Friday, June 12, 2020

Friday Striped Pirate, Orange Desmonds Bigass Flashback, and Cat Therapy

Hello, my friends! Friday's here and I'm ready for the weekend.
Today's forecast: rain, rain, rain. Welcome to spring on the We(s)t Coast.

  • Merino wool sweater - Lord & Taylor, thrifted; last seen here in a house outfit in April
  • Pants - Eleonora Amadei; purchased here for $27.99
  • Shoes - Big Presence Desmond, Fluevog; re-waxed here, and last seen here in August 2019 for my last day of work with WW (Weight Watchers)
  • Leather coat (below) - Jeno de Paris, vintage 70s, thrifted; last worn here in May

It's been a rough week for us, emotionally. Our dear friend Karen has been dealing with the resurgence of her breast cancer (from 15 years back), and it's metastasized to her lungs, liver and brain, Stage 4. She's been undergoing some treatments, but is now too weak to continue. We are not hopeful and are taking things day by day.

Which is why I needed Clothing As Armour today. A hug from my soft, oversized wool sweater.
I wore a cami under this as well.

My new-to-me striped trousers guarantee that no one will be looking at my "I'm trying to smile but am really devastated inside" face.
I have to admit, these are a blast to wear.
They have slashed legs to just above the knee, so when I walk they are all SWOOSH SWOOSH SWOOSH.
52-year-old knees. Scandalous!

L said I looked like Anne Bonny, a famous female pirate (Wiki here). Yup, I think Anne would definitely have worn these pants. Yarr! I'm a city pirate.
Leather coat due to the horrid rain today.
It was actually cold this morning and I had to button up!

  • Wool fedora - vintage, thrifted
  • Scarf - Smoking Lily, thrifted

The stuff:
First wearing of my orange Desmonds since I did my re-waxing on them and...I had substantial cracking of the wax around my toe area on the right shoe (the left one is totally fine). I expected that, since they are fabric shoes, but they'll need some more work before they are wearable again. I"m going to try blasting them with the hairdryer to see if that helps. These might have to go into the "well, they're wrecked anyway, may as well do something fun with them" category for an Art Project. What would you do to them, craft-wise? Rhinestones? Decoupage?

We're going to take a look at all the times I've worn these shortly.

Square bling:
Just a few bold pieces. The gel bracelet is made from silicon and is squishy. You can see where some of the wax flaked off on the top shoe, that dark mark.

  • Cage cuff - Bauxo
  • Silicon cuff - Materia Design, thrifted
  • Earrings - vintage, vintage fair
  • Lapis lazuli ring/Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes

I caught Vizzini snoozing on the deck last night:
"Who goes there?"

You can tell I surprised him, because his tail is straight.

And now he's just chill.
"Oh, it's just the Woman, bothering me again."

Flashback Time!

I bought these awesome shoes online from Fluevog before we had a store in Victoria - Fluevog is the only company I ever buy from online. I tend to watch for my "wish list" shoes to go on sale and then grab them, so these were probably marked down to $199.99 (my magic Fluevog number) before I bit. I purchased them in April 2014, which is before I started recording the prices for everything, but I don't typically pay more than $200 on sale.

By the way, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to Mica, of Away from the Blue (here), who is my Flashback inspiration. She's my OG blogger friend in Australia, and the guru of  "30 Ways to Wear" items (series link here). I'll be doing less shopping than I used to this year, and looking back at the workhorses and favourite pieces in my wardrobe is encouraging me to shop my wardrobe more. I'm glad you folks are enjoying Flashbacks - and you can thank Mica!

Ready? I've worn these orange shoes a LOT, so there are tons of pictures. See if you can guess how many times without counting the pictures.

I first wore them in April 2014, over 6 years ago! This blue vintage 80s silk top was worn with these shoes twice, and I do miss that skirt, even though it ripped and snagged like a beast.
Buying a bright pair of shoes can be scary if you're used to just black. Before I had a lot of orange jewelry/accessories, I matched these to my MAC "Morange" lipstick. I ended up giving the lippy to a friend, because it made my teeth look yellow. But I kept an eye out for orange accessories and patterns.

