Sunday, June 21, 2020

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Pirate Ruffles and Dries Flashback; Solstice Picnic and Darth Flashback

Hello, my friends! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. Ours has been a mixed bag of happiness and sadness, and I will be taking a few days off blogging after this post.

Friday's work outfit features this new blouse.

  • Blouse - InWear; purchased here for $13.99
  • Skirt - Dries Van Noten, thrifted; last worn here in July 2019 with a pixelated blouse
  • Shoes - Sol Sana; last worn here (2nd outfit) in April for Easter

I totally could have worn my Earhart shoes (Flashback here) with this blouse! I was tempted - they match perfectly.
I liked wearing this blouse very much - it's a great fit in the chest. I have many issues with buttonholes gaping or popping open, usually solved with safety pins (klassy), but this top fit just right. I did wear a black cami under it, as the fabric is "stripes" of satin and sheer with the print on top.

Do you see how the ruffles go from midway on my upper arm down to the waist? I like that detail.
This skirt is one of my prized possessions. Dries Van Noten! We'll have a look at it in the Flashback below.

I've called it my Pirate Skirt since I bought it. Yar, it be gathered, sashed and bubble-hemmed, ye scurvy dogs.
*ahem* Sorry, I get carried away. Pirate Lady is one of my new looks apparently, ha ha.

The stuff:
I adore these shoes, and have been very impressed with how comfortable and stylish they are. I do love an ankle strap.

Matchy bling:
I like mixing black and whites, but of course, matchy is also fun.
  • Bracelet/earring set - Italian, vintage 60s, vintage mall
  • Bracelet - vintage fair
  • Earrings - Plum
  • Silver/onyx ring - Toccara, vintage fair


I've noticed that most of my Flashbacks have been for shoes - and I could have done one on today's shoes too, as I've worn them a dozen times - but this skirt is one of the treasures of my closet, so I wanted to feature it. 

It's by Dries Van Noten, who many of you might not have heard of. He's a Belgian designer (link here, 'cause I love) who still owns, designs, and operates his own brand - a novelty in these days of multinational corporations and rotating line-ups of designers! - and does zero marketing. He's the subject of the documentary Dries (link here), which I absolutely recommend, having seen it in the theatre.

I've found several pieces by him over the years, all second-hand - they can be challenging to wear, as he does odd/interesting construction. This black skirt was found in the midst of a zillion black skirts in the local Women in Need (WIN) store back in September 2017 (here), for $29.95, on the same shopping trip when I found my Armani blazer (Flashback here). 
This is its inaugural wearing, in September 2019. I'm showing off the unusual draping. It has uneven deep folds along the side seams, a fold-over waistband (side zipper), a slightly bubbled hem, and two sashes that wrap around. The fabric is a cotton/silk blend.

I actually wore it to see the documentary Dries in November 2017 with Elaine - we went to a vintage fair beforehand.
Why would anyone own a plain black pencil skirt when you could have a Pirate Skirt?

With my teddy sweater in April 2018.
I have many black skirts, so I don't wear it as much as I should. But then who's to say I "should" wear it more? I have lots of clothes - I have to spread the love around!

I wore it for my First Day outfit as we welcomed everyone into our shiny new office in February 2018.
I gave Cat that Kenzo jacket - you probably recognize the shoes.

It's a very cool piece, but I don't find myself reaching for a black skirt very often, hence my "hanger trick" to encourage a minimum of once-per-season wear.
A funky black Pirate Skirt is useful for showcasing other items, as I did here in November 2018.

I echoed the drape of the skirt with more drape-y clothes, here with my Hemut Lang top (ripped on a door, RIP) and a loose cardi that I now wear around the house.
I often with neutrals when I wear black.

This is the last time I wore it, in July 2019. I packed it away last fall/winter as I needed more hangers for my winter clothes.
That silk top is still unworn this season, so expect to see it at some point this summer.

Including today's outfit, I've worn it 7 times, which is not a ton for a piece that I've had for 3 years, but it does put my cost-per wear at just over $4.00, which I'm totally happy with.


After a quiet evening on Friday, L and I were up early on Saturday - me, to colour my hair. I'm pink again - this will fade out to an icy pink in about a week. For right now, though, Hair As Armour!
We headed down to Pluto's for brunch, followed by a gathering of friends for Solstice in the afternoon.

