Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wearing Pink and Officer Vizzini on the Lookout

My workplace supports Pink Shirt Day, supporting anti-bullying (link). I was bullied badly when I was quite young; school was a nightmare for me until I hit Grade 8, so this is something I wholeheartedly support. 
I wore this same jacket last year (here). My outfit's a little blander today because I had a lot of physical work to do, getting the new office set up. I was at work tonight until 9pm working on documents, floor plans, etc. and I'll be working late again tomorrow night for the actual move.

I'm fond of velvet in general, and of this jacket in particular. I love the dusty pink colour and it's a very soft cotton velvet. Also, mondo-ruching is always fun. I last wore it here (2nd outfit) in October 2013 with burgundys and purples.
Someone is photo-bombing me
The floral blouse underneath was last seen in August 2013 (here). It's a slightly dated style (those little puffy sleeves are so 2007!), but I still like the mix of colours.

The skirt is a bias cut soft grey with a pinstripe, and excellent Swoosh Factor. At least an 8. I wore it last here in December 2013.
Vizzini is trying to go under my skirt
My boots are my standard riding style ones (last seen here (2nd outfit) a couple of weekends ago) that need replacing.'s nearly time for L and I to make our annual pilgrimage to Fluevog in Vancouver! Melanie, are you in for meeting for another boozy brunch?

The stuff:
Simple pieces that didn't get in the way while I was out and about.

Blazer (Nougat, consignment), blouse (Esprit, consignment), skirt (Planet, thrifted), boots (Aldo, consignment), necklace (Shi Studio), earrings (don't remember).

I was actually running early this morning, so of course I stopped to take some kitty pictures.
"No, leave me alone! I'm sleeping!"
Bah, he has all day to sleep while I'm at work!

Such a face!
"Who dares disturb my slumber?!"
There was some chin-scratching and belly tickling (followed by claws and bitey, but in a playful way). He then got distracted by the seagulls on the neighbouring building's roof.
"Gotta go, ma'am. Protecting the neighbourhood, you know."
And off I go as well.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Simple Floral for Spring

And just like that, the weather changes. Today, crisp and clear - and sun! 
Thank you very much, I am taking full credit for this with all my yellow of the past week, and today's all floral outfit.

I would have liked this better with lavender tights, but I don't have lavender tights. And since this is the first time I've wanted them in about 5 years, I guess I don't need them that badly. The grey tights worked fine.
My lovely H&M floral dress, purchased on consignment here last weekend (which already feels so long ago).

This is much more traditional shape for me, and feels more me than yesterday's outfit. Thank you all for your supportive comments and feedback! I will try, try, try again.
As you can see, I can't take my hands out of my pockets! There should be a law that all skirts and dresses have pockets.

The stuff:
Did you notice my floral "camo" necklace? It filled in the neckline nicely - the dress is a little big on me, and I don't need to show off the girls at work (I also have a grey cami on underneath).

I was going to wear my lavender booties (these ones), but we're in the middle of opening another office, so I've been doing a lot of (literal) running around. It will be low shoes for me for the rest of the week. I love these Neosens - I last wore them here in January while pretending to be a director.

Floral bling:
I love mixes of purples and pinks. I have to find a pink outfit for Anti-Bullying Day tomorrow!

Dress (H&M, consignment), shoes (Neosens), necklace (local), cuff (thrifted), earrings (vintage).

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cropped Over Long and Full - An Experiment

Monday, Monday...but today was a pretty good day, in spite of it being Monday.

I am raring to go full-on Spring, but the weather is not cooperating! I demand Spring - now! 
I am quite excited about "new" Spring fashions. I like seeing different things: shapes, silhouettes, fabrics, patterns, textures. A couple of the silhouettes that are coming around again is "long over long" and "cropped with long and full" - I last remember this in the 80s, when I wore oversized sweaters of my dad's over cropped jeans, or a cropped top over a full skirt. We also did long jackets over long flowy pants back in the mid-90s (remember palazzo pants?). It's all a mish-mash.

I know what looks good on me: the hourglass silhouette. It suits my body type (boobs, little waist, hips). However, I get bored with the same looks over and over - I need change! Stimulation! Excitement!

I could have easily done this full midi-length skirt with a fitted jacket and a belted waist. I could have done this cropped top with a slim pencil skirt. But I didn't. I am an experimenter!
Top and skirt both purchased here on the weekend. The boots were last worn here in early January with plaid taffeta. I have a turquoise cami layered under the top, and patterned knee-highs on top of plain hose.

I really love this Forever 21 top - and although I will never shop in a F21, I am happy to find a good quality piece second-hand. I really like the loopy pattern of it, although the "laces" that it's made of are a little cold on the skin.

I loved the swooshiness and the sueded feel of the silk/cotton skirt - it reminds me of those sand-washed silk shirts that we all wore back in the late 80s/early 90s.
As you can see, the straight cut of the top basically negates my waist. The fullness of the skirt (layered over a slip for warmth) accentuates my narrowest point, which in this outfit is my hips. Yeah, not really my actual narrowest point! This might be a good silhouette if you wanted to disguise your waist and have narrow hips (and are 6" taller than me). It could be one of those shapes where it only looks good on models!

