Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Emerald Armour; Fendi Flashback

Hello, my friends, I'm back! I'm doing...all right. "As well as can be expected" is the usual line, right? 

Yesterday/Monday was a rough day. I was at work, but exchanging emails most of the day with L and Caro and my girlfriends. Karen peacefully passed, and we are left with a void in our lives. 

Blogging has always been a therapeutic thing for me. Wearing clothes, talking about them with like-minded folks, and showing the fun things I have in my closet is a way for me to retain control over those things that are uncontrollable. It's also good for my mental health to be creative in my dress, and to write about that. So, I'm not going to stop anytime soon (in case you were worried); I've been doing this for over 12 years, and it's a huge part of my life. 

I will be doing at least 2 bigass retrospectives of pictures of Karen in the near future, partly for me to heal, but also to share with my friends and family, as something we can go back on and remember. I thank you all for bearing with me - as always, read what you want to, or just look at the pictures. You do you. There's no right or wrong here. 

Anyway, I'm still getting dressed, and of course I armoured up for my difficult day. Karen was a very stylish woman, and I know she would have appreciated this. 
SO GREEN. I felt like a million bucks in this.

  • Dress - Escada, vintage 00s, consignment; purchased here for $149.99
  • Shoes - Chie Mihara; last seen here in May for an at-home outfit

I spent a good chunk of time going through all of Vogue.com's online archives of Escada's runway looks, and I've concluded that - while this is definitely typical of an Escada look - this coat-dress predates their slideshows, which only go back to 2013. They certainly don't shy away from satin - some of their garments are incredibly gorgeous. I think this is from the early 00s.
 As this coat? dress? coat-dress? is generously sized, I put a massive honkin' belt over it so that I didn't look like a Christmas tree.

The caramel colour of the accessories helps. I promise I will never wear this with red unless it's actually the holiday season.
 Pockets...yes... I wore a black vintage half-slip under this and a black cami on top. It was fine for sitting at my desk, walking and eating on a patio - no gaping, lots of room to move in.

I was hugely impressed with the lack of wrinkling, especially since this is a silk satin (even the lining is silk!).
Here it is without the belt. As you can see, there are no wrinkles at the waistline even though I had it cinched within an inch of its life.
This is just too loose for me to wear it like this, though. Needs a belt. I would make a lovely coat over a party dress, wouldn't it? I could see it with a turtleneck and a pair of funky trousers too, with it worn open. Lots of potential!

The stuff:
I adore these comfy shoes, which are really only a 1-inch heel. After work, I walked in them to the Commons for drinks and appies with my gals, and we talked about Karen, and just shared our grief. L and Casey took care of Nick all day, well into the evening. Such generous, giving friends I have.

Caramel/copper bling:
I gravitate to my vintage copper pieces when I need comfort. The earrings and copper/turquoise ring belonged to my Grandma J, and the silver/crystal ring was bought with my birthday money from my Winesday Women years ago.

  • Belt - Fendi, thrifted
  • Copper necklace/earrings - vintage 70s, vintage expo
  • Copper/enamel cuff - Matisse, vintage 60s, vintage fair
  • Copper/enamel earrings - Matisse, vintage 60s, Grandma J's
  • Copper/turquoise ring - Grandma J's
  • Silver/crystal ring - Uffizi Gallery gift shop, Florence, Italy


I don't track the wearings on my accessories, but this belt is one of my swanky designer pieces, and I found it in the WIN Warehouse thrift store here for $19.99 back in July 2016 What a score that was!
My belt is probably from the early 00s, is made in Italy, and I've even verified that the serial number and model number inside actually match Fendi belts of this same design on auction sites. It's genuine - not that I had any doubt when I bought it (Victoria is home to a lot of well-off people). It likely retailed for around $200-400 at the time; Fendi's belts now start at $900 and go into the $1000+ range.

