The life story of a dress

LogoOn October 2, 1996, Richard and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with an intimate catered dinner party for ten people including our three teenage children, my bridesmaid, and his best man. I wanted a new dress for the occasion, so a girlfriend and I went to the city to shop. I had no idea what sort of dress I wanted, but I knew that it had to be special. After trying on a LOT of dresses and almost giving up entirely, we found the perfect one. Dark green embossed rayon that draped beautifully, tea length, flutter sleeves, scoop neck. I felt like a princess!

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October 2, 1996 with daughter, Melaina

Over the next few years, I wore the dress for a few other special occasions and then I carefully put it away in storage. I knew that I didn’t want to part with it, but little did I expect that our daughter would ask me to wear it to her wedding on December 16, 2006!

After Melaina’s wedding, the dress went back into storage and rested there for another twelve years. Last Saturday, I wore it again! Very close friends celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a vow renewal ceremony and reception. Like Melaina, Dan and Michelle were university students who married during their Christmas break from school. They didn’t have a big celebration or a dance, but thirty years later they had the “wedding” that Michelle had always dreamed of! I knew I’d want to wear something special.

Clothing is generally considered vintage when it’s at least 20 years old. My now vintage dress seemed the perfect thing for the occasion! This time I wore it with light pink pumps, Michelle’s favourite colour, and an emerald necklace that was my mother’s.

Girlfriends! We call ourselves the Rav4.

That’s the “bride” on my left. The flower girl had just knocked her headpiece askew!

I wore the dress again on New Year’s Eve and now it’s back in storage. I wonder if it will appear again someday and what the occasion might be?


A quick and easy wardrobe winterizer

Here on the Canadian prairie, there are lots of things that need winterizing at this time of year. I cleaned out the flower beds before the snow came and Richard took care of other winterizing tasks around the yard. He winterized the travel trailer to make sure that the water lines don’t freeze. We switched to winter tires on the vehicle, added antifreeze, and ensured that there’s a windshield scraper, a shovel, and other emergency gear stowed in the back.

LogoWardrobes need winterizing too. I did my big closet switch early last month reluctantly moving most of my summer clothes into storage and bringing out my warmer ones. This year, however, I’ve added a quick and easy wardrobe winterizer to my closet which is going to allow me to continue wearing some of my summer tops all year round! The Prep Pullover from cabi is a modern twist on an arm warmer and can be worn over sleeveless summer tops and t-shirts to ward off the winter chill.


Here are a couple of the ways I’ve worn it so far.

In the first photo, I’m wearing the sweater with cabi’s Align Tank and a pair of faded jeans from Gap that I’ve had for several years. I added a homemade necklace to finish the look. Like the sweater, the Align Tank is from cabi’s Fall 2018 collection. In the second photo, I’ve paired the pullover with a sleeveless blouse from Uniqlo and dark wash jeans from Old Navy.

Though the Prep Pullover works well for very casual occasions, I decided to see if I could dress it up. After playing around in my closet for a bit, here’s what I came up with. I’m wearing the sweater over black leggings and the Treasure Dress from cabi’s Fall 2017 collection. What do you think? Does it work? I added a pendant necklace that mirrors the colour and shape of the pattern in the dress.


Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post. I do not sell cabi nor do I benefit in any way from mentioning this brand on the blog so frequently. Obviously, though, there’s a lot of it in my closet!

Wearing sneakers with a dress

LogoAs I mentioned last week, I really like a dressy meets casual look, but I wasn’t sure that wearing sneakers with a dress was something I’d ever do. Though this isn’t exactly a brand new idea, there was a time when it would have been considered a huge fashion faux pas and I’m old enough to remember those days. That sometimes makes adopting a new trend difficult. The popularity of the look made me want to give it a try though, so this is what I wore to church last Sunday.


You’ve seen all the pieces on the blog before, but never together. The navy lace dress is several years old and the sneakers are Circus by Sam Edelman, purchased on sale last February. Since it was a chilly morning and I was going for a somewhat casual look, I added one of my thrifted jean jackets.

I suspect that the sneakers with a dress look began when sensible businesswomen started wearing these comfortable shoes to walk or take public transit to work, changing into dressier ones when they arrived at the office. Gradually, the look which seemed incongruous at first, caught on and became an enduring trend. Today, it’s a go-to ensemble for up-to-date fashionistas. Even brides are seen wearing sneakers under their wedding dresses!

IMG_6481 - Version 2The key to making sneakers with a dress look polished is to make sure that they’re clean and new looking. Though some women choose to wear actual athletic shoes with their dresses, fashion sneakers like the ones I’m wearing are not the same as the ones you’d wear to the gym. Rather than a sole that’s designed for running, walking, or any kind of high impact exercise, these have a thinner, smoother sole.

There are definite advantages to the sneakers with a dress look. You can look feminine and put together without sacrificing comfort which is definitely important to me! I knew it was a big departure from my usual look though when my husband commented on my footwear on the way out the door. I think he thought I’d accidentally put on the wrong pair of shoes!


What about you? Do you wear sneakers with dresses? Would you?

Should I keep it?

LogoTwo of my favourite fashion bloggers, Pamela Lutrell who writes Over50Feeling40 and Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life, write a weekly Would You Wear It feature in which they each post photos of a mannequin they’ve found and ask if their readers would wear what its wearing. Today I’m going to do something similar only instead of a mannequin, you’re seeing me and I’m asking Should I Keep It?

