Eyes on eyelet (and some wild cards)

Following on Janet's and Chris's posts, I'd already made an order to Zara for a blue eyelet top to try. Here it is, along with the barrel leg jeans in Ecru that I also ordered.

The top is all cotton, a bright sky blue, and slightly cropped. It can be worn untucked or tucked, though untucked is probably the intention. The sleeves are full length with a sewn narrow band -- I am wearing them pushed up, which is how I would wear IRL.

I like it a lot. My sole hesitation is the puff sleeve, which is a bit femme for my style as a rule. But I think I'm ok with it. :) I am also keeping the jeans. They are a nice lightweight cotton, just cropped enough for ankle length on me, and easy to wear. They are not true white, but near-white ecru. 

Wildcards! Star recently posted about wild cards and items waiting in the wings. My wild card waitlisted (until hot weather) item is a sandal in neon orange (!!!) from Cole Haan.

I'd been looking for a bright sandal for about 4 years, no joke -- ideally in red or fuchsia. But none to be found. Orange is one of my most unwearable colours, but on my feet? Why not? It works with blue and white, right? These are comfy and exactly the kind of style I was after, and were on super sale --  so I decided to keep. 

But what, apart from blue and white (which is basically my whole summer closet) to wear them with? 

How about a little scarf in orange and ecru? Is this a nutty idea? 

Oh, and how about a cotton voile top? It looked a lot more cream in the stock photo -- IRL it is more yellow. Maybe too yellow. But talk about a wild card for me -- orange and yellow!! 

Have I truly gone wild and lost my mind? 

To be clear: the jeans are a keep, the blue top is most likely a keep, and the other items are maybes. Would love your thoughts! 

 

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Colour conundrum solved?

Hi, all! (Please ignore if colour talk is not of interest -- I blather on a bit here!) 

As many of you know, before I joined YLF, I had my colours analyzed according to the seasonal method. The verdict was true or cool summer, with some head scratching by the analyst, who switched out certain colours for some of bright spring's, and took away some of summer's softer hues. 

I wasn’t too worried about that. I’d gone into it without many expectations. I saw it as a staring point. A basis for some general guidelines as I rebuilt my wardrobe. Because I already knew, essentially, what worked for me and what didn’t.

I’d always looked my best in anything in the blue and fuchsia family, up to and including a true red. The analysis confirmed it. Fab!

Still, it was a puzzle.

Back then, my hair was (highlighted) dark blonde with some ashy or charcoal undertones. Eventually, my hair turned grey, and I was even lighter toned, all over. Sometimes I wondered if I might be a “light summer” who’d been mis-typed.

But I look like dishwater in most washed out pastels.

In fact, with silver hair, I look better in brighter versions of “my” colours. Also in pure white. And — a first — neon yellow. YES!! I’ve decided I actually look surprisingly good in the silly high-vis safety vest I wear to bike in!!

What to make of all this?

After Sal’s recent analysis, and during my recent illness, I started down the internet rabbit hole with this question, and quite by chance I came upon a colour analysis system that does not depend on seasons, is much simpler than many, and makes better intuitive sense to me.

The person who seems to have devised it is less poetic (and also less rigid) than some of the other colour analysts out there, but she is charmingly authentic, and more inclusive than many. She looks at real women, not celebrities. She analyses women of all races and various skin tones..She looks at women of different ages. And especially if you have grey hair, I think you might find her discussion interesting and possibly helpful.

She works using colour theory alone — looking at 3 key elements — a person’s chroma (bright vs soft), their contrast, and whether or not they are warm or cool. By her system, I type myself as “bright, cool, light” — and this makes SO much sense to me! “Light” here would mean mid-tone (for the most part) as opposed to pastels. “Bright” does not equal “winter’s” extreme brights, again, for the most part — but does include brighter, clearer versions of “summer’s” typical colours. And cool is self-explanatory — undertones should be on the cool to neutral side, not warm.

Is it going to change anything? No. I have already (mostly) been buying and wearing my best colours, though there are some I don't like as well and others I seldom see at retail in items that otherwise fit my style, so I don't tend to wear, which must be true of us all. But this gives me a clearer explanation of why some things work and some don’t. And it’s also encouraged me to continue to experiment with brights that I may not have tried.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about your own colour conundrums and solutions! 

