Sunday, February 10, 2013

Smoking Lily Bonanza, Voting Verdicts! and Lilac Greyhounds

This is a long weekend in my lovely province of BC (Family Day, a new, invented holiday), so I have Monday off - woo hoo! I started my week off with a bang, and the third wear of my vintage 80s strapless dress:
This was perfect for casual Friday - I felt professional but fun.

This is my Smoking Lily stretch denim jacket, featured in the March 2012 capsule (recap here). I only wore it once that month (I forgot that it only works worn done up), but I have hung onto it because I love the construction and the lovely collar and turquoise cuffs and piping.

This is the third and final wear in a week of my vintage 80s strapless dress - I made it! Since I've made my decision on whether I keep this (more on that shortly), there won't be a vote on this outfit.
I previously wore it here and here.

I did comfy Fluevog flats for my Friday.
I like how the black diamond shape echoes the pattern in the dress. I wore these in the September 2012 capsule five times (recap here). They were as wonderful as I remembered, and perfect for walking to the Smoking Lily store after work.

Jacket (Smoking Lily, consignment), dress (AJ Bari, vintage 80s, thrifted), shoes (Impulse Presence, Fluevogs), earrings (Oscar & Libby's).

The February sample sale at Smoking Lily has been on all weekend! I was excited to get down there and see what goodies I could find. I did really well last year (scoring the Octo-coat), so I was hoping for something equally spectacular.

I was in luck! Holy ship!
I snagged this from someone who was debating the colour - you snooze, you lose! Me? I have no issues with mustard - it's my favourite yellow (and my favourite condiment).

This was $65.00 and fits me perfectly; good bust shirring, a nice shoulder and a bit of elastication in the back for a strong waist. I am really excited to wear it.
 I adore the ship patterns!
So. Cool.

I also bought this Emma top - it's the same cut as my emerald green Emma dress (this one) - for $20.00.
The designs are magnolias and running greyhounds. I wasn't 100% on the colour, but since I'm playing at being a blonde for a while I thought, "Why not?"

I spotted this skirt way up on the wall:
The Smoking Lily store is smaller than my closet - it used to be an elevator! - but the ceiling is over 20 feet high, so you have to look up. This skirt was a one-off sample and was $25.00. No silkscreen, but don't you love the fabric? I am so excited about this one!

I bought one of their sheer wool Ashni scarves for $20.00.
It's so soft and warm, but totally lightweight. It has two colours of safety pins - a little homage to my punk-inspired safety pins that I wore as earrings in the mid-80s.

I have a bit of an obi fetish.
This is one of their silk ones; it was $25.00. The yellow is a brighter lemon, and the silkscreens are fly wings and a cross-hatched pattern (the same one is on my blue corduroy dress).

I also bought more of their underwear, at $10.00 a pair.
 Canoes, arrows, flies, stars and feathers. The heart is a silkscreen on vinyl pin - it was $5.00.

After my shopping bonanza, I met up with Elaine for dinner and drinks, and then we went to see "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel" (linking 'cause I love) at the Victoria Film Festival. It's downloadable on iTunes, and I'd recommend it - what a fascinating view of a strong, opinionated woman who knew style! I didn't know anything about her prior to seeing this - check it out!

On Saturday, L and I went for lunch. I decided to start another round of voting with the lilac greyhound t-shirt.
I'm planning to do a Valentine's week theme this week, with lots of pink, red and lilac. .

I wore the tee V-neck at the front (they're reversible), with my plain stretch grey pencil skirt which was featured in the April 2012 capsule (recap here). Yeah, it's a boring skirt, but even I need a good basic! Maybe I'll replace it if I find a more interesting skirt...hmmm...would you believe I have TWO grey skirts waiting in the wings for their chance to be voted on?

I added a Smoking Lily obi (one of my first ones), and red-y/burgundy tights.
I like how the deeper reds play off the lilac and grey, and go with the colour of the magnolias.

Let's vote! Smoking Lily Lilac Greyhound Tee - Outfit #1:

Smoking Lily Lilac Greyhound Tee free polls 
My awesome Prepare Volunteer Fluevog boots get back into rotation. I wore them a lot (nine times!) back in the December 2012 capsule (recap here).

