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The Talize Update

I kicked ass and took names again at Talize last night for the big 50% off sale. I thought it would be super picked over but I guess not everyone is looking for silk workout wear. That's right, the jacket above is silk and brand new. How lux is that? Sweat once and the jacket is ruined. I know the jacket is brand new because there are no wear marks at all. It's pale yellow and made of the softest silk so I have to choose my times wisely to wear it. I give it three wears before it's stained beyond hope, oh well, what a lovely three wears it'll be.

And I also got this lovely crochet vest, I love how it is longer in the front. And I got, and I got... I could go on, I was a glutton but it all only came to $37! No one shops like this dutch kid...

While I was trying the stuff on for a friend, we kept talking about how 'this would look great with denim shorts.' So now the search for the perfect shorts... It's handy to shorten faithful but worn jeans but you have to make sure the leg isn't too tight. It's bad enough having muffin tops above your shorts but it sucks when you sit down and you get muffin tops on your legs too. It's like a Tim Hortons bakery around here.


It's Not Me, It's You

Sweater? Billabong, Winners
Skirt? H&M
Boots? Zara, so old, they look like elf shoes
Belt? Garage sale
Cuff? My mama's
Hoops? No clue

This outfit isn't really my usual style. But that's the fun of fashion, everyday is a chance to be different. I do think I'll wear this skirt a ton in the summer with a hanes tank and braided sandals (the sandals I don't have yet but I will get them once the shopping moratorium is lifted in April).
Despite the very conservative length and cut of this skirt it caused a bit of embarrassment this morning. It's so full that when I sit down it catches air and bunches up... high. I think I showed the people behind me a little more then leg this morning. What can I say? I walk the line.


Sales Alert

For those who live in the area... a little sales bulletin. Talize ( on Upper James in the H dot, has 50% off EVERYTHING this up coming Monday, March 30. I went last week and I found ridiculous amounts of nice stuff. My arms were burning from carrying so many things. I spent $38 and I got a workbag, a purse, a knit shirt, a silk shirt, a dress and brand new shoes. If I had waited til this Monday I could have spent only $19... But I didn't want to risk it and on that day patience was not my virtue.

I found so much good stuff that I put a navy, leather, quilted Holt Renfrew purse back....Only because I found an even better brown, suede, quilted Holt Renfrew purse with awesome, heavy hardware instead. Yeah me! Well, happy shopping!
Oh ya! And the bright nails are for Earth Hour... I glow in the dark.


After the Fall

Jacket? Apricori, Winners
Tank? Mossimo, Target
Jeans? Seven, Winners
Boots? Modern Vintage, Winners
Purse? Elliot Lucca, Winners
Necklace? Me and my dad chose it out at Winners
hmmm... a bit of a weird tinge on pic

Um yeah... the knees of my jeans do kinda look like they have been attacked my a dog. In my defense, I fell. I bought these jeans to be my new pair of favourite jeans, you know the pair you wear to death... Too bad for me, a week after I bought them I fell face first down a hill. True story. And it's a long fall from my height. The rip was huge and obvious, so I used a cheese shredder to blend in the accident. It works. Though I think when the sun comes out to play, these may become the perfect pair of cuffed shorts.



So, I'll tell you a story of a lovely little jewelry store in Hamilton called Essentia. It was walking distance from my house and had a great mix of accessories and collections from local designers. There are really unique pieces at very decent prices and they often have 50% savings on featured designers. I did my part, I bought quite a bit of interesting stuff (including the freshwater pearl and silk flower necklace above) and I also brought many friends along to check it out. Alas, they did not do their part. Very limited advertising (if any?) and a sales girl who was nice but unenthusiastic. It went out of business last fall. I profited from the final sales but I would rather have paid full price and kept a good business in my area. I am their target customer, I spend money foolishly and I like shiny things... Why did I have to find their store by chance? They should have found me...

There is a boutique on Locke Street that I fear may face the same fate as Essentia. It's Boutique Olivia and it carries a well-chosen selection from labels like Paige Premium Denim and Ella Moss. It's been around since May 2008 but I never noticed it until the fall, even though I drive by it many times a week. It's set back from the road a bit and has smaller display windows but they could make up for it with a bigger road sign and maybe with a logo that's not a yawn. Go out on a friggen limb... have pretty models hand out popsicles on a hot summer day... well, maybe they should hand out drumsticks, they are more upscale.

Anyways, what is the point of this rant? Hmmmm... support local efforts and if you are a local effort, put some effort and money into reaching your markets (3 efforts in one sentence). I am not trying to be a know-it-all, I just don't want to lose anymore good stores in Hamilton, especially when the pickings are already slim.


