Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wrap me in knit dresses, new and old

Taken about a month ago:
1980s knit dress, Etsy; thrifted leather booties from store in France; vintage Sarah Coventry pendant.

It's been a busy few weeks; hubby's had close to a month off, with the exception of a few days, so we've been doing a lot of running around, not to mention plenty of nesting. Yesterday after lunch with fellow expat pals at a local Chinese buffet (it reminded us of home - we're all getting a little sick of the melted cheese and potatoes that comprise the local resto fare), we bought an all-terrain stroller (necessary in Annecy's old town and for jaunts around the lake) and saved 500 Euros, good thrifty shoppers that we are!

At 23 weeks, I'm entering my six month of pregnancy - wow, so hard to fathom, even now. I am living in large tights and knit dresses as I'm finding them the most comfortable for my slowly-expanding girth. My strategy is to find frocks I can wear during and post-pregnancy. I found the funky (acrylic) knit dress above on Etsy, and I love the colours. It's a bit large, so I figure I can wear it for a quite a while.

Yesterday: new fitted knit dress, very apres-ski methinks!

This fitted knit frock, on the other hand, was purchased new for 50% off last week. Sales in France happen only twice a year, in mid-January and June, and when they start, there's heaps of stock and everything sells out quickly. I sure wouldn't have paid 59 Euros for an acrylic dress (mind, it feels like wool), but for 29 and change, I snapped up this baby, the last one on the rack.


I've been living in it all week as it feels great on, but also to get a bang out of my buck before I outgrow it. It's a size small and I have a feeling that the high waistband may be too much before long (though it's proving to be quite flattering at the mo).

I'm wearing it with a fur collar from the local thrift shop; gloves, boots and toque purchased new; and a sterling puffy heart pendant I've had since the 1990s.


Here's the bump view. The little guy is doing a lot of moving these days, which is such a lovely feeling. Forgot to snap a back view, which is too bad as there's a different and equally funky pattern on the upper part of the dress.


Next up: this 1970s cowl-neck dress I recently bought on Etsy. Like the others, it's acrylic, but it feels like the softest of jerseys. And can you see what comprises the pattern? Iguanas! Love!

I'm wearing the fabulous belt that came with it higher than my actual waist level, for comfort's sake. The sparkly cross earrings are also carryovers from the early 1990s, when I worked in a jewellery shop.


Sans belt, I look like I have no waist, which is pretty much true these days. No matter. I won't be able to comfortably wear the belt for long, so I may as well accept it. If the iguanas don't mind, I don't either.

I went to my third French class today and struggled - really struggled - through the grammar parts. They put me in level three, which I think may be too advanced for me so I may try the level down tomorrow. I'm all for being challenged - indeed, that's preferable - but I was at sea today. Everyone knew their verb tenses but 'lil (or not so little) 'ole me! So I'm off to hit the books. Too bad all the verbs I was made to memorize in high school (which I now see wasn't the worst strategy - how else can you learn them?) have slipped away ....

51 comments:

  1. I just adore the second knit dress especially! Wowee! How can one be sexy and pregnant at the same time?? Well, just look at you! ;)
    I love all of these knit dresses. Very flattering and really cool patterns.
    Is that the inside of your home there in the top photo with all the interesting lines and angles?

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    1. Thanks, Joni, how sweet of you to say! I hope the knit dress strategy keeps working. Yes, that is out apartment - it is so charming. Lots of bendy hallways, kind of like a maze, and lots of exposed stonework (we live in the old town so the buildings are equally old). I'm in love with the glass door to our living room, which is half-way open behind me. :)

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  2. You look amazing in all the dresses-- lucky you that pregnancy suits you!! I looked horrid through both of mine ughhhh! The second dress is very very cool, good thing you snapped it up on sale. Loving the iguana dress and I actually prefer it w/o the belt! I like the first dress, too, because it reminds me of the 80s Cosby sweaters-- which I love!!!!

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    1. Haha, oh yeah I remember those Cosby sweaters! I bet they are considered chic now, like the ugly Christmas sweaters!

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  3. You are looking so well - what a privilege to follow the growth of your "bump". If you are planning on breastfeeding, you need to think about 2 piece outfits - you don't want to have to strip for every feeding! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.
    Darlene in Toronto

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    1. Darlene, how nice to hear from you, I hope you are well and still travelling, away from what I understand are now frigid temps in Toronto!
      Breast-feeding point taken, and yes, that is the plan. It will be close to June by the time this babe comes out, so I am thinking leggings or slip-on culottes and easy-to-open tops, the latter of which I'd like to find a thrifty option for as there don't seem to be heaps of maternity boutiques here and the maternity and breast feeding stuff is ugly as hell - how I miss all those chic (yet expensive) mommie boutiques I used to write about for the newspaper, which carried heaps of maternity-breast feeding combo tops! Anyway I'm thrilled to hear from you and please do pop in from time to time and let me know how you are!

