2013-12-27

Shine On

 
Jacket? Vintage  (similar on etsy but pricey) Jeans? MiH jeans (here or lighter wash on sale here
Pumps? Guess, thrifted Clutch? Hilary Radley Earrings? Patina (available at The Edit!)

You know how sometimes you haven't seen a friend for a while and then when you do, you both immediately launch into rapid fire conversation as you are trying to relay every single detail of life recently before you forget a thing? Because it would be a shame if you forget to tell your friend about what you had for dinner, that minor fight you had with a co-worker and how you switched up your cats' food because those jerks went on strike...
That's how I kinda feel about the blog... Not that I am wanting to share the cats' feeding routine but more that I have so much to say that I could ramble on for quite a while... But then the irony is that when you have lots to say, you probably don't have time to say it all. Apparently it's a lot of work to start and operate a little shop... I am finding that out in a big way. Who would have thought? Ha. 
And so I apologize for being a little slack in the blog department. Don't worry, I'm not quitting. As long as I have the urge to share my crazy sequin pieces, I'm not going anywhere. Lucky you;) Thanks for sticking around. Really... I appreciate it.

2013-12-18

Warm Ears, Cold Ankles

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Coat? Thrifted Toque? Stepcat (available at my shop too, though only one left in Oatmeal...) 
Pants? Joe Fresh (without faux leather stripe here) Shoes? c/o Aldo (old) 
Scarf? h&m (similar one from the Gap here)

I wasn't lying when I said that lately I get up and decide what to wear based on what matches my new toque. The pom is just so wonderfully fluffy and it's so cozy that it deserves to be worn every second day at least...

Apparently I also wear these pants a lot because my friend dubbed them the 'Jentine pant'. I would apologize but they fit me nicely and they are warm and comfortable and fine... I wear them all the time. I just can't help it, they are almost as comfortable as trackpants and that is perhaps the highest  praise I can give... I feel like I will have more fight in me in January but right now I'm totally giving into the cold. Pass me my trackpants, my blanket, my cat and some soup...
...please. 

2013-12-16

Shop Selfies

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(Rag and Bone pants, thrifted crop sweater)

I get to get dressed up for work! After years of landscaping, this is really exciting to me... Maybe one day I will bore of picking out clothes but right now I am having way to much fun waking up and getting my fancy (or sometimes not) on, on a weekday no less! And even though I have been dressing up, it's been hard to get outfit pics between the business and that setting sun. Happily for blog content, I have been taking change room selfies at the shop
I wore this for the first opening night party. Still a sucker for a crop top, even in this bitter cold... 

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(Vintage jacket, sweater from Modify and c/o Le Canadienne boots (here)

Melanie and Vito from Modify, who have been so helpful and generous to me as I was starting the shop, came to one of the opening nights and gifted me this drapey sweater that Melanie had sewed up just that afternoon. I love it and it's a great layer to wear to the shop because there are some drafty spots in the shop and I am always cold....

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(thrifted blazer, Joe Fresh pants (here) and Cole Haan shoes)

I think it's such a fashion blogger thing to have exposed ankles on cold winter days. And it was a little chilly on those exposed centimetres (understatement...) but I regret nothing. 

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(Acne jeans, Le Canadienne boots and vintage sequin jacket (one on etsy or this drool worthy one here)

There is not much commentary that needs to be added here because that sequin jacket needs no words...;)


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(Helmut Lang jeans, thrifted sweater, CR necklace and my awesome Stepcat toque available here; both in my shop too!!!)

I got these Canadian made Stepcat toques in last weekend and so I had to make sure my outfits for the next few days matched because there was no chance I was taking my favourite new hat off my head. I'm a little biased because the toque is available in the shop but the toque and its giant pom might be the best thing ever. 

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(Vintage Perry Ellis sweater (really similar vintage version on etsy for a great price), Acne jeans and Le Canadienne boots again...)
 
And this is my face when I think someone is about to bust me taking a selfie...

Don't worry, real outfit posts are coming up soon. I miss giving a real camera some over the shoulder smoulder...

