Tuesday, April 25th, 2017
I honestly don’t know if this month could have been more basic for me. Basic and expensive, with only a little piss off towards the end. We’ll get to that though.
Twik Organic Cotton V-neck Tee in white and navy – $10.49 ea (reg $10.49 ea)
First up, t-shirts! And in organic cotton no less. I was going to buy the t-shirts regardless since it’s a go-to that fits me decently, but the switch to organic cotton was a nice perk. I’ve already worn the white one three times and the navy one four times, so the cost per wear is dropping quickly.
Contemporaine Gold Buttons Nautical Sweater – $31.45 (reg $40.95)
I was originally eyeing up a striped top from Armor-Lux, but decided it was too risky to order a shirt online that barely looked like it fit the bust of their skinny model. I ended up picking up this looser cut top at Simons instead. It’s not one of those items that I’d run out and buy a half dozen of because it’s my end all be all, but it’s quite comfortable and I do find myself reaching for it in the closet. I’ve worn this top four times already, and if it’s anything like the other shirts I’ve purchased from there it should last me a few years.
Babaton Keith Jacket in Path – $204.75 (reg $204.75)
I hemmed and hawed over this blazer for the longest time. Long enough that when I went into the store to pick it up they had removed the colour I wanted from the stores! Fortunately it was still online, so I ordered it there. It’s more of a back to work item, so I haven’t worn it yet. Love the cut though.
Skagen Starry Nights Mother of Pearl – $136.39 (reg $246.75)
I had almost given up on this watch. After scouring every Winners location I could think of, sometimes repeatedly, and having nothing turn up on eBay, I resigned myself to the fact that it wasn’t going to happen.
Then Adina found one Easter weekend!!!
It’s every bit as beautiful as I remember it being 😀
Nine West Martina Pumps in Taupe – $83.99 (reg $131.25)
I was in a toss up between the nude leather Jackpot pumps and the taupe leather Martina pumps in store. After polling some ladies privately on Instagram, I decided on the taupe pair. Too bad Nine West was sold out of everything even close to my size both in store and online! Ugh. I ended up walking through DSW the next week and found taupe patent leather pumps in my size! Given my line of work patent will likely end up being a wiser choice than leather in this shade. The box didn’t indicate which style they were, but they appear to be the Martina.
Tailoring – $92.40
This last bit is a bit of a sticking point for me. In theory I could do my own alterations, I know how they’re supposed to be done, I just never seem to get around to actually doing them. I rounded a bunch of pants up that needed some work, and took them to a tailor this month. They did a shit job. Yes, the items fit better than they did when I first took them in, but they took shortcuts instead of doing it properly. Honestly, I’m finding that locating a decent tailor in this town is like finding a high quality shirt in a fast fashion store. Most people don’t know what to look for in alterations anymore, so the “tailors” are getting away with it. I started a Yelp account specifically to review the place I went to. I’ll probably do a post on it later.
Quarterly Budget: $750 + $360.64 (carryover) – $569.96 (Apr) = $540.68
All together this month came to $569.96 for $737.08 worth of clothing and alterations. I’m glad I decided to carry over the budget excess from last quarter, and I’m happy with the items I bought. None of the items are trend focused, and all of the items mix and match with clothing I already own. The taupe pumps are actually an item I’ve been meaning to add to my wardrobe for two years now! I’m content, and to be honest I’ll be buying fewer items next month. Maybe a couple blouses and some light wash denim if I can find it marked down on a super sale.
I’m linking up again with the lovely ladies over at Franish again this month. If you want to see how other people spend their money and build their wardrobes, I’d suggest checking it out!
How did you spend your money this month?
Thursday, April 20th, 2017
This exercise was probably one of the hardest ones. When was the last time you created a resume or cover letter from scratch? If you do it regularly it becomes easier, but when you’re out of practice it’s extremely tough. This exercise was like creating a resume for my personal style, and it was like pulling teeth. Who would have thought trying to pin down your personal style would feel this difficult?
What’s the best name for your personal style?
Women’s Classics Borrowed From The Boys.
In one or two sentences, what is the overall idea behind your style?
A blending of slim cut skirts and dresses with items that find their roots in menswear – jeans, dress pants, button up shirts, blazers, trench coats, and breton stripes. Emphasis on tailoring over accessories.
What does a typical outfit look like for this style?
What does this style say about its wearer? What three qualities does it convey?
What are the key pieces of this style?
What are the dominant colours?
My colour choices may be reflecting the fact that we’re in spring heading towards summer right now. I expect black, cognac and burgundy to make a larger appearance come fall.
Which silhouettes, cuts and fits are a part of this style?
All clothes must be reasonably fitted through the waist and hip to prevent bunching and excess billowing. Pants and skirts should be either mid or high rise to allow room to tuck in tops. Most outerwear should hit above the knee so they can be worn with flats without looking dowdy. Collars encouraged to draw the eye upwards and out. No narrow crewnecks ever!
What types of materials and fabrics work well with this style?
Silk blouses during the summer. Thick wool and cashmere sweaters during the winter. Cotton and denim with structure and minimal stretch year round. Canvas bags during the summer. Leather year round, though more so in the winter.
What does the styling look like? Think accessories, specific styling techniques, and hair and makeup.
Tucked in shirts with rolled sleeves and top buttons undone. Pearl or diamond studs. Classic watches skewing more to the feminine side.
Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22nd. Keeping that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to share some of the changes I’ve been trying to implement around our home. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t occasionally horrified by the amount of trash generated by our household, and I’ve slowly but surely been trying to do something about it.
