2013-05-30

New Shoes, Old Jacket

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Shoes? Aldo (here) Jeans? H&M , thrifted and then bleached and beat up 
Bodysuit? H&M (similar here or here)Jacket? Thrifted Cuff? Vintage, auction

I bought new shoes! 
Matt is, surprisingly, the most happy about this. Not because he cares too much about my shoe collection or really, my shopping habits but because I have spent this last month debating (out loud) exactly what pair of high heel sandals to get. I don't know what was wrong with me, maybe it's the fact that it is the beginning of the season and I was paying full price but I treated this shoe decision like it was a real estate purchase. Most of the month I thought deep thoughts (out loud) about the choice between these silver sandals and these aqua sandals. Rarely do I shop online (though it is increasing a bit...) but I also wasted a fair amount of time checking Asos, Stylemint and Aldo. I then made up my mind (out loud) to get these from Aldo but I ended up walking out of the store with the ones I am wearing above instead. They are shockingly comfortable and quite flattering. Expect 53% of my summer outfit pictures to feature these or my DvF sandals. Just warning you...

If you thought this post was annoying, boring and/or a waste of time, please take a moment and feel sorry for Matt. Take that last boring paragraph of shoe chatter and extend it over four weeks and you will understand why Matt is thrilled I finally settled on shoes... 
Now that the shoe debate is over, we can return to discussing more important things. Like what's for dinner...*



*Good question. It's Thursday... I vote take out. 

2013-05-28

Thrift Overhaul

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This is my beautiful friend Emily. I met Emily in 1st grade when I had just immigrated to Canada and her best friend was the only one in the class that spoke Dutch. I learned English and stole a best friend that year.

25 years and a few houses later, we still live near by each other. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, I remember Emily shares a home with her husband, 3 lively (read: occasionally wild...) children, 3 cats, a big dog and a hamster.... or two. She works as a vet tech and always takes the time to answer all my cat (and sometimes dog... it's a long story) concerns.
I asked Emily when she last really went shopping for new clothes and she replied that it had been a 'long time'. For me, sadly, a 'long time' might be a few weeks but for Emily, it means a few years. So I challenged myself to update Emily's wardrobe at the thrift store.

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I obviously think blazers are the cat`s meow, and while not everyone has to be as crazy about them as I am, a blazer or two is a good addition in any closet. This wool blazer zips up for a more dressed up look but also easily works well with a casual Minnie mouse shirt (not thrifted... from my closet via Old Navy). Then again, Minnie works well with anything.
Also, those calf hair leopard print flats were actually thrifted a few years ago. Emily tends to be my dumping ground for good thrift deals that I can`t leave behind and that don`t fit me. I don`t think she is complaining.

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I love this dress on Emily!!! It's the perfect length, a super flattering drape and it's... machine washable. Apparently that's important to busy moms? I got both the dress and the sandals on 50% off day at Talize. I'll say it again, as much as I prefer a quiet evening to get my thrift on, with the ever increasing prices, it's good to put on your brave face and hit those sale days. 

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Again, except for the scarf, all the items in this look were found on the 50% off day at Talize. The sandals are leather, the jeans fit well and the Gap shirt is easy to wear and long enough to move around in without getting untucked. It's basically a really simple and wearable look and the silk scarf steps it up from the other moms at the playground. 
I'm kidding. It's not a competition. 
Or is it...?

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I threw some serious side eye when I saw the price on these shoes. No one saw the side eye though, so did it really happen? Despite the price, I kept coming back to them. They are leather Nine West t-strap sandals with a wider heel for stability and they were in near perfect condition. Though, it should be noted that Emily can rock stilettos with a dog on a leash and 3 girls running around (away?) and does not need a stable heel... But the wider heel is nice and the shoes can go with a plethora of outfits.
The midi pleated skirt can easily become a wardrobe basic as well. It's polyester and washable... and adorable. 

I went shopping for Emily on my own, so there were a few things that ended up getting exchanged before we arrived at this final edit. Besides getting the sizes right without having her with me, the trickiest part was putting together functional outfits. The thrift store is where I usually let myself go crazy and I rarely think of function. Hence the heaps of sequins in my closet... But shopping for someone with a completely different life than mine was a fun challenge. 

The best part was that at Emily's birthday party last weekend, her outfit was 67% stuff that I thrifted for her... I call that a success. 
Thanks again Em for being my guinea pig and for letting your kids watch a lot of TV while we took these pictures. I hope you get lots of wear out of your thrifted goods!

