June 2024, part three – Blue Collar Red Lipstick

Details: Tahari blazer, Chicwish skirt, Le Chateau belt, Stuart Weitzman shoes (all secondhand)

Thoughts: I have been hunting for a black tulle skirt for a while. A specific black tulle skirt. This black tulle skirt. I have the same style in blush pink and love the design; for being fast fashion, the quality is decent. I wanted a dark coloured version (either black or dark grey) to complement the dark academia/goth side of my aesthetic. By lucky coincidence, around the same time that I finally snagged the skirt on Poshmark, I came across this vintage blazer at the thrifts, and I immediately knew that I needed to make this outfit happen. The cut of the blazer gives me Dior vibes with its beautifully tailored waist, so I knew it would be perfect for recreating a certain ad campaign, featuring Jennifer Lawrence, that has been living rent-free in my head for the last 5 or 6 years. I added a belt to emphasize the silhouette, but kept the rest of the outfit very simple. Maybe next time, I’ll try it with a tie.

Details: Ralph Lauren shirt, Pilcro sweater, Mexx skirt, Fossil belt, Chloe shoes, Tignanello bag (all secondhand)

Thoughts: I finally did it. I went full preppie. And I felt glorious in this outfit. For a few brief hours, I had the confidence of a woman named Muffy or Bunny, considered taking up tennis, and pondered what I might name the family’s hypothetical golden retriever. But then I came back down to earth, and decided to forego the tennis (my knees wouldn’t allow it) and the dog (ditto my husband’s allergies) and re-read True Prep instead. All joking aside, there is a lot to be said for this outfit. I wasn’t kidding when I told you that I felt great in it; it’s a perfect choice for a warm spring day — casual-but-polished, comfortable, breezy. It would look nice as a simple 2-piece outfit, but the sweater takes it into chic territory by adding a pop of contrasting colour (without overwhelming the light colour scheme) and a bit of texture. I am now a devoted fan of the sweater-tied-around-the-shoulders as an accessory. Think of it as a heavier scarf. Love!

Details: Ardene top (retail), Prairie Trail Goods cardigan (swap), Ralph Lauren skirt (eBay), vintage belt, vintage cowboy boots (both thrifted), MbMJ bag (swap)

Thoughts: I stole this entire outfit from my friend Josh of Prairie Trail Goods — parts of it, literally. Well, ok: maybe not stole, exactly. She did willingly swap the cardigan. I’m pretty sure she wore it to my clothing swap last year, which is probably when I fell in love with it, and she wore it with this skirt. Well, ok: not this exact skirt. But one just like it … which I proceeded to hunt down on eBay. And now look at me! I look almost as fabulous as she did. Who needs fashion magazines for inspo when you have stylish friends.

Details: Tahari shirt (thrifted), Pendleton blazer, Ralph Lauren belt (both Poshmark), Banana Republic jeans (retail), Coach bag (secondhand)

Thoughts: This might well have been my first proper attempt at a Canadian tuxedo lewk. Denim-on-denim always felt like too much denim for me in the past … and then I saw some menswear inspo on IG — pairing double denim with a wool blazer — and suddenly had to give it a try. Most of my plaid and check wool blazers are in storage at the moment, but I had this lighter-weight Pendleton one at hand, so I gave it a whirl, and you know what? I loved it. Planning to try a few more combinations before summer’s over … and then a few more come fall.

Details: Ungaro dress, vintage belt (both thrifted), Prairie Trail Goods vest

Thoughts: I don’t typically like to wear a lot of beige because the colour doesn’t do much for my complexion or my soul, but I will never part with this vintage Ungario wrap dress. The quality is so phenomenal, it would be a crime to do so. Some day, my daughter may appreciate it (and, as a brunette, will probably look smashing in it). The fabric is a heavy linen with a heavenly drape, and it falls so nicely — hugging the body without feeling suffocating in the summer. And I will say this for beige: it does make a nice canvas for statement pieces, like this beautiful vest made from upcycled quilt pieces by my super talented friend.

Details: Guess bodysuit, Zara blazer, American Eagle jeans, Mexx belt, Aldo shoes (all thrifted)

Thoughts: This Guess logo brings back a lot of memories from my 90s adolescence, which is why I ended up thrifting this bodysuit. At least I think it’s a bodysuit; it might also be a swimsuit (albeit one lacking any form of boob support whatsoever). The back is completely cut-out, which makes a topper a necessity for me. Luckily, this Zara blazer is a great match. I paired the combo with the American Eagle jeans I had thrifted for my daughter, who rejected them for reasons lost in teen-parent translation; I was originally going to exchange them, but then I tried them on and decided they were worth a little experimentation. They are not as wide leg as most of my other recently acquired denim, but they are also not straight-leg either. To me, they are, for lack of a better descriptor, very Gen Z coded … which intrigued me, not because I have any desire to chase the approval of the “youths”, but because it represents a step outside of my comfort zone as far as jean silhouettes go. There is a fine line between trying to “look younger” and trying out new styling ideas, and I think I managed to walk it with this outfit. All the while incorporating a bit of nostalgia.

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