Sunday, March 31, 2019

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Last Outfit; and Two Ginormous Closet Clean-Outs

Hello, my friends! Warning: the "Bigass" label is not misleading - this is one huge post. You will forgive me if I'm not terribly chatty, as I'm physically tired, and seriously need some couch time! 
 This is what I wore out for brunch with L on Saturday, followed by my dear friend Yvonne's closet clean-out.

This is my entry for "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style. Coincidentally, she's showing some street art, which I also recorded on my travels that day.

  • Dress - Dept, thrifted; last worn here in November 2018 for decorating my office
  • Shoes - Camper, thrifted; last seen here in November 2018 with sparkle, grey and leopard
  • Leather jacket (below) - Danier, consignment; last worn here in November 2018

I had a lovely Castle view from my stairs - we've had great weather all weekend: sunny, not too hot, not too cold.
 A perfect spring day!

Cleaning out a closet is an ordeal - I had to wear something that I could move (and sweat) in.
 We also walked to town for breakfast (and I had a wee shop, which we shall get to), and then walked to Yvonne's for our closet date.

I love this dress - it wasn't so long ago that my hair matched that magenta!
 I am wearing nylons - it's not that warm just yet.

Getting coffee'd up.
 I need to be civil to others.

Outerwear - leather weather! I love this orange leather coat.
 I am still bothered that it doesn't have external pockets (why!?).

But I haven't seen a better orange leather jacket to replace it yet.
 Super-klassy, I changed my bag!

  • Purse - Roots, thrifted

The stuff:
 I've been getting more and more comfy flat and low heels. I like the grey-blue of these chunky Campers.

Simple bling:
 I decided to go "full Laverne" and wear my S pin! Link if you don't know what I'm talking about, here.

  • Gold hoops - 5th anniversary gift from L
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes
  • S pin - Dodds, vintage fair

I took my camera with me, since I wanted to take a few pictures of our closet adventure - and I snapped a few scenes of my wanders.
This is Pluto's Diner, where L and I went for breakfast - maybe you can tell that it used to be a gas station? Those repair bay doors on the left open in the summer time. I've been going to Pluto's since I first opened in the late 80s. The food is delish!

From there, I popped into Heart & Sole's hosiery shop to look for replacement floral tights for the ones I wore to Vancouver (they have massive holes in them, not fixable, although I will try to get more wears out of them).
 These are by Celeste Stein, and were $36.00 a pair. The left ones have a great pink/blue/purple/orange/yellow mix, and the right pair has an awesome mod look with its predominantly teal and orange mix.

I had a quick look around at Vanity Fair Antique Mall, and found two pairs of earrings.
 The bead ones were $4.00 are very light wood - the backing fell off one of them as they were bagging it for me. I just glued it when I got home, no problem. The gold/silver ones on the right were $2.00 and will work well with my POLY jewelry.

I had to have this set of 1960s Italian-made plastic jewelry.
 They were $25.00 each, but LOOK AT THEM. Ungh, I love them.

So pretty!
 And they fit me perfectly.

I tried a few things on at the Velvet Crease, but nothing rung my bell, until I spotted this lovely gold bracelet made of round dome-shapes.
 I love the rich gold colour.

I found stamps that say "Butler" on the inside of each dome.
 And the clasp says "FAC" - that stands for Fifth Avenue Collection.
 A little poking around reveals that this is probably from the 80s.
 And since it's new with tags, it's been sitting unworn for a long time. I paid $15.00 for it.

 I strolled through a lovely neighbourhood on the way to Yvonne's.
 All of the Japanese plum trees and cherry trees are coming out in bloom - the trees "snow" with petals.

Whole streets are lined with them.
 They make me sneezy.

I liked this door/wall painting and noticed that there's a very subtle title above the red and white design.
 It says "The Deadbeats Club."

Vancouver Street still has a bunch of its original Victorian homes.
 The colours are authentic to their era. Most of these are designated Heritage by the City.

This apartment building is where L and first lived together, from 1996 to 2000.
That's our old living room window and kitchen window on the lower right corner. We hated when a bus unloaded at that stop - we'd always have to pause our VCR because it was so loud.

I love this old mansion. It's called the Beaconsfield, and it's a Bed & Breakfast.
 I used to walk by it every day, from 1988 to 1995, when I lived in Fairfield, on my way to work.

I spy a kitty!
"That sun feels good."

 A very pretty white one. He seems to be very focused.

