A day of awesomes.

Summer? Awesome.

  • Banana Republic dress (2008)
  • Club Monaco cardigan (a summer staple, apparently)
  • Steve Madden flats (really, even though they’re cut off)
  • Hilary Druxman necklace (another staple)

Getting a compliment in the bathroom at work? Awesome. A woman I don’t know smiled at me when I came out of my stall and said, “Pretty necklace!” I smiled back and chirped “Thank you!” Why don’t women compliment each other more? I’m going to try to do that more.

Hilary Druxman necklace

Also awesome? Going for Vietnamese pho and then gelato with an old friend.

But the most awesome? Not wearing a bra. Just sayin’.


Heat wave

It’s hot hot hot in Toronto, and my allergies are in full bloom.  I love the sun, but I could stand for it to be about 5 degrees cooler.  But I wouldn’t be Canadian if I didn’t complain about the weather every now and then.

  • Fragmented Pipevine Dress by Maeve, at anthropologie (sale item!)
  • Club Monaco cardigan (2008)
  • Cole Haan sandals (2008)
  • Hilary Druxman necklace

Most people lose their appetites in a heat wave, but I’ve been eating like a horse for the past few days, so much so that I was just about to bust a few snaps on the front of this dress.

Speaking of the dress, I passed by it when it was full price, but I did snap it up on sale.  It’s one of the few items I’ve bought on sale; I tend to buy most of my clothes at full price.  I’m not very good at waiting for sales.  There are a couple of reasons for this: when I want something, I want it now, and a couple of times I’ve waited for something to go on sale only to find that it doesn’t exist in my size anymore.  I guess it’s a fear that I’ll miss out on something I love that drives me to pay full price.  I also think that if I don’t want it now, why would I want it on sale?  It’s not just waiting for sales either.  I hate bargain shopping.  I’ll visit outlets and not buy anything, because I don't want to buy something just because it’s cheap.  That dress may have only been $9, but if it’s not awesome and I don’t love it, it’s $9 wasted. 


Not a complete fashion snob.

Summer is coming to Toronto (fingers crossed), so it’s time to break out the summer clothes again.

  • dress from The Embellished Room ($30!)
  • J. Crew Jackie’s cardigan
  • Sue London ballet flats
  • Matsu necklace (birthday gift from sister)

Everyone who knows me knows I have expensive tastes.  (And my wallet and credit card statement will tell you the same thing.)  I don’t buy “disposable” clothing.  I also don’t buy designer, but I stick to the higher-end “high street” shops, like anthropologie, club monaco, Banana Republic, J. Crew, etc. 

I justify my spending habits by arguing that disposable clothing is more expensive in the long run because of the poor quality (it falls apart too quickly, which means you buy more to replace it), it’s bad for the environment (falls apart, goes into landfill), it perpetuates a consumer culture of more more more all the time, and the people who make the cheap clothes probably don’t make a living wage.

I’m well aware that there’s more than a little bit of snobbery in how I think and spend, and I know I’m being hypocritical.  The people who make anthropologie or Banana Republic clothing might not make a living wage either.  And just because it’s more expensive doesn’t mean it’s good quality, or “better”. 

This dress I bought at The Embellished Room in Toronto two years ago.  It was displayed in the window and the teal and brown print immediately caught my eye.  Sure, it’s 100% polyester, but it feels like jersey (albeit a cheap version).  And at $29.99 (pre-tax), it’s probably the cheapest dress I’ve bought in a long time.  Every now and then, I like to prove that I’m not a complete clothing snob.


take on me

This is what I wore to see a-ha on their ending on a high note 2010 farewell tour, here in Toronto on Monday night:

  • Mavi super-skinny jeans
  • James Perse tannk top
  • Club Monaco cardigan
  • anthropologie necklace
  • Tory Burch flats

Wait, what?  a-ha?  Farewell tour?  You mean they never went away?  And more importantly, they have more than one song??

I went with a friend on a whim and it was a lot of fun.  It completely took me back to listening to pop music when I was a kid in the 80s.  And it doesn’t hurt that they’re still really hot too.


Sure, I’ll dress my best, if only I could figure out what that is.

I didn’t expect that participating in academichic’s Dress Your Best challenge would prove to be so, well, challenging to me.  But in the spirit of always seeing the glass half-full, I learned a lot about myself.

Part of the challenge was to first list the 5 things you loved best about yourself.  Sure, no problem!   I love dressing myself, so I must love myself, I can easily come up with a list.

All of a sudden, I could only think of the negatives.  Flat feet. Non-existent eyelashes.  Pale eyebrows. Shoulders too broad.  Thighs too flabby.  Upper arms too flabby.  Bulgy tummy.  Left calf significantly larger than right calf.  Skin plagued by eczema.  Scars on my feet as a result of eczema.  Scars on other parts of my body because of eczema.  Short stumpy legs.  Hammer toe.  About 15 lbs off my “ideal” weight, which makes me fat, as my mother never fails to point out.

Then I went into a state of shock.  If I don’t actually like anything about myself, am I just shopping to cover up everything and to ignore all my insecurities?  If that’s the case, it’s not really working because it hasn’t made me love my body any more.  If that’s the case, then it’s another reason to stop and think about my shopping habits even more, because clearly happiness and self-acceptance can’t be bought.

After all that, I forced myself to come up with the 5 things I love best about myself:

  1. my hair (long, straight, healthy, and free of grey)
  2. my boobs
  3. my curves (I have these hips, I’m going to embrace them!)
  4. my skinny ankles
  5. my muscular calves (one might be bigger than the other, but they’re the only part of me that has any kind of muscle definition from lots of walking and genetics—thanks Dad!)

So here’s an outfit that shows off some of my best (taken last week when it was warm in Toronto):


  • Bailey 44 dress from anthropologie
  • anthropologie necklace
  • Jenna’s cardigan from J. Crew
  • Tory Burch flats

Boobs! Calves! Ankles! Hair! Curves!


Feeling subcontinent in the height of summer

I have a confession: I didn’t complete my no-shop challenge. 

Technically, I failed, since I wanted to get to May 15 without buying any clothes, shoes, makeup, hair accessories, etc., but it’s okay.  I’m not going to call it a failure or beat myself up about it, I’m going to call it a learning experience.  So three weeks wasn’t really a long time.  I really did learn a lot in this time. 

Before I get into that, here's what brought me down:

Maeve Height of Summer dress at anthropologie

Floreat Subcontinent dress, at anthropologie

These gorgeous summer dresses completely overwhelmed my resolve.  Can I really be blamed?

Unlike last time I failed, shopping this time wasn’t a huge emotional reaction to something that had happened to me.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I did have a few bad days of insane drama at work and I did want to shop to make myself feel better.  But I made myself delay gratification (my new rule is to wait at least 24 hours before I buy something to make sure I really like it, and in this case it was 48 hours), and by the time I went back the initial emotion (i.e. rage and frustration) had dissipated and at that point it was no longer buying to feel better.  It wasn’t buying for the sake of buying, it was buying two dresses that I love.  In the past, I probably would have bought things that I would like for a little while and then get tired of.  I’m learning to become a conscious consumer.  Can it be that my reckless days are behind me?

So, I start again.  This time I’m aiming for no shopping until June 18, the day before my birthday.  I would go all the way til my birthday, but I’m taking June 18 off and what would be better on a day off from work than a little birthday shopping?

Also, huge kudos to the girls who are almost there! 10 days to go, I am so impressed.

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