R&B Dres arrived: Length question

My apologies for the darkness here; I'm helping my daughter get ready for camp and don't have time for a full photo shoot! :) 

My Dres arrived from Vancouver. Perfect size. Lighter weight and stretchier than my first pair by far but a really nice fit, so I am keeping -- even though they appear to have charged me full price for these. (I'm contacting the SA to see if we can get that sorted.) 

I didn't notice the wrinkling in the front that others spoke about. Or maybe I have a higher tolerance for that? 

These photos are so dark you can see nothing. My question is really about length. Predictably, they are way too long for me. Full length at their cuffed length. Here, I have rolled them up a bunch more times. 

How should I be hemming them? So that cuffed, they are sort of ankle length (as in the stock photo) -- ankle would show with V front booties but tall shaft booties would close the gap? 

In pic 3, one leg is shorter and the other "closes the gap." 

Or should leg show with the higher shaft bootie, too? Mind you, that would be a lot of horizontal lines on my short legs -- and less wearability in my climate, because no way I am wearing bare-leg jeans once it gets truly cold. 

I overexposed so they might be a bit more visible, but I know the quality of the photos is awful. Sorry. 


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Alternative to NAS Bag

So, I just saw this at J. Crew. Has anyone seen it in person? The price is a bit less than the sale price in CAD for the Minkoff and it might serve my needs better. 



BEST Booties EVER!!

I am not sure how this happened, but the Aquatalia booties, which were supposed to arrive to me from Vancouver or Calgary, or from Ottawa via one of those, arrived on my doorstep having come from Watertown, CT. I haven't even received a bill for these, so I have no idea what they are charging me. 

And here is proof positive that one woman's "meh" is another woman's "wow!!" Crazyone was not thrilled with these yesterday; she felt the suede was scratchy and they did not give her joy.

Meanwhile, I put these on and thought, I'm never taking them off! They're that comfy, stable, and a beautiful blue grey that will work with all my clothing. Ankle fit is perfect on me. 

Excuse the terrible unstyled dark photos. I was so excited I had to share right away! 


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Shopping the NAS: Highs and lows

At YLF we are all about high-low style. But we're also about the NAS!! 
And some of us have GREAT experiences with this sale, and some of us have disappointments. 

Most of us probably have a mix of experiences, and possibly different experiences in different years. 

In my first year on YLF I only watched the sale from afar. In my second year I ordered some items, but apart from some camisoles and some VC tube skirts, nothing really worked out. 

In my 3rd year I got serious and went across the border with the indomitable Sveta!! Wow, did we shop!! I came back with some beauties but returned some because they just weren't "me" -- and also left quite a few others in the change room because they didn't fit or didn't suit my life. 

Year 4, Kingston forum member Mona and I conspired to do a little cross border fun together at our "US addresses" (in a lumber supply store). Boy did we have fun trying on jeans in the dirty bathroom!! 

Year 5 I almost sat it out entirely due to grief. (My mother died in the first days of the presale.) But instead  I engaged in a bit of highly successful retail therapy. I actually returned about more than half of my order, but the items I kept were wonderful additions to my closet. 

This year, well, I got my gilet and what else matters? Seriously -- I have ordered a bunch more highly practical stuff that might or might not work, but I am happy with my main purchase. 

How about you? What have your sale highs and lows been -- this year, or in other years? 


2012 -- everything went back except the shoes and skirt. I still have the skirt. Donated the shoes in the spring. 

2013 -- to Michigan Sveta and I go!! Keepers in photo 2. Still have the booties. Finally sent the top and skirt on to Anne in Oz after 2 years' wear and still looking good. 

Photo 3 -- Tory Burch dress that I loved but did not keep -- had no call for it. 

Photo 4 -- Tahari jacket I also loved but had no use for. Note the skirt -- my NAS purchase from the previous year!! Also the sandals were an Angie Top Pick. 

Photo 5 -- our boxes. (Some of them.) 

2014 -- Photo 6  -- jacket and jeans acquired in a little road trip with Mona. :)

2015 -- the famous Vince dress (with the booties from 2013) and a cardigan also from the sale and the Franco Sarto booties (also available in this year's sale -- super comfy but a bit wide at the ankle, FWIW). 

2016 -- the Great Gilet!! 


