Travel Capsule in Action (including culottes of controversy)

What can I say? I was having so much fun with the culottes of controversy that I popped them on before I left for my trip -- that's right -- wore them! And I've worn them now four times in a week! :) 

This is a family trip in Vancouver/ Victoria -- very rushed and packed with friend visits and family. So glorious to be out here away from the humidity. And my clothes are working really well for me. Ecco sneakers, CoH crops, old LLBean mariner (the trusty sweater that just won't quit), white jeans, and culottes are big winners. 

Added more Finds so you can see how it all works together. 


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Style Icon Challenge: Jean Seberg

First, apologies for hogging the forum. I am about to leave on a holiday today and wanted to get to this before the forum loses steam for the idea. 

Inasmuch as I could ever be said to have a style icon, Jean Seberg is it. Of course, she's much more relevant to my younger self. But even now, we have much in common. Similar body type, similar facial structure, similar colouring, and similar love of stripes, and cats!!  

Oh, and look how fabulous she looks in silver!

She died at 50 of a barbituate overdose (possibly brought on in part by grief over the death of her infant child, the rumours of an unkind press, and the pressures of government surveillance) but I like to think that if she'd lived, she would have cut her hair back to her signature pixie. She did wear it long for a while but it never suited her as well. (Picture 1) 

Something I learned about her in searching for images is that she would very likely have been a strong supporter of Black Lives Matter. She was on an FBI watch list because she made frequent donations to the NAACP and also the Black Panthers. 

There's a playful gamine freshness that I relate to in her style. She's often photographed in simple tees, pullovers, or button down shirts with ankle pants or shorts. She can also do lady-like elegance, but always with simplicity. Never much adornment; even her makeup was lighter than most women's for that time. 

I don't have to think to dress like her. Except for the neckerchief, which is a bit hot and fussy for today, and the cigarette (I tried, with a pencil, but can't capture the cool factor) and, um, the ARMOUR, I could and would and DO wear almost everything I've seen her wear. 

So. My tribute to Jean. Bonjour, Tristesse! 


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Selfie culottes

For those who wondered about camera angle affecting the look -- warning, these are no more "true" images than the others were. But they are more consistent with the photos we tend to see on the forum.  Sorry about the awful light. It is raining  at last so I can't complain. 

Anyway, if mentally mix yesterday's photos and these you sort of get a truer impression.  :)

Tags are OFF!! 



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Styling the controversial culottes. Long and pic heavy.

Yesterday I posted a few more items from NAS.

The Chelsea 28 denim culottes were a controversial item. Thank you so much for your honest responses. I saw what many of you saw, looking at those photos. Her thighs are bigger than her waist, my mum once said of me. And stubby legs., too. But hey, if you've got it, flaunt it, right?  ;)

In all seriousness, I am highly motivated to see if these can work, for these reasons:

  • Angie particularly encouraged me to try them after seeing them on several clients. 
  • I have a casual lifestyle and wear denim almost every day, so refreshing my denim capsule is the easiest and most practical way for me to refresh my style each autumn. 
  • They are surprisingly comfortable!! I am usually against stretch in jeans but in these, I actually like it. 
  • Plus, it's a hassle to return.   :) 

Greater love hath no woman for her wardrobe than to try on clothes on a stinking hot day. I apologize for the lighting. I did my best and over exposed a bunch, which does tend to make the distressing look more obvious. 

Herewith a few potential ways I might wear these if I keep. 

1/2  I bought this Land's End pullover for my late mother. I loved seeing it on her (she looked spectacular in it) and so I saved it after she died. (I have the cardigan, too, so it's a twinset.)  It's petite, so too short to wear with lower rise pants. I thought it might work here. 

3. Thrift store 60s brocade shell with the same Okalas.

4. Club Monaco split back tank and different Okalas. I tried to get a photo of the rear but it went all blurry; I guess I moved. 

