Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday Mix and Etro Flashback

First, before my brain-power floats off like a dandelion puff-ball, I must thank both Nancy at Nancy's Fashion Style and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge for featuring my orange monochrome look (this one) last week! Please visit here and/or here to check out the other fabulously monochromatic participants. The next "Good Buy/Good-Bye" will be featuring red and/or pink. Hmmm, do you think I can do it?? Hee hee! 

Today, we have a Monday outfit. It's a mix of patterns and textures, and only a splash of burgundy to liven things up, colour-wise. 
Hooray! It was light enough this morning to take a dark, blurry picture! We'll be having a Flashback on this blazer shortly. 

  • Blazer - Etro, vintage 90s/00s, consignment; last seen here in February 2020 with an etch-a-sketch sequined skirt
  • Sweater - Judith + Charles, consignment; last worn here in December 2019 with my Christmas tree skirt
  • Skirt - Zara, consignment; last seen here in March 2020 with cobalt and glitter
  • Shoes - Mini QTee, Fluevog, consignment; last worn here (2nd outfit) in October 2020 with cashmere and burgundy
  • Coat (below) - Apparence, vintage 80s, thrifted; last seen here in December 2020

I'm getting in a wearing of this skirt which I found at Turnabout last year. 
It's...fine. I love the asymmetrical hemline, but it's a wraparound style. It does stay put well, and billows nicely, but I have my critical eye on it. 

Due to the cropped cut of the little cream wool sweater, I layered my burgundy leather obi over the waistband and tucked the skirt's wrap tie inside the waistband to hide it.
The burgundy tights have a gold pattern running down the front...
...and the back of the leg. 

Jacket off. 
I took the jacket off in the morning as I was overheated after running up and down the stairs attending to the coffee machines. 

Masked up - this is a mixed red/burgundy rose petal pattern.
I liked all the mix of patterns and textures in this outfit. It felt comforting. 

Outerwear - you know what else is comforting? 
The Unsafe Polar Bear! 

  • Hat - Principles, thrifted
  • Scarf - thrifted
  • Gloves - Parkhurst

It really wasn't cold enough to wear all this stuff, but I had my heart set on all the burgundy accessories, and there are only so many coats that fit over a blazer. 

The stuff: 
I was pleased at how well these shoes worked with the outfit. They even have burgundy piping on them. 

Bold bling: 
I needed a necklace to fill in the chestal region - this is one of my favourites. 

  • Leather obi - local, gift from L
  • Necklace - D'Orlan, vintage 60s, thrifted
  • Silver/onyx ring - Toccara, vintage fair
  • Silver/smoked topaz ring - Anneli Neuman, Sweden, vintage fair
  • Earrings - thrifted

Flashback: Etro Blazer

I found this blazer at the former location of My Sister's Closet (on Cook St) in March 2013, here, and I remember that shopping trip vividly for two reasons. 

One, I found a brand new MAC lipstick in "Crave" in the pocket! It was my first ever MAC lipstick, and I loved the colour - they've been my go-to for real lipsticks for years since finding it. Since then, I've found money, scribbled notes and other weird things in clothing pockets in consignment and thrift stores. Always check the pockets! (but watch out for grotty Kleenex)

Two, I had just finished reading one of my first fashion history books, and learned a bunch of fancy "old" designer names, like Courreges, Beene, and Etro. 

So imagine my delight in finding a real piece of Etro! It was $42.00 which seemed steep at the time, but in retrospect is a bargain. Plus the lipstick would have retailed for at least $16! A very basic blazer nowadays by Etro starts at $1,400. 
This blazer is likely from the late 90s or early 00s - the longer length, the single button, the slightly padded shoulder. 

The fabric is a woven stripe, and it's 50% cotton/50% wool. It feels like thicker men's suiting. 
The gorgeous woven "tie" material and the lining are acetate. The buttons are all covered with the same matching fabric, although the 4th button on each cuff is missing its cover. 

The classic logo. Did you know that Etro (founded in 1968) popularized the use of paisley in fabrics?
That's why their logo is shaped like one. 

Check out the amazing lining. The black stripe down the middle is velvet. 
And you can see the gold, burgundy and cream lining (the cream extends down the arms), and that the lapel fabric is carried on into the inside of the jacket, down to the hem. Quality! 
Why I Love Etro: When L and I were shopping in Florence, Italy (back here in 2014, the year after I found this blazer), we were treated very rudely when we went into Dolce & Gabbana. Both of us wear expensive glasses and shoes, and we were dressed fairly nicely (considering we were traveling!), but the salesperson there followed us around like we were going to steal everything in the store. He also dashed past us and scooped up his iPhone from a table and clutched it to him like we were going to take it. It was ridiculous. I've worked in retail - that is not how you treat customers, even if you suspect them of being shoplifters (you give those ones the BEST service until they leave!). 

