More London Capsule: Footwear, Pants, and Evening

So, apologies for forum hogging today; I won't get much time here for the rest of the week and it is a holiday in Ontario.

Silly me. I set up and took pics specifically to show you some footwear (among other things) and managed NOT to get my shoes in the pictures! But I think maybe you can see enough to get the idea.

First, however, a pair of pants up for consideration.

These would be a second pair of pants in addition to the slouchy black ones but INSTEAD of my distressed jeans or my black skinny moto style trousers. They are AT modified slouchy semi-jean style trousers. Linda (Milehighstyle) also owns these. I bought them a size up for a bit of slouch. They are, unfortunately, TOO SHORT (sigh) but I deal with that by toning booties to the trousers or (perhaps) by wearing pumps, although this would be a new thing for me.

Showing them with a lightweight cobalt sweater I could also bring. I love the colour but it is such a stupid sweater. Bags out something fierce -- but in cotton/modal blend it might be a good spring weight and it is such a happy colour. Obviously, they work with other stuff I am bringing as well.

Footwear: I got to worrying that I would need more options. So I am considering taking my old Franco Sarto stretch boots. With a square toe they are a bit dated looking. But they are also super comfy and rainproof. I am sorry you can't see the whole thing, but you can get the idea here. in photo 6. They are not great boots for tucking pants into, but they work with dresses and with looser pants over top of them.

I am also considering a pair of heeled pumps for nighttime. These are Ecco pumps, 5 years old, with a rubberized bottom and flexible sole. Plus they are patent, so rainproof. Sorry you can't really see them, but while they read "black" they are in fact a really dark burgundy.

Showing also some various "nighttime" theatre/ supper out options at various levels of formality, though none super formal, obviously. I doubt we will be dining with the Queen. :-)

Still to be decided -- do I need another topper (i.e. blazer) This taupe leather jacket will sure get a workout if I don't bring anything else! Then again, I might just buy something.

I also did a trial packing. Believe it or not, I can fit all of this, PLUS a foldable duffle bag (for my purchases) into a carry on. On the way home, I can just check a bag. :-)


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London Trip Capsule: Part 1 Pic Heavy

I finally got my tripod set up today and spent some time taking pics of my imagined trip outfits. And while I immediately ruled out some ideas just from looking at the pics (oh my goodness, I am SO glad I am doing my homework!!), I feel it's really coming together pretty well!

Unfortunately, for some reason, the flash wasn't working, so I had to adjust exposure in some of these to give you a better idea of the colours.

Here is what I'm working with so far; this might also suggest to you why I was a bit worried that my outfits were too wintery. We will be there March 18 to 25.

1- 4 Outfit 1: Travel outfit. It will likely be cold here in Canada when we leave, so I need to layer up. I'm wearing: New Ralph Lauren knit sheath (probably with a slip underneath), Theory turtleneck, navy hose, SW booties, Danier leather jacket, and Theory trench (courtesy BJ!!)

What do you think? My one concern is that the skirt is going to bag out on the plane. But I know from experience that a skimming dress is a wonder for travel. And no buckles or stuff to set off the alarms at security.

Also, is it okay to wear all these different navies together?

5/6 Possible outfit Day 2: I am imagining temperatures in the mid 50s (F) which would be usual, so that means a fair bit of layering. I'm going to do some more thinking and see how the pieces I'm planning to bring might work in slightly warmer temps -- mostly it would involve leaving off a layer and/or scarves, and switching to nude microfishnets from heavier hose. I show a few options below.

AT leopard print blouse, BR sweater, slouchy trousers, and either SE bootie or SW bootie. Trench. (My leather jacket can also be layered under the trench if needed.)

7/ 8 Possible outfit Day 3: Halogen seamed skirt (black) EF knit shirt, silk scarf from China, Danier leather jacket. Trench on top if needed.

9/10 Possible outfit Day 4: Striped top, slouchy trousers, Danier jacket, silk scarf.

11/ 12 Possible Day 5: Berry t-neck, Halogen skirt, scarf, Danier jacket. Or with AT navy silk shirt.

13-17 -- various mix and match possibilities for other options. Of course there are more.

Thanks for looking, and any suggestions you might have, I would love to hear!


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London Trip capsule: Slouchy skinnies?

I'm planning my London trip capsule. I'll be there with hubby for a week in mid-late March.

Originally I'd been planning to bring 1 dress, 1 skirt, 1 slouchy trouser (lightweight wool) and one skinny trouser (cotton blend - black moto style skinny trousers from Theory).

Now I am considering swapping the motos for my BR slouchy skinny jeans.

But I'm concerned that with their distressing and dropped crotch they are too ...too something for a woman of a certain age (ugh, I mean MY age) and perhaps for my activities, which will include shopping, restaurants, galleries, and theatre.

Thoughts on this?

I still plan to take a dress, a skirt, the slouchy wool trousers....


K/R: Blue sheath

So, the other day I got to musing that I should try to replace my fairly worn LBD with a Little Blue Dress before my trip.

Most of you wisely counselled me to wait.

But afterwards I just (cough) HAPPENED to notice this Ralph Lauren dress at the Bay. On sale.

In my defence, even if I hadn't noticed it, Glory would have alerted me to it. (It's all your fault, Glory!)

I haven't styled it -- just showing two sizes.

This is not the UR Little Blue Dress.

This is not even the replacement for my black jersey dress. It is quite different.

