Sunday, August 22, 2021

Weekend Wrap-Up: Casual Kimono Dress Flashback and Cat Pictures

Hello, my friends! I've had a very quiet weekend here, and have just one outfit to share. We played Ultimate Frisbee on Saturday morning, followed by brunch, but I played and brunched in my workout gear, so no photos of that. 

Post-Ulti, I got dressed in a very casual (for me) outfit, and L and I quickly dashed out for some gaming sustenance (chocolate, gummies and chips) for Cat and Ross' arrival that evening. We played a rousing game of Arkham Horror and laughed ourselves silly into the wee hours. 

We'll be having a Flashback on this pre-blog dress that I've had since 2007. 
I never wear leggings except around the house, so this is a first! 

  • Kimono Dress - Hale Bob, Century 21, NYC, 2007; last seen here (2nd outfit) in July 2019
  • Cami - not tracked, gift from Ruth
  • Leggings - Masai, thrifted, Sidney, not tracked
  • Sandals - Born, consignment; last seen here in July for a ruffled shop

But I was so stiff and sore from two hours of running - I could not face "real" clothes! 
I even had an afternoon nap in this. The leggings are a much more muted teal than they look here.

Vizzini always has to get in on the action. 
"I'm here and then I'm gone."

The dress is burnout velvet (aka devore, de-VOR-ay, darlings!), and is 100% silk, as well as beaded all over. 
It's one of the most beautiful textiles I own. 

Incognito in my shades, in case I ran into anyone I knew. 
I didn't. Phew! I have a reputation to uphold! 

Masked up for a foray into London Drugs - along with our evening treats, I picked up more solar lights/lanterns for our deck, since they were on final season clearance. 
I hung out in this outfit in the evening - it's a little dressier than what I'd normally lounge around in. 

Mask - CuverUp

The stuff:  
My shoes need re-heeling, so I'll be taking them to the cobbler this week. I considered turfing them, but they are such good quality, that I think new heels will give them years more use. 

  • Cuff - Myka, consignment
  • Glass tile necklace - Karen's (the pendant was a gift from me to her, from Venice, Italy)
  • Wood ring - Dots
  • Turquoise ring - Karen's
  • Earrings - Lazy Susan's

Flashback: Hale Bob Silk Velvet Kimono Dress

I bought this dress in New York City in May 2007, when Mom and I did a trip there together. We stayed in a tiny little hotel just off Times Square, and we walked all over the city. Y'all will excuse my indulgence in sharing a few pictures from our trip that actually have us in them. These are pictures of actual print photographs; Mom made me up a little photo album after the trip. Neither of us owned a digital camera back then!
Me in Central Park. I was near the end of my weight loss journey (doing Weight Watchers maintenance while I was in New York). I'm 39 years old here, as this is 15 years ago. 

Mom on the Brooklyn Bridge - we walked over it and back so we could say we'd been to Brooklyn. 
We also did the (free) Staten Island Ferry there and back, so we touched three boroughs. 

Mom and Dad's song was "Moon River" from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, which is still my favourite movie. 
I have an apple in my hand from the complimentary breakfast buffet at our hotel. Get it? I have Tiffany's! Unfortunately, it was too early in the morning and Tiffany's was not yet open. 

Mom and I at the Empire State Building viewing platform. Hey, those are the earrings Mom just gave me! 
Mom was just fitted for a new bra at Victoria's Secret and is looking rather "yowza!" here, hee hee. I had to fold one of the photographs in half to put us together in the picture. 

While I was in NYC, I did tons of clothing shopping - this was my first binge of buying clothes for my new, 50lbs smaller body. My jean jacket in the above pic was purchased from Ann Taylor Loft and lasted the second-longest of almost everything I bought while I was there; I got rid of it only 3 years ago. I had quite a bit from Loft and from Filene's Basement - I wasn't as heavily into second-hand clothing pre-blog, so I didn't go to any vintage stores (a missed opportunity, and reason to go back!).

We also visited the famous department store Century 21 while we were there, and I bought this dress for $49.95, I think. I tried it on in the aisle as there was a huge line for the fitting rooms. 
I fell in love with the beautiful fabric. 

I took these pictures a few years back to show the beadwork. 
I had another dress by Hale Bob that I bought at the same time:
That's from July 2010. It was a lovely dress, but too frou-frou for me, so I eventually gave it away.
This isn't a cheap line - this dress would have been around $200-300 at full retail. 

I didn't wear it for two full years after buying it because I couldn't figure out how to style it! Imagine! I threw this together quickly in April 2009, as I rushed to make it to town for a lunch date I'd totally forgotten about.
I wore just a tank top under it, and a pair of full-coverage granny-panties (very Bridget Jones!), and thank goodness I did, as this was when I first realized: the dress is completely see-through! 

