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Girl Power

My friends and I bought tickets to the Lilith Fair July show back in March. I envisioned strutting around in the sunshine in a strapless dress and sandals (to fill in work tanlines) on a lazy Saturday and finishing the night by releasing my teenage angst to Kelly Clarkson. It didn't quite go as planned. I've been really busy so I missed the day portion of the show, but that didn't matter because it rained most of the day anyways. It's not as fun to dress for a muggy but rainy day. I settled for cotton jersey and a hat; function and fashion. No tanlines were erased that day, though the hair was controlled.
Sadly we never got to rock out to Kelly Clarkson. Lilith has been having some slow ticket sales (though not in Toronto, the show was almost sold out), so they cancelled some of her dates and then she pulled out of the whole tour. She was replaced with The Dixie Chicks Minus the Loud One and Minus Any Songs I Know. Thankfully Chantal Kreviazuk, Lights (girl crush!), Mary J. Blige and Sarah McLachlan killed it. I am not really a huge Mary J. Blige fan but she had great energy with the crowd and I found myself happily singing along about no more drama or hatoration...
Some pics...








1. Proof that I went somewhere exciting.
2. I hate it when friends outdress me.
3. Might as well take some pictures if we're going to wait in line for pizza for an hour.
4. Proof I have real friends (as opposed to just peeps online...).
5. All the ladies singing together for the finale. But where was Mary J.?
6. Thinking about torturing my friends and making them take outfit pics... nah...too lazy.
7. Tsk, tsk... some people did not sign the recycling pledge...


Old Dog, Same Tricks






Dress? Thrifted
Broaches? Antique store and borrowed from my parents' stash.
Shoes? ?, DSW, super old
Snakeskin clutch? Saks, Winners

Just a week ago I wore a dress of synthetic material and tied a knot in the hem and here is the same trick again. Practice makes perfect? I found this handmade dress thrifting last week and I was hoping it was silk (no tags obviously). Judging by the fact that I was sweating like Mike Tyson at a spelling bee (sadly that is not my line...), I'm going to say that this dress is polyester.

What is a new trick is that I pinned the dress to my bra. The broaches were so heavy that it pulled the material down and made my chest look prematurely low. I pinned through my bra to stabilize it and keep things uplifted. A good bra and a pretty broach are going to make plastic surgeons unemployed.


Preach Sister

(My sister-in-law told me yesterday that I was slacking with my blogging. Truthfully, there is no slacking, I am just currently enslaved to my sewing machine as I strive to send a bride down the aisle fashionably... I will save that 'I'm so tired and whiny' post for when the dress is done and my teeth stop grinding. Something to look forward to?...)


Shirt? Local fundraiser, can't find a link to buy it but here's a video with some info.
Skirt? Loft, thrifted
Shoes? Zara, old

The ladies of Achedemichic have had some discussion lately about slogan tees that was very interesting, though I don't wear them a lot. True, I wore this shirt a while back but usually I am too busy wearing shiny stuff to think about words. Back in the day, I used to wear a shirt that said 'Plastic makes Perfect' across the chest because I thought I was so darn clever. Though there is of yet nothing plastic about me (except my mouth guard), I didn't mind stirring the pot... I am acutely aware of the fact that I am the most superficial of my friends, so the tee was a pre-emptive strike. You can't really make fun of the girl who has already said every joke about herself... And then I realized that it was a stupid reason to wear a shirt and it made strangers stare at my chest, so the shirt was retired.
This message though, I could get behind. I've been wanting this tee for a while and then my supervisor actually tracked one down for me. Pretty sweet... Last year alone, over 3000(!!!!!) cats got put down in the Hamilton area. I've said it before, but if you are lounging on your leather couch, eating Jelly Belly's and watching your 27 foot (is that size on the market yet?), high definition TV and telling yourself that you can't afford to take care of your cat's business, then something is clearly wrong with you. If you cannot afford to emotionally, physically and financially support an animal, do not get a pet.

july 20101

Matt got me B.E.C. (left, she is not pleased at being picked up and is biting me) for my birthday (my best present ever) from the SPCA so she came to us spayed. Stella (middle) was a neighbourhood stray that was picked up by animal control and subsequently rescued by us from death row. We don't know Stella's back story; we think he may have been abandoned but at least, he was already neutered and he didn't go forth and multiply during his months of freedom. Kyle (right, he is very comfortable lying upside down) was given to Matt as a joke on his birthday party. I would not recommend surprising anyone with a pet but we fell in love with the tiny fur monster. Kyle is super soft, good looking and incredibly patient with the abuse of affection and while we thought he would have made pretty cat spawn, we did the right thing. We sat Kyle down, explained the process to him and took him to get neutered... Ok, we only did the last part of that sentence but that was the important part...
Do you wear slogan tees? ... More importantly, is your cat fixed?