  • Silk and velvet duster - Emporio Armani, thrifted; last worn here in August 2019 with striped and plaid
  • Top - Clover Canyon, thrifted; last seen here in August 2019 with double optics
  • Trousers - Banana Republic, thrifted; last worn here in April with plaid and primary colours
  • Shoes - Miista; last seen here (2nd outfit) in May for my first pandemic shopping trip

The weather was a mix of hot sun, warm breezes and spitty rain, plus we knew we'd be walking a bit, and sitting on the ground, so I dressed for every situation.
I adore this navy blue sheer silk with burn-out velvet squares duster. We'll have a little Flashback on it below shortly.

I realized after looking at the first couple of pictures, that the top - which is a manipulated picture of accordions! - looks better with a front-tuck. There, fixed.
I refer to myself as "Darth Sheila" when I wear this duster, as it dramatically swooshes and billows when I walk.
 You can practically hear "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)" (link here), can't you?

The stuff:
Comfy shoes that are also shiny! These are known as my "trout" shoes due to the purple/green iridescent colour - I'll do a Flashback on them at some point, as they've been worn a LOT.

  • Earrings - Stella & Dot, consignment, Vancouver
  • Silver/amethyst ring - vintage mall
  • Silver/aventurine ring - consignment


I found this duster in the now-closed St. Vincent de Paul thrift store here in January 2017. It was hanging in the dress section, and it stood out to me immediately. I gasped when I saw....
Yup, I paid seven dollars for it. For Armani, silk! You couldn't even buy the fabric for that much.

It's quite tricky to style. This is the first wearing, in January 2017.
I wore this to work, and I recall my coworkers being VERY impressed with it, as I billowed and wafted all over the office. I mixed purple, navy blue and black - nothing quite matches, but it all goes.

I wore it in April 2017 as a cover-up over a simple outfit.
As it's silk, it offers excellent sun protection - it also has a high collar, so it covers the back of my neck too.

Another time as a cover-up - same sweater, and those shoes look familiar! - in September 2017.
I still need to wear that skirt this season. I miss my whale sweater, but it got very worn out.

For a weekend hang-out with the gang, in April 2018. I don't keep the duster out all year-round as it doesn't layer under coats without riding up; it needs warmer weather where it can be the sole topper.
You'll recognize those silk trousers and the pink shiny shoes!

Here I am swooshing it in July 2018. I matched it with navy checked trousers.
A plain white shirt and my "I Know" Star Wars shoes. I called this a checkered suit at the time.

And here's the last time I wore it, in August 2018.
I went full-on navy and white matchy, with a striped top and checkered skirt. I need to wear those white shoes again soon.

I've now worn the duster 7 times, which brings my cost-per-wear to exactly $1.00. Fantastic!


Going back to our Saturday afternoon, here is the entrance to Pluto's. It used to be an old gas station - this is the overhang where cars would pull up.
The blue "sky" and stars made me happy.

L and I strolled over to St. Ann's Academy (link here), a National Historic Site, to meet our friends to both celebrate the Summer Solstice and to send our best vibes to our dear Karen.
It was too warm for L to wear "his" new suede coat, but he still looks dashing in his pewter coat, floral shirt, Lera Lynn concert tee, and Fluevog boots.

There's Cat/Ross and Caro! In the background is Mount St. Mary's. There is also a hotel beside it, where Nick and Karen are staying, so we could be near to them.
Caro brought her tent in case of rain.

This is St. Ann's.
We sat on the field just off the main tree-lined walkway, among the apple trees from the old orchard.

We were only a couple of blocks from Yvonne and Randall's - we used their bathroom.
Caro is posing next to this lovely Art Deco-era apartment - my old friend Janet used to live there.

Nearly all of our crew showed up. While we grieved and talked, we also laughed and took comfort in each other's presence.
From L's feet beside me, clockwise: Yvonne, Chris, Caro, Vero, Randall (in the middle) and Justin.

Then Sarah, Rosanna and Greg, and Linda and Joanne.
There's my toes.

Nick came out and joined us for a bit.
Behind us was a class of graduating high school students, who cavorted on the field as they reveled in finishing school.

Sadly, things have been moving fast since our visit with Karen only last Tuesday.
She's chosen to go out on her own terms, via MAiD (link here).
Her brother Rob and Nick.

Monday will be her last day with us, our brave, dear girl.

