Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Pattern-Mixing With Creamsicle and First Fluevogs in Flashback

Today's outfit did not start out like this - I had a different blouse planned, but when I got dressed, I wasn't feeling it, so this blouse is now in the giveaway pile. I didn't panic - instead, I fell back on one of my tried-and-true outfit formulas: this corset-style bustier over a shirt. 
I originally built the outfit to showcase my Very First Pair of Fluevogs, and we'll be doing a Flashback of all the times I've worn them at the end of the post.

  • Blouse - Yest; last seen here in June, layered under a fab jammy dress
  • Bustier - Le Chateau, consignment; last worn here in in September 2020 with a maxi skirt and a white shirt
  • Skirt - Compania Fantastica, consignment, Vancouver; last seen here in May with ruffles and a space jacket
  • Shoes - Listen Up Harlow, Fluevog, c. 2006; last worn here in January 2018 (!!) with Kenzo and Courreges

I recently saw on IFB's (that's the Independent Fashion Bloggers, link here 'cause I love) e-newsletter that corset-style tops are having a comeback. Comeback?? Like they ever left my closet! You can check out the Flashback on this bustier here, and I also have this one, and this one...these are no stranger to my wardrobe! 
I do find this particular corset/bustier a bit fussy, as I'm frequently adjusting the tuck of the shirt into the chest (it wants to escape). 
But it's a keeper - it's a versatile piece. This is my 20th wearing of it!

I like this low-key black and white pattern mix with the creamsicle orange of the skirt.  
I felt feminine without being overly girly.

Masked up in more black and white. 
My office is still "masks on," which I'm very happy about with case counts increasing as the Delta variant surges in BC. Fortunately, over 70% of our population is double-jabbed now - woo! 

  • Mask - by Mom

We're having another heat wave this week, with temps surging past 30 again, up to 32 today. 
My office is nice and cool, but I'm covered up for the slow saunter home. 

Mom proudly showed me her new hat yesterday - and it's just like mine. What can I say? We have good taste. 
I'm ready to fan myself dramatically. Fetch me a mint julep, would you, darling?

  • Hat - Heart's Content

The stuff: 
Aren't these the most beautiful shoes? I'm excited to share my outfit history of them with you. I haven't worn these to work in YEARS (that's a four-inch heel), but they were fine for the small amount of office-walking that I did today. 

Orange bling: 
You know I had to go full matchy! 

  • "Jell-O shot" necklace - Banana Republic, consignment
  • Orange ring - vintage 60s, Italian, vintage mall
  • Silver/onyx ring - Toccara, vintage fair
  • Earrings - thrifted
  • Snakeskin belt - Yves St. Laurent, vintage 80s, thrifted

Ready for some oldies? 

Flashback: Fluevog Listen Up Harlow

These beautiful shoes are are one of my very few pre-blog pairs, and I've been blogging since March 2008 - they are 15 years old. Meet the Harlow, from the Listen Up family of John Fluevog shoes. These are the shoes that turned me into a Fluevog Fan!
I've had them since 2006, when L and I did our first "Fluevog Pilgrimage" to Vancouver for our wedding anniversary, which we've done nearly every year since. Our tradition now is that we buy each other a pair. 

L bought them for me in March 2006 at the Granville Street Fluevog store (the Gastown one did not exist yet, nor was there a store in Victoria), and I am sure they were on sale. That still would have been around $249.00, so let's go with that as an estimate. 
These are a bit less elaborate than many of the shoes Fluevog makes now - note the simple buckle. For fifteen-year-old shoes, they're in wonderful condition still. 

I used to save these "for special," so they didn't get worn all that often until I started blogging. I featured them in my very first Shoe Shine (here; link to all of them here), a link-party that I ran for a year and then dropped (too much work). 
They are from the Listen Up Family of shoes, and features the "champagne cup" heel - all Listen Ups  have the same heel and general shoe shape. Fluevog issued a new Listen Up family a few years after this line was discontinued, with a different heel. I have this pair here, the O'Haras, which were the first pair in the new family...and that's also since been discontinued. My O'Haras were signed by John Fluevog (here) in person!

I used to have three other pairs of Listen Ups: the Audrey, the Mansfield (both sold through consignment here in 2015) and the Ivanna (last worn here in 2012). Four-inch heels can't stay, but I'll always have my pictures of them! 

