Life’s little ups and downs

scarlett corset picAs I near the half century mark, I find that I have to work harder and call upon a formerly untapped reserve of discipline in order to weather life’s little ups and downs.

Before you say anything, I know it happens to us all. In fact, I am contently resigned to being a middle aged, happily married size 4.
After a certain age, we are all one blueberry scone
away from a new dress size.

blueberry sconeMy determination to flatten out the weight fluxuations is not a result of my body image. It’s more pragmatic than that.

I have a small (size 2-4) fortune invested in my clothes. My personal wardrobe; clothing, shoes and accessories; constitutes a significant investment. It also represents years of my life invested in honing my personal style.

IMG_20151101_015715  4 blog  3 blog  2 blog1 blog  IMG_20151103_174233  IMG_20151104_125042 IMG_20151031_202602 crop aaIMG_20151103_141929 IMG_20151102_235324 aaIMG_20151103_140844 IMG_20151101_010544 done5

Just 10 pounds could negate all that hard work and reduce the value of that investment to next to nothing. Ten pounds is dress size. If I gained weight I would have to replace all those clothes. Watching my weight is really the same as being frugal and responsible with my money.

I have a vision. A vision of myself in the fashion future. It requires discipline. So, while I make the lifestyle choice to skip that second cookie, I do so only to enable me to have the choice future lifestyle I deserve.

I know it’s harsh, but not everything worthwhile is easy.

fitted-dress-cookies

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!Operation opera outfit!

I am trying to choose an dress for this evening. It would be so much easier if I had fewer options.

With a fabulous wardrobe comes fantastic possibility.

Tell me honestly, which one screams A Highly Respectable Wife?

Vintage

vintage 4 opera

Vivienne

westwood 4 opera

or

Valentino?

valentino 4 opera

… I can’t decide, and my husband seems a little afraid of the question.

The cost of contentment

I recently had to go shopping for a dress for my middle son’s high school graduation. Usually shopping is easy for me. I am a pro after all.

So, I cheerfully headed to the mall. I said a chipper hello to the shopgirls in my favourite store. (Naively as it turns out) I picked out a few frocks and skipped back to the fitting room.

Burberry, as the conservative choice.

burberry

Nanette Lepore as the traditionally feminine possibility.

lepore

 Vivienne Westwood because… well, because Vivienne Westwood.

v westwood

Victoria Beckham for a more modern option.

beckham

And Marni because I think I should wear Marni.

marni

Imagine my shock when I got into the fitting room with my size 40 dress and discovered I couldn’t do the zipper up. My sales girl cheerfully brought me a size 42 but didn’t seem to fully grasp why I was not thrilled at the stroke of luck that they indeed had a larger size in the back room, and were able to accommodate my bulk.

OMG

Size 42?

How has this happened?

I bought the dress. Porky or not, I still needed a dress. Next I had to make a pit stop at the lingerie shop for some spanx. SPANX. I bought spanx. Needless to say, I was a touch forlorn when I arrived home to my doting husband.

To make it even worse, he got his hopes up when he saw the lingerie bag.

When, later that same evening, I was able to speak about the ordeal – standing next to our bed wrapped in my robe attempting to discreetly slip my Rubenesque figure under the covers without showing any bloated fleshy bits – my husband just laughed it off. He pulled me close and wrapped his arms around my rolly polly waist and declared he knew this would happen. “A happy woman always gains a few pounds,” he said, “I take your dress size as a compliment.” He called it the happiness premium.

rubens body type

What is that? What happiness? What, the joy at now being the proud owner of shapewear? Shamewear. I used to have my own shape, now I have to squeeze myself into a shape shifting device, put on a brave face and pretend my figure is my own.

I feel betrayed by my contentment.

 

 

I am a woman with two problems …

Darcysfirstworldproblems

This spring has been a busy time for crafting first impressions and I have had to overcome a significant hurdle to my ability to do so with elegance, expediency and efficiency.

First, I was transferred to a new office at the beginning of May. In my last office I set a high bar. As testament to my success one particularly astute colleague took to referring to me as an elegant bag lady. Amazing how some people just get me right away.

Being keenly aware of how important is to maintain my fashionista momentum, I spent the long weekend before my first day going through the closet and pulling together outfits.

  • Skirt-top-cardi-mules-necklace
  • Dress-cardi-kitten heels-earrings
  • Slacks-blouse-cardi-pumps-earrings…

Skirt-top-cardi-mules-necklace Dress-cardi-kitten heels-earrings Slacks-blouse-cardi-pumps-earrings

It was a fabulous way to spend a spring afternoon. I got 8 unique and fashionable outfits put together – then I had to stop.

Second, Alberta called an election. To show solidarity with my political party of choice I laboured to put together a string of stunning orange outfits. I had a lot to work with because, well, because I just have a lot of clothes to work with:

  • 6 orange dresses
  • 5 five orange tops and summer sweaters
  • 4 orange cardigans
  • 3 pairs of orange shoes
  • 2 orange skirts
  • and 1 orange scarf

orange wave

I started putting them together with accessories in affiliated colours. I didn’t even get past the dresses before I had to halt political panolpoly progress.

