Sunday, July 19, 2020

Bigass Parasol Weekend Wrap-Up: Brunch Bubbles; Park Party in Red; Hadfields Flashback; Book Club at the Castle

Hello, my friends! It nearly felt like the "olden days" this weekend: I have three outfits to share with you, plus a big Flashback on a pair of floral shoes, so let's get 'er started. 

L and I had a quiet Friday night, but were up early for appointments at the optometrist. Of course, I dress up for this! 
I adore the "bubble" pattern of this vintage dress - isn't it amazing?

  • Dress - Marjorie Hamilton, vintage 60s, thrifted; last worn here in July 2019 with my Barbie shoes
  • Shoes - Enneagram Individualist, Fluevog; last seen here with the extra ankle strap and neon pink, in June

This is only my second year of having this dress, so it's only been worn a few times, but I just love it.
The pattern, the fit.

The colours!
The "window" in the back!

If it had pockets, I'd give it 5 stars, but it's a 4.5 otherwise.
We walked to town in the morning, then, after our appointments we did a couple of chores before going for brunch at Pluto's.

Both L and I are due for new glasses - his frames are broken and held together with electrical tape, and I want a new pair to swap out with these awesome aqua titanium frames.
I did not know he was there until I uploaded my pictures!

Don't worry, I won't stop wearing them. I love them to bits - I just want options.

Anyway, we had our eye exams done (all good), and prescriptions have been obtained, and next weekend we have a personal co-shopping appointment booked at Goo Goo Goggles to try on oodles of frames to see what we like. So exciting!
We were required to wear masks for the eye exams, so I wore mine to town. I carry my parasol to avoid having to wear (much) sunblock, and because it looks so danged snazzy!

  • Parasol - Chinatown

The stuff:
A lady in Pluto's asked me if these were the Dr. Bonnie Henry design (link here, 'cause I love), but I didn't even attempt to get a pair. These are so comfy to walk in, anyway. As noted, I opted for just the single strap, not the ankle strap, this time.

Simple bling:
We had a gorgeously Real Summer Weekend all weekend, with temps up to the high 20s, and slight breezes.

  • Earrings - vintage fair
  • Turquoise/silver ring - local
  • Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes

After our adventurous morning, we just chilled at home in the afternoon, including a nap, before heading out to Beacon Hill Park in the late afternoon to meet up with our group of friends.
I wore a comfy dress that would work while sitting on the ground and shoes I could walk a long way in. Function first!

  • Dress - Little Moon, consignment; first worn here in March with gold accents
  • Shoes - Down to Earth Hadfields, Fluevog; last worn here (2nd outfit) in March with big black leather for brunch and the last pre-COVID Winesday

I felt absolutely smashing in my vivid red.
I layered a vintage slip under it - although the dress is lined, it's still quite sheer.

I matched my scarf to the shoes - it's threaded through my hair elastic, and then tied in a bow.
My girlfriends were hugely impressed when I started playing Frisbee in this with a bunch of the Ulti guys.

They have never seen me throwing/catching/leaping around. It felt normal to me, but it must have been odd for them.
Of course, I ran after a disc and slipped and fell - these shoes are not cleats! - banging my knee, and face-planting, but the grass was soft, and I was undamaged. Only my pride was bruised.

I carried my paper parasol again.
"You're going out again? What about our nap?"

He'd been sleeping with us earlier. He loves napping with us.

The stuff:
Walking shoes for the trek to and from the park. We hung out for a couple of hours, and then came home and played board games all evening. It was lovely.

Warm bling:
I love wearing all of these things.

  • Amber necklace - vintage 20s, vintage mall, gift from L
  • Amber/silver earrings - vintage, vintage mall, gift from L
  • Brass/copper cuff - Karen's
  • Silver poison ring - Taxco, Karen's
  • Wood Klimt ring - consignment
  • Silk scarf - Ralph Lauren, consignment

Flashback time!

