Monday, February 28, 2011

Outfit of the day: Chambray shirt

Outfit Details:

top - Winners, skirt and belt - Anthropologie, boots - Frye

After seeing so many bloggers rocking the chambray shirt, I've been dying to try the look myself.  When I came across this top for $3 from my bountiful Winners trip last week, it was a no-brainer that I should bring it home with me.

If the picture looks especially grainy today, it's because its rainy and windy out.  I'm not complaining though because rain = onset of spring right?

Friday, February 25, 2011

A grey kind of day

Outfit Details:

cardigan - Old Navy, tee - Old Navy, skirt - Winners, tights - Winners, boots - Miss Sixty, necklace - Tiffany

My outfit matches the weather (*). We are not winter people, so tend to spend the wintry days hibernating inside. I am overdue for sunshine, warmth, BBQs and kicking back on the patio. I cannot wait for spring.

I ran into Winners yesterday for what I intended to be a quick 5-minute trip returning a top. Well, it turned into a somewhat less quick 45-minute jaunt as I realized that their winter final clearance was in its last days. Digging through the racks turned up quite a few bargain priced gems including this skirt. It was just $3. Yes, three dollars! I found the same skirt in black and bought that too, blatantly disregarding my new year's resolution to stop buying duplicates! Oh well, can you blame me?

* Looking at this picture is making me want to run to my closet and throw on a colourful cardi.  Black is wonderful, grey is wonderful, but then so is colour.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Anthropologie... without the Anthropologie

Outfit Details:

dress - Target, cardigan - Winners, necklace - Anthropologie, tights - Old Navy, belt - H&M, boots - Frye

One of my goals that is always in the back of my mind when shopping, is to try and discover Anthropologie-esque pieces without the hefty price tag. I was in such a funk over the stress that I've been feeling lately, that I decided to make a quick shopping trip last week over my lunch. (Yes, I know that stress shopping is NOT a good thing and that I should find other activities to relieve my stress. But I enjoy shopping, it does make me feel better... and hey, it's cheaper than therapy right?)

Since I've spent most of my February budget, I decided to make a quick run to Winners. Winners is the closet Canadian equivalent to a TJ Maxx or Marshalls, so if I'm in the right mood to dig through the racks, my jaunts are usually cheap and satisfying. The quick trip turned up a few inexpensive goodies including this sweet, ruffly, cropped cardigan which inspired this Anthropologie without the Anthropologie(*) outfit.

* So maybe I lied. The necklace is from Anthropologie, but everything else is not. Promise!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stop the world... I want to get off

Outfit Details:

sweater - Joe Fresh, jeans - Gap, necklace - H&M, wedges - Gucci

Ever have a terrible TERRIBLE day at work? I'm having one of those. And it's only noon.

It's got to get better right?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Keep calm and carry on

Outfit Details:

tunic - Winners, leggings - Hue, boots - Frye

I feel like this outfit is missing a big ole statement necklace to complete it.  Hmm...

The phrase "Keep Calm and Carry On" has become my mantra over the last few weeks, and in particular, the last few days.  I feel like I'm constantly running, but not getting anywhere... just running in place like a hamster on a wheel.  Of course, if I slowed down and tried to relax, I'd probably fall right off the wheel and chaos would ensue.

Work has been busy, and I'm jugging a number of tasks at once.  Home is home as usual... meaning grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry and all those mundane tasks that fill my non-working time.  To top it off, Maya is going through a rough patch at school.  She has one close friend at school who has recently been wanting to play with other friends and not Maya. Poor Maya is feeling hurt and excluded.  It's hard to explain to a 4 year old that if your friend suddenly doesn't want to play with you, while it isn't very nice, there's not much you can do except go find another little friend to play with.  And that there are lots of other nice kids just waiting to be your friend.

