‘Tis the season

Shit dudes.

The internet.

It’ll get ya.

See, I was reading Sarah Jane’s first fashion post, and one second I was marvelling at her adorable outfit, and the next I was deep in the bowels of Forever XXI’s “Festive Finds!” webpage, desperately emptying my shopping cart and manically clearing my browser history.

Honestly, it’s a good thing that I have some modicum of self-control, lest I find myself spending hundreds of dollars (on the regular!) on every single sparkly shift dress that I happened to encounter, whether in-person or over the world wide web.

Although what really grinds my gears is that I spent the majority of the time looking for this dress without any luck whatsoever:

f21

Zilch.

Nada.

Bupkiss.

This dress may exist somewhere in the Forever XXI online ether, but for all I know, having it displayed on the site’s landing page is just a clever ploy to get shoppers to 1.) look at their wares for sale and 2.) just end up purchasing some other piece of clothing in its stead, because everything costs less than thirty dollars so who really give a crap anyway?

(This is just a theory of course, but one that I think may have legs.)

One question I do have for everyone is:

Is December really a time where people gallivant about, going to multiple holiday parties that require a continual rotation of fancy duds and perhaps also champagne flutes, and other cliche Christmas-inspired accoutrement?

Is this a thing that really does happen?

(I am inclined to think no, but then again that one Joe Fresh ad that keeps popping up on my Facebook feed is making me believe that the majority of others are very much disposed to think otherwise.)

I mean, I love December and the many social engagements that it brings. I normally receive invitations to two or three friend-thrown parties, and maybe Marc’s staff Christmas get-together, plus fun, after work low-key hangouts with good friends that I have not seen in a while (the operative word here being “low-key” – we’re talking fireplaces, hot drinks, comfortable clothes, and a lot of laughing.)

But it’s definitely not as if I am careening about from event to event on a nightly basis.

My schedule, busy as it can be, would never require the purchase and cultivation of multiple yuletide specific getups.

There are only so many party skirts one gal can handle over the course of thirty one days.

Plus I’m also apt to believe that after a week of solid fa-la-la-la-ing I would literally be forced to throw out the partridge and chop down the pear tree.

But maybe I am completely wrong – perhaps there really are individuals out there, who spend the entire month decked out in their finest metallic body-con minis (googled it for you), partying each and every night to the strains of Bandaid 30, drinking their Bailey’s on ice, and waiting until they get to the top of the grandest of staircases to bite into their Ferrero Rochers.

(Can you tell my love for Christmas springs not from its spirit, but from its ridiculously cheesy and year-to-year repetitive series of advertisements?)

No doubt that for this my name is firmly entrenched at the top of Santa’s naughty list.

Which if I had to put money on it, is definitely another section of Forever XXI that I haven’t had a chance to explore.

Haven’t had a chance to explore – yet.

All dressed up, with somewhere to go

So yesterday on Facebook I was tagged in a friend’s post that began, “Calling all my fashion-forward friends…”

Wait, what the – ?

I nearly fell off my chesterfield.

ME!? Fashion-forward!?

How utterly dumbfounding, and, if I’m going to be quite honest, pleasantly flattering.

It’s not that I don’t think of myself as “fashionable” (I think I have the capacity to rock an outfit every now and then), it’s just to be singled out as such gave me pause. I couldn’t help but wonder – how much of my identity, or self-perception to I take from my outward appearance, and the clothing with which I decorate my body?

And then I thought – AM I OVER-THINKING THIS WHOLE THING?

And I thought, “YES. YES I AM.”

Cool your jets there Judith Butler.

I then opened my laptop and what would you know? The brilliant, beautiful, amazing, and totally fashion-fabulous Laura from As Time Goes Buy had tagged me in a wonderful post she had written about her sartorial and shopping preferences, and I thought – THIS MUST BE A SIGN.

I WILL NOW GO AND BUY ALL THE CLOTHES.

(Don’t tell my husband.)

