In isolation...

Well, I finally succumbed to Covid.

The workshop I attended last week turned out to be a superspreader event.

I seem to be getting off with a light case (no doubt due to a recent bivalent booster) but my eyes are weepy, I'm a bit congested, I'm coughing a bit, and today I feel like I need a long nap.

Will be isolating for several more days at least.

I got these ON step hem faded and lightly distressed dad jeans for $27 primarily for my WFH wear. They are the same style as the baggy white jeans I also own. Super loose and super comfy. Echoing others in feeling zero tolerance for anything constricting right now. 

The sweater is from consignment. 


Not as simple, but same proportions

I'm on a short conference for work and by chance today wore a more busy version of outfit #1. This is actually a combo (cropped pants, long cardigan) that I've been wearing for at least four years and I still enjoy it. But wearing with loafers is new. 

My version includes a scarf and patterned socks because it's cold here! I will take the scarf off in a few hours. 

I prefer long cardigans to shorter ones but I do own several short ones, too, that I tend to wear as tops (as in the third outfit). 


My 3 style adjectives -- and new moniker?

Long and navel-gazey. Feel free to skip to the photos and questions. 

I've been thinking about this question since Sal's post. And maybe even before that, because for a while now I've been feeling that my style has been stagnating. Maybe the pandemic's to blame. I've hardly needed to wear real clothes at all for the past 2.5 years.  Consequently, I haven't bought much new, apart from some replacement essentials. Whatever the reason, my style's feeling stale, even stagnant --  and I could use some inspiration and direction. 

The 3 adjectives I've been using for a few years (modern, classic, playful) just aren't resonating for me. Not because my style is no longer modern, classic, or playful. It is modern, classic, and playful -- and always will be! Maybe that's the problem --- these adjectives are too obvious and possibly too general -- they don't give me any feeling of guidance or direction and they don't help me evolve.

I've always gravitated to a moniker more than adjectives, but my old moniker (urban prince) similarly feels off for my new lifestyle -- suburban/ outside a small city that I rarely spend time in/ mostly work from home. What's "urban" about this? And how can you be a "prince" when you are mostly hiking the trails or digging in the dirt? :)'s what I'm trying out now, based on favourite outfits over the past few years and some of the aspects of my current and aspirational style that give me enduring joy. 

Laid-back luminous garconne. 

Laid-back: this encapsulates the casual, pragmatic aspect of my style. I live in a suburb, my main modes of transportation are foot, bicycle, and public transit, I love to spend time outdoors hiking, and I mostly work from home, where my cat sheds fur all over me and could put holes in any hose I tried to wear. Meanwhile, and at any random moment in the day I might get up from my desk to tend to something in the garden or on the stove. 

By now it should be clear that my every day outfits can’t be too uptight, too "buttoned up," or too precious. Nor even as polished or structured as (in an ideal world) I might wish. 

No wonder denim plays a starring role in my closet (sometimes slightly  distressed but never ripped). Breathable knits (esp. in winter) or cotton/ linen shirts (in summer) are also key. I mostly choose washable fabrics (the only things I really dry clean are wool coats) and I prefer tailored clothes that have some ease. I also like fluid fits, and some oversized items. But I have to be judicious with the oversized clothing because I'm verging on petite and easily overwhelmed by too much volume and drape. Oversize plus structure is a winning combination. 

Footwear includes sneakers, boots, simple sandals, low heels. 

It’s easy to have “laid back” style when working from home — what’s much, much more difficult is incorporating the other two elements to create the juxtaposition I’m after. This is where I could use some inspiration or help. :)  It's a perennial problem, really -- but I feel it more acutely since I've moved to a suburb and social life often centres around hikes or walks. 

Luminous: since my hair turned grey in 2016, I’ve tried to make my silver pixie a feature, rather than a bug, of my style. I play up the colour with silver jewellery, silver hardware on bags, etc. silver footwear, and some silver clothing. I love the way silver contrasts with distressed denim and dark navy (key neutrals). (Some of my silver and sparkly items, in this collection.) 

But I need to remember that silver isn’t the only route to luminosity — shine (e.g. patent) can work, and so can white items, or even white incorporated into patterns. And my flattering colours (blue reds and berries) make my skin more luminous. 

Going forward, every outfit should include some element of “luminosity” as I’m defining it. Again, this is easy when I’m dressing up — much less easy when I’m working from home. 

Garconne: the garconne style hearkens back to the 1920s, one of my favourite fashion eras, and for me, it suggests so much of what I enjoy in my favourite outfits, and what I aspire to, both in my “out on the town” and more ordinary, every day style. In a way, garconne style as developed by Coco Chanel is the original "modern classic" style -- so many of the items and combinations that we now consider "classic" and even iconic originate in this era and get tweaked and reinterpreted for each generation. 

