August 30, 2017

7 Must-Have Fashion Items for Fall

Image Source: Pixabay

This is the first year on-record that I have not been desperately awaiting fall weather. In the past I would be parading around in my new fall wardrobe during a mid-September heat wave, cursing myself (as I battled mild heat-exhaustion) for being so impatient. This year is a bit different, winters in Ottawa are looooong, spring took ages to come around in 2017 and definitely outstayed its welcome; summer I am hanging onto your coat tails as long as I possibly can.

Just because I am waiting for actual fall weather before I don the fashion doesn't mean I can't plan ahead, get excited and lust over every new item that hits my inbox. I am not planning an exceptionally large fall clothing haul but here is a list of my 7 must-have items for fall/winter.

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Felt Hat: I'm not usually someone who wears hats all year round, usually if it's really hot or really cold I'll put one on. I am currently loving my new black felt Vivian hat from Sunday Afternoons, it is lightweight enough that I can get away with wearing in the summer but I am really looking forward to wearing it with my sweaters, scarves and boots come fall.

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Velvet Hand Bag: I think we all have mixed feeling on velvet, it can be really good or way scary, I've been seeing some beautiful, structured, velvet handbags on Instagram lately and I am totally on-board with this velvet trend. I would likely choose a jewel-toned color like dark green, burgundy and navy or even just plain black.

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Leather Ankle Boots: Basic black is always a fan-fav but there's just something about brown leather boots that has always floated my boat. I like them in ankle height with a block heel, lace up or side zipper. I recently discovered the perfect pair of fall boots in the "Coming Soon" section on Everlane that are a beautiful cognac-brown, pebbled leather, let's just say I am definitely on the waitlist for those bad boys (coming September 25).

 Image Source: CollageVintage

Logo Crewneck Sweatshirt: This trend is nothing new but I have been loving crew neck sweatshirts for a ew years now and i was over the moon when I found out in June that Club Monaco was coming out with a throwback collection which included both crew neck t-shirts and sweatshirts. Unfortunately, this launch was a bit of a debacle and they either way underestimated the popularity this collection would have or they wanted it to be very exclusive and piss off a lot of their customers. Either way, they have decided to re-stock, I've been on the waitlist for the last few months so I'm not too sure when the next release date will be though I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime, I'll pick up a cozy one by Adidas, their iconic trefoil logo is perfect with shorts, jeans or even over a dress.

Image Source: MashaSedgwick

Oversized T-shirt: It's really the Holy Grail of any outfit, a good t-shirt will go with anything and if you go with a slightly oversized version it can be half-tucked, twisted, or rolled for a different look each time you wear it. I'm loving the luxury logo tees (Prada, Gucci, St. Laurent) but there are also lot's of high-street brands with great options as well. I like these tees in basic colors, white, grey, black but also pink and red for fall.

Image Source: ViennaWedekind

Leather Jacket: Most of the time when I'm shopping, fashion thoughts will click into my head, the latest was "I need a black leather moto jacket". It may seem weird that I don't already own one, after all it is a staple item in most people's closets, but I lent it to my sister and it was taken on a night out. There are so many different styles of leather or faux leather jackets to choose from but I like the "tough-girl" feel that the moto-style jacket gives to girlier outfits.

Image Source: AndiSinger

Chunky Knits: This is an obvious one for fall/winter, it gets cold and we get out our big sweaters.  I'm loving sweaters with open backs, lacing details, longer hemlines and thicker, intricate knits. Try tucking a sweater into a skirt or wearing over a dress for an unexpected look.

Image Source: GlamRadar

Long Trench Coat: I saw a few of these lately in my online perusing for new fall-favs and I'm definitely loving the idea of a long blazer. Over a logo t-shirt with a shirt, jeans or even dressy joggers this is an easy layering piece to add to your wardrobe as the temps begin to drop.

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I love fall shopping so much and I really would like to hear what your must-have fall fashion items are, please share them with me in the comments below! Follow me on Instagram for OOTD looks :)

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.

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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!

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

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!

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!

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