Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Off, So Off-Price Shopping?

Another day, another casual outfit.  I am not sure what I am going to do next week when I am back at work and will no longer be able to be quite so casual in my dress.  I am definitely enjoying being very comfortable ... and catching up on all my reading.  I wish that I had had the forethought to stock up on DVDs for the week (but I didn't).

The other day, I went to one of the city's larger off-price stores, comparable to Filene's Basement in NYC.  I usually have a hard time shopping at this particular off-price store.  I fall in love with tons of stuff and end up walking away with many things that, in the light of day (i.e., in my home), I just can't make anything of.  This time around, I tried something new at the store, in an effort to ensure that I only walked away with clothes that I could make something of at home.  Instead of just ooh-ing and aah-ing at the clothes, I tried working each thing that I tried on into my existing wardrobe.  I imagine that this shopping technique is quite common (in fact, I just finished reading a post where the blogger says that she doesn't buy an item of clothing if she can't imagine wearing it, with her existing pieces of clothing, in the fitting room).  The thing is: I don't usually resort to this technique.  Ordinarily, if I love a piece of clothing, I buy it.  Somehow I usually manage to make it work subsequently.  But, so far, if I love a piece of clothing that I find at an off-price store, if I buy it, I can't seem to do anything with it, no matter how much I try.  Hence, my trying to resort to the shopping technique.  I am pleased to report that it worked.  I only walked away from my off-price shopping trip with clothing that I know I will be able to do something with.  And, if it's proof you are after, then look no further than today's outfit.  The vest was one of my off-price finds.

I am wearing a waffle lined flannel shirt from LLBean, an old scarf, a Calvin Klein Jeans sweater vest from an off-price store, un-sweatpants by Roots, old socks from an off-price store and an old barn jacket from Lands End.  My boots are Bogs.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Next Accessory: A Cottage?

Given all the "Going to the Cottage (If I had One)" outfits I have been wearing as of late, I should probably consider getting a rural retreat!  The other day, I started thinking of my late grandma, wondering if she may be the source of some of my "rural inspired" outfits.  My grandma was a worker.  At my family's cottage, she  mowed the lawn, cleared brush for a garden, gardened, chopped wood, helped to build the storage shed, etc.  When she was doing all this "manual labour", she would wear slacks and men's shirts and, when it was cold, lots of different coloured and mismatched patterned layers.  When she was finished, she would clean up and put on a blouse and skirt or a dress, keeping the casual feel and mismatching of colours and patterns of her work outfits.  In the city, I rarely saw her wearing pants; it was always the dresses and skirts.  I don't remember consciously opting for my grandma's style of dress, but I would definitely say that I have adopted elements of it: the love of skirts and dresses, the wearing of men's shirts, the wearing of layers, the wearing of different colours and mismatched patterns.  Although, unlike my grandma, who wore pants only to work in, I wear pants just for the sake of wearing them, however infrequently that may be.

I promise that I will stop wearing my new Bogs soon ... as soon as it stops raining!  I think that I have become acclimated to the rain.  I really don't mind it now.  Especially since I have these new Bogs that I love to bits.

I am wearing an old jersey blouse from Lands End, an old silver pin, an old dress by Susan Harris Design, an old wrap cardigan by Susan Harris Design, an old quilted vest from the Gap, old long johns by Stanfields and old socks from an off-price store.  My boots are Bogs.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Aaack! (I Know That I've Used This Title Before, But It Is Soooo Apt)

For the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to decide what to do with my hair.  Should I keep growing it?  Or, should I crop it Jean Seberg short again (I do so love it that way)?  The reason that this has been on my mind is because I knew that a hair appointment was coming up.  Well, it seems that I was soooo busy trying to figure out what to do with my hair that I completely forgot to go to my hair appointment.  When I got the call telling me that I had missed, all I could do was clutch my head and repeat over and over again, "OMG, OMG, OMG, etc."  I have never before in my life missed a hair appointment.  I feel just awful.  Of course, as soon as I picked up the message, I called to apologize ... profusely.  I am not sure what will happen next.  But it is entirely possible that I will have to wait until my next already scheduled hair appointment to do something with the hair.  If that happens, I guess I will be growing it some more!  OMG, OMG, OMG, etc.!

