Friday, February 27, 2009

Man Stylings

I thought I would do a wee post about my friend Josh because I think "Man Style" is greatly underated and doesn't get as much attention as it should (though thanks to people like Scott and his site The Sartorialist, they are getting their time in the sun).

Josh knows what he wants and craves things just as I do. For the longest time he's been looking for a great leather jacket - searching high and low - and BAM finds the perfect one at H&M with all the minute details he dreamed of. He's also been looking for men's boots - you know, just like women's ones, to the knee, brown leather, that sort of thing - but here in Vancouver it's hard to find. In fact, we spent a few hours searching online and couldn't really find any man boots that went above the ankle and didn't make you look like a cowboy.

Josh is the youngest brother of my best friend, whom also has great style (though that may be because she is the recipient of all my hand-me-downs ;).

Josh is also not afraid to push the envelope - he tried on women's jeans once, by accident, and then ended up buying them. Now when he can't find exactly what he wants in the men's section, he'll hit up the woman's and as you can see, those painted on jeans were a great choice (minus the little heart detail on the pocket, lol). Paired with an H&M jacket and John Fluevogs, he's looking down right "Springy."

Of course a lot of gay men have inate fashion sense and style but I always admire Josh because, even at 20, he wears it all with confidence.

That's not to say straight men don't have it down too. I really admire my boyfriend's style, a little bit classic, a little rock n' roll.:

He's not afraid to take risks either, but as you can see he usually waits till Halloween.

Though on that note, Josh isn't one to shy away either ;)

Who are the stylish men in your life (or are YOU a styley man yourself)?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A right to shoes

Yeah I know, sad me for ripping off the title of the Sex and the City episode. But it's just so darn clever.

I've been thinking a lot lately about shoes, and how it was only in the last year or so that I really started branching out. Before I really didn't have much variety and they were all of the cheap assortment. Well, I guess I always did have a LOT of shoes it's just most were impulse buys and with my feet (and anyone's feet, really) shoes should never be an impulse buy.

"Hmmm, they feel fine just standing here in Payless, I'll take them!" was usually my shopping technique. Then I would wear them around the house, wincing. Then I would wear them out of the house and vow to never wear them again. And as such, the shoes would be tossed to the back of the closet, never to see light again. Unless it's leather and I really loved them, there was no point torturing myself to break them in - if they even could be.

Then I would go out, buy another pair - repeat. Sure they were cheap pairs but cheap adds up after awhile (and Payless, quite frankly, could afford to be cheaper) and I just ended up with a huge collection of unworn cheap shoes that would be pointless to re-sell.

Anyway, it's still kind of like that, except I've gone from cheap to, well, not-so cheap designer stuff. But with my feet, I'm still giving up on breaking them in a lot of the time, and the shoes get tossed to the back.

I buy most of my shoes online - which I know is bad, cuz you should try them on, right? But again, with MY feet, even trying them on in the store doesn't mean they will work. I literally need some kind of return policy that if they still hurt after a week, you can return them. Anyway, least now I can resell my shoes cuz they are better quality but I'm still losing some money each time.

I think for me, I got a little too carried away when I realized I could wear stiletto heels. This was a huge sigh of relief for me, because I never could wear them before. But there is a difference between "wearing" heels and them wearing you. Just because I can walk - slowly - without falling down, does not mean I can wear heels.

When I wear heels that are too spindly or too high (or if the shoe is just a bit too big) I spend every step worrying about keeling over. I don't care if they make my legs look longer and slimmer - that's just not very sexy, is it?

Yet when I put on a pair of boots or flats (like these Michael Kors ones I am wearing today) I feel confident. Because I can run if I need to. I don't have to concentrate when I walk across the office to get a cup of coffee. Because my feet are the last things on my mind, as they should be.

So I've decided to just accept that I can't wear high heels like everyone else. No matter how much I think I wear anything over 3 inches, I can't and I shouldn't suffer to try (btw I honestly CAN NOT wear anything over 3 inches: first of all, my foot is a size 5-5.5. It's only 8 inches long, so anything over 3 inches makes me pitch forward, it's like I only have half a foot! I literally can not straighten my knees and have to stop around like I belong in the school of Silly Walks. Plus, I physically can't stand on my toes - the tendons running the length of my foot are too short -result of botched surgery, apparently, along with scarring).

That's not to say I won't wear my heels for special occassions that don't require a lot of walking or moving. I will. Plus I do have these Christian Louboutins (bargain priced from nearly $700 to $230) which are high, solid AND sexy - just a bit too big and too shallow in the heel, so my foot falls out with each step - but I am taking them to a cobbler to add Mary-Jane straps to them so I stay put.

