Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Last Plaid Trouser Flashback and Christmas Vs. Cat

Happy Wednesday! I only know what day of the week it is because it's a work-day. 
My company issued a note for all Canadian offices today, notifying us that due to crazy COVID numbers now and anticipated going into the holiday season, we wouldn't be bringing our people back into the office until at least the end of March 2021, so my odd schedule will persist until then (I work Mon/Wed/Fri and have all the other days off). 

  • Leather jacket - Cigno Nero, consignment; purchased here for $68.00
  • Sweater - Intimate, vintage 60s, thrifted; first worn here in February with plaid and Star Wars shoes
  • Trousers - Talbots, thrifted; last seen here in March with greens (and a crocodile)
  • Shoes - Gadea, consignment; last worn here a week ago with more plaid
  • Coat (below) - L'Atiste, consignment, Vancouver; last seen here in September

I'm okay with that, but I really miss all the people I usually see on a daily basis. If they all come back at the end of March, it'll have been over a year since I've seen some of them. So long!

Anyway, moving on! This outfit is built around the last plaid thing in my closet - L commented this morning, "You've been wearing a lot of plaid lately."
What can I say? I love plaid! 

I built this outfit around this new-to-me leather jacket. I went with matching up the grey in the trousers, and then added bits of blue. 
You can see how cool the front cuts away, almost like a "ringleader" set of tails. 

No tails here, though. 
It was lovely to wear - I popped out of the office mid-day to run an errand and it was fine in the grey weather. 

Without the jacket. 
This is another cobalt blue sweater - I love this colour, and I love the vintage shape of this one (it's from the 1960s!). 

Masked up. This is a navy blue mask with metallic lines on it, courtesy of Mom. 
Zipped up - I only wore it like this when I was walking to and from work. 
Anyway, I'm happy with the jacket. We'll be doing a wee Flashback on the trousers in a bit. 

Outerwear - I had to do plaid on plaid! 
It was spitty rain today with little wind, so this hat was perfect. I'm wearing my new-to-me silk (also plaid!) scarf that I picked up on the weekend (I wore it then too, but this is the first "Official" wear). 

  • Hat - vintage, thrifted, Vancouver
  • Scarf - Elaine Gold, vintage 80s, Lazy Susan's; purchased here for $18.00
  • Gloves - Parkhurst

The stuff: 
I know I just wore these a few days ago, but I didn't feel like wearing heels today. 

Blue and pewter bling: 
Some favourites.

  • Cuff - Robert Larin, vintage 70s, vintage mall, gift from L
  • Pendant - Miracle Britain, furniture store
  • Earrings - thrifted
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Silver/crystal ring - Soul Flower
  • Silver/sodalite ring - Scotland, 1995

Flashback: Plaid Wool Talbots Trousers

I started really getting into a trouser phase a few years ago - I used to skip the pant sections in consignment and vintage stores - and these are one of the pairs that I found when I opened my eyes and looked! 
"What are we looking at?"

They are a cropped cut, fully lined, and 100% wool. They don't have side pockets (I wish!), but have bum pockets (erm, thanks?) which I've never opened up. 
I picked them up here in March 2018 at the big WIN (Women in Need) store downtown on one of my weekend expeditions. The flower punch meant 50% off, so these were $12.50.

I wore them immediately, pairing them with my Vivienne Westwood blazer and a floppy silk bowtie in March 2018.
I'm a fan of this look - the red heels (Flashbacked here) elevate it. 

I wore them again for a weekend casual brunch in October 2018.
I now wear that sweater around the house (I'm wearing it now!). We saw those shoes in Flashback here, and they go so good with these pants, I wore 'em again.  

There's a white/dark green paisley ruffled blouse under my green velvet jacket here in January 2019.
Both pieces will get worn this season, along with my gold glitter loafers. We'll see that jacket again shortly. 

Oops, ha ha, my fly is open here - this outfit is from February 2019. 
I like the mustard blouse with it (it's in the wings, waiting to be worn). That Etro blazer is amazing - it'll get its own Flashback in due time. 

You might recognize this red sweater - it's the same one I wore on the weekend. 
This is a pretty plain outfit from October 2019 - I wore it for shopping, with the same outerwear as today. 

I loved this outfit from January 2020 - I was on my game with my pattern-mixing of this silk rose-print blouse. 
I'll have to do a Flashback on my Westwood blazer - this is the second time I've paired it with the pants. Love those red Fluevogs! 

