What I'm Wearing: For Anna!

When Anna posted this link for me: http://www.manrepeller.com/201.....-suit.html

I just knew I had to try it out.

Admittedly, I can't wear this outdoors tonight. After supper I'm taking my daughter skating and to see the fireworks and I will have to bundle up.

But guess what? The Man Repeller's outfit didn't repel my man. He likes it! Except he wants to know why my shirt is undone.

Happy New Year, everyone - and thanks especially to Anna who is such a style inspiration and who has to work tonight.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: Slouchy snake - new Sam Edelmans

Thanks to forum member Claudia who spied these in my size on super sale, I got these *much* less expensively. Considering I have to send back the tall Born boots, these, at about half the price, are a steal. (ETA: How's that for girl math, eh? Never mind...it convinced the hubs!)

It was love at first sight. And Angie, thank you for helping me pick the correct size. 6.5 is just right and 7 would not have fit well at all.

I think I'm going to enjoy wearing these in warmer weather with bare legs. Believe it or not, they are a near nude for me with my pale skin!

Shannon, have you tried them yet with your portobello skirt? I think they look super with taupe!

Obviously these are going to be an indoor shoe for now, given our current weather. But I can't wait to put them through their paces elsewhere. I'm even tempted to order a pair in the putty -- even though I already *have* a pair of light taupe booties! (My Reports). The shape is nicely refined.


WIW: Gearing up again!

Woke up to more than a foot of snow here. Back to gear!


How Gear got me Here

All this talk of capsules (Unfrumped, here: http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....-a-capsule and ClearlyClaire, here: http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....apsulating) has made me remember/ realize that one impetus to my joining this group in the first place was a "capsule" experience I had in February, 2010.

Shortly after losing 35 pounds (and before I'd had much time to build a new wardrobe) I went on a writing retreat to Vermont.

I had no choice. I knew I needed clothing for the weather, so I had to buy some stuff. And because I planned to do a lot of outdoor activities I needed gear!

Biting the bullet (and grateful that it was sale time!) I bought a pile of things (more than I had bought myself in at least a decade at one time.) I mean snow boots, ski pants, a puffer vest, a wind shell, hats, mitts....we are talking GEAR, ladies, not high fashion.

But I bought it, and I took it with me, and I wore it.

And guess what?

This was the first time in my entire life -- a life of living in a cold climate, mind you -- where I actually felt properly prepared for the weather and for my daily activities. The first time in my life that I could recall when I didn't have to choke back a bit of panic or disappointment and frustration as I looked at my closet and tried to prepare for the day ahead.

As a result, I truly enjoyed the outdoor time. And every morning I felt great. I knew what to wear. I didn't get that awful panicky feeling. I had probably a 10 item capsule of regular clothes while I was there (all uber casual - jeans and Ts and sweaters) but that, too, served my purposes perfectly -- and again, it was an entirely new experience to feel happy with the clothes I had available to me to wear.

It was that experience of closet nirvana that made me realize, truly: CLOTHES MATTER. Not just in how they look, but in how they allow us to function in our lives.

It also made me realize that I couldn't just expect my dream wardrobe to happen; I'd have to put work and effort and money into it. It would be an investment.

Ultimately, I realize, I am seeking that kind of function and ease in my everyday wear...as well as in my occasion wear.

That is why Angie's PPP mantra rings so true for me.

Thank you so much, Angie, for always helping us to make sense of it all.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: No Slouch

So, yesterday winter arrived on cue with sleet and freezing rain and slush. And eventually a dusting of snow as the temperatures dropped. Naturally I had dozens of errands to run. My last stop was a local pub for a holiday drink with a few friends.

This was a job for skinnies and tall boots! I wore my Gap Really Skinny pants and broke out the Gap sweater, too.

The sweater performed brilliantly over a long sleeved T while I was outdoors. It was just right. But inside it was hot and itchy. I took it off when I got home. :-(

I am hoping a cold water wash will help. Not sorry I bought it anyway, because I have plenty of times when I need to be outdoors in a warm sweater. But next time I will wear something prettier underneath so I can disrobe in public without embarrassment. (My layering T was not for public eyes!)

Worn outside with my colour blocked Vince Camuto pea coat - love this coat! And my newsboy hat, which is a bit OLD hat, I know....and maybe not the best with the coat, but there was no way I was going to let my head get sopping wet in that weather. This kept me warm and dry.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW:Still Slouching Around

Now that these trousers are back from Wonder Woman East, it may be tough to get them off me.

Today's version with the Kookai sweater I got at my fave Toronto consignment place. And the amazing belt I got there, too - leather with snakeskin and a really cool buckle. I wlll have to take a closeup photo of it so you can see. It's just a lovely, quality item.

I don't know if the proportions are right with this jacket or not. What sort of a jacket does one wear with these slouchy pants? I tried my waxed cotton moto and it didn't look right to me for some reason.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: Slouchy Trousers at last

I finally got a chance to wear my new slouchy trousers and I LOVE them. Super comfortable. The fabric is so wonderfully drapey.

