Tuesday, January 29, 2013

somebody out there likes me...

Anthropologie Stripe Moss cardigan, J Crew vivid jade pencil skirt
I mean, I know you've already read about it a million times by now, but the colour gods at Pantone decreed Emerald Green to be the colour of the year.  I mean, after they so graciously gave me Tangerine last spring...I couldn't have expected such fortune!  My closet is already abundantly gifted with emerald, so I guess I'm set.  Which is good, because I'm starting to feel those yearly spring stirrings of a mint obsession. At least it goes with emerald!

emerald with mint and black

Monday, January 28, 2013


Anthropologie Chandelier sleeves blazer and Intarsia sweaterdress, Indigo boots
I'm desperately trying to find a new space to take photos- the greenish fluorescent tone to those hallway pictures is killing me, spring is still a loooooong way away, and my backyard is lost under several feet of snow. The lighting isn't the best here, but it's a change, right?  So I got to bust out the Intarsia dress today- totally warm and cuddly.  And I guess my slip had taken your advice of yesterday to heart, since it was all about exposing itself all day!  

I was pleased to see in person that the upper knit area of this dress is actually a very nice burnt orange, which is a wonderful vibrant mix with the blue. I also find the black and white pattern is charmingly reminiscent of the classic Space Invaders tank.  Which I played for reals as a child- oh what strange times we live in!

Anthropologie seems to be getting a little lazy in the naming department. Intarsia Sweater Dress?  How dull.  Welcome...Space Invaders dress!

Or knit your own from a pattern here!  Don't you just love the crafting community!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

of rocketships and lacy slips!

Anthropologie Quinby Intarsia cardigan and cord skirt, Born boots
Sigh.  One of my favourite Calvin and Hobbes cartoons ever is one I don't own and can't seem to find online.  In it, Calvin stands proudly in front of his mom, hands on his hips, with a huge grin on his face.  She shakes her head and sends him away.  He proceeds to do the same thing in front of his dad, then you see him stomping away, grouching to Hobbes, "What's the point of wearing rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see them?"

I was reminded of that little moment (a strip I once cut out of the newspaper- how old-school!) the other day when I finally got to wear a pretty lace-trimmed extra flouncy slip I've had for awhile- I've just never had a skirt quite long enough to warrant it.  Enter the fine wale cord skirt I bought over the holidays- now if only someone had asked to see what was lurking underneath :(

I suppose I should finally invest in the complete Calvin box set.  I truly think all the necessary life lessons are contained within...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

coldpocalypse...and uh, anthro salemageddon!

J Crew cashmere Tipsy-turvy popover, vintage skirt, aerosoles wedges
I have no deep thoughts for you this week, other than musing once again on the deep freeze.  Like recognizing how incredibly effective natural fibres are!  Cashmere,  knit dresses, and wool tights have been my constant companions in comfort all week. 

Vintage sweater dress
I haven't had a down coat for a few years.  They tend to be pretty pricey, and my aesthetic tends more towards the wool layered urchin versus slick puffy modern.  But when I  managed to get this Cartonnier down toggle coat for a mere $50 at the no-holds-barred massive 50% off sale at Anthropologie...well, I was willing to test out a slight revision of my aesthetic.  Turns out I still look like an urchin.  Oh well.

Cartonnier Toggled Puffer coat, $50, was $288
Um yes, and anthrosalemageddon?  Well, after studiously avoiding the siren call of every party dress I've admired since September at deep discounts, by Monday I was able to score these beauties at ridiculous prices:

It has been very difficult not to dive back in for more!  Maybe the -40 degrees is a good thing...right now I'm most excited about the cuddly sweater dress!

Friday, January 18, 2013

pattern play!

Anthropologie In Bloom blouse, Bugle Boy tie, J Crew pencil skirt, Naturalizer Mary-Janes
Winter florals please me.  What pleases me even more though?  Finding that a new floral blouse has a nigh exact match in a recently thrifted tie!  I don't know how this happened but it totally tickles my brain.  The manfriend joked that I looked somewhat like a Communist florist, but so be it.  I like both serendipitous matching and utilitarian silhouettes!


I've been dying for one of J Crew's Liberty floral blouses for awhile, and the japonaiserie quality of the Leo Scarlet print is now one of my favourites.  The fabric is perfectly soft and thin, and the pattern goes with everything- I started it out with this black lace tee, but I have a feeling this will be working hard through the spring.  I love the way the scale of these patterns work together, but then lace goes with everything I suppose...

(I'm working hard at incorporating all those November/ December gift/ sale purchases into the wardrobe line-up. This sweet lace tee was behind the returns counter when I was buying a gift for someone at Winners- it looked interesting so I asked to see it.  Turns out it's from a lovely Danish brand Malou Sander and I guess I got it for 75% off!)

J Crew Leo Scarlet blouse, Malou Sander tee, Anthro Mimetic skirt, Chie Mihara shoes

I came around to florals rather late, but also recently realised I only wear them unseasonally- any attempts to add them to the summer rounds have been less succesful.  Do you have any prints that you can only 'work' part time?

Friday, January 11, 2013

bitsy 'n bobs!

Vintage paisley dress, Anthropologie collar, J Crew Jackie Born Bitsy boots
Okay, it's official- I loooooove this dress!  It checks all the boxes that make the most easily wearable and loveable of vintage dresses- silky man-made wrinkle-free knits (pre-80's, of course), shapely shifts with sleeves for year-round wear, and of course amazing and unique prints...yes! I got it on Etsy a bit before Christmas and it reminds me of another fave such dress from a couple of winters ago, my Smartie-Marni dress (much worn, yet rarely photographed it seems).