And here's the last time I wore these trousers, in March 2020. There's my green velvet blazer again. 
I adore those shoes, and like how they pull the dark green blouse into the outfit. I need to wear those again soon, but I've got too many clothes, and not enough work-days to make outfits!

Mathy stuff: I'm at a respectable 8 wearings, which is $1.56 per wear, and I can still think of lots of ways to wear these trousers. 

Now, some of you may remember that I worked in a year-round Christmas store here in Victoria for 11 years*, from 1986 to 1997. I've done a post about being the Number One Elf (which is still on my resume!) here; I've also posted about all my Christmas decorations (Tree Pt 1 here, Tree Pt 2 here and A Peculiar Village here), and those posts are a fun read, she said, back from re-reading them! 

*Yes, 11 years. At one point, Victoria had 3 year-round Christmas stores! We did most of our business from May to September, during tourist season. It was a family business and I adored the mother-daughter who owned the store, and enjoyed my job. I did all the decorating, and also went on buying trips. Yes, I loathe Christmas music with a passion (Shut. It. Off.), and I dislike candy canes intensely. 

And while all that stuff in those posts is a LOT, it's not even the tip of the iceberg on my full Christmas collection. In that 11 year period, I poured all my creativity and curatorial, collectible powers into Christmas decorations, not clothes (I barely had any - I wore a uniform of a red polo shirt and a "Number One Elf" vest to work every day. Yes, I hated the vest). I got a hefty discount and I bought most of it on layaway over time. Sometimes my bosses would let me order things just for myself when we went on buying trips too. 

I haven't even put ANYTHING out in ten years. Why ever not? 

"What are these delicious treats you've brought me?"

When we first got Vizzini, in spring 2011, he figured out how to open the hall closet where all my decorations and trees (yes, I actually have 2 trees) are kept and he chewed on the strings of lights (we referred to it as his "Secret Laboratory"). I care about my decorations the same way I care about my wardrobe - so I made the decision to not put my decorations up. 

If you've left it all alone with a bored kitty all day, and it falls down or things break, whose fault is it? Not the cat's - he's just being a cat! So in the Christmas Vs. Cat Conundrum, we chose Cat for 9 years. We did the Peculiar Village for a couple of years, but I lost the heart for it over time. I wondered if I should sell all my stuff off. 

Well, the years have passed, Vizzini's gotten slightly better at not eating everything in sight, and we've been in the middle of a pandemic for eight freaking months. I saw these battery-operated curtain lights at London Drugs, and bought 3 sets. My soul craves twinkle lights! More fairy lights! 
"I'll be supervising from a safe distance."

Make sure they work...Ooh, so PRETTY. 
"What is this foul magick!?"

I'll show you how they look set up in a second. 

A snowball effect took place when I unpacked these. I had to move some things around to make way for my short ladder to hang the lights...then I had to dust that...then I found some things that could be donated and recycled...and one thing led to another, and I spent the afternoon cleaning and rearranging.

I've decided that I'm going to pull out ALL of my Christmas stuff, and really think about what I want to keep and what I don't, and record all of it (you're all going to be so sick of it, ha ha), so I prepared our living room/dining room in readiness. L and I have many areas which will be excellent for displaying my décor. 

This is our Scotch Bar - it's a "baker's shelf" we bought at Sears about 15-17 years ago. I moved a bunch of our scotches to the top shelf, put our favourites along the back of the middle shelf, and left L's usual rums (Baron Samedi and Kraken) in their place on the bottom. The drawers have cat toys and some odds and ends of game stuff in them. Our regularly-played games are on the bottom shelf, along with a rolled-up mat for games that involve dice rolls. 
The Peculiar Village will be going here - I'm going to use the third set of curtain lights here to illuminate it, as there is no outlet on this wall. I bought a ton of lights (the green boxes) to replace the chewed-up lights I know I'll find when I unpack them. 

We have two back-to-back bookcases on this wall (more games, CDs, DVDs, and graphic novels live there). This is where my little Star Wars/Star Trek tree usually goes. 
The heavy crystal vase is from around 1987, purchased at Eaton's department store for about $24.95 on clearance. It's very good at refracting light, but it wasn't being seen - it's a lovely piece. I found two strings of my old lights (pre-LED), got them to work, and have plugged them in. Oh, that makes my soul so happy! 

This is all part of my plan to get Vizzini used to things in stages. Nothing to see here, just some lights in a vase! Move along!

