Halifax's self-proclaimed blog leader in critical fashion analysis

A Maritime critic with a specific love of fashion - particularly recreating 'gag-worthy expensive' looks at 0.5% of the cost, celeb-look bashing/loving/lusting and tasteful copying; mostly vintage/retro/upcycling; & usually some sort of complaint about city-living. And more criticizing. Getting creative on a budget. And no-restraints on my sarcastic evaluation of faux-pas. And the kicker - 96% Canadian content/pricing/fug!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The curious case of... sundress shopping

I'm really unsure how I got stuck here. I'm usually fancy-free when it comes to picking up new spring and summer staples (it's kind of my thing), but here I am, trumped by my need-it-now-or-god-help-the-citizens-of-Halifax desire for a white sundress. I don't know exactly when I threw florals, prints and easy shades of summer to the wayside. But screw the trends, I want it in white. Maybe because it's so simple and timeless and will illuminate my golden hue (work in progress). Maybe because it'll match any of my spring and summer footwear selections. Or maybe because I'm just asking to spill something on it.

Not only must it be white, it also must have the fit. I'm not quite sure what fit I'm looking for, but it'll be like Cinderella's shoe when I find it. I want a billow'er, but fitted, cleave-enhancing but demure. Cotton, linen, polyester, lace, bring it all on.

My online voyeurism has brought me these hue-less hotties...

Tough decision, but I'm leaning towards the VS Beach dress, and the Eyelet Woven F21 dress. Both are a steal at under 30 bucks a pop (pre-shipping). Tropical beach, fruity drink, and studly cabana boy not included..

[Old Navy Canada ships to Canadian addresses for $8, or free on orders over $50. You cannot purchase H&M online in Canada... yet. Abercrombie & Fitch charge $15-$40 for shipping, depending on how much you spend and how quickly you want it. American Eagle Canada's shipping is $15, unless you spend $100 or more - then it's free! Victoria's Secret ships to Canadian addresses for a charge of $13.99-$25.99, depending on purchase total (it's unclear, but assuming that is USD).]

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring fever = Aldo + rain

My inbox has been bombarded with promos and new lines and style tips from every fashion site you can imagine. They are each a little bloom of happiness, a ray of sunlight at the end of this long, blustery, enclosed-shoe-required tunnel of not-yet-summer weather. As much as I appreciate a Spring shower (or galeforce Nor'Easter), and know that in the end it'll contribute to lush green grass and dandelions, I also appreciate the little gem emails I've been receiving from ALDO. God bless those marketing folks. This makes me want a wedge in every height and a gladiator in every colour. Bring. On. Summer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Unfashion'd: a budget.. the epic conclusion

image: eHow.co.uk

In my last post, I presented myself with the challenge of not spending a copper penny during the month of March on anything that wasn't a fixed payment (rent, insurance, groceries, transportation). And all my apologies for not updating along the way, but I was just so dedicated and swept up by my frugalness that I barely had to time to enjoy my weekly successes. There was no real motivation behind the idea of stashing every possible cent, other than having a stockpile in my savings account. It was more for the self-gratification that I could stick to something so vigorous. I hadn't been so dedicated to a cause since my fundraising stint in seventh grade selling oranges and grapefruit for my class's end of year trip (I clearly dominated as top seller, earning myself a cd walkman. It was 1996, gimme a break).

I think I fared pretty friggin' good. And there was a lot of spin-off from my thrifty efforts. Not only did I save money, but I made money - putting furniture & home deco wares on Kijiji.ca which I did not use and would certainly find a better home elsewhere, and hauling a bin to Elsie's Consignment clothing store on Queen Street, bringing in a few extra dollar bills. I turned off lights and unplugged dormant appliances & electronics like there was a power shortage. My monthly consumption was $26, my lowest monthly usage bill yet. No take-out food, no eating out. I cashed in some Air Miles for Sobeys gift certificates totalling $100 worth of free grub. With some careful grocery-shopping consideration, I was able to make that $100 stretch 4 weeks, meaning I didn't pay a thing to eat in the month of March.

Now, there was one thing I overlooked, which I am somewhat disappointed in myself with. In all of my prepping and planning, I forgot about my monthly $8 subscription to Netflix, which I use several times a week. Since I do not have cable, and do not rent from the local vid store (usually borrow or feed my entertainment craving with online episodes), I have accepted this error in judgement and decided I was due for a splurge of some sort this month. Umm.. right?

