April 10, 2012

Velvet, eyelet, and wrought iron in Kelowna

British Columbia is a fascinating and gorgeous place to reside. Few corners are even remotely the same and a great many beg to be explored and admired. One interesting fact about the western most Canadian province is that, outside of Lower Mainland (the region including and immediately surrounding Vancouver) there are few large cities.

Everyone's definition of what constitutes a large city is different, but I tend to feel that by Canadian standards, a large city is one that has a population of 100,000 or more. The further you travel from Vancouver and its neighbours, the less of these generously populated places you run into. That is until you reach the lakefront Okanagan city of Kelowna.

Compared to bustling metropolises like New York, London, Tokyo, Sáo Paulo, or Paris, Kelowna's population (presently about 117,000) may make it seem like a quaint neighbourhood, however it's enough to rank this sunny destination as the 22nd metropolitan area in Canada.

Situated less than an hour away from Penticton (where we live now), Kelowna was the closest big town when I was growing up here years ago. It didn't hold the glittering, noisy, worldly appeal of Vancouver or the elegant, artsy, upscale vibe of Victoria, but it even as a very young child, I knew it was considerably bigger than humble little Penticton.

Kelowna, whose name derives from a local First Nation's name for grizzly bear, was founded in the mid-nineteenth century. Then, as now, agriculture in the form of fruit orchards was an import part of the area's economy. These days, tourism and the wine industry also go a long way to keeping Kelowna going strong.
Though it's expanded substantially over the past few decades in particular (it's certainly larger and busier than when I was a child), with new homes and businesses springing up constantly, Kelowna still retains a certain small town charm and appeal.

Perhaps that stems from its inclusion in the Okanagan Valley, a generally friendly place that owes a lot to those who flock to its beaches, campsites, and golf courses each year. Or maybe it's because the beautiful weather that Kelowna sees for a substantial chunk of the year can't help but put locals in a good mood. Whatever the case, I've always liked Kelowna a lot.

Though I've only ever lived there for briefly for a couple of months, I know it's main core quite well and always love taking a trip up the highway from Penticton to visit the biggest city for miles and miles around.
Recently Tony and I popped in on good, ol' Kelowna for a day of errand running and visiting my sister and her boyfriend (who recently got their first home together there, and which I hadn't seen yet because we'd been living back east). The weather wasn't warm, but luckily it was pleasantly sunny and we were able to bop about without the need for heavy duty winter coats.

Kelowna, though relatively old (by British Columbia standards), does not have a huge amount of older buildings and houses left anymore. Some definitely exist, but it seems that as the years tick by, more and more go the way of the dinosaur. While we were driving around various streets, just having fun, I spied a distinctly elegant brick house that I'd peg to be at least 90 years old.

I knew I wanted to take some outfit snaps while in Kelowna, so I suggested we do so in front of the stately wrought iron fence that surrounded the home's perimeter. The street was quiet and quaint, the breeze light, the sun sweet, so we hopped out and quickly grabbed some snaps.

Outfit details:

Prescription eyeglasses: (frames) Venus Eye Design V-12

Faux pearl earrings: Clare’s

Black velvet blazer: Smart Set

Pearl necklace: Birthday gift from my husband ♥

1950s white eyelet (short sleeve) blouse: etsy seller Jet Set Vintage

Black velvet 1950s pencil skirt: thrifted

Black vintage gloves: etsy seller I Love Vintage Stuff

Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue black patent purse: etsy seller MK Retro

Gold toned and enamel red rose brooch: eBay

Lip colour: Cover Girl Outlast lipstain in 440 (with the lightest whisper of MAC's Russian Red on top)

Photography by Antonio Cangiano

I adore classic architecture, brick walls, strong fences that still allow glimpses of the buildings behind them, and days like this, when you have plans, but nothing so pressing it causes you stress. It was first time we'd driven Kelowna together in our new car, and was, we agreed, a thoroughly lovely outing.

With Kelowna being so nearby, you can expect many future posts with streets, sights, and skylines of this charming Okanagan city as the backdrop. I hope you'll all enjoy seeing it as much as I do once again - further proof that the dream of living in my home province of  British Columbia again really has come true. ♥


  1. Another magnificent post! Now i want to visit Kelowna. And what a stunning outfit. What on earth is my favorite thing? I think i love your black velvet blazer, gorgeous purse and the pretty pin the most. But really, all of it is fab. And you do have beautiful eyes, Miss Jessica. I'm turning a little green with envy! Glad you had such a wonderful weekend and trip. I'll look forward to all your future posts! I love old architecture as well.. Have a marvelous week!


  2. Yay! So happy for you hun! Your pics are GORGEOUS...tfs..hugs, jane

  3. Yay! Love the pictures and especially love the rose pin. Hope to see more snaps of your outfits.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  4. You are so feminine like always. And your smile is very cute.

    Love it.

  5. You look absolutely stunning, Jessica. Everything is perfect. Each picture I scrolled to I was thinking, I love that, I love that, oh I love that!

  6. You my dear Jessica are a classic beauty!!!! So so beautiful!! Thank you for the history lesson. I would love to visit Canada once again. It is beautiful country!! xoxoxo

  7. My, my, you are looking wonderful. I love velvet myself, and I wish I could wear more of it. I have a black velvet pirate coat that is missing a button, but otherwise its a dream. I can't wait until I start my new teaching position--I plan on dying my hair again and pretending I'm Anne in Avonlea.

  8. The pics are great and you look fantastic. Now if only Canada was a little closer to Australia I'd love to visit. Have to ask, what is your hair colour? it's a really great shade. Really loving your blog. Only found it recently after your how to wear vintage when you are ill post. I'm chronically ill and pretty much homebound these days but love vintage, so it was the perfect piece. Can't wait to read more of your back catalogue.

  9. Hi sweet ladies,

    Thank you all very much for your wonderfully sweet comments. I'm beyond loving getting a chance to finally share some the outfits I wear with all of you and look forward to scores more posts of this nature.

    @ Rusty Hoe: I would adore getting to see Australia, and agree that it's shame our two great lands are a tad bit closer. I'll do a tiny little post soon about my hair colour (it's a drug store brand - so hopefully you can find it Down Under, if you're interested in that particular shade, too), as I love answering reader's questions in that manner.

    Many thanks again, everyone, I hope you all have a gorgeous Friday & weekend!
    ♥ Jessica

  10. Well, you know that I would love all of these images! So enjoying them and looking forward to more, of you and Kelowna. But mostly you. :)

    Wishing you and Antonio a wonderful week!

  11. Jessica, you are a stunning beauty...and so incredibly photogenic!!!

    I love your vintage ensemble. Thanks so much for sharing...and thereby inspiring the rest of us.