Category: Listmania

Weekend Shortlist

Oh hey, remember when I used to do these posts? Do you know why I stopped? Me either. Did you miss getting a brain dump of my current obsessions on a (sorta) weekly basis? No? Well, perhaps you need a reminder to convince that you did. Yeah? Yes!

Currently Wishful Thinking About: Valentino Garden Print Dress


Searching Google Images is always a dangerous activity. Instead of finding whatever cheap floral schmatta you were looking for, you end up gazing with unrequited longing at something like this. Meanwhile, your wallet is, all, “Lalalalalala, I cannot hear or see anything!”, and your brain is, like, “X yourself outta there, girl! Now, now, now, do ittttt!”, but your heart is, all “And I-eeee-iiii-eeee-iiii will always looooooove youuuuuuuu … uuuuu …”


Currently Loving: Fresh Flowers

Now that parts of our house are starting to look semi-decent and grown-up, I seem to be buying flowers all. the. damn. time. They just make a nice room look even nicer, you know? Plus, flowers are colourful, and we all know my Achilles heel. For example:

springtime in a vase
springtime in a vase

There are not enough purple/blue flowers in the world. I am dead serious. Some florists try to compensate by dyeing poor roses and carnations, but they are fooling no one. These hyacinths are not only the real deal, but smell delicious as well. [Edited to add: the smell is very strong; I ended up having to take these to the office, once they fully opened, because my mom couldn’t stand it. So if you have perfume sensitivities, these may not be the flowers for you.]

sitting pretty in pink
sitting pretty in pink

Prominent among my many “basic bitch” preferences, is my love of hydrangeas. They just look so fancay.

The key to buying fresh flowers often is to buy them cheap, and that means buying them anywhere but a flower shop. The hyacinths came from Costco ($12 for a big bunch), and the (potted) hydrangeas from Home Depot, of all places (also $12, decorative pot not included). I usually buy my orchids from IKEA, for under $20, and they tend to last a good 2 months. Unless you have a brown thumb like me, you can easily get them to flower again in a few months.

Currently Hunting: Tom Binns Alice in Wonderland Necklace

yes, please
yes, please

Speaking of basic bitchness, I adore Alice in Wonderland. I am forever sad to come across things that were tied to the release of the 2010 Tim Burton movie, and which I somehow missed (or was not able to buy) at the time. Like this Tom Binns necklace. Is it a practical choice of jewelry for a mid-thirties professional? Who the hell cares? It is perfection.

Currently Reading: This Article

Seriously, I want to have a lady date with Fran Leibovitz and Frances McDormand. There would be judging involved. It would be amazing. I’d be sitting there, slack-jawed with admiration.

I am also reading All We Know, a biography of three women who lived at the centre of the cultural Zeitgeist of the early 20th century but have since become mere footnotes in other, more famous artists’ lives. It’s kind of in the same vein as Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild In The Twenties, but about less (in)famous women.

If you’ve got some good book recc’s, hit me up in the comments – I feel an Amazon order is in order.

Currently Obsessing Over: Game of Thrones


Sorry, I have to get that out of my system. Coincidentally, this year’s Corporate Challenge theme is Game of Throwns which … makes no sense, but let’s go with it. I am super duper pumped because it means that my traditional competitive category – team trivia, duh! – will be the best one yet. And I get to be team captain! Or, at least, I think I am. Things got a little complicated recently. See, it turns out that my boss is a huge GoT fan, and an equally huge trivia fan, and there was some last minute, ahem, team shuffling. Our chances of winning have gone up exponentially, but I think my captaincy just went the way of the dodo. Oh well.

Jon Snow will make everything better.

Wardrobe Colour Palette

I mentioned recently that I was working on putting together a colour palette for my wardrobe, and while nobody expressed wild interest in hearing more about it, I figured I’d write a post about it anyway. Hey, it’s Sunday: the three of you reading this clearly have already run through all of the interesting stuff that got posted on the internet this week, and scraped the bottom of your social media feeds, and this is surely better than scrubbing your toilet, yes? So. Let’s talk about how I bumbled my way towards wardrobe colour harmony.

There is no particular reason why I needed to figure out a colour palette for my wardrobe. I’m neither looking to replace my current one, nor re-configure it to any significant extent. I feel like I’ve spent so much time – and, let’s be honest, money – doing that in the last few years, that I have little desire to keep pursuing the unattainable – the perfect wardrobe. What I am doing is trying to refine my overall presentation (more sophisticated, more grown-up), and pare down some of the emotional baggage that’s hiding in my closet (sentimental items from decades past, impulse buys gone horribly wrong, you get the idea). Trying to find a unifying colour scheme to the eclectic bazaar that is my current closet is something of a fool’s errand too, so I took a different approach. My colour palette is not something that represents my wardrobe as it currently is, or as it will be next month, next year, or ever. I think of it more as something I’m evolving towards … even as it is evolving too.

Clear as mud?

