Saturday, January 31, 2009

The line between organization and insanity

I've created a new Friday night routine. Rather than going out, when I'm too tired to really enjoy myself, I've decided to sit at home, in front of the TV and enjoy the guilty pleasure of TLC's Fashion Fridays. From Making Over America, through two episodes of What Not To Wear, up to Real Life Real Simple, I bask in the glory of fashion tips galore!

I also indulge in a rather anally organized habit: planning my upcoming outfits for the week.

I recognize that Friday is a little early to be planning what to wear, given the fickle nature of Manitoba weather. However, given the fact that I'm eternally waking up late, adding in "warm weather" or "cold weather" options (pretty much substituting skirts or pants) takes only a couple extra minutes one night a week, it enables me to spend those extra few minutes in bed - well worth it!

The intense organization (I recently added a "hairstyle" column to my spreadsheet - shut up, I'm a nerd), I have decided, is necessary. You see, as a student, editor, research assistant, board director, club secretary, gym member, friend and girlfriend, I frequently find that I have to make my outfits adaptable to the various roles I have to play per day. The sheet doesn't just have the clothes that I need to put on in the morning, but also the clothes I'll need to pack in my bag to get through the various "wardrobe changes".

I thought at first, as I only planned a couple days per week, that I would get bored of not getting to select my outfits based on my mood, I quickly found that a) I was too tired in the morning to care, and b) my mood would quickly adapt to the outfit. Now, I find on Fridays I get so wrapped up in my planning that I've even made a list of pieces I want to incorporate into outfits the next week.

I recognize that I'm not the poster child for spontaneity, and the spreadsheet (the table is the only part done on the computer, I do write it out by hand, if that helps at all) might cross the line into slightly crazy, but I've decided that if I've got the wardrobe, I might as well take advantage of it, and if it takes a bit of planning to keep me from reaching the old standbys (not that I don't miss you dearly, black hoodie jacket who spent its first week on a shelf since I bought it a couple years ago), so be it.

And besides, it's not like this would be the first piece of evidence suggesting that I'm insane.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quick & Tired

I've gotta make this quick - 10 minutes until the Daily Show, which means 10 minutes until I have to be in bed. Last night was a disaster and a half in terms of sleep and stress levels (they are inversely correlated, I've discovered) and until I finally had a nap at Scott's this evening, I was plotting death to everyone in my path.

The picture doesn't do the look justice. The shirts aren't sitting right, because I had just ended up in an impromptu photoshoot - when a short story calls for a pic of a female, lying dead on the floor, it's difficult to come across a Creative Commons pic that would work, so I soon found myself covered in dust on the office tiles. Anyway, that's me at my desk in job #2 - the newspaper office.

Anyway, jeans are basic. The stripe shirt is from my sister (I think we're almost nearing the end of the "Deb Collection", and the V-neck shirt (v in front and back) is somethign headed for the self-help box, but I decided to revive. It was just too revealing on its own, but now that I seem to be loving the layers, I decided to give it a try.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

50s woman?

Today was a work / Quill day, with the added bonus of a photoshoot for the Quill for a Valentine's day article that Scott and I co-wrote. I wanted something housewife-esque, that could also be worn throughout the day, so I took my new (thrifted) Gap wool skirt, a white wrap shirt, a brown cami, brown tights and brown boots. For work, I added my shortsleeved brown jacket, but added an apron for the photoshoot. I'm pretty impressed, and I got lots of compliments today... yeah!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Think Warm Thoughts

