Dress Challenge: 2 new ones

I ordered from the Rack. I almost never do because returns are a pain where I live, but I thought I'd give a few items a try. 

Here are the dresses. What do you think? 

First up, Angie's (and Jane's) Free People dress, marked down considerably so a real steal. I like it a lot! (She says that like she's surprised when it was an Angie recommendation. Duh!!) It needs a good steam out of the bag but I think the fit is right and It seems easy to wear. Do you like? 

Next, a Lafayette dress in linen and cotton. This one was on major mark-down. A more expensive dress to begin with, so more expensive than the Free People on sale as well, but we are talking quality. 

Is it too "ticking stripe" do you think? I actually like ticking stripe, but you know what I am saying. The quality and fit are gorgeous, I have to say. Beautiful fabric and finishing. 

It's quite long on me, though, so really needs a bit of a heel. And maybe too "work-like" for someone who works from home? 

(I make it sound as if I don't like this dress, but actually, I really do.) 

If I keep, these will replace a Topshop dress and one of my worn out Boden dresses. 

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Dress Challenge: Better Late than Not at All

Hi, all -- I was at a work related conference all weekend and didn't have time to post. But I did wear one dress (well, actually, skirt) outfit. And I'm also wearing a dress today. 

I have loved seeing all the beautiful dresses and skirts on the forum. Brava for spring and summer wardrobes! 

Bonus shots of the roses in the UBC garden, really in their glory now. 

Why do I love wearing dresses? For all the reasons many of you have stated. Casual dresses are the best for summer at home days. Cool, easy to throw on, yet I feel presentable if I have to run a sudden errand. Fewer decisions. 

Dressy dresses make me feel feminine and ready for fun, or perfectly protected (as the occasion demands.)

I wore #5 (tube skirt, again, will I ever let you go? NO!) with the sweater against the frigid AC. You can't see it, but on #6 I am actually swinging on a beautiful swing slung on an old oak on campus.  

#7 is at home today. Yay for the tablecloth dress. Waving to my many forum dress twins and cousins. 

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Eating my words

Dear YLF, 

Remember a few months ago where I said I needed a style intervention to stop me from continually buying everything, and I mean everything, in blue?   

Well. It's all your fault. Because I haven't stopped. 

Oh, I had good intentions. My first few purchases of the year were GEAR and I bought them in plums/lilacs/purples (as well as blues). For a bit of variety in my exercise capsule, at least. (See Finds). 

And I managed to purchase an orchid silk blouse and a red top, too. Oh, and a pair of grey jogger pants. 

But those blue Earth sandals must have been some kind of gateway drug. Look what I've also purchased...and what I just ordered!! 

And what I wore the other day in slightly cooler temps than we've been getting, of late -- the famed "Juneuary" of the Pacific Northwest. 

Well, if I can't beat my own habit, I might as well enjoy it, right? 

42 comments

So 2014, and it still works for me-- Update a "new" version

Dear Fab Friends: A few weeks ago I had to get dressed for a casual birthday dinner and movie with friends. I cast around for a while for something suitable, and eventually threw on the outfit below. In which I felt perfectly comfortable and happy. 

Guess what? I first wore that outfit back in 2014. Some of the items date to 2013. And I still have them all, and still love them! The sarong shorts are a bit snugger on me than they were back then...when they sort of hung on me, truth be told. But I still love them. 

Only the bags and bracelet and watch have changed. I guess I could think of ways to make this more "current" -- but honestly, I was happy as is. 

Signed, 

Not Always Trendy

Photo 1: This year. 

Photo 2: 2014

Update: Photo 3 -- the "new" version with flatforms for a day that included more walking. 

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Two trendy returns, and a keep with question

On the subject of trends that don't work...I tried the following outfit from J. Crew and both pieces are going back. 

The shirt had great potential as the kind of V I can actually wear. Plus, I have a massive wardrobe hole for a white woven top and in particular for one with sleeves. 

But with the bow at the waist and the puffy sleeves, it feels like entirely too much trendy and feminine detail. I feel like I am in drag. It is an example of feminine detailing of some kinds making a gamine type look mannish. (Not that there is a thing wrong with that if that's what floats your boat.) Also, it was so wrinkly, and tying that tie is about 20 times harder than tying the waist for my (very feminine yet somehow it works on me) 1901 dress. So. NEXT. Anyone who has suggestions for summer skirts or white or light tops, please let me know.

