Month: September 2011

Mommy style

Getting dressed these days – the days when doing so requires more than picking out a T-shirt for my son to puke on – is an exercise in self-diplomacy. I learned quickly than certain clothes in my closet are off-limits until further notice: my favourite pair of skinny black pants, for example. For the time being, I’d rather pretend certain things do not exist in my closet, as opposed to not fitting my enhanced post-baby physique. I’ll see in the long run whether I need to eventually face up to a permanent new reality – which I’m going to do my best to embrace – or whether there will be a happy reunion with my black pants in my future. If not, my next clothes swap party will be a bonanza, y’all!

The somewhat surprising trend that is starting to coalesce is my return to pants (of the not-too-skinny variety). This is somewhat surprising because I’ve always been more of a dress/skirt person, and I spent the last few months of my pregnancy carefully avoiding pants as much as possible. Now that I have happily parted ways with my maternity gear (awful, awful things!), I seem to be wearing pants a lot. A lot of that, I think, has to do with the fact that most of my regular dresses are great for the office, not so much for stroller-pushing. Pants also allow me to exercise my atrophying style muscles by mixing and matching separates. I still want to feel “hip”, even now that I have a little person attached to my hip 24/7.

The rules have changed, though, a bit. I’m skewing heavily towards cotton tops, and anything machine-washable, because spillages of all kinds are an unpredictable, but daily part of life now. Necklaces are out for now, after a near-tragic accident involving my Tiffany necklace and a pair of not fully coordinated, but very grabby infant hands. Heels are OK in small doses (i.e. when I know I’ll be sitting down), the better to get my arches reacquainted with pain. [I kid, sort of.] And belts are making a comeback too.

Jeans, American Eagle; tank top, American Eagle; 
cardigan, Banana Republic Factory Store; shoes, Stuart Weitzman;
watch, Swatch
Jeans, Abercrombie and Fitch; top, Banana Republic Factory Store;
shoes, Aldo; belt, Holt Renfrew

Jeans, Abercrombie and Fitch; top, Joe Fresh; shoes, Nine West;
bracelets, J Crew and Nordstrom Rack; earrings, Banana Republic

Jeans, iT jeans; top, MICHAEL Michael Kors; belt, Tommy Hilfiger;
shoes, MICHAEL Michael Kors; bracelet, J Crew

2011 Emmy’s red carpet

Was it just me, or was last night’s Emmy red carpet a bit, well, blah? Was there a memo? All I saw was a lot of black and neutral colours (creams, champagnes, beiges, pale pinks), with the occasional splash of red, and a small smattering of blues and pinks. And mermaid dress after mermaid dress. Everyone looked lovely, certainly, but I quit watching the red carpet pre-show about half way in. I need a bigger dose of interesting (and diverse) fashion to make Ryan and Giuliana palatable, thanks!

Picking dresses for this post was also tough, because I didn’t love love any particular dress, and I didn’t really hate hate one either. Most of them fell in the pretty-but-meh category. Safe, oh, so safe. Which is good if you’re a starlet looking to avoid the “What was she thinking” segments on the Fashion Police, but bad if you’re a blogger hoping for a chance to write some witty comments without falling asleep. 

Anyway, here goes:

Love: I loved Claire Danes abstract print, sequined Oscar de la Renta column dress. It’s such an interesting visual, I can’t stop staring at it trying to decide what it reminds me of. Well, I could never the resist the shiny. Dress aside, I am not crazy about the styling, and I wish she’d found some way to add accessories beyond the earrings. It would definitely be a challenge to pick the right dress to complement but not overwhelm, given the high wattage of the gown, but hey – that’s what celebrity stylists exist, right?

 

Like: I liked Gwyneth Paltrow’s unusual Pucci dress. Ok, I liked the bottom. I was “meh” on the top, and I didn’t like the faux-sheer mesh panel at the waist; with so much going on already with this dress, it seemed like unnecessary overkill. However, this was one of the riskier fashion choices of the night, and not a dress that screams “Paltrow” to me, so kudos to her for going with it. Actually, it kind of reminds me of her much-reviled Alexander McQueen gown from the 2002 Oscars [the black, sheer-topped creation she accessories with braids, remember?] in terms of that. I’m guessing people will either love it or hate it.

On the fence: I’m not sure how I feel about Jayme Mays’ Zuhair Murad dress. I love the top, and I don’t even mind the pink-on-pink belt (though it might be too sweet for words), but I’m not sure that I’m feeling the bottom. It might just take the dress over the top and into my-Barbie-princess territory for me. Thoughts?
Hate: I take back what I said about everyone looking lovely. Sorry Heidi! I loathe this Christian Siriano dress (though, props to Ms. Klum for supporting a Project Runway alumnus) – the colour, the mesh, those frills!! Those frills! I can’t decide if the bottom half of the dress reminds me more of my mom’s bad 80s perm from way back in the day, or a head of frisee lettuce. I also hate the shoe choice, although I am also pretty sure that I have those exact shoes in my closet. And therein lies my problem with them: office pumps on the red carpet – why?
What were your favourite (and not so favourite) gowns on the Emmy red carpet?

Shoes!!!

Because I don’t get out much these days, the times when I do are pretty special, even if they involve a trip to the corner Mac’s. They’re extra special when they involve an unexpected pleasant surprise, like stumbling upon a good sale. That’s what happened last Sunday. I was at the City Centre mall, and just happened to walk by Mayfair Shoes – just in time to catch its big end-of-season sale. In addition to a 50% off or 2-for-1 deal on regular price merch, they were also offering a selection of shoes for $65. Not as good as their now-legendary (to me) $39 sale from a few years back, but pretty good nonetheless. 
Because I sadly came on the scene rather late in the game, the remaining pickings were slim, but I still managed to score a pair of Stuart Weitzman embossed-leather flats ($65, originally $345).

I love SW shoes; I find them super comfortable, and love the quality and design. Acquiring them at regular prices is usually cost-prohibitive for me, which is why I’m always thrilled to find a good sale. I’m thinking this pair will go with practically everything, and the leather will only get better with age, like my favourite vintage leather Coach bags – here, the (lighter) patina can be seen on the right shoe, which had been the display.