This pair is called the Harlow, after Jean Harlow. 
I didn't realize until today that these have an older version of John's signature: just "Fluevog", not his full signature (this one) that they use now. 

These used to say "Listen to Me" on the soles. 
They never stay pristine. 

This is one whole month into my blogging career, in April 2008. I don't know how to pose at all. 
Oy, that's quite the outfit! I was deep into experimenting what fit my "new" body (I'd just lost 50 lbs the year before), and had not yet learned the lesson, "Just because it fits, doesn't mean it suits you."

These outfits now look very "of their time" to me, 12-13 years later! This was in January 2009, and we see the beginnings of my classic "leg out" pose here. 
Ugh, a satin babydoll top, super not flattering on me. Black pants?? Who is this person? 

And an LBD! This is in May 2009. I still have that floral brooch.
I had red hair for a long time - I dyed it that colour from the mid-90s until about 6 years ago.

I thought this look was quite "out there" at the time, but it looks so dull to me now. 
This is in August 2009. I still have that belt and my pearl jewelry (most of that is from the 80s). Nearly everything else in this Flashback is long gone. 

October 2009, and as you can see, my love affair with velvet blazers has been a life-long one. 
I was afraid to match these shoes to anything other than black, hence the large proportion of black in these outfits.

April 2010, still looking rather boring. I'd forgotten all about that sweater. 
As you can see from all these trouser pictures, I was a fan and early adopter of wide-legged pants. 

I've always loved yellow - I wore this thrifted cashmere sweater to death. 
This is from September 2010, and that's Inigo kitty! He was such a lovey boy. 

I was also very heavily into "tulip" skirts, which are making a comeback. This outfit is from February 2011. 
I was really into belting my sweaters then. 

I remember wearing this to my Weight Watchers job in April 2011. 
I really liked that skirt, but the pattern didn't line up symmetrically. 

Ooh, this is a really early Stair Picture, from August 2011. 
I haven't quite worked out the corner-to-corner logistics of the pose, but it's close - it has taken me years to get it right every time. 

November 2011 and a better Stair Pose, although it's not quite there - I do more of a sprawl across the stairs now, to really stretch my legs out and make them look longer. 
I loved those tights, which I had for well over a decade. 

In June 2012, I featured these shoes in my month long capsule, as part of my "30 For 30 For 12" year-long wardrobe challenge. June was a neutral month. 
This challenge helped me hone my style and be pickier about my shopping. I still have that leather cuff. 

Another June 2012 outfit - and I thought this was Highly Adventurous. 
Recognize the bustier? The little socklets with the shoes really pushed my boundaries. So daring! 

I realized around this time that these shoes were way to high for daily wear, and moved them into my "archives" (I display them in my closet up high). When I joined the Traveling Yellow Skirt Freakshow (link to my original post here), of course I had to incorporate them into my steampunk look. 
"Hark, I see a castle!"

This was in November 2013, and was the first time I did a photo-shoot out in public. They're still pretty rare for me. 

I didn't pull the shoes out again for five years, when I wore them to work here in January 2018.
That's a Kenzo jacket I gave to Cat, and my original Andre Courreges wool skirt (thrifted for $5.00!). I'll have to do a Flashback on that one day (if I can still get into it). 

Mathy stuff: This is my 16th recorded wearing - I probably wore these shoes 4 or 5 times prior to the blog, between 2006 and 2008. We'll go with 16 for now, though, which brings us to a cost-per-wear of $9.31. Not bad! 

This heel (3.5") is just a bit too high for regular wear nowadays, but seeing all these outfits, I realize I still have some outfit potential before I fully retire them. As my original pair of 'Vogs, I'll never get rid of these! Maybe I need to display them properly...

Do you have shoes over a decade old? Do you keep any of your favourite things in a personal archive? 


  1. This outfit is absolutely glorious! I adore how the colour + circle components of the necklace echo the colour and polka dots of the skirt. Inspired styling, my dear friend, positively inspired!

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    PS: Awesome flashback snaps!

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed the flashback and I was struck by how much you and your Mom resemble one another; lovely! Easy to tell from your photos and commentary what a blast the Fluevog party was! I remember going in to that store, giddily trying on a pair of shoes (didn't purchase) and admiring the multitude of colors, patterns and styles.

    Echoing the comments made by Witchcrafted Life and adding that your outfit is fabulous!

