Archive for June, 2010

YYZ: Jailhouse Rock

Everybody in the whole cell block……. has embraced this trend.
But not I.
Although I love the look–it’s nautical, it’s graphic, it’s high-contrast, it’s classic, it’s chic, it’s got more than a soupçon of the French about it –the nautical stripes trend is not one I saw myself adopting, despite its ubiquity this summer. You see, the stripes go the wrong way.
And let’s face it, I am no Brigitte Bardot.

Since, however, a brief perusal of my summer wardrobe revealed that my purging extravaganza last year left me with a whole lotta nothing (I had planned to shop for updates this spring, but the whole foot incident left me unable to even leave the house, let alone hit the shops for cute new summer clothes), I found myself limping around the aptly named Sufferin’ Mall yesterday. And all I could find were FALL CLOTHES. Lots of fashion writers have been discussing this whole “buy-your-winter-coat-in-July-because-by-September-all-you’ll-be-able-to-find-is-swimsuits” situation recently, but this is the first time I have ever really been affected by the phenomenon. I suppose I have never missed a full season of shopping until now!

Anyway, I found myself with precious little selection in the way of summer stuff, so maybe that is why I picked up this dress to try on. It certainly is NOT something I would normally try: it is stretchy, it has horizontal stripes, it has puffed sleeves…. And yet, when I put it on, it just felt right. Simple, easy, cute, on-trend, comfy. I like the not-so-subtle nod to the 80s in the shape of it (remind you of anything?). It works into (what is left of) my existing wardrobe– looks great with my polka-dot wedges (the day will come!) and with flats until I am ready to brave wearing heels again.

Oh, and it cost $17.95.

Dress: H&M
Necklace: Costa Blanca
Shoes: Converse Chuck Taylors
(Matt hates these shoes. I think that is because he has never worn a pair!)

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Today (now yesterday) I changed our header. Did you notice? I hope so.

The look is to reflect the summer that has hit London and the extended summer holiday that YYZ has just embarked on.

I don’t really have an outfit from today. However, thought I would share the iPhone shots J took of my hat in Brighton.

Here’s a shot of me in the rail station on my way back to London after a few days on the seaside. I’m looking a bit bedraggled. It was hot and humid.

I’ll try to add a few more shots tonight. However, I wanted to post before my first sentence really lost its timeliness.

PS yes that is a shopping bag you see in my hands from All Saints.

….. A week later, I managed to add this shot from dinner out in Brighton. YYZ will remember this dress as I’ve had it forever. In fact, you can get the details on it from last summer’s wear.

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I don’t mean to gloat, but……I AM ON SABBATICAL!*
And the past two days have been highly instructive:
Is this how normal people live????
I am talking about being able to commit 100% to whatever it is you are doing, IN THE MOMENT, rather than feeling perpetually as though you should be working; feeling guilty/resentful because every single second you spend doing something that is NOT the work that is waiting for you is a second you are going to regret later because it means it will take you that much longer to DO the pile of work lurking somewhere in your house or computer??? Seriously, folks, if word gets out that it is possible to actually enjoy life, guilt- and resentment-free,  the education system (and maybe the entire world!)  as we know it is going to crumble as teachers (and other professionals) everywhere up and quit their jobs.

On to the outfit part of the blog. 🙂 NOT GOOD today– sorry about that!

Hoooooooo BOY! Trying to get a decent shot was NOT easy today! The problem is a combination unflattering-dress-6-weeks-without-ANY-exercise situation. Ouch.

BUT, I wanted to document the BOOTLESSNESS! Since Wednesday, I have been (mostly) Frank-free! And I am now allowed to drive, so although I limp and lurch, life is returning to a kind of normalcy. I may even try going for a walk tomorrow.

Dress: BAD purchase at Anthropologie in NYC with my mum. The Canadian dollar was at par and the dress was on the sale rack and it was just NOT a good idea. Too short, too broad, too young.
Earrings: Hmmm. Somewhere in the Sufferin’ Mall.
ShoeS: Softmoc

TOO SHORT in the back!

High humidity + growing hair longer = drastic hairstyle measures.