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Mini-meetup!

As some of you know,  the beautiful Janet's been on Vancouver Island for a photography trip, and having met her once in Boston a decade ago, I couldn't give up the chance of meeting her again. But it almost didn't happen, because I've been sick with some dread virus since we came home from the UK. Today, her last day in the area, is the first day I felt confident I wouldn't be contagious. So we got together for a lovely breakfast and a fast catch-up! 

Of course, we were both wearing our blues. :)  Please forgive my helmet hair (came on the bike) and shirt in disarray and wonky background. It wasn't the most selfie-friendly spot but it was a great place to sit and talk. 

Janet, thanks for making the time and safe travels home. I can't wait to see your photos! 

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Trip Report: On the streets and in the shops

This trip I was very much focused on spendiing meaningful time with Mr. Suz, so shopping was not a priority. I didn't buy anything for myself. But I did enjoy window shopping and people-watching! I didn't photograph anybody on the street, but I did take snaps in stores and of shop windows. First, here's my impression of what people were wearing: 

  • Sneakers. Sneakers. Sneakers. No surprise there. I did see some sandals on the hot days -- mostly Birkenstock type or other flatforms. I think I only saw a couple of pairs of heels, and those were boots. Even in the financial district, quite a few people wore fashion sneakers with their suits. 
  • Raincoats. Again, no surprise. This was London, after all! And it's been an unusually wet year. Mostly I noticed trenches, but anoraks and utility coats were popular as well.
  • Light wash wide leg full-length denim. Mostly on younger women. 
  • The skirt of the year -- mid-axi or maxi denim skirts with slits. Also mostly on younger women. 
  • Slouchy looks in jackets -- some blazers, some bombers. Quite oversized. 
  • On the hot days -- maxi dresses in white, off-white, or large-scale florals. Again, on the younger women. Some dresses were off the shoulder.  Some were dragging on the ground and I worried they'd get caught in the escalators at the tube! But I remember doing  many silly things for fashion in my own youth. :) 

In the shops -- most stores were exhibiting high summer wear: lightweight linens and floral dresses. I wasn't really tempted by anything because it is quite easy for me to get this sort of thing in North America.
 
# 1. Window of a shop I would have liked to have gone into. Interesting sculptural shapes to the clothes. Heavy linens. Small boutique I think near Covent Garden. 

# 2-3. In the National Portrait Gallery -- Vivian Westwood. The first photo is a portrait in her garden; the second shows her surrounded by a new generation of artists, designers, and rebels. 

#4 I went into Selfridges to browse. Such a beautiful store. This display of cashmere wowed me with the quality and the prices, which I won't even begin to quote. 

#5. I loved this Erdem suit. But again, look at the price! Even on sale....https://erdem.com/products/sin....._r1j7_muwc

#6 The orange suit and the beautiful floral skirt also caught my eye. https://erdem.com/collections/.....s-trousers

#7 And the gorgeous party dresses! 

#8. Snapped a selfie while in one of the in-store shops. Curve jeans. 

#9. I loved the Alexander McQueen display -- right up my alley. 

#10 The fab orange suit made me think of Angie -- Stella McCartney.

# 11 Issey Miyake. I saw lots and lots of green in evidence, along with orange, in almost all the shops. 

#12 The jumpsuit also made me think of Angie. It would look terrific on her, no? 

#13  The majestic entrance to the store. 

#14-15. Moving on to John Lewis. Scottie bags for JAileen.  :) 

#16-17.  Colourful hat display. 

#18.  I kind of loved this colour blocked dress. Any of those hats might have worked with it! 

#19.  A book that some of us might enjoy. I know I'm going to hunt down a copy! As an undergrad I wrote an essay about Virginia Woolf's attitudes toward clothes. 

#20-22 Mr. Suz examining the beautiful wares at Japan House in Kensington, and some more of their displays. 

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Trip Report: WIW (and what I didn't)

Here's the full collection of what I brought.

I'll report on some other fashion moments from the trip and what I saw others wearing in a separate post. But let me start with my own outfits.

