Very "me" Day 3

I'm attending a reading downtown tonight and this is what I'll wear -- GAP white jeans, blue suede boots, AT silk shirt, and Reiss blazer. The silk shirt is one of my favourite shirts of all time. It's an older piece and you will have to pry it away from me. Ditto the Reiss tuxedo blazer. 

In the "keeping it real" department, while working at home I'm wearing a sweater instead of the blazer and slippers instead of the boots! 

Why it's me: Signature blue, white, and silver. Blazer over jeans. 

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Angie's Challenge: Day 2

Another sunny day here, with a crisp bite to the air. I'm off to get a haircut (thank goodness!) and have a few other errands to run downtown later this afternoon. 

I'm wearing skinnies, western-inflected booties, western belt, an "Out of Print" tee featuring Poe's Raven, black watch plaid blazer, and RM grey bag. 

Why it's me: Jeans, booties, jacket -- my all time favourite combination. When in doubt, this is what I reach for; it has been a staple of my style since I was a teen. I like the juxtaposition of dressy with casual. 

I'm a bit "off" skinnies but I still wear them. I especially like the rise of the Rockets and haven't found a slim or straight jean that works quite as well from that perspective. I think the proportion works for me. 

The jacket is a workhorse bought on sale last year. It doesn't wrinkle, is cross-seasonal, and is part of a suit. Wearing the sleeves pushed up and rolled back is very "me." I almost never leave my sleeves long. I love the structure of jackets but not if they feel "precious" or "uptight." This one never does. 

I don't wear tees very often but this one works for me because it's all cotton (comfy), it makes a literary reference, and the grey coordinates with my hair, pulling the outfit together. It's very "me" to emphasize the grey and make it stand out as a deliberate choice. 

I adore RM bags. I own 3 and I would almost say I am loyal to the brand. This one is so perfect for me. Bought on sale in the fall. 

When I go out I'll be wearing my pea coat with the collar popped. Also a very "me" move. 

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Angie's Challenge

I'm loving this challenge so far! It's wonderful to hear about everyone's lifestyle, weather, and work challenges and how these help to shape individual style! 

As most here know, I'm a writer, editor, and sometime teacher/professor. I'm also a PhD candidate. And the parent of a high needs teen. For years I lived in a four season (but winter dominant) climate; I'm currently getting used to life in a milder four season climate. This year, I'm working exclusively from home, but I still make occasional presentations and need clothes appropriate for that. I travel a great deal, take public transit in the city, and walk daily, both to commute and as part of my creative practice. 

I'm starting the week off with a few outfits. 

First, today's. Why it's me: Fire engine red, one of my key colours. It's simple and classic (jeans, knit top, cardigan) but also modern (trends represented in animal print, western belt, red.) It feels a bit playful. It's also practical. I'm wearing cozy knee socks under those booties and slippers (not booties) in the house. If I go downtown, I'll wear these (it's sunny out); but if I go for a walk in the woods, I'll exchange them for my black LaCanadiennes. Finally, it's a mix of high and low, newer and older. The high end DVF sweater is from an NAS six or seven years ago. (Worn infrequently and still going strong.) The jeans, red sweater, booties, belt are all low end. The only new item this year is the belt. 

Next, yesterday's outfit for dinner and theatre with Mr. Suz. Why it's me:  
Blue and white, my signature neutrals. Midi length skirt feels very easy to wear. Booties were a practical choice in cool weather. I felt elegant without being over-the-top. 

Finally, what I wore last week at this time in Kingston. Skating at City Hall. Why it's me? Blue and white. :) And practical for skating when it's -20C. :)

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CC Fail but Colours for Angie

I said I'd play, but...yesterday I was so busy shovelling, I didn't get out of my gear. 

Snow still coming down like mad today and I thought I had an eye appointment downtown. Needed tall waterproof boots for slush situation. Got there only to realize I'd messed up on my calendar! It's a month from now. Ooops! 

So I went to browse the shops and look what I saw! Eileen Fisher is doing teals and turquoises this year -- not that it does you much good, Angie, since you're pretty much sized out, but it's pretty! And Scotch and Soda has a big selection of Dutch oranges. 

I did at least manage light neutral trousers. I hope that counts for something! 

Bonus snow views. I'm travelling the rest of the week and can't promise no dark neutrals because, major snow and slush all over. I will cheer you all from the sidelines! 