P.S. I wore this out to dinner, shopping and for a party... people stared, giggled, and asked questions.







Vintage dress? Found at a garage sale by my parents
Clutch? Old Navy, thrifted
Earrings? h&m
Sandals? Marc Fisher, Winners

There are three reasons I wore this dress the past weekend.
#1. It's very pretty. I don't think you can argue that.

#2. My parents originally found this vintage dress at a garage sale and kindly gave it to me (scientists should probably go back and study the gene code... is thrifting the result of nature or nurture? Discuss). I thought I would wear it to the family dinner we had this weekend as evidence of their awesomeness.

#3. I needed to wear something with stretch. We celebrated my Dad's birthday and as per family tradition, he got to choose what he wanted for dinner. He chose Korean food. My family lived in Korea for 10 years and while there, my mom picked up some good Korean cooking skills. We don't have Korean food that often, so when we do, I overcompensate and eat like someone broke my heart. I know going into the meal that I will suffer extreme stomach cramps afterwards (always) from all the salt going into my body but I can't help myself because the food is sooo good. And now you know I can be a glutton. Judging by the number of cats I let into the house, by the number of thrifted dresses in my closet and by my lack of self control during a good meal, it seems moderation is a word I have to learn a little about.
P.S. If you care to learn more about me besides my gluttony, check out this feature from Fashion Questions.


Synthetic Love





Dress? Thrifted
Belt? Thrifted
Fringe Bag? ?, Filene's Basement
Shoes? Frye, Winners

I can be such a little snot about hating on synthetic fabrics... It seems I have to tone the hatoration down a bit because I pretty much lived in this cheap rayon dress all last week. I wore work clothes, a dress for my dad's birthday but I spent every other moment in this dress. I wore it when I went shopping with a friend to find her bridesmaids shoes. I wore it running errands to Ottawa Street (where all the fabric stores are). I wore it again to Ottawa Street a few days later when I screwed up and ran out of fusing and the exact same lady helped me again. I wore it working in the loft (unaffectionately known as The Sweatshop because it really is that hot) on the dresses that have deadlines looming close. I wore it working on dresses again, only this time we caved and bought an AC for the loft because my sanity was at stake . And finally, after a crazy work week I wore it for a Saturday night out on an Augusta Street patio. Threw a knot in the hem, put on heels and I went from a stressed little dressmaker/landscaper to party ready in two minutes.
The dress is cute, doesn't wrinkle, doesn't show panty lines (maybe TMI? but not really. Let's be honest, when it's hot outside, modesty is the first thing to go...) and I would probably be wearing it now, if I hadn't finally put it in the wash. It had to be washed because there was a wee accident on the patio involving sangria and a wobbly table. I was literally soaked from waist to hem (ha... I guess that's not that much) in sangria and I had all the fruit from my cup all over my lap. Nicely done... But the dress is red so it didn't stain and within an hour it was dry again. These are words I never thought I would type, but it seems that my rayon dress saved the day.


Gas Bar





Skirt? Vintage and thrifted
Tank? Majestic, Winners
Belt? Thrifted
Sandals? Marc Fisher
Bangle? Goodwill auction
Bag? Roots, thrifted

I like short skirts and I have made an executive decision to wear them for a very long time. I will wear them until my grand kids are too embarrassed to be seen in public with me... Because if I had to choose between getting a 'The World's Best Grandma' plaque (you know those hand-painted wooden ones, with hearts and ducks and aprons...) and short skirts, I would choose the plaque. But other than that, high hemlines are here to stay.
That is not to say that I can't have fun with different lengths though...
I'm pretty sure if I saw this skirt two years ago, I would have made a 'your mom's skirt' joke but now I feel all inspired. I imagined this vintage, jersey skirt with some super high heels, a blazer and a big scarf on a fall afternoon (ok, I didn't actually imagine what time of day it would be, it just finished off the sentence nicely). But fall is still a ways away, so I just paired it with a tank for a breezy summer look. I actually wore this on vacation last week ( I bought the skirt while thrifting on vacation too), so I'm glad I threw the striped tank in my travel bag at the last minute because the blue and the orange look smart together. The colour wheel never lies...


