After a few interesting experiences with the outfits I wore to those early art events in the city, I decided to write about how my fashion decisions pan out at each event.
Showing up to a formal event in jeans, wearing a skirt to an art event where part of the installation was a floor of mirrors and wearing a conservative blazer on a first date are the kind of fashion adventures I think my readers would like to hear about. Not only is it entertaining to hear about someone else’s fashion fails, but it helps us remember not to take ourselves too seriously.
Fashion should be about experimentation and learning what kind of visual expression tells a story about who you are – which is, in fact, quite a bit like art.
What I wore to: An Evening with Susan Point at the Vancouver Art Gallery – June 21, 2017
The event: A VIP evening at the Vancouver Art Gallery, honouring Susan Point, artist of the featured exhibit.
What I wore: Grey knit dress with cutout sleeves, light-brown, heeled, 70s, leather boots, black poncho, black leather bag, black beaded necklace, a copper cuff and long Shi Studio earrings.
Did it feel like me? This dress feels great and looks pretty good too. The boots gave me a little bit of a cowgirl, small town edge, which suits me, but they are surprisingly uncomfortable! I was hobbling by the time I got home.
What I wore to: Audain: The Museum in the Trees – June 20, 2017
The event: A solo Saturday afternoon birthday trip to Whistler to visit the Audain Art Museum for the first time. The trip also involved a birthday breakfast in downtown Vancouver, so the outfit had to be versatile.
What I wore: Grey stretchy dress, with black sequins on the sleeves, heeled black boots, brown leather purse, jean jacket, gold beaded earrings, gold bracelet and gold ring.
Did it feel like me? Yes. I love the material of this dress because it feels like wearing pyjamas.
What I wore to: Sculpting Art, Shoes and Life – May 8, 2017
The event: A formal Saturday evening Art Gala
What I wore: Black, single-shoulder, thigh-length dress, with black, heeled boots. Accessories: Small grey purse, large gold cuff, gold beaded earrings and bright red nails.
Did it feel like me? Yes. It was kind of girly, which is, I sometimes hate to admit, totally me.
What did I learn? Does formal call for heeled shoes? I wondered when I got there, if heeled boots are less than formal. This isn’t so much about what I learned as what I hope to learn from you, my readers 🙂
What I wore to: Colouring Outside the Formline – March 31, 2017
The event: A Saturday evening art opening in Seattle.
What I wore: Dusty rose halter dress with spectacular flow(!), a black leather vest, black heeled boots, black pleather purse, my beaded “B” necklace, leather Shi Studio cuff with silver bangles and raven feather earrings by Phillip Janze.
Did it feel like me? I actually felt like a princess! I’m not a proponent of the princess complex, so I want to clarify that feeling like a princess that night had nothing to do with being saved by a Prince. In fact, I was supposed to meet my date in Seattle that night and those plans fell through. Going by myself and feeling completely confident was the reason I felt like a
princess. Wearing a pink, girly dress with a leather vest was the perfect combo of girly and bad-ass. I even made it out of the restaurant before midnight, down a long, long set of stairs (I’m not even joking) and back to my car without losing a shoe. I used to think I would someday learn to save myself. Now I know it’s not about saving myself, it’s about loving myself every minute of every day, whether there’s a man on my arm or not, a gorgeous dress to wear or stinky running clothes, a warm car or a cold and rainy ride on my motorcycle.
What did I learn? Don’t say no to an adventure! Also, don’t be afraid of trying odd combos. I don’t think I have ever worn that leather vest but for some reason I never gave it away. I tried on several things with the dress before I reached into the back of my closet for the leather vest. It was perfect.
What I wore to: Discovering the Museum of Vancouver – March 25, 2017
The event: Saturday afternoon solo trip to the Museum of Vancouver
What I wore: Stretched out black and grey striped t-shirt, black leggings, black heeled boots, black hoodies and my trusty jean jacket. Accessories: Black flower on my lapel, black pleather purse, beaded “B” necklace that goes with me nearly everywhere, brown leather cuff and Shi Studio earrings.
Did it feel like me? I felt totally comfortable and even a little bit edgy.
What did I learn? This was not really a learning day … I felt comfortable and enjoyed the Museum.