Words I associate with this style include androgyny — Suits, button down shirts, trousers, oxfords or loafers. But also dresses with movement, especially but not exclusively dropped waist styles, mostly just below the knee. These styles exude cheekiness and energy. 

Simplicity — but not exactly minimalism. Neutrals and solids or faux solids dominate but colour does appear and “gamine” patterns like stripes and tartans also play a role. Organic patterns (florals, paisley) in moderation, especially in dresses and evening clothes. 

There’s restrained drama in the tailoring, the fit of the structured pieces, the contrasts (either in colour or in texture) and simply in the juxtaposition between a female body and clothing items traditionally deemed "masculine." 

I'm probably forgetting something here. But this gives you the idea. 

What think you of "laid-back luminous garconne" for my adjectives and moniker? 

It’s easy for me to put together outfits that encompass these three adjectives when I’m in an urban environment, or when I’m out and about on the town. (Some examples below).

What’s harder — much, much harder!! — is to figure out how to do this at home. Curling up on the couch with my kitty, I just won’t wear structured pieces (apart from denim). And denim plus shirt or sweater often feels dull dull dull or (at best) preppy and too boyish/ masculine. 

Hiking in my suburban neighbourhood, I need practical clothes — gear, basically! — and while that is definitely a bit boyish, it’s less urban-influenced than I might wish. Sometimes it veers too preppy. (I like a certain amount of prep but it can also feel too juvenile on me at times or too twee.) Meanwhile, if I amp up the ease or femininity (soft cardigans, drape) that feels cozy but completely inauthentic on some level — almost costumed. 

Like Jenn, I’ve long dreamed of a work from home “uniform.” But I have yet to discover what it is. I’m curious to try a jumpsuit (or, more practically) a two piece jumpsuit lookalike. I wonder if that would give me what I want in my at home wear?

Ideas for how I can incorporate more "luminous" and "garconne" into my work from home (or hiking) outfits more than welcome!

The pics below are all "leaving the house" outfits....the question is how to find "at home" outfits that create the same feeling? 

Thanks for reading if you got this far, and thoughts or brand suggestions or suggestions of specific items to seek out most welcome. If your own style is cognate, tell me about your own winners! 


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Skin sandwiches, statement vest, surprising winners, and column of navy for Joy

Phew, that's a long title! 

Mr. Suz had medical appointments in Vancouver and I went over with him. I was also supposed to present at the WritersFest but ended up coming home early due to sick child and sick cat. C'est la vie -- it's actually nice to be home for a few days since I have to go away next week as well. 

We had two dinners out, one with friends, which was a real treat for us. I decided to wear a skin sandwich both nights, along with my fab Rag & Bone statement vest (waving to Angie), and new Franco Sarto loafers. 

First night: 
Wide leg crops, BR
Vest: Rag & Bone
Denim shirt: J. Crew
Scarf: H&M 
Shoes: Franco Sarto

The next night was cooler so I layered with merino and slim wool blend pants instead, but it's essentially the same outfit. I carried my pewter bag. 

Pants: Kit and Ace
Sweater: Lord & Taylor

Nothing here is new except the shoes.

Last photo so you can see the pattern mix. I'm sorry for the dark photo conditions. I've tried and tried to no avail to fix this. 

So. My questions and observations: 

1. Is it a "skin sandwich" in Amy's definition of the term -- or not?  Regardless, does it work to your eye? To my eye, it does. For sure on the first night, balanced with the scrunched sleeves. But I pushed up my sleeves the second night, too. :) 

2. I love love love love love this vest. It's my favourite statement item. It was pricey for me even on sale and I rarely get to wear it (never during the pandemic) but oh, how I adore it. I need to make more occasions for it. Full stop. 

3. These loafers are working surprisingly well. Yes, I did develop a bit of blistering despite my body glide and prophylactic bandaids. But I've also managed with some no show socks in them and have walked a fair bit. I'm really enjoying the option of transitional shoes that are not sneakers! And navy! And shine! 


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Quiet plaid and my discovery that it's time to buy more tartan!

Completely by chance I wore quiet plaid today. My fab Paul Green boots bought with Angie a few years ago at NAS. In a column of colour with second hand dress and ancient Pure Amici sweater.

I love plaid quiet AND loud and love to mix my plaids. But most of what is in the closet now is quite subdued. Maybe I need to change that soon!

On my phone so will add finds when on computer.

New haircut too.

ETA: Added my current tartan items -- clearly I need more!!

I do have a couple of "loud" plaid items -- the red pants and the scarf. Some might call the Rails shirt loud but the colours are so easy for me to wear that it feels quiet on me. 


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