Thursday, November 28, 2013

Unlimited Women, Suede and Bling, and Thanks

I didn't win. Let's get that over with. 

The gala Unlimited Woman Awards have come and gone, and despite the super-duper strong vibes from all my friends, co-workers, co-bloggers and readers...I didn't win. I'm cool with it - sure, I was a little disappointed, but even though I wasn't THE Unlimited Woman of Style, I am still AN Unlimited Woman of Style. 

I'm proud to have been a Nominee and a Finalist, and I'm thankful to my amazing group of loving friends who nominated me:
We rule
From left (back): Karen (in black and white), Caro (in multi-coloured silk), Tracy (in black beaded vintage).
From left (front): Yvonne (in red and black), Cat (in magenta and blue), Elaine (in autumn-coloured vintage), Vero (in a tutu).

And that's me hamming it up on the far right.

So, I'm going to dive into my outfits from Wednesday, Wednesday night, then I'll chat a bit about what awesome friends I have (and their styles as well), and our fun night out at the awards.

Here's my outfit.
Fab dress, isn't it? I bought it way back here (scroll down to the bottom shopping loot shoot) in June for $40.00 on consignment. It's by Planet (a very pricey brand sold at the Bay department store), and I remember this being in the store about 4 years ago for around $300.00.

I layered my black floofy underskirt and my burgundy vintage slip under it to really fluff out the skirt. My beaded red flower is pulling up the front of the skirt a bit to show the layers.
My first unveiling of my back fully inked. I will be wearing the same outfit for my company's Christmas gala next weekend.

The second wear of my Tierre Joline hat, last seen here, 2nd outfit, at the Art Gallery in October.
I borrowed these vintage clip-on earrings from Elaine - they pinched my ears something awful. Yeowtch!

The stuff:
My Fluevog "bandage" shoes, the O'Hara Listen Ups, last worn here with a bare leg and blue and orange in July. I wore black lace tights to really pop them.

The purse is my newly-acquired piece (here, on my shop with my niece Zoe, earlier this month) by Fiveleft. It was a dream - it held a lot and just felt so good in my hand.

A mix of lady-like and rock-n-roll:
Leather obi, leather gloves, my grandmother's jet and rhinestone necklace, and some fake pearls from the 80s.

I had to wear this insane Little Drummer Boy suede jacket as my outerwear:
I have only worn it once before, back here in January 2012 with my snowflake skirt. I love the crazy big frog closures on it, and the not-quite-the-80s-but-still-feeling-it shoulder pads.

Jacket (Danier, thrifted), dress (Planet, consignment), slip (Suzette Lingerie, consignment), floofy underskirt (Noa Noa), shoes (Listen Up O'Hara, Fluevog), purse (Fiveleft), hat (Tierre Joline), gloves (Danier Leather), belt (locally made), earrings (loaner from Elaine, vintage 60s), necklace (Grandma J's, vintage 60s), pin (on skirt, vintage), pearl necklaces (homegrown vintage, The Bay, 80s).

I was a bit of a wreck at work on Wednesday; anxious about the awards, nervous, excited, stressed about work (trying to get 2 days' of work done in 8 hours). Aside from a small blow-up at one of the directors, a hug from one of the managers, and a near miss of tears at my desk, I made it through the day and got out of work on time. It helped that I was dressed up.
Dressing up always helps!

This is my fabulous pale grey suede dress, last seen in the November 2013 capsule (recap here), where I wore it twice (last here,3rd outfit).
My jacket hasn't been worn since the December 2013 capsule (recap here), in which it was worn 4 times (last here on Christmas Eve).
I have my vintage blue lacy slip on under it (you can see a bit of it at the neckline), and my blue lace tights. Sadly, the tights popped two holes on the lower leg area so after many years of faithful wear, they are now toast.

I bundled up in my most wonderful coat:
Someone came in for some lovin'
The coat is by Desigual, and it was last worn here in April over my green satin dress for Alison's surprise birthday party.
"I pose like you!"
I get many compliments from strangers when I wear this coat. It is pretty freakin' gorgeous in person, all full of rich textures.

The stuff:
My shoes caused the first hole in the tights - danged zippers on the inside! I last wore these shiny metallic booties here in October in one of my steampunky outfits.

I like to break out the bling - the really shiny stuff! - as we get closer to Christmas.
The necklace is vintage (stamped "Allain"), but the rest is all modern.

