Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Thank you fabulous blog chums Enc (observationmode) and Bronwyn (FashionAbility) for tagging me to do the 6-Quirk Meme. I thought I had all the quirks down till I started reading about the intriguing, amusing, appealing foibles of other bloggers. Such a vast landscape!

So, in accordance with the rules:

1. Link the person(s) who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules in your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

…here goes.

  • I cannot stand to listen to people breathing when they sleep – loved ones, adorable children, slothful pets – it matters not. That whistle-y sound makes me homocidal. Don’t even get me started on snoring.
  • I LOVE butter – to the extent that bread is merely a vehicle for ingesting it. (I suppose it’s also quirky that I really don’t like bread…)
  • On the topic of food quirks, I used to have a sugarless gum problem – going through packs a day i.e. chain chewing - until I came to terms with the fact (not that I didn’t know this and ignore it for years) that it’s as bad for you as diet cola (which I hate, btw).
  • I am a born hostess: At work, I’m that girl who orients the new person – even if I’ve only been on board for a week and everyone else knows 10X more than me. At a picnic, I’m the one who assists the organizer. If you’re lost on the street, I’m likely to walk you to your destination to make sure that you get there without incident.
  • While I read every fashion mag in the known universe, and feel not the slightest bit of envy or concern that I have neither the body nor the budget to wear most of what I see, I cannot bear to pick up the interior design analogue. The minute I do I feel beyond inferior and it truly depresses me.
  • I’m a whacky combo of luddite and futurist: I don’t have a cell phone, car or cable TV but I live in a house with 6 laptops, numerous PDAs and I was the first person I know to get an iPod. I’m also a member of the Nielsen Media Research “family” – you know, the organization whose TV popularity rating is widely adopted in the media industry. (Strangely, we were demographically sourced on the basis that we don’t have cable but that we – at that time - had a child under the age of 6. “Random source” is likely a misnomer since we’re, in my estimation, one of 3 families in downtown TO with a young child and no cable.)

Hmmm, who to tag, as I know many have already done this fun meme. I’d like to know more about the crazy qualities of:

Jill @ Couture Salope
Fruchtzwerg @ Fruchtzwerg’s Island
Yulanda @ little thoughts.
Regine @ Devote
Ms. White @ White Writing
Romny @ The 16 Diaries

And of course, anyone else who’d like to do it…

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Everyone's A Critic

When my husband (jokingly) told me I looked like a desperate housewife in this new vintage dress/belt/shoes combo, I don't think he meant Eva Longoria...

To wit: this is the look on my face when he uttered the phrase "soccer mom who hasn't been out on a date in a while"

But here's the thing: Every stylish woman is a risk-taker - if only inasmuch as she puts herself out there, observably, for the enjoyment/intrigue/inevitable scrutiny of others. She's not hiding behind a lack of confidence. Au contraire, she projects her imagination, her awareness, onto the canvas of her body. Which is what draws us to her, size and shape and look notwithstanding. She says: Take it or leave it. This is beauty as far as I'm concerned.

Poor old Scottie got quite a dressing-down (no pun intended) and now he's very much looking forward to seeing me wear this and going out for dinner - the first one in a while, I might add - at our earliest opportunity :-)

This concludes today's public service announcement.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What a Mighty Fine Day

Was supposed to rain. Instead, not a cloud in the sky and warm like a baby's bath. So far I've dined on delish chickpea and tuna salad (on a patio) and eaten gelato at the best place in the city (Dolce). Take it from me, there is no place else worth getting ice cream in this city.

Say you desperately want to be in Firenze sampling ice cream in an ancient cobblestoned laneway but you happen to be surrounded by the (let's face it, even those of you who love this town) pallid facade of west central TO. Then take a taste of the just salty-just sweet pistachio - avocado-coloured awesomeness - and hideous storefronts morph into the Ponte Vecchio before your very eyes! Such an inexpensive trip.

At any rate, here are a couple of photos of K blissed out on gelato-goodness:

Sunnies: Rayban; Sweater: Mexx, T: American Apparel; Jeans: Genetic, Scarf: Bill Blass; Shoes: Bruno Magli (NEW!); Bag: Thrifted at Kensington Mkt. (so at the end of a good life...)

