Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Daffodil and Lace

Ugh, 7:30pm and I'm just home from work. Self-inflicted for the last hour, although I did put in over an hour of actual work due to having a day off this week. I'm in my office's Social Committee (of course I am), and I got the short straw to hide chocolate eggs in the office for Easter. 150+ desks, and 5 eggs per desk, plus bowls of chocolate eggs in the lunchrooms, meeting rooms and my desk (reception). That's a lot of eggs.
We're experiencing what we call on the west coast "liquid sunshine" (rain). There are loads of flowers out - the tulips will be out any day, and daffodils are blooming madly. My outfit today is daffodil inspired.

I adore this jacket, which I consider one of my best thrift finds ever. It's by Holt Renfrew, a big swanky department store (the closest one is in Vancouver), and I found it last year in August (here) for $24.95. It's gorgeous quality, and don't you love that neckline?
I last wore it here in September 2013 to the Vintage Expo (I can't wait to wear that Spanish ladies dress again!). I have a yellow camisole in the same shade of yellow on underneath it.

This skirt is another favourite; it was last worn here in March 2013 (over a year ago - shocking!) for St. Patrick's Day.
I bought it on consignment way back in 2009 (first worn here) for $40.00. It's real lace, with a deliberately ragged hem, no slit, and a taupe lining.

The stuff:
And thrifted shoes! I last wore these here in March with the fabulous suede skirt Elaine gave me (now in storage).

Big old bling:
Well, the ring's not old. The rest is - it belonged to my Grandma J.

Jacket (Holt Renfrew, thrifted), skirt (Alfred Sung, vintage 80s, consignment), shoes (Nine West, thrifted), ring (consignment), rhinestone brooch/earrings (Grandma J's, vintage 60s).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cropped Top with Pencil Skirt (Cerulean, Red and Black)

If my Tuesday blog entries seem a little rushed going forward, it's because I have to get them done in 20 minutes, in order to get to my WW meeting on time. I can do it!
Another go at this lacey cropped top, and definitely liking it better with a pencil skirt.

Last time (here in March) I did it with a red plaid dress; this time, it's an actual pencil skirt. I have a vibrantly red silky polyester cami on under it, but I don't track wears on those.
"True blue, baby, I love you." It's not often I quote Madonna, but why not? I do love blue!

This gorgeous handmade cerulean blue pencil skirt (thrifted, of course) was last seen here in March with a floral blouse.
It must have been a "dead old lady" skirt - I can't imagine someone giving this up willingly. Oh wait, yes, I can. Duh, Sheila, you're a WW member; you know exactly why this could have been donated! I've donated my fair share of amazing clothes due to weight gain (and loss).

The stuff:
I clomped about quite a lot in these today. One of my coworkers said to me (as I was hauling around boxes of printer toners and drum units), "Sheila, you have the most physical job of anyone here, and you do it in heels!"

But they have to be comfy heels! And these lovely red suede and patent beauties are that. I last wore them here in February for Valentine's Day (yes, of course I wore red and pink - scads of it!).

The stuff:
Blue and red bling, with a soupcon of silver.

Not bad. I knocked this post out in 10 minutes!

Top (Forever 21, consignment), cami (Spense, thrifted), skirt (no label, thrifted, vintage 80s), shoes (Marc), cuff (Rimanchik), earrings (local), Fulvia Ring and lapis lazuli ring (Wendy Brandes).

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sheer Monday with Pearls

Monday, my old foe. How you vex me.
For a switch - and yes, you do have the right blog! - I'm not in head-to-toe colour. All neutrals, that's me. Well, for today anyway.

My new-to-me sheer kimono top gets its first outing, purchased just yesterday here.
I have on a taupe sweater tank underneath it (last worn here in February).
The skirt is an ultra-high-waisted one, last seen here in August 2013 with bare shoulders.

All day, I marveled at the blouse. I think the fabric must be a linen blend; it wrinkles like linen, and has that stiffness to it. Also, for you sewers, check out these gorgeous seams.
Not a serged or unfinished edge anywhere. Even the snap fasteners are covered! I haven't seen this kind of attention to detail since I owned my Prada blouse. I think this is definitely a high-end piece.

The stuff:
I liked how my groovy mod shoes went with this outfit. I last wore them in February with another cream/taupe outfit here.

Pearl-y bling:
The earrings are fake. The big mass of pearl-substance is not.

Blouse (no label, thrifted), skirt (Bedo, thrifted), sweater (Ellen Tracy, swap from Caro), shoes (Fugitive by Francesco Rossi), pendant (gift from Australia, from Mom), earrings (Aldo Accessories).

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up: Chillin' and Shoppin' and Nappin'

Ah, what a lovely and relaxing weekend it's been! L and I went to the pub for dinner on Friday night, then played board games. On Saturday, we went for brunch.
Punky-soft-goth plus spring! Pouffing my hair is always fun on a weekend.

