Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Look Back

Did anyone else realize I missed my blog's 3rd anniversary? Considering I've missed it every year, I'm not surprised. Fortunately, I started this adventure not too far from new years, so I will present you my annual Cara's Closet in review!

January - February - March

April - May - June

July - August - September

October - November - December

Some things strike me as I look at the outfits - I like a narrower silhouette, I use a belt to create a waist, which again, I accentuate by using the same pose. Sure, there is an evolution, I suppose, moving towards more pattern. However, it's hard to say whether it's representative of the year, or just of what I've selected as best outfit of each month. What fascinates me is that, despite the similarities in all the outfits, the decidedly different tones the combination can create. I think this display reveals the more solid creation of personal style, which is slightly ironic given the fact I felt I was really floundering, especially in the last few months, of figuring out who I am and how to dress for that.

Maybe I'd been going about my identity evaluation the wrong way: rather than struggling to assert an idea through my clothes, I should have looked to my clothes to see what they were saying! Of course, I'm not entirely sure what they're saying, but evidently, I know enough about myself to create somewhat cohesive style!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Starlight, Starbright

Colour. Pattern. Texture. Shine. If you watch What Not To Wear (which I hope to catch up on over Christmas, supposing my mother has dvr'd them for me over the last few months), you know those are the key to great outfits. It wasn't until I was on the bus that I realized I had them all. Sure, my scarf is carrying the majority of the weight of them, being both texture (fringe) and shine (metallic threading likely not visible in the pictures I haven't taken yet), but if you are going to hit all the criteria, it's best to do it on a day when you're having your work Christmas party.

I know I complain profusely about the lack of footwear in our office, but I am adjusting to it quite well. I had shoe anxiety today, when I knew our Christmas lunch was taking place in a restaurant which would, naturally, require footwear. I practically dove into my closet to select a shoe. And then practicality set in. I still would have about 10 minutes standing or walking in the cold, 45 minutes on a bus each way, and we got a beautiful light dusting of snow blanketing the icy patches on the sidewalk. I needed something warm, and I needed something flat. Sure, I could bring a change of shoes, but for 2 hours, it certainly wouldn't be worth it. Surprisingly relieved, I threw on my winter boots. The fancy heels? I'll save those for date nights!

I should also mention I'm going on Christmas vacation. I have no idea when I'll be back - the 27th at the earliest, the 4th at the latest. And by vacation, I do mean 2 hours down the road to see my parents and my inlaws. Trust me, they don't pay me enough to go any where exotic!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Making Spirits Bright

I still love orange and purple and am mad that I have only been wearing it for months. Of course, I always wear it the same way. These pants, well, they are the reason I am advocating for the return of shoes in the work place. They're just at the point where they're a little long and wide at the bottom for running around without shoes. However, we're getting new carpeting (and some new walls, and some fancy-pants white board paint... it's big exciting times at work!), so I don't think we're likely to be changing that rule any time soon. Fingers crossed I get some pants for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And I'm back

I fought through the nausea-plagued bus ride. I fought through the co-worker induced head ache. I persevered and even went on a sales call. Sure I may take a sick day in my first month of work, but when I show up, I bring it.

This outfit helped. I don't like it, but it kept my poor belly free from belts or stiff seams. Somedays, that's all I ask of my clothing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sick Day

I had brilliant plans of getting a stock pile of outfits photographed this weekend in case of sick or busy days. However, I ended up being sick. And since my body does that thing where I only get 2 symptoms at a time, I was super pukey on Monday. No back up posts from the weekend and no outfit to photograph for today. Instead, you get the "bedside view." I've cozied myself on the couch working on my net book (I'm not paid on sick days, but I know I can't leave for Christmas until I've got a couple projects done), an iPad, and crappy daytime peasant vision.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Defining Image

Weekends are a strange phenomenon. When you reach the end, they feel like the were far too short. However, when you go to write Monday's blog post, based on Friday's outfit, it seems so long ago, you can't remember what you wanted to mention about it.

 Likely unrelated to the actual outfit, we've been discussing image at work. Of course, since I primarily work with our branding department, it's a natural topic of conversation. What is the image this company wants to portray? What does their image say now? On a more company-wide level, we're starting to work at revamping our image. Since we recently brought on quite a few new staff members, we're asking questions like "who are we? Who would we like to be? How is this coming across to our clients?"

 It's any amusing subject for me since this little world of fashion blogging is all about image. We ask ourselves, usually subconciously, "who am I? Who do I want to be today?" While clothing is a great way to showcase our personality, it's also just as easy to mask it. I seem to be very aware this weekend as I'm planning outfits for the week, of how correctly my image portrays who I am. I know I'm starting to find my groove when it comes to my style and how it reflects this new period in my life, being "nerdy-sweet". As much as this relieves some anxieties about dressing every day, and about who I think I am, I also find myself resisting it. I will create outfits outside of this definition, fearing that my groove will become a rut. Sometimes, I will wuss out of wearing it, being too far from my comfort zone. Other times, I will put it on and feel like the clothes have more personality than me.

