Simple, plain, minimal, with GAP gauze shirt

Definitely nothing fancy! But since I wore this yesterday and Janet has just reviewed the GAP gauze dress, let me review the shirts. 

I got 2, a pink and a white. I thought they'd be good to keep the sun off in the garden when weeding. 

  • The gauze is multi-layered so quite thick and not see-through. You can wear without a cami. 
  • Soft. Can probably go without ironing if you are not a super-polished dresser and could certainly be packed and used for a beach cover up.
  • Fit is typical GAP -- on the large side, but I took my usual size. 
  • Cut is neat at shoulder and loose all the way down.  
  • Cotton, so it is cool -- but because of the layers, perhaps not cool enough for the hottest, stickiest days. 
  • Hem is hi-lo, a bit shorter in front. 
  • Popover style with gathers at the yoke, but it buttons all the way down..
  • Feels a bit "romantic." 
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Pixie-lated again

Fab friends! I finally got my hair cut after SIX months!!!! 

Yes, I waited that long. But the good news is I now have a new hairdresser in Victoria; I think he did a pretty good job and feel happy with it. Of course, I'd feel happy with anything at this point! My hair was such a mess. But I got a compliment on the cut from a stranger in the first half hour -- usually a good sign. :) 

Nothing fancy on the clothes front, and nothing new except my (duplicate) white sneakers. 

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Casual striped top

Not original, but this is right up my alley and I happened to match the blog post. 

Full length mirror in darkness so photos a mishmash of what I could grab. Haven't worn a jacket to work from home in ages but this one is comfy and I haven't worn it much in recent years. 

Will have to change later to garden! It's going to be a warm one here. 

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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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Style BVP

I'm awfully late to this discussion, but I've enjoyed reading the responses! It's been fun getting to know how you see yourselves in relation to your clothing, and quite revealing -- I'm sure these conversations will help improve future outfit labs and the like!

Beliefs:

  • Clothes can express who we are and who we want to be in the world.
  • Style is for everybody. It’s not limited by a person’s age, size, income bracket, race, ethnicity, gender, body type, nationality, etc. Stylish people come in all kinds.
  • Style can be learned and developed over time. You don’t have to be born with it.
  • Clothing can be a source of aesthetic pleasure, and aesthetic pleasure is a good in the world. It brings us joy.

Values

  • Practicality: Clothes have got to work for the wearer. (Or at least this wearer).
  • Beauty: fabrics that drape well or hold their shape, well-cut designs, rich colours, interesting textures—these enrich our lives and are worth seeking out.
  • Fun: Girls just wanna have it. And for me, fashion’s a place I can play. Learning is also part of that fun, which is one reason YLF is such a great gathering spot--so much to learn from Angie and all of you! 
  • Sustainability, which for me means maintaining a moderate sized wardrobe that includes a mix of older and newer pieces, buying consignment/ vintage at times and at other times seeking out locally designed or mindfully sourced fabrics, continuing to learn about the impact of the industry on the planet, and donating my gently used items so that they get a second life.
  • Coherence: Meaning, significance, making or revealing connections. I'm not sure this will make sense to some, but it's about a felt need to make sense, to make, period, and to communicate. 

Personality:

If you look in my closet, you’ll see a whole lot of blue! Alas, it’s true, I have a melancholic streak…but I like to think I’m also lucid and reflective. Often, I appear calm, but you know what they say — still waters run deep! (Gah…to think this woman calls herself a writer, right? ;)  Okay, okay…)

Also…see those flashes of red and berry and magenta and fuchsia? Yep, I have a fiery side, and I’m warm and energetic, too. I need to move, and I need to spend time outdoors….hence, the importance of practical clothing.

There’s a fair amount of white — for clarity. And grey, because I’m the farthest thing from a black-and-white thinker — in fact, my friends and family tease me that one of my favourite phrases is: “It’s complicated.” Ambiguities intrigue me. 

Look at all those stripes and tartans and patterns —even on the footwear!— and all that silver and pewter—there’s the spunk and fun coming out. I’ll mix them in, mix them up, and happily wear them every which way. In other words, I don't mind standing out a bit, don't mind drawing attention to myself. Sometimes. And unexpected associations delight me. As does the slight friction of juxtaposition. 

In shorthand, I’m an INFJ-(maybe A? if you believe those subtypes..or any of them, frankly), like Staysfit, and maybe Jenn. And probably half a dozen others here. While I need my alone time to process, in person, I’m talkative and social and sometimes quite assertive, especially on behalf of others. I love to connect with people and help them (there’s a reason I teach), I love love love to learn, and I need to make meaning of my experience with words. 

I’m also an Upholder with a questioning side.

And also, a lucky parent, because my kid just cooked me supper! 

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Essentials 2021

Every year we get into deep conversations about this and every year it gets simpler for me...not least because my list of essentials grows ever smaller -- likely due to a change in climate with my move, and also the pandemic, meaning I don't really go anywhere! 

My list is awfully like Angie's and also is similar to Carla's -- and this makes me think this concept is just easier to grasp if you are a modern classic dresser with a limited colour palette. 

For me, it's blue and white, all the way, with stripes as a key pattern. My essential jeans are slim straights (cropped or not), even though they are not trendy. I've also added a pair of slim straight navy pants, which I find myself wearing more than the jeans these days -- they're that comfy! 

