Tag Archives: clothing

Zen and the Art of Packing

I’ve got a week to get my shit together, think I can do it?

A common female problem...

A common female problem…

It’s the beginning of the EPIC LIST phase of travel preparation. Ideally I would have all of this on paper weeks ago, but where’s the stress in that? So here I am, 8 days to departure, ‘listing’ like it’s going out of style!

It’s like the act of making the list is useful and counts as getting something done. I also think that is procrastinator logic at its best.

So to give you an idea where my head has been lately…apparently reading Harry Potter and shopping for boots is taking precedence over calling my credit card company and locking down the travel insurance situation. If I don’t get on that soon I’m told a policy will be taken out ON me, and the benefits will be reaped when I kill myself in a horrifying Cream Tea accident or at the hands of a disgruntled Beefeater who didn’t appreciate my insights on relocating for enough time for me to get to wear that neat crowny thing for a little while. C’est le vie.

That being said I have done the basics. I bought pounds already, which was depressing and I hope I remember that while I spend them frivolously; and I’ve got the wardrobe covered. Not the wooden boxy thing, although one of those that magically transported me over the ocean would be more than handy. Power converter has also been obtained, ink for printer to print train and bus tickets has also been taken care of, and I dusted off my ‘out of country’ mobile phone. I swear that Nokia would survive the apocalypse.

I’m downsizing this year and only taking the basics, so instead of half of a library, only one or two books is going to have to do. No more than the BARE ESSENTIAL clothing is making it into that suitcase, no matter how much I think I’ll need those suede high heels, that second pair of plaid pants, the third..maybe fourth black turtleneck (What can I say? it’s my nature) or the black dress that I will almost certainly not even wear. If I have to hurl that case onto a moving train, I swear it’s going to make it this time. And ideally won’t get stuck as often in the paddles at the stations. That was a bit embarrassing.

As much as people despise packing for these sorts of things, I think it’s kinda fun, albeit mean to all of the items that end up as “the weakest link” and get a very over-dramatic boot, because that’s clearly what my life is like.

I just need to purchase enough maple syrup/maple candy to both gag and drown a beaver, then I’ll be basically all set to go!….basically.

Wish me luck, and let’s hope my inner organization demon shows its’ ugly head and possesses me long enough to get me off in one piece!


Miss Hailey Jane

Attack of the Panther in Polyester

Hello again world…

So here’s where we stand… Yesterday was my birthday. As a rule I try not to make a big deal of it because I didn’t really do anything particularly worth praise or recognition regarding that day. Mom should be the one congratulated for surviving the horror that is passing a football sized human being out her nether-region. I just don’t feel, from the football’s perspective, that I did anything special. Technically everyone does something similar at least once in their life.

Anyway, may I direct you to the point of my story. This way….just follow me….yep that’s it….not to far now….almost there…aaannd, there, go ahead.

Today I went to the mall with my birthday loot, and had laid out the trip in a strict “this is all I’m going to get” fashion. This plan included a nice pair of black dress shoes (for mine have all bit the dust or just don’t match anything), cat litter, potatoes and asparagus. Very exciting list, I know. So off I went on this rather rainy day, on the bus towards the scariest place humanity and civilization has dreamt up since public execution platforms and the alter. The place was noisy and buzzing with people, mostly aged and frail at this time in the morning, huddling around the Tim Hortons. They shuffled down the hall and went about their business at a snails pace, because face it, they had nothing better to be doing, but I needed shoes, so I scurry past them on my youthful legs and then head for the shoe store.

I mentally push past the financial guilt, repeating this mantra in my head “it is my birthday…it’s my birthday dammit”, and as I am thoroughly convinced I need new shoes, I try to hold firmly to a budget that I  imagined for myself. Completely arbitrary of course. I eventually reach said shoe store and with poise and confidence stroll in. The woman who governs this hovel of footwear is on me instantly. but no, I won’t have any bit of pushy sales people today! I am on a very important mission, clearly. I shoo her away with polite niceties and get down to business,




Size 9…nope too big

8 1/2?…Nope too big

8?…alright there we go.

After 20 minutes of ‘hmm’ing and ‘haw’ing, I decide, with will power of steel, that the pair I like are too much money, and technically not exactly what I’m looking for. So with that, I leave. Leave the store FOREVER! (Well no, not really but I thought more drama was needed just there).