Sequin Sensations

Ahhhh!!! The glare is hurting my eyes! Went out for dinner with my shopping soulmate, M, and our respective husbands and evidently, we both decided on sequins. We went to Oliver's (, and since it's pretty upscale, we went all out. Don't worry, Matt had some gift certificates, so the budget clamp-down for the month of March is still intact. I am by no means a food reviewer but the trout I had was phenomenal and M's husband is probably still talking about the lamb. Good stuff.

Sequined bolero jacket? Line, Winners
Purple silk shirt? Liz Claiborne, Winners
Black cords? Pea in a Pod
Black booties? BCBG, DSW
Statement necklace? Holt's Last Call...ugh, why didn't I buy one too????
Baby? Girl!!! You heard it here first!!

M is having a bebe and I can't wait to see how she maintains her style throughout the upcoming months. It's gonna be interesting because Canada does not have a lot of affordable, chic maternity wear and also because she's tall. Finding work appropriate maternity pants with 34 inseams was a two day adventure. And after all that, she still ended up ordering them online from the States and paying ridiculous brokerage fees. But whatever she wears, she'll work it out, she always does.

Oh ya. I have the same purple shirt. Both bought in the same week off Winners final clearance but we bought them separately. Told you she is my shopping soulmate...

Sequined dress? French Connection, Winners
Grey suede belt? ?, Winners
Tights? ??
Leather booties? Maxstudio, Winners
Earrings and ring? gifted

This dress has these amazing, huge sequined and beaded flowers on it. So much handwork went into the beading that I feel guilty for getting it for only $25 at Winners. FC clothes do tend to lose sequins like crazy though. The one kind of sequin has too sharp edges that cuts through the thread so I went along all the seams and re-enforced each sequin. Now, instead of losing sequins like Hansel and Gretel on a forest walk, I lose them like Cinderella running down the palace stairs.

I know wearing the belt interrupts the pattern and makes it harder to appreciate each flower but I'm just not a tunic/shift dress kinda girl. Something about emphasizing the bottom half...

Storage Solutions not from Ikea

I love my house, it's got charm and character in spades. However, it's a super old house and apparently they didn't have Ikea in 1880 because the storage options are crap. No closets anywhere, the only thing the house came with were a wall of built in book cases. We bought a huge wall closet but it's still not enough room, especially for me. It is genetically ingrained in me to own a lot of stuff and I have to get creative to find everything a place to call home.

So I filled the built in shelves in the living room with shoes, purses and artifacts from a life across three continents. It works. Putting six pairs of shoes on the dozen or so shelves, left room on the shoe organizer for six pairs that I took from the shoe shelf in the front hall. My hall is in the process of being redone (work has stalled at the tail-end because of Matt's hockey injury), so soon I will have a brand new hallway with less clutter than I ever imagined. And if whatever is on TV gets boring or gross (ie. the Bachelor kissing ) I can turn my eyes 27 degrees to the right or left and admire my shoes and purses on the shelves.


Almost Spring

Jacket? Patrizia Pepe
Fur Scarf? Vintage and gifted
Jeans? Paige
Boots? Kenneth Cole

Love this jacket... I suppose I could have gotten a clearer shot of it to show the perfect detailing but I wear this jacket to death, so I'm sure you'll see it again. I bought it at Winners (of course) for a ridiculously great price during third year University. When I bought it we were working on jackets in construction class and its perfect construction and general fabulousness was a constant reminder of how I would never measure up to the Italian standard. Jackets are technically way harder then dresses. Fortunately my shopping skills definitely measure up. Hence the jacket.

Sunglasses? Thrifted
Silver rings? Gifted
Spring? Almost!

To pop or not to pop? I am popping my jacket collar to keep me warm, but if you are a boy, if you are wearing a striped button-up shirt, and if you are in a club, you should NEVER pop your collar. Ever.



Very randomly crossed the border to Buffalo on an adventure with my buddy 'S' today. I know her from the fashion program at Ryerson and she is moving to England tomorrow!!! But before she left, we (by we, I mean she) decided we needed to go to Target to check out the McQueen collection. The first Target had nothing and the second Target only had two little racks worth. The Buffalo store obviously had a limited edit of the collection but we were still really disappointed. I suppose I'm easy to disappoint, as polyester often gives me hives and pleather makes me cry... However, I expected more, it's Alexander McQueen! Cheap fabric choices and unkind tailoring made most of what I saw of this collection look like Le Chateau's ugly cousin.

All was not lost, for the Erickson Beamon/Target jewelry collaboration was much better ( To soothe the hurt over the McQ disappointment, I got a pair of earrings and 'S' got a cocktail ring.

