Climate, location, and your style

Our spectacular weather continues. It's truly amazing. A week or so of outfits, several illustrating the "casual long cardigan" formula, several repeats of the suit and sneakers formula, one black and white with red boots formula, and one white boots outfit. 

It's rare in the PNW to get such a long string of sunny days. I know what I'm experiencing is not typical and any observations I make about how the climate affects my style may soon be put to the test. But so far, a few things I have noticed: 

Specific items that were difficult to wear in my former home are easy winners in this climate and location. Examples:

  • The famous Rag and Bone gilet -- after languishing in my closet for several years, it has become a workhorse item. I may not have been able to wear it when it was trendy but at least it's a "true love" item with longevity so I can enjoy it now!
  • Dressier booties -- you all know my story about those! Getting wear from them all now. Phew! 
  • Any footwear that is closed toe but reveals the ankle. 

What felt "seasonally confused" in Ontario makes a lot of sense here (i.e. a scarf with bare ankles (at times); camisole under a blouse. 

You can see that certain items work overtime in my closet and that I never worry about repeats. 

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B&W + red boots

I would have preferred a version of this with a houndstooth blazer -- something I've been hunting for, for some time and have recently ordered to try...but for now, gingham shirt, black jacket, denim, new belt, red boots. Wearing to a daytime session at festival. 

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Softened with grey, night and day.

This week is the Vancouver Writers' Festival and that means I'm busy day and night with a wide variety of engagements. I'm not presenting, thank goodness, but I have meetings (with friends and colleagues), cocktail parties and receptions, readings, panel events to attend. I'm on the go from noon until late at night some days this week, and travelling by bus to and from the island where events are held. 

Our weather is absolutely stunningly glorious -- but that means warm days (and warm indoor receptions) along with cold crisp nights. I need to be prepared! 

Today I took inspiration from Angie's outfit formula and softened it a bit with silver and grey in deference to my own softer colouring. For daytime/ indoor reception, I'm going to be in silver foil tee, grey maxi cardigan, new high rise black denim, new booties, new belt, new bag. 

When it cools down, I'll pull this black ribbed cotton turtleneck (hand-me-down from a friend) and my leopard scarf out of my bag. One day, two outfits! 

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Two outfits, 4 days

Example 1, worn 2 days in a row -- once for the whole day (with different footwear for part of the day) and once out for supper the next night. (Only one photo, though.) 

Example 2: worn within the same week. Once for lunch with Mr. Suz, once for a haircut. New hair. I asked for something a bit edgier. Most of the length is gone except in front. Very short on back but a few wisps echoing the wisps at sides and fringe on the hairline. Textured. Still getting used to it. The stylist said "No more mushroom head!" and I burst out laughing. It was terribly outgrown since it had been a while since the last cut!  

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Pattern mixed and tailored

My version today with tartan and stripes. Will add Finds as I can. Internet down now.

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Trying out some Top Seasonal Trends

A week of outfits in which I get to wear some new (and older!) NAS purchases and also play with the trends. 

In #1 I'm ticking off tartans and lengthening the rise (though these culottes are not super high rise, they are "higher.")

#2/3 shows the new Kut Donna tartan skinnies -- so comfy, even if I'm "off" most skinnies! Ticking off tartans, lengthening the rise, releasing red! 

#4 animal print accessory and maximal my way with the pattern mix. Super casual at home day. 

#5 lengthen the rise, add structure (the gilet).

#6/7 nod to western wear, tick off tartan, add structure. 

#8 enjoy animal print, release red. 

#9-11 maximal my way (pattern mix), wear flats and low heels (actually, all of these are low heels but these are flats). 

#12 an unexpected animal print (whimsical), wear midis, release red. 

Other trends I will/ can embrace: play with puffers, flirt with florals, add a wild card. I'm unlikely to wear much in the way of earth tones but if I could find the right cognac shoe or bag, I'd go for it. Long blazers are difficult for me with my body type but I do love them so if the right one (with enough waist definition/ structure) were to jump into my lap, I'd give it a whirl. I may consider full length boot cuts but I'm not in a rush for those. They're too infrequent a wear to sink a lot of money into. I love 60s, 70s, and some 80s style so always look for items that echo those eras and could even go vintage on a few things. 

Thanks for looking! 

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Contemporary Western my way

In the never say never category:

Less than a week ago, I responded to Angie's western trend blog post with a "not really for me" type of comment. 

Two days later, I found myself purchasing a western-style belt. ;)

True, belts have been on my HEWI list for over a year. Most of my old belts don't fit with higher waist trousers and jeans and since belts are an important accessory group for me, I need to replenish my belt capsule. Still, I suspect Angie is a master of subliminal suggestion. 

Having purchased the belt (at The Bay -- links are not working for me well -- sorry!) I walked into Nordstrom's. (Side note: what a thrill to be able to walk into actual stores whenever I feel like it!! Hurray for my new, more urban life!) 

Ten steps in and I came face to face with the mildly Western-influenced Blondo Elvina. (Looks less Western in the photo -- toe is pointy western shape IRL.) 

Now, I wasn't exactly in need of a black bootie. True, I just retired my beloved Stuart Weitzman chelsea boots. But I do own tall black waterproof boots. Also, I now have several pairs of waterproof blue booties, which I adore. 