Contrast with our visit to the Etro store, a calm, friendly oasis - they even offered us hors d'oeuvres and champagne! The gentleman who helped us was kind and patient, and we spent close to an hour there. We had such a lovely time in the Etro store that we bought L a new pair of trousers (these ones here). I wanted him to get the full suit (vest/waistcoat and jacket) but the pants alone were over 500 Euros - I've seen RuPaul wearing the suit! 

I've been a fan of Etro since, and I will only buy D&G second-hand. Take that!

Flush with my exciting designer blazer purchase, I made three outfits with it in March 2013. This was a thing I was doing then, wearing each new thing 3 times, and letting readers vote on it. It ended up being a pain and too much work, so I stopped. 
However, you do get to see a bunch of outfits of me wearing it right away! Shoe Flashback here

I wore this out to Floyd's Diner for breakfast. 
I'm admiring my yellow shoes, which sadly are in the giveaway now - the black elastic ended up staining the yellow suede. 

This is the last March 2013 outfit - I had those tights for ages!
I'm in my blonde phase here, and my former neighbour is in his "I store my bikes here" phase. 

The colours in the lapels and lining are cream, gold and burgundy, so I tend to wear all those colours with the blazer, as I did here in September 2013. 
I still have the necklace and the blue slip peeking out. 

I leaned heavily on the deep red components of this outfit, in January 2014.
The skirt was part of a suit which Yvonne now has. That necklace has been in my closet since 1984-5. 

Another red and yellow mix, in November 2014. 
I did not keep that putty-coloured leather skirt for very long - I loathed the colour. Why did I buy it?? Boots Flashbacked here

I just tossed it on over a plain red-orange dress in August 2015.
I actually wore this to the Ulti field (I changed into my gear at the field). Shoe Flashback here.

Guilty - I can't button it up anymore! But this is what it looks like, from June 2016. 
Less chocolate, more walking! I am also reminded to wear those shoes again soon. 

I still have this marigold yellow wool skirt, seen in March 2017.
I miss those bronze shoes - they scuffed really badly. 

I like this classy look with my cognac leather trousers, in February 2018.
Super cool! 

I like this look from June 2018, but I HATED this belt and skirt. 
The belt never stayed in place, and the skirt was way too short. 

We saw this look from February 2019 in the Flashbacks for both the trousers (here) and the shoes (here). 
Mustard yellow is a good match. 

And here's the last time I wore it, in February 2020, with my sequined "etch-a-sketch" skirt. 
I think that's also the last time I wore those shoes - they are overdue for an outfit! 

Mathy stuff: This is the 14th time I've worn my Etro blazer, brining me to $3.00 per wear. It falls into the "once a year" category, but I still love it.

What's your favourite? Have you ever been treated poorly (or amazingly) in a designer store? 


  1. I had to read this post twice. The first time, I was admiring your skirt and hearing your thoughts on it when I read "I took it off in the morning as I was overheated after running up and down the stairs..." What?!! Going back I realized you'd shifted discussion to your jacket. I'm still trying to get out of my head an image of you removing your skirt in the office. :)

    1. Ha, I'm glad you figured it out, Ally! No, I wouldn't take my skirt off in the office!

  2. I'm loving the splashes of burgundy in your outfit. That jacket is glorious and how lovely that Etro treated you so well when the sales assistant in D&G didn't. L's trousers are spectacular.
    I can't imagine anything more comforting than a hug from the Unsafe Polar Bear!
    What a shame about those yellow shoes. xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Vix! Yes, they earned life-long fans with their amazing service. D&G was so disappointing in contrast. L's trousers are amazing!

      The Unsafe Polar Bear is starting to show some wear and tear, sadly. I'm being very careful with her.

      Yeah, it's a drag. I hope to get a few bucks out of them when Fluevog has their Swap & Sale at some point (hopefully).

  3. It's a totally gorgeous blazer and just oozes quality! It looks fab on you and in every outfit post.I really like it with mustard and with trousers.

