Thursday, December 9, 2021

Mom-Day Adventure: Shopping in Oak Bay, Branch Dress Flashback, Lost Llama

Mom and I had planned for a walk at Swan Lake today, but we woke up to gloomy grey skies, high winds and rain. 

The rain did clear up, but not until after we'd decided to head down Oak Bay Ave to check out a couple of stores and have lunch. Twist my rubber arm - shopping!
Hooray, a stair picture! I'm dressed for shopping, walking and the season. 

  • Dress - Nanette Lepore, thrifted; last worn here in October 2020 with burgundy
  • Boots - Matisse, consignment; last seen here (3rd outfit) with orange and massive velvet vest in October
  • Coat (below) - Denny Rose, consignment; last worn here in November

I adore a good Jammy Dress - dresses that are as comfy as wearing pajamas - and this one ticks nearly every box. If it had pockets, it would be perfect. 
We'll do a wee Flashback on it in a bit. 

It's a great basic dress for me, as I can play with my accessories to make it look different every time. 
It works with a ton of colours. 

Plus, it's just pulls over my head - the wrists, waist and neck are all smocked in elastic. 
I don't need to use the two buttons at the back of the neck, thank goodness. I hate fussy buttons. 

Masked up. 
Figuring I'd be seen more in my outerwear, I matched my mask more to the coat than to my dress. 

Outerwear - gotta wear red this time of year (plus it's Mom's favourite colour). 
A beret in case of rain, and a ginormous scarf for chilly winds. 

I also wore red gloves. 
A silly pose, but it shows off the two Christmas tree brooches I pull out every year. 

All done up - this is how most people saw me. I had a lot of compliments on this coat!
I bought it in April 2017 for $24.50 here - what a haul I had that day! In addition to this coat, I still have the red belt, the copper "Vix" necklace, the pink skirt I just wore, the green tiered skirt and the black shell, which is amazing. I've worn this coat a ton - I'm easily under a dollar per wear. 

  • Leather purse - Banana Republic, consignment

Although this scarf is huge, it squishes down into a very small space. 

  • Scarf - thrifted
  • Gloves - Echo, consignment
  • Beret - consignment
  • Mask - by Mom

The stuff: 
Easy walking boots, just in case.

Holiday bling: 
The larger tree brooch was a gift from my boss Evelyn at the Christmas store where I worked for 11 years. 

  • Rhinestone tree brooch - Keyes, gift from Ev, c. 1996
  • Tree pin - Avon
  • Earrings - 5th anniversary gift from L
  • Hematite ring - thrifted
  • Silver/onyx ring - Toccara, vintage fair

And before we get to the Mom-Day Adventure, here's a quick Flashback on today's dress. 

Nanette Lepore "Branch" Dress

I named this my Branch dress because of the branches, duh. I found it during one of my former frequent weekend shopping expeditions at the Patch here in March 2019
The pattern is what initially attracted me - it's not too fussy/twee but not too overwhelming. Further examination found the elasticated cuffs, neckline and waist and the awesome "mullet" hemline. 

New with tags? Nice! 
It's called "Eastern Opulence" which is a better name than "Branch" but I can remember "branch," ha ha. 

I know Nanette Lepore - I have owned a few things by her over the years. 
New with tags for only $26.95!? The original price was $139.00 I discovered when I got home and did my research. Like yesterday's dress, it's not lined, and it's just a polyester fabric, but at least I bought it local! 

I wore it right away in March 2019 with my red belt (which I bought the same day as today's coat). 
Love those shoes too - they have a fine piping in dark red. 

With my Fendi belt a month later, in April 2019. 
I often wear this belt with these shoes, so just applying one of my fashion formulas.

I wore this to work followed by a vintage fair in September 2019. I took the jacket off and put the belt on the dress for work.
This remains one of my favourite outfits. Hey, there's today's boots. 

Fairly neutral here in December 2019. 
I'm impressed by how many different belts/shoes/boots I've worked with the dress. 

I like how my pink hair brings out pinks in the pattern. 
This was in February 2020 and I wore it to the theatre with Mom. When I uploaded this picture, I had to double check: 2020? This was just at the end of the Before Times. 

And here's the last time I wore it, in October 2020. 
Yup, different belt and shoes every time! Today's boots were the first duplicate.

Mathy stuff: Today was the 7th outfit, so that brings me to $3.85 per wear. Awesome! 

