PSA Canadians the Blondo snake report (plus chocolate!)

Guess what I saw today at Nordstrom's in Vancouver?? 

After they told me they wouldn't be selling those boots in Canada? 

HARUMPH!!!!!

Also, though -- they come in chocolate brown!!!  The photo may look black but it is not. They do also come in black, of course. 

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BR Crop High Rise denim -- thanks to Lisa P -- and questions!

Hi, everyone! I haven't been posting or even responding much to posts these days due to an insane work schedule, major family shifts and changes (including a move, and another move to come), and a recent bout of flu that has laid me awfully low and put me even more behind on the work. But I'm starting to get better now and need some fashion assistance! 

First, big shout out to Lisa P, who alerted us to these BR high rise jeans on her own thread. 

THESE ARE BRILLIANT!!! OMG. 

A few things to note. First off, there is the vanity sizing. Size down. I'm in my former BR/Gap/J. Crew size here and it feels generous...normally I am wearing a size or two up from that, these days. The good news: they have a bit of stretch but don't feel too stretchy...I think they will accommodate slight shifts in weight in either direction quite well. 

Also -- miracle -- they came in a SHORT (not petite) length, so I ordered them! I also ordered the regular length to compare. The short is almost NEVER available in Canada. 

Short is so much better for me than petite because I tend to need the length in the rise. These are super comfy there, no pinching. 

My question -- are the shorts short enough to look intentional, or do they need a chop? (Pics 1-10). They are probably just a hair over an inch above my ankle bone? Maybe between an inch and two inches. I am showing them here with several different footwear options so you can see the variation. Flat sneakers, Eliza booties, flat Aquatalias, Paul Greens, dressier heeled Aquatalias. 

I also tried the regular. (Pics 12, 13, 14). They are too short to work as full-length jeans. But do they work as that weird new trendy length? Or is that what the shorts are on me? ;)

Honestly, I like these jeans enough that I would keep two pair and if I take the regulars back, I am likely to order a second pair of the shorts! They are that good. I don't even mind the little self-belt, although I can also change it for other belts of course. 

Also up -- the BR sweater. (Pic 9/10) I tried a regular in the store (pic 11) a while back but felt it swamped me a bit. This is petite. I've been looking for a replacement for my horribly pilly Plenty sweater for ages. This is not a true duster length, so might not be "the one" - or maybe I should go back to the regular size? 

Final question: Do those BR cropped trousers that Angie showed fit like these jeans? Does anyone know? Has anyone compared? If so, if they are the same cut...I am ordering a pair in several colours because they are just fantastic!! 

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The Long Long of It

As Angie says, long blazers are EVERYWHERE. 

Gryffin, this is your year! Go for it! I even saw a very 80s version of long over lean at Aritzia -- long blazer with mini skirt. Not up to your quality standards, but I am betting there is a version somewhere for you! 

There is no store without racks and racks of (usually menswear check) long jackets, mostly double breasted (but not all), some screaming fun fun FUN and some more business sober.  

My eye has adjusted, and even though it can be a tough look for me to wear due to my own proportions—and I cringe when I look back at my 80s photos in those really oversized jackets with the big shoulder pads— I'm ready to give the contemporary version a whirl. Trendy classic is not my moniker for nothing. 

Yesterday between my dentist and hair appointments, I had some time for sleuthing. First stop, a local consignment shop where last year I got my Pink Tartan herringbone jacket. 

First try on, a Sandro double breasted jacket in a sort of taupe/grey plaid. Colours don't reproduce all that well here -- sorry. It was a size 40, which is probably a size or even 2 sizes big for me, but then again, the Paul Smith is a 40, so you just never know. It did feel a bit more than oversized (long sleeves, shoulders just on the edge of being too big) but it wasn't horrible. 

Then, a Smythe jacket. I think the previous owner stretched it out in weird ways...it felt permanently rumpled or something. I wouldn't buy it but it was fun to try it. 

Finally, post-haircut, another Sandro, this season's. This one is size 36 and seemed to fit perfectly, so who knows. I have to confess, I have MAJOR SUGAR EYE for houndstooth. In the 80s I owned a houndstooth jacket that basically defined the last few years of that decade for me. I adored it. I think I've even posted a photo of it on the forum in the archives somewhere. Will hunt it out. In the meantime, here's today's updated version. Thoughts? 

No styling of these since I just threw them on top of my shorts. 

Of course, this jacket is more than 3 times the price of the consignment jacket. So there is that. And I don't actually *need* another jacket, either. But that is a separate discussion, right? :) 

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Consignment Light Blue: Bonus Photobomb by Max

Well, look what happened on the way home from breakfast with a friend. I stopped into the consignment store, where I happened upon this PAUL SMITH summer jacket in...light blue check! 

It is half linen, half summer weight wool. Unlined (apart from the sleeves and top area) but beautifully finished seams (of course!) It has bracelet sleeves with many working buttons and a slight flare to them. And it can be worn traditionally, or buttoned up higher for a sort of Nehru effect. It is hard to show in a selfie but it actually works. 

Not styled or anything really -- just thrown on to show.

Best of all, got it for a pittance. 