To make matters worse, I just bought a whole bunch of new clothes (all within the rules of the shopping prohibition, of course) in anticipation of getting my hair done.  That will certainly teach me to do anything in anticipation of anything ever again!  OMG, OMG, OMG, etc.!

I am wearing an old dress from Club Monaco, an old silver pin, an old cardigan from Banana Republic, an old quilted vest from the Gap, old leggings from Old Navy and old socks by Hue.  My boots are Bogs.  (OMG, OMG, OMG, etc.!)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another Day At The Pretend Cottage

Lately, my Saturdays are turning out to be less activity filled than they used to be, meaning that my "official day" (i.e., my day of yoga) ends at least two hours earlier than usual.  This gives me more time to do household chores on Saturdays, meaning that I have more time to do fun things, or nothing at all, as my mood dictates, on Sundays.  This pleases me ... a lot!  Although, for reasons that I won't go into, I shouldn't be so happy about how things are turning out.

Today's outfit was another "Going to the Cottage (If I Had One)" outfit:  Comfy and cosy.  I wonder how many of these I will be wearing in the upcoming week?

Have I yet mentioned how much I love my new Bogs?

I am wearing an LLBean waffle lined flannel shirt with an old polka dot scarf, an old vest from the Gap, un-sweatpants by Roots and an old barn jacket from Lands End.  My socks are old from an off-price store and my boots are Bogs.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Soap Opera And Going To The Cottage

So one of the two JCrew items that I mentioned yesterday I was (sort of) coveting is now off my wish list.  How come?  Because since mentioning the items, I have been to the Gap, where I purchased a black jacket with grey piping.  The Gap jacket was on sale and, as such, way more of a practical purchase for me than the JCrew jacket.  In addition, after trying the Gap jacket on, I realized that I much prefer grey piping on a black jacket than white piping on a black jacket.  So the JCrew black jacket with white piping is off my wish list.  The shawl collar cardigan with contrast tipping, however, is still on my wish list.

Since I seem to be picking up today from exactly where I left off yesterday, let me continue.  Yesterday, when I got to work, I started questioning my choice of footwear.  I kept thinking that I should have worn "those brown Kicker boots".  When I got home, I thought that I would just try on "those brown Kicker boots" to see if my thinking was correct.  So I went to get "those brown Kicker boots".  Funny thing.  It turns out I don't have any brown Kicker boots; I have black Kicker boots (and brown Kicker shoes).  Because I couldn't give up on the idea that I should have worn brown boots, I tried on my brown Fluevog boots.  I think that I made the right choice of boots.  Maybe.

In addition to questioning my choice of boots yesterday, I also questioned my choice of coat.  I realized that I am having what is turning out to be a perennial problem of picking appropriate coats.  I am not entirely sure why it matters so much to me to pick appropriate coats, but it does, and, since it does, I really need to figure out how to do so.  Maybe if I didn't stop my planning of outfits short of a coat?  I suppose it is something to try.

As for today's outfit, it is an outfit that I put together last week after going to the Susan Harris Design open house.  At that time, I said that I wasn't sure that I would ever wear, but, truth be told, with each passing day since "creating it", I have been itching more and more for an occasion to wear it.  I like to call it my "Going to the Cottage (If I Had One) Outfit".  It is definitely a warm, comfy, cosy outfit.  And it was totally appropriate for today's weather.  It was just one degree celsius when I got up this morning (heading for a daytime high of just nine degrees celsius) and, on the radio, they said that there had been snow flurries to the north of my city.  Brrrrr!  It's probably a good thing that I like sweaters as much as I do!

