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 garçonne 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? 


Extra? Dries consignment find

Thank you all for your kind commiserations on my crash. The pain has been worse the last few days but I'm also getting treatment (physio and massage) and my follow up x-ray is good, so I think I am on the mend. 

I've been waiting for weeks to show you something I found while in Vancouver for Mr. Suz's surgery in late May. I visited one of my favourite consignment shops and came away with these Dries van Noten cotton-linen pleated wide leg joggers in plaid. Is that "extra", or what? I mean, all in themselves. 

I say they are Dries van Noten and that is what the tag says, but I can't find a similar version online from any collection. So maybe they are a fake. I doubt it though -- the shop is reputable and they are very nicely made. 

I apologize for the poor lighting. I did not have the energy to set things up today for anything better, but I think you still get the idea. They are navy, off-white, burgundy, black. They are SUPER comfy.  I think they'll be really useful on those early fall days when it is still hot, but also throughout spring and summer with white and lilac. 

I must say, I feel very "garçonne" especially with the wingtips. It's a 20s golfing outfit! 


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Enough with the silver jeans, already

Ok, this is in the interests of leaving no retail stone unturned. Another Canadian fabber kindly pointed out that the Bay was selling a silver jean by a company unknown to me, called Own. They were on sale, so I ordered them to try, just in case I might prefer them to the Zara jeans I showed last week.

They arrived and here is my review  These are a nice quality jean. The silver finish is a mid cool tone and feels soft to the touch. These are raw hem and available in multiple lengths. I got the short ones, obviously. ;) They are TTS. They are billed as "mid rise" but much like the Zara jens, they are in fact high rise on me. They are a slim straight verging on skinny -- very similar to the Madewell Stovepipe jean, for those familiar with that cut and style.  Also like that jean, they are made of a very stretchy fabric. 

However, I tend to like more structure in my jeans and so I prefer the 100% cotton of the Zara version, For that reason, I'm sending these back. 

Forgive the lack of styling -- just threw them on to try. 

Hope this may be useful to someone. And now I am done with silver jeans for now! 


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The Shoe Review, Part 2: Mistakes were Made

Ok, so that sounds a bit more portentous than it should. 

It was only one mistake. 

You may recall I recently did a big footwear edit and summer shoe renewal. 

I bought: 

  • EOS white sneakers
  • Naturalizer silver sneakers
  • Cole Haan knit oxfords
  • Naturalizer heeled sandals
  • Naturalizer slingbacks 

The good news, moving backwards: 

1. I managed to nab a sale pair of the Banks slingbacks in the size up from the size I showed in the earlier post. This size fits better in the length and (so far) does not fall off my heel! Score!  I predict a long future for these in the closet since they are such a fun, classic, retro style and easy to wear. 

2. The Vera heeled sandals also seem like a win. Admittedly, I have only worn them around the house, but they feel flexible, stable, and they do not rub. 

3. The Cole Haan oxfords get rave reviews all over, and I can understand why. Admittedly, I haven't worn them out of the house yet. But I am wearing today and I am impressed. Very lightweight. Unusually supportive for a flat shoe, which may have to do with the slight lift at the back and the fact that they are not too wide. (I do not have a narrow foot overall -- my forefoot is medium width. But my mid foot and heel are apparently narrow or lower volume -- more on that in a moment). In any case, I really like these and imagine they will be good travelling shoes. They look good with dresses or pants because they are quite refined. 

4. The Naturalizer sneakers are a huge win! I have worn them now on a 4.5 km walk, a 3 km. walk, shorter jaunts, and around the house (at first) and I got no blisters! Also, they are supportive enough for me so far without a special insole (which I usually need to add to sneakers to make them wearable.) Very cushy and comfy! 

5. The MISTAKE. The EOS sneaker, which was so comfy out of the box and in the house, gave me a massive heel blister on my first real outdoor outing. Even with socks on. I gave the shoes a rest for a day or two, loaded up on blister bandages, and substituted my Superfeet insole. No luck -- it was still too sloppy for my foot and I got blisters on my toes this time! UGH. 

I can't return, obviously, but I'm hopeful the situation can be remedied. I'm going to try next time with double insoles -- the manufacturer's, plus one of my slim Superfeet insoles -- and see how that goes. It feels more secure on try-on. 

It just goes to show that footwear purchases don't always go the way we think they will go -- even when we take special care. 


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More Zara: the silver knit top upsized & more

So, while ordering silver jeans to try, I also tried a larger size in that knit top outfit (skirt was the right size) and threw in more things to try as well.

I'm not decided on any of it and would value your thoughts and opinions. Thanks in advance!

First, the knit top/ skirt outfit. I like the top much better in this size. Worn as a dress and then the skirt dressed down. This is inexpensive and might be quite versatile because I could wear the items as separates. I wouldn't wear the skirt in high summer (it is lined, so would be too warm then) but I can see wearing it the rest of the year.