And here's a closeup of my new Bruno Magli vintage shoes:

Aren't they awesome? Admittedly, they're a half size too snug but they called to me in the dulcet tones of the siren so I decided that they and my feet would just have to find a way to get along. You can't see it in the pic so well, but the heel is angled and the flat adornment on the top of the bow is in the same zany, tiny geometric pattern as that on the heel. The leather is so rich that, despite the fact this shoe is likely 40 years old, it is soft and pliable.

It's rare for me not to be able to tell the era of a shoe but I'm at a loss with this one. It could be early 60s to early 80s - the style manages to be timelessly elegant. Cost: $35.00. Thrill: Immeasurable.

Next post, I'll tell the tale of my shopping day...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I've decided to implement some fantastic things I learned at a social networking conference yesterday while taking advantage of the fact that my husband and daughter are out for a day trip in the suburbs. But man, it doesn't leave a lot of time to blog...

This morning, I had a great vintage shopping experience involving a whole outfit - shoes to belt to dress - for a hundred bucks. And the shoes are designer. You will certainly hear about it - and see photos - as soon as I organize my google reader and figure out and Twitter.

I know y'all don't need work sponsored conferences to stay up on the tech, y'all being the modern generation. But do cut me some slack, pls: As you may know I spend all my free time shopping :-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fantasy = Reality

Remember, growing up, when you really wanted something you couldn't possibly afford and your mother would say "Use your imagination, it's free"? Well, obviously, she never met me because yesterday's fantasy post was adequately compelling - to me, if no one else - that I went and booked a weekend this summer in Mtl. Decidedly not free, I admit, but hopefully among the best things in life.

An underlying impetus is to avoid an event I would otherwise have no other recourse but to attend - needless to say an event unrelated to anyone who might read this blog. So it's a little holiday with a fringe benefit.

Alas, it's not child-free. But, we will be staying in style at the Gault and eating at Laloux and shopping our asses off a trois. And won't it make for some fun posting upon my return...

Note: Via is having a special on superdiscount summer fares and kids ride free, which means I got 3 tickets return (steerage, natch) for 306.00 - all taxes in! Do treat yourself to a holiday there soon...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Shopping Fantasy 2: Montreal Moment

What is it about shopping and travel that go so perfectly together? Or, to put it another way, is there anything more exciting than a new batch of potentially flawless boutiques on a new street in a beautiful / charming / seedy / richy (more adjectives ad nauseum) new town? Flank the shopping with brunch, a pastry break, drinks on the rooftop, hot hotel sex and room service and you’ve got a seriously good thing going on!

While inhabiting my brain is occasionally torturous, it’s never dull. Shopping and travel fantasies abound, such as this one:

It’s late June. I ride the 10 a.m. VIA1 from Union Station to downtown Montreal . On arrival, I take a taxi to the Gault where I check in and have a quick lunch in the lobby: smoked salmon on a real bagel, a glass of primativo followed by a fantastic dry cappuccino and almond biscotti. I change into my shopping clothes: shoes for walking up the mountain and a sweet, but edgy, summer dress.

Note to Reader: Practicality notwithstanding, don’t try to walk the streets of Mtl looking dull. The women you’ll encounter are amongst the chicest in North America and they are sexy to a one.

I hike up St. Laurent to the Plateau and Mile End, on my route checking out fave destinations like Lola & Emily, M0851, Ima and Preloved. Eventually, I have a sit down on a bench in Parc Jeanne Mance, watching the gorgeous boys play Frisbee on a field. This city is so lively; freedom is everywhere.

My husband arrives – you knew he’d make an appearance eventually – and we have a protracted conversation about politics and philosophy, music and books and other fascinating things we all too rarely have time to consider fully. Other Note to reader: Shopping chat is not on the agenda. We’re here to do it, not talk about it. The sun begins to set behind the mountain. The breeze kicks up a gentle chill.

