Wednesday 31 December 2014

Out With The Old

This time last year, I was at California Adventure Park in a tank top and skirt, soaking up the last couple days of SoCal sun...  This year, I'm in good ol' Alberta with all the pretty snow in my cozy home with a cup of coffee and all my blessings thinking back over 2014 and looking forward to 2015.  

Sometimes a good cup of coffee is enough.

This isn't going to be a typical fashion blogger post about what to wear for New Year's Eve (my wild party will be sledding and home fireworks with good friends, good food and good drinks), and it's not going to be about style resolutions (though I've had fun with those in the past).  Instead, my focus this week has been on lightening up and making way for new beginnings!  First, I took on the Monday Style Prompt: wear something I haven't worn yet, and purge 14 pieces from my wardrobe.  I have a queue in my closet of thrifted pieces waiting to be worn and blogged and the oldest piece is a vintage dress I bought last April during a VV dress sale...
Posing with imaginary cocktails FTW

I bought this dress for $4.80 because of the colours!  Beautiful contemporary colours... but alas the style is just a little too vintage so I tried to modernize it and finally wear it...
Chambray $4.20 and Faryl Robin pumps $13.30 VV Boutique
And yep, my hair is wet.  I'm on holidays, don't judge.

I didn't mind these looks but I didn't love them either and in the end I concluded that the pretty colours were not enough to keep this dress in my closet.
So out it went with the other 13 pieces I culled.

I'm in a purging mood yet found it surprisingly hard to let 14 pieces go.  More on that tomorrow, so stay tuned!  However, I had no difficulty helping my next gen friend Chantel purge her closet!
The result of my handiwork.

You may remember Chantel's glorious closet... well, Chantel recently moved and that closet is gone, girl.  Out with the old...  In its place, a much smaller closet and a much smaller room along with a completely different role - Chantel is in grad school to become an Occupational Therapist.  Yay Chantel, you will be an AWESOME OT (takes one to know one, wink wink).  This means that Chantel has different wardrobe needs - typical student attire (except sweat pants, you're better than that) and professional pieces for clinical placements.  She already culled many pieces but was, er, lacking organization.
This is the only before picture I managed to get...because I couldn't stand looking at the rest of it. 
Suffice it to say that the entire room was piled with haphazard bins of ???

The first thing I did was
then I set to work.

Here's how we tackled her closet.  
  1. anything that didn't fit went
  2. anything she hasn't worn went
  3. anything that looked worn went
Bag of donations is larger than it appears.

Next I moved her wardrobe so Chantel could access her closet...
Before - filled with office supplies and such.  Insert straight faced smiley.
After - filled with folded tees, leggings and sweaters.
Chantel prefers to hang these garments but Baby, there ain't no room.

Next I moved her mirror beside the closet...
It's safe to take the cardboard off the mirror now, Chantel.
Her dresser holds undergarments, pants and skirts (can't hang, no room),
and notice the accessories nicely accessible on top.

Next I reorganized the hanging garments into colours - ROYGBV then neutrals - and used bins up top to hold workout gear, belts, scarves and such.  She kept only dresses she's wearing right now in this closet and is storing summer and special dresses in the spare room closet.
When you have Kate Spade bags, you might as well display them.

Since the room is small, Chantel doesn't have much choice about using her bedside space for organization.
Pretty baskets everywhere for all her shit valuables.
Everyday items atop her wardrobe and a reminder of her heart for adventure!
Mini lights add a little inviting ambiance!
Chantel is happy she can finally sit on her bed.

We all know that decluttering and organizing feels good so I hope that you too took the Monday Style Prompt and lightened your load by 14 (or more) pieces!  Some may be good pieces, but letting go makes way for newer better things!  

In honour of the day, here's a look back at some VV Boutique Style highlights of 2014!

Thank you 2014 for being so good to me!

Monday 29 December 2014

BCBG Goes to the Farm

Is it Monday?  I lose track of time on holidays... sleeping in late, staying up late , taking time to read and play.  It is a nice change of pace, but it also means I didn't get dressed till after lunch and kids' room purge #1 so I did not do the Monday Style Prompt today.  That's okay, we're not rule-bound around these parts.  We go with the flow, do our best and keep the big picture in mind.  Fortunately, I have some photos from 4 pounds ago the weekend when I celebrated Christmas with the in-laws on the farm.  I had a pretty "new" dress waiting to be worn and even though I knew it would be a casual affair and that everyone else would be in jeans, I thought, I gotta be meI wear dresses, even when it isn't Dressember.  I have a few pairs of pants that I don't mind but, head to head, I will choose dresses every time.  I didn't know this before I started thrifting.  Now, I realize my style is evolving - not as in "getting more sophisticated" but as in "getting more me."
BCBG dress $11.90 and Miz Mooz shoes gifted but thrifted for $13.30, both from VV Boutique
Tights were a (suggested) Christmas gift from my hubby
Accessories from She Does Create and thrifted

This dress fulfilled my Christmas dinner outfit recommendations perfectly!  The ties at the waist are totally adjustable - I could eat a 20lb turkey and it would still fit!
I love love LOVE the pattern and colours in this dress.  
Plum, coral, butter, blue, red - so many mix or match possibilities!
And the high-low hem is 29 in the front and 39 in the back - SO THERE.

