Sunday, April 1, 2018

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Closet Swap-Over, Saturday Brunch, Bye Blue Bridge, and Easter Sunday

Happy Easter, my friends! I hope you're enjoying your long weekend (if you get one). I am back to work tomorrow (Easter Monday is not a stat holiday here, boo!), so here's my weekend recap - it has been really busy, so don't say you weren't warned!

Starting with Thursday night - I changed out of my work clothes (the blue dress), quickly made dinner for L and I, and then hung out with 8 of our good friends at our house till the wee hours. 
 I don't wear shoes in the house, and my slippers aren't appropriate around people (lol), so black socks. Klassy!

  • Top - Gap, thrift; last seen here (4th outfit) in March with moth-eaten grey
  • Pants - Talbots, consignment; first worn here in March with a badass bowtie
  • Earrings - Tania Gleave

Friday was reserved all day for my twice-a-year closet swap-over. You can go here to see the last one, in September 2017. Ready for a peek in my closet?
 My closet is a room the size of a small bathroom. I had custom shelving put in, painted it a soft yellow, put in the chandelier and a small piece of art, and bought a swanky gold mirror - I did all this/hired someone when I first lost weight as my reward to myself, so I've had my closet like this for about 11 years.

I swap out about 30% of my wardrobe every 6 months. I pull out things that are too warm, too heavy or just feel of that season. Here's my long skirts and pants, after the first pass-through.
 I do everything up (all zippers/buttons), then fold and stack.

After I'd done the whole closet, not including shoes.
 I had to add more clothes to this when I ran out of hangers for my spring/summer stuff.

The boots and shoes that get packed away for 6 months.
 See you in September!

All the shoes I planned to keep out, I lined up down the hallway outside the den (where my closet is).
 As I unpacked my spring/summer shoes, they got added to this.

Some more boots and as-yet-unworn shoes in the hall outside the bathroom.
And then I counted them all, because I wanted to give myself a heart attack. I have ninety (90) pairs of shoes in total. Don't judge me!

You can see a cord snaking through my shoes above - that's the vacuum cleaner. 
Once I've pulled everything out of the closet, I give it a good vacuum to get all the bits of things and cat hair out. I also give all the wooden shelves a clean as I go. Sometimes when I'm feeling ambitious, I clean the chandelier. 

As you may recall, I keep track of what gets worn in my closet by turning the hangers backwards on all my hung items, then turning the hanger the "right" way when I've worn the garment. I did really well this year, and wore all of my skirts, jackets, pants, blouses and dresses - or I got rid of them. There is always a selection of about a dozen fancy party dresses that I don't wear in a season - I did not feel like photographing them yet again. 

I did notice that there were two regular items that did not get worn, and weirdly, they were both long kimono-style toppers. 
 This is a ginormous navy blue silk/burnout squares of velvet by Emporio Armani (made in Italy). It's very Darth Vader.

This is a boho rocker kimono with fringe.
I love both of these pieces, but I've realized that they don't work at all in cold weather. Why? They are super-awkward to wear with an extra outerwear piece; they bunch up like crazy or look weird hanging out under a coat. Simple reason! And now I know - and I'm extra-motivated to wear them when they can be my sole topper piece!

Back to my storage. I have 3 flat tubs (they live under our bed) and one deeper one for clothes, and then I use a bunch of shopping bags and shoe bags to store my boots/shoes. 
Shoes all ready to go - spring/summer clothes ready to come out and play! 

Since my closet is teeny, I can't take a very good picture of it as a whole, so here is a little tour of it. Starting on the left/top, these are my fancy party hats, fascinators and purses.  
 The second shelf from the ceiling is more gloves and purses. There are multiple shoe boxes tucked in behind on both of these shelves that serve a dual function: storage for a pair of shoes per box, and height so that I can see everything from my low vantage point. It's really important for me to be able to see everything in my closet. If I can't see it, I don't wear it!

The third shelf down holds my large sweaters and funky tops, cardigans/shrugs, and specialty tops (like vests and corsets), and my ORANGE LEATHER SHORTS (sorry, they insist on being capitalized).
 As you can see, I'm a stickler for folding...not! Ha! April Fool's.

The fourth shelf is right above my long-hang section where I keep blouses, long skirts and pants.
 It has my sleeveless sweaters, long-sleeved sweaters and fun top, and two piles of clothes I've purchased for the season and not worn yet. Unworn accessories also go there, ready at eye level.

