Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Safety wear for the stylish woman

We were walking in tandem, me on one side of the fence, the construction guy on the other. He looked over and said, "That could be a safety vest."

I replied, "Yes, it is!"


Well, technically it's a life jacket so I get double the protection of a mere vest.


This paillette jacket protects me from psychic debris. Whew. There is so much of it around!

With my construction gear I'm wearing my rockstar pants, which are thrifted low-riders that I upcycled with Sharpie markers and acrylic paint, featured several times on Bag'n'B. They were noticed by Paul Stanley of the band KISS the first time I wore them. I was in a shoe store and oblivious to his presence, but my friend Sandra of standard.deviations clued me in later. I'm bummed that I didn't get the chance to ask him for pointers on how to wear platform boots with aplomb and his favourite makeup remover. I love that guy!


And I'm wearing my upcycled T-shirt, "I am my own brand," which I would change to "I am NOT a brand" if I were to do it again. Those are my super-duper discounted Topshop platform sandals.

Below I'm raising my arms to the universe. I was in the concrete studio but I digitally edited myself into a photo I took of the beach the other day.


Schlep schlep schelp schelp seems to be the little cartoon sound of my feet as they release from the hard reality suction of the concrete sidewalk. Each step schlep. How tiresome. This is also why safety gear is a top priority. One must never get sucked in by hardness!

Other protective construction pieces I wore recently.


That outfit features a vintage dress with a tulip hem. It's a fairly substantial brocade fabric, fully lined, too big and heavy for a dress, so I snipped it up the front and turned it into a coat. The sparkly owl pendant is from Patti of Not Dead Yet Style.

And I almost always go out with one of my parasols from Lily-Lark.


Below are my "safety" glasses, which I got from Vint & York in New York. They make me feel like a psychiatrist with panache and a love of the arts. Don't ask me why. Sandra, standard.deviations, thrifted that Maison Martin Margiela for H&M wool darted jacket. Sweeeet. Ever grateful to her.


And of course, I also wore this:


And then when I get home I unwind with Kitty.


Those are the highlights of my week, my friends. Remember: Always suit up. Always protect yourself from those harmful rays of negativity.

I'm linking up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike.

What do you use for safety gear?!


Monday, 18 June 2018

I'm still HERE!

They came. We saw. We conquered.

Who? Suzanne, Sue, Sherry, Patti, and me.
Where? Vancouver, BC.
When? June 1 to 3.

And conquered what exactly? Limitations, I suppose.

It was a rare weekend of connection, a time to join with like-minded women, all of us eager to lift ourselves above the quotidian, to dream big, dig deep, reach high.

Of course there was good food, great shopping, laughter - lots and lots of laughter - but I think it was the talking, really getting to the heart of things that matter to each of us, that will stay with me most. I can definitely say that the feeling of empowerment I got from the weekend has come in handy in the days since then.

This is a rather sober summing-up so far, so I have included the following arty video I put together with clips from our time together.


We have photos, photos, and photos! And instead of duplicating them here, pop over to Suzanne's blog where she has done two stellar wrap-up posts: Strike a Pose Blogger Style - Blogger Meet Up 2018 and Breakfast at Tiffany's Prom Do Over.

It wasn't until after our meetup that I realized we had played like champion 12-year-olds. Vamp in alleys? Sure. Mock wedding in Talize thrift store in Delta? Why not? Recreate prom and Breakfast at Tiffany in the streets and fancy hotel lobbies? Yep. March together in purple sequin band uniforms at House of Vintage thrift store? Oh, definitely. Sigh.

I like to think that if I had had a daughter, she would have said, "Whoa, Mum, can you organize my next pyjama party?" Hahaha.

So all this happened in early June.

Below are some outfits I have worn since then.


The above vest-y jacket is from Suzanne.

What else?

On April 27, I was in the Irish Examiner newspaper, which I forgot to mention before. The article, "Over 50s slaying it on Instagram," is HERE. I love the photo they used. Heh.

I had a post all planned out long before this one but then that GDPR thing hit the web. The penalties for non-compliance are formidable: 1) Up to €10 million or 2% annual global turnover – whichever is higher. Okay, I can only dream that 2% of my annual global turnover is more than €10 million. The whole exercise made me feel irrelevant. And oh so tired. So I ended up taking an unplanned blogger holiday. Plus I needed a break anyway.

I'm more rested now. But about GDPR, I have a privacy policy almost ready. But please know that if you want to unsubscribe to my email posts, just click the link at the bottom of the email from Bag and a Beret.