So, my opinion of the test-drive of this look? Liking all the elements, but not how they go together. I did enjoy wearing this outfit, and I don't regret trying something out of my wheelhouse. I'll play with these again in a week or so and do more of my classic shape.

The stuff:
 The shark ring is too big (even for my thumb!) and is going in the giveaway pile.

Top (Forever 21, consignment), skirt (Boss Orange, consignment), boots (Marc), earrings (Le Chateau), shark ring (local), Fulvia Ring (Wendy Brandes).

I was freezing in my outfit all day. Guess why?
Snow! In February! In Victoria! This is just unheard of. Who do I talk to about getting Spring underway?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weekend Round-Up: Casual While Shopping Like a Boss

Hey! What a nice relaxing weekend I've had. L and I had no plans, so we've mostly hung out together and chilled. "Chilled" being an accurate way to describe the weather - it's been trying to snow for the last two days! Of course, this is Victoria - there's no one on the streets, even though the snow's not sticking. Must be all inside watching the Olympics closing ceremony (way to go, Canada!).

So you get the casual side of me, outfit-wise.
My casual involved flowered shoes and leather. This is what I wore out to brunch at Floyd's with L. Minor rant here: Good golly, people, don't wear your yoga pants in public as trousers! I was horrified at the extent of the "I give up" fashion on the streets of Victoria yesterday. We can do better!

I adore this lumpy green sweater, even though it doesn't do much for me. It's a "wear around the house" piece now. Make room in the closet for something else! I last wore it here (2nd outfit) to see Blue Rodeo in January.
The skirt is a crackle-texture leather one that I found in the St. Vincent de Paul a couple of years ago. It makes me think of Indiana Jones. I last wore it here in October 2013 with a sleeveless jacket.
I have a long-sleeved olive tee layered under the sweater for warmth, along with brown tights and knee-high striped socks slouched down.
Mouth-breathing due to allergies
The Doc Martens are a treasure! Patti, you need to get these! I last wore them with this green sweater (same link as above) in January.

Speaking of Patti, linking up to "Visible Monday" over at Not Dead Yet Style, with my ecclectic outfit.

Outerwear shot:
"I stalk in like a boss."
Vizzini has been very happy that we're home. Much cuddling and playtime for kitty!

The stuff:
I wore the same stuff all weekend. I'm so lazy...

Jacket (Le Chateau), sweater (Wilfred, thrifted), skirt (no label, thrifted), boots (Doc Martens, consignment), scarf/gloves (Parkhurst), toque (Danier), cuff (SkinZnHydez), earrings (local).

L wanted to go look at music after brunch, so I popped downstairs to a vintage store I don't usually visit (the last time I was there they didn't have much and were only taking cash), Lovely Things Vintage.

I had better luck this time, finding this classic early 80s polyester disco dress:
It doesn't look like much on the hanger, but it's hugely flattering on. The skirt is very twirly. It has ties that start at the shoulders and tie in the back. There are little thread loops for a belt, but no belt - it was probably a "self-belt" (i.e. in the same fabric as the dress).

I liked this detail, which is something you never see in dresses anymore:
That little tab actually has a penny sewn inside it - it's attached to the inside bottom of the cowl at the back of the dress, so that the cowl stays draped perfectly. Kind of like how Coco Chanel always sewed a chain into her hems so they would hang just right.

I love vintage labels!
From what I can find on the interwebs, the Xanadu Dress Company started in 1980 and dissolved in 2000 (for "non-compliance" - sounds ominous), so my guess is accurate. I also note that the sizing of 11-12 is before the Great Size Shift of the 80s, which was in the latter part of that decade, so even more evidence that this is early 80s. I like that it's made in Canada. I paid $28.00 for this.

Today, despite the snow (all day...still snowing...still not sticking), I ventured down to Fairfield to check out My Sister's Closet. I haven't been there since early December 2013, when I had such good luck with the Hostess, here. It's such a good consignment store, I have to limit myself to going once every 2-3 months, or I'd be broke. Seriously good stuff and very reasonable prices.

I dressed for both the weather and shopping.
I've decided I don't like this dress anymore - it's in the giveaway pile now. I just don't love it, and I should love the items in my closet! (Oh, and I need room for new clothes, heh heh).

I last wore it here in January, with suede layered over it.
Same layered tee under it, some boring tights, a floral scarf for warmth. The over-the-knee boots were last seen here a couple of weeks ago with leather and leopard.

Ready to shop!

Jacket (Danier, thrifted), dress (Eric Alexandre), boots (Pegabo), toque (Wooden Ships), gloves (Parkhurst), fur scarf (Danier, thrifted), silk scarf (Ralph Lauren).

I had some excellent shopping karma! I'm also armed with the big fat spring editions of the fashion magazines, and I'm thinking about what I like and don't like in Spring Fashin.

A trend I like: metallic fabrics. And here we go with this awesome skirt that was on the clearance rack:
It was marked down to $19.98, then had an extra 25% off, so it was $14.98.

