Easy breezy style

 

Welcome back to East Van Kiitten! Isn’t crazy how sometimes life gets totally in the way of doing fun things you love?! Here I am once again with an item that I have owned for a year or two, that I have worn perhaps once-this lovely, flowy cardigan, picked up at, you guessed it, a local thrift store.

I’ll often come across random pieces that for some reason or other I just love, even though they don’t really seem to be “me”. These things I guess take longer for me to figure out what to do with.

I ended up wearing this lovely cardigan with my favourite comfy, stretchy black pants. The seemingly dull t-shirt is made of linen, from J. Crew. Now I would not normally wear a t-shirt in taupe, but it is made of the most lovely linen, sheer and soft. It makes for a cool, sexy, summer top. And I love the look of a v-neck as opposed to a crew neck- I find it slimming.

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Buddha and owl necklaces

The long owl necklace I also find slimming, as does anything that draws the eye down. And because more is always better, I threw in the Buddha necklace on a leather thong. Buddha and the owl, together at last! I don’t generally wear much brown, but in the warmer months I find I gravitate to more natural, and earthy materials. Hence all the brown leather.

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Tooled leather and huaraches

This beautiful tooled leather bag I was lucky enough to acquire in Catalonia.  A few summers ago I got to join my husband and his band on tour in Europe. Once we got into Spain, I was pretty determined to get myself a leather bag. I really lucked out on this one, only 20 euros in a kiosk! I use this more than any other bag I own, and that’s saying something! Last winter I had the pleasure of going to Melaque, Mexico. Again, I was determined to purchase myself a local, quality product. I’d been wanting to get some traditional huaraches ever since I first learned about them, from a friend, probably 20 years ago. These are the most comfortable sandals, even from the very first wearing. I had wondered if all the straps would chafe, especially on a hot day, before being broken in. Not at all! These are just like walking barefoot, except the soles of your feet are protected. No wonder these shoes have been around since pre-Columbian times! The craftsmanship is amazing, and the price is right too- I think I paid around $20 CAD.

Now that I’ve finally gotten my head around this flowy cardigan, I’ve worn it many times. I think it will also do double-duty as a beach cover-up! Happy thrifting y’all! And never be afraid to try new things.

Sunday afternoon at the pub

My neighbourhood has a wonderful monthly event called Sundays for Sinners, at The Princeton Pub. I thought this would be a great opportunity to dust off my cowboy boots, that I haven’t worn in eons, plus do some much-needed catching up with friends.

Sometimes getting dressed to go out is like problem solving, or figuring out a puzzle. I knew I wanted to wear my cowboy boots, and I also knew that I really didn’t want to wear them in the traditional way, like with jeans and a western shirt, for example. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I just really felt that I wanted to do something different that day. But how to do it?

So I actually cheated a bit, and googled outfits with cowboy boots! I’d never done that before, and it certainly gave me some good ideas. This super long, leopard print cardigan turned out to be the perfect thing. I picked it up two years ago at some local thrift store, and had only worn it once. Being a slightly chilly spring day, it also made sense.

Then, the dress. More of a tunic, actually. I got it a few months ago for a whopping $5 at Value Village, and I just love it. I’ve worn it many times already, because it’s what I call an “idiot proof” dress. It looks great and feels great, no matter how bloated or gross I’m feeling that day. I find it really flattering and slimming,  it’s  comfortable, and simple enough to go with practically anything. And what can I say, but pockets! Every girl should have at least one “idiot proof” dress.

Finally, the accessories! The cap finished it off perfectly; it was especially bonus as I couldn’t be bothered to do anything with my hair. Then one of my many owl necklaces, and one of my favourite vintage tooled leather bags.  I don’t know, but I’ve always loved long, bold necklaces. Possibly because of how it brings the eye down in a flattering way.