    Have a great week

  4. As I'm following Nancy's blog, I did see your orange monochrome outfit on there! I must say that you really stood out among the more classic monochromes :-) I've been tempted to participate a couple of times, but I keep forgetting. I guess you're not the only one whose brain-power regularly floats off like a dandelion puff-ball (lovely imagery, by the way!).
    Your skirt looks lovely, even if I can understand your doubts. The burgundy tights and obi are perfect with it, and the shoes having burgundy piping is a lovely detail! And oh, the Unsafe Polar Bear! Always lovely to see that one.
    The Etro jacket is delightful, and fancy finding that brand new MAC lipstick in its pocket. I enjoyed scrolling through your flashback as usual, as much for the hair changes as for the outfits! I don't think I've ever been inside a designer store, but I'd absolutely hate it if I was treated like that and would certainly and loudly voice my opinion! xxx

    1. Oh, how lovely! Aw, that's so sweet of you - I had a feeling that monochrome would bring out the blue/black/greys, so I wanted to do something really different. I do forget to pre-participate (build the outfit, wear it and send in a blurb/pictures) most of the time. Yes, my puff-ball brain, sigh. I blame menopause.

      Thank you! It's just an "eh" skirt, although I do love the pattern and the swooshiness. No need to decide now, though. I love little details like the burgundy piping, even if I'm the only one who notices them. As I said to Vix, I've been babying the Polar Bear as she is getting worn and torn in places.

      I love this blazer so much - I have found some crazy stuff (even a bag of joints once!). I like seeing all the hair changes too - I've done a lot with my hair!

      There was no point in voicing our disappointment with D&G - we didn't speak Italian, and they didn't seem to care anyway! But Etro, we are now fans for life!

  5. The way you can track and look back at previous wears of your clothing is truly amazing to me. I, too, have had a bit of luck when searching in pockets but sometimes I've also come across a groddy tissue or two.


    1. I am glad I started linking back to my "last worn/seen" when I first started blogging, Rena - that's what's allowed me to find all the old outfits and present them. Grotty tissues are par for the course, aren't they??

  6. Ooh, that skirt is lovely- so swishy and flowy! The Etro jacket is amazing and what a bargain! I can't stand that story of D&G- how horribly rude! I have the sort of paranoid personality that makes me ALWAYS think people think I am shoplifting- even in my beloved Refill Zerowaste room, when I amble in with my bag full of old bags and jars (I don't always use all of them but bring them just in case) - I swear, because of this weird guilty-conscience thing, that I look suspicious! If that happened to me in a shop like that, it would be my whole horror nightmare!
    I really like the jacket with the mustard coloured shirts esp that ruffly one!

    1. Thanks so much, Kezzie! I love a swooshy skirt. Yes, boo to D&G and their rude service. It was annoying at the time but hilarious after, especially when contrasted with Etro.

      I find that if you engage with the salespeople, and be open with what you're carrying, that they quickly realize you are not there to thieve things.

      Thanks! I like that one too.

  7. The patterns and texture really work well together with your outfit. The Etro blazer is a statement piece and you got a great deal on it.

    1. I did! I was so excited when I looked it up when I got home, Lovely. Thanks so much!

  8. Those burgundy and gold tights are incredible. I love the idea of a statement piece on the lower half of the body that isn't "just" shoes (I use "just" in the lightest of senses here, of course - eternal shoe lover that I am). We need more elegant patterned tights like these beauties.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Aren't they amazing? I treasure them - they're so cool. I love playing with tights to add something special to an outfit.

  9. Sad to hear of the demise of the yellow shies - could you dye them and save them? (Not yellow, but a darker colour?)

    1. Tat! I could probably do something like that, but I'm actually okay with letting them go - I'll sell them or trade them when Fluevog reinstates their Swap and Shop event, hopefully later this year or the following year. They were feeling a little high for me anyway. No regrets!

  10. Oh that Zara skirt! I wanted to buy it then, and I didn't. Oh I should have. What a blazer, and what a story about it and about the store. I also worked in retail, don't het me startte on shoplifters. I had an eye for them! Have a great day!

    1. Nancy, if I decide to get rid of this skirt, I will give it to you.

      I love this blazer, and it was fun to share that little shopping experience. I was so good at spotting shoplifters when I worked in retail - I chased them out with my good service, ha ha! Our store had the lowest percentage of "shrinkage" in Canada!

