Eyes on eyelet (and some wild cards)

Following on Janet's and Chris's posts, I'd already made an order to Zara for a blue eyelet top to try. Here it is, along with the barrel leg jeans in Ecru that I also ordered.

The top is all cotton, a bright sky blue, and slightly cropped. It can be worn untucked or tucked, though untucked is probably the intention. The sleeves are full length with a sewn narrow band -- I am wearing them pushed up, which is how I would wear IRL.

I like it a lot. My sole hesitation is the puff sleeve, which is a bit femme for my style as a rule. But I think I'm ok with it. :) I am also keeping the jeans. They are a nice lightweight cotton, just cropped enough for ankle length on me, and easy to wear. They are not true white, but near-white ecru. 

Wildcards! Star recently posted about wild cards and items waiting in the wings. My wild card waitlisted (until hot weather) item is a sandal in neon orange (!!!) from Cole Haan.

I'd been looking for a bright sandal for about 4 years, no joke -- ideally in red or fuchsia. But none to be found. Orange is one of my most unwearable colours, but on my feet? Why not? It works with blue and white, right? These are comfy and exactly the kind of style I was after, and were on super sale --  so I decided to keep. 

But what, apart from blue and white (which is basically my whole summer closet) to wear them with? 

How about a little scarf in orange and ecru? Is this a nutty idea? 

Oh, and how about a cotton voile top? It looked a lot more cream in the stock photo -- IRL it is more yellow. Maybe too yellow. But talk about a wild card for me -- orange and yellow!! 

Have I truly gone wild and lost my mind? 

To be clear: the jeans are a keep, the blue top is most likely a keep, and the other items are maybes. Would love your thoughts! 

 

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Piper Oversized Raincoat Review

Hi, all! 

Well, after asking your advice on trenches for my upcoming trip to London several months ago and deciding on the blue....I have had second thoughts. 

Don't get me wrong. I love the blue trench. The colour is gorgeous. I love the classic style. BUT it has four serious downfalls as a travel coat. 

1. It is quite fitted, so difficult to layer under. 
2. It is not packable or easy carry for a day spent out and about. 
3. It is on the heavy side for the current temperatures -- I would be hot in it (and then would have to carry it...in and out of museums, shops, restaurants, etc. etc. for a full day or sightseeing). I find it awkward to spend an entire day with a (possibly damp) coat on my arm. Of course I can check it in museums and such but not while walking. 
4. It lacks a hood, so if it actually rains, I would get quite wet. I do have a packable umbrella and a rain hat, but the less I have to lug around with me most days, the better. 

So I started looking for packable raincoats. I tried several and promptly sent them back for one reason or another. Here is one I think I may keep. 

This is the Lole Piper Oversized Raincoat. https://www.lolelife.com/en-ca.....8;gad_sour

I have had very good luck with Lole coats. One of my first YLF purchases, way back in 2012, was a puffer coat from Lole. I  wore it up until last winter and the only reason I don't have it any more is that it is too warm for my current climate. I finally passed it on, in near-perfect condition, after 7 years of very heavy wear (daily for months on end) and several more years of lighter wear. 

(I also own a lightweight puffer jacket by Lole, purchased on major sale this year.) 

The colour is called "Abalone." It's almost exactly like the "oyster" puffer coat I own. A sort of cool greyish beige? Stone? Something like that. Not my best, but not (I hope) soul-sucking beige on me. (The coat comes in a lot of other neutrals and a few colours but this was the one that looked most promising for my needs.) 

It's basically an oversized anorak with extras. Much more casual than my classic Hobbs trench, but not without a bit of attitude and style. It is lightweight, seam-sealed, and lined, so it will be quite water-repellant (while not truly waterproof.) It has a high collar, a double zip (bottom and top), zippered pockets on the sides and one on the inside for a phone, a sewn on hood that is very adjustable, and adjustable waist and arms. 

It also packs away into its own little backpack. This is a very nifty feature! 

