Tuesday, 27 November 2012

For The Birds

I couldn't bear to miss Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style twice in a row! It has become such a grand big gathering. 

scarf: Charming Charlie, last worn here
leaf necklace: Tradewinds (local shop), detail here
cropped denim jacket: Smart Set, last worn here close-up of pins here
shirt: Reitman's, last worn here with same jacket and necklace
obi belt: Elizabeth Kelly London, etsy, last worn here
awesome home-made hen-and-rooster print skirt: thrifted gift from a dear friend in honour of Mrs. Guidolin the hen

grey tights that photograph purply: Joe Fresh
shorty cowboy boots: Frye Billy Short, worn here

I wore my heart quite visibly on my sleeve, er, skirt on Monday. We're still taking things day by day with Maryjane Frystack - as we stare down a tough decision, the see-sawing between hope and sadness has been brutal. Today, day 8 of a 10-day course of treatment, is a more hopeful one. 

This skirt, with its red hens and roosters among dark leaves, is such a treasure. I adore the mystery woman who chose the fabric and made it, the person who donated it, and my thoughtful friend who thrifted it and so generously gave it to me. 

I'm wearing it hiked up and pinned. Though the relative boldness of the print and the construction detail of a flat panel below the waistband with gathers starting at the hips would disqualify it outright, its length, substantial fabric, and general feel remind me just a little of the kind of plain dress worn by local Mennonite women and girls. I found this site on the topic, Quaker Jane, wonderfully articulate and fascinating.

My personal style has very little in common with those who dress in relation / according to religious observances, yet I am interested in the range of meanings we humans incorporate into the acts and practices of clothing ourselves. Are you wearing anything which carries a special association for you today?

Hope everyone is having a good week. May your tough decisions be few and far, far, far between.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Grit and Mettle

You know that the forces of Chaos are strong in you when you find yourself stranded at a small-town bar with a sick chicken and it's not even noon. And you can't just pull up a stool because they really-really need you at work in 15 minutes. This happened to me yesterday. 

Who would you have called? 

Western shirt: Susan Graver Style, thrifted
obi belt: Elizabeth Kelly London, etsy, last worn here
skirt: Joe Fresh
tights: Calvin Klein, outlet store
Browns I.D., Holt Renfrew, last worn here, story here

Luckily, the world has some extremely kind-hearted people in it, including ones who also laugh at me even as they are "helping." Though I didn't make it to work on time, I did eventually get there, and the only other wrench in the works was that I forgot my lunch - but wouldn't have had time to eat it anyway. 

scarf: Gabii (Texas), last worn here
denim jacket: Bluepower, last worn here

trench coat: Bebe, My Habit, last worn here

Turns out that our feathered girlie-girl, Maryjane Frystack, likes shiny things - her mid-digestive system was impacted with grit and tiny bits of metal. She needs some labour-intensive care (with the hope that we can encourage it to pass), and if the next few days do not turn out well, at least I can know in my heart that I have done what I can for her. Thanks again for your good thoughts. 

articulated cicada pin: Ricky Boscarino of Luna Parc
Self-chosen 40th birthday gift - I associate my birthday with the sound of their singing, and as a child collected their discarded exoskeletons. Cicada re-birth / transformation / life-cycle journey symbolism has taken on even greater personal meaning in recent years. 

Hardcore hen-tending is the tip of the iceberg of things on my plate at the moment, and I am already missing posting frequently, responding to comments, greeting new commenters individually (Hi!!! Thank you!), and especially commenting on your blogs. 

Know that I'm not far away, will be back around as I am able, and that I'm thinking of y'all with such appreciation in the meantime. 

I hated to miss Visible Monday this week, but I'm linking up to Show Us The Brooches! over at Une femme d'un certain age. Hooray! As is usual, I couldn't choose a favourite, because they are ALL my favourites! Links back to original posts with details below. 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Fogged In (There Be Dragons)

Happy Friday, everyone! The theme of the final day of Megan and Keely's Fall Colours Fashion Challenge is Grey. Besides already featuring heavily in my Teal(ish) and Pumpkin(ish) posts this week alone, a very quick scan of my list (just passed the 50-post milestone, yay!) revealed no less than seven favourite grey-based outfits: Grey Lady Grey, Biohazard, Rainy Days and Mondays, Let Me Roll It To You, Gathering Rays, Dust Bunny, and Of Boots and Friends. Grey is totally my favourite, and here are some more grey things for you which are actually grey, including new boots:

grey patterned blouse: Good Times Barcelona, etsy
vintage grey wool sweater: Lifestyle, origins lost in the mists of time
(mine since the '80s)
black and grey striped skirt: Spring Street, thrifted
Vivienne Westwood Pirate Boots (Fog colourway), My Habit 

silver water ring: some booth or other (~20 years ago), worn here
silver and onyx dragon ring: Courage My Love (Kensington Market, Toronto, mid '80s)
floral cloisonne ring: gift from my aunt and uncle many years ago
silver skull ring: can't recall (mid '80s) - but I do remember losing it on the driveway one winter and finding it unharmed in the spring when the snow melted

body chain: Theory of Threes, Overman Jewellery and Art

My expression above combined with my 'do, old '80s sweater and rings / outfit built around the Vivienne Westwood boots, and generally travelling memory lane(s) of late reminded me so of this:

Aww, pumpkin. 

dragon / striped / spotted buttonflowers: Megan Mae Designs
I'm Done With Poets pin: beanforest, etsy

In the present, it's been a busy week - thank you for your good thoughts and well-wishings for Big Henrietta, who has perked up quite nicely. 