    As for shoes over a decade old, none that spring to mind but I do have many that are in the 7-8 year old range. Mostly they were worn when I was still working and they will remain in my closet because (a) they could easily be worn again, (b) they fit comfortably so why part with them! and (c) I plain out like them. :-) I definitely have a personal archive of clothes although never thought of it as an archive but heck, that's actually what it is! The items are either sentimental (for instance, clothing that was my Mom's) or simply pieces I love but have no reason to wear but one day I might (hope springs eternal!)

    Yikes on the weather, though we, too, are having a heat wave forecast similar to Victoria's temps. Olympia's temps are slated to go higher. None of this excessive heat is healthy :( We just had a heat pump (also known as a mini split) installed but the electrician cannot come till next Tuesday to run the line. We think it has become a matter not just of comfort but also of health to be able to cool things down a bit, especially when the air quality is so-so. Here's to moving at a pace that honors the body. :-) Stay cool!

    1. Yes, I look quite a lot like her, with some shades of my dad. Oh gosh, yes, that Fluevog party was a hoot! I have such great memories of it, not least that it was one of the final events with Karen. I remember taking you there!

      Thank you, my dear friend.

      Those are excellent reasons to keep them. I think good shoes are ageless. Everyone needs an archive - I have sweaters from my dad, old clothes of mine, vintage clothing that I love, stuff from loved ones. Pack it away, but know that you have it.

      The smoke is coming in - I'm going to get my Mental Health Walk in while I can! This weather is crazy. I'm glad you'll have some coolness - we have a couple of fans. Here's to cool temps of fall!

      Big hugs!

  3. Those are beautiful shoes. I'm glad they worked as a "gateway" to Fluevog obsession.

    I like the outfit. I've never worn (or thought of wearing) a bustier so thanks for expanding my mental closet. I'll go looking for them now.

    1. I felt for them hard, Ally! Fluevogs give me such joy when I wear them - I hope yours do too!

      Thank you! This one is nice and stretchy - they are good for accentuating the waist and creating an hourglass shape. I bet this style would suit you.

  4. I love the flashbacks that you do and I have to say I think you are aging in a Benjamin Buttons way; to me you look younger now than in some of the older pictures. I have some summer sandals that are over ten years old, but no actual shoes that are more than five years old. I have never owned or worn a bustier, I don't think I could pull it off, but I like them on people who can.

    1. Thank you so much, Nana. I was struck by how much I leaned towards classic looks - none of which feel like me now. Ha, you are very kind! Maybe it's because I feel more confident?

      Interesting. A bustier worn like this, but with a blazer on top, is doable for many people.

  5. I love a good fun heel with tailored pants. It is the few times I feel like "a boss lady".

  6. Those Fluevogs are gorgeous and that you're still wearing them surely is testament to their quality. And you're wearing bustiers so well. I'm hearing you on the issues with the shirt, though. To be honest, that kind of thing would drive me crazy ...
    I'm loving the orange, black and white colour scheme of your outfit, and it's always a delight to see your Jell-O shot necklace!
    With just two people at the office and my colleague only working part time, wearing masks has never been an issue. So glad of that as I always end up with sore eyes if I have to wear one for any length of time. We're also doing really well with vaccination here, with the 12 to 15 year olds being called up now.
    How funny - but testament to your shared good taste - that both you and your Mum have the same hat! xxx

    1. This is more of a one-off, Ann - they aren't really wearable on a regular basis for me anymore. I'm impressed that they still look and feel new after all this time. The shirt fussiniess reminded me of why I like bodysuits! This would have been a good outfit for one.

      Thank you! Yes, my cost-per-wear on that necklace must be pennies by now - I only paid $5.00 for it.

      That is great news about your office and vaccination schedules.

      I've always taken style cues from Mom - she's been very influential on me.

  7. You have worn those shoes so well! I feel almost embarrassed to say that the only shoes I have that would be over 10 years old would be my converse I think! I bought them for a trip back in my uni days. I do have a couple good quality leather flats but I am fairly sure they are less than 10 years old.

    1. Thanks so much, Mica! That's okay - I was just curious to see if anyone else hung onto shoes like me.

  8. I don't think I've ever had a corset before but you pull them off so well, Shiela! Do you still have to wear a mask if you are double vaxxed? X

    1. Thanks so much, Jess!

      Masks in BC are still "recommended" and workplaces can decide if they want to mandate them or not. My work does, but many businesses don't. I'm more comfortable wearing a mask when I'm in a public space indoors (I don't wear one outside unless I'm in a crowd of people).