I am not sure the outfit was a success, however. The truth is, I didn't really wear the denim jacket for most of the day (I was too warm - out for lunch at a restaurant and then visiting a friend) so in reality, it was just the sweater. In the photos the cowl really seems to overwhelm but it didn't seem that way so much IRL. Hmmm. Anyway, I wore the sweater with a faux semi tuck.

I like the trousers better with these sleeker booties than with my Marcies.


WIWearing: For my Secret Santa

Sorry to be a forum hog this afternoon, and thank you to all who have replied on my sweater thread and outfit question thread. The Gap sweater came home with me in small. By the way, it itches less when it is looser fitting -- another reason to go with the larger size!

Here, for my Secret Santa, is my outfit for the party today. I am wearing my BR non-iron shirt (I'll try with a white shirt another day - loved that idea) and Bleulab jeans and my beloved Stuart Weitzman booties and my grey INC (thrifted) sequinned tunic.

I'm also wearing the cute zircon earrings that my Santa sent; how did Santa know I needed sparkly earrings??

Over top, my grey puffer (oh, I love this puffer coat) and my brand new cranberry red sparkly scarf, thanks to Santa!

Santa really knows me well; she knows I have a magpie gene and she knows that cranberry red is one of my very favourite colours.

I am so grateful because Santa has made it possible for me to feel festive. My planned holiday outfit fell through because the brocade jeans never arrived, but Santa came to my rescue!


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Keep or Exchange: The YLF Sweater in Grey

I had ordered two sizes to compare, but I only got one sweater. Is it the right size, and do you like the colour for me?

Hubs liked it, though worried that it might be awfully warm, and I find it a tiny bit scratchy even with a cami. Am wondering if the different colours have different softness levels.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


The Bay in 3 Acts: Thanks to Angie & YLF

I was really touched by Ornella's year-in-review post the other day. I love how she called out specific voices and threads that stood out for her. I love how she quoted the posts that especially resonated for her as she went about dressing and shopping.

I'm afraid my memory for specifics isn't as good as hers, so I can't do quite the same thing. Besides, there have been SO MANY rich and helpful threads on this forum in the past year that it would be next to impossible for me to pick and choose just a few. But I did want to do a little year -end recap for myself. And I also want to say thanks! Especially after some of my recent panicky "what do I wear?" posts, it makes sense to stop for a second and think about how far I have actually come.

So: herewith, my play in 3 acts.

Act One: 15 months ago, I had a few hours in Toronto on my own to go shopping. I had been a member of YLF for about 6 months at that point, and still had not done a lot of purchasing of new clothes (though I badly needed new things after having changed size and shape).

On that particular (much anticipated) day, I hoped to find a few core pieces for my new fall wardrobe. Instead, I wandered around the Bay, completely overwhelmed. I didn't know any of the brands, so had no idea what I was looking AT, and I didn't really have a sense of my own style preferences or even my needs, so I had no idea what I was looking FOR.

Eventually I retreated outside to Queen street, stopping in a couple of boutiques. I ended up buying an inexpensive skirt that turned out to be a wardrobe workhorse last year. So all was not lost. In fact, I gained a bit of trust in myself when this purchase worked out so well for me. Which was a big win.

But that aimless hour in the Bay was a sobering and slightly demoralizing experience. How could I not know how to shop?? Aren't all women supposed to understand how to shop? I USED to know how to shop. Didn't I? But I didn't anymore. Twenty years of neglecting fashion had brought me to that.

Act Two: 11 months ago, I was back in at the Toronto Bay, just in time for the post-holiday sales. I was still overwhelmed and flustered in the store, but this time I focused more intently on one department. As a result, I came away with my very first premium denim jeans. Also bought (on sale!!! ARGH!!!) a cardigan that turned out to be a poor purchase (the colour was different than I thought and I consigned it after wearing it twice -- I just didn't like it). But the jeans were winners. All in all, a big improvement.

Act 3: A few days ago, I was back at the Bay again, trying on suiting. The same area of the store that had overwhelmed me a year ago was now filled with brands I recognized and styles I could interpret. I could walk around looking at things without feeling panicked. I could easily dismiss certain areas, and give deeper attention to others. And at the end of the hour I could walk away without having bought anything, yet still feeling as if I had spent the hour very productively.

Surely that is due to the time I've spent on YLF. So thank you Angie, and thank you all, for helping to turn me into a more comfortable shopper, which is a crucial step towards feeling more confident in my style.

Pics: Ironically - half of what I'm wearing comes from the consignment stores or sales! But at least I am feeling a lot more conifdent about what I pick out there.

1. Theory wool crewneck with asymmetrical cables, bought at my favourite Toronto consignment store. Theory trousers (free for me at consignment). BR noniron fitted shirt. BR scarf. SW booties (yay!!!) Michael Kors reversible belt, suggested at one time by Jeneva.

2. Same with the addition of my bag, and my Vince Camuto pea coat, bought at WInners. Plus my suitcase. ;-)

Funny. This feels very classic and verging on the too corporate or conservative for me, and in some ways it's more of a work look (if I worked in an office) than it is a weekend look. Yet I knew my mother would like to see me dressed this way (I was on my way to her place) and something about the fits and the quality of the fabrics helped to bring it closer to modern classic than simple classic, at least in my imagination. And so where I might have felt boring in it, somehow I didn't. Or didn't care.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →