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Potential Uniform

Jeans? J. Brand Lovestory (lighter wash  on sale or darker wash) Shirt? Vanilia Jacket? Vintage, gift from Jessie 
Purse? c/o Jess Rizzuti (here) Shoes? Sixty-Seven c/o DNA shoes (here)

When I put this on, I had a moment where I thought 'why haven't I been wearing this every day?'. Double denim and a red blazer? This should be my uniform.
And then I remembered that if I wore some version of this every day, there would be a lot of sequins and vintage dresses that would not get their time to shine. I consider it my duty to equally represent the casual and the fancy in my closet... I hate dealing with hurt feelings, so every item in my closet gets their big day out.
But if I were to ever get over the idea that I need to placate a wardrobe of inanimate objects, I would certainly wear this combination a lot. It's pretty hard to get the simple combination wrong...
Funny how fashion bloggers took over double denim from men with mullets and Bryan Adams... Though technically we didn't take it over, we are just standing united.


Friends in Thrift Places


Dress and blazer? Thrifted Shoes? BCBGeneration Hat? Joe Fresh Clutch? Danier, thrifted

This is Elisha, she is not a friend from the internet, she is from real life. Shocking, someone without a blog... though you might have seen her in a post this last summer in all her wedding finery...
I noticed a few weekends back that she was wearing a great outfit that was primarily thrifted. I thought it would be cool to feature her on the blog, so Merl took her outfit pictures, while I sat back and giggled... because getting outfit pictures is fun but mostly ridiculous.
Elisha was nervous to pose. I gave her my most sage advice 'laugh at nothing, glance to the left and dance like no one is watching'. I'm kidding, she was clearly not laughing at nothing. That smile was genuine. I'm pretty sure I was saying some witty one liners off to the side. And even if they weren't that witty, she still would have laughed. That's the mark of a great friend right there....


Skirt Suit


Skirt? c/o Jacob (here) Blazer? Thrifted Boots? Aldo 
Necklace? gift from Merl (here) Purse? Thrifted

I don't know what I like the best; my new white skirt, my thrifted blazer or the fact that when I put them together, I look like a 90's stewardess... in the best way possible.
I've been wanting a white pencil skirt for a while now, as can be evidenced by multiple pins on this Pinterest board... The problem with white skirts is that they are white. And 59% of potential white skirt candidates are unsuitable right off the hanger because they are transparent. My favourite is when manufacturers line a light weight white skirt with a kleenex and expect it not to be see through anymore... Alrighty then. 
When Jacob sent me this skirt, I prepared myself to be disappointed. But I wasn't. Because the lining and the material itself were both sufficient and that perfectly inserted zip slit was the icing on the cake.
And the blazer? I know... another blazer. I assure you it was an accident. When I had Merl over a few weekends ago, I figured the least I could do was show her my familiar stomping grounds of Talize. But we were both not in the mood to thrift (it does happen very occasionally...) and so we lazily strolled the aisles for 10 minutes without serious effort. In the dress section I found this blazer, with a matching dress no less... I showed it to Merl, she told me to try it on, I gave her a feeble refusal; something about being too lazy, and then she got firm and insisted me try it on. And I did. And I loved it. And I took it home to find its place among my other blazers. Battling against the blazer takeover in my closet is useless at this point... 


Past and Present


Dress? Handmade by my Oma Jacket? Costa Blanca Shoes? Ash Necklaces? Top: thrifted, Middle: J Crew, Bottom: gift from Merl (here) Clutch? Thrifted

This is the dress my mama wore for her engagement party, lovingly hand sewn by her mother. She let me have (borrow? keep? I blur those lines when I take stuff from her...) the dress as long as I promised not to do any permanent alterations. It's like she never read my post on respecting vintage and only read the post where I went scissor happy and accidentally cut a dress a little bit short. While the bodice fits perfectly, the length of the dress is too short to be a maxi skirt and too long to be a midi skirt. I put in a hair elastic to gather a portion of the skirt, break up the length and keep with my mama's wishes of no permanent alterations. 
I thought my mom would get a kick out of seeing me walk into church with her old dress. And she did... She sent me a couple pictures later in the day of her at the engagement party and even of the building in Leeuwarden where her mother and her went shopping for the fabric. This is my favourite picture that she sent; my dad and her unwrapping gifts together. 


I can't help but look at this picture and think that they had no idea then where life would lead them. Though I guess, that is a common sentiment when looking at most old photographs... Unwrapping crystal ware at your engagement party in small town Holland, you probably never fathom that your life will take you across three continents and that you would add to your family in each continent before settling in Canada. And of course, you don't imagine that your partner's battle will ALZ would define and derail a decade of your life. My parents are currently living the 'for worse' part of their marriage vows, looking at this picture reminds me that there was so much 'for better' too. 
Sometimes it takes a dress to take you on a good trip down memory lane... 



Sweater? Thrifted Skirt? Thrifted  (very similar hereNecklace? Gift from Merl (here)  
Boots? Joe Fresh Hat? F21

I'm have bare legs... I'm wearing a parka... I'm sitting on my porch with wine... I'm huddled on my couch with my double blankets... The bulbs are up in the garden... There's a winter storm watch on the news...

This is how I would sum up our spring. And as much as it makes me feel restless and antsy and annoyed, I should also be grateful because it gives me something to talk about. In fact, all fashion bloggers should be grateful because there is nothing that fills in the gaps of writer's block, like weather talk.
Here's hoping that both the weather talk and the writer's block are on their way out the door...


