Thursday, September 30, 2010

When In Doubt, Wear A Little Grey Dress

On my way home last night, I started thinking about what I would wear today.  I was so happy with my outfit yesterday that I wanted to wear a similar one today.  So, when I got home last night, I put together a similar outfit:  A different jumper dress, a different (and shorter) tie, different shoes, and I swapped out the shrunken jacket for a cropped sweater.  Then, for reasons that I can't explain, I started trying on other outfits.  (Well, maybe, I can explain why I started trying on other outfits.  It had something to do with the possibility of my going to the opening of a photography exhibit tonight.)  In any event, at the end of the day, I had a couple of possibilities for today, but I decided not to decide which of the possible outfits I would wear today.  I decided to let my mood in the morning dictate my choice.  And, it did.

Many women have a stash of "little black dresses" that they reach for when all else fails or they aren't feeling up to being creative.  Me, I have a stash of "little grey dresses".  This morning I felt, let's just say it, "icky".  So a "little grey dress" it was.  (As an aside, I don't have a stash of "little grey dresses" (or "little black dresses," for that matter) for Spring or Summer.  My stash of "little grey dresses" is definitely for Fall/Winter.  I am not sure what that means.)

I am wearing an old H&M dress, with a pin from my jewellery box, an old H&M sweater and an H&M scarf.  My tights are from my sock drawer and my shoes are by Fluevog.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Outfit

So, here it is:  The outfit that I planned based on the twenty-seven names Fall/Winter 2011 collection.  And, I am pleased with it.  (Not so pleased with the light this morning, however.)

So, being pleased with the outfit, I am comfortable discussing how it came together.  Which is .... I am not quite sure.  I think that it all started with my purchasing the jacket.  When I first saw the twenty-seven names Fall/Winter 2011 collection, one of the items of clothing that I focussed on was the shrunken school-boy jacket with piping detail.  I even mentioned how (remarkably) I didn't have one, of all the jackets that I owned, and how I was going to go on a hunt for one.  After that, I recalled seeing a jacket with piping detail in some store, but, try as I might, I couldn't recall which store it was.  So I had to be satisfied with "going on the hunt".  Shortly thereafter, I found myself in an H&M, and there it was, the jacket with the piping detail that I had recalled seeing.  It wasn't exactly right (it wasn't a twenty-seven names shrunken school-boy jacket with piping detail), but I loved it for what it was (which was probably why it stayed in my mind and I recalled it after seeing the twenty-seven names Fall/Winter 2011 collection) and I decided to buy it.  If it didn't work out, I could always return it.  So I brought it home, and that was, I think, the beginning of the outfit.  There wasn't immediate action on the outfit, however.  Once home, the jacket just sat, in the H&M shopping bag, in a corner of my house, waiting.  I assume that, on some unconscious level, I was deciding whether I should keep it.  Some short time later, I started thinking about removing the jacket's shoulder pads, realizing that doing so would make it "non-returnable", it would make it "mine".  At that point, I assume that I was getting closer to deciding to keep the jacket.  But I wasn't quite there yet, at least not consciously, as I did not proceed with removing the shoulder pads.  I just put the jacket back in the H&M shopping bag and stowed it away in the same corner of my house as before.  But, in the deep recesses of my mind, I think that I had decided to keep the jacket.  With that subconscious decision, I think my subconscious mind began styling it.  I am not entirely sure of the chain of next events, but they included: reviewing the twenty-seven names Fall/Winter 2011 collection, trying on some monochromatic outfits, wearing my Fluevog Tokyos for the first time, falling in love with them and resolving to wear them more (if not a lot), remembering a certain jumper dress and remembering the long black tie (with the pink print) that has seemed so insanely difficult to work into an outfit since I acquired it years ago.  At the end of all that, in whatever order it occurred, came the idea of the outfit (and the conscious decision to keep the jacket).  Within a day of the idea coming to me, the shoulder pads were removed from the jacket.  I can't say that I was 100 percent sure of the outfit at that point (although, I was committed to the jacket).  Very soon thereafter, I tried a bit of the outfit.  I still can't say that I was 100 percent sure of the outfit at that point, but I felt okay about it, certainly not negative about it, and decided to go all the way with it.  Today it appeared, in all its glory.  As I said, I am pleased with it.  Exceptionally pleased with it, in fact.

I am wearing an old H&M shirt, an old H&M jumper dress, an H&M jacket (with shoulder pads removed), an old Gap tie and an old scarf.  My tights are from my sock drawer and my shoes are by Fluevog.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yahoo! It's Wellie Weather Time Again!

