The week of May 11 – 15
This week I will leave Newfoundland and Labrador to travel to the mid west in order to attend one day of workshops and two days of conference focused on enterprise risk management. This is a great opportunity to get my head around the best way to address risk and properly document it. No doubt this also ties in with my blog project, “I want to wear everything in my closet until it’s all worn”. There are many risks associated with such a project. Do I have the depth of character to stick with the project as the quality of dress clothes diminish, the choice is reduced, and the capability of matching and combining garments into a full ensemble becomes difficult? Do I have the fortitude of character to arrive on the mainland, tempted by more clothing shops for women than a girl from Newfoundland and Labrador could imagine?
I believe I have 3 ½ weeks left. It scares me, as I place the worn clothing in the downstairs closet, I may discover hidden among my casual clothing, more work clothes. As much as I enjoy this tough assignment, I had no idea I had three months ahead of me when I blabbed on Facebook I wanted to wear everything in my closet until it was all worn. Perhaps if I had taken in this conference material before hand, I would have more accurately established the positive and negative risks. These would include: damage to my reputation upon disclosing my hoarding habits, my lax exercise regime, and general lack of imagination and color in my wardrobe. The saving grace, I feel sure, is my more informed opinion on how to replace the garments in my Goodwill bag. The day of reckoning is approaching and I look forward to compiling the pictures of the full 12 to 13 week period. I will also compile separate blogs on the outfits I chose to keep, the outfits I chose to toss and the outfits I want you to advise me on whether to keep or donate!
Monday, May 11, 2015
Today I was able to attend at my office for four hours, and travel for 5 ½ hours. This presented a particular challenge on how to dress for the day. I had a very important meeting first thing in the morning and a great deal to accomplish before I left for the airport. It was also important to consider what to wear when traveling all day and into the night. Air Canada and other airlines have so many passengers carrying their suitcases onto the plane that you can no longer place your coat and light bags in the compartments above your seat. This rules out wearing a jacket. The duration of the travel day rules out wearing a dress or skirt. I have already worn my best Friday casual outfits, leaving very few choices for this risky Monday.
To my delight, I did see a favorite navy blue shirt remaining in my closet! While not ideal, the fabric in the shirt makes up to some extent for wearing casual clothes to work on a Monday. The loose hanging shirt was extremely advantageous following a weekend of dining out! My husband and I dined at the Keg restaurant with friends on Saturday night. This was followed by Sunday brunch at the Woodstock Colonial Inn in Conception Bay South, a wonderful place to go for Mother’s Day.
The shirt is aptly named velvet and was designed by Graham and Spencer and made in USA. This size small shirt feels like velvet and consequently will be among my favorite shirts for very long time. The style of this dress shirt is very much in vogue with patterns that could easily be mistaken as Fleur de lis or floral patterns. The camel color on navy works very well and can be matched with navy pants, grey pants, or camel pants. The fabric is 100% rayon, allowing it to be both machine washed and tumble dried on low. It can even withstand a warm iron, although I am terrified of subjecting the shirt to high temperatures. While I concede the shirt to be in the casual category, I believe it to be suitable as business casual. A little more attention to jewelry or possibly adorning a scarf or a belt might convert this top to a dressy category.
The pants are by Simon Chang, and are referred to on the label as denim. However, this fabric is 76% rayon and 20% nylon. The crease is sewn in place as is common this day and age. Over the past five years I have purchased similar pants by Simon Chang, all of which can be tricky to iron. The washing instructions suggest machine wash, cold water, with like colors, which is not a problem. However, the pants must be washed with the delicate cycle and must be hung to dry. While the label suggests iron medium temperature, it fails to mention to iron the pants inside out. Failure to do so will either melt or scorch the fabric. Having invested time and money in learning that valuable lesson, I iron these pants with care. Without question, these are casual pants. The long velvet top made it possible, when combined the pants, to attend my meeting without undue embarrassment.
A quick review of http://www.simonchang.com did not feature these pants anywhere. The pants were predominately leggings and skinny pants.
All in all, this clothing combination worked for this mixed up Monday in May.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
The enterprise risk management workshop and conference suggested attendees could wear business casual clothing. To this very day I have never felt confident on what the heck is meant by business casual for women. I have seen people wear Ralph Lauren suits and others wear stylish jeans dresses. However, today I will take a chance and wear my pink Talbots blazer with a second pair of Simon Chang pants, complemented by an off-white camisole. Today is devoted to enterprise risk management and information technology systems. By and large, I felt among the best dressed in the room.
This bright cheery outfit did not cheer me up as I watched my beloved Canadien team lose in the second round of the playoffs to Tampa. There are now tear stains over my Talbot jacket!
I have dressier clothes chosen for Wednesday and Thursday, making me concerned that I have eliminated these dressier clothes from my closet before it was necessary to do so. C’est la vie!
You may recall I exempted travel from the precise rules of this project. Therefore I bent the rules slightly by reusing my pink Talbot jacket. Otherwise, I would have been pressed to find “not yet worn” suitable business casual clothing for this windy and chilly city. The pants are more dressy then Monday’s selection with a solid band around the waistline. This compares more favorably to the denim style worn on Monday. Otherwise they are largely equivalent to the write up above regarding fabric and how to wash, dry and iron.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Today I will rid myself of a most unsuitable outfit. I was out witted by a sales clerk at Samuel and Company on this little collection. I was shopping late in the Spring season last year and once again wanted to add colour to my wardrobe. Instead, I was encouraged to buy this skirt and top. I thought it could be improved with the pink jacket. I was not convinced at the time but the clerk insisted I looked fabulous. Why am I so easily influenced?
