Sunday, July 31, 2011

30+ for 19 + ?

One of the things I love, but forget to play around with in everyday life, is the inspiration that comes from dressing with a reduced wardrobe.  This comes up while travelling, of course, and with the 30-for-30 challenges I haven't yet attempted.  Packing for vacation was super easy- both because my clothing palettes are pretty coordinated already, and because space was not limited in the car.  I love this yearly trip to the coast- I tend to dress more casually and playfully and I pick up a lot of fun new things to supplement my fall/winter wardrobe at the local thrift stores.  The only challenge in packing, really, is trying to anticipate my needs based on the weather (which sways from wet and frigid to sunny and fairly-warm-if-you're-lucky) and whatever new items I'll pick up.  Last year's highlights were my new platform clogs for $5, madras sundress and some more checked cowboy shirts- these are all back as part of the vacation wardrobe.

Dresses: I went fairly easy on these, as it's funner to mix and match tops and bottoms, so focused instead on things that needed more love.  I have a few Reed shirtdresses, but the simplicity of the navy means I forget about it. I am also ashamed to admit that the cute critters on the Southward Stop dress have never left the house so I mean to amend that this trip.  The last dress is my beach dress so doesn't really count- I think the smell of sunscreen is permanently embedded in the fibers! I also added in the Distant Chirping chemise, as I ended up wearing it while packing and thought it would be fun to have around.
Skirts: If the weather cooperates, I'll be living in these- the Amhara skirt, vintage floral maxi, Picked Plaid skirt, a basic navy UO mini, and a vintage black wrap skirt.  I felt like something was missing, and realized suddenly before we left that I was missing my staple Field Scout skirt, so that has been added to the mix!
 In case of an array of crappy cold weather (as has been the norm for the east coast this summer, we've got black cords (old navy), gap skinnies, wider-leg old fave diesel jeans, and some mavi cut-offs.
Shirts: Backporch blouse, J Crew gingham, Joe Fresh gingham and vintage checked cowboy shirts, Precious particulars blouse.  I removed the contrast collared shirt from Gap- I love it, but it's not as versatile.
Tees: a bunch of striped tanks and polka dot tees from Old Navy, a couple of striped tees from J Crew and BR, and a selection of solid-coloured tees.  I ended up removing the gorgeous green Gathered tank as I'm less likely to wear it here, alas.
sweaters:  I brought a few of my favourite Jackie cardigans, my staple long navy cardigan from Old Navy, and the orange linen tie-back from J Crew.  I have a few super warm sweaters I leave at the cottage for crazy cold nights anyway.  I love the Elkanah jacket from last fall (my love tempered slightly by Anthropologie's refusal to honour the second cut sale price that happened 3 days after I ordered it- one advantage to their no longer using a secondary site for selling to Canadians!) and it makes a great coverup with dresses and jeans.
an array of belts and scarves for mixing and matching pleasure
and best for last, two polka-dot bathing suits!  One vintagey from ebay, the other Old Navy.  Wish me many, many sunny beach days!  I'll need all your hopes and prayers (it's currently very overcast and only 20 degrees (70 fahrenheit).

Friday, July 29, 2011

this will make you laugh...


um, do I really need to say "hey, I may be blogging a little more sporadically for the next little while as I'm off to the coast on vacation!" when, um, my posting is a little sporadic already?  Well, I'm off for a 12 hour car ride- not a road trip, since there will be no whimsical stopping or dining until the end, unless our path is threatened by moose crossings, which is a distinct possibility- to my childhood home base, and to a cottage by the sea.

On the other hand, it is delightful to surf the internet with soft ocean breezes wafting in during the frequent rainshowers.  Also, it is a thrifter's paradise and I plan on making some thatdamngreendress fall lookbook purchases to shape the year to come...

and well, if you really want a laugh, since I brought you here, whenever we stroll through the old mall I am always tempted by the classic kiddie rides, and well, sometimes you just need a photo!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

imitation is the...