What I wore to: 5 Things I Love About Susan Point’s Show, Spindle Whorl – March 11, 2017
The event: Saturday afternoon solo visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery
What I wore: fitted sweat pants (yes I had to try it at least once to say I am a Vancouverite!), shell belt, short heeled black boots, jean jacket and garishly flowered purse.
Weather friendly?: It was, unbelievably, still nearly freezing in Vancouver when I went to the show. I keep telling myself it’s okay to ditch the winters, but I was really cold that day.
Did it feel like me?: Not really no. Although I had to try it once, sweat pants just aren’t for me … that is, unless I’m bumming around the house.
What I learned: Not to be afraid to wear something you might not otherwise. I always told myself I would never wear sweat pants to dress up or go out. However, being confident in whatever you wear should be the priority, and what you choose to wear is secondary.
What I wore to: Saturday Morning Update: Group Show at El Kartel – March 4, 2017
The event: Saturday evening group show art opening at a clothing shop with a DJ.
What I wore: Wide legged jeans, cowgirl boots, a t-shirt I had altered that one of the artists had given me with her art on it and a black vest overtop.
Weather friendly?: Yup. I brought my trusty black pleather jacket.
Did it feel like me?: It felt like the adventurous me. I spent an hour that morning googling how to cut a t-shirt into a creative look. The outfit didn’t completely come together like I had hoped, but the most important part was that I’m experimenting again.
What I learned: Remember which jeans look good on me! These jeans aren’t that flattering and although I like them, I need to remember to wear ones that fit properly when I’m going out and want to feel pulled together.
What I wore to: Underground Fashion in Vancouver – February 12, 2017
The event: A fringe fashion show in a below-street-level bar on a Thursday night.
What I wore: Too big (and too long) dress pants with one leg rolled and pinned up, high wedges, a lace halter top, jean jacket and my beaded necklace with a “B” for Big City Art (ironically cheesy, not actually cheesy. In case you were wondering). Beaded necklace by Ddhälh kït Nelnah’s Beadings.
Appropriate for the Occasion? Yes! Goddammit! I’m taking this section out … because who really cares?
Appropriate for the weather/season? I was almost warm enough.
Cool & sophisticated? Yes! I felt extra, super, cool in this outfit. Mostly I felt like myself … unique, edgy, not scared to try something weird. So I guess I felt cool. Sophisticated? Well, maybe that criteria needs to be ditched next time as well.
What I learned: I learned that nobody, and I mean nobody, should be dressing like anybody but themselves. This is the first time in a very long time that I felt like me. I put on a fun outfit and did something pretty weird with it to boot, and that’s me. I learned that if I try to “fit in” in the city, I won’t have anything of value to contribute. Nobody REALLY wants you to fit in. They might say so, but we’re all looking for the odd duck, the maven, the person willing to be weird enough to inspire us to be our own weird selves. So from now on, no more fitting in. You’re going to see a lot more fun on this fashion page so stay posted!
What I wore to: Eastside Culture Crawl Discoveries – January 22, 2017
The event: A weekend of over 475 artist’s studios open to the public and available to discover.
What I wore: The first day I wore tan checkered culottes with my go-to black cowgirl boots (you just can’t drag me out of those boots!) and fake leather jacket. The second day was a no-time-for-a-shower day and so the black tam came to the rescue along with a scarf and my fake leather jacket.
Appropriate for the Occasion? Yes.
Appropriate for the weather/season? Almost, but as usual I was never quite warm enough.
Cool & sophisticated? Those culottes always give me a bit of a bohemian edge. They are slowly getting more worn and were hand-me-downs to start with, but I just can’t get enough of them. They are truly one-of-a-kind and I always feel unique wearing them.
What I learned: Well, for one I learned how to spell “culottes”! And I discovered that those culottes are actually quite the fashion statement after my long conversation with Jaqueline about the tragedy of the skinny jean trend. Not that I hate skinny jeans as a whole, but they have reached a ridiculous level of skinny and the rips have become monstrously slutty. That night and that conversation solidified how happy I am to see a bit of the 90s baggy look creeping back into fashion again. I think I might even be able to pull off ripped jeans again if they came in the sloppy, effortless styles I’m beginning to see out and about.
What I wore to: New at the Vancouver Art Gallery – December 26, 2016
The event: Saturday afternoon at the VAG with my son.