You know how some people are about their Uggs?  How they are like the bedroom slippers that can be worn outdoors?  Well, that's how I am about my wellies.  So, naturally, I get excited when Fall arrives and Fall rain comes, because I can pull out my wellies and, if it suits me, wear them pretty much until Summer returns the following year.  All I can say is, "Yay!".

The other thing about the arrival of Fall is that I get to wear all of my (what I call) "English countryside" clothing: my quilted vests and jackets, my barn jackets, my Canoe green raincoat and my Canoe green rain poncho.  Once again, "Yay!"

A brief update on the planned outfit inspired by the twenty-seven names Fall/Winter 2011 collection:  I tried out a portion of it yesterday and I think it will work.  Tomorrow is the day planned for the outfit.  Fingers crossed!

I am wearing an old Gap blouse, an old Mango jumper dress, an old Lucky Brand sweater, an old Gap quilted vest and an old Gap scarf.  My tights and socks are from my sock drawer and my wellies are old Hunters.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Maybe because of my experience on Saturday, of being unable to locate a beloved dress, or maybe because of my realization that I have a warbrobe that is in circulation and a warbrobe that is in reserve, or maybe because of both the experience and the realization, yesterday, I started on a major clean-up and paring down of my entire wardrobe.  Yesterday, several garbage bags of clothes got consigned to the charity bin, and I am just starting.  I must say that, as much as I love acquiring new clothing, paring a wardrobe down to what I actually love and wear is very liberating.

So, for the first time last week, I entered one of those "give aways" that blogs that are sponsored do.  I am very discerning when it comes to entering "give aways", contests or draws:  Basically, I will only enter when the "prize" is something that I truly want and would use/wear.  Of course, I have never ever won anything.  So it really came as no surprise to me when I found out that I didn't get the give away from last week.  Maybe I didn't get it because I didn't really want it:  If I had wanted it, I would be purchasing it right now, but I am not, so I must not have really wanted it.

I am planning an outfit for later this week inspired by the twenty-seven names Fall/Winter 2011 collection.  I say this with some trepidation, because planning something to wear usually ends with a disastrous, unwearable, leaving me feeling awful outfit.  Let's see what happens.

Does anyone else remove shoulder pads from jackets?  Maybe it isn't an advisable thing to do, but I do it regularly, not with every jacket that I acquire, but with more than not.  I can't say exactly what my aversion to shoulder pads is, but there is definitely an aversion there.

I am wearing a flannel blouse from Urban Outfitters, an old jumper dress, a sweater from LLBean, an old quilted vest from the Gap and an old scarf.  My bow is a belt from an old Anthropologie dress, my socks are from my sock drawer and my boots are old Fluevogs (although still available for sale from Fluevog).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Moment Of Panic

Yesterday, no surprises, I had some difficulty figuring out what to wear.  What on Friday I had planned on wearing on Saturday I couldn't bear to wear when I woke up on Saturday -- the outfit felt too dressed up and had too many pieces to it.  I just didn't feel up to an outfit that I thought would be too much work to wear.  Having rejected the planned outfit, I tried on two other outfits, both of which, for various reasons, I also rejected.  Then I thought of the dress that I did end up wearing.  Off I went, in search of the dress.  I looked in one cabinet.  I looked in one box.  I looked in a second cabinet.  I started to panic.  Where was that dress?  It was a favourite dress.  Did I mistakenly (in a rash, purging moment) put it in the charity bin?  Surely I never would have done that!  I checked my "stock" of recently cleaned clothing.  I looked in a third cabinet.  The panic increased.  I told myself to relax and breathe, the dress had to be somewhere, perhaps buried somewhere.  I returned to the first cabinet that I had looked in and, one by one, pulled out all of the clothing in that cabinet.  The relax and breathe message was started to fail me.  I returned to the box and, one by one, pulled out all of the clothing in that box.  Not there.  PANIC!  I could not have gotten rid of it!  I just could not have!  No way!  I pulled out a second box to look through.  OMG!  PHEW!  Major relief.  Normal breathing resumed.  There it was.  The dress.