I loved these shoes so much, I wore them 3 times that April - impressive!
With a vintage 80s strapless dress and a belted cardi.

And with a soft orange and cream mix.
Ally, do you recognize your ties? Megan Mae made this obi belt from two neckties.

In May 2014, with my Spanish Ladies dress (which I've had since 2010), and layers both under and over it.
"I ought to be in more pictures."

And a cat - the best accessory (says he).

I loved this awesomely ruffled vintage top, but it really didn't go with very much. It's very Sybil Fawlty.
This is in June 2014, and you'll see that purple leather skirt again.

I'd completely forgotten about this vintage dress! I only wore it a couple of times, this likely the last time, in August 2014.
As you can see, I've acquired an orange vintage 80s leather belt. Matchy!

My lovely Desigual dress (back when they made amazing quality garments) is also from 2010.
This is from September 2014. The tulle bit sticking out is a sheer underskirt that I've added for a bit of visual length.

Another wearing in September, with the orange as an accent.
That's my previous version of my recently-worn Armani blazer - this was a cream one by Club Monaco. I also wore this sequined skirt until all the bits started falling off it. I'm hard on my clothes.

Longtime readers will recognize this piece, my Urban Camo dress, which I still have.
Hair-wise, I see I've switched my part to the opposite side for extra volume, and to show off the blonde streak in my bangs. This is from October 2014, before I separated my wardrobe into cold/hot seasons.

From December 2014 - I had this shirt for years, as part of my Cowgirl collection (I still like to dress in cowgirl outfits!).
That skirt is very short, but I had a matching floofy underskirt that I always wore for modesty. When I gave the skirt away, the underskirt went with it.

This was in February 2015, with another gorgeous Desigual piece, this glorious coat.
The coat has bits of orange in the pattern - you can see a bit of it in the hem.

I matched the shoes to the orange feather (unseen here) on my custom-made hat for this Art Gallery outfit.
"What the...?"

That's a killer sexy dress - I want to wear it again, but it requires a party (it's nearly backless).

Here's that blue silk blouse again in April 2015, along with that same obi-made-of-neckties.
I'd found a pair of orange earrings at a vintage fair by this time. It's a set!

With a sweaty-making vintage dress in June 2015. I have purple hair now!
I'm feeling warm just looking at that! It must have been one of our classic "June-uary" days, like today.

My "stained glass" dress is also a longtime favourite - this is from July 2015, and you'll see this dress again later.
With the match orange belt, of course.

From September 2015, when I was in my pussy-bow blouse phase.
I loved those trousers - they were wool, fully-lined, with keys and locks printed all over them. Not super-flattering though.

Oh, I see I've found my current orange earrings, these feather-light wooden ones picked up for a dollar at a vintage expo around this time.
I no longer have anything other than the shoes and earrings (that awesome belt broke when I unpacked it this year, aw).

Moving into 2016, this is a January outfit.
I loved that bomber jacket and wore it until it got fuzzy.

February 2016 - I finally parted with this awesome top recently, which I picked up in Vancouver at the ginormous Blogger Meet-Up in 2015 (bigass write-up here). It was yellowed and very frayed.
The skirt was neoprene and I didn't have it for long.

I love this mix of soft orange and purple worn in April 2016, and enjoyed it so much, I did a bolder orange/purple again later that month.
 That's my cashmere t-shirt - I still have it.

Here's the Spanish Ladies dress again. My un-inked arms look weird to me now - so bare! - I got my upper arm tattoos done in 2017 for my 50th birthday.
 Simpler styling. I need to wear that dress again soon!

And here is our second orange and purple outfit - recognize the purple skirt? This is the second (of 3!) outfits that feature it, and this is the second appearance in a month of my cashmere tee.
I matched everything to the scarf, so I'm wearing a fuchsia belt. I love this look - I should wear it again, since I still the three main pieces.

June 2016, and here's that dress again.
"And me, don't forget me."

As much as I loved that strapless dress, I was always having to hoik it up (I'm pretty sure it's pinned to my bra here).

Here's my full "set" of orange accessories: earrings, belt and shoes.
This is also from June 2016. That dress had zero stretch. Peace out!

