Thursday, September 17, 2020

Smoggy Shop; Lark Dress and OTK Boot Flashbacks

Despite the horrid fog this morning, which melted away into...more smoke, I ventured to town to get groceries (delivered later) and to have a browse in Flavour Upstairs. 

I got up at my usual "work time" (go, me!), got dressed and worked on this post while the cleaners did their thing (go, cleaners!).
I haven't worn this dress yet this season, so time for an outing.

  • Dress - Rachel Roy, thrifted; last seen here (4th outfit) in July 2019 for 
  • Vest - Religion, consignment; last worn here in August in a neon pirate outfit
  • Boots - BCBG Max Azria; last seen here in July with silk chartreuse

My view of the Castle this morning: 
What castle? It's cleared up a bit since then, but this is way too thick for me to do my usual Mental Health Walk (the huffing and puffing increases particulate matter in your lungs). I should be okay for more of a shopping pace over a longer duration - my goal is the same amount of exercise. Shopping totally counts! 

I threw the vest on at the last minute - I felt like I needed another layer. 
I like it! This is a good way to fall-ify (totally a word) a summer dress. 

And this is most definitely a summer dress. 
It's very light, long sleeved for sun/tattoo coverage. We'll be having a Flashback on it shortly.

I was ashamed to see all those creases down the back (I keep the vest folded in my closet).
I took it off and gave it a good steaming so that I'm presentable in public. 

Here's the look with the vest off. 
I have a pale blue cami under it for cleavage coverage, and a black half-slip for undercracker coverage. 

Masked up, of course. 
Added bonus of a bit of protection from inhaling the wildfire debris in the air. 

The stuff: 
I bought these boots with the express aim of having walkable over-the-knee (OTK, as the cool kids say) black leather boots, and we shall also Flashback on them in a bit. 

Turquoise bling: 
Aw, Karen's pendant. Karen was a maven at shopping, so I had her with me for good luck. 

  • Earrings - used furniture store
  • Silver/turquoise pendant - Mexican, Karen's
  • Fulvia ring - Wendy Brandes

Shopping Treasures!

Did I find anything shopping? Silly question! 

After my grocery shop, I strolled down to Flavour Upstairs. As soon as I walked in, I saw this awesome belt. 
Big shiny things, medallions, studs? Be still, my heart! 

And it's real leather. The brand is Mudd (such a 90s grunge kind of name!).
A dig around on the Interwebz reveals this is probably from the late 90s to early 00s. That seems right - it sits low on the hips. 

I realized after I tried it on that it was missing its loop - this thing (screenshot from The Google):
But you know I will make do: 
Elastic band to the rescue! KLASSY.
I was very happy with $13.00 for it. The company Mudd isn't in business anymore, but I imagine a leather belt with a bunch of shiny gewgaws on it would have been around the $50 range at least, 20+ years ago. 

Of course, I grabbed this Wonder Woman t-shirt as soon as I saw it! 
Strangely, this started a run of red-coloured items in my shopping haul. 

It was $19.99, but this same shirt retails for $32.82 at the DC website. 
XL? Must be kids' sizing. It's not baggy. 

My around-the-house clothes collection is getting a new pair of stretchy jeans. These replace my leopard jeans that I wore in public a few times, but are now worn out. 
These are a woven - not printed! - snakeskin pattern. Nice flares! 

They are by Buffalo David Bitton, which has been in Montreal, Canada, for 30 years. These jeans are actually made in Canada, which is rare these days. Their jeans retail for $89-99.00.
These had been marked down a couple of times, from $29.99 to $19.99. 

I admit that I bought this tunic-dress thing for the pattern. 
I LOVE that pattern. It really appeals to me. Very Marimekko. Note that it, too, has red in it. 

It's a thick 100% cotton, almost a denim weave. 
That curved thing there is the hip pocket - there's one on the other side too. 

The mullet hem. 
It's a strong print - it nearly goes all the way through the fabric. 

I have no idea what the brand is, but it's not a high-end one. Look at that shoddy seam on the left upper corner. Tsk! 
It was $32.99, which *shrug* I guess is okay?

Flush with my victory at Flavour Upstairs, I ventured to the big Women In Need (WIN) store on Pandora. I have not been there since before the COVID lockdown in March, so I was excited to see what they had. 

WIN has closed their fitting rooms - you are not allowed to try on anything other than shoes (with a sock/stocking). I definitely bought only things I absolutely loved and for prices I was willing to take a risk on.

