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Fashion Notes: Essentials
by Dorothy

I've been silent on this blog for ages, I realize. I recently moved from the student-hating student town where I went to law school to the much larger, friendlier student town of Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am still delighting in Halifax: the salt and pine in the air (it helps that I don't live near where the sewage filtration plant failed), the density, the friendliness, the cafés, the bookshops, the bus system that actually sort of works.

I frankly suck at minimalism: I can't resist colour, pattern, texture, subtle variations on the same themes. I wish it were otherwise, because I do think minimalism is a better way to go, but I'm not there yet. But there is nothing like living without the bulk of one's belongings for a week to figure out what one really needs.


I bought my Repetto ballet flats last year; I think I got them for about $70 USD on eBay, which delighted me as they retail for at least twice that in Canada. Repetto ballet flats are classic (even clichéd), of course, but oh my, they deserve to be. I have lived in mine all spring and summer. They are supremely soft, and they work with almost everything. (This is a moment in fashion, of course; ten years ago I would have thought flats looked terribly dowdy with skirts.) Wearing these feels like walking around town in bedroom slippers, which means no arch support, but that hasn't bothered me. I really need to get them re-soled, but am not sure when I'll be able to do without them for that long.


Oh, jeans. I have too many pairs of jeans. I would hang on to them, but I put on a bit of weight over the past year and that extra inch on my hips has rendered my smaller jeans...wearable, but not comfortable. Jeans should be comfortable.

I grew to like skinny jeans; I found them charmingly gamine, and since I am quite thin, my thighs aren't so much bigger than my calves as to throw the look off. But the moment has passed. I am keeping the jeans that are still comfortable -- a pair of super-soft Adriano Goldschmieds in a summery medium wash, bought on sale last year, and I still love my J Brand Love Story jeans; the bell bottom amuses me. (Please don't mention Paris Hilton.)


This -- a Tabitha Quinny bag -- may be the best impulse purchase I've ever made. During a trip to the U.K. two years ago, I happened upon this in an Oxford accessory shop and fell in love with it. It was more expensive than any purse I'd bought to that point (£175, as I recall), and I felt a bit unhinged as I laid down my credit card, but since then I have hardly used any other bag. I've come to realize that soft brown leather bags are very versatile: since they match almost nothing, they go with everything. The Quinny is made of decent quality leather, tricked out with lots of pockets and lined with an amusing pink-and-white stripe. I can't use this for very formal or businessy events, but for everything else, it's ideal.

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