Bulk barn announced recently that they would allow customers to bring containers from home to refill rather than forcing them to use bags from the store. This has been great, because it means I can purchase exactly what my containers can hold rather than guesstimating and having a bunch of little bags left over.
My husband is a bit of a candy fiend. Aside from the obvious dried bulk goods and seasonings, I’ve also started buying his gummy candies in bulk. Cuts down on all of those little packages!
The same week Bulk Barn made their announcement, my closest grocery store also announced they were going to start charging for bags. I loathe paying for bags. That little change prompted me to do a better job of keeping my reusable bags on me when I’m picking up groceries.
My cleaning supply transition has been slowly swapping over for the last two years as I used up our combined product supply. I started with using baking soda as a scouring powder instead of other cleaning chemicals. It works beautifully, especially on our glass shower door. The castile soap was added to the mix when my son was born, as I didn’t want to risk cleaning chemical residues ending up on him in the tub. It also works shockingly well, and as a bonus I can refill the container once it’s empty as Earth’s General Store in Edmonton carries it in bulk.
I haven’t used vinegar as much as I would like to yet because my husband isn’t a fan of the scent. I’m using these instructions from The Kitchn to try and add a different scent to the vinegar, to see if it helps at all. The current batch is orange rose, mostly because I had an orange and some wilting roses on hand when I had the urge to try it. I have a feeling the orange is going to overpower the rose scent, but if nothing else it’s adding a pretty tint to the mix. I think the next batch might have to be lemon eucalyptus.
Another change, which I neglected to photograph as they were in the wash, were my son’s mealtime wipes. I cut up a couple stained t-shirts into little squares that I could use to wipe him down when he finishes eating. It saves the t-shirts from the landfill, and prevents me from using disposable baby wipes on him. There’s a big stack of them beside his high chair, and they just get thrown in with the kitchen towels at the end of the week.
So that’s what’s new on our end. What small changes have you made in your life? Any good suggestions to add to the mix?
Thursday, April 13th, 2017
This whole exercise is the reason why neglecting to recycle my magazines for over a year was perfectly acceptable. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Seriously though, despite the massive pile of potential inspiration that sat in that stack of magazines, very little of it actually spoke to me. Tchotchkes just don’t float my boat.
I actually started cutting out inspiration prior to purchasing The Curated Closet, and I wasn’t looking at what I had cut out when I put together my list of things I liked from last week. I’m impressed by how much overlap there is! The colours and silhouettes are pretty close to spot on. I’d add a little more olive, cognac and taupe to the mix, and more classic denim. The absence of those items from this is reflective of the fact that they weren’t really being displayed in the magazines I had. A little more tweaking is needed.
Aside from this mood board, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the people and blogs who really nail their respective looks and inspire me in a practical sense. Some blogs I follow because they’re pretty and whimsical. Others make the fibres of my being sing. These are the latter.
Alterations Needed – I’ve been reading Kelly’s blog for years, and she’s really honed in on a go to uniform over the last two. Even though she’s heavily focussed on menswear, the cuts and proportions she chooses ensure she never loses her feminine shape. Last week when I posted that I liked feminine meets masculine without it being androgynous, this is what I was talking about.
The Anna Edit – Anna keeps a very tightly edited array of neutrals in her wardrobe, and yet I’m never bored of her outfits. They’re comfortable, effortless, relatable, and never over accessorized. She’s laid out a little cash on a few of her purses in the last couple years, but nothing about her look screams aspirational. I’d have to mix up the proportions since she’s taller than I am, but I could easily wear a lot of her outfits to work.
Also, Carolina Herrera is the boss. It’s not so much about the clothes she designs (though I would certainly love to get my hands on some of her 2017 resort collection), it’s the clothes she herself wears. Honestly, do a google image search of her name. Structured blouses tucked into skirts and pants with a propped up collar and rolled up sleeves. It’s her uniform. She’s a working woman, she has her style, and she owns it.
Who influences your personal style? Whose style do you find you gravitate towards?
Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
I’ve had this outfit rattling around in my head for a while. With the sun coming out this past Sunday I figured it was as good a time as any to put it together. So I pulled my hair up, threw it on and…
I looked like a suburban mom.
Jacket: Talula / Shirt: Le Chateau / Jeans: 7 For All Mankind / Shoes: Poppy Barley /
Scarf: H&M / Earrings: Tiffany
And really, why is that such a bad thing? I am a suburban mom.
I spent most of my morning cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and tending to my son. We went out to buy router bits and reciprocating saw blades because they were on sale at Canadian Tire. We fuelled up the truck at the Costco gas bar. We picked up a small Skor Blizzard and a milk shake at Dairy Queen.
I wasn’t hitting up a post-post-modernist warehouse art exhibit, or attending the opening of a macrobiotic sushi bar, or ordering a unicorn algae latte with sustainably sourced fair trade hazelnut milk. I was doing average person things wearing average person clothes. And that’s fine. They’re all fine actually (and I kinda want to try that latte).
Clothing is a means of self expression, and sometimes that expression is nothing more than today is an average day in which I am doing average things. Average days are like wardrobe basics. They may not be the most noteworthy, but they make life easier when your mind is on other things. They’re good to have.
What does your average day look like? What do you wear on an average day?
Thursday, April 6th, 2017
You would think listing all of the things you like would be an easy task, but it’s one I seriously struggled with. A lot of current fashion can be defined by its details and ornamentation (cold shoulder, ruffles, bows, cat motifs, etc…), and yet I find myself more drawn to items in which that ornamentation is notably absent. I admire the cut and flow of a piece more so than the minutiae. Minutiae irks me more than anything.
It may make my choices sartorially boring for most, but I need to be true to myself in this exercise. I am dressing for myself after all.
What are you drawn towards in your clothing?