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  1. How to survive summer with style

    Saturday, June 30, 2012

    Summer has finally hit Edmonton and it is getting up to 30 C (86 F) some days!  And along with summer comes late nights, festivals, camping and (if you're me) hangovers.

    This weekend is Canada Day (happy birthday ole gal!) and next weekend is my family's annual party, the Little Valley Jamboree. Combine the hot days and long nights with drinking, and you have a recipe for style disasters - or do you?

    Here's my tips for staying retro-stylish when its most difficult, or when you don't want to put a lot of effort in. I highly recommend you also check out the Lazy Girl's Guide on Retro Chick for more tips.

    The Canadian prairie provinces are known for their dry heat (which I prefer over humid) and rapidly changing weather. It's totally normal for it to be hot and sunny one moment then thunder storming the next.
    Being prepared for whatever the weather gods are going to throw at you is crucial, and when you're going somewhere like a festival, you want to pack light but cover all your bases.

    I recommend flats or sandals that are comfortable (in case of dancing/lots of walking/uneven terrain) and breathable (because no one likes stinky feet.) If the probability of rain is high, bring rubber boats as well.

    Working from the feet up, packing both separates and dresses are important. You can just toss on a dress in the morning and stumble out of your tent if there's somewhere you need to be, or you can only pack one skirt or one pair of pants and wear them for a full week.

    Wear something that's breathable, easy to wash and that layers well. It's nice to just toss on leggings or tights and a cardigan with your summer dress instead of having to do a whole wardrobe change. If you're going to be somewhere near water, obviously a cute bathing suit is a great style choice.

    My possible Jamboree wardrobe (so far):

    Accessories are also important. Bring a scarf to use as a coverup, a shawl and as a hair accessory. And what retro style guide would be complete without a big floppy straw hat?

    Protect your eyes from sun damage too! Sunglasses are great at hiding bags under your eyes or less than perfect makeup that's still on from the night before.

    Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

    Hair and Makeup
    There is a fine line to walk between looking good and looking overdone, especially when it's hot out. The key is minimalism and using products that play double-duty.

    When it's really hot out and I know I'm going to be outside, I usually only two the first two steps of my foundation routine (normally a four-step program). I spot conceal, then use a tinted moisturizer with SPF to even out the rest of my complexion. I skip the powder because it will likely clump if I'm too hot, and there's no need for blush because I'll be rosy from heat/gin and tonic in a few hours anyway. Of course, I slather on extra sunscreen on the rest of my body too, along with mosquito spray.

    I keep my eye makeup pretty minimal too. Usually I use powder, then neutral eyeshadow and highlighter before getting into my eyeliner and mascara, but on really hot days - especially if I'm spending most of my time outside with sunglasses on - I'll just skip to the eyeliner and mascara. The waterproof stuff is also more sweat proof, so it should be your first choice.

    Hair is a little more complicated for the vintage-inclined. I never want to put my hair up in rollers - especially if I've spent the night drinking around the campfire - but I also have thick hair that won't hold curl for more than one day in a row, especially in the dry prairie heat. Instead, I fake it. Bobby pins and ponytail holders are your best friend for keeping your hair off your neck and still stylish.

    Today, for example, I just pulled my hair back, stuck bobby pins in and popped a flower overtop. Easy peasy and it still looks cute!

    I also love the snood look (although I don't know how mine will look with my hair short :/)

    And the "fake" eternity roll, created by using a headband the same colour as your hair and tucking in the hair into the band, is also a classic. Again, it doesn't work because my hair is too short and wispy in the back. Damn!

    Did I miss anything? What are your favourite ways to beat the heat and stay stylish?

    XO Laurie

  2. I'm on a boat!

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Yesterday, Miss Bee invited me to a work function on Edmonton's Queen Elizabeth riverboat. Can you say photo op?

    I love Edmonton's river valley, it's so gorgeous.

    I especially love the view of Edmonton's Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, which was built in 1912 and is a beautiful building.

    We, of course, wore appropriate boat wear. I loved Bee's outfit. That boater!

    I wore my sundress. I spent most of the day walking around Whyte Ave with G in the 30 degree heat. Surprisingly, my hair stayed somewhat curly.

    Look at all the debris in the river! We've had so much rain that the river was high and muddy, but it was still fun. It was nice to see the city from a different vantage point then normal.

    After the boat ride I had a pretty tame night, just tidied the house and rearranged the bedroom a bit. I'm so wild ;)

  3. What to Wear: It ain't easy being green

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Earlier this month, I entered a giveaway for an eShakti dress held by Edmonton blogger Vicki at Adventures in Fashion. I had heard a lot of good things about eShakti and their custom made dresses with retro-inspiration, so I quickly commented and went about my day, never thinking I'd win. Lo and behold, I did! My dress came yesterday and I couldn't wait to give it a test run today.

