Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How to: Get that 70s look

The '70s were an iconic time for a lot of reasons—Watergate, Pink Floyd, M*A*S*H*, disco, Star Wars—the decade was filled with memorable moments in history that are still revisited today.

But there's arguably no '70s-inspired aspect that's more prominently represented in modern, day-to-day life than the fashion.

Now, we're not talking about leaving the house without a bra on. Sure, going braless is a pretty accurate way of representing the free spirit and themes of women's empowerment that were popular at the time, but there are much more practical, and less obscure ways to represent your love of the decade.

For starters, forget skin-tight, fitted tops, and try to embrace tunics with a loose, flowing silhouette. The tops are ideal if you want to recreate the free and open-minded mentality of the 1970s (with a bra of course).

If you're willing to look outside of the box a bit, plus-sized designs, and even some maternity clothes can be a great way to achieve the look. Their empire styles or designs without cinched waists are a great solution for creating a look that ebbs and flows with your moves instead of clinging to every curve of your body. If you take a look at some of the most popular styles from Woman Within, you can see that bright, busy patterns aren't hard to come by in plus-sized clothing. Try a boho top that incorporates lace or knitted floral embroidery for added '70s flare.

In addition to that flowing top, you can't recreate your '70s style without the right accessories. According to Lisa Armstrong from The Telegraph, several choice accessories can easily make an outfit era appropriate. For example, you can try a floppy, wide brim hat, platform sandals, or a purse adorned with suede fringe. And let's not forget the crucial jewelry.

Armstrong recommends that you try to incorporate "teeny-tiny florals or vertical and chevron stripes. Mix and clash them, or amp up the drama of plains with big, sculptural jewellery."

And finally, rediscover your flair for flares. If you're like many of us who buy pieces that will last, your quality flares are probably held up in the back of your closet somewhere, waiting for their day to be back in the spotlight.

Well, today is the day. Bustle reporter Stephanie Chon officially declared the flare jeans, and their '70s-inspired style, "timeless" as well as an easy way to represent your favorite denim in a fun and flattering way.

When discussing flares, Chon says that "they're going to become a closet essential for the upcoming colder seasons, it's time to start looking for the best flare jeans for fall now." But flares can vary from boyfriend cuts to skinnies and flares so big at the bottom that you trip over them. Follow her guide to find the pair that's best for your '70s style.

You might not have lived through the 1970s, but that doesn't mean you can't embrace the style that defined the decade. Grab a few loose fitting tops, some bold colors, and pair of flares, and you're well on your way to challenging the style of any hippy that dares to cross your path!

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Beauty Junkies

I wouldn't call myself a makeup junkie, but if you consider having a strict makeup ritual and refusing to leave the house without foundation and eyeliner for a confidence boost...then okay, maybe I am a bit of an addict. Fortunately, if we do know a beauty lover or makeup addict, they will always be easy to shop for. Well, the idea of makeup. But choosing a specific item can be a bit of a challenge. With constant new products and developments, there's always something new to try. Check out the inspiration below if you’re shopping for a makeup maniac:

Palettes and Kits

Makeup palettes have become hugely popular thanks to their cult-status on YouTube and Instagram. Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes are particularly popular, along with Lorac's Unzipped Palette. New releases from Anastasia also regularly hit the beauty headlines. It's easy to see why palettes are so popular. They are compact, attractive, and easy to travel with. With a wide range of colours and textures, it’s possible to create an entire look with the use of only a single palette. They are easy to wrap and feel like a substantial, thoughtful gift. Palettes like the ones listed above are particular favourites because they feature neutral colours. They suit every skin tone and can be used to create a variety of looks.

Gift Cards and Trips

You may find yourself buying for a makeup addict but have no idea where to begin. Perhaps you are a bit of a makeup newbie yourself and don’t have the time or inclination to read the latest blogs on what is popular. But you still want to treat someone to an item you know they’d love. Why not consider an entire beauty experience? A simple experience could mean a trip to a beauty store together. You could have makeovers at the counter together, shop for products, and investigate new releases. You could give your friend a budget and allow them to show till they drop - all on you. Perhaps you could even take a trip to a beauty convention together like the ABA Beauty Show or Beautycon. A gift card can be much appreciated too. It takes the pressure off having to find something suitable, but allows them a gift that they will really love.

The Extras

There are more beauty gadgets and extras around than ever before. Someone might not be able to justify treating themselves but would always love to receive a gift. There is nothing more exciting for a beauty lover than trying out a product or item they have never even heard of! High quality tweezers or eyelash curlers can be a genuine cult favourite. False eyelashes are a wonderful gift for the experienced makeup aficionado too. Check out the hidden parts of makeup stores and websites to discover an unexpected treasure.

