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Fashion Blog (Archive): August 2003

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Sunday, August 31, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 6:01 PM (Pacific)

What kind of an engineer are you? *g* I wear jean jackets with jeans. They don't even match, half the time.

Hummm...not to enable, or anything...I think the leather/suede jacket sounds great. I own...sigh lots of them from B.C.E. (Before the Children Era.) It's well worth the money. Imo, you can find a better price. How much is $250 Canadian? I'm clueless...

I am so out of clothes-buying mode. Well, there's the MAGS. (A trade secret for those who do not know.) That satisfies much of my clothing needs, since the base of it are casual clothes, which are all I can wear right now.

I could do with a scarf though. Not a woolly scarf, just a cotton or silk one. It has to be good though. Stupid Pier One. They used to sell stuff like that...and clothes.

And I'm still looking on and off for that jade pendant. Macy's...had a big jade elephant (too big), a lavender jade and mother-of-pearl yinyang one...and something slightly interesting. It was onyx and mother-of-pearl, but instead of being round, it was a sort of oblong yinyang. In short a more subtle version of it. But it had this big gold top so I expected it would cost. That's not what I'm after, exactly, just thought it was interesting.


Saturday, August 30, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 6:38 PM (Pacific)

As I said in the Beauty blog, I went shopping today. My plan was to look around for some of the Fall clothes I want. Not buy, just look. The boyfriend decided to come and he needed new jeans so we ended up shopping for jeans instead. Horrible! The man skinny. He wears a size 28! And he wanted some stretch in his jeans. So we went to store after store after store so he could try on jeans. See, I hate shopping for something in particular. You always end up trying on a million things to buy just one item. What I love is shopping with a mental list of stuff I want that I don't need to buy NOW. Like when I went to the Mexx sale, I tried on their jeans knowing I need a new pair. I wasn't in a hurry to get a new pair so I didn't really care whether they fit or not. They fit like a dream. I was really happy with the purchase because it filled a hole in my closet. And now I don't need to actually go shopping FOR jeans! Just perfect...

So anyhow, I was looking mostly for corduroy pants (was thinking burgundy but am now thinking camel or dark brown as my dark brown pants have gotten too big for me). There are plenty everywhere. I found a couple cute corduroy skirts too. I have my eye on one that's 30$ CAN. I looked for boots too. Browns had some for 200$ which is a bit much. Plus, they may not fit because they're zip up boots and my calves are big. Well, I don't think they're big but they never fit in the boots so.... Later on I went by my favourite shoe store. It was closed but I saw some cool synthetic boots in camel through the window. Those have stretch instead of a zipper so I know they'd fit. The only problem is the heel is a bit high for my tastes. At least 3 inches. I would have wanted something more in the 2 inch world. I'll go check tomorrow maybe.

I also looked for a coat but couldn't find anything perfect. My problem is this: I refuse to wear a corduroy coat with corduroy pants or skirts and I refuse to wear a jean jacket with jeans. It just looks like overkill on me. So what do I get? If I can find both for not too much money, I may just get one of each. That way, I'm all set. The other option is something in suede. Now that would be nice as I've always wanted one. But it's much more expensive. Then again, it could last me a really long time so it might be worth the money? I saw a nice one for 250$ but I'd need to check out some other leather stores too. If I decide on a suede or leather coat, I need to put in the money and get the best quality I can afford. It's a big decision and one I need to think about some more. Stay tuned :)


Thursday, August 28, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 10:48 AM (Pacific)

Hey...I have just discovered The Vest.

Actually I have a lot of vests, I just never wore them before. The thing is this. When you're my age, people kind of frown on you wearing form-fitting clothes. I happen to like form-fitting, but as usual, it's well to compromise.

I have...hummm...this green Gap vest, an off-green Banana Republic vest, a silk vest I got at a garage sale [swatch here], a black suede vest...I've got vests.

So you see, collecting clothes is a good thing. If, as I say, you can still wear the stuff ten years later.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 9:37 PM (Pacific)

Don't say that!!!!!!!!!!! Shopping for anything is fun. I got the socks today...I went to Target and I saw the socks. Beautiful, colored socks. I've been buying black, white and grey socks for years. I just couldn't resist.

I got some...lessee...denim blue, purple, olive green, brick red, and lighter blue socks. I think (the socks are upstairs and I'm surreptitiously typing downstairs). They had nice pink ones but I didn't buy those. Ten bucks for 5 pairs...not bad. It's ten bucks for six at Costco.

Shopping for jeans is just as fun. Then again, I don't mind shopping for bathing suits either. I go to Ross Dress for Less. They always have something I like. I forewent the bikini last time...sigh. Can a mother of two who's almost 38 wear a bikini? It would depend on the bikiini, but the one-piece looked better last time so I got that. It's great.

I see it this way. A man can afford to be super picky about women's bodies. It doesn't cost him anything. But me? It would be ridiculous. I can stand to lose some weight...I'm eating carefully. But I don't believe in suffering.


Monday, August 25, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 6:41 AM (Pacific)

Jeans. They're such a pain to shop for. Trust me, I know. I second boot cut jeans or flares (but not too flared, you don't want to travel into bell-bottom territory). They elongate the leg and are much more flattering than tapered jeans. I also think you should at least try some slightly low-rise jeans. Something just below the navel. If you're short-waisted, these are much more comfortable and they still work well at holding in the lower belly pouch. I don't have kids but I do know a little about that lower belly pouch :) It's my problem area...