The two handbags that I bagged (pun intended) yesterday at The Clothing Show were purchased from a seller dealing exclusively in bags, belts and shoes.  There were tons of bags on sale.  At first, I was alone in searching through the bags of the style that I had settled on.  Then, a second person joined me.  By that time, I had already settled on a handbag (literally, i.e., a bag that can only be carried by hand) and was searching for a shoulder bag version of the style.  So was my competition.  It's funny how competition makes you question your choices.  I know that I had discounted for myself the bags that my competition was picking up, yet I couldn't help but question whether I had been right in discounting them.  I had a shoulder bag in hand that I thought was right for me.  I felt like my competition was just waiting for me to put it down.  I felt like we were circling each other, each of us waiting for the other to give up her goods.  I hated it!  But I think that I came away with what I wanted and what was good for me.

At The Clothing Show yesterday, there was an opportunity to purchase a leather school satchel style briefcase.  While the briefcase wasn't that expensive, the clasp was broken, meaning that the only way it would stay shut was by using the buckles (a somewhat cumbersome way to open and close the bag), and it was a true briefcase, meaning it could only be carried by hand.  I was looking for something like this briefcase, but what I had in mind had a shoulder strap.  In the end, I decided to save my money and not buy the briefcase.  I think that I made the right call.  I hope that I don't question my decision in the weeks to come.  I guess that if I do, I can always put "the briefcase" on my wish/search for list.  It wouldn't be the first time that this happened and, I am sure, it won't be the last time.  What would I do if I didn't have things to search for.

I am wearing a flannel blouse from Urban Outfitters, unsweatpants from Roots, an old vest from the Gap and an old jean jacket from the Gap.  My pin is from my jewellery box, my socks are from my sock drawer and my boots are old Fluevogs.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Clothing Show

Today, I went to something called "The Clothing Show".  Once upon a time, "The Clothing Show" used to be "The Old Clothing Show and Sale".  At that time, the event took place once a year, in Spring, and all the "exhibitors" were vintage clothing sellers.  The venue was easily accessible by public transit.  I tried to go every year, but, sometimes, I couldn't go because I had exams to study for.  Over time, "The Old Clothing Show and Sale" morphed into the "The Clothing Show" and started taking place twice a year, in Fall and in Spring.  The "exhibitors" became a mix of sellers, some being vintage clothing sellers, some being independent designers and some being off-price sellers, all the "exhibitors" combined carrying a range of product, from the remarkably stunning to the tacky.  Over the years, the venue has moved around a bit, not always being easy to get to by public transit.  At some point, I am not sure when or why, I stopped going regularly and started going only once in a while.  This Fall, I decided that I would go.

I contemplated asking one of my friends to accompany me to "The Clothing Show", but, in the end, I decided against doing so, largely because I couldn't say what I would be getting my friend into.

Do you get the sense that this is all building up to something not necessarily fantastic?  Well, you're right.  The experience was just mediocre.  First, the venue wasn't supposed to be as difficult to get to as it turned out.  Unfortunately, between the public transit stop and the venue lay the soccer stadium and there was a soccer game scheduled today, meaning that one was forced (literally, by security) to walk around the stadium to reach the venue, making the venue that much more difficult to reach.  Have to keep those clothing fiends away from the soccer stadium at all costs, for they just might want to sneak into the game!  While I was walking around the soccer stadium to the Show, I did, more than once, ask myself whether it was worth the bother.  Next, there weren't nearly enough vintage clothing sellers or independent designers.  There seemed to be a lot of off-price sellers, selling clothing of (sorry) questionable quality.  The experience, however, wasn't a complete disaster.  I did walk away with two vintage handbags (purchased for a grand total of $35) and a lovely school girl themed charm necklace.  Will I go to "The Clothing Show" in the Spring?  Right now I am inclined to say that I probably won't, but where clothing is concerned, I never say never.

I am wearing an old Zara dress, an H&M sweater vest and an old H&M wrap cardigan.  My cameo brooch is from my jewellery box, my tights are from my sock drawer and my shoes are by Fluevog.  I am carrying an old Roots bag.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nothing Special

It was a "nothing special" day today, in terms of what I decided to wear:  Just jeans (or, more correctly, jeggings) and a blouse (and my favourite pin of course).  As I don't wear tshirts often, this is about as close to jeans and a tshirt as it gets for me (although tshirts are starting to show up in my outfits more often than ever).

I am simply exhausted.  Suffering from a cold all week, while trying to go on with the obligatory part of my life, was really tiring.  The voluntary part of my life got put on hold; there was only so much that I felt up to doing being sick.  I did what I absolutely had to do and then I tried to rest so that I could get better.  Right now, though, I feel like I am seriously rest deprived.  And, I am caring less and less about what clothes I am putting on.