Why stop you ask? I was enjoying myself. I was getting organized. I was expressing my feelings and using my creative skills. Why stop? Because I had no place to hang my outfits. I literally RAN OUT OF ROOM to pull myself together. It was terribly sad.

This is a recurring theme in my life. Just when I hit my stride and feel able to express myself as a creative human being, the limits and parameters imposed on me by chance and circumstance appear. My closet was clearly designed by a person who envisioned nothing more than hanging 6 of the same white permanent press shirts and 6 pairs of pants in shades of charcoal.

Currently my clothes are packed together in a closets with no air, no freedom to move on the rod and no where to meet their true match. Every morning I face the daunting task of pulling together an outfit in a rush and sans caffeine.

But SOON this will be no more! Last night I went online and ordered a beautiful armoire for my bedroom.

armoire

I hope when it arrives all my fashionable problems with be over.

 

All my fashionable dreams torn asunder

I am so sad. It pains me to even think of my weekend now. I’ll have to wear black to The Barber of Seville, in mourning.

Oscar de la Renta, designer par excellence, has passed away at 82.

Now what will I wear if I ever have tea with the queen?

03

 

Or if I ever win an Academy Award?

06

Or am invited to the university president’s dinner party?

04

Or the OPERA, what will I wear to the opera now?

02

 

😦

 

 

Why, why maybe wifi

You know, I don’t want to sound like a demanding princess, but something has to be done by someone about the quality of my household wireless services.

Last night I thought, for a change of pace, perhaps I should pack up my laptop and sit in the library while I do my online shopping.

You see, usually I sit in the south wing of the house, in the art room. But the art room has very large windows and I get a  bit of glare on my laptop’s screen that interferes with my ability to peruse the dress selection at Saks Fifth Avenue’s online site.

On the north end of the house, in the library, there is only the one set of patio doors and the patio is superbly shaded. There would be no glare and (I thought) all my problems would be solved.

So I moved, and I sat and sat waiting for the image of a Jill Stuart dress to appear. But it never happened and I was left sitting in a lonely library recliner with unrequited dress dreams, credit card in hand without a dress to pay for.  No internet. No Jill Stuart. By the time I packed up and moved all the way back to the other side of the house the dress had sold out.

saks sold out

Apparently the north end of the house is still a dead zone. The boys tell me that is because the router is in the south wing of the house in the media room, and that since there are 4 walls and a floor between that media room router and my library, the wireless does not have the strength to retrieve images.

I had the cable fellows out to fix this months ago, and they just asked me a whole bunch of confusing questions (what kind of modem do you have, where is the router, how do you turn this on?).

Now what was I supposed to do? Just trust Saks and buy any old size two dress I could find? How am I supposed to keep my wardrobe up to date?

This is a serious problem.

If I didn’t work walking distance from Holt Renfrew this could be a real impediment to maintaining my social status.

It’s not a metaphoric closet.

Last week, for reasons I would rather not get into, my husband and I had a discussion about house insurance.

It turns out he is clueless. Loveable, but clueless.

Our house contents are insured for $75,000. When he dropped that bombshell, and I asked him if we had a special rider for my clothes, he looked at me with complete incomprehension. When he recovered capacity for his speech he became yet more incomprehensible, and said “What, you have about 25 dresses right, at about $150 each? 10 pairs of shoes? How much are shoes?”

Tory Burch. Chloe. Helmut Lang. Kate Spade. Isabel Marant. Proenza Schouler.

                    TORI BURCHCHLOEHELMUTKATE SPADEMARANTPROENZA

These timeless fashion classics live in my closet.

This, my friend, is Burberry. BURBERRY. It was not $150:

BURBERRY

This, this is Vivienne Westwood. Sure, only her red line, but still, not $150:

WESTWOOD

You see, I am cursed by the fact that I have remained the same dress size for 20 years. And generally, classic fashion does not go out of style. Generally, classic fashion remains in my closet. I am helplessly timeless.

darcy on stairs

If we have a fire I guess the boys are all going to be naked for a while.

Size 2 Sufferage

Well, honest to goodness, 2013 had better be good to me because the start of it was very frustrating.

I firmly believe that it is important to start a new year right. I know there are people who greet a new year the same way they left the old one but, is that constructive? Can you imagine the karmic repercussions?

So NATURALLY I had to be very careful about how I prepared for my New Year soirée. I flipped through my closet but decided that I couldn’t possibly turn over a new leaf in an old dress. One would THINK that 48 hours is ample time to find a fitting dress. I suppose that may be the case for everyone but me. Always everyone but me. **SIGH**

shopping failure

What a shopping nightmare.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a size 2 dress?

I’m sorry that I am small, I’m sorry that I don’t like ice cream, I’m sorry that my carb cravings are benign, I’m sorry that my metabolism is active, but I don’t think that the systematic discrimination against petite women is right.  How can a store possibly justify only having ordered in size 6-12 dresses? Just because those of us outside those ‘externally imposed size boundaries’ are a minority doesn’t justify this fashion discrimination!

I get angry all over again just thinking about it.

The 11th hour is my finest hour however, and Holt Refrew and Donna Karan saved the day.

In 2013 I pray that the hurdles and barriers I experience due to my petiteness become less onerous, and as my New Year’s resolution I pledge that I will hold fast and work tirelessly for myself and other petite women everywhere.


clothes for women of size 2