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The Return Cycle. Plus a couple of keeps.

The good news: I only added 2 new items to my wardrobe vs. a possible 8. Mr. Suz can take back his words about "more clothes???" and my bank account will leave me more for the NAS. 

The bad news...now I have to take it all back and I don't have the PJs I sorely need

Showing try on photos and some reviews: 

The shimmering plaid midi is a lot of fun and a really nice skirt. The pleats stay flat, unlike many of these skirts, so I thought it was worth a try. The colours are a blend of some cools and dominant warm tones  out of my usual range, so I thought it might make a fun semi-wild card. Fit is great. Comfort level high. It needs a steaming out of the bag, but I get the sense it would travel very well and dress up or down. 

But...I just don't love it enough to keep. I have my new cropped wide leg pants and culottes, plus last year's Liberty skirt, and possibly a few new dresses (if those work out). So I think it's going back, along with the tee. 

I love the white sleeveless shirt but it's a size too small. This type of shirt used to be my go-to in the 90s and I would love an update! But I think it's all gone in my size now. Oh well. 

I'm keeping the funny little denim shell. It's trapeze style with a tie at the back -- those kinds of things usually feel too fussy for me, but this one seems okay. It's super cool (temperature-wise) due to the cut and can be worn tucked or untucked. I think it will be a useful casual item. 

Also keeping the Collection silk shirt -- 3 of my best colours in one silk shirt, on substantial sale = no brainer. 

The PJs -- this was a case where reviews were right. The fit is just plain odd! Too bad, because the quality is nice and I need these!

The jeans. Well...I'm not crazy about them on me. They're good quality. The seamed wide legs are nice thick denim. Fit is pretty good -- maybe a tad snug. They'd need to be hemmed (no surprise.) But I'm just not crazy about them.

As for the straights, I feel the same. Fit is fine, quality fine, and the side stripe is really fun. But I don't want the distressing.

TBH, my glory days of denim were the slouchy skinny or slim BF. That's the denim silhouette I still love best, and feel I look my best in -- though I'd like it in a higher rise than of yore. Will be keeping my eyes open for that holy grail and sending these ones back. If anyone has suggestions or ideas for a slim BF with a higher rise -- I'm all ears. 

Onwards! 

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Oops! Someone went shopping...

Well well well. Just a few fine weeks ago, I wrote a review post.  I listed the (few) items I'd purchased (apart from gear) and reviewed successes and failures.

Then--ooops! I went shopping! Frustration at my summer dress situation and closet boredom hit -- and the results represent a distinct interference with at least one of my stated start-of-year goals, below. (Hangs head in embarrassment..)

In my defence, I haven't even received most of this stuff yet, so I may be making a lot of returns. But really. Right before NAS, too. What was I thinking?

Even if I keep all of this, I'm not over budget (because most of this was on significant sale) and I retired 16 items due to wear, fit, or other issues, but did I really need more stuff? Debatable.

Anyway. In Finds I show what's still on order for consideration, excepting a couple of much needed pairs of summer PJs.

Now let's look at my stated goals.

1. Continue to wear outfits that are: Modern, Classic, Vivid, Practical, and Playful.

I think I'm doing quite well with this. Some of my summer outfits feel softer (with the addition of olive and pale lilac wide crops) but the silver footwear and jewellery amps those up.

2. Spend time reflecting on how I can reconcile my “trendy” style persona with my ethical aspirations. Shopping for statement items (and even some essentials) via consignment is one way; patronizing local and/or ethically conscious designers for essentials is another. But what about wardrobe churn? I plan to set aside a weekend just to research, and another weekend to reflect on it and make some plans.

Ummmm. Not yet. Need to set aside that time.


In the meantime, I will continue my more-or-less intuitive style of shopping — editing out what’s worn or doesn’t fit or doesn’t please me and adding as I see fit, just observing my patterns without judgement.

Have been doing the intuitive shopping thing (obviously!) but need to think about how and whether it is working.

3. Revisit the idea of a work-from-home “uniform” that does not include jeans-- given my recent worn out pair! Looking at these Everlane pants (in Finds) - anyone know them?

Still shopping for and buying jeans. ;)  

4. Revamp/upgrade my gear. I got out of the habit of regular workouts for most of the year and want to inspire myself to get. back into them.

I did this in January during sales. Very helpful.

6. Have fun with fashion!! Continue to check out Vancouver's fab consignment stores. Play with colour (esp. RED) and generally have a good time.

My luck at consignment this season was nil. I did frequent the stores but found nothing I wanted or needed. I do keep my eye out for red everywhere, and I have been having some fun. :)

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A few (not blue!) purchases w. question re pants length

My family sent me on a returns errand the other day and of course I couldn't resist some actual shopping while I was downtown. 

After pulling on my ancient tube skirts day after day and saying I was fine with them (while secretly feeling bored) and after looking and looking and then despairing of finding dresses to replace the Boden dresses I fell in love with last year, I felt suddenly overcome with the need to switch up my silhouettes. Oops! 

So. I bought a few items, below. Plus one that I will show you later on. 