My savings for the month totalled $561. I had a pretty good laugh when I saw how much I could be saving - if I had NO LIFE. No, really. I only went out to the pubs if we were sure to get there before cover was charged. I didn't drink a lick of booze - unless it was purchased or graciously offered (out of pity, perhaps). I found it easy to not spend anything on clothes or unnecessary housewares if I avoided the shopping districts of the city (though my inbox had me tempted with Steve Madden specials and new arrivals at shopbop.com).

With blinders on and my eye on the prize, I had a successful month. It would be beyond easy to shove that saved cash into the hands of those adorable Biscuit staffers, but then I'd start the vicious spending cycle again. I don't need anything for my closets or my living room shelves. Plus I've got school to worry about now. Hurrah for tuition - again!

But if I were to up and spend my little stockpile of dedication, a little vacation would be a fabulous investment, don't you think?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Un-Fashion'd: a budget. I said, pardon?

(photo credit: www.freefoto.com)

I stumbled across the "Money. Priorities. Decisions. 30 Days." blog post on Owlhaven today (via Chocolate on my Cranium), and was struck with inspiration. Mainly because it's a challange I know I will succeed at, since my home has been living the frugal dream for a few months already. But it's always an ego-boost when you set a goal and are able to check it off your list. God, I love checking things off lists.

The premise is to spend/buy nothing but the absolute essentials for a month. 30 days of milk, bread, and toilet paper (ah ha! Scratch that.. I bought some last week which will last me more than a month, so I'm ahead of the game!). I am also a month into being cable-free, which is definitely a non-essential, in my honest opinion. Not when you can easily find your television vice on their network's website. Having the internet is an essential; no need to explain that. I have only turned the heat on in my apartment twice since I moved in 17 months ago. Believe it. I have apartment units on either side of me, and above & below, and they seem to be keeping my place cozy with their heated walls and ceilings. If it does dip below 21°C, I reach for a sweater, and the duvet is always folded at the foot of the bed.

I turn the comp on only when I need it. I'm a candle hoarder, and am more likely to light one up than flick on the lights. I use a toaster oven instead of my range, and almost always have everything but the fridge unplugged at any given time. I've also been known to unplug small appliances in other people's homes when not in use... My stingy energy usage results in a monthly $30 power bill.

I've whittled my smartphone bill down to less than $60 for unlimited airtime, data, and messaging. Tenure, and asking the right questions, can give you a lot of bargaining power.

Living between two grocery stores has it's perks, too. Price-comparing happens a lot on my desktop, and I have no qualms with going to multiple stores to get the most out of a buck. Superstore just had a BOGO sale, which I took advantage of (bread! pasta!), but Sobeys had frozen fruit at a lower price. It's not like I didn't need the bonus exercise, too! A little planning and prepping means I can budget about $60 for groceries. For the month. That would only take some people to Thursday. I've got plenty of good food, frozen meat, and root vegetables to keep me nutritionally content for 4 weeks. And because even Jennifer Hudson can cave to a "cheat" every now and then (c'mon, you know she did), I've got a small stash of Coca Cola to keep me emptionally & mentally happy.

Other than those daily essentials (utilities, grub, a connection to the outside world), everything else will be sanded down to a fine finish. No clothes. No shoes. No booze (but you're more than welcome to buy me a bottle of Jost Marechal Foch!). No afterhours drivethru binge on a Sunday night. Unless it's for a Coke. And unless someone else buys the fries and I just share them. No bus to work - which also means no snooze button.

What's going to make this rather difficult is the plethora of Barney's, Cartier, and Shopbop emails that (happily) flood my inbox daily. Not like I was able to afford those goods before, but it's just an extra kick to the box of my inner-fashionista. Even the Aldo end-of-season sales and Bath & Body Works deals are going to have to pass me by. This. Hurts. But it's all wants and not needs.

So bring on March. And let me borrow your latest People magazine, that new bottle of nail polish, and a tin of your David's Tea for a couple weeks...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What I Wore.. to the Moose for some Lamb

Woke up to an eclectic playlist this morning: Holy Diver (Dio), Dani California (RHCP), and Lay Down Sally (Eric Clapton). How the hell did that happen? As messed up as it was, the mix was exactly what I needed and precisely how I felt at 5:30am. Have a 15 hour day of work ahead, but it's being capped off with a Girl's Night Out in downtown Halifax tonight with the sister-friends. That is the one thing getting me through this unbelievably long day! And it gives me the opportunity to test out the fabulous party dress my beautiful sister gave me for Christmas! I love her and her impeccable taste for fashion and shoes. We share some marvelous genes! I plan to wear it with my snakeskins flats, pyramid stud earrings, and tote my also-new-from-sissy Mulberry for Target patent leather handbag. It'll be a rock and roll look, fit for a rack o' Paul Lamb with some sassy kitties.

