Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Tamer Version of Me - Blue and Houndstooth

Again, a further thanks to the readers who took the time to comment over the last couple of days - I'm so very grateful to you all for your support. I promise I'll never sell out. I'll continue to be my wacky self. 
Not so wacky today - I can always tell when I've veered into conservative territory when a few of my female coworkers are excited about my outfit.

  • Sweater - Lord & Taylor, thrifted; purchased here on the weekend for $24.95
  • Trousers - TopShop, thrifted; purchased here at the same shop for $14.95
  • Shoes - Go Fresh, thrifted; bought at a different store, but same day, for $16.95 

Not so wordy today, as it's late (7:30pm) and I haven't had dinner (L is out buying us Subway, what a treat!), and Thursday is my WW meeting. I had the nicest compliment from one of my members, who is a lecturer and presenter in her job. She said, "You're hot! This (the meeting) isn't easy to do and you rock it."

Aw, that means more to me than anything. What a great feeling.
Anyway, I loved everything in this outfit, but I couldn't resist wearing them all together. The cashmere sweater was so soft, I loved the cut of the pants (although they are a little big, but they don't have stretch, so that's all very well).

The stuff:
The shoes make a funny noise, but that may have been because I was wearing them with bare feet.

  • Necklace - Banana Republic, consignment (for $5.00!)
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes

For the reader who asked about my outerwear with yesterday's outfit. This is the same thing that I wore today.
My thrifted Bebe raincoat, my wool felt bowler, my fur Muppet scarf and my black studded leather Danier gloves. Ta-dah! I do change my shoes to runners for the walk, but otherwise, this is one of my regular outerwear looks.

Dinner's home - gotta go! I'll be back on Monday (it's a holiday in BC, Family Day) with a bigass wrap-up, as I have a very busy weekend starting tomorrow night, Saturday and then the Super Bowl on Sunday. Go, Panthers!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Thank You...With Demented Chicken Shirt and Scuba Skirt!

Friends, readers, lurkers, followers, viewers...I am grateful (and a little awed) at your response to yesterday's post. Thank you, from the bottom of my slightly needy heart for your very, very kind words and thoughts. 
In your face, winter!
As a "reward" I present to you my chicken shirt and my scuba skirt. Colours, textures and pattern!

  • Top - Homnage, consignment; last worn here in October 2015 for Thanksgiving
  • Skirt - Milano, thrifted; purchased here on the weekend for $14.99
  • Shoes - Big Presence Desmond, Fluevog; last seen here in January with a colourful bomber
I love this crazy top! 
I truly do appreciate that so many of you took a moment to drop me a note - I had no idea that you were all out there (well, I knew about some of you, but not all of you). I'm also honoured to inspire any of you; live is short, so get as much colour and style in there as you can!

And now, I'm going to note some questions and musings that came up from your comments. I love that, by the way - if you ever want me to ramble on about a topic or if you have questions, go ahead and ask.

1. Reader Linda mused about the classic "fit and flare" silhouette (in the first outfit of this post): Do people respond to it so strongly on her, or because they like the shape? Is it because it's a shape that suits her pear-shaped figure? As a classically feminine shape, is it making her less powerful, in a way? She is in a leadership position at her job and is avoiding this shape because of these concerns.

Here are my own thoughts - I'm sure we'd all love to hear yours!

I think we're conditioned but also hard-wired to love an hourglass shape on women. It's the Venus of Willendorf, it's the 50s shape of clothing, it's about as feminine as you can get. It emphasizes the waist and the breasts and implies big ol' "birthing hips" (as one of my friends used to say), so it's about as female as you can get. That's the hard-wiring part of it.

I also think that we're bombarded pretty much from birth with images of exaggerated hourglass silhouettes on female figures. From Barbie to "Mad Men" that shape is everywhere. We grow up envisioning that as the "right" female shape, even when there are obviously so many other shapes and varieties out there.

For Linda, she plans to avoid that silhouette in her work clothing in order to be taken seriously. I tend to agree with her; while it certainly is possible to maintain one's femininity and still look powerful, but it's hard to do it in a pouffy skirt. My own job allows me a wide freedom in my personal expression (through my clothes, hair and tattoos), which I love. I'm an artsy person and I would feel stifled in classic women's business wear all the time, although I do dabble in it from time to time.

I notice that when people first meet me, they often do not expect me to be smart, well-read or efficient, and I'm sure that's because of how I dress sometimes. If I wanted to "climb the corporate ladder" I'd definitely dress differently, and being more aware of the reactions one gets while wearing the fit and flare shape.

I work with a Director in my company, a lovely woman in her 40, who is in a power position, and she always looks amazing. She does wear mostly black, white and grey, with pops of red and cobalt blue, and she mostly wears pencil skirts. When she does wear a full skirt (rare), it's one that is well below the knee, and she always wears a classic pointy-toe pump and a fitted jacket. It works for her and looks very professional. She has my vote for the classiest woman in the office.