I know it's something that she's going to encounter again (probably several times) in her life. But it still breaks my heart.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Outfit of the Day: Anthropologie Field skirt and Joe Fresh military skirt

Outfit Details:

blouse - Joe Fresh, skirt - Anthropologie Field skirt, boots - Frye, tights - Joe Fresh, necklace - Forever 21, belt - H&M

These are two new purchases that I've been very excited about breaking out.  In fact, I just received the Field skirt on Monday evening, and of course, had to plan my Tuesday outfit around it.  The top is one of my first Joe Fresh finds from two years ago, and was a steal at... hmm, I want to say it was $6 or $7 as most. Sorry for the terrible picture. The winter lighting was not my friend that day, and my iPhone only takes half-decent pictures as it is.  (Note to self: find time to take decent pictures already!)

Outfit Details:

shirt - J.Crew, skirt - Joe Fresh, tights - Old Navy, boots - Frye

One of the reasons I love to do my grocery shopping at Superstore, is the great line of clothing they have.  I've had my eye on this military skirt and oogled it every time I walked into the store, but I had never actually picked it up nor tried it on.  I thought that the double breasted-ness of the skirt wouldn't be flattering on my hips and make me look wider.  When I saw a few skirts left on my rack marked down to $20, I decided that this would be the day I try it on.  Surprise, surprise... I really liked it!

I paired it with this several seasons old J.Crew button-down shirt to both play up the masculine military vibe, while the ruffles on the collar and skirt add a bit of a girly vibe.  I tried to add my initial pendant to lend a delicate feel to the outfit, but I discovered that the chain is completely tangled.  I must've put it away improperly last time.  Grrr!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My oh my what a wonderful day

Outfit Details:

cardigan - Gap, tank - Simply Vera (Kohls), skirt - Anthropologie Circle The Globe skirt, belt - ?, tights - Nine West, boots - Frye

This is outfit #2 from my closet cleaning session.  The cardigan is super old (6 years according to the Gap style tag), and the tank is a find from my one and only trip to Kohls 2 1/2 years ago.  I have a hard time figuring out how to wear this tank because its so tent-like.  I think tucking it in harnesses the volume well, while still allowing the pretty pattern and trim to show through.

Do you ever have times when you feel so blah and unmotivated to put much effort into getting dressed?  And other times when you can't stop putting outfits together in your head?  I'm currently going through the latter.  Maybe it's the idea that spring will be arriving soon (I hope), but I feel so inspired and am having so much fun getting dressed these days.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekend wear: girly tomboy

Outfit Details:

shirt - Joe Fresh, skirt - Old Navy, belt - Costa Blanca, boots - Frye

I'll admit that I am pretty much a girly girl to the core. Shocker considering my last post was a crazy obsessive ode to Anthropologie. LOL But I do tend to harness the "frou" and "fluff" and "ruffles" on the weekends since the day will likely be spent playing with Maya, running errands, watching football (boo, the season is over... withdrawl) and casually hanging out with friends and family.

Even so, it seems almost impossible to take all the girl out of me. Case in point, what I wore on Saturday.  This is me being all casual and tomboy. Notice the skirt and wide belt to girly it up? Of course, otherwise it just wouldn't be me.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My love affair with Anthropologie

If shopping is one of my favourite addictions pastimes, than you could say that shopping at Anthropologie is my double rainbow. DH knows that all too well and despite his inability to fully understand my fascination with Anthropologie, he gave me a huge Anthropologie gift card as one of my Christmas presents. Kudos to DH for finding a present that I would LOVE!

Now Anthropologie is definitely my favourite store and more importantly, my favourite shopping experience. But I have often left deflated in the past because things are always priced so far out of reach. Let's face it, it's hard to justify buying a day dress (albeit beautiful and swoon-worthy) for $300. So I usually would leave with just one or two more reasonably priced items, and dream of all the rest that were left behind.

