My Dance Capsule in Action!

It has been a(very long) while since I posted my WIW - I think a year maybe? Life has been busy and I fell out of the habit to take daily outfit pictures. I still do not take them yet (maybe I should start again, just to keep myself in shape).
However this is a special WIW post for my dance capsule!
As you may remember my hubby and I started ballroom dancing 2.5 years ago. One of the benefits of dancing is that you get to dress up on regular basis, pile on as much bling as you want  and do not look out of place! Try to beat that, especially if you live in a city where wearing a silk blouse with jeans feels overdressed.

When we started dancing I have one single cocktail dress and quickly realized that it is not enough  when you have dance parties to go to once or even twice a week! So of course it meant dress shopping and of course YLF played an important part in it.

Some of you asked before if I can post pictures for my dance capsule in action and here it is  even if a year late. Please don't mind some silly facial expressions and funny poses - they were real action dance shots!

I have included my dress capsule in the finds below, some of you may remember times when you discussed them with me and shared my joy from finding real gems.
Thanks again for helping me out to get where I am now with my dance capsule - a very happy place!


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Playing with cropped (flared?) jeans trend

Ever since Angie started to post about the cropped jeans trend I was intrigued. I have already mastered the cropped skinnies in summer but honestly fall / winter version of cropped jeans left me baffled.
I was not sure if I want to buy any as I was not sure I will really wear them so idea of chopping the existing pair sounded good. There was only one problem – to find the existing pair which can be chopped. I do not have that many jeans to start with in the first place. There are 2 pairs of BFs which are the wrong silhouette for this trend. There are 2 pairs of bootcuts and 2 pairs of full length skinnies which I cannot bring myself to chop at all because it was such an ordeal to find them long enough in the first place (tall gals will understand).
The only possible candidate was Gap faded bootcuts which I turned into straight legs last year. Somehow I found that I was not wearing them as much as others in this shape and at full length so I went scissors- happy on them!
Here is where the bafflement began. I am restricted by the footwear I can wear in winter: I have only one pair of  flat Chelsea booties which are winter-worthy. Fortunately they are tall enough in the shaft to possibly work with the cropped trend. Unfortunately they are BLACK which is hard to pair with cropped LIGHT BLUE jeans - and FLAT which makes them more leg shortening for this trend!
However I tried. Here are my attempts from this month. In both cases the tops are ink blue - I wanted to bookend the black booties here so they are not too disconnected with the light jeans. Pics 1-3 are with high-low relaxed fit t-neck and knee-high socks to get some skin showing. I have included back and side shots so you can see how the hems look from all angles.
Pics 4-6 are with black socks (too cold for nylons), shorter sweater and a moto jacket. I have also added a shot with a long coat I wore over the whole thing.
I am just not sure if it looks ridiculous on me or not. When I look down on my feet in these jeans I find the look very funny – like I am wearing too short jeans here – but nobody looks at me at this angle but myself. Is the contrast between the light jeans and black boots too jarring? I am half-tempted to try Angie’s picks from Gap and BR but another part of me holds me back…
What do you think? Any suggestions for improvements? Also – is the length right or should I let the hems down a bit so they cover the tops of the booties completely? Or is this particular pair is a disaster and I should get a real cropped version to try before I decide if this trend is for me or not?

 Please help this cropped jeans challenged lady! 


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A little taste of my recent vacation with some WIWs thrown in

