Month: May 2010

Vancouver souvenirs

In the springtime, Vancouver might as well be called the City of Flowers. Everywhere you look, there are explosions of colour and gorgeousness. I love my hometown, but I’m not one of those people who can’t see (or admit) the virtues of other cities. I have my own reasons for not wanting to make Vancouver my home, but I am perfectly willing to admit that it is a beautiful place.

I mean, how can you not?


The bees agreed with me. 

These ones look like gumballs. Hmm, I wonder what a PURPLE gumball would taste like …
The rhododendrons were in full, lush bloom and making for a riot of colours: pink, fuchsia, purple, mauve, crimson, lemon yellow, pure white. Something of a show-off, the rhododendron.

See what I mean?

With all that going on around me, is it any wonder that my shopping excursions led me to this:
Or this:

Who knew rhododendrons were such brilliant masterminds?

Survey says …

Ah, surveys! I love surveys. They’re kinda meaningless, but they make good fodder for casual conversation. For example, according to a new survey from the UK, women wear on average US$1,500 worth of clothing every day. In the immortal words of the Keanu, whoa! 

To be fair, that amount includes accessories (down to knickers and handbag contents apparently) as well as clothes. But, still … whoa!

My second thought upon reading that statistic was to embark on an informal survey of my own. I love crunching numbers! The more meaningless, the better. For the sake of expediency, there would be only one test subject – moi – and one work week’s worth of outfits (i.e. 5 work appropriate outfits). For the sake of, ahem, propriety, the calculations would exclude undergarments and my engagement ring. After much deliberation, I decided to also exclude my wallet ($150, in case you were curious) because, though technically an “accessory”, it’s “clothing” only in the loosest terms. For the same reason, I didn’t count the rest of the contents of my handbag. As a frame of reference, I work in a professional position in a relatively conservative office. No sweatpants for this girl. And, as of last week, no coats either – Edmonton is finally on a “hot streak”, with temperature hovering above +20C.

So what did I find? Well …

The average actual1 cost of my clothing was … $245

Quite the difference, right? But …

On the other hand, the average retail cost of my clothing was $1,012.2

To anyone who knows me, this should be in no way surprising. I love to shop, but what I love even more is my budget … and a good bargain. I am firmly of the opinion that good quality, brand name clothing can be found at reasonable prices if you are patient, persistent and know where to look. This “survey” confirms that … meaningless though it is.

Just for fun, here is how my most “expensive” day/outfit broke down:
Diane von Furstenberg top         $25 (paid)  $200+ (retail)
Banana Republic cardigan          $32         $60
Valentino R.E.D. label skirt      $40         $300+
Goldenbleu suede wedge shoes      $45         $200+
Banana Republic necklace          $0 (gift)   $70
Michael Kors tote bag             $225        $225
                                 $367        $1,055
And here is what it looked like (minus the bag … and my head):
So, how do you stack up?
1 Meaning what I paid for it.
2 This is an approximate number because I didn’t have the actual retail prices handy for each item. So the way I estimated prices in those cases was to find a similar item from the same brand on eBay or in store and use the pricing for that item in my calculations. It’s not an exact science but I think it gives a pretty good estimate.