Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Donation Pile Reject

How else do I describe it? I have a serious soft spot for these pants.

I don’t wear them very often. In fact, I’m pretty sure the last time I wore them was when I posted them on Instagram close to 3 years ago. They have been placed in the donate pile and then rescued from it more times than I can remember.

So why the soft spot?

Pants: vintage / Jacket: Talula / Tank: Miiyu / Shoes: Poppy Barley /
Purse: Streel Level / Watch: Skagen

They’re actually my dad’s pants.

Seriously! My dad wore these to high school in the 70’s. He didn’t really hit his adult growth spurt until grade 12, so his old pants were considerably shorter than what he wears now. My sister and I got ahold of some of his old clothes when we were in high school and used to argue over who got to wear them. This pair of pants went back and forth between us a few times, but they’ve been in my closet for years. My sister got the Chevy 427 t-shirt.

One of the things I didn’t appreciate when I was younger, but certainly do now, was the attention to detail that went into the making of these pants. When was the last time a brand took the time to line up the stripes on a pocket with the stripes on the pant leg? Usually if you see patterned pants now they don’t have pockets.

The material is a little worse for wear, but they’re super comfortable. There is enough material in the hem that I can let them down a little, so I’ll probably do that at some point in the near future. They’re currently a little shorter than I’d like. Love the colours though.

It didn’t occur to me until we were out that I had actually doubled up on the tassels. Apparently I have a thing for them and didn’t even realize it? Actually, I doubled up on the braids too. This outfit is full of unintentional duplicates.

I wore this outfit to drop a bunch of stuff off at Goodwill. Obviously, these pants didn’t go.

Saved from the pile again.

<3



Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Strategy Revisit

This year I wanted to change everything about the way I shopped.

My strategy post back in January talked about the immense quantity of clothing that flowed through my closet, and my desire to rein that in. While I mentioned that I wanted to be more thoughtful in my purchases, I didn’t really get into what that entailed. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I really understood what it entailed. I had a romanticized vision of it.

I didn’t want synthetic fibres. I didn’t want to support companies that manufacture their clothes with questionable ethics. I wanted to purchase styles that filled holes in my wardrobe. I only wanted to purchase items if they fit me perfectly. I wanted to do all of it on a budget, only buying one item per month, all while toting a baby along with me…

What was I thinking?

Purchasing clothes that fit perfectly generally means trying a bunch of clothes on. The last time I had purchased a clothing item in store (aside from shoes) was the beginning of November. NOVEMBER! Nap schedule conflicts and change room meltdowns have pushed my clothes shopping online. Living in Canada means paying for shipping (budget conflict), or buying from a company that manufactures overseas (frequently an ethics conflict). The holes I want to fill in my wardrobe rarely seem to be made out of natural fibres, and when they are the shape doesn’t work for my body. My shopping largely screeched to a grinding halt. It sucked the enjoyment out of fashion because I felt like I couldn’t partake.

Do I think it’s possible to only buy ethically manufactured garments made out of natural fibres on a budget? Absolutely. Do I think it’s reasonable for myself to also achieve perfect fit while doing that? No. I have a hard enough time finding clothes that fit me off the rack, how was I supposed to do it with a bunch of restrictions imposed on top?

Another issue I’ve noticed, which isn’t a result of the restrictions though certainly has been amplified by them, is that I’ve become much more aspirational in my clothing search. The price point on the clothing I was looking at ticked higher, while it’s arguable whether or not the clothes themselves would be making my wardrobe more functional. Case in point would be my original planned purchased for April. I had originally planned on rolling over my unspent budget from last quarter and purchasing a Smythe Duchess Blazer in camel. Would it be a fantastic addition to my wardrobe? Undoubtably, yes. Is it solving the most pressing issue in my wardrobe at the moment, making it infinitely easier to get dressed in the morning? No. I do see it making its way into my wardrobe eventually, but it doesn’t need to be there at the moment.

Last October I started a couple posts working through the exercises laid out in the Curated Closet (if you haven’t read them, you can find them here and here). Everything I wrote in those two posts is still completely spot on. I’ve decided going to finish working through those exercises and posting my findings on here. For the life of me I can’t remember why I stopped in the first place.

I’m removing my self imposed restrictions for the rest of the year, save for my budget. When I get my wardrobe to a comfortably functional place I’ll look at revisiting this strategy again.



Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Monthly Update – March 2017

I’m going to preface this post – Asian Pear, you were right. I’m restricting myself too much.

This little epiphany came as a result of a barbecue stain on a white t-shirt (by all means, sing along). I had two white t-shirts, which for me is sufficient. I stained one of them recently, and less than a day later nearly stained the other one with some peanut butter. Realizing I could potentially be entering summer with no white t-shirts, I had an internal meltdown.

I have several thoughts on this subject, but at the risk of turning my budget post into a TL:DR type affair, I’m going to hold on to those thoughts until Thursday. I’ll just say that I’m revisiting my shopping strategy for this year.

