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Archive for June, 2011

Or don’t, actually.
I don’t suit long hair (or it doesn’t suit me— whatever),
as I realized when looking through some photos from my first trip to England in 2007.
But I needed a song lyric about hair (and, in this case, from Hair!) and I wanted to use Manchester, England, England but I figured it was not as good a fit.

Anywho, today is a day of dining– out for lunch with my friend N and her little cutie C, then out for dinner with my friend S. I love a day when all I have to do is EAT! 😉

I tried a bunch of stuff on, but couldn’t find an outfit that I liked and that was both summery enough and warm enough at the same time– a very weird weather day made it hard to get dressed. If I were with LHR, I could just wear a sundress with black tights, but Canadians haven’t cottoned on to that whole “wearing multiple seasons’ clothing at once” thing that is so prevalent in the U.K. Here, I’d just look nutty dressed like that.

So, I opted for a skirt I ought to have binned long ago because it is so very, very faded. I have overdyed it twice, but it still just looks old and washed out. Which is too bad, because it is a very classic style and length– I keep trying to replace it with something new but have never found one I like as well. Don’cha hate that?

Cardi: Joe Fresh
Tank Top: Jacob
Skirt: the late, lamented Caban
Shoes: Payless
Vintage Chandelier Drop Earrings: Gift from LHR

Since today is Day #3 in the 3-day hair-washing cycle imposed by my illegal hair treatment and since I spent some quality time demolishing the interior of the linen closet yesterday, filling my hair with plaster dust before clueing in that a hat might not be a bad idea, I had to put my hair up. And I felt a little bored because I always do the messy chignon. So I decided to spice it up a bit by doing a full chignon. (I know, I know– I am CRAZY like that!) Which looked fine.
But, never one to leave well-enough alone, I thought it could use a little vintage pizzazz.
Let’s face it, couldn’t pretty well everything in life do with a little vintage pizzazz?

Here’s what I did.  Life on the edge, what I can tell ya?

That used to be my mum's brooch. I love it!

I love that you can see G & P atop the armoire in the background in this one! Hee.

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Is it too late for me to want to be this girl when (if) I grow up?

I love her style, am wildly jealous of her vintage clothes and, as if that weren’t enough, her name is Esme.
How fantastically vintage-y is that?

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YYZ: Splish, Splash

Good thing my photos are so bad that you can't see that I really ought to have shaved my legs... Hee!

We bought our house in 2003. M said then that the renovation (boy, did it need renovation!) of our sweet little 1927 house would be a 5-year project. We worked like demons for the first six weeks, with tons of help from M’s parents, his brother and my mum. We moved in and kept at it– working all the time.
Then, we ran out of steam.
And so, our little house has languished in that twilight in-between land of Not Quite Done.

In the meantime, our upstairs bathroom would provoke commentary from even the most polite of guests. So stricken by the utter horror of the aesthetic abomination were they that, after a visit to the facilities, they would wander downstairs looking shell-shocked and, good manners stripped away by the trauma of what they had just witnessed, say,
“WHY HAVEN’T YOU FIXED THAT BATHROOM?!”
Embarassing? A tad.

But you know how it is– you get used to living with this sort of thing. This is the same principle that leads people to get used to going out in public in sweat pants or flip-flops— apathy sets in, you become blind to the horror…. Next thing you know, it is 8 years later and you are still using a bathroom decorated in “Early Prison For Women” and not even noticing (much) the hideousness. Maybe you are even considering wearing sweat pants out of the house…

This past weekend, all of that changed.

When I asked M, “What are you up to today?” he said, “Demo-ing the bathroom.”
I nearly died of joy.
Has it been fun? Has it been easy? Well, let’s just say that UNDER the heinous grey floor tile was….. lovely, vintage hexagonal penny tile (of precisely the kind I had chosen for the new floor….), totally destroyed by the hack renovation that overlaid it, AND several tonnes of concrete. Yes, kids, concrete. Poured in between all the floor joists…

The good news? We found the Toronto Daily Telegraph from February 25, 1927 in among the joists (I particularly enjoyed the ad in which someone apologized for having “used very bad language” in an altercation with another fella!).

The other good news? I got to run SUPER FUN errands today in the way of ordering our new tub and floor tiles!
Glamourous? Nope.
Thrilling? You betcha!

Here’s what I wore to do it:

Dress, Straw Bag (a leopard print straw bag? For $14.95? Yes, please!), Belt: H&M
Shoes: Payless
Wooden Cuff: Aldo

New shoes!

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Last weekend we had the fun and the pleasure of hanging out with our friends G, K and X, who have moved away. One of the things we did together while they were here was to meet up with a former co-worker of G’s. He had just come from meetings with a certain interweb empire and had some swag which he shared with us. After G, K and X had returned home, I found some of said swag, left behind in the chaos of packing up when you are travelling with a 13 month-old. 🙂

While my brother and his fiancée were here last week, I picked up my first ever Japanese masking tape (believe me, I have been longing for some for quite awhile now, but had been putting off actually acquiring any as I — accurately!– foresaw a big ol’ addiction on the horizon….!).

The perfect storm? I think it just might be.

Ghastly logo, prominently displayed on arm of sunnies.

No offense, Google, but I don’t really get into branded swag.
On the other hand,  I am fan of freebies and I am big into green these days. I also liked the silly, retro-80s shape of the frames.
So….Here is how I spent 10 minutes of my day today:

Stick….

Snip…

Fold & stick….

Ta-da!

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Toes: D's, mine, A's.

I have no photos of my own, as my camera was too big for my purse and then my phone died, so no chance to get any snaps… But you can find the whole event recorded here— Kara, the “class photographer” is a talented woman and there are some fun shots.  All photos of the event are hers, not mine.

