Speaking of suits

This one caught my eye at BR. I haven't seen it in person so don't know if the red is my best, but it's tempting! 

I wore a blazer for the first time in almost a year yesterday and it was SO GREAT!! 

In person teaching after several years away from that due to Covid and once again my love of jackets comes to the fore. 

I will try to snap some photos later this weekend of WIW. 

27 comments

Has anyone seen this in person? BR raincoat with liner

On the theory that you can never have too many rain garments in my climate, I am wondering if anyone has seen this in real life? If so, what are your thoughts? Reviews are largely positive except some hate the fabric. 

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Tulle skirt reveal: ETA further styling thoughts downthread.

In what is surely RECORD Covid delivery time , I got the Kate Hewko tulle skirt. 

I have to apologize first for the absolutely horrific quality of the photos. It was the worst time of day to try this, but I need to go out on some errands and wanted to post while I could. I tried to lighten and brighten things but that distorted colours etc. You'll have to imagine a bit. 

I didn't really style it too much -- just threw on a top and tried with a couple of toppers and various footwear. 

Sizing -- the waist is TTS, I would say. There is not much give there, so if considering and between sizes in the waist, go up. 

Hip area -- there is a tiny bit of give there because the underskirt is made of a slightly stretchy fabric -- very comfortable. 

Quality -- I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, we are talking about a polyester tulle skirt, not a bespoke jacket, but the design is clever, the colours are really great IRL, the stitching is all very secure and even, the buttons of solid and attractive. 

On to the photos!

First five images show it with pink flats -- just showing how it looks all around. I find the flats too "little girl" for this and would not wear it this way except in the house, I suspect.  I think the length is fine for me so it might be too short for you, Janet? You could call them and ask for lengths at your size. 

Next image with navy booties and denim jacket. 

7.8 with short pointed toe black booties. 

9/10 with red plaid stompy boots -- this could work for double plaid with the right top or topper. 

Trying it out with the gilet. 

#14 shows the underskirt portion. 

#15 and #16 show the fabric and a close up of waistband area. 

It feels good on -- light and floaty. I would not say it makes me feel slim, however. There is still that feeling of a slightly pouffy waist/ hip area that you tend to get with full skirts, no matter what. At the same time, it's way less exaggerated than with many skirts of this kind and the pleats really do stay flat. 

So....what think you? K/R?  

A note -- Mr. Suz's initial reaction was positive. He loved the plaid. 

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69 comments

WIMW: Balloon jeans and linen

I ordered these M&S balloon jeans weeks ago and they finally arrived, along with a linen shirt. 

Tried them on quickly to see if they will work. 

The verdict: yes! I like the fabrication -- and the olive is a nice change for me from blue. The length is perfect. The waist is a bit snug but I think it will give and I am also up a few pounds on account of being laid up with an injury all winter. 

The linen shirt is wrinkled from the bag, but it's quite lovely. The background is ink, not black. The fit is nice and neat without being too close. 

I'm actually tempted to order these in the grey if they still have them in my size. I got the "short" and they work in my usual UK size (ordering in Canada). 

My apologies for the awful backlit photos -- now that I have a mirror, I see it is in precisely the wrong place for taking decent pics! All the light comes from the windows behind. I'll have to come up with another option...

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42 comments

Red plaid pants and some more purchases and possibles

As mentioned in another post, most of my clothing purchases this year have been gear. 

But I have bought a few "fashion" items, mostly to fill new needs (indoor footwear for long days in the house, replacement white denim, updated sneakers for fall walking, a nylon backpack, the ripskirt). 

In other words, almost all my purchases have been of the extremely practical kind. 

I guess that's why I went a little nuts at a recent J. Crew sale with free delivery. Ooops!  

This is all potential holiday wear. We'll be at home, just the three of us and the cat, not doing any entertaining or going to any parties. I know many people have enjoyed Zoom dinner parties and cocktail hours etc. during the pandemic but those are not for me. I don't mind a one-to-one Zoom tea or wine date, but I really don't do well with  Zoom dining. 

Anyway...point being, I could wear my sweatpants but I would rather wear real clothes and I'd like to treat myself to something new to add to the feeling of "festive." 

First, the Cameron high rise plaid pants. These are great! Exceptional quality. They are beautiful wool, fully lined, they include an extra self-fabric front button (in case of overindulgence in holiday meals, I guess!) and the plaid lines up! At least on the pair I got. 

I found them TTS or possibly even a bit generous, and they have some give so will stretch a bit. Warning -- they will not work if you have a short rise. I happen to have a very long rise, so they are fine for me. If your rise is short, I would go for the mid-rise Cameron instead. On 5' 4" me, the "cropped" length is a true ankle pant (hits right above ankle bone). I like this "Laura Petrie" style pant -- it is slim up top and gently glides over calves -- not calf-sucking. I'm inclined to keep them. 

