Saturday, 25 October 2014

Dark Floral Casual Friday

The Monday Style Prompts are meant to help relieve one little decision on a Monday morning - and maybe enable some weekend thrifting!  I don't know about you, but sometimes that one little decision makes the difference, so this week I was more than happy to carry on with the dark floral prompt all week long.  I was busy Instagramming during the week and finally had time to get some shots of my casual Friday dark floral look.

Kismet grey floral blouse 4.20, Lida Baday blazer $4 VV Boutique
JBrand denim and Miz Mooz pumps from my closet B.T. (Before Thrifting)

Casual Fridays means different things to different people.  I rarely wear denim on casual Fridays but I think it is acceptable IF you dress it up.  Wearing denim with casual styling moves right on past Friday to weekend wear, IMHO. 
I wore a lilac shell underneath, $1.40 VV Boutique and finished my outfit off with She Does Create earrings and...
A belt, just in case.
$1 from the Thrift on Kent store in Kitchener

This outfit will go down in history as the outfit I was wearing when I popped into VV Boutique for some Halloween pieces and was recognized by one of my followers, Kim!!!!!  I have always secretly hoped that I would be recognized one day, so it's a dream come true!  Thank you Kim for introducing yourself and making my day!

And now for a recap of Dark Floral Week:

It was a fun week, but I'm also looking forward to wearing something besides floral, starting with some black and white and pop of colour!

Monday, 20 October 2014

One Dollar Dark Floral

If you follow the style mags and blogs, you probably know that dark floral prints are off your granny's bedspread and right onto stylish women everywhere.  To be honest, I am not sure what differentiates a bedspread from a fashionista, or a chic floral pattern vs. an ugly one... I thus conclude it boils down to:
  1. whether YOU love it
  2. how YOU style it
  3. going forth with attitude
I have several dark floral print pieces, each unique in their own way, and I gathered them up to audition for this week's Monday Style Prompt.
I have worn some of them here, here, here and here and some have only been featured on Instagram (so you should probably tune in there so you don't miss any dark floral action).  For today, I decided to wear a piece I scored for ONE DOLLAR at a small thrift shop in Montana...
How could I possibly resist for ONE DOLLAR?!!

Basically, this top gave me a good reason to wear the booties which seem vintage to me...
I heart green everything.  Except maybe vegetables.
They got to go for two unexpected nature walks today.  Which, as it turns out, is the limit for comfort.

Then the booties gave me an excuse to get my matchy-matchy on...
H&M Blazer $7 VV Boutique
This is what I call my "static buxom" pose.
Watch out, Tyra...

It's all quite matchy-matchy, or as my friend called it, "put together."  I'll go with that!  Did anyone else try dark floral and like it?  If you missed the Monday-Style-Prompt-boat, never fear!  There will be another one next week (stay tuned to Facebook!) and this week, I plan to wear my dark floral all week long!  
One dollar thrifted shirts make me smile.

Pretty sure "Dark Floral Week" will have its own TV series by this time next year, like Shark Week but less bloodshed.  Or more... You'll have to tune in to find out!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Fall Fun in a Thrifted Sweater

I had every intention of going out into the world today... run a couple errands, maybe do a little thrifting but instead my Saskatoon friends were in town for the afternoon, so instead we ate good food, drank good drink and played in the leaves...
Perfect leaf-playing sweater, don't you think?
Kimchi & Blue mustard sweater $3.50 VV Boutique
JBrand denim and TOMS from my closet
Needed to do something useful with the leaves, like throw children into them.
Why should the kids have all the fun?
This pile is big enough for grown women and...
five children!
Turns out afternoon wine doesn't improve my posing ability.
Just me and my $3.50 sweater hanging out on a Saturday afternoon...
I'm thankful for this beautiful fall day, my family and my friends! 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Thrift Like a Man

I love taking people thrift shopping - helping them find quality pieces at great prices, witnessing the thrifting spark take's wonderful!  All of my thrift-guiding clients have been women... till now.  Last night, I had the pleasure of taking a young* man thrift shopping.  (*Young enough to be Next Gen but not so young I could be his mom.)  Eric is a work colleague of mine, a tech guy that has helped me out of more than a few jams.  In fact, he's been so helpful, we let him in on where we keep our secret candy stash.  Inner circle...  He asked if I could help him shop for some updated wardrobe staples, so we met at VV and I hit the men's clothing racks expecting the same success that I find in the ladies'.  Well, long story short, Eric found a grand total of 5 pieces at an average cost per piece of $10Is my disappointment audible?!  Before I muse about the experience, let me show what he DID find...
This mint-condition Michael Kors shirt fit perfectly!
This alone would be worth anywhere from $70 to $170 regular retail...
Eric liked the vertical stripes on this dress shirt.  Dressy enough for trousers, casual enough for jeans.
The tailoring and pattern on this one made it a nice addition to Eric's selections.
Mexx trousers fit nicely and had some stretch so Eric can comfortably climb under people's desks to fix cords 
and do whatever other magic those tech guys do.
Oakley cardi manly sweater.
At lease we can say he has preferred colour palette.