Whenever Scott or I (generally I) complain of feeling cold, particularily when we're apart, or in situations where cuddling wouldn't be appropriate (ie: middle of class), the other always says "think warm thoughts". When my sister gave me this sweater, all I could see were the yarn overs / dropped stitches that made up little holes for the pattern. "Great", I thought, "it'll perfectly show off the paisley tank top she also gave me. I threw it down for a "Tuesday" outfit, given it's generally my most casual day of the week (when I leave the house - Friday through Sunday never count!!). However, Tuesday turned out to be cold, so I needed lots of warm thoughts to get me through the cold weather in this supposedly "hole-y" shirt. In any event, with the addition of a scarf, and the realiziation there wasn't really that many significant holes, I was quite comfortable.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Today was going to be cold. There was no doubt about it. So on went the layers. However, since I'd already anticipated this, I felt confident enough to spend the extra 30 seconds this morning to add accessories to my look. I had unearthed the necklace from my "aw crap, I don't have enough time or energy or motivation to put this away" basket, where it lived the moment I brought it home from the thrift store for a 1920s costume, for which I later made a necklace. Then last night, as I was avoiding reading my daily dose of Milton, I decided that since it was excessively long for every day use, I could easily spare 2 sections of the bead pattern to make matching earrings. So here we have it... the outer / visible layer is:

New grey pants (that yes, are too long, but I was too lazy to hem them today), a new red/orange shirt (both were birthday presents), my rock'n boots (I should really take a picture of them to explain why they're so rock'n, because the details is totally lost when wearing pants), a simple black sweater, and my necklace and earring creation.

As for the shirt - My mother revealed that the reason i got it was because it was the only thing she could find that would fit (I returned the rest of the present and purchased clothes that did fit), and it was cheap enough that if I didn't like it, well too bad. The issue I have is that I've been self conscious of wearing reds to begin with, and always stick with more blue reds as I feel they're more flattering to my skin tone. However, I figured I'd give it a try. It also has really long cuffs, which irritate the crap out of me, so this was a nice starter outfit.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wish List

I got a phone call this afternoon from my mother who was in the city on a shopping extravaganza. After bemoaning the fact that my beloved orange sweater (bought in the late nineties, surviving only the first couple years in the new millennium) had met its demise for several years, she had found a replacement, and, best of all, for only $19.99. Should she pick it up for me? My mother had failed to remember that only weeks before, I had picked up (while shopping with her) an orange wrap sweater that was not simply an equal replacement, but a much more modern one, given the more open neckline... and a steal at $11.99.

Having reflected on this, I decided it was high time to make a "wish list" of fashion items:

- tweed swing jacket
- anything in a cream colour
- navy or bright blue turtle neck / long sleeve shirts
- fine knit brown sweater
- brown dress pants
- sweater dress
- jean skirt
- something yellow
- a large purse / bag (big enough to throw a pair of jeans into on work / Quill days)
- brown dress shoes
- black pumps
- every day shoes

I had thought it would be a relatively short list, given my pretty extensive collection of clothes as it is, but I'm starting to realize that I'll never be satisfied, especially given my recent moratorium on spending. Sigh... this is what i get for losing my Winner's Gift card.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Today was another crazy day... class, Quill, then two meetings. While I did end up having a hoodie over top of it for a good portion of the day (curled up in my chair at the Quill reading requires a certain level of warmth), I wore a black short sleeved turtleneck, a multi-coloured scarf, and jeans. Yup, that was all. No fuss. No muss. And the scarf worked as a lovely make shift blanket for when I needed a nap. So glad that my boss is ok with that...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ag Days

I'm a firm believer in "No Jeans if it's Not Friday" work rule, and as such, I had a huge dilemma this morning. I woke up incredibly tired, and incredibly sick, so while I did have on my new tweed skirt, I just couldn't feel it. And I hate not feeling new clothes. So instead, I threw on some jeans, promising myself to "business up" the top, and wear some awesome boots to get me rocking.

So I'm wearing my "used to be dark wash" jeans, my teal turtleneck (oh so nice for sore throats), my pinstripe men's wear inspired suspender vest, and I had a black scarf which worked as a shawl in the cold office. Nothing flashy, nothing fancy, and I was comfortable for most of my day - like hanging around the Quill, a staff meeting, buying a fancy new ring (yeah for Scott!), and snuggling around discussing movies.

