Archive for March, 2009

Today’s post is about smoke and mirrors. Well, actually, it’s about the power of shoes. For those of you who have wondered why I have so many pairs of shoes, today provides the answer: because the right shoes can distract people’s attention from a not-very-inspired outfit. Or, in this case, from a really, extremely uninspired outfit.

This morning when I woke up, all I could think about was how much my head hurt (due to the truckload of concrete that had been dumped into my right sinus cavities by the evil and sneaky Sinus Cold Faeries while I slept). Thus, I could not bring myself to be very creative with my outfit and found myself falling back on this:

Key to the success (if, indeed it is successful…) of the look is the fact that fun tights and groovy shoes make people think I have made far more of an effort than I actually have. In fact, I am wearing a skirt and sweater and, if you look closely, am doing a better-than-fair impression of that other famous Velma, Scooby Doo’s Sapphic companion…. {Note to self: get new haircut.} BUT, despite my striking resemblance to a 70s cartoon character, and in addition to many compliments on my shoes, I got one “You look nice” (M) and a “Look how cute you are!” (BMad), proving that a little sleight of hand (sleight of foot?) can go a long way to covering up for even the most boring ensemble. I even fooled a large number of people into thinking I had on new shoes, though the truth is I have worn them many times over the past three years.
What it all entailed:
9 West shoes, purchased at outlet with LHR
Tights, The Green Room
Skirt, Jacob (a bit too big, but still do-able, also purchased with LHR)
Sweater, Smart Set
Satin rose corsage, gift from Sommer! (Aw, what a sweetie!)
As usual, surf over here for better pix– tried to use the Mac to solve problem of flickr pix not showing up on blogger, but with no success.

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Of course you know I spent far too much time over the past coupla days thinking about what I would wear to work today, the first day back after hols. Monday is never fun and Monday after a lovely break is even more cruel, so it is important that a girl feel good about her outfit as the latter serves as kind of Prozac for the soul. ((Except that Prozac is about a phony high and clothes create real well-being….)

I decided I go with one of my standbys, a long-time fave. It would need ironing and involves several layers, so not an easy solution to my “what to wear” quandary, but no matter: I would get it all ready the day before.

Except I got sick the day before and spent it wallowing in self-pity instead of getting ready for work….

Then, suddenly, it was 6:23 a.m. this morning and I was being awakened by a “me-YOWL” from a stroppy feline demanding his breakfast, rather than being awakened by the CBC at 5:50 a.m. NOT an auspicious beginning to the final term.

BUT, unlike LHR, I do not do well under pressure and cannot manage to dream up a new outfit on the spot: once I’m committed, I’m locked in. Which meant my morning was a bit of a sprint of ironing, hair styling, accessory-finding and shoe-grabbing (lack of thought on the latter actually led to an old pair being trotted out– I forgot how much I liked them!) in order to meet my own expectations. The result was that I did make it to work on time (despite the odds) in an outfit that focused mostly on texture, rather than on colour.

What it entailed:
9 West tweed & patent Mary Janes
Sisley pinstriped skirt with organza ruffle detail at hem
H&M corset
Holt Renfrew Private Label men’s-style shirt in satin/flat stripe
H&M oversized rose corsage
Oversized rhinestone earrings (probably also H&M)
Winner’s tights

As usual, go here to see properly edited versions of photos. (Am beginning to think the problem is PC-related; will try to publish on the far friendlier Mac next time.)

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There is a very wee vintage shop near my house and it is NEVER open. Lately, there has been a pair of tantalizing kelly green 60s stiletto pumps taunting me from the window of this NEVER OPEN shop.

Then, today, as I made my way to the dry cleaners and to the video store and to buy some treats from Pantry for dinner with S, I noticed that the shop in question was OPEN! Wheeeee!

In I went. I fondled many things, not all of them in good condition. I tried on lovely hats that just looked like flower pots on my giant jar-head. 😦 I tried on the delicious kelly green pumps– and felt like one of Cinderella’s sisty uglers, as my bunion prevented all but my toes from fitting in….