My studded sweatshirt gets another airing. I last wore it here (way down) at the end of December 2013.
This is another yellow skirt I own (in addition to this one), which I've had for a few years. The texture is a knit, almost a boucle. I love the deep yellow colour. I last wore it here in September 2013 in an all-yellow ensemble for Monochromania! week.
My grey wooly boots are the only pair of bots that I didn't pack away for the warm season. I last wore them here with leopard and aqua in March.

The stuff:
Badass bling!

Sweatshirt (Silence + Noise, consignment), skirt (BB Dakota, consignment), boots (Prepare Guides, Fluevogs), metal cuff (thrifted), stud cuff (homegrown vintage), snake ring (homegrown vintage), spinner ring (consignment). 

I napped for a while on Saturday while L practiced guitar, then we strolled to town to go see "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" which was quite good. We came home and had pizza for dinner (homemade), then hung out and drank wine and played more boardgames. Couldn't ask for a better time.

Today, I slept in then got groceries and then meandered down to The Patch for a browse. I don't go there too often, as it's more like consignment prices for crappy thrifted mall stores, but there are some good items here and there to be found.
One of my classic shopping outfits! I didn't even have to wear a coat, it's so nice and warm and sunny out. What a treat!

My indigo sweater is layered over a cami, and was last worn here in January for Winesday. I like it as a casual piece.
The skirt is another favourite, and was last seen here (way down at the bottom) last weekend for a quick jaunt out to buy our couch.
Vizzini's loved having us home all weekend.
 I haven't worn these shoes for a long while, since a weekend back in September 2013, here.
"I pose too!"
I added my Beecher's Brook scarf and voila! A very easy outfit, perfect for shopping. I also loved how my skirt swooshed in the light breeze.

I did find a couple of things at The Patch, including this cool architectural blouse:
It's very sheer and has a kimono-type of shape. the sleeves are split along the underside for extra movement.

It's beautifully-made, but someone removed the tag. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a high-end brand, though.
See the stripe in the fabric? So cool. This was only $14.95, not bad.

This skirt is one of the best scores I've found in a long time.
It's long thin sequins, all sewn onto mesh, front and back. The skirt has quite a bit of weight to it.

$16.95 isn't too bad for a black sequinned skirt.
You can see the sequins there.

But this is what makes it a score.
Tags still on, never been worn; original price: $275.00. Yowch! I've never been in a J. Crew store, but that seems really expensive. Score for me! The skirt is a size 12 so big on me, but I don't want something this delicate to be too tight. Can't wait to wear it!

Lastly, I fell in love with this amazing piece.
What is it? It's a hat!

It's a rigid turban-style, with gold V-trim, done in cream satin, with a decorative fan on the front. And an attached scarf for added Drama. Of course.
No label inside, but I can see that there's a bunch of hand-sewn details and edges.

It's a little pricey at $24.95, but I think it's worth it.
 After all, how often does one get to wear something this crazy?
I need a party to go to, stat!

Okay, that's it for shopping, back to napping. Vizzini has decided that the new couch is his Favourite Thing Ever.
"My spot. You can sit at the other end."
Doesn't he look lovely against the blue?
"Begone, woman, I'm trying to nap!"
Such a cutie.

I read on the couch yesterday while L played guitar. I took this picture because I like that Vizzini is in the background, napping in the sun.
I hope your weekend was full of sunshine, naps and fun times!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Funky Friday: Dots and Chainlink (with Yellow)

Friday at last! Woo! And I have a nice quiet weekend planned. Ah...

But let's deal with today's outfit.
Starting with a young(er-than-me) lady giving me a head-to-toe thumbs up on the bus, to my colleagues who very much enjoyed this outfit, I'd have to say it was a rousing success. Admirers noted the pattern mixing ("not too crazy") and the strategic deployment of the yellow.

A bunch of the vacationing spring/summer stuff makes an appearance, including this creamy-white Club Monaco blazer, which I've had for many years. I last wore it here in August 2013 with more cream and olive suede.
The yellow top underneath is a sweater-texture, but is sleeveless (my favourite kind of layering top). It was thrifted for $9.50 a couple of weekends ago here; I got this scarf the same weekend for $2.00.
The skirt's pattern reminds me of chainlink fencing. I loved the full swinginess of it. I last wore it here in September 2013 to the Ultimate field (our season is starting again soon!).

The stuff:
My beloved Guess pumps. I will be so sad when I have to replace these - they are close to perfect for me. I last wore them here in February with my "gateway" outfit (again with black/white/yellow). This outfit is a gateway for pattern mixing, wouldn't you say?

Dotty bling:
Simple accessories in silver.

