Monday, October 20, 2014

Trip to Italy! Venice: It is Unrecommended to Feel the Pigeons

Miss me? Not only I was taking a blog break, but I was taking it in Italy!

L and I have been planning a trip with our Moms for a couple of years, and spent the last 12 days traveling around Italy by plane and by train. We visited 4 regions and saw a lot of art, architecture and really old things, shopped a bit there (and here), ate a ton of food (and drank with the locals) and bonded with the Cats of Italy, while leaving Vizzini on his own for the longest time ever. What an adventure!

I took hundreds of photos, which I won't bore y'all with, but here's a little view of what we saw and did in each area, along with the goodies we bought. And of course, as this is a fashion blog, I recorded my outfits.

I took a very small capsule wardrobe, mostly composed of clothes I'd already decided to get rid of, with the goals of having a wardrobe that would:

  • travel well,
  • cover a variety of temperatures in different regions, 
  • have a mix of casual and dressy, 
  • still be fashionable and comfortable, and
  • gradually get smaller to accommodate any purchases.

I didn't take pictures of all of my separate items - I had been in a flurry of planning, work and cleaning for the previous two weeks before we left and was kind of busy. I'll mention which items were left behind (with a "Donate or keep" sign) as we go.

My travel outfit:
I like to look presentable when I travel. I also like to wear the most items when I'm actually in transit, so that I can adjust my layers accordingly.

  • Jacket - Banana Republic, thrifted, last seen here in May with geometry
  • Top - Talbots, thrifted, can't find when I last wore it, but it's been a long time
  • Skirt - Club Monaco, last seen here (3rd outfit), in August
  • Boots - Doc Martens, consignment, last see here in September to see The Wooden Sky
  • Jewelry - crystal studs; silver metal cord with pearl pendant, gift from Mom
I wore the jacket most of the time, both for warmth and as an extra pillow. 

The big wrinkly mushroom skirt was wonderful and the floral Doc Martens were excellent walking shoes.

The top stayed behind. I rarely wear it, event though I like the cut. I thought it would be a great travel top: no wrinkles, a little bit of warmth and a versatile colour mix. It ended up being stinky (I sweated in it a great deal), washed poorly (took 3 days to dry) and generally annoyed me.
I wore the skirt several times, usually as my travel clothes between cities and towns. By the end of the trip, the hem was filthy - good thing it's washable.

I took several of my rattier camisoles with me, and left almost all of them behind.
The boots weren't a good choice, in hindsight. They were difficult to get on and off (the metal in the last set off the detector in airport security a couple of times), and they were hot to wear. However, keepers!

All four of us flew from Victoria to Vancouver, and caught a 9.5 hour flight straight to Frankfurt. We splurged and went Business Class all the way. Our flights to and in Europe were both via Lufthansa.
Moms being cute. Mine is on the right; L's on the left. L looking sleeping in the second row.
As we flew overnight, we all tried to get some sleep. When we arrived in Frankfurt, everyone on the plane loaded into a couple of buses on the tarmac, and were transported to a gate. We missed our connecting flight to Venice by 10 minutes, even though I sprinted the length of the Frankfurt airport - my first instance of getting really sweaty.

We arrived late in our Venice hotel, got settled in and changed into lighter clothes to go for a wander around.
The light in this hotel was like a 70s Vegas lounge. 

  • Dress - Hemp & Co., purchased here in September 
  • Shoes - Kenneth Cole Reaction, consignment, last seen here in June
  • Scarf - blogger gift
  • Jewelry - a purple crystal pendant

I bought this purple dress specifically for this trip, and it was the most wonderfully comfortable item I wore the whole time. You're going to see a lot of it. I'm not sure how much I'll wear it now that I'm home again, but it was a fabulous travel dress.

The shoes are my very beat-up sandals; they were also the best shoes I took with me - and I left them behind as well. By the end of our time in Italy, they were just thrashed. Thank you, sandals!

The first of many hugs with L:
The end of a long and frazzling day of travel.

We were hugely amused by this list of hotel instructions.
Hee! "It is also unrecommended to feel the pigeons."

It was a full moon the night we arrived.
Looking over the Rialto Bridge, which spans the Grand Canal. Those stripey poles are for gondolas.

Our first full day in Venice. The outfit.

  • Top - Oxmo, last seen here in May with cracked ice
  • Trousers - handmade, thrifted, last seen here in August with a mandarin jacket
  • Shoes - Enzo Angiolini, thrifted, last seen here in November 2013 (they've been living under my desk at work since then)
  • Jewelry - Shi Studio pendant

I love the colour of this top, but again, I rarely wear it. The shoes were already very beat up; I've had them in mind for this trip for many months. Both items were left behind.

The trousers were a nice change of pace for days when I didn't want to wear a skirt. Keeper!

Our Venice hotel provided breakfast. It was a very warm day, although cloudy, and we headed out early to explore Piazza San Marco.
Gondolas lined up for the tourists, facing the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

We meandered around the streets - Venice is a walker's dream.
From one of the many little bridges.