Here are the curtain lights in the bright daylight. I had to make a lot of changes to this part of our living room, including moving Vizzini's giant scratching post from that corner into our bedroom, and putting his usual bedroom post out here. He's been nosing around that corner for the past day. 
I was worried he'd swat at the lights, but he's been good so far. L and I have sternly reminded ourselves not to yell or react if he whacks at them or chews on them, but to calmly get up and give him a firm shove away from them. He only chews at things when he wants attention (or food). 

Looking at these pictures, I can see we're really overdue for a remodel of our living space, but it's not been a priority. No judgments here! I've cleared away all our usual knick-knacks and dusted all those surfaces off for display space. Yes, L has a lot of CDs. I do clothes, he does CDs. 

Later on as the sun was setting, the lights took on a lovely glow. My big tree will be going in that corner (it'll be anchored to that wall so that it can't be pulled over), so I only put one set of "curtains" on either side. 
"This is not the view I'm accustomed to."

Vizzini wasn't interested in the lights at all, phew! I'm going to slowly unpack and decorate over the next couple of weeks to get him acclimated to all of it, but right now, he's pretty disinterested. My plan is working! 

He actually left me alone all afternoon while I moved things around and dusted - he doesn't like my ladder, so he skedaddled. 
"Oh joy, you found me."

Snug and warm, hiding under the covers! you decorate for the season, or do you plan to this year? I notice that Vix and Jon have been decorating with chili lights and Eid lights (here and here), and it seems like people are decorating early, and are really getting into it this year. 

I know I'm so immensely cheered just by my vase and curtain lights - and I'm really excited to dive into my full collection, some of which hasn't even been looked at for close to 15 years! I have music boxes, nutcrackers, all kinds of weird and wonderful things. It's going to be an adventure!


  1. Step away from those lights, Vizzini!
    Thanks for the shout out, Sheila! Your lights look absolutely brilliant (ha!), Sheila! Don't twinkly lights make a huge difference to the ambiance of a home? I scrunched up a set of battery lights in one of my vases ages ago and loved the effect, yours looks amazing, like an art installation.
    Xmas music....that's one good thing about shops being closed, I don't have to listen to it! Looking forward to seeing your collection of Xmas madness over the next few weeks.
    Loving the tartan trousers and the new leather tailcoat. I wore them in the 1980s to school so often when I was a sixth former that the lads from the boys school used to call me Rupert after the famous British bear in a newspaper cartoon strip! xxx

    1. Thanks, Vix! Oh, gosh, YES, they make everything so much cheerier!

      I loathe Christmas music and will walk out of stores playing it. The madness has started - be careful what you wish for!

      Thank you so much! Ha, I know Rupert - they've been called that before!

  2. Morning Sheila, as I said to Vix catching up . I was encouraged a while back to get some red by a certain blogger and my sweater is almost identical to yours! Those trousers are great and it is so interesting how you pick out different colours from the plaid enjoyed the flashback. Now that's funny as I was lying there getting over a stinking migraine my thoughts turned to how would decorate the house. I thought I must go through everything and maybe go to town this year then reading your blog I see you are thinking the same. This is going to be fun (I am not into Christmas this year but decorating the house to cheer my little family up well yeah I'll certainly do that ! ) Looking forward to seeing yours. Shazxx ps the lights are lovely

    1. Just checking on my favourite blogs this morning I am not losing it going on about the red sweater again lol - I didn't think my last comment published as I was having trouble with it lol anyway have a great week-end Shazx

    2. Hi, Shaz! Aw, glad to hear you are wearing some red to cheer you up! I love the tartan trousers, and am glad you enjoyed it all.

      Going through everything is fun and will be soothing - I'm looking forward to it, as I've forgotten a lot of it, I'm sure. I'm not really into the whole holiday, but I do love the decorating aspect of it. Thank you!

      Ha ha, no to your second comment - you were not "going on about" the sweater. :) Hope you're having a good weekend, my dear!

  3. My favourite look is the Plaid Pants with the Westwood Blazer - what a classic combo.
    Yes I am itching to get out the decorations although my husband isn't too keen especially as we have a puppy arriving on Nov 28th.
    I think your decorations look gorgeous. Twinkly lights at this time of the year outs th emagic into the season.
    So sad you won't see colleagues until March next year.
    I teach yoga and haven't seen some of my students since our first lockdown last March.
    It is so hard if you are a people person.
    Stay safe Sheila. X

    1. Thanks so much, Jane - I love that one too, very classy I am in it.

      Uh-oh, be careful with that puppy! Thank you - I love the sparkly lights so much. I know, I'm really sad about that. It has been a long lonely stretch in the office this year for me. I'm an introvert, but I like being around people - I know you get that.

