And experiments with layered short & long toppers

The Boden stamp print skirt featured in Angie's post today arrived in my correct size and got its first outing on the weekend -- out for a meal, yay! It was cold, so I wore it simply with cashmere sweater, booties, warm tights beneath. Flashy earrings in lieu of other jewellery. 

I still don't have a long (midi or midaxi) coat so I experimented with toppers. 

In the end I went with the most conservative option, simply because I adore this Hilary Radley alpaca coat and it doesn't get many outings any more; I've had it since the year I joined YLF. So I think it qualifies as an "oldie but goodie." 

The vest alone would not have been warm enough but I wanted to see how it might look or feel with the skirt. Then I tried a short puffer, layering the vest over the puffer, or even under the puffer! Which (if any) do you like?

I struggled with bags. I really need/ want a navy or light grey structured crossbody, but that is a creature I do not own. I ended up wearing with my mustard bag, which was a fun pop of colour. 

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Whitebread Woman? Inspired by Kkards

I loved kkards' "vanilla girl" outfit yesterday! I had never heard of this trend/ aesthetic until I read her link. But I knew right away I could do my own version. This outfit is directly inspired by hers and is a near repeat of another I wore, but the changes (snakeskin boots, addition of belt) make it dressier. than my previous version. It's also closer to my inspiration -- one of the reasons I think kkards' outfit works so well is that the boots and belt tie in with her hair. 

This belt is one of two that "Santa" (aka Suz) left in my Christmas stocking. I love them both so much. The blue belt has been on repeat but this one has only had a few wears so far. It will come out a lot more in spring/ summer. 

Now, if I can just avoid spraying myself with pomegranate juice like I did yesterday when wearing my new ivory merino sweater! (Fortunately, it came right out.) 

Thanks, Kkards, for the inspiration! 

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With cats

I went for a casual supper with friends from Vancouver tonight. The restaurant has fantastic food and beautiful décor but it is unpretentious, and my friends tend to dress way down . (They are litigators but wear mostly sweats and yoga clothes except when in court.) They are also huge cat lovers. 

My outfit  — less dressy than I'd have chosen if on a date alone with Mr. Suz or out with other friends, but more dressy than these friends ever go --  followed today's formula: wide crops and short jacket. I chose my La Canadienne heeled boots again because they make me feel so grounded but also give an element of swagger. I wore an Equipment silk shirt with a conversational print of Siamese cats in honour of my friends. And my sparkly red scarf. 

You can see the cat in the print more easily in the photo of my watch. :) Although it is very subtle, the cat has blue eyes and the pants have a blue line in the check. 

Excuse the need for pressing on those pants -- I fixed it before we left! :) 

Amazing meal and it was so fun to go out! 

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Tulle skirt and Fab shawl

Olive Green mentioned she'd love a place to wear my tulle skirt. Well, we dined at a friend's tonight and since we don't have lots going on over the holidays, I decided my friend's house was the place! It was very casual -- just Mr. Suz and me and my friend and her partner and their dog and cat. But it was fun to get dressed up for a change. 

Tulle skirt: Over on Synne's thread there's an interesting discussion about textures and which ones are wearable to different Kibbe types. I don't know if as some kind of gamine I am technically "supposed" to be able to wear tulle but it feels natural to me as long as I juxtapose it with some less floaty elements. Colour is as relevant as texture, I'd suggest. I would not feel comfortable in a pale pink version of this skirt, no way, no how. And then there is the cut and line of the piece -- the asymmetry of this piece helps me feel "at home" in it. 

Thrifted cashmere sweater with portrait and tie up neckline. I've had this now for at least 15 years and who knows how long the previous owner had it. No pilling at all. They don't make it like they used to, folks! 

La Canadienne knee high boots. I haven't worn these in a couple of years and no sooner did I put them on then I thought: why the heck not? They are SO comfortable. Nobody makes a last that works better on my foot than La Canadienne. Alas, it takes a king's ransom to buy footwear from this company and I'm not earning as much now as I did when I bought these. So I doubt I will be adding too many new pairs to the closet. :( 

Sparkly dark red shawl -- a "secret Santa" gift from a Fabber! It's been in my closet about a decade and is still going strong. My friend keeps her house really cold so I ended up wearing throughout the evening. You can't really see the sparkles in the photos, though I tried. I like them because IRL they are subtle but evident, if that makes sense. 

Massimo Dutti Leather jacket -- we were driving, so this was all the outerwear I needed. 

BR earrings. 

Thanks for looking, and I'd love to hear your thoughts, feelings, and theories about tulle. Who can wear it, and why? 

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Wear it a new way (and skin sandwich)

The dark dark days are upon us on the PNW and I am craving colour! Alas...examining my closet, I find I simply do not have enough of it. Some of this is understandable; earth tones have been everywhere the past five years. It's been more difficult to source items in my more flattering colours. Also, I've needed to update essentials. So most of my winter purchases during this period have been in my key neutrals of navy and grey.

Meanwhile, I've retired quite a few more colourful items. To survive the dark days of winter, I'm going to have to remedy this -- will be looking to add more colour ASAP. In the meantime, I'm working with what I still have. 

These J. Crew wool culottes have been in the closet since 2016. An Angie recommended item. Gorgeous wool, beautiful drape, interesting style with dropped pleats. Another item that has stood the test of time -- they look and feel as current today as they did when I bought them, unless I'm fooling myself, LOL. They're a grey glen plaid with a bright royal/ cobalt stripe. With them, I bought this thick merino back zip pullover, and often I've tended to pair the two in outfits since the sweater picks up the blue stripe in the pants. 

