Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Kaleido

A simple outfit for a vibrant arts festival.  We packed up the munchkin and went down to the Kaleido festival on Alberta Avenue last weekend. It was our first time going and I had no real idea what to expect, so I kept it simple. A monochrome column of navy with a light cardigan and flats.

Cardigan: Banana Republic / CPW: $13.02 / # of wears: 3
T-Shirt: Twik / CPW: $0.87 / # of wears: 12
Pants: Banana Republic (thrifted) / CPW: $0.26 / # of wears: 15
Shoes: Poppy Barley / CPW: $2.62 / # of wears 70

It was four streets of mixed music, dance, and visual art installations of all forms. It seemed like they were still setting up when we got there, but it was good overall. I’d go again. It seems like it would be fun in the evening.

It was a little breezy while we were there, but the close proximity to food trucks didn’t hurt…

Butter chicken poutine from The Dog food truck at the Kaleido Festival on 118th Ave. Not even remotely healthy, but so worth it. (Hubby had the Trailer Trash Dog – local beef sausage topped in mac and cheese.)

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Really plain, but it worked. With munchkin toddling at full speed, comfort and ease of movement is the name of the game.

Do you have any favourite festivals? What do you wear when you head out?

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Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Closet Inventory – September 2017

Oh, hey. I’ve been blogging for three years now and completely forgot to mark the occasion. Oops!

Lol.

One of the big benefits of blogging is being able to look back on recent years and see how things have changed. In some instances, it’s more interesting to see how they’ve stayed the same. It has been two years since I did a closet inventory, mostly because I didn’t see a lot of value in doing one while my body was quickly changing sizes postpartum. The thoughts I had surrounding my wardrobe last year and what I wanted out of it still ring true to this day. I feel like I made a lot of positive strides in my wardrobe in recent months. Instead of increasing in volume, it increased in function.

I’d show you what’s hanging in my closet, but our area had a water ban this past weekend due to a broken valve. My laundry is only just being washed now.

Much like in my original inventories, there are large differences between my functional wardrobe and the total number of clothes in the house. Since I don’t know yet if we’re having more kids or not, I haven’t fully purged my maternity and in between sized clothes. Those aren’t included in these totals. Likewise, workout and “home only” clothes aren’t included in the count either. Do you really need to know how many pairs of purple fleece pants I have? Probably not (but the answer is two).

Tops: 39

  • Sleeveless Blouses: 5
  • Short Sleeved Blouses: 1
  • Long Sleeved Blouses: 3
  • Tank Tops: 4
  • Short Sleeved T-Shirts: 4
  • Long Sleeved T-Shirts: 3
  • Work Polos: 6
  • Jersey/Knit Tops: 5
  • Cardigans Sweaters: 3
  • Pullover Sweaters: 2
  • Zippered/Fleece Shirts: 3

Bottoms: 13

  • Jeans: 3
  • Trousers: 4
  • Hiking Pants & Shorts: 3
  • Skirts: 1
  • Leggings: 2

Dresses: 5

  • Sundresses: 1
  • Wrap dresses: 1
  • Maxi dresses: 1
  • Sweater dresses: 2

Outerwear: 16

  • Coats: 4
  • Jackets: 5
  • Blazers: 3
  • Vests: 2
  • Capes: 2

TOTAL: 73

Interestingly enough, this is getting back down close to the number of clothing items I was wearing when I started this blog three years ago. The total number of items was higher (132), but at that point in time I had 60 items in what I would refer to as my functional wardrobe. The word functional is being used loosely here – getting dressed was kind of a nightmare.

After a few years of bloating and culling, I feel like I’m starting to find a sweet spot. Most items mix and match nicely – so long as there’s clean clothes in the closet I’ll have something to wear. Likewise, I feel more like I’m getting dressed than playing dress up. My wardrobe is feeling more like me. There’s probably a half dozen items I feel ambivalent about in here, but until I find suitable replacements for them they’ll probably stay put.

How about you? Have you found your wardrobe sweet spot? How large is your functional wardrobe?



Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Round Two

I took pictures of this outfit on Friday, but these aren’t them.

When I originally took the photos I reviewed them on the camera screen, decided they were fine, and then shut the camera off and carried on with my day. When I had some time Saturday, I took the card out of the camera and popped it into my computer. No photos. I put the card back in the camera and checked again. No photos.

????

The dog had already thoroughly slobbered on the shirt, and the jeans were covered in dirt from shovelling gravel, so a quick retake wasn’t really in the cards until the laundry was done.