      Thanks, Jane!

  4. You cinched it for me I a going to look for plaid pants for myself. I too am a fan, and I love them with chunky sweaters, or equally with jackets. I have a bakers rack in my kitchen that would make a lovely bar, but it is holding a way too large television. I need to edit down what is on it and make it more useful

    1. Yay, go for it! I see plaid is really "in" right now, so I'm sure you will find some cool ones, SAM! Ooh, sounds like a fun project with your baker's rack. Good luck!

  5. Firstly, I love your new leather jacket, its shape is stunning!, and love it with your plaid trousers!. Actually, I love plaid!. So I've enjoyed this flashback!, lots of fabulousness! and red shoes! wow!
    Looking forward to see all the christmas decoration in progress. And hoping that Vizzini ignores all the new stuff!

    1. Thanks, Monica! I love plaid (no secret there, ha ha!).

      It's going to be fun - fingers crossed for Mr. V staying away from everything!

  6. I'm also having trouble knowing what day it is when I'm off work :-) I've been off today, until Monday, and was already convinced it was Friday instead of Thursday! And my odd schedule too will continue to at least end of March 2021. By then it will be a year, so how will I ever get used to working full time again, I wonder?
    Your "last" plaid trousers are a delight, and it's lovely to finally see that new jacket in action. The cobalt blue jumper provides the perfect pop of colour. I couldn't tear away my eyes from your Miracle pendant. Swoon! I have some Miracle brooches, but have never come across a pendant. As for your outerwear, hurray for plaid on plaid!
    Scrolling through your flashblack, I was really drawn to that mossy green velvet jacket. I do remember you wearing it, but it's such an utterly gorgeous shade of green.
    While I'm trying to imagine you in the same red polo with Elf No. 1 on it, day in day out, I am chuckling at Vizzini's face when faced with those curtain lights :-)) I haven't been doing any Christmas decorations yet - I'm not really a Christmas person, so always wait until well into December, and then I still need a gentle push from Jos. Can't wait to see what else you've got in store, though! xxx

    1. I find it so discombobulating, Ann - I really am getting disoriented with time these days. I don't know if I'll be able to do full time next spring!

      I love them, thank you! I liked the jacket and think it'll come in handy. I have never seen another Miracle piece, ever!

      The green velvet jacket is a stunner - I should wear it again soon.

      Oh, god, I hated my uniform at that job, but my clothes got very dirty with all the cleaning and decorating I did - it was a very physical job. Vizzini's face there is hilarious, isn't it? I like the decorating, but the holiday itself...? meh. I have so many great things to share!

  7. I love decorating of all kinds in all seasons for all kind of festivities, I just like the idea of changing up something in our home or celebrating in some way. I want to do some Autumn decorating before I move to Christmas decorating. So far I just put some old autumn dry flower decorations and candles arrangements I made, I haven't done anything really autumn like- I'm still thinking about what I could do. Your Christmas lights look lovely. I do agree with what you said about Christmas and cats, you can't really blame a cat for wanting to play with decor, it's their nature, you might say.

    I love your plaid pants, they are so gorgeous. They look lovely with that cobalt blue sweater. I'm a big fan of cobalt blue as well. The new to you leather coat is gorgeous. I also enjoyed your throw back outfits with the plaid pants. My fav among them is the first one in the row (I think) with that red bow. I love plaid items too.

    1. I don't really do any other seasonal decorations, Ivana, although I used to do Hallowe'en. The Christmas stuff is plenty - you'll understand when you see it. No, we don't blame the cat, but we had to be really careful with this little monster!

      Thank you - I love them too! Cobalt is a great, rich colour. Thanks! I like that outfit too - the bowtie is so fun.

  8. I think this is the first year, season, that I don't have plaid trousers! Uh, what's that! I always want one pair as a devotion to my punk period (period??) anyway, love yours, those are the right ones!! That crystal vase is stunning. We decorate normally a week before Christmas. We might do our earlier now because I love it!

    1. Nancy, as a rocker/punk, how do you NOT have plaid trousers?? You need them! Thanks - the vase was very expensive back in the day, and it's a very high-end piece. I couldn't do it the week before - it takes days to put it all up, and a couple to take it down.

