Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to School

The semester has started again and I'm wondering where the time went. I have completed my book, attended a conference, spent a month in England, worked on two papers, started another book proposal but there is still too much more to do before I go back into the classroom. And counting down the weeks is always more depressing and seemingly futile in September when you are wishing away the sunny days and looking forward to the cold--something I can never do.

We have a few adventures ahead in the next few months too, including moving into a new apartment that we have to decorate and renovate first. Closing should be in the next two weeks and then we have to arrange permits, buy kitchen cupboards, bathroom fixtures and fittings, appliances, etc. It's overwhelming as we've never done it before and we have to complete it all by late October as we have another overwhelming arrival on its way.

I've also been very good about not buying clothes. Today I nearly snapped and bought a Tocca dress from last fall on Gilt. I waited, thinking if it was still there, maybe it was meant to be. But when you haven't spent money on clothes in a while, it's more difficult to complete the transaction. I had other reasons for demurring too--I didn't get the dress when it was the same price last January, partly because the fabric was really thick, partly because I feared it would attract cat fur, and Peeps has the very kind of fine, silky floof that would result in a tortoishell dress, not a black one.

I also had an epiphany--the large piece of cashmere that I've had in my drawers forever would make a perfect dress in a similar style. For the price of lining, a zip, thread and a hook and eye--and some time, muslin and paper--I can make almost the same dress, and even make a cotton version from the same pattern. I've got a lot of fabric stored and with the move, it's time to make some new cushion covers and possibly some curtains anyway.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Every summer, including this one, I look for dresses to wear in the heat. I've realised over the years that they need to be made of cotton or linen (silk and synthetics stick to the skin and are uncomfortable in the humidity), have short sleeves to prevent sunburn and need to be loose fitting, or A line at the least. This year, it turned out, was the summer of waists--not just peplums, but dresses fitted tight to the waist with big skirts or slim fitting all the way. With nothing to buy, it was easier to be frugal, and so I am just about to complete that rarest of all years--a summer where I didn't buy a single new dress.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tocca Fall 2012

It's been a hectic month but now my book is in and hopefully needs no more revisions, I can turn my attention towards other matters.

I've been extremely frugal these last few months. Other than picking up some undies in Marks and Spencer, I didn't get any clothes while I was home, although I was tempted by a few pieces in COS and Topshop. Still, the idea of paying full price for fall 2012 clothes while it was still summer didn't grab me, and I left empty handed. I've found that the less I buy, the more difficult it is to make that next transaction. I have to say I'm pleased with myself.

I didn't even manage to buy any of the Tocca Spring collection on sale. Granted, it looks like the biggest discount was a paltry 30% and the sale merchandise has vanished from their website, so I don't think I missed out on too much. But if I was in the market for fall clothes right now, I think I'd be strongly tempted by their new collection. I love short box pleat skirts, print blouses, slim jackets and well designed knits as well as pretty dresses and it looks like Emma has produced a beautiful line this season along those ends--evidently inspired by English school uniforms (another weakness of mine). Fewer coats than usual, but that's as well as I'm well situated in that area. I do regret not getting her lovely oatmeal cardigan from last season but, along with coats, I'm not exactly struggling in that area.

All I can say is if I can fit into any of these by January when they go on sale, I'll probably pick up a few pieces.