Here is my friend Robin, a well-known local singer-songwriter. She has always rocked the casual look, and knows how to use accessories like nobody’s business. Mustard is not my favourite colour, but boy is it amazing on her! It makes her eyes look the most amazing gold colour. The scarf and beret go perfectly, and she has the most beautiful, 50’s style silk, watercolour print blouse underneath. And I must say I’m rather envious of her cross-body bag. Perfect pub outfit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotty Girl

This contemporary outfit has a fun, vintage vibe to it. Every item has been sourced from a thirft store. I’m mixing prints here, but it works. The common theme is of course black and white, and the two different animal prints work just fine with classic polka dots.

I pretty much always wear accessories. I feel naked going out of the house without them. And frankly, this outfit would be quite dull otherwise. Hence this adorable wool and angora beret, originally from Atmosphere, and the cotton short-sleeve cardigan, from Jacob. The silk scarf is  Anne Klein, and it gets plenty of use. I’ve been wearing hats a lot lately, berets in particular. I guess I just really like the French thing, and obviously is great for days when I can’t be bothered to do anything with my hair.  The simplest, plainest outfit can be brought to life with some fun accessories.  I could easily see this same combo brightened up with a red hat and scarf, or some red shoes.

I love wide-legged trousers. They look so chic, and are oh-so 1930s Hollywood. These ones are rather high-waisted, with a flattering front panel, and a zip up the back. They are just an inexpensive mall brand, but I think they are pretty cute. Of course they look much better pressed!

The charm bracelet is a hoot. This is the real deal, an old lady charm bracelet, inherited from an (ahem) old lady. It even has a charm that says Granny; my favourite is by far the teapot, with a lid that actually opens. And it makes such a fun, musical sound when it is being worn. The tooled leather bag, absolutely becoming a staple of my wardrobe.  And finally, the trench coat. I sure have been wearing it a lot lately, but hey, I live in Raincouver, it goes with so many things, it’s classic, and I love it. I can look like a greasy punker another day. Because hey, I like to mix it up. Always keep folks guessing, I say.

 

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London Fog trench and vintage bag

 

 

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Welcome to Spring

Spring has sprung quite nicely, at least in my little corner of the world. My daughter is off school for 2 weeks for spring break, and it’s lovely out today. We’re off doing errands in the neighbourhood, and I’m feeling bright!

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Dress from Dots Discount Designer Wear, Victoria, BC.

I start my Spring outfit with a dress from Dots in Victoria. This cute little dress cost me all of $5, new! I love the splashes of colour, and the cut is very forgiving. Though it’s sunny out, it’s still not warm, maybe 10 degrees Celsius, and I’m not ready for bare legs. I’m feeling that bright tights are the way to go. So I dig through the various colours, and teal feels right. I’m not sure why exactly I have so many different colour tights; I guess I just collected them when I was working at a thrift store . They’re not really something that I would go out and buy new, unless it was for a very specific outfit. I guess that’s how I end up with most of my funky, random things. The next step (ha ha!) was shoes, and my 10-year old thought that blue suede loafers were the right choice. I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen them, but I am now in love with this shoe and tights combo. These shoes I purchased  at Spring many years ago while working as an assistant costume designer. I love them, they are comfortable; why do I wear them so rarely? It must be the subconscious Vancouver rain thing- I don’t want to ruin these shoes by getting caught in a downpour. But I think I’m over it now, finally!

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London Fog trench and vintage bag, both from Value Village.

 

The dress is sleeveless, so I topped it with a long black cardigan to keep warm, and my wonderful $25 London Fog trench. I have already gotten so much use out of it, it’s absolutely the perfect spring topper for Vancouver. Then I finished it off with the cutest pale blue Angora beret, and this black tooled leather bag. When I spotted the bag at Value Village for $12, I grabbed it and paid for it as quick as I could, before someone realized they had made a mistake! It cracks me up to think how long it took me to figure out that I could pair the beret with the shoes- I’ve had both items for several years. Not a perfect colour match, but close enough for me.

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Vintage tooled leather.
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My daughter took this photo. Thanks lassie!

