Wednesday, May 5, 2010


L writes:

a) I am going to regret not going to bed at a decent hour tomorrow. Really, is it almost 12:45?

b) I have been decidedly uninspired in the last week. I've decided that this is because I dress up for people who I think will notice and appreciate it. Not that my team this week won't appreciate it, but they're no Brown Eyed Girl.

c) How do you get inspired when you're feeling fat, ugly, bored of your closet, and generally frustrated with life?

I have no answers at the moment.

Online shopping is just depressing me. I'm going to NYC in July for a week, and I've already promised myself a $500 budget. I can't afford to shop emotionally right now. I'll be staying with a friend in NJ, who has generously offered her mailing address if I wanted to order from some US retailers in advance and pick up my purchases when I arrive. I am, without a doubt, going to take her up on this.

But shopping is like a sonnet. The excruciating structure and the rules are what make it a creative endavour for me. I go for sale items. Price limits me. It limits my choices. I really need the guideline of price, otherwise I wouldn't even know where to start. Sometimes that scares me: if I were left to my own devices amongst a sea of regular-priced items, I don't know if I could really perform fashion-wise.

I've been trying to figure out what I want to buy online from US retailers, and I am simply overwhelmed. I've identified a few retailers that I need to hit up online, but I still feel like I'm browsing without focus.

Victoria's Secret

I want everything, but I'm too afraid to buy anything.

(Does this speak to the underlying guilt that seems to underpin the worldview of every immigrant child in Canada?)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Uniform Statement

by Brown-Eyed Girl

I'm absolutely loving the new military jacket trend. I set out to the mall last week to get my hands on one, only to find that it's not quite as popular as I had thought. I even approached one sales associate asking if they had any, only to have her show me all the army green apparel in the store!! Hasn't quite taken off as much as the boyfriend blazer it seems. Still, I shall not be deterred - I love the structure and power a well fitted jacket can give - and nothing says it better than a military jacket.

Here are a couple of my favs...still on the hunt for the perfect one for this Spring that goes well for both work and play. Any suggestions?

J.Crew - Linen military blazer, $98
Asos - Vero Moda, $70
Mango - Michelle
Gap - Knit Military Jacket, $49.50
Miss Selfridge - Leather Military Jacket, $165
Esprit - Military Inspired Cotton Jacket, $99.50

Monday, April 19, 2010

Purple tights with floral dress + Surrealist hands

L writes:

I just didn't feel like myself writing under a pseudonym! Much more comfortable with an initial.

Last week I continued to be inspired by colour and risk-taking. I wore a floaty floral dress, but tempered the girliness with a black blazer with sleeves rolled up. (There are flimsy, frilly little cap sleeves under that blazer that aren't quite seasonally appropriate yet.) I usually try to mute this dress with a dark neutral choice of tights (black or navy); this time, I decided to play up the purple in the dress with a new pair of solid purple tights I recently acquired. Black ankle boots with a metal buckle, lug sole, and knit detail along the top worked with the black blazer to toughen up the look a little.

April 14, 2010

I apologize for this god-awful photo.

a) My mirror is as dirty as a McGill Year 0 at four in the morning after a night at Peel Pub, back when it used to be hole in the ground.

b) My lighting situation is as dire as Whitney Houston's comeback efforts. (Low blow, I know.) It's funny, because I actually have an abundance of beautiful, evenly dispersed natural light in my apartment. For some reason I have situated my mirror in the dimmest, dankest corner.

c) Apparently my new camera is about as co-operative as a two-year-old with a diaper full of cayenne.

This simply cannot continue. It's making our blog look bad. I am thinking of purchasing a tripod.

In other news, this evening I bought these bookends:


I'm really excited about my new hands!

The moment I saw these, I fell in love. My stomach fluttered in excitement that maybe, possibly, surrealism is accessible to a mundane cog like me.

I think they're supposed to be sold in matching colours, but I thought it was more of a statement to buy one in black and one in white. Too bad my coffee table virtually camouflages the black hand, but I rather like the effect. I am drawn to imperfection. (Which is why my imperfect tattoo doesn't bother me, although it probably should.)

I love me some surrealism! Maybe I should broaden my horizons beyond Rene Magritte, but there is so much to adore and enjoy in his work. (Paintings linked in the phrase "I love me some surrealism!" are: The Red Model, The Lovers, The Treachery of Images, Golconde, and The Son of Man) Surrealism inspires me. The work of Magritte has inspired me since I was in high school (I recall writing an overwrought poem or three as The Red Model filled my mind).

