Monday, January 31, 2011

The Four Leaf Clover Skirt

About a month ago, I saw an outfit that I liked and that I thought I should try to recreate for myself.  The problem was I didn't have the right kind of skirt.  So I parked the inspiration outfit in my "wear it" folder and tried to remember to scan stores for the "right kind of skirt" whenever I happened to be in any kind of clothing store.  Lucky for me (and, trust me, this rarely happens to me), no more than a week later I happened across the "right kind of skirt" (and, on sale).  So the "me" version of the inspiration outfit was ready to go.  Then I got sick and I had to park notions of wearing anything but sweats and pyjamas for the better part of a week.  After that, I didn't want to wear anything but long skirts.  Once that inclination passed, I remembered the inspiration outfit.  And, today, I decided to wear the "me version" of the inspiration outfit.

I wore non-rubber soled boots again today.  This was deliberate, because, if the weather forecast comes true, I probably won't be able to wear non-rubber soled boots for a while.  I wanted to get a last wear in.  This morning, on the radio, the morning show host called what is coming tomorrow "snow-mageddon" (the person doing the weather told him not to alarm people).  I will be pulling out the Sorels, I think.  I may not be able to wear non-snow boots for a while, but at least I will be able to dream about new non-snow boots:  New Fluevogs are starting to show up on the Fluevog website!

I am wearing a vintage Irish fisherman's sweater, a skirt by Urban Renewal from Urban Outfitters, wool leggings by H&M, vintage socks by H&M and boots by JCrew.  My beret is vintage and my handknit button scarf was a gift.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Casual Day Corduroys

I know that Winter will end and that Spring will come, but on days like today, when the temperature was slowly dropping throughout the day in preparation for the frigid day that will be tomorrow, it was hard to believe that it will ever warm up enough for Spring to arrive.  At least there was some sunshine today!

I am wearing a vintage Gap wool turtleneck, vintage Old Navy corduroys with a vintage Gap belt, vintage socks by LLBean and vintage LLBean boots.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Down Memory Lane Dress

When I was at university, I think I owned about 12 pieces of Fall/Winter clothing, and I had to make do with that for the better part of the school year.  One of these 12 pieces of Fall/Winter clothing was a cotton flannel empire waisted dress in an olive green, black and brown plaid.  I loved that dress to bits and I wore it to its death (literally).  The LLBean Signature dress that I wore today, not so much because of its style, but more so because of the material it is made of and its comfort and warmth, reminds me of that dress.

It's funny:  I now have the ability to own more that 12 pieces of Fall/Winter clothing, yet there are days when I yearn for the simplicity of the times when I could only afford to have 12 pieces of Fall/Winter clothing.  Getting dressed wasn't a complicated affair.  The question, "What should I wear", never elicited hours of thought and debate.  What I could wear was right there, on 12 hangars spaced evenly apart hanging on a single closet pole.  I remember loving every single piece of clothing that I owned (I probably took great care to purchase only things that I loved) and I remember loving every outfit that I put together.  I don't remember ever having a bad wardrobe day.  I suppose that I could always go back to those times.  That I can own more than 12 pieces of Fall/Winter clothing certainly doesn't mean that I have to own more.  Something to think about I guess.

While I am on the subject of the minimalist wardrobe, I want to mention that, along with paring down my footwear collection, I have been slowly paring down my collection of clothing.  My hope is to make "wardrobe curating" a regular activity.  To assist in the process, I have established a new wardrobe purchasing rule:  For every "new" wardrobe item that I bring into the house, one "old" wardrobe item (of the same type as the "new" wardrobe item) must leave the house.  Now when I am thinking of acquiring something "new", I will ask myself whether I want it bad enough to displace something that I already own.

I am wearing a cotton flannel dress by LLBean Signature, a wrap wool cardigan by JCrew with a vintage silver leaf pin, vintage Lululemon leggings, old socks by Hue and boots by LLBean.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Grey Skies Skirt

About two weeks ago (now that I think about it, it might actually be exactly two weeks to today), I wore the jacket that I wore today with a skirt very similar to the one that I wore today.  I so loved that jacket and skirt combo that I wanted to wear it again, but I didn't want to wear the exact same outfit that I wore that day.  So I put together today's outfit.  And, I liked it.

I took a bit of a risk with the boots, in terms of exposing them to snow and slush.  When I walked home yesterday evening, I noted that most sidewalks were clear of snow and were more dry than wet, so I thought that, so long as snow wasn't forecast, it might be okay to start wearing non-rubber soled shoes.  When I woke up this morning, there was no snow forecast, so I brought out the non-rubber soled riding boots.  All I can say was that I was lucky that it didn't start unexpectedly snowing during the day.

