Saturday 28 June 2014

Hitting the Holiday Road

As June winds to a close, I'm drinking wine while packing up my family for a laundry camping adventure, heading to the sunny south to explore the Taj-maWalmart destinations en route to somewhere a little more special...
I wonder if there are any thrift stores near Yellowstone...

My plan is to unplug... mostly... well, we will see.  I'm sure Instagram and Twitter will see some action from me, and I may even do a post or two depending on the coffee/wifi/fashion situation.  Before I go, there are a couple things you need to know:
Firstly, mark your calendars for Saturday July 19th for the first ever Value Village Shop Hop!  And it's going to be here in Edmonton and area!!   I will share more details as the date draws nearer but the gist is that you get a "thrifting passport" and get progressive discounts on purchases made at each of the six locations AND you use your filled passport for a discount off your next purchase!  I'm hoping to meet up afterwards with my fellow thrifters to review the spoils of our hunt (and have a margarita).

Secondly, 9 in 6 Style is done!  I had fun using these 9 challenges to help me make wardrobe decisions during what turned out to be a crazy-busy month.  Here is a recap of my interpretation of the 9 challenges:
Work the "rule of 3" on a hot day

Wear a maxi dress to work

Style a statement necklace for every day

 Wear white pants, a white skirt and a white blazer
Wear an old piece (or two!) in a new way

Wear your fave piece today

Style a summer party outfit

What was your fave #9in6Style look of mine?  Judging by the number of Instagram likes, the fan fave was the statement necklace followed by my rained-out party legging ensemble...

My rehab med style sistah Kristen is the only lucky participant who will take home a $20 credit for Sister Thrifters What this really means is that I'm going to hang onto whatever she selects and use it as bribery/incentive for us to FINALLY meet IRL!  BTW if you like the idea of thrifting but need some thrift shopping support, check out Sister Thrifters (that'd be me and my sis).  We are picking up a variety of pieces that are too good to pass by and posting them in hopes of matching them with the right stylista.  In other words, we are offering online thrift shopping in Canada!! 

Lastly, I have a faithful Facebook follower who is always interested in my style focus for the month... My focus for July is to not lose all my readers while I'm on vacation... kidding (not really).  I actually want to take July and August to edit my closet for realz and uncover my style a bit more with the hopes of guiding my thrifting choices for my third year of thrifting!  More to come as July unfolds but for now, stay tuned for "VV Boutique Style Light" for a couple weeks then it will be back to our regularly scheduled shenanigans!  Some ways to stay in touch:
And you can always subscribe by email by entering your email address in the little box to the right near the top!

I'm curious though.  What do YOU want to see on VV Boutique Style over the summer?  Last time I asked this question, I ended up doing a bathing suit post that then ended up being scrolled on TV!!  Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions, whimsy or burning desires!  Now, I must go add two more bottoms to my suitcase... I hate to leave my thrifted loves behind!

Thursday 26 June 2014

Anthropologie-Esque Almost-Party Dress

Last weekend during the brief hours my husband was home between business trips, I had a brief opportunity to go into Anthropologie and drool around.  Got me thinking about how women are drawn to different retailers and that many are J Crew aficionados or Desigual diehards and so on... I still can't settle on a particular style but I definitely hear Anthro's siren call.  I loved all their flowy dresses and layered necklaces and colourful prints.  Imagine my delight to find a gorgeous maxi dress the very next day at VV Boutique that had a distinct Anthro vibe - but for only $6.50...
I heart you, Anthro-esque dress.
The hemline is kinda "shark tail" with lots of light flowy fabric...
Perfect for twirling, according to my 4yo photographer: "TWIRL."

I thought I would try to look like a hungry aloof disinterested introspective Anthro model by heading outside for some pics...
Except I can't stop smiling because it's June and my dress is awesome and was only $6.50.
And the perfect Brazilian leather sandals were $11.
This was as close as I could get to whimsical.
This summer I 'll get my kids to macrame a swing or something.

My earrings are She Does Create but all those necklace strands are from VV Boutique and ranged from 70cents to $3 for a total cost of about $9.  On my stroll though Anthro, I saw lots of layering going on, which I loved but at $38+ per layer, it's out of my league...
Except VV Boutique prices help me to score the layered necklace vibe!

I had planned to wear this outfit for my year-end work party for 9 in 6 Style, but the weather turned out to be terrible.  I have it ready to wear to any other party this summer, so if you like what you see, invite me to a party.
Did that sound desperate?  You can't blame me for wanting to show this dress a good time.

