August Challenge Part 3: Dresses, skirts, gingham, and July 4th

In the penultimate of my August challenge posts, here are some dresses and skirts! 

Most recently worn: Casual black (in my case, navy) summer (in my case transitional) dress. 

This Ralph Lauren cotton sweater dress doesn't get enough wear because it's an awkward weight for my climate -- too warm for summer and not warm enough for winter. It's good for spring (with a topper) or fall. But it was perfect for a cooler, cloudy afternoon at the AC mall. Later on I put on a jacket to go pick up my daughter from an event. 

This outfit feels so retro to me somehow. I don't know what era I am evoking here, but whatever it is, I liked wearing this. 

Next up, my attempt at a handkerchief hem dress with modern footwear. This was a bit tricky because I don't own a handkerchief hem dress and I forgot the modern footwear. Oh well. My version is a hi-low hem and older sandals. What the heck. 

I had a similar problem with the MOTG maxi skirt outfit. I don't do maxis. Ha! So my version is a midi-tube skirt. I got this charcoal VC skirt during NAS. 

Gingham! I did a few versions. The Loft top was an absolute workhorse for me this summer. I love the narrow V of the neckline and the dolman sleeve. 

I have two July 4th inspired outfits: one I wore on July 1st, and one more recently. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for the ensemble FAILS.  ;) 


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


August challenge: Part 2

Continuing on the neutrals theme, let's take a look at Cream, Black, and cognac (with variations thereof).

You might recall I already tried one version for our anniversary lunch.(Pic 4)  I'd also tried another version earlier with gingham (falling into the gingham shirt ensemble as well). (Pic 5).

I really enjoyed #1, which is also a version of  "Drapey top with ankle straps.) Cream has become white in this version, as with my two others -- although the white in the VC tube skirt is a softened white. Worn for at home "date night" with Mr. Suz. 

My most recent was worn to a meeting of my poetry group one night last week -- the air was a bit chilly, so I threw on my ink blazer (not black) and grabbed my navy knapsack. First outing of the NAS scarf and a new pair of cognac sandals. :) I love their retro vibe! 


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


August Challenge: Part 1

My August challenge was to catch up on some Angie ensembles and, in the process, to rescue a few orphans and (maybe) cheer myself up a bit. I also had to prepare a travel capsule, but that turned out to be easy. I brought almost the same items as I took on my China travel capsule. Apart from one rainy day, the weather was exceptionally hot and sunny during the entire trip, so this capsule was perfect.

On to the Angie ensembles. I'll break up the posts over a few days and try to avoid forum-hogging. :) 

The one I tried in multiple variations was light grey, white, animal print. I just love, love, love this ensemble. Mostly I tried it very casually, as you can see, for my work-from-home days and holidays, but I did have fun interpreting "animal print" to include my kitty print shirt. :) Wore that one to a meeting. (It also works as a cream/ black/ cognac ensemble). 

Shorts in the photo are olive, but the ones I am wearing in the photo are grey. I inherited both olive and grey versions from my daughter's donate bag last year and have found them terrific. 


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


Ink, chartreuse lite, and white

My August challenge has been to dress in a backlog of Angie ensembles (and rescue a few orphans in the process). August is nearly over, I've worn quite a few of the ensembles—and by pure chance, wore my own version of today's on Thursday for some shopping and a trip to the dentist.

Got completely unsolicited compliments from strangers, too -- both the outfit and the bag, and the combination of outfit and bag -- proving Angie's point about the cobalt here. 

Everything except the Nickel and Suede earrings is old here. J. Crew top and linen pants from last year, Sam Edelman sandals from 3 years ago, RL bag from 3 years ago. Different footwear would have updated it a bit more, but somehow I was feeling the silver and nude. 

Chartreuse and citron are both horrible colours on me, but wonderful colours with blue, so I do own a few patterned items with hit of them, this top included. I hope to pick up a chartreuse or citron bag next year. 


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


"Leggings" my way (thanks Gaylene)...and Suz does Deborah

So I ordered the Banana Republic side zip Sloan pant on Gaylene's recommendation. SCORE!! Got them for 50% off, too. 

