Black and light blue

I liked this so much I had to try it. The light is awful and the outfit would look better with scrunched sleeves and these photos illustrate exactly why cropped flares are a NFE look on me (at least these ones) but oh well. I do love the colour combo! 

Don't have the Find for the scarf but it is the same pattern as the blouse. 

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WIW: Red!

Today's outfit, just by coincidence. :) 

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Another coincidence

I just happened to be wearing my own version of this today. Travel day, so lighting and locations not the best -- sorry! 

First the daytime outfit. My jacket is ink blue and I wore neutral booties and red scarf (Sandwich, no Find) -- but otherwise, I fit the formula exactly -- entirely by coincidence -- and what a great FFB outfit!! Honestly, before leaving this morning I was in one of those desperate -- what do I wear???? moods, trying on this, trying on that, pushing it all into the corner and feeling rushed and horrible. I put the jacket on and bingo! Instantly, I felt like a million bucks. Thank you, Reiss, and thank you, Angie and Vivian, and Greenjeans and Janet and Diana and Sveta, and Karie and Jjsloane and Isabel all the rest of you who urged me to spend more on this item of clothing than I'd ever spent on an item of clothing in my life -- it was totally, totally worth it. 

So, what did I do? Packed 2 more jackets for 3 days away, ha! :) 

Evening (another bathroom pic) in new blue jacquard J. Crew top. And Trouvé tux jacket and jeans again with different booties for a casual supper. Fun Sicilian restaurant -- Sicily pics in the background. 

Mr. Suz loves this J. Crew top on me. It's hard to see the pattern in the pic but it's a great "under a jacket" dressy top and will work nicely with the right skirt also. It's quite cut away in the shoulders so I will need one of those bra pinchers or a racer back bra to keep my straps better behaved in summer. 

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WSIW: Please help me pick!

Well, I'm not giving you much time. A half an hour. Yikes. It's been that kind of day. 

A bunch of options for my Bus. Casual event tonight. 

The good news: It is unseasonably warm. And the ground is (presently) dry. 

The bad news: It is supposed to rain later. 

1. Red pants, booties, gilet, blue top, red earrings. 
2. Same with one scarf. 
3. Same with another. 
4. Slim blue pants instead. 
5. Showing the coat problem -- gilet longer than trench. 
6. With blazer instead (obviating the coat problem.)
7. Red jacket and slim pants/ column of colour. 
8. Red jacket and culottes. 
9. Culottes, gilet, red earrings, red boots, blue top .

Which should I wear? 

Thank you!

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Business Casual - WSIW?

That's "What Should I Wear?" 

The Occasion: A reception celebrating exceptional graduate students and post-docs. (That's me, apparently.) 

Time: Cocktail hour (nibbles and drinks served)

Dress Code: Business casual

Situation: I will likely be walking (so what else is new?) and coming directly from my tutoring meeting about a mile away from the location. 

Weather: About 7 C, unseasonably warm, sun with possibility of showers. (Does this mean BOOTIES vs. BOOTS?? )   Whoooooooot!! :) :) :) 

Other notes: I am obviously one of the older grad students being honoured in this way and am likely to be confused with a professor (which is fine with me, since I'm that, too, but I don't want to discomfit any other grad students). I'm also one of the only (maybe the only) student honoured this way for a highly interdisciplinary arts-based project, so I feel the need to wave the flag for arts-based research in some visible way. In fact, this is the only reason I am going -- I want people to understand that artistic practice can be based in important research, and more, can itself represent significant research. 

So my question....what should I wear? I know, not denim. But what would be a good looking, not too stuffy, a bit creative looking....help appreciated! 

And yes, I'll do some playing and experimenting with ensembles. :) 

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More boots! Elodie Summit Review ETA Verdict at End.

As I continue to add to my BOOTS vs. booties capsule (duh, I think I finally understand the difference!) I was pleased to receive today for review the Elodie Summit in pewter. 

Apologies for the abysmal light and photos -- such is winter. 

However, I can tell you verbally that they are a delightful boot! 

Not styled -- I put on my burgundy Dres because they are cropped, allowing you to see a bit more. 

They are a roomy 37 -- I have plenty of space for my plantar fasciitis insert in these. There is some space around my ankle (it is easy to get on and off, contra some reviews); yet despite this, it looks quite streamlined on the foot and ankle, for a boot. 

(My feet and ankles, by the way, are what I would call "medium" volume. I have a high arch and instep but my foot is not at all broad or fleshy; my heels are very narrow and my forefoot is a regular B width.)  

They are extremely lightweight (important to someone who walks a lot) and "cushy" because of the platform. It raises me up off the ground (and the snow) quite nicely. There are treads (not lugs) so it is not great for true snow or ice, but should handle other disgusting weather very well. The addition of my PF insert increases the cushioning effect. There is also a lightly padded footbed -- not a lot of padding but more than a Blundstone. 

They have a chisel toe, so they are more refined in person that I imagined from the stock photo. 