However, Linda, please don't be afraid to express your fun side on your personal time. Look for the fit and flare in your casual or weekend wear - and definitely try it in a party dress. Bask in the compliments you receive!
I loved wearing this skirt and made everyone feel it - it's like a scuba suit!
2. Reader Laurie wonders what I do for a living, and what field my work is in.

I work for a really big IT company, as the Administrative Assistant (aka the Receptionist), but I'm way more than that. I'm also Facilities, a little bit of Finance, a bit of HR, a bit of Security. I'm also on the Social Committee and the Health Committee, I write the monthly newsletter for my province's offices, and all communications on our company "Facebook" for things happening in the office. I'm also the decorator, the go-to person, the repairer of the printers, hanger of pictures, the taker of pictures, keeper of swag, the keyholder, the knower of everyone's name, general sunshine girl, and the VP of Awesome. I report to the VP of our province directly, and he pretty much lets me run the place. I've been doing this for 5 years, as of March.

I look after two offices in my city - it's a very physical job, which is why I'm really careful with my health (keeping my weight down, staying fit) so that I don't hurt myself.

I also work as a leader for Weight Watchers - I won an award a few years ago (here in 2013) - and lead one meeting a week.

Both of my jobs are very outward-facing and service-oriented - I am really good at both of them (yah, I'm so full of myself), but they are emotionally exhausting. I often have nothing left by the time I get home, and can get snappy with L or completely withdraw. I'm an introvert who's learned to be extroverted, and it's something that I struggle with: how to take care of my mental health and make sure I recharge and take real time for myself. I tend to overwork, over-organize, over-volunteer and just take care of things too much, so this is something I'm working on. It's why my posts are often very brief: I just want to slam them out and then relax. I need a lot of chill time.

Well, there you have it! Respond (or not, but wouldn't that be awkward after we've all shared, ha) as you will.

The stuff:
I got the thumbs up approval from two eighteen-year-old young ladies today. They loved my hair (yay for purple, possibly my favourite colour hair I've ever had), the outfit/clothes and I put the soles of my Fluevogs together to make a heart from the heels. Aw! I was briefly cool.

  • Bangle - vintage expo, $4.00
  • Earrings - gift from Simar

It was so windy walking home that I had to take these jangly-dangly earrings off and stuff them in my coat pocket.

And now, I'm off to do a little self-care and hole up in the bedroom and read with a warm kitty against me while L has guys over for role-playing (Lovecraftian horror!). Again, I'm humbled by the outpouring of supportive and wonderful comments after yesterday's post - thank you. I


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Giraffe Print and Posing With the Cat

I try not to look at my stats too much, but every so often I take a peek. I'm aware that Blogger made some changes lately, which result in a whack of followers disappearing...and I know people are reading my blog (hello!) because every so often someone tells me, "I read your blog!"
I spent the day wondering why my hair wouldn't stay in place, then realized I forgot to put product in.
But I have fewer and fewer comments as time goes on - and I do love visiting the people who visit me, but I have screwed myself.

  • Sweater - Rino Rossi, thrifted; purchased here on the weekend for $14.95
  • Skirt - Hettermarks, via W&J Wilson, vintage 60s, thrifted; last seen here way back in February 2015
  • Shoes - Coffee Sumatra, Fluevog; last worn here in October 2015 during my birthday week

How? I dislike having an internet presence (says the woman posting pictures of herself all over the internet), so I do not have any kind of profile online: no Facebook, no LinkedIn, no Instagram, no Google + (aside from what I need to sign into Blogger), no Disqus account or profile. This means that I often can't sign in to those platforms to comment on my readers' blogs or thank them for commenting on mine. So if you have commented and I haven't responded, it's probably because I'm a paranoid freak. Heh. Just so you know. I also don't own a cell phone, an iPad, a laptop or anything other than our crappy old desktop computer. And I don't have a drivers' licence either!
"Woman, you talk too much."
I also know that my pictures are not very good, but I only take a few a day and since I post every bloody day, I don't have the time or the inclination to suddenly start spending more time on that. I'm sure this puts people off. I try to remind myself that I blog for myself, and that if I stop enjoying it, I should stop. I'm coming up on 8 years of blogging (seriously, I started in 2008, I'm a dinosaur!), and I do still enjoy it. I think.

Am I overthinking this? Probably.
"You should post more pictures of me, you'd get more comments."
So let's get back to this outfit. It's pretty simple, just a sweater a skirt and shoes. The sweater was lovely to wear - I layered a vintage camisole under it to keep any itchiness at bay. I love the bold print of it - it means I don't have to do much accessory-wise.