I would like to get a new midi skirt for summer, preferably A-line, because I'm still mostly wearing my very old and decidedly not trendy tube skirts simply because they are so stinking easy to wear! 

This one is made a of a nice fabric. The fit and cut are nice but I find it too short and the pattern is too bold for me. I would recommend it to the right person but if they have it in long, you might want to try that. 

The other item is a KEEP but I need to know if I should hem. These are super comfy chambray pants, pull on. Read the rave reviews. Showing first at the length they came, next about 3.5 inches shorter, and finally about 1.5 inches shorter. 

I think I prefer the last length best. How about you? 

Thanks for your thoughts. 

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Benched

Long time no see! I have been really busy finishing a book and dealing with some family matters but I'm still lurking and reading when I can. And tonight I have something to contribute for a change. An outfit that illustrates how fully I'm betwixt and between online vs. store. 

First outing for this dress, purchased online last year!! So excited to wear it at long last. 

Shoes, bought in store last year. Bag, bought online several years ago (BR). 

Earrings, bracelet, ring, necklace -- in-store purchases. Watch -- online. 

I've cut my hair back to a more classic pixie for summer. Will change it up again in the fall. :) 

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Killing the blues...(or, I need a fashion intervention)

Yes, I'm Queen Blue. I wear blue the way many women wear black. Blue is my best neutral and my best colour. Blue lends authority and calm. Blue can be reserved and private or electric and vivid. Blue is as deep as the oceans, as soft as mountain mists, as crisp as the north wind, as bright as a summer sky, as mysterious as the heavens when twilight nears full darkness. 

My blue and predominantly blue items across all seasons, below in Finds. There are a lot of them. This doesn't count a few unphotographed items, e.g. a RL sleeveless cotton knit shift dress -- older and rarely worn but comes into play a couple of times a year. Or things that wore out last summer and got donated, e.g. some blue shorts. Or gear. Or stuff like house shoes or slippers. Or black coats that look almost blue. 

You get the idea. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I like blue. It's my signature and my speciality and I don't intend to purge it from my closet. Au contraire! It will always be the foundation of my wardrobe. 

But LaPed's recent thread on colour complements, along with TorontoGirl's, set me to making "capsules" of my other colours and made me realize that, um,  maybe I have too much of a muchness. And if I added a bit more colour variety, my well functioning wardrobe might work even better and make me feel as if I had more options. 

At the moment, across all seasons, I have 12 red items. 3 plum/purple/ lilac. Only a few berries/ fuchsias/ magentas (another of my best colour variants). A few burgundies. And a bunch of grey and white. A decent silver/pewter accessory/ accent complement. You can view them here: https://youlookfab.com/finds/c.....usanolding

It is time to broaden my range!! 

Of course, I decide to do this just when earth tones (which typically don't flatter me) begin to trend. Sigh....

Nevertheless, here is my commitment. For the next year, I am not going to purchase any more blue!!!  Instead I will look for items in my reds (fire engine to cranberry with a bit of true red sprinkled in) berries, cool fuchsia and magenta, and purples/plums/lilacs. 

Exceptions allowed: 

  • Blue jeans (I can purchase these in trendy styles or classic as needed). 
  • Basics (bras, undies, gear, tights, etc.If I see these in blue and want them in blue, okay.) 
  • A fantastic waterproof blue raincoat, and/or a perfect navy or ink trench coat OR (in autumn) a perfect pea coat and/or long military coat with silver hardware or blue/black or pewter—if such appears. (HEWI) 
  • Blue is allowed in a print item but only if it is not the predominant colour. 
  • Possibly a blue sandal or sneaker or bag, but only if I can't find a red one I like. 

What think you? Does this make sense? Can you help me find items in my other key colours as the year goes along? Can you suggest a way to approach this, i.e. a small capsule (what items??) or complement? Or a combo capsule/complement, e.g. footwear & scarf or bag plus a top and or bottom? 

Meanwhile, I am desperately tempted to make one last blue purchase of a suit from BR, just because I adore wearing my black watch one from there so very much....

67 comments

My essentials

My wardrobe has always been essentials heavy. I find them the easiest items to buy and to identify. It interests me that so many people have trouble with this concept and I wonder why. I suspect it comes more easily for those with a style that leans heavily classic? It might be more difficult if you are an eclectic dresser. 