The pewter is darker in person than in the stock photo, more a metallic charcoal tone. But still noticeably metallic. 

They are comfortable, albeit a bit on the loose side for me. I might need a thicker sock. 

They are not waterproof (although the sole is). I sprayed them. They'll be fine in light rain and in low puddles but not in a true downpour or deep water. 

They cost me an arm and a leg so I hope I enjoy them. I got them on a great sale...but the duty/ taxes amounted to $61!!! Sheesh!!! 

Still, if they work as I suspect they will work, they are going to be worth it. A fantastic Blundstone substitute/ upgrade for me. Not good for true snow, obviously -- but excellent in other kinds of yucky conditions, good to walk in, yet interesting enough to feel like part of an outfit rather than pure gear. 

Yay Angie for her metallic boot purchase that put me on the hunt!

PS my magpie gene is not completely satisfied and I still have space for more silver footwear. :) 

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Edit/ review/ refresh

I've identified a wardrobe hole. 

I need a couple of sleeveless tops, maybe lace, maybe patterned, something that is okay on its own but is also going to look great layered under a blazer or other jacket in transitional weather. Similar to what Viva wore in her recent presentation, but that's just one example of a style that might work. 

Three times in the past few weeks I reached in vain for such a thing. Why have I never noticed how much I needed it? Probably because we have so little transitional weather and maybe because I wasn't wearing my blazers quite as often for a few years?  Also, I had to retire a cream silk shell that used to serve this purpose due to staining. 

I have a couple of Everlane silk summer shells that theoretically could serve this purpose but the colours aren't quite right, I guess. 

I have this structured peplum knit from J. Crew and it is useful at times but the peplum falls in the wrong way for some jackets, plus the cream is not my best colour. 

Anyone have any suggestions? Best if I can order online in Canada since I'm unlikely to be able to shop in store any time soon. Unfortunately, that rules out WHBM because I don't think they deliver here. Otherwise the top below might work -- not that I know how this brand fits....

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Crave Report: Taos, that is.

Yay for Annagybe

She found me a new pair of boots to help ban winter boredom. 

The Taos Crave arrived. I apologize for the light; you can't really tell too much about how they look here, but I can tell you a little more to fill in the details. 

First, they are a true ink blue or dark navy, with silver hardware, and IRL they do not look black. This is a huge plus for me. I love many of the other colours also. But wasn't as sure I'd wear them regularly. 

I prefer a more refined style (which is how I get into trouble, since my lifestyle and climate are far from refined!). But for a rounded toe boot, once they're on the foot, I don't think they look too clunky. They have a lug sole, but it is surprisingly lightweight. Comfortable right out of the box, even on the calf, because the top is suede. 

I'm usually an EU 37 and that is what I ordered. They fit perfectly in length. They are too wide in the heels, but that is normal for me; I'll put a plantar fasciitis insert in there and that should hold me more stable. The fronts are also roomy, but not too wide on my foot. There's room for a thicker sock if I wish. The laces are long (for me -- when I adjust these for my leg without pants tucked, the top eyelet holes almost meet) -- but I used Angie's trick of tucking the laces in so I don't have to have a floppy bow, and it's nice to have that adjustability. For a woman with a thicker calf, there would be plenty of room. Plus, you can get the laces sorted and leave them if you want, because the boots zip on and off. 

I can tuck skinnies or slim pants into them or wear them out (one leg is showing one, one the other, not that you can really tell) and they also work (I think?) with a casual skirt. I didn't style them up -- just showed with what I'd been wearing and then threw on what was to hand. 

I've sprayed them with waterproofing -- they are not completely weatherproof, but given the sole, they should do me pretty well as long as we don't have true snow going on. And while they'r not my typical style, they will offer me a terrific change. I really like the stable, 2 inch heel -- it's my perfect heel height and makes a big difference to comfort. 

Thank you, Anna! 

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The Annual Get Real with Myself Footwear Rant

It's a YLF tradition!! I do it every year! And I am still struggling to learn the obvious! 

What what what is wrong with me? 

I know what is wrong with me. Constitutionally, I am a shoe lady. Mr. Suz refers to me as Imelda. I want all the pretty shoes! 

But here, my friends, for my own accountability and your amusement, is my reality...and -- should any be needed -- further evidence that for all my sensible talk of practicality, on some level I am still insisting on buying for my fantasy life and refusing to face facts! 

Here is the pattern of my days this year: 

Once a week: Walk 2 miles to work. Teach all morning. No office, no locker. No place to leave my coat, even, except the back of my chair. Walk back. Sometimes meet a friend for lunch on my way back. Sometimes go to another meeting on my way back.

2 or 3 additional days a week: Walk to library for research. Walk to campus (as student). Either for class or meetings. Again-- no office, no locker.

3 to 6 days a week: Go into town for errands or to meet friends, on foot. Walk in and out of stores, banks, restaurants, etc. on slushy, snowy, or wet streets. Coat stays on unless I am out for lunch or supper or a show; footwear stays on.