I have been back from my vacation for 3 weeks now but was so busy at work that did not have much time and energy for YLF. It is not going to ease much before the New Year but I will try to pop in here from time to time so you know I am still alive. I promise.
For starters here is a short post on my travels with some WIW from my carry on suitcase. We visited 2 cities in Poland - Warsaw and Krakow, 3 cities in Moravia and 2 cities in Bohemia in the Czech Republic. It was our most cultural trip ever as in addition to museums we also visited a lot of performances - concerts, opera, ballet and even Prague specialty -  "Laterna Magika" - non-verbal show with pantomime and dance which was amazing.
Here are some observations from my trip:
- It looks like there are 3 things Warsaw cannot live there without: flowers, music and books. I have never seen anywhere so many bookstores  - felt like there was one on each city block! The same with the flower shops - they are everywhere, including stands on the streets. As for the music the highlight was a free Chopin piano concert in the park with a great musician. It was truly magical!
- We were lucky to catch an opera premiere in Brno (the capital of Czech Moravia). The performance was great but what struck me the most is that at least 10% of women visiting the theater wore full length evening gowns! Maybe it is the norm somewhere in North America too but not where I live. Czechs take theater visits very seriously and dress to the nines - I was glad I took my sheath dress and lace shell with me so I hope I did not look too touristy (pic 8)
- We were also lucky to catch the burcak season in Moravia. Burcak is the young wine which is only sold for a couple of weeks in September and October and it is phenomenal! One of the best memories of this trip (and yes, Czech beer is not a competition to burcak in my eyes :-) )
I have to stop myself now or this short post will turn into a very long one.
Here are some pictures for you with my WIWs from the trip:
- pic 1 - 3 are from Krakow.
- pic 4 is from the wine capital of Moravia - Mikulov where we rented the bikes to see the countryside (which was almost a disaster due to my "skills" of riding the bike).
- pic 5 is from a fabulous little cafe in Cesky Krumlov where coffee and cakes were delicious,  where there were books lying at each table and where we saw this charming coffee table made from the old piano!
- pic 6 and 7 are also from Cesky Krumlov where we explored this little town on the backstreets, away from the tourist throngs.
- pic 8 was taken in Prague Smetana concert hall - amazing masterpiece of Art Nouve. Beautiful!

OK, I promised a short post so this is it!
I am off to bed now - see you later :-)


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Quick WIW post and run!

Very quick post and run as I am off to work now and then to the airport: my vacation starts TONIGHT!!!!

This is inspired by Angie's blog post on fresh jeans. My Madewell skinnies rolled up with high-er shaft booties. Also debuting my latest Danier score - Winona jacket in dove grey.I have hard time with greys but I like this shade - hopefully it does not look too horribly on me.

Have to run - my ride for work is here.
See you in a couple of weeks!!!!


Just have to share: dance dresses!!!

I got an email from The Bay last week that this is the final day of the sale on special occasion dresses and decided to have a look. After all with our dancing I am on the lookout to expand my dancing capsule. I especially wanted to get a long gown for our annual Christmas Gala dance. I ALWAYS wanted a long gown but before had absolutely no occasions to wear it to. Now I have plenty and at last can justify it! :-) 

I ended up buying 3 dresses - 2 long and one midi. The midi is the same style and brand as I already have in the floral pattern so I knew the fit will be good. For the long gown I will keep only one.

Two of them came today and I just have to share! Please excuse the bra exposure :-(
The colors in the picture little lighter and brighter than IRL because of the flash. The blue is nice dark navy - and it has a brooch. So on trend! :-)
The red is exactly the true red color I love and which is so hard to find. I love this dress! I was afraid that it will not have enough freedom to move for dancing but it is fine. The only thing I would need to change (if I decide to keep it) is to shorten it: it puddles on the floor on the back which looks great but deadly for dancing.
I am still waiting for another long dress to arrive and will share it too! :-)

Thanks for looking and sharing in my joy!!!


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At last: Friday ensemble I can wear!

I am always looking forward to Angie;s Friday ensemble posts but lately I have hard time implementing them from my closet. Either colors I don't have or styles I don't wear...
...but today is different! Graphic black and white - here I come - and because this is not a frequent case for me I wanted to link it to the blog post right away!
Everything in this outfit is old: Club Monaco silk blouse, BR cream skinnies, JCrew oxfords, Danier black satchel. Hopefully it still looks current even without any this season refreshers in the mix.
I think I can use some advice with this silk blouse. I liked the graphic feel of it when I bought it but it is almost an orphan. The reason: I have hard time layering over it. For some reason this type of collar in the contrast color just does not go with any toppers I have in my closet. Any suggestions for possible layering?