No idea who these people are, but her dress was lovely.


In the end, I decided to wear the vintage dress because
a) it fit,
b) I rarely get to wear it and it really is my very favourite dress ever.
I feel soooooo glamourous and so elegant and so of-a-bygone-era in it.

It was a big hit and, as the wind came up in the evening, the dress just got even more dramatic. Fun!

We had a great time, as this photo shows!

We are ALL wearing pre-loved dresses--D's is contemporary (Lida Baday), mine is 50s, A's is 60s. Great minds...

The Boys.

D & A

Y & A

And, even though I didn’t wear it to MY big event, someone did wear the cute Zara number to hers!
I found this in the link to Royal Ascot that LHR posted a few days back:


It’s my Zara dress!
I think she needs a belt, but I do have a thing for belts, so maybe she is fine with just her hat as accessory. I love her orange clutch and I like the way she keeps the focus on her hat by wearing nude shoes. LOVE her friend’s hat & spunky choice of chartreuse shoes and bag to go with it.

LHR, let’s do Ascot next year! (I will call in sick to work…)

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I’ve been going through the 1000’s (yes 1000’s) of photos my cousin scanned in from slides from my Uncle Ken. I shared one from their trip to London in what must have been the 60s. While most of the shots are of my Aunt Barb, Uncle Ken and their 3 boys, there are still a lot of ones that feature our larger family.

I personally loved the 100s of shots they had from summers past. They evoked a time of long summer hot days as a kid where you just swam from 9am -9pm in a neighbourhood pool or up north in a lake. Awwww, I miss those summers. I keep dreaming of the summer I’ll be able to throw caution to the wind and spend an entire summer at my beloved cottage on Crane Lake.

For now, I thought I would share some fashion from summers past. One theme I found is that my Mum and 2 Aunts all managed to find suits that adequately covered their tummies.  As YYZ, will point out these suits were nicely structured that most bikinis today just accentuate. Here’s a few fun ones to get us in the summer spirit and my recent purchases from Old Navy.

Great headwear to boot by Aunt B

Late 1950s swimwear = full piece

My Aunts and my Mom at the Cottage

My Aunt and me - circa 1970/71

Mom, Stace, me and random girl in early 70s Swimwear

Two weeks ago,  I found myself on a work trip to Providence, Rhode Island. The summer came early in Providence and the temperature was well in to the 90s F. And, my hotel had a pool, but I didn’t have a suit. So, I quickly ran out to  Old Navy and grabbed two suits for $20 each (yes, $20!) and relived some of the good times at my Aunt Barb’s pool in the 70s. Here are the suits (minus the model).

Stripey Bathing Suit from Old Navy - 2011

Close up on the top

Seersucker Plaid Number, Old Navy, 2011

Close up on the plaid top from 2011

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YYZ: Come Sail Away

M used to sail. He sailed these.
They are small, they are wet and sailing one is Hard Work, even for strapping young men in their 20s and 30s. In fact, once one gets into one’s 30s, sailing them becomes an increasingly daunting prospect. Needless to say, in one’s 40s, sailing one of these babies becomes a distant memory. But that’s okay, because what do sailors like to do even more than sail? They like to relive the glory days of sailing by telling tall tales of past prowess while quaffing quantities of strong drink. Many Some of the tales are even about quaffing strong drink.

And so, when sailors are too old busy to sail I14s anymore, they decide to throw a party, instead. At the yacht club. And, since by now most of them have a Mrs. Sailor on board, the party involves getting dressed up. Yay!

Here is the thing. I have two (well, okay, three) dresses. There is my Goal Dress and then there are two back-ups. I thought that was going to keep me stressed out enough, but it turns out that the dress code usually reserved for the launch over to the Island seems to hold fast for the entire event. I am a bit miffed– what is the point of a lovely cocktail dress if you have to cover it up with a sweater?  Yep, the dress code says I must wear “a sweater or a a jacket.”
Hello????
Sailors, it would seem, don’t know much about fashion.  M says I will be fine, that what it really means is “please dress appropriately” and not “please wear a schlubby cardigan over your pretty frock.”  I knew I’d have to cover my shoulders on the launch ride, but planned to so with a filmy wrap. You will notice “filmy wrap” is not among the dress code-approved items I may must wear….

So now, in addition to the stress of wondering whether I will be able to zip up my favourite frock (vintage waist-size + fragile 50s fabric + my own, decidedly-UN-vintage waist-measurement = it’s a crap shoot, Gentle Reader!), I have to figure out what the frock I am going to wear OVER it that will not look totally frumpola.
Who made this rule?? Men. And they just don’t get it.

Okay, that is unfair, so I take it back.

Straight men just don’t get it.

Here are two of my options for Saturday’s event.

Goal Dress. Photo taken on Tuesday. No guarantee it will still fit by Saturday.

Vintage fur collar, worn as a stole. Too hot for June, I think. Also, it is neither a jacket nor a sweater.

Vintage opera coat. A bit hard to manage-- it's a lot of coat. Also, I think it is too hot for June, just like the dead critter in the previous pix.

In vintage photos, the collars of these coats are all like this, but I can't make mine stay up... There must be some vintage secret...

I also have a blue cardigan that would work with either dress, but it is too big to really look cute. If I go with the faux McQueen (thank you, Zara!) below, I will have to wear the blue cardi, though, as I have nothing else that will work with it.

No, I don't have a hunchback-- I am trying to show you the poufiness of the skirt. It has boning to make it stand out, all McQueen-ish.

In the end, it will all come down to how I feel about it on the day– maybe the cardi will be fine.

Dare I defy the laws of the land and wear a filmy wrap….?

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