What I wore: Black cowgirl boots, black leggings, wool hooded shawl wrapped and secured with a blue jean belt, a grey and white purse with a geometric design, Phillip Janzé raven-feather earrings, Lianna Spence wolf wrap ring, leather cuff with “CLEVER AS THE DEVIL AND TWICE AS PRETTY” stamped in the metal plate and two beaded bracelets.
Appropriate for the occasion? Yes.
Appropriate for the weather/season? As cold as it was this day, the wool shawl was the only thing that kept me warm. With the belt, it held in the heat perfectly. The boots are big enough for an extra pair of socks but they are a bit slippery on the ice. (Ice! In Vancouver! Who would have guessed.)
Cool and Sophisticated? It’s getting there. It was perhaps a bit bunchy but with a little work on the wrap job I think this outfit could be a regular standby!
What I learned: A warm blogger is a happy blogger. Also, it’s a good idea to experiment in new ways with things you have had around forever. This wool shawl has been around for a few years and I only wear it around the house. Once I used the belt to hold it secure, it worked in a completely different way. Since this outing I have worn it wrapped in a different way that I like even better.
What I wore to: First Nations Artists Honoured by the BC Achievement Foundation – November 15, 2016
The event: A luncheon on a Tuesday to present awards to established First Nations Artists.
What I wore: A black and white flower patterned dress, with a black cardigan, black tights and black boots. I wore my Phillip Janzé pendant and earrings, my Lianna Spence wrap ring and Shi Studio Kai Belt, along with my favourite jean purse.
Appropriate for the occasion? Yes, and it was versatile for going to work directly after the event. However, my favourite jean purse was a little too casual for the event and didn’t really compliment the outfit.
Appropriate for the weather/season? Yes, the tights did the trick for the chilly November weather.
Cool & sophisticated? Mmmm, sort of. I’m still missing an edginess that I haven’t had since I stopped shaving my head and wearing combat boots.
What I learned: The dress was a little short so I was glad I had worn tights. The bra was padded too much for this dress, but it was the only one I owned that worked … time to go bra shopping!
What I wore to: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Teaches with Humour – November 25, 2016
The Event: A First Nations artist talk at the Museum of Anthropology
What I wore: A black slip dress, scarf tied into a shawl, tan boots, brown hip belt and my favourite denim purse.
Appropriate for the Occasion? Yes, although possibly slightly overdressed.
Appropriate for the weather/season? This event was in early fall and so a shawl was enough for warmth. The boots I insisted on wearing inappropriately all summer were the perfect fit for early fall.
Cool & Sophisticated? I felt pretty great in this
outfit, but I also felt a bit matronly. It was nice, but not very edgy.
What I learned: I found some great fashion inspiration at the event! The girl in the jeans and white top (picture below) walked by and I couldn’t help but snap several pictures unbeknownst to her. Much to my joy, my son thought the pictures were of me … if only I were so edgy! My guest that night was the adorable Radie Peat, Irish musician and an effortlessly trendy woman. She kindly let me switch places with her on the ramp where we took the picture so I could appear slightly taller than dwarf height in comparison to her.
What I wore to: The Case of the Missing Blue Poncho – September 4, 2016
The Event: An out-of-country excursion to an artsy community with high school friends on a sunny Friday afternoon.
What I wore: A patterned sundress, my favourite grey/brown boots, a jean purse and, of course, my blue poncho 🙂
Appropriate for the occasion? Yes. Mostly anything goes for an outing like this, but it’s fun to feel pretty and so the sundress was perfect.
Appropriate for the weather? Yes, mostly. This sundress sneakily disguises the fact that I’m not wearing a bra, which, on a hot summer day, is bliss! I also brought my blue poncho along just in case the weather turned cold. One small flaw though: as I have been doing all summer, I wore my favourite boots and nearly roasted my feet off in the heat!
Cool and Sophisticated? I would call it bohemian chic rather than cool and sophisticated. I’m not really sure if I have cool and sophisticated in me, but if I can pull off bohemian chic I’ll be happy.
Final Analysis: I loved this outfit. I felt good about the way I looked and it felt like me.
What I wore to: Picasso at the Vancouver Art Gallery – What Is Great Art? – August 26, 2016
The Event: A third date on a Saturday morning to visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery to see the exhibit, Picasso: The Artist and His Muses. First stop, tea upstairs at the Gallery Cafe, then an hour to see the exhibit.
