August 16, 2017

4 Ways to Feel Confident in Your Clothing



Are you new to the wonderful world of fashion or maybe just in a style-rut? Want to look like all those OOTD beauties on Instagram? It's not really as hard as you think, you don't even need to buy a whole new wardrobe (I mean you can if you've got money to burn but it's not in any way crucial to your success.) All you need to feel fabulous in your clothes is confidence.

When we get dressed some of us tend to play it safe, we second guess what our "style instincts" are telling us and end up choosing a look that doesn't push the boundaries of our comfort. In this post I will share with you my advice on how to dress with confidence and to hone in on your unique sense of fashion, so that you too, may showcase your own eponymous brand of style.



Je Ne Sais Quoi:
You've probably noticed that some people just seem to know what they're doing when it comes to dressing. Style comes easily to them and they make it look effortless. They have that special something, you just cannot put your finger on it, but it's there. They have confidence. They know what looks good on them, they have spent time and money curating a closet full of clothes that are "their style" and they understand that by wearing things that make them feel good, that confidence will show through in their outfit.

It really comes down to being comfortable with yourself exactly the way you are and not being afraid of what other people think. When you stop worrying that everyone is looking at you, you will begin to realize how confident you really are. Strut your stuff, take risks, learn from your mistakes, really get to know yourself, and always trust your instincts.



Inspiration Over Imitation:
When I said before that you can look great in your current wardrobe, I wasn't joking. You do not need to go out and buy new clothing to start making great outfits, in fact, you will likely develop a better sense of style if you challenge yourself to work with what you already have. It can be hard when you're looking through Pinterest or Instagram at all the beautiful OOTDs, the temptation to buy all the items in their posts is REAL. You know it looks good on them so why wouldn't it look good on you? This can be a mistake,  buying things because stylish people are wearing them is kind of like cheating on a test; you may have gotten a good mark but you didn't really learn anything.

Instead of copying the outfit why not use it as "inspiration" for your own looks, sometimes seeing what other people are wearing can give you some great ideas of your own. If you do find a look that's a must-try, why not recreate it using items from your own closet, by putting your own twist on it you get to test drive the outfit without much investment and it can help boost your outfit planning confidence for the next look.



Comfort Always Wins:
This may seem strange but wearing something that is comfortable can definitely boost your overall confidence in your outfit. We've all gone out in something that was too tight, too loose, too short, too long. too itchy, etc. Wearing clothing that doesn't fit right is going to make you feel self-conscious, this is definitely going to attract attention but it won't be the good kind. Comfort and fashion are not mutually exclusive, there are plenty of brands that produce clothing that feels good, fits great and looks fabulous, look for quality pieces made from breathable fabrics and you won't be disappointed.



Resist Fear:
Whenever we push ourselves there will be fears, doubts, reservations. The people who, in my opinion, look their best are constantly living outside their comfort bubble. The decide that they're going to bend or break the conventional notions of what fashion is and they come out looking stylish most of the time, and if they don't, they've learned a lesson for the future. Like everything in life, confidence, style and beauty take practice.

Shop This Look:



I hope these tips are helpful, let me know in the comments what are your go-to confidence boosters when you are choosing your outfits!
Erin 
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July 25, 2017

Fashion Forever? The Future of Design.

Image VIA Catherine Wales

***Blog post is part of a Blogging Competition organized by CGTrader , all thoughts are my own unless otherwise stated. Image credits are all noted and linked below.


This may seem a tad strange, but although I have always loved fashion and clothing, I have not always felt stylish. Over the years I have come to embrace my own sense of style, to feel confident in my clothing and to enjoy creating my own unique looks. Fashion to me, has always been a means of escape from reality, a way to try on a different persona each time I got dressed. Growing up isn't easy, carving out our identity can be a struggle but finding our own sense of style is a "right of passage".

The world has always experienced some sort of  turmoil, but alongside those tumultuous times there has always been clothing, fashion. So as we head in the direction of a new decade, I wonder what this will mean for fashion design, what will the future hold?

Fashion designers have always experimented with their own version of futuristic clothing; shiny, metallic, cylindrical. But the very next season they are inevitably going back in time, to an era filled with nostalgia and comfort. Trends come and go and then they come back around again, always leaving us with a strange sense of deja vu. But will these habits of design remain in the face of war, famine, natural disasters? If we look to history again, we know that in desperate times, if there's anything we can count on, anything that can cheer us up, it's fashion.


Designers are constantly challenged to create new, different, innovative and there is nothing that checks all these boxes like 3D printing for fashion items. I recently came across this technology and I was amazed; it can be used to create accessories, shoes and even clothing. If this isn't the first wave of our fashion design future, I don't know what it could be.



Image VIA 3DIndustry.com

Despite the fact that we cannot predict the future, we can guess a few things. The future of fashion design need to turn a corner, the current model which pumps new clothing into stores and onto websites not just monthly, not just weekly but sometimes daily, is not sustainable. The fashion industry pollutes, consumers are buying, using and purging at alarming rates and although there are eco, sustainable, and ethical brands paving the way to a better industry, there is still much more to be done. I can admit as a consumer who recently became aware of this problem after watching "The True Cost" that although I want to shop only sustainable brands, I have ad a hard time completely dedicating myself to it.

It is my hope for the future of design that companies start to care about more than just the bottom line, that they reach out to consumers for their thoughts and opinions and that they strive to make positive changes to their design and production models. I also believe it is the responsibility of all governments to encourage clothing companies to make the necessary ethical/sustainable changes to their supply chain and to reward companies who comply.