While I had purple hair, I bought a lot of purple items to go with it. You'll see this lavender ruffled jacket again, but this is from September 2016.
The necklace has purple and orange in it. I miss these culottes! They were so awesome. I do regret not keeping them.

This is from November 2016 - I'd bought this necklace with bits of orange in it, and was attempting to match the yellow, magenta and cobalt blue with my outfit separates.
That's probably my least favourite outfit of this entire grouping - it doesn't help that the colours are off in this photo. It's just a little blah.

You'll recognize this Desigual dress from a previous Flashback (here); I've worn it twice with these shoes. I started growing my hair out in late 2016 - this is from January 2017.
The shoes are an unexpected extra pop of colour.

This is one of the photo-booth pictures from the Victoria Film Festival Opening Night Gala. I wore a truly "out there" outfit (the theme was Floral), including wearing my shoes with "I'm a Delicate F**king Flower" socks.
My dear Karen...This is one of my favourite pictures of us together. We tend to snort and giggle together when we're partying.

This was in April 2017 - that lavender jacket again with the purple/orange necklace. I like this classy outfit.
My very old houndstooth skirt will be up for a Flashback at some point - it's been in my wardrobe for close to a decade, I'm sure.

My zigzag dress that I wore last week was also worn back in May 2017. I have my current pair of glasses on here - I'm due for a new pair this summer! Maybe I need orange glasses? Maybe pink?
This is my "outerwear" look, but the overall outfit was just earrings/dress/shoes. Easy-peasy.

I passed this Ted Baker sundress along to Caro a couple of years ago - I love seeing her wear it.
This was in July 2017 - such a pretty summer look.

I love a clash of colours, like this hot pink cashmere top with bright orange, in August 2018.
That jungle skirt was a favourite for a couple of years, and this is the first appearance of my "jello shots" necklace (picked up for $5.00 at My Sister's Closet - that's been a great cost-per-wear).

And there's that dress again, this time with the orange belt.
This is in March 2018. My hair suddenly got a lot longer! I'm also starting to fade the colour out by dyeing it a lighter purple over the next year, and as it faded, letting my grey come in. It took me about a year to get to all grey.

An unexpected autumnal palette from April 2018
I think the sleeveless sweater is the only thing I have left from this outfit.

There's my stained glass dress again.
 One yellow and one orange shoe, for Pride Week, in July 2018.

The 3rd and final look with the purple leather skirt, from August 2018. My hair's getting lighter, and I've got bangs/fringe.
"What the heck?"

Best accessory: a startled kitty. I also have the orange jello shot necklace on there, but it's hidden in this picture.

When I shop and look at patterns, I think about my coloured shoes - so this jumpsuit was a natural match for my orange belt and shoes. I can only see the cuff bracelet there, but that's a set too, of cuff and ring, worn in all of the next outfits.
I need to wear this jumpsuit again soon - this was in April 2019. Most of the darker colour is gone from my hair there.

Again, the jello shot neckace is hidden by this curious kitty.
But it's there, matching the shoes, in May 2019.

And here's the last time I wore these shoes, in August 2019.
I call this my Firecracker dress, and yes, it's spectacular. Must wear it again!

Well, there you go! I was shocked to count these up - today's outfit marks my 40th wearing of these shoes, which brings them down to...$5.00 per wear. I'm thrilled with that! Mica, I hope you're impressed!

And now...some more cat pictures. Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend, my friends. Again, if you can spare some good vibes (or prayers, if that rings your bell), please send them Karen's way.
"I follow the sun."

"Not feeling social."

"Nope, go away."


  1. Oh I'm so sorry to hear about Karen Sheila. It's not a nice thing to go through but having to stay distanced through it all makes it even harder for you all. I completely understand the need for bright clothes to distract and I hope it worked and you had an okay day!

    Also thank you very much for the shout out, I'm flattered! And I am impressed with 40 wears for the shoes - I hope you can fix the patches you did with the hairdryer, they are a great pair and even if you can't make the melted wax work I know you will suitably convert these in some other way to hide the patches!

    1. Thank you, Mica - it's been horrible to deal with, more for her, though!

      Well, you're one of the OG bloggers, and the 30 wears is one of the things you're known for, so I had to spread the love around.

