Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sunday morning

I wore this to church last Sunday, and was very glad I decided to wear the jacket. Turns out the zipper started to split about 2" from the top. It was still maintaining my modesty when I got home (even with some emergency road-side car repairs: always remember to secure that gas cap to avoid getting a "check engine" light), but it is definitely in the "mending" pile. You know, that pile that tends to reach the roof before you do anything about it...

And in case you've been looking for a reason to crack open a bottle of wine, this is my 500th post!  Go me!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

DIY Simple Shrug

I decided I needed some colour to add to an outfit and adding a touch of modesty probably wouldn't hurt either. Solution? I needed a spring shrug!  I couldn't find any bright ones in a couple stores I was at, but I did find a bright embellished t-shirt and thought: "wait! I can do something with that!"

First, buy a t-shirt with some kind of cute detail. I like the bows on this shirt.

Fold the shirt up the middle by matching the side seams up.  You will cut up the fold on the front. This way is faster and easier than measuring, marking and cutting with the shirt lying flat.

I then cut off the collar, since I didn't want to hem the raw edges of the shirt. I then put on the shirt, and marked where I wanted the shrug to end. Keep in mind (which I didn't... doh!) that you'll want to add a bit of extra fabric since the shrug won't hang quite the same with the lighter weight.

To make cutting easier, I laid the shirt flat, then folded in half. This way, there was much less area to screw up my cut.

You can cut off the hems on the sleeves, but I chose to leave them on... didn't want to look too rough!

And the result? Here it is!! Think it's good enough for my cousin's social??

Friday, May 27, 2011

Getting Leggy With It

I got a reader question the other day, and so, of course, I had to answer it!! Here it is:

Okay, so I just found your blog and I am totally a fan.  I am a professional girl in her 20's and love dressing up for work and am always on the lookout for new styles.  :)   You have such cute outfits!! Friday's plaid skirt outfit for example... so cute.  I can't tell, are you in bare legs or a thin stocking here?  I have been trying sheer skin-tone tights for the office.  For me I find that plain black tights gets a little old after awhile and it makes a nice transition into spring weather yet still nice for the office.  :) One idea I've been meaning to try more is a nude fishnet.  Once when I wore them with a pencil skirt I got TONS of compliments.  Got the idea from a friend and these are super fun and can keep a serious work outfit fun yet classy.   What do you think??

First of all, thanks so much for all the wonderful compliments and for stopping by my blog!  First, the easy answer: Friday was barelegged. I wasn't going to work, but rather shopping with my mom, so I didn't need to to worry about working around a dress code.

I work in a business casual setting, so I feel I have very few restrictions for my legwear. Over the last year, I've worn (clicking on the picture will take you to the original post... see what I really thought of the legwear!!)

Bare Legs
Nude Pantyhose
Nude Fishnets
Brown fishnets
Black Tights
Cotton Tights
Patterned Tights

Bright Tights

Of course, I'm a student in a rather casual environment. I don't think bright blue tights would work in every office!  I'd probably avoid wearing the last three (cotton, patterned, and bright) in a more professional office. However, I think appropriately paired, the other five can be quite professional.

Personally, I haven't had much luck with nude fishnets. The first time I wore them, I found they were more opaque than I'd like, and since the ankles weren't stretched as tautly, the closer pattern made my ankles look chunky in ways I hadn't noticed with coloured fishnets (possibly due to the contrast in colour between net and skin). However, I know some people swear by them. However, if I want a naked-look-leg, I feel regular old pantyhose work for me (I love Calvin Klein pantyhose - check your local Winners for them at discount prices!!).

As much as I love Calvin Klein pantyhose, I do prefer going barelegged when I can. I realize some offices, particularly the more conservative ones, frown on this. However, if you can get away with it, make sure you have not only shaved, but also moisturized your legs. And unless you work in a preschool where bruises give you bragging rights, keep any black and blue blotches underwraps!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Attempting Irony?

Can you get more business casual cliché than loafers, khakis, a button down shirt and a sweater?

I've been feeling rather uninspired dressing for work lately. It's partially because of a sudden drop in temperature and increase in wind, partially because I can only pretend for so long that I work in a more formal work environment and going a bit more casual is oh so tempting.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ending the Day With Sun

Today did not get off to a good start. I woke up still feeling sick (culprit: not the chicken from the nachos, but some questionable deli meat on pizza a couple days ago).
Then my printer ran out of ink as I was trying to get materials together for a meeting I had afterwork.  Changing the cartridge made me late for the bus, which meant I had to drive.
Then, I was in such a rush, I forgot the blazer that I needed to take this outfit from "passable" to "professional".
Then, I forgot to throw my debit card back into my wallet after paying for parking, and ended up without any means to pay for my coffee.
Plus, it was raining, and that just didn't seem to be a good combination for taking outdoor grad pictures tonight.