It's the only piece of real Fendi I've ever bought (I've seen a couple of really old pieces at vintage fairs, but they either didn't appeal or were too pricey for me), so why not have a little retrospective to see if I've gotten my money's worth?
Of course, I had to wear it IMMEDIATELY, here in July 2016. Get used to seeing it with this dress. Guess how many times I wear them together!

I wore it again later that month, where it's more of the star of the outfit.
You'll start to see a pattern in what shoes I put with it - I nearly always go matchy. I still have everything in that outfit, except for the silk blouse, which I ruined. Gah, peri-menopause was a sweaty time.

I'll have to do a Flashback on this Dept dress when I bring it out in the fall. I paid very little for it (under $10) and I'm sure I've reached 30 wears. This was in January 2017.
Even when I wear the same outfit, I'll change things up with different accessories - here, I'm wearing my navy blue vintage slip under the dress, with blue tights.

The boots and belt combo are now firmly entrenched, here in January 2017 again.
This is a vintage dress that I no longer have - it was really thick and sweaty.

One month later, in February 2017 - deja vu! Different tights.
My hair's grown fast!

I love this look from May 2017 - I miss that vintage sweater (it wore out).
 My See By Chloe skirt is still around, as are those chartreuse shoes.

I'd forgotten about this dress - it was a cheap H&M one that I wore for a year and then passed along.
This was in June 2017, just after I thrifted matching sandals - think we'll see those again?

Here's the same dress in September 2017, in an autumn-ized version of the first look.
"Hey, it's me!"

I prefer the matchier caramel boots.

There's my Urban Camo dress again, in October 2017
In which I discover that my vintage Fluevogs go perfectly with the belt.

I notice that I frequently wear it over a patterned dress. This one is Christian Lacroix for Desigual (thrifted for a ridiculously low price).
I like my ultra-minis in fall - this is November 2017 - when I can wear tights with them. Matchy boots!

Obviously, this dress/slip/belt combo is one of my "no-think" go-tos. I'd bet that these are mostly Monday outfits. This look is from January 2018.
This time with blue velvet boots. It's totally different!

A rare outfit in May 2018 that shows the belt off more.
I love the this look, but neither the denim dress nor the skirt lasted too long. This is the second outfit with the matching sandals.

And here's the second time with the matchy Fluevogs, in October 2018. My hair got a lot lighter in just a few months.
 As the belt is so wide, it functions well for reining in a thick or bulky fabric, like my Teddy top.

That dress again, in November 2018.
Different shoes; totally different outfit (ha ha). I hated those shoes - I think I gave them to one of my coworkers.

I've found a new patterned dress to wear with it here in January 2019 - this floaty cotton Kenzo dress has bits of rusty brown in it.
It's also quite voluminous, so it needs a wide belt. That's a January "going out" outfit, which is why I'm showing a fair bit of skin in a winter month.

Here's the work version of the same outfit, in March 2019.
I recognize those boots.

One of my favourite recent-ish dresses is a natural match for the belt, in April 2019.
I bought those sandals (which are the same ones I wore in this post's main outfit) to replace the previous caramel ones, which were too high.

This is the sixth time I've worn this belt and dress together (did you guess right?), in November 2019. It's also the sixth time that I've paired the belt with these boots.
It's the same outfit as July 2017 but without the blue tights.

And here's the last time I wore it, in February of this year for theatre with Mom and Cat/her mom.
I love this look - that tulle skirt is a favourite.

I've learned from this flashback that I need to break out of my dress/belt rut, and to experiment more with outfits that let the belt really shine. As for my cost-per-wear, I've worn it 20 times, including with the green Escada dress above, so I've hit the $1.00 per wear mark! Wow!


  1. Oh wow, I LOVE that Escada dress/coat situation. That is my ultimate favorite color. A fantastic outfit overall, I'm not surprised it's serving well as armor.
    Good vibes are continuing to be sent.