The corner of Beacon Hill Park - I'm at my destination.
 Time to get busy on that closet!

We pulled out all of Yvonne's shoes, and took them out of the shoe boxes so we could see them properly.
 A bit blurry - it took us over 4 hours to do this! It's quite an operation!

Storage racks removed from the closet, and the little-seen scarf rack was pulled out for inspection.
 We went through every item, sorting things into Keep, Swap or Donate. We also did an Archive section, for those sentimental things that you just don't want to give up, but aren't going to wear any more.

So many hangers! We ended up with 2.5 garbage bags for donation, and two massive garbage bags for swap.
 After we sorted all of Yvonne's clothing, shoes and outerwear, we packed away all of her fall/winter clothes to save space in her double closet.

And finally, we were done! Here's my beautiful friend showing off her sweater and top storage area.
 She's promised to get pant/skirt hangers and hang those up. 

Left side of her closet  - previously, that had been crammed full of clothes and shoe boxes.
 Those are the storage tubs with her cold weather gear, and only a few "I promise I will only wear these when I am sick and not in public" clothes are left. Lots of room for skirts to hang now!

The shoe rack was permitted to come back, but was moved closer to the front of the closet (leaving potential storage room behind it - good to have room for growth once you clear out!).
 We sorted through all the shoes and then put them back nice and neat. The long fabric "box" organizer to the left previously held a million old shoes - we converted it to an easy sweater storage (and it's mostly empty still - room for more!).

All Yvonne's blazers, blouses and dresses, sorted and easy to see.
 I see a couple of my pass-alongs there!

The upper shelf got a wooden rack for purses, a box of scarves and hats.
 Again, lots of room for more! When we were done, I put together a week's worth of work outfits for her, incorporating some of her "I'm stumped" pieces. We could see where holes in her closet existed - I think it's time to go shopping! What a fun afternoon it was!

Our sweeties joined us near the end, and fetched us pizza for dinner. We enjoyed a drink and then L and I walked home.
 That's one of my favourite houses in my neighbourhood - I'd love to live in the whole thing, but it's divided up into suites. I want that tower!

L and I hung out and played board games on Saturday night. I was pretty pooped after all our closet exertions, but was up early to get groceries and then start my own closet undertaking.
"Does this mean you're getting the vacuum cleaner out?"

It does indeed! I clean my whole closet from top to bottom (sometimes moreso than others!).
"Eep! Wake me when you're done."

Vizzini hid the entire time. What a chicken-cat.

I started with my tights. I store tights at the bottom of my lingerie chest, and in a large shopping bag. I roll them for storage.
 I put all the dark tights into the double-deep drawer (out of sight, out of mind!), and kept out my plain nylons, trouser socks and other spring-y hosiery in the bag, where it's easy to see them.

This is my full lingerie chest, which lives to the right of my closet door (to the right of where I stand in most of my pictures). I store my camisoles in the top drawer, my "soft tops" (dressy sleeveless tops for layering) in the next drawer, and my vintage slips and camisoles in the next double-deep drawer.
 My not-yet-sorted scarves are on the lower left, along with my paper parasol.

I cleaned off the top and rearranged my art from Caro's mom, Hazel, the replica lingerie chest model that L used to surprise me (the chest was a Christmas gift years ago), and my small perfume collection. I never wear scent, but they all have sentimental associations for me.
 I am building a small collection of sunglasses (and a pair of reading glasses) for sunny weather when I have contact lenses in.

Okay, closet time! I've emptied my first two shelves of sleeveless sweaters, short-sleeved sweaters and other odds and ends of tops, and have weeded out some blouses, long skirts and trousers.
I pull out everything that's not spring/summer. That means anything thick, warm, and heavy.

It's also items that can only be worn with tights, or that maybe I associate colour-wise with winter (mostly dark colours, some Christmassy or more shiny/sparkly things).
 My party hat and archive shoes live up near the ceiling on the left. I didn't touch this shelf this season.

My "long hang" - where I store my jumpsuits, long and short dresses and dusters.
 Not too many dresses are year-round for me.

The shelf above the dresses has my more costume-y party accessories.
 Those boxes contain my own Archives: a couple of Dad's sweaters, some old purses, things like that. I also didn't touch this area on this swap-over. Tired!

My blazers on the back left, below my skirts.
 Stored away the wool/heavy/dark ones.

I took out lots of skirts.
 There's another shelf above those, that has vintage hats and other fancy dress-up stuff. I also didn't touch that this time around.