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

In the interest of coasting

Custom graphic t-shirt c/o SnapMade / Floral skirt from Urban Outfitters / Denim shirt from AE Outfitters

I'm often asked what came first, this blog or my interest in fashion. I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. I started this blog because I loved the social digital world and wanted a little piece of it. While I didn't start because of my desire to showcase fashion like most people, I've grown to really admire the industry. I'll admit that I'm by no means an expert voice, but what is an "influencer" anyway? Is it someone who knows all of Karl Lagerfeld's history? Someone who can quote Anna Wintour at any moment? Someone who always has the most up-to-date trends in her closet? Who knows. The best I can do is keep learning as I go along. After all, if you think you are the utmost expert in an area, you're wrong. There's always something we don't know. But why does that have to be a bad thing? 

I've been using "I don't really know what I'm doing. I just pretend I do" for about 5 years now as a sort of life motto. I like to think of it as a heightened "fake it 'til you make it" type. But since pretending to know something is kind of a daunting task, I use it as motivation to keep learning so I'm not pretending anymore. Then I'll find something else that I'm not an expert in, learn that, and so on. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

Thanks for 5 years of allowing me to be tastefully clueless.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Blush blazer from Forever 21 / Checked blouse / Beige skater skirt from TJ Maxx

I'm jumping the gun on spring a bit, but it's been a mild winter so I'm ready to welcome an early season change. In other news, I'm still trying to navigate my way through the corporate world, which is essentially navigating my way through 1998. The other day, a coworker asked me if I knew where the fax machine was. I had to resist the urge to say that it was back in the 90s where it should be. When people want something faxed to them, I seriously consider asking whether or not I can just send a screenshot through text and be done with it. Bad attitude or forward-thinking? It's a harder line than you think.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

4 Travel lessons I learned the hard way

Let me start off by saying that I'm writing to you from Toronto, Canada. Not all of this will be applicable to you. But hey, maybe it will be. Here are a few things I wish people told me before I hopped on a plane to tour Europe:

1. Don't take toilets for granted. Also to go with this, it's normal if you have to go up (or down) a sketchy staircase to get to a single toilet stall. I'm use to clearly marked washrooms back home, so I refused to use the hidden bathroom in Italy. Such a mistake because it was hard to find another. Oh, and while we're at it, I don't recommend dehydrating yourself to avoid having to find a toilet. Trust me.

2. "Blending in" isn't always best. Yes, you should avoid looking like a lost tourist. But if you're in a tourist area, everyone's a tourist anyway! I read online that Rome was "conservative" and people typically wear jeans and leather jackets in the autumn. Makes sense, right? Well it's 20 degrees around this time in Italy, which is actually summer temperature in Toronto. My goodness, I overheated so hard. There's absolutely no point in blending in when you're gonna stick out by sweating like a fool anyway.

3. Bring all the meds. Even if you don't think you'll need them. Do you know how to ask a pharmacist for stomach ache medicine in a different language? Do you know how to read the ingredients in a foreign language on the side of the bottle? No? Then save yourself the struggle and bring your own.

4. "Fresh air" is subjective. Not only is smoking in restaurants against the law here, but smoking too close to others will probably get you the stink eye. On a similar boat, strong perfumes and cologne is a pretty big taboo. We like our space to be unscented. In France, I found myself frequently in situations where I couldn't catch a breath because of someone sucking on a cigarette or who was leaving a trail of designer perfume. I know that this was embedded into the culture, but I forgot how it would affect me.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016


I've never been a fan of places like Value Village. To me, walking in is like stepping into a big warehouse where old things are just lumped together on racks. I'm not willing to put the effort into this "thrifting" that everyone talks about. I recently strolled into Valley Antiques in Hamilton and was pleasantly surprised at what an independent shop can do.

There's something charming about a bit of organized clutter. Displays organized to showcase, intrigue, and occasionally go "hey, I have that...I wonder how much my old crap is worth!" They really don't make stuff like they used to.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New buys for the new year

It's a new year, and a lot of people think it's a good time for "a new you". I don't think you should have to reinvent yourself every year, but it is a good excuse to treat yourself. What better time to get some new fashion favourites than during the January sales? The holiday season might be over, but winter certainly isn't. In fact, it's getting colder in many places around the world. Snow has been a bit thin on the ground in some places that usually have plenty, but it seems to have finally arrived. So it's time for me to start wrapping up a bit more with some of my new year fashion must-haves.

Chunky-knit Sweaters

I love a sweater when the weather is on the colder side. It's great to have something to snuggle into, and you can pair them with lots of other items. A chunky sweater goes well with a cute dress, a pair of jeans or a skirt. I don't think they have to have much shape to them either. They can look great if they're a bit baggy and oversized, and there's more room to wear an extra layer underneath. The only thing is, you need to be able to fit them under your coat.