Blazer (Club Monaco, consignment), top (Cable & Gauge, thrifted), skirt (Bedo, consignment), scarf (Echo, thrifted), shoes (Guess), cuff (Fossil), ring (Nine West), earrings (Plum).

I hope you have a lovely weekend! We're in for sun and warm temps - finally!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Red Ruffles and Concrete

In an effort to get a couple of pounds down, I have given up wine on Thursday nights. I may have to reinstate that tonight. I was up at 5:30am today to arrive at work for 7:15am - slammed right away, before I even got in the building. Gah, I guess that's why they call it work, eh?
I liked the simplicity of today's outfit. The nice blast of colour from the orangey-red blouse, the total neutral of the skirt and shoes, and the unexpected brown accents. Works for me!

The blouse was thrifted here at the end of last month for $13.50. It's banded at the bottom, but I've tucked it in to define my waist.
This skirt was a $7.50 thrift score and was last seen here in March when I considered turfing it. Thank goodness I listened to you guys and kept it - I love how it looks with a bright saturated colour.
Any skirt that makes my bum look good is a keeper! I call this one my concrete skirt because it matches our building's concrete stairwells (and it has no label, so that's as good a name as any).

The stuff:
And the skirt perfectly matches my Jump! for the People shoes, which have been away on fall/winter vacation under my bed. They were last seen here in August with a hypno-dress.

Brown bling:
Leather and wood (that square thing is a wooden ring).

Blouse (Planet, thrifted), skirt (no label, thrifted), shoes (Jump! for the People, consignment), belt (Club Monaco), necklace (vintage 60s, Mom's), cuff (SkinZnHydez), earrings (Plum), ring (consignment).

By the way, for those of you who think I am super-neat because of my closet...BWAHAHAHAH! I'm just organized - the closet will be messy by the time September rolls around. It's only neat now because I just emptied it out for the seasonal swap.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

India Gold, Pink and Brocade - and My Huge Wardrobe

Off to the gym shortly, and I'll finish this later on. But here we go!
I was told by one of my coworkers today that my jacket and shoes all looked very "India, Pakistan and Middle East" - he is Pakistani, so he knows his stuff when it comes to those wonderful glam gold-accented clothes worn in his neck of the woods. I took it as a huge compliment - I adore those glorious saris and woven fabrics.

I adore this shiny (SHINY) brocade jacket - this is my first time playing up the pink in the pattern. I last wore it here in December 2013 with red leather pants and ruffles.
Simple lines today, not fuss, no muss. A pink pencil skirt in such a pretty shade, last seen here in March with dark florals. Adding a simple little sweater camisole (thrifted here on the weekend for $4.50) makes the pink and brocade harmonize.
But wow, such shiny! I got a lot of comments on it today, and I strode about in the office with the coat flapping along behind me like a cape. What fun! I may have made airplane noises...

The stuff:
These woven leather gold kitten heels have been in my closet for many years - I last wore them here in September 2013 with my gorgeous plaid dress (can't wait to wear that again!). They are getting a little worn out, but I'm still eking season after season out of them.

Crazyass necklace. Snake? Elephant? Horses? Goats? A dragon? A guy milking (I hope he's milking!) a cow? Yup, it's got it all.

Coat (Aldo, thrifted), top (Dana Buchman, thrifted), skirt (Conrad C, thrifted), shoes (Aldo, consignment), necklace (consignment).

Reader Tiina L asked yesterday:

I have been reading your blog for quite a while now and I am so impressed by your creativity with your outfits, as well as by the sheer volume of your wardrobe... Seriously, where do you store all those clothes???? I always feel my closets are bursting at the seams, and I have closet space in two countries! Of course, I have nowhere near as many clothes as you. So, what's your secret to storing such a huge wardrobe?

I love answering questions! Thank you! 

Where do I store all those clothes? Mostly in my closet:
Cat not included
I also have a dresser in the bedroom for my socks, tights, camis, soft tops, jeans, junky sweaters and workout wear, and my underwear lives in a tall lingerie chest in the bedroom. I don't really count those. My closet is in the den, behind where I take pictures. It's the size of a very small bathroom, and I had it custom-built when I lost weight 6 years ago as my real reward to myself for that accomplishment.

I'm a very organized person, so it's no surprise that my closet is also well-organized. Let's start on the right side.
There is no wasted space in my closet; it goes right to the ceiling. I store my big vintage hats and my vintage shoes up high, since I don't use them much. Right below them are my short skirts (I'm in my spring/summer wardrobe right now, so lots of brights). I sort my skirts by colour.

Right below the skirts are my blazers and jackets. We also have a hall closet for our "archive" vintage clothing and my real outerwear coats.
Also sorted by colour. The last two outfits that I have planned for this week are on the right side.

