October 10, 2017

Fall Style: An Autumnal Felt Hat

The cooler weather has brought me fresh motivation, I've been wearing many of my fall favourites and taking lots of photos so I can show you all how these items can work for you in your wardrobe. This next item is a new one to me, I am very much into wearing hats as an accessory these days and even though it isn't cold enough for a beanie, felt hats are a perfect transitional piece for that in-between weather.

There are many different colours to choose from, I chose this floppy, bohemian-style black felt "Vivian" hat from Sunday Afternoons (similar)  because black goes with everything and I knew I would get a ton of use out of it. What I love about their hats is they are stylish and also protective with a UPF of 50 in all their hats you are protected whenever you wear it. Other good colours to go for would be beige, brown, grey, burgundy, navy or even white.

A few other styles that I love are the "sailor cap" the "fedora", the "bowler hat" the wool "cloche hat" the "gaucho hat",  the felt "cat cap hat" and the "news boy hat". All of these styles look amazing  in wool felt and although not all styles may suit you, there is usually one that will be right for you.

This look I put together is a great example of how to transition a summer dress into fall, I paired  it with my vivian hat to add some darker fall colour to it, a denim jacket, and some high top Converse All Stars to make the look a bit less "pretty". This hat would also look good with a leather jacket, a chunky knit sweater or even a long floral dress.

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What do you think of this look? Do you have any go-to transitional fall looks? Let me know in the comments! Have a great week!


September 30, 2017

Fall Style: A Classic Leather Moto Jacket

Autumnal weather has finally descended on Ottawa, after a record-breaking September heatwave. The extended summer weather was nice (read: sweaty) but I am definitely welcoming the fresh, crisp fall air and cooler temperatures. It gives me the opportunity to wear some of my favorite items from my recent post, "7 Must-Have Fashion Items for Fall" such as ankle boots, scarves, sweaters and of course; my leather moto jacket.

This is not a new trendy item, we always need a jacket when the weather turns cooler and leather jackets are more or less a staple in any girl or guy's closet but since I went a few years without one, this year it is a big item for me. There are many different styles of leather jackets out there; biker/moto, bomber, blazer, denim-style button down, leather trench and even a leather parka (Source: Slideshare). You can opt for real leather or faux leather like the one I got from Vero Moda.

There are endless ways in which to style your choice of leather jacket but here are a few ideas that I came up with for creating fresh, unexpected fall looks with a moto-style jacket:

Layered over a sweater or sweatshirt: The fall season is all about layering pieces, not only does it keep you toasty warm, it also creates depth and interest to your look. I bought my leather jacket one size larger than I typically wear, I did this for two reasons; first reason is that I like to be able to move my arms comfortably, leather can be a bit stiff. The second reason is so I could easily layer it over a t-shirt or a bulky sweaters, this will give it way more mileage in my fall wardrobe.

Worn with a dress or skirt: I'm a big fan of contrast when dressing lately, I never like my look to be fully dressy, grungy, tough or sweet. Instead, I prefer to mix these styles together to give balance to the look. A pretty, lace dress looks great when topped with a leather jacket, or pair a plain white t-shirt with a pleated midi skirt and leather jacket for a tough yet sweet outfit.

Wear it with heels: Another look I love is to wear  basic or ripped skinny jeans (grey or faded black are my current favs) with a t-shirt or blouse topped with my leather jacket and finished off with a pair of heels. Wearing this look with heels rather than flats makes the jacket a bit dressier and would be perfect for a more casual night out.

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There you have it, a few different ideas for how to wear this fall staple, check out my other fall fashion post "Fall Style: A Sporty Crew Neck Sweater" for more fall fashion styling ideas and Instagram for OOTD updates.


September 27, 2017

Fall Style: A Sporty Crew Neck Sweater

September is such a tricky month for fashion. Not only is it the month when we are busy previewing all the spring 2018 fashion shows, but it is also the month where the weather fluctuates greatly and temperatures can be both hot and cold. In my recent post "7 Must-Have Items for Fall"I chose crew neck sweatshirts as an essential for fall/winter, this has been a trend for a few years (Athleisure) but am still loving it and it's definitely worth investing in for your wardrobe if you are a fan of casual comfort.

I'm sure we all remember wearing hooded sweatshirts in high school, and (at my school) I feel "hoodies" were more popular than their crew neck counterparts. That stuck with me for many years, and there was a point where I gave up wearing sweatshirts in public altogether, until a few years ago that is. While browsing the racks of a local thrift shop, I came across a vintage, oversized, purple Nautica crew neck sweatshirt and I fell in love. On another shopping trip I found a cropped, fitted, heather grey crew neck on the sale rack at Joe Fresh, again I felt a compulsion to add it to my closet. This year I fell back in love with Adidas, I admit that for quite a few years there was very little sportswear in my everyday wardrobe, but the Adidas pink, unisex, Trefoil crew is absolutely my favorite of them all and I have been wearing it at every opportunity.

So here are my tips for styling  a crew neck sweater so that it doesn't look frumpy or like you just left the gym:

Cut: There are a few different styles and fits you can go for; cropped, boxy, and oversized. I like all of them and I think they all have a place in your wardrobe. Cropped would look great with wide leg denim or over  dress. Boxy can be paired with anything really; a midi skirt, skinny jeans, or shorts. An oversized sweater looks great with leggings, skinny jeans, shorts or  skirt.

Balance: The big key to making a sweatshirt which is cozy and (let's face it) "lazy girl clothing" look "put-together" in an outfit, is to make sure your look is well-balanced. By this I mean, pair an oversized sweatshirt with tighter, dressier items on the bottom such as a midi skirt paired with espadrilles, skinny jeans with pointy-toed stilettos or  a short skirt with ankle boots.

Style: A basic, blank front crew neck can be a bit too basic, thankfully there are accessories. Adding a necklace or a combination of different necklaces in varying lengths can really elevate a wardrobe staple like a crew neck sweatshirt. I like wearing my gold choker with another longer gold necklace or in the fall you could also wear a printed scarf for interest. If the weather is warmer, I like to roll up the sleeves and throw on some gold bracelets or bangles, this brings attention to my arms and completes the look. Another option is to layer your crew under a leather or bomber jacket for cooler weather.

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What is your go-to clothing item this fall/autumn? Let me know in the comments!



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.

Image Source: Lovely-Peppa.com

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.

Image Source: AylinKoenig.com

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.

Image Source: Thefashioneaters.com

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 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!

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!


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.


"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!

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