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Unstuffed: Bag scale comparison

As requested, here are some pics of the Minkoff bag unstuffed and filled with my own stuff.  :) 

In the bag: Computer, phone, makeup case, glasses case, keys, journal or book, water bottle, wallet. This is my usual. 

It is another hot day here so I won't go as far as putting on full autumn regalia but I did manage to put on a jacket (as I'd usually carry it with at least that for outerwear) and also for one pic, a coat. 

For comparison, some of my other bags. The blue shopper is a good scale for me but doesn't fit the computer -- it's a summer time bag for going (literally) shopping!! And not much else. 

Colour block tote is what I carry in summer when I need the computer, or the navy Zara backpack, which barely fits the computer but does with a lot of wrangling. This is honestly my most used bag!! I could always get another one of these. :) Much cheaper.  

I used the Le Pliage a lot last fall and winter. I don't like how unstructured it is, though. 

Whether or not I look right with a big bag, I need a big bag. It's that simple. So the question is really what kind. 

Once again, the camera got confused by the Minkoff bag and went out of focus. It must be putting a spell on me.


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Minkoff bag

Now that we are sorted on the gilet, next up is the Minkoff bag. 

Apologies for the quality (or lack) of these photos. My camera went wonky when it saw this bag for some reason, but I think you can still grasp the scale, which is the main thing. 

First, my review. This bag is a lovely soft leather. I love the simplicity of the style, the lack of ostentation. It has inner pockets for phone, etc. The hardware is my preferred silver. The colour "port" is a beautiful purplish-toned burgundy. It would look good with my grey puffer, or my navy pea coat, or (I think) with my grey and black Danier cutaway coat,  (or my gilet, ha ha) but it won't go with my red winter coat. That's okay. It doesn't need to be one bag to rule them all. 

In general, I prefer a more structured bag. My best loved bag is a very structured shopper. But in reality I mostly carry larger totes and my backpack, because I need to carry my computer a lot and most shopper bags are just short of being large enough for that. 

This bag is as big as my totes and it holds my computer. But I feel like it just looks rather large on me. I wonder if I could find an alternative. With Danier sadly gone, my options are now much more limited. Were there any other sale bags that might meet my needs? 


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R&B Gilet: Input, please!

It's here, it's here, it's here!! 

And I need your help. 

FWIW, I would not call this "winter coat weight." Not for my climate. I would call it heavy indoor or light outdoor weight melton wool. It is plush and dense and non-drapey. 

It seems impractical -- although on reflection, maybe not. See below for options. 

It is crazy expensive. Having said that, I did the calculations and it is actually less than the straight 35% extra to the US sale price. In other words, it's a relative bargain in Canada. :) 

And I totally, totally, totally love it. 

But, should I keep it? 

These are less "stylings" than "throwing ons." It is, I kid you not, the stickiest day of the summer here, and also one of the few cloudy days, so the light is artificial and not its best. 

#1 and #2 ---  over denim shirt and jeans. 

#3 -- over a sleeveless turtleneck. 

#4 -- showing the space I have here. This is the 2. I am wondering if I should try the 0 after all? I suspect I am between sizes. 

#5 -- trying a higher contrast top.

#6 -- trying a higher contrast bottom. 

#7 -- greater love hath no woman -- trying it LAYERED with a top and cashmere sweater. See that sweat dripping from my brow? 

#8 -- with the Minkoff bag. Great bag but I fear the scale is wrong for me -- more on that later. 

#9 -- layered over a shirt, cashmere sweater and leather jacket. Yup, this thing can layer!! 

#10 -- with a sheath dress to try that idea. 

It is just below knee length on me, so midi. I don't know if it would need hemming. I would always wear a bit of a heel with it. 


  • Does it look like it belongs with me? 
  • Should I try the smaller size to compare? 
  • If I keep, should I shorten? 

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NAS maybes

So...is it my imagination, or do more of the items this year look like summer items? 

Like Tanya, I'm feeling underwhelmed so far, but I also know that Angie's picks can open my eyes to a whole realm of new possibilities. 

I was hoping to find a great coat (preferably a peacoat), a pair of silver or grey booties, a replacement for my Aquatalia motos, a couple of statement knits, and a patterned or bright jacket. 

Well, so far I'm not doing too well. ;) 

However, I do have some items (below) under consideration. 