Yup, this collection is not for the faint of heart. And these are fairly tame pieces. The very sparkly costume jewelry collection looks like someone went over board in the craft room at summer camp... but in a totally awesome way. Some details were cheap looking but overall it's worth getting your hands on. My favourite was a necklace with a giant glittery wrecking ball. The picture below does not do it justice but it is really big. Unfortunately, it's $50 and with the crappy exchange rate... not really worth it.


Oh Vivian! You're a Vision!

Not really fashion related, but pretty funny if you are familiar with the OLG commercials...


Jacket? Michael Kors, Winners
Striped sweater? BCBG, Winners
Jeans? Citizens, Winners
Flats? Old Navy
Cube ring? gifted
Necklace? Cuba

We bit the bullet and bought a new camera. Definitely worth it. I felt like our photos from old faithful were beginning to look like soft focus wedding photography... well, minus the bride. Walks have changed though. I love getting in a long, brisk walk for some fresh air and exercise but it's hard to keep a good pace when Matt stops to photograph everything. Every pepple is interesting now that we can actually get them in focus. It's kinda creepy when the camera sees more than I can see. Sample conversation...

Matt: See that jogger?

Me: Um...Kinda. That blurry blob way up there?

Matt: Yeah. Check him on the camera.

Me: Creeper...

I wore my stripes because I knew we were going for a walk by the pier. Kinda cheesy. However, I got punished for my outfit vanity because it was freaking cold and there was a brisk wind. Oh well. My mom would always say to me growing up 'Als je mooi wilt zijn, moet je pijn lijden' (bad dutch spelling I'm sure), which basically means you have to suffer for beauty. To my mother's distress I took that to heart.


LOOK OF THE WEEK: 18 'til I Die

Brown leather bomber? Danier
Sparkly V-neck sweater? Michael Kors, Winners
Jeans? Citizens, Winners
Boots? Modern Vintage, Winners
Belt? Banana Republic Outlet

WHERE? Bryan Adams concert. Life does not get any better than walking to your local concert venue in ferocious heels, and scalping tickets to see your childhood hero. Ever since one of my brothers (no names) brought home the tape of 'Waking up the Neighbours' (?), I have been hooked. It's a super fun concert to go to, no frills, just him singing (yes, live!) songs that you know every word to. Fashion update on Bryan? Like usual he's rocking jeans and a black shirt. No surprise there. I doubt his waist size (28...maybe 30) has even gone up in 20 years.

CHEAP TRICKS? Wait until the show has just begun and the crowd is gone from around the venue. Approach scalper (he's probably already approached you) and casually ask who's playing. The show has started and the scalper just wants to go home. Decide beforehand on your budget, only withdraw that amount and stick to it. You can bargain him way down because he either sells the tickets to you or gets nothing. We got our $70 apiece tickets for $60 total. I've done this for Britney, Brooks and Dunn, Maple Leafs... Matt went back the next night to see Motley Crue for $20. He has no shame.


OPINION: Coloured Tights

I just want to preface this post by saying that I love tights. Thanks to tights we can wear dresses all winter long and not be subject to wearing pantyhose. You know... pantyhose... those things that run and ruin after one wear and that don't ever match your skin tone nicely so in photos your face is tan and your legs are carrot? So, on the basis of saving woman kind from pantyhose alone, I love me a good pair of tights!

That said... I'm a strong opponent of brightly coloured tights. I appreciate standing out in a crowd, having fun with your fashion and all that good stuff but I don't understand ever subjecting yourself to look bad. Fashion does not have to be understood by everyone (if it was, it wouldn't be so elitist and interesting) but it does have to fit and flatter. You might have the nicest legs in your township and be the Queen of your local fair yet opaque pink tights are still gonna look bad on you. Regardless of your lovely pins or the cute dress you paired with it, brightly coloured tights make your legs look heavy. Why would anyone want their legs to look like freshly squeezed toothpaste?

Do you see the similarities?

VERDICT: Unless you are a child under 8 or posing in a fashion editorial (there really are no rules for editorials) please stay away from brightly coloured tights. This is a public service announcement!


LOOK OF THE WEEK: Posing like a Cyrus

Dress? Diane von Furstenberg, Holt's LC
Boots? Kenneth Cole, Winners
Belt? garage sale
Purse? thrifted
Earrings? Kitchener Farmer's market

I ended up not wearing that purse with this outfit because things got a little too matchy-matchy... I haven't worn that purse for a while (look close, there's dust) but I intend to put it back into regular rotation. I love the 'carved' leather purses and the one above is actually the best quality one I've ever seen

To be perfectly honest, the purse belongs to my mother. I bought two of these purses on a thrifting adventure and I gave her this one, only to change my mind and permanently 'borrow' it back. I know, I know, I'm awful, I took back a gift that was for my mom... don't worry, I'm sure it'll come off the inheritance.