I wonder, for my next fashion challenge: can I translate Surrealism into my everyday work wear?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Paint it Black

Brown-Eyed Girl says:

I discovered this morning I had a black pair of skinny pants I didn't even know I owned.

It was a pleasant surprise brought on entirely by accident. I hunting through my wardrobe for a particular pair of shoes...quite frustrating actually given that in my mind the heels had turned into something quite unreal, and that I simply could not, and would not, go to work without wearing them. Now, in all honesty, I was probably being a bit dramatic, and instead of being red carpet worthy heels, these were in fact very sensible (black) patent leather peep-toes that I had bought a couple of months ago.

Anyways, when I was done finding my shoes, and my clothes were scattered everywhere, instead of admiring the shoes I had taken so long to find, I saw one thing: BLACK. To my horror, I realized that I have just over half a dozen pairs of black dress pants, followed by tons of black sweaters, cardigans, shirts...the list goes on. So much black, they just blended into a big black pile of fabric patchwork, and there was no colour in sight (or likely just under all the black) could take a picture of what my wardrobe had thrown up onto my bed, and write a sign on top that says: "No Form of Life Here".

I must confess, whenever I go shopping and see something I like - first check is: "does it go with what I currently own?", second is: "will I wear it/do I need it?", followed by a close third of: "does it come in black??". The result: colour's become an accessory in my style.

The horror really was short lived once I found the "new" pair of black skinnies. I know I must have paid money for this at some point, but at that moment it really did seem like I got free clothes out of the ordeal.

So I threw on the new found black pants, hopped into my black peep-toes, and grabbed my black leather tote. My accessory for the day: a pale blue oversized cotton shirt.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An experiment in mixing patterns

Scarlett writes:

April 13, 2010
(This is a clicky thumbnail. Click it for the original image in all its poorly-lit glory! I promise, I will find a better way to do pictures in the future.)

Clearly, we are using pseudonyms in this blog.

I chose "Scarlett" after one of my favourite female protagonists, Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind. The main reason I admire Scarlett O'Hara so much is that She Does What Needs To Be Done. Plus she managed to turn curtains into a gown fit for a Southern ball; a little bit of sartorial magic!

Today I took two risks.

1) I experimented with mixing patterns, a concept that I've been toying with for a couple years and began trying on myself in small doses a few months ago. It's been a somewhat lacklustre relationship so far, owing to the fact that I didn't own much in the way of prints until I started making some bold purchases. i.e. Me in the fitting room: "Well, this doesn't really go with anything I own whatsoever... F--- it, I'm going to buy it anyway."

(Have we decided if we're going to be swearing in this blog yet?)

Anyway, back to mixing prints: I'm comitting. I think we're getting serious now.

I think the key to an outfit that is A Lot of Look (as mixed-print outfits are wont to be) lies in minimizing accessories. To me, even a small pair of stud earrings would have been too much.

I tried to echo the grey of the tights in my grey belt. I knew I wanted to wear a black vest, so I had to go with black boots to pull the black vest and the black pattern of the skirt all together. The fact that there's a bit of pink in the skirt that tied in with the pink polka dots in my shirt was purely a happy coincidence.

2) I never know how far I can push the envelope at work, but I've been trying my luck more and more in the past several months. It all began when I bought the pair of boots seen in the picture above. With the tops flipped up, they become just-barely-thigh-high boots. Wanted to find out if I could wear thigh-high, black, fake leather boots to work. I tried it. Turns out I could.

I would consider the look above quite casual. It's the kind of outfit that, if I had an exciting and eventful life, I would wear on the weekends to impress strangers. I don't, so I decided to wear this look to work instead.

Because I am eternally devoted to the Art of the Bargain, here's where I sourced my outfit:

Vest: Suzy Shier
Shirt: Simon's
Skirt: Smart Set
Tights: La Senza
Boots: Suzy Shier

(I promise, I do shop at stores whose first letters come from other locations in the English alphabet. Oh, wait, that belt is from Femme de Carriere! Not an "s" in sight.)

What do you think?

(To make this seem like a more interactive, living blog, I'm thinking that other writers can post reactions directly in the entries made by other bloggers, and visitors are welcome to use the Comments feature.)


Test test! Happy birthday to our blog!