What I wore: Blue asymmetrical skirt and light blue/grey scarf tied into a top, with my favourite grey leather suede boots and a shawl for backup.
Appropriate for the occasion? Yes. Saturday morning at the VAG can include just about any attire.
Appropriate for the weather? Yes. The shawl was enough backup in case it got cold but the scarf tied into a top was enough for the warm summer day.
Cool and Sophisticated? Mostly, but the scarf is a little worn out and I didn’t iron the skirt, which definitely needed it.
Final Analysis: It was good, but not great.
What I wore to: YVR’s Jade Canoe Turns Twenty – August 13, 2016
This outfit can be described in one word: unimaginative. A jean jacket over a black tank top, paired with skinny jeans that weren’t really skinny and my favourite boots. The boots were possibly the only saving grace.
Appropriate? For a public event at the airport, yes, jeans were just fine.
Dressed for the weather? Yup.
Cool & sophisticated? Not a chance. The “skinny” jeans were loose enough to sag over the tops of my boot, I don’t call that sophisticated!
What I wore to: A Steady Arm at the Yaletown Roundhouse – June 7, 2016
Since I was heading straight from work to the opening, this outfit had to make the transition. The dress was a comfy, knit, turquoise, off-the-shoulder piece that worked great to wear to work with cowgirl boots and a leather jacket. The transition involved taking off the jacket and boots and putting on black sandal wedges. Perfect! One of the first outfits I’ve pulled together that I felt classy in. Now, if I had taken it easy on the free booze I might have actually managed to pull off classy all night long!
Appropriate for the occasion: 90% – I was probably overdressed for about half of the people there, but it still worked; I didn’t feel out of place.
Dressed for the weather: 70% – I was a little cold as we walked back to the skytrain so I could have planned better there.
Cool and sophisticated: Yes, 100%! I felt very cool that night and managed to stay sober enough not to trip on the cobblestone 🙂 Although I can’t take all the credit for keeping my balance so that 100% is earned with the help of my date!
What I wore to: MashUp With the Whipper Snapper – March 18, 2016
The biggest problem? No full length mirror. I realized this as I put on my clothes and walked out the door without even looking at what I was wearing. Jeans, combat boots, a scarf for a top, layers of sweaters, coats and scarves to stay warm … It all seemed great in theory. The parts should have looked good as a whole but they really didn’t. As I stood in line at the Vancouver art gallery I looked over at the trendy ladies, one with a baby on her hip, across the room. They were in rainboots, green overalls, plaid … The pieces should not have made a great whole, but they did. What was I missing? Why did I feel like a hillbilly in the city? It could be because that’s what I am. But surely I’m smart enough to pull off these city looks if I set my mind to it. This month I spent $45 on thrift store clothes. I came home to find holes in both the sweaters I had purchased. I wondered if this was why I sometimes felt a little less than pulled together. Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping at thrift stores and I will never give it up, I’m just wondering if maybe it’s time to allow myself the odd new purchase when I know I need something specific.
Rating for a Sunday out at the Vancouver Art Gallery? Honestly, there is really no appropriate wear for a Sunday at an art gallery so as far as appropriate goes, no problem there. Dressed for the weather? Here I failed. I tried to layer enough so I didn’t have to wear a big ugly coat, but I still wasn’t warm and I ended up looking like a bit of a hobo. In the cool and sophisticated category? Definitely a fail. I’m old enough now that this doesn’t really bother me or get in the way of an enjoyable afternoon. But really, at almost 39, you would think I would have learned a thing or two about dressing myself. Apparently not.
What I wore to: Sean Karemaker: Comics and the Child Within – February 27, 2016
So I’ve promised to start writing about what I wore out to the events and excursions that I write about on my blog, but this outing was before I decided to include fashion in my blog. I don’t have a picture of what I wore that night but I do remember how I felt as I walked into the warm coffee shop off the street: unwrapping the scarf around my neck, taking off my warm jacket and holding my hands around my hot drink. I remember one other thing about that night though; I was also on the lookout for a place to buy a new bra. So that leads me to the conclusion that, as usual, I was wearing a very old, very poor fitting bra, which is always a fashion faux pas. My fashion ranking would have to be a pass in the appropriate wear for the weather category, and a fail in the undergarment category. A girl can always find room for improvement I guess.