Shirt: Banana Republic / CPW: $2.36 / # of wears: 14
Jeans: 7 For All Mankind / CPW: $6.25 / # of wears: 36
Shoes: Poppy Barley / CPW: $29.70 / # of wears 7
Purse: Mulberry / CPW: $69.23 / # of wears 26
Sunglasses: Mercury / CPW: $0.32 / # of wears: 52
Watch: Skagen / CPW: #3.49 / # of wears: 39

Absolutely nothing in this outfit matches. From the watch to the shirt to the purse to the shoes… they’re all different colours. But you know what? It worked for me. I felt like comfortable in my own skin, which I really needed.

Mommy needed a day off! The last month was an absolute blur, so I booked today off for some much needed self care. Starting the day with a macaron gateau and latte at @duchessbakeshop, followed by a little fall wardrobe browsing. This afternoon I think I'll have a hot bath with a face mask, and then work on some projects around the house. I never appreciated how important self care days were until I didn't have time to myself.

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I took Friday off to look after myself. Since going back to work I’ve been running flat out non-stop, and it has been wearing me down. I barely felt like I had time to think, let alone do the things I wanted to do.

After sending my husband off to work and my son to daycare, I had a slower than usual shower and morning prep. A latte and treat at Duchess Bakery put a little pep in my step for some fall shopping, followed by a hot bath and face mask at home. I probably should have kept relaxing, but I snapped back into mom mode after than and did grocery shopping and some laundry. *shrug*

My husband says I should take a weekend away, but I have absolutely no idea where to go. I think I’m going to take a day like this every couple months going forward. It wasn’t much, but it made all the difference for me.

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Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

September Stroll

Usually when labour day rolls around I have the urge to be super basic and wear white on Labour Day. This year, I just DGAF.

Shirt: Le Chateau / CPW: $3.49 / # of wears: 12
Pants: Banana Republic / CPW: $69.30 / # of wears: 1
Shoes: Sam Edelman / CPW: $1.61 / # of wears: 13
# of wears counted since October 1, 2016

The air has been getting crisp in the morning for the last little while. You can smell autumn in the air even though it’s still supposed to be a little ways away (in theory).

Despite the chilly morning, it still worked out to be quite a nice day yesterday. Munchkin and I walked to the grocery store and back for odds and ends, as well as a little air. I didn’t even require sleeves!

They’re calling for a risk of frost tonight in the outlying areas. I baked a pumpkin pie oatmeal for breakfast. Scarf and coat combos are starting to look awfully appealing again. As nice as yesterday afternoon was, it’s fair to say my mind is firmly in fall territory.

Maybe that’s why I’m taking pictures again?



Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Reader Rant – What Retailers Should Know About Customer Service

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had my fair share of underwhelming if not outright terrible customer service experiences.

Keeping that in mind, a longtime reader wrote to me recently about a frustrating experience they had encountered with a retailer, and asked if I would share it with you. I can’t speak for experience regarding this retailer, since I’ve never shopped there myself, but I do respect her experience and value her opinion on the subject. It’s unfortunate, because I had considered shopping at this retailer myself in the future.

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WHAT RETAILERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE

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I recently had an experience where I purchased a dress online from Judith & Charles (on sale mind you). Their policy states that I can return the dress within 7 days for a full refund, so when it dropped an additional $45 in its sale price not even 5 days later, I figured it wouldn’t be a problem to ask for a price adjustment.
They refused, and in fact, told me that their policy only allows price adjustments on “full-priced items”.
What a load of hogwash. I had never experienced such terrible customer service from a retailer.
I WAS a long-time customer of theirs because I loved their “Made in Canada” schtick, but this has completely, turned me off.
Customer service on all fronts told me in so many words, that I had to literally bring the physical item of what I purchased online, trek to the store (which by the way, is out of my way no matter how you slice it), return that physically purchased online dress, then buy it again online or in-store if they happen to have my size, to get the discount rather than just adjusting it for me online.
I was livid. It is a waste of time, gas, and it irks me (the customer) who could have otherwise kept buying clothing items to keep the business going.
A technicality in their policies, coupled with an idiotic marketing move of discounting an item within a 7-day return window, amounts to a highly dissatisfied and now actively angry customer who will spread the (bad) word everywhere she goes.
I would have understood and FULLY ACCEPTED the $45 loss if I was out of my 7-day window, but I was well within it.
They’ve adopted the rather short-sighted attitude of seeing things in the short term which basically boils down to:
We have taken her money. Eff her.
Here are a few things I’d like to point out:
1. THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT
Sure, there are some points where you could debate this, but the most successful companies know this: The Customer Is Always Right.
Why is this true? Because The Customer Is The One With the Money.
And why does this matter?
BECAUSE CASH IS KING.
No really, if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. End of story.
If you start alienating first-time (or long-time) customers such as myself, you can pretty much forget about staying in business and look forward to closing your doors.
Mickey Drexler of dubious J. Crew fame didn’t learn this lesson early on, and wasn’t listening to all the rants of customers and bloggers the like online who kept pleading with the brand to bring back classic pieces made of good quality rather than looking at the bottom line. Look at their share price now, the retailer is struggling and it is no secret.
Anthropologie on the other hand, has started listening to customers somewhat, trying to right the ship off its course, and things are picking up slightly share-wise.
 
2. VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET
I will never, ever shop at their store again, nor buy anything of theirs unless it is secondhand (and even then..dubious).
I do not want to give my money, my time or my purchasing power to a retailer that has no idea how to do basic business.
I even physically feel a bit sick wearing the dress just from the terrible service I received.
Don’t frequent stores with terrible customer service like Judith & Charles, spread the word if you do meet and know of other retailers who are equally short-sighted and spread the love about retailers who are generous with their policies to accommodate a customer.
It is only with your money that you will make any kind of change or difference, and spread the word like I am now.
3. MAKE SURE YOUR POLICIES AREN’T ASININE
That’s right. Make sure when you discount something, you aren’t discounting it a week later, causing customers to be irate over having paid a higher price when only a week later, it drops again.
The culture you’re building for your brand is:
A) You’re training your customers (if you have any left at this point, frankly), to expect sales, and to basically not buy anything until it is has reached rock bottom. Is this good for your bottom line? NO.
Also, they don’t understand how to time their sales. I would understand 1 month or 2 months in between a price drop, but 5 days? That’s just dumb.
B) You’re making your customers angry when you have policies that don’t align with basic, freaking common sense.
If your policy is to refund within 7 days, then make price adjustments within 7 days. There, done.
You are now alienating a customer base who like me are willing to and are ABLE to pay higher prices for clothing.
Just because I can afford it doesn’t mean I want to be a sucker and pay full price or more money for it. I’m a bargain hunter like anyone else.
4. BE FLEXIBLE WHEN THINGS HAPPEN
Know why some of the best retailers in the world are amazing retailers who continue to grow and get more business?
They may lose $45 on a $300+ dress for this particular transaction, but they’ve safeguarded a customer who will be pleased with their treatment and who is now WILLING to come back and purchase more items safe in the knowledge that you will treat her right.
They’re flexible when they see the situation, realize they have to eat crow and then learn from the lesson by adjusting their “policy” (by the way, all man-made and not at all “legal” in any sense).
Now?
I’m an irate, riled up, angry, pissed off FORMER customer who is now spreading the word and making sure that she will NEVER say who the brand is for what she is wearing in an attempt to promote you in any way.
Yes that’s right.
I am actively deleting any and all photos of myself in said dress. I’d rather shop at Banana Republic. They’re one of my all-time favourite retailers because of their generous policies, excellent customer service & easy shipping & returns process. That’s one retailer whom I am happy to give money to, and if I had to ballpark how much I own, I would say 20% of my wardrobe is from that amazing retailer.
Good luck Judith & Charles, you’ve done exactly everything a retailer shouldn’t. Let’s see how far you go with that. /sarcasm
**UPDATE**
The manager of the store contacted regarding my experience. I’m conflicted. I loved that their store manager tried to intervene and go above and beyond to make sure I was a happy customer, but why did this have to happen in the first place? When I went in person, the employees were not willing to accommodate me and I left pretty frustrated and angry. The issue was somewhat fixed with a $45 refund (WITHOUT applicable 15% taxes!), but it all left a bad taste in my mouth.

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Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Monthly Update – August 2017

I’ve come to the conclusion that summer clothes do nothing for me. Literally nothing. In retrospect it makes sense, because I find myself consistently being more analytical than swipe happy towards the end of summer. I promise I’ll work on getting that onto the blog.

From a shopping standpoint, it was a slightly less uneventful month than July. One item.

Poppy Barley opened their flagship store in Southgate this month and, well, I felt the need to partake.

Poppy Barley The Soft Oxford – $207.90 (reg $207.90)

Shopping there is a fine line between supporting local businesses and indulging in an expensive shoe habit. Okay, it’s less fine line and more overlap. No regrets for the time being though. Other than specialty shoes like runners, I’m not looking elsewhere for shoes at the moment.

Quarterly Budget: $750 – $64.12 (carryover) – $0.00 (Jul) – $207.90 (Aug) = $477.98

Lots leftover for the month of September, which is a good thing. It may or may not get used up, but I do plan on doing some shopping next month. That and getting this blog back on track, because I miss this.




Hi!

I'm Cassie.

I'm a petite hourglass, slow adopter, food geek, Engineer, wife and mom. Welcome to the little corner of the internet where I ramble on about random things. Mostly clothes.

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