Which works better...and why?

I'm hoping you'll indulge me in a little analysis. This, by the way, is all in the service of my new year's goal about distilling the essence

Here you see two recent and very similar outfits. Both skirt, sweater, boots, and scarf. Both fairly monochromatic. 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell me: 

Which do you think works better for me...and why. 

Note, I'm not asking you to say which is the better outfit in some abstract sense. 

I have my thoughts and theories but I would like to hear yours first. 

Please vote for Team 1 (Yay) or Team 2 (Nay), and no sitting on the bench -- it is freezing cold there with none of Angie's delicious snacks. 

Thank you for your help!

ETA: Added a pic of #1 without scarf. Different footwear (different time of year) but it helps give a slightly different impression of how it actually looked if you put the two together.


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WIW: A Skirt for -22 (and Amy's scarf)

Okay. Shannon wins

But you know what they say. -20 in the damp air feels like -40 in Winnipeg's dry air. 

And it's -22 here today. 

Plus -- for once -- it is sunny! There's fresh snow, but the roads are plowed. Not only that, but I was going out in the CAR rather than on foot.

Which meant that my poor, neglected La Canadiennes, the well fitting dressy weatherproof boot that I sought for so long, and now, in this year of freakish snow and ice and bitter cold have managed to wear only three times, could finally get an outing.

Despite having a 3 inch heel, these boots are incredibly well balanced for my foot and they have a lot of grip -- they are, in fact, a true winter boot. But they're a city winter boot -- not a boot meant for plowing through mountains of uncleared snow.  Nor are they really up to negotiating serious ice or deep slush or for 40 minute walks in -20 temperatures. And that is the kind of winter we've had. 

Another neglected love -- my GAP sweater. I can only wear this with another turtleneck underneath it to stop me from itching. 

Also wearing my secret Santa Amy's sparkly scarf. Amy, if you are reading, I got a compliment on it today! 


Winter wild card: Orange pants (pic heavy)

Angie's peach, navy, and brown ensemble seems to have inspired more than one wild card.  Ingunn and I have been on a similar wavelength. 

I loved the idea of this ensemble. The only problem is that I look like death in all shades of orange and peach. The closest to peach I can come, I think, is the right blush or maybe a rosy beige. And I didn't own a single orange, peach, or coral item. 

Then I noticed the Sloan ankle pants on super discount at BR. I figured on me they would probably pass for full length. I have been unbelievably slow to jump on the coloured trousers trend --  so slow that I don't think you can call it a "trend" any more. Oh well. I figured it would be fun and easy to experiment with these. 

I got on Pinterest and found lots of inspiration. These are all winter or early spring looks (although I might not get away with pumps as I have tried to do in some.) I have further options for later spring looks. 

Some of these are straying away from the blue/ orange/ brown formula, but most do include either blue or brown in some variation. 

I have some thoughts about this experiment, but for now, I am curious -- do any of these work, to your eye? Do they look and feel like "me" to you? Which ones? And why? 

Oh! And can the pants pass as full length? 

Here's my Pinterest board of orange pants: http://www.pinterest.com/Backi.....spiration/


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WIW (inside): Classics and pastels

Can't go out in this today -- not without switching out the light booties for snow boots. And adding some more layers. BRRRRRRR!!! 

But here's my indoor outfit -- thanks for the inspiration, Angie! 


WIW: Grey, Lilac, Black

Welcome inspiration, Angie! Thank you! 

I must admit this is an INDOOR outfit today. I could not wear these trousers outside given our weather. But I have online meetings all afternoon, so it is fine for the purpose. And if I decide to go out, maybe I can wear #2, instead -- that's an outfit I put together earlier this year, flipping the colour scheme a bit. 

Theory, oh Theory -- why did you change your cut and fabrications? I love these Emery wide leg pants, so comfy, so soft, so easy. They almost feel like pajamas. So wearing them to work at home is absolutely fine. They may look black but they are actually charcoal grey. 

My "lilac" IRL is closer to radiant orchid. I do look good in deeper lilacs (not the super pale pastel versions, however). But this orchid is one of my best colours, period. You had better believe I will be on the lookout for items in this colour in the spring. 

Please excuse my squinting eye. My eyes are increasingly asymmetrical anyway, but also I have something wrong with my contact lens this morning. 

Black booties: Stuart Weitzman Step (my game changer wardrobe purchase last year. Still loving them. Whoot!)

Charcoal Trousers: Theory Emery

Snake print belt: Michael Kors

Orchid shirt: BR 

Grey sweater: Zara

Amethyst earrings (you can't see) and silver cuff. 


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WIW: Shamelessly riffing off Thistle

....and a few other holiday and post-holiday casual outfits. Nothing fancy. 

#1 was last week -- bookending, like Thistle, with the Munros and Amber Sun.
#2 was Christmas Eve.
#3 was casual Christmas Eve dinner at a friend's. 
#7 was for a reading at a bookstore last week
#9 is me and my daughter on New Year's Eve. It was SO COLD. My glove was off to untie my skate and my hand near froze in three minutes. 

Lots of repeats here of the same pieces. I am wearing the BR cream jeans and the Citizens of Humanity skinnies pretty commonly 


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What's the difference between frumptastic and feeling fab....

