2012-09-28

Cold Shoulder

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Dress? No label, consigned (similar here) Blazer? Thrifted Boots? Ash (similar w/o studs here
Clutch? Thrifted Watch? c/o BCBG Bracelets? gift and from my Oma

What you don't see is the wind machine outside the frame of these pictures... We're just stepping up our game over here.

You also don't see the zippers on the shoulders of the dress. Those zippers convert the dress from a body conscious style to an exposed shoulder, slouchy fit. Even though it is my favourite feature of the dress because it is so cleverly done, I have only worn it the slouchy way once. For some reason I can't handle a cold shoulder (both physically and metaphorically), so it needs to stay zipped up. I can, however, handle bare legs as long as my body is bundled up. That's probably because we used to have competitions at work to see how long we could stick it out and wear shorts. There were days when we would show up on a frosty day to work in a thermal shirt, 2 hoodies, a vest, a toque, leg warmers... and shorts. It kinda felt like wearing pants was admitting defeat. Not that it mattered. Winter doesn't care for foolish shorts competitions at a landscaping company... It also doesn't care that I hate tights... Winter is cruel like that, I suppose that is what makes autumn all the more pleasant... 

2012-09-26

Poems and Patterns

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Jeans? h&m Plaid shirt? Maison Scotch (very similar here) Floral sweater? c/o sheinside (here
Plaid blazer? Ralph Lauren, thrifted Boots? Sendra, Winners (similar here)


About 10 years ago I wrote a wistfully romantic poem called 'Plaid and Pinstripes' (I would link it but sadly I can't seem to find it online... EDIT: someone awesome found the poem for me! I guess it was called MisMatched ...? But it was about plaid and pinstripes. Regardless... here it is. It's kinda cute, not going to lie...). I entered the poem in a local writing contest and it won first place in my age group. It got published in the newspaper right around the time I first started dating Matt and I remember everyone asking if the poem was about Matt. It wasn't about him; I wasn't even dating Matt when I first wrote it and it was definitely more about permanently unrequited and complicated love than it was about that sweet, solid guy who would end up as the father of our three fur babies. (Ha, I just wrote that to irritate my mother who absolutely hates it when I refer to the cats as my kids. Which obviously makes me take it to the next level and force the cats to wave good bye to grandma whenever she leaves my house...)

Because of that poem, the plaid and pinstripes jokes have followed Matt and I around for years. And so now, whenever I wear a pattern mix involving plaid, I always have a little giggle at my short lived career as a poet. I must note that I've amped my pattern mixing in the last decade. It started out as plaid and pinstripes but now I'm stepping it up with two plaids and a floral print. I would write a poem about it but my poetry skills were much better as an angsty teen mourning unrequited love...


(p.s. If you are Amanda and you commented on September 20 at 9:56 am, send me an email! You won the Love at First Blush giveaway!)

2012-09-24

The Weekend of the Canadian Tuxedo

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It all started when I wore my denim flatforms with my denim shirt and my red denim pants. I posted a picture on Instagram (myeditblog to follow along...) and made some Canadian tuxedo remark. I was quickly informed that the true Canadian tuxedo is blue denim on blue denim. For shame... I should have known.

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(You Can Do Anything in Hamilton tote, GStar jacket)

So later that week when I went apple picking with my dad, I busted out a true Canadian tuxedo. Because I liked it, but also because I wanted to prove that I could do the Canadian tuxedo justice.

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(Sidenote... this apple harvest we were so proud of cost me $50!!! Ha! Ironic that I am making a very serious effort to watch my frivolous spending and I blow $50 on apples...)

After the apple orchard, I had my dad over for dinner and we made some home made apple pie for dessert (yeah, I baked... keep that on the downlow please). By the time Matt dropped my dad off, I was almost due to have some lady friends over, and so, running out of time, I cleaned my bathroom (keeping up with appearances...), sprayed half a bottle of dry shampoo in my hair and put on a pair of heels. Double denim just got fancy up in here...

