Friday, July 30, 2021

Funky Friday: Tropical Citrus Brights

Happy Friday, my friends - welcome to the weekend! It's a long weekend for us in BC, as Monday is "BC Day" - this is a big weekend for many BCers to go on vacation, camping, and whatnot. What will I be doing? Not camping, that's for sure! 

I pulled one of my newly-created outfits from the other day's closet rummage for my work ensemble.
Citrus-y brights of tangerine and lemon abound! Let's throw some funky pattern in there while we're at it. 

  • Vintage top - handmade, vintage 60s, thrifted; purchased here for $8.95
  • Skirt - J. Crew, thrifted; first seen here in May with a bad black fringed top
  • Shoes - Big Presence Desmond, Fluevog; last worn here in June
  • Cropped jacket (below) - Animale, thrifted; first seen here in May for a shopping trip

As I hated the fringed top I wore with this skirt on its debut, I was thrilled to see how nicely it played with this vintage tangerine top. 
There is actually no orange at all in the skirt's pattern, but the red is very tomato-y, so it goes. It doesn't have to match exactly - it just has to GO. 

The new-to-me top was a pleasure to wear - no gaping in the armholes, or any fussiness with it. 
A tailored top that doesn't require tucking in at the waist works for my nearly 54-year-old body's shape and its minor (I hope) changes as menopause moves in to stay. 

I like that the top dips down in the back - no (butt) crack-a-lackin' here! 
I loved wearing this beautifully-patterned linen skirt again. 

I pulled out all the bright lemons and oranges I have, including my yellow mask. 
I should have worn a brooch - maybe my new cat one? - but that didn't occur to me when I picked out my accessories last night. Ah, well, next time! 

  • Mask - Lazy Susan's

The Completely Impractical Raincoat makes another appearance, here to protect most of my arms from the sun. 
It's basically just connected sleeves anyway! 

The stuff: 
I'd planned on wearing my yellow ballet flats with this, but they rubbed my heels while I padded around getting ready in the morning. Shocking when your heels are more comfy than your flats! 

Bright bling: 
All my yellows, some of my oranges, and one blue. 

  • Bracelet/ring - Italian, vintage 60s, vintage mall
  • Yellow cuff - thrifted
  • Bakelite earrings - vintage 60s, vintage fair
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes

On my way home, a woman exclaimed over my outfit, "I love all your bright colours!" - and I wasn't even wearing the shoes! 

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends! Stay safe and be kind! 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Excessively Ruffled Mental Health Shop

I savoured my day off today - there won't be too many of them in my future, so I'm ensuring that I do things that I love while I can. I have really enjoyed the slower pace of my life over the past year, including my leisurely Mental Health Shops. It was too hot to be racewalking 7K today, but a four-hour stroll and browse? Oh yeah, that's my idea of heaven! 

I wanted to wear this new-to-me skirt right away, so I did!
 I also deployed my paper parasol along with sunblock so that I could skip a shirt/jacket. 

  • Top - Tatum & Olivia, consignment; last worn here in May with dots and stars
  • Skirt - Faithfull the Brand, consignment; purchased here yesterday for $35.00
  • Sandals - Born, consignment; last seen here in June for a Mom-Day Adventure
  • Parasol - Chinatown, c. 2012

As Laurie noted in the comments, this skirt does have an uneven hemline - it dips up in the front. That will be handy when I go up stairs - I won't step on it. 
I love how pretty that looks! I'm an excess of ruffles. 

The back hem of the skirt is long. 
It was wonderfully swooshy. 

I don't usually expose my bra straps, but since I wore a slip (a blush vintage one - I matched the pink in the flower pattern) under it, I thought it looked more deliberate to have double straps. 
"Straps are good for eating."

That is true, apparently - when Vizzini was a kitten, he ate about 4 inches of strap from one of my expensive $80 Wacoal bras. 