At 8, we walk to Laloux for a riveting dinner (tasting menu), lots of booze and dessert. Scott carries my shopping bags as we amble back, tipsily, to our very modern room. Once ensconced, we listen to great tunes on the wrap-around balcony and take in the sounds of the all-night neighbourhood. I lay out my purchases on the king-sized bed: luscious holiday finds.

Ed. Note: Funny how I end up fantasizing about how I’ll put them all together, once I get back home...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shopping Fantasy 1: Uppercrust Gal

I have this recurrent fantasy involving the following key elements:
  • Me
  • Perfect weather
  • The Upper West Side
  • A credit card with no limit that my insanely hot, offensively rich boyfriend will “take care of” in return for “favours”
  • Languid lunches in delicious bistros
  • A metabolism the likes of which Gisele would envy, and

The entirety of Bottega Veneta’s Spring 08 RTW collection.

Can’t you just imagine yourself trolling around in these:

Now, with some gorgeous zillion-dollar lingerie to underpin it all… (But that's another fantasy...)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Multi-Tsk Tsk...

Ah, blogging – in what other medium does one get to run the show (writing, modelling, photography, archives, beat reporting) day in and day out? Sometimes I feel like there's an Editor-in-Chief waiting to rap me on the knuckles, saying "Produce, produce, produce". The me who wants to post consistently and meaningfully, is occasionally at odds with the me who parents, sees friends (i.e. other human beings on social basis), co-runs a household and works a day job. And when you factor in spring fever, well, the multitasking madness really can go all to hell.

My point: While I’m working on fodder for a couple of new theme weeks (one on “Beauty” and another on “Holistic Style”), my groove is being ever so slightly disrupted by the novelty of sunshine and breezes which, for once, do not strike with icy hatefulness. It’s undercutting my productivity a smidge, you know. But fear not, blogger peeps, you aren’t getting the worst of me. That honour appears to be going to the day job :-) This week I aim to post on whatever disparate and fun things strike my fancy till the focus returns.

xo The Management

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Forest for the Trees

Y'all know how much I love Enc and her blog. She's got such a great way of drawing you into her world. Between her polls and her photos, tales of the lead-up to her recent wedding and her poignant vignettes about her family - well, you just have to check her out to see what I mean.

Since January, she's been following a worthy, temporary lifestyle initiative she calls S.I.N.C.B.M (self-imposed-no-clothes-buying-moratorium) which is truly impressive. I can just see readers shaking their heads saying, "what, is she the anti-k.line - the one with the halo?". Enc is living proof that you can write a great fashion blog without buying a damn thing (except the occasional wedding dress).

Though an obviously and even self-acknowledged organized blogrrrl, today she posted about closet angst, a topic that's near and dear to my heart. First, let me say, I got some chills and thrills thinking about potentially, someday, having a chance to store my, ahem, collection in a 6 x 6 room. A woman with that kind of space is living the high-life, to be sure, but romance is inclined to come along eventually, whereupon a girl's wise to give up area to make room for the Converse and the denim.

In a sentence that says it all, Enc speaks about how love (aside from lifting her up and liberating her) has managed to remove two inches of air around each of her hangers. Is there no justice?

At any rate, I do love to offer unsolicited advice to incredibly with-it women in a public forum, so pls. forgive me Enc for suggesting the following minimal adjustments to an already excellent set up:

  • Blond wooden hangers. (I, myself, have tried to move from plastic to wooden hangers for a couple of reasons - a) I find that they hold the clothes more effectively and b) they're nice to look at, read: homogenous and warm).

  • Colour coding from neutrals to neons. It's obvious, from the pics in your post, that you've got a smart structure wherein skirts live cleanly on one side and tops on the other. It may be more appealing to you, and easier when searching for things, to sort the lights from the darks, the brights from the neutrals in a kind of ascending pattern.

  • Shoe Wheel. Now we know you've got shoes! Might it actually have been you who profiled that amazing gizmo that holds zillions of pairs of shoes in a handy, storable wheel? I'd get it in a second but it's too deep for my closet floor. You, on the other hand, could slot one - or even two - into a spot underneath the shirts for instant, compact storage. The most fun thing about it is that the shoes are visible through the translucent plastic. Voila, then all the space holding those shoe boxes above the rods would be free to store other things - like extra cashmere sweaters or your insanely gorgeous bag collection.