My shoes reside in the "Tower of Power", a 6-shelf x 2 shelf that runs on the front left side of my closet, from the floor to the ceiling. I maximize space in my closet!
 I pulled down my black/silver platform sandals to put them back in regular rotation, and tidied up my purses, but otherwise didn't do anything with these shelves. Screw it!

All my keeper stuff folded and ready for storage.
 It's always so exciting to pull these back out again after 6 months! Bye for now!

All my fall-winter shoes and boots, ready to be stored away. Most of these get put into cloth shoe-bags (multiple pairs per bag), which get stored under/behind my clothes in the closet, or under our bed.
 See you next September!

Most of my shoes lined up in the hallway ready to be loaded back into the closet.
As I put them back, I focus on each pair, to make sure I still love them, want them and am excited to wear them. Anything that doesn't tick all those boxes gets removed. I have to cull things in order to keep shopping - shoes included!

And also because I was shopping for spring summer for the past 6 months! Here are all my new-to-me items that I purchased.
Five pairs of trousers, five skirts, nine blouses/tops, three jackets and eight dresses. Oh, and five pairs of shoes.

Now that all that fall/winter stuff is out of the closet, time to load in the spring /summer! Ooh, can't wait!
 The top three flat tubs live under my bed. The big bottom one lives in the closet under the dresses. As I empty these out, I then pack the empty container with my fall/winter and put it back. I tidy as I go.

Here are the bags of spring/summer overflow.
 I have far less spring/summer garments and shoes than winter - at least it seems that way. Cold weather clothes tend to be more bulky, and boots take up way more room than flats and sandals!

As I put each thing away, again I was looking at it and assessing my love for it.
 A few things didn't make it, and as I ran out of hangers, more "keeper" things either got removed for swap or were readied for storage. Above, my blouse/long skirt/trouser section is done - my new-to-me items for this section are all on the left.

Above that section, my tops and jean-style trousers are folded. I'm not a very neat folder - I just need to be able to see at a glance what's there.
 My new-to-me jewelry is in the ribbon box on the right, with my two Wendy Brandes ring boxes. On the left are my new-to-me and recently purchased hosiery.

More sweaters, a few cardigans and a fuzzy top.
 All wood surfaces are wiped down before I put my clothes back.

Here are the dresses all done.
 You can see I've turned all my hangers backwards anew so that I can see what's not been worn. As I wear things, and they get washed and/or hung back up, I turn the hanger the other way. It's a great method to ensure you're wearing your whole closet. I've been doing it for around 5-6 years and it really helps me.

My skirts - oh my lovely skirts.
 I can't wait to start building new outfits!

My jacket and blazer collection is also very colourful.
 I'd forgotten about some of these!

I also swap over my accessories - my three round boxes of belts.
 And my box of obis and wrap-style belts too!

All the shoes go in, now that all the fall-winter things in their bags are tucked away underneath. This is the lower left side of my closet, under the my blouses/long skirts/trousers.
 I keep out a few pairs of boots for those chilly/rainy spring and late summer "feels like fall" days.

The shoes on the lower left - flats and walking shoes on the floor, then higher heels as we go up.
 Most of my spring/summer footwear gets worn barefoot - that's a big determiner for me. Can I wear it barefoot?

These comfy shoes say yes!
 I'm so happy to have these back!

More colourful friends!
 A few pairs of booties on the lower section.

And way up high, I've put my tasseled magenta shoes up in the "party shoe" section.
 Purses are still behaving.

This is the pile of items I amassed over 5 hours for giveaway.
 That's a big pile of things that I'm ready to pass along. I can't wait for my next swap! I dumped all of this in the library where a monster pile of clothes awaits my friends and coworkers.

But I'm still not done!
 I have store away my fall/winter jewelry! There is all my fall stuff, bagged and ready for me to rediscover in 6 months.

I delight in seeing my silver and colourful bracelets and cuffs again.
 I use a vintage snack double-dish to store my cuffs - it works great! I highly recommend it - I can spin it around and see every single cuff, without them taking over my dresser top.

I go through every section of my giant jewelry box - this is where most of my contemporary jewelry lives.
 Necklaces ready to go on the sides - I can't close the doors. Too many! The whole front is drawers, and the top lifts up for more storage.

I use a little flat crystal candy dish for my stud-style earrings.
 I see my S pin and my Star Trek badge there too, ready for quick deployment.