The skirt and top were designed by Canadian Alison Sheri (www.alisonsheri.com) Her spring and summer 2015 designs can be viewed online and I saw a few things I might try on, but I am unsure if the frame she is designing for would include mine. I was about to write that I have never bought her line before but that turns out to be untrue. While studying her website, I checked out her jackets and coats. I recognized the style immediately when browsing the 2015 items. So I have worn at least a jacket-coat she designed and loved it!
I am not drawn to the crinkled knit wear she has in her fashion line this year though. If you like your clothes to have more than one season, you will probably agree that a crinkled material will date itself quickly and not survive a closet review beyond the season it was created for. I am definitely in the camp that requires work clothing to be suitable for several years. I like to have enough in my closet so I can match the temperature, season and weather of the day. I like classic cuts and classic colours. I often go outside this buying pattern, but when I do I realize it is an indulgence. The other sweaters in the fall and winter line are lovely and if I wasn’t restricted by this project and my rule requiring no new purchases during the project period, I would be looking for them in my favorite stores.
The Alison Sheri top is not well featured in this picture but it is based on gem stones. I am easily attracted to black or navy with white polka dots. Even so, I don’t like the way these two pieces hang. I also notice that I purchased a medium size. This may also contribute to my disappointment.
Normally the fabric would have some promise for me. The fabric is 95% rayon and 5% spandex. It is stretchy and moves well. However the lose style, everywhere but the waist, makes the fabric heavy and limp.
The pink jacket is definitely an indulgence. The designer this time is Countess. The fabric is 100% polyester and a little too smooth for my liking. The fabric feels like it could hitch easily. What makes this jacket an indulgence is the design of the sleeves and the triangular space designed below the button. Considering the unkempt style now, I recognize my mistake. I already feel it is dated and I am not slender enough at the moment to carry it off before it becomes completely out of style. The same crumpled up sleeves show up on Simon Chang’s webpage.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
(I need to re-take this picture before next week so the picture better suits the diary post below)
It is a cold but sunny day in the mid-West! I am looking forward to the case studies on today’s conference agenda. The audience is largely comprised of experts, so I can benefit from their impressions of the material presented.
I have selected a very comfortable dress designed by Nicole Miller. This USA designer is sought after globally and was carried to a limited extent at Bellissima in Churchill Square. I purchased the dress from Bellissima. Now that Bellissima is closed in St. John’s, you can find some good buys when visiting Neiman Marcus on-line or by visiting www.nicolemiller.com . This year Miller is featuring asymmetric hem line designs and a selection of short, medi and maxi length spring and summer dresses. I wish the heck I could buy some of these. Only three weeks to go, then I can shop!
The design and fabric of this dress work together to present a slim persona. After a night at the Weber Grill, this design accommodation is much appreciated. I combined this dress with the pink Talbot blazer (I know I am taking this travel repeat rule to its limit.) The two colours work very well together and that is a confidence booster.
The fabric of this dress is comprised of 55% linen, 42% viscose and 3% spandex. Now, we all know how challenging linen can be to wear all day. A lengthy period sitting in ergonomically inappropriate hotel chairs is generally a disaster for linen. The fabric blend in this instance is brilliant. The dress is meant for a working woman and stands up to the less than ideal seating arrangement.
When I wear this dress I am reminded of two great days. One was at a brutal meeting when a close colleague perked up my shattered spirit with a compliment on how I looked. His timing was impeccable; I needed something to keep going. The second memory was more recent, I was presenting at a conference in Toronto. I was nervous and the waiter told me the colour combination suited me and he wanted me to know I looked great. Again, this was much appreciated. Perhaps they were angels sent to get me through tough days, but their comments worked their magic. As there was no stress or torment today, no compliments were given or required. When you see someone struggling with their day, consider paying him or her a compliment, they will undoubtedly remember that for a long time.
The one thing I find awkward about this dress is the collar. This is also the downside of linen. The collar doesn’t sit right in my opinion. To make it work, I need a blazer that will hold it in place, or a thick scarf to drape around it. I always feel that an opened collar looks odd on me. I have a short stature and a slim upper body. Collars often rise above where they ordinarily should rest on the shoulders and neck. As it is, linen collars need all the help they can get on any frame.
Friday, May 15, 2015
It’s a travel day and back to work for the afternoon. I have chosen to combine navy pants with Jones New York casual top and sweater. This design is dated, but somewhat classic. I admit I have seen this sweater around but I always say to myself when I see it, “that is vintage!” So I am sporting this sweater today with a hope no one spies me with it on. Shame on me!
I encourage you to visit www.jny.com. There is a sale on! I have checked out the sweaters and cardigans, there is nothing that compares as a style match with the hooded sweater modelled above.
Today’s outfit is comfortable, casual and fit for purpose. I have five hours of either sitting in an airport or on the plane, followed by three hours in the office at my desk. While the style is vintage, I am glad that I wore it as it is suitable for a travel day.
Monday: Blue shirt and navy pants- hang up and wear again
Tuesday: Pink Talbot blazer and navy pants- hang up and wear again
Wednesday: Pink Countess jacket- watch list
Alison Sheri top and skirt- goodwill
Thursday: Nicole Miller teal dress- hang up and wear again
Friday: Jones New York – goodwill (yikes, I hate to do that.)
Next week is a four day week and jam packed with meetings. I am getting closer to the truth when I say, “I have nothing left to wear!”