Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tribal, a la mass market

32 weeks - and running out of pants!

I often feel guilty the odd time I buy mass market clothing; then, when it falls apart, I feel cheated. But desperate needs call for desperate measures. I have only one pair of maternity leggings - my only pair of pants these days - so a quick trip to my local H&M yielded several pair of inexpensive maternity bottoms that`ll hopefully hold together long enough to see me through the next couple months and post-baby.

On the sale (non-maternity rack), I found this cotton tribal-esque oversize cardi for a song. True, its threads catch on everything as I walk by, and it`ll likely unravel off my body one day, but I just thought it was so cute for spring, when the weather is still chill but doesn`t quite warrant a full on winter coat.

I`m wearing it here with the new leggings, along with thrifted boots, turtleneck and pendant necklace. Vintage handbag courtesy of Etsy; hat bought new in Toronto years ago and leather ruched gloves were $5 in a Toronto end-of-the-line retailer.

The cardi would have perfectly matched this ethnic bag I found at a vide grenier in the fall for just a few Euros - but it was almost too perfect a match, if you know what I mean. The outfit was already starting to feel pretty matchy-matchy, and the bag may have created a pattern overload.

I am ever so slowly starting to run out of tops to fit my expanding stomach. Good thing the seasons are changing. I`m now starting to amass a small collection of spring and summer tops that`ll do for the next few months and post-baby. My local second-hand shop, and Etsy, have proved invaluable in helping me find stylish, affordable and practical options comprised of mainly cotton button-down empire waisted blouses or oversize blouses, to hide a post-baby pooch and for easy breast-feeding action.

As for the bottom half, well, I think unimaginative black leggings will have to do as they`re the only comfy options that fit around a non-waist. I`ll be jazzing them up with great accessories though - stay tuned! And Happy Easter to you! I`m a bad girl and haven`t yet responded to your kind comments from my last post, but I will, promise (hopefully someone reads them).

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thrifted goodies I wouldn't have bought new (partial part deux of vide grenier haul)

Leather jacket: 2 Euros, Annecy vide grenier.
Worn with gifted maternity top, cheapie leggings, new patchwork purse;
Handmade and hand-dyed fringed shawl made from vintage fabric (not by me);
Vintage elasticized velvet and rhinestone belt.

I'm showing off my two-Euros leather jacket, a buttery soft European-label found at the vide grenier from a few weeks ago. Along with a statement-piece shawl and handbag, it jazzes up an otherwise boring black outfit.

Vintage 1990s booties found in Toronto, Canada.
Bracelet snagged for 5 Euros at Annecy thrift shop.
(31 weeks).

It's burgundy, not a colour I'm hugely attracted to and in truth I wouldn't have bought it it were any more than a few Euros. But that's the amazing thing about thrifting: because it can be so inexpensive, it gives you freedom to experiment with new colours and styles that you typically wouldn't if you were to pay full price.

Flashback to 2010, to another thrifted leather jacket find
(to when I had thighs).

Ditto for this slightly sheeny bubble-gum pink cropped leather I found in Toronto in 2010 at a half-off thrift sale. If it were 20-plus bucks, I very likely would have turned my nose up at it. But for about $10 (if memory serves), I snatched it up. The jacket spruces up denim, black or a relatively neutral outfit. And the wacky pink makes me smile. :)

Wearing the same vintage booties, along with a vintage leather bag, thrifted sweater, designer jeans
and purple Coach sunnies.
(Scarf bought new and worth every penny of the exorbitant price I paid for it at Anthropologie).

I kept most of the pieces comprising this outfit when I moved overseas, save for the designer Angel jeans found for a few bucks in a Toronto thrift shop. I was super super teeny back then, as a single girl. Marriage and general happiness (and not eating crackers and cheese for dinner) automatically put a couple pounds on me. But sadly, that meant I had to part ways with these, my favourite, jeans.

A look I've long admired in jewellery but wouldn't necessarily have paid retail for.