But before I leave the house to go bankrupt myself at Club Monaco, I will first answer a series of questions, because as a professional question answerer, that is what I do.*

*A girl can dream, can’t she?

Would you consider yourself a shopoholic?

I would not. I would however consider myself a try-it-on-aholic.

I am one of those rare weirdos who LOVES trying on clothes – of ALL kinds. I don’t care if it’s wackier than a three dollar bill, I will shimmy into that velour onsie and then pee myself laughing at my reflection.

As much as I get a kick out of modeling totally nutty clothing,my true favourite thing to try on is a beautiful dress. Sometimes it busts my heart into ten thousand little pieces knowing that I cannot bring every frock home with me, but alas, that is just the price that I have to pay when playing these dressing-room games.

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How would you classify your style?

A real mixed bag. I love incredibly feminine pieces (see: my love of dresses), but I also love wearing suits with ties, men’s pants, and my husband’s cardigans.

I also (mostly) subscribe to the fashion philosophy that says if I am showing off my legs, I’ll probably cover up my top half, and vice versa.

Of course, I’m also one for breaking the rules.

Otherwise, the beach would be exhausting.

What store can you NOT leave without buying something?

Hmmm, tough question.

I would say Joe Fresh.

Mr. Fresh and I are VERY close.

Also Dairy Queen, but that is for completely different reasons.

Where do you find the best deals?

Hands down, Joe Fresh and H&M. I’ve scored some amazing deals at both of these stores, and I would say that the majority of the clothes currently populating my wardrobe were purchased from these fashion emporiums.

I also do well at Forever XXI, and Club Monaco (but only from the sales rack, for the latter, unfortunately.)

What designer are you willing to splurge on?

I would say it’s less of a designer, and more certain pieces. For instance, I paid good money for my Fidelity jeans, and four years later people are still asking me if they are brand  new. I also bought Timberland boots three winters ago and they are amazing and keep me sane through the coldest of months.

If I could actually buy any designer wares, I would be all over Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu.

All over them like a bad rash.

Do you have a “go to” shopping outfit?

In the summer – an easy, breezy, beautiful sundress.

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In the fall – jeans, a t-shirt, and thick cardigan.

In the winter – thick tights, a short skirt, a warm sweater, and good boots.

In the spring – long dress, light sweater, and a trench coat.

What is your “guilty pleasure”? (not including clothes)

[CENSORED]

Hahahaha!

Hmmm, I’m not sure. Maybe my ever-growing lipstick collection?

And 7/11 apple fritters.

THEY ARE SO GOOD.

What is one piece of clothing you can’t live without?

This is so tough!

My fashionista answer? A really great pair of jeans.

My real-life answer? My running shoes.

Who is your style icon?

This is also a terrifically hard question.

I’m really not sure.

I absolutely love Jenna Lyons – JCrew’s president and official fashion badass. She mixes feminine and masculine looks so well, and always looks absolutely immaculate.

Carey Mulligan is also fabulous, and I also really, really want to be her friend.

Hopefully after this happens she will lend me much of her wardrobe.

Because stealing from her is going to be bloody hard.

So there you have it! My fashion sense in a nutshell.

Thanks to the lovely Laura for tagging me – do check out her site. You will be inspired.

And I also encourage all of you to share – what makes your wardrobe tick?

All the colours of the rainbow

Hey gang.

Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel the urge to dress like Amélie?

I do.

So this past Wednesday I put together this little outfit:

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I snapped this photo whilst out on a walk-around of Forever XXI’s latest megaplex, a monstrosity currently talking up a huge chunk of (incredibly valuable) downtown Vancouver real estate.

FYI – upon dressing myself this way, I had no choice but to help a blind man make his way to the metro station, all the while whispering in his ear, describing all the comings and goings of the busy streets we travelled.

Okay.

So that actually didn’t happen.

Ho hum, pigs, bum.

Anywho, I only found myself at Forever XXI because I had a lunchtime hankering for some dressing room mischief, and I had arrived with the express intention of trying on absolutely bonkers clothing.