Footwear would once have included sandals and booties, but things have gone haywire with my injury, plus my new suburban location, and sneakers are pretty much the only essential at the moment! 

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January purchases: Thanks to the forum

OK, so now I have a full length mirror at last but the light is terrible! I need to figure this out. Meanwhile, I've overexposed a bit so you can see. 

My main goal, anyway, is to show off my new purchases, with thanks to several forum members. I got both of these on sale. The Blondo Cayla boot in burgundy patent is a fab addition to my closet, and now that I can walk for half an hour in my neighbourhood (with great care and deliberation....) I get to sport these babies! My smaller size fit perfectly, even with a partial insert for plantar fasciitis. They are going to work really well for me. Thanks, SarahDB! 

Then, the RM Julian in gunmetal nylon. Janet owns this one and I had been coveting it for ages. My leather Julian needs to be dyed (it is irreparably stained but still in great condition otherwise.) It's also a bit heavy for my new sporty lifestyle. The nylon bag is wonderful. I think Christina also has this one, and Sterling was instrumental in getting me to try the nylon version as well. I now have 3 Julians, one leather and 2 nylon. The gunmetal nylon is more substantial than the cobalt one and I prefer it. But the cobalt is fantastic in the summer for a pop of colour. Next on my list, red, and then to dye the pale grey one. 

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WIW: Zella pocket legging and Icebreaker Quantum hoodie

Well, since I tore my meniscus, and spend hours of every day in physio, biking, and now "practice" walking, pretty much all I wear is gear. Today, ta-da! -- I just happen to be wearing two items featured in Angie's blog post. :) 

I really like the Zella 7/8 pocket legging. It's the one I reach for most. The regular length leggings are mostly too long for me and I have to turn them under, but I also just like the way these ones fit. 

And the Icebreaker hoodie is a really great colour for me. (Not that this photo really shows you -- sorry. I have the mirror now, but the set up is poor for light. Will have to work on that.) 

I got mine on considerable sale this spring from Icebreaker. They have excellent sales several times per year. 

Not shown: knee brace. ;) 

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2020 Review

Time for my year-end roundup! 

My colour of the year was red, and my word of the year was move.

Ironically, I write this wearing blue, and benched due to an injury! But I did move this year — moved cities and houses, and also moved a whole lot on the trails, on foot and by bike, as well as in a regular kettlebells class.  

My main goal was to wear outfits that are Modern, Classic, Vivid, and Practical with a stronger element of “signature” — a little less on the “playful” side and more towards a bit of drama. That goal isn’t really reflected in my purchases, which still reflect the playful element of my style more than arty drama. 

I need to ponder that. Several times over the years, I've said that I want more arty drama, but I always end up buying preppy playful. Maybe my unconscious is smarter than my conscious mind. That is, maybe the gamine in me knows that playful and dynamic is who I really am. And maybe I should just go with it? Hmmm. 

Then again, this year, I barely shopped and barely wore “outfits” at all!

Instead,  as I said in an earlier post, this was the Year of Gear.  And that does relate to one of my other goals — to identify specific capsules in need of upgrading/ building and work on those. I had pre-identified gardening and biking as new capsules for me, and in fact, my gear purchases took care of my needs in those areas, as well as adding to my hiking capsule, which also needed bumping up.

Another goal was to shop in person especially via thrift or consignment. Well, I couldn’t do that in a pandemic, so I’m not going to beat myself up about ordering online.

Purchases for the year were (surprisingly) about steady with last year’s — but this does not count gear.  All but two of these purchases qualify as "instant workhorse" items. Many have already paid for themselves in wears (and several are almost worn out -- Sorel sneaker boots, I'm looking at you.) The only two that didn't get a huge amount of wear are the BR linen top and the gingham scarf. I'm sure they'll prove valuable next year, so I'm not too worried. Both were sale items. 

I haven't actually checked, but I'm pretty sure my retirements are about the same, so my wardrobe numbers are holding steady (though I have yet to do a new count to see exactly where I'm at), with a larger gear capsule on the side. 

I didn't take many photos this year at all, alas...but a few outfits that feel representative or made me happy....

Will follow up with goals for next year in another post. 

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Eating my words, and unexpected gear crossover

So, you know that velvet shirt I wasn't too sure about last week? 

Um...I have worn it no fewer than FOUR times this week already! 

Who knew I needed a cozy-luxe shirt? Apparently, I really did. 

Meanwhile, these BR pants, beloved beloved beloved but starting to show a bit of wear (mainly because I had to have a zipper replaced on them and the seamstress did not do an impeccable job, in my view) have suddenly become my new best friends -- for my bike rides!! Yes! Stretchy, warm, easy to layer over tights, and if not windproof, then darn close! 

Not only can you wear gear as fashion, you can now wear fashion as gear! 

ALSO: Full length mirror!!! YAY!!! 

On another, less happy note -- I have reinjured my meniscus simply by doing my physio. So recovery is set back. SO frustrated with this!! I was doing so well, but one of the exercises she suggested aggravated things and it is almost back to square one. She does say this is common with meniscus injuries and just keep (carefully) plugging on with what I can do. So....

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