  9. These earlier photos of you with the red hair remind me of Shirley Manson-one of my fav singers! Love the Harlow shoes, hopefully you'll get many more years of wear out of them. I have a pair of Steve Madden red satin embroidered platform wedges I got in the 90s. The bottoms are a little worn and need something to give them traction, otherwise they're in perfect condition. I think I could still pull them off if I keep everything else simple. Maybe when Covid dies down I'll break them out, but in the meantime I will never get rid of them.

    1. Thanks so much, Patricia - I know Shirley Manson (of Garbage - they have a new album out). I likely won't wear these shoes too much - they are too high for my poor old feet. You should get the bottoms of your shoes fixed and wear them again!! Go for it!

  10. Those polka dots skirt is beautiful! Love those throwback pictures! Great outfits!

    1. Thanks, Lovely! I enjoy looking back at the old outfits.

  11. All the outfits are just amazing! I love the styling very much! Wonderful and Lovely Post dear! xoxo

  12. Good morning Sheila, "feminine without being over girly" that is how I like to feel. I loved the orange and the necklace goes so well. I have many shoes that I have kept for years. I loved the flashback and of course you will never get rid of them. Perhaps when you no longer wear them you could mount them on the wall one slightly lower than the other. My friend had a pair of her great great grandmothers shoes (your steampunk heart would have loved them) anyway I suggested that and they look great and are there to be admired. Anyway thanks for starting the day off with your bright post. Take care Shazxx

    1. Thanks, Shaz! It's taken me a while to figure that out, shockingly! Thank you - glad to hear I am not the only one. I love the idea of mounting them or displaying them, and I think I'll work out some way to do that. How cool that your friend displayed her great-great-grandmother's shoes (I can just picture them!).

  13. What a fun outfit, I'm liking the steampunk vibe and the colours are gorgeous. Maybe I sould wear my beloved sewuinned 1980s bustier with something underneath, I certainly don't fill the cups!
    The shoes have done well, they look pristine.
    I tend to wear my footwear until it wears out. I don't really do shoes only clogs, sandals and boots but I regularly wear Mum's Biba boots which are older than I am as well as my old school teacher's snakeskin boots which she had custom made in 1966. xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix! I would love to see your sequined bustier under one of your big billowy blouses, like the white one you just got.

      I'm glad these have held up. I dread any of my favourite shoes wearing out to the point where I can't wear them anymore - that's partly why I have so many pairs of shoes, to share the wear around. I love your Mum's boots and adore those snakeskin ones! They are works of art.

  14. So many good things in this look. You can rock a bustier like no one else I know. Your B/W Fluevogs are spectacular. I adore that style. There are a couple pairs of shoes in my closet that I've had for over 10 years and hang onto mostly for posterity. Thanks for linking with me.


    1. Aw, thanks, Rena! I am glad I kept these Fluevogs, as I still love them all these years later. I must figure out a display for them or something.

  15. This pair of shoes looks so classical. I love the flashback you did with them. So many lovely outfits.

  16. Lovely outfit!, you rock your bustiers and this one is particularly versatile and cool, and love the way you created a fab color combo with orange and classic black&White and added some matchy accessories. Wow, so gorgeous!
    And so fabulous flashback on your shoes and on your own style evolving through time. I totally understand the feeling when watching some ten years old outfits and thinking they're quite dull! ;DD. But these shoes are so amazing! and elegant!. Lovely to remember the Travelling Yellow Skirt too.

    1. Thank you, Monica! I love bustiers - they are so fun! Isn't it fun to look back? And I felt so adventurous at the time! Wasn't the Traveling Yellow Skirt fun?

  17. I remember that it was you who inspired me to wear a corset top over a shirt. I enjoyed seeing your Travelling Yellow skirt photo again - great styling!

    The oldest pair of shoes I have might be 6 or 7 years old. Anything prior to that would have been given away when my bunions got worse.

    1. I love the look - it's a very feminine/masculine mix, which I love. I admit I had a read backwards and looked at all the pics again. So fun!

      Aw, I hear that - I got rid of a bunch a few years back when my feet started to give me pain from heels.


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