12 ways to tie a scarf - a useful skill set in Montreal!

I’ve been slacking on the blogging (already! you say) for the last week.  Sorry, but a combo of work, going-away party, subsequent hangover, hubby-work-party, subsequent food coma, and then a migraine has made blogging a low priority. Plus I’ve had a little bit of new-writers block. But I was inspired to write about something that is a worry and excitement about moving: fashion. One of the things people consistently mention about Montreal is how fashionable of a city it is. This makes me both nervous and excited.

I’m excited because I pay a bit of attention to fashion, and I’ve always lived in very casual, function-over-fashion cities. I do like looking put together, and I pay attention to what looks good on me and doesn’t.  I do a minor amount of trend-watching, and like to critique and experiement with accessories, proportion, colour theory, etc. I’m also in a bit of a style transition; I’m discovering new styles and accessories I’ve never played with before (read: belts), and I’ve been gravitating toward looser, drapy fits over slimmer, slinkier cuts. This is probably natural given that I’m entering the “late twenties early thirties” time, when “am I too old for that” applies to more than toe socks and message tees. When packing, I discovered how excited I was to pitch a lot of old clothes to make way for new ones. And given that I have significant holes in my winter and summer wardrobes (thanks two-season Pacific Northwest), I am looking to Montreal style to influence my new purchases. Also, fashion cities tend to have sweet consignment stores, and I’m hoping Montreal doesn’t disappoint!

I’m nervous, though, because, well, I’m a little West Coast Schlubby. I’m not as bad as I could be. Yoga pants are for to and from yoga, Dahg-walking, or in-house ONLY. Same goes for outdoor gear. And Ugg boots are slippers, not fashionable footwear. But I can’t wear heels (back injury and balance troubles). I have frequent “I hate everything I own” days. I will also have pretty limited clothing funds. I do not want to be the What Not To Wear candidate of Montreal (although, hey, I would not complain about a $5,000 spending spree!).

I’ve been perusing Pinterest, and I’ve found a few inspiration pieces that I’m going to keep an eye out for – things I think will up my level of sophistication, have a warm factor for winter, and that might be thrift store-accessible.

I am in serious need of some new lower-half clothing. If I’ve learned one thing from winter here, it’s that knee-length skirts, wool tights, and boots keeps you drier than pants. If this is the case in Montreal as well. then I will definitely want a few more skirts for winter (I have one). I will also need some for spring and fall. This knife-pleat silk skirt has me swooning, although it is a little summery. I can probably find something similar, and warm it up with tights, boots, and a long sleeved top.  Still, it is an autumn look at best.

I’m also keeping an eye out for fabrics like wool and flannel – things that will cut out the cold naturally.  This dress and sweater combo will definitely be something I try and replicate.  It manages to be sophisticated, cozy, and mix-and-matchable.  If I can only afford a few new pieces, I need to be able to get more mileage than just one outfit out of things. The dress can obviously be worn on its own, or with other sweaters. The sweater could be worn with jeans, trousers, or leggings (I don’t care how West Coast, I’m NOT giving up my leggings!).

I’ve also been searching for awhile for a blazer that can function as a layering piece.  I had one years ago, and have had trouble finding one that was the right amounts slouchy and structured for my top-heaviness.  I love this look with the layered prints and contrasting colours. I have most of these pieces, just need the jacket to complete the look.

After a few weeks of immigration things seeming to make this move more and more difficult and ill-advised, I felt like, for the first time, I was more excited to go than debating whether to stay!


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