I haven't worn the skirt in nearly a year, but it's part of such a magnificent suit that I can't get rid of it.

The stuff:
And you know I love my shoes. They aren't going anywhere.

  • Earrings - Glee

Me? I'm going to go heat up some chili and do some painting, I think. Or read a book. Certainly, I won't be poring over my stats. See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Deep Purple Suede and Leopard

Ack! I forgot to take my stair picture this morning (it's Monday) and then it was really dark by the time I got home.
I'll just have to wear this dress again soon!

  • Blouse - Planet, consignment; last worn here in November 2015 with brown suede
  • Suede dress - Danier Leather, thrifted; purchased here on the weekend for $24.95
  • Shoes - Bruno Magli, vintage 80s, thrifted; last seen here in October 2015 with orange and green

 The dress is such a rich, deep violet - I wish the colour showed up better.
I ran around a lot in it, and it was just right.

The stuff:
Unlike my weekend leopard shoes, I don't have any foot pain from these shoes - they don't have a bit of padding in them either.

  • Belt - vintage 60s, Mom's
  • Earrings - 5th anniversary gift from L

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Triple Flares, Red and Leopard Go Shopping, and Cowgirl on the Town

I hope everyone's having a fun weekend - mine's been a lovely mix of social and not-so-social, gearing up for a busy week (and weekend ahead). 
Friday's outfit. I worked late, getting my work's annual stair challenge ready for the start on Monday. I'm on the orange team, so I worked lots of shades of orange into my outfit for the breakfast launch Friday morning.

  • Jacket - Boom Boom Denim, thrifted; first worn here in April 2015 with flared plaid
  • Sweater - Ralph Lauren, thrifted; last seen here in January for de-treeing
  • Skirt - Maeve for Anthropologie, thrifted; first worn here in November 2015 with coppers
  • Shoes - Sopranos Angelina, Fluevog; last seen here (2nd outfit) earlier this month for Christmas with my family

This is my outfit for both Anne's "52 Pick-me-up" at Spygirl (I'm sure one of my blues in this outfit is ink blue), and my extremely visible entry for "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style. Go check both these ladies out! 

My coworkers loved this outfit, like, raved about it. There is something about this "fit and flare" shape that people respond to.

I rolled the cuffs up on the sleeves of the jacket this time and much preferred them that way. I had a lot of work to do, so I needed cuffs up and ready to get down to business.
Double flare! No, triple with the boot cuffs flared! It's the elusive triple flare! No wonder I had such strong reactions - flares are powerful things.

The stuff;
Lovely comfy boots! As you can see, I still haven't bought ribbons to play with instead of the laces.

  • Necklace - Banana Republic, consignment

Vizzini didn't want me to go to work that morning.
"Stay home with me!"
If I could have, I would, buddy!

L and I chilled on Friday night and played boardgames until we got sleepy. Saturday morning was our usual brunch.
I planned to go for a thrifting expedition afterwards, so I dressed for trying stuff on.

  • Dress - Olsen, consignment; first worn here in December 2015 with spotted shoes
  • Shoes - Kenneth Cole Reaction, thrifted; last worn here earlier this month for brunch out

 I liked the matchy belt.
I'm wearing a vintage slip underneath this, but it's history - it twisted and rode up under the dress all day. Not keeping an item of clothing that annoys me!
I shopped for about 4 hours, visiting 3 different thrift stores.

Most of the time I had my leather jacket on.
Cross-body bag for easy browsing, and thin gloves get tucked into my pockets.

The stuff:
The shoes are history, off to the giveaway pile! Although a very comfortable rounded kitten heel, there's no padding on the front of the foot, and I could feel every bump of the pavement. By the end of the day, my poor feet were killing me! Bummer, but I only paid $8.50 for them and wore them 3 times. I'm okay with that cost-per-wear.

Vizzini hates when we go out.
"Come rub my tum!"
He gets very needy when we are out - he's very demanding. 

I did have a good shopping day, despite my sore feet. My first stop was the St. Vincent de Paul, where I found this lovely t-shirt fabric dress. 
I was in the mood to match things to my hair, and this dress is both comfy and flattering.

Plus, a good price!
$10.00 for this dress by Jackpot. And of course, that ribbon got cut off right away - it's only there to help the dress stay on the hanger.

I spent a good 90 minutes in the WIN (Women in Need) Warehouse store, having a really good look at everything. I had seen these shoes last time I was in, and tried them on.
I actually don't own a pair of navy shoes, and the wedge is a really comfy height. Also, beads one the toes!

They were only $16.95, and are barely worn.
The brand is Go Fresh, which I've never heard of.

I always check out the belt section. I am a sucker for a nice leather belt.
I like how the separate section is fully adjustable, to get the belt just the right size.

This was only $3.00.
I'm sure it would have been more if it had a label or tag on it, but the quality looks really nice.

