blogging · DIY · fame and shame · Sartorial stuff · The COVID files

Day 354: Where the Pockets Are

Interesting bit of trivia about yesterday’s post: the “rule” that inspired me to write about my rules didn’t even make it into the post because I forgot all about it. I was reminded tonight as we cleared the dinner table. Rule: every piece of cutlery that comes off the table, used or not, goes in the dishwasher—you never know who has licked what. That’s not really a concern anymore, though.

For someone who doesn’t really like fashion, I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about clothing. I’m pleased to report that I took in my dress from eShakti, and it now looks “much better” according to Mr. December. I have two pairs of pants with proper pockets that I need to take in, and I’m waiting for one more dress before I decide what all I need to return to Scott-e-Vest. You’ve been waiting patiently, though, so I wanted to update you on what clothes I’ve found, from where, and how big the pockets are.

Women’s Everyday Go To Pants from

My first purchase was “Women’s Everyday Go To Pants” from Columbia. I ordered two sizes so I could try them on and send one back. The Large looked great on my legs but gave me terrible muffin top. The XL fit my waist and hips perfectly but looked like parachute pants on my legs. But they have nice deep pockets including a zippered one large enough for my phone, so I’m going to keep the XL and take in the legs.

Margeaux Cargeaux Everyday pants from Scott-e-Vest

A friend tipped me off to Scott E Vest. They make clothes with so many pockets you could probably pack for a long weekend in the vests alone. As you browse the items, they tell you how many pockets there are in each design; I think they top out around 47 pockets. Anyhow, I ordered a fleece vest, a pair of nice-looking pants (the “Margaux Cargeaux”), and a shirt. The vest fits well, but I might exchange it for a different colour; the pants have the same problem as the XL Columbia pants—the legs are too wide; the shirt was a nice idea, but it’s white and the fabric is kind of transparent (I’d only wear it over a camisole.) The shirt was final sale, so I’ll have to keep it; the pants are keepers and I’ll just have to take in the legs; and after the dress I ordered from Scott e Vest arrives and I know whether I’m keeping it, I might exchange the black fleece vest for a nice bright red one.

My cousin told me a while ago about the leggings she wears all the time. They have pockets, you see. But they’re only sold on Amazon, and after talking to the owner of a store that has been negatively impacted by what can probably be called Amazon’s predatory practices, I’m even more firmly resolved not to buy from Amazon anymore unless there’s truly no other option. So I went hunting for leggings and stumbled on Encircled and their Dressy Legging. I’m wearing them right now and all I can say is… my leggings have pockets! Pockets that hold my phone! Huzzah! Encircled products are made entirely in Canada: they actually make the knit fabric and then manufacture the clothes in Toronto. As such they’re not cheap, but at least I know that whoever made my leggings was paid a living wage to do it.

So far that’s it for my pocket-hunting shopping spree. You already know about eShakti and the dress I had made to measure. If I had to choose one company to use again it would likely be eShakti, if only for the fact that apparently I’m proportioned oddly for normal pants, so made-to-measure makes the most sense for me.

On another subject, we’re less than two weeks away from Day 365, A.K.A. the anniversary of the day the world turned upside down. I’m wondering whether it’s weird to mark the occasion. If you had to have a “one year of lockdowns” party, what would it involve? Sweatpants and wine? Binge-watching an entire Netflix series? Or maybe just reposting blog posts from Day One to see how far we’ve come?

DIY · Keepin' it real · Sartorial stuff

Day 349: Even my pockets have pockets.

I got some more clothes in the mail today (that’s something my teenage self would never have imagined saying) and I’m impressed. This shipment was from a company called Scott-e-Vest; I ordered a shirt, a fleece vest, and a pair of pants. The vest has eleven pockets (or something like that.) The pants have pockets… and those pockets have pockets. Unbelievable but true!

On the downside, I’ll have to alter the pants for sure. I’m an apple-shaped woman—always have been—and the only time I’ve been able to buy pants that are flattering in the waist and not giant in the leg was when I was pregnant (hmmm…. maybe I should just buy maternity pants and call it a day?). Usually I just accept that for the legs to look good, the tops of the pants will be a bit too tight and I’ll have to hide the muffin top under a tunic or long t-shirt. But you know what? No more.