My grandmother's jewelry box also gets cleaned out, and set up with all of my spring/summer vintage jewelry.
 The bottom tray fits over the top section; the middle section is a drawer that slides in.

My dresser top all nice and tidy - ready for me to accessorize my outfits.
 It feels good to get that done!

My stored jewelry is used in the corner here where we first started - my scarves sit on it.
 I've cleaned those out too - many lovely silks to wreath myself in.

Meanwhile, Vizzini stayed hidden. It took me from around noon to 5:30 pm to do all of this (and another 2 hours to blog it!).
"Why do you do this to me, Woman?"

Of course, it is all about him! I will make it up to you with some cuddles, buddy.

And leaving you, my friends, with these beautiful pink blossoms.
 Wishing you blue skies...

Pink blossoms...
...and hoping you had a wonderful weekend. Thank you so much for stopping by!


  1. Shiela, I love seeing how you organised everything! And the Italian made bangle and ring is gorgeous! So very unique. X

    1. Thanks so much, Jess! I was so excited about the orange set.

  2. Sheila, I enjoy this process every change of season and second Jess's comment about the lucious orange jewelry. I would find it interesting at some point to hear about how you go about planning and prepping for a week's worth of outfits. I remember in the past you talking about weather influencing choices but hearing how you creatively choose items would be so informative.

    1. Thank you, Chalotalo! I can definitely do a post on that sometime, maybe next weekend - I have done at least one in the past, I recall, but it's been several years.

  3. I loved seeing photos of your neighbourhood and that gorgeous Spring blossom, what a beautiful part of the world you live in, Sheila! Like me, it looks like you can't walk anywhere without chatting to any cat you encounter, it takes me an age to get anywhere.
    You look a vision in your Spring-like frock and that incredible jewellery!
    I love helping my friends re organise their wardrobes, too - I bet Yvonne was so grateful for your advice.
    I want to dive into your closet, roll around and steal all your shoes. You're brilliantly organised.I love the lingerie chest of drawers.
    Vizzini looks most dismayed by the disruption! I'll spare annoying my boys with the winter/summer clothes reshuffle for a few more weeks, we've got sleet forecast for this week! xxx

    1. I am so lucky to live in such a gorgeous place, Vix. I love running into kitties on my travels.
      Thank you so much - Yvonne was THRILLED to have me help her.
      Ha ha, good thing we have different sized feet!
      Vizzini hates the disruption - he was in there, sniffing everything out as soon as I was done. Yikes, I hope that sleet turns to sun!

  4. Oh yeah, the cherry blossoms! So beautiful; i lived in Wash, DC for a while and these trees were the best scenery. Your closet and your friend's closet, are inspiring. Looks like an upscale boutique where I most def want to shop! xox

    1. Aren't they lovely, Patti? Wish you lived closer - I'd let you go through my giveaway pile, for sure!

  5. Those cherry blossoms and the amazing Victorian houses really make my heart sing! Didn't you do well helping Yvonne organize her wardrobe. I would be ever so chuffed if any of my friends asked me to do that. I always love seeing how you organize your swap-over and wish my stuff wasn't all over the place, which would make things a bit easier to manage. Love those funky tights you bought and I'm simply drooling over that set of 1960s jewellery! xxx

    1. It's such a pretty place here.
      I was really excited - this is the first of my friends to ever ask me to do this, and it felt great.
      Thanks so much, my dear!

  6. I love that dress with the orange leather jacket, what a fun combination! I really like seeing your wardrobe swap over pics too. I winder if I'll do something like that when I have a proper wardrobe? (I share one with hubby at the moment!) I keep my winter knits in a big box when it's not winter but I'd like to think I may not need to do that if I have more space. We shall see I guess.

    So nice of you to help your friend too, you did a great job sorting through her wardrobe!

    1. Thank you, Mica! Oh, you need your own closet! No sharing for L and I. We each have too much stuff. It was great fun doing Yvonne's closet.

  7. Goodness - what a mammoth undertaking that is! It was lovely to see lots of interesting and colourful items which I can't wait to see you wear in future posts.

    The idea of winter and summer jewellery I find intriguing. I wear my jewellery all year round and can't even envisage dividing them up in this way - what's your criteria for deciding which is which?

    I loved your new jewellery purchases and the tights are amazing!

    We have masses of cherry blossom (and magnolia) everywhere as well - it's so beautiful but what a shame it doesn't have a scent. I enjoyed the trip round your neighbourhood, too.

    Hope you have a great week.

