A thought

The problem with wearing ankle boots with tightly rolled jeans is that your ankles get cold. Every time you take a step or sit down, a sliver of flesh is revealed and vulnerable to the elements.

But I figure the amount you suffer in your clothes is directly correlated with how awesome you look. Wearing fuzzy pjs? You’re probably pretty comfy. You probably don’t look very sharp though. But what about a snugly belted leather bomber, figure-hugging pencil skirt, and insanely high strappy heels? You’re looking mighty fine, my friend. And you’re probably wondering what time you can go home and get into your fuzzy pjs.

Exciting conclusion to the quest for the perfect t-shirt

There I am, at Jim and Jane, said neighbourhood object of my infatuation. I quickly realise that with winter coming, t-shirts are in short supply; they sold out during sunnier months. Sanity goes out the window. I’m desperate to buy a white t-shirt, if for no other reason than writing about it made me obsessed. In a moment of sheer madness, I buy the only white t-shirt in the shop, and I pay $75 for it.

Let’s review the criteria:

  • Super soft? Yes, it’s organic cotton.
  • Pretentious? Yes, it’s organic cotton.
  • Not too sheer and has an open neck? Nope and yup.
  • Twisted seams? If there are, there’ll be hell to pay.
  • Costs more than $10? If the Husband asks, tell him it was on sale. That they practically gave it to me.

In the couple of weeks since I bought my precious white t-shirt, I’ve worn it a lot. It’s refreshingly simple, looks cool with enormous, spangly necklaces, and now that it’s winter, I can wear it under all my really itchy sweaters. I’m not going to throw away my brightly printed tops and dresses and just buy white t-shirts from now on, but it’s nice to have something basic to turn to when nothing seems to go together.

I nearly forgot: remember how I said I was distracted by cool winter footwear? Well. I got me some sweet flat ankle boots by Sol Sana. They’re blackened-chocolate brown, slouchy-perfect and look so cute with cuffed skinny jeans or a mini-dress. They’re so wonderful I want to take them behind the school house and get all romantic with them.

Let’s see…

…if the Husband is paying attention.

Last night I fell in love with this little darling:

Image: Ssense

My wedding anniversary is coming up, and as I hunted for a list of traditional anniversary gifts online, all I could think was, “Let year three be leather. Please let it be leather.”

Guess what? It’s leather! Fist. Pump.

Husband, this is a hint.

Quest for the perfect t-shirt

I’m allergic to basics. My closet is stuffed with patterns and bright colours, and guess what? Nothing goes together.

Once upon a time I had luxurious hours to try on millions of combinations to find that perfect pattern clash, but these days a bouncy toddler sits on my feet and demands muffins when I get dressed, so I need to be quick and organised. I’m not saying I’m going to stop wearing patterns, I’m just saying that throwing a cotton t-shirt into the mix, or maybe buying a second pair of jeans might make life a bit easier.

Anthropologie Twisted & Pleated Tee

Every once in a while, I see a photo of someone looking so cool and fabulous in a grey marle or white t-shirt and I become obsessed with finding the perfect replica. They never say where it’s from, so I’m left to hunt alone, and with so many bad options, it’s really easy to get it wrong. My obsession usually ends in miserable failure because I always buy something cheap that gets twisted seams the first time I wash it. I guess I figure it’s just a t-shirt, so why should it cost more than $10?

With a revised strategy to spend more money (that’s pretty much the solution for everything, right?), I’m going to go on a quest for the perfect t-shirt. I have a few modest requests: nothing too sheer, needs a nice open neck, made of super soft cotton, and no more twisted seams.

Shop and friendly neighbourhood object of my infatuation, Jim & Jane, posted that they’re carrying a French t-shirt brand that’s oddly named “American Vintage,” so I think I’ll start there.

If you’re feeling absolutely riveted, sorry, but you’ll have to wait until next week to see what I got. Spoiler: I got a bit distracted by cool winter footwear.

Hmmm.

Image: Garance Dore

If I’ve identified a trend, then I wish it would go away.