I'll quit moaning now. My new and expanding body is a blessing, even though I do sometimes mourn my former uber-svelte self. On another note, check out this bracelet I found at the thrift shop the same day as the vide grenier for 5 Euros. I've always loved this look but never wanted to pay full-price for it. It's got a slightly '90s vibe crossed with a tribal feel. I've been wearing it endlessly.

Does thrifting allow you to try on new or different looks, or acquire pieces you'd never buy new?

Linking up with the lovely ladies at Pattie's Visible Monday - the 90th installment! Thanks to Patti for continuing to host this fun linkup!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

French style: thrifted Weill coat

Made in France Weill coat for 30 Euros, a steal for the label.
Worn with thrifted Italian-made booties, thrifted wool pashmina scarf and handmade bag from Montreal.

All I can say is, can I sleep with my latest thrifted coat? I love it sooo much.

I bought it at the thrift shop where the vide grenier was, on the same day as the vide grenier (see post below), except it was full price in the boutique (30 Euros). But when my eagle-thrifting eye landed on it, even though I didn't know the label, I loved it on sight and knew it was a quality piece. Plus the swing shape perfectly accommodates wee Bobo (AKA the bump - surely I'm not the only preggo attach a name to it?).

The label is Weill, a Paris-based fashion-house that's always been, and still is, family-owned. According to the website, the label pioneered ready-to-wear in France. Established in 1892, it's apparently the oldest French fashion house (though Lanvin, founded seven years later, claims it's the oldest French fashion house still operating).

It's a crepe wool, and has obviously been crumpled for a while as it's a tad wrinkled. Just look at the detailing - those buttons with the "W" on them! The sleeves are three-quarters, but the coat doesn't feel vintage. The corded detailing and shape have a too-contemporary look to me.

A quick peep at the website reveals a spring wool trench-style coat a little shorter than this to be 745 Euros.

And the coolest thing? The collections are made in the company's factory on Laon, which isn't far from Annecy.

It's definitely not an everyday coat, but I'm hoping I can glam up my not-so-glam maternity wear to wear this often, as it's just the perfect spring-weight coat!

Linking up with all the fabulously stylish chickie-boos at Patti's Visible Monday and Lakota's Ta-dah! Tuesday. It's been a busy few days, so I look forward to catching up with you all soon. xo

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Vide Grenier Haul, part one

Wool-mohair blend coat with Paris label and great buttons, 2 Euros at a Vide Grenier

Cripes, talk about baby prep. Sleepless nights characterized by frequent bathroom trips and tossing and turning to find a comfy position, topped off by hubby snoring and cat crying at all hours, has pretty much set the tone this last week for an overwhelming tetchiness that makes me want to hip-check every dawdle-poke or generally annoying person who gets in my way.

Good thing a master haul at my local thrift shop's spring vide grenier (rummage sale, basically) this past Saturday is helping my zzzz-deprived brain manufacture some happy hormones when I think of all the great stuff I found there - two (huge) bags full of clothing for between 1-2 Euros each - including this wool-mohair blend coat from Paris (2 Euros).

The lining is thin so it was the perfect coat to don earlier this week, when temps soared to the teens.

Wool-blend sweater: a Euro at the same sale

I'm not great at this style of vide grenier - basically a big table with stuff tossed on it for all to fight over - but surprisingly there weren't too many pushy peeps. I was able to dig up this red wool-blend floppy turtleneck sweater, again with a Paris label, without any major incident (and for a Euro). I don't wear red often but I can do this shade, and I just loved the dart-like detailing on the sides.

Thyme maternity skirt, thrifted in Canada; Benetton patent leather brogues, thrifted in Annecy;
Scarf, Annecy market; Vintage bracelet, UK auction house;
leather purse, new and handmade by Montreal, Canada artisan.

30 weeks: POP!

As you can see, I've really popped out in the last week. I'm still going strong with the support hose, and comfy shoes that highlight my flipper feet ... funny how I'm trying my best to be stylish but won't compromise when it comes to sensible - and safe - footwear. I wouldn't want to topple over wearing heels, now would I?