Anyhow, for the shopping part, I suggest maybe going someplace where they have a lot of brands. Maybe Walmart? I don't know because I don't shop there but I would imagine they have lots of selection. Otherwise, you can start with one of those boutiques where they have several brands. Just tell the sales person what you're looking for and they can get something like that in different brands for you to try. It's just such a pain to go from store to store to try on different brands. Especially since a brand that's great for one person may be horrible for another...

Oh! Another suggestion is to get jeans with a bit of stretch to them. Those usually fit better, stretch out a little less (you know, how when you wear jeans they stretch out to something like a size bigger?), and they're more comfortable. They allow more freedom of movement.

Colour. Go for dark rinse (but not black) if you want jeans that look "urban". That colour has a clean, classic look that's easy to dress up and never looks like you're just wearing old jeans. Don't know how to express it. If you want something more trendy, go for "dirty" or old looking jeans. They make some with this beigish rinse that makes them look ever so slightly dirty and they make some that are pre-faded to look like you've had them for a long time.

Good luck with the shopping!

Sunday, August 24, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 8:24 PM (Pacific)


One really comfortable, yet spiffy style of Levi's is Silver Tab. I own two pairs of these. One is sort of prewashed and one is a darker-than-denim shade.

Express is good too. I have these Express "Bleus." They're "boot cut" which is what they call flares these days. :) These are also comfortable; they're more modern-looking than the Silver Tab.

J.Crew is also surprisingly good. I don't know the model # but I have a pair of these...the same boot-cut thing.

I think you can go with a modified lowrider thing like I do. It's not realllllllly low but it's low enough so that it doesn't look dated.

The only brands I can think of offhand, that I don't do, are The Gap and Old Navy. I love other stuff they produce but, their jeans make my butt disappear into nothingness. And for some reason (irrational perhaps) I never look at Lee or Wrangler. Maybe I'm just prejudiced but they never made a pair that I liked before, so I stopped looking.


posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 6:48 AM (Pacific)

Ok, Fashion Mavens.
I need new jeans.
I want simple, classic, not terribly expensive jeans.
I'm guessing I should check into Levi's. My sister once told me of a Levi's style that was incredible flattering to wear. I've since forgotten the number. 501? 505? I should call her and see if she remembers.
I don't do trendy and I downright refuse to do lowriders. One doesn't not put a woman who has birthed 3 10 pound babies in 4 years into a pair of lowriders.
I tried it once.
I still have the nightmares.
~carol m~

Saturday, August 23, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 12:30 PM (Pacific)

Well I've finished getting my son's back to school clothes. It was much easier this time. Girls are easier to shop for than boys...there's more selection, for one thing. For him, I had to develop a style. I don't adhere to the notion that boys should dress badly and I hate that punky gangsta look, I really do. Not that you have to dress up to go to school (i.e. get beaten up by the other kids :) ) but you should have a style; you should look good.

It's the end of summer here too in that you can feel it. At first I felt sad. I hate cold weather and darkness. Additionally it's not like the South. You don't have this grueling, laborious, protracted and sweaty mess they call summer. (Pronounced "summah.") As the character says in The Great Gatsby, everything starts over again when it gets crisp in the Fall. (I'm paraphrasing here; I lost my copy.) That is when the Fall is liberating. Here it's just sort of tinged with sadness.

My canadienne :) is longer...if it's the same thing. It's not full length but it's below the knee. It's the warmest coat I have. I have an army coat too (lined). Yes, I wear an army coat. I like military style clothes once in a while.

I need socks. Costco stopped carrying the ones I normally buy. Fooey. I can get some at Target or Old Navy. Target is 2 pairs for $5 (made in Korea, good quality). I'm not sure about Old Navy.


posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 5:09 AM (Pacific)

Yeah, I've had a hankering for brown boots for a while... I love my black ones (they're synthetic and need absolutely no care to stay waterproof and pretty) but Fall is a brown season. Fall and Winter have similar clothes but different colours. You know the colour theory where you're either a Winter, Fall, Summer or Spring? I'm more a Winter by the way. Anyhow, the colours are just about right. In Fall, I'm always drawn to warm yellows, oranges (look horrible in either but I'm still drawn to them), red, cream, and all shades of brown. In the Winter, I go for bright colours like blue, red, and purple with some black, white, and gray mixed in. But both seasons see me wearing sweaters (mostly turtlenecks), thicker materials like wool and corduroy, tights, and boots.

I just love having 4 seasons. My favourite being that short period in Fall where the leaves have changed colour and the air is cool and crisp. That period where you can walk about without a hat or gloves (I usually wear the gloves because my hands get cold very fast) and a warm sweater will keep you nice and toasty. That's also the time where you stop feeling the air pollution that's omnipresent in Summer. No smog in Fall and Winter! Anyhow, each season has its good sides and bad sides and I wouldn't give any of them up...

Hmmm, your coat sounds a bit like my red coat. How long is it? Mine hits just below the hip. I'm not sure what the name for this type of coat is but I've heard some people call it a "canadienne".

You're right about this being the right time to build a wardrobe. I'm in the period of my life where I have the most money to spend. And it's such a good excuse to shop! I do go through phases though. I'm in a shopping mood these days but that'll change soon enough. I can go through months of not buying a single thing and then I go crazy for a month or two.

Sigh, you've got me dreaming about Fall and Winter now. You can remind me of this when I start complaining about the cold next February or March...