Add to that, Blondo boots often don't fit me terribly well. But something was calling me to try these. They are very lightweight and flexible with skid proof rubberized soles. They have a mid-height shaft, whereas most of my current booties are sock style with quite a high shaft. And that toe...

You know the rest. Such a great fit. So practical for my wet climate and lifestyle. Reviewers say they run small. My best size is EU 37; I took these in a 7 vs. a 6.5 but I do that for Aquatalia boots also. I'd say they'd be too narrow for a wider foot/ ankle. Best on a regular volume or slightly narrow foot. Some reviewers said the ankle is too tight. On me, there's a bit of an ankle gap, but the shape of the boot makes it unnoticeable/ not bothersome. 

Next I headed over to handbags. What I really wanted was a structured handbag. Subject for another post. Suffice it to say I have been looking, looking, looking to no avail for one that combines the features I want. Meanwhile, here sat this Minkoff backpack in putty. I adore my Minkoff hobo but often feel the yen for a lighter coloured bag. And I love carrying backpacks. It was half price. Out came the credit card again. 

Saturday's lunch with Mr. Suz outfit combines a few trends: 

Nod to the Western with belt, and booties. 
Tartan jacket (BR, last year)
Maximalism my way (fringe, texture, pattern)

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Gilet and Booties, (Items I keep but seldom wore...)

ETA: I should have tagged this under Monday's blog post. Not sure how to do that post facto. Sorry!

What are some of my most loved items? Rag & Bone gilet and dressy booties. What are some of my least worn items? You guessed it.

Pleading guilty here to buying a few things for my fantasy life. Or rather, my fantasy climate. But this year, I'm living in that climate. Time to give the orphans some love! 

A few days ago, Angie gently reminded me that this is gilet season in the PNW. Today, I had a lunch date with a friend and shopping, and so I finally had a chance to wear the precious. It was perfect in every way. I've had this gilet now for 3 fall seasons and until today have only worn it a total of about 6 times. The joy per wear was very, very high and each time I wore it, it was the perfect item to be able to put on -- but the cost per wear was astronomical and I did feel some guilt about that! Never mind. It's going to get a ton of wear in my new climate. It's actually surprisingly practical! I layered it over a merino sweater which in turn was layered over a cami. I could also layer over a denim jacket or leather jacket for additional insulation. 

I also broke out the new NAS Aquatalia booties for the first time, and my new NAS scarf (which I've already worn several times). The booties are superb. Super comfortable. But they did dye my leg blue! (I was wearing sockettes, not hose.) 

Bag is from NAS several years ago -- still going strong. 

I made some purchases today that I'll share later this weekend in another thread. Happy Thanksgiving to Canadian Fabbers! 

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September Tracking

I didn't take photos often but I did keep track of what I was wearing. It was an unusual month because I moved and have been setting up house. 

Some of my wardrobe remains in Ontario. I left items that I felt I'd be unlikely to wear due to different weather conditions. My current numbers (excluding gear and sleepwear and undies) are around 133. 

Here's what I wore: 

  • 4 of 7 bags  (just over half)
  • 5 of 23 footwear. (I didn't have most shoes until mid-month and then the weather changed.) 
  • 2 of 9 coats  
  • 3 of 10 dresses  (stopped wearing summer dresses and had no occasion for truly dressy items)
  • 2 of 6 skirts  (stopped wearing skirts due to weather shifts)
  • 0 of 7 pants. (these are mostly late fall/ winter items or high summer linen)
  • 8 of 9 jeans (it's jean season!) 
  • 0 of 3 shorts (too cool)
  • 6 of 11 toppers  (beginning of topper season)
  • 4 of 4 cardigans (easy to wear and carry)
  • 7 of 17 shirts/ blouses 
  • 5 of 12 sleeveless tops
  • 8 of 18 knitwear (some knits still too warm/ bulky)
  • 7 of 9 scarves (good transitional items)

61 items  -- or close to half the working wardrobe! 

My most repeated items at more than 10 wears were my silver sneakers and 2 of my bags. All jeans except one got at least 5 wears. My most worn topper was my grey cardigan (about 10 wears) and my plaid jacket (5 wears). My utility coat got a lot of wear also. 

I'm surprised that I wore so many items but perhaps I shouldn't be since it's a transitional season. It's clear that I wear different clothes in my new climate -- long sleeved shirts get much more play than they ever do at home. I repeated each one I wore multiple times. Jeans remain a true staple. 

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Coincidental coordination

I just happen to be wearing a version of today's blog post outfit for my work from home day!

My top is not exactly "cropped" but it is on the shorter side, especially in the front, and swingy. (Very hot and humid here today so I need something cool!) Top on its 3rd season. For those who count, at least 30 wears. ;)  The contrast level is mixed because of the pattern. The dark blue relates to the skirt and the white and light blue offer more contrast. 

My skirt is a below the knee tube skirt, ancient. Well over 100 wears at this point. I am a bit bored of these tube skirts but can't get rid of them because they are such closet essentials for me -- nothing entirely takes their place. (Find is charcoal but my skirt is navy.) 

Flatform Fitflops in a low contrast silver. Because, heat, and I'm home doing chores. 

I wouldn't say the proportions are leg lengthening at all but I think it is JFE, even with my relatively shorter legs and shorter than average calves. I'll probably switch out to my EF sandals when I go out for lunch. A different flatform. 

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