You look like your edgier sister

I had to go to a friend's book launch last night. At 7:02 I noticed that the invitation read 7 pm, not 7:30, as I had erroneously supposed. And I wasn't dressed. Oops! 

Had to whip something together really fast and this was the result. I needed a bag big enough to carry a sweater for a post-launch patio outing. 

The launch was packed (yay for my friend!) and I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in the 5 weeks since my haircut. Got a ton of compliments of the "You look great," "Something's different..." "You look amazing," variety. One person told me I had that "Annie Lennox thing going on."

But the best?  "You look like your edgier sister!" 

Wearing an old Ann Taylor silk camp shirt (pre-YLF days!) and items below. 


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Silver hair: How did your style change?

Last summer I missed Una's great thread on transitioning to grey because it occurred during the time I was dealing with my mother's sudden fall. Luckily I found it again in connection with Angie's post on hair changes.  Thanks to all who shared! It was inspiring. 

Now I'm eager to hear: If you've elected to go grey, how has your style changed...or has it? And in what respects? 

Having taken the plunge and made a few preliminary discoveries, I am curious to hear others' experiences.  :) 

Tell me anything. Did your wardrobe change in colour? Did your pattern preferences change? How about about preferred kinds of outfits? Makeup changes? Jewellery? What surprised, delighted, frustrated, or bolstered you?


Breaking through the Budget Mindset

On Chris's "where to invest hi or low" thread, Runcarla made a comment that I thought might deserve its own conversation: 

"A quick look through my closet reveals nothing really 'high end' or expensive, and hardly anything a full price! How do I break through this mind set?"

She's is not talking about a person whose finances will not allow any "higher" end purchases. I don't think any of us would want to encourage profligate or irresponsible spending. She's describing the woman who could afford at least some mid-range or even higher end items -- but who persists in shopping as if she is still on a student or minimum wage budget. 

Ummm...that woman sounds familiar...

I'll bet there are others here as well. 

I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with this, mind you. Maybe fashion isn't your spending priority! Maybe you'd rather spend on savings, vacations, your sporting hobbies, donation to charity. (There are a lot of great ways to spend!) 

Or maybe you enjoy shopping thrift or consignment for the "thrill of the find" and it suits your style. 

Here's the thing, though. If you actually want to "elevate" your style and your style is not strongly vintage influenced, it is pretty hard to do it on a nothing-but-the-cheapest budget. 

Anyway...what are your thoughts on this? Has anyone found any tricks to break out of the "I don't really deserve nice things" rut?

I admit this has been a lifelong struggle for me. Pre-YLF I really didn't have much disposable income and I had hardly bought clothing at all for more than a decade. 

Even after I had a bit more money, though, I hesitated to spend it. And the first step was spending more on something that I unarguably needed and would use. In my case, that was a winter coat. I mean, I live in Canada, people. Winter coats don't really "date" very quickly. This is not something I was going to shove to the back of the closet and forget! Spending money on it seemed like a very low risk. 

As it happened, I ended up getting that "more expensive" coat on sale (after the fact, in a funny coincidence of events) and it wasn't all that expensive in the end. But the feeling of luxury it gave me enticed me to spend a bit more on a pair of jeans so I could experience their improved fit and feel. Then it was footwear -- another purchase that made sense in my environment -- and I chose a pair of iconic booties -- Chelsea boots, which for me are a kind of signature item, and therefore very low risk. 

So for what it is worth, that is my advice: if you'd like to treat yourself to a few higher end items (whatever "higher" means to you) then begin with items you'll certainly wear. Wardrobe "essentials." 

I have yet to learn how to spend on what I still consider "frills" like jewellery or even handbags. This is really, really hard for me and I need help on it. :) 


Big earrings: A (mostly) summer fling

Apologies for the poor quality of the photos; I was at a conference late last week and this past weekend and snapped a few pics that happen to relate to today's blog post. 

My most worn earrings are a small pair of silver studs. But I do enjoy big earrings if they are lightweight and I find I wear them especially in summer. I think it is because necklines are free of scarves, popped collars, and all the other tricks I use to keep warm and flatter my long-ish neck and small bust. It's also because a big earring can act as a "third piece" in a simple summer outfit where layers are out of the question. 

In #1 I'm wearing the Nickel and Suede earrings in white and I feel like they make the outfit. 