I suspect that the Winter sales may soon be over.  There are still a few around, but there doesn't seem to be much left for me to buy, in terms of styles that I like or sizes in styles that I like.  I made a sales purchase yesterday, and it may very well have been my last one for this Winter.  In many ways, this saddens me.  There are still a couple of months of Winter dressing ahead, but with no Winter sales, there won't be the opportunity to inject something new into my wardrobe to make the Winter more bearable.  I don't particularly like the period that we are heading into, the period of Spring clothing being sold when, realistically, I won't be able to wear any of it for months.  I guess what I am trying to say is, with my last purchase of Winter clothing yesterday, there may now be a very prolonged period of no retail therapy for me.

Oddly, I am completely not troubled by the prospect of no retail therapy for a while!

I am wearing a vintage H&M shirt with a vintage Gap tie, a vintage Zara sweater with a vintage silver leaf pin, a vintage H&M skirt and a vintage H&M jacket.  My leggings are vintage Lululemon, my socks are vintage H&M and my boots are by JCrew.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Think I Am Tiring Of The Long Skirt Trend

When I woke up this morning, I did think about wearing what I pulled out from the LLBean package yesterday.  It is hanging up, where I can see it, just waiting to go.  But I think that, still not feeling 100 percent, I opted for the long skirt again because wearing it is like wrapping myself in a big blanket, which comfort I still need.  (And, yes, I know that I probably look like I am wearing a big blanket, but, hey, I really don't care at the moment.)  So the LLBean item is just going to have to wait a bit longer.

But not wanting to be unkind, I will say what the LLBean item is:  It is a flannel cotton dress.  Before I bought the dress -- on sale, incidentally -- I did something that I don't usually do when I shop online:  I read the customer reviews.  The bulk of the reviews were positive, singing the dress praises as far as comfort and warmth went.  Many even said that the dress was their "go to" dress this Winter.  Well I have to say that I knew exactly what those reviewers were talking about the moment I tried the dress on.  It envelopes you with comfort and warmth.

However comfortable and warm the dress may be, though, it is still a dress, not a blanket like long skirt.  But I know that it won't be too long now before I wear the dress.  So hang in there dress (like it could do anything else)!

I am wearing a vintage Gap wool turtleneck, a vintage RW & Co skirt and vintage army boots.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Picking Up Where I Left Off

One thing that I did while I was sick was watch lots of reruns of Road to Avonlea.  Before I got sick I was at the beginning of a new (for this season at least) personal trend of wearing long skirts.  Watching all those reruns of Road to Avonlea seems to have solidified the trend, as the first time that I wanted to "dress up" since getting sick, I reached for a long skirt.

I think that I may have mentioned that I have been thinking about paring down my extensive shoe collection.  Well, I have started the paring down process.  I am not going to say that it is easy going, largely because I don't look at shoes as simply utilitarian objects.  But I have had I would say a great deal of success so far.  I have found that if I do consider shoes strictly from a utilitarian perspective -- difficult but possible -- I can decide which to keep and which to part with.  I can then appreciate the non-utilitarian aspects of the shoes remaining in my closet to my heart's content.

This evening I decided that I would finally open the LLBean package that arrived last week, in the midst of my illness.  I had been holding off on opening it because I wanted to make sure the right amount of excitement and joy would accompany the opening up of the package.  With the illness having sapped me of my clothing enthusiasm, had I opened the package up immediately upon its arrival, likely it would have just been a ho-hum affair.  That would have been a waste of a clothing purchase.  This evening, however, the purchase didn't go unnoticed.  There was definitely the right amount of excitement and joy.

Now that I have opened the LLBean package, the question is: Will I be able to stick with the plan to wear the long skirt again tomorrow?  Or, will I opt to wear what was in the LLBean package?

I am wearing a wool shirt by Pendleton from Urban Outfitters with a vintage Gap tie, a vintage Gap shawl collar cardigan, a vintage RW & Co skirt with vintage Jacob suspenders and vintage army boots.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Seems So Long Since I Felt Normal

It has probably been at least one year since I was so sick that I stopped thinking about clothes or deriving pleasure from clothes.  However long it has been, I am currently in the midst of recovering from a bad bout of the flu.  While I was in the depths of the illness, clothes (and I am talking about looking at or thinking about clothes, wearing real clothes being outside the realm of the possible) brought me no comfort at all.  I am far from fully recovered from the flu ... and I am far from finding comfort in looking at clothes or putting together outfits.  I suspect that it will be some time before things are normal, healthwise or clothes-wise.  Today's outfit is one of the last outfits that I wore before the flu hit me.

I am wearing a vintage Gap handknit turtleneck, vintage Old Navy corduroys and a vintage Gap belt.  My socks are old by LLBean and my boots are Bogs.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Today Was All About Having The Right Boots

Another Saturday, another snowfall.

