Archive for February, 2010

YYZ: L’étranger

Post title is an allusion to LHR’s current location: Morocco!  (Okay, so it’s not Algeria, but it’s in the neighbourhood!)

I had two or three good outfits this week, but no time to record the evidence or to post, so, while it would be much better to get some shots of saturated colour and fabulous embroidered, mirrored fabrics or some little embossed, metallic, curly-toed slippers from the local souks, I know she is too busy doing all things Moroccan to be able to post, so you are stuck with me. 🙂

And I am cheating by just posting tempting treats.

A/the only blizzard of the winter has me craving something to keep me cozy and warm.
And nothing says “cozy and warm” like a mink-trimmed gown!

How about a fur-lined cape to keep those bare shoulders covered?

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I have been eking out time over the past couple of weekends to do some slightly unusual homework: I have been working to get finished the dress my sewing club at school has chosen to make.
I wanted to do a trial before I had to walk the girls through following the pattern.

Over Christmas, I got some cute fabric from Designer Fabric Outlet— a faintly stretchy, black, wool blend pinstripe. I was excited to see the contrast between the feminine ruffle on the dress and the sternly conservative pinstriped fabric.  First of all, I remembered that I am not thrilled with Simplicity patterns– they are a bit misnamed in that their instructions could be a smidgen clearer, though the dress went together fairly easily once I used my own knowledge of sewing to fill in a few blanks.  With lots of support, the girls should be able to make this dress.

The real disappointment came, however, when it became clear that there was NO WAY this dress was going to fit. At least, it wasn’t going to fit me.  We measured very carefully and followed Simplicity’s online fitting guide before selecting and buying our pattern sizes. As with ready-made clothes, I landed firmly between two sizes. I followed the guide’s recommendations for what to do in this instance and bought “my” size. Had I had more time, I would have made a muslin first and then altered the pattern accordingly, but I was squeezing the project in among piles of marking, report card writing and all the little chores that fill each day. Alas, it quickly became clear, upon cutting out my pattern, that this dress was not going to be my size… I soldiered on, figuring I could find someone who would be able to wear it, even if it didn’t fit me.

The whole discouraging process does remind me, however, of why I leave the sewing to the pros small children chained to their sewing machines in developing countries who provide H&M with stock: the clothes they make fit me! (More or less.)

All is not lost, however;
as you can see, there is someone who looks just great in the dress!

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YYZ: Relax

Aw… I kinda miss the days of the giant, be-sloganed T-shirt….

I wonder whether LHR or I has a photo of one or the other of us in a similar look? Would make a good post for the From the Vault page, non?

Right, now that that is out of my system, here is what I wore today.
It had to be black because I had to dress in a “team colour” for a competition in House this morning.
Long (not-very-interesting) story.

Anyway, as you know, dressing in black is not a challenge for me.  I went a little crazy and really spiced it up with a couple of shots of…….. charcoal grey. I know, I know: I should have warned you before springing that much excitement on you. Sorry about that. 😉

Shrug & Tights: Jacob
Skirt & Turtleneck (& Earrings– not that you can see them!): H&M
Shoes: Tahari
Belt: Gift from my mum– she got it on her fantastic cruise last fall.
It is so cool; it’s made of really fine-gauge wire, all twisted up into links!

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Cat paws at butt level, courtesy of S.

After all the black and grey we have been showing you on this site lately, I thought a burst of brightness might be in order.   Thus, I look like Emilio Pucci vomited his 1980s Barbies all over this dress.

Go hard or go home, I always say.

Dress: Thirtythree
(purchased for a whopping $25– all proceeds to Haiti Earthquake relief, courtesy of a group of Leslieville merchants)
Shoes: My good ol’ Olive Oyl specials from 9 West
Tights: Secret (is it spring yet? My tights are getting rather tatty!)
Cuff: H&M
Necklace: Gift from Mum

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LHR: Gray London Winter

It’s about time I get back in to the act on this blog (and perhaps start doing some situps as this shot suggests).  Here’s a few shots featuring an outfit to match London’s gray winter. Yes. It is gray, very gray.  You may also notice I’m wearing  the same shoes as Gina tried here In the end we both caved and shelled out a whopping $25.

Gray Days

Pearls for Girls

$25 Booties

Hanging Around

What I wore?
: Gray pin-striped trousers bought years ago at WINNERS in Edmonton (yes, Edmonton!)
Shirt: Short-sleeved gray sweater by Jacob
Shoes: bought in Boston
Necklace: Worn at Halloween, from Peacocks
Bag: Red handbag bought in Burlington

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YYZ: Leader of the Pack

Right, not a very exciting looking outfit, but I felt great in it.


I think it’s because these trousers were made by the genius trouser-makers at Theory. They feel incredible. They fit well (I think). The weight is perfect: very light, slightly stretchy wool = wearable in three seasons. The waist (not visible) is in exactly the right spot: not too high, not too low. They are narrow over the hips and wide-enough-but-not-too-wide at the hem.  And because they are so darn long, I have to wear very high shoes with them, so I feel like they make my legs look long(er). In the end, I think the way I feel in these trousers is a testament to the importance of buying good quality clothing; it is so much more well-made than the cheaper stuff that one just feels better in it. And, as an added benefit, it can elevate the cheap stuff, making the latter look better.

Speaking of the cheap stuff, the tank is a woollen(-ish) racerback, but what I loved about it was that it has these funky not-quite-sequins down the front, adding a bit of texture. And I just like this little puff-sleeved motorcycle jacket.

And, to be honest, I like all the nods to my 80s past: all black (whatever happened to my “wear more colour” pledge?!), some hardware-inspired trim… I am completely trapped in the past. And I don’t care. 🙂

Jacket: H&M
Tank & Necklace: Costa Blanca
Trousers: Theory
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Wonky Hair: Courtesy of a full day at work.

PS: Big news! Theory has gone online, kids! Yep, you can shop online for their delectable… EVERYTHING!

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For the second time, the dry cleaners have wrought havoc with my favourite go-to comfy dress. The last time, they hung it incorrectly on the hanger; the dress is a very, very fine wool knit — so fine it is translucent– and, rather using a skirt hanger to suspend it from the empire waist, they stuck it on those evil wire hangers. The result? Some SEVERE closet camels.  I posted a while back about having to perform cosmetic surgery with a spray bottle, a hot iron and a few prayers to the gods of favourite knitwear.

This time, although I do feel that I am, erm, taking up a bit more space than usual inside my clothes these days, I was HORRIFIED to find my formerly loose, baggy, cozy dress was SNUG. To put it mildly.  I vowed to eat only salad for the foreseeable future as I oh-so-gently tugged and pulled the dress as I tried to make a bit more room inside it.  Filled as I was with self-loathing, I did not really think about the soft tearing/stretching fibres noise the fabric was making…

But later on, I thought to myself, “Self,” I thought, “this dress is much shorter than it used to be!”
THAT accounts for the tearing sounds of stretching fibres– I am not (much) bigger, my dress is MUCH SMALLER!  Who knew that the dry cleaners could shrink things? I thought part of the whole point of dry cleaning was to avoid such mishaps…

Here is the dress as I wore it on January 14th:

Here is its twin (same dress, same size, different colour), from January 11th:

Here I am in the black version on Tuesday of this week:

Hem and sleeve length are significantly shorter, non?

I spent the whole day yanking at those sleeves and now that I see the older photos, I know why: the sleeves (and the hem!) are a good 6 inches shorter than they should be!

Dress: French Connection
Tights & Shoes: 9 West
Necklace: Le Chateau, I think.
Bangles: H&M

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