Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A Rainy Day Experiment in Mixed Patterns

My feet and are not actually this misshapen and lumpy, honest, nor am I one legged.  Sophie's feet are lovely as always. The socks are wool with a touch of nylon, which I like best for socks and I was both thrilled and disappointed when I found these purple ones because I am the sort who would buy three pairs.  Alas these socks were unique loners on the rack and nothing else like them was in sight.  The good news is that when I went shopping this week I found some more elsewhere. 

Digression:  That is a new purple textile at the foot of my  bed in the photo above.

My outing began with dull things like a trip to the bank and filling up my gas tank since the price had just dropped.  Speaking of dropping, our temperatures have dropped ten degrees and we have wind and rain which requires a bit of  bundling up, or so I thought, but I found it was still a bit warm and humid feeling and became a day where the layers were constantly removed and reapplied.  Hats are another matter though.  The havoc they wreak on my hair means that once I have put a hat on I am committed. 

I love this hat though I loathe the plastic buckle. I am aesthetically allergic to plastic.

After the dull errands were done I went to get some more painting supplies and then to treat myself to a coffee and muffin and a poke around a few shops while downtown.  The art supplies available here are somewhat limited.  Only two shops carry any at all and the selection is not large and there are no large sizes of anything.  I like to shop locally though and support community businesses so I only purchase the things I cannot get here through online retailers.  After getting my paints I went to  a thrift shop where I bought two books and a bracelet that happened to go very well with my outfit.  That seems to be my new strategy: Leave off accessories and them buy something that goes with my outfit while out shopping.

I made my way down the street with these purchases stuffed into my furry bag and decided, on a whim, to pop into the sock shop.  I have no idea how a shop that sells socks is going to survive in a small town but the owners are lovely and enthusiastic and I hope their business is successful.  The husband half of the team was in the shop on this day and he told me that they have learned so much in their first year.  I found some more wooly socks that appealed to me and decided to buy them because it would be good for him and good for me.  A win-win!  That seemed like as good a reason as any.  I noticed they had expanded their wares a little and were including a variety of foot and legwear and a few funky accessories.  I suggested that they should sell barefoot sandals and he didn't know what they were.  I was happy to explain and had the brilliant idea that his wife should make them.  She had, after all, begun sewing heelless and toeless sock things that were apparently much asked for by customers. He liked my idea and wrote it down in his notebook.

After eating a rather dry and disappointing gluten free pumpkin muffin and drinking a large latte breve (no idea how to spell that) I decided to move on and not linger in the cafe, since despite removing my jacket I was getting rather over-heated.  I went back out into the fresh air and made my way back up the street with no particular plans other than to eventually make my way back to my car.  On a whim I popped into the Art Gallery gift shop where I found some delightful treasures, two of which are gifts for my friend Sheila who has a milestone birthday approaching.  I cannot show them because she sometimes reads my blog. 

Items I purchased for myself include stri-ped purple socks (it must always be said like that, stri-ped) and a stri-ped bag for my phone.  The black and green blob on the right is a pair of handmade fingerless hand warmers in recycled bits of cashmere.  I found the phone case and the hand warmers at the Art Gallery Gift Shop.  The town of Courtenay has a very charming little downtown shopping area but it is endangered by the prevalence of big box stores and malls with chain shops.  I am trying to do my bit to help sustain this local economy and the inherent charm of downtown.

                                         A bit of Outfit Critique

I liked this outfit in theory but it didn't quite work.  Black on black doesn't show up well in my photos so I don't think it looked as blobby as it might in this photo but I will parse for you what I liked and what I didn't.

I love the boyfriend style jacket, which I thrifted last spring.  It's black linen or cotton; I'm not quite sure which but it looks like linen only doesn't wrinkle too badly.  It's possible that following someone else's rules I should not wear unstructured things but I prefer them.  the boyfriend jacket is on trend now or about to be, I am sure I read that somewhere and vaguely took it in, but it is a style I have always loved even before it was called a boyfriend jacket.  I had to get rid of a beloved one that was too big and really not doing anything for me so I was happy to find this one.

I also like the hat, the patterned leggings, the socks you can't see and my plush bag.  The tunic dress is one I was uncertain about and after wearing this outfit for the day I have decided it is going in the donation box.  I was first attracted to the embroidery and smocking and the black combined with bright pink and teal seemed like something that would work well in my wardrobe, but there is something about it that just doesn't feel right.

The other failure is the boots.  I am not certain if they were just wrong for this outfit or if they are wrong for me.  I have long calf muscles so shorter boots often hit me at a non-flattering spot on the leg, making them look thick and shapeless.  I tried to wear the boots loose and sort of undone so I could break up the sausage effect but it didn't seem to help.  This outfit might have worked better with taller boots and the boots work better with a longer skirt.  The tunic dress is not getting another chance as it's already had plenty.  The boots will stay.