5. Zara batwing silk/cotton sweater and Topshop Jolenes. 

6. For a cozy at-home day -- Zara slipper booties and J. Crew toile sweatshirt. 

7. Sailor style outfit for late spring -- J. Crew tee and Topshop sandals. 

8. With the gilet? Maybe too many things going on here. Not sure. Anyway, underneath is a slim fitting layering t-neck -- that type of top works easily with the culottes. 

9. Semi-tucked blouse and darker booties for fall. 

10. Trying with my Reiss jacket. 

11. Deep winter -- super heavy Theory woollen asymmetrical cropped sweater. You can't really get a sense of the asymmetry here, alas, but it's angled to one side. 

12. Pinned up about 1. 5 inches (to the end of the let down hem) with booties. This makes them much less wearable in my climate as a year round item. 

13. With the Jolenes, pinned. 

Are your opinions the same or different now that you have seen them styled? 

Also -- if I get these (and like them) I might also seek out a plainer dark wash wide leg pair of crops similar to the ones Angie sported today, or a pair of J. Crew Teddies, which seem to work extremely well on many body types. 

Thank you for reading and looking! 


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(Almost) Last of the NAS: Chelsea 28s, Halogen kick crops, Bobeau cardigan

My parcel from the US arrived and I have to say, it has been an incredible NAS for me. Between the higher end "thoroughbreds" and probable workhorses that I got from within Canada, and the basics and store-brand stuff that I got from the US, I have pretty much covered my wardrobe needs in many categories this fall. (That will teach me...I actually thought I wasn't going to find anything when I looked at the pre-sale offerings the first day they opened for viewing!!) 

I refreshed my underwear and activewear capsules. I really like the Zella top that I think Una also has.  I got the Zella live in leggings to try for gym/ runs. The Chantelle bra fits and I cut the tags but I wasn't loving it after a day of wear. I think my next bra purchase will be in-store. In the meantime, this will do in place of my old worn ones. 

I love the Halogen sleeveless scrunch neck and wish I got a few more. I also got the DKNY watch that Angie has. (Not on sale). I love it. I need to get some links removed from the band before I can wear. 

Up for review/ consideration (although I am inclined to keep unless someone tells me I am foolish): 

Chelsea 28 denim culotte, Halogen ankle crop, Bobeau cardigan. 

The Chelsea 28s are high waisted on me (to my belly button) and longer than on the model. They are stretchy. Usually I don't care for that in a jean, but in these I quite like the slight girdling effect. I think they make me look wider than I am and probably shorter than I am, although part of that is the camera angle. (My daughter had borrowed the tripod and didn't put it back the way I had it.)

They're super comfortable. I've semi-tucked the top in a few photos to show how high they come. I'm showing them with a few potential early fall and later fall footwear options -- cage sandals, Zara sock booties, my trusty Stuart Weitzman chelsea boots (one on one foot, one on another!) and the new Aquatalias. 

If I keep these -- -- are they too long? If I chop them, I lose the fun hem detail and much of the dramatic flare, and I might lose wearability as well, although if I could use with knee high boots, perhaps not. And how does one style them? With what would I wear them? (DUH, I know, go back and read some of Angie's blog posts. I will, I promise!!) 

Halogen kicks -- Oh beautiful travelling pant, where were you all the years I was travelling once per month? Sheesh, these are a brilliant fabric for the price!! Gorgeous quality!! Perfection for my winters. 

So. In my regular size they are on the snug side. Not too tight (I hope) although I would have liked to try a size up for comparison. (Should I try? It's a big hassle.) In these photos you see the difficulties of a short pant on short-legged me. They make me look shorter. So styling them in a tonal way will be helpful. If I keep. (Tell me if I should not). Again -- should I hem? If I do, they will definitely lose wearability in my winters. At this length they will work with a higher shaft bootie because they just barely "close the gap." 

Bobeau cardigan. I know that several of you were displeased with this piece but for my purposes it is perfection. I got it as a loungewear item, in lieu of a robe. And it is seriously cozy, a ridiculously flattering but not easy to find colour, and can even be worn in multiple ways (see example). I even like the raw edge detail. I am in love and almost wish I got another colour as well!! Paired with ponte pants or a soft sweatpant, this is going to be the foundation of my at-home work capsule in winter!! 