In #2 you can't see my small silver studs. I am wearing a necklace here as well (hidden by camera) and I always wear small studs if I am wearing a necklace. This is such a FFBO -- have been wearing it to similar events exactly as here for several years and always feel fab. 

#3 I'm back to the Nickel and Suede. This was a bit awkward as long as I had the jacket on, but for much of the day I was outside in the heat and the jacket was off, so on balance the earring seemed to help complete the outfit. 


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and double denim...

Also, taking a stand with my summer face. Wrinkles are moi. 


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Only thing missing is my canvas book bag...

So, the photo is awful but I at least I figured out a way to take it in our hall closet not-quite-full-length mirror, in the almost dark. :) 

Wore this today but did not actually go out in it. Feeling a wee bit self-conscious about the degree of preppiness. I am about to take it all off and go for a run in my gear. 

Having said that...RED is BEST!! Woke up way too early on too little sleep and put that scarf next to my face and almost didn't need makeup.  :)  This is a true red which wasn't perfect with my blonde hair but works great with the grey. My range of reds expands! :) 

And, in other news, I love this J. Crew it about a month ago and have worn it at least twice per week since then. It's beautiful quality cotton, with snaps at the sides and a vertical blue stripe down the side as well, slightly slouchy and oversized -- the perfect thing to throw on if the evenings or mornings are cooler. 


Hair, and there. Comparison photos.

The grey pixie is two weeks old now and I couldn't be more thrilled to have gone this route. Do I think the cut itself is perfect? Of course not, but I knew it wouldn't be. The instructions were simply: "Get rid of as much dye as possible," not "Give me the most flattering haircut I've ever had." Having said that, I actually love having a shorter pixie again. This one is a bit extreme for me, but I do feel like myself in this general type of cut. I'll be growing the bangs a bit and tweaking it to eliminate a cowlick, but I think I'll keep a dramatically short cut going forward for the next little while. I like where it seems to be taking me. 

Do I love the colour? Yes -- or I will, as soon as all this darned brass gets cut out of it. I'm feeling impatient for my pure natural colour. 

Do I feel older? NO. I guess superficially it might make people think I'm older but I think it is more flattering to my skin tone and therefore "youthening." 

But it is a change, and I'm learning that I need to make a few adaptations to my wardrobe. Not a huge overhaul but definitely some tweaks. Some things work now that would not work before -- and some things that were slam dunks before just look or feel "off." Drama is part of it, yes, but there are also other factors at play. I'll go into some more detail about that in future posts I hope. 

Reactions on the whole have been very positive apart from that one group of women I mentioned. 

I haven't managed to get a ton of photos, but I thought it might be fun to compare a few FFBO that I've worn now both with blonde hair and with grey(er) hair. These are a few of my "out to dinner" outfits from my weekend in Montreal, and also what I wore to teach on Saturday. It was a super hot weekend but the teaching room had AC so I needed my jacket for part of the day. 

I actually think all of these work perhaps even better with grey than with the blonde. You might or might not agree. 

Anyway, I hope this is helpful to anyone who might be thinking of making this transition to grey. I've been so inspired myself by several here on this forum including Shannon, Claire, Joy, Elizabeth P, Lantana, Caro, Sharan, Staysfit, DonnaF, Donna, and more (thank you!!!) that I figured I'd like to put myself on that illustrious list. :) 


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Outfit fail

Thus proving Angie's point about the need for length mirrors at home. I had to make some returns at the Bay. Thank goodness the store was pretty much empty. Catching a glimpse of myself I felt like my mother in the worst possible way. Is this what they call Chicos-tastic? 

Anyway, it's the opposite of the cool dramatic style suggested for me earlier this week. 

There are some things I could do with blonde hair that just don't work with grey. 

Onwards! :)


WIW and somehow managed to photograph!!

The good news. DD remembered to bring the camera home this weekend. YAY. 

The bad news...she has lost a part to the tripod. So I had to improvise with the camera and in our small house it is virtually impossible to find a place to set the thing where it will take an actual photo of my whole self. :( 

However, I managed to get an almost full shot and since I haven't really been able to post photos since December, that's cause for celebration. (For me, anyway. Probably not for you!) 

Anyway. A glimpse of the new hairdo with an actual outfit. 


Ahead of the trend

This is actually from last year...we were doing a decades challenge. I think this was one of my 60s new wave in France outfits...

I do in fact wear this scarf sometimes in just this combination.