Friday, August 22, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 2:49 PM (Pacific)

Hummm...get the boots. Boots are good. I have these Dr. Martens boots. Not high fashion, but incredibly warm, water-resistant and comfortable. And durable. Boots go with everything and a good pair dresses up any outfit. (Besides keeping your feet warm.)

To be fair, we don't have four seasons here. So the concept of having a separate wardrobe for winter is kind of laughable. I have some scarves, hats, yadda yadda but I wear the same pants and stuff, just with sweaters instead of tank tops. It's not a dramatic change :) replete with different colors, fabrics, weights and such. Just, I take out my long-sleeved shirts.

I have a winter coat and get to wear it only a few days out of the year. It's one of those wool things...I forget what you call it. It's long, navy blue and has a hood and toggles. Sounds dreadful but it looks snappy. sigh We Californians suffer so much.

I don't even own a proper raincoat. I have one of those jackets people wear in Washington State. I used to think, ah, what are you wearing that jacket for? It's not a long coat, it's more like a long jacket. It's waterproof and has a hood. You need something like it in Washington because it'll start raining out of the blue and you can't haul an umbrella around with you everywhere you go. People wear baseball caps there for exactly the same reason.

BTW...it's true that people drink strong coffee...espresso really...all day in the Puget Sound area. It doesn't make you nervous or keep you up at night. It's the weather. It stays dark half the year. Since you don't get energy from the sun, that's why you drink so much coffee.

Hummm...I'm not at all in shopping mode, clothes-wise. I went through it a couple of times in my life...once when I was around your age, a little older really. I got tons and tons of clothes. These clothes saw me through jobs, school and casual wear. I still have them and fit them but have no place to wear them to as a SAHM.

Then, more recently, my SAHM wardrobe (jeans, jeans, and machine washable everything). Most of this is from the MAGS. ;) I'm addicted to the MAGS now; I go every year.

I think excess can be important. Just get stuff that you know you'll still be wearing ten years from now.


posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 11:32 AM (Pacific)

Cardinals are pretty but I like blue jays better. Just because they're blue!

I like tacky stuff too. It really only is tacky to wear it when you don't know it's tacky. You know what I mean? I have a Care Bears T-shirt. I love it but I do consider it a bit tacky. The Care Bear design is one of those iron-on things. I wear it for fun. And that's how tacky stuff should be worn: in fun. If you take it too seriously, then you just look like you're not aware that what you're wearing is tacky and you just become a "Don't"... Oh, now I'm thinking of this T-shirt I wore as a kid that had Minnie and Mickey on the front and that said something like "Disco". I loved that too. Of course, back then it wasn't tacky.

Speaking of tacky, a coworker of mine said that, in my neighborhood (people aren't poor there), it's hard to tell the difference between the homeless and the others. I just said the difference was that people with homes are clean... But I do get what my coworker said. It's not true of everybody but some people in my neighborhood have an interesting way of dressing. I think these people by a lot of second-hand stuff and new old-looking clothes. And the colours and patterns don't necessarily match. But at the same time, IMO, it works. It's not me but I like this style on others. The T-shirts are often kind of tacky like a tourist thing or something from the 70's or 80's. Anyhow, it has a bit of an artistic flair with an air of "I don't give a **** what you think of me, I'll just wear what I like". You just have to respect that.

You know, you could probably find another shirt with a Japanese painting. I've seen quite a bit of Asian inspired suff in the last years. I'm still in shopping mood. Someone drive some sense into my head! But I do have a bit of a list of things I want. Or need. Whichever way you want to look at it.

-brown knee-high boots with a chunky heel; not so high that they're hard to walk in but high enough to not make my calves look huge when wearing a knee-length skirt. I need to get these unlined because they'll probably be mostly a Fall staple. And even in Winter, I can deal with unlined boots. However, there is no way I can deal with lined boots when the weather's a bit warmer...
-short corduroy skirt; I'm thinking olive green would be fun. I've been loving my legs lately so I want to show them off :)
-corduroy pants; maybe plum? Some dark not neutral colour. It could be burgundy too. I just love corduroy for Fall.
-Fall coat; I have a black waterproof one but I want something funkier than that. Maybe a jean or suede (hello $$$) short trench. Need to look for that.
-long A-line skirt; don't know the material or colour yet. We'll see what stores have.
-maybe a school girl-ish skirt; not sure though as most of these aren't very flattering for my hips.
-accessories; we'll see what there is. I have a thing for mittens, scarves, gloves, and hats. And hair things. And bags (even though I don't have many). I should think a scarf will not be necessary this year. I have at least three at home...

And that's it. I think. Well, that should be it for Fall. Winter always brings a whole other set of "needs". More grays than browns. I won't be buying any of this stuff soon. Stores will only have the interesting stuff in September anyway. Oh, that's fast approaching, isn't it? I think I'll wait till mid-September anyway...


Wednesday, August 20, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 5:29 PM (Pacific)

Hummm...red is a psychological color for winter. It's not technically the warmest color but it feels warm.

There are two very red things you see in winter. One is the holly berry, of course. The other--in Virginia anyway--is the cardinal. I remember that quite well because there were times when I was in the country in the middle of winter. It would all be grey ice, white snow, black tree branches, and these red-red male cardinals. You wouldn't see them often but they hit your eye. The cardinal, iirc, is the offical bird of Virginia.

I myself...have this tacky side. I like things that are just this side of tacky. I'm wearing this slightly godawful striped Gap shirt today. The old man hates it. It reminds me of those shirts people wore in the '70's...everything then was striped, striped, striped. It even has green in it. Pass me the rugby shirt!