Then more recently, I discovered the power of the Anthropologie blogging community. These Anthropologie lovers (like Roxy) report on when the markdowns happen and what items. Given the fact that I had this uber-generous gift card from DH, I have been watching the weekly sales post religiously. So when several items on my wish list were marked down last week, I braved the traffic (1 hour each way) to make my pilgrimage to the Don Mills Anthropologie. It would be the first time I'd had the opportunity to step into an Anthropologie in well over 3 1/2 years.

As I entered, the familiar fragrance of Anthropologie brought me right back to my love of that store. (Must figure out how to make my home smell like that!) I skipped about the racks of floaty blouses, soft knits and silky dresses. Then I came across the sales section and joyfully discovered that all but one item on my wish list was waiting for me. (And ahem, that last item is on store send from the Yorkville Anthro at this very moment. Yay!) I'm a little embarassed to admit that I brought 22 items into the change room with me! Must be a personal record.

After I returned home, I explained to DH what its like for me to shop at Anthro. Imagine my normal method of shopping. I walk into a store, look around and find only a relatively small set of the items appeal to me enough to consider. From there, I try them on, and based on fit, quality, etc. that number gets reduced to a few I would consider. Maybe even none. In Anthro, at least half the store appeals to my aesthetic. Weeding out my favourites might reduce that to about 15% of the store. Once I narrow down what works based on try ons, I am now choosing from a group of items that I love, fit me, flatter me and work for my lifestyle. Basically, I am choosing from the best of the best.

The trip left me more satisfied than my Gap online orders (not that I'll give it up with their EPIC sales this season), my jaunts to Winners or my mallrat runs. I think I need to make it a priority to set aside a portion of my budget for Anthropologie outings.

It's an experience that feels as decadent as a dark, rich chocolate souffle, as indulgent as a day at the spa, and as transporting as a stroll through a European market.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Longing for spring

With the epic amount of snow we've received, it should be no surprise that I've been daydreaming of springtime.  With that comes daydreams of spring purchases!  One of the hottest trends for spring is a modern interpretation of the 70s.  I am completely on-board as I love the silhouettes of wide-legs and flares, blowsy tops and sleeves, and wedges.

While this is my wish list, I will be looking through my closet first. I've got several pairs of espadrilles and wedges from past seasons which could substitute for the Swedish Hasbeens, if they don't happen to fit into my budget.  I also have a pair of wide-leg trouser jeans by COH (one of my all-time favourite pairs of jeans ever!) from a few years ago that I will happily be pulling out.

No wish list would be complete without a dress. This one looks sweet without being fussy, and classic enough to last more than a few seasons. Hmm, it would go perfectly with those Swedish Hasbeens don't you think?

As for the tops... well, I don't believe I have anything that could substitute, so I suppose one or two (or three) of them might make their way into my closet...

Closet cleaning

Last night, I had some time to myself, so I decided that I should tackle organizing my closet. My goal was not a closet purge, although I did organize with the thought that I would, as a side goal, try and create a donate and mend/alter pile as well. I was pretty successful with the alteration pile, but my donate pile was pathetically small. Just three pieces... FAIL!

As I organized, I examined each item that wasn't in my regular rotation and asked myself why I wasn't wearing it. Most of the time, the reason was because it just hadn't struck my fancy lately (but I still liked it), or it had fallen off the radar. If I wanted to keep it, I challenged myself to come up with a cute outfit that I would wear today, with my current style and life. It was actually a lot of fun, and I came up with several new outfits that I'm excited to wear. I need to shop in my closet more often!

I present to you the first outfit from my re-org. The skirt is actually one that I made about 1 1/2 years ago when I was first getting into sewing. I really love the shape, but I haven't broken it out for at least a year. The bird tee is something that I was so excited about when I first bought it, but then it languished hidden at the bottom of my extremely large pile of jersey shirts and tees. (Okay, so maybe I should tackle an actual purge now that my closet looks organized).

Outfit Details:

bird tee - Jacob, cardigan - Old Navy, tights and belt - H&M, skirt - DIY, boots - Frye

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