Wasn't so comfortable at first at work. It just so happened to be the day that I had to talk to people in the Admin unit, the management unit, program, integrity - you name it, I talked to them today. I felt all guilty about betraying my own rule (note: we're a "business casual" environment, though jeans are discouraged. They are not outright forbidden, as it is not currently covered in our collective agreement, and there for cannot be enforced). However, I did notice that lots of people were wearing jeans. Finally, I commented to a co-worker, and he reminded me that it's Ag Days - one of the three times a year (other two being Winter Fair and Summer Fair) that jeans are universally agreeable in most office settings. Oh, Brandon, and pretending to be a big city when you really prove yourself to be a quite small town!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Ah, yes, the start of the Thrifted collection. I do love some shopping but hate spending money, especially between now and spring, when I am fully aware of the short comings of my income status. This green sweater was a "had to have" as I could think of all the fun outfits to wear with it in spring and summer. However, delayed gratification has never been strong with me, and, after layering it over my favourite staple in my wardrobe, my v-neck white tee, it was perfect for a day in class, with a pair of jeans. Sure, it wasn't the warmest thing to wear, and sure I'm developing a cold (yes, this soon after my ear infection, I'm the epitome of perfect health), but I received a number of compliments on it, after which, of course, I always answered "Thanks! It was a steal at $4 from Value Village!". Next shopping adventure... MCC!!

Blue Monday

Despite being mathematically apparently the most depressing day of the year, it was actually a pretty good day. In fact, it was also really good inspite of the fact I worked a full day (I know, I haven't done that since August!!)

I am wearing a wrap dress (I know, I'm sick of wraps after last week too), but I couldn't NOT wear this dress. It was recently altered. It hung in the back of my closet, where I had difficulty turning it into an outfit because of a collar. A general gift of time and energy from my mom allowed me to finally pair it with my brown cardigan. I made a second attempt at layering tights (the first just made my legs look dead - note to self, don't layer black over grey!!), and I'm much happier with the brown over blue.

And now I"m really tired so I"m going to bed.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Have you figured out the theme?

That's right - an extra post today to see if you've figured out this week's theme: wrap shirts! The sad thing is that I went to get dressed today, and threw one on without realizing it. Then I searched my closet and came up with two more! I will admit that it's starting to get insane.

In any event, I wore a pink wrap t-shirt, layered over a white 3/4 length v-neck tee, with jeans, and my happy stripey scarf.

And in other clothing news - after feeling the need to spend money, the girls and I headed to Value Village for some thrifting - a necklace, a broach, skirt and sweater, all for under $15 - I'm quite happy!

Working on outfits for this week - the weather has warmed up so I hope to take advantage of that, but I still have some pants that need to get some exposure to the work world, so we'll see where that leads!

Friday, January 16, 2009


I got up this morning and discovered that even with the windchill, it was down right balmy. That's right, temperature around -20... wow. So out came the dress and tights! Purple tights are difficult, I soon discovered. Add too much purple to the rest of the outfit, and you come out looking like Barney. I did find that the white wrap sweater over the black shirt dress did help, but ended up looking disjointed so out came the metallic threaded square scarf! This outfit has, so far, gotten me through a presentation to a first year English class, copy editing at the Quill, working for the Gov't (where the pick was taken - hope you can't see my top secret documents!!) and will hopefully keep me going through an archival exhibit opening and a house warming party. Ok, I can see myself throwing on some jeans for the house warming party, but I still think I did pretty good for someone who didn't wear dresses all that much before this year!

So Tired

My car died. Again. So this morning was rather chaotic. Then it was non-stop action, from class, to work, to meeting, to work, to coffee, to meeting, to meeting, to art gallery opening... supper didn't happen until after 8, and after spending some MUCH needed time with the boyfriend, I didn't get home until after 12, and exhausted. In fact, I was even to lazy to take pics anywhere but my bed. Alas, the pic for today sucks... but it unintentionally showed I matched my socks... who knew! In fact, not only do they match my colours, and striping effect, but they also have monkeys on it, and Silly Monkey, (a present from Scott) had to be in it too!
Essentially it's a maroon wrap sweater that I've saved from the "self-help" box at least three times (The shoulders don't work for me, but layerd, that doesn't matter) over a black v-neck and under my black hoodie, with, of course, jeans, and my red and black striped monkey socks.

Now can I go to bed?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Brown Jacket

I took off to work today, despite frigid windchills (-49... and once it's below -40, it doesn't matter if its Celsius or Fahrenheit) and managed to stay extra warm. Then again, I was working an abbreviated work day (2.5 hours! Wahoo!), so I parked just outside the building and plugged a meter.

