PPL on J. Crew Glen Plaid culottes (and bonus new booties)

My J. Crew glen plaid culottes came. Can you tell I plan to keep them? As Angie and others have said, they are beautifully made! Maybe not on the same level as Approprio's bespoke trousers, but so nicely finished and with such lovely drape. I think -- finally -- after three years of waiting -- these might be *my* culottes! 

(I do have two other culottes -- one denim higher waist, and one black sequin mid-rise -- but those have different purposes in the closet.) 

What I'm hoping for, from these -- an alternative to the ubiquitous skinnies and boots look that = winter fashion in my neck of the woods. If these work with tall boots and silk long johns, we are in business! :) 

These come right to my natural waist. They are obviously too long for short me. The question is, how high to hem them? 

And what footwear?  Can I wear booties (which shaft heights?) Tall boots? Any other types of footwear that could work in slightly warmer than deep winter weather? (The only thing that works here in deep winter is tall boots.) 

Please forgive lack of makeup.  

1-2) Full length. 

3-4). One leg pinned about the hem's wide (around 2 inches) and the other pinned about 3 inches higher. Do you think one length is better than another? 

5-6) Trying to get side views of both lengths but it was hard to do. 

7-8) With a tucked shirt and my knee high black boots. 

9-10) Trying different toppers.

11)  With an ancient (pre YLF!!) pair of Franco Sarto stretch square toed boots that I saved because they are waterproof and fit the ankle so well and are so comfy. Are they too dated? They have a slight flare heel but to toe is a slanted square, not the rounded square. 

12-15). New Ecco snakeskin booties! Hard to see here, I know, but super comfy and gorgeous!

I also tried the cropped blue sweater from J. Crew. It's now on sale for even less than I bought it so I might take or send it back and re-order at the new price. It's a very substantial merino that could be good in winter and a great colour with the pants. 


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Style Icon Challenge: Annie Lennox Part 2, The Pattern of My Life

Annie Lennox wore a suit on stage in the 80s to take possession of her power and to make a statement about equality. She generally wears pants in real life, too, because, she says, she's "just not a skirt and dress kind of girl." 

Hers is the kind of angular beauty that makes menswear downright feminine and alluring. Borrowing from the boys doesn't make her look like a man; it makes her look like a strong and independent woman who's comfortable in her own skin. 

Like Annie, I've always felt most at home and most "myself" in jeans, a jacket, and boots. So replicating her street style turned out to be a breeze for me. Besides jeans and trousers, she favours neutrals (ink, navy, black, white, grey and sometimes brown), jackets, booties, scarves, and in cooler weather, layers. (Check, check, check, check, and check.) She tends to go for geometric patterns -- stripe, gingham, plaid. (Check again). 

One difference -- in summer she has a kind of more feminine boho streak to her style, with puffy sleeves, embroidery, etc. Speaking frankly, I don't think the puffed sleeves etc. flatter her all that much, but I do think for her it's authentic, whereas for me it wouldn't be. So that's one place where we differ. 

Here are a few of my recreations. 

1 - 3). This was one of my favourite Annie outfits. I like the textural mix and the fun 70s vibe of the leather coat and the way the tin-can top bag adds texture and shine (and supports a worthy cause). It's a kind of softened hard-edge. I don't really have the pieces for this look, but I adapted it. My sweater fills in for the bag, and my mixed-media pea coat fills in for the other elements. 

4-5). A little gingham fun.

6-7) Peacoat and textural black and white scarf. 

8-9). Layers and scarf. 

10-11) Geometric blues.

12- 15) Annie's well-known for her support of HIV-AIDS and she often wears a graphic tee in solidarity. She also sometimes dresses it up with a jacket. Here I'm wearing a few tees advertising various communities I support: First, arts organizations (I volunteer for our writers' festival and often participate in others); next Ten Oaks Camp, the camp for LGBTQ youth that my daughter attended this year; and of course, the good old public library.  

Stay tuned for the final instalment: DIVA! 


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Style Icon Challenge: Annie Lennox Part 1: Who's That Girl?

When I came home in May with my new grey crop, my daughter exclaimed: You look like Annie Lennox

She wasn't the first in my life to make that comparison. 

