Thursday, November 29, 2012

in the mood for sheaths...

Vintage 60's cheongsam-style dress, vintage brooch
This lady loves a sheath dress, crazy as the pursuit may be. This fusion frock is a great example of mixing sleek 60s style and prints with the cheongsam dresses that were themselves a fusion development of 20s Shanghai. It came with a matching cropped 'Jackie' jacket and is both a substantial knit and sleekly comfortable.  After seeing 'In the Mood for Love' so many years ago, I have been obsessed with building a collection of cheongsams in 60's prints or totally basic, utilitarian fabrics.  The print and colouring on this one is still a touch 'eastern' but I also have a wool houndstooth knit and some basic cotton shifts and even a pinstripe. I totally don't wear them enough. I have been lucky enough to find a few that fit, since they're generally made-to-measure. This one is funny because it's totally a polyester knit but with a silk lining!


Oh Maggie and Tony, how I love thee. I'm pretty sure I've posted about this film/dress obsession before but it bears repeating. I'm always on the hunt for the right floral version- like a bevy of these beauties...

This might have been a compelling compromise were the print to continue all around (argh- such a pet peeve of irritating and 'cheap'!)

Anthropologie Heian Shift
But I'll probably just keep stalking Etsy until something in my size pops up again. Like these:

Vintage 60s cheongsam suit with jacket
Autumnal print 60s cheongsam
Vintage floral silk cheongsam
Or make your own (ha ha ha....*mad laughter*...yes, I have purchased vintage patterns for this very purpose that I guarantee I will never follow through on...)

Simplicity pattern 1447
Vogue pattern 5571

Friday, November 23, 2012

silks and other soft stuff...

I was apparently so inspired that I ended up wearing almost the same thing twice this week.  I mean, it's not like I'm at a loss for variety!  But when something works, it's kinda convenient to fall back on the same elements.  And when it's's a weakness. I can't resist that liquid sway.

On a whim, I paired this classic skirt from J Crew with a basic fitted flannel shirt one morning.  I liked the tactile quality of the fabrics together.  And I'm fairly certain you can't lose with chartreuse tights, right?

J Crew Liquid Silk skirt, Joe Fresh Flannel shirt, vintage sweater chain, Madewell tights, Indigo shes
I was so happy swishing around in the skirt (in a very serious and mature grown-up way, I'm sure...) that I pulled it out again today, this time with a snuggly cashmere sweater and  a touch of trompe l'oeil.  So decadent.  This time the tights are more of a soft butterscotch hue- it would have been nice to try something in the purple realm, but maybe next time!

J Crew Liquid Silk skirt and Crewcuts Tipsy Turvy popover, Hue Tights, Indigo shoes
So, uh, I guess I have no other deep reflections to share.  Apparently the time I have spent filling and emptying my shopping cart on the Anthropologie site in preparation for this week's Black Friday sale has made my brain mushy (soft like cashmere, and insubstantial like silk).  The upshot is I have mostly talked myself out of buying anything much, though I did grab the Honeycomb Lace dress for my office Christmas party next week! Anyone else taking advantage of some sweet BF deals?

Anthropologie Honeycomb Lace dress by Yoana Baraschi

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

how to wear bright green tights...a cautionary tale!

Marni for H&M chevron dress and floral necklace, thrifted striped knit blazer, Joe Fresh green tights, Indigo oxfords
Oh yeah.  I thought I had it all figured out ladies- a gentle mix of brown and white prints to allude to Marni print mixing and balance out the vibrant excess of green tights.  I've decided that geometric neutrals are one way to neutralize the brightness. Yep.  great outfit, totally balanced.

Then I put on my coat, grabbed my purse, and walked out the door.  Into the bright sunlight...wherein I realized the error of my ways.  When wearing a colour as susceptible to association as green, it's best to also think through your outerwear and purse.  Yes, I went to work dressed as an elf . Thank goodness it's a couple of weeks too soon to run into any Santas...

Anthropologie Oxidized Ruffle coat

Sunday, November 11, 2012

of indeterminate colour...

Anthropologie D'Armee dress in Khaki, J Crew ruffled henley in Dusty Clay, Joe Fresh Vindaloo tights, Aerosoles wedge oxfords, thrifted black and white belt, and a little stolen opportunity for late afternoon sunlight
 Okay, so we all have learned to love and appreciate the now-ubiquitous bright 'pop of colour'.  It's an essential hit of happy in the dark days of spring and fully apropos with the bright heat of summer.  But in the autumn, it's nice to let the muted and muddy earth tones have their day.  After all, there's already a riot of colour in the trees above.

I love those colours you can't quite place- from retailers they have obscure and descriptive names like 'dusty clay' and 'bronzed twig' (my favorite jackie colour ever...) and these tights are that indescribable shade of off-brown that my sister (another fan of the colour) charitably calls 'vindaloo.' I'm happiest in these colours actually- I may be constantly seduced by a bright kelly green, but I still don't know how to wear it.  Whereas any three-part combination of ochre, umber, vindaloo, rust, dusty clay or khaki is an instant winner.  Maybe a pop of contrasting colour doesn't hurt either...