Masked up - it's a pale leopard print. 
While I shopped, I tucked the parasol into my leather backpack. 

  • Mask - by Mom

I grocery shopped, then strolled up Fort Street's "Antique Row" area. It's got Vanity Fair Antique Mall, Leka, Luna, The Velvet Crease, MONA and Charmaine's and more - I visited all of those, and took my time looking around. 
"You were gone a long time."

Shopping is a endurance activity! Four hours is a marathon! I'm going to enjoy catching up with the Olympics on the couch with a snuggly kitty tonight. 

The stuff:
I had planned on wearing slightly fancier shoes, but realistically, I knew I needed an ultra-comfy pair. I've had these for over 10 years and they are my go-to when I know I have to be nice to my feet. I'll wear funkier shoes when I wear the skirt to work. 

  • Gold hoop earrings - 5th anniversary gift from L
  • Brutalist bronze ring - vintage mall
  • Amber ring - c. 1996

Vanity Fair Antique Mall is a fun place to spend browsing. I did the entire store methodically and found a couple of treasures. 
This metal and stone bracelet is really cool, and is small enough to fit my wrist properly. I like the spiky bits, which I guess are leaves amongst the tiny flowers. 
It has the look of good quality costume jewelry, with nice details including that dangle piece. 

It's really pretty on! 
The lime green stones have a lighter green, milky marbling. This was $26.00. I would guess its from the...1960s? I wonder if it had matching earrings? 

I lucked out on another bracelet. 
I've been watching for "amber" bracelets (whether real amber or stones that are amber-coloured) for a couple of years, as I built up my amber and silver collection. I really liked this bangle. 

It's not silver - I think it's steel. It's made from a punched pattern, then worked further (the squared holes along the edges, the addition of the stones, which I think are just glass. 
When I pressed the little button to open it, I expected it to pop open on the hinge, but not like this! This was a surprise. 

What a cool mechanism - you often see a little security chain on silver hinged bangles.
I see stamps! The one above is "R & G Co." This stands for Ripley & Gowan Co., which was established in Attleboro, Massachusetts, USA, established in 1874. 

There's also a stamp on the top:
That says "NuWite." That's the finish, as in "white like silver...but not silver! It's...NuWite!"

Isn't it pretty? 
It's got some age - it's likely from the 1920s or 1930s, when a lady would be wearing a few bangles on her arm with her flapper dress. This was $35.00 - I found the identical one with blue glass on Worthpoint (an auction site) that provided most of this info; link here 'cause I love. 

I popped into Charmaine's Past & Present, which is primarily a second-hand furniture store - I bought our blue/gold stool there recently, as well as L's birthday ship painting. 
They also have a small selection of jewelry, and I found the sweet little cat pin for $8.00 and the collar tips for $15.00. 

I think the cat is wood. That's a lot of little tiny bits. 
I'm not sure if the ball is supposed to be a toy or to represent his tail? 

I love the idea of collar tips but I've never seen a pair for sale second-hand. 
They work like a clip-on earring, only on the collar point. We'll have a closer look at that stamp in a bit. 

Sneak preview: here's a collar tip clipped on. 
Super cute, right? It even has a little "diamond"! 

They have a bit of weight, so they keep a pointed collar in place. 
Such a neat idea. That's on there very tight - it's not going to fall off. 

I zoomed in on the stamp and played with the colour, contrast and clarity settings until I could read it. 
I went nearly cross-eyed trying to read that, but it says "GES.GESCH." and it's short for "Gesetzlich Geschutzt" and it basically means "trademarked" in German. So these are German, but no idea how old they are. 1980s? 90s? We did a lot of customization to our clothes then, like dress clips, button covers, that sort of gewgaw. 

From Charmaine's I went to MONA consignment (hi, Deanna!), where I found a couple of things that appealed to me. I've been trying to keep my "style profiles" in mind when I shop, which are: 
  • Rock & Roll
  • Funky Vintage
  • Romantic Victorian
  • Big Boss Lady
  • Any combination of those, like Soft Goth, Badass, Cowgirl, Equestrian, or Hollywood Glam. 