Let’s leave the mumbo jumbo aside for now, and get into the details a bit. I mentioned that I was looking at some of Into Mind’s sample palettes, and while I found her posts interesting and thought-provoking (as always), none of the actual palettes really spoke to me. So, I decided to try putting together one of my own. Anuschka suggests choosing 3 main colours, so that’s where I started.

And got almost immediately stumped. Because I have only 2 main colours in my life, really. Black and blue. And by “blue”, I mean all of the blues under the sun, which basically defeats the whole point of a colour palette. After abandoning the whole project for a week or so, I decided to give it another, more pragmatic try. For my mains, I ended up picking black, cobalt blue, and navy – mostly because navy seemed like a better choice than light blue (think dark wash denim over light denim) for my work wardrobe, which makes up 70% of my closet.

wardrobe colour palette
black, blue, navy

I know, this is ground-breaking stuff. Honestly, I’ll always be cheating a little when it comes to the main colours because, while I do have a fair bit of cobalt blue (or close enough) in my closet, it will never be my only blue.

Moving on (don’t worry, there’s more rule-breaking ahead).

Next, Anuschka suggests picking two neutral colours. Here, I had another problem. I couldn’t pick only two. So, I decided to go with three. Camel and white were no-brainers. Or, well, almost. I hesitated a bit over picking tan or cognac, and ended up splitting the baby (so to speak) with camel, a sort of in-between colour. (To be honest, I’ll probably be lumping in all three colours under the category “camel”.) For the third neutral, I wavered a lot. I thought about brown. I thought about navy (before bumping it to a “main colour”). I ended up going with grey, which seemed the most versatile and suited to my complexion. The problem is, I struggle with grey, you guys. I have a hard time picking the right shade(s), as exemplified by this effort:

wardrobe colour palette
with the neutrals
(camel, grey, white)

I was going for a warm, medium grey and ended up with … that. In retrospect, maybe a warm, light grey would be better? To be determined …

Last but not least, there are the accent colours. Anuschka of Into Mind suggests choosing 4 so, of course, I went with 6. Three guesses as to who’s the minimalist here? Anyway, this was actually the easiest part of the whole process, even though, as we’ve established, I love All The Colours and hate to give any of them up, even theoretically. As with the rest of this exercise, I sucked at picking decent representations of my actual picks, which is why the final product looks like this:

wardrobe colour palette
everything together

I know, underwhelming. Since you probably can’t really tell, the accent colours I chose were burgundy, aqua, teal, red, plum, and yellow. In hindsight, the aqua might have been overkill. I don’t have a lot of it in my closet right now, although I love the pieces I do have. It’s not an essential accent colour for me, though. The others I feel really good about; are “power colours” still a thing? As suggested by Into Mind, I tried to stick to colours that would all (or mostly) work with each other. One of my current fave combos is black + white + accent colour, and any of the ones above would work great. I think they also pair nicely with each of my other two main colours, so there’s that.

And, so, now I have a wardrobe colour palette, which will come in handy next time someone asks me if I have a wardrobe colour palette. And hopefully the next time I go shopping and find myself distracted by All The Colours and All The Prints. Focus, Adina, focus.

Your turn: do you have a colour palette for your wardrobe, and if so, what the hell do you do with it?


Style Confessions, vol. 4

Want to read more style confessions? Find them here, here, and here.

1. I’m a Judgy Judge Who Judges

Your style choices, that is.

Generally, I try to abide by a live-and-let-live philosophy: no judging people for any life choices that don’t directly impact others (without the latter’s consent). Basically, I’m like the ideal government. But, like the government, I’m not perfect. Sometimes, I judge.

Here are some of the things for which I will judge you (and your sartorial discernment):

  • Carrying a Michael Kors bag (extra judgment if it has that dangly MK medallion tag thing);
  • Enormous black-framed glasses (extra judgment if you have 20/20 vision)
  • Shooties (extra judgment if you refer to them as such)
  • Expensive t-shirts (extra judgment if they are grey, white, or black)
  • Aldo shoes (extra judgment if they have a 2-inch platform and you’re wearing them to work)
  • Instagramming your completely unremarkable brunch (extra judgment for every random object in the picture – lipstick, wallet, copy of The Goldfinch, Louboutins, etc.)

2. … And You Can Return the Favour

By judging mine, of course.

I have said before that I am, in many respects, a textbook “basic bitch”. Some of the things I like are deeply, inescapably trite. The sartorial equivalent of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I am deeply at peace with this fact. (As I encourage you to be about your love of any items listed under #1 above).

Here are some things for which you can judge me:

  • Coveting a pair of Valentino Rockstuds (one day!)
  • Arm parties (when I remember)
  • Instagram selfies (I heart filters, and so do my wrinkles)
  • Matching all the colours (matchy matchy matchy)
  • J. Crew up the wazoo (hey, it rhymes!)

Ok, your turn: for what do you judge other people, and for what do you think you might be getting judged?