Now, if only you would offer me some S.I.N.C.B.M. advice...

Friday, April 18, 2008

What I Wore Today...

Today, my friends, I really had it together. (Well, if I really, really had it together I’d be posting a picture, but that’s just not feasible on a workday so you’re going to have to take my word for it).

It’s not like I woke up knowing what I was going to wear – often I do but the weather right now is in flux and (joy/gasp/puppies and kittens) it was gorgeous sunny and 21 degrees celsius like a dream! I had to decide on the fly cuz I was running late…

The Look:

  • Grey Generra cap-sleeved a-line trapeze dress – in three-season wool tweed – very Jackie Kennedy
  • Black Mexx shrunken slim cardigan, 3-quarter sleeve
  • Black Franco Sarto knee-high boots (in pleather), 1 inch stacked heel
  • Multicoloured spring-toned, blue/green silk scarf with pear pattern bought 10 years ago by my husband, tied in a prim but voluminous bow
  • Slim belt, from where I can’t remember, worn over the cardi, somewhere between the waist and the bust (This made the dress that much shorter – 3 inches above the knee.)
  • Fitted mid-blue denim jacket, Jacob (Unnecessary, turns out, as the day wore on…)

It was very “1976: Meet 2008.” And the people responded!

Ladies in the elevator pointed at me when they thought I wasn’t looking. Adorable well-dressed, metrosexuals checked me out indiscreetly. School girls in uniforms looked bitchily envious. Workmates advised it was a good look. My husband said it was sexy, even though he generally defines my outfits as “entirely way too much clothing”. I felt chicly comfortable in the event that anything might occur: impromptu meeting (check), sitting on park bench eating salad, reading magazine (check), walking to-and-from work (check).

OK, maybe I’ve been rendered stupidly up-with-me by the stunning weather today. (We Canadian girls do what we must.) But you have to appreciate a well-styled, beautiful moment in time. After all, there are so many of the other sort :-)

What did you wear and did you love it?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

No, That’s Entirely Another Sort of Blog: A Vignette

Me: I just found these two great new vintage shops in the Annex. B and I went out and tried on everything at the first place and we both scored awesome things – so unique and well-priced.

Lisa: Oh yeah? We should totally go there together.

Me: Definitely. Among other things, I found this amazing vintage full slip in black silk. It’s from the ‘50s. Very practical, yet vavavoom. You know how impossible it is to find a slip when you need one.

Lisa: Aren’t you a bit creeped out by wearing something that, er, intimate?

Me: Not really. It’s probably sat in someone’s closet for half a century, not to mention it was dry cleaned before it went to the shop. And I’m going to dry clean it again and have a couple of snags corrected. But I take your point. I mean, some slips would creep me out.

Lisa: Um…

Me: Yeah?

Lisa: You’re not going to take a picture of yourself in it and put it up on the blog, right? I mean, it’s practically underwear. (Broached with perceptible undertone of horror – and intrigue…)

Me: Of course not – how could you even imagine such a thing!? (Uttered with perceptible undertone of intrigue – and reconsideration) *

*Note to reader (especially my dad): If I won’t wear it on the street, you won’t see it on the blog.

PS: It’s sort of shocking what I’ll wear on the street.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pretty Kitty

My husband wanted to call this post "Nice Pussy" and, while I was tempted, it is a family blog :-)

So this is darling find no. 2 from Refinery Vintage - a sack pinafore from the early 80s (we estimate, based on the seams and the material). The zipper is what sold me. Well, the $20.00 pricetag is what sold me - or maybe it was the heretofore never encountered animal print corduroy. It's just one big mishmash of adorable, IMO. And, though I was there the first time, I wasn't exactly chic back then.

I'll generally wear it with a belt to mitigate comments about pregnancy though, with my new, neon yellow, Club Monaco v-neck I might just let it be its bad-ass puffy self. And, this dress is great with a flat boot, a sandal or a shoe. Versatile, non?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On a Clear Day...