However, another of our ladies, Maryjane Frystack (who also starred in my tulle and teacup costume photo for Ally's Halloween party here), seems to be having a hard time with her first molt, so please please please keep those kind-hearted critter-friend vibes strong! 

oh, long, long sleeves, you are super-duper! 

... but grey tights, your package lied and your fishnet pattern is too barely-there

It pained me mightily to have to pass on these boots at 65% off earlier this fall, but when they actually came available again - in my size, at 75% off - after I got my vehicle situation sorted and I also had something to celebrate, well! 

With rings on both hands, I thought I'd try a Sheila-inspired shot, but those old tunes just got me all fighty. Pow! 

The blogger synchronicities don't end there: today I seem to be wearing the same expressions as Lynne's cat (except Sasha Jane is way smarter) and an eerily similar outfit to Megan's, which I swear to you we did not plan. 

Thank you so much Megan and Keely for a fun week! Stay tuned for a Fashion Challenge roundup post over at Casual Chic Kiki, and thank you, visitors, for reading! 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Wasabi Mustard

It's Mustard Day in Megan and Keely's Fall Colours Fashion Challenge Week, and I'm double-posting today to catch up in time for this weekend's round-up, hooray! Out of all my more clearly yellow things, I most wanted to wear this gold-leaning-toward-pea-green jacket. 

hat: Toronto (early '90s)
black velvet / silk scarf with gold metallic fabric and embroidery: gift from friend / coworker
blouse: Reitman's (2002), last worn here
long yellow-green (citrine!) velveteen jacket: Della Spiga, Winners (2005 or so), last worn here
obi belt: Elizabeth Kelly London, etsy, last worn here
pencil skirt: Smart Set, last worn here
shoes: Fly London, Body Blue (Danforth, Toronto, early 2000s)

I recall hiding under my hat during grad school in 1995, and remember wearing this jacket and shoes in 2005 on the occasion of finally, finally, being united with these boots

It has been so comfortably warm and dry - for mid-November, which also made the Fashion Challenge so much easier - and all I added for warmth on this gorgeously sunny day was the hat and scarf. I haven't found my gloves yet, but luckily didn't need 'em. 

antique silver and mother-of-pearl teardrop necklace: a gift from my mother, last worn here

Besides this and the cap I wore last week, I have just three other hats I'll likely wear sooner or later. Pretty much all except for today's hat I would keep on in the office during the workday. This is the only one which clearly says "outerwear" to me - I don't know how I know this, but there is probably a hat-etiquette reason why. Do you know it?  

I hate to tell you this, but yes - these shoes are as TOTALLY AWESOME and comfortable as one could ask. 

Thanks for all your support and encouragement regarding hats and other matters - I so appreciate your taking the time to visit and comment! 

black watch: a gift from my mother, detail here (along with black and silver usual wrist wear bracelets)
yellow vegetable turquoise bracelet: Gabii (Texas), last worn here

Tomorrow is the final day of the Challenge, Grey - which I suspect I'll be able to handle straight-up. Hope everyone's week is going well, and if nothing else, colourfully! 

You Say Tomato

I say ... pumpkin? Wednesday = Pumpkin Day for Megan and Keely's Fall Colours Fashion Challenge, and rather than repeat an outfit featuring the only truly orange garment I have - didn't feel like finding different things to wear with that skirt, fabulous as it is - I figured I'd stretch the definition of "close enough." And darn it, I've been so close to catching up to posting on the actual day, but somehow keep needing to create monster posts! Thanks for bearing with me while I prepare to amaze you with my slightly more petite posts after this. 

grey plaid scarf and flower pin: a gift from my mother, Dillard's
grey striped vest: Dynamite, thrifted
grey knit top: Ricki's, thrifted, worn here
recycled sari fabric skirt of indeterminate colour: Alchemy Eco-fashions, The Circle Game (local shop)
grey and black striped tights: outlet store
orange-red shoes:
Fluevog On Course Starboard

suddenly boobtacular silhouette courtesy of vest lapel

I ended up having to re-jig my day to stay close to home and tend to a sickie chickie. Big Henrietta is doing better but could use some good thoughts to put the wind back in her sails, poor hen. My being around during daylight hours also resulted in too many outfit photos - sorry! 

