Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Half a curve

I wanted to wear this white belt from H & M where I could show case it, since it was really the first full-day wearing of it.  The easiest way was to go with contrast.  Having not worn this dress in a long time, I figured it was worth it.  However, the dress just isn't the right shape for me.  While it may look a little more a-line in this picture, it's quite straight, something not great on my rectangle body.  Keeping the top unbuttoned adds an "upper curve" but I couldn't find a way to get a bottom curve.  If only I'd seen Sheila's use of layering shirtdresses first!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I can't say I was trying all that hard this morning to get outside the box with this outfit: there isn't much to it.  However, after weeks and weeks of rather wide legged trousers, I was quite happy to remember that these had slimmer fit.  I was also rather happy that the legs weren't like sausage casings like they used to be, too! The necklace length doesn't really fit correctly - I should have looped it one less time!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

ESA Meeting

School obligations are starting for the year, which should technically come as no surprise, but still comes as a shock to the system.  Today we had a meeting of the department student executive.  It's probably one of the few warm days out, but I knew we'd be in side.  Solution?  Super short dress paired with super long cardigan! (Dress last worn here)

Definitely felt comfortable in this... once I discovered it didn't get as short as I thought it did when I bent over.  Sure, I'm getting older, sure, I'm about to be a married woman... but neither of those things have happened yet, so it's best to enjoy while I still can!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Travel Wardrobe Day #5

We'll just ignore Day #4's outfit.  It was unbelievably hot, and rainy, and horrifyingly sticky, so while I did take a picture, I didn't like the outfit, and it was after I'd been caught in the rain.  Basically, it resorted to the green shorts and the blue cami... not the hottest look ever.

Day #5, however, is something I loved.  And it was just one piece!  I was planning on wearing it as a strapped dress with a bow in the back, but in order to adjust the top, I held the straps crossed in the front, and loved the look.  Super simple, but definitely a super-cute look, I think.  It was perfect for shopping, too!  Almost short enough to work as a tunic for when trying on pants, and could easily be transitioned into a skirt when trying on shirts!

Of course, it was a busy day (lots of walking, shopping and then a movie), so I didn't get a picture of that outfit... nor did I get a picture of the evening outfit, so here they are recreated just for you!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Travel Wardrobe Day #3

This is when I started to get into my travel wardrobe.  The T-shirt was a last minute purchase before leaving, as I realized that my other striped shirt I'd worn in this style would have been miles too warm for Toronto's heat.  But at $4 at Superstore, I couldn't really turn it down.

The belt I stole from my mother, and really needs another hole if I'm going to continue to wear it at my rib cage, but once I added the sweater (the stores I was shopping at that day were rather chilly), it did stay a little better.

However, I'm not fussy about either incarnation of this look: I think I did it better last time.  I think it's the lighter blue, the shorter sleeve and the itty bitty pocket.  With the sweater, I should have worn the dress as a skirt, and without the sweater, the shirt just seems too casual for it.  But this is why I blog: so I can constantly evolve these looks!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Travel Wardrobe Day #2 Evening

I felt that since I was in the Big City, I could switch up outfits for evening.  This is also the outfit I wore home (with the jacket added) on Saturday, but Saturday morning travel (leaving 3:30 AM Saskatchewan time) necessitated no picture!

I've always worn this sweater with a green-tinged tank, but I'm loving the blue coming through!

I love the fit of the sweater, especially considering how unbelievably comfortable it was.

We went to see Eat Pray Love that night - I thought it was all right, but I can't say I was bowled over.  The final message from Katut seemed excessively garbled, and it left some side plots un-concluded.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Travel Wardrobe Day #2

I was exhausted this day: it was a 2 hour time change, and I don't sleep well before flights as it was.  Despite sleeping SO soundly in this rather noisy city, I still just wanted to crawl into bed.

I always forget that these shorts don't look as polished as I'd like them to, and wrinkle so easily.  Needless to say, they weren't the best choice.  Even though there was humidity in the air, I needed the jacket for the coldness of the library where I was doing research.

Not the best picture either, but I tried so hard to look decent!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Travel Wardrobe Day #1

Travel days are crucial days when packing, especially when attempting to do everything in one carry-on.  This is the day that you HAVE to wear your big items: your jeans and your jacket.  This was excessively difficult for me given that I would be going from about 5 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius despite staying in the same country.  Needless to say, I was glad I left extra room in my suitcase to stash my jacket when I hit the humidity of the Big City.

I set my colour palette as greens, blues and pinks, though focused mostly on the first two, mostly to encorporate the army jacket and the American Apparel dress.  When I bought this basic "Vintage green" shirt from The Gap for a photo shoot Scott & I were getting done, I fell in love with the absolute softness of it, so I knew it would be good for travel.

Really, there wasn't much to the outfit... I was a little disappointed that this was the outfit that I met my friend's new boyfriend in, considering I didn't think it really did much for me, but that's what happens when you travel, sometimes!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Shopping Toronto

Before I do a re-cap of my travel capsule wardrobe, I thought I'd recap my shopping experiences.