One Wednesday a couple of weeks ago, while running to get from work to M's acting recital, I discovered two great places to shop. It's more accurate to say that I finally acknowledged two great places to shop - as they have been on my radar for a while now. One, Ukele on College St., an avant garde cafe cum studio cum purveyor of Japanese and Scandi designers, will be the subject of another post.

This post will cover the other place - Refinery Vintage on Markham Street (just south of Bloor). I should start by saying that I only had 5 minutes to glance in on my way to the recital. It was more of a meet-and-greet than shopping experience, though my eye does rove even as I chat at lightning speed. The proprietor, Cher, is a friendly woman with a great eye for vintage. She opened the place about 8 months ago (before, it was a vintage wedding gown shop, some of which she inherited) and has amassed a fine collection from 30s to 80s pieces. The ambience is homey and Cher is gorgeous with an excellent haircut (blonde, blunt bob). She has a kind of vintage theatricality about her - but not because she dresses all dramatically. (I mean, I've met her twice. Maybe some days she does. But not the days when I met her. )

At any rate, on that Wednesday I went in to do the whirlwind once over, which made me entirely certain I'd need to return at my earliest opp. Hence my second visit on the following Saturday, once again with my gorgeous red-headed friend B, who found a new crop of terrific things at great prices. We both got very lucky!

I'll post my finds over the next few days, but let's get the ball rolling with this:

Vintage Sailor Dress (60s), Zebra-patterned kitten heels from Balisi

This look is such a departure for me! I actually scooped it up because I thought it would be perfect on B. with her dainty figure and auburn hair. I mean, the thing is practically empire (read it the French way, that's how I'm hearing it) with a ruffle hem and a naval theme. And while I love that in principal, it's rather over-the-top: Not to put to fine a point on it, it's veritably jazz-handing the tits. Not to mention it doesn't lend itself to a cover-up, what with its whacky fitted here / loose there cut.

I guess sometimes you gotta buy something because it sings to you. This one was kind of a crooner. I ask you, name one girl who can resist that?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Work with Me...

I was out for dinner last Saturday night with a couple of friends, one of whom asked me how I was possibly going to be able to keep up my blog indefinitely, what with the expense. At first (maybe thanks to a cherry vodka drink), I didn't really get where he was coming from. But then it clicked that he meant "A) How are you going to afford to keep doing the shopping porn posts as they all involve you spending money and B) Where are you going to stash all the things you purchase (cuz you are on a roll)?" BTW, this convo came on the heels of my advising him about what I had just bought that day at vintage stores...

He has a valid point. So I started thinking. Tipsy thinking, but thinking nonetheless. And I came up with a few options:
  • I could start an online vintage store, allowing me to continue the unbelievably satisfying work of combing through well-loved clothing of day's gone by. (Any of the vintage buyers out there will know exactly the satisfaction of which I speak...) The challenge with this option is that I have a young child and a full-time job and occasionally I like to exercise or read or blog, for example.
  • I could start styling other people / personal shopping - and not just for people I know.

Personal shopping, you may recall, is an addictive hobby. Some people even make it into a lucrative business. I just want a malleable fashion-lover with holes in her wardrobe looking for someone to help get her where she wants to go.

So here's my call to arms. If you are a woman who would like to enjoy a truly fun shopping experience with another woman who knows quite a bit about where to find cool things in Toronto, please email me and let me know. I ask only that you shop with an open mind, some idea of what you really need / can't live without, and a pre-determined budget. I can offer you a Saturday afternoon and my best advice (I tell it like it is, though politely) and it won't cost you a penny - other than the price of the great things you find that you cannot resist purchasing. Now those are gonna cost you and I am going to get to live vicariously!

PS: Moderation week is done. I'm back to buying cool stuff and trying it on in fun ways and taking pictures which I will post up on the blog this week. Having said that, I've been purchasing vintage so the price point is outrageously reasonable and the loot deliciously unique.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I am Scared

In approximately one hour (6 pm EDST), my eight-year old will be having a sleepover birthday party. That means 5 girls, 4 movies, 8 thousand hair ties, assorted treats, bags of popcorn, 2 pizzas and a cake. I just assumed that, when they arrived, my job would be kind of done. You know, so I could have a tranquilizer with a glass of wine? No dice, apparently. My daughter has just advised that I will be responsible for painting fingernails and devising card games too. Is there no rest for a mother, I ask you?

