Thursday, June 30, 2016

Effortless Cranes with Blue and Yellow

I made it! It's the long weekend! A very happy Canada Day to my fellow Canucks, and a happy early 4th of July to my American friends! 
The office was dead today, so I defrosted the mini-fridge at work...but I broke it right at the end of the day. That hissing sounded ominous. I think I'll be ordering a new fridge on Monday. But I'm not going to think about that now.

  • Top - H&M, consignment; purchased here last weekend for $19.99
  • Skirt - Mister Leonard, vintage 80s, thrifted; last worn here in August 2015 for a long weekend Friday
  • Shoes - Effortless Vivian, Fluevog; last seen here in April with a collar-and-cuffs dress

 Ha, the last time I wore this skirt, I also defrosted the same fridge! That's too bizarre.
This is my first wearing of this top and I really loved it. I think a shorter skirt might work better, proportionally, but this colour is so lovely and goes perfectly with the bits of yellow in the pattern (the cranes have yellow on their heads).

The stuff:
I adore these shoes - they were just fine barefoot. No rubbing, although the patent leather is stiff (and they're on sale now! Wanna be shoe twins?).

Baby blue bling:
I have come full circle from hating pastels to fully embracing them. Funny how that works.

  • Bracelet - Coro, vintage fair
  • Earrings - Plum
  • Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes

I'm off tomorrow celebrating Canada Day with friends, then we have Ulti on Saturday, followed by a barbecue and games at another friends' place. Sunday...phew, I'm gonna need to recover. See you then! Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Concert in Purple Leopard, and I Should Be In a Magazine

I'm exhausted. Thank goodness the Canada Day long weekend just around the corner! 
But, let's not get ahead of ourselves; this is what I wore to go see Neko Case, kd lang (all lowercase) and Laura Veirs, aka case/lang/veirs (linking again here, 'cause I love!) at the Royal Theatre last night.

  • Dress - Zac Posen for Lord & Taylor, thrifted; last seen here (2nd outfit) in July 2015 
  • Shoes - Half Truth Veda, Fluevog; last worn here (4th outfit) for brunch with Mom and my uncle

It was a hot evening, and I knew it would be warm in the theatre (which was built before air conditioning existed!).
Super comfy, easy to wear, and good for walking to and from the theatre downtown.

The stuff:
Pretty minimal.

Silver bling:
Again, minimal, but I was still one of the best-dressed people there. Man, people, dress up a little!

  • Cuff - thrifted
  • Earrings - Fossil, thrifted

L and I spotted two of the deer that live in our neighbourhood on the way to the theatre.
There they go, behind the fence. They're quite the pests, destroying gardens, eating trees, crashing through fences, lollygagging around on the road. Beautiful creatures, though.

We walked past Christchurch Cathedral.
My grandparents got married here way back in the 1930s.

Settled in our seats after a glass of wine.
The trimmings inside the Royal are gorgeous - all shiny gold leaf. This show was the headliner "big name" for the Victoria International Jazz Fest.

I have always wanted to sit in the loge seats.
I think I'd feel extra-swanky up there.

The opening act was, frankly, a snooze.
I'm sorry, Andy Shauf, but you put me to sleep. That's him on the left.

I woke up when the main act started.
From left: Laura Veirs, kd lang and Neko Case.

I was blown away by kd's voice, in particular.
She's a Canadian icon - you might remember her from her Opening Ceremony performance at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 (YouTube link here), or maybe like me, you remember her accepting her first Juno (a Canadian Grammy) in 1985 while wearing a wedding dress (a nice pictorial from the Globe & Mail here of her career highlights). She really is just completely captivating. What a voice. All links 'cause I love!

Neko Case is also a fave in the house of L and I - we love her solo work and her stuff with The New Pornographers. Laura Veirs was new to us, but also very impressive.
The show was a little on the short side - we were home by 10:30, but we had that high you get after seeing greatness. L will have his review up soon (go here!), so check in to read about both the concert and their album.

Today, I was hollered at on the way to our other office, "You should be in a magazine!"
Ya think? Melanie's on the CBC (link!) and I should be in a magazine. They didn't say what magazine, mind you. Maybe Cat Fancy? Me and Vizzini?

  • Top - Le Chateau, consignment; last seen here a year ago in June 2015 with all red
  • Skirt - no label, handmade, thrifted; last worn here a couple of weeks ago with florals
  • Shoes - Modern Vintage, thrifted; last seen here in April with chartreuse

I had a very physical day, which included smooshing the top of my foot with a table (I was trying to even out the legs so it wouldn't be tippy). I'm glad I had flats on.

I get a lot of compliments on this top - it's Chinese-inspired, based on cheongsam dresses,but it's a modern cut and make. Western culture has been appropriating this look since back in the 40s/50s? so I don't feel awkward wearing it.
I found out from one of my Indian coworkers that this skirt is made from handwoven fabric, and it's definitely from India. I often see saris, tunics and gorgeously elaborate Indian clothing in the thrift stores, but unlike my cheongsam-inspired top, I don't feel that it's appropriate for me - a super-white woman - to wear them. How do you feel about wearing clothing that's borrowed from other cultures?

The stuff:
I'm basically having a week of easy shoes and clothes.

Smiley bling:
I love vintage jewelry.

  • Earrings - vintage fair
  • Bracelet - Trifari, vintage 60s, vintage fair

One more outfit for tomorrow, and then I'm off until Sunday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pre-Scrunched and All the Colours

This is a weird week - I was positive it was Wednesday all day today, and I keep thinking tomorrow is Thursday.
I'm sure it'll be worse tomorrow - I'm in for a late night.

  • Jacket - Suzy Shier, thrifted; purchased here for $6.00
  • Dress - AJ Bari for Neiman Marcus, vintage 80s, thrifted; last worn here a year ago with tangerine
  • Shoes - Big Presence Desmond, Fluevog; last seen here (2nd grey lace outfit) a couple of weeks ago

"I don't want to be in your picture."
I felt so happy wearing this lovely strapless dress again! I am shocked that it's been over a year since it was last worn, but oh, well. So many clothes, so little time! I love it, though - all the colours!

This is the first wearing of my little blue jacket.
It's surprisingly well-made for a Suzy Shier (similar to Forever 21, but a Canadian mall chain) item: fully-lined, real pockets, nice blue piping on the inside. I also adore that the sleeves have elastic sewn into the seam to make them easier to keep shoved up at my elbows. Who doesn't love a pre-scrunched sleeve?

The stuff:
A bit of a jumble of colours but I liked how they all went with the dress.

Rainbow bling:
The belt is barely visible, but handy for hanging my keys on.

  • Belt - Nygard
  • Wrist wrap - local
  • Necklace - thrifted
  • Earrings - Stella & Dot, consignment
  • Lapis lazuli/Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes

Why a late night? Because L and I bought tickets months ago to see case/lang/veirs, a "supergroup" made up of kd lang, Neko Case and Laura Veirs! I'm totally excited! Link here (warning: autoplay music) 'cause I love. Lots of tour dates there, through Canada and the US!

I'll be back tomorrow night with my concert outfit (I'm changing into something more comfortable) and some pictures.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Pink Silk and Black Culottes

With Canada Day on Friday, it's very hard to motivate this week. I want my long weekend now! 
Freshly purpled hair
I'll settle for getting through Monday.

  • Blouse - Adrianna Pappell, vintage 80s, thrifted; purchased here for $9.95 
  • Culottes - Jones New York, vintage 80s, thrifted; last seen here with Shoes My Husband Hates
  • Shoes - Aldo, thrifted; first worn here a few weeks ago for brunch

I loved wearing this top all day - I'm so happy that I was able to steam it! No more ironing for me!
I went with plain black culottes, letting the bright pink silk take the centre stage.

But yes, I am wearing culottes, not a skirt.
I can go a little lower than that, but then I'd need help getting back up.

The stuff:
Wonderful flat shoes for a Monday.

Simple bling:
Nothing too taxing.

  • Cuff - Mom's, vintage 70s
  • Ear-balls - Dior
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up: Pink Paisley, Sidney Shopping, Light White, Washed Silks, and Super-Steamed

Happy Summer! It's official, we are now experiencing summer. 
Now that my Public Service Announcement is out of the way, let's get to the fun stuff! Clothes!

  • Blouse - INC International Concepts, vintage 80s, thrifted; purchased here last weekend for $16.95
  • Skirt - Nicole Miller, consignment; last seen here in December 2015 with dark green and trout shoes
  • Shoes - Wonders Ayers aka "the Fluevog Vizzinis", Fluevog, customized by me and Vizzini; last seen here (2nd outfit) with a vintage dress for a party in August 2015
  • Jacket (below) - Lord & Taylor, thrifted; last seen here a couple of weeks ago as outerwear

I loved this outfit so much. One of my coworkers gave it a 10/10.
The high-waisted skirt, with the belt over it, and the blouse tucked of my favourite looks of the late 80s, and to me, it's a classic.

It was quite windy on Friday, and I met up with L for dinner after work, so a light coat was needed.
Perfectly pink, from my head to my toes!

The stuff:
Ah, the Fluevog Vizzinis. Ever a reminder of Vizzini's wrath - read here if you haven't heard the story of what happens when you leave your closet door open.