And there are a lot of pictures of full-on laughing (wildly inappropriate for a fashion blog) because apparently we were causing quite a scene. I thought an abandoned gas station backing off a two lane country road was a pretty low-key place for some outfit pictures, but I was wrong. Matt had his back to the traffic but I kept laughing because people were honking and waving. You would have thought there was a granny in a mini skirt with all the commotion going on...


Blog Rules






Diane von Furstenberg, Off 5th
Clogs? Stella McCartney, Holt's Last Call
Belt? Thrifted
Bangles? Goodwill auction

I have packed this dress and taken it with me many places. Yet I have never worn it. It is silk jersey and can easily be thrown in a suitcase, so I inevitably take it along with me travelling because visions of summer dates in a pretty dress dance in my head. But the weather has never co-operated. It has to be really hot to wear such a dress. If there is one thing I learned in university, it's that no one sympathizes with the shivering girl in the backless dress.

The shoes I have also had for a while and never yet worn. I got them back in February and I posted about them then. I was quite excited for some good weather so I could bust out and show-off my clog trendiness. But these shoes scare me... they sit on my shelf and mock me. I'm good in high heels but the balance part of these clogs is way under my foot instead of at the back and I feel like Bambi when I put them on. So many outfits would have been great with the clogs, they are quite pretty in an architectural way, but the real fear of a tumble from a great height has kept the Stellas on the shelf.

When I started this blog over a year ago, I had no idea of the scope of fashion blogging. Followers, comments, fashion communities, sponsorships.... It's a lot of pressure sometimes. To keep myself on track, I really try to keep it real, like Jennifer Lopez, the artist formerly known as J.Lo., does. My personal blog rule* is to only post an outfit if I wore it out in public. Someone besides Matt or the cats (it appears I just referred to my cats as people...), must see my outfit. So, if it's on my blog, it's because I wore it out. I've wanted to cheat on my own stupid rule so often and sneak the clogs on outfit pictures but I resisted until their official debut this weekend. We had a barbecue with friends, and while I ran errands in the dress and some flats, I graciously entertained our guests in these scary heels on the relative safety of our patio. I do hope that, like Bambi, I grow more surefooted one day... because spending money on shoes that can only be enjoyed from the safety of a seat is pure foolishness.
You know what else is foolish? Paying full price. This name dropping outfit came in at just over $100. Yes, I bought the DvF for $16.50 and it's not even thrifted!

* I say personal because you can do what you want... that's the joy of blogging.


Water Baby

When I started this blog, I would never have imagined that I would be doing this post. No, surprisingly, I have not been chosen to be part of a national F21 campaign. It's much more exciting than that.... it's a bathing suit post.



Bathing suit?
Beachlife, Winners
Hat? Thrifted
Sunglasses? Vintage Steffi Graf, gifted

OK, hardly scandalous. In fact, I would think this bathing suit is quite demure, and that was the appeal of it. I did the math (because I'm all about effort like that) and I haven't worn a one piece bathing suit since 1996. In Grade 8 my mom let me get a two-piece (I say two-piece, not bikini because it was pretty much shorts and a sports bra) and that was a huge deal. I grew up in a pretty conservative family, so getting a two-piece was as exciting as being allowed to stay out until 9 p.m..

I never thought I would want a one-piece again but a few years back some vintage-inspired suits came out and I was intrigued by the glamour. But since the last time I had worn a one-piece, I had probably grown 8 inches taller and so now, nothing fit. Either I couldn't get the straps over my shoulders or the bathing suit was... well, all up in my grill (I'm trying to be polite). I saw this suit at Winners with European sizing and I thought maybe it would fit because I know some tall Europeans... Clearly, with my wild hypothesizing, I shouldn't be a scientist but the bathing suit did fit. And it's kinda perfect, with flattering stripes that go in a v at the bust and are vertical below the waist. Oh ya, and some waist cinching action with a sweet belt. Best of all, the European tag said 100 Euros but the Winners tag said $24.99.

I felt quite glamourous lounging at Sauble Beach, surrounded by Corona bikinis and tiny undone denim cut-offs. Somebody fetch me a beverage, I'm a lady dammit...