Back to the Mom-Day Shopping Adventure! 

Mom came over in the late morning, and we had a cup of tea and caught up. Doesn't she look fancy with her snowflake brooch? 
Love the red/black/grey sweater too, Mom. Classy! 

This is prime Vizzini-snuggling time, but he was having none of it. 
"Play with me!"

For a cat who's nearly 11 years old, he is very rambunctious! 
"This rug makes me angry!"

He was jumping around and attacking phantom mousies (note the actual toy mousie being ignored in the background). 
"Claws of fury!"

Not all snuggles and cuteness. 

We parked on Oak Bay Avenue - Oak Bay is the posh part of town, where the really rich people live. Not like the rest of Victoria...which is still insanely expensive! 
I admired the seasonal holiday painting on the windows of this business, and then noticed the prices. 

$2.79 million - *choke* The lowest priced house there is a lot for a house that hasn't even been built at $650,000.
And then I noticed that half of them are sold. Yikes. 

We strolled to Turnabout. 
As you can see, we actually had a very sunny day after all. But it was very chilly out. 

Inside Turnabout. 
It was really busy. Mom tried on a coat and a pair of pants with no luck - I took a quick look around, but didn't see anything that caught my eye. 

We crossed the street to House of Savoy (here, link 'cause I love). I absolutely love how open and airy it is now. Zenija and Emilie remembered me! 
Mom chilled out in one of the chairs while I had a thorough but quick look around - she'd found two treasures for herself right away! 

I bought her an emerald green sweater and also this lovely mohair/wool coat as her main Christmas presents. Look at this beautiful coat! 
Great for visibility at night, a good length for driving, big pockets, fantastic fit and so very fabulous! It made me so happy to buy this for Mom. I also bought something for myself, which I'll get to shortly. 

After our shop, we went for a late lunch at Christie's Pub (I had a salad, she had a burger), and I walked home from there. I saw a man ahead of me taking a picture of something, so as I approached where he'd been, I looked to see what it was. 
 "Move along."

"Nothing to see here, lady."

He was very intent on eating something. He didn't budge. 

Okay, so this is what I bought. 
No, actually this is how they wrapped my purchase! What!!!

What a great idea, instead of a bag. You can get inexpensive scarves cheaper than bags. 
This scarf is likely from the 50s - it's a cotton one. I'm not a huge fan of the pattern, so I'll pass it along. 

Mom wore her coat right away, but Emilie wrapped up the jacket she'd been wearing and her sweater in this lovely scarf. 
"That's for you, " said Mom (she doesn't wear scarves). Yay! I love the wild geometric design - it's different any way you fold it. 

I recognize that name - cosmetics? Yes, Helena Rubenstein was an early cosmetician (Wiki link here), famous for both her quips ("There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.") and for her rivalry with contemporary cosmetics queen Elizabeth Arden. The company still exists, and is owned by L'Oreal. 
I found a blue version of this scarf online as well as this one, but there were very few scarves, period. It's acetate, made in Japan and the edges are hand-rolled. Mine has a couple of small holes on one corner, but I still really like it. I wonder if it was an early promotion - a gift with purchase? 

But this was my gasped-when-I-saw-it purchase from House of Savoy. 
My mom immediately dubbed it my Six Foot Coat, because "you look six feet tall in it, which suits your six foot tall personality." Thanks, Mom! I love that.

Oh, wow. Look at that.
I think it is wool, but there is no content tag. 

The half-circles are woven chenille. 
And all of the sewn edges are done with rainbow thread. 

See how the thread colour changes? 
There are two big side pockets (that purple swoop on the right is one). 

A close-up. 
That is some amazing sewing. The whole thing is beautifully made, with not a single raw seam anywhere.

The cuffs are black on the outside and hot pink on the inside, and flip up once. 
The pink zigzags remind me of pouty lips. 

It's by Sarmite Wearable Art, by Latvian sisters Diaga Hensen and Sarmite Svilis, based in New Jersey, USA. About them here.
They started in 1994 but don't seem to be in business anymore (the last mention is 2018), but Diaga has a link at the American Craft Council (here - some amazing other examples of their work there).

Their coats were wool, cashmere and silk, with satin linings. 
I couldn't find much about original pricing aside from a "starting at $150" for their simpler items. It was tagged at $225.00, but I think it would have originally sold for around $500 easily, for a coat of this length and design. I must disclose that House of Savoy gave me 10% off the entire purchase for "being a good customer." Aw, thank you! 

