Fragments of Fall, indeed

I had to laugh at myself, getting ready for this event yesterday. It was something between a "gallery opening" and a lecture, held in our country's oldest synagogue. (Friends were part of the study group that responded to a rabbi's lecture series with works of art in different genres/ forms.) But, ahem, I didn't exactly show April's New York sophistication and aplomb and drop dead killer style.

Sigh. Instead I reverted to blue and white type, which made me think of Kkard's recent post about how consistent her style has been over the years. I guess I am similar in that way. I felt similarly preppy yesterday, too, and wondered at how that translates into this west coast setting. 

But honestly, it was hard to know what to wear. I knew the event was not going to be dressy. (Nor was it -- the rabbi was in jeans and tee.) The temperature was still summer hot (daytime exhibition and no AC). I tried on and discarded a bunch of options before deciding just to be comfortable and neat and not worry too much about it. 

So here's what I wore, my "fragment of fall" being the transitional shoe, the loafer that I kept from the NAS. And the sweater thrown over my shoulder (and then stuffed in my bag, unneeded.) 

Loafers are always a near impossibility for me. And I only walked about six blocks and stood for a while. But so far, they pass the test!! Mind you, I did not wear socks. If I tried to walk further, I'd have blisters, for sure (and yes, I did use bodyglide). And if I wear socks, they will likely flip flop off my feet. But for this occasion, they worked and felt like a fun update of my usual jeans and shirt. 

I really like these super baggy Old Navy crops. They are fun to wear. Baggier on me than on the model in my regular size. 

Jeans: ON, this year.
Shirt: J. Crew from....I dunno, maybe 2012? 
Sweater: Diane von Furstenburg, consignment
Loafers: Franco Sarto from this year's NAS

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WIB: Talbots Shorts.

Confession time: I would never have thought of Talbots except for Angie's post. But you know what? Ten days ago the zipper on my favourite Mexx white shorts finally broke. They are eleven years old (from my first year at YLF!). I think I can get them fixed, and I will if I can, because believe it or not, apart from the zipper, they are still in fantastic shape. But in the meantime, I've been going crazy without a pair of white lightweight shorts (my denim ones sometimes feel too heavy and because white shorts are a wardrobe essential, with only one pair I end up with laundry bottlenecks). I had already searched (online) in all the usual places and had come up empty handed -- either they didn't have white shorts, or didn't have the style I wanted or the fabrication or my size, or the cost was astronomical, or I wasn't sure about the fit model, etc. etc. 

Another confession: I'm always a bit self-conscious in shorts. I'm verging on petite in height. My legs are on the shorter side even for my shorter height, not always perfectly toned (ahem), and my proportions are a bit off (longer thigh, shorter calf -- which can exaggerate the impression that I am short-legged.) I'm sure a shorter short would be more conventionally flattering to my vertical proportions,  but I feel more comfortable in a longer short because I like the coverage, and I hope these are JFE. 

Despite my self-consciousness in shorts, I wear them all the time in the summer months. With my casual suburban bike riding, gardening, and hiking lifestyle they are quite simply the most practical choice. Yes, I  wear dresses and skirts whenever I can -- even for some bike outings -- and I love them! But most days I wear shorts for at least a few hours even if I later change into something a bit dressier. In summer, shorts are a wardrobe essential, in other words. With white being the most essential, since it works with all my summer tops. 

There's a Talbot's store at the local mall. Without a lot of hope, (because, really, Talbots?) I biked down there this afternoon, and lo and behold, they did indeed have a pair of shorts for me. Two, in fact! 

These are the "Perfect short" which is basically a chino Bermuda with a bit of stretch. I ended up sizing down in regular sizing. I tried petite but (as usual) the rise was not good for me. If they'd had my regular size in petite, that might have worked, and I'd probably have liked the length better, but available sizes were extremely limited and I felt lucky to get what I got. I can always cuff these (as in pic 3). 

If you are looking for something similar, sizing is generous. They call these "waist high" but they are not, on me -- instead they come to just below my navel, which on me is 3 inches below my true waist. :) But this happens to be my favourite mid-rise place for pants -- much more comfy for me that true low rise or high rise.

I got white and sagebrush. I have been wearing for a few hours now -- they stretch a bit but not at all in a bad way. Cotton is soft, substantial, well-finished, and pleasant to the hand. 