These pockets-inside-pockets pants fit me perfectly at the waist, but as my eye travels down from there I’m reminded of the very trendy raver pants Mr. December and I bought in 1999; that is to say, there’s enough extra fabric in each leg to clothe a small child.

Ghast Wide Bottom Raver Pants 4 Pack (Only $25 per pair) – Bewild
Four bodies modelling raver pants. None of them is me.

I’ll just have to take in the legs. It would be a fairly simple operation if it weren’t for the secret pocket hidden in the leg seam. I don’t want to lose that pocket—I paid extra money to have clothes with pockets, right?—so I’m going to have to very carefully pick out the stitching, move the pocket over, and then sew the invisible zipper right back into the new seam. If all goes well, the pocket will still be invisible when I’m done.

With the help of my mum I pinned my new dress from eShakti and this morning I tacked it (for those not in the know, tacking means sewing with huge stitches that are easy to take out.) It’s now hanging in the makery near my sewing table, waiting for me to run it through the machine. Maybe I’ll get to it tomorrow.

What I really have to get to tomorrow (or this weekend) is cleaning out my closet. I’m unlikely to throw anything away unless it’s worn out or really impractical (read: lacking pockets,) but I am going to put into storage anything that doesn’t fit me right now. The reality is that my body size fluctuates, and I don’t want to have to buy a new wardrobe every time that happens. I think it makes sense to just store stuff in clothing boxes labeled by size, don’t you?

I’m so excited. Right now my major complaint is that my clothes don’t have pockets and I can never find my phone. In just a few weeks, that will shift: get ready for blog posts about how my clothes have so many pockets that I can never find my phone. Ah, the novelty.

blogging · Sartorial stuff

Day 344: Ask and You Shall Receive

Every since my rant about pockets I’ve been trying to find clothes that fit all of my criteria (pockets included.) Among other things, I’m looking for things that aren’t made in China. A few weeks ago, I thought I’d be looking for a needle in a haystack; as it turns out, there are quite a lot of Canadian companies who manufacture clothing (and even the fabric) in Canada. They also seem to focus on comfortable clothing that also looks great on different body shapes. There’s a lot out there to look through—good thing Google and Facebook are doing half the work for me.

Maybe I’m being a little facetious, because I find it a bit creepy that I shop for something—say, underwear—and then I see nothing but ads for that thing for the next two weeks. It’s particularly annoying after I’ve already made my decision and purchased the darn thing. It makes me want to yell at the ads, “Where were you last week when I needed to see you? I’ve already bought this stuff! Go away!”

This time it’s actually been helpful. Aside from recommendations from friends, I’ve found at least five Canadian companies I’d never heard of before that sell manufactured-in-Canada clothes I’d want to wear. I’ve gone ahead and bought a dress and leggings from one of them (and I promise I’ll tell you all about it when I get them and actually have something to say) and am eying a few things from another one (a lot of the stuff I liked seems to be out of stock right now, so it seemed like a silly time to buy anything there.) First, though, I think I’ll go through my closet and cull. Then I plan to create a capsule wardrobe (or maybe two, since most things are season-dependent) of not-too-many pieces of good-quality, locally made, comfortable, flattering, and practical clothing. I end up wearing the same ten things all the time anyway—might as well go all the way and make it official.

It’s good to know that the advertising algorithms that plague us all can be used for good rather than evil. That doesn’t necessarily make them less creepy, though. Consider the case of my friend who, after liking one of my posts, got sent ads for dresses with pockets. I think that one crossed the line into intrusiveness. On the other hand, she forwarded the ad to me, so I guess it got to its intended audience (although I didn’t end up buying from that company.)

Internet algorithms are probably not what people mean when they say that all you have to do is put your intentions out to the universe and then the universe will give you what you need. Nevertheless, that’s kind of how it works these days. It’s a mixed blessing, I suppose—and also an excellent reminder to use an incognito browser window next time you’re shopping for surprise gifts or kinky stuff.