2013-05-27

Crop

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Crop bolero? Vintage, borrowed from White Elephant Culottes? Vintage, Netty Vintage 
Shoes? DvF (similar here)
On Julie: Dress? Vintage, borrowed from White Elephant (here) Necklace? Clyde's Rebirth (here)
Shoes? Sixty Seven (here)

I'm into crop tops again. The last time I was into crop tops, I was in high school. It was the late 90's, and I was heavily influenced by Britney Spears's style leanings. Don't deny it, we all loved our low rise jeans and those little tee shirts with happy faces, dragons and/or witty sayings. I would bend over and half my bottom (such a mom word right there...) would show and my mom would remark on it and I would respond that it really wasn't my fault because I was soooo tall and no shirts could ever possibly cover my torso. And then, in a moment of teenage anger at my parents, I would pierce my belly button, and afraid of getting caught, I suddenly found longer shirts. That was the end of the crop top for me.
This time around, I like my crop tops with zero happy faces on them and I wear them with anything high waisted. It's much more... demure? Also more flattering, low rise jeans are nobody's friend. 
In other news, I'm not hiding piercings from my parents any more. Adult life is happening. 


P.S. Thanks to my bro Henk and to Julie for the pics. If I hadn't gone on about crop tops in this post, I would have yammered on, once again, about how awesome vintage is... Because really...

2013-05-23

Titleless

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Blazer? Thrifted Silk tank? Thrifted Necklace? Random boutique 
Shorts? old as hills H&M Shoes? DvF

Julie was right when she pointed out that naming posts is the worst. Maybe the first year of blogging I had good titles (debatable...) but after that it just dove into bad puns and obvious choices.
The worst is when I wear a suit because all I can ever think of is Barney Stinson saying 'Suit Up!'. And that's not suitable... See what I did there? I made you groan.
But seriously, I thought I would have a few months off of thinking of what to name my posts when I wear a suit but I don't. Because I discovered how awesome short suits are! It is now officially my mission to find red shorts so I can recreate this outfit for the summer. It is also my mission to think of better blog titles. Or to get a high school student looking for their mandatory volunteer hours to think of some. Or just accept that sometimes blog titles are awful... and that is going to have to be OK.

2013-05-21

Asterisk

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Top? c/o Jacob (here on sale) Shorts? Very old AE Bag and sunglasses? Thrifted 
Sandals? c/o Fibi and Clo (here) Earrings? Bebe Bracelets? Vintage and thrifted

I've been struggling to write again lately. Ugh. Again... Which is irritating because I can usually write about nothing or anything. 
These last few weeks have been rough for various reasons, certainly not just for me, but for many in the community as well. I don't always write about the weighty stuff, sometimes because it can be easier to carry on and deal without lingering on the negativity but mostly because it often isn't my story to tell. So I write about fluffy stuff, like how I tell my nieces that these earrings are actually dinner plates and how they do me a favour and laugh, every time. Or I just stare at the computer screen, type two sentences, delete them and continue to stare until I type two more sentences that I can also delete half an hour later.  
It's just that after every fashion post I publish, I've been mentally adding a giant asterisk.

*It's just fashion.

I love fashion an absurd amount and it brings me great joy. But I am well aware that it's the cherry on top, and there are many things that matter so much more. Fashion and blogging are an escape for me but the fact that I have the resources and the possibility to even blog about fashion, cats and about my dinner plate earrings, is a huge blessing. 
I don't think it's a bad thing to enjoy fashion at all. But it's also OK to acknowledge that fashion is a footnote in my life. Maybe a footnote that takes up a lot of the page, but a footnote nonetheless...

2013-05-16

A Lesson Worth Repeating

I know. I say it all the time. Don't look at the size number on the tag (still one of my favourite posts...) when you are thrifting. Clothes at the thrift store come from different stores, countries and decades and guess what? A size label means something different in every different store, country and decade...
This little tip could not have been more obviously demonstrated than last week when I went thrifting, hit the jackpot (let's skip over the part where I stood in the aisles for forever trying to make my decisions...) and ended up with these two beauties. An Andy ThĂȘ Anh sample bustier and a 1980's snakeskin printed dress...

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Cute right? Look real close.

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That's right, the vintage dress is a petite, size 15/16 and the bustier is marked as a size 4.
At 5'11, I don't believe I am petite and I don't think I am a size 4 or a size 15/16 either.
The bustier is a sample, but I love it because it is beautifully constructed (check out the elastic panels in the back!) and designed and made in Canada. I have no clue whether the sizes were meant for an international market or whether the sample sizes were skewed, I just know that I don't normally fit a 4 in designer (or any really...) clothing.
To be honest, the dress is a little on the bigger side but because of the fluid fabric, it still drapes in a flattering manner. The 80's loved excessive material, hence the long hem, gathered waist and the batwing sleeves... on a 'petite'design. I will still likely shorten the dress to get rid of some of the fabric and I am hoping this time I will measure twice and cut once. And while it needs a new hem to be the more flattering on me, it's not like I am swimming in this dress either. We all know I just like a short hem.