 As we take the time at work to consider who we are, who we hope to become, and how we are going to present that, I'm going to keep those same questions in my head for my personal image. While there will still be days where I try to break out of my comfort zone, I'm going to pay closer attention to how people perceive me and how I perceive myself through the image these clothes project.

 And on an entirely unrelated note, I will be disabling the option for people to comment anonymously. I cringe every time I read "anonymous has left you a comment" and have found that the majority of these comments are negative. While I do appreciate constructive criticism, doing so anonymously projects the idea (see, I knew I could link it back to the subject at hand!) that the comment is more malicious than it is possibly intended. If you don't want your name "out there" for everyone to see, please send your comment to my email ( Or, if you're my sister, you can text me. Otherwise, I look forward to find out who you all are!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Subliminal message

I work with a guy that wears a button down shirt and a sweater every day, so on days when I know I need him tossing off on something, I dress to match him, hoping to subconciously ingratiate myself with him. It I'd dn't work today, but I still like the outfit!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Somedays, I just can't take a good picture

I usually take 2-3 pictures and am satisfied. Today, I took 2, then I got into jeans and a cable knit hoodie. A few hours later, I checked the pictures. ugh.

I'm friggin' exhausted again. We had a client meeting that stretched on and on and on through lunch. I think it went well - they let me escape after I'd done my part - but my blood sugar was so low that all I could think when I heard the result was: "So I can go eat my pizza pop now?!?!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Good Enough

I'm not feeling this outfit. My love for this skirt is beyond words, but in all honesty, I would love it more if it weren't red. I just have such difficulty styling red with something other than grey or black. I tried today with just the chambray skirt, but it just didn't work. I added some tights, and my reindeer sweater, but again, it just didn't work. I threw on the striped shirt, and went: "good enough". While the guys all commented on the skirt (I have a feeling they liked it because it reminded them of their grandmother, or because it's red - that's a theory I want to test this week), I don't like settling for "good enough". I know pattern is the best way to incorporate red and another colour, but I'm certainly lacking it! I can feel my thrifting nerve starting to twitch, but also know I have difficulty thrifting pattern!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


One thing before we get down to business: I made the Huffington Post! It's an honour to be featured amongst so many awesome bloggers and to be mentioned by the fabuluous Wendy B., who wrote the article on peplums.

One of the hardest parts about giving up my student status (ok, I am still registered for one more term), is allowing my style to mature. I knew my striped dress was likely a little young for my future. I've already altered it once, after having received it from a friend.

And it served me well as a casual option, mostly as a weekend piece, but it was on the blog from time to time

However, I've been struggling with balancing casual and professional in my current position. Since I love my tweed sheath that is a little too formal for the office, I thought: "why not make a casual version of it?" First, I removed the pockets. As much as I love having spaces to stash stuff, I also knew they were a little too youthful. I then removed the sleeves, since I am not a huge fan of layering anything under a short-sleeved shirt, except when really being casual. Then I narrowed the body. Easypeasy!

Of course, I did laugh really hard this morning when I did my last "once over" on the way out the door. I may have complained continuously last week about being so limited by neutrals, but it didn't stop me from going black and white today!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas, Christmas time is near

Sunday, we had our first Christmas gathering. My mom's side of the family is so large that it's impossible to get us all together, so we usually take our chances on getting the most people together the weekend or two before Christmas. It was probably our smallest yet, but the fewer number of people means the higher quality of visits. I wasn't sure about this outfit - I usually wear this as a dress, but I'm getting a little old for that. Wearing jeans with a dress is a little odd to me still, but I think I liked it!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pops of colour

Maybe I didn't so much pop as bang. I've been wanting to wear this sweater for a couple weeks, having forgotten this challenge was coming up. I tried to think of some fun colour blocking, but all I could think about was this red sweater. All right, sweater, you got to have your fun, finally! What I'm slowly learning about dressing myself as a person within a creative industry in a creative company is that the client doesn't necessarily want avant-garde fashion. They aren't looking for innovative ways to repurpose items. They pretty much like colour. All week, my clothing (which I can't say I was being all the creative about) was a non-issue in meetings. Friday, wearing this bright red sweater, every client I met with commented on it. I just might have to test drive the idea next week with another colour to see if it's just the confidence of red!

Oh ya, and those aren't the socks I wore all day. I spend a lot of time walking or waiting for buses (I live in the southeast end of the city, and work in the west end, fortunately, both the company and Scott and I are looking at moving in the next 1-2 years), so I keep a pair of wool socks in my purse for when I go outside. Function over fashion!

Friday, December 9, 2011

I'm having a time out.

Yes, that's right. I'm 27 years old and I'm in a time out. See, that's what I think separates adults from children. Children must be told to have a time out after their behaviour has escalated. Adults give themselves a time out before that happens (well, good adults do, Alec Baldwin does not). I won't get into the details, but between finishing up Christmas shopping (which I always want to have done before December 1, but hasn't happened once since Scott and I have been shopping together, not pointing any fingers), and having to do some of it at walmart (again, something I said I would boycott, but still ended up in there), I got into a bad mood. I tried fighting it. I tried taking deep breaths. I lasted as long as it took to get home, and then the minute Scott said something, I was ready to explode. I shooed him away (which took for-freaking-ever) and sat quietly on the couch, with the lights off, and the room silent. I've gone from a boil to a gentle simmer, so I'll consider that progress.