I started in the scarf area, where I found this lovely silk scarf in a bin. 
That's folded in half - the pattern continues on the other end. 

Beautiful, tight hand-rolled edges. 
There's where the content label was - I suspect it said "100% silk".

Pierre Cardin! Online research indicates that this is a vintage label (the signature was used from the 50s into the 70s). This scarf is probably the 1970s based on that groovy pattern. 
For $6.95! Grailed and Farfetch have silk scarves by Pierre Cardin from this era listed between $76-80.00. Score!

I found another scarf, but this one's made of fleece. 
That is also folded in half, and yes, those are smiling RED lipsticked mouths. 
Complete with teeth! 

I was thrilled to find the Smoking Lily label on the fleecy side. The scarf is made of rayon from bamboo and cotton/lycra. 
No idea when this was made (they've been around for decades in Victoria), but I'm sure this big snuggly wrap was more than $6.95 originally. 

The red streak continues, with another Smoking Lily item, and the first "I hope it fits" item. 
It is a dress, and like much of Smoking Lily's clothing, it's rather sack-like on the hanger. There is an extra layer of a waistband, around the middle.  

I can't tell what's the front or back. 
I suspect that the second image is the front, as it has more greyhounds on it. 

See them? 
I recognize the elaborate "cross stitch" look of the floral pattern - I used to have a corduroy dress by Smoking Lily from the early 00s that had that image silk-screened on the back. 

I used to have a greyhound print tee that I bought new from them in 2013 at a sample sale (here for the post, here for just the tee, which was $20).
I think the WIN store does not know how much Smoking Lily dresses sell for new. 
The last t-shirt fabric dress of theirs that I bought new (this one) was $68.00 - this was marked at $11.95! Their dresses are now $98-150.00 new. 

*drum roll* It fits! 
Post-shopping dead-eyed stare. The flap works ruched up around the top of the hips. This will look better once I've styled it - if not, I'll wear it around the house. It's incredibly soft - I sleep in my old Smoking Lily rayon/bamboo tees. 

Another red dress! This stood out due to the cotton fabric and the structured fit. 
That neckline is very vintage-inspired. 

A matching V in the back! I swoon!
It zips up the back, and has two ties on the sides. On the hanger, these were done up tightly in back. 

The fabric is 100% cotton - no stretch! - so I really checked it carefully across my boobs, waist and hips and crossed my fingers. 
There is a woven-in polka dot pattern - a bit hard to see here, sorry. 

The brand is Heartbreaker, and that domain from their label is no longer in use, as they have changed their brand name to Heart of Haute (link here ' to their Dresses page, cause I love, and let's drool over the lovely vintage-y looks). 
It's made in the USA (they are big on sustainability), and this probably would have been around $120.00 new. It's a bargain for $11.95!

But does it fit??
YES, thank goodness. I tied the front, but I think I might remove them so that I can play with belts, and belt it where I want. I love the neckline and the sleeves. It could only be better if it had pockets. 

The last thing I found was this vest, intended for my Mental Health Walks once it starts getting chilly out. I like being able to keep my arms free for temperature control. 
And it's RED, really a bright orangey-red. Going for visibility here in the coming grey(er) days.

It zips up the front, with snaps. 
And the side pockets also zip (nice for not losing my ID and keys while walking). 

It's by Joe Fresh, so not a high-end brand, but it IS filled with down and feathers, not polyester. That makes a big difference for me. 
$9.95 seems like a bargain - their polyester-filled ones are $39.00 new. 

And does it fit? 
It does! Very Klassy look over the red dress there, Sheila. 

I also swung by Mango's (and popped into the Fluevog store to scope out the Fall 2020 designs), and picked up another Au Noir mask. 
It was $22.99 and the lovely lady there gave me a 10% discount, as I've been trying to steer my work colleagues to their store (support downtown business!). Order your own here (link 'cause I love - not to get discounts!). But that was really nice - thank you! 

Phew, all shopped out. Time for Flashbacks!

Flashback: Rachel Roy Lark Dress

I bought this cute little frock in Sidney in June 2017 here for $6.00. Yes, $6.00! 
The Thrifting Gods smiled on Cat, Elaine and I that day. Cat, we need to go to Sidney again! 

I wore it to work for my first outfit, in June 2017.
One of the ladies in my WW meeting that evening informed me that the birds are horned larks, hence, the Lark Dress. 