First off, I went up a size compared to my usual BR size, and I'm glad I did. I don't think I'd have fit into them if I ordered my regular size, and as it is, they definitely feel like leggings to me. Sort of a woven legging, if that makes sense. They have less stretch than the usual Sloans. In fact, they're a heck of a lot like the Theory moto pants that I baby in order to preserve -- but cheaper. They are calf sucking, but I can get them on thanks to the ankle zips. 

Can they act as a kind of legging substitute, do you think? 

Next, see Suz do Deborah! A pale imitation, in more ways than one. But I found this Cynthia Rowley vest when I was at Winner's today shopping for my daughter, and oops! It landed in my cart. I love the cut. Once again, it can be worn funnel necked. It's not too voluminous but it has the wide spread collar. Covers the bum in back. A bit longer in front. 

Architectural drape vs. soft drape. My kind. :) 


Keep or exchange: CoH Arielles

Another NAS purchase that's puzzling me is these Arielle mid-rise jeans from CoH. 

My two favourite jeans ever are my Rag and Bone Dre slim BF jeans (almost all cotton) and my CoH Racer low rise jeans. I have worn the Racers more than 200 times in the year and a half since I bought them.(Yes - I counted. And for anyone who wonders why I pay for premium denim, there is your reason right there.)

Despite being in heavy rotation, they are still in pretty good shape, although my cat nicked them a bit with his claws at some point, so there are two teensy pulls on the calf. I know I'll get at least another season from them, but I am aware they may not last much longer than that. 

Meanwhile, if I have any complaint with Racers it is that as a true low rise jean they are just a tiny bit too low for me, since I'm long in the rise. Because of their clever design they work (no plumber butt -- the back rise is much longer) -- but they definitely make me appear to have a long torso, and I don't think they are super flattering to my rear, not that I actually see them from that perspective all that often. ;) 

In general, with my own particular proportions (short waist, longer rise, longer in the thigh, short calves) I tend to think a mid-rise jean works best, and it's also most comfortable for my longer rise as a rule.

All that is to say that when I saw what looked like a mid-rise version of these jeans on sale at NAS, I snapped them up. 

True Fit told me my size. I ignored that and sized up by one, because I did that for the Racers and it was the right decision -- I got a smooth, slim, not calf suckingly skinny fit -- a real jeans fit vs. a legging-like fit -- which is precisely what I wanted. 

Well, this time I am wondering if I should have listened to True Fit after all. These jeans fit, but they are stretchier and a bit less substantial than the Racers, and might bag out more. I wore them for about an hour without a belt in the house, and felt like I always had to yank back up any time I rose after sitting. 

I realize it's hard to see the details -- but do you think I should try to exchange for the size down? Anyone have experience with these particular jeans? Do they look okay to you? 


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


The long awaited Zara culottes: Thank Shevia

Remember I wanted to add some culottes to my wardrobe this summer? I tried on a few but none seemed just right. Finally I ordered a fun blue and white pair from Zara, but they never arrived. Some mess up with the UPS. 

I did (eventually) get my money back but by then, they were sold out of my size. And with my busy and emotionally draining summer I didn't really have time for any  more shopping until NAS. 

Imagine my surprise when I came home from my trip to visit my mother's remaining family members to find a package all the way from Israel!! Inside (courtesy the lovely and thoughtful Shevia) were the Zara culottes! 

These are a size up from my normal Zara size and they are a bit large in the waist. I think I could wear them like this (sort of on the high hip) but if I am correct they are meant to be higher waist. In the second photo I'm sort of hitching them up a bit. 

I haven't really tried to style them (I'm not sure quite how to style them, to tell you the truth) -- I just threw them on with something that wouldn't clash. 

Do you think I should adjust the waist and keep? And what about the length. Nipping the waist makes them a tiny bit shorter. 

And isn't Shevia the best???   :) :) :) 


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


NAS Eileen Fisher K/R: calling on Carter and Peri

I beg indulgence; I'm splitting my NAS posts up for ease of reading/ viewing, but I hope I don't seem to be bombing the forum all at once as a result. 

If you don't want to read to the end, just tell me do you like these grey knit pants? ;)

For those with the time to read further: After claiming I wasn't going to indulge at all, I had a GREAT NAS. Ha! Isn't that always the way? I got essentials like bras and jeans, I got special pieces like the Vince dress, I got fab upgrades of a few favourites, and I got some great accessories. (Thanks, Peri, Angie, Diana!)