And here's the long-hang.
 Blouses, long skirts and pants. I use wooden hangers and thin flocked hangers for blouses/jackets/dresses, and I have a mix of wooden hangers, plastic clip hangers, and foam grip hangers for pants/skirts, depending the weight/fabric. I use the foam grip ones on delicate fabrics liks silk and leather.

The next section on the left side has a larger storage shelf on top. I keep costumey things here, and there are 3 storage bins with some sentimental items, like purses and my dad's sweaters.
 Below that is a 6-foot hang, where I store my dresses, jumpsuit and my kimonos.
 I have a bit of a dress issue. I really like them, and there are just so many pretty ones! I could use a separate closet just for party dresses, that would free up a lot of space...

A shot of the dress section before I loaded all the spring/summer dresses in there. If you compare this picture with the one above, you'll notice that the PANK dress is missing, as is the black long-sleeved dress with tan leaves. I needed hangers, so I packed both away for the season.
 I can't physically fit more hangers in my closet, so it does force me to be ruthless with getting rid of things, or packing them away. The closet is not infinite!

Moving along, here is the right side of my closet, opposite the dress/costume section. I have a small shelf above a large double-hang section for skirts and jackets.
 I keep my two vintage circle hats here along with my top hat and a couple of pairs of shoes from the 1940s-50s.

Below that is my short skirt collection.
 Lots of nice bright colours and patterns! Love it!

And my jackets below that.
 I'm looking forward to wearing a lot of these again.

And finally, my shoe "Tower of Power". This is two columns of shelving that go from the ceiling to the floor. I can fit 3 pairs of shoes in each cubby and there are 8 shelves per column, so it's storage for 48 pairs of shoes (although I can squeeze in an extra pair here or there).
 At the very top are the shoes I don't wear very much, but I want to keep. I should really wear those red shoes again soon. They are killer!

Top shelf, second column:
 Those white/cream things on the left are a pair of awesome Fluevogs that have black scuffs on them. I'm thinking of drawing on them. It's not like I wear them anyway!

Looking up at the shoe shelves.
 I poke the toes out so that I can recognize which pairs they are. The shoes that I wear more are on the lower shelves.

So many pretties!
 Just looking at all these colours makes me want to dress up!

As I unpack these, I have a little dialogue in my head. "Oh, hello! So nice to see you! I'm so happy to have you back! I really missed you!"
 Most people talk to their shoes, right?

All these open toes remind me to give myself a pedicure.
 And they remind me that warm weather is just around the corner! Yay!

I also do a swap-over of a small selection of purses, belts and obis.
 Another shoe box (with a pair of shoes in it) makes a step for the round hat box in back, and another shoe box is the home to my obis.

I store my flats on the floor. There are stored items behind them.
I use the spaces on the floor under/behind the blouses/skirts/pants/dresses/jackets for the large bin and all of the bags of shoes and boots. They keep Vizzini from hiding in there. 

Because I shop all year round for every season, I usually have a treasure trove of things I've stuffed on the shelf behind my short skirts during the current season. It was quite a bonanza this year! 
 Bought for the spring/summer and still to be worn:

  • 2 x pants
  • 7 x tops/blouses
  • 1 x cardigan
  • 10 x dresses (did I mention I have a dress thing?)
  • 1 x jacket
  • 5 x skirts

Oh, and some shoes too!
 Four pairs of shoes. All new! I am so stoked to start making outfits out of all of this stuff.

Here's my completed closet area, uncropped. I do my indoor poses right there beside the door.
 That hose is my steamer, and you can see my bottle of Windex from my half-assed wipe-down of the chandelier.

I wasn't feeling terribly motivated to take a ton of pictures this time around, so I didn't record my scarf swap-over, or my jewelry box swap-over, but I did do them. The whole process takes about 5 hours in total, and when I was done I needed a nap! So I napped!

L and I hung out Friday evening, and were up bright and early to go for breakfast at Floyd's. What would I wear?? L helpfully pointed out that I shouldn't be wearing my spring/summer items as it was still March then, but pfft, rules are meant to be broken! Besides, I technically didn't have any parts of this outfit packed away.
I loved the colours in this outfit, so this is my entry for "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style. Go, go, go!