I also ordered a scarf to give myself a red outdoor accessory complement -- this one works with red, burgundy, blue, lilac, etc. (That is, with all my coats) and I can wear blue and burgundy hats with it as well. It's a bit scratchy but that doesn't matter so much to me with an outdoor scarf. And I suspect it will soften a bit if I put it in the wash and air dry. 

Onto the tops! 

First up, a lace shirt. I've wanted something in lace ever since I joined YLF (thanks, Angie!) but somehow, I never found my perfect item. This shirt comes with its own matching camisole and has a bit of stretch. It does not feel scratchy against the skin as some laces do. They call it "Baroque blue" but I'd say it's royal/ cobalt and since I also wanted to add more in this colour to my closet, The price was exceptional. I thought I'd give it a whirl. Inclined to keep. 

The Margot sweater is just a titch towards orange-red, so not my absolute best (I do better with anything from true red through cranberry to cool burgundy). But again, red is something I definitely want more of and this fits a need for now. So I'm wavering on it. Price was reasonable. 

The velvet shirt is another something I've wanted for years and never found. This one is soft, like a smooth hug, and feels very cozy, but I don't agree with the reviewers who crowed about its quality. It's fine, not at all bad, but I would not have wanted to pay full price for it and I'm debating a return (if it's returnable -- I need to check). 

Note: I find the two shirts to be on the small side. In the past, I often ordered a size down from the one I've ordered here at J. Crew and was fine -- these are on the just-barely-okay side for me in the shoulders and if I were ordering again, I might have ordered up. The sleeves are ridiculously short, i.e. they are on the short side for me and I don't have long arms. It doesn't matter to me since I always scrunch sleeves, but I thought I would report on it. 

Apologies for the length of the post and for the terrible photos. My full length mirror is supposed to go up tomorrow at last!! 

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45 comments

Cold weather cycling gear?

Hello, all! I hope everyone is hanging in with this COVID madness. I am still here. I even made an actual fashion purchase recently -- but the goodies have not arrived so I can't show them off yet. Assuming they work.

My question today concerns gear. Specifically, biking gear for cool to cold weather.

A few weeks ago, I tore my medial meniscus on a run. Then, like a fool, I kept moving around on it, thinking it was a muscle pull and would just "get better." Reader, it did not. :(

Finally, I went to physio and was told in no uncertain terms to get off that leg! 

Well, you know me and my walking. This is not an easy order for me to follow. Especially during pandemic lockdown when going for a walk is not only a great form of exercise but the only allowable way to socialize! Yikes!!

Luckily, the physio also prescribed bike rides. So I've been out there every day for about an hour or so. But for now, I can't go for any kind of "power" ride -- I'm limited to low resistance and that means slower speeds.

Temperatures here have been hovering between 6 and 10 C...and oopsie! I have just figured out that I do not have proper cold weather biking gear.

What in heaven's name should I wear? So far, I've been layering merino base and second layer with my short puffer (not completely windproof and often too warm -- I get all sweaty even in supposedly breathable merino). My legs are in fleece tights (also not windproof, so my legs eventually get cold). My feet FREEZE even in double layers of wool socks. And my hands mostly freeze, too.

The only part of me that feels right is the head. The head is good. For the head I have a little merino cap that goes under the helmet and seems to do the trick.

I've ordered a few options to try. A reflective windproof waterproof jacket. A thermal jersey to wear over a merino layer. Thermal tights. And lots and lots of merino layers (but that's another post!) Deliveries here tend to take a long time, so who knows when they might arrive.

If anyone has ideas, I'm listening.

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Another handbag/ backpack question -- gear knowledge welcome

As I've mentioned on a few recent threads, the past few months have seen me devolve to carrying my Patagonia backpack all the time. 

Apart from rare forays to the grocery store and post office, when I go out, I am typically hiking in the woods and/or on suburban paths. I'm carrying keys, water bottle, jacket/ hoodie/ windbreaker, phone, mask, sanitizer, earphones, wallet, card case (sometimes alternating), sunglasses, sunscreen/ lipgloss etc, tissues. 

But then other times -- evening walks --  it's just phone, earphones, card case, keys. So the backpack really feels like too much then. 

A dressy purse -- even my leather backpack -- just feels like too much in these environs. (A few pics below). Leather's also heavy. 

The Patagonia is actually a bit too large for my needs but it is nylon and lightweight. 

So. I am thinking of what might work instead. 

I've considered a nylon Minkoff Julian and might get one if I could find in a colour I liked -- but right now the options at the Bay or Nordstrom's Canada don't make me smile. (I'd go for red or silver, but not black.)

But what I really think I need is, essentially, good looking gear. The kind of stuff that works like gear but won't completely clash with an outfit if we are ever released from our isolation and can move around out in the world a bit more. 