What's your favourite under-appreciated muted colour? Do you have big seasonal shifts?  Or, like me, does your colour analysis just shift with the seasons as well, so that same 'mustard' skirt becomes a 'gold,' 'honey' or just plain 'yellow' as the season dictates?

Speaking of kelly green, I just bought a pair of green tights at Joe Fresh. What was I thinking? I mean, the last time I left the house in the Beda dress I was asked if it was already St. Patrick's day! Maybe it's just a personal challenge... so I promise, coming up this week- wearing green tights without looking like a beanstalk costume, wearing the Tulipa skirt with boots (for fun and fall satisfaction), and I hope to debut a couple of holy grail items that have come into my posession recently...(think cityscape...!)

model contemplating what she could possibly wear with bright green tights.  aka, the picture of angst.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


huh. do you suppose there's some kind of internet etiquette that forbids 'liking' your own pins?  I'm one of those people who pins images online as they strike me, but then rarely remembers to go back and look at what I've wrought, or what others have pinned to inspire me.  Inevitably, I get these emails "so-and-so repinned your pin" and I get all excited about the image again.  As if I'd never seen it before.

One image I always forget about, but has been repinned a few times, is this fabulously simple and yet fun combination from Fendi's Fall 2011 show (oh Fendi Fall 2011, how I love thee...)

So I finally remembered to put inspiration pin into action, and voila!  I wish I'd had the presence of mind to find some appropriate mary-janes for the occasion.  I think that's a key element. And perhaps a little more 'world-weary ennui' in my expression...

Marc Jacobs sailor dress, Hue tights, Ash booties
And speaking of which, I have definitely been lax when it comes to pushing the oh-so-exciting shoes/tights paradigm this fall.  Time to get serious about it.  I mean, check out these bellissima and oh-so dynamic combinations from Fendi 2011:

I'm dying.  But then, the whole collection was full of inspirational colour and shapes...

Oh boy- the grey with umber, the sage and orange- I need to get me some more colourful ribbed tights immediately!  and maybe another pair of shoes... and an oversized coat...  Fendi 2011 forever!  (yes, I suppose I should look at their current line for inspiration someday too...)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

tulipa tales...

I usually try and restrain myself to just buying things on sale from Anthropologie, watching for a couple of months to see if my love wanes or is replaced by another.  At which point it usually gets a convenient markdown! But every so often something comes along that you just want to wear and enjoy while it is in season.  Such is the Tulipa skirt- a richly decorated piece just begging to be worn with fall colours and earthy tights and boots. I picked this up in September, and have had only a couple of chances to wear it since. I guess I missed the boot part, but it is most definitely now cold enough for boots, so there's tomorrow's challenge!

I'm perhaps not showing this piece off to its best- I really miss taking photos outdoors in natural light, and in both cases I think I came home and vegged out on the couch for awhile before taking a couple of snaps, so the skirt is a little wrinkled.  It's a substantial fabric with a good amount of stiffness/structure, and I love that the embroidery wraps around, without cutting off at the seam. Ah, I love a good statement skirt. Classic Anthropologie!

Tulipa skirt, Covet blouse, Gewoon felt necklace, purple Joe Fresh tights, Aerosoles edges
Anthropologie Colour Swatch scarf, Tulipa skirt, F21 sweater, Hue tights, Indigo heels

And hey, how about a couple of pretty pictures from the new store in town- I love the way they cleverly mix piles of sweaters and skirts in with decorative cups and things. sigh. So now I know what teacup will best accessorize with my new cardigan...

oops- among these is what is now my own sweater.  I love this piece!
ah, and among these is what is also now my own Jacquard Dot skirt!  Oops!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tippi zeitgeist, part II!

Wow- was Halloween last week already? I've wanted to do the Tippi Hedren 'Birds' costume since forever, but only got my act together this year.  I had tailored a sage green 80's suit years ago, but it wasn't working, so it was a dye job and a well-stocked dollar store that helped me get there this time. It's such an iconic image- the blonde 'do, that green suit (swoon), and the dark crow silhouettes.  There's even been a Hitchcock barbie (mine got lost in the mail...sadness) and now apparently there are two new films exploring the dark obsession of Hitchcock for his cool blonde leading ladies, incarnated by Sienna Miller and Scarlett Johansson

thrifted suit, and handbag, Anthropologie Au Contraire blouse, Chinese Laundry patent pumps, Dollarama crows
There's always a danger at Halloween- you must watch out for horrific monsters.  My dear manfriend's inner zombie couldn't resist the opportunity for a photobomb. 

However the settings are so lovely it's worth the horror and public shaming, with vibrant leaves offering a last brilliant dose of colour before winter sets in.  I've seen a couple of lone flakes already, people. Winter is Coming! (nerd fact: last fall I saw a sign outside my local health food store warning 'winter is coming' and I totally thought it was a Game of Thrones reference.  oops)

So even though the 'Birds' character is pretty well known, I did run into a number of people who didn't catch the reference.  I got a lot of "crazy bird lady?" comments.  So now I'm thinking maybe next year I should wear the exact same costume, just substituting the birds with kittens, and let my true colours show through...  Crazy cat lady FTW!