I was also super excited to be wearing more of my birthday presents. The jacket, which I got numerous compliments on (including the nurse at the walk-in clinic that flushed the ear wax out of my infected ear - trust me, not an experience that she, nor I, would ever want to recreate... it hurt like bloody hell), was a present I picked out from Ricki's given to me by my parents (Yes, it is a year of birthday returns, but I've never been happier with what I've got!). I'm layering my orange wrap sweater, and a new brown cami underneath. To work, I wore brown pants that seemed to actually match the jacket for a nice casual suit-look.

However, when I went off to the Quill, following my still painful doctor's office visit (which did result in good news: the drugs are working! My ear should be normal by the end of the week!), I switched to jeans. Maybe it's the studded belt, or my awesome attitude, but the outfit seems so much more rockstar with jeans.

In any event, what I like best about the outfit is the broach that I've made. While I don't think it quite qualifies for Kasmira's Recession Challenge, it's super cute and fun - an antique button that my mother got from my grandmother and a safety pin!

As for the hair? Well, it seems regardless of what I do in the morning (see pic #1), after I throw on a toque it always looks like pic #2. Sigh. Maybe it's time for a new hair cut.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gangster Day?

I woke up after 10 hours of sleep feeling significantly better. However, I knew it would be bloody cold, so I knew to bundle up, especially my head. I find it easier to be in large crowds without the inevitable ear pain from the constant din when my ears have something to cover them. Without a proper cloche (which I will make, thanks to the felting yarn Christine bought me for my birthday!!!!!!), I knew my only option was a toque. Made sense in the cold weather too. I haven't been able to track down my usual toques, given my inability to stay awake for long periods of time, and my inability to otherwise keep my room clean, so I threw on one that I've knitted. I'd avoided wearing it because I hadn't woven in the tail, nor had I finished the matching mitts or scarf. However, it matched nicely with my camisole, which I wore under my grey wrap shirt, white hoodie, and my dark wash bootleg jeans. They're about as close to the "Skinny jean" trend as I'm willing to get... though it's almost impossible to tell the difference when worn under boots. And yes, that is a picture of me trying to give some gangsta attitude.

Ps - there is a theme this week in my outfits... can you guess it?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Playin' it by ear!

Saturday night, I was complaining to Scott: "My ear hurts! If it still hurts in a week, make me go to the doctor".
Sunday night, I was heavy into the ear drops / sinus meds / green tea.

This morning, I woke up and realized I couldn't hear out of one ear. Despite warnings to the contrary, I went off to work. For a full two and a half hours, I dizzily wandered around our cubicle kingdom in black pants, a purple striped top, a purple wrap sweater and a wide black belt. I accidentally put on the wrong socks before leaving the house, and found that my cute little emo skulls were peaking out of my mary janes - oh well, I was too out of it to deal with it.

I ended up at the doctor partway through my work day, not because of the pain but because of the pressure. Turns out I have a bulging ear drum caused by a severe sinus infection. The fact I don't feel pain, the doctor assured me, is due to a super high pain threshold. Take that, you wussy boys!

So off I trotted home (following an expensive trip to the pharmacy), and crawled into a birthday gift from Jill - some Joe snowflake jammies! So comfy for my day of essay writing. That's the downfall to a high pain threshold - I feel perfectly fine, I'm just not allowed out around loud noises (such as the phone). When asked when I could return to work, the doctor simply joked: "You'll have to play it by ear!"

Friday, January 9, 2009

Rough Week

I had a perfectly planned out clothing schedule for the week. In fact, I even had it matched up to the weather forcast. But alas, -20 doesn't seem as a bad in a forecast when you don't know that the windchill will be -37. As such, a lot of revising was done, and, honestly, I wasn't happy with most of my outfits for the week.
So my resolution for this coming week is to take pictures of every outfit I wear, post them, and figure out exactly where they rocked, and where they didn't...