Until then, March purchases!

Wilfred Free Daria Ankle Pant – $141.75 (reg $141.75)

I’ve hemmed and hawed over Aritzia’s vegan leather leggings for years and never taken the plunge. That is of course until they came out with their ankle pant. If you’re a shorty like me, you know that “ankle pant” is code for “doesn’t require hemming”. That is a rare beast indeed!

These have been a nice non-yoga alternative to jeans. Throw them on with a long sweater and I’m out the door. I’ve worn them 4 or 5 times since buying them halfway through the month.

Babaton Bringham Dress – $78.74 (reg $194.25)

DVF style without the DVF price. What’s not to love? A plain black wrap dress has been on my wish list for years, but I could never justify pulling the pin on the designer version. This is a near perfect dupe of the New Jeanne wrap dress for less than a seventh the price.

This is intended to be a work dress for when I go back in June, but it certainly works for date night as well.

Quarterly Budget: $750 – $135.17 (Jan) – 420.00 (Feb) – $220.49 (Mar) + $367.50 returns + $18.80 consignment = $360.64 remaining

It’s almost like I was right on budget and never received a refund for those boots back in January.

After mulling it over, I plan to roll this money over into next quarter’s budget. I originally had a specific purchase in mind, but I’ve since decided to hit pause on it. No, it’s not a white t-shirt. I’m definitely picking another one of those up next month.

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, March 23rd, 2017

Sample Sale Tips

If you’ve never been to a sample sale before, I can tell you right now that it’s a completely different experience from shopping at the mall. Very different.

That being said, not all sample sales are the same. Some are first come first serve frenzies, while others are relatively refined events in which only a limited number of people can shop at a time and you have to be on the list to get in. I’ve been to both. While I’m no expert on the subject, I’ve definitely learned a few things along the way. Some of these tips apply to shopping in general, but some are definitely sample sale specific. If you’re planning on going to one in the near future, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

SET PERSONAL LIMITS

Do you know how much money you have available to spend? Odds are you have a limit to how much you can spend before it starts affecting other areas of your life, so make sure you know what that limit is before you show up at the door. Those sparkly teal pumps may be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever laid your eyes on, but if you feel buyers remorse every time you look at them you’ll never want to wear them.

Another thing, what are you actually looking for? Do you have 13 black turtlenecks and need something punchier to brighten things up? Great! Tell yourself you won’t walk out of the sale with another black turtleneck. Hold yourself to it! I told myself before the last sale that I was not buying black boots, and would only accept a handful of colours that worked with my wardrobe. Most of the boots available were black, but because I set that limit in advance it kept me focused on my end goal of finding lighter coloured footwear. It worked.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

This is going to sound obvious, but what size are you? If you don’t know, go find out before you show up at the sale. Often times the clothes are organized by size, not item type, so you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time and grief if you can go to the right area while there is still merchandise available.

EAT!

It’s another obvious one, but nobody likes being hangry when shopping. You could be there a while, so have a decent meal before you go.

GO EARLY

If it’s a first come first serve free for all, there could be people lining up hours in advance to get in. I fully understand if standing around outside for hours isn’t your thing, but know that some people are absolutely willing to and will get first dibs on the merchandise. Even events with time slots will have lines forming before the actual designated time. If you’re driving, think about your parking situation and make sure you’re still okay if you don’t get in the moment the doors open.

DRESS FOR THE EVENT

Think about what you are shopping for. If you plan on trying on blouses, today is not the day to wear a dress. If you’re trying on shoes, don’t wear that pair of boots that are a pain to take off. This is often forgotten common sense. If there are change rooms available there is likely only going to be a limited number of them, and they may be group change rooms. Are you comfortable trying clothes on in front of other people? If you’re trying on tops consider wearing a form fitting tank or base layer so you can try the clothes on without waiting for a change room. If you’re trying on winter boots, bring a pair of socks you’re likely to wear them with. If you absolutely need those little nylons when trying on shoes, bring them with you. Don’t take for granted that they’ll have them there.

Another thing to consider is your coat. I’ve only ever been to sample sales during the winter, so a coat was a necessity. There may not be a coat rack. If there is, it’s probably literally a rack with no one watching it. Something to think about.

HANDS FREE

The last thing you want to be doing at a shopping event like this is holding onto a satchel or other handheld bag. While a tote that slings over your shoulder may seem like a good idea, if they’re worried about shoplifting you may be forced to leave it at the door. This is a cross body event all the way. If you can slim things down to a wallet and your phone for a couple hours, even better. Same with drinks. While it sounds like a great idea to have a coffee while you wait in line, where are you going to put it when you get in there? There might not be a garbage can handy for take away cups, and they may not let a reusable cup in if they’re worried about drips and spills on the merchandise. Food for thought.

PLAY FAIR

This should go without saying. No screaming, pushing, hitting, pulling clothes out of other people’s hands, trampling, starting fights or otherwise being unruly. It’s just clothing. You probably already have some at home, so whatever you’re planning to buy at this event is for your enjoyment of fashion. Don’t suck the enjoyment out of it for everyone else.