Later in the day, my daughter wanted to go out for a bike ride, so I kept the dress, put on some grey leggings, and these adorable Keds, another great Value Village find at $3. I don’t generally like mixing prints, but the colours matched the dress so perfectly, and I thought it was a very fun look. Add my jean jacket, and it’s off to the park we go! If you are shopping for the perfect jean jacket, I swear this is it. I have two; one old and faded and covered with patches, and this newer one. The original one I purchased new at the Gap a few years ago. I’m sure you have surmised by now that I don’t generally frequent establishments like the Gap, but sometimes you just gotta. It has 2 breast pockets, two roomy pockets for your hands, and two very spacious inside pockets-virtually unheard of in a women’s garment, which makes this the perfect traveling jacket, or for those days you can’t be bothered with a purse. The fit is very nice too, tailored to a woman’s shape, not boxy at all. This jacket is pretty much my uniform in the summer- it just seems to go with everything! Happy Spring and happy thrifting!

 

 

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A few of my favourite things

We all have some old favourites, things that we refuse to part with, things that make us feel good, make us feel cool. Here are a few of my favourite things. Most of these things I have had for about 20 years, pieces so unique, or so cool, that I keep going back to them.

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These slingback spectator shoes from the 60s are just way too much fun. I like to wear them with a simple black dress, or something in a 60’s A-line. Cigarette pants also do the trick.

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The necklace, also from the 60s, is massive! I found this wonderful piece when I was living and working in Helsinki in the early ’90s. It is so huge, so heavy, so tacky, and so unique, that it is absolutely one of my favourite necklaces. Go big or go home! It is such a statement piece, that it really makes the outfit; whatever you are wearing is merely a backdrop for this stunning necklace.

 

 

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This cardigan, which woefully has seen better days, is dyed camel hair, the sleeves are wool with leather trim.  This is so fun and funky. Awesome with just a t-shirt and jeans. It is the grandpa sweater gone bad, not for the timid. I think I got this at the long-gone Vancouver vintage store, Cool Stuff, also probably 20+years ago. Great store; the owner relocated to Edmonton many years ago.

 

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I love this jacket so much, but this photo really doesn’t do it justice. To me, it just screams Rock ‘n Roll! And it probably literally does- I have worn this jacket to countless punk and rock shows, ever since I picked it up when I was working at True Value Vintage in the mid ’90s. (God, I’m old) It’s tight and sexy and it’s red leather! What else do you want? Or need, for that matter. Every girl should have a red leather jacket! I’m just waiting until I can get the zipper on it done up again. Either that, or my daughter will inherit it one day. But honestly, I’d rather wear it myself.

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Wonderful vintage tooled leather from C’est La Vie in Vancouver.

This gorgeous vintage tooled leather bag is one of my new favourite things. I recently acquired it at a great vintage store on Main Street in Vancouver called C’est la Vie. I was ecstatic when I found it, because I had been looking for a nice black tooled bag for quite some time. It’s the perfect size for everyday use; not just for going out to shows. I’m sure I will use this for years, until it falls apart.

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Lastly, my trusty Dayton boots. I bought these in the mid-90’s when I returned from living in Finland. God, they were expensive, but obviously worth it. This is a fine example of investing in a quality item. These boots have been to countless gigs, twice as many as the red jacket! They were so stiff when I got them, they took a good 6 months to break in. But hey, you need good footwear in the mosh pit! When I got them, I never dreamt I would actually get to use them as motorcycle boots, but now I am. For a solid 10 years, I wore nothing but these boots. I took a few years off after babies, because I didn’t have time to do all the laces, and they were snug from my enlarged feet. But I am wearing them again, along with my 4 other pairs. My husband has a few pairs that he has also been wearing for many years; they are the most bad-ass motorcycle boots out there. Jeez, I should be a spokesperson for Daytons.

Looking back through all these pieces, they would actually make a pretty great outfit, just throw on some jeans!

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