Snow Boots

When the snow starts to fall, you need to protect your feet. They should look good, of course, but they also need to be warm and dry. Not only that, but you need to make sure you're not going to slip and fall over too! Since I'm weaning myself off wearing heels, winter is an excellent reason to get some comfier shoes into my wardrobe. If you're somewhere snowy and slushy like me, rain boots are a good alternative if you don't want big Ugg-like snow boots.

Roomy Bags

It's a great time of year to buy a new bag. All the stores and fashion websites have sales on, so you can grab a bargain. One of the bag trends for this winter is timeless elegance, which is definitely something I can get behind. A smart bag is perfect for using at work or for taking out and about. While little bags are cute, it can be better to have one that has room to put more things in. If it won't hold anything other than my wallet, it's not big enough.

Statement Accessories

If you're going to get wrapped up for winter, you might as well do it in style. You can find some great statement winter accessories for the season. Why have a boring and discrete scarf when it could be long, wide and with an eye-catching design? I prefer a bigger scarf because you can do more with it. Wrap it around your neck or shoulders, or pull it over your head when it's cold. If you don't want to mess up your hair, I recommend a stylish pair of earmuffs.

If you can't treat yourself for the new year, when can you? It's the perfect time to add some new items to your wardrobe.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Unfit resolutions

Damask dress c/o CNDirect | Boyfriend blazer from H&M / Knee-high boots from Le Chateau

I've got some beef with New Year's resolutions. I'm glad that resolutions have shifted from "lose weight to look better!" to "get fit to feel better!" but we're not quite there yet. Still, we found ourselves bombarded with cereal commercials and yoga studio promos telling us that getting fit is the key to your new year happiness. But guess what? Going to the gym doesn't fix everything. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for promoting health. But don't let the guise of inner beauty fool you into believing that these companies aren't obsessing over vanity.

Where are the commercials for makeup for that girl who wants the illusion of a thinner nose? Or the number for a cosmetic surgeon for the guy who thinks the scar on his shoulder is unsightly? It sounds ridiculous and we can't target every person's veiled insecurities. So let's focus on something else: Acceptance. Instead of messages about having to love every part of your body, I want messages that say "Hey, we all have our crap to deal with. And that's cool. As long as you don't let it run your life". There's nothing wrong with being aware that you dislike something about yourself.

But that's a lot harder to sell, isn't it?

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Kinda corporate

Custom drop waist zipper dress c/o Lurap / Black boyfriend blazer from H&M / Heeled boots from Le Chateau

It's been unseasonably warm this winter and I've started a new job - all the more reason to smile in this post, which is a rarity. But before you get excited, I'm smiling because these photos were taken on the weekend when I don't have to deal with the mundane banalities of corporate culture. 

I used to work in a super relaxed environment. I used to go to work in sweatpants. I used to wear whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Gonna be honest, I spent a good week sulking over my wardrobe because the majority of what I own is now deemed inappropriate for work. Like this brand new dress from Lurap. I love the zipper details, but I should have gone with the custom option to make this dress longer because it's definitely too short for work. So unfortunately, it will be banished to weekend wear only. 

Worst of all is the realization that the corporate world is exactly like you see on TV, and exactly like high school. But instead of Abercrombie, people walk around in Armani. I bought a pair of oxfords to bring some androgynous menswear (and comfort) to my days, but the lack of click-clacking coming from my high heel-less feet was actually kind of unnerving. When you're supposed to dress for the job you want in a highly corporate world, where does that leave room for individuality? 

Oh, and wearing bold necklaces doesn't count because everyone does that. When everyone does it, suddenly no one is special. 

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Menswear musts

For the past few Christmases, I've used it as an opportunity to slowly transition The Boyfriend's wardrobe into something...more acceptable. For guys who hate the thought of shopping and trying to look put together (and for girls who want to update his style), I've put together a list of staples that every guy needs in his closet. These pieces can be completely mixed and matched, which extends the range of his looks.

Realistically, guys only need 3 standard pairs of pants in their wardrobe: khakis, fitted men's jeans, and dress pants. Khakis and jeans are versatile for any and every day. Face it, no one is gonna notice if you wear the same pair of pants over and over. Depending on his job, he may or may not use the dress pants on a regular basis, but every guy should own dress pants in case special occasions pop up. 

I suggest getting classic shirts in a few colours, but in terms of basics, guys need four key tops: a plain t-shirt, a sweater, a dress shirt, and a blazer. Bonus points if you can get a dress shirt that can be dressed up or dressed down, like a classic striped shirt. Wear these tops any day, or add instant refinement by throwing on a blazer overtop. 

I say that this is a menswear post, but this actually works great for girls too. Maybe if I listened to my own advice on owning minimal classics, my closet wouldn't be overflowing.

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