Month: November 2013

What I Wore: Fall Colours

Everyone has their own little fall season rituals, whether it be re-discovering one’s favourite cozy sweaters or indulging in a spiced pumpkin latte or two. This year, my fall-inspired obsession has been colour; I’ve been craving autumnal shades, from mossy green to mustard yellow and mushroom grey and, most of all, burgundy. I noticed this personal trend in nail polish especially; I normally like to switch up my polish colours all the time, because I get bored easily and like a lot of variety, so it was definitely unusual to have a two-week stretch when my polish picks looked like this:

what i wore
Left to right: In the Cable Carpool Lane; Parlez Vous OPI; Puerta Vallarta Violeta; Boris & Natasha

Not surprisingly, a lot of my outfits reflected a similar colour palette, so I thought it would be interesting to show them together in a WIW post. Without further ado …

what i wore
OPI Parlez Vous OPI

Every time I put on Parlez Vous OPI, I am reminded of what an underrated classic it is; it’s not one of those polishes that wow you in the bottle, but is it ever flattering and pretty on the nail.

what i wore
Dress, Marc by Marc Jacobs (consignment); shirt, no label (consignment); tights, Joe Fresh; boots, Nine West; bag, Marc Jacobs (consignment)

I love the mix of shades of purple in this Marc by Marc Jacobs tunic, and I added an extra one with dark aubergine coloured tights. While I like the colour of this pair of Joe Fresh tights, I am not impressed with the quality, and in particular the opacity; I should have known better, and stuck to my usual brand (Hue).

what i wore

Sorry about the blurry photo – taking pics on the go , with two kids wreaking havoc in the background, is always a hit-and-miss affair.

what i wore
Rings, Swarovski & Cartier

One of my few polish purchases this fall has been this purple-leaning burgundy creme from the OPI San Francisco collection. If I could only find a sweater or cardigan (or slim-cut cords) in this colour, I would be a happy camper.

what i wore
OPI In the Cable Carpool Lane

I have been avoiding buying Joe Fresh clothes for a while now, but finally caved in and bought an item recently. The culprit? This cream, loose-knit cardigan. It’s been one of the items missing from my fall wardrobe, and I simply had no luck finding one I liked second-hand. This one met all of my criteria, minus quality (it’s only part wool) and the fact that it’s made in China. If I were less impatient, I would have waited – I’m sure I would have eventually found a good alternative either at consignment or thrift. But with winter looming, temptation got the best of me.

what i wore
Pants, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (consignment); shirt, no label (consignment); sweater, Joe Fresh; necklace, J. Crew Factory; shoes, Old Navy; bag, Marc Jacobs (consignment)

I’ve been wearing my glasses a lot more recently (mostly out of convenience), but I still hate wearing them in photos. I can’t help feeling like I look extra geeky with them on; I guess the psychological scars inflicted in middle school never really go away.

what i wore
Four eyes are better than two?
what i wore
Rings, Swarovski & Cartier

You might do a double-take when you see this next polish, but I assure you that it’s different than the previous one. OPI Boris and Natasha (love the name!) is an older polish from the Russia collection, and it’s a more brown-leaning burgundy than In the Cable Carpool Lane (above). You could call it “raisin”, if you wanted to get real’ fancy.

what i wore
OPI Boris & Natasha

And speaking of similar things, here’s a slightly different take on the same cardigan as above.

what i wore
Jeans, Abercrombie & Fitch (consignment); tank, Costco/Kirkland; sweater, Joe Fresh; belt, J. Crew Factory; boots, Ecco; bag, Tory Burch (Kijiji)

One of the things I’m still self-conscious about, post-baby, is my postpartum tummy. Let’s just say that it’s not as camera-ready as it used to be, especially from certain angles. Adding a belt to the equation might seem either foolhardy or masochistic, but remember – I have been preaching the gospel of the belt for a long time, so I had to practice it too. It was less daunting than it seemed, just a question of finding the right spot to belt – in this case, my natural waist.

