Instead of building castles in the air as I’m showering every morning, I’m building the day’s outfit. Through the bank of windows in the bathroom—It’s glorious, with the light streaming in to make you feel like you’re showering in the great outdoors!—I match my choices to the weather.

As the reader knows, I have been intrigued with clothes—their feel, their colours, their flair—from a wee girl, and my style really hasn’t changed that much. I like colour, red being my favourite—Choosing red for EIL’s corporate colour was a no-brainer: my favourite colour and editing’s red ink!—but I like a monochrome foundation of navy or black, white or ivory, taupe or tan to set off the drama of bright colours. Dressed in one colour from head to toe also helps to elongate the figure for my vertically challenged stature.

For these foundational pieces, I favour Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and now, with dollars scarce in this economic downturn for such extravagance as fashion, Zara with its catwalk clothes at extravagantly low prices. I even sometimes pick up an item or two from H&M because it’s a must-have for that season but, because I take care of my clothes, they often last much longer than their flimsy construction predicts. Which means they, along with the more substantial items from my spring and fall wardrobe culls, go into the Alberta Community Living bag.

For the finishing touches, I am always on the lookout for jewellery, scarves and flowers. In fact, many of the fashion compliments I get when I’m out and about stem from an accessory I’m wearing. So my advice is the easiest way to perk up a drab outfit or change a look is add a necklace, a scarf, a bracelet, a brooch, that is, accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! And the price of these can run the gamut, from an Hermès scarf at $400-500 to a silk rose at $5.00. I favour chunky costume jewellery that makes a statement, big silk squares or long oblong pashmina scarves that add dash and warmth to an outfit, and—my signature piece—a flower in my hair.

The flower became a part of me about 15 years ago. It started very practically to keep the hair out of my eyes, and it did the job, beautifully I thought. So one flower—a red rose, quelle surprise!—became two, then three, then four, then dozens in different colours, different flowers and different materials. Now, on the rare occasions when I don’t wear a flower in my hair, friends and acquaintances ask me why.

So here’s a look at my look for 2016.

Winter 2016 – We had a mild winter in Calgary, which made it easy to dress fashionably. The line of beauty formed by leather boots, light wool jackets and tailored pants and skirts was not distorted by the heavy coats and boots one needs to wear for -20°C weather.


In January…


In February…


And in March…

Spring 2016 – Then spring came to Calgary—very early this year with temperatures in the 20s when they are usually in the single digits or low teens. But the landscape was still brown and grey in April, calling for colour to brighten its drabness. The greening of Calgary starting at the end of April—almost a month earlier than it is wont to do in our foothills city—transforming May into the spring one usually only reads about.


In April…


In May…

June saw us off to Collingwood to see our granddaughter, Alice, graduate with flying colours from high school at the National Ski Academy. What a grand week we had, relaxing around the pool, looking at real estate in Collingwood and environs, eating in by the pool and out at charming restaurants, and best of all, visiting avec toute la famille on the weekend! The colours of my wardrobe were royal blue & white, navy & tangerine, and ivory and yellow with every item and accessory chosen to be mixed and matched. Travel wardrobes are always a bit tricky because forecasts can—and do—change, but my outfits fit the bill beautifully for our week at the cottage.


July 14, 2016

Off to the Stampede

Summer 2016 – A warm, dry spring followed by a cool, wet summer, that’s been the weather story in Alberta. But we did have one week of summer and that was the week the Toronto Parks visited us—lucky people because the sun always shines on them for their annual summer visit. And we got a glorious morning for the Stampede Parade, and then a cool, perfect few hours—10 am to 2 pm to be exact—for our visit to this iconic affair celebrating all things Western—Yahoo!

My next fashion blog, I hope, will be full of business attire as the business year begins again in September. But before I don work clothes, I will be revisiting the Paris we love, taking a day trip to Normandy to pay our respects to the Allies’ fallen heroes in World War I and II, and exploring London one more time—all in clothes chosen to mix and match for an elegant and comfortable wardrobe for this 10-day excursion.