As there's a bit of turquoise in the pattern, that is my usual go-to for accessorizing.
This is a weekend post-brunch shopping outfit from August 2017. I nearly always wore this on weekends after its first outing - it was the perfect dress to wear to the Ulti field (which is why one of the reasons why I haven't worn it this summer - no Ulti).

Speaking of...
That's an Ulti outfit from May 2018. 

And this is a shopping outfit from August 2018.
Not good shopping shoes - I gave those to Cat. 

And this is the last time I wore it, in July 2019 for a quiet Canada Day brunch and shop. 
Minimal styling - the dress does all the work. 

Mathy stuff: Although this is only my 6th time wearing this dress, I'm already at $1.00 per wear! Woot! I debated moving it to the giveaway pile last year, but hung onto it specifically for shopping/Ulti. I loved wearing it again today, so another reprieve has been earned. 

Flashback: BCBG Max Azria Over-the-Knee Black Boots

As I mentioned earlier, I specifically bought these leather boots as a basic, functional item in my wardrobe. I have a lot of shoes/boots that are "icing" in my wardrobe, but these definitely fall into the "cake" category: an excellent basic. 

I did a lot of scouting in local shoe stores before spotting these - they were the last pair! They are a rare retail purchase, but I knew it would be difficult to find the style and look I wanted second-hand. I bought them here for $206.00 (regular $411.00) at the mall BCBG store (now closed) in February 2016. 
The front of the foot and the shaft are soft leather, but the back of the foot/shaft are a stretch synthetic - this gives them a fantastic fit (especially when one has muscular calves), and keeps them from sliding down (as OTK boots can do). 

First wearing in February 2016, with my Florence shiny dress. 
I love tall boots for making short skirts feel less short - I have purple tights on there. 

I wore them again with this dress, but it felt too long. 
This was also in February. Watch for lots of short skirts ahead. 

There we go! I wore my new boots four times in March 2016. 
That cashmere sweater was worn hundreds of times - once the moths got it, I wore it at home. Holey cashmere is the best in the winter. 

I adore this outfit - it still feels very me. 
I have moved that blouse along, but I still have everything else. 

Still in February, I found a firm friend for the boots in this Kenzo fleece skater dress. 
Purple tights and a yellow leather jacket. Love. 

And still in March 2016, a more spring-y outfit. 
Same short orange skirt - it had a lovely boucle (boo-CLAY!) texture, but pulled apart at the seams after many enthusiastic wearings.

I rescued this plaid dress from the giveaway pile in the spring of this year, but here it is in October 2016 (I must have packed the boots away for spring/summer that year). 
Another sweater with a date with moths and my house-jeans in its future. 

This is a goofy outfit (and goofy picture), also from October 2016. 
I'm in a corporate-branded tee, and my Dolce & Gabbana skirt for working at a breakfast at the local homeless shelter (we served/fed over 200 people!). I bussed tables. 

In November 2016, with a former favourite faux-leather-fronted sweater. I didn't wear that sequined plaid skirt very much. 
I still have my "Mr. T" chain necklace, though! 

Here's the Kenzo dress again in December 2016. I don't think I've ever worn any other shoes with it! 
We'll have to check when I do its Flashback this winter. It's a very WARM dress to wear, so it only gets worn on very cold days. 

Also in December 2016, with that shiny dress again. 
My Star Trek pin - L and I did a short trip to Seattle earlier that month,when I bought it. 

I love this "Darth Sheila" outfit, from January 2017.
You know I still have that silk/velvet duster! 

This outfit from February 2017 startled me: I had completely forgotten about this crazy kimono-style jacket. 
Yvonne has that belt now. 

There's my "Buffy" leather slip dress, in October 2017 (again, I've packed the boots away for 6 months).  
I am looking forward to seeing that dress again.

Of course, I had to wear the boots with my PANK dress! This was in November 2017.
Speaking of dresses I'm looking forward to seeing again.

Hello, it's the Kenzo dress...again! 
It's December 2017 and it must be a very cold day. 

This little bit of badassery is what I wore to see The Pack AD in concert in January 2018. 
I'm wearing ORANGE LEATHER SHORTS (sorry, they always insist on all-caps). I still have all of that stuff. 

With my pouffy All Saints skirt in March 2018. 
That jacket is suede, and I have the matching skirt - it's a suit! 

Deja skirt - this is in September 2018.
I've moved that striped leather jacket along, probably a few months after this outfit..