Pink and white bling:
I realized halfway through the day that I'd put in mismatched earrings. Whoops! This is what happens when you pull your earrings out by feel.

  • Necklace - Banana Republic, consignment
  • Belt - vintage 80s, thrifted
  • Mismatched earrings - local and can't remember

No Ulti this Saturday for me! I made a date with my two favourite thrifty-girlfriends, Cat and Elaine, to go to Sidney again.
We went in the fall, here, and had fabulous luck in the thrift and consignment stores there, but the weather in November sucked.

  • Top - Two Women and a Trunk, thrifted; purchased here for $6.00
  • Skirt - Marciano, swap from Caro; acquired here for free in May
  • Shoes - Born, consignment; last seen here (4th outfit) on the May long weekend for drinks and appies with the gang

This time, the weather cooperated and was sunny and hot, with a light breeze. This entire outfit barely touched me and all of it billowed most swooshingly. This pleased me.
"I bite that train." 
I love that this skirt has a train. Elaine stepped on it a few times!

My full shopping ensemble.
Not including my purse or shoes, my whole outfit - skirt, top, earrings and hat - cost a total of $9.00. I hoped that this overt thriftiness would bode well for the day's shopping! 

The stuff: 
Comfy shoes for slipping on and off quickly. 

  • Earrings - vintage fair

I took my camera, intending to take lots of pictures of Sidney, but instead I enjoyed the day fully with my two awesome gals. I did take a couple of pics on my stroll over to Cat's place - she drove us out to Sidney (what a doll). 
My neighbourhood is peppered with Victorian-era houses, many of them painted in bright colours. That's era-appropriate, in case you wondered.

One of the many fun handpainted telephone poles in the 'hood.
Cats rule this block, obviously.

A riot of wild-growing flowers.
I pinched a bit of fresh lavender. I love that smell.

A little shop had this display in the window.
I love the idea of just threading a bunch of keys to make a necklace.

The only pictures we actually took in Sidney were these two selfies after we had Thai food for lunch.
Cat and Elaine. Can you tell we laugh a lot?

Cat took over selfie duty, as I couldn't manage to get myself in.
I wonder if our photobomber knew what we were doing?
Thanks for a wonderful day, ladies!

We went back to the same stores as last time, with varying luck. I will say that I think consignment stores should have seasonal clearance sales. Seven months after our last visit, we saw some of the same things in one of the stores. Clear out your stock!

I had a good day - the thrifting gods smiled on me. Cat and Elaine also found some lovely treasures, and we all stuck to our budgets!

I found this awesome chain, bead and lace choker.
It's so totally goth, I love it.

Okay, try not to cringe - I bought a couple of jackets with shoulder pads! And I'm going to wear them!
This is a stunning 100% new wool vintage late 80s jacket - you can see the huge influence the 40s were having on the 80s. This with a pencil skirt? Or a midi-length full circle skirt (a la Dior)? One thousand times yes!

This houndstooth woven jacket is by Simon Chang and was made in Hong Kong. The collar and cuffs are an imitation fur (made from wool also). It's size 8, which feels like a modern size 8 on, so I believe it's the late 80s, post-Great Size Shift. The shoulder pads are quite large (but they make my waist look so tiny!), but the jacket is structured really well - I only look like a running back, not an offensive lineman, ha ha!
No, that's not $600 on the tag, that's $6.00. But I didn't pay $6.00 - it was half price. THREE DOLLARS.

This jacket is way too warm for the season, so it's getting packed away for the fall season.

This next piece is totally not me, but also very much me. It doesn't look like much on the hanger (it's looking at me!), but it's also that 40s-does-80s. I admit that the taupe colour doesn't ring my bell too much, but it's a good neutral for some brights.
The jacket pattern is a woven white micro-square and has defined, but not huge, shoulder pads - shoulder pads started getting enormous in the late 1980s. The skirt has two front pleats and pockets! Bonus! Both pieces are is 100% wool, it's made in Italy, and it's by Valentino.

Yes. Valentino. THE Valentino. This is "Miss V" suit, which was Valentino's first ready-to-wear line in the early 80s.  As this is marked as a size 10 - but fits like a modern size 6 - I believe this is pre-Great Size Shift, so early 1980s.
Yup, I sure did pay $12.00 for a vintage Valentino suit. Score! I cannot wait to wear this - I hope we get a cool day so I can make an outfit! I can't wait till fall!

The last piece I found was in a consignment store.
Cat and Elaine found this and I was like, "Gimme!" We do all share, and we keep our eyes peeled for good finds for each other.