Even though Eric didn't go home with a huge haul of clothing, he was satisfied with the outcome.  He dislikes shopping (??? I don't get it) and wouldn't have had the patience to sort through the racks alone.  Even in regular retail, Eric has troubles finding pieces that fit well so five good pieces were worth it.  He tries to buy good quality labels then wears them till they're dust.  Sound like any men in your life?  That explains the lack of second-hand selection - men tend to hang onto their clothes a lot longer than women.  There's far less attrition and if they're like Eric, if they have one good pair of brown shoes, there's no need for another.  Uh, I cannot relate to this line of thinking.  
He already has brown shoes so put these back, 
but it was satisfactory to me to prove that you CAN find a full range of sizes second-hand, including sz 13-14!!

I recommended that Eric try and find a blazer...
Perfect condition but too short in the arms... keep looking Eric!!

Maybe it's just because I've been binge-watching Suits, but I do think both men and women should have professional pieces at the ready and, with thrifted prices, most can afford them.  Eric asked me what difference it makes how you dress.  Well, aside from the fact he obviously he hasn't seen Suits, I think dressing well reflects self-respect.  There's a huge range of "dressing well" so I should clarify that I mean putting some effort into YOU.  I guess tech guys have a sort of instant authority because the rest of us are at their mercy to be able to do our jobs best, so they don't necessarily have to dress to earn respect.  Still, there's a big difference in professional cred between jeans and a t-shirt and this: 
As but one example.
This is what I think of as business casual for men.
(You're welcome lady readers)

It was my style-consultant duty to search men's style on Pinterest.  I'm very selfless like that.  It got me thinking about where men can turn to for style inspiration.  There are plenty of great male style bloggers but Eric doesn't read style blogs (except mine??) and he doesn't do Pinterest or social media or read mags like GQ.  My advice then for a young guy like Eric is to just keep an eye out while watching TV or movies or looking at websites or whatever - make some (mental) notes about what kind of guy-style you like then shamelessly copy.  Consider a Pinterest account because that's where you will find all the links you'll ever need for things like:
How to Roll Up Your Sleeves: The Italian
Just right. Too small. Too big.

  • And so much more!  
Keep in mind that style isn't only about what you wear.  Find a good hair salon and get a good cut (and whatever else; take care of your man-business).  Invest in a good belt and wallet (you can find these thrifted) and yes, even a nice man-bag can up your style cred exponentially.  Last but not least, mind your mannersNow I sound like a mom but if nothing else, I would want my two sons to behave like gentlemen, so I think it's fair advice for Eric too.  

Eric had a definite idea of what he did not like...
I know I'm right that this Eddie Bauer plaid piece was awesome 
but I couldn't convince Eric that the colours weren't "too wild."
This with a plain white tee would have been nice, right?
Eric, you might come down with a case of Thrifting Regret...
Skinny jeans were way outside Eric's comfort zone, but at least he tried them on.

I learned a lot about thrift shopping with boys.  You men have less selection so that means you have to check in more often, but you can be quick about it!  Just amble past the blazers and button-ups and shoes!  Like the ladies, always try things on, and wash before you wear with some vinegar in the fabric softener section of your washer to neutralize any lingering Old Spice.  Dry clean quality garments and consider tailoring for pieces in excellent condition - it will still work out cheaper than regular retail.  BUT it's not only about the bottom line; more expensive doesn't mean better, and cheaper isn't the only reason to thrift.  There are many local charity thrift shops and the bigger chains like VV and Goodwill support local non-profit partners.  Then there's the whole environmental benefit, conscious consumerism, etc.  All together, these make a compelling argument for thrifting like a man!  Thanks Eric for the shopping fun!  I hope you like your pieces and I DO expect to see them at work! 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Happy Matchy-Matchy Thanksgiving

If you're like me, you may or may not put on real clothes on a holiday Monday.  Since issuing the Monday Style Prompt, I figured I better at least try to ease myself out of stretchy pants into something presentable.  This week's prompt was to wear colour neighbours:
I'm not exactly shy about colour.  I wear whatever colours I want whenever I want and am more concerned about what makes me happy than whether something fits in my colour "season."  I urged everyone to try a new colour combo but I am pretty sure I've tried most colour-neighbour combos, so when I finally got dressed this morning, I based my choice on a thrifted piece waiting in the queue and went with orange and red...
Joe Fresh sweater $3.50 VV Boutique
Fall leaves are so pretty.

I love orange and pink/red or any variation thereof, so naturally when I saw this light-weight sweater for such a great price, I snatched it up.
Orange is pretty much *the* colour of Thanksgiving.  And anyway, I've been wanting to wear my orange pants since I saw Beata wearing hers last week.
I know pink is the predominant colour in the sweater from a distance, but there is plenty of red, making my gifted thrifted Miz Mooz a natural footwear choice!
To complete my Thanksgiving Monday ensemble, I added some accessories which just so happened to seal my down-and-out case of MMS (Matchy Matchy Syndrome)
The top bracelet is by She Does Create and the other two are thrifted from VV Boutique!
Elephant earrings by She Does Create match perfectly.

Sometimes, MMS is okay for me, especially when it brings together so many happy colours in an outfit that cost less than ten dollars
Happy Matchy-Matchy Thanksgiving!