I love this cute look - that embroidered jacket has been with me for many years. This was in November 2018.
"This post has a disturbing lack of ME in it, Woman."

Tall boots + tights + short skirt is a formula I go to in cold weather. It is a great way to keep wearing short skirts as one gets entrenched in one's 5th decade. Tall boots are also warm.

Seriously, the Kenzo dress again? 
I wore the boots three times in December 2018...

...including twice during our Christmas trip to Powell River. 
That's my Christmas Day outfit and the red dress that caught a buttered potato and was never quite the same again. 

I also wore this outfit in Powell River. 
That's the Buffy leather dress again, and my Kenzo cardigan. 

This outfit was worn the day after the giant 25th anniversary of the Victoria Film Festival in February 2019. 
I adore that leather jacket (Burberry!) and that funky skirt. I brunched in this - just slightly overdressed, ha ha! Don't care! 

For another brunch/shopping day, in March 2019. There's L getting ready to go.
I have a blue sweater on under this which is now gone, but I have everything else in this outfit - expect to see a repeat at some point! 

I kept the boots out for my spring/summer wardrobe, and wore them a few times. 
This was worn to the Ulti field in April 2019. I gave away that silk dress. 

Who is that badass in the Iron Maiden tee? Oh, it's me, freshly home from our rock & roll trip to Portland in September 2019. 
This orangey skirt is the replacement one for the earlier orange skirt. 

With my Betsey Johnson velvet 90s dress in October 2019. 
That is one short dress. I wear it around the house now. 

These boots have a special relationship with Kenzo, apparently - this black vinyl skirt (which I wore above) is also by them. 
This is a chic shopping outfit in December 2019. 

I tend to wear these boots on the weekends, but this is a rare work outfit, in February 2020. 
I have not yet worn that skirt this season - it's a little snug. 

With my new-to-me Diane Von Furstenberg silk dress in May 2020. 
Super-cute! I want to wear that again. 

And here's the last time I wore them, in July 2020. 
Popping with that chartreuse silk! 

Mathy stuff: Including today's outfit, I have worn these boots 33 times! That works out to $6.42 per wear! I'm really pleased - and that leads me to reinvest back in these boots and get them resoled/heeled, as they are very slippery to wear (I've fallen in them 3 times). I'd like to get another 33 wears out of them! 

Well, my friends, that was a long post! I hope you enjoyed it - I'll be back on Sunday with tales of adventure (and more cat pictures). Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you so much for stopping by. 


  1. Of course I enjoyed this post Sheila! wow firstly love today's outfit cute dress. To me it seems a very handy dress and good ideas in the flashback. Now the showstopper for me was that red vintage style dress!!! you look great in it!! so glad your purchases fitted you. I have not been to the chazzas(thrift) shop yet as I cannot get my head round "rummaging" without touching. I am living through your trips to buy wonderful thrifted items. Have a great week end and really hope the skies clear for you. good idea to wear your mask anyway for the smoke as well Shazxx

    1. Thanks so much, Shaz! I really loved the vintage dress - and as you know, I wore it right away! It was risky buying things I wasn't sure about - I would not buy pants without trying them on! We are still allowed to touch stuff, at least! Glad you can live vicariously through me, ha ha!

  2. I'm sorry to hear that horrible smoke haze is still with you. I wouldn't be tempted out there for a serious walk, either, but you're spot on: shopping counts as exercise! Your shopping outfit is fabulous, that dress looks amazing worn with those over the knee boots and turquoise bling. That belt you found is stunning (and will be so even with a Klassy elastic band), while the Pierre Cardin scarf and the red Heartbreaker dress are my other favourites. As always, I love trawling through your flashbacks, especially the one on those fabulous boots! Have a fabulous weekend, Sheila! xxx

    1. It has cleared up finally, thank goodness, Ann. I'm glad I am getting the soles of the boots fixed, as they have been treacherous for walking - well worth it, now that I've gotten my cost-per-wear down. It was fun shopping in WIN again - I always find treasures. Thank you, hon!

  3. Great look as always and those !!!!

  4. Wow, that smoke is really frightening. And so dangerous for the lungs, also for healthy ones! I hope it will clear up soon. The first red dress, when you didn't have it on, I thought mwah. But the photo when you are wearing it says yes! Both red dresses look fabulous on you. But my goodness Sheila, that Pierre Cardin scarf!! When I only saw the print and color I was sold! What a unbelievable bargain! Have a great weekend my dear and be fabulous!