what i wore
Belting it

As always, when I’m feeling anything less than 100% great about my outfit, I pile on favourite accessories to distract myself.

what i wore
Watch, Fossil; bracelet, RACHEL Rachel Roy

what i wore

One of my favourite “neutral” polishes is OPI Puerta Vallarta Violeta from the Mexico collection. It’s the most exquisite shade of pale lavender:

what i wore
OPI Puerta Vallarta Violeta

I love my new Adriano Goldschmied Stevie cords (a fantastic Kijiji find), and I wish it was still summer so I could wear them with flats everywhere. They’re slim enough to fit into my boots, but I prefer how they look with flats (hence these photos).

what i wore
Pants, Adriano Goldschmied (via Kijiji); blouse, Equipment; necklace, Old Navy; belt, J. Crew Factory; shoes, Nine West; bag, YSL (consignment)

I’m also loving this cream silk blouse – another closet “hole” filled. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to add this basic piece to my wardrobe!


what i wore

I love how this outfit came together; it’s pretty basic, but it feels great. That’s the most important thing, now more than ever.

what i wore
Ring, Coach

Do you have any fall fashion faves?

Weekend Shortlist

Happy Friday, everyone! I don’t know about you, but my week has seemingly lasted about ten days already, and I’m ready for it to end. Bring on the pretties!

J. Crew Cambridge Cable Sweater

weekend shortlist
J. Crew Cambridge Cable sweater

I swear, I don’t know how this happened, but I’m on the receiving list for the J. Crew catalogue. Every time it shows up in my mail box, I try very hard to ignore it, because if there is one thing I don’t need it’s something to feed my J. Crew addiction. Naturally, I crack every time, and take a peek (or a leisurely look-see, whatevs). This sweater jumped out at me from the most recent catalogue. Am I being unreasonable in thinking that this sweater (or its absence from my closet) is the only thing standing in the way of my looking just like my WASP goddess herself, Gwyneth Paltrow? Shhh, don’t answer that. Since the sweater costs approximately a million bucks ($118), we’ll have to wait for the answer for the time being.

Orla Kiely dresses

weekend shortlist
Solid Ottoman Backless Dress
weekend shortlist
Make Bloom for Elegance dress

My office Christmas party is less than a month away, and I’ve been day-dreaming about possible dress picks. Not that I am looking to buy a new dress; I have a few options in my closet already, and my budget is giving me side-eye as it is. But it’s nice to dream a little, n’est ce pas?

J. Crew Factory Flower Curtain Necklace

weekend shortlist
J. Crew Factory Flower Curtain necklace

This necklace kind of reminds me of a Lulu Frost-J. Crew collab necklace from a while back; happily for me, it’s at a lower price point that I can (almost) justify. Will I justify it? We shall see …

Cognac Flats

Hey, so here is a funny tidbit about me: when I get stressed out, I make lists. Forget Valium – making lists is, like, seriously soothing. Anyway, one list I’ve been working on is a tally of my closet “holes” (aka basic items missing from my wardrobe). My plan is to make a concerted effort to look for those items whenever I find myself falling down the rabbit hole of online shopping browsing. On the list: cognac flats. They’re not an immediate need, since flats-wearing weather is now at least 6 months away. But, hey, it doesn’t hurt to look, right? [Except when it does, because I accidentally on purpose hit the “buy it now” button. Ahem.]

I’ve pretty much decided that I will be getting this pair of Old Navy flats; I’m just waiting for them to go on sale because $25 for a pair seems like a lot. It’s Old Navy. Anyway, they’re cute and all, but just for some fun, I also picked a few more expensive options.

weekend shortlist
Save: Old Navy
Frye Carson Ballerina flats
Splurge: Frye Carson Ballerina flats
Ferragamo Vara
Rob the bank: Ferragamo Vara

While doing my, errm, research, I also came across these Stuart Weitzman burgundy flats in faux snakeskin. I think I need to start a new list: completely unnecessary purchases I must nevertheless immediately make. Or something like that.

weekend shortlist
Stuart Weitzman Shoestring Ballerina flats

Have a great weekend!