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Killing the blues...(or, I need a fashion intervention)

Yes, I'm Queen Blue. I wear blue the way many women wear black. Blue is my best neutral and my best colour. Blue lends authority and calm. Blue can be reserved and private or electric and vivid. Blue is as deep as the oceans, as soft as mountain mists, as crisp as the north wind, as bright as a summer sky, as mysterious as the heavens when twilight nears full darkness. 

My blue and predominantly blue items across all seasons, below in Finds. There are a lot of them. This doesn't count a few unphotographed items, e.g. a RL sleeveless cotton knit shift dress -- older and rarely worn but comes into play a couple of times a year. Or things that wore out last summer and got donated, e.g. some blue shorts. Or gear. Or stuff like house shoes or slippers. Or black coats that look almost blue. 

You get the idea. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I like blue. It's my signature and my speciality and I don't intend to purge it from my closet. Au contraire! It will always be the foundation of my wardrobe. 

But LaPed's recent thread on colour complements, along with TorontoGirl's, set me to making "capsules" of my other colours and made me realize that, um,  maybe I have too much of a muchness. And if I added a bit more colour variety, my well functioning wardrobe might work even better and make me feel as if I had more options. 

At the moment, across all seasons, I have 12 red items. 3 plum/purple/ lilac. Only a few berries/ fuchsias/ magentas (another of my best colour variants). A few burgundies. And a bunch of grey and white. A decent silver/pewter accessory/ accent complement. You can view them here: https://youlookfab.com/finds/c.....usanolding

It is time to broaden my range!! 

Of course, I decide to do this just when earth tones (which typically don't flatter me) begin to trend. Sigh....

Nevertheless, here is my commitment. For the next year, I am not going to purchase any more blue!!!  Instead I will look for items in my reds (fire engine to cranberry with a bit of true red sprinkled in) berries, cool fuchsia and magenta, and purples/plums/lilacs. 

Exceptions allowed: 

  • Blue jeans (I can purchase these in trendy styles or classic as needed). 
  • Basics (bras, undies, gear, tights, etc.If I see these in blue and want them in blue, okay.) 
  • A fantastic waterproof blue raincoat, and/or a perfect navy or ink trench coat OR (in autumn) a perfect pea coat and/or long military coat with silver hardware or blue/black or pewter—if such appears. (HEWI) 
  • Blue is allowed in a print item but only if it is not the predominant colour. 
  • Possibly a blue sandal or sneaker or bag, but only if I can't find a red one I like. 

What think you? Does this make sense? Can you help me find items in my other key colours as the year goes along? Can you suggest a way to approach this, i.e. a small capsule (what items??) or complement? Or a combo capsule/complement, e.g. footwear & scarf or bag plus a top and or bottom? 

Meanwhile, I am desperately tempted to make one last blue purchase of a suit from BR, just because I adore wearing my black watch one from there so very much....

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Something old, something new, nothing borrowed, everything blue

Mr. Suz and I went out for lunch today and I put on my Boden paperbag waist skirt for the first time. It does emphasize my slight short-waistedness, but I just love the style and couldn't pass it up. POCKETS!!!

I think it will be really useful because it can easily be dressed up for more festive occasions with a silk blouse or sparkly top. And it's very cross-seasonal for this climate. I got the lightweight version suspecting it would be okay with hose or tights even on a cold day, and I was right -- today it is quite cold (for Vancouver) and I was fine in it, even in a shorter coat. 

Mr. Suz and I were also comparing sweaters today. This Equipment cashmere (4 years old now?) only has a tiny bit of pilling under the arms whereas he has some BR cashmere that is a complete mess after only a few wears. So frustrating. Anyway, glad I sprang for this sweater. It was pricey for me even at NAS but has proved worth it because the pattern makes it a bit more interesting. 

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My essentials

My wardrobe has always been essentials heavy. I find them the easiest items to buy and to identify. It interests me that so many people have trouble with this concept and I wonder why. I suspect it comes more easily for those with a style that leans heavily classic? It might be more difficult if you are an eclectic dresser. 

Anyway, here is my list for 2019 in the hope it might help someone else.
One way I think of this is -- it is a very rare outfit that does not include at least one of these elements.  The ones I pull into play most frequently vary with the seasons --- the white sneakers are a summer essential; the  navy booties, a winter essential, and so on. But if you look back over your WIWs, which items or elements get repeated again and again in different outfit combinations? Which items do you miss when they are in the laundry? Which do you reach for in those "ugh! What shall I wear??" moments? That should offer clues. 

