Month: May 2013

Remix Challenge: week 35

Saturday, May 11, 2013: early Mother’s Day brunch

Remix challenge
Skirt, Gap (thrifted); shirt, H&M; necklace, H&M; shoes, Nine West; bag, Coach (vintage)

I thought I was clever in going for brunch on the Saturday before Mothers’ Day, but apparently everyone else had the same idea. We eventually found a relatively quiet spot at The Upper Crust, and enjoyed some delicious, fresh breakfast fare en famille. Then it was off for mani-pedis with my mom, and some afternoon flea marketing.

Thoughts on the hipster-ish shirt tying business? I think I’m too old for it, but I have to admit it’s handy when you’ve got a bump to work around.

remix challenge
Bump alert!

Monday, May 13, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, MICHAEL Michael Kors (consignment); jacket, Pink Tartan (consignment); shoes, Nine West; earrings, vintage

I love my 60s-inspired, “Jackie O” Pink Tartan suit, but I feel like it’s starting to look more and more “mumsy-ish” on me as I get older. Sigh! So, I try to still get use out of it by wearing the suit pieces as separates. A plain, solid-colour dress like this one is great as a “backdrop” for statement pieces like the jacket.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013: work

remix challenge
Skirt, Lilibleu; top, H&M; jacket, Tristan (consignment); locket, vintage; shoes, Stuart Weitzman; bag, Chanel (consignment)

As I mentioned before, high waist skirts can be a godsend during pregnancy, as long as they have some room in the tummy/hip area. This skirt is a too big for me normally, but it’s perfectly accommodating at the moment. I think it will be going into my “purge pile” come 2014, but for now – it’s a work wardrobe staple.

remix challenge
Proof that the right angle can make all the difference …

Wednesday, May 15, 2013: work

remix challenge
Pants, maternity; top, MICHAEL Michael Kors (consignment); cardigan, Old Navy; necklace, vintage; shoes, Stuar Weitzman; bag, Mulberry (second-hand)

This is SUCH a maternity outfit, isn’t it! Long, blousy top – check. Crappy maternity pants – check. Trying to jazz things up with a fun print and happy colour … but not really getting very far. Wearing this outfit reminded me that I hate the buttons on this cardigan – they clash with everything. Note to self: look into replacing them with something nicer, and more unobtrusive.

Thursday, May 16, 2013:  work

remix challenge
Dress, Diane von Furstenberg (gift); tank top, J. Crew Factory; shoes, Stuart Weitzman; bag, Mulberry (second hand)

Possibly the only downside of wrap dresses is that they tend to be harder to mix up. Realistically, that’s only a problem for people who are running “remix challenges”, like yours truly. Still, accessories can make a difference, so their impact on an outfit shouldn’t be underestimated.

remix challenge
Nail polish: Chanel Holiday

Friday, May 17, 2013: work

remix challenge
Tunic, Elie Tahari (consignment); leggings, maternity; shoes, Ferragamo (vintage); bag, Coach (vintage)

The weather looked to continue on the warm-and-sunny track, so I decided it was as good an opportunity as any to wear something nicer than jeans – casual Friday or not! This is one of my favourite maternity tunics, but it is on the short side, so it definitely requires leggings to make it work-appropriate (even on a casual day).

In case you are wondering, I consider this a suitable deployment of leggings in the work space. My rules of thumb: make sure your butt is well-covered (with a hem a minimum of 3-4 inches below), and that you keep leggings strictly for casual days. Thoughts? Share in the comments.


Packing for a Weekend Trip

Last year I wrote a post on packing for a week-long vacation, which coincided with a jaunt out to the West coast; this year, my husband and I are taking a shorter road trip, sans toddler, which begs the question: how do I pack for a weekend getaway? Personally, I find that the shorter the travel time, the harder it is to pack, and the greater the tendency to overdo it.

This time around, I was able to get my packing list down to 11 items of clothing (not including unmentionables) and 3 pairs of shoes. As for the latter, that was probably one pair too many, but I will explain my justification in a moment. Here was my general approach:

Since we were traveling by car, without baby gear in tow, volume was not a huge concern; still, it was important to keep my travel wardrobe on the minimalist side to avoid the unnecessary wasting of time while on vacation trying to pick something to wear; too much choice often equals style paralysis. The middle ground was picking one (different) outfit per day of the trip. In addition, I also included one traveling outfit (chosen for comfort), and one evening outfit, as well as one “cold weather” option. The latter is cobbled together from pieces from the other outfits, layered together for maximum warmth and waterproof-ness.

My packing list looked something like this:

  • Leggings
  • Skinny jeans
  • Skirt
  • Tunic dress
  • “Dressy” dress
  • Sweater
  • Tank top
  • Blouse
  • Sweater coat
  • Military jacket
  • Light wool jacket
  • Pair of boots
  • Pair of flats
  • Pair of black pumps

Here are all my choices, laid out and ready to go:


weekend trip packing
The pile is deceptively big as it includes things I would wear while traveling

As for outfits, I had:

Traveling Outfit


weekend trip packing
Tunic, Marc by Marc Jacobs (consignment); sweater coat, H&M; leggings, maternity; shoes, Taryn Rose

Day Outfit #1

weekend trip packing
Jacket, Esprit (swap); skirt, Gap (thrifted); tank top, J. Crew Factory; blouse, American Apparel (consignment); necklace, J. Crew Factory; shoes, Taryn Rose

Day Outfit #2

weekend trip packing
Jeans, maternity; tank top, J. Crew Factory; blouse, American Apparel (consignment); necklace, H&M; shoes, Taryn Rose

Evening Outfit

weekend trip packing
Dress, BCBG (thrifted); jacket, Club Monaco (consignment); brooch, vintage; shoes, Stuart Weitzman

Cold Weather Outfit

weekend trip packing
Jeans, maternity; blouse, American Apparel (consignment); sweater, J. Crew Factory; jacket, Club Monaco (consignment); boots, Hunter

As always, the key is to pick items that can be mixed and matched fairly easily. Taken to the extreme, this would involve a travel bag full of black clothes, but I like to switch things up and aim for a compromise: some neutrals, some colours/prints.