I dressed for a brisk day - it was clear but cold out.
I wandered around downtown after lunch and did a bit of shopping (I did go back to Smoking Lily to see if they had anything else new that day, but I just got L a t-shirt).

Jacket (Le Chateau, consignment), tee (Smoking Lily), skirt (Plum), boots (Prepare Volunteers, Fluevog), obi (Smoking Lily, consignment).

I found this leather and chain wrist-wrap, made in Los Angeles, at a boutique for $29.00.
It has great weight, and it actually fits my head perfectly, like a headband! I'll probably wear it that way at least once.

I went to Mango's, a little boutique near Smoking Lily, and hit their clearance on tights. They are one of the few places that carries tights that are made in Italy (yay! not China!), so when I find them on sale, it's a major score. All of these were $10-20 a pair (that's half-price! these aren't cheap).
Nude-coloured with chevrons on the left; a Nordic sort of pattern on the right
I have bought both Filodoro (my striped black tights that I am still wearing after 4 years, and these little socklets that I got last summer) and Trasparenze tights (these multi-coloured striped tights) before, and have found the quality to be superb.
Nude back seam and pattern on the left; nude with back seam on the right
I fell in love with the back detail on these ones. Yes, that pattern does go right up to the top! I haven't had Philippe Matignon tights before, so we'll see how those work.

I really stocked up!
On the left, mine are a nude colour (not white!) with pink and blue floral pattern up the back;
on the right, faux stockings and panty
I ended up spending just over $90.00 on all six pairs, but if the quality holds out on them for more than a year, it'll be worth it. I hate cheap tights! 

Inigo was fascinated by the shopping bag from Mango's. 
"I smell a person."
The owner's daughter decorates all their bags by hand.

I popped into the Hospice Thrift Store on the way home and found a lovely silky cami by Liz Claiborne for only $6.00.
Such a rich colour!

I also found this wonderful steel cuff for $6.00.
The copper pin was from Flavour Upstairs, a thrift/consignment store I check out once in a while. It was $3.00 and I love the retro look of it. I'd guess it's from the 80s.

The cuff is stamped inside:
It says "Lakeland Art Metal Work - Hand Made." I couldn't find anything about Lakeland Art Metal, but I like the cuff.

Okay, now we're on to the Voting Verdicts!

First up: the black Max Studio dress:
I wore it here and here. The votes are:

  • Like it: 140
  • Lose it: 37
It's a landslide! However, the verdict is: Lose it.

I originally had thought that this dress would be a keeper, and for many people it would be. But you know, I was hanging on to this dress for sentimental reasons. I wore it for my 40th birthday party, I bought it when I first lost my 50 lbs, and it's so comfy to just throw on - how could I not keep it? But as many of you pointed out, it's just a black dress, and not entirely flattering in either cut or colour on me. It's also not very versatile; boots and tights, boots and tights. Blah.

So into the giveaway pile it goes! I have no regrets.

Next up: the AJ Bari vintage 80s strapless dress:
It was worn here and here (and above, as noted). The votes are:
  • Like it: 121
  • Lose it: 27
Another strong contender! And the verdict is: Like it.

It's a keeper. I debated when I bought it about getting the zipper fixed and having it taken in, but I'm so glad that I did - I thought hard about it, and I'm glad that my instincts paid off. I am looking forward to mixing it with my spring/summer wardrobe. If I can get 3 good looks in a chilly month like February, I can't wait to wear it in warm weather!

And lastly, the Halogen Black Leather Skirt:
I wore it here and here. The votes are:

  • Like it: 62
  • Lose it: 72

A close vote! The verdict: Lose it.

This one divided voters over the length and simple cut. Some loved it, others - not so much. On my first wear of it, I really liked it, but by the second wear, I started to notice the shoddy quality. The leather is thin and crunchy (not like my lovely buttery-soft Danier leathers), and the hem came unglued. I don't have an issue with the length at all - I like a variety of skirt lengths on me - but it felt cheap.

I hope you enjoyed the first week of "Like it or Lose it" - it was eye-opening for me! I found that my preconceived ideas of what would be keepers (the dress and the skirt) were turned around after wearing the items multiple times. In the past, both of these would have continued to take up valuable closet real estate, but now I feel invigorated by knowing for sure that I'm only keeping what really works for me - in this instance, the 80s strapless dress.