It's a stiff taffeta in gun-metal grey. Shiny without being overly glare-y, if you get my drift.
A more accurate colour depiction
It's by Pink Tartan - even the buttons say "Pink Tartan".

I try not to be a brand snob - I believe that you should always go for the best quality and fit you can find, period - but I have been guilty of passing along on an item when I'm iffy on it, if it's a "fast fashion" brand like H&M.
I fell hard for this amazing print on this H&M (yes!) dress. Pastels and florals are trending heavily for spring, so I'm looking for ways to incorporate this into my style. I love a good floral print, and couldn't resist this dress.
A great mix of colours that I'll be able to match with purples, aquas and yellows. This dress is fully-lined, has pockets (yay!) and will be a fun piece to wear. This dress was on the clearance rack, marked down to $29.98 with an extra 25% off, so $22.50.

Look what else I found on the clearance rack!
Again, with the metallic look, but also with some of this Spring's de-constructed shapes. The evolution of shape in fashion is coming around to a tricky one, with very little in the way of a defined waist (my classic look). I'm all about doing my own thing, but I also don't want to look stale or stuck in an era, so I have been keeping an eye out for looser pieces that I can incorporate into my style.

This top is by Michael Kors, and as you can see it hasn't ever been worn. Tags on and everything!
And there's another reason why you should ignore size. I'm not an XS in much, but an oversized t-shirt shape? Why not? It fit! This top was marked down to $28.98 and with the extra 25% off, came to $21.75. Not bad for a top that started at $195!

I love the little fat pouffy skirts that some designers are rolling out. These are meant to be worn with a cropped top (erm, not really my thing, but never say never!), or a longer layer over them. I loved the heavy satin of this skirt - it has pockets too!
Excellent details on this, from the aforementioned pockets, to the sewn line details along the hem, to the double closure at the back of the waist: a hook/eye, plus these wonderful sparkly rhinestone buttons:
So sweet. Little hidden details like this ring my bell.

I didn't know the brand name at all, but Quillaree seems to be owned by Urban Outfitters and sold in Anthropolgie stores (which we don't have here).
I'm sure it originally sold for more than the $11.50 I paid for it!

Remember that whole "never say never" thing about cropped tops? Heh, well, I found an awesome cropped top that I think I'll be able to wear to update my Spring looks. I was careful to look for a top that hit at my waistline, and that wouldn't drown me (or make me look too booby! It's all very complicated).
Colour blown out to show the construction
It's a black top made from looping "laces" - it's a huge amount of work to sew this together. It's sort of like Battenburg lace, which is a "tape" lace. I was shocked to see that this was a Forever 21 piece - it was also very reasonably priced at $16.98.

Spring continues with the heavily embellished and richly printed textures, so this black top will work great in my wardrobe.

I couldn't put this gorgeous polyester chiffon...flowered...paisley...sheer!...ruffled!...pleated! shirt back on the rack. It's also by CAbi, which I've found is a good quality brand (washable too).
This is a black/grey and white print - and ooh, look at the pleated loose cuffs! So fun! This was $19.98, and will be a good layering piece for me.

Midi skirts are all the rage (again! how these things come around), and are being paired with cropped tops. They are also a key piece in the "long over long" looks that are appearing. When I saw this flowy caramel skirt, my breath caught.
It's a silk/cotton blend, has pockets, and is beautifully sewn. It also came with a gorgeous leather belt (which will not live with  it - that needs to go in my regular belt collection).

I started digging in the seams for tags and labels:
"Boss Orange" is what the tag on the left says; the tag on the right says it's a US size 2 (oh, no, you are so not!).

A little shell button at the hem also said "Boss Orange."
Who is this Boss Orange? I never heard of him!

Oh, wait a sec:
Hugo Boss! I have heard of that brand. This skirt was $23.50, which I think is pretty good.

Here's a shocker for me: pants!
Specifically, red and white polka dot pants! I usually don't even look at pants in second-hand stores. They're a pain to try on (I usually have tights on), and I just don't wear them that often. But polka dots!

I am not familiar with this brand either, nor do I know what size 40 is.
Apparently, she's a Canadian designer based in Paris, and her clothes have been worn a lot by the Duchess of York (there are a lot of pictures of her when I'm looking for my red polka dot pants).
My pants were made in France and were $18.98. Although the look for trousers for Spring is cropped (these are cropped), pants are structured flowy and loose on the body. Me and flowy? Bad news. But these pants are a slim cut, and remind me of pin-up girls. Now, there's a look I can get into!

Oops, nearly forgot: I found a necklace!
This was $14.98 - it's very heavy, but has no marks on it anywhere. It's quite well-made and features all kinds of animals (seriously: elephant, cows, horses, a snake, rabbits, some guy milking a's totally random).
I like the tiger heads holding the chain.

I don't really do flat oxfords, but I really liked these blue and brown Fly Girl shoes:
These were $32.95 and they are perfectly broken in.

What have you spotted for spring? What trends are you liking/loathing? You'll never catch me in a jumpsuit (again!), InStyle!