3 to 4 days a week: walk to gym. Coat / boots go in locker during gym. 

Every day: spend several hours to most of day working at home. 

Once every 6 weeks or so: Go to big city for day trip or overnight(s). Tend to dress less casually but footwear will need to be walkable. 

So...this is my reality.

From early-to-mid December (in a typical year) to the end of March or even mid-April (approximately 16 weeks) the weather is wet, icy, snowy, slushy, and often very cold:

I need functional but somewhat attractive, flat or block heeled waterproof insulated boots, with lug or at least rubber/ grippy soles. And slippers for indoors.

  • True snow boots like Uggs are too casual looking and too warm. (Though I own those boots and wear them for my regular walks and outdoor stuff and on truly stormy days.)
  • Non leather rain boots would make me sweat.
  • Most booties are not warm or protective enough and would get ruined.
How many of the right kind of boots do I currently own? 

  • 1 short pair
  • 2 knee high pair (one with a block heel, one flat). 

ALL BLACK (not a dominant neutral for me). So that is 3 pairs of footwear for approximately 112 days or almost 1/3 of the year. 

How many slippers? 

1 frustrating pair (because inside lining always gets bunched up.) 

From April to May (approximately 8 weeks), I need:

  • Booties.
  • Sneakers.
  • (very occasionally) a dressier pump.
Often, waterproof is best, because weather can be wet. A bootie that is weather proof will get the most wear, even if I own and love others.

How many booties and sneakers of this type do I own? 

2 (blue snakeskin, grey Aquatalia).
2 sneakers. 
1 dressier pump. 

From early-to-mid June until mid-to-late-September (approximately 14 to 16 weeks) I need, primarily:

  • Sandals or open heel or toe styles, or
  • (occasionally) sneakers, or
  • (even more occasionally) dressier pump style.
How many sandals of this type do I own? 

(Currently) 4, though 2 are on their way out due to wear/ comfort issues. 
2 sneakers. 
2 dressier pumps. 

From mid to late September until the mid-to-end of November or early December (approximately 10 weeks), I need:

  • Booties (mostly weatherproof because it can be rainy).
  • Flat casual boots without insulation.
  • (occasionally) a dressy closed pump.
How many of this type do I own? 

2 booties (see above)
0 flat casual boots without insulation.
1 dressier pump (see above). 

This adds up to about 14 pair of truly practical and usable shoes for all seasons, all 52 weeks --- not counting gear. 

How many other fancier, more delicate, dressier booties and shoes -- that is, virtually unwearable footwear -- do I own? 

  • At least 10. Probably more. I don't even want to look right now. 

Argh. More and more I think I need to buy stock in La Canadienne and Aquatalia. And just refuse to look at anything else. 

It's true that my summer season (sandal) is almost as long as my winter season. The "shoulder" seasons are (together) approximately the same length. But because they are rainy, even though in theory they would allow more delicate booties, in fact, with my lifestyle, those booties are rarely worn. 

Well, that's my observation for the day. Thanks for reading if you got this far. 

96 comments

WIW (and outfit lab): Vince dress!

So, we had warmer than usual weather today and I decided to wear the Vince dress to work. I teach, and walk about 2 miles to get to the site, and then walk back. . 

Guess what? It was very comfortable and pleasant to wear this way with tights or skinnies, a cashmere cardigan, and scarf. (And a puffer for outside, obviously!) Who knew? 

But comfort is one thing. Flattery's another. I did not feel flattered. I'm not even sure it was JFE. 

For whatever reason I do not feel that tunics look good on me. At all. I keep trying and trying them and then dismiss. Is it because my legs and especially my calves are relatively short? Because my rise is long? Because my legs overall are relatively muscular in comparison to my overall frame? I don't know. All I know is that ordinary tunics never, ever feel flattering. The only kind of tunics I can wear are asymmetrical -- and those, magically and mysteriously, do seem to work, proportionately. Oh-- and sometimes -- a trapeze style sleeveless with a short skirt and flats can work in summer. If proportions are right. 

A short dress is a slightly better look on me, I think, than a tunic -- but only slightly.  This AM I wore the Vince dress with merino tights and flat boots and it felt awfully short -- shorter than it feels with no tights! But I wasn't indecent, and the tights were super comfy and cozy.

This afternoon, I tried it with skinnies. Normally, I don't like wearing pants under dresses due to the bunching at the waist, but this was surprisingly okay. I also have side zip ponte pants that I could wear with it. 

I could also try kick crops. But it has to be a bit warmer for me to wear those. 

Anyway, I still think the proportions are a bit "off". I tried it with booties that have a small heel as well. Not that I could have worn those today, given the slush and ice I was combatting. Mid-calf or moto style boots might be better. But I don't happen to have any right now. 

So...I don't know. I am wondering if I should alter the dress. Make is shorter, or asymmetrical. I'm unlikely to wear it as dress but did enjoy the feel of it as a blouse/ top. And anybody who understands my aversion to regular tunics, help me understand....

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