What a statement coat! 
I can't wait to wear it - it's going to go with a lot in my wardrobe. 

And check out the pink satin lining! 
"What are we looking at?"

Vizzini was much more interested in the scarf. 
"My toy now!"

One last thing I got was a complete surprise. There was a box of free stuff on the sidewalk on my walk home from Christie's and I caught a glimmer of sparkle. 

I do believe this is a...long-legged llama?? He has a South American look about him. 

He is beaded in black, orange and dark, iridescent purple beads with a stuffed solid body. 
I like the little flippy tail. 

And look at that face! "That's...something you're taking to work...?" asked L hopefully. Ha ha.
"Take me home!"

I had to! Dat face! 

And that's how Larry the Long-Legged Llama joined my Christmas collection. 
"Other animals!"

He's such a funny thing. 

Speaking of...are you finished being a monkey, Vizzini?

And I'm going to leave you with our Mom-daughter selfie, taken in our vintage 1976 condominium elevator. Funky colours on the walls.
Love you, Mom! Thanks so much for the wonderful day! 


  1. You had a lovely day out with your mom. She has good eyes for fashion as well. Vizzini has good taste as well and I hope he found his mouse

  2. Fun post. I check out real estate listings everywhere I go now. If you want to afford a nice house, go back seven years and buy Bitcoin at $500. :)

  3. That's a perfect jammy dress indeed, and I'm loving it in all its incarnations. My favourite is the vintage fair one too, so classy! I always do a double take at things which happened just before the Before Times too. I still can't believe how lucky we were to be able to go on our 25th wedding anniversary getaway in February, and that we went to a flea market just weeks before lockdown!
    I loved joining on your wee shopping trip at posh Oak Bay. Your Mum's coat is gorgeous and I absolutely love the way they packed your purchases. What a great idea!
    The coat you found is stunning, and I think I would have fallen for Larry the Long-Legged Llama as well! xxx

  4. You look great in this fun outfit. I love red and it makes double sense to wear it this time of year. The red beret is wonderful and I love your striped coat. The branch dress is a beauty too. I loved seeing your fashion flashback with it. I love the pairing of the big belt and sandals.

    I gasped when I saw that beautiful statement coat too. Love how your mother named it a six foot coat. I can't wait to see you wear it.
    p.s. the lama is fun 😀

  5. Wow!!!! That coat!!!!! Love going along on these trips with your mom :)

  6. I love that you were able to enjoy the shops with your mum! I suggested to mum on a day we have together next week we could head to the opshops but she still has too much Christmas shopping to do - perhaps next time! We are going to go out for lunch and check out some stores nearer to her as she tries to buy more gifts. I'm done with all my Christmas shopping thankfully.

    The floral dress is so beautiful on you! I like that the wrap the items in scarves instead of bags too! that coat is stunning, so well made!

  7. That coat is incredible.
    Your Mom's coat is lovely too.

  8. That dress looks brilliant in all its previous outings! You and your Mum look absolutely gorgeous in red and both scored big time with your coats. How I'd love to join you both for a mooch around those shops - and luch afterwards. One day!
    Larry the long legged llama is brilliant as is the photo of Vizzini wrestling the HR scarf. xxx

  9. You really scored with that coat. What a winner! And it looks fabulous on you! Love sharing your “Mom” days. Holiday cheers,

  10. So much to take in and all of it gasp worthy. Your mum looks fabulous in her new coat.

  11. That is a spectacular coat! I would have rescued the long-legged llama too - the colours are pretty and his odd little face is irresistible. Sylvester turned 11 this year and he still is very playful and does "Zoomies" at night. He did have his senior blood work done at his most recent vet checkup and it was all good, but he does have some arthritis in his right leg and hip. My handsome boy and I are both getting on in years!

  12. That is a properly magnificent coat! So vibrant, vivacious and you to a tee, my dear friend.

    Many happy congrats to you and your sweet mama on some fantastic finds to (very nearly) cap the year off with.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

  13. Lovely dress, not only it's a Jammy Dress (as comfy as pajamas, only better!), but also a dark floral print, elastic waist and pockets!, totally agree it ticks all the boxes. And no wonder you received some compliments on your Fab Coat (rocking it!)
    But your new coat is such an amazing piece that totally steals the show!, woww, love it!


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