However, my meeting went well, and as I was walking home, the sun came out. I can't wait to see my grad pics!
In the meantime, here is a pic I took myself when I got home. Cuz, you know, I could.

Monday, May 23, 2011

For the sake of disclosure

Friday's outfit didn't last much after the picture. I finally figured out the issue with the skirt: it's a size too small. I can't comfortably sit down, and I have to squish my butt around to pull it up. Maybe it wasn't the style of the skirt that put me off, it must have been the fit! Out it goes!

I did take a picture of what I ended up wearing that day, and man am I glad I did - I think I have some minor food poisoning. Definitely not in best picture taking mood!

This outfit was certainly much more comfortable. I can remember reading somewhere that colour blocking was really in this season, and someone was asking how to do it. Reading through the instructions, I was shocked that it was something I have always had down... go me!!

You haven't seen this skirt yet, but I love it. It's so comfortable. The only downfall is that it flies up any time a touch of wind comes up.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Two wrongs make a right?

What do you do when you have a skirt you have difficulty styling?

Pair it with a top that you've decided to give away, for the exact same problem.

Did it work? I don't know. The jury's out on this outfit, which is why I tend to avoid blogging until it's late enough in the day that I know how it worked, how I felt and yet not so late that I'm constantly running a day behind on posts. It just gets so confusing when people are posting comments about an outfit I'm not longer wearing, and thus can't remember what it was (but please, don't let that stop you from commenting!!).

My mom's in town, so we're doing some shopping and getting manicures.  Why are we spoiling ourselves? We don't see it as spoiling: we both chew/pick at our nails, so this manicure is simply to make us feel guilty about doing so. Afterall, we paid good money for it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I need your help!

I'm wearing my favourite t-shirt and that's why you aren't getting pics of me.

It's not that it looks bad on me - it fits well and is brightly coloured.

It's not that it's so threadbare it's inappropriate - it's still fairly new.

It's just that I can't really do anything to make it blogworthy. Every time I put it on, I say: "this is the day that I'm going to blog this shirt" but my brain goes: "Ya, right, we both know you won't". Sometimes that causes me to take it off and put something else on. Sometimes it just means I get angry phone calls from my sister asking me what I'm wearing (does anyone else find that just a touch creepy... yet at the same time wish they could ask what other bloggers are wearing on days they don't blog)

Anyway, what I would love is if I could get some suggestions on an outfit I'll need next weekend.  In Manitoba, we have a weird tradition in which we have "socials" before a couple gets married. It's kind of like an engagement party and fundraiser mixed into one. Admittedly, the last social I went to was a number of years ago, and I didn't show up until about 10:30, dressed like the barely legal bar-fly that I was.

Of course, this is a social for my cousin and his wife-to-be, and I will be attending with my parents and potentially grandparents, arriving probably around 8. Add to that I don't really have any bar-star wear, and you see my conundrum... I have no idea how to dress.

Any thoughts??

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm never happy in the sun

I checked the weather this morning, and it called for early showers, followed by an overcast day. Since the bare legs in boots worked so well, I went for it again. Only issue is that I plan my outfits from bed, meaning they work really well... in theory. The boots? Weren't as tall as I would have liked. The skirt? Rides up way too much. By the time my bus arrived at the stop, I had already decided the outfit wasn't quite work appropriate.

What is perhaps the most surprising is that just the other week, I thought the outfit was church appropriate. The difference?  It was a few degrees cooler and so I was wearing tights.

Oh, and then it was super sunny and warm and I felt really out of season!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This is Spring!

I've decided brown in the best professional neutral for spring. And I'm not going to be humble in this post... I LOVED this outfit. I was worried the greens wouldn't work together, or the skirt would need higher heels on the boots, but I think it worked out perfectly. What a good day!!

And the best part? The skirt is new (to me - yeah thrifting finds!) and thus, it fits! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Everest

I took Thursday and Friday off because Blogger had a hiccup, and really, do you need a better reason to not blog? 

Today, I am posting late because I was working hard. You see, I hadn't cleaned my office in, um, a long time. When was the last time my parents were out? End of March? Oh, wait. They drove out with me, so I didn't have time to clean. In other words, it was so long ago, it was pretty disasterous.  Since one or both parents may be out this weekend, and I submitted my entire thesis for my adviser's suggestions, I had plenty of reason to clean, and no reason to NOT clean!!

It really only took 2 1/2 hours, which included filing, re-organizing my school books and re-constructing my "craft centre" (set of drawers). But none the less, it was exhausting, and I'm proud it's done.  So you get the before AND after pictures , in addition to seeing my cleaning outfit!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Brown is a bright neutral, right?