Great print, and the perfect frame for a statement necklace. Love.

And while we're talking of checking off wishlist criteria, (and fawning adoration) I also finally found a new pair of much needed winter boots this evening.  I thought perhaps I could limp through another winter with my Aldo Frye knock-offs that have stood me well these past 3 years.  Sure there's a hole in each ankle seam that I intended to fix, but they were so perfect otherwise- tall, substantial (and attractive) leather boots that I only had to step into (an important detail when you're in and out of boots a few times a day) with great lug soles that never slipped on the ice.  But then I realized this week that I've been on the verger of literally limping in these, as the slipped lining is starting to force a weird pressure point on my foot and causing me pain!

The thing is I just couldn't find anything anywhere that accommodated my needs. If I wanted Sorel furry bootedness I have a million options, or if I didn't mind falling on my butt several times a day there are also a ton of attractive flat slippery-soled boots out there (really Aldo- I challenge your designers to wear 90% of your boot collection on an icy Montreal sidewalk).  All I wished for were elegant tall boots with a bit of grippy-ness in the sole, but not so tall as to hit my knees (a problem for the short-shinned) and of course ones that don't cost too much (Canadian winters are rough on boots, as am I).

And finally, FINALLY, I found these Born beauties at Winners for $99- they're perfect...tall, yet hit a couple of inches below the knee so I appear taller (why are all boots so knee-high now?), generous in the calf and easy to zip up, good thick sole and even a hint of heel. And comfortable.  I am in love, ladies.  And best of all, these boots check off the ultimate criteria, the "if I saw someone wearing these I would think, damn, those are the boots that I can never find myself". Born Bitsy Boots, welcome. I promise to weather-proof and wipe salt from your surface from time to time.  Pinky swear.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

refreshed stripes!

J Crew spearmint striped top, thrifted perfect purple skirt, teal tights, converse kicks
Hoo-boy.  The new year always means a couple of brutal days doing bookstore inventory- it is physically grueling within and without, lifting and scanning some 8,000 titles (er, I guess I didn't do the whole thing all by myself...) and we end up sick by the end. I had thought for the first day I would dress 'appropriately' in stretchy denim and an oversized shirt.  Ugh.  I felt so gross and unkempt by the end of day, on top of totally pulped neck and shoulders.  (I suppose 2 hours sleep the night before didn't help things- can't seem to get off that holiday sleep schedule- ouch!)

After a round of therapeutic baths and a better nights sleep, by the next morning I had vowed to wear something that would make me feel good (i.e dressed-up) as well being comfortable.  And this new striped top is a  sure bet! The navy and spearmint combination is 'fresh' and the knit is soft (runs small, FYI).  Yummy.  I love the way the mint and navy work with the dark purple of the skirt- but then I guess I pretty much enjoy all variants of green and purple together!

I'm also glad striped tops have somehow endured the overkill of the last few years- in fact, I find myself hunting for a new basic black and white striped top again!  The staple pieces are getting a bit too worn out.  The search begins...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

warming trend...

Anthropologie Blair Scholar jacket, Dotted Jacquard sweater skirt, J Crew striped shirt
Yesterday morning I couldn't convince myself to put on anything but the softest, warmest layers, so I figured it was a good time to work in this new cardigan/faux blazer.  It is indeed very cuddly, and I do recommend it.  By the end of the day, the boiled wool had lost a tiny bit of it's structure but there wasn't really any pilling.  In my experience, that's pretty good for this kind of fabric! I absolutely love the shape of it, as well as the burnt orange hue.  I may not be a huge fan of the sash look but I didn't mind it tied behind, with the belts twisted a little to minimize the thickness.

You may be wondering how a knee-length skirt, even a thick knit, could be possibly warm enough in -25 degree temperatures?  That is why over-the-knee legwarmers kinda rock, especially when they're from Iceland! Presto, change-o! Now if I could just stop these constant mini-colds that keep knocking me out for 24 hours at a time this winter!

Any other cold weather tips to share?  Besides running off to a resort in Cuba?  Hmm...that does seem to be what all the January catalogues are telling me to do...

Thursday, January 3, 2013


thrifted sweater, J Crew Sterling skirt, vintage brass necklace, Naturalizer t-straps
I was back at work today, and since most everyone is still off on holiday I felt like keeping things quiet and muted (with a touch of sparkle!).  I bought this copper sweater over the holidays at Value Village, planning on cutting it up to make a couple of collars (ironic, I guess,  since I used to be notorious in my family for cutting collars OFF things...) but then found I liked it too much to butcher it. It has just the perfect amount of drape and shape, and even works for the famous half-tuck that J Crew has been pushing! I also really like the contrast of the brown  when the sleeves are rolled-up.  A keeper!

The 'maple crimson' Sterling skirt has also edged its way into my permanent rotation by dint of being structured and a great colour.  But it still makes me sad- the cut and size are a little off for me and the fabric is quite a bit inferior to any previous season of Double Serge skirts from J Crew.  I think it may even be starting to pill!

I also discovered that lurex-ish sweaters are not very warm in and of themselves.  We went out to see Django Unchained tonight, and I felt a little bit chilly in my thin wool coat.  I popped into Joe Fresh but didn't find just the right kind of low-priced underlayer to add (say around $10), so I decided to mildly suffer it out. I stupidly get stuck in these kinds of situations a few times every winter- shopping for something warmer because I haven't dressed appropriately for the day when leaving my overheated apt. Turns out its -20 tonight!  Oops!  Must. consult. weather. forecast!