I could also very much use something that I can pop into my bicycle panniers easily that holds all my essentials!!! 

Two options I'm considering -- a Bellroy backpack and a Bellroy mini-sling. I own a few Bellroy products and LOVE them. I got them on Jenn's recommendation. 

I own a folio wallet (smallest sleekest wallet of this type I've ever owned and fits my phone if I want to put it inside...); mini-pocket (card pocket); a classic pouch, a pencil case (I use it as my makeup bag), a A4 tech folio (for my ipad mini and notebook). I truly love the product line -- they are brilliantly designed. 

Does anyone know anything about the backpack or mini-sling? Thoughts on something else that might work for me as well? Or better? 

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Nordstom.ca is here

Hi, all -- 

I'm admiring all the work-from-home wardrobes and work-arounds! Confession: my own style has devolved very much into a lower level than usual. I'm in workout gear a lot of the day. Partly because I crave comfort, partly because I don't have very many clothes in the new house. (The family is in Victoria but most of our clothing remains in Vancouver until whenever we can get it.) And I'm not posting outfits because I don't have a full length mirror yet, and I guess it will be some time before I get one! 

But —Canadians—it looks as if Nordstrom.ca is open for business. The selection is of course considerably smaller than the American version, but we do have some options, along with free delivery and returns. I doubt if I will be placing orders for the next little while, but it's fun to browse and think about something other than the pandemic from time to time. 

Hang in there, everybody! 

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Colour trend: Blue (and new hair)

Spring blues, Fab Friends. Ironically, after posting my winter photos I had just decided I needed more red and white and who-knows-what else -- something light and bright and not blue in my closet. But these blues are so tempting, I just know I am going to going for some. You can't fight your signature colour, I guess. :) 

1-3: Veronica Beard. Blues from denim to soft powder...
4-7: Vince. Soft sky blues, dusty periwinkle blues. 
8-9: Eileen Fisher: Royal blues, teals, a few dusty periwinkles.
10: Helmut Lang!! (Yes -- even Helmut Lang is doing blue this year!!) Robin's egg, royal, and other things in between.

I went "window" shopping after my haircut. No purchasing, just scouting. You can't really tell but the style is a bit different -- longer front fringe and a very short back on nape but a bit of volume higher up. Will try to get better pics later. I can wear it sideswept or straight down or tousled or maybe flat ironed (didn't try). Colour is growing out...I'm also in blue, by the way, although it looks black. 

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27 comments

Another comfy casual boot...and some winter footwear observations

Nobody would accuse me of having too few shoes...

My first puchase this year was yet another pair. I saw these Sorels on a fitness classmate and fell in love. They were on sale. And wow, what a terrific little boot! Waterproof, lightweight, warm! Good for a medium volume foot or a narrower foot (I suspect) -- won't work on a very wide or super high volume foot. I do have narrow heels -- one boot shifts a bit (this, however, is story of my life!) but I don't think I'll get a blister; the other foot is fine (a near-miracle). 

These are admittedly on the "athleisure side" but I intend them for coming back and forth to fitness class and running errands; maybe also for daily walks, depending where I'm walking. They come in 3 colourways. 

I just threw them on coming home from gym, which is basically how I will wear them, so....excuse the mess! :) 

Some further winter footwear observations.

1. Like Angie, I bought the Converse flatform, and like her, I can tolerate it...but barely. It is a bit too heavy for long wear. And it's also a bit too flat for me, but not roomy enough for my PF inserts. Which means I don't feel fully supported in it. I have two pairs (mustard and red) and I do wear them a lot (it's a perfect option for my climate) but I've also learned that I do not care for this chunky style with my BF or slim jeans. I only like it with wide legs or flares. It just feels too "boyish" on me. I prefer my BF jeans with a pointed toe or almond toe -- something more refined. Interesting info for future reference. 

2. The Paul Greens are total workhorses. I did have an awful few days of break-in with them due to my narrow heel. But once they softened up -- pure bliss. Lightweight and fabulous. Not waterproof, though, so I baby them a bit. Also, the heel is going to wear down really quickly. I know from experience that I can get a lift put on this type of sole...but then the boot will be considerably heavier. I did it with my La Canadiennes last year and while I've worn those for another season, they are not as comfortable any more. I am really hard on footwear. A shoe I wear regularly is likely to wear out in a season. ;( 

3. For a heel, the EF pump is shockingly comfy. I ended up walking a mile and a half the other night in these when the bus didn't come, and wow -- they were great! This makes me think I really should consider EF shoes more often. They are very pricey but the quality is fab! I forgot to mention these in my comment on the "black footwear" post. I'd love these even better in blue, but am very glad to have them at all. I only own a couple of truly dressy shoes. How lovely when they're actually wearable! :) 

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