It's crazy hot today again so I didn't really make attempts to style. Please use your imaginations if you can. 

I have one final NAS reveal (and it's a biggie!!!) but that is going to have to wait until tomorrow. :) 

Would love your thoughts if you have time. Thank you.


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Share Your Thoroughbreds

Yes...the ideal may be to have a closet full of workhorses. But all work and no fun makes for a dull closet. 

Which items do you own that are NOT workhorses but more than make up for it in their Joy per Wear, or the "Happiness Factor"? 

A few of mine: 

  • Nicole Miller linen sheath dress -- special occasion. 
  • CM silk dress -- special occasion
  • Halogen striped skirt.
  • Long and Lean flared jeans. (Weather prevents frequent wear).
  • Imelda cream pointy toed booties bought in Israel with Shevia. (Again -- a weather issue, plus, the heel is a bit low for me.) 
  • Elie Tahari suit bought at the YLF meetup in Boston. (I wear the jacket a lot, but as a suit far less often). 
A few newer items that will probably (but not necessarily)  join their ranks: 

  • R&B gilet
  • BR sequinned culottes
In all cases, these items are dressier than my regular lifestyle allows -- and yet I do have occasions to wear them, and therefore, there was a need. I also make occasions to wear them, even at home -- often Mr. Suz and I will have Saturday supper on our own at home (sans kids), and I try to "dress up" for those evenings instead of just wearing my casual daytime clothes. (After cooking, that is!) 


Using girl math to expand your closet

Today it rained for the first time in months. (Seriously). So I stayed inside and did wardrobe maintenance. Yippee! 

I cleaned out and edited the Fall/ winter and spring/ summer closet. I set out boots for repair, jackets for cleaning, and pants for hemming. I went through the undies drawer, the sock basket, the scarf drawer, even the jewellery box!! It was impressive. 

And then I did a count. This time, I focussed only on counting F/W items. The fact is, like most people who live in an extreme four season climate and who don't live and work in an air conditioned environment, my wardrobe needs are almost completely different summer and winter. Meanwhile, apart from colours, spring and fall could be a single capsule of mid-weight items that are rarely worn in summer or winter!  

There is very little overlap, and what overlap there is, overlaps only partially. So, for instance, I do wear spring-weight cotton sweaters in early fall -- but by November retire them and bring out the cashmere on an almost one-for-one basis. The same is true for sleeveless tops vs. sleeved tops. I wear the former in summer and the latter in winter, and while the numbers are not exact, if you add in knit tops or tees (in both seasons) it's quite close. 

Which means that I have roughly the same amount to wear all year round, if that makes sense. And for F/W my total, including footwear, coats, dresses, skirts, trousers, toppers, denim, leggings and similar, culottes, shirts, blouses, and light knit tops, and pullovers but not including bags, scarves, undies, gear is...86 items?!?!?!??!?! ! 

Granted, I just edited out a few rarely worn pieces. But this list also includes some overlaps that aren't realistic, e.g. I am including all my coats, rain and puffer and wool, even though I would not wear my trench in the same months I wear the puffer, etc. 

How can this be??? I thought my wardrobe was so much bigger. 
Or is this just a bizarre species of girl math meant to help me add to my closet?  :)

In other news, I have a problem with tops. I have a lot of them but don't love a lot of them.Also, I lack colour!! I want to add more reds, plums, berries, and purples to my life.

1). My side of the closet. This is the spring/ summer stuff plus a few F/W items from NAS just added to the mix. Scarves and tights are in the boxes on the shelf. 

2). The footwear. Ditto above -- you can see new additions with the sandals. 

3). The gear/ sock/ undie section and denim. 

4)  The knit tops/ sweaters shelves, still a bit messy from my moving and counting. 


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Vince T-neck

The Vince t-neck in "espresso" (cough cough) arrived. This is the small. The sleeves are really long so I might need to alter. Neck and sleeves not at all tight on me. I could probably have gone with the x-small but better to be on the safe side where drape is concerned. 