Because of the ties and the double zip, you can wear the sleeves and waist in different ways -- you can push the sleeves up to show your wrists or have the sleeves long. 

It is very oversized, BTW. I sized down. 

As I have said, I am inclined to keep this and use it on the trip and afterwards. I think it could prove quite a versatile piece. What think you? 

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Really Going Wild: Camper Flats

In one sense, this is the most obvious purchase in the world for me. My first fashion memory is a pair of red Mary Janes! (I called them my "tapping" shoes at age 3.) I have always loved footwear, and always especially loved red footwear, and I have not owned a pair of red shoes in ages. 

In another sense, it is a wild card for me. Flats are risky for my plantar fasciitis and often tire my arches. 

My review: these Camper Mary Janes are a really fun shoe. Unlined, extremely soft leather, but with rubbery bottoms and a very slight heel also in rubbery stuff that (I hope!) will provide enough protection from hard pavement. I have worn them around the house -- they accommodate my wider forefoot and narrow heel very well and the strap keeps them in place. They are not a perfect match for my Pom Pom bag, but close enough. 

I would recommend these to anyone in the market (they come in off-white and black also). And I'm delighted to have found a new brand that may work decently for my increasingly fussy feet!  

Questions and comments welcome. 

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Wild Cards

Last week, I did the closet switchover from fall/winter to spring/ summer, and in the process edited out a number of items that had worn out or that I wasn't wearing. 

I also visited a recently bereaved friend for several days to offer comfort and support, and together we visited a well curated boutique. And -- ooops!  Somehow I managed to come home with a couple of wild cards! 

#1 A skirt from Allison Wonderland, a local (Vancouver) slow fashion sustainable company. Yes, I just bought another skirt. And...in the "never say never" line of the ledger -- this one has a ruffle, which I almost never like or wear!

But I put it on and didn't want to take it off. Sustainably made, local company, 60% off, and so "me." It was a no-brainer.

Note, I would much more likely be wearing this with boots or booties in fall/ winter -- but I'd put those away as part of the seasonal switch out. And I think it works ok with the oxfords, too. 

#2 Rails silver top. Not on sale, alas, and pricey, but I could not resist it.

I did not splurge on the matching pants, which were also pretty special. Maybe if they go on super discount later, I'll consider that. :) For now, I'm pretty sure I'll get a lot of wear from the top, based on the length of time and amount of wear I have got from a silver foil decal tee from Zara that I have owned for a decade. 

This was definitely a case of emotional shopping. I had no intention of buying anything when we walked into the store. 

What's your last wild card purchase? Did it work out for you well? 

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Everlane Way-High Curve jean: Length question

Showing the Everlane Way-High Curve jean. By the way, these ones are labelled on the tag as "way-high curve" jeans as well as on the order form. They are definitely different from the utlility barrel pants, which I own in a different colour. (Also in Finds) 

Like the Gardener jean (which I sent back -- in Finds), these are a smidge short in the rise for me. It's possible a size up would solve the problem, so I can consider sending back and re-ordering, though I think they may be too large elsewhere if I size up. 

I like the fabric -- this is a nice, slightly lighter weight denim than the very substantial denim of the Gardener jean, and more suitable for spring/ summer/ early fall in my climate. A good thing, since that is what I was hoping for. I love the shape -- the reined in volume is totally up my style alley. :) 

On me, they are "new full length." The question is, if I keep them, should I shorten so that they are just above the ankle?  The problem with the current length is that they bump up against the tops of shoes and laces.  But maybe they looks better longer?  I was planning to wear these oxfords with them, and sneakers, and maybe a dressier flat as well. (A few options I'd thought of, in Finds). 

Not styled -- just thrown on with the sweater I was wearing. I show them first full length and then various ways of cuffing, tucking, holding up to try to approximate the look should I hem them by an inch and a half or so, so they are the length they are on the model. 