Next, a silvery cardigan. I thought it might be the same material as the skirt set, but it's not exactly the same. Very similar, though. Subtle sparkle. I can see wearing this all year but especially as a topper in summer. I didn't really style it intentionally here -- just threw it on over what I was wearing (old blouse and GAP jeans I was trying on as well).  

Then, an asymmetrical navy skirt. It is a fairly substantial knit. I somehow wasn't expecting it to be knit (didn't read the description carefully, I guess) and at first I thought I'd send it straight back. But trying it on with a few items, I'm not so sure...it looks like it could be pretty useful. Very easy and casual. Incidentally, in a couple of photos I am wearing it with a boxy blouson T-shirt I got from Zara years ago. Some of their stuff has real staying power in my closet, say what you like about fast fashion. 

Finally, the cotton dress Christina got for Morocco. I love love love the Marimekko-like pattern on this and the beautiful fabric. It's lovely cotton that barely even wrinkles! Alas, it truly overwhelms me, as you can see. I might be able to size down (worth a thought?) And/or I could potentially alter. Changes I might make include fixing the neckline so it is not such a low V and hemming a few inches. Or, I could just forget about it, LOL. 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts! 


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The silver jeans experiments. ETA more photos.

Up for review and discussion, two more silver jeans!

My initial silver jeans experiment was with GAP's faux leather ones. 

I ultimately decided to return, because I just wasn't sure I'd feel comfortable wearing them. 

These two are from Zara. The first pair (Pic 1) have to go straight back, but I wanted to show them to you all anyway. Maybe they will work for someone!

They are called the "boy boy" style and boy, I think you'd have to be a boy, with zero hips to get them on. These are in my recommended Zara size, two sizes up from my usual size. But, ahem, I can't even get them all the way up. 

For reference, these are a beige denim underneath a fairly thick silver coating that is a bit RATE in places. They are very baggy all the way down. There is a button fly. The overall appearance at the end of the day is a warm, bright, light silver. They are a bit "crunchy" in texture, however. But if you are a true IT and you size up, I think these could look really cool. 

Pair 2 is a slim straight with silver pigment impregnated on grey denim. So the overall effect is more like dark silver or pewter, much cooler toned. They are not at all crunchy. The hem is raw so it could either be trimmed to ankle length and left, or hemmed to that length. (I don't think they work well full length on me because they interfere with my footwear.) Unlike the first ones, they fit and they are very comfortable. 

I didn't "style" these so much as throw a few different things on to see how they might feel. 

I'd love to know your impressions and thoughts, and I hope these reviews might help someone else who is hunting for metallic items while they are trending! 

ETA: to give these jeans a fair shake I tried with different lighting, with the hems *almost* where I'd want them (hard to do by rolling up inside...), legs straight, and with some different light conditions. I don't think the crotch area's a problem. And I hope these pics (8 on) give a better sense of the colour. Will also post downthread. 


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The Shoe Review

The weather here looks like it is finally going to change and I might be able to get out of boots and into shoes and (gasp!) even sandals within a week or so! Yay!

As most of you know, I'm on an editing and buying spree this spring, the biggest in a decade or more. But my footwear review happens every single season, and every single season I have to discard shoes due to extreme wear. I am hard on my shoes!

Once in a very long while I donate footwear -- but apart from dressy shoes, that's rare, because most get too broken down, despite the fact that I keep a reasonably large collection. I do take my boots and shoes to cobblers for re-heeling. I polish and care for my footwear. And I try to rotate wears as much as I can. But I walk a lot in all conditions. 3 pairs of sneakers, 3 sandals, and one flat (spring/ summer) are out this spring. That leaves me with some gaps.

I wanted a new white and a new silver sneaker. I'm a long time fan of Ecco 7 Softs and have worn them for years. Having said that, I can't wear them without insoles, and they're not the best all-day shoe for me, even with insoles. (I'm better with more padding/ lift in the heel due to plantar fasciitis risk.) My current white pair, with some cleaning, is still decent, and I will keep and wear it, but for my full length jeans I need a shoe with a slightly higher lift.

I thought I wanted the Vagabond Judy sneaker. Alas, it was too short and too wide for me. I then tried a few more that I can't even remember, the fit was so bad. My "almost" was a pretty and fun sneaker called Vince with a "frilly" tongue from Canadian company L'Atelier! These are lovely soft shoes, very lightweight, and I was tempted. (They come in other colours, too!) But they were a bit wide in the heel area and quite slippery on the bottom (at least on the engineered wood floor of the store). So I passed. I do think this company makes some great looking shoes, though, and if these go on sale at end of season I might give them a go.

I settled in the end on the EOS Minimal. Fit is great and comfort is good out of the box. I'll need to use a prophylactic bandaid on my left heel to avoid blisters, but that's my life -- I almost never find a shoe that doesn't give me blisters if I don't watch out for it. Reviewers state that this style fits more narrow than most EOS shoes. I can put in my own insole if I prefer it, but for now the regular one feels pretty good.