Natch, I had to make it a fashionable. To take a page from my good friend Lisa's book (she's one of those super aunties - you know), I went to H&M and bought matching T-shirt dresses (sleeveless a-line knee length sacks that cost $6.90, not a typo, for all the moms out there). These, doubling as nightgowns, will be the official party garb. They are an unironic pink floral with darling green accents, which will be presented, as girls arrive, along with a pad of paper and some pencil crayons in an adorable flowerpot shaped yellow gift bag.

Please wish me luck and be grateful at 2 a.m. when you are sleeping.

Friday, April 11, 2008

If you don't want to spend money...

...Don't go window shopping at lunch.

C'est tout.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just an Idea

May I suggest, as a gesture of thanks to warm sunshine and the emerging spring, that you run right out (or get online) and purchase a new lingerie set?

Stella McCartney's got some new, pretty, casual undies (though admittedly they're not my style):

Or, perhaps, you'd prefer to channel your inner pinup? How great would this be under a fitted shift?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Don't Do Us Any Favours. (Really.)

(Wow, it's amazing how inaccurately graphics copy sometimes...)

You should check out the shipping regulations. They're like something out of first year biochemistry.

PS: If I want to spend a zillion dollars online, there are easier ways to do it.

Love, K

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April is a Special Month

Can you believe how many special people in my life have birthdays in the first week of April?

Happy Birthday Mum (April 8), Sandra (April 8), Allison, my sister, (April 9) and M, my daughter, who turned 8 (on April 2).

Too bad, with the exception of M, they all live so far away...

Something's Afoot

And, for once, I didn't buy it...

During Spring Shoe theme week, a while back, I alluded to a fun shopping moment I had with my friend Jennifer. She is a most delicate creature - petite with fine bones and tiny little feet. You might imagine that such podalic refinedness would be desirable. However, you wouldn't be the gal who searches high and low for walkable, wearable, office appropriate and or other shoe styles that come in your size.

Take it from her - and I've shoe shopped many times with J over the years - it is no fun having feet that are smaller than a 6. Especially since a size 6 today is more like a size 7 was 10 - 15 years ago. You know, it's vanity sizing?!

Cut to two, post-lunch window shoppers who drop into 9West, just to look at a red gladiator one ordered in on a whim the week before. While said gladiatress was admiring a sandal she was destined to purchase, Jennifer spied - of all great things - 9West Kids. This was comprised of about 6 pairs of shoes in "child sizing", the largest of which was considerably bigger than a women's 5 and a half. Guess who walked out with two adorable styles (btw, not childlike enough for actual children, IMO): one plum mary jane and one black patent wedge sandle with a peekaboo toe.

The moral of the story? If you are a delicate flower, get thee to a 9West and see if you get lucky.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Love This

I found this pic on Face Hunter, posted in February. It simply delights me that people walk around London in the middle of the winter like this! Talk about suffering for your art...

I like the idea of mixing the shorts with the tights and a prim top. And don't you love this woman's hair?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

All is One

I find myself in an unusual scenario, reminiscent of Ms. Clothes Horse's, as I am writing this in the middle of the night...

Now, usually, you have to pry me off the bed with a spatula by 10:3o p.m., so exhausted am I by the numerous daily responsibilities of the modern, adult existence. Which, let me tell you, is a blessing because, by nature, I'm a person who tends to live hard: My motto is some self-serving conflation of "if you want something done right you have to do it yourself" and "anything worth doing is worth doing well" with a healthy pinch of the critical and an incessant drive to "realize my vision". Enthusiasm ain't just a word for me. It's a driving force.

A couple of days ago I read a fantastic post by IHeartFashion at Je Ne Sais Quoi which really resonated on a few levels. On the one hand it spoke of conceptual moderation (and it's delish flipside immoderation) and of the veritable toothpaste squeeze of subverting one desire for another. On the other hand it spoke of diet and nutrition (and specifically Gary Taubes' nutitional science tome Good Calories, Bad Calories), a book whose philosophy is deeply resonant with one I have developed over the past two years. That book is hardcore and it could change your feelings about everything you eat from now on. Of course, so could food poisoning or visiting a cattle farm, so let me at least try to quell the preach in my tone.

I have a vision of my friends' eyes glazing over just about now (you know who you are!). Recall: My enthusiasm is relentless. Poor peeps have spent so much time listening to my feelings about health I can imagine it gives them a headache :-) Because this blog has been, heretofore, a forum about fashion and style, I haven't really broached the topic as yet. But I'm beginning to see interesting ways to integrate it into the larger style theme. So, you may be in for a series on nutrition and lifestyle and its impact on one, stylistically. Thanks, Enc, for getting this mental ball rolling.

However, for now, let's focus on (im)moderation, shall we? IHeart, in her post, spoke eloquently about her own propensity to do more / be more and about the nature of drive as an overriding force. To precis: She's spent the last while trying to give up consumerism, prescription narcotics and old-school dietary habits at the same time. And what she's observed is how appetite adapts itself to whatever it must in order to survive. As if to say "I am the one thing you will not control". Like the dear, crazy friend you've had for years, the one who calls you from a payphone at that club intermittently - at 2:30 in the morning - because she's so crushed by her latest circumstance. So beautiful and unstable.

My appetite and I have been locked in textbook codependence, it would seem, my whole life long. It stokes me, it taunts me, it propels me (for my own good or to my detriment). It possesses me at times to the extent that I am in its thrall. Perhaps you can relate?

So, what (you may be wondering at this point) does this have to do with wrapping up disposable fashion week? Well... Stop lavishing desire on cheesecake or weed or atavan or sex or workaholism or stealth-parenting and you may just find yourself shopping a whole lot. And, if volume business is your thing (but you're not a socialite), the high street may be seeing much of your disposable income - emphasis on disposable. Which brings us back to that whole issue of ethical spending...

Now you know, I generally find the bargains in other locales (namely upscale sale bins and vintage stores) but sometimes a girl gets sucked in by the lure.

As I try to bring more balance into my life, I am occasionally reminded of my own propensity to thwart it. So how do we pass on the cake and eat too? I'm still working on it (thankfully). When I have some more ideas, natch you'll be the first know...

Disposable Clothing: More Evidence

OK, a propos of being creative - which is to say, mixing the cheapy purchases with the finer ones - here are the F21 high-waisted jeans styled two different ways:

Jeans: Forever 21, Shoes: n.d.c., Shrug: ?

Jeans: Forever 21, Shoes: n.d.c., Sweater: Banana Republic

I realize it's a challenging, which is to say exaggerated, look. This is why I'm wearing the jeans with heels and a bit of attitude. It's also why I bought this look via the high-street. I do think that inexpensive denim can be a super buy because it generally doesn't show its relative shabbiness.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Disposable Clothing: The Evidence

The next couple of pictoral posts are all about the crazy looks I'd never try at a higher pricepoint.

So, call me shameless, here are the F21 short shorts (and the knit vest):

Shorts and Vest: Forever 21, Shoes: n.d.c. from Winners,
Necklace: From Spain, courtesy of Sandra

Yes, I am actually as pale as the pictures makes me seem.

No, I never get appreciably darker, thank you sunblock .

So, do tell, are you the short shorts type?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Disposable Clothing: The Preamble

My experience at F21 was delicious/concerning in the way that most scandalous things are: I was high on the moment with a niggling sense of doubt about consequence.

Let me start by cataloguing the purchases:

  • A butter yellow, thin, deep-V cardi with pleated shoulders. Proviso: It's thin - not for the gauge of the wool but for the cheapness of its construction. Nonetheless, for the season it will last, that won't be particularly observable.

  • A slate-grey shell with interesting knit detail at the shoulder / on the back. Also thin. Proviso, above, applies. A really smart, shrunken knit vest in black. This one, while cheap, has staying power.