It's sort of a bat-wing!! LOVE this style. Always have. I just threw it on over the tube skirt with the booties so you could see how close the "espresso" colours are. 

Keeping unless you tell me I'm an idiot. Worth every penny even at the CAD price. (Not $245 as previously quoted, more like $130 plus tax.) 


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Zara score: Winter indoor footwear! (and fun tee)

As someone who works from home, lives in a cold climate, and who rarely wears outdoor shoes in the house (particularly in winter) I wear slippers a lot. 

For a few years I've been wearing the Merrell fleecy clogs. They are very supportive, practical, probably good for my feet -- but they don't make me feel fashionable when I'm indoors. Also, in Canada, winter parties at people's homes often involve taking your snowboots off at the door and then....skulking around in socks all night. Which doesn't do wonders for the proportions of one's outfit. 

But look here! Zara had a solution. SOCK booties!! Sparkly silver sock booties, yet, that bookend my hair!!!!  And cost all of $49 CAD. Dear readers, I Could Not Resist. 

Resistance was equally futile for this pretty silver foiled tee. Unfortunately you can't really see the detail here. I'll try to get a better shot of it later on. It's really fab with my new hair. 

I also tried an oversized sweatshirt but I think that is going back; it's a bit too oversized to work well for me. 

Next on the indoor footwear agenda -- a fun pair of mules that I can slip on and off if desired inside. The booties will be great and they are relatively easy on easy off, but sometimes you just want to slide into something. 


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Check in- Canada

Hi, all -- and happy long weekend to the Canadians! Not sure you have a long weekend in the US as we do here? 

I wanted to update you all on the progress of my Canada-side NAS. I also hope that a few more of you check in to report again on your own! Smittie has showed us her beautiful items but it seems my appetite for NAS FAB is insatiable. ;) 

So, here was my method to shop the sale in Canada: 

  • Read Angie's blog post on how to shop the sale and composed a tentative list of items I needed/ was hoping for. 
  • Used my Nordstrom's card to access presale on the website in the US. 
  • Filled up a shopping cart with items under consideration. 
  • Checked with the forum and with Angie to see what looked most promising and get recommendations. 
  • Chose a few higher end items that were HEWIS or on my list plus one wildcard amazing special purchase (the gilet). 
  • Phoned Ottawa store before official sale to ask if they would be carrying these items. 
  • Ordered those they would be carrying, and asked sales associate to order the others from the Vancouver or Calgary store. 
  • Sales associate did so -- but two items arrived not at sale price. 
  • Spoke with sales associate -- she did an immediate price adjustment. 
I am still waiting on one item (espresso Vince t-neck) which yes -- IS on sale and is available in Canada in my size, apparently. They cancelled the order at first but then located the item later on when the SA hunted it down. 

In some ways, I'd say shopping in Canada by phone (at least with pre-sale visibility and Angie's and forum's help) has been easier and probably cheaper than doing the whole cross border thing. The customer service has been excellent, and I've received items that were already reading out of stock in the US. 

Prices were the CAD equivalent (or a bit LESS!!) than US sale prices. Of course I had to pay HST. But I did not pay extra duties, I did not have to travel for a couple of hours and try things on in a dirty lumber supply building, and I did not have to pay for delivery or returns. It came right to my door as promised. 

However, I only ordered my higher end choices this way. I have also ordered smaller items (bras, undies, denim culottes, etc.) through the US site online because I had some US only Nordstrom Notes to use up and I also felt it might get complicated trying to order from different departments when I don't have a pre-existing relationship with any sales associates at Nordstrom's in Ottawa. These items have not arrived yet but I should get them in a week or so. 

Do any of you know if the sales associates are working on commission? Does my SA get some commission for the order? If so, it really was a breeze for her -- I knew just what I wanted, gave her the order in a minute, and wrote back to say everything was fantastic and I was keeping it all. 

I'd love to hear your reports about how things have gone and how it compares to previous sales you may have shopped.