2013-12-12

Neighbourly Love

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Dress? Diane von Furstenberg from The Refinerie (similar hereBomber? Costa Blanca
Boots? c/o Le Canadienne (last year, still availableVest? Vintage rework, Modify your Closet 

I got this dress from The Refinerie, which is a new fancy consignment place on Ottawa St. I thought some deep thoughts when I first saw the dress and then I came back a few weeks later and got it when they were having a party and a sale. Wine and a discount, I'm in. I love that it is a classic DvF wrap dress but the hem is a little shorter and the skirt is a little fuller.
I think it's dangerous to have The Refinerie as the neighbour to my store. Technically, it's not my neighbour but they are close enough to walk over in high heels. And that is how I measure distances... if I can make it to your place in super high heels, we are neighbours. And even better than their close proximity is the fact that they painted a huge, fantastic mural along the one wall. I think they did it as a backdrop for fashion bloggers...;) So kind, right?

2013-12-09

Little Greyish-blue Riding Hood

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Cape? Sisley, Modify Your Closet ( for fun a similar vintage (pricey)YSL and a much cheaper similar version that seems to have a waiting list?) Boots? Holts (similar here) Clutch? Thrifted Cuffs? Vintage, auction

Another cape!
My love for capes has been well documented on this blog but I think things stepped up to a whole new level with this one that I bought off credit at Modify. Because IT HAS A HOOD!!! Capitals totally necessary. 
I love it so much. I am a sucker for a dramatic piece. When I wore this, I felt 1/3 chic, 1/3 like an extra in Lord of the Rings and 1/3 like I belong in a horror movie...

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...because kinda creepy, no?

Too bad all my chic/fantasy/creepy outfit fractions really meant nothing after my nephew saw me and told me he liked my Snuggie. Impudent young whelp...

2013-12-05

A Peek Inside

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(pics by the sneaky and talented Merly)

The Edit is only about 250 square feet. There mayyyy have been a few nights that I lay awake stressing that the space was too small and that it would never work but lo and behold, once we cleaned out all the construction mess and got a little bit of organization happening, it turned out to be just right. Like Baby Bear's porridge... just right. Would I love to have a bigger space one day? Sure! But I need to take one step at a time, especially since I'm not letting go of my best landscape contract just yet. How landscaping and running a shop will work is going to be an interesting experience but I'm not doing snow clearing this winter so I've got some time to sort out all that good stuff... 
When I got the space on Ottawa St., it was outdated, quite pink and with 2/3 of a finished floor. We put in a new change room, put in new window displays, took out the dated stuff and painted everything white. Painting it all white made it seem so much more spacious and gave a clean, modern background for the vintage clothing. I wanted to avoid spending even more money by putting in new floors, so we ripped up the old flooring and painted the tiles with porch paint. I would have loved to have crisp white floors but that's just asking for muddy foot prints so Julie and I (fueled by wine and burritos) spent a night with some dollar store stencils and made a design on the floor with grey porch paint. Seriously, I feel like I need to do a step by step on how we did the floors because it will make me a Pinterest celebrity (and that's the dream right?) but I doubt I will get to that. Just buy about 10 stencils so that you can move the ones you painted first along as you work...
I still have to rework some display areas to get every square inch out of my square footage but I doubt that feeling ever goes away.  It'll never be just right and that's part of the fun...


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(See that sign behind me? Kirsten from Willow Art And Design made that for me. Homegirl is only 17 and getting her marketing on. I love the sign and I love her hustle.)

I also spent over $150 in tinsel but I consider silver tinsel an investment. It's never going to go out of style right?

And because this post is so picture heavy, I shall put in a rare click through. But it is worth clicking through to see my vintage dress:)

2013-12-02

A Dream. A Shop.

