Martha minus opposable thumbs

I wish I had cooler hobbies. I really do. Like sky-diving or abstract oil painting. Or at least karaoke. But no. I bead. It’s worse than admitting that I occasionally watch CSI: Sunglasses Edition. Which, um, let’s pretend I didn’t just admit.

Anyway, the beading. It’s less homemade-arts-n-crafts-project-gone-bad than it sounds, no?

Wait. Don’t answer that.

May … snow storms?

You wouldn’t always know it from the weather, but May has finally arrived. It’s an important time of year around here; the May long weekend is considered the traditional start of Edmonton’s hybrid spring-summer season (sprummer?) – short-lived, capricious and much-anticipated. Unlike the fashion labels, the average Edmontonian’s wardrobe only has two seasons – winter and … not-winter. May is the month when style-minded people start to think about the latter component of their closets and look to stores for inspiration.

For sprummer, I am obsessed with two things: neutrals and florals. Cream and beige are quickly overtaking grey as my go-to colours – they’re my new “new black”. I never used to wear neutrals much because they can be tricky colours for intensely pale people like me; the wrong shade can make you look, well, dead. I got over my fear, though, and I haven’t looked back. There are lots of lovely neutrals out there in everything from jackets to bags to shoes to, well, everything. Ditto with neutrals. I am still waiting to find the perfect floral pencil skirt (or, rather, waiting to find it at a reasonable price), but in the meantime I am enjoying the profusion of floral prints – big and small – that are cropping up everywhere.

Two pieces in my closet perfectly embody my current obsessions. The first is a Banana Republic necklace I found last year, which reminds me of a Lanvin necklace from a couple of seasons ago. It’s a soft eggshell colour, and it’s definitely a statement piece. I adore it because it reminds me of one of my all-time favourite outfits, worn by Claire Danes at the 2009 Independent Spirits Awards. Those clothes I will never get to wear, but I do get a tiny bit of satisfaction every time I wear my “inspired” piece.
The second piece is also, as it happens, a Banana item – a silk cami from their Factory Outlet with a delicate floral print on a cream background. I got a few weeks ago, and have been wearing the hell out of it. It feels so summery … and I’m an eternal optimist.

Like chocolate, but better

Few things cheer me up more than a good bargain. I mean, I love clothes but I’m also fond of my savings account and the dream of a comfortable retirement. I’ve got a pretty good nose for sales, and I’ve been known to have some luck at the Winners’ clearance racks, but the truly phenomenal finds are few and far between. Which is what makes days like the other Saturday so special.
 
It didn’t start very promisingly. I woke up far too early, and somehow still managed to fall behind schedule. The prospect of running errands on a beautiful sunny weekend day is not conducive to my good mood, so I may have been a little short with my fiancé. All in all, it wasn’t shaping up to be a good day. On a whim, I decided to drop into one of my two favourite consignment stores in the city, on the off chance that something interesting might have turned up. My last couple of visits had been disappointing, so I didn’t have high expectations. I browsed a few racks half-heartedly and saw nothing of interest. I was on my way out when … I saw it. 

It was just hanging there, oh so nonchalantly, right in front of me. A Diane. 

Let me explain. I became a life-long fan of Diane von Furstenberg the first time I put on one of her wrap dresses. There is nothing like silk jersey. And nothing more comfortable than a wrap dress. I have a few DVF pieces, and I treasure them all the way some women cherish their jewels. 

There, before me, was a beautiful DVF silk top. Delicate flutter sleeves, slight cowl neckline, gorgeous colours. Mint condition. I knew it was going to be mine before I even looked at the price. And when I did – a pleasant surprise. $25. Things were definitely looking up. In fact, the story could have ended there, and I would have been quite happy. But, as it happened, I had a few minutes to kill in the line-up, so I decided to quickly browse one more rack. You never know, right? And that is when I struck real gold. The big jackpot.

A Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2008 runway jacket. Three quarter sleeves, with an asymmetrical neckline and diagonal zipper. Perfect for spring, summer or … well, fall. Basically the entire non-winter Edmonton season. The originally price tag was $388US (eBay is endlessly useful for this kind of information). Mine for only … $45.
It was going to be a great day!

Now if only I can get my hands on a Stella McCartney dress …