      I hope I"ll be able to fix the shoes some more, but we'll see. I'm tempted by rhinestones!

  2. Sweet Shelia, I am truly sorry about everything that Karen is battling and how it is impacting both her and all those who care about this wonderful woman. Please know that I am always just an email away if you would ever like to chat privately about anything that you may be experiencing during this immensely difficult time.

    Many, many hugs & shared wishes for the best outcome possible,
    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Thank you, Autumn, I appreciate your kind words, and your offer of an ear. Hugs to you, my dear.

  3. I'm as ready for the weekend as you are!

    Love the bold pants. The slit is cool. SWOOSH SWOOSH SWOOSH. I have pirate in my blood so I get the Anne reference. Years ago I searched for all known female pirates as I looked for role models.

    So sorry to hear about Karen. I wish her the best. My mom died from the same thing (breast cancer that metastasized). Tough condition.

    1. Gosh, bring it on! Thanks, hee hee, so swooshy! Have you seen "Black Sails"? Anne Bonney is a character in that show. Worth watching!

      Thank you, hon, I appreciate that. Cancer is just f**king awful.

  4. I am so very sorry to hear that your dear friend is so very ill. What an awful, difficult time for her and for all of you who love her.

    Your orange shoes have certainly been troopers through the years. You worked so hard to repair them. If the hair dryer doesn't do the trick perhaps a hot iron and some wax paper?

    The new pants are perfect for summer with their built in air conditioning!

    1. Thank you, Nana, it has been rough, and I'm sure will get harder, as we all grieve with her and Nick.

      They're great shoes, and I'm a bit bummed that they cracked so badly. I don't own an iron anymore, but I'm sure I could find something.

      Thanks, ha ha!

  5. Sending good thoughts to you and your dear friend Karen.

  6. Oh gosh... I soooo need orange shoes. I am surprised you wore them outside when rain was expected. Tricky. I hope you will get them back to looking new again. Don't expect any creative ideas from me.
    As for your friend... that is devastating. I cannot think of anything that would console.

    1. I can't believe you don't have orange shoes, Greetje! I did not wear these in the rain (I have in the past, though, which is partly why they are in rough shape). I wear runners when I have to be outside in the weather.

      Thanks, Greetje.

  7. It has been raining on and off here too, although today was bright and sunny again. Whatever the weather, you are bringing Summer to our doorsteps with this gorgeous outfit. Those fabulous striped trousers book-ended by orange put a really big smile on my face. That fabulous trench and fedora are perfect with it as well. Clothing as armour indeed. What devastating news about your friend Karen, though. You're smiling but I can see the sadness in your eyes. I wish I could come and hug you in person, but as that is not possible, I am sending a virtual one instead. I loved seeing the flashback featuring your orange shoes. What a fabulous parade of outfits! I'm sure you'll find a way to breathe new life into them. Can't wait to see what you'll subject them to! Wishing you a lovely weekend in spite of it all. xxx

    1. Eh, it's spring, it changes. I accept that, Ann. Thank you so much! Yes, I'm bookended, and well-armoured here too.

      Thank you - yes, it's been a pall of sadness for all of us. I feel the hug, thank you, my dear.

      Those are a lot of outfits! I am shocked at how many times I've worn these shoes.

  8. Oh Sheila, I'm so sorry to read about Karen. It brings back memories of my Mum. I'm thinking of you, her and her partner. Cancer is a bastard.
    I love that picture of you and her dressed to the nines.
    Your trousers are fantastic and so are your orange shoes. My orange fedora is one of my most worn hats, I think orange must be a neutral, it goes with so many things.
    Big love and virtual hugs to you, Vizzini and L. xxxx

    1. It's just sh*te, f**king cancer! I'm so sorry about your mum, Vix.

      That's such a great picture - it makes me smile whenever I see it. Thank you! I need an orange fedora, for sure.

      Hugs back to you, thank you, my dear.

  9. I'm sorry to hear about your friend Karen. Breast cancer runs in my family, I know it can be hard. For cancer to return after such a long time...I know it can happen, but it sucks that it can. It must be really hard for all of you.