  1. Well, you got a lot more done than I did today. Though I did remove a flower from a hat and I like it so much better now. I must have an aversion to flowers on hats cause I'd been wanting to remove it since I talked myself in to buying it last year.

    The only time I went outside today was to do a load of laundry down stairs. Lazy day, lazy day. It looks like you're going to get creative again with the paints you bought today. Looking forward to a peek!

    Those leggins almost look like a one piece all the way up from the photo. Definitely keep those! You'd probably like them better with taller boots. I recently had some patterned tights on with short booties but decided I didn't like so much of the pattern showing.

    Here's to a cozy day with cuddly Sophie! When is she going to post again?

  2. I like thw drama and the colors in your outfit - I have to say very unexpected and really popping colors! Did I say it right? I am not feeling analytical, sorry, so I won't go into details. The leggings are stunning on your stunning legs though! :) And love the hat! :) And you! But that's not just a detail. :))

    I've never heard of barefoot sandals, thank you for teaching me something new. They would be probably my second favorite kind of footwear (after barefoot themselves), but I can't boast long slender legs like someone here! Mine are rather short and chubby like Sophie's, only with less fur! :)

    Glad to read your post! Fun! xxxxx

  3. I knew about barefoot sandals but forgot their name. Will have to make some for Summer! Just about all I could stand on my feet in the heat.
    You must be enjoying the drop in temperature. We are enjoying the longer days, and can't wait for daylight savings to kick in next month.
    I disagree with all your negative comments about your outfit except the boots. Although they *don't* make your legs look like sausages(!)
    I love the patterned leggings, the hat, the jacket and the furry bag.
    I too have an allergy to plastic. I bought a lovely hat with a plastic buckle and neeeeed to replace it :-) xo JJ

  4. i know whats wrong with the dress - its to flimsy for a grown up woman like you.
    what, i think, are the most dresses one can buy today. cute on a teen or tween but feeling like nighties on a - ahem - mature gal. one reason why i love vintage and sewing.
    love your leggings! especially on your legs! and a "boy friend blazer" is such a cool thing - i have two classic men blazers, one norfolk style & one dark blue w. pinstripes - which i love and wear since 20 years or so.
    replace the buckle! and if you don´t find another yet - better to have no buckle then a nasty plastic one :-)
    and when i look at the ground of my coffee mug i can see gorgeous new art coming.........
    p.s: buying local wool socks is very good and need to get mentioned more often - maybe we should start a campaign. really, no joke.

  5. I think like you said yesterday, you are your own worst critic. I love the leggings, think your boots are great, and all around think you look pretty great!! I laughed at your aesthetically allergic to plastic comment!

  6. Sounds like a wonderfully productive day! Sorry you didn't enjoy your muffin!!!

    Love the leggings ~ you look long and lean in them and I think the boots look cute ~ but then I am no fashionista!!! LOL!!!!

  7. I actually really think your outfit worked very well. You look fresh, and cozy and aware and ageless. Really like your unstructured coat with your patterns and close fitting bottoms. Boots are just FINE! They were meant for legs like yours. Great bag ... I love my unstructured pieces so much ... but you might have liked the whole better with a lighter toned, more structured shoulder bag. Maybe just for the photo, anyway. I'd have been smiling at myself If I were you making this photos.
    What a lovely ramble you had. Wish I'd been there with you. Just my kind of trip to town.
    I'm so carried away by making drawings just on my digital device that I forget how great it feels to buy new art supplies. So much potential. So rich a connection with other painters and the whole tradition. Have you ever made you own rabbit skin glue? That's about as elemental as it gets!
    I envy your wind and rain today, but I know ours is coming too.
    Some day I'm coming to see you, I really am.

    1. Is that a threat or a promise? LOL Either way I would be thrilled. We can ramble all over town together.

      I usually forget to include my bag in my outfit photos altogether but I am so crazy about this lumpy fur bag (am pretty sure it is faux shearling) I just can't resist putting it in the photos. I think I have better versions of this outfit so I will just blow you away with it next time. ;-)

  8. Oh yes! the commitment to the hat, once on it can't be removed! I spent 3 hours in a&e when Charlotte broke her arm with a straw hat firmly planted on my head, there wasn't a hope of it coming off, no way! anyhoo, your boots are staying! hurrah, I really like them on you, I think they show off your gorgeous long legs beautifully, and those leggings too and the jacket is fab!- your day really was extremely productive and dry muffins are just grim! pah! x x x


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