    It's the same colours as Metro! I should have found a paper box to pose with >.<

    I don't have much green in my wardrobe, so I ended up picking this eyelet shirt dress. It fits me to a tee and is the absolute perfect length! I think my only negative point is that it's a little too low for my liking for work, but I wore a scarf underneath.

    The website is super easy to use, I LOVE that you can input your custom measurements and it shipped (from India) super fast. Their shipping company isn't my favourite, but I'll live.

    The cotton is very thick and is also lined with cotton, which means I can wear it all year!

    These photos were taken at the AGA after work. G and I met up at Edmonton city hall, which is right beside my work, the theatre and the library and snapped these in front of the gallery. It was such a gorgeous day that I just couldn't stand to be inside any longer!

    Edmonton's city hall is beautiful - and it has a giant fountain/pool, which is always busy on hot days (like today) and during festivals (two were happening today in the city, The Works and National Aboriginal Day).

    An snapshot of my view from my phone while waiting for G. I work in the tallest building in this photo :D

  4. I love a good excuse to dress up, so when Krista Dee and her man Clayton came up from Calgary to visit Miss Bee, I tagged along with them to hit up some Edmonton antique malls and Whyte Ave vintage/repro stores. Afterwards Bee planned on having a wee little vintage cocktail party.

    I wore one of my favourite finds. I got this dress at Imagine Vintage in Camrose and have yet to wear it. It's a dress by an Edmonton-based designer (Trisha Pasnuk) and so it was priced a little higher than normal ($35? $40? I can't exactly remember) but I fell in love and since the zipper was broken, I got a bit of a deal on it.

    Turns out that Pasnuk dresses can retail for $250 or more. So, I win.

    Our kitchen has the best natural light in the house, so expect to see more photos of me posing by the sink, in front of the bathroom.

    I had strange hair going on.

    Love the print!

    So after getting all gussied up, hitting up an antique store (oh the lamps! G and I are going to go back soon) and then lunch at Famoso (nom) and one of the "vintage" stores on Whyte (I use the term loosely) I started feeling crappy - tired and sick to my stomach and just not in the shopping/partying mood, so I went home and vegged out for the rest of the night.

    I blame it in part that I was busy covering the University of Alberta HUB Mall shooting/armoured car robbery on Friday. On Fridays I am a lone duck in the newsroom, and when news like a inside-job-heist-triple-homicide-of-armoured-guards breaks, one tends to get overwhelmed. But I thought I kicked ass, especially when you think about the fact that other media outlets had a team of AT LEAST five people on it, where as it was just me. But yes, I felt a little drained after.

    In other news - Happy Fathers Day to my dad!

    I know everyone says their dad is the best, but mine really is. He's taught me so much, from how to drive to how to play guitar to how to work hard for something you're passionate about. I love staying up late with him, eating popcorn and watching old war movies or sitting around the campfire singing songs. I love you dad and miss you so much! I can't wait to come home for a long, over-due visit.

  5. My three-hour sweater

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    If there is one thing that seems to be the vintage girl's right-of-passage, it's the Three-Hour Sweater. It's quick (but a little more than three hours), it's cute and it's really simple.

    I finally finished mine tonight (until I noticed some bits of yarn inside that I forgot to weave, but that's neither here nor there).

    Can you tell I bought a Sears version of the bullet bra?
    I'm really pleased with it! I went down a needle size because many other knitters said it came out a little bit too large and slightly shapeless.

    It's knit in a cotton/beechwood blend (Dandelion Shine Worsted Yarn by KnitPicks, if you're interested), which makes it really soft and light, but a little bit holy. Thusly, I'm wearing a camisole underneath. My only complaint is that I bound the sleeves off a little bit too tightly, which makes it difficult to get past my big 'ole elbows.

    Now I am off to embark on my next project. I think I'm going to do some birthday socks for all the summer babies in my life.

  6. Hair experiment, part II

    Sunday, June 3, 2012

    As I mentioned in my last post, I tried some different hair setting experiments to see if I actually wanted to get a hair cut or if it was just a hair slump. I documented the results on Instragram, but here's a summary if you aren't following me there (It's RetroReporter, by the way)

    But no matter how hard I try, I can never get waves first thing in the morning when I brush. Both of these photos were taken at the end of the day after brushing ands transformed into beautiful waves. 

    The more I thought about it, the more I was leaning away from long hair. It took really long to dry and I hated washing it. It was cut into a middy so it didn't look the best on the days I didn't want to curl it. And it was SO THICK and badly needed shaping and trimming.

    So on Friday I hastily made a hair appointment and this:

    Became this:

    I love it! I've had short(er) hair most of my life and while I enjoyed my forey into the world of long hair, it was time for a change - at least for the summer. I've already had some fun testing out styles.

    XO Laurie