Monday 23 June 2014

Mustard Skater Dress

I had big plans for June.  Big plans to go through my closet and be HARSH.  To ruthlessly edit the seldom-worn pieces and, from the process, identify my absolute favourite piece and wear it for 9 in 6 Style.  So a few nights ago, I started to hang out in my happy place after the kids finally went to bed (summer solstice = enemy of parents), but what ended up happening was less ruthless editor and more indecisive hoarder.  I have several favourites and decided I'm allowed.  So there.  What I was getting at with this particular challenge for #9in6Style is that we women shouldn't "save" our clothes for special occasions.  You woke up to another day?  That's a special occasion.  Every day is special enough NOT to waste on wearing something you don't like or feel good in.

Please ladies, wear your favourites!  Get rid of anything that's not a favourite - in fact, that will be my new closet editing approach!  AND I have a great suggestion of where to take all those pieces you're done with so they can go be someone else's favourites: if you live in Edmonton and area, please consider taking your donations to the Bissell CenterTheir temporary thrift shop was destroyed by fire two days ago and, amazingly, they are ready to accept donations and keep moving forward.  Donating and shopping second-hand is great no matter where you do it, but right now, our local peeps could use some extra support.  Who's with me?!!   

One of my current faves is my highly controversial mustard skater dress.  I had been on the hunt for a skater-style dress for a while and passed many over after two thoughts:
  • if you have to ask if it's a dress, it's not
  • I'm not 39 anymore
So many cute dresses are just so short!!  I'm also fairly tall so I end up looking like a figure skater, which was a derogatory term until I learned that skater dresses are a thing.  So I'm going to ride this train whileI can, and luckily the skater dress I thrifted is MUSTARD so it goes with everything!  It goes with so much, I had a hard time narrowing down my choices...
$8.50 Papillon dress, part of my Mother's Day gift
Necklace $1.50 Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe, earrings She Does Create
Mint belt $2.80 VV Boutique
She Does Create accessory trifecta and Toms from my closet

And these are but 3 of the MANY ways I could have styled this dress!  Upon the recommendation of my four-year-old photographer, I went with look #1...

Luckily (?) my kids got me dirty (as usual) so I can't wear this again tomorrow, otherwise I just may never change!! 

Friday 20 June 2014

"Packing with Chantel"- A Live Blogging Event

As if it isn't bad enough that she is going to grad school in the fall and won't be able to supply office chocolate, a listening ear, or ... anything I request at a moment's notice, my favourite Chantel is going away on vacation for most of July, leaving me to drink my late afternoon cocktails lattes alone.  SIGH.  But, she redeemed herself a little by asking for my help to pack and agreeing to be on the blog again.  Without further ado, let me reveal the first stop on Chantel's vacation! (please say that with a French accent in mind, just to make it more glamorous for us)
Who knows where this is?!  Tweet us if you do!
(for bragging rights, we got nothin)

Anyone?  Anyone?  (That's a Ferris Bueller reference which Chantel won't get because she's so friggin young)  She says she gets it, she's seen it.  Not in the theater because YOU WEREN'T BORN.

Carrying on: it's the City (!) of Brooks, Alberta!  Chantel is heading there next weekend and says they even have a Boston Pizza.  Congratulations, Brooks.  Chantel is going to a wedding and then chillaxin with her mom.  She needs a wedding outfit and is iffy on the one I chose for her as featured on BT Edmonton.  She thinks she shouldn't wear white...
Chantel, this is not white.

What do you think?  Yay or nay?  We need public opinion!

The MASSES (3 people) have spoken and they agree with me, of course.  Peggy gave a great suggestion to add a coloured cardi...
This light mustard cardi is the perfect choice AND it was thrifted for $3 from VV Boutique!
Chantel added a necklace and casual shoes because it's going to be a cas affair and...
The shoes she planned on are, um, a bit big.
Hand 'em over.

Chantel informed me she usually wears sweats when visiting home.  YOU CAN DO BETTER.
See, a nice thrifted maxi ($12 VV Boutique) is perfectly comfortable, gives some mosquito coverage and prevents you from looking schleppy.  You're welcome in advance.

Next leg of the trip... Any guesses this time?

That's right!  Chantel is heading to Vegas for 4 days and will be hitting a Cirque show, shopping and going to a bachelorette party.  (Typical.)  What happens in Vegas... but we will know what you're wearing at minimum!  The bachelorette party may feature some, er, special guests and special bevvies so she needs something, er, fool proof - a little black dress!  She has two good options:
Light fabric, flattering cut and red shoes = win, win, win!!
Chantel has never worn this dress!!!!  So it gets my vote because it simply deserves to go out.
What do you think?  Which LBD would you pack?

For the Cirque show, a little more colour and pattern is perfect, especially when it's thrifted!
She tells me she has the other shoe somewhere downstairs, but the wine is right here with us so why leave the room.