I am proud of averting the sale rack, the sales pitches and shining beautiful expensive shoes in the store on the way out. It’s almost one for the record books. I leave disappointed but impressed with myself. No regret will be felt tonight! *Cue dramatic sound effect*

You know that moment in a story, when the main character can either chose one seemingly innocent thing to do, or another, and when they do it all goes to shit? Pay close attention here…

I decide then, that I’ll have a quick look in the bookstore. As I head in that direction I pass several clothing stores. But no, I say to myself, I don’t need anything, nor can I really afford it at this particular juncture. Will power of steel remember? But then when my guard was down due to self praise and basking in my own awesomeness, I saw in the window of a shop, my demise.  THEY HAD WAISTCOATS! (or vests….you might call them vests here, not sure). I was compelled to enter, “just a look” I thought. They were just too fantastic.

The woman of the store was on me before I had entirely committed to seriously looking around. She was like a panther in polyester! And she had her mind set on my blood!

“Hello…how are you today?” she asked with a sly grin…I know she has no business knowing how I am. Even if she did, I also know she doesn’t care even the slightest bit whether I’m feeling elated from having just solved world peace, or a bit like shit because my home planet has just been blown up. I wonder if there is a place to go to learn to be like this?

“Good, just having a look thanks.” …hmm I’ll bet it’s part of the same company that teaches us to respond to social converse with completely benign and uninformative standards.

“OK, well let me tell you about all of the [ridiculous, fanciful, full of lies and false advertising] sales we are having today!” Like there isn’t a different variant of the same thing tomorrow, next week, next month.

I don’t even have time to retort and she is already 300 words into a prepared speech about pants, tops, 70% off this and $5.00 off that, and if you do this small mundane thing you get a small savings but we’ll harass you for the indefinite future.  As she’s rambling I see that the lace cami’s next to me are only $4.95…which I judge as actually a good deal. I do tend to need those….

And that is how they get you. At that moment I was in for it…A cami, a white sweater, a dress shirt, a pashmina and a pair of purple pants later, I come to. The room is still spinning. What just happened??

Upon reflection the cost was reasonable for what I got, but I still feel as though I’ve been had. The woman was so nice, so friendly, so helpful. It was almost like she really cared about whether or not that pashmina brought out my eyes. Do I want my eyes brought out? I kind of like them where they are actually. She says she’ll start a change room for me? How lovely, right? Wrong, now I HAVE to try them on…seriously increasing the likelihood of desire and ultimately purchase.  Oh look, she’s bringing me more things that I didn’t ask for? Great, how sweet and considerate! Except I really didn’t need these things!  She even gave seemingly professional opinions on my selections, yet always encouraging more purchases.

Sure, I felt fantastic and euphoric in the process, pampered, looked after and cared for, but that’s all part of their little scheme. The truth is I bought things I didn’t plan on, and technically don’t need.

Also…I still don’t have shoes….

So world…civilization…humanity, you win this round. Oh well, it is my birthday after all.

-Miss Hailey Jane

An Ode to Turtlenecks…

Turtlenecks, oh turtlenecks,

Why do you warm me so?

Why is it that, your fibres sat,

Round my neck and make me glow.


It’s summer time, here and now,

Don’t you know of the scorching heat?

I want to wear, you here and there,

But to do so would be a feat.


The sun has kissed my naked neck,

Did you always wish my skin so brown?

A freckle here, and tan lines near,

My shoulders have caused a frown.


Turtlenecks, oh turtlenecks,

I eagerly long for your demure chic.

When Man Winter shows, and the weather snows,

Again we’ll revel from your touch on my cheek.


-Miss Hailey Jane

(…Bleeding Summer!)

My Life as an Identity Crisis: A life in Hair Colour

I often wonder if other people walk around with a feeling of knowing…a comfort in their own skin, or just a general satisfaction with everything about their life at any given moment.  I have never in my life experienced this feeling for longer than about five minutes at a time. Which, by the way, tends to be to be right after a good haircut or when I happen to choose a particularly good colour of chemicals to apply to my hair.

It seems reminiscent of restless leg syndrome, which may not even be a real affliction, but it explains how I feel about myself in the big wide world, as I am unable to sit still for longer than ten minutes, both literally and figuratively. My personality, taste and location change so quickly and so frequently I often find it hard to remember who and where I am when I wake up in the morning.

It began in High School when I had my first experience with the magic of permanent hair dye….actually…no…that’s a lie. It actually began in the years before that, in the latter end of primary school when I started wearing only black clothing for an extended period of time, which gave the teachers an excuse to more or less pick on me. Regardless,  point is it began at a young and very impressionable age, and happens to be on of the few constant things throughout my life.