But on the whole, I am concentrating on buying and wearing shoes that are effortless, like flats, sandals and wedges (love wedges). Because effortless is confidence and confidence is sexier than any high heel will ever be.

Shoes on my wishlist:

Matt Bernson Nouer - looks carefree, comfy, bright, summery and will take cover up some scarring

Prada - and last ones available eeek! I have been eyeing these since January. Expensive. But oh man, flowers on my feet would make my feet feel so pretty. And look at the wedge! Comfy, I could run and skip in those. And those colors! Swoon. I could wear them for day, for night...which one, the patent or the suede, do you think would be a better buy?

Cynthia Vincent - walkable, wearable wedge. Great leather colour.

Nine West - Finally something affordable. Cute, romantic, walkable. I love the idea of a pastel gladiator :)

And finally, shoes I can only dream about:

Opening Ceremony, Chloe Sevigny and gals - oh GOD I love those strappy wedges

Yes, I know, Christian Siriano (for Payless) sorta ripped of Rodarte here, but I'm really digging the chains and the zipper detail on the boots and I think that's real leather - but why the hell do they have to be so high??

Jimmy Choo Corsica sandal/heel-type dealys

So pretty, blusH* Christian Louboutin Paquita Satin Gladiators

Sergio Rossi - wouldn't these make you smile each time you wear them?

And finally, these Chloe shoes. I could wear them with ease, I love the straps and I wouldn't feel self-conscious about me feet. But could I ever afford $950 shoes? Not in this lifetime...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Inspired By: Led Zeppelin

Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed

Kashmir, Led Zeppelin

Hands down, Led Zep is my most favourite band in the whole wide world. Not sure what that says about me, but I know the band doesn't need much explanation.

I wore this to work on Friday, in rebellion against Casual Friday. See, people in the office have been making lots of comments lately like, "you don't like jeans, do you" and "Do you ever dress down?" and so on.

I do like jeans. I'm just tired of explaining how fat they make me feel.

Anyway, these new Forever 21 skinny jeans came in the mail (they cut them large so I fit a 27 which makes me feel good, in a naive sort of way) and I knew I just had to get my pants phobia over with and wear them.

What better way than to rock skintight red ones to work? Plus, you know, they were only $16 bucks so I felt I owed it to the Bargain Gods to do so.

Anyway, looking badass was my first intention that morning but as the day went on, I couldn't stop thinking that I looked like Robert Plant and/or Jimmy Page and Black Dog was constantly in my head.

So while I normally get inspired and then dress, this time I dressed and got inspired.

PS you may notice my boots switched half-way through. The heeled versions were a lot more flattering, and more classy for work, but the flat ones handled the sand with ease.

Boots (flat): vintage; Boots (heeled): ASOS; T-shirt: Amplified; Blazer: Forever 21; Bag: Ringspun; Jeans: Forever 21; Bracelet and earrings: ASOS; Motorcycle knit jacket: Forever 21

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunshine, on my shoulders, makes me happy

Thank GOD something does at a time like this....

Leather jacket: ASOS; Floral ditsy dress: Mina UK; Suede flats: Juicy Couture; Flower earrings: Johnny Loves Rosie

As you can see we've been blessed here in Vancouver with one of our driest Februarys ever. I've seen people whipping out the shorts and flip-flops, and while I think I'm not quite there yet (the sandal-wearers are no doubt from out East where this probably feels like summer to them) I am starting to break out the spring prints and lighten up on my jacket load.

For example, I got a new real leather jacket from ASOS in olive green. Not a typical colour for me but I'm already amazed at how neutral it is and how the olive gives it an earthy, military appeal which I always appreciate. And at $66, it was quite the bargain!

Today arrived a pair of these Pour La Victoire sandals from Revolve Clothing(thanks Marta!) and I can not wait to pair it with absolutely everything this summer.

Not only do they distract and almost hide my ankle scars, the pleasing coral shade makes your legs less-stumpy (a side-effect of my beloved ankle-tie addiction) and will look amazing with a tan. Not that my legs tan, but anyway.

What else is new? Well I've decided to take up a bunch of different measures to combat my weight/mental problem.

First of all, I dropped my writing class. Sad, yes, but I can't handle anything extra in my life right now. I've already missed one class and will just fall behind and even thinking of having to be SOMEWHERE is making me freak out. Total anxiety attack. So, I have deffered the class to later this year when I will be in a better state of mind to do something new without feeling overwhelmed.