We will always have fashion and style in one form or another. Will it be something that we can all be proud of? Only time will tell but one thing is for sure, fashion is worth it. What are your thoughts on the future of design? Let me know in the comments below!
Erin 
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July 20, 2017

How To Style: White Sneakers



I'm back again with another installment of my "How To Style" series, where I give my perspective on how I would style certain items of clothing. In my last post 5 Elements to Outfit-Planning Perfection, I talked about using one key wardrobe item that you love as the "focal point" of your outfit. By choosing one item to build upon it makes the process of attaining a "put-together" look much quicker and easier.

One item I have been seeing for awhile on Instagram which peaked my interest is the "sneakers" or "trainers" trend. In particular, I wanted white sneakers because they look so fresh and can literally be paired with any color. The ones I chose to purchase were the Adidas Neos which have amazing Cloud Foam insoles which make them the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn.

There are really no rules when adding white sneakers to your outfit but I find that wearing them with dressier items can be an unexpected twist and can dress down an otherwise more formal outfit. These shoes can totally be worn with jeans and a t-shirt as well, so if casual is what you crave then you've come to the right place.



On Monday, I was heading to Lansdowne Park for the day with my husband and kids so I knew for this look I would need a comfortable footwear option; enter the Adidas Neo. It was going to be a hot and sunny day so I opted for bare legs; this button-down, khaki skirt from Club Monaco has been in my closet for many years and I have been looking for an excuse to wear it again but I wanted to dress it down a bit. The top is actually a dress I purchased last summer from Old Navy, unfortunately there was a stain at the bottom of the dress that no amount of Oxyclean could fix so I decided to cut it shorter and wear it as a top. 






For the rest of the styling, I kept it simple. I used my plum Marc Jacobs Gotham bag but I hung it on the stroller while we were walking so it is absent from the photos. For jewellry I wore my "Golden Moon Tattoo" choker from Shop Coffee + Couture, my gold charm necklace from Poland and my two gold beaded bracelets (I believe they are from Ardene's) and lastly I added a wide belt which worked well with this skirt as it has very wide belt loops.


There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this post and please let me know if you did in the comments below!

Erin
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July 17, 2017

5 Elements for Outfit Planning Perfection



We all have days when we don't like our clothes, where you can't bear to open up Instagram in the morning because you may die from #OOTD envy, (first world problems, I know) but sometimes we forget how lucky we are and end up with the wardrobe blahs. I wrote a post awhile ago about planning your outfits ahead, about doing a capsule wardrobe and about completing a Project 333 Challenge. All of these endeavors are great ways to take a step back from consumerism (I'm not in any way knocking shopping but moderation is key) and learn to love what we already have. Here are some tips to give your next outfit that special something, a look that you'll love, others will notice and that makes use of your existing items.


Forethought

"A goal without a plan is just a wish". - Antoine de Saint-Exupery This could not be more true, if you want to look put-together you must first think about how you will achieve the look you envision. Take a look through your closet,  an "inventory" if you will, because in order to plan your outfits you must first know what you are working with.

I find it helpful to have only "seasonally appropriate" items in my closet, less to look through is easier on the eyes and the mind. You can choose to spend time each Sunday planning looks for the upcoming week or before you go to bed at night. Either way, you will find it gets easier each time you do it and you outfits will look better because of it.



Primary Focus

So now you need to actually choose what you will wear. I recommend planning the look around a "specific piece" that you love and want to highlight. It could be a fun striped romper or a great floral kimono, whatever the piece may be, choose one and make that the jumping off point for the entire outfit. Think of your outfit as a spider; the main piece is the body and the rest of your look is the legs.

I really like choosing a colorful item like a floral top or dress for the "Primary Focus" and then adding items to the outfit that have the same or similar colors from the pattern. For example: I have a long, cotton kimono which has a colored floral pattern on it. This piece would be my Primary Focus because I love it and it is an interesting piece to build an outfit around.


Supporting Role

Once you have your "Primary Focus", it's time to add supporting pieces to your look in terms of clothing. So for my previous example I chose a black tank and coral eyelet shorts to go with the floral kimono, both colors were pulled from the floral pattern which helps to create a cohesive look.  I also may have chosen black shorts with a colored top or even all black to really let the kimono stand out. The key takeaway: by choosing supporting pieces in colors that go together, your outfit will make sense and you will look brilliant.


The Glitterati

Ah accessories; you make us so happy and our outfits wouldn't be the same without you.  The beauty thing about accessories is they can help create amazing and interesting looks from even the most neutral or basic wardrobe. You might even try keeping your clothing the same from season to season but adding new accessories to liven up outfits. By spending more money on solid, classic and quality clothing pieces you can get more mileage out of them and use trendy accessories to keep all your looks current and fresh.

In this example I added my "go-to" gold choker by Shop Coffee and Couture (an amazing jewelry company based in Montreal, love to support awesome local businesses), my gold charm bracelet from Poland (still looking into the brand of this one), my black espadrilles (flats are always my fav), my black RayBan Wayfarers (actually borrowed from my sis) and my orange/purple Marc Jacobs crossbody (for an extra pop of color). If I was wearing this look on a particularly hot, sunny day where I would be outside I would likely add my light green fedora by Sunday Afternoons (it would match the pattern but then I would switch to a more neutral purse).


Good Old Fashioned Confidence

This is the "pièce de résistance" the most remarkable feature of any outfit is how you feel when you are in it. Even if the outfit is a bit out there, when you are feeling good about yourself and let that confidence shine through, you can dare to be different. Another thing that can boost confidence when getting dressed is great hair, makeup and freshly polished nails; all these small details can stand out and make a big difference to your overall look. With all these elements working together and your own unique sense of style, you can't go wrong!

Thanks for reading and if you found this helpful please let me know in the comments below, I really appreciate feedback of any kind :)Also, please tag me in you #OOTD on Instagram (@fashionmamaaquarius) I'd love to see the amazing looks you come up with!

Erin
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