Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Curated Closet – Part 1 (Your Style)

I’m slowly working my way through The Curated Closet, the book by Anuschka Rees, the author of Into Mind (If you’re not familiar with her blog, I highly recommend checking it out). Rather than figuring out how mould your personal style into a specified aesthetic, the book focuses on analyzing your life and the things you’re personally drawn towards in order to tailor your closet specifically to you. This is done through a series of actionable tasks that align with the content of the chapters. Given that I started this blog with the intention of “fixing” my wardrobe, and I haven’t made satisfactory progress in that regard, I saw this book as guidance in what is hopefully the right direction.

The first task is to document two weeks worth of outfits that serve as a wardrobe baseline if you will. Previously my analysis had always focused on the contents of my closet, which when you consider most people only wear a small portion of their wardrobe at any given point, was a flawed starting point.

After gathering two weeks worth of typical outfits, there’s a series of questions meant to help with analyzing your existing style, wardrobe, and your relationship with your clothes. The following is the result of my existing style analysis:


What was your favourite outfit that you wore over the last two weeks and why? How did that outfit make you feel?

That’s a tough one, because I had two I liked during the time frame. One was a layered combination of green and navy consisting of:

  • Slim navy ankle length trousers
  • Long sleeved green and navy striped t-shirt
  • Tailored taupe vest
  • Army green ankle booties
  • Army green bomber jacket

The other was a black and blue look consisting of:

  • long sleeved cobalt blue merino wool t-shirt
  • Flared mid-rise blue jeans
  • Black heeled ankle booties
  • Black leather jacket
  • Brown textured scarf

Both of the outfits made me feel a little more put together, because I had taken the time to add something other than just a top and bottom. In the first instance I added the vest, while in the second I added the scarf. Additionally, in both instances the clothing on the upper half was more fitted. Having a little more upper body definition made me feel less frumpy.

What was your least favourite outfit and why? How did it make you feel?

The worst outfit was similar to the first one, only instead of the long sleeved t-shirt and vest, I tried to layer a thin camel coloured wool crewneck sweater over a plaid button up top. Straight up Frumpsville. Neither of the tops were particularly fitted, so pairing the two together made my torso look like a square block. Also, the high crew neckline made my bust look saggy. It was just all around wrong. It was disappointing, because I love the look on other people. It was horrible on me though. The only saving grace was that it was warm.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy were you overall with your outfits during the past two weeks?

6, at best.

Describe your current style in three adjectives.

Casual, haphazard, dark.

List your five most worn colours during the last two weeks. How well do you feel these represent your individual preference for colours?

Black, navy, green, olive, blue.

As far as colours go, I do like them. When worn together they make my outfits quite dark though. I have some lighter tops in my closet, but I didn’t reach for them very often despite the fact that I gravitate towards outfits that are a mix of light and dark. I wore red and burgundy as well, but not often enough to be in the top five.

What types of fits and silhouettes did you wear most often? Why?

More often than not I was wearing more fitted tops with slimmer bottoms, and when it was cool out I often paired it with a puffy vest or bomber jacket. I feel like grabbing for the vest was force of habit, because I’ve owned it for something like 8 years. The footwear/pant combos were awkward though. The ankle length trousers hit an awkward point on the ankle boots, the colours were sometimes a mismatch, and sometimes the shoes weren’t substantial enough to offset the puffier outerwear. I feel like I’m pairing things out of habit, because when I think about it I know my proportions are off.

Do you tend to follow a specific formula for putting together your outfits? Do you have a uniform?

Top + Bottom. That’s really about as far as my formula goes. I need to get more specific.

How much variety do you need? Do you enjoy wearing a wide range of different colours, silhouettes and details, or do you like having a signature look that you repeat with only minor variations?

A moderate amount. I don’t want a massive closet, and I want to be able to get dressed with minimal thinking in the morning. I do enjoy wearing different colours and silhouettes, but the silhouette part could be because I haven’t really narrowed down which ones work for me. Optimally I’d like to have 3 or 4 go to silhouettes that I can repeat in different colour combinations.

Do you prefer being overdressed or underdressed?