Keeping Up Appearances

Necklace? Some little boutique (here in silver and in grey) Shirt? Zara Jacket? Costa Blanca Vest? Thrifted Boots? c/o Aldo (they are 50% off now!) Jeans? Rich and Skinny, thrifted Pics? Merl

Merl surprised me with a visit this last weekend. I mean, surprised as in 'hey girl, I'm driving up tomorrow!', not like she jumped out of a cake or something. She did however, catch me unexpectedly because she drove with a heavy foot (my foot is much lighter and I need a bathroom break every hour while I road trip) and I was actually vacuuming upstairs when she came in and made herself at home. Gave me a heart attack, she did. One of these days I am not going to wait until very last minute to get my house in its 'pretend we got it together' state before company comes over.
Or I am just not going to clean and let my friends accept me for who I am. I change my mind about my shoes 4 times before I leave the house, I still drink Diet Coke (sorry mom) and I own and love a few cats. My house reflects these characteristics. I don't even know why I put up a front for Merl, I'm pretty sure she leaves a trail of cat hair, diet Pepsi bottles and necklaces everywhere she goes. No wonder we get along so well...


Ice on the Fringe


This isn't an outfit post. Real pictures of this outfit and the accompanying clever stories (I hope they will be clever, I still have to make them up...) will come later in the week. For now you get the result of wearing 8" of fringe and having a Merl around to photograph and encourage the fun...
Check back tomorrow for the real outfit post featuring my more standard poses; hand in hair, the shy look left and maybe even my signature, the over-the-shoulder smolder...


Suited for Spring


Jacket? Gap, thrifted (similar here) Pants? Winners (very similar here) Necklace? J. Crew Clutch? Thrifted

Apparently it's spring and I should be busting out the pastels and florals. But since we can now wear white after labour day, I say that all the rules of fashion no longer count. Just wear what you want to wear, when you want to wear it. So brave and so bold, right? My limits are to stay between excessive frostbite and excessive sweating... everything else is fair game. Wool plaid in April? Why not? It's been miserable anyway...
Also, it should be noted that these red pants are a little big and I fully admit that I am too lazy to ever take these in. I know it will be exactly like these pants I wore earlier this year, which I thought would be an easy fix but then I ended up behind that sewing machine for far too long... I will leave these pants on the baggy side for the time being. Because, let's be honest, they feel like I am wearing track pants and that, is a beautiful thing.




One of the keys to successful thrifting is spotting potential. The thrift store doesn't have nicely styled mannequins with outfits ready for the taking (well, they do have mannequins, though often not particularly well styled...). What a thrift store does have is a lot of junk. The talent is to see through the junk, spot the potential and take home the pieces that work in your wardrobe and in your life. 
I think some people see the racks of pilling sweaters at the thrift store and turn away before finding that perfectly handknit Scottish number. Or laugh at the peplum dress with the ruffled sleeves, not seeing that a simple surgical removal of sleeves could result in a dress that would make all of Asos jealous.
I veer more towards the other way. It's been mentioned before but I see too much potential. I think anything can look great with a belt, a hem or a great pair of strappy heels. I have this almost unflappable confidence that I can make anything work. It's a good attitude that leads to a lot of fun in the thrift store but it also results in overwhelming bags of stuff filled with pieces that I don't want in my closet for the long haul. I do my best to curb my enthusiasm with a healthy dose of reason these days. 
Last week I found this blazer and tank set for $10. Paired together it looks exactly like something out of the Sears catalogue in 1994. I gave it a second look because I really liked the floral print and because... it was silk. Yes, silk always makes me look twice. The blazer was a little large but volume can work as long as it it balanced with something for fitted. I did end up replacing the original, magnificently huge shoulder pads and putting a more demure set in. My nephew still made fun of me for those. Quite frankly I was surprised he could speak, considering the tightness of his jeans...:)
The tank is a pretty and easy piece that will undoubtedly get a lot of wear this summer. It's cute, a step up from a worn in tank (though I love those too) and because the silk isn't delicate and the tank isn't detailed, I would feel totally comfortable throwing it in a gentle cycle in the washing machine. 

Denim shirt? Vanilia (similar here) Jeans? Zara (similar here) Shoes? Ralph Lauren (on sale here)

Skirt? Thrifted Boots? Aldo (on super sale now... comfy and cute!)

To spot potential you have to be able to take a garment out of its original state and imagine it in 2013, working for you. A good print, good construction and good fabric go a long way in helping potential become realized. In this case I had to separate the tank and the jacket to take the set out of the 90's and into my working wardrobe...


Circle Skirts for the Win

Jacket? Tahari (here or pricier but amazing leather version here) Skirt? Handmade 
Boots? Aldo Clutch? Thrifted

When I did a round up of my favourite outfits of the last year, someone questioned the absence of the look with this circle skirt that Julie and I made for the WWYCT contest. I guess it wasn't included because I don't consider anything a legitimate outfit unless I wear it out in public. And since we just shot those pictures in an abandoned art room, the skirt wasn't up for consideration. I have some pretty strict rules for myself. It's important to keep up standards when awarding oneself  with 'Best Dressed' awards...
But now that I have officially worn it out, it's definitely a favourite. Especially when I put another full skirt underneath. Because a full circle skirt can only get better with more volume. Seriously, get a circle skirt, they are a joy to wear. This one is a beaut. Or nag me and Julie to start a production line...