Including a couple of pics of us - it was Caro's birthday celebration. 
We hung out at Cactus Club for the afternoon. I can tell L showed up, as that's his Boston Bruins Hawaiian shirt on the side above. 

Caro, Cat, Vero and me - the original Core Four Winesday gals. 
Looks like it was an afternoon for boozy Caesars! 

This is from July 2010. The dress originally had a silk sash threaded under the bustline, but that's not a style that suits me and it pulled the shoulders of the dress down. 
Eventually, you'll see the sash go missing...

This was my travel outfit in March 2013, when L and I went to Vancouver for our anniversary trip. 
I'm a blonde! And wearing my favourite "tux" pants and loafers. 

This was the very first time we met up with Melanie of A Bag and a Beret.
We did a lot of posing, and being silly. We totally hit it off, and have gotten together with Mel every time we've gone over since.

A more serious try at a proper outfit with this dress, in June 2013. 
I wore this to an art exhibit that Elaine was featured in. I've taken the under-boob sash out here and belted the dress with one of my Smoking Lily obis. 

I am pretty sure I wore this to the Ulti field in August 2014. 
Just wearing a full vintage slip under it. My hair is shaved on the sides, revealing the horrifying truth: I'm grey! 

Another stab at wearing it - this time with long white denim shorts. 
Oh, and I'm wearing clogs! I forgot I'd even owned those. Mom and I did some Zentangle in Beacon Hill Park this day in June 2015.

Somewhere in this period, I gave the dress away to Caro - she wore it for a while, then gave it back. 
I think this was the only time I've worn it for work, in August 2017, layered with a white sweater and my white floofy underskirt. I think this is one of the best stylings I've done with this dress. 

This is another Ulti outfit (the dress is easy to slip off over my head), from August 2018.
Same shoes as the current outfit, and just using the sash as a belt. 

And here's the last time I wore it, in July 2019. 
Just a half-slip and a tank/cami under it. 

Mathy stuff: I've worn it 10 times in 15 years (plus assorted wearings by Carolyn), which is only $5.00 per wear, but I'm okay with that, as it's a tricky item to style. I'm definitely keeping it, as a memento from the trip to NYC with Mom as well. 

However, I think this dress is really not my current style, and I have an idea. What if I cut it straight down the front, and used the sash to edge it? That would make it into a kimono-style topper - I think I would get more wear out of it if I could layer over a more "me" outfit. What do you think? Have you ever cut a dress up to make it more wearable? I know some of you are handy that way! 

I'm going to leave you with a couple of cat pictures. Here's Vizzini snoozing in the last of the evening sun on the deck.
"Yes, you should definitely disturb me."

He dozed until Cat and Ross came over, then lurked around waiting for us to drop crumbs on the floor for him to hoover up. 

Vizzini, you must behave yourself when we have guests!
"All I smell is tuna on your breath, Man."

I hope you all had a lovely, relaxing weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by! 


  1. It's a fabulous dress, but I say go for it! I think it will make a beautiful topper and I fully agree that it will be more you and also more useful. Can't wait to see what happens!

  2. I like the kimono dress as is. However, if you will enjoy wearing it more then absolutely alter it as you described! I have altered clothes to suit my changing taste. I have cut the tops off two dresses and turned the bottoms into skirts. Still have one in my closet and wear it in the summer. Jeans and similar style pants have become shorts.

    Enjoyed seeing you and your Mom in NYC! You saw some of the iconic locations.

    And yay for gaming with Cat and Ross. We play board games when visiting Robin & Katryna; a most excellent way to spend enjoyable time together and get in bouts of laughter! By the by, so delighted you posted Sunday afternoon. It’s been raining all day here. Thankfully the expected hurricane passed us and we did manage an early morning walk and a shorter one in the rain. Still, though, your post rescued me from brain drain in the rain!

    1. If I leave it as is, I won't wear it much, so I think it will get more use if I turn it into a coat/topper. Wow, good for you, Laurie! I have hardly altered anything I own.

      We did! There were many more pics, but we're not in most of them.

      It was so fun - I love playing games with company. I'm so glad the hurricane missed you! Rain is not too bad! Ha, happy to have rescued you!

  3. That dress is such a beautiful piece and I think you wear it well - leggings under a dress is the only way I wear leggings so I don't see a problem with that outfit even if it felt more relaxed than usual for you - you still look amazingly stylish!

    I've worn shirt dresses as kimonos before when they button down the front but never tried to turn a dress into one myself. I think it would totally work for this piece though!

    1. Aw, thanks, Mica! I felt dressy enough for my casual day/evening, even with leggings on.

      I think it will too. Wish me luck!