It seems my post about overalls the other day was timely; Garance Dore posted a photo of a pair of cropped leather overalls she bought at Zara in Paris. I have a lot of respect for Garance, but I think one day she’ll look back at photos of herself in her black leather overalls and she’ll feel the cold, throw-up-in-your-mouth-a-little feeling of regret.

Canadian Tuxedo

Image: Squared 5

My beloved denim shirt, which I’ve washed and worn into a state of perfect, fragile softness, just tore at the shoulder seam. I’m devastated. Is the universe punishing me for breaking the rule against wearing denim-on-denim?

Universe, lay off. It’s not my fault that the cool kids have finally caught on to what we of the north have known all along: if you only buy one outfit in this lifetime, make it the humble Canadian Tuxedo.

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s Jenna Lyons in her very own denim-on-denim ensemble:

Image: Street Peeper

If you don’t know who Jenna Lyons is, allow me to introduce the Creative Director of J. Crew and pretty much the coolest woman ever. She has 289 pairs of shoes. Nothing more needs to be said.

Pool party style

Image: The Sartorialist

It says a lot about your commitment to style when you go to a pool party and you never get in the pool. That’s my kind of high maintenance.

Questionable taste

I’m old enough now that things that were so cool when I was 13 are coming back into fashion. Birkenstocks with hiking socks (worn by people other than hippies), Nirvana t-shirts, and now overalls, or as they are so endearingly called here ‘dungarees.’ Anyone can wear overalls, but to wear dungarees, you have to be a 7-year-old boy with front teeth that look like a pair of Chicklets.

Back to my point: Birkenstocks in Vogue Paris.

And look how cool these ‘dungarees’ are!

It’s easy to get caught up in these new/old trends. It’s easy to get swept off your sensible feet by cool Vogue styling. Sometimes wisdom doesn’t come with age.

If I can’t be wise, I can at least slap a bit of sense into myself. Overalls were unflattering when I was 13 and “The Bodyguard” soundtrack was my first tape. 20 years later they’re still unflattering. If in another 20 years I see a photo of myself wearing overalls, shameful feelings will probably drive me to live out the rest of my days as a hermit wearing a hair shirt.

So the lesson here is that if you say no to overalls today, you’ll avoid being a hair-shirt-wearing hermit tomorrow. Hair is itchy. Being a hermit is lonely. The choice is obvious, even if the overalls are so cute and tempting.

Fall faces for summer

Clockwise from left: Balmain, Diane von Furstenburg, Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenburg, Balmain, Rochas

The fall shows are finished, and this season I’m interested in how runway translates to real life. Happy will be the day that I can buy a head to toe Chloe look, but for now I have to be creative with what I’ve got and start squirreling away all my dubloons.

The trends are the usual suspects: menswear, punk rock, statement coats, lots of fur, but what about the faces? All the girls had fabulous strong eyebrows, and the make-up was either scrubbed fresh, or glowing with rosy cheeks, and bright, juicy lips.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could wear what we see in the shows right after they finish? I propose fall faces for summer. Here are my favourites.

Marc by Marc Jacobs

J Crew

Ralph Lauren

Chloe

A day in the life

In case you were wondering – and let’s face it, you totally were – this is what happened to me today.

First

I passed a weird house with a becandled shrine to a record album in its front garden.

A cow skull presided over the whole thing.

Next

I passed a couple of minstrels sitting on a park bench. One played a saw with a violin bow. The other accompanied on a ukulele. They were taking themselves very seriously.

After that

I viewed this terrace house for rent.

Looks nice, right? But the savvy renter knows to be suspicious at the absence of kitchen and bathroom photos. I and 30 other viewers quickly discovered that the kitchen was itself a circle of hell, with its laundry sink masquerading as a regular sink, tiny stove shoved into a bricked up fireplace, and conspicuous lack of cabinets. It could be described as ‘rustic,’ if you were feeling kind. Another word that springs to mind is ‘scary.’

And the bathroom? Outside. That’s right, for the low, low price of $495 a week, you could have the unique privilege of going outside every time you have to pee or brush your teeth. Like some kind of new millennium frontiersperson.

What’d you do today?