In Zara, I picked up these linen high waisted trousers. I love them! They remind me of a pair of raw silk gaucho pants I used to own in the 90s. The tie is supposed to be worn in front, I think, as in the dressing room photo, but I often find them fussy that way, so I've made it into a wee knot at the back. I admit they could use a steaming but when it comes to linen, I'm at peace with some crease. And they are a sagey-khaki green. I love this tone, but so rarely wear it! (Bonus, it works with blue.) 

Can I wear at this length? It reminds me of what KM wrote about Japanese trouser length in her recent post. They feel quite okay to me, even with the sneakers? (Last photo from dressing room.) 

I also bought a V neck top -- the one that Jacquie and LisaP recommended. Am I nuts? Ordinarily a V, much as I love it, isn't my best look. But I've gained a bit of weight, which typically makes a V neck work a bit better on me, and this one seems quite structured. I hope it passes muster because I cut the tags. The fabric drapes nicely. 

I also bought a little linen camp shirt at Zara for a more casual look. 

Would love to know your thoughts. Thanks! 

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Mid-year Review

Dear YLF, 

My wardrobe is in a pretty good place, so apart from replenishing my gear capsule in the winter, I haven't made many "fashion" purchases at all so far. And everything I've bought was (uncharacteristically for me) on sale. 

Below are the things I've bought. The colour on the EF shirt is so good for me that I bought it even though it wasn't really on my list of needed items. I love wearing silk shirts -- they tend to live in my closet for a long time and never fail to spark joy. 

The BR tops are staple items, replacing a few worn tees and tops. It's already too warm for me to wear them, alas, at least the sleeved ones, but I know they will get years of use, as this type of top always serves me extremely well. 

Both J. Crew pants will work well for me in the casual summer wear department. 

The Ecco sneakers (actually darker than shown) are replacements for my beloved silver Ecco 8s. I don't love them quite as much as the others, but there is no silver anywhere in my size, so. Also, they seem wider on the heel than my previous ones so the fit is not so good for me. I am experimenting with various insoles. 

The Fitflop sneakers are a FLOP. I'd hoped they'd work like the Eccos but the fit is too wide no matter what. I think this counts as my shopping mistake this year. About to let them go to a happier home. 

The Earth sandals were a complete surprise. They were priced at less than $40 CAD and I couldn't resist. Very very comfy. Not a true wild card because after all, they are a classic sandal in "my" colours. But certainly an impulse purchase and I think, a good one. 

So, here I am in my circa 2013 tube skirt. The denim jacket, which I bought in my first year at YLF. The top is also on its 3rd or 4th season. Only the bag and shoes are recent. Once again, an outfit that isn't particularly current, yet it makes me happy. 

On a sadder note, 2 of my Boden dresses from last year are fitting poorly. Partly it is me -- I gained a few pounds.  :(.  But mostly it is them -- after many many wears and washes, they've simply shrunk a bit. I always wash in cool and air dry, but eventually shrinkage will occur, I guess, no matter what. And these dresses did see a lot of wear last year and even early this year. Each was worn about twice per week through the warm months -- so well over 30 wears apiece. So I'm on the lookout for great summer dresses, along with several others of you. Haven't found my dream dresses yet but open to suggestions. 

24 comments

CC Fail but Colours for Angie

I said I'd play, but...yesterday I was so busy shovelling, I didn't get out of my gear. 

Snow still coming down like mad today and I thought I had an eye appointment downtown. Needed tall waterproof boots for slush situation. Got there only to realize I'd messed up on my calendar! It's a month from now. Ooops! 

So I went to browse the shops and look what I saw! Eileen Fisher is doing teals and turquoises this year -- not that it does you much good, Angie, since you're pretty much sized out, but it's pretty! And Scotch and Soda has a big selection of Dutch oranges. 

I did at least manage light neutral trousers. I hope that counts for something! 

Bonus snow views. I'm travelling the rest of the week and can't promise no dark neutrals because, major snow and slush all over. I will cheer you all from the sidelines! 

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Fair Isle: J. Crew finally comes through. Sweater reviews.

The order I placed on Black Friday finally arrived tonight. That is some kind of record. 

The good news is that I'm keeping both sweaters. 

The cashmere mock neck is very nice quality for the (sale) price. I have been wanting a lighter coloured patterned cashmere sweater and this fits the bill. As reviewers note, it is not fitted (as described) but oversized. I took my regular J. Crew size and at the moment, I'm about at my highest weight/ size; if I were any smaller I'd have wanted to size down. 

I sized up on Sweater 2. I am glad I did -- the shoulder would not have fit me if I hadn't. IRL it is more pale grey than cream on the bottom portion, and the top portion is NAVY, not black. Wearing it in a few combinations in the pics. I loved it with the Black Watch as styled on the web site and since I have a Black Watch suit, I figured i could do the same. It is not too cropped for me at all (some reviewers complained of this). It is also nice and soft. 

I'd have liked a colourful Fair Isle this year and may still pick one up, but these neutrals will easily work with my wardrobe and should have staying power even when the trend is over. 

ETA: Photos are not great but we are in deep darkness now plus major rain. C'est la vie! 

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