Second of all, I started taking Omega 3s. So we shall see what happens. My heart will thank me, at least.

Third of all, I went to the doctor but she was SICK. Ironic, huh. Anyway I will be heading back to her on Friday so I can discuss the possibility of:

St. John's Wort. It works well for mild depression and I always wanted to take it however it renders Birth Control pills obsolete. Which is fine now BECAUSE....

I am off Birth Control Pills, as of yesterday.

Yup. I've been on them for 12 years and I realize I need to get off them.

Not only do I believe these pills have made me moody and nutso, decreased my sex-drive, made my skin worse, made me increase my water retention, make it impossible for me to lose weight, increase my appetite, BUT I also have not had my period in one full-year. And I don't care how many new agey doctors say we don't need our periods, I NEED MINE! This is not right, it's not natural and I want these damn hormones out of my body before they do anymore damage.

So yes. As inconvenient as it will be to use condoms and such, it's worth it. I plan to go off for at least 2 to 3 months and then I'll look at other options. Perhaps an IUD or a less volatile pill, like Yasmin.

I actually feel quite relieved at this decision for my parents and bf for months have been tinkering with the idea that my tiredness, depression and weight are all tied to not having the monthly visit from Aunt Flo.

I'm not sure what changes will happen - and I realize I may be even crazier now that my hormones are adjusting to the last 12 years - but I think it holds part of the answer.

Finally, I bought the book "The 4 Day Diet" by that doctor from Celebrity Fit Club. So far, it makes a lot of sense.

It's a misleading title since you won't lose weight in 4 days. In fact, for me, it's gonna take 10-12 weeks to lose 15 pounds, give or take. But it's like a bunch of different diets that are all 4 days long. You go through different phases that tackle different problems, which I think is genius because your body can adapt pretty quickly and by mixing it up you always keep it on it's toes.

Anyhoo, still reading it but I'll let you know how it goes.

PS love the new blog layout? Kass did it and I couldn't be happier :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

LOVE is in the air

I apologize for the renovations on my blog - I kinda started doing that yesterday and realized I needed a good chunk of time to get things just so - so things might look a bit sparse for a few days.

Once again, I thank you all for your comments and emails, it's nice to know so many people care and so many have been in the same place I am.

Due to all my recent complaining, my Valentine's Day post is a week late but better late than never.

As I had mentioned before, I booked time at a lovely bed and breakfast called South Pointe Cottages, on Bowen Island (about a 20-minute drive and 20-minute ferry ride from where I live in downtown Vancouver). My bf was pleasantly suprised by the retreat, as was I because it was even more lovely than I had imagined.

Though the island was still covered in a lot of hard snow (strange since we haven't had snow on the mainland for weeks now) the weather was quite mild and sunny - couldn't have asked for a better February weekend.

After arriving to our wee cottage, complete with complimentary wine and chocolates, we tucked into our own wine and chocolates and proceeded to watch more Lost (catching up on Season 3 now) before heading out into the town for dinner.

We had reservations at Tuscany Bistro, this lovely, cozy place with a most amazing Valentine's meal: Porcino mushroom soup with truffle oil, monkfish with vegetable ratatouie, white chocolate and berries creme brule. And of course, my favourite "special occasion drink" the Kir Royale. All for $29!

The best part came the next morning when a gourmet Mexican style breakfast was delivered at 9AM right to our French Doors! We got to have breakfast in bed!

To top it off, when we arrived home later that evening, my boyfriend had planned a feast for us. He NEVER cooks yet somehow whipped up my favourite yam fries AND heart-shaped prawns in a special sauce. He saw the recipe in the valentine's section of the newspaper and decided to give it a go. It was amazingly delicious and thoughtful - and there is nothing sexier than a man in the kitchen!

Best part of my present was a card he gave me - he knows I don't really like cards but this had the top ten reasons why he loves me...I won't list them all obviously but they ranged from "You have great style" to "You let me be me and love me for it" - and of course one made me laugh for some reason: "you never pressure me for kids or marriage." Ah, so simple to keep a man happy! Well see if that changes in a few years from now though ;)

Clothes call: Pink silk dress: ASOS Luxe; Necklace: ASOS; Satin ballet flats: ASOS; Faux-leather jacket: Forever 21; Metallic rose bag with chain strap: Loeffler Randall for Target: Pajama pants and tank: Forever 21

PS excuse me for all the shots of the pink dress - I bought it in November and I am absolutely in love with it - so silky, so soft - but I never have a chance to wear it! Thank god it still fit!