What Embarrasses You More....

Yay: the "not right" items you keep bringing home with you, and then can't style or decide aren't right for your body type and then rarely or never wear....

OR Nay: the same old, same old boring items that you continually buy, again and again, even while wanting to branch out and have more fun with fashion? And the fact that you can't seem to break out of your style rut?

ETA: OR - even when an item deeply calls to you and feels like "you" to the core, you refuse to bring it home because it is too expensive and you feel you can't justify the cost.

And....whichever category you fall into, what is one SMALL thing you will do next time you go shopping to help to remedy this problem?

Note: this question arises from some conversations on threads of Shannon's about her flowered jeans: http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....me-realize

I'll go first. I am a "nay" shopper who traditionally has trouble breaking out of a rut. So the next time I go shopping I vow to try on one item that does not seem like "me."

My other problem is refusing to spend on items that absolutely DO feel like me...in a very deep way. Just ignoring that call. My recent SW booties were my attempt to address that particular shopping mistake.

Over to you!


Thanks and Epiphanies

Thank you so much to all who offered sympathy, support, and suggestions on my "sad holiday dressing" thread yesterday. You cheered me up and offered me a lot of wise counsel and gave me food for thought.

Everything went well (I'll post what I REALLY wore next week when I am home again).

I also came away with some epiphanies.

1. Something about Gaylene's explanation in combination with some of the things Linda (Milehighstyle) and Kellygirl were saying FINALLY made the penny drop on "capsule" dressing for holidays (and generally the dressier parts of my life). I think in the past I had tended to imagine that if I just bought a bunch of holiday-like pieces I "should" be able to mix and match them into my regular wardrobe. But it's not quite as simple as that: I need to think of all the potential types of occasion I might have and imagine outfits for each type. And buy what I need for that. AHEAD of time.

I think, even with Angie's guidance, years of sale and discount and thrift shopping have left me still shopping for *items* vs. capsules. Sure, I have a general idea of what aspect of my life I am buying and shopping for, but I don't go the extra step and think out the actual outfits I can make...I just vaguely tell myself, "That will go..." usually thinking of colours and forgetting proportion, etc. And then I am disappointed when I get it all home and it doesn't seem to work.

This is actually a HUGE revelation because I feel much better prepared for my next major shopping season. I'm going to be more methodical about it. What portion of my life is work-at-home? Huge, so obviously most of my clothes need to be casual. But I'm also going to list ALL the other parts of my life: appearances, visits to friends in the city, travel to other cities. And recognize and ALLOW MYSELF to shop for those parts of my life as well. Even if the clothing doesn't get worn as often, it is still important to have it.

(Yeah...duh....I know, but hey...)

2. Anna is right; I have been labouring under a certain style dysmorphia. I might look fine, but I'm not dressing close enough to my aspirational style, so I don't feel fine.

3. To dress to my aspirational style, I have to make a few key purchases that will get me there. I don't have to buy an entire new wardrobe all at once, but I need to come up with at least an outfit or two that seems to fit that style, and then ask myself what the common denominator is.

This was suggested to me earlier in the summer by some wise person and I did try to do it, but it's not as easy as it might seem. The problem is finding a way to mesh my aspirational style with my actual life as a work-at-home person. My life is very casual; my style is more urban. Yet I HAVE to be comfortable to work. Hence the struggle.

4. Quality matters a LOT to me. I would really rather have fewer, better things. BUT...at the same time, I am still scared of taking risks laying out lots of money on items that I don't know will work. SO...if I am going to spend big money, it should be on something that I absolutely know I will adore. (Like my new boots). I will spend less on more experimental purchases. (like my fuchsia knit jacket). Angie is right - high-low is the way to go. But I need to pick my highs very carefully.


Help me pick my outfit: Reading and dinner

Well, you can't say I didn't try. I spent all morning and half the evening shopping my closet and then asked my long-suffering daughter to take photos of what I thought were the best possibilities.

Warning: Pic heavy.

Possible laughs ahead.

First thing you should know is that the venue is one of those weird hip places that apparently looks like a complete dive, but serves good food. I'm not actually eating here; I'm going to give my reading, sit a while with the other readers, and then nip out early to go on to dinner with my friends at another restaurant. Nothing fancy.

Here are the contenders with some of my thoughts, but not judgements.

1. AJ suggested this combination and I thought I would try it out. Pros: cozy, fun, tonal outfit. Cons: a bit more body con than I might wish. A bit too much like my everyday style to feel special. But all in all, a great outfit for an at-home holiday event. (Thanks, AJ!!)

2. Another suggestion from AJ was that I take a leaf from one of Jonesy's outfits, so here is my attempt: denim shirt, pencil, Marcies, blingy stuff and clutch. Pros: comfortable and easy to wear. Cons: I am not sure.

3/4. Next up, same skirt with a navy silk shirt and sequinned tank layered over. Both done up at the collar and more open.

5. With my Theory moto pants. I don't like the proportion here. I could tuck the tank up a bit more, I guess, the way I did with the skirt (but not so much).

6. A wild card. Manidipa and Pil put in fuchsia requests so I threw on the silk jacket from the fuchsia suit and belted it.

7- 12: Angie and Krish copies. BB shirt, lace overblouse. With the pants or the skirt. I am not at ALL pleased with the side view with those Marcies. All in all, I feel as if I REALLY have a need for a dressier, heeled black or dark grey bootie. Big wardrobe hole. Could potentially fill it tomorrow afternoon in Toronto.

In 11/12 I try with different footwear. Husband and daughter laughed at the idea of the leopard pumps. I do have some very dark burgundy patent ones I could wear but I feel a bit uncomfortable wearing them in a "dive."

15. Joy's suggestion - the copper skirt. My daughter says I look like a leaf bag in this...or a pile of compost. Hubs says it is a dumb outfit because the top and skirt do not go together. I say I am not wearing it to this event because I would be too cold; the skirt is thin and unlined and my coat options with this outfit are nil. So it's out of the running.

That, my friends, is it! Please let me know which of these is best or if I should go back to the drawing board again. I have an hour ot two in the morning before we leave.

Thank you so much for your helpful ideas!!


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Yet another wardrobe essentials list

On the heels of Claire's fascinating 10 item wardrobe thread, I have been doing more sleuthing and more thinking. In my travels I came up with this link to an older Harper's Bazaar list that might be more do-able for some of us inclined in this direction, and at least seems a little less arbitrary in some ways....i.e. there are reasons why she specifies four jeans.

On balance I prefer Angie's highly personalized approach (after all, if you don't wear jeans, why the heck would you want 4 pair?) but this list is also more adaptable and flexible and in some ways realistic than most I have seen.

Would love your thoughts!



Green light on slouchy trousers: what footwear?

So I finally got a chance to show hubby the slouchy trousers. He likes them a lot and was not negatively impacted by the back view.

So I've finally decided for sure to keep them and am off to the alterationist to get them shortened!

But I'm not convinced that my Marcies are the right footwear for these, at least on me. They feel a bit clunky with the wedge and the laces sort of impede the fabric's drape. I feel I need a bit of a heel....I am all for long bodies and all that, but...um...you know...I am a bit self-conscious about the short legs.

Should I be looking for a heeled shootie/ bootie? What would work best?


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