I bought these leather shoes in August 2015 (here) for $71.00 - they predate the opening of our local Fluevog store. This is the only pair of Fluevogs that I own that are not women's - these are men's shoes. I bought them at a local menswear store, Outlooks, while L was buying one of his annual suits (a big sale was on). These were regular $245.00 and were the last pair, a men's size 8 which is around a women's size 10. As I have large feet (9.5-10/40 Euro), and I know Fluevog's sizing is erratic, I tried them on.
Floral lace-ups? Of course, I am going to buy them. Actually, I'm pretty sure L bought these for me. They look somewhat rougher now, as I've worn them a lot, walked in them tons, and Vizzini has chewed on the laces.

As you noticed from the current outfit, I wear them with this Ralph Lauren silk scarf a LOT - they match really, really well.
I wore them twice right away in August 2015, and also with thin anklets, socks or tights for the first several wearings, until they really loosened up.

A more casual outfit.
The only thing I have left from both of those outfits is the shoes (and of course the scarf).

This is in October 2015.
Again with the anklets. That's a previous version of a yellow skirt (I always have at least one).

Again in October 2015 - and again with that scarf.
Even though it's not in some of these specific pictures, it frequently appeared in the Outerwear portion of these outfits. 

I thrifted a belt in the matching leather, but it was poor quality and I didn't keep it long.
This was in November 2015.

I actually feel kind of bad for these shoes - nearly everything I have worn with them is something I've eventually gotten rid of, particularly in the older outfits.
This is from December 2015. I also wore them a lot on the weekend for brunches and for shopping trips. They were immediately good for walking.

In January 2016, worn for a brunch and a Winesday.
I'm surprised I don't have my matching scarf on!

In May 2015, they were part of a mini-capsule
I still have the trousers (they're a bit snug) - this was during a brief Muppet sweater phase.

This was a fun leather top - it's now moved on to another closet.
Also in May 2016.

Who is this?
"Are you daft, Woman? You know who I am."
Also in May 2016.

As is this.
I'm getting a little more adventurous with my colours.

And now I'm dramatic.
Still in that May 2016 capsule.

One last time with the matchy belt in August 2016.
That dress looks better than it actually was.

This has to be a weekend outfit.
This is from January 2017...

...As is this.
I think this was a work outfit.

A comfy outfit in May 2017.
My hair's getting longer!

All ready to go to the Ulti field in August 2017.
I'm wearing the scarf!

From September 2017.
That orange dress was constantly falling down. I spy a Jello Shot necklace!

December 2017.
A rare sighting of me in jeans.

An unsuccessful deployment of cream-coloured tights (ugh) in January 2018.
Ooh, wait till we get to that brocade blazer - I've had that forever! That will be a fun Flashback, come autumn.

There's that scarf again in April 2018.
I still have that suede blazer (it's part of a suit).

A very casual May 2018 outfit.
I look annoyed because this is during my Velvet phase when I eventually became extremely annoyed at all of my velvet and velour for clinging to everything.

And let me assure you, not all my outfits are winners. This is from July 2018.
That is atrocious. I do still have that cardi, but nothing else.

Still trying to work this velvet blazer.
That's from August 2018.

Ready to go vote in October 2018.
I wore those purple/burgundy tights with the shoes three times!

I wore them for lots of walking in January 2019 when I met my Edmonton colleague Ann.
I have everything in this outfit except for the Gaultier shirt, which Yvonne now has.

These shoes rarely get worn to work; as they are so good for long distance walking that I tend to wear them only on weekends.
This is a work outfit from - February 2019. I still have everything in this outfit, and I'll be wearing those gold leather pants soon; we'll do a Flashback on them when I do.

I often wear the matchy scarf dangling down my back - this outfit is from June 2019.
These are different metallic trousers, silver ones.

For a movie, again in June 2019.
Matchy scarf!

You may recognize this outfit from December 2019 from the vest-dress Flashback.
That's a hot pink turtleneck and a red cashmere skirt.

And here's the last time I wore them, in March 2020 for brunch followed by Winesday.
Of course, I wore the scarf with it!

Mathy stuff: Wow, I've worn them 33 times including the current outfit! That's approximately 6 times a year, and averages out to $2.15 per wear. What a bargain! My floral shoes are still going strong, so I'm sure they'll be around for many more outfits.


Since the pandemic, our Book Club has met once, when we gathered at Beacon Hill Park in May (here). This time, we met at Craigdarroch Castle and sat on their rear lawns.
As Book Club is an Occasion, I dressed up. Also, since I prepared for sitting on the grass, I wore something comfortable.

  • Dress - Kenzo, consignment; last seen here in June 2019 with snakes
  • Underdress - Simpli, consignment; purchased here for $15.00
  • Sandals - Sorel; last worn here in May with silk and stripes

I love this fun dress - it's so unusual! It's a very fine cotton, with a plain white cotton lining.
It's also very full, so I have to wear a bigass belt to ensure that I don't get lost in it.
I love the abstract pattern.

I tucked up some of the hemline under my wide belt so that I could show off the asymmetrical sheer underdress that I bought last weekend.
It also gives me a bit of cleavage coverage, so that I don't have to do up the neckline higher.

The underdress helped give it a bit more swoosh.
Swooshing example.

It was a parasol weekend. I really prefer carrying it over any other method of sunblock.
I'm demonstrating the odd construction of the garment there; it doesn't have pockets, but a hand pass-through is apparently part of the design.

As I was attempting to take that picture, I lost my balance.
 Blooper! But I actually kind of like the blurry shot.

The stuff:
These are comfy enough shoes for walking a few blocks. I enjoy the ugliness of them (L hates them).

Mixed metallic bling:
I love that belt - it was an excellent purchase several years ago.

  • Belt - BCBG Max Azria, consignment
  • Silver cuff - vintage, thrifted, Powell River
  • Copper cuff - Karen's
  • Wood/silver earrings - consignment, Powell River

Wait a minute, something's missing.
My necklace!

  • Pendant - POLY, thrifted

I arrived first for Book Club at the Castle, and kicked off my shoes, and plunked myself down under a Gary Oak tree to watch all the people.
The Castle is open again - you have to book your tour time, or wait until they have an available spot.

There were several groups of people chilling out on the rear field here - it's a huge field - waiting to get in.
Caro and Janaki have arrived!

Cat and Mindy found shady spots.
Such a gorgeous day.

A couple of young crows were squawking away on the second-highest chimney pots.
That lower finial is the top of the peaked roof with the two big window arches on the left in these pictures.

Are you good there, Mindy?
Yup, we're all properly distanced.

One more person to arrive - she was finishing the book!
It's Yvonne, and she brought me a spare chair, what a doll. And she has a bag of books slung over her shoulder too - her pick for our next book is "The Overstory" by Richard Powers.

We moved a couple of times to get more sun/less shade, as we sat and chatted and discussed our previous book, "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles, which was Mindy's pick.
Carolyn and Janaki, with more of the field behind us.

Looking south.
 Yvonne and Carolyn.

Wave, everyone!
 What a lovely group! I'm excited to dig into our new book. I'm the Picker next time we meet, so I need to start thinking about what I'm going to inflict on my innocent victims pick.

Carolyn brought her camper in case we needed a washroom, and as she was loading it, I noticed this really OLD "Point of Interest" sign.
That's got to be from at least the 70s! It says:

Craigdarroch Castle
Home of Dunsmuirs
Coat Magnates
Allied with Pioneer
California Titans
and Crocker.
- Victoria Chamber of Commerce

I arrived home to this.
"Feed me. Oh, I also missed you. Rub my tum."

He was blocking my exit from my closet.
"You shall not pass...until - ah, that's the spot!"

And now it's time for me to go enjoy the last rays of the warm sunshine. I hope you all had a lovely weekend!


  1. You have worn those shoes so well - I really need more printed shoes I think!

    I really like that dress on you - how nice you got to enjoy book club outside! Since my neighbour started up the virtual book club over Iso I've been reading so much and really been enjoying getting back into it! I'd love to know which book you pick next! My last read one was "the 5 people you meet in heaven", not a book club one, but once I saw recommended on a blog and I thought sounded interesting. A bit too dark and violent in parts (war experience) for me to recommend to book club but it was nice to try read something a bit different! I'm reading "the vanishing half" now, my pick for book club, another recommendation from a blog, and it's hard to put it down!

    1. I love printed/patterned shoes, Mica - they work just like a patterned scarf for building an outfit around them.

      It's lovely to take our Book Club outside. What a treat! Thanks for the tips on those books!

  2. Your turquoise and pink dress is a knockout and the shoes are so perfectly matched. Even your tattoos match.

    You definitely qualify for the best dressed athlete award! Most folks these days don't put that much effort into a night out so bravo for you! If you hadn't specified that the floral shoes are men's I would never have known; no wonder they are so comfortable. I have a pair of men's slippers, not expensive ones, but they are built differently with far more support and are far more comfy than even the most expensive women's slippers I've owned.

    Your handkerchief hem dress is so pretty and summery. Do you mostly enjoy the book picks? I think it would be interesting to have someone else pick, especially if it was of a genre you don't normally gravitate to. Do you ever hate a book pick and not finish?

    1. Thanks, Nana! I actually do pick patterns for sleeveless garments based on how well they go with my tattoos!

      Aw, thank you! I felt silly for falling. Why is men's stuff so much better made?? It's not fair!

      Thank you - it's hit and miss with the Book Club picks, but we do get to read a lot of stuff many of us would not normally pick. I gravitate to sci fi and fantasy mostly, so my picks often are iffy for some of us. It's better than a bunch of boring books, though. Yes, I've hated books and not finished them!

  3. I LOVE the bubble dress, and those shoes are a perfect match, in color and style. Also really like the Kenzo dress and all the accessories with it. You made some great outfits with the floral flats. Lise

    1. Thanks so much, Lise! I'm happy that I've worn those floral shoes so much!

  4. A full and action-packed weekend, a bit like the old days only with added masks!
    I'm glad you had a sunshine-filled weekend, doesn't it make a difference?
    Loving the Hawaiian dress and that you did sporty stuff in the red one. I can't think of a more perfect choice of footwear with the Kenzo dress than those black sandals, just fab!
    The L photobomb is hilarious and Vizzini, just look at that contented little face.
    That point of interest sign is so cool, I can the American Pickers wanting to buy that. I love a rusted tin sign.
    I'm hoping I find a copy of A gentleman in Moscow in a charity shop if I ever find one open again, it looks very much my kind of thing.

    1. Ha, yes, exactly, Vix! It nearly felt like old times. Less hugging, that's for sure!

      Thank you - the dress is shockingly NOT Hawaiian. Marjorie Hamilton was a Toronto-based Canadian company. Glad you approve of the black footwear.

      L is a silly guy, as is Vizzini.

      I know, totally - I love that show!

      You would like that book - I really enjoyed it. Very nicely written.

  5. What a fun weekend full of adventures you had. Almost like normal, although I'm not sure I even remember what normal felt like. Covid-19 cases are up again here in Belgium, not dramatically so but still worrying enough and preventing me from feeling normal. I love that vintage dress with its bubble pattern. The colours are gorgeous, and the shoes are just perfect with it. Love the parasol too, so snazzy! L. photobombing you made me chuckle :-) New glasses, how exciting! I'm wearing my older pair and the pair I got last year on rotation. It's nice to have options. Your red ruffle dress is another favourite of mine. Ouch about slipping and bruising your pride though. Awkward! How lovely to have Book Club in the castle grounds. The castle does look quite surreal, close up. I'm loving that old point of interest sign, how wonderful that it's still there after all these years. Must be exciting when it's your turn to pick a book. Any ideas yet? xxx

    1. I sometimes forget that things aren't the same, and then, "Oh yeah, I have to wear a mask!" Oh dear, sorry to hear that - we are still doing well here on the Island, but with summer traffic coming and going, we're sure to increase eventually.

      I love that dress too - and the parasol. L is so funny.

      I'm super excited to get new frames.

      Thank you - it's such a gorgeous red! Yes, my leg and elbow are sore today, ow.

      It was so nice to be outside and under the shade of the big oak tree. I have ideas for my next book! It's a secret, though, until I present my pick.

  6. What totally fabulous shoes they both are. Loved the mini dress and the shoes were a perfect match! I just love those floral shoes; I had no idea they were men's shoes. What brilliant outfits you were able to wear with them. If I ever saw a pair like them I'd snap them up in a second!

    Looks like your weekends are almost back to normal....

    Take care

    1. Thanks, Vronni! I know, you would never know they're men's.

      Hoping for that, for sure. Things feel pretty safe around here.