I've also been intrigued by the idea of a casual knit dress. I have a navy cotton knit sleeveless that I sometimes wear "jumper" style over a top so the fact that an item is sleeveless is not necessarily a dealbreaker (although, again...could they make a few dresses with sleeves for winter, please?) 

I think the higher end knit dresses are really overkill for me -- I don't wear a dress often enough to make them a smart purchase. But one of the less expensive ones, or the EF, which would be cross seasonal, might make sense. 

I'm a sucker for sleeveless turtlenecks and find them weirdly useful layering items. So I am debating a couple, both high and low end. 

The Veronica Beard jacket intrigues me, but I need to hear from Angie about it. Ultimately, I think it wouldn't get enough wear in my climate to justify the price. 

Also looking at a bag. 

I was hoping for a few pops of colour but that is another disappointing feature of the sale, so far, for me, and I hope it doesn't bode ill for things to come. 


Pattern & Contrast: Silver Transition Part 4

Thank you all for being so tolerant of my forum bombing today. I'm getting this done now so we can all focus on NAS!! 

So -- to begin: Imogen Lamport has a really interesting series on her blog about value and colour contrast. This "real life examples" post lays it all out in very explicit terms.   

There's much to learn here and I encourage you to read if you are interested. There are several more posts in the series and whether you agree with her analysis or not, it's incredibly educational to read it. 

Anyway, I linked specifically to a woman whose colouring is rather similar to my new reality-- grey hair, blue eyes, neutral skin. 

Pre-transition, with dark blonde hair and fair skin and dark blue eyes, I was medium to light value contrast -- and medium colour contrast -- because my hair was less a neutral than a colour (yellowish). 

Now I take myself to be medium value contrast, and low colour contrast. Theoretically I should look best in medium contrast outfits that combine my best (medium to light) neutrals with one colour - probably a medium value colour. 

In reality, I think I now look good in higher contrast outfits. By which I mean outfits that are high contrast in themselves, and outfits that are high contrast to my mostly lighter colouring (e.g. "ink out" or navy). I think I also look pretty good in all light outfits esp. if they incorporate shine, and I look good in a light neutral or dark neutral paired with a medium toned neutral or colour. .

Outfits that were all medium toned and higher colour contrast used to look really great on me. Now, not so much. Medium to light toned blues used to be among my best colours -- now they are "okay" but not spectacular. A richer, brighter or deeper colour seems to look better most of the time. 

Also, the kinds of patterns that work has changed. 

I think the scale and shapes of my best patterns probably remains similar. 

But remember I said I prefer patterns with white or grey in them now? That's because they pick up the tones in my hair. If the pattern is navy and white or grey and white with one colour (esp. blue), it's picking up on all my own dominant tones, so it is going to feel harmonious on me. 

Meanwhile, patterns that are all colour (some that I used to love) suddenly feel like "too much" going on as well as too attention grabbing with my variegated hair colour that is pretty much neutral. 

I'm not sure this is making any sense, but here are two tops that I put in the holding zone after I went grey. 

I've brought them out again, and feel more accepting of them now that I have had some time to get used to the new colour. But I think I will probably pass them on after this year. Sad, because they were fabulous silk summer tops! 

Thank you so much for indulging me in this long series. I hope at least something here will prove useful to some of the rest of you. And anyone who has specific questions, feel free to ask. 


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Mo Better Blues: Silver style shift, part 3

As many of you know, I’m Queen Blue. A peek into my closet would reveal  blue, blue, blue and more blue. Traditionally, blue has been my colour and my neutral, my daywear and my nightwear. If there was one colour I could count on — and wear in any shade or tone — blue was it. 

Well, now that I have nearly blue hair, guess what? It’s not so simple.

Turns out I’m going to have to get pickier about which blues I invite home with me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not discarding anything that I currently own. But…well… some blues are better than others, it seems to me. Whereas before, they all seemed pretty great. 

I apologize for the quality of some of these “after” shots, which somehow blurred. I think you still get a sense of things, though. There is no styling going on with the shirt photos — I’m just showing the colours. 

Pics 1/2: A tale of two denims. 

3/4: Verging on violet...

5/6: A multitude of blues

7/8: Chambray

9/10: In the navy

11/12: Kitty print

13/14: Preppy stripe

I’d love to hear your favourites and thoughts.

My final instalment will be a short one on colour and pattern. Stay tuned! I might post today in advance of NAS frenzy.  (What? You have better things to do than analyze my colours? No way!) 


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