Paperbags and Flowerpots






Shorts? Tokyo, Winners
Shirt? Ralph Lauren, thrifted
Belt? Flea market find
Sandals? Marc Fisher, Winners
Clutch? Thrifted

I bought these shorts on super sale over two and a half years ago and I just cut the tags off this morning. Shame... I really like them but I couldn't figure out how to wear them. The biggest issue is that because they have a paper bag waist, I pull them up to my natural waist and then it all becomes a big walking wedgie. I have finally come to terms with the fact that the paper bag part is supposed to sit low on the hips. It creates some more width in an area I would like to not add width to but I still thought it was cute.
My one brother thought differently. Never mind the fact that he wears pleated pants (and not in a cute fashion blogger kind of way)... He told me that while I usually dress nicely, he really hated my shorts. Then, he proceeded to tell me that they look like flowerpots (?) and they make my hips look big. Thank-you, tell me how you really feel... Expect these shorts to make appearances at many future family events... just out of spite. I told you I was mature.
And how awesome is the belt? I bought it at a flea market five minutes before these pictures were taken and I swapped out my trusty Michael Kors for Canadian national animals. The belt itself is cool, it needs a good polish but the belt buckle is definitely the best part. The moose on it is finely carved unto the leather and it's so detailed... It is in the same vein as the wall paper from the previous post... good in a tacky kind of way...


Taking Chances on the Information Super Highway




Denim shirt? Gap
Tank? Majestic, Winners
Shorts? French Connection, Winners
Belt? Michael Kors, Winners
Hat? h&m
Necklace? Gifted

I rarely shop online. My thrifting already accounts for a large part of our country's stimulus spending package and if I were to get hooked to the ease of online shopping, I could do a lot of damage. I can't afford that addiction... Besides, I like to feel the fabrics, try on different sizes and do the math of extra discounts on red stickers in my head before I walk up to the cash register in triumph. I want to touch it before I buy it.
The problem with finding things online is that you never know 100% what you are getting yourself into until it may be too late. That awesome guy whose profile reads that he loves the environment and volunteers by cleaning up litter, may just be doing community service hours... And that's why, when my family was looking for a cottage rental, I was a little nervous about finding something online. But we booked something that seemed to fit all our needs. We arrived this week (don't worry, the homestead and the herd of cats are being supervised diligently) and I was pleasantly surprised with the cottage. It's pretty awesome! The location is just off a huge beach (and we've had great weather!) but the cottage itself is so charming... Apparently, the owners have an antique shop and live here most of the year, so it's very well maintained and decorated with quaint items that I will resist stealing. There's an old sewing machine randomly placed in the yard, old portraits of chubby, sombre children on the wall and a tree stump side table ... love that. But best of all, when we were choosing bedrooms, we got the one with the mountain landscape wallpapered unto the wall. Because it's so bad that it's good. I can have a nap on the beach or in the Rocky Mountains. Life is good!


PS. Yeah! Holland is in the World Cup finals! I have diligently been wearing my orange wig but some piranhas ate it while I was swimming at the beach. Crazy...








Handmade, I think, thrifted
Shoes? French Connection outlet
Purse? Thrifted
Belt? Michael Kors, Winners
Bracelets? From Matt and thrifted

When we lost out on the house that we were really hoping to get, I went on a shopping spree to make myself feel better. Mature, right? Usually, I limit myself to shopping my feelings at a thrift store but on this occasion I went with a friend to battle teenagers at a mall on a Saturday. I really debated over getting these shoes. They are nothing crazy but for some reason I loved the contrast of the regular and patent leather and the wood platform. I found them right between the 'I didn't get what I wanted so I am going to foolishly spend money' phase and the 'get a grip, sweetheart, you are going to need that money for the next house' phase. I think I went back to see them three times before I decided to buy them and let the guilt feelings hit me in the car ride home. I'm glad I bought them, they are pretty without being crazy trendy but I'm embarrassed to say I've only worn them once.
That's why I challenged myself to not resort to brown shoes as I often do, but to wear this thrifted dress with the French Connection shoes instead. Some people challenge themselves to run a marathon, some people challenge themselves to give up shopping for 6 months and I challenge myself to wear black sandals. Big goals are being achieved over here... The pathetic thing is that it was actually hard to accomplish. I liked the pattern play of the leopard belt with the ethnic print and so I tried to add my horsey-face clutch to the mix just to show-off. And then the clutch didn't look right with the shoes and before I knew it, I was wearing my trusty brown Frye shoes. I had to step back and re-commit myself to wearing the black platforms. And I did wear them all day, except for when I was frolicking in the sand dunes...
For all my new readers... welcome to the important decisions that rule my life.