In fact, between NAS and a bit of unexpected Club Monaco sale shopping, I may even have found a few "game-changers." ;) But more on that theory in another post. 

In the meantime, I could use some help with one decision. Most of the items I chose are obviously great (leopard scarf, Franco Sarto booties, burgundy sweater). I've decided on the Vince dress and it's a YAY.  

The item I'm not sure about is the Eileen Fisher knit pants. I'm showing with the Vince dress, and also with my grey oversize cashmere sweater from two years ago, J. Crew Collection. I lightened those shots in the hope you might be able to see better. 

Here I need to interrupt myself to apologize for the awful photo quality. I can try to get some better shots this afternoon if you like. My light is really lousy these days due to the sun's angle.

Pros: They are a lovely charcoal grey. They are soft and feel nice against the skin. Reviews state that the fabric is durable and doesn't bag out and washes well. So far, so good. One of my main goals this autumn is to increase the comfort and sophistication of my "at home" capsule -- I work from home and want to feel like I am wearing PJs but also be "put together." And I'm very, very tired of my fallback outfit consisting of jeans/ semi-tucked shirt/ semi-tucked pullover. (Actually, the word "tired" doesn't cover it; it is time for a real change -- but again, I'll elaborate on that in a separate post.) For now all you need to know is that this general type of item (e.g. a slim legging like pant) would fit in well with my current style goals. 

But--- can someone who loves these pants explain to me -- what makes these different from the double knit pants my mum might wear?  

And what makes them different than a very soft legging? (On me, they fit rather like leggings except at the bottom where the ankle is wider.)

Maybe they don't fit properly on me? I got xs which is what True Size recommended. They look like they look on the model and I don't think they would stay up if I had a larger size. In fact, I'm not sure they will stay up as it is -- I would need to wear them around the house a bit to be 100% sure. 

Am I having the same quibble as the quibble I had with the butt-vest?Maybe they are quite simply too soft for me to feel "myself" in them. Maybe I need something more structured? Like a structured ponte? I do like the fact that they don't make waistband bumps under knit tops; those dreaded lumps and bumps is one reason I can't bring myself to wear a knit top over jeans. 

Do they look okay? Or do they not? Thoughts? Experiences? Conjectures?

Thank you!! :)


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


Angie picks in burgundy; leopard scarf; Franco Sarto boots.

I just returned from my road trip to visit family and returned to a huge stack of boxes! Mr. Suz did his own US trip while I was gone and brought back some of the loot. Other boxes arrived courtesy of the delightful Karie (and another beautiful and generous Fabber, but more on that a little later in a separate, non NAS post). 

You already know about the Vince dress. I confess, I still haven't pressed it, and it's still wrinkled, but some of the wrinkles have relaxed, and anyway, I'm keeping it. So today I had some fun trying it in a few different ways. 

First, dressing it down a bit with last year's BR sweater, the Halogen leopard print scarf (thanks, Peri!!!), the Franco Sarto boots (that I never want to take off my feet), and the Eileen Fisher knit pants. (More on those in another post). 

Next, with the burgundy Pure Amici hoodie for a tonal look. The dress is a darker and slightly more purple burgundy; the sweater is exactly the cranberry red that looks best on me. Sorry the photos are such poor quality -- I had a lot of trouble with the light. 

Trying different footwear options. 

7,8, and 9 show how fun this sweater is. I can wear it in multiple ways. The hood can create a funnel neck, it can look almost like a cape, or I can be Little Red Riding Hood.  ;) 


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


NAS: Vince dress, or Suz's knee-baring experiment, continued

Yay, or nay? 

I was so excited to open this box, which arrived courtesy of the lovely Karie. (And SUPER fast). 

The dress is not yet pressed and is very wrinkled from the bag. Pressing will make the dress a fraction longer and it will fall more smoothly, but you get the idea -- size is perfect for me, but because I take a small size it is definitely knee-baring. Less short than on the model, but short for me, used to wearing midis. 

Note, like the CM dress it does not feel uncomfortably bare and passes the sit test -- I think hi-lo hems must help with this. But it is even shorter than the CM. So I wonder if I am risking age-inappropriateness. 

I could, of course, wear as a kind of tunic. But I would like to be able to wear as a dress. 

Would love your thoughts! Thank you!


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