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(Calvin Klein Pumps, similar here)

That night I decided to commit to the full-on denim. It was ridiculously comfortable and surprisingly versatile. I could make plenty of denim work. So, the following day, I added a fuzzy vest and some thrifted boots to help out a community fest.

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(F21 vest, thrifted ankle boots)

Then I kept it simple with some biker boots to go consign a giant load of clothes later that day. A consignment that went very well (in contrast to my last consignment...) in a look that I felt pretty bad ass in.

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(Sendra boots)

And finally when Matt and I went to the local fair that night (the only romantic tradition we have ever really kept... 11 years and counting), I added a blazer for some warmth. I also had had a sweater in my bag because when the temperature drops I get unreasonable. I tried fried food to keep myself warm but the fried food was cold by the time I got it and a great disappointment. Glad I brought that sweater because fair food did not do its job...

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(thrifted Banana Republic jacket, c/o Olivia and Joy bag and my favourite boots from Winners)

And thus concludes my adventures as the weekend representative of the Canadian Tuxedo... though I have a feeling I have not exhausted all the options for this double denim combination yet. I'm sure these pants and that shirt will be back. Like the Terminator...  

2012-09-21

Thrift That Trend: Oxblood

The colour of the fall season is oxblood. You didn't hear it here first. You probably seen the trend style stories on the internets and you've been like 'oh cool, burgundy is so in this year' but then an invisible fashion dictator raps you over the knuckles and corrects you. If you want to be fancy, it's oxblood, OK?

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Resisting the urge to run to my nearest Zara, I instead took stock of my own closet. Turns out that of the 6 deep red pieces I own, 5 of them are second hand. Burgundy is such a classic colour that everytime it is back in style, it gets manufactured in standard silhouettes. That's why it is such an easy trend to thrift.

When neon came back in, it wasn't hard to find neon in the thrift store as well. But the neon of 2012 is a little different than the neon of the early 90's; it got re-interpreted in a new way. It was a little like neon grew up. Pants, clutches and pumps were all produced in neon colour ways this time around. While there certainly is usuable neon to be found in the thrift store, the vintage tees, head bands and workout jackets available are often more ironic than chic. In that way, maroon items at the thrift store are an easier find. Burgandy has been in and out of favour for decades so there is a lot of choice available. It has been used as the colour way for many classic items, not just trendy items. A thrifted oxblood blazer, sweater or circle skirt can easily be paired with a modern shoe or a motorbike jacket and look on trend.  It's worth looking in the purse section as well; I've found three burgundy leather clutches in the last year!

So, regardless of whether you call it maroon, burgundy, wine or fancy oxblood, just make sure you give a thrift store a chance at this trend... That's the best part of the thrift shopping, everything old is new again. 

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2012-09-19

Blazer

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Blazer? Thrifted Sequin tank? Joe Fresh (similar here) Jeans? h&m, thrifted and bleached
Booties? Joe Fresh (similar in faux or leather) Purse? Roots


You were right. I admit it.
When I featured this blazer in a This Week I Thrifted post and wrote about how I almost left it behind out of sheer laziness, some of you were like 'are ya dumb?'. I mean, you said it more politely but I could feel it. And now, I am so glad I got it. I could wax poetic about the contrast colour, the curve of the jacket (more noticeable here) and the little puff shoulders...
I assure you, in real life, I talk about more things than just the wicked seams in my jacket. That's why I have a blog. That way I can get all the clothing chatter out of the way, so I can be fully present when I argue politics with Matt...


2012-09-18

Yay! Giveaway!

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This past July I was in my friend's wedding party. I am tall, she is small and we make wonderfully awkward photo magic together.
Before the wedding, I gifted her with a custom necklace from Love at First Blush. I wasn't sure exactly how she was going to accessorize her dress for the wedding, so I stressed that the gift had no pressure attached to it. Regardless, I was pretty thrilled that she chose to wear the necklace down the aisle. Of course, I am biased because she is my little sweet pea, but I think she looked dynamite!