WHERE? Out for dinner and then to the local art gallery with Matt. Apparently, you are not supposed to take pictures in the gallery (I played dumb), so this is the one picture we have before the security guard came upon us mid-flash. Yeah, that was embarrassing and it should be, shame on me... They've got a really decent collection from the Group of Seven and some other really cool stuff but I chose to pose with a painting of the Hamilton Farmers' Market. Represent...
CHEAP TRICKS: The first Friday of every month the Hamilton Art Gallery offers free admission from 5pm-9pm ( It's a great date idea. It's free and you look ridiculously cultured. Good on you!


I'm rich and Paul is a Genius!

Before Paul's skills were used...

...after Paul. My beautiful kitty, Kyle, looks so pretty and ...intelligent?

So, I'm writing this post to test out picture quality. The first few pictures I posted have crap quality so I figured out that I should resize the pictures seperately first (hence boot foto looks good) but then Paul took this picture and did something special to make it look awesome. Tell me more.... This blog is still a work in progress so I haven't made is super public yet. This way I can work through some quality issues first and then I shall release the fabulousness to the public...

Oh ya! And I'm rich! Reader's Digest sent me a huge package full of cheques, the biggest one being half a million. Suddenly everyone wants to be my friend...though that may have something to do with the vodka I carry in my purse.... Good thing I try to avoid scams (saw something earlier on this thing and apparently there is something fishy in the small print) but it does get me thinking... What would you do with a windfall of that kind?


Saturday Chores

Boots? Cole Haan, thrifted

Growing up, Saturday afternoon at 4:30 was chore time. For years my chore was to polish all the shoes. Between my parents, my four brothers and me, there was a lot of polishing. Basically it was slave labour and my parents were mean. Ok, it wasn't that bad, I'm made of tough Dutch stock and polishing dozens of shoes didn't kill me, but I did hate it.

As we grew up our chores got redistributed and it would be years before I would touch shoe polish again. A few years ago however, I started to believe in the power of polish again. I got the Cole Haan boots above from the VV boutique. They were so new that the original leather soles were hardly worn down but the leather uppers were a bit scuffy and dirty. Nothing that polish couldn't fix. Check out the polished left boot compared to the original state on the right. Maybe it's time to reinstate Saturday afternoon chore time.


Opinion: Dropped Crotch Pants

OK, to start, I used the word crotch in the title...are you giggling yet? I am. How is any fashion item with the word 'crotch' in it marketable? Dhoti pants is a nicer way to say it, but I actually don't know how to pronounce that, so we're back at dropped crotch pants...

What do I think of these pants? I've seen some pics of stylish girls wearing them and they look good. But that probably has nothing to do with the pants and everything to do with the fact that their thighs don't touch... Oddly enough, these are one of the only pants that would completely hide close talking thighs but if you aren't a size 0, don't attempt.

Harem pants are more wearable, I might even fit in with the football crowd in Hamilton. After all, harem pants could be seen as a variation on track pants. I actually seriously love the pants above from Ralph Lauren, the whole look is hot and the record number of sequins worn in one outfit is a record I'd be proud to hold.

In conclusion, Harem pants? yeah-ish...Dropped crotch pants (how many times can I write crotch in one post?)? nay. I'm pretty sure if I wore dhoti pants around here, I'd get jumped and then beaten with Hamilton Ti-cat foam fingers....



Green silk dress? Zara
Belt? Michael Kors, Winners
Tights? ????
Booties? Max studio, Winners
Earrings? Vintage, gifted
Bracelets? Cuba, garage sales, gifts
Ring? Gifted (but from Winners, what a surprise, haha)

We went to a wedding this weekend. I know it's bad but one of the reasons I love weddings is because I get the chance to dress up. Unfortunately my life isn't at fabulous status yet, and reasons to go all out can be few and far between. I like to dress up on a daily basis( my local grocery store has often seen me at half fabulous) but a wedding allows for more extravagance, so I'll go there.

I wore a dress that I bought at season's end from Zara. That place is like a madhouse during their final sales, tables upon tables of merchandise being torn through by focused woman all vying for the $15 sweaters and $13 pants. This dress was a bit of a risk, the zipper was completely broken and it was ripped past the zipper too, so I couldn't try it on properly. I loved the colour, especially with my hair colour de jour, so I bought it. Haha, I first tried to get a bigger discount because of the broken zipper but they don't discount final sales. Hey, I tried...

I took out the zipper and put in a massive exposed, industrial zipper. It was the look I wanted, it covered the rip and it was waaayyy too easy. I have no idea how Zara expected this dress to stay on with only a tiny elastic panel on the back, so I sewed on black chiffon straps to support what I needed support.