Grey transition update

It was six weeks since my first "get rid of the dye" cut, so I went back yesterday for a trim and some much-needed thinning. We decided to keep it short for now, including the bangs, but my stylist left the sides a bit softer. Our thinking was that we'd get rid of as much blonde as possible this way, while preserving drama. Super short works for me for summer in particular. In the fall we can reconsider length and specifics of the style. Although I have to admit, I am really enjoying the ultra pixie, especially now in its softer form. 

These photos are awful Photobooth quickies but they do have the advantage of having been taken in the same spot. Pic 4 shows the first cut. 

Pics 1, 2, and 3 show the current look. My stylist said that all the blonde dye is gone now! So this is the colour I'll be living with for the next while. I am happy with it.   

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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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More thoughts on the new "do" and WIW: J. Crew silk skirt

I have lots to say about this change already and no doubt will have plenty more once I'm able to experiment a bit with a camera. DD still has ours at school and with no full length mirror at home, I am limited in what I can see, let alone what I can say with any authority! 

However, I did go shopping today simply to try different items on and compare, and I also photographed what I'm wearing. 

So far reactions to my hair have ranged from positive to...hmmm...not sure what to call it? Polite shock?

Mr. Suz, my daughter, my step-son, step daughter-in-law, and her daughter have given cut and colour a big thumbs up. This past weekend, I was working in Montreal and visiting family there. My stepson loyally said that I fit right in with the high fashion crowd of the city. Sure enough, on our first evening out, I saw two others in our restaurant wearing super short pixies! 

Friends have been less enthusiastic. I saw some for a birthday event yesterday and they ignored it at first and when I mentioned it, they politely said it looks good. 

I do think it's a little shorter than ideal, but it will grow, and of course I needed it that short to cut out as much of blonde as I could on the first go. There is still some "champagne" at the top. Sides and back are much bluer grey with more charcoal and silvery white. I think I'll love the colour when it fully comes in. 

Meanwhile, to compensate for the shortness of the cut, I suspect it will be important to dress in a more feminine way for a while. Today's outfit incorporates a silk skirt from J. Crew. I have fully tucked the top. I know I'm a bit short waisted, last year when I tucked into a full skirt that I was trying a full skirt from Club Monaco several forum members pointed out that tucking wasn't my best look.  I hope it works in this case. The skirt goes to my true waist -- haven't had one of those for a while! 

These pics give some idea of my overall look now...I tried to adjust the colour to make up for the horrid store lights.

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First thoughts on new hair and a question

Thank you all again for the supportive comments about the new hair. It's liberating and feels right to have done this. I was ready for a big change. 

True, I am feeling a tiny bit over-shorn, but I know in two weeks it will feel fine, and if I get two more trims back to this length over the summer (a good time to wear it super short!) then all the remaining bits of gold will be gone and I can adjust the length to whatever is most flattering or fun.

So far, it appears to be charcoal at the roots, full of silvery highlights, and there are a few bright white patches. The overall impression is light, bright -- almost white. There is more value contrast between my eyes and my hair now. But I have less colour going on, overall. 

Onwards. I have been playing in my closet. No photos, alas, because DD still has the camera, but I'll try to get her to bring it home from school one day next week. 

In the meantime, suffice it to say that I'm going to have to let a few things go (no longer flattering) and I will also need to do a bit of shopping to fill some resulting wardrobe holes.  :)

I'll go into that in more detail when I'm able to post a few pics (because visuals are so helpful!). In the meantime, I do have a specific question. I will be in Montreal this weekend for a combined work/ mini-holiday and Mr. Suz and I are going out for a few nice meals -- which means I get to dress up. Yay! 

However, there is the issue of footwear. My dressiest shoes are probably my champagne Okalas. They are almost a nude on me, with a tiny bit of shine. You can see how well they worked with the old hair. 

But...um...with the new hair? Not so much. They are not dreadful but they're not the best, either. (Unlike my gold-toned jewellery, which used to work but which looks hideous on me now, sob...). 

Options are the silver Jolenes (more cohesive but somehow not as flattering with the hem length of this particular dress, or as dressy). I also have the pony hair (black and white) Okalas but those are a bit too much pattern with Dress #1. 

I may end up taking two different dresses (pics 2 and 3) which work with the pony Okalas, but just in case, do you think the champagne shoe will work okay with my new silvery head? 