Dress (Danier Leather, consignment), jacket (Ricki's, consignment), shoes (Jeffrey Campbell), necklace (vintage 60s, Allain), pin (The Bay, early 00s), sparkly ring (Melanie Lynne), lapis lazuli ring (Wendy Brandes), coat (Desigual).

I rushed home after work - Tracy came over right after work too - and we had about 20 minutes to get ready for the awards. Thank goodness we'd done the big try-on last Sunday! It sure made getting dressed easier. I redid my make-up.

Tracy wore my beaded early 60s "wiggle" dress:
It's handmade. I last put it on here in 2010 for my "Never Seen" series of posts, with a picture of me in about 2002 wearing it for a party. I've had it for 15-ish years. It fit Tracy perfectly!
Picture from the Sunday try-ons
She also wore my Grandma J's double-strand pearl necklace, my black feather fascinator and Elaine's pearl bracelet. I loaned her my vintage 50s red wool swing coat, my white fur scarf and one of my sequined purses.

All 8 of us met up at a local pub for some wine and a quick dinner, then we dashed off to the newly-rebuilt Oak Bay Beach Hotel. We arrived just before the event started.
We grabbed a row near the back. Forgive the crap lighting.

Vero, Yvonne, Caro and Cat.
Vero wore a vintage tutu under a fluffy black skirt, and wonderful pink heels, and Caro (middle) wore a vintage 80s colour-blocked silk print dress with taupe booties. Gorgeous!

Here's Yvonne's outfit, as put together on Sunday at my place:
That's Yvonne's wedding dress! We added my vintage 80s top hat (rescued from L's former boss' trunk - it belonged to his wife), and some early '00s stretch velvet gloves from my old job at Fairweather.
Yvonne wore her own black shoes, and we accessorized her with my Grandma J's 1950s/60s copper jewelry set by Renoir.
The vintage mink stole finished the outfit perfectly. I last wore it for my work's Christmas party a year ago, here (2nd outfit).
We pinned up a bit more of Yvonne's dress with my thrifted copper brooch. I love this picture - so cool.

Cat's outfit try-on from Sunday:
She brought over her black taffeta Trapper Jane dress, and we added my magenta cardigan, my Smoking Lily obi, my blue floofy underskirt, along with two of my vintage pins (and earrings and necklace), and a bracelet of Elaine's.
Cat's hat was from one of the vintage fairs. She ended up wearing the ankle-strap shoes.
Of course, my purple vintage velvet coat was the perfect topper for the outfit. This was such an amazing outfit all put together - it really suited Cat.

At the event again, from left, Karen in her own brand of steampunk-y goodness, with a vintage hat (with veil), white top, black gloves and funky jewelry. She wore a black leather pencil skirt over a fluffy white skirt for an amazing look.
Elaine on the right wore a vintage 50s dress, with a vintage hat with feathers. She borrowed my black feather boa and black beaded purse.

The woman who won in my category seemed really happy about it - there were so many amazing women at the event. It would have been nice to have won, but seriously? Look at my awesome friends. I am rich in many other ways!

I know that what I do with style, fashion and clothes affects other people in a positive way. I love helping women feel good about themselves, and their bodies, and I strive to encourage them to dress to show their personalities. I am happy to give away clothes, loan pieces, and I feel good about ethically shopping, both to support my local charities, and to give back to local artists, designers and manufacturers. I don't need an award to feel good about myself; I try to give what I want to get from the world and people around me. It works - and I love my life.

After the event, we wandered out into the lobby for pictures. A lot of these are candid (and possibly wine-influenced, heh), so forgive the blurriness.
Leather couches in front of the fireplace. Check out Karen's amazing skirt ensemble and the glorious colours in Caro's dress.

Lurking backgrounders.
People came up to us all night to say how incredible we all looked! We had our pictures taken by Matthew (hello!) of Snap! Magazine, and I'll be watching for us in the January edition.

Woo! We're fabulous!
The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is quite grand. In its former incarnation, Tracy actually got married here (she's now divorced, but L and I were there!). I decorated the lobby of the hotel and its Christmas tree every year for about 8 years, back when I worked in the Christmas store in the '90s (before I met L).

One of the hotel's employees noticed us climbing around on their furniture, so came over and took some pictures for us.
Karen's biting my leg - what a tart!
So fabulous!

A blurry, but better look at Vero's tutu and pink shoes.
 She also wore a pink scarf, and pink flowers in her hair.

My Unlimited Women friends...
I like the slightly disapproving look on the people in the back near the piano.
I treasured this night. What a blast!

