Friday, May 30, 2014

Show Us Your Cannes

It's Friday, time to take a peek back at the week's sartorial offerings. As usual, there's plenty to talk about. Like this wee menace.

As I'm sure you know, The Cannes Film Festival finished last weekend. Cannes is an event that usually sees celebs trotting-out their slickest sartorial game. Usually.

I think Bieber's people are hard at work trying to do some image damage control.  The Biebs was spotted everywhere during Cannes trying to get photographed with A-listers (many of whom declined). This smacks quite heavily of the enlistment of a professional Image Consultant, yet the only image I had in my mind upon viewing these photos was of another heavily-tattooed man, who also likes to smoke green, leafy plants.

I suppose I should give credit where credit is due; the suit fits well and looks good. Until you get to the sleeves. Yes Bieber, we all see your tattoos. There's a good little run along and let the adults talk.

Remember Adrien Brody? He won the Oscar for The Pianist in 2002? He showed-up at Cannes dressed as a giant Hershey's Kiss (caramel variety).  Perhaps he thought he looked "street" in this look? Brody and I are the same age, and with one photograph he has completely shattered my theory that your tastes grow, develop, and refine as you get older.

This is French actress Frederique Bel, styled quite nearly to death...but then, the photographs speak for themselves. If anything, the comparison to Xena, Warrior Princess is probably more of a compliment than I meant it to be.

Meanwhile, in Monaco...

Benedict Cumberbatch, enjoying the Formula 1 Grand Prix.  It pains me to see this normally swoonworthy man looking like the point that when I first saw this photo, I had to fight the urge to wring my hands and yell KHAAAAAAAAAN to the heavens. This look is pure O.A.P. (that's Brit speak for Old Age Pensioner for my non-British readers). Not only is he hiding a gorgeous head of hair under that hat, I'm pretty sure there's a 65-and-over bus pass at the end of that lanyard.

This look makes me think Cumberbatch might be researching a role for a revival of a great comedy show that was made for BBC Scotland called Still Game, about the antics two widower OAP's in a Glasgow high-rise (seriously, it's a must-watch). If that be the case, I would like to put myself forward for the role of the salty old American expat widow who seduces him in order to use his mobility scooter at the grocery store. BBC, call me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Love These Shoes - Big Time

This is probably my favourite pair of shoes that I own.  I've had them for years. I can't even really tell you why I am so enamoured of them; they're pretty simple, spindly, not particularly comfortable, but I am filled with glee any time I have a chance to wear them. I have danced the night away in them on more than one occasion. I'm not one of those women who you see taking her heels off and going barefoot at wedding dances and whatnot (amateurs). I'm a big believer in carrying a spare pair of flats if you think that things are going to get really rough (always a possibility at a Scottish Ceilidh dance). Anyway, going barefoot at dances is a great way to come away with bits of pint glass in the bottoms of your feet. But I digress.

It's hard to see, but the fringe on these babies is a combination of leather and chain; a mixture of hard and soft textures that I guess must suit my personality to a tee because here I am, still talking about it.  They're by Michael Kors (several seasons ago now) and they originally came in gold and silver.

The last time I wore these, I paired it with this silk Diane Von Furstenburg Dress at a wedding dance. The dress is perfect for a wedding, because it is a loose-fitting sheath. For a warm summer wedding, you can dance, eat, drink, and move freely. The print of the dress comes in handy, because you never know when the caterers will plop down a plate of cream-coated beef in front of you, despite the fact that you are a dyed-in-the-wool vegetarian, and you will end up eventually eating just the vegetables off the plate before handing the plate off to the eagerly-awaiting guy next to you, who in the process of taking it from you drops the beef all over your left boob. The watercolour print of the dress very conveniently hides the stain, bits of which are still there to this day.

Michael Kors "Vienna" shoes (old), similar / Diane Von Furstenburg dress (old), similar print here / Judith Ripka earrings

Make it Happen.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Shh! Quiet Please...


This dress is anything but quiet. I was walking around Zara the other day with a white linen version of this dress in my hand when I saw this version of the dress, at which point the white linen version was instantly abandoned.  I'm a sucker for a horizontal stripe, the skirt on this dress seems to sort of float away from the body with a life of its own, and the dress is fully-lined. So. Much. Fun.

The neon coral shoes and lipstick...well. A black and white horizontal-stripe dress was made to be worn with a pair of crazy-bright shoes. I think it might even be illegal to pair a dress like this with nude or black pumps. I'm not sure, I'll look into it, but until then, I'm not taking any chances.

This is the kind of thing I look forward to wearing when I'm pretty sure everyone in the room will be throwing absolutely everything that have at dressing for an event. A simple piece like this can make you stand out in a sea of cleavage, platforms, hair extensions, fascinators, and God knows what else.

Just a simple dress. A very loud, simple dress.