Maybe it's all this blue that's making me blue! Oh, puns. I swear my love of puns has been the only thing that's kept me in my job thus far! I love the idea of this outfit. I can't tell what I think of it in pictures, becuase every time I see my fuzzy hair and think "yup - hoods may be fabulously warm, but they make your hair fabulously frizzy!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cognac and Confidence

Outfit first, psychology later.  I don't own anything that is cognac. Scott does, but I'm not about to start wearing his clothes to work this early in my career. However, I figure if you combine all the colours I'm wearing today, they'd make cognac. I think the outfit still works for the challenge - the outfit is mostly neutrals and pseudo-neutrals. Also, it teaches me a valuable lesson about backgrounds. Who knew those three pictures that usually hang above my mantle did that much for the ootd pics?!?! Fortunately, we just had them down for our Christmas portrait session, so I can put them back up now.

I know starting a new job is difficult, but some days I forget that the adjustment process takes much longer than I think. Last week ended and this week start so well. Tuesday had its moments, but by Wednesday morning, I was pretty sure I was a fraud who had got this job through trickery so deceptive I didn't even know what it was. In fact, I wasn't just a fraud at work, I was a fraud every where - even this blog. What made me think that I had a) creative enough outfits to photograph, b) had enough talent to write and c) was interesting enough to have any followers.

I brooded over lunch, unsure of what to do. I begrudgingly returned to my work, certain I'd find some new terror to ruin my life. Instead, I found an email containing no more than three words: "You are awesome". In those few words, my day turned around.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Time keeps on slipping into the future

I've decided that my life lately has been a symphony. The only problem is that I don't know the composer, and he likes to play with time signatures and tempo.

I have always been excellent at time management, but suddenly working full time, with a 2 hour-ish commute (round trip), has made me unable to gauge even the passage of an hour. At work, I'll be certain that I will have spent an hour working on a project that I estimated would take 40 minutes, and when I check a clock, only 20 minutes have passed. Then, a conversation which I think took maybe 15 minutes will actually have lasted an hour. While I never find myself staring at the clock willing time to move faster (except waiting for the bus), I just can't seem to regain my control of time and use it effectively. The nice thing? It's neutral challenge week, so it's that much easier (and that much less time) to come up with outfits!

I'm hoping that despite the crazy rush my life seems to be these days, taking the time to plan out the next few days will help straighten out my clock. I've bought groceries for the week, I've got the next supper ready to go into the crockpot, and my trusty note book and pen. It's time to get my life on track!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grey Skies are Going to Clear Up

It's a good thing that grey is a cousin of black, because this morning was a hard sell for my body to get out of bed! I am calling this wash of jean "charcoal" rather than a faded black. After all, if my colleague is right and "There are no different types of pink, because pink is just faded red", all different shades of faded black must be grey. I love accenting grey with purple, so this sweater, which combines the 2 (a Value Village find from a couple weeks ago, nwot Joe Fresh line, with a decent wool content), was the perfect fit. I also am wearing a grey tank underneath, but as I see, it didn't come out that well, and I wasn't going to retake the picture.

I had nothing but difficulties getting pictures today. First of all, my timer decided "10 seconds" actually meant "2 seconds".

Then, once I was in the right spot with the right timer, my phone rang.

It did not bode well for our evening activity: taking pictures for our Christmas cards!

And yes, Danielle, that is a little Santa - "guarding" our lack of presents!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Back in Black

 Megan and Keely are back with another challenge - outfits highlighting our neutrals! Monday is black, which is quite easy, especially when it came to weekend wear. I was so tempted to just take this outfit one level more casual with Scott's black sweats, until I remembered I needed to still take a picture. These black skinnies are close enough, though! Why is it that workout clothes and lounge clothes always seem more comfortable when they're black? Too bad they started with the easy colour, now I have to get creative for the rest of the week!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Double Denim

I'm exhausted. I had an appointment this morning, then worked through my lunch, then babysat my niece. Its midnight, and I felt it was obligatory to post the outfit, since I photographed it this morning.

I look drained eh? Too bad that was before I spent the day contemplating pink circles. Ya, I'll tell you more about my job some day, but I swear it was work related.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Somedays I get dressed, and Scott says I'm wearing a certain superheros costume colours. It's probably as close to a compliment that Scott will ever give one of my outfits, so I smile, kiss him, and thank him.

Today, he said I looked like Link from the Zelda franchise. I didn't know whether to be insulted, or take it as the compliment to end all compliments from him.

Four years together and he still baffles me.

Oh, and I should mention that today's outfit is pretty much brought to you from my sister's rejects. Raiding her give away box was pretty much the highlight of my weekend.