KNOW YOUR PAYMENT OPTIONS

Do you really want to get up to the front of the line with a bunch of discounted denim that fits like a dream only to find out it’s cash only? No, you don’t. Find out what the payment options are before you go and make sure you have it.

BAG IT

What happens if you find a ton of stuff and they’ve run out of shopping bags? You’re carrying it, that’s what happens. It may be a good idea to have a Baggu or Le Pliage tucked in your coat just in case.

IT’S OKAY TO WALK AWAY

You got all hyped up for this sale, paid for parking, (im)patiently waited in line, you have your money ready, and it’s your favourite brand. You have to buy something, right?

Nope.

It is perfectly acceptable to just walk away empty-handed. I watched several people leave empty-handed at the last sale I went to. It’s okay. If you go in there and they don’t have your size, don’t try to force yourself into one that’s close but not quite right. If the colours being offered clash with your wardrobe, don’t add them to it. If the prices are over your budget, don’t put yourself in debt for it. It’s okay if the discount on offer isn’t what you were hoping for, and it’s okay to walk away.

Anyone else have any tips to throw in the mix?



Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

On the Cuff

I bought these jeans a couple years ago, and to be honest they’ve been pretty awesome. The denim is sturdy, not transparent in the least, and the cropped length is the perfect unhemmed length for flats on my short frame.

 

Sweater: Banana Republic / Jeans: 7 For All Mankind / Boots: Poppy Barley / Belt: Banana Republic

That being said, I feel like they hit my boots in an awkward spot. They’re short for where I would normally expect jeans to break over boots. Maybe it’s just because I grew up with longer bootcut jeans, but it still feels odd.

I wore this outfit to the office when I was going stir crazy and needed to get out of the house. That day I wore them with a narrow double cuff. Since then I’ve tried a couple different combos, but I haven’t settled on how to wear these two together.

Uncuffed / Wide Double Cuff Exposing Socks
Narrow Double Cuff Exposing Socks / Wide Single Cuff Hiding Socks

Any thoughts? How would you wear this pant/boot combination? Or would you just not wear them together?



Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The Office

Inspired by one of the Bloglovin’ posts giving a sneak peek into the workspaces of 6 major bloggers, I thought it might be fun to give you guys a peek into my office. I’ve been meaning to play around with our camera a bit more as well, so heads up, this is a photo heavy post!

The majority of our house is painted in medium shades of grey and blue, with fairly dark curtains throughout. It feels very masculine and dark to me, but I’m picking my home design battles. We redid this space as my personal refuge. My husband’s only request was that I didn’t paint it white. So I didn’t! I picked the single lightest shade of grey I could get my hands on. Like I said, picking my battles 😉

The desk is little under half of a large corner desk my husband already had in the room, as well as his existing chair. I would like a different chair in here, but for the time being I can’t argue with something that is perfectly functional.

Not to mention free.

The thread collection was originally my grandmother’s; it was given to me after she passed away. It was originally all stored together in what I believe was a peanut brittle jar. I separated the colours into glass jars so that they looked nice on display, but also because it made finding colour matches easier. If I need to mend something, I almost always have a close match.

I wanted a fairly low maintenance plant for the room. This aloe vera plant fit the bill nicely, though it has definitely grown from its original size. My catch-all dishes are a cereal bowl from Target (from back when they were in Canada), and the container from a candle I used up.

Also, I really need to dust.

I generally keep the camera set up on our tripod so that I can just turn it on and snap some pictures if I have a reasonable outfit and a couple minutes. I’m currently using the Nikon D60 my husband bought ~10 years ago. I would really like to upgrade the camera body, but until I get better at using the functions I’m having a hard time justifying it (it’s never set to Auto, so that’s a start.) It is an SLR, which is great, but it only focuses in three spots and you have to actually use the viewfinder to set up your pictures instead of using the screen. It gets kinda hard on the eyes after a while.

My son is usually in the room with me, just out of the camera’s field of view. I keep a small selection of toys and books in the room so he has something to play with while I do my thing.

update: He’s crawling now! The toys get moved to the hallway when I’m taking pictures.

Between my husband’s house and the house I sold, we had a lot of artwork. I haven’t settled on where I want certain pieces to go, so for the time being I have a bunch of them lined up on the ground. The room is otherwise very low contrast, so the frames give the camera something to focus on while I’m mucking around with it.

The couch originally belonged to my great grandmother, and it was passed to me when I moved into my first solo apartment in university. It badly needs to be reupholstered, and the trim is coming off, but I still curl up and read on it. I probably would have had it done already, but I can’t commit to a fabric for it. At this point in time I’m thinking a light grey tweed.

That’s a little peak into my office and the space I do my blogging in. Where do you take your pictures? Indoors or outdoors? What are your go to blogging tools? Any thoughts on what colour I should reupholster the couch?




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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