It's true: I did move to a bigger city a year ago.  However, with the exception of Old Navy, The Gap and American Eagle, my shopping options hadn't expanded much.  I've been jealous of the variety of brands that bloggers seem to have, even those who also live in Canada.  Thus, the fact that I reserved an entire day (after all, this was a research trip) to explore these mysterious yet familiar ("uncanny" if you will) stores that seem to be staples in others' wardrobes was both exciting and disappointing: after all, it would only be one day.

However, my research wrapped up rather quickly.  As such, my "one day of shopping" turned into "one day... and a couple afternoons, and the odd evening trip as well".

Tuesday I had a brief opportunity to visit a couple stores along Bay, which is where I discovered Zara was under renovation.  I wouldn't have been so heartbroken if I had realized that there were another two Zara stores within what I consider walking distance from that one... I immediately fell in love with Aritzia, not so much for their clothes (I won't lie: I'm a quantity over quality person), but for their adorable collection of "cahiers" and "affaires de jour" (basically: scribblers and day planners) available at this specific store (and I believe one in Vancouver...).  But of course, I'm a methodical shopper: I don't buy at the first store.

However, Wednesday, I took the afternoon and wandered through Bloor-Yorkville.  This district was highly out of my price range, but I definitely played "tourist" by going into shops like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Holt Renfrew, despite knowing full well that I would never be able to buy anything.  Of course, these stores were interspersed with a little more affordable choices like Anthropologie, Banana Republic and BCBG Max Axaria.

Thursday, I wandered through Kensington Market.  This was by far my favourite shopping excursion, even though I was full of blisters, sweltering, and got caught in the rain.  Between independant boutiques (with dresses so adorable that I could almost justify buying them, even though they made me look like I was 6 years old!), gift shops and the largest assortment of vintage stores, I was in heaven.  I almost bought a vintage cocktail dress that screamed Betty Draper from season 1 of Mad Men... but as the adorable man running the shop: "It might only be a smidgen small in the waist, but you can't make your ribs shrink, sweetie"Again, no purchases beyond a grilled cheese sandwich (from Grilled Cheese... despite it's simplicity, I'm guessing it was my favourite meal of the whole trip), but I just didn't have the time to devote to scouring these vintage stores for fabulous finds!

Friday was still the big shopping day.  I had my friend, Erica (see my blog roll for her blog) along with me.  While I'm a quantity person, she's a quality person so it was interesting seeing what we recommended for each other.  We started the day at Eaton Centre with a store I'd been so excited to try: H & M.  Having loved the texture of the H & M shirt I picked up at Value Village, I assumed I'd go spend crazy in this store.  However, it was again the "don't buy anything in the first store" mindset, so I left with only a belt.  After another stop at Aritzia, (and numerous other stores), we finally made it to Zara, a store which Erica had highly recommended to me.  Here I made my first major purchase (albeit still under $50) with an adorable dress that I normally would have turned down: that's the benefit of shopping outside you're own city: you're a little more adventurous! We looked through a few more stores, before we headed on our way.
Cheese Patter from Terroni's
On the patio at Terroni's

Next was Queens Street West which we walked quite the distance down.  We'd been in the area the night before for supper at Terroni's and a quick stop in a Erica's friends' store Robber, but today we went into a few more shops, including comics, records and home decor.  (Please note: never agree to buy your sister street numbers when boarding a plane... the powder residue on the screws registered as a potential explosive resulting in them confiscating the screws - I had to fight to keep the numbers - having all of my bags be unpacked and then be patted down... if she wasn't carrying my neice or nephew, I'd probably be madder).  With a stop at Aritzia on the way back to pick up the day planner I couldn't get out of my mind, and a last minute dash to a record store on Yonge to grab something for Scott, my shopping was done!

My Purchases
I won't lie: this wasn't the most successful shopping experience. I came home with 3 items for myself.  I spent less than my $100 low-end limit.  But I just couldn't find something that I liked!  Ultimately, I chalk it up to three things.  The first: the fear that if I bought something now, I wouldn't be able to buy something later.  The second: the unfamiliarity with the stores had me feeling like I was just playing tourist and not actually shopping.  The third: I'm not into the colours that seem to be coming out for fall.  With colours like "rose dust" and "oyster grey", I just couldn't bring myself to buy something that would make me feel so washed out!  I found very little in "purple orchid" or "lagoon", or any of the other more colourful shades from the Pantone Fall 2010 Color Report

So I came home rather empty handed.  I won't lie... I love the few pieces I picked up, so maybe the quantity vs. quality scale is tipping in the other direction... so maybe instead of browsing the unique boutiques here for ideas, then recreating at more mainstream stores, I'll start investing more in my clothes!

Actual clothing pics starting tomorrow!  I didn't capture the last couple pics while in Toronto, but I'll try to grab them before I do laundry today!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A clothing tragedy

This is my first trip to Toronto in 15 years...
.... and Zara is closed for renovations.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Vacation / Research Trip

I know I've already been missing for a while (unexpected overnight guests, insomnia, etc).  But I will be away even longer - I'll be in Toronto this week doing some research and catching up with a friend... needless to say I'm more excited about the friend than the research!

