Best travel dress ever!

Sometimes the reviews turn out to be true. I really think this might be the best travel dress ever, and I got it for a ridiculously low price. Cheaper than in the US -- now that is something! When I bought, it was on sale for $59 CAN. 

I can wear it as a shift, without blousing it, and it's just about knee length. I can blouse it up, and while it's short, I don't think it is indecent. Or (on a different trip, not as hot) I could potentially wear it bloused even more, like a little tunic over slim shorts/ leggings.

It works with a denim jacket (not that I will need that, where I am going). It has pockets. It even has a zippered credit card pocket. It can be washed in the sink and it will not wrinkle. It has modest armholes so I won't feel exposed. 

I think this was a super practical and useful purchase and I love the colour! 

If anyone is going someplace hot or living someplace hot, I highly recommend. 


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WIW to the WritersFest launch

So apparently I missed the memo about the timing of this event; we got there and the nibbles and drinks had already happened. (And we were STARVING). I got all dolled up only to sit and listen to a reading. Then we scooted out during the Q&A to walk home in the rain and I hope I did not ruin my calf hair shoes. Grrrr. 

I don't get to wear this skirt very often, but oh, how I enjoy it when I do. Here is an example of a seldom worn item that is WELL worth it. First, the price was right. (On sale I paid something like $45, and it looks like more.) But even if the price had been higher, the happiness factor each time I wear it is huge. 

I also love this Club Monaco tank. I might even duplicate in white. It is really only good with high waisted items, but it works with this skirt, tube skirts, and a couple of higher waisted shorts/ jeans/ pants in my closet. I love the combination of simplicity with something "extra." 


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Kingston Mini-Meet: Lady Slippers

Mona and I managed to get together today! The weather was beautiful this morning, so we went for a lovely walk. And it is obvious that we are on the same style wavelength. Check this out: We are both wearing white bottoms and pastel tops. In fact, she was going to wear the very same J. Crew sweater, but changed her mind at the last minute.

No matter -- we are style twins anyway. 

Months ago, before her trip to India, I'd told her that I had a pair of shoes for her if she wanted them. These are the ill-fated Roz Hammerson slipper flats that several of you warned me I should not keep when I bought them and wasn't sure they would stay on my feet. Of course in my over-hopefulness, I kept them anyway. Well, I wore them a couple of times around the house, but they kept slipping off. Too late to return.


My only consolation is that Mona and I take a similar size and she has enjoyed a couple of other shoes that didn't quite work for me. 

Imagine my surprise when she came to the door wearing almost the exact same shoes!!! Hers are Steve Madden, and almost worn out. So mine are arriving at just the perfect moment!


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Alternatives to the skirt of controversy

So....I am going to return the skirt of controversy...not because it is controversial but because I fear it won't really earn its keep in my closet, alas. 

I would dearly love an alternative, both for the coming trip and for afterwards. I love my tube skirts, but I think they would be too hot in China, and sometimes a girl feels like a change. 

Here are a few options I'm considering. Please tell me what you think (esp. if you have seen in person) or if you have others in mind, let me know. 

1. The skirt ElizabethP has. Problem -- it is probably going to be too big for me (no XS) and it looks very high contrast. 

2. EF skirt Diana recommended. I like it and it is linen, and I have a Nordstrom's Reward to use up so the price would be less. might not get to me in time using Border Free. ARGH. 

3. Club Monaco Doanie -- silk and an unbelievable price. I am not usually a fan of handkerchief hems but it might be a fun summer addition. 

4. Club Monaco silk shorts. Kind of an interesting alternative, maybe? 

5. Zara culottes -- but they are viscose, which can be hot. 


Zara online issue finally resolved...sort of

A number of you might remember and oh ... over a month ago... I ordered a few items from

Normally I have had great results with them -- perfect and quick deliveries and no problems with returns. But I never got this box. 

And they were not exactly easy to deal with. In fact, it took until today for me to get it resolved. I cannot get the items, alas, because they are all sold out. But at least I will be getting a refund. 

And at least I can shop the sale now (if I choose) without feeling resentful and furious. Although to be honest, I'm a bit wary of that, given what happened. 

The items below were the ones I had hoped to try. Oh well. Better luck next time, I guess. 


The other stuff

I hope you'll excuse my sudden rash of posts. I wanted to show you the rest of my "loot" from the other day. 

Note, this is not a K/R post. (I figured one skirt of controversy could last us at least a week....what IS it with me and skirts, people? First the butt-vest, now this!!) ;) 

Whether or not anybody likes this stuff, I am keeping it -- tags are off. I have really good uses for all of it and that's that.

And here's why:  

July is both the hottest and wettest month in [Beijing] with temperatures reaching up to 40C (104 F) during the day accompanied with a moderate rainfall of 185 mm (7 inches). Thunderstorms are frequent along with sudden torrential rain. Due to the high temperatures and humidity, this city has ‘sauna' days towards the end of July (when it is so hot, excessive perspiration leads to soaking wet clothes)

Showing first, the little Loft dress. It is borderline too short for me, I know. Might look a bit "juvenile" in style, as Sveta warned. It is hardly the most figure flattering cut in the world. And it's black and white, not navy and white (which would be more flattering to me). But you know what? I do not care. It is an inexpensive, easy to throw on piece that can be washed in a sink and (might) dry overnight (depending on humidity levels). It won't wrinkle. That is that. 