Narrowing down my eclectic style is tricky, but even just sticking to those four helps me get carried away (there is so much bohemian out there! and that is not a style that suits me) and focused to the styles that I really like to wear. 

I let go of my long droopy green cardigan (it was SO droopy), but I love the long duster look, so this green jacket fits that slot.
It's meant to be worn more like a light jacket/duster/topper, and will work well with my fall wardrobe. 

It's by Eliane Rose and was $38.00, which felt low. It's made of 100% Tencel, a brand of sustainable fabric made from wood pulp - it's very soft.  
It's unlined but the seams are all nicely bound and it has two zip pockets in addition to the tab/snap detail on the sleeves. I couldn't find much on this brand. 

This next item is a two-part one: this is the lining, which is likely made of linen (sleeves/back) and cotton (front body). 
It's brown, a deep chocolate brown. It's cut like a ringmaster jacket, with two metal loop/tab closures in front which pull it tight like a vest under the bust, then open up to the sides. 

The entire back is the sheer linen. 
Most of the seams are pulled apart - the previous owner grew out of this or wore it hard (I do both of those things to my clothes, no judgment!). 

One of the arms has fully split open, right at the elbow. 
No point in fixing this, as it's just going to rip apart again. 

Now, here is the lining inserted into...the leather over-jacket! Which is also dark chocolate brown. It's pretty beat-up with some marks and scratches on the arms. I never mind wear on leather - I think it adds to the badass look of it. 
The collar of the lining goes over the collar of the jacket, and the lining hangs down around the hem - it's very steampunk (a look some of y'all know that I have loved over the years). 

There's two little fabric-covered buttons that connect with two chains, including an extra wee dangle. 
The fabric on the buttons is different - it's kind of weird that they don't match, but whatever. 

The back of the jacket has a sewn-on leather disc (why? this perplexes me) and a row of ruffled elastic (??!) along the back of the hem. The part I'm holding is the linen lining. 
I think I will remove that leather disc. There aren't any others on the jacket, for consistency, and I can see a little kitty discovering it and chomping down on it.  

The leather over-jacket is unlined, but nicely finished - it's butter-soft and is leather for sure, even though all the content tags have been removed. 
Showing two random D-rings on the inside of the jacket. Um, for securing my vintage pocket watch? I'm not sure why they are there. 
But they match the two on the back of the collar, which are joined by a chain. At least I can hang the jacket from this. 

This bizarre piece of clothing is by Boss by Hugo Boss. Based on the style, I strongly suspect this is from the late 90s or early 00s. 
It was marked at $75.00 but when I pointed out the condition issues, she gave it to me for $40.00, which I'm happy with. I will likely wear the jacket without the torn lining, but it's nice to have it. I might also replace the weird buttons and go full Steampunk Ringmaster (heh). 

From MONA, I went next-door to the Velvet Crease, and spent a peaceful hour and a half going through all the racks. I tried on a ton of stuff, but only ended up with two items. On the plus side, I really love both of them. 
This zebra print shirt appeals to me deeply (any animal print is rock & roll). I love the pattern, and it is cut really nicely, with a mandarin-style collar, and an almost-peplum at the bottom. 

The sleeves have tabs and buttons, and you can see that the wide bottom section has a slight flare. 
It looks really good on, which is the most important thing! 

You can see the linen weave here, confirmed on the tag. 
Hooray for machine washable! 

It's by Jones New York, and was $24.00. 
I'm excited to wear this. 

I hemmed and hawed over this jacket, but obviously, I gave in. 
That is gold silk, my friends. Such a great colour! 

The sleeves are slightly flared, and the big shawl collar is very Dramatic. 
It wraps across the body in front with the wide ties (I need to steam it out). 

I knew I'd find this tag.
Even the lining is silk! 