Wearing with my new Ecco flip flops. For years I've been a fan of Fit Flops but alas, they stopped making the adjustable straps and the shoe is simply too wide for me now. I have been feeling unstable and "floaty" in them and that's not a good feeling. The Ecco Corksphere thong runs narrow, for Ecco. It would not work at all for a wide foot but would work for a narrower to regular width foot. The footbed has a small ridge all round -- those with longer toes might find that uncomfortable but it does not affect me. I wear this kind of shoe as my "house shoe" in summer. (Indoors and on the deck, with an extra pair for beach wear.) 

At Talbots, I also tried on the jungle friends shell --- lovely lightweight cotton voile and a fun pattern which looked great on me (ivory and charcoal) but alas, the ruffle was a deal-breaker for me so I left it there. 

Two pair of shorts for $50 CAD isn't bad these days. Thank you, Angie! 

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Things that take a while to come into their own...plus added info on Ripskirt

In a recent thread (can't remember which one now, sorry!) Sal (I think!) mentioned that some clothing items do take time to come into their own or to prove their value. 

This little top from Club Monaco is one example. I bought it years ago to go with my black and white tube skirt, but after I passed that skirt along, it didn't get much (um, any) wear. Yet I didn't edit it out because I kept telling myself a black top is so useful and you never know, etc. etc. 

Yesterday, mid heat-wave, it proved its worth. All my light coloured bras were in the wash, most of my tops were in the wash (yes, it was wash day chez our house) and I needed something easy and very cool. It's basically a crop top with a split back overlay (not sure if you can see from the back view). Perfect for really hot temps with the trusty Ripskirt. 

I think I'll have it in more regular rotation now that I see it works with the skirt. Maybe for a few years I didn't have much that was high waisted enough to work with it. But now I do. So there you go. 

Also, I do wear black now and again. Here's proof. 

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Consignment fun

A few weeks ago I took a short trip to Vancouver for some meetings and appointments and visits with friends. While there I popped into my favourite consignment shop. I walked away with two unexpected purchases -- unworn, still with their original tags, cheap as chips. 

The Club Monaco lace pencil skirt is a bit of a fashion throwback -- definitely not on trend! (Though I think I've seen more pencil skirts sneaking back in...). Anyway -- I've wanted a lace skirt for ages. It's not something I can wear much around the house because of my cat, but overall, I've been aiming to add more texture to my closet and this fits the bill. 

I'd like this better if it were midi-length, but this at-the-knee length is good with sneakers and flats, and maybe it counts as my version of a mini, ha! It has a slightly stretchy liner and a back vent so it is comfortable. The zipper is in the back and is in pewter, which juxtaposes nicely with the lace. The fit is great. And the lace is substantial. I figure it will work for me dressed down with denim. And maybe dressed up sometime, too -- who knows. 

The sweater is a Diane von Furstenburg animal print in my trusty blue and white -- a silk blend. Years ago I got a DVF blush sweater in a similar print and fabric at the wonderful NAS I travelled to with Svetlana. I almost never wear this style of classic cardigan,  but I can wear it buttoned up as a top. And it will work with jeans, of course. Or as a topper for my navy shirtdress. 

I'm sure I'll wear the sweater enough to justify the price. The skirt, I'm not as certain of—but I thought it was worth a try. 

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Coat off! (ETA: Decision made and a few more pics).

Last of my NAS posts (for now, anyway!). 

Presenting the Open Edit oversized pea coat in navy! 

EDITED: Keeping the XS -- a few clearer pictures added. Sleeve turned up (maybe too much but it is hard to be accurate with that.) I will take it to Nordstrom's in Vancouver for alterations. 

First, let me say, this is a lovely quality for the price, which even in CAD is more than reasonable for coat of this kind. The fabric is soft and lightweight but does not seem prone to pills. In my opinion, it would not work for Ontario/ Quebec/ Prairie winters unless layered over sweaters and jackets -- or, at least it would not work for someone spending much time outdoors. As a car coat, it could do well, and it would also work well in the late fall (November), early winter/ very early spring temperatures there. 

For my climate (PNW) it could work throughout much of the cold season, layered in the colder temps.

As I mentioned before, I have never met a pea coat I did not like and I've worn different iterations of them for decades, from strictly tailored to vastly oversized. 