I have heaps more to show you from the vide grenier. Must snap some pics one of these mornings, when I have more oomph. Now if you'll excuse me, but I'm off to beddie-by.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Second-hand dress love affair

Consignment store dress; thrifted carpet bag and Kenneth Cole booties - all found in Toronto;
ring, a gift from Hubby from eastern Europe;
necklace, found in a France thrift shop
(29 weeks)

I have such a love affair with this dress. I bought it in Toronto, Canada a few years ago for about $35 in a consignment shop. It was a bit steep for what it was, I thought, but I loved it so natch, I bought it.

Single gal when I bought it: Sept. 2010, with consignment store shoes, thrifted earrings and lacy tights.

At the time, it was fall 2010, and I was getting ready to fly overseas to the UK to visit my then beau, now my hubby. I bought this dress especially for that trip.

It took me through the courting phase, haha. (EDIT: Had to crop hubby out on request).

During that trip, hubby-to-be took me to the lovely Inn at Whitewell on the edge of the Lake District. Here we are getting smashed at dinner. I wore the dress with black tights and pewter-toned heels. Great memories!

Single gal to wife-to Mom-to-be dress!

I almost got rid of it while doing my closet-cleanout before moving overseas - and I'm so glad I didn't. At this stage in the game, it makes a perfect pregnancy dress. I just tied the removable belt under my boobs for comfort, and to give me the illusion of a waist.

(You can see in the background that I've been reunited with one of my long-lost vintage bags left in Canada - a gorg and great-sized satin-lined carpet bag in boo-tiful colours - that a friend brought over for me - YAY!).

I don't think I'll ever get rid of this dress - it holds too much meaning now. I tend to be like that with clothing.

Do you have many love affairs with clothing or accessories, for sentimental reasons?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How I Wear My: Greens (mostly thrifted, of course!)

Olive green: jazz up a conservatively-cut Windsmoor coat (thrifted) with thrifted MEXX booties,
bright blue accessories, a patchwork bag, and a cheapie ethnic scarf from the market.

Many thanks to Adrienne over at The Rich Life (on a budget), who, in partnership with Jill over at Everything Just So, is hosting How I Wear My: Green today. I'm really grooving on green these days - all different kinds, in fact. So I thought I'd show you how I've been wearing my greens these days.

Yesterday: Olive green leather booties, thrifted in France.

I bought these olive green booties this week at the thrift shop. The dress is thrifted, the necklace was a buck at a vintage jewellery club meeting in Toronto, and the cashmere was a gift.

The great thing about this kind of green, as you see in these pics, is that it doesn't have to really "match anything" - it can work as a neutral.

Emerald green hat, thrifted in France for 3 Euros.
Antique carpet bag, about 40 pounds at a UK auction.

Or, as you see above and below, green - from emerald to forest to mint - can stand on its own as an accessory with a bit of zing.

Vintage mint green angora beret: gift; forest green Bally purse, thifted in France for under 10 Euros.

I bought this ring new before I moved to the UK, but it was 50 percent off.

I love this emerald green stone and silver filigre ring so much that I wear it whenever the hell I want, with whatever the hell I want.

Thrifted Ellen Tracy silk blouse; new Hermes scarf.

Or you can go full on with green, matching colours and fabrication for a real style whammy.

Vintage forest green jacket by Thierry Mugler, 4 Euros.

And as I recently discovered, dark green rocks with black - who would have thought?

Pre-pregnancy green: vintage dress, gifted.

I can't resist throwing in some miscellaneous pre-preggo green shots, when my stomach was reasonably flat and my thighs thinner.

Thrifted emerald green hoodie with matching (new) turtleneck.
(Rest of outfit: all thrifted except the pendant, which matches the ring).

Newborn jacket in emerald and mint greens: thrifted today for 2 Euros.

And, in a few short months, someone else will be wearing green too! :) :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mountains, ethnic bags & babies

Hotel Kilimandjaro, Courchevel. 27 weeks.

Gosh, it's been such a busy almost-two weeks with so much news that I don't know whether to inundate you with a super meaty post or spread it all out over a few posts - but if I do the latter, then the news will be old so I'll try my best to condense it all into readable chunks!