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Skirt season

I've been much enamoured of Brooklyn's skirt formula for summer over the past few years, and thought a version of it would work well for me -- except, with a few exceptions, I have not been able to source the skirts that would work for me as well as she has done. :(  This year, I was especially interested in her basque style skirts (with the dropped waist). Despite being slightly short legged or at least long in the rise, it is a style I like a lot and think can work for me. 

I ordered two from Zara to test this out. 

1. Is navy with a slight built-in crinkle and sheen -- not like satin but more like a less shiny taffeta. It is some kind of polyester blend, lined in poly. It has a lot of body and heft -- it will not wrinkle more than the intentional wrinkles. 

As BrieN mentioned, Zara now gives exact garment measurements. I took my normal Zara size, based on measurements given and previous experience. I would say this is on the generous side of TTS. The waist is a bit large on me, but not to the point that the skirt would twist around (I don't think) as some skirts do, when they are on the larger side. The quality is surprisingly nice. Fabric is unusual and a bit distinctive; it has a depth to it. 

Pros: I like the fit, the length, it feels like a ballerina skirt! Swishy and glam! Could be an excellent dress up item and could be worn in early spring/ fall/ winter -- could also be dressed down with boots, denim, etc. 

Cons: It won't really work for summer for me at all except perhaps for evening wear of some kind. And is a bit too dressy for my regular daily lifestyle. 

So I am debating it.  Do you think the style has staying power? I might try to style it up a few ways before making a decision -- here, I just tossed it on with my silver Zara top to try on. Not properly styled, though I do like with the silver slingbacks. 

2. Off-white cotton. Also not really styled -- just a try on. This one is the same style, and 100% cotton and had lots of potential as casual summer wear, but I am sending it back. It's a little too see-through (even though it is lined in cotton), a little fuller than the other skirt, and also longer. I suppose I might consider dyeing it to some colour that would prevent the see-through aspect, and hemming it a bit....but I think it's not quite right, regardless. 

I hope these reviews are helpful to others who may be considering the style and of course I would appreciate your thoughts! 

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Merino Hoodie Replacement?

Fab friends, I need some shopping help. My two beloved Icebreaker merino hoodies are toast, and cannot be repaired. (One, after 5 years, had an irreparable zipper issue, sob!; the other, after 7 years, has holes that are too big to darn any more. I wore it through multiple times.) 

Both gave me loyal service. Except for the hottest days, I wore one or the other of these every single morning and most evenings (as loungewear) and often throughout the day for neighbourhood walks or as layering pieces on hikes or with my regular clothing, as well. 

Alas -- the replacement styles are no longer the same. Not made with 100% (or nearly 100% merino) for one thing. Not as thick/ warm. Not in colours that work for me. Cut differently. The issues go on and on. I ordered a few to try and knew they'd wear out within a year. 

Knowing these were inevitably going to wear out, I've been canvassing options for several years. Have tried on hoodies (in different fabrics) from all kinds of places -- everything from BR and GAP to Aritzia to all the gear companies I can think of. And I am coming up empty. None combines the easy fit and drape, breathability with coziness, zip-front style (important to me, because I wear them most often as a top layer) and all round versatility and durability of these items. 

Can anyone help me find something similar? I've looked at Smartwool already without luck. I would prefer wool but will consider cotton but reluctantly because it won't be cozy enough for all year wear in my climate. 

32 comments

Everlane items up for review

I put in an order to Everlane and some of the items arrived. I'm showing two sale shirts and the Gardener jean.

The Gardener jean is a repeat from last year. I had my eye on it then but did not order. It's a wide leg crop with utility stitching, in a heavy non stretch denim. I ordered my usual size and it is TTS.

Pros -- lovely thick denim, interesting detailing, good cropped length.
Cons -- none, really -- except for me, the back rise is not quite high enough so I am getting that wedgie feeling. This happens sometimes with high rise jeans and me. A size up might have solved it, but then it would have been large in the waist. I am sitting in them for half an hour to see if it relaxes enough (this often fixes the issue) but at the moment, I'm inclined to return and see if I can get a pair of the Anthro Colettes instead, since I know those are very comfy for me. It's just hard to know if I can source them since they closed the Vancouver store and I don't think they deliver to Canada. 