This one is in between -- a somewhat oversized cut. I got it in two sizes to try and I'm undecided. Alas, it's going to be really hard for you to see the differences in these photos (I did my best to lighten them) so I'll also try to describe the pluses and minuses as I see them. I'm wearing it with my light Zella sweater here, but both jackets would go over heavier sweaters if I wanted to wear them that way.  

ETA: The jackets are exactly the same measured length. The Xs is wider in the body and longer in the sleeve only. BOTH also layer over a blazerl. 

PICS 1-3.  In the XXS, it fits less oversized. I could almost get away without shortening the sleeves, I think (though I would probably shorten). My concern -- it just fits on the hip. At the moment, the vent is sewn shut which makes it snugger than it would be when properly opened, but I also worry it might not have quite enough room on the bum area (a common issue for me). Also, it may not be achieving its full architectural effect in this size. The flap pockets seem more noticeable (because it is snugger in that area). So, I don't know. 

PICS 4-7. In the XS it is much larger and I would definitely need to alter the sleeves. It is a lot looser in the front body (to the point where a lot of air might get in) and it's looser also in the hip area, but even there, you can see in the side view that with the vent sewn shut there is a wee bump out. I do think that would settle if I snipped the thread. In person, it definitely reads as oversized, but maybe even verges on "too big." 

PICS 8-9.  My existing navy pea coat -- a consignment find by Canadian firm Judith and Charles. This is a super high quality boiled wool coat that is going into its fifth year in my closet; who knows how long it lived in its previous owner's!  It's a more classic cut than the Open Edit, with a different style of collar. It's also size up from my usual coat size and you can see, a little, that the shoulder line is a bit extended on me as a result; in practice that hasn't bothered me because it is very forgiving for layering and also, because of the fabric, it tends to relax down when it is off the hanger and on the warm body. :) I love wearing this coat because the wool is so lightweight and warm and it repels light rain. NOTE: it looks black in my photo but it also an ink navy, almost identical to the Open Edit in colour. 

At the moment, I am torn! I really like the Open Edit but wonder if it is sufficiently different from the other coat and/or if it is fitting well enough in either size to justify the purchase when I already have a somewhat similar coat in the closet. The price of the Open Edit is very reasonable but I would likely have to add the cost of altering the sleeves, although perhaps I could take it to Nordstrom's in Vancouver to have that job done. 

Would love thoughts and opinions and ideas. Thank you! 

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Bra report

I typically use the sale to stock up on bras and undies because I'm a not-easily-available size in Canada and can get good prices during the sale. 

This year I wanted to branch out from my standard Natori Feathers. The Feathers is a great bra for someone like me with small-to-medium slightly wide spaced breasts, but it does fit small and you do have to size up in the cups, or at least I always have. Lately, though, I've been getting annoying spillage even with the larger cup. I'm trying a cup size up from that to see if that solves the problem but those have not arrived and in the meantime I wanted to test a few other styles.

I also ordered a few others. The Cherry Blossom was a no-go; it fit even smaller than the Feathers on me.  I'm also returning the bralette; it just felt too puffy overall and I didn't like the pink. 

The Bliss Perfection fits in my normal Natori size  (i.e. one cup size up from what I might order from a different brand) -- the cup size is adequate, but I do worry that back elastic might stretch out quicker than typical since it is very soft -- that's also what makes it very comfortable, of course. I also tried the sister size (a band size up and a cup size down). It is far too loose in the band, and the back rides up, so it is going back. Note: some reviewers complain the bra is "noisy." This has not been my experience. I think they used plastic hardware one year and that caused problems. The hardware on this version is metal. 

I'm also trying the Rose Dream. This one does fit in the sister size (a much easier size to find...). The elastic is more substantial on the back panel so I think it will hold up for a while, at least. But it gets some very mixed reviews. People say the cups "curl" after washing. It's very comfortable out of the bag, and I'm tempted to order another, but I think I will wait to see if it holds up before doing so. 

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A keeper and a maybe

I have now received most of my NAS items, apart from a few bras and undies still in delivery. 

I'll do a separate post about those and about the Open Edit jacket I also ordered. For now, here is a keeper and a maybe! 