Calvin Klein Dolly pumps, also available here (in neutrals) / Zara dress

Make it Happen.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Because I'm Addicted, That's Why

Yes, I got another tunic this week, and you can just stop rolling your eyes because this one is totally different from any other one in my wardrobe, and therefore it was an absolute necessity. It's nothing at all like this one, this one, this one, or any of these

*awkward pause while eyes dart nervously from side to side*

Anyway. This particular specimen was actually marketed as a beach dress, but I will wear it both as a beach dress and as "regular" clothes. I like beach clothes that look like regular clothes. It makes packing for those one bag getaways a lot easier, and you never get caught out in inappropriate attire if you have to unexpectedly go straight into a restaurant or some such place. Pieces like this are also the perfect solution to traveling to warm climates where you need to cover up, like say in UAE or parts of India. 

This dress on me is really too short to wear off of the beach without something underneath it, so I layered it over my thrifted white denim mini. I'm pretty long-waisted, so I'm guessing that on other people, this would likely not be necessary. 

Make it Happen

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fabulous After Forty Feature

Apologies for the highly-alliterative title (it was inadvertent, I promise), but I just wanted to share a wee nugget with you from last week. Glenda from So What to Twenty, Janise from Mama in Heels, and Yours Truly are all sharing some internet real estate over at Fabulous After Forty in various permutations of floral prints. Stop by and have a look!

Oh, and while we're making announcements, I have added a new tag to the blog. Pet Photobombs. On a lark, I went through my photos and looked for every photo shoot that had a dog or cat photobomb. More will surface as time goes on, but I'm off to a flyer. Heck, I figured that if I spend that much time looking at videos and photographs of cute animals on the internet, I'm guessing you do too.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Taupe Can of Whoopass


I've never been a person to go out of my way to dress monochromatically, nor would it ever probably occur to me to put together an all-taupe look, but sometimes you're just standing there and notice these things staring out at you from your closet and you just sort of have to go there.

I've had this dress since the 90s, the shoes for several years, and the jacket is this season, last seen here.  I wear this dress a lot. I wore it it when I was a background player in this cheeseball Lifetime movie they shot in Seattle. I wear it on cruise ships. I wear it with flats in the summer. It's a workhorse, and you just can't kill it. It's the perfect shift; short, yes, but I like to think that the length is balanced by the fact that it's not too tight. It's fully-lined, and that gives it just the right amount of slip to sort of graze over the body. It is one of the most enduring and well-made department store dresses I own, and when I put it on, I am instantly reminded of the cataclysmic nose-dive that the quality of mainstream fashion manufacturing has taken in the last decade. Yeah, that's right, I'm pining for the "good old days"; something that I am generally I loathe to do, because I find that most people are revisionist historians when it comes to what the "good old days" were really about. I mean, do we really want to go back to the 50's, that oft-referenced time period that so many people use to illustrate the idea of "family values", when what they're likely really referencing is gender inequality? No thanks. I'm just fine where I am, thanks very much.

Speaking of gender equality, the last time I wore this dress with these shoes, a male friend of mine said that I looked like I was ready to kick some ass, which to me, is the highest of all compliments.

INC dress (old), similar / Report shoes (old), similar / Betty Barclay jacket

This post has been proudly shared with Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday

Go on, open your own can...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Who Wore it Better?

We need to talk.

One of these men is appropriately dressed for the occasion, and one is not. In my household, the look at the top is ample grounds for divorce, as I'm sure it would be in many of your households. As I look back at all of the week's internet offerings, this image on the left was that one thing that no amount of hill running or pinot noir could scour from my psyche, and therefore it seemed only appropriate to use it to kick-off this week's round of Celebrity Who Wore it Better. Really, there is so much to be said here that all of it just seems too easy. #salsainstructor, #chiapet, #1974calling, #itsnotyouitsme...okayitsyou.

Who Wore it Better? free polls 

Brie Larsenwe talked about what a wasted opportunity this was earlier in the week, and as good of an effort as it may have been, Madam, you're no Geordi LaForge.

Who wore it better? free polls 

I suppose when you're Brad Pitt you can wear just about whatever you please. While this is nowhere near the level of offensiveness as Simon Cowell's chest hair fiesta, it really is just one magenta shade away from the full-on Hefner

Who wore it better? free polls 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Tao of Open-Minded Thrift

I got this tunic at a Minneapolis thrift store. It's several sizes bigger than I actually wear, but I bought it to be a bathing suit cover-up, so I figured what the heck.  One of my pet peeves is when people get obsessed with tag sizes. With modern size creep and variations between retailers, tag sizes literally mean nothing these days. Trying something on from the plus size department does not mean you are going to wake up the next morning with thirty pounds of extra weight on your frame, just as wearing many mass retailer brands in a size four, six or eight does not mean that you are suddenly no longer a ten (I'm talking to you Gap). Get over the number on the tag and look at what is in front of you. Shopping, particularly thrift shopping, is all about seeing possibilities. That's the art of it.

I actually see myself wearing this in the summer with a pair of cutoffs or short white shorts and gladiators (or maybe wedges) for no other reason than it is so darn comfortable. It's kind of no-brainer dressing, for those days when the most effort you might make will be to wrangle yourself into your swimsuit and put on sunscreen. Whew. Exhausting. Pass the sangria.