  9. Every iteration of those plaids with a blazer! ❤️
    Seeing the many and varied shoes you’ve worn with them gives me ideas about footwear for my one pair of plaid trousers, also tapered like yours. That has been the most difficult part of styling them, finding the right shoes for the pants cut!
    And you have inspired me to get out our holiday decorations! For me it has always been about the lights and maybe this year calls for a bit more than usual. :) Looking forward to seeing the lighting of your home and the tabletop village!

    1. Aw, thanks, Laurie! I like a dressier shoe or a more menswear-styled shoe with cropped tapered pants - it makes the ankle look delicate.

      Do it! It'll make you feel good, I promise!

  10. Oh so cute style darling 💕 I love it the pants
    Cute cat

  11. Great pants. And, of course, pandemic restrictions are rough. But they'll end next year and we need to live through this tough patch in the months ahead. I'm itching to visit your country but will postpone scratching until the end of next year.

    1. I know, they will eventually end, but we're all starting to get a little bit ragged, aren't we? I'd love to have you visit again, Ally!

  12. Fab trousers and flashback - they are very versatile and seem to go with such a lot!

    As for the lights they look fab and I am looking forward to seeing all your Christmas decorations etc. Paws off, Vizzini!

    Take care

    1. Thanks so much, Vronni! They do go with a lot - plaid is very useful that way.

      Aw, thank you - I'm really excited to start decorating! Vizzini has been good so far, though.

  13. We are two plaid adoring peas in a pod. Even a little girl, I melted like butter for a great plaid garment or accessory. Ditto for tartan, which is the print that the first purse I can remember owning (circa age 5 or so) was comprised of. I may have had matching tartan print loafers, but that detail is murkier in my memory now, more than 30 years later. 😄

    Wishing you a cozy, wonderful weekend, my sweet friend.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Yeah, I've always loved plaids, Autumn - we are very much alike in that way! How cool that you had a matching purse and loafers at age 5!

      Thank you, my dear - I hope you had a good weekend!

  14. All the plaid! I love it. I didn't think it would work but wearing multiple bits of plaid looks great on you. X

  15. They are fun pants and look so good on you every time you wear them! Such sad news office life won't be returning to normal for a while for you :( We have started to go back on a volunteer basis but I'm not going to consider it until after the Christmas break. I quite like working from home!

    I'm so excited to see your Christmas decorations too and I hope your slow and steady plan works! :) I really want to put up all my Christmas decorations - I need it after this year, seriously! But hubby is very firm decorations go up on 1st December - I may manage to get it the weekend before, we will see if I can twist his arm, haha! I have already got some Christmas candles out though, and have been playing Christmas music while I work! :)

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Mica! We still have a few folks onsite, but most people want to stay home!

      I am really stoked to put them up. It's going well so far. I hope you do yours - it really is feeling very therapeutic. I couldn't wait till Dec 1, but it'll probably be that long to get everything up at a slow (Vizzini-training) pace. I love the candles, but ugh, turn that music off! Ha ha!

  16. I quite like plaid, but rarely find anything in that pattern that I like, aside from a lovely vintage jacket I used to have and seems to have been given away at some point.

    I used to put up some decorations for Christmas ( I had a little shiny pink Christmas tree at some point) but that was "Before Cat", and a smaller apartment. I like greenery, and lights but that's about all I can manage now. The curtain lights you got are quite pretty!

    We are still all working from home 4 days out of 5 each week, and given the rise in cases, and that our courses will still be online in the Winter, I will be working from home until next Spring, when it will have been a year of this. I still can't wrap my head around it. I miss my co-workers too. I think it's going to be a lonely winter.

    1. I see quite a bit of plaid, but good stuff is trickier to find. I hope you find some, Shelley!

      Oh, I love the idea of a pink tree. Do you think Sylvester will go after your stuff?

      I am also struggling to wrap my head around all of it. A whole year - it's so long. Agreed, this winter is going to be rough. Hang in there!

  17. Oh, I understand cats and Christmas decorations! I bought a (plastic) tree for the first time last year, and my cat Lulu is obsessed with it. She will chew on it for ages if I don't stop her. She also bats the ornaments around.

    1. Oh dear, Lulu sounds as challenging as Vizzini! We've been keeping a close eye on him, but he's managed to maw on a few things.


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