Then I have this punk looking tank I got at Mervyn's. It's got this design...like a stars and stripes, horribly patriotic campy design. I knew I had to have it.

What's killing me...I saw this shirt and should have bought it. It had this whole Japanese painting on it. Dang.


posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 3:30 PM (Pacific)

Your camouflage theory is interesting. It can actually be applied to seasons. Every Fall, the same colours and materials come out. Every Fall, I become a little sad because I can't wear orange and yellow. And then Winter comes and I don't want to wear orange anymore. I want black, grey and white. And bright colours. But that isn't exactly camouflage, is it? Pastels would be better for that in Winter, no? Take my good old coat (good old because it's 12 years old and I can't let go of it; it still looks pretty good). It's bright bright red. I always get compliments on it. Hmmm, maybe the bright colours are meant to compensate for the whiteness (yeah right, more like grey, black and brown in the city; snow does NOT stay white there). This needs more study :)

Oh, amber necklace. A girl on in our group in Peru bought a gorgeous huge amber. It had a big piece of sap in the middle. It looked so unique and cool. It would have been too much for me to wear but it was gorgeous anyway.

Ya know, I can't subscribe to the take one piece of jewelry. If I did, I'd never wear my engagement ring! Since I lost one of my everyday earrings, I haven't been wearing any earrings. I need to get another pair but it's hard. Those earrings were the first piece of jewelry my boyfriend gave me. They're very hard to replace... Anyhow, even when I do wear more jewelry, it's never more than my ring, earrings, and a necklace. My earrings are studs so no dangling there. I never wear bracelets or anklets. And if I were wearing huge earrings, I wouldn't wear a necklace. So I don't think I actually need to remove any jewelry. But the principle is good...

I've been called to supper...

Tuesday, August 19, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 10:28 AM (Pacific)

heh heh... I am now putting my name first, and typing over it. :)

Hum. There are only a few famous people whose style I like. Most of it is prefab and impersonal. I like Julia Stiles. She has this fabulous amber necklace. I saw it once in a photo. And I remember it. It can't be the most expensive necklace in the world but then, how much of that borrowed jewelry do you remember?

I like Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Chrissie Hynde. I like Halle Berry too. She's a mainstream actress, but she always has a twist.

Well I was thinking, animals have skins that they use as camouflage. It's been well pointed out, since we don't have that sort of thing, we make up for it by how we dress.

Hence, in places where the scenery is green and brown...England...people wear tweed and natural colors. In places where it's grey...the big cities...people tend to favor darker colors like black, grey, brown, navy blue. In places where there's lots of loud flowers and foliage...Florida, Hawaii, Southern Cal...people dress in bright colors and it doesn't seem strange; it looks right.

*g* The cowboy boots. I never liked the Western style when I was growing up (East Coast). I idolized the New York style. Yes, I would say that we have our own identity, apart from being a child of Europe. At some point the child has to grow up. But when you grow up, that's when you appreciate the parent. You go through the phase of idolizing the parent, rebelling against the parent, then you grow up and can objectively see everything that the parent gave you.

I mean, England. :) I don't relate to France at all. To the United States, England is the parent. I think it's been our saving grace.

Weeeeellllll...it depends on the sweatshirt. The Gap makes good ones. It's like t-shirts though, it's tricky. It's very easy to look like crap in a sweatshirt, but the right sweatshirt, that's the thing.

Hummm...when I was growing up (grade school) the kids would step on brand new sneakers. They disliked that brand new look. Looking back on it now, it's funny. Why did we do that? There was this group of kids whose parents were college professors and such. It was fantastic. I don't know how to put it. Being in that class...from the first grade through the sixth...was like living inside an intellectual bubble.

Speaking of rambling... :) To this day I prefer shoes that look lived-in.

Oh yeah and one more thing. I do adhere to the philosophy of, get dressed and then remove one piece of jewelry. At first I'll admit I thought that was hilarious but later on I realized it was good advice.

It's similar to the theory of writing where you go back and remove all the excessive words. Or, to the theory of programming where you cut out all the excess code. Or...my favorite quote. "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."


posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 8:19 AM (Pacific)

Consider your butt kicked :)

But then, what I don't get is that New York is one of fashion's hot spots. Why not glorify New York rather than Paris or Milan? Hmmm, maybe it's because I'm such a mix of the North American and European but I get rather insulted when people say North America is way behind Europe (mainly France) for fashion. Excuse me? I have a hard time seeing how that can be. Granted, small villages lost in the middle of nowhere will always be a little behind in fashion but then, that's everywhere. My mother comes from a little town in France and fashion isn't exactly cutting edge there either. But in bigger cities, the "now" fashions are available to everyone. The European designers do sell this season's stuff in North America.

But Europeans and Americans dress differently. I see it as more social differences than anything else. I guess that's why I find style in different cities so fascinating. You wouldn't catch me dead in cowboy boots (though I may change my mind someday) and I think they look horrible in a number of circumstances but I can't help but find they're pretty cool with certain outfits. I think if I went to the West Coast, I'd find them very cool. It's just a different style, ya know? Maybe not the fashionable one but still style.

I think we're agreeing about personal style. I like your saying that clothes should be like your skin. You should feel completely comfortable in them. Both physically and psychologically. I find sweatsuits very comfortable physically but I feel VERY uncomfortable in them from a psychological viewpoint. They make me feel dowdy and I hate their matchy-matchy aspect.