Look! I remembered to wear earrings!
I tried for a brighter look today, but it was still cloudy in the morning. This outfit felt plenty bright then, but now the sun is streaming in and I feel pretty dull.

And again, I've got the the waistband clipped in the back. After yesterday's skirt was too big, I figured these pants would fit perfectly, since I remember last summer thinking I needed to lose a pound or two if I wanted to be comfortable. They certainly aren't as bad as the skirt, but I'm going to have to look into tailoring if this trend keeps up, especially if I intend to work full time this fall. Constantly having to pull up my pants at work is barely manageable on a part-time schedule!

The worst part? I was in my favourite store, and they've stopped carrying my size, and there is no way the next size up will work. It's all a little confusing, especially since my scale and my measuring tape both insist I'm the exact same size... if anything, I'm a touch more insulated in the waist area.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Floral Explosion

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I'm the dreariest of the floral wearing people today. The sky is grey, and my mood feels it. Why not reflect it in my clothes?

I'm double floral-ing it in order to counteract my blackness. The skirt has embroidered flowers, and then the tights are floral as well!

And I won't lie to you. I just wish this skirt fit this way. I've got it clipped in the back just for the pictures.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away

This weekend was a series of surprises. My sister and I had been scheming for weeks to surprise my mother for Mother's Day. Friday, we both jumped into our cars and headed towards "home" (3 1/2 hours east for me, 2 1/2 hours west for her). We patiently waited for her to come home from work, each of us hidden, but with my little niece sitting right at the top of the stairs.While we did have to wait an hour for her to arrive in (she went shopping), the panicked then happy look on her face was definitely worth it.

The surprise we got was the update on the flood situation. In a word: "bad", and for once, I didn't dread the trip back. I was rather glad to get to dry land (which is a little ironic: the city I live in now is rumoured to be built on a swamp/bog/wetlands type area). My family's home is well out of the flood path, and we're fairly certain my in-laws house is, as well. However, not everyone is so lucky. Since I left that city, yesterday, more roads have closed, schools have been forced to relocate, and evacuation orders have been given (for an area which includes a house Scott used to live in - eeeps!). River levels this morning officially surpassed what was originally forecasted, and the crest is still a few days away. Oh, and did I mention that the forecast is for rain for most of the week?

And in other news: I won't lie. I'm not dressed yet. I will get dressed, as Scott informs me it's date afternoon (we're going to go to Walmart - woohoo!!) However, I did get my camera back from my sister with an outfit picture or two that never made its away onto the blog.  This is what I wore to vote at the advanced polls on Good Friday (and the colour of the shirt does not reflect the way in which I voted!!) Scott bought me this wrap dress as an Easter present, and it's ubercomfy. But you've already seen it. And you've already seen the ruffly shirt I wore with it. However, it was the first wearing for both of these!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friend Friday - The Shoes Have it

So glad I checked this week's question early: not only was it time to shift my shoes from "winter mode" to "summer mode" but also it gave me an excellent excuse to assess what I have and what I need!

1.What is your go-to pair of shoes?

You guys rarely see my shoes these days, since I'm rarely out!  However, my "go to" shoes tend to change with the season. But it's spring, and even though a week ago a huge snow storm blew through the prairies, I'm going to fully embrace it. In summer, for casual wear, I always reach for sneakers - they just seem to say "spring to me".

When I'm working at the office, I do use my black mary jane wedges as a fall-back shoe for everything. They're showing their age, and need a good polish, but I can run marathons in these babies!

2. What goes into your shoe buying decisions?

Thought RARELY goes into my shoe buying decisions - a lot of it is impulse buys. However, I am, and have been for quite some time, on the hunt for the perfect black leather casual flat, perfect grey heels, a navy pair of pumps, and maybe another brown dressier shoe!

3. The majority of the shoes in your closet are what color?

I probably have the highest percentage of black shoes. I do find they are the most versatile, especially based on my wardrobe (grey and black are the dominant neutrals in my closet). I am branching out into more colours, but to be honest, money and space are limited, so they aren't "investment". 

4. When it comes to design shoes what are your favorite brands and why?

I really want Steve Maddens. I like that they seem to be a well respected shoe, they're trendy yet classic, and the best part - I can often find them at Winners for a slightly more bearable price. Still not bearable enough to buy, yet!
However, of shoes I actually own, I love Chinese Laundry. I don't wear my CL kitten heels as much as I mean to, but I do love them. I also love my CL purple sandals I have for my wedding!