Life continues...
Sun shining through the apple tree.
Tiny new apples swelling on the branch.

A seagull balancing on top of a flagpole.
The ginkgo tree in full leaf.

And a grumpy kitty glaring at me.
"I'd be furious, but you look like you need a hug."

Ever in our hearts, dear Karen. 
At the VFF Gala in Feb 2020, with Cat. 

My friends, the next few days are going to be very difficult for us. I'll be taking a small break while we heal. I will leave you with a poem (link) that has given all of us some comfort.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                          i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


  1. Thank you, Sheila, for sharing that amazing poem. Sending hugs as your dear friend moves on.

  2. Thinking of you and L at this very sad time - I send lots of love and support to you. So good that your lovely friend can depart on her own terms.

    1. Thank you so much, Alli. I am grateful that she has that control.

  3. What a beautiful poem Sheila. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, it's nice you could be nearby and show your support in her final days. I can't imagine how you will be feeling but I understand your need to have a break from the blog. Thinking of you.

    1. Thanks very much, Mica. I won't be gone long...blogging keeps me sane. Hugs.

  4. Sheila you are in my thoughts today. Please let me know if you need anything.

  5. My condolences to you, your friends and especially Karen.

    I didn't know your country allows MAiD; thanks for the explanatory link. Most of my country doesn't allow it, although it happens off-the-books.

    1. Thank you, Ally. I'm glad you got to meet her when you were here.

      It's pretty new in Canada, just within the last few years. I'm so grateful that it's an option.

  6. I'm sorry, Sheila. Wishing peace to Karen and all who love her. 💚

  7. I'm so sorry. Peace and love to you and yours.


  8. Love to you and your darling friend XXXX

  9. I'm sorry about Karen, this must be hard for her and all those that care for her. Take the time you need. I think it helps to spend time with friends and lean one onto another. Together we are stronger as they say. A beautiful poem too. I lost a family member recently, not directly because of corona virus but I can't help thinking that the lack of treatment he received because of the pandemic (his regular therapy was postponed) had something to do with it. He lived abroad so that makes me wonder whether he would be alive if he had the stayed in Croatia as our medical professionals are very competent. Idle questions as it is just the way it is. I made a rather difficult decision not to attend the funeral. I'm still not sure about it.

    That colourful blouse looks great paired with that black skirt. It was also fun seeing all the way you have styled this black skirt. Such a versatile piece and one that is a lot of fun too. The second outfit with the long duster is fantastic. YOu're right about that top looking better tucked into those lovely green pants. Fun to see the different ways you have styled the duster as well.

    1. Thank you, Ivana, yes, it's been just wrenching. We are making sure we connect every day and meet when we can to support each other in our grief and loss. I'm so sorry about your family member; I don't know if there will be any kind of memorial for Karen, or whether we'll even be able to attend if there is.

      Thanks so much! It seems a little frivolous to be still going on about clothes, but life goes on. Blogging keeps me sane.

    2. I know, the worst thing is to watch someone you love suffer and not be able to do anything about it (besides providing emotional support). Life just isn't fair and that's it. Clothes are a part of life too and if they can help us feel better, it makes sense to go on about them.

  10. Love and hugs to you and your friends as you say farewell to Karen. This is such a beautiful poem Sheila, thank you so much for sharing it with your readers. I hope you find solace in the days ahead.

    1. Thank you, Juliana. I often find solace in poetry, and I'm glad that this one resonated for Karen.

  11. Thinking of you, L, Nick and all your friends and sending you love and kind thoughts. Karen's been in my mind all day. I'm glad she was able to relieve her suffering on her own terms.
    You know we're here for you when you're ready.
    Thank you for that wonderful poem.
    despite the sadness you've look gorgeous throughout, the Inwear blouse and Dries skirt are gorgeous, your hair looks fabulous and the duster coat is incredible.
    I'm glad your were able to hang out with friends, how thoughtful of Caro to bring that tent.

    PS This poem brought me comfort when I lost my Mum.

    "Farewell My Friends"

    It was beautiful As long as it lasted
    The journey of my life.
    I have no regrets Whatsoever said
    The pain I’ll leave behind.
    Those dear hearts Who love and care...
    And the strings pulling At the heart and soul...
    The strong arms That held me up
    When my own strength Let me down.
    At the turning of my life I came across
    Good friends, Friends who stood by me
    Even when time raced me by.
    Farewell, farewell My friends
    I smile and Bid you goodbye.
    No, shed no tears For I need them not
    All I need is your smile.
    If you feel sad Do think of me
    For that’s what I’ll like When you live in the hearts
    Of those you love Remember then
    You never die.

