Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 In Review

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 

17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 31 / 32

As tired as you can get looking at photos of yourself when you blog about fashion, there's something very interesting about looking at pictures of what you wore for an entire year…all splayed-out in front of you. Here are a few highlights from 2015, complete with links, should you desire to revisit the past. 

Happy New Year Everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Last-Minute Sweater

I found this sweater at one of my favourite consignment shops in St. Paul, MN literally about an hour before I was due at the airport to get back on the plane to the UK. I had been so successful in my secondhand shopping on this trip that I had to stuff this sweater into my carry-on, because it wouldn't fit in my overstuffed suitcase.

I'm finding that the older I get, the more I am drawn to secondhand shopping. For starters, you can find clothing of a quality that you just can't find anywhere else these days, and I am including a lot of high-end designer gear in that indictment. Particularly when it comes to knitwear, you just cannot find fabrics with the same hand and wool (or silk or cotton) content as you could even 10 years ago. Secondhand shopping allows you to enjoy the hunt (so yes, you have to be a person who enjoys the hunt), while teasing-out all of the quality items that may be hiding in the racks upon racks of polyester, acetate, and viscose.

Secondly, it saves you a great deal of money if you like to change your wardrobe up a bit. Thirdly, It's a lot greener than shopping on the high street where everything is manufactured overseas and meant for a very short fashion attention span, and lastly, you are pretty much guaranteed to have found something that nobody else will have. That's probably my favourite thing about it. You get to use your creativity to come up with something that is completely unique.

I liked this sweater because it is really more like a jacket. It has structure and is made of pure wool, so it's a great layering piece for fall and winter….or if you live here in Scotland, pretty much all year.

Sweater from consignment store, somewhat similar / Rag and Bone jeans / Tamaris boots (old), similar / turquoise necklace (old), similar / Turquoise ring (old), similar

Linking-up with: Not Dressed As Lamb

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Downton-Inspired Holiday Look

Happy Christmas Eve Day Everyone! Today's post has been made possible by the good people at JD Williams, who asked me if I would like to contribute to their holiday campaign in which we blogger-types accept a challenge to create a look inspired by a current popular television show.

Research for this post gave me just the excuse I was looking for to binge-watch the rest of season 5 of Downton Abbey, and after taking-in all the faaaaaaabulous period costumes, becoming inspired was not exactly difficult. What was more difficult was to take these no-holds-barred glamorous 1920s looks and interpret them into something that will work at a friendly neighbourhood holiday party in 2015, soon to be 2016. I wanted to avoid the common trap of looking like I was on my way to one of the many Gatsby-inspired parties that have been popping-up since Baz Luhrmann decided to remake The Great Gatsby in 2013.

With a few notable exceptions, most of the parties that I get invited to during the holidays are pretty casual affairs, so going the full Lady Mary would seem a little over the top. While it's true that I am indeed a fan of pulling-out all the stops and overdressing for the occasion (because really, who cares!? It's the holidays!), you still want to feel comfortable in your skin for an evening out. For my Downton-inspired look, I decided to focus on just a few elements that were present in much of the period clothing from the 1920s, and use those elements to create the focus my look. As my foundation piece, I selected this JD Williams Print Kimono.

In putting this together, I tried to reference the elements of the time period without overdoing it. Rhinestones, fringe, jet beads - all of the things you see in excess in the gowns and party dresses of the 20s, but used sparingly and on a backdrop of modern weathered denim and booties. The Kimono itself has quite a lot going on, what with the multicoloured velour tapestry pattern and long fringe, so I felt that balance was key. The result? The kimono is super-comfy and the fringe makes you feel like a total diva. The look also allows you to put on a serious piece bling or two without looking like you're trying too hard. It's been a busy few weeks, and I hadn't even given a thought to what I wold wear for Christmas Eve…this JD Williams kimono has sorted that out for me. Thanks guys!

JD Williams kimono (as above) / Rag and Bone jeans / Rhinestone hair clip (from my wedding), similar / beaded handbag (from a gift shop in the Bahamas), similar / sterling and zirconia tennis bracelet / Judith Ripka zirconia earrings

Linking up with: Style Nudge, Not Dead Yet Style, Not Dressed As Lamb

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Adding Light & Color

Well hello again readers. Remember me? I had a wee inadvertent break from the blog last week.  My suitcase from my latest trip to the States took the scenic route home, and it contained most of the things I had intended to shoot and show you for the past week - all of my thrift treasures and whatnot. When your bag decides to make its own way home, the airlines call it "delayed baggage" as it's technically not "lost", and therefore they apparently feel less of an obligation to get it to you in a timely fashion. To be honest, I didn't think it was possible that the airlines could actually feel any less of an obligation to the customer than they already do, but there it is. A new standard has been set.

It has also been even more challenging than usual to get outside to shoot photos this winter. While we don't get snow here in any statistically significant quantity, the gale force winds and driving rain will keep you locked inside for days on end. Today is the first time I have seen daylight in about a week, having just come off a string of night shifts, and I was only barely able to run outside and shoot these pictures in-between blasts of rain and hail - the whole time keeping my fingers crossed that the camera would not blow over on the tripod. It wouldn't be the first time that has happened, but it is an expensive gamble to take. This time, I won.