1. Navy crewneck or turtleneck knitwear (for different seasons). (High five, Angie!)

2. Blue and white striped knitwear, or white and blue (for various seasons). (Ditto!)

3. Navy blazer

4. Slim high waisted jeans in blue and in white. (I have and enjoy other jeans but these are the essentials).

5. Long grey cardigan.

6. Denim jackets (esp. in summer — not really in winter at all.)

7. Classic navy blue outerwear. (High five, again, Angie!!) Oh, and I desperately want a military coat like yours. On my list of HEWIs. As well as an upgrade of the consignment pea coat, which is working really well for now but is not "the one." 

8. Silver or soft grey footwear across all seasons. Must have a dressy bootie, a casual bootie, a sneaker, a sandal.

9. White footwear (summer); navy or ink footwear (winter).

10. Silver watch and earrings. Belt with silver hardware.

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Gear update and review: MPG (mostly)

One of my goals for 2019 was to update my gear which was a mishmash of stuff, mostly bought at Winner's, and mostly bought years ago. Gear tends to wear like iron but even so, I had some items that had lost their shape/ elasticity, and a few Old Navy leggings that I was forever having to fuss with or they'd fall down—not a fun experience in the gym. 

Lisa P has mentioned MPG to us a number of times and they were having a big sale so I thought I'd try some items out. The sale prices were Old Navy but the quality for many of these items is near LuLu Lemon, although of course I can't predict how well they will wear yet. For Canadian fabbers, especially, they might be a good gear option. 

I also got the purple funnel neck from Old Navy -- it's soft and lighter weight than the MPG one, so they will complement each other. I now have a little "purple/mauve" workout capsule, and a navy one, with just a few black and grey pieces to mix with either -- which is nice because I like purple and lilac but don't really have any in my regular wardrobe. So it feels a bit "special." 

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Suz's annual footwear flip out

Since we're on the subject of climate, this seems like a good moment for my annual footwear flip-out! 

Last year, and every year before that, it was a rant. And there was a reason for that. See photos 1-6 below. All highly typical of Kingston's weather conditions from December to April. Also typical is the mix of grey to sun. Sun is beautiful when it comes...but we get far more grey skies in winter there than sunny days. And, it's on one of the Great Lakes, so it is also windy and damp. Brrrrrrr. 

With the help of YLF friends like Annagybe, Angie, and others, I found some excellent additions for my late winter footwear wardrobe and managed to inject a bit more variety last year. (Thank you!). 

And this year? SPOILED FOR CHOICE

People, I am here to tell you...Vancouver, true, is often wet, and usually grey in winter...(pics 7-11 show my neighbourhood) but unlike in Kingston, a woman can wear ALL THE FABULOUS SHOES most of the time!!! (Okay, not the sandals, but you get the idea.) 

I am so excited!!! I don't have to start with the snow boots! In fact, I now own so many pairs of waterproof or water resistant shoes that I can actually pick between booties, mid-calf, and knee highs, black, taupe, or sapphire, dressy or casual -- no matter what the weather.

And on drier days I have silver, red, cream, and dressier shoes as well!

The weather is absolutely key to this. I have the utmost respect for those on the forum battling the conditions that I battled for so many years. You are fashionistas par excellence! You have my sympathies. 

Another component of the improvement is the fact that I'm in a larger city with more and better sidewalks, and the environmental norm, while very casual, is at least a little less casual than in Kingston. 

Oh the joys. I can't tell you how much easier it is to get dressed! 

#12 shows the water resistant and waterproof "stompier" boots for inclement weather. Can be worn in all kinds of situations, from the sidewalk to the woods. 

#13 shows the waterproof boots and booties (most a bit dressier though photo includes one boot from #12. To add: my taupe Blondos, which I didn't own when I took the photo.

#14 shows all "dressier" booties, which includes one waterproof pair. 

What's the biggest cramp to your own style that weather presents? And what has been your biggest success or revelation if you moved? 

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Playful Pencil with kitties

Proportions look odd in the photo but it seems to look better IRL. I am in desperate need of a haircut and this is what I'll wear! Comfy and easy for a long bus ride. 

I'm aiming for look #2 here. 

ETA also with sheers. Better. Just like Angie said. 

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