Saturday, January 31, 2015

black and white and spring all over?

Lady in chartreuse. Nightsnow tunic.
Wishful thinking, I know, since it's still January, and still crazy cold out there! But the spring wishlists and catalogues are starting to roll in.  And if it's not actively -20 out there I'm still wearing dresses and bright colours (plus legwarmers), and it looks like black and white prints are gonna be a thing (when are they not, I guess?) I got this dress for my birthday last spring and I wear it constantly (though only in tights season, for obvious reasons).

Anthropologie Prins tunic
There are always rumblings about the "Pantone colour of the year" each spring, and usually I find the colour really taps into whatever I'm obsessed with at the moment.  But marsala?  I love maroons and burgundys, but mainly in fall, when it sits so well alongside russets and mustards, with the occasional flash of jewel-toned blues and greens. All of which are in the above dress that I fell unexpectedly head over heels for in the sale room this fall.  It's a weird an avant-garde boxy shape, so it works best with some careful accessorizing, but the colours are incredible! I was hoping to do a post on reds in December,as I suddenly found myself clad in a succession of warm reds and maroons, but then time got away from me and the feeling of 'urgency' passed.   I also missed photographing many, as usual. (I guess one of these days I'll reuse my Christmas party outfit for you- maybe you'll get it as a Valentine?)

It seems like retailers are trying to slip this marsala tone in for spring, but it feels wrong, especially when everything else is in fresh pastels or crisp black and white. This spring, I'm excited once again for soft pinks and still feeling some unusual (for me) love for pale blues (J Crew seems to be channeling these, though I haven't fallen in love with any of their offerings yet). However I suppose marsala and pink might look rather swell together...

The laid-back glamour of the 70s is still a factor in the shapes and mood, and I love it (though I would never have thought it possible while growing up in the 80s)  Itself hearkening back to the 30s and 40s, the look inspires streamlined flowing tops, occasionally boxy tops with long silky skirts and overall playful combinations (thank-you Annie Hall!)

Anthropologie just released their February catalogue and there is a lot to love in the styling.  What seems to be attracting to me most are black and white print combinations and dramatic cuts. Although I'm also trying to see myself suddenly whisked away to a chic tropical location and I really don't see that happening!

This striped blouse is amazing- I wish it was cotton, but maybe it will be a well-chosen polyester.  I hope so! It's on my wishlist, and I'd love to try and evoke this look with other items in my closet.

I love all of this!  I may not be ready for the birkenstock revival yet, but silver seems like the way to go!

I don't love these hems, but I love everything else about it so I'm willing to think of them as part of the cut of the dress and go with it. I also admire, as usual, the soft boho swirly vibe below.  I did just find a stunning floaty green silk maxi skirt at Vaue Village that perfectly embodies this image, if winter ever ends! I think it may be time for another trip to the biodome though, to surround myself in leafy green!

Over at J Crew, again it's the soft fresh pinks that have caught my eye. Pink and gold?  Yes! These are classic J Crew.

And because love isn't sensible and follows no fashion rules or guidelines (thank goodness we've gotten away from those, you know, like no minis after 35...) I am madly in love with this Marimekko vibrant printed shift. Très 60s.  Which is good, 'cause I'm just about très 40s.  But it's also très over my budget...

Marimekko Petula shift, at Anthropologie
What are you looking forward to this spring?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

plaid mad...bad... glad

There's nothing for it- the end result of months of watching a bevy of bright plaids pass before my eyes has led to a brief run on the darn things.  I've mostly kept to a budget, but it sure is tough!  I've been eyeing the above blazer for months at Target, and I've got to say it's pretty representative of why Target has failed utterly in Canada.  For the most part, the reason Target lost eager customers like me was with huge inventory problems- most of the time the shelves were either empty or unchanging.  I saw this blazer months ago and liked it, but not for $40.  I would occasionally wander in, but the blazer was always there and still at full price.  After Christmas, I was sure it would finally be marked down somewhat, and yet no clearance signs, no sale signs on anything.  I looked at the tag closer and suddenly realized that camouflaged against the red tag was a clearance tag and the blazer had actually been marked down multiple times!  Just never advertised or clearly marked as such!  Anyway, I finally got it for $11.50, so uh, I guess that's all right :)  It seems like such a shame for Target to waste so much time and money and fail utterly at the basics of retailing.  You'd go in and see rows and rows of empty shelves, or the same brand of over-priced paper towel. Sigh.  Maybe I can benefit from a clearance sale and score a mint-coloured Kitchenaid mixer. Cross your fingers for me!

Not only am I a sucker for plaids, but throw in the unusual contrast of diaphanous chiffon and basic browns and I'm an easy mark.  I usually try and stay away from Etsy since there's so much temptation, but I'm very pleased with this timeless number.  I do appreciate the ease of care in vintage polyester pieces- they're great for everyday and for travelling.  I guess it bothers me more in new pieces because the textures aren't as good, and I also think you shouldn't have to pay premium prices for materials you can find at Forever 21.  While we're at it, how about a shout out to this cropped linen blazer I found at Gap 10 years ago for $20.  That's staying power!

Yeah, I know, this isn't really a plaid, but this old mod geometric number is a favourite and an example of vintage man-made fabrics that perfectly suit the style of garment and make for great everyday pieces.  I always end up wearing it with this J Crew necklace because they're totally made for each other. I don't make the decisions around here, I guess.

Whew- this coat kinda says it all! It's my splurge of the season, but I haven't had a new winter coat for a few years and they really don't make them like they used to!  I was watching a 30s movie over the holidays and a random secretary in the background was wearing a stunning plaid wool coat.  I basically squealed aloud and spent a few days searching Etsy for inspiration.  Instead I came across this beauty on instagram and I'm so glad I made the leap.  It's beautiful and unique and makes trudging out into the winter landscape a more enjoyable experience!

Pretty soon I'll probably start hankering after spring florals, but in the meantime I have some nice plaids to keep me warm.  And hey, I can even mix the two, right?!