  4. That dress is sensational, I love it! What a brilliant idea to transform it into a kimono, it would be so much more you. It's almost a crime not to wear it more often than you have done.
    Love the photos of NYC . I was mesmerised by your Mum's magnificent bust!
    That photo of L ticking off Vizzini is exactly what happens in our house every day. I laugh at Jon trying to reason with the cats when they misbehave! xxx

    1. Yeah, that's why I want to alter it, Vix - I feel bad that I haven't worn it very much, considering it's SO beautiful.

      Ha ha, I know - nice rack, eh? I wish I had more pics of us there.

      We try and try, and they just...smell our fingers. :)

  5. It's a beautiful dress but I can see it's difficult to style (being see through) so I think your idea of turning a kimono style dress into a kimono is brilliant. Especially as it is such a beautiful design and made of Devore. I have some Devore scarves and if I wear one I can't stop stroking it...

    If Victoria's Secret can do that for your mum's bust I'd love to try one of their bra's on me! I'm so glad you managed to get breakfast at Tiffany's - of a sort...

    Vizzini doesn't look at all impressed by L's ticking off!

    1. Thanks so much, Vronni! It is such a lovely piece, and I want to wear it more - I think I'll be able to do this pretty easily. I am always stroking this - so soft!

      I know, it's an impressive bustline!

      No, Vizzini was not impressed at all. :)

  6. I'm loving that devoré (de-VOR-ay) dress, but I'm hearing you on it not being your current style, and think it will look brilliant and get another lease of life as a kimono! Even in this easy-going outfit with leggings you are looking more dressed up than the average woman I meet on the streets, who actually think they ARE dressed up.
    Lovely flashback, especially those photos of your trip to NY. I'm loving Moon River, which somehow always makes me cry, and Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my favourites too! xxx

    1. Yes, it's too droopy and doesn't do anything for my shape, but I love it so much. Aw, thank you for the kind words on the leggings! I love them around the house, but I don't like wearing them in public (leggings aren't pants!).

      I am glad I remembered that I still have these pictures, and I'm even happier that I've now digitized the ones with us in them. That's such a great movie (and we will grit our teeth over Mickey Rooney...).

  7. Your Mom's bust line is definitely very elevated in that NYC photo! I wish I could get mine up that high ;). I really like this dress, but if the style isn't working for you any more then it might be fun to transform it into something more wearable. The fabric is beautiful so it would be a shame to leave it languishing in your closet.

    1. It was an impressive transformation, Shelley! I don't think my boobs go that high, lol.

      It's a beautiful dress, but it just doesn't suit me that well. I think I can make it work with a snip and a needle and thread.

  8. Great idea to alter that dress as it is a beautiful fabric. Couple of concerns - as your dress is a v neck - if you open it up you will still have a v neck and then a straight run to the hem. Most kimonos are a straight run from the back of the neck to the hem or they cross over with a tie belt. You may need a tie or a clasp at the v section once opened. I was also going to caution you on the potential fraying of this very delicate fabric as it may be difficult to work with. Your belt will need to edge both sides therefore will be a very thin width of edging - about half the width of the current belt. Would you consider consulting with a tailor before making any cuts? It is such a gorgeous dress. Looking forward to seeing the end result.

    1. Thanks, Robyn! Yes, I realize that, and there is enough in the sash to do a tie at the bottom of the V (I also thought of snaps there). The fabric is woven silk, so not prone to unraveling. The sash/tie that came with the dress is about 4 inches wide and is doubled, so I have lots of fabric to work with there.

      I don't have a regular tailor, so no, I probably won't be consulting with anyone. I think I can do this by hand without too much trouble.

  9. Oh, my gosh! I love your style! You’re who I want to be when I grow up…but, seeing as I’ve got a few years on you, I’d better hurry! I always enjoy your writing and love the way you flashback to how you’ve worn an item before.

    1. Thank you so much, Marsha! I appreciate you reading and commenting! I love looking back at my old outfits!

  10. Love this devoré piece (and love the 'de-VOR-ay, darlings!' note, ;DD), it's one of my favourite fabrics ever and this one has some delightful colours and beads!, fabulousness!. Really love that you've kept it and wore it over trousers, slips and shorts, so many different outfits (inspiring!). But I understand that you want to revamp it into a kimono-jacket, it would be more versatile.

    1. Hee hee, I can't be bothered to grab the accented e, so I always spell it out. This is a gorgeous fabric, but I really didn't like the look of it as a garment overall.

  11. Love the portions of the where that dress hits and how marvelously it pairs with leggings. It's giving me serious 1950s/early 60s hostess (easygoing) attire vibes (think those outfit with fairly wide skirts worn over capris or cigarette trousers).

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Lol, then you are not going to be happy when you see what I did with the dress! I love the textile, though, and the memories of our trip. Yes, I love that look you mean! So mid-century.


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