I got unexpectedly "Bogged" down this evening.  Small joke!  On my way home from work, I dropped by one of my favourite shoe stores (not my most favourite shoe store, though, which, of course, is the Fluevog store).  There were some new styles of Bogs on sale and I just couldn't resist purchasing some.  A couple of days ago, I heard that Winter this year is expected to be colder than it was last year.  I do hope (apologies to those who don't hope) that that means there will be more snow.  I want to be able to wear, not only my new Bogs, but also all my old Sorels that have been accumulating in my closet over the years.  Without snow,  the Bogs and Sorels just don't work.  They are too warm for comfort!

I am wearing an old H&M blouse and sweater vest, jeggings and socks by Hue and shoes by Fluevog.  My pin is from my jewellery box, and I am carrying a H&M envelope bag.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


A buffalo check plaid shirt and polka dots.  The game of checkers comes to mind.

As a result of viewing the twenty-seven names Autumn/Winter 2011 collection, I am on the hunt for a shrunken school boy jacket with piping detail.  Of all the jackets that I own, not one of them is a shrunken school boy jacket with piping detail.  I can hardly believe it, but such is the case.  In fact, I can't even say that I have ever owned a shrunken school boy jacket with piping detail.  Remarkable.  So I am on the hunt for one.  The challenge will be not becoming obsessed with finding one.  There are a couple of dresses that I would like the pair the jacket with, so avoiding becoming obsessed with finding the jacket will be difficult.

I am wearing an old Gap jacket, a flannel blouse from Urban Outfitters, a herringbone sweater vest from H&M and a skirt that I purchased at the fair (in August).  My scarf is from my accessories collection, my socks are from my sock drawer and my boots are old Aldo boots.  I am carrying an envelope bag from H&M

Retro Varsity Chic

Thanks to a tip that I got that twenty-seven names was showing its Autumn/Winter 2011 collection yesterday, today, I was rendered speechless.  So much inspiration for right now!  I particularly like the retro varsity chic looks!

Source:  FashionNZ

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gingham And Lace

I was fortunate enough to have picked up the lacey skirt that I wore today on sale (at Anthropologie).  When I saw the skirt on the sales rack, my first thought was that I didn't recall seeing it on the sales floor when it was full price, which was odd because I browse Anthropologie quite frequently.  My second thought was that, while the skirt was pretty, would I like it on me and could I see myself wearing it enough to justify buying it.  My third thought was that the only way that I could answer the second thought was by trying the skirt on.

Maybe this isn't so strange, but it never ceases to amaze me how some of my favourite pieces of clothing are ones that I buy on sale and would never even consider buying full price, not because of the price, but because of the style.  Like with the skirt that I wore today, I don't seem to see (really see) certain styles of clothing when they are full price.  It's like they exist in some full price universe other than the one that I inhabit.  However, when they are marked down, they fall within my field of vision, my universe.  It is because many of my favourite pieces of clothing were bought on sale that I often times say to myself that I shouldn't shop anything but the sales racks.

It is undoubtedly strange that I have a habit of talking myself out of a style of clothing before even trying it on in the store.  I am constantly having to tell myself to try things on.  With a full price item beyond my fiscal capabilities, I can understand not trying something on and talking myself out of its suitability.  But with an item on sale that is well within my financial constraints, what do I have to lose (other than some time)?

The skirt that I wore today was on sale.  I tried it on and fell in love with it.  Now it resides with me and stands a good chance (a very good chance I would say) of becoming a favourite piece of clothing.

I am wearing a old Gap shirt, a skirt from Anthropologie, an old H&M belt and a sweater from Zara.  My bow is a fabric belt taken from an old Anthropologie dress.  My tights are from my sock drawer, my socks are by Hue and my boots are Fluevog.  I am carrying an old H&M bag.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Pet Peeve And A Habit

When I am ill, I am usually in a state of heightened sensitivity, meaning that things that I might otherwise just notice as a minor, but tolerable, annoyance become intolerable, requiring immediate rectification.  This was the case this morning with the hang tag in my blouse.  The moment I put on the blouse, I felt the hang tag, scratching against the skin of the back of my neck.  Why must these hang tags be so rough (and, sometimes, downright sharp) at the edges?  What's worse than a rough hang tag is a rough hang tag that is stitched into a seam, requiring major reconstruction of a garment in order to remove completely the hang tag from the garment (okay, maybe I exaggerate a bit).  Suffice it to say that my blouse is now hang tag free, and, lucky for me, the makers of the blouse were kind enough not to sew the hang tag into a seam, making its removal easy.