    1. Thanks, Ashley, isn't it a gorgeous piece? It served very well as my armour for the day. Thank you - I feel them!

  2. Oh, Sheila; that Escada dress/coat is AWESOME, and you look amazing in it. Thanks for sharing this with us -- I don't remember seeing it before. Again, sending hugs.

    1. Thanks so much, Cynthia! I only posted pictures when I bought the dress - this is the first wearing of it.

      Hugs to you, my dear. Thank you.

  3. Good for you for continuing doing things that bring you joy; grief should be balanced so it doesn't overwhelm.

    You look lovely in that rich green. I am in love with your Fendi belt; so many ways to show it off and for a big buckle it is surprisingly versatile without being domineering. I think my favourite is with the matchy Fluevog shoes, but all the looks are amazing.

    Eat well, sleep, write, dress beautifully and heal your heart. Hugs.

    1. Blogging is part of my self-care - it isn't a chore, and it does give me joy.

      Thank you, Nana! It's such a glorious green, isn't it? I adore my Fendi belt, and am always on the lookout for a new outfit to go with it.

      Thanks, I will. Hugs to you.

  4. I loved that Escada coat when you shared it a few weeks ago, combined with your newly-pinked hair, that tan belt and those killer sandals it's absolutely fabulous.
    I'm glad to see you back and am looking forward to seeing the photos of Karen.
    Keep blogging, keep creating wonderful outfits and keep being you, we love you for it. xxx

    1. Thanks so much, Vix! I felt fully armoured-up in it.

      Post #1 will be up tonight - it was good to go through them, very healing.

      I will keep on blogging, for sure. It's one of the best things in my life. Hugs to you, Vix.

  5. I remember when I was going through my divorce blogging was one of the things that helped get me through. It sounds like blogging brings you a lot of joy, which you need during these times. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

    1. Yes, it's a very cathartic thing, isn't it, Krysten? Thank you. (hug)

  6. Beautiful in the most properly armored way. So sorry for the loss of your wonderful friend, Sheila; our families of choice are a huge part of who we are and how we make our way through thus world. May celebrating her memory in your own fabulous ways bring comfort and peace.

    1. Thank you, Ismay, lovely to see you. I appreciate that - she will leave a big hole in our hearts and lives. Blogging about her is hugely helpful to me, and if it helps my friends too, then all the better. Hugs to you.

  7. I love your Fendi belt, it is so flattering! I have Fendi sunglasses (made in Italy obviously) that I bought years ago on sale for 10 euros - from an optician so they are not fake - styles were changing so they maybe seemed a bit dated at the time. I still wear them alot, I think they may even be vintage now.

    I was thinking of you and your friend Karen in the past few days, such a brave soul.

    Good Vibes to You, Lise

    1. Thanks, Lise! I was so tickled when I found it. How awesome that you have a pair of vintage Fendi sunglasses! Those are treasures!

      Thank you - I so appreciate that. She felt all the love. Hugs to you.

  8. Karen was in my mind all through Monday. It's a comforting thought to hear she passed peacefully and that you were able to share your grief with your wonderful group of friends. L. and Casey taking care of Nick was such a heartwarming thing to do. I'm sure Karen would have approved of you wearing the green satin Escada coat/dress in her honour. It looks really fab with your freshly "pinked" hair and the tan and copper accessories. I've always admired that massive Fendi belt. What a find it was. I had a good chuckle at the number of times you wore it with that same dress. That last outfit was my favourite! Sending you healing hugs from across the oceans, my dear friend. xxx

    1. Ann, thank you so much for keeping her in your heart and thoughts. She left us surrounded by love. Nick is one of our best friends, and we will take good care of him.

      Karen would definitely have approved of my dress. Thanks so much - I love the belt, and I laughed too at how many times I've done this dress/belt combo! Six is a lot!

      Hugs to you, my dear.