I was about to leave. Then I saw it: a lime green 60s slip/nightie. Ooh! And an aqua one, too! Cute! But big. 😦


{Here I must digress a bit. You may be aware that my #1 tried-and-true standby, makes-me-feel-fabulous-even-on-my-very-worst-fat-days dress is my little black vintage slip. It is French silk and lace and cost me a whopping $28 at the Green Room in Stratford. I feel like a sex goddess, but a sophisticated one, in it. I love it. And so you can imagine my overwhelming joy when I noticed that…..}

….there was THIS:

The lace is so fine and so dear and creamy coloured. The colour of the silk is palest, palest pink. Sure, it needs some repairs, but I am handy with a needle and thread (and Speedsew….), right?

So, I shelled out the astronomical price of $20 (!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES! You read that right!!!!!!} and raced home to try it on. I am in love. It is so SJP. It is so Catherine Zeta Jones as Velma Kelly in Chicago— “I’m gonna rouge my knees and roll my stockings down– and all that jazz!” Yeah, baby! I AM gonna rouge my knees!

It also looks darling with a cute little cardie I got in the Anthropologie sale room in Boston last year (and with which I had nothing to wear until now! Serendipity, thy name is vintage shopping!)

The best part is, now I have TWO of these slinky little numbers– a black one and this one, whose colour I have dubbed “champagne pink”! Yes, I can foresee that underwear is going to be a problem and yes, there are a couple of little marks on it that I am going to need to approach with extreme stain-removing caution. But it will all be worth it because there is NOTHING like a little vintage vixen glamour. Just call me “Velma”! (You know I’ll answer!)

Viva vintage!


{For better-looking shots, properly edited and cropped, head over here.  }

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LHR: A Typical Day

It’s me – the LHR component of this duo.

Today was the perfect day to launch this endeavour as I ha
d a typical albeit hilarious pathway to my final outfit. This process is a fair representation of what normally happens. You see without guidance from the best stylist in the world (said YYZ component) I take a lot longer to get to the final outfit.

Here is my process: I usually start with something I want to wear because I
a) haven’t worn it in a while or
b) I think it will be fast and easy to
assemble an outfit(easy — never!)

Today, I wanted to wear a brown woolen vest that I bought at an Orla Kiely sale a few years back in Brick Lane Truman Brewery. It’s quite casual and I’ve never quite felt like it was a good buy. So, I keep trying as I did this morning.

  1. Choose a shirt to wear under the vest. I chose a pink cashmere form fitting crew-neck sweater (which by the way I recently bought on vente-privee)
  2. Look in mirror. It kind of worked as the vest had a pink accent on one arm.
  3. Put on a brownish pair of trousers (again a new Mexx pair from vente-privee which I still have not worn)
  4. Look in mirror. Trousers not working.
  5. Put on pair of gray coulottes I purchased a few years ago (with YYZ) with gray socks to tie in to the gray accent on the vest.
  6. Look in mirror and really think it is not working. Remove vest. Kind of like Pink shirt and gray coulottes. Unsure of necklace to wear. Try 3 different ones on. None are pulling it together.
  7. Forget about pink sweater and go for purple* sleeveless (again a vente-privee purchase). Ooooh no my bare arms not a good scene and it is still a bit cold in London. Grab my new woolen wrap from a designer sale on Brick Lane (again!) a month back… starting to work better (do you think)
  8. Add in my funky shoots by United Nude (as seen a post on Rodwellian’s blog)

So, started with brown vest, brown trousers and ended up with a completely different combination. What do you think?
*YYZ told me purple was going to be big this year. That was engrained in to my brain and as a result I’ve bought 2 purple shirts, 1 purple dress and a purple wrap (all thanks to YYZ)

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And so we begin…

Welcome (all two of you who will read this blog) to YYZ-LHR, a fashion blog designed to do away with distance so that L and I can try to recapture the days when our two wardrobes were pretty much shared property and when we always had each other to double check our sartorial decisions before we left the apartment…. These days, L wakes up groggy J and demands his input and I avoid asking same of M due to severe –not to say crippling– differences between my and his tolerance for fashion risk-taking. (If I wore a navy blue stewardess-style suit every single day, he’d be thrilled….)

Here is the first post from YYZ:
For some reason, I can’t get the text below the photos (which are a bit crap– will work on that)… Hmmm….
Anyway, today I wore my new jeans (get used to them– they are the only stylish ones I have!), a $35 Winners bargain; shoes from NYC; an old Franco Mirabelli halter top, reworked at the neck with an old rose corsage from Le; Jacob sweater. This outfit took me to the Bata Shoe Museum and then to Bar Mercurio for a latte and a biscotti with M and her son, A.

Got a compliment on shoes! Yay!

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