  7. I admired that Kenzo dress before. It's a gorgeous one. I love a uneven hem line. And how fabulous it is to meet friends isn't it! It's the best! I like the idea of a book club. Perhaps I should start one with my friends. Have a great evening!

    1. It really is a beautiful dress, isn't it, Nancy? Thank you! It is so great to be able to have these small gatherings and see our friends. My book club is the best! Go for it!

  8. I seem to so rarely comment these days, but have to chime in here. As always, I love the various ensembles you've created here. And I am reinspired to find some floral shoes like that. . . But mainly I am chiming in to say that I read The Overstory at the beginning of this year--it was a holiday gift from my daughter and son-in-law. I really loved it. I hope you do too!

    1. Thank you, Linda! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I'm excited to read the book - glad you enjoyed it!

  9. Beautiful outfits all of them. I do like that bubble pattern on the dress. It makes me think sixties. You look fabulous in that dress. I also love the red dress so much. This shade of red looks amazing on you. I like to wear slips under dresses too, even when the dresses aren't transparent I like how the slips just make everything nice smooth.
    It was fun seeing all the different ways you styled those shoes. Fabulous shoes.

    1. Thank you, Ivana - yes, the dress is from the 60s, authentic vintage! I love red, and this is easily one of my very favourite ones I've had. I also love slips for their magical smoothing properties.


  10. So many fabulous outfits! I love the first two dresses!

    Emma xxx

  11. My husband is directly related to the Huntington family, one of the "pioneer California Titans" mentioned on that old sign. I believe it is on his mother's side. He is also related to William, the future king of England, via the Spencer family who were 10th cousins or thereabout. He is not at all impressed or interested in his pedigree, and I am only related to peasants, farmers, and associates to Chicago mobsters (I'm a mutt) but it's all good.

    1. Wow, what a small world, eh, Gerrilyn? That's so funny. My family are all mutts too, ha ha!

  12. I love your bubble dress, and those shoes are just perfect with it. The book club dress is fab too, I love that punky-witchy look.

    1. Thanks, Mim! Such fun shoes. I love that look too - I love getting a little weird.

  13. I love your floral flat shoes but more conservative as I am, I love them best with trousers, like the January 2016 and December 2017. The dress and shoes of your top outfit are really good.
    Your dress, belt and shoes for the Book Club are so good. I love the way your tatoos get the stage, the cut and pattern of the dress. The belt has my undying love from the first time I saw it and I disagree with L about the shoes. They are perfect with the dress.

    1. Thanks, Greetje! It's fun to see all the different outfits, isn't it?

      I liked that outfit a lot too - it doesn't get as much love as the easier (in my eyes) outfits. I actually buy things that will complement my tattoos. L is stodgy when it comes to shoes - point toes or NO!

  14. I'm impressed to see how much wear you got out of those floral print shoes - I wouldn't have thought that a patterned shoe would go with so many outfits.

    I am so in love with that pink and turquoise vintage dress - every time you post a photo of you wearing it I smile. Being able to have outdoor book club meetings must add a bit of normalcy to life at the moment. I've have had a couple of visits with a friend on my porch (there is only room for one other person if we are social distanced) which has been lovely, but I've also spent a lot of time on my porch alone reading or watching our neighbourhood birds and squirrels.

    1. I am too! Floral shoes are not what springs to mind when one thinks "versatile"!

      I know, me too - it's such a gorgeous piece. Yes, being able to meet up has been amazing, and our schedule helps things feel a bit more normal, for sure. That's great that you've been able to have visits. I spend a lot of alone time on my deck these days.

  15. woww, what a lovely post!, I love your bubbles dress and fab shoes combo, looking gorgeous!. Also lovely red dress and stunning jewellery, you rock in this outfti!.
    And so entertaining to see how many times you have worn these shoes!, they're one of my fav ones from your collection!.
    Glad to see you enjoying your Book Club in the park, (such a great idea to have a bathroom, you're really organised people!). This assymetric dress is so edgy and cool, love its steampunk vibe too!

    1. Thanks so much, Monica! I know, I love looking back at the old outfits. Caro is so prepared with the camper! Thanks!


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