It's by Tangerine Jill, and I've had a love affair with this now-defunct local brand for over 10 years. 
It's always wonderful fabrics (mostly silk), bright colours and fairly simple construction, which is actually the drawback to this jacket. It doesn't have any buttons or snaps, so when it's on it works its way undone. I'll have to sew a couple of snaps in it - but that's easily done. I paid $52.00 for this, but it would have been over $200 new. 

And now, I have a VIC to take care of - that's a Very Important Cat, if you were wondering. 
"Finally, she's figured it out."

I hope you're all savouring your days and enjoying the little moments of calm. Tell me what your favourites are from my finds! Also, what's your style profile? Do you have more than one too? 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Blush and Lace Flashback; Mom Zoom; New Mustard

I spent Tuesday in a bit of a brain-fog - happily, it marked two weeks since my second jab, so I'm Double-V Vaccinated and (relatively) safe. I still felt lethargic and "blerg" in general, which I put down to menopause, general COVID Fatigue and lack of outfit inspiration. 

I did a leisurely 2-hour Zoom call in the morning with my dear friend Elaine, in Hamilton, Ontario - so good to catch up with her. I showered (a victory, some days!), but didn't dress up for the call. I just didn't have the mental energy for it all. Instead, after our chat, I spent over an hour in my closet, building outfits, trying things on, moving things to the giveaway pile. I ended up with over a dozen outfits, and although I might not wear them all, the mental exercise and self-care was sorely needed. 

Today's/Wednesday's work outfit came out of my closet play-time, and features a colour I don't wear often: blush. 
Both the tiered skirt and the jacket are a very pale peachy-beige shade, not one I usually gravitate to. 

  • Jacket - Marc Jacobs, thrifted; first worn here in August 2020 with my Big Boss Lady red trousers
  • Top - VanessaVirginia, consignment; last seen here in June with afternoon tea pajamas
  • Skirt - Sandra Angelozzi, thrifted; last worn here in July 2020 (Flashback there)
  • Shoes - Aldo, thrifted; last seen here in June with this top! 

We'll be doing a brief Flashback on this red lace top shortly, but first, the blush items. 
"What's that? The cat should go in the hall? I agree!"

The jacket and the skirt have both been unworn so far this spring/summer season - they require some serious contemplation as to whether I will keep them, since I don't reach for either. 
I do like that the jacket has all kinds of useful colours in it: chartreuse, aqua, red, pink and black. Aside from the obvious choice of red (that's the dominant colour to me), I haven't been inspired to pair this with much. 

With the jacket off. I bought this lace top for layering under things - I have a drawer full of small, soft tees, blouses and plain tops that I use for layering. 
When I need a layer, I rummage in the drawer. I don't fold soft tops, since I like the rooting-around aspect of a deep drawer full of goodies. Treasure! 

The red "bookends" of shoes and lace top are the standouts, I think you'll agree. I also have another blush item on: a layering cami underneath (and I'm wearing my beige cotton underlovelies too).
"Woman, you are so dense."

The skirt is the same blush shade as the background of the jacket, and is really close to my actual skin-tone. 

Masked up - although I'm personally safe, my office and building still require masks. I only saw three coworkers all day though. 
I often hesitate over removing skirts from my closet because it's SO hard to find interesting ones in second-hand stores. I've liked the outfits I've done with this one (you can revisit the Flashback in the "last worn here" link above), and I plan on keeping it - how many times do you find a tiered ruffled silk skirt like this?? It's a good neutral bottom, an interesting style (somehow these ruffles are okay with me!), and although the colour is on the blah side, it works with a lot of different tones.

  • Mask - Lazy Susan's

Sunnies on! We're having another heatwave this week with temps in the low to mid-30s. SO HOT. 
I like the jacket done up with the bits of red lace peeking out; however, it is going to the giveaway pile. It doesn't inspire me. 