It is basically a sweater dress, and therein lie its virtues and its faults. But I find myself strangely attracted to it and need your thoughts. I guess the attraction is simply that it feels quite good on. Easy, know what I mean?

Pros: colour is great. Underarm and neckline good. Length good (on 5'4" me -- WHAT do taller women do??? This is NOT petite! ) Fabric feels nice - is a good weight for spring. (60% cotton, 40% modal). Washable. Feels "easy" to wear, so works well with my largely casual life. Packs without wrinkling. Can by layered under and over. Relatively inexpensive.

Cons: Will it bag out? The back is ribbed, which might help to prevent some bagging. But past experience with sweater dresses suggests that they tend to do this. Not a good thing.

Does not pack to as small a size as my black sheath.

Is it just TOO casual? Can I take it to dinner and the theatre? Is it a waste of money if I am still looking for a much better quality sheath (which I am)? Do I need it?

Note that I do already have a navy tube skirt in a midi length which I am planning to bring on the trip and I might not even bring this dress with me to London for that reason (but might bring the black instead).

However, apart from the worn black sheath I only own one other spring weather dress and that one is a bit difficult to wear as it has a somewhat demanding pattern -- so I might be consigning it or passing it along. (It was also donated to me by a friend so wasn't my choice in the first place).

Also, I have another small trip in May which will involve dinners out and theatre, plus my usual city jaunts, where I like to dress smart casual vs. casual.

#1,2,3 are the XS. It is a bit more body con and a fraction shorter. However, if the dress is going to stretch, that might be a non-issue. Hubs liked this size best at first but then wavered.

#4/5/6 is the S. It is looser fitting, almost as loose as my black dress. Hubs said that you could see extra fabric in front when I bent and moved, but he could also see why I might prefer it. Note that I wore it for a while yesterday, trying stuff on, so it might be more "adjusted" to my shape than the XS.

Would love your thoughts! Thank you!


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To buy or not to buy: the replacement sheath dress

Ingunn's thread on her wrap dress and then her follow up K/T on her sheath dress reminded me that my *own* FFB standby sheath dress has seen better days.

This dress! Here's a link to one way I wore it; there's a pic of a fancier wearing below.

It was donated by a friend when I was still far wear it. But after I lost weight it was one of the only things in my closet that fit, for months. Simple jersey, it has a nice drape and fits a little bit on the loose side.

The armholes were never a great fit; I believe my bustier friend may have stretched that area out a bit before she passed it along to me. But despite that, I wore it SO MANY TIMES in so many combinations across every single season for two full it any wonder that when I look at it today, I notice that it is getting a little sad?

I am technically on SYC until my trip. But I was planning, of course, to bring this dress on my trip and wear the heck out of it ( I do on every trip).

Do I really want to wear a substandard dress in one of the dressiest cities of the world?

So I got thinking that maybe it's time to replace. My dilemma: what to replace it with.

Here are some possibles contenders:

The selfsame dress, from Comrags.

Pros: known quantity, made in Canada.
Cons: might be a different fabric this time around (their jerseys vary in drape and some years are not as good as on the dress I have) and it will have to be hemmed. Will have to pay delivery on top of the dress itself. Sizing is by letter vs. number, so less specific. Black.

Shannon's sheath dress from BR: http://bananarepublic.gapcanad.....=230010003

Pros: Looks substantial, good price on sale, fun leather trim, free returns if it does not fit.
Cons: Black. V neck MAY be a con for me, depending. Might need shortening since no pettites available. May not fit, period, since petite is not available.

J Crew stretch wool shift dress in navy or grape:

Pros: Navy or a fun purple vs. black. Can order in petite and regular to compare. Nicer fabrication?
Cons: Possibly not as packable as jersey. Pricey (though I have a gift card to offset some of the cost). Also, i don't really know my size in J. Crew and might have to do some trying on/ returning, which with J. Crew costs (no free returns). May not be truly cross-seasonal in my climate --- tough to say.

J. Crew Emmaleigh dress in navy:

Ditto above is a bit different on this one as it has a defined waist.

I would love your thoughts.

Should I replace my dress before the trip, or just make do with the old one for the trip and wait? After all, most people will see me with my coat on during this's not as if the dress will be on prime view.

And are any of these serious contenders? Or do you have alternatives (that I can source in Canada.)

Note: I tried on a pile of great Calvin Klein dresses at the Bay last year....not a single one of them fit me properly. Problems were mainly that they were too big in the wrong places.


WIW: Waving to Kari & Celia

So, this is my first outing of this Cassis dress this year. I'm just not reaching for dresses. But this one is warm and cozy and I had been wanting to try it with the fuchsia jacket.

These Franco Sarto stretch boots are looking very dated with their square toe. But their two inch heel is comfortable and looks a little more dressy than my flat boots, and since the ink blue Borns did not work out for me, they were the best I could do on this cold night.

Wore to take my step-daughter out for dinner.


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WIW: Angie's Black, White, and Blue formula

Here's what i wore to go the the dentist...and Danier. ;-)

Ann Taylor military detailed jacket (a few years old now, but I still love it)
Brooks Brothers Non-iron shirt
Michael Kors belt
Gap Really Skinny pants
Sam Edelman Pettys.

I think I would have felt "unfinished" in this outfit a year ago. Buttoning the collar all the way helps. But is it "unfinished'? Does it need more? Oh, to go out I wore my VC colorblock pea coat (more black and blue) and my black textured tote from Danier.