I will need my hair to be longer for my upcoming travels– easier, lower maintenance, may help me deal with the damp in London (humidity of any sort is NOT  a friend to my hair-type, alas!).
So, here you see a return to my standard “350”– 3 hairpins and 50 pounds of hairspray.

*How sick is it that I still LOVE Madonna’s outfit and want to wear it? AGAIN. 🙂

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Well, actually it’s more of a sartorial rescue, but The Stones don’t have a song called that.

Here, friends, is the problem– and it is a biggie. The lovely and fit and truly gorgeous YVR has been invited to a wedding. In Lake Tahoe.
So far, so good, right?
What could be the problem?

Brace yourselves…

…the dress code she has been given is “Beach Casual.”

WTF??? Emily Post is spinning in her grave; what is UP with the psychotic dress code designations??!*
First of all, what does that mean??? It sounds like tangas and flip-flops to me– not terribly helpful when planning a wedding outfit.  Also, the daytime temps in Tahoe are around 20 degrees Celsius, but the evenings go down to around 5 degrees– how does that work with the whole “dress for the beach” thing? Finally, it is the wedding of friends of her partner so she can’t just call up the bride and say, “Look, you big beach, er, diva, what the hell am I supposed to wear to your ‘beach casual’ wedding?!”
The invitation suggests “sundresses”. They’d better be fleece-lined…

The good news is, YVR has a great dress, courtesy of Comrags.  She also has the lovely strappy silver sandals that will make it look effortlessly chic and both wedding- and beach-appropriate– no small feat! (Sorry about the pun.)  The trouble is in making the outfit remain summery and casual enough for the “beach” bit, but also warm enough to prevent her from turning into a casual beachsicle as the evening wears on.

Her ideas so far:

1. Dress with shrunken leather jacket. I think it could work, but only with chunky, heavy black sandals with high heels and a platform sole. YVR thinks the whole thing is too “heavy.” She also thinks it is not “beachy” enough, but I think the beach needs a little more punk rock and, frankly, I think Joan Jett would totally rock this look at a “beach casual” wedding.

2. Same as above, with leggings. We agreed that this look will be GREAT in the fall– with flats for a trip to a farmers’ market and for lunch, with chunky booties for an evening out with her man or her girlfriends. Too wintry for the beach.

3. Scarf for warmth. Great colour on YVR, not sure I love it with the dress.

4. Thin, elegant cardi. I like this best, as it shows off the pretty neckline and the overall cut of the dress to advantage, but YVR is still worried about being cold.

I have suggested a sheerer legging– something from American Apparel, maybe. I have the PERFECT ones from H&M (is it too late to mail them to you to borrow, YVR???), but now is not a good season to shop for leggings, even on the Wet Coast.  If you do find  a pair (or borrow mine!), YVR, you could carry them in your purse and don them as required after the sun goes down.

M has just weighed in to say he thinks YVR should wear (and here I quote him) “Bermuda shorts” !
Um….thanks, honey.
Interweb? Many heads are better than one, so send your suggestions to YVR in the form of a comment on this post. I am talking to YOU, lurkers (yes, you, LM and GK and SB)– we need your help! What do you think?

*(Shades of M’s work event in February with the “business cocktail” dress code where all the girls showed up in full-on evening wear…)

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I’ve worked on reducing my wardrobe and encouraging recyling by giving to others here and here.  However, today’s post I’m going to talk about my own ability to REUSE pieces from the past in a new ensemble

I wore the earrings here,  shirt here, a shorter version of these shorts here (scroll down),  and the shoes here. The ring (is a little gifty from YYZ) and has been worn many times before but it appears this is its first appearance in this blog. Yay!

Wooden Ring

What I wore:
Shoes: Winners
Shorts: Van Heusen (bought in SF last year)
Shirt: Silk Tank Top, Zara (actually bought for a wedding about 3 years ago)
Earrings: New York
Ring: Wood prezzie from YYZ

PS Clearly, I took these shots at end of day – wrinkles, lack of make-up etc.