5. If price wasn’t an issue, you’d own which shoe?

Jimmy Choos. I don't even allow myself to check any out because I know I won't be able to NOT buy them!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Figured out why I'm off my "spot" lately. For one, I apparently am fighting an ear infection.  However, the main cause is the LACK of productivity getting to me. I didn't realize I was one of those people that derived so much from my job. Usually, at this time of year, I'm jumping into full-time work, glad to have been done the stresses of term papers and final exams. This year, "summer" wasn't ushered in by panic attacks and all-nighters. If anything, it was ushered in by the urging to do "less".

But today, I'm going to look life square in the eye, and then kick it's ass. At least until it's time for my massage. Let's not kid ourselves... I may get a buzz off of getting stuff accomplished but I love the mellow from doing nothing!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rufflin' my Feathers

All right, I'm done my political rants - huge decrease in comments always means: "We don't like that".

To be honest, I was glad to have the distraction the last few days. The last couple weeks I've been feeling off, and I just can't get back up. I thought taking time to relax would work. It didn't. I thought I faking it until I made it would work. I don't know what my next plan is - maybe just wait it out.

However, inspiration is coming from everywhere for clothes these days. This morning, I could see someone on the bus wearing what looked like a red shirt, grey skirt, brown tights and black shoes. And you know what? As weird as it sounds, she made it work. So I tried it too.

I don't think I look as awesome. I did get to wear my new (thrifted) ruffly Ralph Lauren shirt!

Oh well! I switched my work schedule, so I'm only working 2 half days, so really, a failed outfit only has to bother me for a few hours!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Now it's my turn to rant

I'm not going to lie: the election results weren't what I would have ideally liked. In fact, they're not even what I had anticipated. For that reason, I'm some what empathetic regarding the disappointment many friends are voicing. What surprises me is the fact that people seem to have two reactions to the outcome:

1) We wanted change!  We didn't get change!
2) The world is over! This change is too radical!

In some ways both ignorant and both are right. The PM is the same person it has been for the last 3 elections, he was just given more power. However, the political landscape shifted extensively, given the massive failings of two key parties, at least in parts of the country. One comment made by a friend with whom I was watching the coverage last night was the fact he was glad it was a majority: none of the parties really have been given a chance to show themselves over the last few years of minority governments with its backroom deals and unlikely alliances. And for that reason, I'm not jumping on the side of many of my friends who are decrying the loss of Arts funding (which may be sacrificed... but may not), the loss of women's rights (not quite sure what started that one - perhaps the abortion issue? Either way, the threat of being sent "back to the kitchen" seems excessively hyperbolic), or the absolute loss of all democracy (the vote was rigged?).

Instead, I'm withholding judgment, praise and outrage until each is merited by some actual event that occurs. In the meantime, I am joining the call for electoral reform to give more weight to the popular vote. I'm going to resist the push for mandatory voting (which I fear will breed an ignorant vote unless they can some how make mandatory informed voting a thing). And to be honest, I'm going to chill the eff out because even if the party in power is significantly more conservative than the opposition, we're talking mere degrees of difference on the big political scale. A leader was elected, not forced upon us. We can reverse that decision in 4 years time if we're unhappy, not suffer under oppression endlessly. We can express our points of view safely, without fearing imprisonment or death. As long as we keep that in perspective, I am certain we'll survive these next 4 years without having to move to Sweden.

And while I make strongly disagree with the conservative leanings of this statement, it makes me smile... as my brother-in-law said last night: "The sky will be bluer tomorrow".

Monday, May 2, 2011

How was your weekend? Mine had this strange lilt to it. I had a crazy good work out on Friday, and since my massage was rescheduled, I spent the afternoon watching the royal wedding (dress #1 - underwhelming, but still lovely. Loved the nod to Grace Kelly. Dress #2 was fabulous and now I'm searching for an angora shrug for my wedding!)

Saturday, I was pretty incapacitated from the sore muscles from Friday's workout. It's amazing how much you use your lats and obliques during the day!  Plus, I was glued to the news with flood waters rising in my hometown, which was being compounded by the fact that a giant blizzard hit the prairies, stranding a friend on the highway for over 24 hours.

Sunday, I went to church, baked a couple pies and then had to take a break because my poor muscles wanted to die again.

So you'd think that I'd try to balance the busy and calm today. Nope! My back is better so I'm going to madly clean the apartment, work on my thesis, prep some food, pick up a friend for some shopping (yes, we abuse our friend for his Costco membership), then cook him supper while we watch election coverage.

So all you people out there in Canadaland - don't forget to vote! I fulfilled my democratic right and responsibility Easter weekend when I was home at the advanced polls! And if you want my advice: vote with your gut, and not with whatever "strategic voting" or "vote switching" propaganda you've seen. How often do you get an opportunity to voice your opinion on a decision of this scale?

Though one important thing that was mentioned in church yesterday does really ring all the more true, given last night's news: regardless of the outcome of the vote, we should all be thankful that we live in a country where political adversaries only attack each other with words and not with weapons.