Archive for March, 2010


The winter Olympics have inspired me.  It has been almost two weeks since the Closing Ceremony, but I am still trying to relive my memories of that great event. 

I went snowboarding for the first time in a year and a bit.  I’ve been three times and actually landed a jump. YES!  LANDED!    

I also just went speed skating at the Calgary’s Olympic Oval on Wednesday.  I rented speed skates and made my way around the huge sheet of ice.  My initial opinion of the skates themselves – the rental pair were large and bulky and walking was extremely difficult in them.  Skating was surprisingly easy though and comfortable.  With the long blade, it is a more exaggerated hockey stride. 

What I did notice is the length of the lap though.  G*ddamn!  I couldn’t get fast enough to do a consistent cross over step at the curved part of the ice…I was too tired.  I was able to do a cross over, but due to the large radius, I was basically cutting the corner.  If I was to skater at the very inside of the inner ring, I could do four or five cross overs in a row.  I did a lap in 55 seconds.  21 seconds off the world record time. 

A few other things I noticed…. I also thought that the skater would be faster if he/she would swing their arms for momentum.  Not the case.  That extra energy output to swing your arms only hurt your endurance.  So I was quite comfortable placing my hands behind my back and just using my legs.  It was actually better this way.  Another thing I noticed was the effortless speed I achieved which caused my ears to ache due to the cold wind whipping past.  I will definitely bring a toque next time.    

Now …. Who wants to hit the ski jump??!?!?

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Do you ever think –  Why can’t I wear white (light colours) after a certain date on the calendar?!?  Who came up with that seemingly stupid fashion custom? 

Here is my take. 

Background

Labour Day is the first Monday in September, so normally that marks the end of summer. People used to not wear white from that time until the last Monday in May, which is kind of an unofficial start to the summer. The explanations for this tradition range from the fact that white clothes are worse protection against cold weather in the winter to the fact that the rule was intended as a status symbol for new members of the middle class in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

From everyone’s favorite reference website, Wikipedia

Popular fashion etiquette dictates that white should not be worn after Labour Day. Originally it was white shoes that were taboo, but white or “winter white” clothing was acceptable.  The custom is fading: “Fashion magazines are jumping on this growing trend, calling people who ‘dare’ to wear white after Labor Day innovative, creative and bold. Slowly but surely, white is beginning to break free from its box, and is becoming acceptable to wear whenever one pleases.  This etiquette is comparable to the Canadian fashion rule against wearing green after Remembrance Day. In the world of western attire, it is similarly tradition to wear a straw cowboy hat until Labour Day. After Labour Day, the felt hat is worn until Memorial Day”

It looks like I am innovative, creative (a first for everything) and bold (naturally).

Another reference I found mentions something about temperature, because just like black holds in heat, white keeps you cool, which you wouldn’t want during winter.  Which makes sense.  But still a weak argument. 

Below is an article I found as well.  Enjoy and I welcome your informative and interesting comments. 

Want to wear white after Labor Day? Go for it!  Rules apply, but it’s OK to keep light colors in your wardrobe all year long

 

NEW YORK – It’s an old-school rule that you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day, but even the newfound fashion freedom to wear light colors in cooler weather comes with some strings attached.

When summer really is turning into fall, it’s time to re-evaluate the fabrics in your closet. Linen should get packed away first — and it doesn’t really matter what color it is, says designer Shoshanna Gruss.

“You wouldn’t wear a strapless sundress if it were white linen or black linen in the fall,” she says.

“Summer clothes are summer clothes, but, colorwise, it’s more interesting and fun to play with your wardrobe and not leave any color out.”

Her quick replacement for that cocktail-party sundress would be a brocade, which she says would look stunning in a creamy white and probably complement most skin tones in the process. Indian summer and early fall is when many people look their best with just a hint of a golden glow, and a rich white will just show that off, Gruss says.

The ‘Little White Dress’?


Considering the Little Black Dress is so famous — and so popular — the woman who wears the Little Winter White Dress has the chance to be the first one noticed in a crowded room, adds Kelly Golden, owner of the upscale store Neopolitan in Winnetka, Ill. “The right shade of winter white is flattering on everyone. It looks rich,” she says.

When it comes to pants, Gruss will be switching to winter-white wool, probably paired with a jewel-tone sweater, or, even better, a chocolate-brown top.

Don’t put away white denim, though, says Suze Yalof Schwartz, executive fashion editor at large at Glamour. Nothing is more chic than white jeans in the wintertime with a chunky cozy sweater or a blazer and leather boots, she says. That will look “very Michael Kors.”

Stefani Greenfield, the co-founder of Scoop boutiques and curator of the Curations collection for HSN, makes the case for a Jackie Onassis-inspired outfit: a black turtleneck with those white jeans, animal-print ballet flats and either a cuff bracelet or pendant necklace.

(Either way, Yalof Schwartz warns against too-tight white jeans, but that applies year-round, and undergarments should be flesh-tone not white, which might show.)

A shot of white, maybe a turtleneck under a sweater or a white shirt under a cardigan, can also have a slimming effect in the way a black vertical stripe does on a bathing suit. Mixing a few tones of white in the same outfit can be very cool, adds Patrick Robinson, creative director at Gap.

Yalof Schwartz likes a white sweater dress worn with dark, opaque tights. White legwear is almost always a no-no, however.

The purity of white
Greenfield prefers the purity of white, so she recommends staying away from prints and wearing it instead with tonal solid-color pieces, especially camel and oatmeal. To her, navy-and-white combinations scream “spring.”

 

As long as you can keep it clean, white outerwear is a way to make a striking and stylish statement, says Greenfield, who has both a white down vest and white ski jacket — which she alternates as her cold-day “uniform.” “There are ways to wear white after Labor Day and not stick out like a sore thumb.”

A white cashmere-blend coat over a black dress is a perfect package, adds Golden. The brightness, she says, can give a needed punch to a fall fashion season that’s dominated by dark colors.

One no-white rule does still apply, though, according to Yalof Schwartz: No matter the time of year, don’t wear it to a wedding unless you are the bride.