My opinion of high fashion is that it's fun to look at and get ideas from. High fashion is always a bit over the top but the essentials of it always trickle down quite fast to more retail oriented designers like the Mexx designers, GAP designers and such. So you can get what's fashionable right now for not a whole lot of money if you wish. And it's much more wearable at the retail level. I suppose when you're rich and famous, you end up being a bit of a showcase for designers. You're some kind of billboard for them. Yeesh. That's kind of horrible. I refuse to be a billboard for designers. Of course, I don't mind little tags so much but I refuse to buy a plain white T-shirt with a designer name on it. If I'm going to be a walking billboard, they're darn well going to have to pay me for it!

Sorry, got side-tracked there...

Oh! Just wanted to say this. I completely agree that you can't be dressed up when you're running around after kids. It'd be kind of like painting your house in an evening gown. But that doesn't mean you have to be unstylish. There's so much available now. Jeans and a T-shirt always look good if they fit well. And I know you use pretty accessories to spiff things up :) So I would say that despite not being able to dress up, you are stylish in the sense that you do try to look good while being casual and ready for any disaster and also in the sense that you wear clothes that are you.

Grin, I have such an all-inclusive definition of stylish, don't I? I just think there are other words for people who follow fashion with taste or who have a timeless look: fashionable and elegant. And those who don't follow fashion with taste: fashion victims. So there.

Last last thing I want to say (can you tell clothes are one of my favourite subjects?). To me style has nothing to do with being dressed up or down. You can dress down and be stylish just as you can dress up and not be stylish. Because it doesn't have to do with being dressed up. You can be a stylish hiker, ya know... I actually have some very cool hiking stuff from MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op; see? I just proved how Canadian I am!). When I wear these clothes to go hiking, I feel very cool. Even if they don't match perfectly. I lik that my boots are a tad dirty. Makes them look like I actually use them.

I'm done now. Finally, huh? :)


PS: Thanks for giving me an excuse to buy more clothes :)

Monday, August 18, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 12:20 PM (Pacific)

Ugh. Someone please kick my butt if I forget to sign posts. In fact I should put my name up first because I will forget...

Hum. Yes. I would say that Americans consider the French, and Western Europeans in general, superior in style. Well to be fair, aren't the major fashion houses located in Europe? I suppose there's some stuff in Japan also.

I myself...I'm too American, even to think that way. I look at high fashion and...it's hard for me to care. Even if I had the money to buy it, I wouldn't. I can see it if you're very rich or famous. People see you. You can't be seen in the same clothes all the time, you just can't.

But for the ordinary person, your clothes should be like your skin. It's unique to you; you have to feel comfortable inside. I feel best inside an American skin. (Ironic, since most of our clothes are imported.)

I'm cheap so that would be another factor. I spend money only on certain things. Like that !@#$ jade pendant I can't find anywhere now. It's easy enough to find a jade pendant. But nothing I've seen is good.

Say, those clothes sound nice. It's good, imo, to stock up on clothes when you are young. You won't always be able to do that. And if they're good clothes, they won't go out of style. You can wear them later on.

I've been to Vancouver. It's a beautiful place but, ah, hardly the epitome of style. The West is the Wild West after all. I will say I like certain Western things...I have a leather jacket with fringes on it. That's my favorite jacket. I can't wear it now; the kids would destroy it. And I've always thought of getting cowboy boots. I had a cowboy hat for a while but I never got into wearing it.

Hum. That's the thing. As long as the kids are kids, it's hard for me to think about dressing up at all. But it's a mistake to forget how to look good. It's an art and it's an important one.


posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 11:23 AM (Pacific)

Hi Josie! You know, I asked my boyfriend once where I look like I come from based on the way I dress and groom myself. He said French too. Maybe it comes with having the nationality. Or having a French mother. Ah well.

Speaking of European style, when I was in Peru, there was another canadian couple. They were from Toronto. All four of us were explaining the differences between the three major canadian cities. So Vancouver has a West Coast style. Surprised? I've yet to go but that city fascinates me. Then Toronto has an East Coast style. That leaves Montreal. Montreal is neither West Coast nor East Coast. Montreal has a distinct European vibe that mixes with a North American base. And everyone seems to agree with this. I read a bit of a Lonely Planet guide to Montreal and even it said that Montreal was European. Which isn't better, just different. Why do Americans idolize French style so much? (This is according to magazine articles and some observations on some beauty messageboards so it may be off.)

I would love to visit the West Coast and East Coast big cities to compare styles. I find it fascinating. I may not like something. I may even be caught saying things like "sweat pants are a criminal offense". But at the end of the day, I just want people to wear things they like. So it's really interesting to see how people dress in different places. It says a little bit about the society there.

You may be right about the 20's too. I just repeated what I'd read in an article which was kind of stupid of me. I know better than that. But it actually sort of rang true for me. When I was a teenager, I dreamed of suits. I still think they look so nice and put together. But they're not me. There's stuff that I bought two years ago that I hardly wore last year. And now, I'm wearing the stuff again. There are purchases I've made that weren't very smart. I'm getting much better at it now.

Yesterday, there was a private sale at Mexx stores. I had an invitation card so I went. Well, duh. Walking down the street with my boyfriend, if I see a Mexx store, I move towards it. If he keeps me away, I start saying, "Mother ship, mother ship". I'm pathetic, aren't I? He thinks it's cute at least :) Anyhow, they had 20% off the new collection and 15% off sale items. I spent a mean chunk of money. I'm bad. But ya know what? I fell in love with each and every item I bought AND I left some much loved items behind...