    1. It is indeed mammoth, Vronni! My fall/winter jewelry is often heavier visually, or in bronze/copper tones. My spring/summer stuff is lighter (more silver) and has more of what I think of as summer colours, like turquoise and yellow. It's also my sparkly Christmas stuff. It's kind of random, but it's my jewelry!

      Thank you so much, I'm excited to wear all this new-to-me stuff. The plum blossoms (a little later, a couple more weeks) are very heavily scented.

      Have a lovely week!

  8. Oh my gosh that looked like a monumental job! I had planned on a closet clean and search for spring clothes, but unfortunately have been horizontal for almost 10 days off/on, the pneumonia bug found me and kicked my butt hard. I am slowly coming around, but there isn't going to be any closet cleaning for a bit yet. Love your use of old dishes and I have found found some old cut crystal bowls at local consignment stores that I use for my little pretties.

    1. Oh, it was, Dar! So sorry to hear you caught that bug - everyone in my office has it too. Good for you for repurposing your dishes/bowls!

  9. You must be totally exhausted after all of this Sheila. It's amazing how methodical you are, but there again I suppose you have to be when dealing with the volume of clothes and accessories you have. I love to catch glimpses of a favourite pair of shoes in the melee! These mega features of yours are testament to your passion for dressing up in style. Bravo for another big changeover - well done and take a rest now x

    1. Gads, yes, Anna! I'm still feeling sore and stiff from all of that physical labour! I have to be very methodical to get everything done in the short time I have.

  10. woww, I always enjoy when you post about your closet, it's so inspiring to keep things tidy and visible!. And I totally understand that you were so exhausted!!! So fab that you helped your friend to get a more organized closet! You're so talented!
    Usually I do some little adjustments through the seasons, not a massive switch until summer. And I keep some of my summery stuff all year around!.
    You know I love those chunky shoes and they look lovely with your dress and the cool orange jacket!.
    And I'm in love with the 60's italian bracelet! it's a beauty!

    1. Thanks, Monica! It was exhausting, but totally worth it in both cases. I do keep a lot of things out all year-round, but there are always very season-specific things that get packed away.

      Thank you! I love the shoes too (my husband hates them), and I'm wearing the orange Italian set today.

  11. I had to come back and re-read this today. I've been switching my closet over too and this year I'm finding it harder to let go. It's the 'I made it myself' thing going on. I never had a problem when my garments were from thrift stores, but now that pretty much everything is handmade by myself...well, it's not as easy. I'm going to try and channel you Sheila. Do I really love it? :)

    1. Thanks so much for visiting (again), Sue! It's really hard to let go of things that we build attachments to, isn't it? Good luck!

  12. I do not know where to begin.
    Well, love the Victorian homes and I am so glad they are declared as heritage. In my neighborhood a I have said several times on the blog there are 1920s homes with mango trees full of parrots in the backyard being torn down to build 60+ floor apartment buildings. I've cried, i grew up in one old apartment building.
    There you go ! Another proof that Italians are THE THING when it comes to design, that orange cuff and ring set are DIVINE.
    I cannot believe you did a closet edit and THEN swapped your own closet. I would have been SO tired.
    I have been "watching" you do this over the years and am always amazed at your organization skills and the fact that you have so many amazing and colorful pieces.

    1. Ugh, that is so sad that those places aren't being preserved, Lorena.

      I knew you would like the cuff/ring set! Isn't it amazing?

      I was exhausted. I really should have taken Monday off - must plan better next time!

      You have a real history with me! You've seen every swap-over I've ever done.

  13. Sheila, I always enjoy your closet switch over. I do the same thing twice a year and in fact just switched over to spring summer clothes yesterday. It is indeed inspiring to have an organized closet! I also clean out and switch over my makeup drawer to season-appropriate colors. Thanks as always for your enjoyable posts! Oh, and I also love to read your Kitty's posts. I have three of my own , and they each have their own voice and mannerisms!

    1. Thanks, Susan - isn't it awesome when it's over? I love the idea of switching out your make-up - we do get stuck in ruts there too! Glad to meet a fellow kitty-lover!

  14. The cherry blossoms are so pretty, but they make me sneezy too! I can understand why you had to have the italian plastic jewellery. I can't believe you switched over someone else's closet and then did your own?! I wish I had enough money to pay for a flight for you to come out here and do mine.

    1. Yeah, I love a bold organic and yet geometric shape. Yup, I won't do two in a row again, though! If I could afford that, I would totally do your closet for you.


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