but vote a BIG yes on the black dress. Its a must have and it looks smashing on you. So darling with the leopard (or are they cheetah) tights and red boots. I also love those burgundy boots.
    Its funny, but I've often read that French women believe having so many clothing items makes it difficult to decide what to wear....and you had that same experience. Although I voted yes on all items, if I had to choose only one...I would absolutely keep the black dress.

  3. The first dress is cute, but if you have a good LBD, do you really need another? I've realized most people like 'basics' to dress up. Personally, basics are really boring to me. I don't wear them. I only want to pair my fun pieces with other fun pieces. So I've stopped wearing basics unless they have a twist (bicycle skirt, all saints black dress, etc).

    I like the strapless dress. It's a great print, I think you should at least keep it around until summer is over. I can see it being worn to summer events. The colors in it are really gorgeous and the fit incredible.

    Mmmm chili sounds awesome. It's super cold and there's that wet-snow that melts as soon as it lands. It'll probably all freeze tonight.

  4. The outfit with the strapless dress is STELLAR!

  5. Easy ones! Super-functional, super-pretty (plus you clearly love it), and super-amazing. Keep 'em all!

    I am actually not so good at this game, as evidenced by my closet-space issue, lol. But I'm excited for you to wear whatever Fluevogs you want, whenever you want, hooray!

  6. oooh I am in love with that strapless number! It looks AMAZING on you and I am so so jealous! : )


  7. Everything was a keeper for me!! The strapless dress is adorable!!

  8. The neckline on your jammy dress is so lovely on you!

  9. The voting is a great idea! :) I really think you should keep the dresses - especially that black one you have worn it so often it's a real staple :)

  10. I have to say, that black dress at the top with the leopard print tights and red boots is one of my favorite outfits on you. It's really mod and hip. Especially love it with the necklace you chose. Awesome!

  11. Pink tights are on my shopping list!

    I think I need a trip to Victoria's consignment shops when you finally part with any of your clothes.

  12. I wondered how long it would be before we saw the turquoise shoes :-)

    I love love love the strapless dress, but voted no on the dress and the skirt - I think you've got more "you" jammie dresses (with patterns and colour), and lots of black leather skirts! Just pick your favourite :-)

    1. I voted the same way. You have plenty of leather and plenty of black dresses--let these items go to 'thrifty heaven'. :)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Gosh, I am so glad to see those blue shoes back. I missed them on your feet!

    I think you should have a 'love it' option button - I would have clicked that for your strapless dress. It is a stunning pattern and the fit is now perfect. I am such a fan of getting things altered (am fairly confident with my sewing machine so I often do it myself).

    The black dress, I first thought - well it is nice, it fits etc, but then, it isn't sensational and you look so good in colours, so I went for lose. I know you don't necessarily want everything in your wardrobe to be knockout, but if you have other cosy dresses, then I think this could go.

    It must be so strange to have all your wardrobe available now! Looking forward very much to the recap post.

  14. Love those leopard tights with the boots. The black long skirt is gorgeous with the vest. So pretty.

  15. I love all the outfits, Sheila! (I can't vote, I'm sorry, it just seems wrong to judge!)
    The black dress is a basic but you have jazzed it up so well with the leopard print tights and red boots and big necklace, the strapless dress is gorgeous and I think you really LOVE it (and so will adore wearing it every time), and the leather skirt and those fabulous burgundy boots are sexy and elegant.
    Choice is good - embrace the delights of your wardrobe, my dear! xxxx

  16. I was set to vote yes on the black dress until I saw the strapless dress. That *is* you! So awesome in its colors and shape. So I voted no on the LBD and huge yes on the rest. This is fun, BTW, because I know you will make up your own mind in the end : >

  17. Śliczne obydwie sukienki i piękne buty:))Pozdrawiam serdecznie

  18. OMG that art gallery outfit is da bomb! Gorgeous. Artistic and hip. Plus, you're one of the few gals who can pull of strapless with aplomb.

  19. Gosh so many great things! Where to start? Love your leather maxi (I have a similiar one!), the cream bomber jacket and your burgundy boots with the lovely button detail. And those two dresses are fab, the black is very chic (and great with the red boots) and that coloured strapless dress is gorgeous!

  20. Definitely keep the strapless dress! And hey, you are the queen of making strapless dress work-appropriate! I'm sure I can imagine you pairing it with a shirt underneath or a blazer over.
    The other two items are staple for you (I know a leather skirt is not a staple for many, but it clearly is for you!) - so they really need to be compared to other similar items for comfort and those small details that make a garment more or less successful in wear. You could probably get rid of one (or more? I haven't kept count!) of your black leather skirts, in other words, but you would be in the best position to say which one - an if this is the 'least favourite' black leather skirt, then yes, pass this one on. Likewise out of the sets of "plain black dress" and "jammie dress" - it is certainly desirable to have those categories filled, as well of the category of "something to put on, that looks great, when you don't know what to wear" (as you did this time), but from photos it is hard to tell which might be culled. Sleeve-length might help here: do you tend to find that in-between, neither long nor short, length, comfy or annoying? Do you have other dresses of that sleeve length? Which comparable garment might you cull instead? Try choosing one of a group rather than a stand-alone garment. This one ticks both the jammie and the black box, maybe it would in fact enable you to cull two others if you kept this one?
    I definitely have the 'problem,' when trying to cull, of sometimes feeling most keen to get rid of garments that are not the most exciting - but that do fill am necessary role of something presentable when, say, it is cold, I don't feel well, I'm in a rush, and I know anything very delicate is likely to be ruined - but sometimes we need those pieces!
    Are you going to go through all the clothes that were not in any of your capsules for the year? An exciting challenge in itself, I should think!

  21. It's soooo hard to chose if an item goes or stays !
    Keep both dresses and get rid of the skirt - those were my votes in words :)

  22. I love the altered strapless dress - keep keep keep keep!

    I know I'm going against the crowd, but I think the Max Studio dress does not have the exceptional lines, tailoring, and design elements key to many of your clothes, especially purchases in the last few years. It's an okay LBD, but I don't know if it's THE LBD. Maybe I'm not expressing myself well here?

    Oh, it's all your fault I bought a vintage mink poodle brooch off Etsy. Can't wait to get it. Totally influenced by your mink pin and my insane desire for vintage dog and cat pins. On the bright side for my limited budget, they are quite a bit cheaper than


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