So being as this IS a fashion blog, here's what I bought:
-dirty looking jeans with an embroidered waistband; and I'd just said I only wore dark rinse jeans! But gosh darn it, I just changed my mind! These are tight but very stretchy (so comfortable), low-rise but not too low-rise (about an inch or two bellow my belly button). They fit like a dream!
-natural coloured linen pants; the ones I got last year have a rip. I've repaired the rip and will be putting a little sunflower patch over that but there's no way I'm leaving home wearing 'em. They've become very elegant lounging pants... So I got some new ones this year and these are much cooler. They're low-rise like the jeans but not tight. They're really nice and flowing and have this extra piece of material on either side that you tie towards the front with these ribbons that go all round the waist and back front. The ribbons remind of canvas but more pliable.
-brown microfiber camisole; I just love microfiber
-sheer colourful long bell-sleeved top; this is very hard to describe. Very. It's brown and beige and dark pink and some other colours. I intend to wear it over the brown camisole
-black camisole with lace in the front; will NOT be wearing this to work. The cami itself isn't that low-cut but you can see quite far through the lace. The lace stops just in time for a bra to remain hidden so it's not that bad. Just not work appropriate.
-fuchsia top; this has cap-sleeves, fuchsia applique flowers, and some silver dots. It has a bit of an asian flair with the flowers and the collar.
-black jersey dress; spaghetti straps, rather tight and goes about to the knee. The cut asymmetrical and there's a ruffle running down on a diagonal. Very pretty and since the top part is tight, I could wear a top over the dress and pretend it's a skirt. It works: I tried with the fuchsia top.
-cream turtleneck; it's shortish and not tight but not bulky. It has brown leather lacing on either side of the upper abs going down from about where the upper abs start to the bottom of the sweater. Cute.

The jeans and linen pants have me thinking about these jeans I had in university. I loved them to pieces. When I got a hole on one knee, my mother covered it up with some cute material (red with cows jumping over the moon on it). I loved those jeans and wore them often. Now, I wouldn't wear patched up jeans unless I was doing yard work or repainting the walls or something of the sort. I still think they're cute but I'm too old for them now. The jeans I got yesterday, now those are age-appropriate but not too serious. The 20s really are the best decade for fashion...

By the way? How does one define stylish? I think I know what "unstylish" is. I would say that's just wearing whatever. Covering yourself up rather than dressing yourself. Like if you like sweatsuits, think they look great and only wear that, then you're not "unstylish". But if you wear sweatsuits because you can't be bothered to make more of an effort, then you are unstylish. But stylish? Is stylish wearing the latest trends? I don't think so. Is it wearing just classics? Looking rich? What? I like to think that stylish is wearing clothes that are you. Yeah, that sounds right to me...

Side note: I think most people have worn something that was older than them at some point in their life. For instance, I'm sure some of my baby pj's were older than me :)


Sunday, August 17, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 11:22 PM (Pacific)

Hummm...that sounds very...French. It's beautiful and it's utterly foreign to me. If you held a loaded gun to my head, I doubt that I could ever come up with those items. :)

I am not sure if it's in your 20's though, that you find your style. It might appear to be that way. i.e., that's when you have the most disposable income (before kids), the best body, and the most inclination to experiment.

But the thing is this. When you get older, you care less and less what other people think. It becomes less of a factor in what you wear. So I would say that's when your style goes from the abstract to the concrete.

Hummm...New York is the most stylish city in the U.S., there's no doubt about it. I mean there is Los Angeles but it's different. It's the old and the new. Everything is new in California; every day it feels as if the whole place just materialized out of nowhere. So the clothes tend to be new, literally. I don't remember the East Coast style as touting newness as a virtue, whatsoever. So...what can I say? I have clothes that are older than you are? lol I probably do, I should check.


posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 5:33 AM (Pacific)

This blog is so interesting. I've been wanting to post about my style for a while now. The problem is, I'm not sure I've found my style yet! So this promises to be rambly and with no actual point or direction...

I'm in my 20s which is the decade of your life where you find your style. It's also the decade where you're supposed to buy your quality wardrobe basics. Well, I have them. Sort of. The above-the-knee black skirt has a sheer overlay so it's not exactly classic. But it's a fun skirt. I love dressing it down with a thin off-white turtleneck and it's also great dressed up for a party with a shimmery camisole. I had gotten this skirt for a Christmas party and I went through a period where I never wore it. Now, I love it again. I also have the black pants but they're made of a "swishy" material. That is, the material makes noise when I walk. So again, hardly classic. I have the long black skirt too but it's too big for me. Need a new one. I have the pantsuit. It's grey and fits well but I never wear it! I'm just not a suit person. I just need it for the occasional meeting with a client or other stuff like that. Oh! And I have the white shirt. Only it's 3/4 sleeves...

So there you are. I have my basics but they aren't quite classic. Other than that, my jean skirts get a LOT of wear. Love'em. In the Winter, my turtlenecks are a staple (I guess those are basics, huh?). I need new jeans though. I got some last year but now they're too big. I don't need a lot of jeans because I only wear dark rinse. It's just such a pain to shop for the darn things. I have lots of shirts but don't wear them much. I hate ironing. So I wear a lot of tank tops, T-shirts, and other non-shirt tops. They have to be clingy as I hate baggy clothes.