K/R question and a couple of WIWs

Here I am again surfacing out because I need some wise YLF advice. For a quick update: the life is as crazy as ever and with only one week before my vacation AND last weekend spent in bed with a nasty virus it is even more busier now :-(

Anyway, this is what I want to ask your advice for. I have ordered these
J Renee flats and now considering if they are worth keeping. I am still assessing the comfort factor (so far so good which is a tall order for me with ballet flats). Here is the deal:

- they are not completely flat but have 1" wedge so they are more comfortable than usual ballet flats. They also look better on my feet than real ballet flats usually do;
- mesh cutouts make them a cooler choice for summer while closed toe still keeping my feet from freezing in A/C;
- the most of my other flats are high vamp and there are times and outfits when lower vamp  is more proportional if one does not want to wear heels.

- I am not that excited about the color - it is kind of nude for me. Do they look boring? The snake print and cutouts provide some interest though;
- I have a pair of Trotters low wedge round toe shoes (see find #2). I thought they would be very useful being neutral but I tend not to wear them as much. Mind you, they are too hot for summer and in cooler weather I prefer booties but still... they just feel meh to me I guess even though they have tweed pattern and patent wedge. On the other hand they are not staying on my feet well so this may be the deciding factor too...

I am leaving in 6 days and need to make a decision before that to keep or return. Basically my question is: do you see them playing with my style or they are "not me" in your eyes? Please help me out to make up my mind!
Bonus pictures of some outfits which feature NAS buys and a mix of old and new and both are experimental:
pic #6 - Topshop vest (NAS), midi flared skirt. That was an experiment and I thought the combination looked inetersting enough to try it out. What do you think? Actually this skirt is going into donation bag: it is too big for me and kept twisting around all day but I am curious what you think of the concept. 
pic #7-8 - BR eyelet tunic and flares. Featuring FS booties from NAS. This one was inspired by one of Angie's posts. Again - what do you think?

Thanks in advance for your help!


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For Shevia: another Topshop vest outfit with the rest of the week thrown in

Now I am really catching up with the WIW backlog - this one is for the last week. I wanted to post another Topshop vest outfit for Shevia and decided to get others as well :-)

pic #1 - for Shevia :-)
Another attempt of Topshop moto vest - this time with the white. I may be wrong but I think this color works very well with white. So far I think I found 2 ways to wear this vest - with white and with dark (black or ink / navy). I also tried it closed with my burgundy dress and I think it works too - but it is too hot for this now.
Even if dark and white are the only colors which can work with it I think it is still a winner for me (as I have a lo of dark and white  in my wardrobe). However I am going to experiment with other colors too so stay tuned! 

pic #2 
Sorry for such dark picture - by the time I got home from work and the gym it was already getting dark so I had to use a flash. This outfit is on the OTT side I think - with bright orange, leather moto and stripes. i would be interested to know what do you think.

pic #3
Hot and humid! I took the denim jacket to wear in the office but ended up not wearing it at all.

pic #4
Another hot and humid - I did not even take the topper to the office that day! This BR shirt feels very nice in the heat. Unfortunately I am not looking my best here and my hair is a disaster (cannot wait for my hair appointment next weekend!)

pic #5
This was inspired by Angie's Friday post - rust and navy -  very loosely interpreted by me :-). I don't have any rust so I decided to use the leopard loafers for the bit of cognac they have. So here we go- this is my version which I call " A bit of rust (cognac), navy and a lot of pastel blue" :-)

Thank you for looking and as usual all comments and suggestions are very much appreciated!


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WIW: more catching up - and it was cool enough to wear some NAS loot!

I am falling behind in posting my WIWs even though I was trying to take the pictures diligently for the last weeks - so here is another catch up.