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And here's the exciting part for you! My former classmate, Sabrina, the designer behind  Love at First Blush, is offering to give-away one custom gold and white feather necklace to a lucky reader. It's such a beautiful necklace and I can totally see it being worn with a wedding dress but also with a tank and some scruffed up jeans. Then again, I think anything looks good with scruffed up jeans...

If you want to win either

b) repin your favourite item from the etsy shop unto one of your Pinterest boards.

Leave a comment with how you entered to win (yup, do both ways and leave two comments for two chances...) and I will draw a winner Saturday night at 8 p.m.
Go get 'em!!!

(Giveaway closed)
(photographer done by the talented Kara Lodder)

2012-09-17

Sample

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Dress? French Connection sample (here) Boots? Ash (similar here w/o studs) Clutch? Gucci, thrifted (wheee!) Earrings? Vintage, gift from my parents Nails? Bahama Mama by Essie (here)

If you have read my blog for any length of time, the following sentence will be of no surprise. I love this dress. Afterall, short dresses with long sleeves are probably my favourite thing... besides kitten whiskers and brown paper packages tied up in string.
In general, I am a big fan of most French Connection stuff; especially when Winners (T. J. Maxx) gets a big shipment and prices most of it for $19.99. Even better is the sample rack at the front of the French Connection store in Vaughn Mills. Clothing samples are fun! The designs are sometimes a bit wackier, the prices are great and it's a link from the design process that many people never really think about. Most items on the sample rack at French Connection are usually marked as a size 10 but it's a little like a thrift store in that sense, because the fit goes from quite tiny to rather roomy.  I saw this dress on the sample rack and wholly approved of it's short hem, long sleeves, tiny shoulder pads and swingy shape. Best of all, the fit was just right; like Cinderella's shoe... though thankfully, no prince was included with purchase.

2012-09-13

Aunt Velma

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Skirt? Thrifted Tank? Victoria's Secret Shoes? Frye Bag? Joe Fresh Sunglasses? Thrifted 


I thrifted this skirt with an elephant print at the beginning of the summer but I didn't fully appreciate its awesomeness until the end of summer. It's been a sweaty day staple since its rediscovery... And sweaty days have still been aplenty...

I can't help but laugh everytime I see a picture of myself in these sunglasses. They are... slightly kooky. I feel like a crazy Aunt Velma when I wear them. You know, Aunt Velma (Velma can be replaced with any name really...), the requisite loopy aunt in many fictional tales? The one with 6 cats, a teapot collection and an affinity for Baileys in her morning cereal...? And while I'm pretty sure my inescapable fate involves becoming a crazy aunt, I think I might just be a cool aunt for now...

A few weeks ago I had my three tween nieces over for a slumber party. I did their nails for them and my one niece asked for her ring finger to be painted a different colour. The two others gave her some major side eye for her nail polish choice but she explained that this was something she had seen Aunt Yen do. And you know what? The other girls totally thought this was a good explanation because I. am. cool. I have klout with 10 year old girls. Bam.

2012-09-11

Getting Stuff Done... Slowly

I've been trying to figure out what to do with the wallpaper remnants from our living room for a year now. Decent quality wallpaper is stupid expensive and seeing those sad little half rolls laying around made me think of wasted dollar, dollar bills (5 dollar bills to be exact, we have no dollar bills in Canada).
It took me a while to initially pick out that wallpaper too. I wanted a wallpaper I was going to love for years, one that didn't scream 2011... Getting stuff done goes at a slow pace in this household. As we probably won't change that wallpaper for a couple decades, I had to make a wise choice. I loved the purple version but I knew I would get sick of it eventually and so I settled for black and white (available here). But 'settling' turned into true love (warning; not often this way!!!) and I am happy everyday with the wallpaper choice. So happy, I wanted to use those remnants elsewhere as well.