  9. May Karen RIP. I'm so glad you were able to get together both virtually and physically to give each other comfort.

    That belt is a workhorse! What a good find and talk about value for money! It looks fab in every outfit and I'm not surprised you wore it with the same dress; it's a fab dress. too.

    Take care

    1. Thank you, Vronni. I'm so glad she was able to leave on her own terms. We are all gathering regularly to provide comfort to each other.

      Isn't it a great belt? One of my best thrifted purchases ever!

      Hugs to you, my dear.

  10. Dear Sheila,
    Having followed your blog for five years now, your friends are all familiar to me. I send you hugs on the passing of Karen; she was blessed to have her husband and all of you - her friends - to surround her with love.
    Hugs, Laurie

    1. Aw, thanks, Laurie. We're all just one big family here too! I so appreciate your kind words. Hugs to you.

  11. Fabulous belt! And what about that Kenzo dress!! So are you able to go to Karen's funeral or is your part of the world limited yet.

    1. Thanks, Nancy! I know, that's an awesome dress - I'll be wearing it soon as I kept it out in my spring/summer wardrobe.

      I don't know if she's having a funeral (probably not), but there will a more formal gathering when we're able to have more people together in the future.

  12. That dress/coat looks especially awesome with your current bright pink hair! I'm so glad it could help you survive the day. Green is my current favorite color and that deep rich green is just fantastic.

    1. Thanks so much, Charlotte! It really helps me to face the world when I know I look put together. Clothing as Armour!

  13. What a wonderful outfit that first green one is! You look like a princess! I am so glad to see all the outifts from the last! So many lovely looks! I am very glad to hear you will continue blogging and I am sorry to hear about Karen- I will read back to find out more.xx

    1. Thanks, Kezzie! I'm glad you enjoyed the flashback.

  14. That Escada coat/dress is an excellent piece of armour, and that belt has been a workhorse accessory in your wardrobe. I'm so sorry you have lost your friend. I commented on the post you did about Karen which was a lovely tribute to her.

    1. Both such fabulous pieces, Shelley, thanks!

      Hugs to you - thank you for your kind words.

  15. Dear Sheila, love that you keep on blogging and sharing your creativity and 'Clothes As Armour' (which are a need these days), and totally understand that blogging can be a good thing for you (and for us!).
    Love to see you so fabulous in your green dress/coat, love that it's made of satin silk and unwrinkable, this is Quality!. And I'm looking forward to see you styling it in lots of different ways!
    Love your recaps and it's amazing how this belt enhances any printed dress. It's a rocking accessory!
    Sending you hugs and love!,

    1. It is helping me work through this, Monica, as is dressing up. I loved wearing the green dress so much. Isn't the belt wonderful.

      Thank you, my dear. Hugs back.

  16. The Escada coat dress is so incredibly beautiful...plus, that shade of green looks so lovely on you. I also like your belt...and it is great to see the different ways you wore it.

  17. My condolences with the death of Karen. Difficult times ahead. Glad you find comfort in your friends and in blogging.
    The green dress definitely has my red sticker on the back. What a gorgeous piece. I have a very short upper body so that terrific Fendi belt is no good for me otherwise I would have said: “throw that in as well” 😘😇.

    1. It has been hard, Greetje, and I know you just lost a friend too. You get it. Ha, I will mark the dress: "Greetje's!"

  18. Karen would be beaming at your fabulous green outfit. Clothing as armour!

    I love your Fendi belt. Such a lovely colour and I have a thing for huge belts! Take care gorgeous. X

    1. She would have loved that dress for sure, Jess. Thank you - I love a bigass belt.

  19. You know I have been a fan of that belt since day 1, it's spectacular and I can see that you've gotten so much wear out of it!
    That emerald green is a stunning piece my dear friend. Needless to say I am very sorry about Karen.

    1. It really is amazing - I'm still boggled that I found it for only $19.99! I love the emerald dress.

      Thank you, hon. It's been a very sad time for us.


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