I am wearing an old tshirt from the Gap, a sweater dress by Susan Harris Design, an old cardigan by Susan Harris Design, an old scarf by Susan Harris Design, leggings from Old Navy and an old barn jacket from Lands End.  My socks are old from an off-price store and my boots are Bogs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

On Tuesday, JCrew's November catalogue arrived at my house.  Whenever a catalogue or a lookbook arrives at my house, I usually make myself a snack and curl up on the sofa to consume the catalogue or lookbook.  Today's outfit was inspired, in part, by a look in the November JCrew catalogue and, in part, by the Dear Creatures Fall/Winter 2010 collection.

While I am on the subject of the November JCrew catalogue, there were two items in there that caught my eye.  One was a black jacket with white piping.  (That this item caught my eye should come as no surprise, given the penchant that I developed for jackets with piping after seeing the twenty-seven names Fall/Winter 2011 collection.)  The second item that caught my eye was a shawl collar cardigan with contrast tipping.  (Are you sensing a personal trend here?)  With JCrew I have yet to figure out when to wait for an item to go on sale and when to buy an item right away.  I have done both at different times and been burned, i.e., paid full price for an item that went on sale almost immediately and missed out on getting an item because it was hugely popular and sold out almost immediately.  I am not sure what I will do this time around.

I realized after I got dressed this morning that I managed to wear a lot of this season's colour (camel).  Hopefully, it wasn't too much camel.  I certainly don't think so

I am wearing a Gap shirt, a tie from Urban Outfitters, an old cardigan from Zara, a vintage skirt from Clever Nettle on Etsy and a coat from H&M.  My tights are from my sock drawer, my socks are by Hue and my boots are old by Fluevog.

At Last

After three days of so-so outfits, yesterday, I finally put together one with which I was satisfied.  (Note: Only one of these so-so outfits appear on this blog -- Monday's outfit.  The second so-so outfit I couldn't bring myself to post.  The third so-so outfit I wore on Sunday, when I did not do an outfit post.)  When I gave some thought as to why I was less than pleased with three days' worth of outfits, I could only come up with the fact that I have stopped doing that "planning for the work week" thing that I started doing on the weekends in September (or August?).  For the past two weeks or so, my weekends have been so busy that I haven't been able to find time to do any planning.  For the first little while, I had a stock pile of planned outfits to fall back on (as I always seemed to plan more than five outfits for a work week).  After that ran out, I just had to wing it.  Usually I am not that bad at winging it.  But, when I am tired, winging it doesn't seem to work -- mostly because I just want to wear yoga girl gear all the time and, while some of my yoga girl gear can be worn in my work setting, most of it can't -- and, right now, I am very tired!

I am wearing an old gingham shirt from JCrew, an old jumper dress, un-sweatpants from Roots, an old cardigan jacket and an old scarf from JCrew.  My socks are by Hue and my boots are old by Fluevog.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Most Unexpected Thing

I went to a birthday party this evening.  It was a sort of reunion for me with former classmates I haven't seen in at least two years.  But the thing about going to a party attended by people you haven't seen in a while you expect to be at the party is that you may bump into other people from your past, people you did not expect to see.  This happened to me this evening.  It wasn't a negative experience, just unexpected.  Now my mind is travelling back in time.  Even when the memories aren't unpleasant ones, I find this time travel unsettling.  Probably a good thing, then, that I was wearing something tried and true.  And comfortable.

I am wearing an APC Madras dress from Urban Outfitters, an old sweater from Zara, an old tshirt from Old Navy, un-sweatpants from Roots, an old coat from H&M and an old scarf from JCrew.  My socks are from my sock drawer and my boots are old by Fluevog.

Friday, October 15, 2010


It isn't too often that I see someone on the street who is dressed in a way that just makes me want to be them rather than me.  That happened to me this morning.  And, then, if that wasn't enough, it also happened to me in the evening ... twice.