I have the "Tower of Power" beside the skirt/jacket section on the right. The shoes I wear the most are at eye level or lower.
One shoe forward, one shoe back allows me to store 3 pairs per shelf without squishing them.
Above eye level are my "never gonna give you up" shoes, and party shoes. Ones I don't wear much, but love too much to give up.
At least, until I need more room, right?

I store my flats on the floor, one on top of the other. I only need to see one shoe.
My gold ones that I wore today go in that empty space between the Chie Miharas and the white flats.

I have a big gold mirror at the back of the closet (see first picture above), and a mini chandelier in the centre of the ceiling which tends to light-blast the pictures.
Vizzini loves the new orange maxi dress.
On the floor I have velvet hat boxes with my belts coiled up (the big ones in one, and the thin ones together, plus chain belts in another). I like my belts rolled up to keep their shape. I keep obis in a couple of shoe boxes, and scarves in two more shoe boxes. I like being able to grab the boxes of scarves and paw around in them for inspiration.

Working our way back along the left side, I have a 6' hang for my dresses. I sort my dresses by colour too.
So many dresses! I really love them. I see a bunch that I need to wear again!

Above the dresses is a shelf that has some velvet storage boxes, which contain some of my "never seen" items, like my dad's sweaters and my wedding shoes. No space is wasted!
Looking back at my dresses. Ones I haven't worn yet (my pink lace dress, my black 70s disco dress, the orange maxi) are up front to remind me not to forget about them. I need some parties to wear those 3 to - I can't wear them to work. Hmmm...I have a couple of events coming up this month/in May...

Beside the dresses is a 4' hang, where I keep my 3 pairs of spring/summer pants (do you see the emerald culottes?), my longer skirts and my blouses. Again everything is sorted by colour.
I used to sort blouses (and dresses) by sleeve length, but I prefer them done by colour. It helps me put outfits together better. 

Above the blouse/long skirt/pant rack, are 4 shelves. The bottom two shelves are mostly sweaters, including sleeveless cami-type sweaters, cardigans, and dressy sweaters or funky ones. I also keep vests here, folded up. 
I also have my "in waiting" accessories here at eye level, like that blue/red/white scarf, the magenta socks (I should put away the Smoking Lily heart pin), my two Wendy Brandes rings in their boxes. And of course, my "Vizzini-fied" Fluevogs that I've been meaning to customize/paint/glue things to.

Above the two sweater shelves are my purses and hats; again, things I don't use very often, but when I want them I want to be able to see them and get to them. Oooh, hats!
I'm not much of a purse person, so I have a few favourites that I've collected over the years.

Vizzini loves to be in my closet. This is looking out of it, and you can see that my practical shoes are stored on the side (my walk-to-work runners, my Converses, my Docs). On the floor below the blouses and skirts, and on the other side, below my jackets, are canvas totes with some of my winter clothes bundled up.
I have a few everyday purses tucked under there too, but I tend to be a one-bag woman for the most part.

Now, I guess that seems like a lot of clothes - and it is! I never used to have this many. I love thrifting and shopping second-hand and looking for new treasures. And for those of you who've been reading for a while, you know that I do a swap-out of my spring/summer and fall/winter wardrobes twice a year when I put away about 2/3 of what's in the closet. This 2/3 gets stored either in the closet (as noted above), and under our bed, in 3 big Rubbermaid tubs.

I really need to see my clothes in order to fully-utilize everything I own. Items that I don't wear much or at all any more get moved to the "archive" section of the hall closet. Sometimes I give those away, sometimes I keep them and wear them again.

So, what's your secret to storing such a huge wardrobe?

Aside from being really organized, and having a big closet? I cull. Ruthlessly, and regularly.

If I don't love it, it's gone.

If I feel like I've gotten enough wear out of it, it's gone.

If I'm just plain tired of it, it's gone.

If it doesn't fit anymore, it's gone.

If it's damaged in any way, it's gone.

If it pisses me off or drives me crazy, it's gone.

Clothes are just things. They aren't really that important; I would rather have a picture of me wearing them, than the actual item. I don't have emotional attachments to my clothes (my family-passed-down and vintage jewelry is another matter!), so it isn't difficult for me to get rid of things. 

I've also found that storing away items for 6 months gives me a chance to "rest" from them, and any emotional attachment I have developed gets time to dissipate. When I unpacked my spring/summer clothes a few weeks ago, a lot of those items were set aside.
Library rug custom-scrunched by Vizzini (see his red and orange/yellow balls?).
Those are the stacks of clothes in my library just waiting for my girlfriends to come over and root through, or for me to bag up and take to work or to Book Club. I love giving away my clothes, seeing them go to a good home, seeing someone excited about them. I rarely regret giving something away - and if I do miss it, I'll always be able to look at the pictures on my blog! And I love seeing one of my items on a friend or coworker. 

I believe in thrifting karma: if you give it away, it will come back to you.