I fell in love with the Amhara skirt at Anthropologie not just for it's airy demeanour and bright fun stripes- I also absolutely adored the catalogue styling, with a contrasting print top and soft blazer.  For most of the summer, I've been throwing it on as anticipated with a simple t-shirt (sometimes striped) or tank.  However I did intend on trying some more fun work-appropriate options, especially as I think this gorgeous skirt can easily work into a fall wardrobe of rusts and mustards and boots!
Anthropologie To-a-Tee blazer, Amhara skirt and Agadja belt, no-name polka dot blouse, Clarks wedges, unknown machine part marooned in my yard

Anthropologie February 2011 catalogue shot
This morning I discovered the the skirt feels a little more shapely and fitted with a belt.  I have a couple of these fabric belts (slipping off a little here) that I may try and work with more.
It's also such a simple, slip-on skirt that I hadn't taken the time to document what works or not.  Lately, Jess of Consume or Consumed has been displaying the beauty and simplicity of some classic summer looks, and challenged me to offer the Amhara it's due.  I thought I should take a cue from another versatile dresser and give a tank top a bit more visual interest with a patterned scarf.  Katie at Interrobangs Anonymous has a million and one ways to wear a scarf- I had two- so I thought I'd try draping it loosely, bandana style, and I like it!  Thanks for the inspirations ladies!

Amhara skirt, F21 rust tank, thrifted scarf, no-name sandals, my sister's deck

Thursday, July 21, 2011

adventures in thrifting...

Manolo Blahnik flats, $2.99
I just love the potential for discovery when you walk into a thrift shop. uh, well, any kinda store really, but I particularly love to roam through a jumbled mix of items.  I lived on the east coast for a few years and the trip to Value Village meant a full-on excursion by ferry across the harbour- the anticipation would build until I literally wanted to run those last few steps. 

I had a lot of great finds there, but one of my favourite pieces is from my local Salvation Army store.  It's run-down and mostly iffy, but I seem to find the most suprising things there.  I once passed a shopping basket full of shoes being stocked and saw this lovely patent leather mustard peeking out.  They turned out to be a beautiful, virtually unworn, pair of Manolo Blahnik flats.  Unfortunately the previous owner must have stored them with elastic bands to hold them together, which did irreparable damage to the finish (leaving black streaks across the toes that had my shoe repairman shaking his head in dispair).  I absolutely love them, and I thought I should get a picture of the sole before the lovely price tag of $2.99 gets erased by more wear!

This dress is a vintage summer favourite, from Kensington Market in Toronto- I spotted those zebra print markings on a rack outside and zoomed in for the kill.  I can't resist a good monochromatic print, and I find old polyester weaves to be surprisingly comfortable in the summer heat.

Vintage Zebra print dress, thrifted Manolo Blahniks, Old Navy necklace
Today is a surprise Everybody Everywear edition about amazing thrift finds, suggested by the awesome and witty Jentine at My Edit.
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<P>Everybody, Everywear

Sunday, July 17, 2011

classic drapery...

Madame Grès au Musée Bourdelle

I haven't been following Garance Dore like I used to-something about the snazzy new blog page and paucity of improvised street style photography has turned me off a bit.  However she linked to a new exhibit on Madame Gres this week that is simply beautiful.  The designer's drapery column dresses have been displayed alongside classical sculpture in Paris and the soft fabrics alongside cold weathered stone are splendid- I wish I could go experience it.  A few more photographs can be seen here.  I plan on picking up the catalogue when I can- I did once linger over a small Assouline edition of her designs at the Strand bookstore but apparently I didn't actually bring it home with me.