I can't imagine I will ever need that jacket where I'm going, but you get the idea. 

Next, the gauze gingham shirt -- 100% cotton and very light. Also I have on the sneakers of controversy in that photo. Are they horrid? Again, I don't care. They are cool, lightweight, they breathe, and they will walk me along the Great Wall. 

Finally, the blue and white cotton tee, a semi-replacement for my beloved, damaged linen tee from J. Crew with the blue and white pattern. Oh, I love my summer blue and whites. This one is a total no-brainer for me and I'm lucky they had it in the store. (The Toronto Loft rarely has anything I want -- I've been trying for 3 years to use up a gift card!!) 


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Skirting the issue: K/R, plus Nickel & Suede

So, here is the skirt of controversy styled a few ways for your consideration. 

As you can see from my pics, it has a slit up one side and a short underskirt so it is not see through all the way up. It is extremely light and floaty. 

This skirt feels to me like an updated version of those floaty bias skirts or the Indian peasant skirts some of us wore in the 90s. It has a very "easy to wear" feel to it, and to be honest, if I worked in an office, this would be an absolute no brainer. I am just not sure I'll wear it enough in my casual life. 

FWIW, Mr. Suz likes it a lot. 

I am also trying out the FAB Nickel & Suede earrings/ cuffs that Lisa modelled and Inge introduced us to. These are brilliant because they are super lightweight. Perfect summer jewellery. I highly recommend them. I am going to be ordering more. I got cuffs in gold and white, and earrings in gold, silver, and white. 

ETA: these are all basically versions of tucked tops or loose tanks with the skirt, and various jackets as possible toppers. 6 is some pattern mixing, 7 shows Celia's taupe top (waving to Celia!), 14 is with a crisp white shirt for a bit of contrast (floaty and crisp). I do have a few more options in the closet. 

Because it is super light, it is most absolutely a summer skirt for my climate. No use in any other season. 


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So...I had an afternoon alone in the big city today on my way home from my mother's, as I had to apply for a travel Visa. (More on that later). 

You all know I avoided shopping for 5 months this winter. Bought a few pairs of footwear in March. Ordered a few items in May but most have gone back or never arrived. (Zara, I am looking at you, and I am not happy!!) 

Well, I am putting together a travel capsule for a hot, casual city trip with lots of walking. (More on that in another thread soon.) 

And I confess, I went a little nuts. 

Luckily, I can return any of this in a week when I head back to the city to pick up said Visa. But I have to say it has been fun and most will be super functional. Or would be, if I kept. 

Here's what I got. If it absolves me at all, I had a $50 gift card at Loft. 

I feel most guilty about the Club Monaco skirt because I am not sure it will get enough wear to justify the price. I am actually tempted to give it to my stepdaughter for her flamenco dance -- wouldn't it be great for that? 

The black tank is a basic-with-a-twist that I needed -- pricey but nicely made. Shorter in front. 


WIW: Gingham & white with earthy accents

When I made my comment in response to this morning's blog about not owning a summer-worthy gingham top, apparently I hadn't had any coffee. ;) 

Of course I have a gingham top! Sheesh! I love it! I now own 3 of these Thomas Mason J. Crew shirts and I adore them. 

Thanks for the inspiration, Angie. I am wearing this outfit to a celebratory family supper. It has been a week of communications snafus, lost cash, many, many little annoyances (including ongoing arguments with Zara about my never-delivered order) and too, too many details. (Ever have those weeks?) 

But -- on a happy note: My DD is one of two finalists in her age group in the Kingston WritersFest contest!! Judging was blind, by strangers who do not know me or her or our connection. So there was absolutely no nepotism involved. It is all on her own merit. She did not ask me for any help until she was ready to submit -- at which point I did a final check for her spelling and we brainstormed a bit about a title. I am so excited for her!! :)


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WIW: Distressed denim fancy and plain

Remember my ill fated J. Crew print tee with the blue-and-cream pattern? The one that got dyed lilac and blue in the wash? 

Well, I've kept it, and I do still wear it in its current colours. But it doesn't feel the same. The thrill is gone.

I considered an outright replacement (via eBay) but couldn't find one in my size. I'll keep hunting, but maybe it's not to be. 

Meanwhile, I discovered a silk blouse at Club Monaco that looked awfully similar. Bingo! Now I have an upgrade! Admittedly, being a dressier top, it doesn't fit exactly the same purpose, but I know from my love for the earlier tee that it will get a lot of wear, regardless. I wore it first out to drinks with a friend, dressing it down a bit with distressed denim.

This one is a crane print instead of hummingbirds. But the spirit is the same. 

Later, I changed for a walk. The Steve Madden sneakers are a revelation because they actually stay on my feet!! Miracle. I did have to buy a size down and suffered horrid blisters on my heels on the first wearing. But they're broken in now and they work! So excited. Leopard print is almost a bookender for me. 

Other than the shoes and bag, this outfit is all oldies. Ancient (pre YLF) slouchy skinnies from BR. Still love them, despite the fact that they are not so slouchy at the moment. (Ahem. Red wine and lack of exercise, I am looking at you.)  Ancient BR sweater, which has come in and out of the donate pile a number of times. It's past its prime and not pristine but I love how soft it feels. And Ms.Mary's magic scarf. 


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