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So these were my finds last week. A size 4 and a size 15/16, both fitting into my closet rotation (closet explosion actually...) with little effort... 



*******giant kisses to Melanie from Modify Your Closet who I saw before my thrift trip and who gave me a coupon for 30% off my whole purchase at Value Village! -xx-

2013-05-14

Lovely Mistakes

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Skirt? c/o eShakti  Shoes? L.A.M.B. (similar but more walkable here and here...
Sweater? BCBG (old and worn backwards) Necklace? Vintage Clutch? My Oma's


Of course, I make an off hand comment about not wanting to see chevron again for a very long time and then I look down mid day sometime this weekend and realize I have a chevron skirt on. In my defense, I see this skirt more as having a diamond pattern, not a chevron pattern; it's all about the interpretation...
I guess the interpretation of this skirt was a little up in the air when I ordered it as well. I have to be honest and say that while I actually ended up loving this skirt, it was not exactly what I ordered. eShakti offers the possibility of customizing their products and when they offered me a customized item, I chose to add a few inches to the length of this skirt and remove the black ribbon trim around the hem.  I got the extra length... and I still got the trim as well. The hem is also wavy (note: second last picture) because it is a full circle skirt and the pattern makers obviously didn't take into account that the cross grain on a full circle skirt will often drop a few inches. And I like the trim, I even like the wavy hem and the skirt is super flattering (if we are going on the number of real life compliments... #humblebrag, #ughiusedahashtaginapost) but it's not how it is supposed to be. Especially the wavy hem (a big production mistake) is not one you would expect from a company that sells a plethora of full skirts.
So that's my honest review. Not exactly what I ordered and expected but a pretty accident none-the-less... Especially on a windy day...

2013-05-09

Cap Off

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Minnie shirt? Old Navy (here) Pants? Maison Scotch (amazing pair with suspenders here)
Shoes? Ralph Lauren (here) Sunglasses? Moschino|(here) Cap? Random Bag? Russell Gibbs (here

I felt pretty cool in this outfit. Wasn't sure if I was cooler wearing the hat forwards or backwards though... I asked Matt and he (side note: he likes a baseball cap in general...) said he liked the hat backwards better. Then he ruined it by saying I looked like a cute skater girl. Jentine in Grade 11 would have thought that was the ultimate compliment; afterall, all the cool kids (most importantly the cute guys) were skaters. But being a skater involves balance on moving objects and that immediately excludes me from ever being an authentic skater girl. The worst part is that when Matt said the words 'skater girl' I was immediately stuck with Avril Lavigne in my head for the rest of the day... And now I can only hope you have Sk8er Boi stuck in your head too... 
We can suffer together.

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Also... talking about yourself being cool is always going to turn around and bite you in the butt... Because while I have my serious pose game going,  I never noticed I still had the 'M' sticker across my chest on my brand new tee. Which meant I was rocking that all day... 
Awesome.

2013-05-06

Polka Dots

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Jacket? French Connection with DIY bleach sleeves (similar here) Dress? Vintage, Netty Vintage 
Shoes? DVF (similar here or here) Clutch and necklace? Thrifted

I'm always going to love autumn the most. Nature gets all flamboyant and I am always a fan of the amazing colour show. I also appreciate that there is very little humidity in the air and my hair stays good for days on end. But I do like the colourful trees more than the good hair... I think.
Closely behind a sunny autumn week, I like the first week in the spring when it is consistently sunny and warm. Mostly because everyone is just so happy, happy, happy.
Seriously, when it first gets nice out, it's like a giant love fest in the neighbourhood. You say hi to everyone that walks by, make happy weather chatter and end up finally introducing yourself to the new neighbours who moved in almost a year ago. It's a little shameful that spring fever is the kick in the pants I needed to meet some really nice people that have lived two doors down for a year.
Spring fever was also the push I needed to remove the silk (!) sheer sleeves off this amazing vintage dress. Part of me is sad that I couldn't make the sleeves work; like the sleeves defeated me. But sometimes it's ok to raise the white flag to a pair of 80's sleeves, especially when you are left with a perfect sheer dress embroidered with perfect silk polka dots...