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The smallest wall in our house is a little sliver of wall between our bedroom and the walk-in closet. Yes, the walk in closet that was already there when we moved in! A few weekends ago I convinced Matt to hang some of the leftover wallpaper on that wall. He tried to get out of it by saying that the remnants were too short and there would be an awkward seam near the bottom. He said I should just pick a new wallpaper. But I'm on this 'let's try and be smart with our money' kick and I assured him I could fix the seam with my magic markers. Half an hour and one mismatched wallpaper seam later, Matt was finished papering the wall. Two hours and two glasses of wine later, I had filled in the seam to match and coloured in select blossoms.

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I used Prismacolor markers to colour on the wallpaper. I bought some of these markers for my art classes in university and some more for my landscape design courses a few years later. They are probably my favourite medium to work with. You can get colours that have low opacity, so you start with sheer colours and layer to add dimensions. They are a bit like watercolour but less messy and if you work fast and on a waxed surface, you can move the pigment around easily. In a rare moment of pre-planning, I even practised my marker technique on a scrap of wallpaper first...

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All that to say, I love how it turned out. The coloured in blossoms give the wallpaper a more formal look than the original version hanging in the living room. We really need to work on getting our bedroom into shape but if you put your blinders on and ignore the mess to the left of the wall and on the other side of the closet (conveniently cropped out of the photo), things looks pretty good. Best of all? It was a free project, using materials I already had lying around the house. And free is a beautiful thing compared to the cost of that bench; too much money and too many tears went into to re-upholstering it this spring...

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2012-09-10

So Blue

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Pants? Gucci, Holt's Last Call (similar medium and low price point) Shirt? Joe Fresh (similar
Shoes? Naughty Monkey, thrifted Clutch and bracelet? Thrifted

When I bought these pants a few years ago, I remember thinking they were a pretty risky purchase. I mean, cobalt blue pants... that's crazy, right? But now coloured pants are about as common as screaming girls at a One Direction concert. As common as mason jars at a wedding. As common as projects pinned on Pinterest with good intentions and little else...
And so where I once thought cobalt blue pants were a fashion challenge, I now hardly bat an eye. Give me a pair of cobalt, leopard print, sequin, dip-dyed harem pants and I might be intimidated. On second thought, those sound amazing...

2012-09-07

Champagne Thursdays

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Leather top? Sas, Winners (similar with sleeves and without sleeves pricey) Jeans? 7 for Mankind  
Clutch? Thrifted Shoes? Ash (very similar here) Necklace? Vintage (similar here or check Etsy!) 


This is what I wore to preview the fall/winter collections at Milli. I sipped champagne and looked at beautiful clothing. It's how fashion bloggers usually spend their Thursdays. Tuesdays are reserved for brunch and Wednesdays are manicure days, but I digress...

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Milli is the fashion mecca in Hamilton. Helmut Lang, Elizabeth and James and Marc Cain all share rack space in this well edited, high end boutique. I grew up knowing about Milli but I was always a little intimidated to go in. There is this fear of having the Pretty Woman shop girl experience.
A few years ago, I finally convinced myself to get over myself and I went to the annual sale at Milli. It was there that I found my favourite skirt of life, a.k.a. magic mermaid fantasticness, on sale for $50 down from $1500. I know, I've gushed about this skirt before but it still makes me giddy to even think about it. When I tried the skirt on, I turned around and it was Milli herself assisting me. If the store Milli, is the fashion mecca in Hamilton  then the owner Milli, is the fashion icon of Hamilton (it's worth reading this article about her... eye opening). I would like to think I am too cool to get star struck but I think Milli helping me with my floor length sequin skirt is a memory I will always smile at.
To be honest, I can only afford to shop the sale rack at Milli in the next foreseeable future. But when I get that book deal for my manuscript, tentatviely titled 'What am I Doing with My Life, How Come my Cats Don't Listen to Me and Other Big Questions', I am celebrating with something full price at Milli... and champagne. A good combination, I think.