  • Suede jacket - Holt Renfrew, thrifted; first worn here a couple of weeks ago with a puffy skirt
  • Dress - Amelia, thrifted; purchased here for $19.99
  • Shoes - Down to Earth Hadfield, Fluevog; last seen here in January with green and brocade

However, this dress and I did not get along.
I always like it when L gets in the picture!
 The dress' waist felt too high, and the skirt bunched up when I walked.
 And the colour overall felt too dark - it also really showed lint and cat hair. It reads like an autumn colour, but the cotton fabric is too lightweight for colder months. So that's it. $19.99 to wear it once - I'm not thrilled by that, but better to move it along and make room for more!

Ready for walkin' with my scarf and the jacket over it.
 My hands were a bit cold, but otherwise, yay, spring! I'm still wearing nylons, though - brrr, no bare legs for me (yet).

The stuff:
 My beloved floral brogues, and the scarf I nearly always wear with them.

  • Silk scarf - Ralph Lauren, consignment
  • Cuff - Catalyst Reaction Leather, thrifted
  • Earrings - gift from Sherri

Both the scarf and the cuff had been packed away. Welcome back!

After brunch, I browsed the WIN Boutique but nothing rang my bell. L and I changed (as one does!), and readied ourselves for a walk through town (again) to meet up with our besties at Lure at the Delta Ocean Pointe hotel. I made my outfit out of all new-to-me things - how thrilling!
 I felt like a mod sailor, although everyone agreed that this outfit should be named "Oh, Snap!" due to the 9 snaps that the pants have. Next time.

  • Sweater - Jones New York, thrifted; purchased here for $13.95
  • Cotton pants - Jean-Paul Gaultier, vintage late 90s/early 00s, vintage shop in Vancouver; purchased here for $55.00
  • Shoes - Tsubo, thrifted; purchased here for $9.95
  • Leather jacket (below) - Danier Leather, consignment; last worn here in March

Of course I built the outfit around these wonderfully thick and velvety cotton pants. Jean-Paul Gaultier! They were a pleasure to wear.
 I like the cropped length and that wonderful copper snap detail (when you unsnap them, the lining is neon orange!).

I really liked the nautical look of this top with the pants, and the shorter hem helped show off the pant detail. I mean, if you're going to wear these pants, they must be seen!
 Because all the stitching on the pants is also bright orange, I did orange earrings, shoes and jacket.

Outerwear - matchy for the win!
 The only downside was: no pockets! There are none on the pants, except for the back, and none on the jackets. Again, shoulda worn gloves.

The stuff:
 I put these shoes (and my feet) to the test for a first wearing! I walked 40 minutes to the hotel, and 40 minutes home. The shoes rubbed a bit at the back of the ankle, and the elastics across the vamp got tight as my feet got puffy later in the day. But overall, they were great.

  • Wooden earrings - vintage expo
  • Ring - Nine West

Here's L looking rather grumpy.
 He's very springy in his light blue blazer, floral shirt, polka-dotted pants and pink/cream Fluevogs! What a dapper man!

The trees are still blooming.
 It's starting to "snow" blossoms.

The City of Victoria held a huge open house on Saturday to say goodbye to the old Johnson Street Bridge (aka "The Blue Bridge"), and officially open the new bridge.
The new bridge is the sleek white thing on the right. There were throngs of people out.

 Musicians, picnic tables, a disco ball.
 People saying goodbye to this old landmark.

Change is good.
 I'll miss the old bridge, though.

I've always liked crossing it, even though I only use it maybe 3-4 times a year.
 I like a familiar surface beneath my feet.
 Thank you, old bridge, for all the memories.

There were so many people around.
 Tourist season is upon us. The Delta is a very popular hotel - fabulous views.

Coming home, as the sun was setting, the lights from the disco ball spun all over the rusted iron.
 We were getting chilly by then.

Time to go!
 I'm sorry, I can't resist L's snazzy outfit.

Looking across the harbour. Tugboats, float planes, ferries, old buildings, new buildings.
 Our past is not as far away as we think.

Today, L and I bused out to Mom's and back for Easter lunch with my family.
 Whoosh! It was windy on the stairs today.