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Things that don't quite work

The day kept getting colder and colder and colder, especially since my car died. There was a lot of car shuffling, and chauffeuring, so I layered up. I had planned out the outfit, but in my head, I looked way hotter. I won't lie... in my head, I'm damn gorgeous.

I started off with brown tights and a tan shirt, layered under a white button up shirt, an ice cream orange tank, and my new brown argyle cardigan. Pants were brown glen plaid (that's right, I love me some glen plaid). I wore my new brown shoes - which I'd love to take a picture of, but apparently I left them at the office (it was intentional, but I failed to remember that I wanted to photograph their cute little button!!!)

Tomorrow - my 5 squared birthday - may not be a fashion creation that rocks either. There is a big chance that I won't have a car again, which won't be as bad this time - with Scott living across the street from the university, the longest trek is pretty much from his place to the parking lot. Ok, from my office to Scott's is probably longer, but that doesn't help my point.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Museum Exhibit Opening

Today, the Daly House opened their Dolls of Yesteryears exhibit, and I, of course, was on hand to deliver opening remarks. Of course, being in the spotlight as such made me a little weary about finding something appropriate to wear. I'd hate to be on the front page of the paper (ha!) in something that didn't quite suit the theme.

I thought of a couple different options - the business woman (because I sometimes need that to look mature enough to be in the position I am); the artistsy professional (because it is an exhibit hall, and not an office); or the conservative/matronly museum director (because it is a doll exhibit at a museum).

In the end, I went with the artsy professional - taking advantage of one of my birthday presents from my grandparents - a teal turtleneck. I paired it with my favourite glen plaid pants, and a black scarf - simple yet sophisticated, I thought. But I love the pants... they aren't the easiest pattern to photograph, as they make my eyes dizzy to look at closely, but they make my legs look excessively long.

Here were my other options - I realize there isn't that much variety between the styles, but the over all tone seems so different.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Play Day

When my alarm went off this morning, I definitely didn't want to get up and get copy editing. In fact, I slept in another half an hour - thank goodness Dave isn't a stickler about his section editors arriving on time! In any event, I knew that I needed to find something super fun to wear in order to keep my energy and positivity up. The outfit came out of two mismatched outfits from last month. I had layered a fine knit wrap top over a striped shirt, and it made me look young, and almost emo. Then, in Winnipeg, I discovered I'd grabbed a purple tank instead of a black one to wear with the striped shirt, but in the end, it actually worked. And thus, I arrived at this outfit: my blue striped hooded shirt, a purple tank (ok, this is a different one - I can't seem to find the other one, which I do prefer!), a zip up hoodie, and of course jeans.

Now, I actually do take a lot of the pictures in atypical settings. Sure, you can see my air exchanger, my washing machine, or my bathroom towels in a lot of my pictures, but if I've been throwing together outfits in my room, there's definitely no suitable place to take a picture - not to mention the lighting sucks (ok, it's better than the early "hall pictures". However, today, my photo shoot happened during my toothbrushing time - hence the brush in my hand. Oh well - the outfit was all about playing around, and so it works for me!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The last few days

Ok, I'm slacking on this, because I'm feeling limited by my wardrobe. I did fail to mention in my Christmas gift run down that I did receive some fabulous jammies from Scott's parents. I love pink, and monkeys, so the pants are awesome. I love the brightness of the top, but the "Up To No Good", especially the parents of my boyfriend, is kind of... odd. In any event, super warm and comfy, and always get me home at the end of the night, craving their coziness.

Went to work on Monday, and threw together my first vest outfit - not as easy as I'd hoped. However, I think it worked. I had initially wanted to stay away from a buttom up shirt, feeling that I didn't want to channel the "men's wear" vibe that hard. However, the sweater under it just didn't give the right feeling. In the end, though, I was happy with the constrast of the purple giving me some colour, as well as the grey trouser jeans picking up the grey pinstripe.

And finally, New Years Eve. Had some difficulty with this outfit - I knew I'd be spilling, so I had to revise my plans of wearing my new cardigan, seeing as it retails around $60, and I have an affinity for red wine these days. However, just as I was about to give up and go shopping, I stole a ribbon for my mother, and it seemed to complete the outfit.