Month: October 2014

Skirting the Issue

Moulinette Soeurs Tropica Jacquard Dress
Skirt, Anthropologie (thrifted); blouse & cardigan, J. Crew Factory; shoes, Cole Haan; bag, MbMJ (via eBay)

Anthro lovers out there might recognize this skirt; actually, it used to be a dress. This one:

Moulinette Soeurs Tropica Jacquard Dress
Moulinette Soeurs Tropica Jacquard Dress

I thrifted this dress, new with tags, towards the end of my last pregnancy (if memory serves). Basically, I loved the print and figured the size would more or less work – or be made to work – with my post-pregnancy body. Except it didn’t. At all. It was too big in the bust, and gave me the dreaded Strapless Sheath Pooch. (You know what I’m talking about, right?) Even from the best angle, it looked … not good.

I tried to sell it, but quickly realized that I would never get my money back (all $20 of it), and I couldn’t quite bear to part with it for the $5-8 I’d make through consignment. I still really loved the print. What to do? The bottom half of the dress fit nicely, so making it into a skirt seemed like a good solution. (Side note: I used to be really reluctant about drastically altering clothes until I realized that there is nothing special, necessarily, about the original design. It may or may not be the ideal design for my body or preferences. If your chances of recouping a good portion of the purchase price through resale are low, I say go ahead and alter clothes to your heart’s content.)

All in all, I think things all turned out for the better. In my line of work, one can never have too many cute pencil skirts. Can’t say the same about Strapless Sheath Pooch.

Moulinette Soeurs Tropica Jacquard Dress
everything’s coming up roses

A Fresh Take

Joe Fresh print tunic dress; Muberry soft biscuit croc Bayswater
Dress & sweater, Joe Fresh; shoes, Stuart Weitzman; bag, Mulberry (via consignment)

I threw this outfit together in a last minute panic (the dress I was planning to wear looked terrible – the downside of ordering a ponte sheath dress online, untried) … and absolutely loved it. That doesn’t happen as often as it should. I find Joe Fresh really hit and miss; the quality is often a miss, but they occasionally get everything else so on point, I’m minded to overlook the quality. This is a good example: the top front of the dress is poly, and the bottom and back of the top is a poly-rayon blend; overall, it has a nice feel to it, but poly is poly. It’s a shame, because I adore the dress in every other respect.

This shapeless/shift/tunic style generally does nothing for my curvy figure, but this particular dress conveys the loose-on-purpose message better than most. It feels like an extra-long t-shirt, but looks like something that is conceivably office-appropriate. It has a slightly edgier vibe than my usual style, but for once I’m enjoying pushing my limits a little. $20 well spent, I say.

Banana Republic chambray chic tassel pendant necklace; Joe Fresh print tunic dress
necklace, Banana Republic


Indefinitely Wishlisted: Things I Need, But Probably Won’t Buy

I buy many things, but rarely things I actually need. I don’t mean “need” as in “Me wanty! I have to get that!”, but … actual need. When it comes to things I actually need, I have a bad tendency to keep putting off the purchase. Don’t ask me why. I don’t always make rational decisions. However, this fall, I reached a critical point in my procrastination on a few of these items, so I decided to make a deliberate effort to remedy the situation. Yay for rationality! Yay for me!

Except that, as is wont to happen when I decide that something needs to get done, the universe has decided not to cooperate. In case you’re wondering where this post is going, it is headed straight into Rantville.

Trench Coat

You’ve heard me bitch about my old trench before. It’s really old, and it was never that great to begin with. To make matters worse, one of the sleeve seams has started to rip. It’s probably a fixable problem, but I have zero motivation to do it, because a new trench has been on my “to buy” list for close to 2 years. I really – really – should get to it. I just hate spending money on outerwear. The most I’ve ever spent was $100 on a J. Crew Lady Day coat, and I’m still not sure I’m happy about it. Solution? Spend someone else’s money, of course.

Every year, my employer gives me (and each of my co-workers, I’m not that special) a Christmas gift in the form of a generous gift card to a local mall. Every year, I tend to blow it on something frivolous and expensive, because there is no better way to spend free money. In a rather shocking twist, last year’s gift card is mostly intact, 10 months after it came into my possession. And now, I am determined to spend it on something useful. Like, say, a trench.

Now, my choice is limited to two stores, one of them being Holt Renfrew (the Canadian version of Nordstrom, for my US readers). No problem, eh! Well, it is, actually. The local HR is not particularly well-stocked; my gift card won’t begin to cover a Burberry trench (sniff!), and other pickings are … none. I did spot a gorgeous camel wool MaxMara coat, but I’m not sure that it would be a good substitute for a trench. And it’s still expensive.

So a trench will have to wait. Again.

(If you have suggestions for a good quality trench in the under $150 price range, I’m all ears. Otherwise, I’d prefer to wait for the next trench season at Holt Renfrew, and use my gift card.)


I need a pair of brown/cognac boots. I also need to start thinking about replacing my current pair of black boots. I would like both of these hypothetical new pairs to be Fryes. I have no desire to pay full price for either of them. Or even eBay prices. Unless … wait for it … I’m spending someone else’s money. You’re starting to see the trend here, yes?

You know who used to, but now is not carrying Frye in stock? Holt Renfrew.


Now that I’m back in the office – and with winter fast approaching – I need pantyhose again. I usually buy mine at Winners, but that stuff’s not really cutting it anymore. I need pantyhose that (a) won’t try to strangle my mid-section; (b) is not going to develop a run as soon as I put it on; and (c) can somewhat approximate my skin tone, without making me look like Casper the Ghost. For these reasons, I have become convinced that I need to buy some Wolford pantyhose. I think paying $50 for one pair of pantyhose is insanity … unless – yes, you guessed it – I’m spending someone else’s money.

You know who carries Wolford pantyhose, but not in any colour remotely close to my skin tone? Holt Renfrew.