Month: March 2011

Rants and raves

I’m going to have to start today’s post with a gripe – but, don’t worry, I will finish it on a happier note. A couple of weeks ago at my shopping party, I picked up a Vero Moda peasant blouse that is not only on-trend for 2011, (the whole ’70s thing), but also on-trend bump-wise; all it needs is a pair of leggings. Sadly, my old leggings are no longer an ideal fit … but, I figured, that was an easy enough to fix problem. Surely, I told myself, maternity leggings are not that hard to find. I popped over to my nearest maternity store, which happens to be a Thyme Maternity; I was looking for a basic item and figured it would be hard to go wrong anywhere. Boy, was I mistaken. A pair of leggings made out of some floppy pyjama-like material were priced at $39. A slightly more sturdy pair, $49. $49 – for LEGGINGS!! Maybe years of bargain-seeking have made me unreasonable, but I found that insulting. I promised myself, then and there, never to step foot into that store again. Here’s hoping I won’t have to go back on my word any time soon.
Later that day, I consoled myself by checking out one of my fave consignment stores, Robes & Relics. I was thrilled to see, right off the bat, a gorgeous, made in Italy MaxMara black suit jacket for only $42 … but, alas, it was a shade too big in the shoulders and arms (as such, more costly to tailor). Happily (see, I told you!), I did not leave empty-handed. This extremely accommodating Milly dress was too good of a deal to pass up ($30) … plus I hope it will help me to keep my promise too. And it’s pretty versatile, which is a bonus.
Take #1 – with original belt …

Take #2 – with a different belt …

Take #3 – no belt (there will come a time) …

… and push come to shove, it can always work as a tunic, with leggings.

That is, if I ever find a pair.

Update: Having checked out H&M and Old Navy maternity, I can honestly say that retailers don’t have much love for pregnant women. Out of sheer desperation, I’m now on a waiting list at Yo Mamma for a pair of black leggings – not thrilled with the $40 price tag (they have to be imported, apparently), but it seems like there’s a scarcity of options. Count this as a first: the time I just gave up on a shopping goal.

Clothes overload

Saturday night, I played hostess to a group of ladies ready for a closet re-fresh. That’s right, it was swap time! The big hit of the night turned out to be Laura’s delicious flourless brownies (really, everyone needs the recipe!), but fun clothes and accessories were also very much on the menu.  
Last week, I listed some of the clothes that I was going to contribute to the swap. So … what did I get to take home? First up, a lovely pair of suede pumps, which will nicely fill a vacancy in my closet (I’ve been looking for purple shoes for a while).

My “haul” also included a cute tank with a crochet bib, a new necklace and a cashmere sweater. Check them out:

My guests did not leave empty-handed either. Laura scored, among other things, this pretty jewel-tone camisole, grey jacket, and multi-strand necklace – a very nice work outfit.
A lot of Laura’s pieces came from Robyn, so it only seems fair that Robyn would end up with some of Laura’s – like this beautiful knit top, black skirt (with awesome pleated detail at the hem), and multi-colour necklace. Add a (swapped) clutch, and you’ve got yourself a date night outfit!
Meanwhile, Angela scored a grey tank dress with crystal accents – perfect for showing off that fab figure!
Maria found a bunch of tops that tickled her fancy, including this pretty lace tank. A couple of knuckle-duster rings never hurt either.

Lisa also went with accessories, picking up a bunch of necklaces to complement her wardrobe.
All in all, a successful evening for everyone involved! Four large bags of clothing were also donated to Goodwill, so hopefully the items that did not find a new home with us will do some good elsewhere.
Till next year!

Remembrance of things past

When I was 8 or 9 years old, I went through a phase when my life’s solemn goal was to be a ballerina. I even convinced my parents to let me take classes offered by the large ballet company in my home town, taught by a haughty former prima ballerina who must have wondered at the fate that had her teaching a roomful of noisy kids. You will not be surprised to hear that my motivation had less to do with the love of the art, and more to do with – what else – clothes. A tutu, to be exact. I desperately wanted a tutu. Not one of those floppy tulle affairs, but a real, honest-to-goodness (preferably feather-bedecked) tutu. And light pink pointe shoes. It was a crushing disappointment to learn that tutus (and pointe shoes) were not in the cards for my class of fellow beginners; we’d have to make do with leotards and plastic ballet slippers. I think I quit shortly after that.

I don’t regret my missed vocation, but I still occasionally get twinges when I see ballerinas in full tutu-ed glory. And when I espied a pair of delicate pink satin Bloch flats at Winners last summer, my heart skipped a beat. They were completely impractical, and perfectly lovely. At $60, a heart-breaking combination.   
Fast forward 5 months or so, and what I did see on the Winners final clearance rack? My forlorn beauties … a little the worse for wear, but still irresistible – more so now at $18. And, as it happens, one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I’ve ever had the pleasure to put on my feet.

My 9-year old self would approve.