For my silver, I'm going to try the Naturalizer Morrison 2. They have not arrived yet, so I can't comment on fit and comfort. 

I also tried a pair of Banks slingbacks. Slingbacks almost never work on me and these ones might not, either, but I haven't had a remotely dressy or even slightly refined summer shoe in years, and Carla's posts and Angie's recommendation made me want to give this pretty low heel a go. In the smaller of my two sizes, I think it is just barely too short. But it stays on!! Miracle!!! I fear in the larger of my two sizes, it will fall off. But I ordered to find out.

I also ordered a dressy sandal to try. Again, it hasn't arrived. It has been so long since I had such a thing, or had a need for such a thing, for that matter. But this year, I may in fact have a few occasions. And this is on sale currently and looks to me like a style that won't date, with a medium low stable heel and an ankle strap to keep things secure. 

Last but not least, I'm trying the Cole Haan oxford. It's really a faux oxford -- more like a sneaker, I think! But it's pretty and lightweight and might just fill a white summer shoe hole for me. Won't work with full length jeans (because the lift is not high enough) but will work with everything else.


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Zara: dresses and skirts up for review

Thanks for your help with the Zara jackets. Now it's time to review a few dresses and a skirt/ top outfit, plus a Massimo Dutti skirt that, uh, had some issues. 

First up, the cotton dress Angie got. Blue and white. It's a beautiful lightweight breezy cut with coverage. I intend to keep unless you see any issues. 

The rest is probably going back, but I'll show and review for those who might be interested. 

First, another cotton dress. I knew the colours would likely be too warm but I do sometimes tire of my endless blue and white palette in summer and wanted to try it. The fabric is very much like the previous dress. It comes with a silly self belt that can be tied in an okay way by doubling it, but I think it would also work with a cognac belt really well. And it can be worn beltless for a loose, waist surrendering look. 

Mr. Suz says it makes me look very pale in person, though I don't think it's too bad in the photos here. All the green in the background maybe amps up the contrast and cools it down a bit in the pic. In any case, I trust him. So back it goes, but it might work for someone else. 

Then, a blue and white shirt dress. This is just like a dress I had in the late 80s! But the self belt is an awful vinyl -- feels so cheap, and while I think it looks quite nice in these photos, in person I was not happy with the slit up the front, or the quality. 

Next, a skirt and top combo. As you can see, the top is too tight. This is one time when I should have listened to the warnings about its fitting small -- the size up is not available any more. What you can't really see too well is that there is a silver metallic thread running through this. It's knit, and the skirt is lined. 

Although this pale grey/ silver can be good for me, I think as an entire outfit it washes me out (despite the metallic glitter in real life). It would be better in a more medium grey with metallic -- pewter, maybe? I also think my cat's claws would make a mess of it really fast. Which is too bad, because the skirt could potentially be a really comfy work-from-home to casual at home glam piece. And quite cross-seasonal. 

You can also see the cute silver ankle strap shoes here. I think I am sending these back as well. They are not leather and while not bad in terms of comfort, considering -- I think I can do better. 

Oh -- and the Massimo Dutti skirt that they mistakenly sent in XL!!!  Nice enough, but not fab, even if it were my size. NEXT

I value any thoughts you may have on all this and I hope the reviews may be helpful to others. 


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Silver jeans follow up -- sending back and thanks!

So, uncharacteristically, I'm still undecided on the silver jeans. I did a try on session. I have a million things I could, theoretically, wear them with. But I'm not sure these are "the ones." 

It's hard to photograph them accurately. They are very shiny -- no question -- but IRL you don't see every single crease and buckle in the same way. The lighting in my room is far from natural -- I have all kinds of lights rigged up to try to balance the light from behind, but the effect is to highlight shine and shadow in weird ways, despite what I try to do in photo editing. 

Anyway -- that said...I think what I might be reacting against is a feeling that the outfits or the jeans themselves are dated!  Ironic, since this is a trendy item! 

It could be the footwear. (But I don't want to buy a whole new wardrobe of shoes for one pair of jeans.)  It could be the shape of the jean (I'm now such a convert to wide legs, a straight jean feels like a skinny). 

On the plus side, I really do think these are great quality for the money (esp. at the sale price I paid!). 

Anyway....what think you? I did not try them on with winter items because, well, the cashmere is in storage. But I've pictured some of my items that do or could work with the jeans below, for reference. 

It could be that these are simply not "the ones." Or it could be that so much silver just feels a bit excessive, out of my comfort zone. I'm not entirely sure and welcome your thoughts. I am happy to push my comfort zone for the right wildcard. I am not happy to spend on something I won't wear. 

I do have occasions -- potentially. But I'll only wear them if I want to wear them, as per Janet's recent post. And at this point, I'm conflicted. When I first pulled them on, I wanted to wear them! When I look at the photos, I think, hmmm, maybe not? 


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