    Your urban pirate styling is fabulous. I love your striped pants! The orange heels are very pretty. It was fun seeing how you wore them in the past. I love fashion flashbacks. I try to do posts where I show different ways to wear something too, I think it makes people realize there are always so many ways to wear an item.

    1. It's just horrible, Ivana, no two ways about it. We're all trying to talk and process our grief, and seeing each other as we can (Zoom, distanced).

      Thank you so much! I am enjoying the flashbacks, and the readers seem to love them too.

  10. Sheila, I'm so sorry about your friend, Karen. I send prayers for her and her loved ones.

  11. Sorry to hear about your friend Karen. Cancer is so devastating to those who have it and their loved ones.

    I love that you are cheering yourself up with your outfits. You are so creative styling your orange shoes in so many ways! x

    1. Thank you, Jess. It's been really rough on all of us, especially her and Nick.

      I have to do what I can, and take care of myself too. I'm so surprised I've worn these shoes so many times!

  12. Love the orange shoe flashback! My favorite outfits are the ones paired with the blue silk blouse. Orange + blue is one of my favorite combos.

    I'm SO sorry to hear about your friend. Sitting around waiting for news is beyond the worst. Sending all the good vibes your way and to your friend!

    1. Orange and blue is a great combo - I sweated/ruined that blouse, unfortunately.

      Thank you - we're just kind of waiting for the day when she lets us know she is done.

  13. I was thinking of your friend Karen the last few weeks every time I visit your blog. But didn t dare to ask how she was doing. I am so very very sorry. I know how it feels to have to lose a friend. I hope you are able and alowed to visit her. I am giving you a huge hug for support.

    1. Thanks, Nancy. It's been there all the time, of course. I appreciate your hug. We're going to visit her soon.

  14. Sheila I am so sorry about your friend, I'll keep her, as well as her friends and family, in my thoughts.

  15. Sheila, I am so sorry to hear about Karen.Sending hugs. XXXOOO

  16. Virtual hugs for you and Karen! The flashback was fun today. Seems like orange shoes make for colorful outfits! Also, I love your new pirate pants.

    1. Thank you, Charlotte! I know she's feeling the love. I'm glad you enjoyed the flashback, and the pirate pants (yar!).

  17. Glad that you wore this fab colorful outfit, as sometimes Clothing As Armour is the one thing we can do. Sorry to read such bad news.
    And I totally agree that these are pirate pants and even more fabulous because they swoosh!. Lovely outfit, fab color combo and love how your leather coat enhances every color!
    I'm loving your orange shoes and how versatile they are actually. Lovely recap!. I think that I love them particularly with colorful dresses, these Desigual dresses or coats or the stained glass one, but also love the purple leather skirt (such a fab color), and a huge fan of your firecracker dress!
    Sending Good Vibes, dear lady!

    1. It's been such a difficult time for all of us. Clothing As Armour works for me. Swooshy pants help!

      Thank you! I love these shoes, and hope that I'll be able to do something with them in the future. It's fun to see all those dresses, isn't it?

      Thank you, Monica, we sure do need them.

  18. Clothing as armour is a good ploy to divert attention away from your sorrow. You do look stunning in these new striped pants and the woolly sweater works perfectly.

    Your heart must be breaking as you watch your dear friend battle on like this. Be brave for her and yes, we'll all pray for her too xxx

    1. I've been deploying Clothing As Armour frequently lately. Thank you, my dear.

      Yes, it's been so hard, and her battle has been so very brief (less than 3 months). Thank you, Anna. Hug.

  19. I'm so sorry about your friend - cancer just fucking sucks. Two of my friends and my mother have had breast cancer and it is a bitch, no doubt about it. I hope you get to spend some time with her despite the COVID-19 restrictions.

    Those orange shoes have been around the block several times. The pants are marvelous, excellent "clothing as armour".

    1. It's really the worst, isn't it? There will be no more times with her, sadly.

      Yes, isn't that awesome!? I enjoyed the pants - lots of fun to wear.

  20. I am sorry to hear about Karen, you are wise to take one day at a time in these situations.
    I am in awe at how many times you've worn those shoes! Remind me of my yellow Tsubos which had a long life in my closet.

    1. Thanks, hon, I appreciate that. Yes, I thought of my Tsubos too.


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