Thrifted tunic top, similar / thrifted Armani jeans. similar / Dune sandals (old), similar / Barse turquoise ring (old), similar (budget), similar (splurge) / Nicky Butler gemstone ring (old), similar

Make it Happen. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tighty Whiteys at Dawn

I had been looking for a pair of skinny white jeans for two years. Unlike with regular jeans, white ones tend to be really unforgiving. Too much stretch and they pucker across your meaty bits like a sausage casing. Too little stretch and they start falling down about six minutes after you have put them on, belt be damned.  And don't get me started on those see-through white jeans with the pockets that show through the fabric. I die a thousand deaths every time I try on a white pair of jeans that fit really beautifully, only to be let down by the fact that due to fabric transparency, my eye (and therefore yours too) is immediately drawn to the pocket area. The pocket area is of course in adjacent proximity to the crotchal region (props to Ron Burgundy), and therefore not my first choice of areas that I wish to call attention to.

These were pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty darn good. Enough stretch to fit closely without the sausage casing effect, a good fabric weight as to leave my unmentionables a mystery to the universe, and a length that I can either wear long or turned-up (as above).  So now I have some white skinny jeans - my new tighty whiteys. Nice.

Jolt jeans, (long length no longer available),  similar / J. Crew chambray shirt / eBay necklace, similar / thrifted Franco Sarto shoes, similar

Make it Happen.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Elegant vs Eccentric at the Met

Here's a hint. Elegant always wins, hands-down, every time.

So I'm just back from a trip to Seattle, and am still trying to figure out what time of day it is (bear with me, I'll get there). While I was away, the fashion industry hosted its biggest night out. The Met Gala is the year's official opening of the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Exhibit. This year, the exhibit is dedicated to Charles James, known as America's First Couturier.  Above is a photograph, taken by Cecil Beaton for Vogue in 1948,  that perhaps best sums-up Charles James, The Designer.

I find this image very arresting. The beautifully-draped silks, the icy colours, the opera gloves...this all just screams a post war elegance, and I for one, do not see how anyone could see this image, be invited to a white tie gala in honour of the very designer who created these elegant confections, and not want to pay a bit of homage by dressing the part.  Granted, while guests at the Met ball are certainly under no obligation to dress the theme of the evening, I cannot help but feel that for those who did not (including Ms. Wintour herself), this was one hell of a missed opportunity. How many times in our lives will we have the occasion to wear a ball gown and opera gloves? A Bustle? A Train? Yards and Yards of taffeta and tulle!? Exactly. This is one of those rare opportunities to really bring the goods; to Joan-Collins-bitch-slap convention and minimalism to the sidelines and replace it with high-octane glamour. To have such an opportunity before you but decide instead to go with your gold lamé Star Trek-inspired pantsuit (I'm talking to you Brie Larsen!) is simply unforgivable. No. Words.

Let's start with a brief look at who decided to embrace the theme and totally nailed it. I hereby raise a glass of virtual champagne and am in the process of making noisy air kisses all over my laptop screen for the amount sartorial game shown here.

Lovely, yes? I want to rip that bright chartreuse dress right off of Ivanka Trump and Gollum-scamper back to my house, where I will put it on and wear it while I dine with my cardboard cutout of Tom Hiddleston circa that Jaguar commercial where he recites Richard II.

Did I just say that out loud?

Let's have a look at those who I really wanted to slap for their insouciance before I sent them home to change.

The Met Ball. Leave the sheer, midriff-baring, gilded pants-suit-sporting, beaded-whatever-the-f-that-is thing at home. Agree or disagree? Discuss.

Monday, May 5, 2014

An Orange Shout-Out

I bought this blazing-orange shirt because I simply love the colour. This shirt has just the right amount of drape, and you don't really have to do anything else to it to make it into a look. That's look... in italics. This is a colour that warrants italics, perhaps because it is the sartorial equivalent of shouting. Actually, now that I think about it, perhaps I should have USED ALL CAPS INSTEAD OF ITALICS. THAT'S THE INTERNET EQUIVALENT OF SHOUTING, ISN'T IT!? But, as we all know, there's a special place in hell for people who type entire correspondences in all caps, and I would not be so insensitive as to subject you to it for a minute longer. I can't imagine what such a place might be like, except maybe a bit like being locked in an unairconditioned van driving across the Nevada desert with Donald Trump and Bill O'Reilly backseat driving the whole way.


I apologize. Let's go back to our happy place and talk about clothes again. I like to take a look like this that is comprised of simple pieces, and add a pair of killer shoes. I think the relative simplicity of a garment (even one in this shouty colour) allows you to pair it with something a little higher up the mayhem scale. I chose these SNAKE PRINT, POINTED METAL CAP TOE PLATFORM STILETTOS BY MICHAEL KORS.

Oops. Again with the shouting. Sorry.

Karen Kane shirt (no longer available), very similar / Mango jeans / Michael Kors shoes (old), similar / Studio Barse turquoise ring (old), similar / HSN necklace (old), similar

This post has been proudly shared with Not Dead Yet Style