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The long awaited Zara culottes: Thank Shevia

Remember I wanted to add some culottes to my wardrobe this summer? I tried on a few but none seemed just right. Finally I ordered a fun blue and white pair from Zara, but they never arrived. Some mess up with the UPS. 

I did (eventually) get my money back but by then, they were sold out of my size. And with my busy and emotionally draining summer I didn't really have time for any  more shopping until NAS. 

Imagine my surprise when I came home from my trip to visit my mother's remaining family members to find a package all the way from Israel!! Inside (courtesy the lovely and thoughtful Shevia) were the Zara culottes! 

These are a size up from my normal Zara size and they are a bit large in the waist. I think I could wear them like this (sort of on the high hip) but if I am correct they are meant to be higher waist. In the second photo I'm sort of hitching them up a bit. 

I haven't really tried to style them (I'm not sure quite how to style them, to tell you the truth) -- I just threw them on with something that wouldn't clash. 

Do you think I should adjust the waist and keep? And what about the length. Nipping the waist makes them a tiny bit shorter. 

And isn't Shevia the best???   :) :) :) 

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Kingston Mini-Meet: Lady Slippers

Mona and I managed to get together today! The weather was beautiful this morning, so we went for a lovely walk. And it is obvious that we are on the same style wavelength. Check this out: We are both wearing white bottoms and pastel tops. In fact, she was going to wear the very same J. Crew sweater, but changed her mind at the last minute.

No matter -- we are style twins anyway. 

Months ago, before her trip to India, I'd told her that I had a pair of shoes for her if she wanted them. These are the ill-fated Roz Hammerson slipper flats that several of you warned me I should not keep when I bought them and wasn't sure they would stay on my feet. Of course in my over-hopefulness, I kept them anyway. Well, I wore them a couple of times around the house, but they kept slipping off. Too late to return.

:(

My only consolation is that Mona and I take a similar size and she has enjoyed a couple of other shoes that didn't quite work for me. 

Imagine my surprise when she came to the door wearing almost the exact same shoes!!! Hers are Steve Madden, and almost worn out. So mine are arriving at just the perfect moment!

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Who, me, platinum?

As some of you may recall, last year I considered letting the grey come in. I gave it a little over two months of growth. Then my hairdresser and I jointly decided I wasn't quite "ready" -- either psychologically or physically, in the sense that the hair wasn't coming in as grey overall as she had expected. 

Since then, I've continue to colour and highlight. I get highlights every three or four months, and root colour every 6 weeks or so, sometimes leaving it a bit longer between colours. Because my natural colour and the dye colours are not far off, and because my hair is short and textured, there's not a super obvious line of demarcation until I get quite a lot of growth. (The dye is a taupey-ashy dark blonde, pretty close to my natural colour when I was younger.) 

I actually don't mind this upkeep. But at the same time, I do want a change, and I'm feeling psychologically ready to make the shift very soon. I don't plan to do it immediately, but would begin the transition next fall, after I give some presentations where I wouldn't want to be looking unkempt.. 

But in discussing this with my hairdresser yesterday, I realized that I do have some fears, and I was finally able to articulate what they are. 

Originally, my hairdresser had suggested that we simply stop the root colour and thread in some ashy highlights and possibly lowlights. This is the typical recommendation for blondes going grey and I'm sure it's the most "natural" seeming change. 

But for some reason, this really didn't appeal to me. 

I don't fear "being grey." (I actually look forward to that; based on how my brother, with similar colouring, is doing, I am pretty sure it will look good on me.) 

No. What is bugging me is the idea of the typical "soft blonde to soft grey" progression. I don't know how to describe it. I get this sense of fadedness. That is what is bothering me. 

Yesterday she made another suggestion that intrigued me -- bleaching the whole hair to a silvery platinum and then letting the natural colour grow in. I would have some obvious roots, but they would add depth to the platinum, and a bit of edge, and because I wear my hair short and textured (and it grows fast) it wouldn't be long before the platinum was gone, except in the form of highlights. 

I would love your thoughts on this idea. I find it really intriguing. Does it sound possible? 

ETA: I know there would be significant upkeep to platinum in the form of toners/ rinses/ shampoos, etc. but a lot of these are recommended for grey hair anyway so would be part of my longer term hair care budget. 

Some inspiration pics. 

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Does your approach to food mirror your approach to wardrobe building?

Over on Astrid's fascinating thread about minimalism (well worth a read), thimbelina made a point that really resonated for me: 

I think a lot of the current small 'capsule' wardrobe blogs & systems mimic North American food neuroses around purity, shame and, ironically, asceticism via consumerism. 