First, I took a lot -- a medium-large suitcase which I checked. In the event, I wore almost all the clothes. Things I did not wear, I did not wear because the weather wasn't suitable. But it might have turned out differently, i.e. we might have had more days of heat and sun and fewer days of drizzle (or downpour) and/or cool sun. Had the weather flipped that way, I'd have worn all the things I didn't wear this time. :)

On repeat:

  • The raincoat. (Worn 8 of the 10 days.)
  • The Wit and Wisdom wide legs. (Best travelling pants ever. And I also wore them several times during the trip.)
  • The Everlane Curve jean. Wore them multiple times. 
  • The Paul Smith blazer.
  • The oxfords and sneakers.
  • The scarves.
  • All the bags. (Brought 3! and used them all.)

What I didn't end up wearing:

  • The red Mary Janes. The weather was too wet and cool most days.
  • The skirt. Ditto to above. I had planned to wear my skirt and brocade top for Mr. Suz's birthday dinner -- but in the event it was cool and pouring, so I ended up switching to the cool weather alternative of wide legs, silver top, military jacket. 
  • The brocade top.
  • The floral cotton top. 
  • The denim shirt. 

I wore everything else at least once, and most things more than once, because I often changed during the day. I could have done with fewer items, yes. But I was not sorry to have the options. I didn't get many outfit pics but did try for a few. 

Thanks, all, for your thoughts on packing ahead of time. I felt perfectly prepared for any weather eventuality and was happy in everything I wore. 

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Cole Haan platform oxford: A favourite thing

I am a huge fan of the Cole Haan oxfords, both the regular and platform versions. In my experience, the platform version is a bit stiffer and requires a few wears to fully break in, but once it does, it's spectacular. I have the knit version and it is lightweight and extremely easy to wear. Like a dressed up sneaker. It was my shoe of choice in London. I sprayed it with waterproofing and despite being knit, it kept me dry enough in a complete downpour. I say "dry enough" because I would not have trusted it for longer than the 15 or 20 minutes that I was out -- the tips of my socks felt slightly damp when I took them off that night. But the shoe dried out immediately with no damage. 

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WIW: New Favourite Thing, LOLE packable raincoat

Hi, all -- quick post and run since I'm still travelling, but I did want to cheer loudly for my Lole packable raincoat -- best last-minute pre-travel purchase ever! 

The weather has been all over the map, from sun and heat to pouring driving rain and chilly winds. I've worn the raincoat on all but 2 days so far, and it has been a godsend. It has kept me thoroughly dry in some serious downpours (including a 2 hour rainy walk). It is light weight and wind protective. It is a bit like a paper bag and feels weirdly 80s in its oversized style  -- but it will layer over just about anything, and the shape is so distinctive that it feels very intentional. The way it packs into its own pouch is brilliant. And, as Angie predicted, I have been sooooo grateful to have a hood! 

And funniest thing ever. Yesterday I was walking along Park Lane to get the tube at Marble Arch in, yes, a downpour --  and lo...who did I run into but another woman wearing the same coat!! 

I walked up to her and said, "I love your coat." 

"Thank you," she said -- not catching on. 

"You have great taste," I said. 

Luckily, her friend figured it out and the three of us laughed and laughed. 

I took a quick selfie before she hopped on her bus. Don't you love her chic rain hat? I should have asked her where she got it. 

P.S. Wearing almost all the clothes. Will report on that, later. 

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Packing for London

We fly out tomorrow and the weather looks...unpredictable! 

Highs will be between 18-20 and lows around 11, but for the rest it looks like thunderstorms, sun, cloud, showers, and everything in between -- on all the days we will be visiting! 

We're no strangers to variable weather, but it does make packing and dressing for a day/ evening out a bit of a challenge! 

I am checking a bag. I have several dressy evenings, several urban-casual days, several slightly dressier urban days, one day-into-evening that has to be both casual and more dressy, with no opportunity to go back and change between times, and, as I mentioned, I am going to need clothes for different weather eventualities. 

Below is my tentative packing list: 

Footwear: blue flatform oxford, white oxford, silver slingback, silver eneaker. (I had wanted to take the red Mary Janes but in all honesty don't think I would choose them for a long day of walking). ALL shoes waterproofed. If it really does rain a lot, I'm likely to wear the navy oxfords and the silver sneakers the most. 

Toppers: Packable raincoat, denim jacket, Paul Smith linen/wool blazer, jersey military jacket.

Gilet: Burgundy Theory (part of co-ord set, but also works as a sleeveless top with the pants and/or coordinates with jeans and Dries pants). 