Mentally I like being overdressed, but in practice I’m often underdressed because I lean towards the casual side.

Do you want people to notice your clothes?

Yeah, I do. It sounds so vain, but I like it when people notice that I made an effort.

How do you usually style your outfits? Do you often tuck in your tops or roll up your sleeves? What type of accessories do you wear most often?

There is very little in terms of styling. My shirts are usually untucked, because I find tucking shirts into pants tends to look kind of puffy on me. I do tuck them into skirts, but it’s a little too cool for that right now. I do like to roll up my sleeves. Rolling sleeves skews more to the casual end of styling, so that doesn’t really surprise me. Accessories are pretty minimal. Usually stud earrings with my wedding and iron rings.

Overall, how comfortable were your outfits? What qualities distinguish the most comfortable from the least comfortable pieces in your wardrobe, in terms of fit, materials or details?

The outfits were pretty comfortable. I don’t have a lot of patience for uncomfortable clothes, which could be why my style skews casual. I like a little stretch in my pants, and currently I prefer a higher rise so that the fabric isn’t digging into my hips or stomach. I like the feeling of natural materials against my skin as well. Cotton, silk, wool, cashmere, whatever. Detail wise I like to keep it simple and streamlined. I don’t like to fuss with my clothes, why would I want the clothes themselves to be fussy?

Looking at the pictures of your outfits, how well fitting are your clothes?

Meh. The rise on my distressed denim is too low, causing muffin top. The rise on the flared jeans are higher, but I’ve lost a little weight since buying them a couple months ago, so they’re too loose. I have a few t-shirts that fit reasonably, but my sweaters and button ups are looser through the torso, leaving a lot to be desired.

Subconsciously or not, our clothes send a message about who we are, our values, and our personality. What message does your current look send? What would you like it to send?

I’d say that right now my look says I put a little effort in, but not a ton. I’m doing better than the flustered yoga pant and spittle covered sweatshirt new mom stereotype. If I put more effort into doing my hair I would probably feel better as well. Ultimately I would like my clothes to say that I have my life together, even on my off days.

As for my values and personality, I really don’t know what they’re saying about me. I honestly don’t. I feel like that’s something I would need external help with pinning down.

Imagine you had total confidence (and unlimited funds to overhaul your wardrobe). Would you keep wearing the same type of outfits as you do now? If not, what would you change?

I’d go out and repurchase a pair of my old skinny jeans and bootcut jeans in my current size to wear until I get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I’d also buy new tops and a couple blazers and have them all tailored to fit me properly.

Are you reading or working your way through The Curated Closet? Are you working on revamping your closet? How is it going for you?

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Country Fail

Some days I plan out my outfits. Other days I grab whatever is closest off the unfolded clean laundry pile and hope it works. Yesterday was a case of the latter.

Shirt: J.Crew (swapped) / T-shirt: Twik / Jeans: Cult of Individuality (thrifted) /
Boots: Poppy Barley / Purse: Mulberry


It ended up having a bit of an unintentional country vibe to it, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  I should have looked at the pictures a little closer before leaving the house though. Despite wearing some of my favourite pieces and colours, I just felt kinda frumpy all day.


If I’m being perfectly honest, part of it is ongoing discontent with my postpartum body, amplified by Thanksgiving dinner weekend guilt. Part of it was the over shirt though. I love the colours and pattern, but it really isn’t very flattering on me. It’s wide at the waist, and perpetually wrinkled. Sure, it’s easy to throw on and convenient to nurse in, but is it really something I should be reaching for as often as I do? Probably not.


I think this shirt is representative of a lot of items in my closet. They have good qualities, but they’re not perfect. It’s time the items entering my closet were perfect instead of good enough.

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Little Luxuries – Fall 2016

This is NOT a sponsored post in any way, I’m just sharing some of the things I like right now. Besides, when was the last time you saw a sponsored post with less than pristine packaging? LOL

As you may have gathered from my previous post, my brain is pretty fried these days. My son’s naps aren’t long or consistent enough for extensive self care during the day (nail polish, what’s that?), but I do a little better in the evenings.