I might have gasped out loud when I saw this black and white polka dot blouse.
Hello, 1996! I absolutely loved this shoulder cut-out design when it first came around in the mid-90s - I owned a white shirt like this that I wore with high-waisted wide-leg brown trousers. It was such a cool look. This shirt is very retro/pin-up looking.

It's made in Canada by Le Chateau, and was only $12.95.
I'm excited to wear it!

I'm always on the lookout for washable woven tops for layering and hot-weather pieces.
This one had matching shoulder pads - I cut them out right away.

It was made in Canada by Orchid.
Not bad for $5.95.

I hemmed and hawed about this sweater, but the rich amber colour and the awesome sleeves won me over. The sleeves have open knit-work that show one's arms all the way down.
I don't usually buy "fast fashion" brands like Forever 21, but for $6.00 I'll wear it a few times.
We have a bit of a peek-a-boo them here!

This sweater's "giraffe"-inspired pattern appealed to me.
I'm grooving on the bold grey and cream.

It's by Rino Rossi, a Canadian knitwear designer for the past 30 years.
It was $14.95, made in Hong Kong with lambswool and angora. Although it's been categorized as Vintage, I think it's probably from the 90s. Is 90s vintage? Dang, I feel old!

I have been on the lookout for a proper denim-ish pencil skirt forever! I've bought several of them over the years, and none have been quite right.
I like the high waist on this one, the light denim-y-cotton fabric, and the snaps along the pockets (the snaps undo to make the pockets bigger (yes!).

I also like the snap detailing on the back and the big industrial zipper down the full back of it.
It's by Tulle and was $13.95.
We'll see if this makes the cut and becomes The denim skirt.

You know I can't resist anything leather, so this purple suede shift dress was a gimme.
"Lick lick lick."
 Seriously, Vizzini, do you have to do that here?
"What? I'm keeping an eye on you while I bathe."
The dress! Yes, it was only $24.95!
Geniune Danier Leather, and made in Canada! This will be a good dress for layering blouses under it.

From the WIN store, I strolled over to Flavour Upstairs and had a good browse. I scored with this 100% cashmere Lord & Taylor sweater.
I'm reluctantly embracing a turtleneck, but I can't resist the luxurious feel of cashmere.
Such a glorious bright blue! And for only $24.99? Awesome - these start at $200 new.

Regular readers will have noted that I've been on a pants thing lately. From only a couple of pairs of trousers, I'm up to almost a dozen pairs of pants! This is unprecedented in my wardrobe - easily the most pants I've ever owned.
I'm drawn to a slim cropped shape and bold colours and patterns.

For $12.99, this Topshop pair is mine.
I'm really excited to wear these.

I deliberated for a while over this skirt.
It's neoprene and not very well made, but I love the bright colours and the watercolour-inspired print.
For $14.99, I figured, "What the heck?" It'll be a spring-summer piece, but I'll try to work a winter outfit out of it.

I spotted this crazy tie in the menswear section.
It is a really short, flared, pointy tie!

It says "Has a love letter won your heart".
It's 100% silk and made in Italy by Escada by Margaretha Ley - that was a very big brand in the 80s, very chi-chi. This tie has a really fun vibe to it - L thinks that it's actually meant for a woman and I tend to agree.

I also found this hinged cuff in a basket of trinkets.
I have really small wrists, so finding a bracelet that fits me is a challenge.

Even nicer, is finding a stamp inside!
I have several Trifari pieces - this is likely from the late 70s/early 80s - it was only $5.00.

I'll leave you with this picture of Vizzini helping me as I hang and photograph all my new finds.
"Nom nom, clothing tags are tasty."
He's always underfoot, silly kitty.

After my day of shopping, I had a long nap then got ready for a friend's surprise 30th birthday party. She loves country music, so both L and I went cowboy (I forgot to take pictures of L, but he was a very cool cowboy rockstar).
 This is a close repeat of this top/skirt combo worn in December 2014.

  • Shirt - Dept., consignment; last seen here in December 2015 with fringe-o-rama
  • Skirt - Quilaree, consignment; last seen here a few weeks ago with my pearl tie
  • Fluffy underskirt - H&M; I don't track it
  • Boots - Adrian Agnes, Fluevog; last worn here in November 2015 with this same skirt

I'm wearing deep violet tights to go with the indigo-purple of the top.

Of course, I had to wear my uber-fringed coat with this!
I was the fringiest of them all! A big hello to all of the lovely people I met at Jenn's party!

The stuff:
Aside from yesterday's leopard shoes, I wore red shoes and boots every day for a whole week! Ten points if you noticed my unofficial theme.

Cowgirl bling:
Cowgirls always wear rhinestones.

  • Belt - thrifted
  • Earrings - thrifted
  • Turquoise ring - local
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!