Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Sweaters

With so few glimpses of spring, I've become tired of the same old sweaters, jeans, layering t-shirts and skirts/leggings combinations. After a couple of years of limited options (pregnancy, breastfeeding, post partum figure changes and their aftermath), I'm ready for a spring where I could just enjoy dressing. The few decent days we've had have actually confounded me as my spring clothes are either buried somewhere or still don't fit, so I finally broke down and ordered a few sweaters from Zara. It's always nice when the big boxes arrive, but also sobering when you purchase based on digitally altered images of clothing pinned to size 2 teenage models. I'm currently deciding which of the following items to keep:

I spotted this on Joyce's blog and couldn't resist at the price ($59.99), especially with it being 100% cotton. Alas, it looks like I've borrowed one of my mum's 1980s jumpers. It's probably going back but I just wish I could find a way to make it hang just so rather than being too boxy.

Again, I'm on the shelf. On the plus side, there's some nice detailing and it doesn't look that different in person. But the sleeves are considerably shorter (above the wrist) and it feels like it would work better in a more temperate climate as you could not wear a jacket or coat over the top. I also have a cashmere cardigan that has a similar feel and it tends to fall off my shoulders, something I suspect would happen here. At a penny under $80, I may send this one back.

OK, I really want this one to work. I love this look and how it fits into my imagined personal style. But it is yellow and I'm not sure if it makes my face look too pink (in a bad way) although I feel I can just carry it off. It's nicely detailed with two notches in the back and it's 100% cotton. I think it almost works but it is super heavy (which may be good if winter lasts forever) but it may also be too warm for our very overheated apartment. If I don't wear it soon, it may be too late. If it was in the pink and was a little thinner, it would be a no brainer, but there is something about this one that makes me want to work with it. It's also one of the two pricier pieces at $79.99. Granted, none of them are that pricey but I don't want to waste money on items just because they are cheap.

The keeper. This one I wore today--it's also 100% cotton, quite thick and has beautiful cables. I've been looking for something like this for a while (there is a green in store and I may get that too). It's very good quality for a $60 sweater and is both warm and spring-like. But it's also the easy option and not as daring or on trend as the other two sweaters, so am I just being conservative or am I just aware that some trends are just too ephemeral to invest in? Or is it just that my body is no longer in a fit state to showcase the baggier options without looking like I'm trying to hide the lumps that they effectively highlight more than something more form fitting?

Thursday, March 6, 2014


When I was pregnant with our darling little Severin, Evan and I had the greatest difficulty agreeing on names. If he'd been a girl, we'd have had an easier job (we already had a name we could use if we couldn't think of something better that we both liked) but the anatomy scan forced us back into the more difficult territory of mutually liked boy's names. It became the topic we postponed discussing until it couldn't be postponed any longer. I looked everywhere for inspiration, finding it in the most unlikely of settings--a screening of Belle du Jour in my Media and Fashion seminar.

Little did we know that Catherine Deneuve would hear about our lovely little boy from a dear friend--and that she would be pleased about our inspiration. Sometimes it is a very small world.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I don't know if it's this interminably long winter, but I'm lost as to what to wear these days. My body isn't at an optimal weight or shape for the clothing I'd like, I don't have the time to shop (not that I really mind too much) and I am not even sure where to shop right now. I know I'd like to have some nice new cashmere sweaters but anything I really like I can't afford (and if it hasn't been reduced now, it's not happening). With near continuous snow and/or cold, I've rotated through the same jeans/trousers/sweaters or leggings/skirts combinations.

I'm even revisiting the items I wore when pregnant, partly because they are warm and forgiving on a figure that's more lumpen than I'd like--but partly, I believe, because I'm nostalgic for those days and yearning for another pregnancy, another baby. It's almost like I want to get back into that skin again.

I'm also sadly aware that I may not look good in the pieces I like. Whether it's simple, pared down winter wear or pretty dresses, I've got used to a disappointing reflection that reveals the combination of sleep deprivation and very limited exercise. But it's increasingly dawning on me that I don't know what's out there, where to go or what to look for. While I've invested in a few pairs of Fiorentini + Baker boots, I'm either wearing too many cut rate bargains or pieces that are beginning to look old and worn. I'm at the point where it's just easier to shop Zara online and return what doesn't work, but I suppose I'm more aware that I jus don't have a clue what's out there apart from the fast fashion chains and the ready to wear collections that are out of my price range.