In any event, I just packed my suitcase... 9 items of clothing, 3 pairs of shoes, and one jacket... while it's definitely not as paired down as previous capsule wardrobe challenges, I still think Jane would be so proud!  (Speaking of Jane: wasn't she supposed to be back by now!  I miss her blog!!  Hope everything is all right!)  Despite taking just a carry-on suitcase (and a messenger bag with my school stuff), I have tons of room for purchases I will undoubtedly make.  Rumour has it that H &M is less than a 5 minute walk from where I'm staying.

I doubt I'll post while I'm away (my "tourist-ing" and shopping has been limited to evenings until my research is complete), but I'll definitely try to catch up when I get back... then it's one week of work after that, and I start being a fully-funded thesis writer... hopefully this blog will keep me motivated enough to not wear pajamas every day!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Warmth

According to the forecast, today was cool and rainy.  That called for a sweater, a scarf and pants. 

By our afternoon break it was hot and humid.  My hair, as you can see, is showing the result. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Opposites

I had no idea what to wear when I got dressed this morning.  I knew, since it was the beginning of the week, and thus not icy cold in the office yet, that a skirt would be in the cards.  However, beyond that, I had no clue.  Then I saw this skirt.  This was the first present from my brother-in-law a few years ago.  He and my sister each bought me an article of clothing, believing one knew me better than the other.  I may have kept the skirt from my  brother in law and returned the shirt from my sister...

In any event, what I love about this skirt is the contrast... the seaming suggests constraint, but the skirt is more flowy.  The tweedy suggests masculinity, and the embroidery suggests femininity.  I tried to carry the contrasts through the top - the softness of the shirt with the hardness of the chain, but that didn't work quite as well as I hoped.


Oh, and I was really hungry so I was so excited about that cookie!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Urban escape?

Scott and I love going to folk festivals... the combination of music, artisans and nature seem to appeal to us.  Given our current hatred of our current city, we figured the local Folk Fest could help us to pick up our attitude.

I did get a good chance to hear Emily Wells, a new favourite artist of mine (she fuses classical and hip-hop).  And being outside for most of Saturday was definitely worth it.  However, we won't miss this folk fest when we leave.  There's some issues with their set up:

1.  The afternoon is free, which is nice... except when it's the exact same concerts as the evening: why did we buy tickets? 
2.  Getting food meant leaving the "Mainstage" area, and having to go back through security to get to the concert again.
3.  Do we seriously need updates on the local football team in the middle of a concert?

While I'm not usually all that "granola" I definitely didn't get that laid back feeling categorized by folk-fests... perhaps that wasn't aided by the squished setting of the downtown park.  And one thing I love to watch is the folk fest fashion - while it's not something I typically wear, I do admire the natural, organic and flowing fabrics typified by those who attend folk fest. 

That certainly wasn't the case at this festival... I was about as "hippy" as it gets!  And yes, this is the same dress that I wore for lunch / drinks last week... so versatile!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Week Wind Up

All right, today wasn't better as I promised yesterday... so today you get the "social" even outfits from the last week.

The Monday before last, we went for some drinks with a photographer who's working on developing his portfolio and is wanting to take some pics of us.  These were more of the "Under-used Shoe" collection - they're very basic red shoes, but alas, they're cheap, so they aren't going to become a regular part of my repertoire, but were perfect for this type of occassion.

Then, on Wednesday, some friends were visiting, so I got all ready to go out... but we never made it out the door!  These shoes are bloody uncomfortable for walking longer than 2 blocks, but I still love them... perfect for days I actually don't leave the house!

Then this Monday was a civic holiday, so I met a friend for lunch / margaritas... and had to pull out the big heels, because, well, why not?!?!?! I have such bad blisters from them, still, but so worth it!

Wow - I thought there was more than this!  Sorry!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good grief, Charlie Brown

Is the weekend over all ready?

I didn't sleep well last night because I was dreaming about dislocating my shoulder.  I did spend most of the day nursing one arm... no, not because I actually did something to it in my sleep but because I'm really that gullible.

In any event, I decided to go with basic black and and white.  yawn.

I'll try harder tomorrow.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Day In the Sun

We spent a good part of Saturday showing my parents a few areas of the city.  I knew it was going to be warm, but I didn't want to just go "simple".  My solution? Layers.  This proved to be a good thing: I could strip off layers as the day heated up!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Decisions

I've been ever conscious of my body shape for the last few months, which can't be construed as necessarily a bad thing.  I did, after all, say "conscious" and not obsessed.  I won't lie: I'd be happier if this or that changed, but I can't say that it's necessarily a problem.

At the same time, I'm very conscious of what my style is.  Grabbing inspiration from others is all fine and dandy, but you have to make the look your own if you're going to be able to pull it off with any genuineness. 

These were the two thoughts that circled my head as my parents and I walked into a bridal store today.  I did find a dress - in my price range, and only requires a bit of adaptation, but I'm hesitant to buy it.  For one, I'd like my sister to see it, but also because I walked in with only a vague ideal of what could work on my body shape and with little idea of how to make the style: "mine". 

So here's an interesting request for you (at least I hope it's interesting)... if you were to pick my dress, what features (or if you want to specific, what dress) would you choose?