And there's justice in it. I'm younger than Annie and (alas!) less tall and lanky -- but I think I could pass as her little sister. 

My ancestors all come from Scotland and the north of England. Who knows? Maybe we're even distant relatives. 

Either way, I've grown up with Annie. The Eurythmics were big when I was a teen and early 20-something and I loved Annie's edgy androgynous style from the start. I haunted Toronto's thrift stores for oversized black jackets, bought myself some crisp white shirts, tried on a tie, cropped and sometimes dyed my hair. Sadly, I can't find any photos from that period. But I did find one of my young self and one of Annie's teen self to compare. Who's that girl?  

(Hint -- I'm photo 2; Annie's photo 3). 

Annie and I have both matured since then. Annie still embraces androgynous style, but these days she's more elegant than tough. Here, a few initial recreations and interpretations. I had a little trouble getting the head in hand pose to work with no available surface. :) 

Stay tuned for the next instalment where I try on Annie's street style for size. 


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From Wild Card to Wardrobe Pet

...and other NAS-purchase musings...

It's finally been cool enough for me to wear a few more of my NAS beauties (though not, alas, my Vince turtleneck or my gilet -- those, I'll be wearing in the next weeks to a few planned events.) (The collection  is here: http://youlookfab.com/finds/co.....ction=3016)

So far, everything is working out brilliantly. I'm really happy with basics (undies and camis and socks and workout top and bras). You have already seen my love for the denim culottes. I wore my Halogen kick flares for a slightly casual dinner and they more than met my expectations. They're quite heavy-weight which will be welcome as temperatures dip. I've also had one chance to wear the Aquatalia booties, and they performed like a dream. My Dres came back from the seamstress and went into instant rotation -- these are a fabulous jean for me. 

I LOVE my new Soho watch (not NAS but purchased at the same time)-- it is replacing my old cuff which was all scratched and sadly not reparable. I haven't worn a watch in years, so this is a bit of a wild card and has become an instant workhorse. 

The biggest surprise? The Minkoff bag. You will remember that I was nervous about that one. It seemed to overwhelm my frame, I was used to and prefer structured bags, and so on. But this one reminded me of a much loved bag from my college days, so I thought it was worth the experiment. 

Lo and behold, I have fallen in love!

Before YLF I saw bags as strictly utilitarian and only ever carried one black one in winter or one straw one in summer (the same ratty one, for years on end). Since joining YLF I had moved on from that approach and I do have a smallish bag capsule -- but honestly? I like them for the way they add colour or offer bookending options to an outfit, and like them for function, but apart from that I'm not too interested in them. They are useful but don't inspire joy. And frankly, when I would hear women swoon over bags I didn't quite understand what the fuss was about. (Footwear heart flutters, now that is a different matter. But bags? Nah. They left me cold.) 

Now, I am tempted to donate all previous bags (except for evening clutches and my backpack and the useful Longchamp tote) in favour of this beauty! 

Minkoff Hobo, how do I love thee? Your rich port colour goes with almost everything in my closet. Your silver hardware echoes my hair and watch. Your wide strap is comfortable on my shoulder and the drop is perfect for me, allowing me to get easy access to transit card, phone, etc. Although I worried that everything would get lost inside you, that has not proved to be the case at all since I use little pouches for makeup etc. And you accept a tiny load (keys, phone, wallet, lipstick) as happily as a large load (all of the above plus laptop, chargers, sweater or scarf, water bottle, book, notebook, Kindle.) 

I literally do PET this bag throughout the day because the leather is so soft and the little fringes are nice to touch. 

Who knew that a soft unstructured bag would turn out to be my gateway to bag nirvana? 

Coming soon...a rather late K/R for another wild card item that you can see in my Collections if you are inclined....   :)


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Inspired by the capsule

I love leopard print with all shades of red and pink. 

I've been quiet here because I've hardly been around. Almost immediately after I returned from my recent family trip, I had to make another short emergency trip to spend some time with a friend in need. We went out for a meal, and inspired by the capsule, this is what I wore. 

This is a very NAS outfit -- skirt and cardigan from last year's NAS, bag from this year's. Speaking of which, that will get its own post soon. 


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