The stuff:
I was going to wear red heels, but the heatwave put me off them. 

Matchy bling: 
Mixing metals all over the place! 

  • Necklace - thrifted
  • Earrings - Mangos
  • Leather/steel cuff - Rimanchik
  • Copper/enamel cuff - Matisse by Renoir, vintage 60s, vintage expo
  • Turquoise/silver ring - local
  • Big turquoise ring - Karen's
  • Turquoise/copper brooch - thrifted

Happy and feeling less brain-foggy from my outfit-building, I enjoyed another Zoom call in the afternoon on Tuesday with Mom, who showed off her new top and her new haircut.
I LOVE this pixie cut on you, Mom! It really suits your face. 
I know, it's so short in the back, right? I love touching freshly "mown" hair when it's really short. 

The top is a great colour on Mom. I can't pull off mint green. 
Thank goodness ONE of us was stylish! 

Flashback: VanessaVirginia Red Lace Top

Back in the "olden days," I used to do my grocery shop on Sundays, often followed by a thrift or consignment shop afterwards. This was one of my trips to My Sister's Closet (sadly now closed), back in October 2018, here, where I found this top for $16.98. 
It's actually a deep reddish-pink, edged in bright orangey-red, but the overall look is red lace. It's by VanessaVirginia, which is an Anthropologie brand - this top retailed for $98.00 originally.

I wore it right away, layering it under my pink blazer in November 2018.
I have everything except the grey wool trousers still (they were so boring). I now have awesome pinstriped wool pants that are much more exciting (Always Be Upgrading!). 

You can't see much of the top here, hiding beneath this embroidered faux leather jacket, but it's layered under my "Buffy" black leather dress for a shopping trip in March 2019. 
I wore this top under the same dress more recently, below.

I discovered this combination in June 2019 - another future repeat! 
I let go of the shoes this past year - that slappy slipper style is not my jam. 

Currently, I'm consciously letting go of clothes that are difficult to style, even designer names like this Dries Van Noten "genie" skirt, seen here in August 2019. 
I like that the top has a nice scalloped edge - it looks good hanging out over a waistband. 

See? This is what I wore above, under that embroidered jacket. 
This was a very elf-like outfit (I had a green leather trenchcoat over this look) from December 2019. 

And I somehow missed wearing this top for all of 2020! Oh, 2020, such a year. 
This is the last time I wore it, in June 2021, featuring a repeat of the pajama jacket and my Big Boss Lady pink pants. 

Mathy stuff: I actually thought I'd worn this a lot more than I have, but I'm at 7 outfits including today's. That brings us to a very respectable $2.43 per wear. 

Until I find a better red soft layering top, this is the one! What's your favourite look? 

I had to stop at the pet store for another box of kitty treats (a Bad Thing to run out of!), and popped into Rich Rags to see if Gloria had anything interesting. 
I found this fabulously swooshy mustard skirt! It looks horrendous here, due to a kazillion wrinkles. 

I gave it a quick steam, which smoothed it out nicely and allowed me to really look at the construction. 
The ties are attached to the sides of the waist - no pockets! - and the ruffled at the hem is bias-cut for extra swoosh and is lined. 

The pattern is pale blush flowers with bits of black. 
I doubt I would wear blush with this, though. Those are really difficult colours to mix in an outfit! I'll likely wear black and/or white with it. 

The previous owner didn't even take the tag fully off, although oddly, there's no content/care tag. I discovered it's 100% rayon by digging around online.
I wonder if she even wore it? The sizing is wonky: a US size 8 is a medium, not a large. 

It's by Faithfull the Brand, and well, that's cool - the company was founded by an Australian and a Norwegian, two women who met in Bali, Indonesia, and created this company (about them here, link 'cause I love). They seem like a pretty ethical brand.
I paid $35.00 for my skirt, and a similar one on their site is US $209.00! This is called the Botany print, and Anthropologie carried it. I got a bargain!