    Rabindranath Tagore

    1. Oh, dear Vix, that is a beautiful poem. I will share it with our dear friends, thank you. I'm so grateful that she can be in control of her death, as she controlled her life.

      Thanks! I have to keep dressing and keeping a brave face - it is keeping me sane.

      Hugs to you.

  12. Oh Sheila! Sending you, L. and your wonderful group of friends my deepest condolences. Amid all the sadness, it must have brought some solace that at least Karen was able to go on her own terms. We must thank our lucky stars that we live in countries that allow MAiD. Do take your time to grieve and remember your wonderful and courageous friend. The poem you shared is very moving, as is Vix's. I will also re-read the poem you wrote for her tonight. xxx

    1. Thank you, dear Ann. I agree, I am so grateful that she has that option to go on her own terms, in control of her death as she was with her life.

      She loved poetry, and we connected over it. It seems to often say what we cannot. Hugs to you.

  13. So sorry to hear about Karen but am glad she was able to choose how to go.

    It seem's to trivial to talk about clothes after such a momentous event but you look fabulous in every outfit!

  14. I'm sorry I don't feel like saying a thing about your outfits. I akways find it so difficult when people decide it has been enough. That takes such courage. And I feel so sorry for you and your friends and of course her and her partners family. I will say a pray for her tonight. I'm not religious at all but maybe it helps.

    1. That's totally cool, Nancy. It's a weird mix, sorrow and fashion.

      Thank you, my dear. Good vibes count, thanks. *hug*

  15. How brave of your friend to go out on her own terms, it's great that that's an option for her. The best of vibes to you and your friends- it's wonderful to see your group come together to work through the grieving process and support each other like that, what a great crew you have. Thanks for sharing the poem, it was lovely- I was touched just reading it.

    1. Thanks, Ashley - I'm so grateful that we have that option in Canada. My dear friends have been a huge solace to each other. I'm glad you liked the poem.

  16. I'm so sorry to hear about Karen. So glad she had so many awesome, caring friends who loved her. Wishing you, L, Nick and Rob much love, light and peace.

    1. Thank you so much, Cheryene. I appreciate your very kind words.

  17. I hope you find peace and comfort in the coming days and weeks. My sincere condolences to you and all who loved her.

  18. I should not be a weeping mess reading a fashion blog.... but that's what you do. Bringing perspective and life into your posts and now death. I have been so inspired by your insight, galavanting and friends, that I felt pain knowing that one of your friends was ill, and not doing well. Thank you for allowing us to be acquainted your friend Karen and her choice to leave through your documenting events. Still a weeping mess.. here. Heal well and I look forward to your continued content when you feel up to it.

    1. Oh, I'm sorry, Robyn! I've been a sob-monster for the past few days myself. Thank you so much for your empathy, and for your kind words. Blogging is a salve for me, so you'll see me again soon. Hugs to you and thank you again.

  19. I just had a chance to catch up on reading blogs and now I too am in tears, realizing that it has already been a few days since your dear Karen crossed the threshold out of this life. . . Sending loving thoughts to you and your whole sweet circle of dear friends. Take as much time as you need to heal before heading back into blogging. We will make do without you. Just be gentle with yourself, dear Sheila!

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Lina. It means a lot that she touched you as well. Thank you for your kind words - I'll be back soon!

  20. I'm sorry to hear about Karen but I am glad she could do it on her terms. It will be difficult for you and her family and friends but she will be in your hearts.

  21. I am so very sorry She, what a brave woman Karen is.
    Did not know that MAiD existed in Canada - sending you hugs.

    1. We are all so grateful that this avenue is available to us. It would have been so much worse to have her die in a hospital or wasting away.

  22. I'm very happy for Karen that she was able to have control over her end of life. I have always hoped that avenue would be available to me if I need it.


Comments are so incredibly special, and I love them and hug them and treasure them forever. Please feel free to tell me what you think!

I'm not currently able to respond to comments, but I will make every effort to answer questions. I do read every single one, and appreciate your comments.

Please note that comments containing affiliate links spam-y sites, spam comments and anything I deem inappropriate will be deleted.