  11. I love that blazer on you! I really like the fact that it came with a surprise in the pocket too, haha!

    Back when my sister had a milestone birthday my mum and I took her out shopping to pick up something special. I had a list of bags in my budget at Louis Vuitton and mum had thought about a Tiffany bracelet. We eventually got served in Tiffany after waiting ages, and then went to Louis Vuitton. I explained to the sales assistant I only had a small budget and we wanted to see a few select bags for my sister to pick her first Louis Vuitton. They brought us champagne, gave us the "VIP personal shopper" who was probably just another sales assistant really, but they tried to make it fancy, set us up on the sofa and brought over all the bags. I mean they weren't cheap bags but I'd also no joke picked the cheapest ones they sold, little clutches and wristlets. Once she picked her fave one they brought the bill over to me and took away my credit card to run it all while we enjoyed the drinks they took a polaroid pic for us and put it in a little frame, with a note from the sales assistant to congratulate her on her first Louis Vuitton. Mum confesses she wished we'd shopped there first as she wanted to buy a bag for my sister there too the service was so good! I returned to the store a few months later to buy a couple accessories I didn't really need just because I loved the service, and I won't buy Louis Vuitton second hand now, I just go to the store, although admittedly less now I don't have the budget any more. As you pointed out, service makes a difference!

    1. Thanks, Mica! I know, and I love that lipstick colour too!

      What an awesome story, and how amazing were those salespeople to give your mum, your sister and you such a wonderful experience. That's how you build loyalty to a brand.

  12. I love the look with the pleather trousers and the sequin skirt.
    Happy Monday. X

    1. Pleather? Jane, those are leather! No pleather for me! Yuck.

  13. Good evening Sheila, the details in this outfit are so clever, the lapels on the jacket go with the skirt: the obi and the burgandy piping on the shoes so clever(had to say it again!) I like how you make things work by using your accessories eg the top a little short so on goes the obi. I also can't understand when stores do not give you good service. You are unlikely ot go back. Enjoyed Mica's story too. It is so dismal here tonight so enjoyed this post Shazxx

    1. Good evening, Shaz! It's afternoon here now! I am all proud that you think I'm so clever, but my matchy heart makes it easier. The accessories often make the outfit, they can really elevate simple pieces and make them special.

      I don't understand either. I used to have people accuse me of lying about whether clothes looked good - that defeats the whole purpose of customer service. Isn't Mica's story great?

      I hope it gets brighter soon for you, my dear!

  14. I have my critical eye on that skirt too, not too sold on it.
    Etro, of course is another story, that blazer is outstanding :) I own an Etro blazer I have yet to wear, picked it up for 5 bucks.
    I hate it when you walk into a store and do not get treated well, it happened to me at the Carolina Herrera store here, I was soooo upset, I tell everyone I can.

    1. Yeah, I probably will not keep it after this season. I don't love it, and the material isn't the best quality. I have another black/tan skirt that is long and full that is better (my flamenco skirt).

      Etro, as you say, is another matter entirely! Oh, you got an even BETTER deal! Wow, 5 bucks! They're not one of those "name" designers that everyone knows.

      I have told so many people my story too. I worked in retail - service is all brick-and-mortar stores have to retain customers. You can't afford NOT to treat your in-store customers well.

  15. Love the rich colours, the textures and mixed patterns in this outfit, and love particularly these shoes and tights together!, and I like the swooshiness and nice print of your skirt, but not totally happy with the shape (even if I love assymetrical shapes!).
    And your Etro jacket is a beauty, the details and prints are so amazing!. I have a weakness for Etro and their colourful paisley prints!. Love all the burgundy and yellow in your outfits around this jacket, so brilliant!

    1. Thank you so much, Monica! I like the shoes and tights too - the tights are so fun. I know, the skirt is not a great quality one (Zara), and it's probably going into the giveaway pile after this season.

      Thanks! It's a gorgeous piece - you can really see in person what a high quality garment it is. I would love to find more by them, but it's quite rare here.

  16. To me the Etro jacket is a jacket to be worn on trousers and I like your February 2018 with the cognac leather trousers best. Especially with those shoes. Super classy.

    1. Yup, that is a very classic and classy look. I agree.

  17. The Etro blazer is a lovely piece and it's served you well over the time you've had it. Good customer service can make all the difference as to how you feel about a store or a brand. On the rare occasion that I buy retail, I will only buy from places that make me feel welcome, and let me browse all I want without following me around the store.

    1. Thanks so much, Shelley! Yes, I totally agree - and you'd think businesses would be training their staff not to treat people so rudely!

  18. That shop assistant in D&G was so rude! Given the incidents of racism that the firm's been involved in in recent years, it can get in the bin.

    I look forward to seeing your red and/or pink combo. (Russia has no word for pink, it's like light blue/dark blue in English, so you *could* claim they're different tones of the same colour...)

    1. It was appalling at the time, but very funny in retrospect. D&G has a poor reputation these days, but I'm fine with buying them second-hand so that they don't get a cent from me. That's why the karma thing felt so good, ha ha!

      Thanks, Mim! Today's outfit is my submission for wearing pink, actually. No way, that is so interesting! Thanks for the tip.


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