Knitwear: Cotton t-neck, silk/cotton leopard cardigan, cotton mariner tee. 

Shirts/ blouses, LS: Denim shirt, striped cotton shirt, blue silk popover, silk cat print shirt,. 

Tops for layering or warmer than expected weather: Ecru Everlane, navy BR sleeveless. 
   
Evening/ dressy tops: Vince l/s silk popover burgundy blouse (not a dress, as in Finds photo). Blue peplum top. Silver sleeveless top. 

Bottoms: Navy wide legs, Curve jeans, burgundy Theory pants (part of co-ord set, navy skirt, Dries cotton/linen pants (good for warmer weather). 

Bags: Silver Pom Pom London, Burgundy hobo. 

2 scarves
PJs 
Undies
Packable umbrella/ rainhat

Am I neglecting anything, missing anything? 

Here are a few try-ons mostly without any bags, jewellery, etc -- so partly but not wholly styled, if you get my meaning. I did not try everything with everything but it pretty much coordinates in a wide variety of combinations. 

QUESTIONS: Should I bring merino pullover as well?

Anything missing? 

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Piper Oversized Raincoat Review

Hi, all! 

Well, after asking your advice on trenches for my upcoming trip to London several months ago and deciding on the blue....I have had second thoughts. 

Don't get me wrong. I love the blue trench. The colour is gorgeous. I love the classic style. BUT it has four serious downfalls as a travel coat. 

1. It is quite fitted, so difficult to layer under. 
2. It is not packable or easy carry for a day spent out and about. 
3. It is on the heavy side for the current temperatures -- I would be hot in it (and then would have to carry it...in and out of museums, shops, restaurants, etc. etc. for a full day or sightseeing). I find it awkward to spend an entire day with a (possibly damp) coat on my arm. Of course I can check it in museums and such but not while walking. 
4. It lacks a hood, so if it actually rains, I would get quite wet. I do have a packable umbrella and a rain hat, but the less I have to lug around with me most days, the better. 

So I started looking for packable raincoats. I tried several and promptly sent them back for one reason or another. Here is one I think I may keep. 

This is the Lole Piper Oversized Raincoat. https://www.lolelife.com/en-ca.....8;gad_sour

I have had very good luck with Lole coats. One of my first YLF purchases, way back in 2012, was a puffer coat from Lole. I  wore it up until last winter and the only reason I don't have it any more is that it is too warm for my current climate. I finally passed it on, in near-perfect condition, after 7 years of very heavy wear (daily for months on end) and several more years of lighter wear. 

(I also own a lightweight puffer jacket by Lole, purchased on major sale this year.) 

The colour is called "Abalone." It's almost exactly like the "oyster" puffer coat I own. A sort of cool greyish beige? Stone? Something like that. Not my best, but not (I hope) soul-sucking beige on me. (The coat comes in a lot of other neutrals and a few colours but this was the one that looked most promising for my needs.) 

It's basically an oversized anorak with extras. Much more casual than my classic Hobbs trench, but not without a bit of attitude and style. It is lightweight, seam-sealed, and lined, so it will be quite water-repellant (while not truly waterproof.) It has a high collar, a double zip (bottom and top), zippered pockets on the sides and one on the inside for a phone, a sewn on hood that is very adjustable, and adjustable waist and arms. 

It also packs away into its own little backpack. This is a very nifty feature! 

Because of the ties and the double zip, you can wear the sleeves and waist in different ways -- you can push the sleeves up to show your wrists or have the sleeves long. 

It is very oversized, BTW. I sized down. 

As I have said, I am inclined to keep this and use it on the trip and afterwards. I think it could prove quite a versatile piece. What think you? 

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Neutral WIW (and Blue on blue what I didn't wear)

Just a quick WIW with new red shoes -- breaking them in at home. I was supposed to be working for a client today but they have not submitted their project for review, so instead I am doing at-home errands like changing the litter box and packaging stuff to mail. (Fun, right?) New Everlane shirt, older BR sweater and last year's Everlane utility barrel jeans. So soft and comfy in this summer weight fabric! 

What I didn't wear to a book launch last week. Well, in truth I wore the column of blue but I had to switch out my blue leather jacket for a puffer coat because it was SO COLD!!! 

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