Shopping in Vegas heat requires cool comfort.  We real women know that skirts can present some chaffing issues, so these cute shorts from Target are a better choice.  We don't want anything impeding the shopping.
Best of all, these pieces will be versatile for the next leg of the trip since Chantel won't be able to come home first and repack.  Next leg is...
You're gonna need to go in here Chantel, if you're coming straight from Vegas...

If you recognized this as DUBLIN, you'd be correct!  Chantel is flying from Vegas to Ireland to meet up with her mom and grandma for a spontaneous itinerary (i.e., they have no idea yet what specifically they'll be doing).  Chantel will be hitting Dublin, Glasgow, Edinburgh, the Highlands and more.  She will do some sight-seeing, shopping and visit gay old friends.  Aside from this information, she said it would be 15 degrees...  GO!  Make outfits and keep the packing light enough for a small rolling duffel bag!  Here's what we came up with:
 We went with the first LBD because it had more versatility for rest of the trip.
I have knotted my chambray recently and have been seeing it everywhere.  Tie a chambray over a dress or anything!
Go ahead and be knotty!  Snicker snicker.

Showcasing the two bags and scarves she plans to pack that will mix, match and extend all the other pieces.
 Skinny jeans styled with her Vegas tank.  Swap the necklace, add a scarf and BOOM another outfit.
Basic black pants rolled with her Vegas red pumps look good with all her tops including a floral tank.  
The sparkle & lace tee is so much more interesting than basic gray, and added mileage to her Cirque dress.
More shorts looks!  Stripes and floral always makes us think of Franish.
The casual cotton floral tank will mix with everything else and her ModCloth skull tee reminds me again that she's a young hip 25yo.  
It's an embroidered lacy skull and will add some tough chic to her other pieces.

By this time, Chantel was sweltering and begging me with her eyes not to ask her to try on anything else... HA guess the old lady has pretty decent stamina after all.  Heh heh.
She ended up packing:
  • 2 dresses - black, Cirque
  • 3 tanks - floral, navy, floral cotton
  • 2 tees - gray sparkle, skull
  • long sleeve striped tee
  • 2 shorts - gray print, teal
  • 2 pants - skinny denim, black
  • 3 finishing pieces - chambray, mustard cardi, green ponte blazer
  • 2 scarves - mustard, floral
  • 3 shoes - red pumps, sandals, crochet lace-ups
  • 2 bags
That duffel bag isn't even half full!!!

Chantel has plenty of room for her hair and makeup stuff, and even then has space to bring home treasures!  We discussed adding a maxi dress, striped dress and basic white tee to extend her vacation wardrobe even further - one of them might even make a good travel outfit.  

These pieces can be mixed and matched to make more than 30 outfits!  I would call this a packing success story, even if the whole live blogging thing ended up taking a bit longer than I anticipated!  That at least goes to show it was an authentic process!

Chantel, have a wonderful trip!  I hope these outfits serve you well and if you have any doubts, you better take your personal packing consultant along to be sure, just let me get my bag!

Tuesday 17 June 2014

New Style for Old Pieces

PHEW.  I have been busy volunteering, hosting parties, going to parties, working, reporting, solo parenting.  Frankly, it's a miracle I have managed to get dressed at all considering all the busy.  No guarantees for tomorrow but as for today and yesterday, I dug out some of my older pieces and styled 'em up new for the 9 in 6 Style challenge - "Wear an old piece in a new way."

First up, my Gap skirt from a clothing swap about 8 years ago.  I snatched it up because it's a size 6 yet it fit.  We know by now that I am not a size 6 if I hope to get out of my clothes without divine intervention but it's still nice to have a mislabeled piece around to boost the spirits.  Here is how I've worn and photographed this skirt in the past:
On  Monday, I suppose I didn't exactly do anything too wild and crazy with this skirt.  Can I help it that it looks best with mixed patterns and a wide belt?!!
Tribal top $2.50 Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe
necklace gift from my roomie
Don't hate me because my size 6 skirt looks great with all other patterns.

Next up, one of my early VV finds - the one and only $4.20 conversational-print elephant top!  Some previous stylings...

Hard not to notice it's all soooooo neutral.  So today, I reached for a ponte knit cobalt skirt to add some colour!
Skirt $4.20, blazer $7, black pointy flats $7 all VV Boutique
Snakeskin agate pendant and bracelet by She Does Create

This was the perfect outfit for a full-day workshop today on tech stuff: business casual yet creative yet stylish yet comfortable.
A good pencil skirt like this hugs your curves without being restrictive.

Old pieces + new pieces = *totally* different look.  Right?
Are you thinking what I'm thinking???
If I wasn't in my pajamas, I'd try the size 6 skirt with the elephant top.
With a wide belt, obvs.