Back to the Future: New/old hair

Well, I got fed up with the hair, which I loved but also, hated. The long sideswept bit was becoming much too bossy. It actually wanted to be styled!  So did the side pieces. Altogether it was frustrating me. So I decided to go back to a shorter pixie. This one is a lot like the very first haircut my stylist gave me in 2018. It's very short at the back (hard to get a good pic) and feels like a pelt. A little longer in front and piecey. I enjoy wearing it like this in the summers, especially. 

#1 is the new cut. 
#2 in the salon awaiting the chop. 
#3-4 two more not terribly good shots. 
#5-6 the earlier iteration (s) -- one from September 2018 and one from December, I believe. 

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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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Blue basque skirt stylings. K/R

Hi, all! I promised to style up the blue basque skirt and see how it works for me. Here are some semi-styled options. I say semi-styled because I didn't really deal with hose, accessories beyond footwear, etc. 

Dee hit the nail on the head when she said this skirt seemed a bit outside my usual style persona. That is true -- the fullness makes it come across as more feminine. But of course, even a gar├žonne wants to look like a girl sometimes. :) For dressy events, say. 

1-3 First I'm trying it with my very old J. Crew peplum jacquard top. I love this top and it forms a key element of my dressy capsule. I think this works as a two piece dress. Different footwear options available. 

4. Tried it with my oversized denim jacket. 

5. A tucked in shirt. Could do with a plain white shirt for a more classic look. 

6. With my slim cropped denim jacket. 

7-8  With oxfords and my new Everlane shirt. It feels very 20s! 

9-10 With knotted tee and denim. 

11-12  Could be an at home winter holiday look. 

13 - 16.  With my Sandwich knit military jacket.

17. With a sequin camisole under denim. 

Bonus photo bomber at the end....

I have plenty of other footwear options -- tall boots, stompy boots, sneakers, sandals of various kinds. 

You can probably see in the close ups that the fabric is rather like taffeta. It has a stiffness and heft to it. I would not wear it casually in summer at all, though I might in cooler months. 

I was inclined to send it back before trying it on these ways, but I'm inclined to keep it now. It is very comfortable. It is cross-seasonal (spring, fall, winter, with possible evening summer wear). It can be worn at various levels of dressiness. It will not wrinkle (so it could travel, though it's a bit bulky and heavy.) It works with many things in the closet. 

What think you? Keep or Return? 

NOTE: If I keep, I am going to retire two older skirts. 

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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. 

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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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New Trench, or Old?

Hi, all. I need some help with making a decision.

Mr. Suz is celebrating a significant birthday this year and we are going on our first longer trip since 2019! We will be travelling to London (UK) for 10 days mid-to-end of May. I'm starting to put together a capsule of items I might (might!) bring, incomplete of course and in flux at this point. I will be watching weather and thinking about our specific activities and adding/ subtracting items as seems fit. So far, plans include museums, theatre, lots and lots and lots of walking, and of course lots of eating! We may or may not take a day trip or two. 

This trip being to the UK, I think a trench coat is in order. I own 3 trenches. One, a short Theory in black (gift of a lovely fabber many years ago!) is not in consideration. My other two trenches are a very old black London Fog (one of my first YLF purchases) and a newer cobalt trench from Hobbs. 

Both are very classic. They are approximately the same just-below-knee length on me. The Hobbs is more fitted under the arm than the London Fog. It is also a more substantial fabric. The London Fog is roomier in the skirt portion also, with a slightly wider vent in the back. Both are water resistant, not waterproof. 

I am showing them both layered over the thickest sweater I would probably bring (which is itself layered over a shirt). I also tried the Hobbs over a tweed jacket, and it works, but isn't ideally comfortable. 

My first question is, which one of these do you think I would do best to bring? 

My second question is: should I consider the purchase of a more current type of trench to bring instead, i.e. a slightly oversized one that would layer more easily? I think at my size/ height  I need to be careful with oversized coats, but I would love some extra dramatic length, and I have long wanted a lighter coloured trench coat. I have been looking for less expensive versions -- one very well reviewed at Oak & Fort (but it is polyester, hmmm), and one from Mango. I might be able to wear the stone colours (rather than yellow beige). 

I would also consider a new navy trench if I found the right one.  My hesitation is that although trench coats are a slam dunk for my style and I adore them, I tend not to wear them much! This is due to my suburban lifestyle. When I lived in a more urban setting, I wore them all the time. Having said that, I would happily donate the black trench in favour of a new navy or lighter coloured one. It is very old but still looks pristine and it has served me well. It would serve another person who wears black better for many years more. 

I'm showing in #1 just the sweaater/ pants and then some jackets I also tried to layer. 

#4-10 show the blue layered with various items, but mostly the thick sweater. 

#11-14 show the black London Fog. 

I would love to hear any thoughts you might have. And if anyone has seen a fantastic slightly oversized trench in a lighter cool tone or navy, let me know! 

Ah, wait, final option would be a more casual type of coat to replace/ upgrade my beloved J. Crew long utility coat which I adore but which is really showing its age. 

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Summer in Winter

Mine is nothing like the examples, and much less unexpected, but I still think it's a cute colour combo. :) 

Out for pub lunch with girlfriends and it is sunny and chilly so wore my red velvet pants, a mauve shirt, blue and white tee layered over, a colourful scarf including red and purple and lilac, and my lilac coat and red bag. Waving at Sal, because hey -- I got to make a bag part of my outfit for all of 10 minutes, walking through the parking lot and into the restaurant before sitting down (and hitching it to my chair.) 

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