How remarkably easy it is to change how people view you upon introduction, solely concerning what you look like. It’s miraculous really. It feels so fantastic! So much power! I can see why newly divorced women and ‘suddenly single’ ladies flock to their devoted hairdressers for a drastically new ‘do’. To cut off the unpleasant past of their clients and allow them to start again is a magical power that the hairdresser covets.

And then there’s the teenagers…magical teenagers, invincible, impenetrable and socially stonewalled by the rest of the world, and have always been masters of the art of the identity crisis. They have been sharing their love of crazy and outlandish fashion, wonky locks, holes in their bodies, ink in their skin with their shocked and appalled families for decades now. It’s nothing new though, just healthy rebellion.  My family, as well as myself on occasion, thought I would eventually, like all typical teenagers, grow out of it. But I was always the over-achiever…had to keep going. And now; two very permanent and slightly odd tattoos later, an overgrown piercing, umpteen different hair colours, cuts and styles as well as a varied and rotating wardrobe, I still cannot find a comfortable physical manifestation of how I feel on the inside.

Save perhaps one…

The saving grace of personal identity has ‘blessed’ me with a temporary uniform that will serve as appropriate to do battle with the rest of the world. The traditional black turtleneck and jeans. Simple, classy, comfortable, elegant and best of all despised by every fashion-forward member of my family.  Or maybe they’re just sick of it.  The black turtleneck may be the only tangible thing that is consistent in this crazy and changing world, my hair has definitely not been spared that’s for sure.

How do you know when you look like what you’re supposed to look like? (If that makes any sense at all..) Is all this change because I’m bored and have nothing better to do? Am I waiting for that moment when I know it’s “just right”, and know it’s the one, much like dating…yet I’m sure this theory doesn’t jive with that scenario either.

It is, on the other hand, rather convenient to be able to wow people with savant-like skills and recite what the exact date of an event was based secretly on my hair colour at the time. But I’m sure this is not why I end up with a cornucopia of personae walking around on the streets of time.

Here, let’s have a look back at the events and the thought process that went along with them.. (I suggest you skip this section if you’re in a hurry)

The beginning: Long blond “mom cut” hair. Followed by a short cut, more or less by accident…terrified parents.

Dyed brown for the first time. Made me surprisingly happy. Still remember going to a club meeting at the town hall the day I had it done and wowed group of friends.  Eventually was introduced to the demon that is “re-growth”, hereafter known as “roots” which were the prettiest shade of light blond…that does not match brown….bugger.

Coloured it several various shades of red and burgundy over the next few years and let it grow. Having never before been a red-head I rather enjoyed this, it was edgy, sexy…red….very red…faded quickly, hard to get rid of …red….Holy balls I’m a ginger!  Once realization set in, went dark-dark brown to hide shame.

Bleached top 3/4 of hair so darkness peeked out the bottom. Made for a very awesome up-do for prom that year!

Burgundy/brown again, grew quite long and got very dull after a few months.

Dyed black, cut short (little longer than a pixie cut) Ah yes, this is much better, harsh and awesome! …classy, (am surprised hair has not fallen out at this point)….hmmm…maybe too harsh?…makes me look really pale…am really pale. Then it began to grow….demon roots, after only two weeks, requires expensive up-keep.

Solution: Bleached a chunk in the front! Woo! Rogue hair just in time for X-Men (coincidence I swear). Look how cool I am! But can pass for classy if need be. Very wicked. Stuck with this for about a year (which is a very long time considering the rest all took place over three and a half…) The root problem was temporarily satiated…well… it was still there but not as obvious, much like disguising an ill-fitting pair of pants with a bright coloured sequin sensation on top….hmmm…re-think hair situation…

Bleached it blond again! all the way…several trips to the salon, many chemicals…hair still didn’t fall out…must be some manner of super-hero with power of hair preservation…

Over the next two years I experiment with different shades of blond, from dirty to light, and a number of lengths. I had a layered bob for a bit (which also provided a feeling of listless fancy, as well as a large shopping-induced credit card bill), it was also long and bouncy, medium length and wavy, and several levels of fringe were also cut in at different times to keep my hair fetish satisfied.

One day the fringe would just not satisfy, and I went out and bought a box of auburn, which apparently means red instead of the brown that the lady on the front looked like. So I was a ginger once again, or at least until I went out and bought a proper brown for the summer (because it’s clearly sensible to go brown for the summer as everyone else is lightening their hair), and then cut in another fringe.