When you wear exactly the same formula? 

I remember about a year ago, Una commenting that before joining YLF she had a sort of fallback uniform or silhouette. After joining YLF, she experimented like a madwoman for a while...only to return to said formula! Except now, she was starting to feel fab. 

Deborah has made similar comments about her own experience. 

Well, guess what? Moi, aussi. 

Before YLF, I lived pretty much in a uniform of jeans with a sweater (often a turtleneck). And I felt frumpy. 

Now, I wear the same thing, and most days, I feel pretty fab. In fact, the closer I hew to this old favourite formula, the more likely I am to feel fab. 

So what is that about? 

On another thread I speculated that it was largely about finding updated and current versions of your personal "essentials," with plenty of attention to fit. 

But maybe there's more to it? What do you think? 

BR essential turtleneck in black

Citizens of Humanity Racer jeans in Patina

Zara booties

No name belt

Cuff gift of my brother in childhood


WIW: Blue + Denim, Skimming distressed skinnies

This post is a bit of a follow up to a few of yesterday's threads: Janet's, on the frustrations of calf and thigh sucking skinnies; Anna's, on a question of privilege; and Elizabeth's, in which she and several others mentioned that they don't care to wear blue with denim

Quite by coincidence as I threw my outfit together this morning I found myself reaching for my distressed skinnies along with a blue sweater! 

But these skinnies are not like today's skinnies. They are what BR called a "slouchy skinny" about five seasons ago...and I love them! Instead of sucking, they skim. They are not as loose as a boyfriend jean, but nowhere near as tight as a skinny. Whenever I wear them I feel both comfortable and effortlessly cool. It's the fluid fit, with tons of looseness in all the right places, yet an overall slender silhouette. Plus, they are full length! If anyone knows anything similar to these -- in ANY colour or wash -- please let me know so I can buy them. 

As for the distressing, I tend to agree with what Denise and Rae said -- fashion takes its inspirations everywhere. I hope I don't appear to be insulting anyone who could only afford someone else's ripped up jeans. Rather, I hope these look well lived in and well loved -- which, in truth, they are! 

The sweater is a new navy cashmere from Lord and Taylor. The fit is pretty classic fluid. The quality is not bad. 

And you see...I LIKE this blue with denim. Is my eye deluded? I have been thinking that I want to move towards more monochromatic looks in general this year, and for me, that will have to include blue with denim. Can I get away with that? 


K/R Theory Gabe B 2

Up for review, the Theory Gabe B 2 in "uniform" urban stretch. 

As many of you know, I'm trying to upgrade my jacket capsule this year. Also, a HEWI is a suit. I've tried the BR lightweight wool suit and the Theory Lanai and Testra pants to no avail. Have tried on others as well but rejected out of hand. 

First (1-4) the jacket, shown with a light top and black cigarette pants -- hoping you can see details. Unbuttoned, buttoned, back view, side view. 

Pic 5: Sleeves scrunched as I would generally wear. 

Then various potential stylings: 

  • With BF jeans and fluid knit (6, 7)
  • With skinny cream jeans. (Urban prince goes prep -- 8) 
  • With slouchy black trousers.
  • With slouchy trousers and a heavier sweater underneath
  • With a dress
  • With plaid skinnies and toned top
  • With a column of light.  
#14 is my attempt to show the back. Mr. Suz thinks that it buckles across the shoulder. Honestly, you can't see it at all in this picture. And I'm not sure it does buckle now that I have spent half an hour trying it on -- the fabric may have adjusted to me. I need to do some research -- would sizing up help with this issue? It actually feels like the right size, but I could be wrong. 

For me, the sleeves are a bit of an issue. I find them too long for an indoor jacket as is, but they are not long enough that it will be possible to alter them without a problem (due to buttonhole placement.) True, I usually wear them scrunched. But. 

Also, I have tried and failed with the pants that go with this jacket. Two separate styles in several sizes failed to fit or look good. Nordstrom reviews suggest that Theory changed the cut and/or the drape of this fabric is different -- I'm not the only one unhappy with how the pants look. 

So if I keep the jacket, it probably won't become part of a suit. And the search for a suit would still be on. 

This needs to be an absolute 10 or I won't keep. 

Thank you in advance for your thoughts! 


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WIW: Winter whiteout, holiday version

In line with Angie's blog post today, here's my Christmas Eve casual at-home ensemble. 

BR cream turtleneck
BR cream jeans
Michael Kors snake belt 
Munro Robyn  Cranberry
Necklace: gift from friend in China
Cuff: childhood gift from brother

I really enjoyed wearing this on Christmas eve. It felt festive despite being casual. I am surprised to find that this cream works on me. I'm so much better in cool colours. But optic white is a bit too stark for me on its own (though I love to layer with it.) Usually I choose a cool off white, more of a true winter white. But for some reason the cream seems to work quite well. 

Mind you, the lights are all artificial here. I've noticed a few comments from people lately saying they haven't taken photos because they have no natural light. Well -- if I tried to do it in natural light all the time, I'd fail miserably. I almost always use a flash (especially in winter) and then make some adjustments afterwards to aim for a more true representation of colours. 


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