I've wanted to own a fashion boutique ever since I was a young girl. To be fair, I also wanted to be an author, an Olympic gymnast and Mariah Carey. All reasonable future career options obviously...
In Grade 6 I got serious about my dreams and decided to set up a mobile shop and sell those fluffy pens that Cher Horowitz and Clueless made popular. I planned to buy feather boas from Michaels and use duct tape to secure sections of these boas on pens. DIY duct tape feather pens... does it get more adorably Canadian than that? Those mobile shop dreams fell apart when I couldn't quite figure out how to be mobile and when I saw that Claire's had a monopoly on the fluffy pen market.
Two years later I joined forces with my best friends to move towards mall domination. I had grand visions of opening three stores, aptly named Earth, Sun and Moon. Earth was obviously going to be full of natural tones and textures, Sun would be cheery and loud and Moon would be my favourite because it was going to be a mecca of shiny stuff. I didn't realize that while I was busy dreaming up my multi-faceted retail dream, my two best friends had decided that I would be in charge of... finances. Because I was good at math. Ousted from design by my two very best friends, I let my mall dreams slide away...
After a degree in fashion design at university, I started to think about owning my own store again. I even looked into a little place near our old house, a place where I could sew custom dresses and carry some accessories as well. Thankfully we weren't in a place financially to start that venture. I say thankfully because I would soon realize that making dresses was neither my biggest skill or desire. Also, my style inspiration at the time was a little too heavily influenced by Jessica Simpson...
And then years go by and though having a store always stayed somewhere in the back of my mind, I was busy with life. I landscaped a ton, made some wedding dresses, went to night school for landscape design, started some blog or something and trained my cats to do synchronized back flips... just stayed busy.

And then, all joking aside, Alzheimer's happened to my dad and in many ways that became what defined the last few years. I wrote about it about a year and a half ago and I remember being so broken hearted about what was happening. And now I look back at that post and think 'sweet girl, you have no idea what lies ahead.'
I thought I could write a bit about the last year and a half here but it turns out I can't yet. I tried and then deleted it because it got too messy and complicated. Much like how our lives were back then.
I will say things are different now. My dad moved into a nursing home last June. We had been waiting for an opening for months, tag teaming between members of the family and the professionals who were involved at that point. Taking it day by day to keep my dad safe and my mom sane until we could get into a good home.
He's in a great home now and I am so thankful for that. I naively thought that when he moved in we could continue, to some degree, the relationship we had. I would still take him out for adventures and he would still light up when he saw me. As we had been warned however, he had a serious regression when he moved into the home. I went from being the daughter who knew how to coax at least a smile out of him every time, to the girl fighting back tears, struggling to figure out the stupid brake on the wheelchair her father was slumped over in.
This summer we started a new reality. I had decreased my work schedule two summers ago to help the family and ideally, to give my dad what small joy he could still have, and now I was the one who didn't know how to take care of my dad as the nurses efficiently bustled around us. I guess I lost my job. But mostly, I lost my dad.

I spent the summer careening through emotions. Deep gratefulness for the people who take care of my dad, because as much as we like to remember the good times, the truth is we were barely keeping it together near the end. I also felt a freedom I hadn't felt before; Matt and I went away a lot, without guilt, because I knew my mom wasn't stuck at home watching the minutes pass by, waiting for help to arrive.
Then there was the deep sadness and anger. I didn't think that would fade, the anger. That it had come to this, my handsome dad in the secure ward of a nursing home at 65. His smiling picture in the display case by the front of his room, a reminder of how it once was. With the patience and dedication of my mom, he is back to walking now and he has come out of his shell a bit. He gave me kiss as greeting a few weeks ago and I was so thankful. As the disease progresses, you celebrate the tiniest of moments because sometimes that's all you have...
I was also shocked at my own sadness... It turns out, you don't run out of tears. My dad and I had spent so much time together and even though it was in many ways so complicated because of Alzheimer's, we still had this special bond. I missed the purpose I had felt in my life by being his trusty sidekick. I just missed my dad.

And then one day I woke up and I knew that I couldn't get stuck in this sadness. I prayed for peace. I had to fill the hole in my life with something positive or I would fill it with something negative. The next week I found a little place with potential and a rent that we could afford to take a chance on. It sounds so simple, and while setting up shop was complicated and tiring, making the decision to finally do this was shockingly straight forward. I was ready and it was about time.

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(Sign installation... so official. More shop pics coming later this week...)

We opened The Edit last week. One day less than a month after we signed the lease. I dream of sipping Diet Coke and selling vintage dresses to a steady stream of people who appreciate the story and style of vintage clothes. Reality is that I know it will be a lot of work and frustration. But it still  feels kinda surreal and awesome to unlock the door to my own little shop. It's a bright and cheery shop filled with vintage treasures I would never have learned to appreciate if my parents hadn't dragged their gaggle of children to flea markets and antique stores for 'family adventures' during our youth. It's a bright and cheery shop filled with vintage treasures... and my dad would have just thought it was the coolest.




