Saturday, September 17, 2011

Crunchy leaves & cardis... it's Fall!

My must-haves for fall? Sadly, basics. It's not super exciting, of course, that my wish list is stacked with practical staples and classic/basic silhouettes. It's all about stretching my very limited wardrobe budget, though. My real wish list in the true sense of the term (read: unattainable/only- in-dreams) would be far more daring, bold and fun.  And yes dispensable and expensive. But to even dream about it would be torture. So let's pretend we didn't even go there.

It's kind of fun to have style with no money - you work harder, but the pay off is awesome ("Guess... just GUESS how much I paid for this!"). Reverse snobbery.

I just want to recreate these. With no budget.

[ Am I too old? Can I pull this off? I'll surely try. ]
It's no secret that half my outfits are composed (artfully) with a mish-mash of vintage, hand-me-downs, clothing swap gleans, rejigged last-season pieces, Etsy finds, and a good dash of scores from the sale racks at Zara and FCUK. Eclectic is a bloody cliché term, but I guess it's appropriate in my case.

Anywaaayyyy, I'm stuck with seriously little to spend as the weather cools and I gear up for my favourite fashion season. But Dayna, don't you have a real job now? Yep. But I also have a real musician for a husband. I also have real debt from a year of being between jobs (or as I put it at the time: "freelance"). So yeah, I have to be smart these days. Remember when 100% of your income went to fun stuff? Man, those were the days. The effin DAYS, man.

I'm determined to still have fun with this exercise: stretching my bucks and making practical purchases doesn't have to be as ho-hum as it sounds.

Here's the plan.

My Top Picks for Fall:

1. I'm super set in the leggings department. I happen to own the rainbow. THE rainbow. But I'm kind of dying to make the above-the-knee socks thing work. OK, I don't have the legs for it (anymore) but if I can take just ONE fashion tip from the Hooters gals: double-up on the nylons. I might, just might, be able to pull this off with some serious nylon action to help with the danger zone between the top of the socks and the bottom of the shorts. We'll see.

2. Winter shorts. Cuffed, high-waisted, woolly. An alternative to skirts and dresses and part of my plan to rock the school-girl socks (tastefully).

 phillip lim $445

 top shop $75

3. Easy dresses. Shirt dresses, tent dresses, sweater dresses. Short-ish and perfect for pairing with leggings and boots OR tights and flats.

 stella mccartney $935

 michael kors $135

 river island $70

4. Cardis that pop. Fun prints to break up the neutrals and solids. Ahhh, layering! It's just the loveliest part of dressing. I could go for wide strips or pin dots. Or just wow-colours!

 Madewell $85

5. Chunky knit/wool accessories. Again, practical. 

6. Sensible shoes. In my world that just means "NOT lime green animal print". Simple, neutral (and ideally comfy) leather wedge pumps. Grey, maybe? Also, Simple black ballet flats. But wait. Easier said than done. This style is of the dime-a-dozen variety, but do you know how HARD it is to find the perfect pair?! Hard, OK. Hard. I have slim feet, so I need 'em narrow. I like the vamp to be shallow (i.e. toe cleavage is awesome) and the toe to be that perfect shape between round and almond. Also, structured - not slipper-y. A little bow would be OK. Loving these, but not the price. Then again, it could be an investment, right?

Locale $135

 french sole $155

7. Leg warmers. I'm a TTC-er come November (bye, bye sweet bike) and my above plan to pretty much never wear pants has flaws: I live in Canada. So, leg warmers are on my list. But, yeah, super hard to track down lws that are non-bulky and non-tacky. My personal shopping guru (who last week lamented "Ugh, there's nothing out there!" for the third season in a row) suggested dance wear stores. Maybe I just wanna be a ballerina.

8. Pendant necklaces. I wanna double and triple them up! Scouring the antique markets for some vintage to mix with cheap-o Forever 21 versions. (Just bought these two lockets on Etsy!)

I have already made a couple tidy little online purchases and will post outfit pics once my packages arrive (Yay, snail mail). Today calls for some actual mall shopping, too (egads! malls!).

In the end, I need big impact for small bucks. Here I go!

Photos via:,,, French Sole, Locale, Madewell,


  1. I have found great leg warmers at Simons in the past. If you're ever in Quebec, you should check it out!

  2. Oh everything looks so pretty!

    Do you have any suggestions for good vintage stores in Toronto? I want to expand my wardrobe without breaking the bank or heading into H&M.


  3. @Bright Smile: I love Simons!

    @Kate: I've been shoping vintage accessories at the big antique shows lately (Christie's, Aberfoyle), but in Toronto, I like Pretty Freedom, 69 Vintage and Mrs.Huizenga. This is a pretty good list of TO vintage shops, too: