Monday, May 28, 2012

Shop: Banana Republic Patio Dress(es)

I am, what I consider to be, average height. 5 foot 4 inches. I've lied and said I was 5'5 a few times in my life for reasons I can't explain. Perhaps it was because it lead to a better BMI (sneaky, sneaky). Due to my vertically challenged nature, the whole maxi dress trend that been popular for the last few summers is discouraging to me. Long (weighed down by tons of material) dresses have a tendency to make a short, ample booty'd gal look dumpy/frumpy/lumpy (you pick). But I love the idea of a flowy summer dress. Seeing all the girls in Montreal during the summer looking so awesomely boho chic gives me maxi dress envy.

I'm going against my own advice here by purchasing some thing that I know doesn't flatter my body type. I know better but I still succumbed to my retail impulse and bought two long summer dresses on BR's online summer sale. In my mind, I envision the perfect summer outfit complete with a cool pair of dangley earrings and a well paired purse or belt. I just hope it doesn't end up looking like a muumuu instead!

These are the ones I ended up getting. I am hoping the structure of the dresses will flatter my physique, and the darker colours will help keep things looking slim. I'm thinking the t-shirt styled one (BR Heritage Jersey Patio dress in Chocolate) will work better on me than the one in navy (BR Draped v-neck Patio Dress) but I just had to have the navy one once I saw it in the store, the pleating is so nice. Here's hoping. I'll post pictures if I think the results are good; otherwise you'll never hear about them again (banished to the back of the closet forever!)

Photo courtesy of BR
Photo courtesy of BR

Friday, May 25, 2012

Style: Fashion Faux Pas

Despite my love for all things sartorialist, there are a few elements of my daily wardrobe that cannot be made fashionable. I must simply grin and bear it (pun very much intended). Here's the worst offender, maybe some of you recognize the offending object in it's natural form?

If not, here they are being used as both an implement of torture and fashion inhibitor:

See? Maybe I should afix some rhinestones to my grill to gussy it up...but its more likely I will 'demurely' cover my mouth with my hand when I smile or laugh, which is becoming something of a habit.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shop: The right shoes for 10,000 steps a day?

I've been delinquent with my posting. Activities related to moving into my boyfriend's apartment and planning a vacation are to blame, but with that kind of stuff on the horizon I can't really complain, can I?

TMI moment: I found 2012 to be an extremely challenging year. Divorce, sale of my home, a loss of a dear family member, work conflict, and ulcerative colitis flare ups were difficult obstacles to say the least. But after some time, reflection and prescription medicine, I feel like I'm starting to move past it. I have tons to look forward to; work and personal life appear to be on track so it's time to focus on my physical health a bit more.

As part of my effort to feel healthy and strong again, I joined the global corporate challenge this year with a team of 7 coworkers. For 16 weeks we will wear pedometers to track our distance walked. We will then post the daily results on their website to track our cumulative distance. It's a competition with other corporate teams with an end goal of raising funds for children's physical activity in schools, but also to encourage physical activity within corporations. It suggests a minimum of 10,000 steps a day, which I'm told is close to 5 miles distance. The competition starts tomorrow and goes into September. Yesterday I received my care packet, which includes my pedometer. I thought that I'd do a little experiment and wear the pedometer today knowing I have no plans of altering my regular activities, just to see what an average day looks like. I can only assume it's shameful. I have a strange relationship with exercise, I tend to do it in phases and then drop it completely, which I know is awful for a persons' health. Right now I'm in the inactivity phase so this friendly competition is exactly what I need. I know it will set the tone and within no time I'll be back to running, yoga and spin classes.

All this to bring me back to shoes (talk about a meandering blog post!). A girl can't walk 10,000 steps a day wearing high heels unless she's a masochist. I'm clumsy and way too much of a wimp to deal with that. So considering I like cute shoes and I don't want to compromise my work outfits with clunky running shoes to clock my 10,000 steps a day, I need alternatives. Luckily my predilection for footwear means I already have the answer to my problem; flats! Ballet flats, loafers, sandals, oh my! I know it's not enough cushioning for real exercise, but for taking the stairs and throwing in extra steps during the work day, I'm hoping they will do the trick. Today's selection are Jessica Simpson polka dot ballet flats. Cute, right?

They were an impromptu eBay purchase as the price was too good to resist (38$!). I've owned Jessica Simpson ballet flats before and aside from the fact that they don't last very long, they are easy to find for a good price, available in cute colours/patterns and are easy to break in (essential!!!). To be honest, I'm not very talented at mixing prints/patterns so I don't wear these too often. But today, I'm wearing Gap Khakis in Brick and Banana Republic Safari blouse in black; I thought that a red/black combo would pair well with white polka dots. I'd post a picture of the full ensemble but I haven't figured out how so many fashion bloggers take such good selfies (That sounds dirty...).

Courtesy of BR
Courtesy of Gap

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shop: Marc by Marc Jacobs Mouse Ballet Flats

This is a cautionary tale of cuteness crushing common sense.

I went shopping with a great friend of mine (and fellow shopaholic) this past weekend, with a goal of finding a nice pair of black ballet flats that I could take with me on vacation. I wanted something versatile and neutral, as I need to replace my old faithful ballet flats that are about to give up the ghost. My only rule is that they had to be black since I have a few other flats/oxfords in flashy colours/prints already.

On Saturday morning we did a tour of all the shoe stores in Rockland before happening upon these beauties:

Black = check.
Ballet flats = check.
Favourite designer = check.
Whiskers = check!

The impulse to buy these came on strong, which of course meant that they did not have my size. Even worse, they could not order them for me as they were out of my size store-wide. I tried scanning eBay right in the middle of the mall on my iPhone (shameful I know) to no avail.

I went home dejected and completely single minded on finding this one pair of shoes.  I googled all Marc Jacob sellers in Montreal (hint: there aren't many) followed by a search on all local and international websites. I finally found one website that had stock and would ship to Canada but the added cost of customs/duties were really discouraging so I decided to hold out.

The next day I embarked on a last ditch solo shopping mission downtown at various fancy pants stores like Holt Renfrew, Ogilvy, etc. I got close once but again they did not have my size. I tried so many shoe stores I can now quote you the exact price on most of this seasons hot shoes, but no luck.

In the end, I did the unthinkable and ordered from Shop Bop, complete with prepaid customs and duties applied to the price. It was a cringe worthy splurge, and I did feel pangs of buyers remorse. I'm normally all about getting a good price, evaluating cost per use, blah blah blah, but damn it I wanted these!! They arrived yesterday and when I opened the box I knew that I'd be happy with my purchase, despite the splurge. Sometimes you just have to, right?!

What ridiculous splurges have you indulged in? Was it worth it?