    1. It was, for sure, Nancy! Very bad for the lungs - I've been hacking up gunk for a few days (it's not COVID!). Yeah, Smoking Lily is very blah on the hanger - that's why I modeled them for you. :) I was really happy with the scarf - I'll be wearing it soon! Thank you!

  5. Smart way to fall-ify a Summer dress. And I'm always impressed at the depth of your knowledge and interest in clothing. It's a fascinating subject.

    1. It is endlessly fascinating to me, Ally. I can talk clothes for hours.

  6. What's that saying? Shopping is good cardio! It truly is with all the walking.

    I LOVE your turquoise jewellery, especially the necklace. Karen would be so happy that you are enjoying it and carrying her around in spirit.

    Shiela, I'm sorry to hear that there is so much smoke near you. I know the terrible fear of being near fires after the horrible Australian bush fires at the start of this year. Is there a fire near you? X

    1. It is, Jess! Thank you - I know it would make her happy. We all wear her things frequently to hold her close to us.

      It's much better now, Jess. I know you have experienced it too! No, not in the city, just smoke from the US to the south.

  7. I really hope the smoke haze clears for you soon. When we had it back in Brisbane it was terrible, we all got so sick from it, all snuffly and scratchy throats, and it wasn't even that bad to look at, the haze didn't reduce visibility too much so I can't imagine what it's like closer to the fires.

    You did so well on your shopping trip and got so many great pieces - I really like that dress you wore for shopping so I'm glad you're keeping it!

    1. Thank you, Mica, all these good wishes have worked, and it's all gone now. Yay! I thought of my Aussie friends when it hit us, as I know you have had many bad fires.

      I had a lovely day shopping. I'm glad to keep this dress too. Thank you!

  8. Hi Sheila,
    I have often wondered what it would be like to walk in OTK boots and appreciate your description about the back of the boot. Now I understand how they can be comfortable to walk in, and for me it would be all about the added warmth of such high boots :) and maybe I will seek out a pair, though new ones are definitely not in my budget!
    I like the edginess of the Darth Sheila outfit and a duster is on my “one of these days” list. I keep thinking the proportions would be off on my 5’2” frame but then see you and think how super one looks on your frame.
    A, thinking the smoke may be gone or on its way out in Victoria as this is the first morning there isn’t an air quality alert over Olympia. Here’s hoping for the best!
    Cheers, Laurie

    1. They are good, as long as they are flat or with a low heel, Laurie. I really appreciate the elastic backings on these, and that they are warm. New is only worth it if you think you will wear them a LOT.

      I love that look too - I think any height can wear anything as long as you get your proportions right. I'm only 2" taller than you!

      It is gone now, yes, phew! Thank you!

  9. Beautiful dress and I like the boots and the vest you paired with it.
    The red dress is very pretty as well.
    I enjoyed seeing all the ways you styled those OTK boots.

  10. The dress and boots are such good purchases. Made very obvious by the flash backs.
    Why is the sky so grey and smooky? Are there fires near?

    1. They both were, particularly the boots.

      The forest fires in California, Oregon and Washington (basically, the whole west coast of the USA) were causing massive amounts of smoke to drift up to our area, and right across North America. It was a big deal!

  11. Seeing your Kenzo dress reminds me to mention that I saw that Kenzo Takada died of COVID. I found one of his Tiger print sweaters at a thrift store but it's too small for me (bought it anyway).

    You had excellent luck with all the red items you found! Great score on the dresses and the Cardin scarf.

    1. Oh no! I'll have to wear something Kenzo to honour him this week. I'm glad you bought it - I'm still kicking myself over turning down both a jacket and a sweater in the past year. Dang.

      I did! Thank you!

  12. The smoke with as thick and difficult to see through as wool batting here for a few days as well. We stuck close to home and forgoed our usual walks (or bike rides, in Tony's case), especially since sweet Miss Annie can't really wear an N95 mask designed to fit humans, if needed, like us. Luckily, within a week, the worst of the smoke had dissipated, but the thoughts and worries of how this latest fire season impacted many again will remain far longer. Hopefully, now that fall is here, no more wildfires will stir up trouble on either side of the 49th.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. It's been scary, hasn't it, Autumn? We had to close all our windows to protect ourselves and Vizzini. I hope this is it for the year. The rains are coming!


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