Santa brought me the January issue of In Style so I was freshly inspired to try something different for a finishing layer...
Pair a moto-style jacket with a pretty dress to toughen up a sweet look...
What do you know - In Style was right.  (So was I.)
There's no grey in this dress, but grey is a neutral and the tones complement.
Plus it's the only moto-style piece of clothing I have.

My mother-in-law is notorious for keeping the house cool (I once wore a toque inside because I was legitimately freezing as a joke) so I threw on a scarf too...
Another gifted but thrifted piece $4.20 from VV Boutique

And so it came to pass that I wore a BCBG dress to a farm in rural Alberta for Christmas dinner.  I may not have fit in with the prevailing crowd, but I was totally in sync with me and that's a good way to be.
Be who you are.

Saturday 27 December 2014

Thriftmas Highlights

Christmas is coming down in my house tomorrow - mainly because all the needles have fallen off our tree and I'm worried the ornaments are going to start dropping like flies - so before it's officially gone, I thought I would share some of my "Thriftmas" highlights!

A Christmas Eve tradition in our family is to open games and jammies and I thrifted them all!
Five vintage games - Risk was not even opened - for $10.50.
Candyland, your reign is over.
Christmas nightie, princess robe and matching pj bottoms for the boys!

For Christmas morning, I helped my kids find secondhand gifts for each other...
My daughter got dolls from her brothers...
She's still not sure what to make of Raggedy Ann...

And she got her brothers a wallet and book...
Christmas morning moments are harder to capture than I anticipated!
My older son got a leather Roots wallet and a Calvin and Hobbes anthology - I LOVE seeing him love such a classic!

My husband and I tried to find gifts for the kids that fell into the "something to wear, something to read, something you want and something you need" categories...
A new blazer for fancy parades and other important occasions.
And a jersey for the skating fanatic!

They all got a few books including the complete Lord of the Rings set and pop-up books in mint condition for my daughter.  Thrift shops are a great place to find books!  I even found several titles that have been on my hunting list for a while, you know, as suggested gifts for my husband to give to me.
Going back to work after the holidays is really going to interfere with my reading itinerary.

We turned to another secondhand source - Kijiji - to find gifts in the "want" category at a fraction of the price of regular retail. 
A GT Snow Racer with a fresh coat of pink paint so my daughter can keep up with her bros!
And Skylander games and figurines in their original boxes for our old Wii.
My sons jumped up and did a falling-down victory hug, they were so excited!

For the "need" category, I got them each a Flatter:Me kids "Me Too" belt.  My fave belt, designed by Edmontonian Claire Theaker-Brown, for kids?!!  Obviously that's a NEED!!  The kids line is not available online yet but Claire and Kristina recently opened an Edmonton office in Start Up Edmonton so you can shop local and score the perfect belt for your children!
I asked her to give me a fashion blogger pose to show off the belt.
I don't know why I expected that would mean she would stand up.
Why stand up when you can lean, stretch and gaze?
(that's her thrifted nightie BTW)

I scored several great thrifted gifts for my hubby!
Holiday pancake molds for $2.80 are perfect for the dad who lives for pancake art!
I also scored a piece for his Christmas village - a cafe for $9 - but didn't get a photo.  Bad me.
Cashmere and silk Banana Republic sweater for $7!
New-with-tags long sleeve tee and this Emanuel Ungaro sweater jacket for $7!!!!

I might have helped him and the kids find secondhand things for moi!
In all my morning splendor, my new grey wool coat for $17.50!
Plus a metallicy iridescent scarf that he chose out all by himself!
Miz Mooz shoes under the tree will make any woman smile!

Even Santa got some gifts secondhand including...
How could Santa possibly leave these behind?
Santa forgot to remove the price tag on this game that retails for $20 (on sale).  
Fortunately my son was delighted to realize Santa brought second-hand gifts (and was miraculously none the wiser!).

I also thrifted teachers gifts this year, gifts for extended family and friends, and gifts for other exchanges.  I am so pleased with how the Secondhand Christmas challenge worked out!  Though it took a bit more time and effort, everyone in my family embraced the challenge and put more thought into their giving and enjoyed receiving all the more!  I think Thriftmas might just be our new holiday tradition!