  • A rip-off version of the short shorts we've seen everywhere this season.
  • True, super high-waisted skinny jeans - Given my age and stage, these are stylistically analogous to drag-racing while completely smashed on cocaine. I sense rehab is in my future :-)

Note that pictures will appear over the next few posts.

The damage for these 5 rather substantive garments was a shocking $110.00 - and yes, that includes tax. Herein lies the skeeviness. I'd like to tell you that I'm the kind of consumer who always saves to purchase only the designs of designers who charge a lot of money, not simply for their creativity, but for their ethical manufacturing practices. In truth, I do care, and because I'm usually getting really expensive, diffusion and designer things for less (based on my ability to bargain shop), I imagine that the retailer is taking the hit. (Note: This is something - based on the overwhelming success of those companies - I'm prepared to live with.)

However, when one purchases half a new wardrobe for 90 bucks plus tax, one cannot deny on whose back the profit is being made.

Look, I'm very much in favour of the democratization of fashion - on the creation of popular-trend garments which are affordable at most price-points. But seriously, I'm disturbed by the sheer disposability of it all. I mean, F21 makes Zara look like YSL. It makes me wonder: Where does it end?

Having said all this, I was kookily thrilled at the thought of getting some crazy-ass denim I might only have the nerve to wear 3 times for $34.00. And I know I'll wear the black knit vest into the ground, making it the best 12 bucks I'm likely to spend this year. And, for sooth, the stuff fit rather stylishly, which is to say not cheaply.

Here's my take: Over the years, I've bought 2 things at H&M, 3 things at Zara and had this little spree at F21. I'm not principaled enough to return the loot, but I'm not proud. Can't say I'll never visit these places again - can't say, either, that the places I frequent don't harm vulnerable workers the world over. But I won't be going back soon. At least that's what I tell myself.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Never Trust Anyone Over 30

You know those drop the ball moments:

...When your manager asks you a question and you totally can't think of the answer.

...When the adorable campus co-ed, or bond trader, or guy with the really architectural look and buff arms tries to pick you up at the Starbucks and, instead of using some cute, quippy comeback (advising that you are so flattered but so not on the market), you stammer like an idiot about how long you've been waiting for your short, skim, extrahot cappucino.

...When you start having a meaningful (read: intellectual) conversation about a very relevant film, book, article and you realize, half way through, that you weren't paying attention and you've lost your train of thought and you can't even remember the characters' names so you end up saying things like "the guy in the linen blazer with the bad glasses was such a self-loathing, um, prick..."

You know, the moments that make you feel vaguely out of touch?

Well, peeps, I had just such a moment last week when, on reading a post from fellow Canadian blogger, Jen (at Mahalo Fashion), I discovered that Forever21 has its flagship Canadian store at Yonge and Dundas (where that crappy Gap used to be) and it's been there since June 07 and I'd never heard a thing about it. Which is why, whenever American bloggers speak about it, I have been a jealous, covetous wannabe. And did I mention it's a 10 minute walk from my office?

Yes, I've actually zoomed by it dozens of times since it opened and never wondered about it, or looked up at the sign, or stared intently at the window design.

In my defense - I was out of town when it opened and the place has little curb appeal. I mean, what kind of marketing machine are you running when a shopping addict who lives in the hood doesn't have the slightest idea you've moved into the area? I searched the web for press releases or articles on the opening - there was some buzz, but obviously not anything that was sustained until early July (when I returned). Indeed, it was packed on a Tuesday at lunchhour so, it doesn't appear they're hurting for business...

I did some recon (i.e. spent some bucks and bought some loot) and formed some opinions about this kind of shopping experience. Pics and thoughts to follow in my "Disposable Shopping" theme week.

And lest you think the theme is at odds with yesterday's post about being more French - which is to say more moderate and less wasteful - you'd be right. Except I did this research before I decided to take my brief sabbatical from the world of consumerism. And, in fact, it has provided me with core motivation to do so. If only to refocus my creativity. So this week will be about doing the shopping and appreciating it and then deciding that (sometimes) enough is enough. And before you know it, something tells me, a new "pro-purchase" theme week will be at hand.