In the morning, on my way to work, I saw a woman who was wearing the most perfect "yoga girl" outfit.  While I wasn't in a position to get a real good look at her, I managed to work out that she was wearing black leggings,  black motorcyle boots, a dark charcoal heather sweatshirt dress or skirt and a black sweatshirt wrap cardigan of sorts.  Her look was completed with a woolen cap on top of her lustrous locks.  I would so love to recreate her look!  To add insult to injury, she did not look like she was heading into work.  She looked like she was at the beginning of a day of lounging around and doing whatever pleased her.  Whereas there was I, looking decidedly frumpy and definitely on my way into work.  (Of course I realize that I don't know her truth/reality.  But I still know that she looked great.)

In the evening, my favourite local designer (Susan Harris) was having an open house.  At the last minute, I invited a friend to attend with me and off we went.  Two other ladies attending the open house caught my eye, because of their dress.  I can't really describe exactly what they were wearing.  One was wearing a wool suit, interestingly draped.  The second was just draped in fabric.

Taking into consideration all the lovely ladies I saw today, I certainly had a thing for draping today!

I might as well confess that I didn't walk away empty handed from the open house.  I came away with a sweater dress, a cardigan and a mock neck sweater.  When I got home, I couldn't help but style up the dress.  Not surprisingly, I went for a draped look.  While I liked the look, I really can't say whether I will wear it; it isn't entirely my "regular style".  Maybe if I can "sell" it to myself as a 30s/40s rural England look?

I am wearing a flannel shirt from LLBean with an old scarf from my accessories collection, an old jean vest from the Gap, Hue jeggings and an old faux fur vest from Zara.  My socks are old by Hue, my booties are by Neosens and my bag is vintage purchased recently at The Clothing Show.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Coat And A Suit

Since I don't have much to say about today's outfit, other than that I added an old H&M suit to yesterday's new H&M coat, I thought that I would make today's post one of those random thoughts about clothes posts (since I do have a couple of random thoughts about clothes to share).  So here goes.

Random thought number one:  On Tuesday, I finally wore an outfit, inspired by the Autumn/Winter 2011 twenty-seven names collection, that had been waiting to be worn for a couple of weeks.  It occurred to me this evening that there is a second outfit, inspired by the Autumn/Winter 2011 twenty-seven names collection, and created around the same time as the outfit that I wore on Tuesday was, that is still waiting to be worn.  This second outfit just keeps slipping out of my consciousness when it leaves my sight.  I really have no idea when I might wear this second outfit.

Random thought number two:  Yesterday, I received a package from LLBean.  I ordered those Lace Snowbell Boots in graphite about a week ago and, yesterday, they arrived.  There were two other items in the package: two waffle-lined flannel shirts.  I had a few free hours today, so I thought that I would try on one of the shirts.  As soon as I put it on, I fell in love with it and began styling it.  At some point, I recalled an LLBean flannel shirt that I had seen in an editorial last year.  I remember being drawn to it, wanting it and trying to find it, to no avail, at LLBean.  I think that the flannel shirts that I bought this year are the flannel shirt that was in the editorial.   I was new to LLBean last year.  Having had more experience with LLBean, I now realize that the reason why I probably couldn't find the shirt last year was because, by the time I had gotten around to looking for it, LLBean had sold out of it.  Weird, huh?  How I happen to buy this year, by happenstance, what I wanted to buy last year.

I am wearing a coat from H&M and an old suit from H&M.  My tights are from my sock drawer and my booties are by Neosens.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Coat

Today, there is just the coat to show.  It is a recent purchase from H&M.  H&M is the source of a lot of my clothing.  I offer no apologies for this.  But, in the past year or two, H&M hasn't consistently tempted me.  In fact, whole seasons have gone by without my finding anything to my liking at H&M.  I think that I was shopping for dresses when I caught sight of this coat.  At first, I paid it no further attention, because I have a sufficient number of coats already in my possession and the last thing that I need is another coat.  But, as I was browsing the store, I kept coming back to the coat.  So, eventually, I tried it on.  Once on, I fell in love with it.  I realized that I didn't have anything quite like it (I know, rationalization, but I really don't have anything quite like it) and I decided to buy it.