To Pack or What Not to Pack, That is the Question!

5 days in Vegas! No four words could sound as sweet!

Here’s the rub… five days in Vegas with 3000 of the best-dressed women in Canada and the United States. OHH the pressure.

That’s right. It’s the annual Stella & Dot Conference. And as such, here is what I know to be true. The learning will be fantastic, the nightlife…off the hook and the clothes…ohh the clothes…will be, will be…and there it is, the pressure sets in to make me breakout into a pre-menopausal sweat.

Must unload my entire wardrobe onto the floor and separate each piece into grouping!

This pile represents clothes I wish I could fit into by Wednesday. Let’s see…I wore them 20 pounds ago and I have 3 days before I fly out. Pile axed!

This pile represents clothes I look good in but have experienced in the past some sort of wardrobe malfunction. This shirt pops open. This skirt flies up with the slightest breeze. These shoes slide on laminate flooring and ceramic tile. Pile axed!

This pile is just right. Must commence the act of outfit splitting. Each outfit laid out with matching shoes, jewellery and the occasional select bra or waist synching undies.

(stage direction) At this point amused husband enters the scene, surveys the wreckage and proclaims that he can pack for a conference the night before with a carry-on and backpack. Challenge accepted, fine sir!

Two-bag limit. Squeeze it in!

Two-bag limit. Squeeze it in!

I allow myself a two, small bag limit. I choose the outfits that give me the most bang for my buck.

A drop-dead formal dress. An absolute must.

Formal dress with Sutton Necklace, slim city clutch (not pictured) and a silver shoe!

Formal dress with Sutton Necklace, slim city clutch (not pictured) and a silver shoe!

A short day dress with killer heels. Yes please.

Day Dress with sleeve for air conditioned conference rooms and paired with a monster heel!

Day Dress with sleeve for air conditioned conference rooms and paired with a monster heel!

White, bottom-hugging jeans. Don’t mind if I do!

Outfit to travel in. Low profile shoes, jacket for the five days, white jeans and a hat for by the pool!

Outfit to travel in. Low profile shoes, jacket for the five days, white jeans and a hat for by the pool!

Ok. Let’s forget that packing has consumed my every waking thought and let’s forget that I lay up most nights “mind pairing” my orange kimono and slick white cigarette pants. I figure that since I’m gone 5 days, 120 hours, I’m good. The packing or it only took 118!

Pop of colour top with Hibiscus Necklace and paired with a patterned, ankle synched pant.

Pop of colour top with Hibiscus Necklace and paired with a patterned, ankle synched pant.

Orange Kimono with Fortuna Pendant

Orange Kimono with Fortuna Pendant

Don't forget the swag!!

Don’t forget the swag!!

Cheers!

Carrie

My wild side!

My wild side!

Recovering from Decades of Nonsense

Simplicity.

I know I use that word a lot. (Hence the title of the blog)

I find that as I have gotten a little… ahem… older, I am beginning to think that it is the best to maintain integrity and simplicity in styling. Not all of us can pull off a Vivian Westwood strut or Betsey Johnson cartwheel. Both in their 70s, these ladies are something special. I don’t know if it’s fame or money but something in our minds allows acceptance of the wildness. These ladies style themselves as they see fit and we accept it as avant-garde rather than considering them as we would if we met them on the street as “that crazy lady who is likely housing a large number of cats”.

I consider myself fairly artsy. I have, from time to time, worn items that others dare not. My blouses have been a bit loud, my sleeves a little too 70s, my shoes tend to mimic 17th century booties and my pendant necklaces sometimes holler, “I dare you not to look at me”.

Having said this, I now find myself attracted to solids with styled details, embroidery or cutout sections and one-tone dressing embellished by a knockout scarf or stellar jewellery piece.

Basic black crepe with eye-catching accessories

Basic black crepe with eye-catching accessories

Within in the confines of this measured style of dressing I have surprisingly found a great deal of freedom. Freedom to harbor as many accessories as I please (yay me!). Freedom to wear them on a whim. Freedom to pick and choose the look I’m in the mood for. To mix and match, at my digression, without the guilt of buying something like shoes or a purse, that I just don’t have the clothes to wear it with.

Classic brights with a navy pop

Classic brights with a navy pop

My natural instinct is to go for clothes that are classic with styling and colours.

Great cut-out details on both the blouse and the handbag

Great cut-out details on both the blouse and the handbag

Choosing items that sport one styling detail.

 

Details close up

Details close up

Going for a great back or a keyhole cutout. Utilizing neutrals and colour tone families and pepper these outfits with bold accessory choices.

Make one item the focus

Make one item the focus

Will I still pull out that Rolling Stones T-shirt and ply it with gobs of chains and shiny stones, topped off with a “worn in” plaid shirt? I absolutely will!! I would be crazy not to. It makes for an excellent rockin’ outfit and allows me to tap into my internal rock chick goddess, which sits dormant for the majority of the year (teased hair not included)!

All of us who have hit a certain age (the “f” decades), have gone through the whimsy and earthy tones of the seventies, the punk and brights of the eighties, the grunge and then minimalism of the nineties and now as we find ourselves in the middle of the second decade of the 2000s and where are we? I find myself in stores slogging through styles that were hideous when we wore them the first time around. Short, shapeless, floral print, rayon dress disasters, bad knit crop sweaters and overalls (what?). Didn’t we learn the first time that these did nothing for us!

Somewhere in those decades there was a happy medium and our struggle now is to find it. I believe it starts when we find comfort in own skin.

Amp up basic black with a touch of gold and bashful blush!

Amp up basic black with a touch of gold and bashful blush!