Anyway, here is my list for 2019 in the hope it might help someone else.
One way I think of this is -- it is a very rare outfit that does not include at least one of these elements.  The ones I pull into play most frequently vary with the seasons --- the white sneakers are a summer essential; the  navy booties, a winter essential, and so on. But if you look back over your WIWs, which items or elements get repeated again and again in different outfit combinations? Which items do you miss when they are in the laundry? Which do you reach for in those "ugh! What shall I wear??" moments? That should offer clues. 

1. Navy crewneck or turtleneck knitwear (for different seasons). (High five, Angie!)

2. Blue and white striped knitwear, or white and blue (for various seasons). (Ditto!)

3. Navy blazer

4. Slim high waisted jeans in blue and in white. (I have and enjoy other jeans but these are the essentials).

5. Long grey cardigan.

6. Denim jackets (esp. in summer — not really in winter at all.)

7. Classic navy blue outerwear. (High five, again, Angie!!) Oh, and I desperately want a military coat like yours. On my list of HEWIs. As well as an upgrade of the consignment pea coat, which is working really well for now but is not "the one." 

8. Silver or soft grey footwear across all seasons. Must have a dressy bootie, a casual bootie, a sneaker, a sandal.

9. White footwear (summer); navy or ink footwear (winter).

10. Silver watch and earrings. Belt with silver hardware.

27 comments

Suz's annual footwear flip out

Since we're on the subject of climate, this seems like a good moment for my annual footwear flip-out! 

Last year, and every year before that, it was a rant. And there was a reason for that. See photos 1-6 below. All highly typical of Kingston's weather conditions from December to April. Also typical is the mix of grey to sun. Sun is beautiful when it comes...but we get far more grey skies in winter there than sunny days. And, it's on one of the Great Lakes, so it is also windy and damp. Brrrrrrr. 

With the help of YLF friends like Annagybe, Angie, and others, I found some excellent additions for my late winter footwear wardrobe and managed to inject a bit more variety last year. (Thank you!). 

And this year? SPOILED FOR CHOICE

People, I am here to tell you...Vancouver, true, is often wet, and usually grey in winter...(pics 7-11 show my neighbourhood) but unlike in Kingston, a woman can wear ALL THE FABULOUS SHOES most of the time!!! (Okay, not the sandals, but you get the idea.) 

I am so excited!!! I don't have to start with the snow boots! In fact, I now own so many pairs of waterproof or water resistant shoes that I can actually pick between booties, mid-calf, and knee highs, black, taupe, or sapphire, dressy or casual -- no matter what the weather.

And on drier days I have silver, red, cream, and dressier shoes as well!

The weather is absolutely key to this. I have the utmost respect for those on the forum battling the conditions that I battled for so many years. You are fashionistas par excellence! You have my sympathies. 

Another component of the improvement is the fact that I'm in a larger city with more and better sidewalks, and the environmental norm, while very casual, is at least a little less casual than in Kingston. 

Oh the joys. I can't tell you how much easier it is to get dressed! 

#12 shows the water resistant and waterproof "stompier" boots for inclement weather. Can be worn in all kinds of situations, from the sidewalk to the woods. 

#13 shows the waterproof boots and booties (most a bit dressier though photo includes one boot from #12. To add: my taupe Blondos, which I didn't own when I took the photo.

#14 shows all "dressier" booties, which includes one waterproof pair. 

What's the biggest cramp to your own style that weather presents? And what has been your biggest success or revelation if you moved? 

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53 comments

New house shoes

We don't wear outdoor shoes in our house and the place we are renting has very hard tile floors throughout the kitchen and family room. My previous slippers had worn out so I didn't bring them and my poor feet have been sore and sometimes cold in just socks. So I ordered a couple of Fitflops, the Uberknit slip on sneaker and a Snugg slipper.

Fitflops tend to fit large and wide but there are a few styles that work for me and I wear the adjustable sandal in summer for long walks because it helped enormously with my plantar fasciitis. I was able to get a half size in the sneaker so the fit is much better. Plus, it's the rare slip on that stays on me, due to its style and construction, which is kind of nice.  Meanwhile, the lining of the slipper keeps it snug enough for me (ha ha). And insanely warm!! Too warm for today. (Our temperature is about 11C). 

Not a major "fashion" purchase but for those who need the cushioning, these seem like a good deal at the moment. They come in many colours. 

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