Dress - ELLE; Shoes - "Devin", ShoeDazzle; earrings - Foreign Affair; handbag - Mulberry for Target

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tsk, tsk.. don't make me photograph you this year..

25 posts this year. How sad. If I could translate my lack of blog updating into an outfit, it would be baggy navy sweatpants, neon green crocs, and an ugly Christmas sweater (with giant knock-off Chanel logo earrings, a velvet choker, and a banana hair clip, because even the most faux-pas' need to accessorize!). I'd apologize, but I'm not sorry. My dwindled number of posts this year clearly reflects how friggin busy and happy I've been for the last 12 months! And cheers to that! I do feel as though I owe all of you's, at the very least, a NYE note of love, fug, and fashionable lust. So here it be..

Find something and love it with everything you've got. Who says material things can't bring you joy? And who says it has to be something material? Love a memory: a place (with views for miles), a smell that reminds you of a very unperfect moment, a taste (of something shared, or burnt, or cooked over a campfire). Love those jeans that make your ass look absolutely amazing. Love Monday mornings when you have no where to go and nothing to do but stay in bed and talk, or cozy up, or watch bad comedy specials. Love the first day of the month because the new Shoedazzle picks are in your showroom (by the way, made my first purchase again in AGES - look at these things! Delicious)! Love the salesgirl at the local boutique who knocked an extra 10% off because you told her you loved her Steve Madden boots. Start the year with some lovin'. It couldn't hurt.

In contrast to my rant of joyous adoration of all good things and smells, I do have an obligation to scar you for at least a little while with some piece of disgust. I had to travel quite a ways to find this beaut, but my God, it was well worth it. And so glad to see FPQT post a similar look from always-fug-reliable Jess Simpson. Bless you, LA & Ally! All the way from Fredericton, a bundle of NYDay joy...

I'm not even going to touch on the boots, I'm just too overwhelmed by the leggings. It was dark in there, and I had originally thought that the print was white and black. But I was still offended and documented it. It wasn't until I checked the photo after the fact, that I learned of it's technicolour truth. They were NEON. They were kind of Nordic looking in the black and white darkness of the pub, and I was almost willing to defend my own diss of them. But I have no choice but to 100% reject these. And not only because of their colour-fug, but also because she was wearing them as pants. GASP! Double whammy.

So there you have it, folks. Starting the year on a good, positive, lovingly fug note. Here's to health and wealth and good style, and if I ever catch any of you wearing leggings or pajamas as pants, Halifax will know. My god, please don't. Cheers!

Monday, September 27, 2010

FALL = end of vacay + back to "work"

My dad loathes those Staples commercial, but it really truly is the most wonderful (fashionable) time of the year.

I love Fall. No, really, literally, would marry Fall if it were physically possible. Or I could find a handsome, successful man named Fall and marry him... I dug out every last pair of jeans and denim (19 pairs, all of which are now in constant rotation), J.Crew khakis, wool sweaters and long-sleeved tunics. I never really packed away my boots, since my love affair with those are a 365-days-a-year thing.

Went shopping with Mom on their last trip down (how convenient, during Hurricane Earl, keeping me away from Peggy's), and picked up a short-sleeved brown cable knit sweater and a brown floral-print tunic - for less than our Starbucks Pumpkin Spice lattes (with soy, natch). With impeccable timing, the temperature dropped in half the next day - after a week of roughly +42°C heat - and I was more than ready for the plethora of jeggings and booties on the streets of the HRM.

I've also spent the last 4 days playing tailor to some pretty brutal distressed denim, bringing them back from the brink. I love jeans. I love wool. I love Fall. Ya, repetitive, I know. But since I have a lot of love to give, Fall is gettin' it all!

But this wouldn't be a MaritimeLocust post if I didn't share some juicy imagery. Just because it's Fall, doesn't mean everyone's on the same side of the fashionable sidewalk...

But I did capture my favorite look of the summer, on a humid August day.. the silk romper (hey, just because it was my fav look, didn't mean I could pull it off myself. That's what separates the fashionable women from the trendy girls - we know what works)! I loved this lady in floral green:

Ahh, it feels good to be back in a writing routine. And I'm anxious to see just how wrong Haligonians can get Fall fashion...