After we finished taking pictures, I stood in front of the fireplace and gave my friends the speech I would have given if I had won.
Lounging on the table, hee hee
"Wow, I'm really glad I drew on my eyebrows tonight.
[pause for laughing]

Thank you so much to my Thick Six: Caro, Vero, Cat, Yvonne and Karen, and to my fashionable partners in crime, Elaine and Tracy. You are all incredible women to me. 

Here's to women over "a certain age" not becoming invisible! Here's to you, and to all of us!"

As a finalist, I was given a flower pin, which I stuck to my hat.
A nice touch.

And now, I am enjoying a lovely US Thanksgiving Day of football, my guy friends, Nick and Casey, and L (and Vizzini), chili, and chilling.
My Heismann Trophy pose, with cat looking for food
Tonight, I have Book Club, where I can hang with my friends again. I'm off tomorrow as well, and we have a party to go to on Saturday night.

Wishing all of my US friends a happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life. Thank you again for all of your support, good vibes and friendship.



  1. You all look delicious! Unlimited Women, oh yeah. Your party outfit is stunning, and the Fluevogs are just wow. It's grand to see your Desigual coat, too - I have pined for it for many months : >

  2. Oh Sheila, that must have been the most fun try-on in history!!! Especially loved your workday outfit too, and they would have had a hard time peeling me off those amazing green couches after the event! You're tops in my book - thanks for introducing your awesome crew!

  3. See, you did win. You had a party, your friends attended, you were honoured for your fabulousness, and you got to give a speech.

  4. So sorry you didn't win Sheila.... But any woman so stylish and so supported by such wonderful friends needs no awards--you're all treasures! xx

  5. Even though you did not win; i love the fact that you got to have fun and dress up - as your friends did :)
    Besides, you're already a winner in my book.

  6. Love you Sheila!! You are our WINNER <3 Véro xox

  7. Your award outfit is beautiful! (As is your work outfit, I really like that jacket!)
    Although I'm amazed you didn't win, you had a great time, and lots of fun, so still a successful night! You have a great bunch of friends too, all so stylish.

  8. Of course I know nothing about the woman who won--but I do know that you are indeed a total treasure and inspiration to your many readers, including me! Thank you so much for all you share--including the pictures of you and all your friends for this special event. You all looked FABULOUS! And you made me really wish I could come play with you all.

  9. Sheila, you didn't need to win an award to know that you have a great life and unlimited fabulousness! Your outfit for the evening was wonderful, and it's so great that you helped deck your friends out in lots of finery for the night too.
    You really suit a nipped-in fitted jacket, it's a good shape on you. And the Desigual coat is a stunner.
    Good for you, Sheila - sure, you might have felt a hint of disappointment, but you've got your feet on the ground and you know what is really important. xxxx

  10. No matter the outcome it looks like an amazing time! I'm so glad so many of your friends were able to come out and have fun with you too! You look awesome! You're a winner to me!

  11. Awwwww! Well, I will say you're a winner in my book, and it looks like you had an amazing time still. You're surrounded by all sorts of fabulous friends.

  12. You guys are the schwingingest schwinging buncha gals I've seen in ages. What fun. I couldn't put my fingers to keyboard because I know the judges made a mistake, I demand a recount! I'll call my senator (oops, he's on forced leave) and the Mayor of Toronto (oops, he's looped) so now I'll have to email the PM (oops, that's not very private). Damned butterfly layout. Oh well, great joy, great friends, great night, great memories. great style. That's the thing.

  13. You're still the winner in my eyes!!! Every one of you looked FANTASTIC!!! I'm sure you all were quite the sensation in the lobby!!

  14. Great outfits! Beautiful people! Gorgeous photos! Grand event!

    It's an honor to be a finalist and with your Tierre Joline hat, you are the winner in my book. Thank you so much for sharing with Hat Attack!

  15. You will always be an unlimited woman of style, regardless of whether you get an official award. You have great taste in clothes and put outfits together with the eye of an artist. I love that you shared your wardrobe amongst your friends to help them dress for the evening - you are all a feast for the eyes! The Desigual coat is a stunner!

  16. You are one of the very most always stylish and beautiful women I've ever seen, and it looks like you guys had an enormously awesome time, both for prep and attending. Nothing replaces the joy of an incredible experience. You have a magical closet, and I loved seeing how you styled both your own clothes and theirs on your friends. That side brooch picture is brilliant, and I'm totally filing that idea away for future reference.


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