I noticed this morning that when I bring out an old piece of clothing to wear (or, for that matter, when I decide to wear a new piece of clothing), I have a habit of wearing it at least a couple of times.  For example, the old grey cardigan that I dug out of my closet to wear on Sunday I was compelled to wear yesterday.  The same goes for the black jeggings that I wore for the first time on Friday.  I wore them again the next day, on Saturday.  Even the sweater that I wore today.  It's new.  I wore it for the first time a week ago Sunday and, since then, I have been itching to wear it again.  The quilted vest that I wore today I also wore last Friday, which was when I first brought it out for the Fall season.  Strange this habit is.  I think that it is what led me, the other day, to think about the size of my wardrobe that is actually in circulation (so to speak), the size of my reserve wardrobe and when either, but particularly (I think) the latter, should be scaled back.  Funny, until today, I never really thought about my wardrobe being made up of these two parts.  In some ways, I think this perspective on my wardrobe might actually help me to contain (what I sometimes think is) its unwieldy size.

I am wearing a Calvin Klein blouse, a cardigan from Anthropologie, an old Gap quilted vest, a scarf from my accessories collection, suspenders from my accessories collection and an H&M skirt.  My pin is from my jewellery box, my tights are from my sock drawer, my socks are by Hue and my boots are Fluevog.  I am carrying an H&M bag.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Long gone are the times when one went to the seashore (or some place equally lovely) to convalesce at a leisurely pace, even from an illness that today might be considered minor.  Whenever I long for such convalescence, those around me quickly point out that that was the preserve of the "well-to-do" and that those times weren't a bowl of cherries for women.  Did I really want to go back to those times?  Maybe those were the realities of the times when there was convalescence, but does that mean that convalescence can't exist otherwise?  Is it utopian of me to think that it can and should exist otherwise?

So there is nothing romantic or leisurely about my convalescence.  Basically, I got a day (yesterday) to lounge around the house, before getting back at it.  One day does not a convalescence make, so I still consider myself in the convalescence period, although with nothing romantic about it (not that there was anything romantic about my lounging around the house yesterday, with a box of kleenex in tow).  For my second day of convalescence, I chose to wear all grey.  In an attempt to be positive, I dubbed this outfit: "Grey Skies Are Gonna Clear Up".  If there were a modern day convalescence (of the romantic, leisurely sort), I wonder what the modern day convalescence wardrobe would look like?

I am wearing an old H&M shirt, an old JCrew cardigan, a JCrew scarf and a Gap skirt.  My pin is from my jewellery box.  My tights are old, from Old Navy, and my boots are by Frye.  I am carrying an H&M envelope bag.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Been There, Done That

Illness is not conducive to being creative in dress, at least not in my case.  Illness, coupled with fickle weather, is doubly not conducive to being creative in dress (again, I am speaking just for myself).  This old outfit is something that I settled on after trying something new, something that proved to be too warm (physically making me feel worse rather than better).  Of course, one might ask why I needed to get dressed at all if I was sick.  Shouldn't I just have stayed in my pyjamas in bed?  I have no good answer to that, other than that getting out of bed and getting dressed helps me to feel like I am waging war with illness (rather than giving in to it), even if I end up lying around on the sofa for the better part of the day.

I am wearing an old Old Navy tshirt, an old Lands End skirt, an old Gap vest and an old JCrew sweater.  My suspenders are old, from H&M.  My socks are by Hue and my shoes are by Frye.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Coasting On Empty


Today, I started thinking about when it is appropriate to divest oneself of portions of one's wardrobe.  Is it okay to renew your wardrobe every season?  I wear lots of the new things that I acquire every season, but I also wear lots of the old things that live in my closet season after season.  If I had just new things to rely on, would my style change?  Or, would I end up buying new versions of old things season after season?  Wouldn't that be wasteful?  If I should keep certain things and allow other things to enter and leave my wardrobe, what are the things that I should keep?  I know the formula of hanging on to "classics", "staples", but I am not sure that that formula would work for me.  At the end of the day, I had no answers and felt like I was spinning my wheels, getting nowhere.

Of course, I also didn't know where I was headed when I started thinking about this subject matter, which may have contributed to my getting nowhere.  I was just thinking, in a vacuum, abstractly, with no framework, no context.  I am not sure that doing this is ever a good thing for me to do.  With no answers (to no questions, of course), I ended up feeling like I should just be chucking everything and starting with a blank slate, which isn't practical at all.

I am wearing a Gap shirt and sweater vest, Hue jeggings and an old sweater jacket from Zara.  My pin is from my jewellery box.  My socks are by Hue and my shoes are Neosens.