The first Cat of Italy!
An angel-lion? No matter - he seems to have taken a shine to L.

Ah, there's our first real Cat of Italy.
All Italian cats have a very aloof quality.

When the tide comes in, the lower piazza areas and streets flood. This bride was posing out in the middle of the square, surrounded by water.
The water was up to 6 inches deep; there were temporary elevated sidewalks in several areas.

We visited the Doge's Palace, and went up to the top.
Looking down on the square.

We took a gondola ride!
Venice is an incredibly old city, and so beautiful.

The Rialto Bridge again.
It's very touristy, even in October. Vendors were selling tourist crap and roses everywhere you looked, and there were still tons of visitors on the sidewalks. I can't imagine how insane it would be in high season.

Highlight of Venice: L and I found a little restaurant off a side alley, full of locals. We had the vino de la casa russo (red house wine), with shrimp and polente, and spaghetti with anchovies and onion. Amazing food!

Funniest moment: The 9 hour time change really messed with me. I woke up on the first morning, checked my watch - yup, it's 7:30 and we're going to be late meeting our moms for breakfast! I woke up L, showered, he showered...and then I realized that if you look at a watch upside down in the dark, it looks like a different time. It was actually 2:30 am! Oops!

After such a short taste of Venice, we were up early the next morning to catch the train to Firenze/Florence! Travel outfit.

  • Sweater - Coldwater Creek, thrifted, last seen here (3rd outfit) in March
  • Long-sleeved t-shirt - Plum
  • Skirt - as above
  • Boots - Miz Mooz, last seen here (3rd outfit) in March
  • Belt - thrifted
  • Jewelry - leaf pendant

The sweater's been an around-the-house item for several months, and the long-sleeved tee is one of two that I brought on the trip for possible cold weather layering. Both items were only worn this one time, and then they were left behind. The weather in Venice was the coolest of anywhere we went, and none of the heavier pieces I'd taken were necessary.

Although the boots have been with me for a few years, they've become very scuffed and worn. I wore them one other time while in Italy, then left them behind. They were uncomfortable, and way too hot to wear. Good riddance!

My birthday landed on our last brief morning in Venice, and Mom bought me this wonderful Murano glass snake pendant.
It came with a black rubber choker, which reeked. I'll use this on my own silver chain.

Also as a birthday present, L bought me this gorgeous necklace and earrings set.
I love the purple, yellow, orange and pink beads. So pretty!

Next up - Florence!

Oh, and a reminder: Shoe Shine is this coming Friday! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What I Like: Fall Looks, Part 2 - The Accents

I'm taking a little break - it's been over 6 years since I started this blog and I need a rest. However, I wouldn't leave y'all in the lurch, so I've lined up a few little posts (including a Shoe Shine and my birthday link-up party) to keep you amused until I'm back. 

And I will be back, I promise!

For the second year in a row (first time here, past Officer Vizzini), I bought the big fat September fashion magazines, and tore out all the pages that inspired me. I shuffled them all together, laid them out on the carpet and analyzed what I liked. 

Badass Attitude
I like the bigass and I like the badass, mostly because for most of my life I was too scared to be either. I would love to stroll about like an Edwardian pirate (but I'd settle for those McQueen boots) - lace, velvet and drama.

I love the crazy hats and trains in the middle picture, but I love the badass vintage babe in the centre more - more ladies with lines, please!

On the right, gotta love the plaid, the little booties and the red lippy. I love the punk attitude.

It's Easy Being Green
Everything green, all the things. Big wide belts, curvy jackets, a long sweeping olive skirt (I do believe I have one of those).

Snakeskin skirt, leopard toppers, python boots (and I'll take the leather dress, thanks).

Check, I've had my OTK (remember when we called them OTK?) boots for years - they're even in green! I would be thrilled to find a girly floral boot, but am just as happy with my Doc Martens.

Embrace the Cray-Cray
A furry bag - will springbok do? An impossible heel? How about these? Those shoes on the right are so 80s I could die. Shoe clips!

The Scarf Thing and the One Earring Thing
I like the long skinny scarf hanging down, and the scarf-instead-of-necklace. I love the single earring look, and have been working it for a few weeks. It works with my uneven hair!

And what about you, dear readers? Could you get on board the trendy train with any of these accents? What will you try?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What I Like: Fall Looks, Part 1 - The Looks

I'm taking a little break - it's been over 6 years since I started this blog and I need a rest. However, I wouldn't leave y'all in the lurch, so I've lined up a few little posts (including a Shoe Shine and my birthday link-up party) to keep you amused until I'm back. 

And I will be back, I promise!

For the second year in a row (first time here, past Officer Vizzini), I bought the big fat September fashion magazines, and tore out all the pages that inspired me. I shuffled them all together, laid them out on the carpet and analyzed what I liked. 

Soft Goth Cowgirl!
I adore both of these Chanel looks. The funky boots, the leather, the contrasting ruffles, all those gobs of jewelry. And of course, cowboy boots. Mine are red, thank you! I'm on the lookout for a replacement pair of riding boots, as mine are getting worn out.