When there is a snowfall, it takes some time before sidewalks are cleared of snow.  It therefore makes the most sense to wear boots that are waterproof, warm and have good traction -- if one is going out in the snow.  Sorels are good, in this regard, as are Bean boots.  And I like both for snowy, Wintery days.  But I also like Bogs, which is what I wore today.

Whenever I wear Bogs, I feel like I am wearing "scuba gear".  Maybe it's the neoprene.  No matter, they keep me warm and dry and permit me to trudge through the snow with confidence.

And trudge through the snow I did today.  Last week, I used snow as an excuse to not visit any vintage shops.  Today, despite the snow, I went looking for a particular vintage shop.  (I found it, but, sadly, it was still closed when I passed by it and I didn't have time to wait for it to open -- not that there was anywhere to wait in any event.  Perhaps I will go back tomorrow ... when it is open.  This "bricks and mortar" vintage shopping thing is definitely proving to be challenging for me.)

I am wearing a vintage LLBean Norwegian sweater, vintage Old Navy corduroys, a vintage Gap belt, a vintage H&M snood, a vintage Gloverall for the Hudson's Bay Company coat, a vintage deLux hat and old mitts by slo.  My wool work socks are old from an off-price store and my boots are old Bogs.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Fisherman's Sweater

I imagine that everyone is familiar with the somewhat morbid tale of the fisherman's sweater?  The one about how different families knitted different patterns into the sweater so as to enable identification of fishermen who met with their demise while fishing?  I learned of this tale when, while at university, I went to buy my first authentic fisherman's sweater at an Irish shop.  (Incidentally, that first authentic fisherman's sweater wasn't the one that I wore today.  Although, the fisherman's sweater that I wore today is an authentic fisherman's sweater that I purchased some years after purchasing the first one and at the same Irish shop.)  I recall this tale of the fisherman's sweater every time I wear one of my collection of authentic fisherman's sweaters.

It seems that wearing two favourite pieces from my wardrobe yesterday really started something.  The fisherman's sweater that I wore today is another favourite piece from my wardrobe.  And, it wasn't the only favourite piece from my wardrobe that I wore today.  The other favourite piece from my wardrobe that I wore today was the "Hudson's Bay blanket" coat.  I had been wanting one for some time before I got this one.  This one came from the very last collection of coats made by Gloverall for the Hudson's Bay Company, not from Hudson's Bay blankets but from wool fabric (which means that, when I got the coat, I wasn't getting a Hudson's Bay blanket coat and, after I got the coat, I still didn't have a Hudson's Bay blanket coat).  Because it came from the last collection, and I was shopping for it at the very last moment (I do tend to leave things until it's almost too late), I was limited in what I could get.  Which is why the coat is ... well ... let's just put it out there ... huge.  I don't care how big the coat is, though (or that it isn't a Hudson's Bay blanket coat).  I love it to bits!

As luck would have it, I managed to snag an actual Hudson's Bay blanket coat late last year.  In Fall 2009, a handful of Canadian fashion designers were asked to design one of a kind coats made from actual Hudson's Bay blankets coat.  Unbeknowst to me at the time, one of those designs was then produced for sale (using actual Hudson's Bay blankets) for the 2010 Olympics.  Only a limited number of the coats was produced (the number was 100) and they sold out almost immediately.  This year, the design was re-issued for sale, in even more limited quantities (I don't know the number).  I happened to be at the right place at the right time (and thinking) and, today, I am an owner of one of those limited edition Hudson's Bay blanket coats.  (So, finally, I got a Hudson's Bay blanket coat!)  I will try to debut it on the blog this Winter.

I am wearing a vintage fisherman's sweater, old cords by Old Navy, a vintage Gap belt, a vintage "Hudson's Bay blanket" coat by Gloverall for the Hudson's Bay Company, an old deLux hat, an old snood by H&M and old mitts by slo.  My wool work socks are old from an off-price store and my boots are by LLBean.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The What A Deal Pendleton Shirt

I have to say that the jacket and skirt that I wore today are two favourite pieces of clothing in my wardrobe.    I am very pleased that I was able to bring them together.  It is a little hard to believe that it took me as long as it did (a couple of years) to do so.  Maybe I needed the two new pieces that I wore today -- the shirt and vest -- as the catalyst for bringing them together.

The two new pieces that I wore today -- the shirt and vest -- were pieces that I recently purchased on sale at Urban Outfitters.  Not to belittle the vest, but I was particularly excited to have scored the shirt -- a Pendleton shirt.  That said, both pieces were exceptional deals.  I know that I will enjoy them for years to come!

I am wearing a vintage H&M skirt and jacket, a Pendleton shirt from Urban Outfitters with a vintage Gap tie, a BDG corduroy vest from Urban Outfitters, vintage Lululemon leggings, old wool work socks from an off-price store and boots by LLBean.  My coat is a vintage Canada Goose parka, my wool handknit button scarf is a gift, my hat is old by Roots and my mitts are vintage H&M.