This was 2 weeks ago - sitting now in the beginning of September in 30C heat with almost 100% humidity I cannot believe what I was wearing just 2 weeks ago to keep myself warm in the end of August!

pic  #1 
A lot of drape is going on here - for me anyway: drapey cross-over blouse and fluid track pants. Coated utility vest seemed to balance out this drapeness for me.

Buying these Express cropped Editor pants was a mistake - they are too baggy on me  after a half day of wear. I got them for a sudden business trip when I realized that I have not summer pants which are business casual appropriate but now I wish I went with the Columnist style...

pic #2
 I wanted to try wearing leggings again but this is the only tunic I own which is long enough for leggings in my eye. It was cool enough for this tunic so I jumped on the chance to wear leggings with it.

pic #3
Trying to wear my new summer pieces while it is still summer. This Gap peplum top does require not hot weather because the fabric is pretty think and substantial. I wore it with a pencil skirt before but tried bootcust here. These Paige Hidden Hills are barely long enough to wear with the flats so I opted for the brown loafers here as I prefer higher shoe vamp with the bootcuts. Sky blue Zara jacket was for the freeing AC in the office.

pic #4
Debut of my Topshop vest from NAS! I am playing around with it to see what can I wear it with. Here I opted for lower contrast bottoms and shoes with the vest but added a darker top - hopefully it worked. 

pic #5
This one is closer to "fails"  - I think because this Gap moto jacket is too short to wear with medium rise jeans and tucked in top - too many horizontal lines! However this top semitucked just did no feel right here either. I still like the idea of the colors together but will not wear this moto in this combination anymore. At least taking pictures help me to figure these things out :-)

Thank you for looking and as usual all comments and suggestions are very much appreciated.
Hopefully I can catch up with the last week over this long weekend and become up to date :-)


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My disappointment at Express today

I went to the mall to return the pants for my hubby to BR and I don't know how but I ended up at the Express. I wanted to check out their culottes but they were all sold out so I decided to try on the pants.
I am really warming up to cropped pants now and this is what I wanted to try. I grabbed several pairs in interesting colors and patterns. These mini check red/black pattern caught my eye as I wanted to add dark red/burgundy pants to my fall wardrobe so I grabbed them too even though they are not cropped but baby bootcut.
Well, they fitted the best from the bunch (even the front pockets stayed flat on me) and I was really smitten with the fit and pattern. They are full length but not long enough for bootcut style for me in the regular. I decided that I can make them into cropped flares of just the right length to wear with my booties.
I was so excited...but it did not last long. I decided to put them on one last time to assess the fit better and when I turned to look at the back my heart dropped!
I have attached the blown up stock picture for you to see the back - what I experienced in the dressing room is VERY evident in the stock picture as well - at least for my eye. The fit was good but the fabric was bunching into these micro-folds which were moving around the back of my legs with every movement. This was a deal-breaker for me! Too bad because everything else was perfect and these would make  cool cropped flares.

I suspect it is because the fabric was too thin and too stretchy - not a good combination. Other pants with the same elastane content did not do it but their fabric was more substantial.
Sign...I left the store with $80 still in my wallet and with a broken heart. It may seem to picky for some but I know that these folds will bug me and I will not wear the pants as much as I should.
However my visit to the store was not for nothing. I have discovered 2 things:
1.  I really want to get cropped flares in a fun color or pattern for fall and winter but they are hard to find. I am going to look into bootcut or flared full length pants and make them into cropped flares!
2. I really have some shape change as a result of a weight loss: before Editor pants from Express were my best fit and now Columnists fit much better.

Just felt like sharing this story with my YLF sisters  - nobody else in my real life can understand the "broken" heart thing over these pants! :-)

ETA: I have added a comparison of 2 Express pants from the back and I circled the folds I was referring to in the red pair. You can see some folds  / wrinkles under the butt or knees  in the camel pair but this is not what I am talking about - they are normal. See how wrinkles go on diagonal on the legs of the red? This is what I saw in the mirror too and they were moving around the legs with every my movement. None of the other pairs I tried did that at all.


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