However, this plan fell by the wayside pretty quickly, as upon my entrance to the store I was greeted by a number of darling dresses, and I realized that I would much rather try on a bunch of adorable pieces than wreck myself laughing over a completely crackers floral jumpsuit.

(But only just.)

I scampered about, scooping up a few things here and there, and eventually purchased two dresses, of which the following is one:

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I actually wore this dress last night at my stand-up show, along with a black and gold sweater, and brown scarf.

I like to think that I looked like the most beautiful bruise in the world.

And guess what! I’ve been booked into doing two more shows this month, so I’ll be jamming tonight AND on the twenty-fifth. Meep.

Even cooler? These are both Friday shows, which I can only surmise to be proof of the fact that I’m moving on up in the comedy world.

Oh baby.

So in honour of Friday awesomeness, let’s get this fry-on on the stove.

Colour me surprised.

So I was loitering about Sephora like the creeper that I am (okay, I was actually just using the store as a short-cut on my way back to work from lunch) when I saw this:

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HOW TERRIBLE IS THIS – I CAN’T EVEN.

Thirty new shades you say?

Why, how utterly generous of you Clinique!

I mean, had I been in charge of this campaign I would probably have gone even bigger and marketed the whole thing as: “Fifty shades of beige!”

Good grief.

I mean, first, how many different variations of white can a company possibly make?

Maybe Clinique should spend some of their research and development dollars on creating a product (or, you know, products) geared toward the myriad of women out there whose skin tone doesn’t fall under the general category of “eggshell.”

Canada is pretty darn multicultural. The concept of diversity (and the fact that when diversity exists it should not be ignored) isn’t that hard to understand.

If anything, advertisers should be interested in providing a diverse, inclusive product, seeing as though it’s pretty common knowledge that the larger client basis a company appeals to, the larger their revenue.

Honestly, I totally get the creeps when confronted with this kind of crap – like when I see nylons or pantyhose (PS I HATE THIS WORD SO MUCH) labelled “flesh tone.”

Flesh tone for WHO?

I tells ya – white privilege. Coming to a store near you.

Next!

Feeling crepey.

Sunday morning, post-rain soaked run breakfast of strawberry Nutella crepes and coconut water.

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NUFF SAID.

Bergman chic.

I took a photo of this sweater in H&M the other day because this style will never stop making me laugh.

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I believe Noel Fielding put it best, when, wearing a sweater very similar to the one above, he said that he looked like a 1970s Swedish film director.

And I will never stop thinking otherwise.

Also, if you are unacquainted with the absolute madness of Mr. Fielding, I would recommend introducing yourself as soon as possible.

Maybe start out with a little Never Mind the Buzzcocks, then make your way over to the IT Crowd, and then finish off with The Mighty Boosh.

Disclaimer: the latter show is totally nuts, so if you don’t like anything as odd as Kids in the Hall, this might not be the stuff for you. Just stick to Buzzcocks and IT Crowd.

So that’s all she wrote, you beauty cats you.

The west coast weekend weather is supposed to be off the charts brilliance-wise.

I wish you all the same, and more.

Always, always more.

You’re a virgin who can’t drive

Hey Kids,

It’s once again time for the Friday Fry-up.  First on the docket, THIS DRESS:

OMG.

At the beginning of the week I wrote about the walk M and I took last weekend, post-vote.  As we strolled along Columbia Street, bundled up in our warmest warms to protect us from the new winter frost, we window-shopped at the many boutiques and store fronts.

Now, anyone who has ever walked the length of the Columbia waterfront knows that it is otherwise known as Wedding Dress Central or “WDHQ”.  The many shops range from incredibly high end, to give or take a box of triscuits, two Andrew Alberts hockey cards and a napkin IOU and well, you’ve got yourself an outfit fit to be wed.

It was outside one of the latter that I we espied the dress to the left, which in itself isn’t a huge tragedy here.