And it made me wonder, do our attitudes towards clothing and our wardrobes  more generally mirror our attitudes towards eating and nutrition? 

I think in my own case, it might be true. 

For example: 

  • I don't like counting calories; I prefer to estimate portion sizes. 
  • I don't really want to aim for a specific set number of items; I prefer to "guesstimate" my wardrobe size, based on my storage capacity (which is relatively small). 
  • I don't really like tracking what I eat, but I have done it for short periods in order to learn something specific about my habits and needs. 
  • I don't really enjoy counting my clothing or tracking CPW, but I am doing it now in order to learn something specific about my habits and needs. 
  • I like variety with some consistency, i.e. I love to eat lots of different veggies but I often eat them in the same or similar combinations and don't mind some repeats; I have FFB meals. 
  • Same is true in my wardrobe. 
  • I will spend extra for quality and even luxury if it is within my budget. 
  • Ditto for clothes. 
  • I tend to focus on nutritional "essentials" and don't pay much attention to trends.  
  • I tend to focus on wardrobe essentials. (Although I hope YLF helps me pay more attention to trends here.) 
  • I don't like "diets" that make me feel deprived. So ruling out foods is no good for me. I will only eat more of them. 
  • I don't like "shopping bans." They make me feel rebellious. And tempt me to shop more. 
  • I don't like an overflowing or stuffed fridge or pantry. I like to shop often for smaller amounts and use up a lot of what I have before going shopping again. 
  • I don't like an overflowing closet and prefer to edit out what I'm not wearing. 
  • I sometimes feel guilty if I have to discard spoiled food. I hate to feel wasteful. 
  • I sometimes feel guilty about passing along "spoiled" (i.e. unloved or infrequently worn) clothing. 
  • I want to enjoy and take pleasure in what I am eating every day. I don't want to "save up" for a special occasion and eat dry toast in the interim. 
  • I want to enjoy and wear my beloved clothes as often as I can. I don't want to save them for special occasions. 
  • I prefer to eat fresh, homemade food, but I'm not above eating leftovers and often prepare a big meal with the understanding that we'll eat it again later in the week, perhaps with something else to update it. 
  • I definitely show a preference for my "fresh" brand new items, but I'm not above wearing them with my old things. What's more, I'll even wear somebody else's "leftovers" on occasion. 
  • I don't really read food blogs or the like except if I am looking for recipes (often how to use a specific ingredient). 
  • I don't really read fashion blogs (apart from this one) unless I need specific inspiration for a new item. 

I am sure I could come up with other parallels, but that is a start. It actually surprised me to see these overlaps! 

How about you? Do your attitudes to your clothes and wardrobe reflect your attitudes towards food, eating, cooking, nutritional habits in general? 

64 comments

Gananoque Mini-Meet

Inspired by our Seattle sisters, Mona, Karie, and I decided to have our own mini-meet up. Intrepid Karie braved the border guards and bridge (without benefit of phone or GPS, no less) and made it all the way from Sacket's Harbor NY to Gananoque, Ontario. 

Luckily, the weather cooperated. It was a sunny if slightly cool summer night. Mona and I waited in the garden of this quirky café about a block from the water. Notice the interesting decor. Not many restaurants boast a puppet theatre and a built in sandbox. This little guy was having a blast while his family ate!

And you've got to love that pizza oven, even if it did take an hour for us to get our food. (Apparently my original pizza was sacrificed to the gods of the wood fire! ... hmmm...do you detect a theme in my recent posts? Someone doesn't want me to eat supper!!)  

Notice our amazing YLF clothing. I am sure you can recognize many items in these pics, from Mona's Zara jacket, Karie's NAS jacket from last year (what is this with jackets in Ontario summer?? Unheard of!!) and my Zara sweater and J. Crew top. 

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Eastern Ontario Meetup?

Okay. Bit by bit I have been gathering the sense that there may be quite a few of us lurking and posting who live in Eastern Ontario (roughly speaking). I know that Freckles and Krish and Krista (I think?) are in Ottawa, and Mona and I are in Kingston.

Mona and I have been trying to have a Kingston meet up for MONTHS. What with one thing and another, it probably isn't going to happen until early October. But I've been thinking....what if it became an Eastern Ontario meet up? Any interest?

If you haven't come to one, YLF meetups are SOOOOO much fun and it is so wonderful to meet in person the people we've met on the forum.

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