Today I wondered if I could wear the pullover as a "cardigan." I flipped it backwards and unzipped it. You can't unzip it all the way (the sweater collar prevents that) but that's ok, as I actually want the colour near my face. 

I'm enjoying this! 

With the boots, alas, I have a wee skin sandwich thing going on. I guess I need some cobalt socks or something...not sure what I've got that will close the gap. 

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Holding Zone rescue

Now that I have a better lighting situation set up, I seem to be posting like mad. Please feel free to ignore me! 

I've been shopping like crazy (although so far, much of what I have ordered has gone straight back, which is fine -- all part of the process.)

I've also been editing and reviewing the holding zone. This Club Monaco pullover has been in my closet for 6 years, although honestly it has been in the holding zone for about 3. 

I don't own much from Club Monaco but everything I've ever owned from them has been lovely quality and delightful to wear. They often do interesting design details that stand the test of time. Alas, their clothes are also often in neutrals and/or colours I do not wear well. 

This sweater, though -- it's my perfect red! It's also a gorgeous soft, completely non-itchy merino knit, and a very interesting cut with a dropped (but neatly fitted) shoulder and pleated balloon sleeve and a shorter length with a tiny slit on the side. Which is why I was loathe to let it go, even when I wasn't wearing it. 

I think I've figured it out. While ordinarily I adore a high neckline, this one just wasn't cutting it for me. I actually like it in the photo (3) but IRL it always feels a bit floppy or frilly for me. And maybe just "too much" with the sleeve? <shrug> 

Anyway -- trying it here in the first two pics (indoor, outdoor footwear) with the collar rolled inside so it becomes a crew neck. Do you think it works? 

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Winter whites

I don't have a photo with the coat, but here's what I wore yesterday...it was fun to try whiteout in winter!  Inside I wore it with the loafers, of course. 

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Vintage Trench & white boots

Well, it seems I did not know how much I needed white boots! Instant workhorse. They are easy to incorporate into outfits and help me feel less winter-dark -- a real necessity here, now that November's short days and rain have descended. 

Yesterday I had a book club appearance -- live, in person!! Amazing to do this after so many Zoom events. We drank tea and talked about my book and essays and the participants' reading and (in some cases) writing. 

And I got to début my new wardrobe pet! 

Last week I went on a short retreat with two writing friends to Bowen Island. What a lovely spot. We had glorious weather! (Bonus pics attached). AND, there is a lovely boutique there called Wren, where the owner happened to have a rack of vintage items in addition to her usual contemporary clothing. She has a friend who does costumes for films and then passes some of the items along to her for a popup shop. 

My eye immediately went to this 1970s leather trench in mid-blue. I told myself I had zero need for it (true) but my friends persuaded me to try it on, and, lo,  it was a perfect fit. I can layer under it comfortably. The price was right. 

This coat was made in Winnipeg by the Hurtigs. Another branch of this family is famed in literary circles in Canada. 

What can I say? It was meant to be! 

You can see it once had a zip in lining for cold Winnipeg winters. I could, I suppose, have a new one made, but I would rarely need it in my climate. I was thinking maybe instead I'd look for a short puffer or puffer vest to wear under it in a colour similar to the lining (or the coat). 

I'm going to try an outfit creation session with the coat once I get some lights rigged up for photos. But what I like about the style is the dramatic collar (I have a weakness for dramatic collars!) and the details -- the back belt, the way it nips at the waist so it is wearable with pants and dresses, even those that flare out. 

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Multi-Striped and K/R Laguna

I could not resist...when I returned from my hike I got dressed in my version of today's formula, #1. I'll try the others out eventually, too. 

Stripes here are the top, the sweater, the socks (which you can't see), and the boots. All blue and white, except the boots which have black soles and sides. 

What think you of the boots? These are the Top Pick Lagunas. I just received them. I have not purchased a new fashion boot (as distinct from a strictly gear boot) since 2019, which for me is a long time. I still have a nice bootie collection (see below) so it is not as if I lack options, but most are a shorter shaft and pointed toe. The black Blondos are pretty much toast, and the taupe suede are also looking a bit tired; I will probably retire both at the end of this year. But the snake print and silver are still in good condition. 

White!! Will I wear it? I did once have a dressier cream bootie which I liked a lot and wore with dressy fall/winter/spring outfits, but honestly I did not have enough occasions for it and eventually passed it on. This is a different creature since it has the platform sole, it is a Chelsea style (easy on/ off) and it is waterproof. So it is much more casual and possibly more wearable than my earlier light coloured bootie.

Does it bookend my hair, do you think? It will definitely work with other white/ light tops and my white coat, so I can bookend my clothes. However, that will shorten the leg line, as here. 

I had to add a plantar fasciitis heel thingie here to get a fit, but it seems comfortable and lightweight now that I have done so. 

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Ex-blonde, out of isolation

Amazing to think, I bought these booties in 2018, after my hair turned silver. Taupe doesn't bookend my hair any more but grey footwear can be difficult to find and surprisingly difficult to work with, when you do find it! The various greys don't always befriend each other easily.  But I will. happily mix taupe with the few other browns in my closet (even warm ones, like this cognac belt) and it serves as "my" version of an earth tone. 

The pointed toe western-ish boot does not feel current to me but I still like it. So there you go. 

These BF jeans have not yet been hemmed. I see my cuffing job is not very good. Trying to decide how short to make them.

Nothing fancy about the outfit, just running to pick up our veggies for the weekend at the farm.

As usual, the lighting and colours are awful here. Another atmospheric river, so good rainwear is a must! The boots are waterproof too! 

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