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  4. Oh my goodness! I clearly haven't been keeping up to date in the blog world lately because I had no idea you were pregnant. Congrats! You look beautiful and glowing!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Brenda! The pregnancy is a recently-announced thing, so no worries, we all get busy and can't possibly be kept in the loop with every one's lives! Glad you popped in!

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  5. Fabulous dresses - I can see this is shaping up to be one very chic pregnancy!

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    1. Thank you, let's sure hope it continues in that direction!

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  6. You look absolutely stunning. I love that second dress on you and that cute collar. xx

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    1. Thanks, Loo, you sweetie! I love that collar as it keeps me so warm, and it looks rather chic. I found a brown one too at thebsame time that is shorter, and cosier. Xo

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  7. I like all of these knit dresses very much, but the second one is really special. And such a neat baby bump, Kelly! Over half way there, how exciting! The breast feeding point which Darlene raised is a good one though, in terms of post-pregnancy use of dresses. A few separates might be useful, if you're planning on the boob option!
    You look so well, it's great to see you blooming. I am sure you will get to grips with the French grammar, it will just take some time, and study! xxxx

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    1. Curtise, I don't even have buyer's remorse for picking up that dress new! Yes, I have rather been thinking in the mo and putting off the more challenging task of finding breast feeding-friendly options. I have a few summer frocks that I'm hoping I can just pull a boob out of, but I need to scout out some tops. Hopefully the Spring Vide Greniers (garage sales, essentially) will start early! Thanks for thoughts on the French; I will plug along! Xoxo

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  8. You look so svelte in the first 3 photos, not preggo at all! I think the top one is my favorite with bright red and purple combo. I had a sneak peek at the iguana dress and it's great to see the whole thing. You look all cozy, wrapped up in iguanas. I don't envy you struggling with those French verbs.

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    1. Thanks Jo! It is a cute one, that first dress. I love the bright colours and geometric print. The iguana print is super cosy and feels great. Great chatting the other day; let's do it again!

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  9. I agree with everyone else on the second dress - I love that print! And you look good no matter what you wear.

    It must be very strange going through your first pregnancy in a new country, where you don't know the language well. Good luck with the classes - I'm sure one day it will just click and you'll be fine. Is this a permanent move, or will you be back in the English-speaking world one day?

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    1. That's kind of you to say, Val! It is a challenge being in a new country, especially when pregnant, as everything is so different, from the cultural landscape to the system. Hopefully the French classes will help. We're meeting with a sage-femme (midwife) next week, who work in the maternity wards and either assist or replace the doc in your birth scenario, depending if you go to a hospital or a clinic. She's agreed to give us private pre-natal lessons, which is great as we wouldn't be able to keep up with a French group!

      For now, we're here. Would love to be in Canada one day but the jobs for my hubby's work are mostly in Europe. But who knows what life will throw us? :)

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  10. Love your dresses. Good luck with learning French!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  11. Hi my dear!! what a gorgeous selection of knit dresses, I love all of them-so uniquely stylish in pattern and style! Wishing you success in learning French, hopefully perseverance will see you through and your baby bump is just so cute! xx

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    1. Thank you, my dear! They are proving to be so easy too - just plop 'em over your head and voila! Xo

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  12. Now that's what I call stylish pregnancy dressing, you look so elegant, cool and funky! I love all three dresses but adore the second one, it reminds me of Custo, Barcelona - a label I loved in the 1990s but could never afford.
    You'll get there with the French in the end! xxx

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    1. Vix, just reading the comments, I love how this dress is evoking all sorts of different associations for people! That's when fashion can be its most powerful! Xoxo

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  13. I'm jealous of all these great finds. I thought the first dress was amazing, then I saw the second one. I love all the colors and patterns, the Mondrian-ness of the first dress and the funky dog on the second, and the iguana one seems perfect for winter and has such a nice cut. That toque is beautiful too, very elegant in itself but can go with any style.
    Personally I prefer it without the belt, but it looks good with it as well.
    Also, maybe I can help you with your french if you have "homeworks" in these classes or something.

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    1. Though, maybe Mondrian isn't the best to compare with... let's say abstractness.

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    2. Thanks, this dress seems to be the winner of this post, and it's not vintage! And thank you also for the offer of helping me with the French. I may take you up on it! But I do think I'm at the stage where I need to buy a French grammar book and just sit down and study/memorize the eras and other elements. I find I have reached a plateau and am not progressing.

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  14. I love the iguana dress. Really lovely to see you blooming and still buying bargains, gorgeous knitted dress too xxx

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    1. As, thanks, Clare, I am definitely feeling good and hope this lasts for as long as possible! That iguana dress is so quirky, isn't it? Gotta have a bit of humor in the closet! Xoxo

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  15. You look ravishing and absolutely glwoing-LOVe the second dress a lot!
    big hugs
    Reva

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    1. Thanks, my dear Reva, that is very sweet of you to say! Xoxo

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  16. You are just the cutest pregnant lady ever. I will probably tell you this over and over...so sorry...but I mean it. Love the 80s dress and the second one too--great prints.