It's a cool top - I don't usually do this shape as it tends to make me look pregnant, but this is quite short and I think with a slim bottom it'll be really cute on.
It's a wrinkly-textured polyester double-knit (very 70s-inspired), and do you not love the cranes? I can see this with baby blue accessories, popping the bright yellow out, and of course, pairing it with white. Maybe all in one outfit! This top is by H&M, who continue to surprise me with the quality of 5-10% of what I see from them. I paid $19.95 for this.

L and I (and the Vizz-meister) chilled out last night and played boardgames, drank wine/rum and listened to music (L is getting close to his 900th review on his blog, I think). That's my favourite thing in the world to do: hang out with my fam on a sunny weekend evening. The world does not get better than that.

Today, L and I went for brunch, then bought something I have yearned for for decades.
Summer is here, full-bore! It's hot hot hot, so I went allover light and airy.

  • Dress - Lord & Taylor, thrifted; last worn here in August 2015 with bits of pink
  • Shoes - Franco Sarto, consignment; last seen here in May while layin' low in green 

This felt light and pretty, like a summer princess!

This is one of my favourite dresses. I hope I never spill anything on it.
I loathe the feeling of sunblock and after wearing it all day on Saturday, I wanted not to wear it today. Parasol time!
Doesn't it just make the outfit? Carrying it around is a pain when you're indoors, though. I grocery-shopped with it stuffed in my purse, and clamped it under my arm while I shopped afterwards with L. Did not leave it anywhere: victory!

The stuff:
Bows! Soft green! Blues! Aqua! All the pretty colours.

Pastel bling:
I matched my earrings successfully this time. Go, me!

  • Obi - thrifted
  • Bracelet - Coro, vintage 60s, vintage fair
  • Necklace - vintage 60s, vintage fair
  • Earrings - local

So! Following up on some discussion this past week about me sweating in all my thrifted silk outfits, I washed three pieces of 100% silk today. Our washer was set to the "delicates" cycle, plus I used the cold/cold water setting, with our usual eco-friendly, unscented detergent. All three pieces went in the dryer with a standard unscented dryer sheet, with the dryer on low heat/delicate setting.

Note: I don't recommend you do any of this. I was willing to ruin my garments because I didn't pay much for them (the skirt was free), and I'm lazy. I have ruined clothes before.

But I've also educated myself on fabrics and care, and I know that often things that say "dry clean only" don't actually have to be dry-cleaned, just like those "caution: hot beverage" warnings on coffee are somewhat over-cautious. Silk is a natural fibre, known for its strength - it was used for parachutes! - and I don't think water is going to hurt it. Also, vintage silk tends to be better quality than modern silk; it's thicker, woven tighter and therefore more durable.

The Marciano skirt, fresh from the dryer. No ironing needed. This skirt has a bit of Lycra in it, so it's actually 95% silk, but close enough, right? I can't put this in the dryer too much, as Lycra will eventually break down from the heat, but really, I rarely wash skirts - they just don't get that dirty! - however, I wore this one all night to play games, and I did get sweaty with all that trying on clothes.
I give it an A! It turned out great.

Here's the Nora Noh vintage silk dress.
The interfacing around the neckline had to be gently pressed back into shape, but otherwise, this dress came out perfect. No sign of a pit-stain. Hurrah!

The teal-green blouse also came out beautifully.
No ironing needed! They don't make 'em like this anymore!

Have you been dying of anticipation? What is this thing that Sheila has been yearning for for decades?

It is this.
It's a garment steamer! Back when I used to work at Fairweather's we used an industrial version of this to steam all the clothes as we unpacked them from the shipping boxes. I loved how quick and easy it was - no wrinkles in seconds! - but never really got around to looking and seeing how much something like this costs. When I was shopping for sheets a few weeks ago, I spotted them at the Bay - totally affordable! This was on sale for $169.95 - it's the Rowenta "Master Valet".

I read the instructions, put it together and tried it out right away...well, after we moved a bookshelf to make room for it. It heats up and is ready to go in 60 seconds! I can use this while I'm getting ready for work! And it runs out of water, it shuts off automatically. Good news.

This poor shirt was all wrinkled from being packed away for the summer.
Two minutes later...
Perfectly steamed! 

This picture is from when I bought this blouse/jacket in May: 
It's been sitting in my closet because I hate ironing.

After a quick steam, inside and out (the lining was also super-wrinkled, like this had been in a ball), it's perfect.
I am in total love with my our steamer. I spent about an hour doing all of my clothes for the week, and a bunch of L's shirts. Like getting a cleaning lady, this is one of those things that feels like, "I made it. I am living the good life."

You know who else is living the good life? 
"Do you even have to ask? I rule this house."
Vizzini is loving the hot weather.
"Busy now. Go away."
Hope you all had a lovely weekend, too!

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