Trust Angie! She tipped me off about this Zella top that I would never otherwise  have considered, especially after reading the reviews which described it as unbearably itchy and like grandma's bathrobe or bedspread. I do not find the first to be true (it's not itchy at all on me), but I definitely see the justice of the second remark; it's made of an odd poly jacquard fabric that is a bit like your grandma's bathrobe or bedspread. But you know what? I kind of love it for that reason! I remember my mother used to nod approvingly at how "lightweight" that material felt, and guess what? Mum was right. Also, it's a  really fun, architectural cut. I love a batwing. I can see myself throwing this on all the time both at home for semi-lounge and out in the world as part of regular outfits.  Shown here quickly with my stovepipe jeans, bonus stovepipe coming out of the top of my head, ha! 

You've seen the earrings -- they were already keepers, but I wanted to try them with a high necked top to see if they work, and they do -- no interference. 

The Franco Sarto loafers in navy are the maybe. I kind of love them. Like the earrings they feel both refined and chunky, somehow. Navy footwear is a wardrobe essential and also a bit of a HEWI for me, and at the moment, I own precisely NO transitional footwear that is not a sneaker. (Boots or sandals only apart from one indoor flat). So a shoe like this could fill a genuine need. 

The problem is that I have a lot of trouble fitting loafers or really any flat that does not have a strap or laces. These fit me better than most. They have some nice padding inside. They are not too heavy. Without socks they do not flip off my feet (though they would eventually give me blisters, no question). With socks or stockings, they will, alas, be harder to keep on. Please don't tell me to use those heel grips -- I have never had luck with them. They also rub a bit on my left ankle bone but I imagine that would soften up in time; it's already better after a few minutes of indoor wear. 

I'm mulling on this one. They give me a lot of pleasure to look at, and the price is right on sale, but shoes that aren't comfortable or practical are never a bargain. 

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First order arrived: Jenny Bird earring

My first orders have arrived -- a few bras that I need to send back due to sizing, and the Jenny Bird earrings, which I'm keeping. They are a nice, chunky but not overpowering drop earring for me and will be an "everyday" earring. I tend to wear one or two pairs (usually a chunky stud) to the exclusion of almost anything else for my regular days, especially in winter. (In summer I switch up the earrings more often.) These ones are not too long to wear if I am also wearing a scarf, so they are useful. 

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Sale in Canada

I can't shop yet, but could look through the preview today. As usual, compared to the offerings in the US, the sale up here is dismal. A lot of black without the other colour options and a lot of items flat out not available. In women's clothing there are 711 items vs. 2164 items in the US sale. It's understandable -- economies of scale -- but also disappointing. Unfortunately, when they opened in Canada they made it so you can no longer shop with your US card at the US stores so I don't have one any more and can't order from there. 

I should be able to get some underwear (a definite NEED this year) but I won't expect anything else, except maybe a pair of La Canadienne boots, since the price is excellent and I know I will get good use from those.  I'll use the US sale to get an idea of what is trending or what I might like to try out later in the season if versions become available from other retailers up here. 

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Not oversized

So, I loved the oversize blazer trend back in the 80s but as I mentioned in the comments, it did not love me back. I'd need to take more care with the details were I to try it again -- but I'd be willing, assuming opportunities for leaving the house! I will keep my eyes peeled in the fall. 

Still, overall, I prefer my regular and cropped or shrunken  blazers. In the blog comments, I noticed a lot of members saying they don't wear blazers as much any more. I understand that -- I don't wear them at home, so during the height of the pandemic they languished in my closet. And of course I wear them less in hot weather than in cool weather. 

And yet...blazers are part of my fashion DNA and I crave them! Even in summer. And where I live, nights cool down enough as a rule that toppers are required for at least part of the day, even in high summer. 

My consignment find Paul Smith cropped blazer was a huge hit for me a couple of seasons ago and I still wear and love it. 

But I wanted to report on a new purchase -- a regular sized Sandwich linen / stretch linen blazer that turned out to be the star of my recent trip to Ontario. 

Photos are not great, and for that I apologize -- the light!  But it's linen with stretch linen panels on the sleeves and in back so it is as comfortable as a sweater, not quite as wrinkly as linen can sometimes get, and a really great summer topper. They say it is "light olive" but I would call the colour more a light sagey green -- it is a cool toned olive, in any case. It works well with denim, white, silver, dark pinks, burgundies, navy, even grey. 

I tend to wear my denim jackets much more often in summer than I wear my blazers but I'm still glad to have this fun new option. Thinking back, one of my oversized blazers in the 80s was in linen. Maybe this is my non-trendy response to the trend and my memories. 

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