The Reading List

I won’t lie: my “social” life these days mostly revolves around glamorous things like play dates, errand runs, and grocery shopping. I don’t get out of the house a lot, and when I do, it’s rarely interesting from a fashion perspective. On the other hand, with both kids now on a somewhat predictable napping schedule, I do have a bit of “me time”; to keep my brain from completely atrophying, I spend a good chunk of that time reading. As a hobby, it’s not quite as I remember it. I used to love getting lost in a (good) book for hours at a time; nowadays, I usually get half at most, which makes it harder to “get into” the story or the subject matter. On the plus side, it makes it easier to weed out mediocre reads – if I’m not drawn to pick up where I left off (a day or a week before), then I move on to the next one.

So, in lieu of snooze-worthy outfit posts, I thought it might be fun to share some of my recent reads and, in turn, hear your suggestions for other good books.

Philip Kerr, Berlin Noir

reading list

I love a good mystery novel, but this was an impulse pick for me because I’m not a huge fan of the hard-boiled detective/noir genre a la Raymond Chandler. Berlin Noir actually appealed to my inner history buff – I was interested to read a mystery series (this is an omnibus volume of the first 3 books) set in Nazi Germany. Much of what I know about WWII relates to life in the occupied territories and in Allied countries; I’ve never really read accounts of life in Germany itself under the Nazi regime, either before or during the war. Having lived in a communist country, I see that as something of a fascinating flip side. Kerr’s books seem to be very well researched, and seem to effectively capture the oppressive atmosphere of that period (the books span from the early ’30s to the mid ’50s).

The mystery aspect itself is also really good. Bernie Gunther is an appealing anti-hero, even for a non noir-lover like me. The plots are fast-paced, and intricate enough to keep you guessing and engaged until the end. There are some graphic scenes of violence (including sexual violence), but they are sufficiently well written not to seem gratuitous. Having gone on to read a few more of the books in the series, I can say that certain things eventually start to become repetitive, (including, among others, Bernie’s apparent irresistibility to almost all of the female characters) but this isn’t as much of an issue in the Berlin Noir trilogy itself.

All in all, though, the writing is excellent, the stories engrossing, and I would highly recommend picking this trilogy up if you want to curl up with a good mystery on a cold winter night.

Sam Gosling, Snoop

reading list

I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages, and finally got around to it. Why? I love stuff. My stuff, to be precise. I have a collector’s mentality all the way, so many of my things are more than simply functional objects to me; they’re pieces in my personally curated museum. [Not trying to be hyperbolic … much.] I figured it would be interesting to know what my stuff says – to others – about me. Snoop is all about learning how to decipher the code of people’s stuff – what things can tell us about their owner’s personalities.

The book is written in a conversational style that’s easy to follow, with enough diverting stories and anecdotes to liven things up. I would recommend it if you’re interesting in inter-personal psychology, or want to amaze your friends at your next dinner party with your Sherlock Holmes skills (“I can deduce your deepest desires from the way you arrange your medicine cabinet”).

Elizabeth L. Cline, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Price of Cheap Fashion

reading list

If you are interested in knowing more about where and how your clothes are made, and how your shopping behaviours influence and are influenced by the manufacturing (and marketing) process, this book is a must-read. It helped to further open my eyes to some of the more unhealthy patterns in my own consumption, and to more rigorously question my own shopping decisions. I rarely make a trip to the mall without thinking about this book as I walk past stores where I used to unthinkingly spend dollops of money, and I will never think about a clothing “need” again in the same way as before.

Overdressed is definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in the ethics of clothing consumption, and in becoming a more educated consumer.

What are your recent favourite reads?