I look at it more as a sociological experiment.

Specifically, I need to know at what marriage ceremony is this appropriate dress FOR ANYONE IN THE BRIDAL PARTY?  IF THIS IS FOR THE BRIDESMAIDS, WHAT PRAY TELL WILL THE BRIDE BE WEARING? And where is it taking place so I can be there?  Hell, I’ll wear the thing just so I can witness, not only the exchange of vows, but what I like to imagine would be the most epic fashion statement of the year.  Nay decade.

Century?

Paging M. Antoinette, you’re in for a fight.  Plus, these people (wherever they are) not only let them eat cake but look damn sharp (or at least blinding) in the process.

NEXT!

Speaking of weddings, if I were to tie the knot again, this would be my choice of dress for the festivities:

I DO!

For all intents and purposes, a “Banana Republic” carries overarching negative connotations (at least for me) so I always feel a little off-put even checking out their window displays, but heck if I wouldn’t rock this frock while re-affirming my fidelity and troth.

(Oh who am I kidding?  I would have bought this dress in a Finnish flash if the proper funds had only been in place.  And yes, that was a direct reference to my other husband, one Teemu Selanne.)

Yet alas, at present, I am on a strict “try-don’t-buy” clothing diet.  This can be exceedingly hard in so far as I work downtown – a place where, at any given time, the number of beautiful outfits on display can be, to put it mildly, five chillies (or, you know, HIGH.)

So I’ve become something of a roving try-er on-er.  I’m hesitant to enter any one store too often, lest I be blackballed as the persistent jerk that shows up and refuses to purchase anything, ever.

Also, there are specific stores that I just know not to enter, due to the fact that 1) they have the prettiest clothes – clothes that make my knees weak and palms sweaty; 2) the amount of sweet cash dollars required to buy these beautiful pieces are, in the parlance of Cher Horowitz, way expensive – WAY expensive; and 3) because I’m so in love with the clothes I try on I’ve started taking photos of myself in the outfits for posterity sake.

YIKES.

Exibit B (exhibit A can be seen above):

Help me. Please.

To the shop keeps, I am not only a frugal spazz, but a snap-happy, narcissistic  counterfeiter!

ONLY SOME OF THAT DESCRIPTION IS TRUE SO DON’T JUDGE.

Even though I would gladly live forever in some of those outfits, I will freely admit that having a roof over my head is more preferable to spending six months in the rain wearing nothing but a lace dress and superhero heels.

But only marginally.

On a deeper lever, this whole endeavor has also got me thinking about how we price clothing.  What differentiates a one hundred dollar dress from one that costs two hundred?  Or one that costs two thousand?  Can the untrained eye actually tell the difference between the two?

Walk through Holt Renfrew and you can see shoes that are priced at three thousand dollars.  THREE THOUSAND.  Trousers for seven hundred; dresses for seven thousand.

I won’t deny that many of these pieces are incredible (on the mannequins at least – I don’t have the nerve or guts to pull my shenanigans in H.F.  I’m too afraid of a public stoning, or the inevitable pre-requisite credit check.  Plus, in third year of my undergrad, whilst in search of a beautiful dress to wear for my first date with the opera, a security guard followed me around from the moment I entered the store, to the moment I left.)

Our society is stratified in so many areas.  The fact that human beings make judgements based on aesthetics is true, and serves to make hard edges all the harder.

Plus I cannot help but wonder: what is the percentage of the cost of a piece of clothing that goes toward those involved in the actual construction of the garment?  Who is benefiting from a $20,000 coat?

How much was someone paid for that $15 dollar t-shirt?

In trust, as much as I love beautiful clothing, I cannot help becoming more aware of how darn exploitative the entire industry is, and will undoubtedly continue to be.

So while yes, I’m not buying clothes because I inherently lack the proper funding. I am also abstaining because when I do finally purchase something, I want to feel good – not only for how I feel wearing it, but from knowing where it came from.

I am working on it.

I am making it work.