  • Top - Dex, consignment; first worn here in January with work armour
  • Pants - H&M, consignment; last seen here in September 2017 with blues
  • Shoes - Clarks, consignment; last worn here (2nd outfit) in a whackadoo outfit in March
  • Coat (below) - Denny Rose, consignment; last seen here in March

 I wasn't feeling this top today, so it's in the giveaway pile. Nope. My cost-per-wear is less than $5.00, though, so I'm not feeling too torn up about it.

I like these pants quite a bit - they are the same kind of slouchy as the grey plaid ones I wore at the start of the weekend.
 We had a nice lunch, and got to see our nieces (and got chocolate, thanks, Mom!).
 I hope you all had a chill long weekend.

Outerwear - sneaking in another wear of this coat before it's too warm.
 Such a great piece. Note that I remembered my gloves this time!

  • Gloves - Parkhurst

The stuff:
 Mom lives out in the middle of nowhere (aka, not in town), and we have to walk a long ways after we get off the bus, so I made sure my outfit was built around good walking shoes.

  • Earrings - 10th anniversary gift from L
  • Ring - Nine West

We moved Vizzini's main scratching post out onto the desk this weekend.
"I'm not so sure about this."
He was up there right away, checking out the neighbourhood. Officer Vizzini, on duty!


  1. It's a shame to see the dress and red top go as I think both look lovely! How you feel in something is so much more important though!

    I really like your 'if it doesn't fit in the wardrobe I need to let go of some things' method. I just kinda overstuff the wardrobe, ha! I haven't got my winter boxes out yet as it's still like summer even though it's autumn here. I'm hopeful I'll get them out soon, while I do use one of the boys wardrobes if I need more space after unboxing, it does make me reconsider and declutter a little when I try find spaces for everything!

    1. I know I bought that dress on impulse, and my feeling about it was proven correct when I wore it. I had to let it go. Good luck with your closet declutter!

  2. Sure enjoyed watching you trade out your closet! Impressive'. And the "Oh, snap!" outfit bwas all that -- and more!

  3. Have you tried toothpaste on the black scuffs on your shoes? I do this with a beige leather pair that I have (just massage in with an old toothbrush and then lightly rinse off), and any black marks are either removed or barely visible. Probably best with a white toothpaste rather than the stripy stuff, though!

    1. Nope, I don't think it's going to remove these marks - they are permanent, unfortunately. This is very delicate leather, so I'm not going to risk ruining that...before I ruin them myself, ha!

  4. I love your closet switch-ups! You've got the system down, and could write a book about managing the closet. Love, love those sailor pants, and I'm looking for similar. Stay fabulous, xox


    1. Thanks, Patti! Sailor pants are the bomb! Good luck on your search.

  5. That is a snazzy outfit on hubby. I can't believe how efficient you are in your closet. You have so many beautiful clothes I wish you had a larger space. I find when I pack away items in plastic containers (like yours) I forget I have them. In an ideal world, we'd have plenty of space to peruse our options.

    1. He's pretty snazzy, isn't he? I would love a larger space, but I also know I can barely wear everything I have as it is! I need an infinite closet!

  6. I just love looking inside your closet and picking up a few tips in the process! I do wish I had a closet instead of several wardrobes in two different rooms. Sigh! Look at all your shoes lined up! I haven't dared to count mine but I wouldn't be surprised if I have somewhere in the region of 90 pairs too. I'm loving your nautical and orange outfit, and L's outfit is indeed very snazzy, he's looking like a modern day dandy! xxx

    1. Thanks so much, Ann! Ooh, multiple wardrobes would be tricky. No guilt over shoes! Not allowed.

  7. And THAT's how it's done! I love peeking in your closet. It's a cornucopia of delights. What a great start to each day it must be, colour, pattern, texture. Sigh. And changes in the city are unending. I'm glad you got in your farewell to the bridge. As usual, all your outfits are smashing, and L is very dapper, yes!, but my heart is fixed on those Gauthier pants. Gaaa!

    1. It brings its own stress sometimes, really! Thank you! I know, the Gaultier pants are fab!

  8. You and the Mr must turn heads when you're out and about, you both always look amazing!!
    I'm so impressed with your closet switcheroo. I can't get over all your shoes - I'm a failure as woman, I can get most of mine on the same rack!!!
    Love the nautical pants, the tartan trews and that stripey coat! xxx

    1. We do! We get a lot of comments from homeless people (lol) and side-eye from "normals." I'm a failure - I don't do bags - so you can certainly not do shoes! Thanks, Vix!