Hmmm, colour. I like colour but am quite boring with how I use it. My bottoms are quite basic: black, camel, brown, grey, jean colour... Some of my Summer stuff is more fun but I usually pair those with a white top. In tops, I have red, various shades of blue and purple, and some olive green. I look horrible in yellow and orange. They clash with the pink in my skin. I want to get into pink too. My best colours are the brighter ones. Bright red always gets me positive comments. Darker reds too. Royal blue, purple, bright lilac all make me look alive. And I can wear fuchsia. I can pull off the softer versions of these colours too but there's no questioning that brighter is better on me. I really need to get more creative with colour...

For shoes, I like anything cute. Round toes are my favourite and I loathe pointy toed shoes. Those are NOT cute. They make my feet look longer and they look painful. I also prefer a chunkier heel and since I started wearing orthotics, I've been wearing more flats.

So what exactly IS my style? I like to look put together even in jeans which is why I like the dark rinse and hate baggy stuff. But put together doesn't mean I'm never casual. It just means I'm almost never messy. I don't own sweats and have told my boyfriend to kill me if I ever buy some (kidding, kind of). I like to say I'm classic with a twist. Each season, I spot the trends that I like. That is, the things I would keep wearing even once the trend is over. I never go over the top with a trend. Like last year, I bought a plain white cotton peasant top. It'll last me forever. Well, it won't go out of style, that is. Hmm, there are a couple stores that actually carry mostly my style: Mexx, InWear and Tristan. I don't think these are available in the US. I wouldn't call myself preppy. I'm not the sweater-tied-around-the-shoulders type. Yup, classic with a trendy influence is me.

On a completely different note, I read this little article on the internet. It was by Flare, a canadian fashion magazine, and it was about "Canada's Most Stylish City" or something like that. I was curious to find out what that city was and it turns out it's Montreal! Gee, I never considered this city all that stylish. But then, I read on a beauty messageboard that some Americans thought Montreal was very stylish. I must admit, I've never had that fascination people have for the way French women dress. They dress like I do! So I started looking around. The thing with Montreal is people dress how they want to. If you're dressed differently, no one cares so I guess people feel free to wear what they like. Maybe that's what the article meant? I don't know. But I AM flattered that at least some people think of Montreal as a stylish place. After all, I like to be well-dressed and I like for people to wear what they like...


Thursday, August 14, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 1:14 PM (Pacific)

lol I had to laugh about red reminding you of Target. Purple, reminds me of the Salvation Army. You see, back in the day, before I became obscenely rich *cough* I used to hang around the Salvation Army. I swear to God, everything there was purple. I can hardly stand purple anything now even though it's a nice color.

I do love dark red though. I think I'm more of a cranberry, pomegranate, deep red kind of person, than burgundy. Perhaps my coloring is warmer than yours. I don't do really dark red, like liver-colored red, but anything lighter, that's darker than red-red, rings my bell.

I also love olive green. I have no idea why. People used to wear a lot of it when and where I was growing up. Norfolk, Virginia, is a military town, to say the least? And it was the 1970's so wearing fatigues was fashionable anyway.

My third favorite color is yellow. Strong yellow, not pastel. Then, I suppose, it's blue, black, brown, yadda yadda.

Sheesh. I've gotten so used to wearing casual clothes. The truth is, I don't want a job where you have to dress up. I know some people like it. I don't. I think it's mainly because I'm cheap. Hum.

I'm not much into the capsule wardrobe. It's odd...I can honestly say I'm a makeup minimalist now. But I'll never be a clothes minimalist. Well I abuse my clothes. I throw them into the washer along with the jeans and etc. Everything gets spin-dried. Hence, having more clothes to abuse, means they wear out more slowly and you need to shop less.

One thing I'm just dying for though. A jade pendant. I don't know exactly which kind yet. It has to be jade and it has to be gold, probably 14 karat (I never see jade pendants with anything higher). Green or white jade. I like the round ones with the Chinese character in the center. I know, everyone and their dog used to own one of these. What can I say? I like Chinese characters.


posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 9:02 AM (Pacific)

This months issue of Real Simple had an article about easily upgrading ones wardrobe with the use of color.
They suggest adding a boost of new color to those neutral basics we all have.

Camel with Turquoise
Camel with Green

Black with Red
Black with Blue

Grey with Pink
Grey with Yellow

Here's what I think-
I don't care for yellow, turquoise or green. I can't/don't wear any of those colors except green and only if its the right shade of green for me. Grey with pink was SO big in the 80's, especially for weddings. It was pale pink with grey though. The magazine shows a lovely dark pink corduroy blazer by Isaac Mizahi from Target paired with grey slacks. This is the 2nd magazine I've seen that blazer in. I don't have a clue who Isaac Mizahi is but I do love my Target so I'm interested.

I used to love red, but I've now moved on to burgundy. I think its richer looking, classier. I can not see red anymore and not think "Target". We now have a Target 5 miles from my door. I used to have to drive to the next town to get to Target, now I'm there at least once a week.

I like the blue and black combo, but what doesn't look good with black?

~carol m.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 2:19 PM (Pacific)

*g*...I can so relate to having to change your wardrobe because of the kids. I actually do own dresses. I do. I can hardly wear them anymore. They're just sitting in the closet.

I always went cheap on dresses before. I think it depends on how much time you have to spend on them. I could dryclean them before, or even handwash and iron them. Now it's out of the question. If I wanted any new dresses now, I'd have to spend more. :p hate that.