As opposed to the outfits I would have chosen - or pretty much did choose - decades ago, I would describe this one as reflecting newer, more recent style developments, and I did acquire everything but the bracelets within the past 2-3 years. New-ish-to-me elements include fit/flare, midi length, colours which don't go with black (though notice I am still all GET AWAY FROM MY FACE, ORANGE - for good reason), and pattern mixing. 

Though much subtler than the riotous play of patterns here or here, the double-stripes-plaid-paisley-floral (the latter two pre-mixed in the skirt) today makes me inordinately happy. Other outfits featuring favourite pattern combos are red stripes + loud plaid pants, and two multi-patterned items in sand, silver, and blues (and another recycled sari fabric skirt). 

What does bring up visceral sensations from long ago are the soft frayed edges on this scarf and flower pin. 

When I was 15 and 16, I had a favourite disintegrating Lee or Levi's denim-style jacket in corduroy which was my dad's cast-off and that I think was originally deep blue but had faded wonderfully to a blue-grey. My dad also wears his favourite things into the ground (I come by it honestly), which would also tell you something about its condition by the time it became mine. 

The jacket's cuffs were deeply engaged in an ongoing process of dramatic unravelling to an effect similar but quite a bit longer than today's scarf fringe here, and they perpetually smelled of the photography darkroom chemicals I trailed them through. 

Together with recalling the scent of the jacket's dusty cotton in the spring and fall sunshine, this memory of its ever-growing web-like strands, the feel of its old velvety corduroy, and a hint of darkroom tang brings a feeling of such peace. 

watch: Stuhrling Tuskegee Skylancer, detail here
antique orange amber bracelet: a gift from my mother, worn here
plus the usual wrist culprits: silver Om bracelet (Lollapalooza vendor, early '90s),  silver & leather "hands" bracelet (AGO, precious gift, early '90s, replaced 2005), rubber O-ring

Coming back to the present, these recycled sari fabric garments can be worn multiple ways, and unlike scarf-tying which I have a terrible time learning / remembering, I manage to wear this one as a dress (photo below the jump), and I have a shorter one I've worn as a variously knotted skirt as well as a halter top. 

Though feather-light and works fabulously well in the summer heat, it has enough body to wear in November with a sweater and tights. I partly justified the purchase of the (half-price!) silver-blue-sand one this fall with it being a much heavier satiny silk, and being able to find ways to wear them which don't appear to smell too strongly of patchouli. 

antique  moonstone necklace: a 40th birthday gift from my mother and father, last worn here, detail here

Do check out the other amazing Fashion Challenge participants with their fabulous stylings of these actual colours, and posts of reasonable length! Mustard, coming right up!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Tuesday's colour for Megan and Keely's Fall Fashion Challenge is wine, which has always been a favourite of mine. Here is another go-to work outfit, and until writing this post, I hadn't thought about how long I've had some of what I'm wearing.  

glasses: Oakley (second pair of same frame, since '02-03)
earrings: Lollapalooza vendor, early '90s
burnout velvet scarf: can't recall
antique bird pin: a gift from my mother
wool overcoat / blazer: Ports International, Winners, late '90s

I don't wear this overcoat much anymore, but it was my most-worn for many-many years, with its interesting seaming (which you will have to take my word for) and perfect weight wool. It is too big, which used to bother me even less than it does now, and the lining is falling apart, but I brought it out because it is still my favourite way to wear this pin: 

The marvellous Susan at Une femme d'un certain age has invited us to Show Me The Brooches, and this one is especially close to my heart. I'd guess I've had it since the late '90s as well. 

Okay, I'm running out of poses - not that I had many to begin with - and besides being head-over-heels inspired by Miz Bagg's new project, VOGOFF Magazine, I was ready for a good stretch. 

silver and mother-of-pearl teardrop necklace: a gift from my mother, detail here
blouse: Fred David, Giant Tiger, worn here
burgundy suede skirt: Danier Leather (early '90s)
shorty cowboy boots: WalM*rt, last worn here

I remember wearing this skirt when I signed the lease for my first apartment on my own in Toronto towards the end of my undergraduate studies. Though I'm very glad to be with Beary now, I loved living by myself, it was awesome. Is that something you've had the chance to do? Did you love it too? 

I tried out a bunch of different footwear options because I've been wearing these boots a lot lately, but still came back to 'em. 

Thinking on the solid consistency of my tastes and preferences over time, I remembered another high-school-era photo in which I'm wearing a very similar outfit to today's - coloured suede skirt with black top and boots, bunch of gewgaws on my left wrist. Though not at its most profound amplitude, my '80s hair was definitely happenin', and I've included the photo below the jump. 

scarf details - my skirt appears raspberry here, but the colour is more accurate in the full-length shots

See you soon, my pumpkins, with Wednesday's colour, pumpkin! Or, in my case, "pumpkin."