I'm excited to do another outfit with the brown lace skirt and the greyhound tee, and probably a few more items this coming week!

Edit: I just realized this is my 1400th post - woo! Round numbers!


  1. Yay! I'm so glad that my voting is spot on! As for the new item up (the Smoking Lily top), keep, keep, keep! I personally love your interesting t-shirts.

  2. Oh my goodness, those ships capsize me!!! Amazing dress, and the obi will surely be put to good use. Those are some serious tights as well!

    I'm really enjoying Like It Or Lose It - generally I only give a critical opinion or make suggestions if other style bloggers REALLY ASK, so this kind of thinking is a challenge.

    Is it helpful to have peoples' rationale for their votes in the comments?

    1. I definitely like hearing what people really think about the pieces and why they vote the way they do. I do make up my own mind, but I like to see it from others' points of view.

  3. I'm glad you're keeping Smoking Lily (and half of Victoria) solvent! You got some amazing things there - even Smoking Lily underwear! I love that skirt that was up high, and the scarf with safety pins. So cool!

  4. Awesome Smoking Lily finds!! The new tee is awesome - definite keeper. That is unless you're willing to part with it ;P Lol!

    I think you made some good strong decisions with your other pieces. I can't wait to see the dress styled up for summer.

  5. Love those tights. And, of course, the supercool boots.

  6. Wow! I am so jealous of your finds! That skirt is smokin'! I loved all of it. Lucky you!


  7. So many great purchases! I really like that smoking lily scarf too - beautiful!

    Happy to see your bright strapless dress is staying, although sad to see the black dress leave you did make a convincing argument why it was better to let it go.

    1. It'll go to a good home, Mica! I was a little sad too, once I realized why I was hanging onto it.

  8. I love all of these outfits. You really are a great shopper. What fabulous finds!

  9. I love seeing the results of the keep it or lose it polls! Speaking of which, I voted keep to the grayhound shirt, because I love it!! I'm also anxious to see you style your fun new skirt and the ship dress!

  10. Whoa--what gorgeous stuff you got from Smoking Lily~~~ Love the new greyhound top outfit--quirky yet "you"!!

  11. I am totally loving Like It or Lose It. What a great way to look at your wardrobe! And I'm so glad you decided to keep the strapless dress - I was skeptical at first (never been a fan of strapless styles), but you definitely made it work.

    And after your Smoking Lily haul I'm doubly sad that I didn't manage to get there this year while I was out visiting my parents.

  12. Great to have an update on what you will keep, and what you will lose!

    I really love your Mexican-print strapless dress, that and your bright blue Fluevogs, hands down my favourite outfit of yours. I always think you look so cool in your white biker jacket.

  13. I don't think you need the voting results, Sheila, I think you know EXACTLY what you want to do with each piece! But it is interesting to hear different takes on the should-it-stay-or-should-it-go-now debate!
    So many lovely new things to comment on - the mustard ship dress and the arrow skirt have to be my favourites, oh and the undies! The soft dusky pink of the greyhound top is very pretty on you too.
    Happy the strapless dress is staying, it's a beauty. xxxxx

    1. I find the voting results interesting in an academic way - it's cool to see how people react to pieces when viewed on their own (apart from being part of an outfit). By the end of the week, yes, I know what I'm going to do, but I didn't at the start!

  14. I love the updates - inquiring minds, and all! And your new finds are pretty fab, I think I need that ship dress right now! You just don't see that dress anywhere else; it's a beauty. Fab classic jewelry finds too, love the pin.

  15. Sheila I'm so behind in my blog reading- I love all your wild card outfits but a few are my favorites- florals and plaids bias my votes everytime.
    I love the dress/skirt, and your shipdress is full speed it!

  16. I am green with good envy on all your Smoking Lily finds - and now i am all curious with how the store looks -- use to be an elevator?!?!? OMG !?!? SHIP dress rules -
    AND I KNEW you really wanted to get rid of the black dress.... i could sense it :)

  17. The ship dress and the lilac tee are my favorite of your new purchases so far; they are both very "Sheila". Love the new flat Fleuvogs too!


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