I don't do classic dressing, at all. It's just all wrong on me. I can appreciate it on someone else. But for me it has to be quirky somehow. It just comes out that way.

My wardrobe heroes...Chrissie Hynde and Julia Stiles. Chrissie Hynde...she said the same thing, only back in the '70's or '80's. That she never got fashion right. I loved that. She did her own clothes. I suppose we live in an age now where even rock stars hire someone to do their clothes.

Julia Stiles...ditto. I think she does her own clothes. Most movie stars have a carbon copy look, but everything Julia Stiles wears looks individual. I'll never have that kind of great taste...but it is inspiring. :)

Now about that stay at home wardrobe. :) The key for me...jeans. It's all about jeans. You're going to be wearing a lot of jeans. They should be good jeans.

The thing is this. Kids. Mess. Sticky hands. Cooking. Gardening. You can't have clothes that you have to keep thinking about.

That said...I go for reasonably high fashion jeans. Well I live outside San Francisco. :) If I can't find a way to get good clothes for cheap, then I'm no San Franciscan! There's a lot of fashion going on in the City...not as good as New York or Los Angeles, obviously, but still pretty good.

I like the current style...the low-rise and the boot-cut stuff.

Tops...that's harder. I personally don't like regular t-shirts. And those are the easiest and cheapest to find...dot-com t-shirts and stuff like that. I prefer tank tops in the summer and shirt-shirts in winter. So for me it's Old Navy, the Gap, Banana Republic, Target.

If anyone wants me to dress in anything other than jeans and a shirt, well, forget it. :)


Sunday, August 03, 2003
posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 6:28 PM (Pacific)

Fashion while travelling does not work. You see all these articles about being stylish when you travel but none of it actually works. This year, I went to Peru. We had a 4-day hike planned and weren't spending much time in cities so I brought only hiking clothes. It was quite obvious I was a tourist. Those boots are a dead giveaway. You might tell me that this was a bad trip to try to fit in. I agree. But ya know, those articles would say to bring a wrinkle-proof black dress and some pretty black sandals for when you're off the trail. Like my sleeping bag, polar fleece and waterproof jacket left enough space for cute sandals!

So let's take another trip. Last year, I went to Hungary and Romania. The year before, I went to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. I still stuck out as a tourist. And this time, there was no hiking involved. On both trips, I took skirts and tops that I actually wear here in Montreal. And I do think I dress rather well. I took only stuff that coordinated well so as to multiply the number of outfits. Still obvious I was a tourist! Just not quite as stylish as the people there even though they weren't necessarily the best dressers.

I think at the end of the day, as a tourist, you just never completely fit in. Tourists have an air about them that gives them away even when they have neither camera nor travel guidebook. I think it may have to do with accomodations. When you travel, you don't have your shower, your bed, all of your products. Even the best hotels just aren't the same as home. You change hotels frequently as you move from city to city so you're always living out of your bags. And those gorgeous high heeled sandals? If you don't pack your entire wardrobe when you travel, you just don't have any space for them. Instead, you take some nice basic black sandals. Something with a bit of a heel so they look nice with a dress but also comfortable enough to walk in all day long. As a tourist, you just never look settled like the locals are. That's what sets tourists apart.

When we were in Peru, my boyfriend complained that some local teenagers were laughing at us. Probably because of how we were dressed (hiking pants and polar fleece). I just told him to never mind. These kids would probably never have enough money to travel far like we had. If being laughed at by a few stupid teenage kids is what we have to pay to see interesting places, so be it. I used to be a bit like them, thinking tourists with those awful sweatshirts were really style impaired. They may not be. Maybe they're just trying as best they can to mix utility with style. But like me, they just can't shake that tourist look. So there, I'll be more tolerant of the way tourists dress from now on. It's amazing how much one learns when travelling...


posted by TheBroadroom.Net at 6:24 PM (Pacific)

I need new clothes.
My wardrobe is a mess.
I updated my summer wardrobe pretty cheaply recently. Hit Target after 4th of July and got some killer prices on tees, tanks and shorts. Didn't pay more than $5 a pop for them. Since I buy new clothes about once every 20 years, I figure I got a good investment. whats $40 divided by 20 years?
But that was all summer stuff. Now I need fall/winter stuff. I dont know exactly what I want. I'm home more often than not, so jeans, sweats, sweatshirts and flannel shirts will do. I'd kinda like to have something nicer though. Its so easy, as a housewife, do get stuck in the rut of crappy dressing and just not giving a damn about ones appearance. Thats how I've been for the past year or so since I quit to stay home and homeschool the kids.
I dressed up nice for work, doesn't my family deserve the same?
Of course they do, but I can't wear my velvet suit to clean the toliets in. So, somewhere between grungy rags and velvet suits I need to find something nice to wear at home. Nice, but comfy.

I saw some nice black pants in an LLBean catalog. I think I'll get a pair to try out. THey're supposed to be like sweats, but dressier. Thats a good as place as any to start. A new pair of jeans or two and maybe some khakis. I definatly need a really good pair of comfy shoes. My mom bought me a pair of black leather shoes proably 5 years ago. I wore those puppies everywhere. They were SO comfortable and went with everything. THey literally exploded earlier this year. They looked fabulous until one day they just fell apart. I think they cost $50, which is more than I've ever spent on shoes in my life, but they lasted FOREVER. I think I'll get a replacement pair this fall but in brown.

There, thats pants and shoes. This isn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Tops are going to take some thought though.....

~carol m.~