I also tried two shirts on sale. One is the Box shirt (in slate) and the other is the Way Short shirt (which is not way short on me, only shortish, LOL) in a grey stripe. 

I really like both shirts. They could use a pressing, as you can see, but both are lovely fabric. The Box shirt is a crisp poplin that stands away from the body and will be great for summer. Except for the top button, the buttons are hidden under a placket, which gives it a dressier feel.

The Way Short shirt is in a very soft lightweight cotton that will also be fantastic in summer heat and offers sun coverage and won't show the wrinkles much. 

I am inclined to keep both shirts. Summer tops are always an issue for me and I never seem to have enough, so I'm sure they will get good use. 

I also bought the well-reviewed transit backpack, but I think I am returning it as well. I have another pack from Bellroy that is not as large but does serve a similar function and is less large. I thought I might like this better than a tote bag for upcoming travel, but I'm not convinced. Maybe I need to put my stuff in it to see. If anyone has one of these and can speak to it, I'm all ears. 

Please excuse the spotty mirrors and bad lighting! Clearly I need to get to work! As always, I would welcome your thoughts. These purchases break my long no-buy spell from November and it is fun to be planning for spring! 

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A keep, a return

I love Boden knits. But trying on is difficult (no stores here) and there is a cost for delivery and returns. So it's tricky. 

I took a chance at the sale price on two sweaters, one of which I am keeping and one I'm returning. 

Keeping the Effie sparkle stripe sweater. Very subtle daytime sparkle and comfortable and easy to wear. They'd sold out of my regular size  in this colour, so I took a chance and sized down, because my experience with this type of ribbed sweater at Boden is that it is generous. That is the case here -- even a size down it's quite fluid on me. 

I'm returning my other purchase. It's a lovely sweater but the reds are too rust for my needs (in the photo I thought they were a little more neutral dark red) and the knit gauge is too heavy for my needs -- it's a true pullover for layering under, not a top to wear on its own, really. 

At the doctor's with my kid....

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Trends already in the closet

I've been waiting for Angie's seasonal trend report. As I perused earlier reports coming out this fall, I started looking through my closet and asking myself how I might use items already in my closet to participate in some of these trends. There are also others I'm really hoping to embrace but need to make new purchases to do so -- I will save those for another post. 

Tall boots: I own 3 pair -- 2 heeled (grey suede dressy and black casual) and a black flat riding boot. I'm going to dust them off and wear them with culottes, dresses, and skirts. I wish I had navy boots or a cooler grey toned boot -- but investing in a new pair doesn't strike me as sensible when these are still in great shape and were quite the investment when purchased, and are comfortable. 

Loose jeans and pants -- I'm almost set for this trend with various shapes and levels of formality. But I have my eye on a few additions of trousers. 

Tuxedos and pant suits -- I currently have one pant suit and am looking at another. I also own a tuxedo blazer which can be combined with an unmatching navy pant to make a sort of tuxedo suit. 

Metallics -- as a laid-back luminous gar├žonne who has been adding metallics to the closet since my hair went silver, you'd better bet I am all over this trend. Fall/ winter worthy metallics already in my closet include footwear, bag, jeans, two piece dress. Am I done yet?  I doubt it. This goes beyond trend to signature for me. 

Peplums -- I own a few old peplum tops from J. Crew that I still enjoy wearing. They are dressier items, so don't see much action, but I might see if I can style them a new way. 

Leather clothing -- I have a great leather moto and a fab coat. I don't have pants/ skirt or other leather or faux leather items. Would not be averse to adding. 

Statement socks: I have a few of these. 

Hem length -- I'm going for the midaxi length as much as I can and have a couple of options. 

How about you? What have you already got in your closet that will allow you to play with this year's trends -- should you want to? 

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