Failing that, I recently added to my collection of 1 draped jersey dress by also picking up the Pezza dress (2 draped jersey dresses, bwa ha ha!!!) when it went on sale.  The draping may not be as dramatic as the speckled ink dress, but the fabric is weightier and the cut amazing.  It has definitely been a favourite dress this summer (particularly on days when, like Thursday, I wake up with 2 minutes to get out of the house because I didn't make sure the alarm was actually on...).  I have been wearing it with a variety of slim coloured belts, though my favourite may be with the texture and contrasting monochromatic weave in the earthy embrace belt that I bought at the same time.  The belting may be a bit of an accessorizing crutch actually, since the manfriend has pointed out that the drapery falls better over my hips if I leave it plain.  I'll attempt to wear it more, uh, nakedly next time.
Anthropologie Pezza dress and Earthy Embrace belt, shrubbery enveloped Aldo wedges
Isn`t the orange draping in the first image just glorious?  I have to hold out for something similar one day, although this number is looking awfully pretty to me right about now...imagine with a coppery or gold leather belt (okay, no belt- shoes maybe?)..sweet!
Anthropologie Whirligig dress

Monday, July 11, 2011


J Crew back-button tee, thrifted yellow pencil skirt and striped silk scarf, Aldo wedges
I usually try and ignore the little 'safe fashion' voices in my head, you know, the ones that aren't too sure you should match up certain patterns, or that tell you what skirt length is appropriate to your age and height (I'm not listening, Stacey and Clinton!) On the other hand, I too often hew to the advice of the voices that tell me to cut collars off things and that I should buy that cat-print muumuu just in case I need it for a gift someday) (I didn't buy it, but I still think about it...).  Anyway, for some reason, despite my abiding love of the colour, I have a hard time wearing bright yellows at any time but high summer, when they feel appropriate.  So today's scorching heat was just right to throw on a bright yellow linen-esque pencil skirt I picked up this spring. 

I like the odd way that the 'english saddle' colour of the stripes mix with the yellow, and I love the serendipity that dropped this red, maroon and cream silk scarf into my hands this morning for a sash!
Aldo wedges, available here in cognac or black, fit TTS
I've been looking for a perfect pair of wedges since the winter, but haven't found anything that fits my 'summer shoe' budget until these Aldo sandals went on sale.  I tried them on at the beginning of spring but thought they were a bit funny to walk in, but once they dropped to $35 on the website I thought I`d give them another shot.  The cognac leather straps are nice and soft and don`t feel cheap, and I pretty quickly got used to walking in them- they`re very comfortable now.  I really like the way they straddle the clog and wedge styles-the heel height is just right.

My thanks to jerk in my building who deposited a car engine in front of my studio door, and locked a ladder to the pretty fire escape stairs I usually use for these shots.  Grrr...  Strongly worded memo to be posted on my door tomorrow!  Hey, it`s a FIRE ESCAPE (er, and a convenient backdrop for my outfit photos...)

Today you`ll be seeing a lot of yellow, as Everybody Everywear launches it`s July collection, a bevy of dames in yaller.  Join us!
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<P>Everybody, Everywear

Monday, July 4, 2011

speckled stripes!

Anthropologie Speckled Ink dress, thrifted belt, bag and slip, Clarks sandals

I thought I should try and sate my cravings for any new striped jersey dresses by wearing an old striped jersey dress!  I picked up a second-hand Anthropologie Speckled Ink dress over the winter, once I realized that yes, I very much need to have her in my closet! I didn't have any jersey dresses at the time, and I loved both the asymmetrical grecian draping and sketchy stripes.  I was sad when I realized just how asymmetrical the hem is though- a dress that is shorter in the middle is flattering to no one, especially when one has, erm, a sizeable rump.  I've tried to stretch it out whenever I handwash it but this has only helped a little.  I've been looking for a nice slip to wear underneath that could mitigate the hem issue, as well as making it a little longer, and found just the right one last week.  It's an old navy blue nylon slip, with a transparent striped hem- the lines follow though those on the dress, and the transparency makes it seem less of an add-on.

This poor dress has been through some tough times- it arrived sodden and resealed in plastic by the postal system this winter (I found it through the EA board) and I fancy it smells of mildew still, even though I know it doesn't.  A good long steaming seems to have helped recently- it feels soft and luxurious, and the draping is really lovely.  Just no more asymmetrical hems, you hear that fashion world?  Or at least not symmetrically asymmetrical hems!