One of my fashion goals this season is to cull my summer closet removing older, worn, or unused items that are simply taking up space. This dress, purchased at one of our local thrift stores a few years ago, didn’t come out of my closet last summer and I’m debating whether to keep it or let it go.


I don’t wear dresses very often but this one seems casual, bold, and a bit quirky, all things that I’d like my summer wardrobe to say. The bodice is a bit snug, but it’s just  loose enough around the midriff to hide the bulges that lurk there and I love the double slits front and back that make it cool, comfortable, and easy to walk in. Many women in my age range don’t like to bare their arms, but I love to go sleeveless in the summer.


I’m wearing it with a favourite bracelet, a piece of wearable art that picks up the colours in the dress, and a pair of dark brown American Eagle gladiator sandals that were also second-hand.

So, what do you think? Should I keep the dress or pass it on? Please give reasons for your answer.

We aren’t what we wear

logoI recently had an interesting conversation with two young women that I tutor. Members of the Old Colony Mennonites who have been relocating to Canada from Mexico in recent years, they wear traditional dresses and kerchiefs. I’ve been teaching them to read, a skill they didn’t have the opportunity to learn as children. One of their many reasons for wanting to learn to read  is so that they can read the Bible, so we’ve been using a children’s Bible story book as one of our texts.

“Do we have different Bibles or do we just understand it differently?” M asked me after one of our recent sessions. “Our Bible says that we should wear dresses and cover our heads,” she continued. She was clearly referring to the fact that I don’t dress that way.

So what does the Bible actually say?

“A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.” Deuteronomy 22:5

We talked about what that might mean and M was quick to point out that though we might both wear blue jeans, her husband would never wear a top like I was wearing. No one would confuse me with a man because of the way I was dressed!

There was a time, not too long ago, when regardless of what they wore during the week, everyone dressed up to go to church on Sunday morning. Heaven forbid that a woman should wear pants or a man show up without shirt and tie! Thankfully, for many of us, that has changed.

Several years ago, before it became commonplace, I made the very intentional decision to begin wearing blue jeans to church. I don’t wear them every Sunday, but I do make a habit of wearing them quite often.


There were several young families in our church at the time who were struggling to get their teens to come to church on Sunday mornings. One of the issues of contention was what they wore. The kids rebelled at the idea of having to dress up. It always boggled my mind that anyone would consider one fabric (blue denim) less holy than another and rebel that I am, I felt that if I, sometimes considered a leader in the church, wore jeans, the younger parents might feel more comfortable allowing their kids to do the same.

Who knows? Maybe someday my young Mennonite friends might feel comfortable dressing more casually too. In the meantime, they wear their dresses and I wear my jeans and we have a wonderful time together! After all,

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Fitted or baggy? What’s your style?

logoIt’s kind of spooky how the spirits of the cyber world seem to know exactly what our interests are and how accurately they tailor the ads we see to those areas. Ever since I introduced Fashion Friday to my blog last March, the majority of ads that I see on Facebook and on the news pages that I read regularly have been related to fashion.

Lately, whenever I go to Facebook, this is what I see in the margin.


I seldom wear dresses, but apparently the internet thinks I should and feels that I should be shopping for some new ones! It doesn’t seem to know my style though, so it’s offering me two strikingly different options.

The dresses on the Fashion Mia site are mostly what I would call fitted. When I do wear a dress, it’s usually for a special occasion and I want to look both feminine and sophisticated. Here’s a closer look at one from that site that I could see myself wearing. It’s definitely my style.


The dresses on the Buykud site, however, are baggy and, in many cases, shapeless. Here are a few examples.

There’s nothing actually wrong with them. They’re certainly modest and they look comfy, but they’re not my style. In fact, I’d probably look and feel like a bag lady in any one of them and I suspect that my husband, who is rather fond of my shape, would be horrified! They’re simply not flattering; one of my essential fashion F words.

If I had been looking for a new dress this winter, I would definitely have considered this one that kept appearing on a Bay banner across the top of my favourite news site throughout the Christmas season.


The Ivanka Trump lace-detailed sheath dress, available here, caught my eye every time it appeared. It’s definitely my style.

In the words of fashion icon, Iris Apfel, “I think the biggest fashion faux pas these days is looking into the mirror and seeing somebody else. It doesn’t work. You’ve got to know who you are.” You need to know your style which may be entirely different from mine.

What’s your style? Do you prefer fitted or baggy?

Dressing up

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One evening while we were in Vancouver this week, we went out for an elegant dinner with my father. We ate at Hart House Restaurant in Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park, just a few minutes from the assisted living facility where my 93-year-old father resides. The restaurant opened in 1988 in the beautiful century old Tudor-style house that was originally home to New Westminster businessman Frederick Hart. We dined in the sunroom overlooking nearby Deer Lake. The food was outstanding and the service warm and friendly.


I seldom wear dresses, but this was an occasion and setting that seemed to warrant dressing up a bit more than usual.


This simple dress, consisting of navy lace over a nude underlay, is a couple of years old, but still a favourite and very much on-trend. It’s also a perfect traveler. How well a garment packs in a suitcase is an important consideration for me and this dress is a winner in that department. It takes up very little space, weighs almost nothing and doesn’t wrinkle.


The colourful totem pole stands outside the building where my father lives.