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    1. And you are the sweetest person for saying so, Heather! Yes, pease keep repeating that in a few months when I'm huge and feeling like a whale and can only waddle! Promise? :)

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  17. I seemed to have missed lots of your posts somehow and hence missed your fab news, SO ... huge congratulations to you. I have just read back through them and you are one fab looking and stylish momma-to-be.
    I know what you mean about the melted cheese and potatoes overload - after our week long holiday in the Annecy area last year we were desperate to get home for some fresh salady food. We would love to come back again though! M x

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    1. Why thank you so much! And you know, you are so right: it is really hard to find a fesh salad in the Reston, something that quite surprised me considering the fresh produce market here in the old town. We simply don't do French often when we go out here, as it's all the same, and quite boring after a while. So far we've found a cheaply Chinese buffet, a Greek place Nd a few American-style diners. I am dying for Thai but think we'll have to go to Geneva for that! But I can see why you'd want to return as the beauty of Annecy makes up for its culinary failings (the French would be so insulted to hear my saying that, but really, the palette IS un adventurous!). Xo

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  18. You look fabulous and glowing, pregnancy really suits you :-) Now when you mention "the little guy" does that mean you've found out the gender?

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    1. Yup, we're having a little guy, Alice, please, give me some lingers from your experience as I come from a family of girls! But seriously, we're thrilled and I'm already scoping out cute boys' clothing in the one thrift shop here! Thanks for the kid wishes and hope Al's well in your neck of the woods and that you weren't affected by the fires. Xo

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  19. Such a cute little bump youve got goin :) and yes youve certainly got that beautiful pregnancy glow. :) little guy you say, ate you having a boy? :)

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    1. Thanks, Izzy, I hope you're feeling better and I can't wait to see your bump emerge! Yup, looks like it's going to be a boy! :)

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  20. That new dress really sings! Such a fun print. I think it really says You. Having said that, I do like them all.

    Ditto Joni's comments about your home. The snippets you reveal look so charming.

    Happy to hear you have a midwife that will take some individual time with you. That will definitely raise your level of comfort during delivery. Just try and take your time with the language studies. It seems as though you plan to be in Europe long-term, so you've got time. And, perhaps joining another new Mom for 'chat' will help the French to come naturally.

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    1. Sue, we are lucky to live in the old town, where every apartment has stone features, timber ceilings and heaps of charm! Yes, it would help to find French Moms to bond with, though it doesn't seem that there's much of a mommie-bonding culture here - in Toronto, for example, every where you look there are cafes filled with Moms and babies about 10am ... I have yet to see that here!

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  21. Ohhhhh your baby bump is super adorable!!!!!! You look absolutely gorgeous! I was wearing knit dresses until the 6th month of my pregnancy, but now I feel like a soap bubble-definitely need something from maternity section:)
    Elena
    http://dcinstyle.com/

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    1. Elena, I have just been to your website and you look stunning in the knot dress you recently posted! Hope you have better luck finding nice-looking maternity wear because I'm finding mostly ugly stuff here. :)

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  22. These pieces are all fantastic - but that they can double as maternity and post-maternity wear makes them even better! I adore your second dress. I love that Asianesque vibe. You look gorgeous. If you hadn't made a point of it, I still wouldn't have realized you were pregnant.
    Good luck at the French!! Those classes from school may come back yet.

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    1. It's a major I-love dress for me too, Melanie, and it sure seems to resonate with people here! I am basking in the second trimester glory, as I know there will come a time when I will be big and uncomfortable! Thanks, I am buying a French grammar book today - exciting stuff! xo

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  23. Oh my what an AMAZING collection of dresses!!! I love each one and you are absolutely gorgeous! Of course they're iguanas, once I took a second look I could see the beauties all over it and oh my what a bargain you got in the sales, I have a feeling you'll be enjoying that perfect dress for many years ahead. xo

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    1. Thank you for popping in and for the follow, I can't believe I have missed you in the blogosphere up until now! Yes, that last dress is pretty cheeky, isn't it? Can't say I've seen anything like it. xo

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  24. awwww you look so cute in those dresses!
    I like them all they are so different - but i must say my favorite of favorite is dress #2
    So you are struggling with french grammar? poor you ! it's hard enough for us french people...i say it's like gymnastic you have to practice often to get the hang of it...don't despair
    And...did you think about names for the baby? you 're having a boy? if you said little guy i presume it's a boy?

    Take care gorgeous

    Ariane xxx

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    1. Yes, I'm not so thrilled about the grammar, Ariane, as I know a lot of it will be pure memorization! But there is so very much to learn! I am slightly intimidated to know even the French have issues with it!

      Still thinking of names with hubby, but yes, we're having a boy!

      xoxo

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  25. the first and the last dress are totally wow. love them both!!!!

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    1. They're both so very different, aren't they? I love that you love them over the second one, vintage girl extrodinaire that you are! ;)

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