Pictured here are a few of my thrift and consignment finds. I found the oxblood patent Anne Klein kitten heels at the local thrift store in my hometown for $6, making their acquisition pretty much a no-brainer. However, one of my favourite finds was this Missoni wrap sweater in a lightweight Merino wool. It's strange that I am so in love with it because it has bell sleeves, and I generally hate bell, lantern, or any other manner of sleeve that I cannot push up and out of my way. I am not a sleeve person, but for whatever reason, this cardigan really spoke to me. It's likely that my love for all things Missoni overruled my abhorrence of floaty sleeves, but I think that this cardigan is different (in a good way), and I think it will work in all seasons. Plus, the colors provide a bit of light and color during this dreary time of year. Can't argue with that.

Missoni wrap sweater, similar, similar / Gerard Darel trousers (old), similar / Anne Klein shoes, similar / Barca turquoise ring and necklace (old), similar, similar

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Meet Fashion Santa


He doesn't really give a hoot if you're naughty or nice, but don't even think about preparing his milk and cookies in a threadbare Juicy Couture sweatsuit and leaving them out for him on some clapped-out old serving plate from Walmart...this is Fashion Santa we're talking about. 

Greetings everyone. I know I've been absent this past week. I have been across the Atlantic again to visit family, and just haven't found enough time in the day to keep things up, but what I have been doing is thrifting, and boy do I have some goodies to show you...but all in good time. 

I am probably sitting miserably on a plane back to the UK right now, but while you wait, please entertain yourselves with this story that Harper's Bazaar ran about Toronto model Paul Mason, aka "Fashion Santa".  You'll never look at the red velvet suit and patent belt combo in the same way again. 


Monday, December 7, 2015

Short, Tight, High

Today I thought I would challenge my self to try something that I wouldn't normally do. While this look seems normal enough, I probably would never have worn these pieces together all at once. To me, they feel a bit unbalanced.

I kind of have this thing where unless I am going on a fancy night out, I don't like to wear things that are tight, short, or with high heels all at the same time. I just feel that when you pile it all on, especially in the middle of the day, you look a bit too Real Housewife for my liking. I mean seriously, have you seen that show lately!? Skin tight pink satin bandage dresses in the middle of the day? Boobs and bustiers for a lunch? Ugh. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. It just tries so hard, you can literally smell the desperation and fear of the ageing process in the same way my cat just seems to instinctively know I've opened the cabinet where we keep the tuna - even though he is sleeping in the opposite corner of the house.

This Missoni sweater is quite form fitting, but very light and comfortable. I usually pair it with fuller trousers or shorts, but today I went with this faux leather panel mini. I really wanted to put a pair of flat loafers on with this look, but forced myself into a pair pf heeled booties instead. You know, for science.  While the overall look is fine, it is probably not something I would pair together again. I think the sweater hits in the wrong place paired with this skirt, and makes my already athletic waist look boxy. One think I do like about this look is that it is covered. When I do decide to wear something tighter, shorter, higher, I like to balance things out by making sure I'm covered-up. Not because I'm a prude, but because otherwise, it's just so obvious.

I also did something with my jewellery I never do, albeit on a small scale. I wore a matching earrings and pendant set. Normally, I detest match-matchy sets, and prefer to mix mine up, but I sort of liked the simplicity of this one - probably because it is on the small side. Really, I suppose its a metaphor for this whole look. Uncharacteristic pairings that while on the small side, are definitely out of my comfort zone.

Missoni cardigan (old), similar / River Island skirt (old), similar / Dune booties (old), similar / Tahitian pearl earrings and pendant (old), similar

Linking-up with: Not Dead Yet Style, Not Dressed As Lamb

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Half Measures

I never used to think I liked pieces like this little vest, which is a new addition to my closet. I used to think that they were fussy and difficult to work into your wardrobe without making it the centrepiece of the look. While that is still sometimes the case with certain pieces, I'm warming to pieces like this vest…it is literally like wearing half a coat. This piece is a Calvin Klein wool vest that is indeed a coat that has been drawn and quartered. Now that I live in a climate that is as variable as a fistfull of snowflakes, I actually have come to understand the use for such pieces as this.

Today was sort of a more moderately cold day, and a piece like this is absolutely perfect for running errands and whatnot. I especially like this vest for shopping trips; you can slip it on over a sweater, and it is just enough to keep out the chill while you are darting in and out of stores without having to sweat it out in a heavy coat. Add a cross-body bag, and between that and the sleeveless aspect of the vest,  it's like hands-free shopping nirvana!

Calvin Klein vest via TK Maxx, similar / Ann Taylor blouse (old), similar / Rag and Bone jeans / thrifted bangle, similar / Betsey Johnson clutch (old), similar / Donald J. Pliner booties (old), similar