One last thing. I was interviewed by Margaret Manning of Sixty and Me a couple of days ago. We did four little episodes. The first two are open.

Fashion After 50 *SHOCKER*! Should We Borrow From Men's Style?

It was fun. It was a lot of work too because I like show-and-tell style, but, as usual, I wasn't organized enough to show you 70 percent of what I had ready. Hahaha.

That's it for now. Big hugs to all of you. If you have come back to read this, thank you! And thanks for your patience.

I'll link up to Patti at Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Pinky tea with a parasol

Oh dear, I think it's time for pinky tea at the country estate again. It's on my mind on account of the Royal Wedding. Did you watch it? One of the major thoughts I had when flicking through footage the next day was, that woman, the now-Duchess of Sussex, will never have to vacuum again, which is a good thing because her new digs are ENORMOUS, a perfect venue for pinky teas.


I'm featuring my new parasol this week wearing three different outfits on different days. There is something elegant, almost regal, about a parasol. It works hard in tough conditions but always maintains its composure, whether it's with man-pyjamas, above in Outfit 1, or a Moschino suit, later. 

I call this black shirt-dress man-pyjamas because I found this piece at Talize thrift store in the men's nightwear section. (Never overlook other sections in the thrift store.) And of course I'm wearing my magic loupe that O made for me. You can buy one too at his Etsy store, OSK Micro-Art Studio

Outfit 2 below features everything upcycled: my Marni for H&M pants with added side stripes, from Vancouver high-end consignment store Mine and Yours, chest-cooler T-shirt, graphic vintage handbag, and scribbled-on sneakers. And my magic loupe.


I seldom wear hats on account of my tower hair, and my pores choke when I put on lotion, so this parasol is perfect: it maintains the do, protects my skin, and keeps me cool. A special coating on the fabric blocks 98% of UV rays.

I almost bought a paper parasol last summer thinking a parasol would meet my needs. Glad I didn't because Lily-Lark asked if I'd like one of their designs. Wow, yeaaah!

Finely crafted in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from bamboo and wood, with ultra-soft, durable fabric in divine arty patterns. It's lightweight and comes with its own carry case. See how it's made HERE.

It's like a mega-brimmed hat but better because I control the roll, pitch, and yaw with a flick of my wrist.

Below I'm standing next to Elizabeth Zvonar, an artist friend, with the parasol closed.


I'm also wearing very cool tights that Zohara "Art on Tights" sent me. They are super soft and opaque at 120 denier, just the way I like them. Vancouver can be cool in the spring and summer, so I'll get to wear these tights year-round. I have more pairs I'll show you later.

Lily-Lark parasols come in large and small. This is a small - I thought it would be perfect for navigating busy city sidewalks. It is.


The pattern and drama of the parasol inspired me to make a short video on a whim. That day, I was wearing Outfit 3, my Moschino plaid suit, which features men's ties on the jacket and skirt. I bought it last year at the West Vancouver United Church Flea Market on a tip from friend Yvonne.

With the suit I'm wearing my cat/dog sticking-out-its-tongue T-shirt tucked in. But you can see the eyes when I don't wear the jacket. I got it on a tip from friend Sandra.


All that parasoling, I'm tuckered out. It's an Olympic sport now, did you know?
Then it's nap time on the concrete steps. Aaaah.


Give a lady a little privacy, would ya!?!
So many uses.


And that's the carry bag you can wear over your shoulder, which I do. It's almost like a samurai sword. Almost. Always at the ready for solar emergencies.


You wouldn't believe all the conversations I have with interesting people when I carry this parasol. Several men have commented on the quality - I'm not making this up. I'd love to see men carrying parasols - that would make my day!

Note to Lily-Lark: how about some canopies with monster trucks and stems that look like steel rods? Our skin is important and some guys can't stand lotions either, let alone large-brimmed hats. Good luck with that, hahaha! But why not?

I didn't remove the tags right away because I was always getting asked the brand. Now I won't forget. This design is called Taco.


Before, on sunny days I'd have to skulk awkwardly from light standard to light standard, like Inspector Clouseau of the Pink Panther, very undercover. But now, porting my own shade, I can walk wherever I like - what a concept! It's very liberating to choose my own path.

I met another woman today who also has a parasol - her skin is sensitive to lotions too. Are sun parasols a new trend? Rather, the revival of an old trend? Would you carry one?

That's all for this week, friends. I'll link up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for her Visible Monday and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for her #iwillwearwhatilike.

Groove on!



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