The following fall I got expensive highlights for the first time, which lightened up the brown. I liked it, but it wasn’t in love with it, so I dumped it a few months later in favour of proper blond, which grew and grew and grew.  I called it my “Taylor Swift Hair” It was thick, and blond and sorta wavy and took over an HOUR to dry with a blow dryer. That just wouldn’t do! Not at all! So…CHOP!

A blond bob!  It was fun while it lasted but it grew out into the most awkward hair I’ve ever had. There were no layers…and I was stranded in the woods working and could not get a haircut…so it grew some more… into a shapeless, boring, blond, mid-length disaster. When I returned home to civilization, the first thing I did was get it cut and coloured (Another expensive endeavour) with highlights and lowlights. Several months later it was dark chocolate-brown again due to an impulsive trip to the drug store, and a craving for chocolate something. I then got bored and cut in side bangs, then a few weeks later made them into blunt straight long bangs, then a few weeks later I trimmed them to a mid length blunt fringe.

Still not completely satisfied, I just caved. At the hairdressers, I said “Fuck It…just cut it all off!” I didn’t wait it anymore…So that’s where I am right now. I am mildly amused with my current hair, which is great because it saves significantly on shampoo, I don’t have to spend an hour every day blow-drying it, and the short length hides the roots very well. Overall it was a good decision for both me and the needy environment. But my gentleman didn’t think so…not after I nearly gave him a heart attack. Said I looked like I could be his mother, I was thoroughly offended, but he has been known to be verbally incontinent occasionally. And it’s about time I started looking like the adult I am as opposed to a 12-year-old with a fringe and curls.

The end of historical recollection..

What I’m getting at here, after a rather long rant (my apologies) is not only providing you with evidence of an identity crisis-laden lifestyle, but sharing with you the idea that there are other people like me out there, who are constantly looking for something. These are people who feel their way through life, maybe not looking for something so much as feeling for something. Will they ever get it right? I can’t tell you because I haven’t found it yet either, I’ll be sure to let you know if I do.  They’re not attention seekers, they’re not out to necessarily upset the social norm (But I did take a good crack at it with my brown summer locks! Muahaha) they’re just trying to figure out who they are and what they’re supposed to be, based on how other people treat them, (which happens to be based on the way they look). This all very much seems like complete madness, but as a poor young adult female looking for a job in this unemployed city, how you look has so much to do with whether or not someone want to pay you to be around all day, not looking like a child is hopefully a good thing for me, but I could be wrong…wouldn’t be the first time.

-Miss Hailey Jane

Fun Fact Friday: The History of Turtlenecks

Hello again, and welcome to Friday, the Fun Fact kind! I was originally going to write a post about the Amish (again, the result of spending too much time with PBS) but I decided that they can keep their secrets for at least another week in lieu of the dire need for something about turtlenecks to grace the pages of a site named after them. So, this week will be about the history of Turtlenecks! (I’m kind of excited, I’m not going to lie).

And, as a salute to the occasion, I am wearing my burgundy Ralph Lauren turtleneck, and feel distinguished.

Alright, let’s get started.

FACT: Turtlenecks date back to at least the 15th century AD.

FACT: They are called ‘Polo necks’ in the UK and ‘skivvy’s’ in Australia.

FACT: They were popularized in the late 19th century, where they were originally worn by menial workers, navy sailors or officers, and athletes.  But into the 20th century they became associated with academics, philosophers, intellectuals and artists.

Should have been wearing a turtleneck.

FACT: In the 50’s the black turtleneck became a distinctive mark of an existentialist, and also became a way to rebel against traditional formal wear (ie. Black tie).

FACT: Women adopted the look and feminized it after the 50’s, and eventually it became a marker of preppy tidiness among students.

FACT: The look has been watered down since then and is now common among all classes in society and types of fashion.

And for your enjoyment, here are some awesome people who sport turtlenecks!

The 'Always Classy' Audrey Hepburn

The 'Scratch-Pie Making' Carl Sagan!

The 'Floofy Haired' Barry Manilow

Italian Film Star Marcello Mastroianni

The 'Though I don't believe in Apple products' Steve Jobs.

Oh wait..that's me...

Vladimir Putin, when he's not busy killing wildlife.

The Gorgeous Miss Marilyn Monroe

The Lonely Island

And for you younger readers, the fictional Draco Malfoy.

My apologies, I may have gotten a little carried away with the pictures, but Turtlenecks are fun and awesome, so it clearly doesn’t matter.

Again, I hope you learned something interesting. Interesting things that you can bring up at the next family reunion to baffle the people with whom you share genetics, using your wealth of useless knowledge!

Bye for now! And Happy Friday!

-Miss Hailey Jane