  9. L looks great!!!! I love Oh, Snap!!! I have several nautical inspired shirts I plan on wearing this spring!! Your closet is glorious!!!!

  10. I had the same response as Mica about your dress. So cute. I kept wondering about a slip that hung a few inches below the hemline to match the jacket but if it's gots go, it's gotta go!
    If the toothpaste doesnt work on the Fluevogs, I vote you get an artist to decorate them - assuming you don't do it yourself! I bet Mel would collaborate! (I loved her farked Jennifer Lopez painted jogging suit!) will love hearing what you decide to do with them!

    1. Nope, and I'm not even going to try an alternative - the dress is fully lined, and should not be clingy like that. Just bad fabric.

      I am an artist and I do plan to do them myself! I'll show it off when I do.

  11. It's so inspiring reading your closet swap process. I did the same to mine (I do it more often because of Finnish weather and four seasons) and it took almost four hours! I always do all sewing if needed (fallen buttons, small holes) and shoe shining. I wonder, how do you take care of your shoes? And what about clothes, do you wash them before storing?

    I admire you two, such a stylish couple <3 Lots of love to Vizzini!

    1. Aw, thanks, Mujeril! I don't think I'd have the energy to do it 4 times a year! I should do mending, but I'm really lazy. I don't do much at all with my shoes, actually, and I don't wash the clothes before storing. Thank you!

  12. I am super impressed with how well organized the closet is. The first thing that drew my eye was thar fabulous mirror. Kudos to you for organizing and decorating so well. I’m also pleased to see the hall lined with shoes, and to know the number that you have. I think this is about normal for women our age. Who cares what other people think !
    I am loving each and everyone of your outfits. The red and burgundy outfit is fabulous and I adore the H&M pants that you wore in the last outfit too.
    What a wonderful post, I love to see another woman’s closet. Not just for the contents but for the organizational skills and the simple aesthetic that you even see in the relatively small space! What a good size close, by the way!

    1. I love that mirror too! Thank you so much! I love all my shoes, and I don't have to make any excuses. Thank you, Elle. My closet is a sanctuary for me.

  13. I am beyond envious of your glorious closet (and its beautiful contents!) How lovely. It's a fitting atelier for your artful dressing.

    That sailor outfit is to die for. Very 1962 movie-star on a terrace at Nice.

    I will miss the old bridge next time I'm in Victoria (which is about once a decade), but the new bridge looks absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Thank you so much, Julia! It's my most treasured thing - I love order and being able to see everything.

      Oh, I love that description, thank you!

      I like the old bridge, but it was time for a change.

  14. I really love your switching-wardrobe posts, so lovely to see all your shoes! (shoe porn!!)
    And I'm in love with those Gaultier pants and your orange&sailor style is fabulous!, you look (particularly) gorgeous in them and the orange accessorizing is brilliant!

    1. Thank you! Ha, I laughed at shoe porn. I love that one too - thanks, Monica!

  15. Oh its that time of the year again ! You're so organised Sheila.
    The sailor look is a winner !!! You are rocking those trousers... and Mr Clooney looks so dapper-

    1. It helps me stay excited about dressing when I have the swapover to look forward to. Thank you - that outfit was a winner! Lol, you remember that!

  16. It's always a grand experience to have a ringside seat at your big changeover. The kimono is indeed tricky to wear in layers so you're right to keep those for outerwear. I'm hoping to wear my new one within the next month or two.

    And yes, I totally agree that L is very dapper!

    I should think you needed a rest after that big weekend.

    Anna x

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Anna! Yes, the kimono is a newish thing to me, and I'm still getting the hang of it. I do need a rest...

  17. I am beyond closet envious! We have a teeny tiny 1947 size closet and everything gets scrunched. Your shoe collection is spectacular.

  18. It's still quite cold here (we had snow this week) so no "closet switching" yet. I always enjoy the peek into your closet. It makes me sigh over my lack of wardrobe space.

    I ADORE the orange and blue outfit! THOSE PANTS are the bees knees, the cat's meow, and all the other good things. I dream of finding a Jean Paul Gaultier piece when secondhand shopping.

    1. Ack, snow?? That sucks. Ha, I know, the pants are amazing, aren't they? I have 3 x JPG pieces now. Treasures, all!


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