Keep jackets and coats to a minimum number, and pick options that go well with skirts and pants (or whatever you choose to wear). Unless you are traveling in the dead of winter, a lighter, versatile coat is a good bet – you can add warmth (in the event of cold weather) by adding extra layers underneath. In my examples above, I can easily add the black sweater to my skirt outfit for additional warmth if the weather is cold but not rainy/wet.

It’s also a good idea to keep shoes to a minimum – they tend to eat up a lot of room, especially anything with heels. Generally, one pair of boots (for rain, cold weather, etc.) plus one pair of flats would be my go-to options for most temperate climate destinations … especially anywhere you plan on doing any amount of walking. Add one pair of heels if you are planning for some dressier outings, but try to pick a pair that is still fairly comfortable – you never know when you might end up dancing all night. After all, anything is possible when you’re on vacation!

Remix Challenge: week 34

First week of … summer?!? Yes, folks, Edmonton got its first (and hopefully not last!) heat-wave of the year. Makes things more interesting – I almost cannot remember how to dress for anything above 0 degrees Celsius.

Saturday, May 4, 2013: Easter brunch & dinner

remix challenge
Tunic, Zara; leggings, maternity; top, H&M; brooch, vintage; sunglasses, Gucci; shoes, Bloch

Both my family and in-laws celebrated Orthodox Easter last week, which meant that I had to abandon my usual jeans-and-old-tee weekend uniform. Well, sort of. Does leggings-and-a-tunic count as changing things up? In my book, florals are always brunch-appropriate. Incidentally, this was the first occasion when EVERYone started telling me how I had “suddenly” started to show. At first, I was happy to be officially past the “fat-or-pregnant” stage, but then I started getting a wee bit of a complex.

remix challenge
The angle here may be deceptive …

On further reflection, I think the difference lies in something more subtle – whether or not I am wearing panty-hose. Even though I avoid control-top nylons like the plague, even a minimal amount of spandex can really make a visual impact. At least, that is what I am telling myself …

Here is a closer look at my Easter manicure:

remix challenge
Butter London Fiver

Monday, May 6, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, Nougat; necklace, J. Crew; shoes, Nine West

I have been trying to cycle through all my non-pregnancy dresses before I completely outgrow them. I am not crazy about this dress (it’s a hand-me-down from my mom and I’m not sure if it’s my style), but once I put it on I realized that the empire waist is actually perfect for right now. The dress is, ahem, roomy in the bust and flows away from the body below, so it perfectly accommodates my current shape. So I guess this will be going back into rotation and not on the “purge pile” … for now.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, Tocca (thrifted); jacket, Joe Fresh (consignment); necklace, Banana Republic; shoes, Ferragamo (second-hand; sold)

This dress-and-jacket combo was one of my favourite outfits from my last pregnancy. It is NOT what I actually wore on Tuesday, because it turns out that, well, things don’t really fit the same, the second time around. So, I had to improvise a bit at the last minute: 

remix challenge
Dress, Velvet (consignment); jacket, Joe Fresh (consignment); brooch & necklace, vintage; shoes, Nine West; bag, Marc Jacobs (consignment)

Here’s a close-up of my jewelry: I love using green and gold to accent navy blue.

remix challenge
Vintage brooch and necklace

Wednesday, May 8, 2013: work

remix challenge
Skirt, BCBG; tunic, Zara; tank top, J. Crew Factory; belt, J. Crew Factory; necklace, vintage; bag, Coach (vintage)

Oops, my feet are missing! [I was wearing boring black pumps anyway.] I love being able to sneak in a “casual” piece into my work wardrobe. I usually wear my floral Zara tunic with leggings (as you could see from Saturday’s outfit), but it also works with my BCBG skirt; the extra volume of the skirt camouflages the length and bulk of the tunic.

Thursday, May 9, 2013: work

remix challenge
Pants, maternity; top, Jacob (consignment); cardigan, J. Crew (second-hand); brooch, vintage; shoes, Enzo Angiolini; bag, Coach (vintage)

So, it looks like I am slightly addicted to Second Cup’s frozen hot chocolate at the moment – it’s the accessory du jour.

Anyway … “pants day” strikes again! I feel like this is becoming a running joke at BCRL. Anyway, this marks the second appearance of the Jacob top I bought last month; I couldn’t wait to pair it with my olive green cardigan, and new rivoli rhinestone brooch. The colours are so complementary!

remix challenge
Brooch, Etsy; ring, Winners

Friday, May 10, 2013: work

remix challenge
Jeans, maternity; top, Gilmour (swap); jacket, Boss (consignment); shoes, Ferragamo; necklace, Tiffany; bag, Coach (vintage)

Casual Friday rarely makes for a ground-breaking outfit, and this is no exception. I wanted to get one last wear out of this top before it becomes too short for my new proportions. Saying a (temporary) goodbye to a “regular wardrobe” piece is always sad … it brings me one step closer to an exclusively maternity wardrobe (a much smaller, and less exciting, version of the former).

On the plus side, LUNCH DATE!!! Perfect excuse to nosh on something delicious. 

remix challenge
@ Moriarty’s

See you next time!