One of my favourite ways to unwind, especially as the weather cools down, is to have a hot soak in the tub and spend a little time pampering myself. These are some of my go to products at the moment:


My daily face wash is a mild exfoliant, but with the change in weather I can use something a little more aggressive. I picked up a small container of this Ole Henriksen sugar polish using some of my VIB points at Sephora recently. Since the exfoliating grains are sugar they melt slowly in the water as you wash it off, which helps prevent you from going overboard with it. The citrus is a bit of an irritant, which is probably what helps give the skin most of its plump and glowing properties after using it, but I’ll take the temporary pick up. The sugar is the real useful part of this for me, the rest of it just smells good and helps it stick to the face.


This was a bit of a splurge. I was hoping to pick up a multipack of smaller containers to try out, but apparently that packaging was holiday specific last Christmas. This mask helps soothe my skin as the air is getting drier. The packaging says it can be used as an overnight mask, but I find I end up with a clogged pore or two if I do that. It’s great if I leave it on for an hour or so, and I’m a big fan of the rose scent.


Speaking of rose scent, I don’t even remember how long I’ve had this essential oil for. I sprinkle it in my bath water along with a few handfuls of generic bath salts. As you can see, I’ve used it quite a few times. I didn’t think Aveda carried these anymore, but apparently they still do.


One of my coworkers swears by beeswax soap, so much so that he actually uses it to shave his face. He used to buy it from a local retiree bee keeper who made it all himself. The fellow unfortunately passed away recently, so my coworker bought up all of his remaining stock so he’ll never run out.

Before going on maternity leave, my coworker gave me a bag of different scented bars. This one is sandalwood. When I’m not feeling floral, this is a nice earthy alternative. It goes nicely with a chai tea or glass of red wine.


Sometimes I don’t have time for a soak in the bath, so a hot shower has to do the trick. This basil lemon shower gel from Korres is refreshing and a little different. It reminds vaguely of a carrot/orange/basil combo that Biotherm used to make in the early 2000’s. A little goes a long way, so this bottle should last me a long time.


What do you do to wind down and relax at the end of the day? Do you have any go to little luxuries?

Thursday, October 6th, 2016


The mom’s group I signed up for only officially ran for 6 weeks, finishing up last Thursday. We organized a potluck for the last day, so I figured why not make another batch of tabbouleh? With enough parsley in the garden for several batches worth, it’s not like I was hurting for ingredients.


Shirt: Wilfred Free / Tank: Twik / Jeans: Seven For All Mankind (thrifted) /
Boots: Poppy Barley


If you’ve ever whipped up a batch of tabbouleh before, you know there’s a ton of chopping and dicing involved. It’s not difficult, just labour intensive. I didn’t want to run the risk of running out of time the morning of, so I did all the prep the night before…


…and then proceeded to forget it on the counter overnight.


I wish I could say that’s the dumbest thing I’ve done in the last few months, but it’s kinda par for the course lately. Saturday I couldn’t figure out why the coffee grinder wouldn’t turn on even though I had just plugged my phone into the outlet it uses. Not really operating on all cylinders at the moment.

Please help me feel better. What was the dumbest thing you’ve done lately?

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Coffee Time

The formal portion of mom’s group is winding down to an end, so some of us are starting to meet up outside of the group setting. I met up with another mom at Starbucks in a nearby Chapters recently for coffee. I was out of milk for making coffee at home, so it was very much needed that day!


Wrap: Winners / Shirt: Twik / Jeans: Cult of Humanity (thrifted) / Boots: Poppy Barley


I didn’t really think about it in advance, but this wrap actually makes a great impromptu nursing cover in crowded public areas. It’s full coverage, and large enough that it can tent rather than resting on my son’s head. It’s certainly less distracting for him, and it means I don’t have to rush home if he decides he’s hangry. He’s been hangry a lot lately.


This wrap has been a staple of mine for two years now. I’d love to get another one, but you know, cost per wear and all…

Then again, this colour scheme has fall written all over it, so maybe I could justify a lighter weight one in a brighter pallet for spring? Cream/Blush/Taupe? Something to think about.


Anyone rocking a wrap right now? Have you spotted any good ones lately?