2013-11-25

Frosty

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Coat? Vintage, thrifted (beautiful similar one on etsy here and this pink one is great too) Pants? Joe Fresh 
Shoes? Guess, thrifted (very similar here) Purse? Thrifted

I thrifted this 50's or 60's (yes, those decades are so different on paper but there is still so much overlap and they still confuse me...) textured wool coat about 4 or 5 years ago. I was a little intimidated to wear something so oversized but I recognized that it was a great vintage piece and I couldn't leave it behind...

Sidenote: I probably go on about this quite often but if you love something, stop being afraid to wear it. I wasted years not wearing cool stuff because I was nervous and that's just dumb. As long as you can move and you wear things in the appropriate situation, the worst thing that can happen is an occasional side eye... And the best that can happen is that you feel fabulous and get compliments... Tangent over.

So, the coat hung in my closet for years and I thought I might as well consign it because it wasn't getting any wear. Happily, one of those great giant plastic buttons broke so I didn't consign it. I say happily because the coat was meant to stay in my closet and now I love wearing. It just took me a little while to grow the fashion bravery to wear it. 


*I always double check before I pose in front of graffiti because of the possibility of unsavoury words or pictures... This time we have a savoury word included. Who graffiti's the word perogi? Somebody awesome, that's who... 

2013-11-21

Temper, Temper

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Cape? Vintage, thrifted Jeans? J. Brand Lovestory (here) Sweater? Joseph, thrifted 
Shoes? Zara (very similar here) Bag? Vintage goodness from my Mama

I love a good cape. The armhole placement on this vintage gem is just right so I don't even get my arms and purse tangled up as I go about my life (you know how that happens with capes...). Besides the fact that capes automatically make you a superhero, they also allow you to walk away from a conversation with a big flounce. 
Not that I often have need to walk away with a flounce...
Except maybe last week when I dropped a 50's prom dress off at the tailor for a new zipper. I was excitedly talking about how much I loved the dress and my friend, the tailor, was admiring the handiwork on the rather intricate skirt when another customer laughed at the dress and said she would not even pay $50 for it. I literally felt the blood rush to my face in anger and then I might have said something about how she didn't even care that her clothes were made by children in Bangladesh. 
Now, she was totally rude for bursting my bubble and making fun of a dress that I was clearly enamoured with. That said, I should have chilled out and not let myself go to cheap shots. I do think it is important for people to realize where their clothes are coming from but I just reduced an entire subject that deserves conversation and consideration into a one liner. And while I am more conscious than I used to be, it's not like I never shop fast fashion... There is so much to discuss concerning the garment production industry and I handled it like a snarky hypocrite...

So, what did we learn from this moment? First of all, that not every one appreciates a great vintage dress. Secondly, I should not complain because that lady is going to be the one who donates all her mother's vintage dresses one day because she thinks they are junk. And finally, I need to flounce away instead of getting petty... Let that be my motto, 'flounce it out!'...

2013-11-18

Festive Upgrade

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Dress? Vintage, Netty Vintage (very similar on Etsy here) Shoes? Guess, thrifted (similar here)
Clutch? Vintage? Wool coat? Thrifted

Some dresses are just a pleasure to wear. And this dress? It ranks right up there...
I have spent a lot of time in the last while wearing either steel toes or crocs, track pants and hoody sweaters and since we had a wedding this weekend and I was more than happy to paint my nails and get all fancy. I'm used to living my life between steel toes and stilettos (my old blog tagline I think? ha...) but right now I am ditching my steel toes after work and switching to crocs to get the shop ready. Most of my free time is spent in saggy track pants from 2008, so one could say that this vintage red velvet number is a bit of an upgrade. 

I don't know what is the best part of the dress; the silhouette, the full circle skirt, the pockets or its cheery hue. It is borderline festive, but I can embrace the fact that I am a bearded date away from being a chic Mrs. Claus... 'tis the season after all.