Friday, February 8, 2013

Dressing to Face the Elements, Whatever those Elements Might Be!


My daily commute demands a lot from my garb, particularly the outerwear. It has to shield me from wind on my short bike ride to the ferry (the same bike ride means I'm careful about checking pencil skirts for a walking slit!).  And it's rare that you can pedal away on a dry morning here and be sure there won't be rain by evening's return, so I always include a hat, even if I'm just tucking a beret in my bag.

Then once I've steered my bike into one of the racks at "the parking circle," I've got to make my way down a long concrete walkway and stairs, quite capable of providing a skating opportunity if the weather hovers around zero C, and then adjust my knees to whatever degree of steepness the boat ramp is on, depending on the tides. I do wear heels regularly, despite these challenges, but I'm strategic about the days I hazard them (or carry them in my bag and change once I get to my car, on the other side).

These Fluevog boots qualify for most circumstances -- rugged enough to handle mud-spattering (biking on our dirt roads means dust or mud follows a rider as closely as it does Charles Schulz's Pigpen), tall enough to keep me warm and dry in most weather, and with sufficient traction on their comfortably flat heels and soles to keep me upright and out of the saltchuck.

Besides all the commuting vagaries, though, I do like my outfit to look smart for a day at work, and even to carry me into "the big city" when I head straight to Vancouver after I leave campus -- as I will do today. This coat is not as swishy as Lisa's new camel MaxMara, but it's 100% cashmere, a wonderful find that I bought on sale after Christmas 6 years ago -- Banana Republic's Heritage line. The beret is Joe Fresh and while it's not holding up quite as well as the Holt Renfrew versions I have, it's not bad at all for 5 years old and $15! I bought the scarf at the now-defunct and highly lamented A to Zebra, a local boutique I miss very much. (The gloves are from there as well -- leopard print, worn probably 40 days a year for the last 4 years -- hard to beat that CPW!)
So there I am, ready for the elements. I'll be heading over to look after Mom tonight, and then two of my sisters and I will be running a Half Marathon on Sunday, or at least that's the plan at the moment. And somewhere in there I have about 40 papers to mark. So it will be busy, but there will be some good sister time and I think Pater and I will have a nice meal out somewhere. . . .
 What are you up to for the weekend?  Have you got the outerwear to get you where you need to go? Bundle up, you Easterners! Stay warm!

25 comments:

  1. Love how you wear your beret!
    Your morning routine sounds quite challenging mater...
    you dress very well considering the risks that the elements have to offer on any given day! Nothing beats a cashmere coat!

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    1. The beret is just pulled over my still-wet curls -- makes for some serious hat-head problems later, but I'll try to put some spring back in with my always-ready pick!

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  2. Love those boots - and the beret. You look chic and ready to face anything the day may bring. It's sunny out here, but frosty. Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Lorrie. We ended up with some sunshine our way as well. . . and there were dolphins alongside the ferry!

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  3. The picture of you with the beret is very nice.
    I just keep gasping how much you manage in a single day, a single weekend..gosh.
    As we have snow coming down day after day after day ( without an end ), I stay out just the required time.
    I need to do some house cleaning tomorrow, and probably drive over to meet friends.

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    1. I can't imagine living with all that cold and snow!
      Have a good weekend -- it's always great to catch up on the house cleaning (altho' you're so organized that I doubt yours ever gets as far behind as mine!)

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  4. Hi Mater, you look well wrapped up and cosy. I haven't actually been out for days - my husband picks up any necessary groceries on the way home from work. However, when I do venture out it will be in my new-ish Lands End down coat with hood - keeps me warm and dry. I don't typically do well with hats - fine hair leads to dreadful hat head - but I'm contemplating ordering a lovely cashmere beanie on sale from Brora. It would be my first Brora purchase, I'd like to try them out. A snow day here today - even my husband was home from work at noon!

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    1. Down packed into a water/wind-proof shell has to be the way to go in your climate, but I think a Brora beanie would be the perfect complement -- I'll be curious to see what you think, having never seen or touched any of their products.
      Sounds crazy-snow-storm your way -- take care!

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  5. I can't imagine having to wrap up that warm - and doing it stylishly!

    Best of luck on the weekend, but with your mother and your half.

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    1. It's all relative, isn't it?! Compared to where Patricia is, my weather is balmy!

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  6. You look so adorable, and about 32 years old:). I love you in the beret, seems quintessential Mater. And thank you for the coat nod. Yours is just right, especially with the boots.

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    1. Ah, thanks! I don't know if they're quintessentially me, but I do have 4 berets (red, purple, grey, and black . . . ) ;-)

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  7. What a great outfit for a challenging commute! I wish you well this weekend - there's certainly a lot going on for you.

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  8. You know what it's like, the ferrying back and forth . . . at least there were dolphins today, a very good thing!

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  9. I love this on you. Tres chic!
    A To Zebra is sadly missed. The one in Parksville was my favourite. You do have a very busy weekend planned! Whew, I don't know where you get the energy. Your description of your commute is priceless. Stay dry!

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    1. Have you ever been out to the place in Coombs? Can't think of the name right now, but it mixes home accessories with fashion finds, in a very cool rural cottage setting . . .

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  10. My first thought was that you look charmingly European - and it's not just the beret!

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  11. You are a busy person. The beret looks good on you – I never wore one but my grandfather did. You asked me why I went to Victoria, BC. Actually I went there 3 times – from Georgia, and the reason? Because I had not been there before. I traveled, so far, to 58 countries, but went back to many several times. The last time I went to Canada I went to the Yukon – it was beautiful, but I also liked Newfoundland and Cape Breton.

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    1. Wow! You've traveled widely! I haven't made it to either Newfoundland or Cape Breton yet (although I've visited the other Maritime provinces). I feel pretty spoiled here on Vancouver Island, but we're gradually adding countries to our Europe list. My work gives me a rather narrow window for traveling, but someday, when I'm retired . . . .

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  12. Love the boots! I was so interested to know that you too are contemplating a change in your life. It took me about two years to make my own decision and loss of identity was a huge fear. Love to talk to you about it!

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    1. Hmmm, perhaps I'll see if I can find an e-mail address for you and we'll chat even more. I suspect it will take me at least two years as well, but there's so much I'd love to get out of life before I'm done.

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  13. I hope all goes well. The beret looks wonderful; here you can barely see people's faces, it's so cold!

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    1. I have such a clear memory, from 5 or 6 winters ago, of walking through Montreal the morning after a blizzard, stopping to buy a better hat along the way, ending up at a restaurant in Old Montreal (Verses?) . . . a warm memory, despite the brrrrrr factor. So very cold!
      I'm sure you're finding warmth in the storm as well -- take care!

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