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First of all watch this video. Notice the reference to  smurfs in the  3rd line. Why? YYZ knows. However, for those that don’t know, here it is without all the colourful back stories:

  • I worked at eBay
  • I had world’s biggest smurf collection
  • I sold most of the smurf collection on eBay and gave the rest away to eBay colleagues
  • I have ONE smurf left (he’s featured below)
  • Weird Al always reminds me of Michael Jackson (Eat It! was my first Weird Al connection). I was a big MJ fan

But really why? Well, this dress I bought about a week ago on eBay. I haven’t bought clothes in ages from eBay. So, this was a big purchase.

As you’ll see, I was lucky. It fit relatively well. Although, I do need to take up the shoulders and adjust a bit (who knows if I ever will – lazy I am)

Chaos I

I even manage to shop at art galleries

What I wore?
Dress: Bought on eBay (I’ll get brand in a moment)
Shoes: Red Harlot shoes from Mudfoot & Scruff (love that name!)
Bracelets: red and black Anish Kapoor exhibit at the RCA
Earrings: bought in New York (also worn here)

PS I did the angle pose to get the skinny look. Even J said, wow, those photos make you look thin. Smoke and mirrors folks!

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YYZ: Rainy Days and Mondays…

…always get me down. And, today, I managed to bring my good friend S down along with me.

I had no idea what to wear this morning; am still trying to cope with work-appropriate/can be worn with one Faux-kinstock and one giant plastic walking cast problem.  I trotted out this very old dress and topped it with the usual shrug. Was not too displeased with the result.

My lovely friend S had volunteered not only to chauffeur me to work this morning, but also to pick up Starbucks coffee on the way. I am not a Starbucks person at all and have yet to master their confusing sizing lingo— I’m from a small, working-class town, the kind of town where coffee came in “Small,” “Medium” or “Large,” not “Tall,” “Grande” or “Venti.” I have NO IDEA what those mean.
Long story longer: I got in the car this morning and S and I drove to school, chatting on the way. I saw the two coffees, one in size normal, one in size HUGE. The former appeared to have been sipped a bit. I thought to myself, “Oh, shit– I have got the darned Starbucks sizes wrong AGAIN, and have managed to have S get me a gigantic coffee instead of a small one.” But, as mine was an Americano and I am never sorry to have a good, strong cup of coffee, it was no big deal.

Just as we arrived at school, the heavens opened and we got that kind of rain that makes it look like you are underwater. Great timing. I had two big bags of stuff to haul in (there is a LOT of packing and unpacking that goes along with clearing out one’s office space prior to a sabbatical!), so I grabbed the enormous coffee and my umbrella and lurched out of the car, putting the coffee on the roof of the car whence I could grab it easily once I had loaded myself up with all my gear.

Can you see where this is going?
Well, I couldn’t.

As I leaned into the back seat to grab my stuff, my umbrella moved forward, hitting the giant cup of coffee…. Gravity and my position, half-in and half-out of the car, did the rest. The next thing I knew, the entire cup of coffee was pouring over me. Into my hair, onto my dress, into my shoe, into Frank.  Strangely (and luckily!), S’s car was spared– it’s a new car, so spilled coffee with milk in it would NOT be a welcome addition to the upholstery!

Turning to see what fresh catastrophe I had wrought, S realized that I had not grabbed MY coffee at all:
it was HER coffee.

Poor S– she was crestfallen. This is a woman who has the kindest, most generous heart and who LOVES her coffee. Which we were watching soak into my dress and run away down the slope of the parking lot, washed away by the downpour….
What a crappy start to the day: my outfit (and personal hygiene– nothing like reeking like soured milk all day!) and her morning java jolt, literally down the drain, all thanks to my idiocy. Get the feeling S won’t be sorry to see me go on leave?

So, good thing I took a photo of this favourite old dress– today may well have been its last outing!
Added fun-n-games? A trip to the ‘loo when I got inside the building revealed that the bodice of my dress was soaked, not just the front of the skirt, as I had thought, and the top left side was rendered completely transparent as a result. I can’t wear a bra with this dress, so…..
Also? It was not until I got home that I realized that Frank had taken more of a hit than I had initially thought. Just what Frank needed, a little sour milk/coffee aroma to add to his already ferocious odour of sweaty foot and Chinese liniment. Mmmmmm–deeeeeeeeeeeelish!

Dress: Le Chateau
Shrug: Smart Set
Cuff: H&M
Shoe: SoftMoc

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