That's hubby and I posing in one of several cosy seating areas in this uber-luxe hotel, the Hotel Kilimandjaro in the alpine town of Courchevel, 1850 (meaning 1850 metres above sea level). We drove up (way up, like over 6,000 feet) to meet friends last week, had lunch, then popped into the swank hotel for coffees (to the tune of 50 Euros for four!). Boy oh boy, this is how the other half lives.

I didn't get many pics, but let me tell you, it was a beautiful winter wonderland of snow-covered peaks, not to mention more luxury hotels than you can shake a stick at. The Courchevel ski resort area is one of the most prestigious in the world. Needless to say, I wasn't skiing at 27 weeks.

We had lunch in a chalet overlooking the airport, or the Altiport, which is higher than Courchevel 1850. There were lots of fancy-shmancy helicopters there that day.

Obsession these days: ethnic bags.
Vintage Indian-made carpet bag, under 10 Euros on Etsy - steal!
(27 weeks).

All's well on the baby front. I'm starting my third trimester (28 weeks this week) and am getting bigger. Though peeps say I look wee, I'm amazed to know I've gained 14 pounds! My OB spotted a vein on my leg the other day and prescribed compression tights - yes, I officially feel like an old lady! I tried to assure her that vein had been there forever, but she gave me the 'script anyway.

Know what? They're actually super comfy, though I could post the most hilarious YouTube vid of me trying to get the suckers on (gloves are required). But hey, if they prevent varicose veins, what's the biggie? This is me last week after having lunch with hubby and a couple friend ... with my 'new' used Indian-made carpet bag I picked up on Etsy. I figure it'll make a great throw-all-diaper bag in a few months.

NEW: Fab but expensive.

On the thrift front, I've found some great baby stuff second-hand, but to offset those victories I had the most disappointing thrift shop expedition of my life last week in Geneva, when I visited three Red Cross shops. I found nothing but a silk button-down PJ top (that'll be perfect for breast-feeding) at the Red Cross by-the-pound shop, for 2 Euros.

Remember this fur hat? We bought it new - not telling you how much, but it was trop cher, even on sale.

USED: Less than 2 Euros!

Literally a few days after that purchase, I dug up this fur hat at my local thrift shop ... for 3 Euros less 50 percent! Yes, 1.50 Euros!!! It's less chic than the studded one, but still falls within the style dictates of alpine chic, oui?

As I've said before, Anything new can do, thrift can do better!!

Thrifted outfit with new handmade scarf (Etsy), at 28 weeks.

Yesterday I got all boho-ed out to do lunch with pals and then pop into Geneva for an Ikea change-table and nursing chair reconnaissance with hubby. I'm wearing my 'new' second-hand MEXX navy booties that I picked up in a consignment shop the other day. As you may know, I'm a boot fiend and it could be argued I don't really need these guys, but the low heels are  practical for my life right now (blame it on the baby and who can argue?).

Almost everything here is thrifted, save for the glittery knit cap I bought in Toronto years ago (I call it my Oliver cap) and the gorg hand-loomed multi-stripe on black cotton scarf I found on Etsy the other week (to replace one I gave away when I moved overseas - notice how good I am at justifying these small purchases?).

BTW, I'm starting to state my pregnancy in weeks on this blog so I don't forget. I'm too disorganized to categorize my pregnancy pics!

Do I look like a crazy, bag-obsessed hippie? Yup.

I mentioned an ethnic bag obsession that's taken hold of late. There's a really expensive Indian quilt bag online that I've been lusting after for almost a year, and, to avoid spending over 200 Euros on it, lately I've been snapping up any inexpensive ethnic bag that turns my fancy, in an effort to quell the ethnic bag urge - do you ever do this? My fear is I'll end up spending more than 200 Euros on all these bags, and then end up breaking down and getting the original one I wanted!

I found this cheapie one (made in China: don't hate me) in the Old Town yesterday on sale for 20 Euros. It's a patchwork fabric design and is now my new (in all senses of the word) fave bag.

Have a happy weekend! My best friend had her baby the other day, and my really good friend here is about to have hers, hopefully this weekend! Happiness abounds ....