The Femme Menswear Look 
Keep one detail feminine: a softer version of a tie, sandals, a pencil skirt, brogues. I think I need a pair of brogues.

The Midi Skirt 
What? This hasn't always been in style? I've been wearing midis (and whatever the hell length I feel like) for years. I love the mod-inspired patterns on the bookended looks, and the higher waists on the pencil skirts. You can thrift this look easily - it's very 80s. Mermaid skirts like the one on the bottom right are a style from the early aughts that can be found secondhand too.

Bigass Drama 
I'm all about the bigass, and I'm all about the drama! Simple clean shapes, in gorgeous want-to-touch textures, accessorized with vintage pieces like the wrap on the left, the statement necklace (you can find wonderful ones at vintage swaps for cheap), and the bigass combination of red and pink. I want that Dior dress.

Dark Florals 
Back for the second year, florals and embroidered designs on lush black textures. Still a fan. I have a lot of velvets, florals and embroidery in my wardrobe.

 More Menswear
It's the year of the jacket! I like seeing the longer-line jackets coming back - this has always been a favourite look of mine. It's very 90s. Another easy thrift find. Love the fuzzy topper over the suit.

Mostly the boots, but also the leather. Yes, please, I would that green leather shirt very much.

Do any of these turn your crank? What looks are you actually going to try, or are you sticking with the same ol', same ol'?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Autumn Winter Closet Swap

I'm taking a little break - it's been over 6 years since I started this blog and I need a rest. However, I wouldn't leave y'all in the lurch, so I've lined up a few little posts (including a Shoe Shine and my birthday link-up party) to keep you amused until I'm back. 

And I will be back, I promise!

* * * * *

Every 6 months, at the end of September and at the end of March, I clean out my custom-built walk-in closet, and I pack away my past seasonal clothes and bring out my next seasonal items. I love rediscovering wardrobe items, although some of them don't make the cut. 

I recently did my autumn/winter reset, and packed away my spring/summer goodies. Here's what it all looked like. Really, it's barely managed chaos! 

I used to work in a gift shop that had to be dusted constantly. I loath dusting, but I did learn a good trick for it: start on one wall and just work your way around, bit by bit. If you look at the entire task, it's far too daunting, but one small piece at a time is okay.

So, starting on the left, I went through all of my blouses, longer/full-length skirts and trousers and pulled out those that are too light-weight for cool weather. 
And I cleaned off all of the 3 shelves above those, and dusted them with a little lemon Pledge, which reminds me of doing chores when I was a kid.

Next, I pull out all of my summery dresses. I have a LOT of them, so this area got very thin - count the hangers!
I deliberately kept a few of my light-coloured dresses out for possibly fun-time outfits.

This is all of the items I packed away, not including belts, scarves and purses.
I pulled out 18 pairs of shoes.

My small bag collection.
I try not to keep purses that I don't actually use, no matter how pretty they are!

The chaos of hangers on the left, and my 3 tubs of fall/winter clothes that have been living under the bed for 6 months. I also have at least 6 bags of shoes, boots and more clothes there, ready to be unpacked.
I still have a few hangers. Heh, I guess I need to go shopping!

I needed the space for my purses in the closet, and I'm starting to get a bit of a hat collection (I did week out two that I haven't worn very much over the past 6 months).
I cleared off the top of a bookcase in the den (where my closet is), and gently stacked my fun hats. I need to be able to see them, or I forget I have 'em.

There's one shelf above this that has my very fancy purses (you can see the black bead fringe hanging on the left). These are my more frequently used bags, and a couple  more hats and a fascinator.
I'm feeling very jacket-y this cold season. I don't do sweaters that well, and I got rid of nearly all of my cardigans.

My lowest shelf of sleeveless and short-sleeved sweaters for wearing under jackets.
And my filled-up blouse section and crammed long/full-length skirt section.

I had to actually move my very small trouser assortment to the "long hang" area where I keep my dresses.
I don't have a ton of winter dresses. I tend to do more tops/skirts.

Speaking of skirts...
All my shorter ones. After I took this photo, I found more in the hall closet! Yikes!

And my jackets. I've been doing well lately with finding some good ones.
The "not yet worn" items are on the right side. Once the weather is cooler, those will go into rotation.

I tried to be ruthless with my shoes. I did get rid of 2 pairs of sky-high ones that I just can't wear any more. Why was I keeping them? They were taking up valuable real estate!
The top shelf are my seldom-worn Fluevogs and my party shoes.

There they are again...
Then the shoes I'll be reaching for daily.

I was so happy to unpack my bootie collection!
I rediscovered some old friends, like the Best Shoes Ever there on the right.

I always rearrange my shoes so that my eyes don't get used to seeing them the same way. It helps me rotate them in my wardrobe.
More daily wear shoes. I think there are about 55 pairs there, and on the floor, including my boots, which live down there as well.

I see empty space!
I think I need some new shoes... 

I hope you enjoyed my little closet tour!