Month: February 2015

Like an Architect

Banana Republic Sloan check pants
Pants, Banana Republic; sweater, J. Crew Factory; necklace, J. Crew; shoes, Manolo Blahnik (thrifted); bag, Mulberry (via consignment)

“You look like an architect” was the first (and only) thing my husband said when he saw this outfit. He would know: he has a Master’s in the subject. [Edited to add: my husband happened to look over my shoulder when I was writing this post, and he MADE me add this link as the addendum to his earlier comment. He seemed to find it highly amusing. Humph.] Now, this wasn’t my intention in putting together the outfit; in fact, I wasn’t aiming for any particular style statement. I had spent the previous day in bed dying* with the stomach flu, so my focus was simply on getting dressed and getting to the office, period. Black and white seemed like the safest choice for looking put together without a lot of effort and the maximum of comfort. And it worked. Because, while people could deduce the state of my health psyche from my general demeanour, they seemed to find the outfit perfectly fine.

Banana Republic Sloan check pants
the details …

I don’t know if I could wear black and white every single day, but it’s a nice change of pace for me. In fact, after watching the video that amused my husband so, I’m thinking I may need to find a pair of pants with a bigger black & white check print, for added visual impact – maybe even a windowpane print? I know I’ve seen them on other bloggers, so they were probably super trendy for about 5 seconds 6 months ago, but … yea or nay? How do we feel about black & white print pants, peeps? [Say that 3 times fast, I dare ya!]

Banana Republic Sloan check pants
arty … or, should I say, archy black & white

* perhaps the tiniest of exaggerations.

A Spot of Leopard

3.1 Phillip Lim blue silk pleated dress
Dress, 3.1 Phillip Lim; blazer, J. Crew; shoes, Ann Klein; bag. Mulberry (via consignment)

I feel like I’m cheating a little bit with this post, because my outfit is more or less a straight repeat – minus the shoes. I basically wrote this post because of the shoes. Now, I have to confess that my choice to pair leopard print with this dress was not original; I was inspired by one of the stock photos of this dress I found online. Does it work? Ye …eeees. I think that, from a purely aesthetic perspective, it’s a nice, unexpected pairing. For my office, though, it may be a little bit too edgy, shall we say.

3.1 Phillip Lim blue silk pleated dress
still digging this

Nobody at work commented on the shoe-dress combo, mostly (I think) because everyone is still quite taken of this dress. Each one of my bosses has, at this point, commented on how nice it is. Some people might argue that, in a conservative professional environment, this is a double-edged sword; that having your clothes noticed and commented on – even in a positive way – detracts from your professional standing or whatever. I … don’t agree. I mean, I wouldn’t want my work attire to raise eyebrows, but I’m confident enough in my abilities (and my professional reputation) to not be afraid that a little flair in my wardrobe choices will undermine my perceived competence.

And, hey, I did wear a black blazer. That’s the epitome of corporate chic, right? Right.

3.1 Phillip Lim blue silk pleated dress
a case of “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”

Conversations with Myself

I loved this recent post from Save Spend Splurge, and so, naturally, I decided to steal her idea. I’m a loyal blog reader like that. So, here goes: answers to questions you didn’t know you wanted to ask yours truly.

When I wake up, I go and get whichever miscreant woke me up, and bring him/her to our bed. His/her cohort is usually not far behind. Our bed is the designated “morning cartoon watching” spot. While the kids are so engaged, I go to the bathroom to get ready for the day, before I head downstairs to make everyone’s breakfasts (and pack my son’s lunch if it’s a daycare day). You’ll be horrified to know that we are the kind of family who eats their breakfast glued to the TV (or, in my case, the iPad). My husband usually sleeps through the whole thing, which should be physically impossible given the noise levels involved, but somehow isn’t. He’s got skills.

Before I go to bed, I take off all my make-up. This is important; I am sure that your mother has already told you so, and I’m here to tell you she’s right. If I don’t have a file to work on, then I usually spend an hour or so doing work on my blog – or reading yours.

A well dressed woman/man is not memorable for what they are wearing, but for who she/he is. The clothes are there to enhance that perception.

Women should always be able to take care of themselves financially. Even if someone is a stay-at-home spouse, and doesn’t earn a separate income, she should still be aware of all aspects of the family’s finances, and have a plan in place (or know how to come up with one) in the event that the family unit (or its dynamics) changes – whatever the reason. I’m not going to throw statistics at you, but unforeseen life events happen to all of us, and we all need to be prepared for the worst ones (death, disability, divorce) no matter how unlikely they might seem.

Men should never ask their partners to make compromises they wouldn’t be willing to make themselves. Actually, this goes both ways. It’s generally addressed to whomever ends up (for cultural or economic reasons) being in the position to dictate the terms of those compromises.

 The best thing that’s been said about me … is probably something I’ve already forgotten. Well, this one time, my boss said that I was worth my weight in gold. That’s a nice blanket statement. You could almost take that one to the bank, you know? Sadly, she wasn’t receptive to my suggestion that she provide me with a signed statement to that effect. Oh, and this other time, my son told me I was his favourite mommy.

If I weren’t doing what I’m doing today, I’d probably be an optometrist. Good hours, get to wear cute clothes to work, make bank. No, seriously, I probably wouldn’t be an optometrist, because I wasn’t much of a pragmatic thinker in my early 20s. I’d probably still be living in my parents’ basement, trying to write the next great Canadian novel.

My legacy is hopefully going to be a life lived with integrity, kindness, and contentment. Ultimately, I may be the only person who will know about it, but that’s ok with me.

A great idea should always be shared. The problem is knowing what’s a good idea.

Botox is one of those things I can’t muster the energy to have a strong opinion about. Do it if you want to. Don’t do it if you don’t want to. I don’t really care either way. I do reserve the right to side-eye your “SPF routine and lucky genes” if that’s the route you decide to take in explaining why your face suddenly no longer moves.

My mother is my hero. No, you know what: scratch that. Everyone says that, or something like it, and while it’s also true in my case, that statement really doesn’t do my mom justice, you know. So, let’s try again: my mom is a badass. She might not strike you as a badass, and she would probably scoff at that description, but that is what she is. She has many incredible qualities: kindness, intelligence, integrity, patience, honesty, you name it. But above all, she is herself and supremely comfortable with who that is. She doesn’t trumpet her achievements or varnish her imperfections. She’s just … at ease with herself, vis-a-vis other people and their expectations especially. I don’t know if she was always like this, or if it’s a product of experience, or what, but I hope I figure out her secret one of these days.

The soundtrack of my life is increasingly being dictated by my kids’ musical taste. If you’ve ever met a toddler, you will know this does not bode well for the quality of the selection. My son, for example, has an uncanny ability to zero in on the most annoying Top 40 songs on the radio, and fall madly in love with them. [To be fair, he is also madly in love with the 1970s Italian pop music to which he listens in his grandparents’ car. Questionable pop music across the ages is basically his thing.] So, to sum up: I listen to a lot of crap. On repeat.

The future is what you make it, one day and one choice at a time.

Happiness is like a sugar high. Sooner or later, you’ll end up crashing. Find joy in the short days, and contentment in the long years – you’ll be less miserable in the long run.

There’s a time and place for having good manners, and that time and place is always and everywhere. Especially when you’re driving.

There is too much intolerance in the world. I mean, I could write an essay about that, but I’ll spare you my rhetoric. For now.

In the end, I don’t want to regret the things I should or could have done, and didn’t, or the love I could or should have given, and didn’t.