Monday, October 5, 2015

Phasing out the heels

Image via Erica Pelosini

I used to be the kind of person who would wear heels every single day. Okay, maybe not heels, but some kind of height. Making your legs look longer is a big bonus, but I think I also like being a tall giant. In a crowded group of people, I'm tall enough to have air. And when you're running for a bus, people get out of the way a lot faster for a woman aggressively sprinting in heels.

I would tell myself that I was comfortable in heels, that I was skilled. And I still am. Except that I did something uncharacteristic this summer - I wore sneakers. And holy tuna on a cracker, I've discovered what real comfort feels like. I'm at that age where I'm starting to realize how much of an adult I am. No, not because I have a real job and complain about the shambles of the economy, but because I'm breaking. Who is has knee pain, back pain, neck pain, and a clicking hip? Just me? Okay nevermind.

Clinging onto my youth, I haven't completely given up on cute shoes yet, so I've been trying to find ways to incorporate comfier shoes into my wardrobe. Lucky for me, my comfy shoe revelation happened at the perfect time. I wore out my heels for as long as I could in the summer, but now that it's finally cooler, I've been happily shlepping around in low ankle booties. There are few items that I consider to be truly classic (hello, even jeans go in and out of style), but the black ankle boot has survived season after season after season.

But the real perfect timing is in what's been trending lately. Sneakers with everything? Yes please. I don't have to worry about seeming too casual at work since sneakers and skirts seem to be the newest thing. It might be a little strange, even for an office with no dress code, but I feel a lot better getting away with it because it's in. I've been loving this look lately. Something about the mix between the busy professional attitude and the more active lifestyle work so well together.

So I'm fully on board with comfort. I've said hello to orthotics and goodbye to knee pain. Because I can't totally give up on heels, I've been using Zappos coupons to score chunky heels, which are still mildly uncomfortable, but hey I'm allowed to treat myself.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Bossy calendar

White floral blazer / Navy blouse / Beige skater skirt from TJ Maxx / Slingback mules from Winners

Seasonal trends are a weird thing. For the first few weeks in September, it's been unseasonably warm with super summery temperatures. In Canada, we basically have 8 months of winter, so I welcome this warmness and sunshine with open arms. But walking around in white and a skirt feels very out of place. I see people in leather jackets, dark jeans, and black dresses that weren't there in August.

The temperature hasn't changed. The only thing that's changed is the month. So am I the one who's dressing weird? I understand that there are fall/winter trends. But don't those only apply when it's, y'know, feeling like fall/winter? Contrary to popular belief, I don't let a calendar tell me what to wear. 

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Wasted love

Asymmetric tank top c/o New Dress / Distressed boyfriend shorts from Target / Slingback mules from Winners

Let me tell you about how I got these shorts. A story also known as "This is how far I'll go to save money".

Once upon a time, Target opened hundreds of stores across Canada without doing any test marketing or market research. Angry Canucks complained that prices were too high and merchandise was scarce - nothing like we've heard from our American neighbours. After mere months of mass misery, Target pulled out of Canada completely. Within their last few weeks, Target held huge closing sales. Curious, I went to browse. I picked out these shorts and an electronic version of Taboo, then went to go line up for an hour or two.

So just to save 50% off, I wasted the greater part of an afternoon and bought shorts that are actually too big for me. I absolutely loved the length and the slightly distressed look, but I don't think the value of the shorts met up to the amount of patience I used. Oh well, at least Taboo is fun...

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Simple makeup tips for the lazy and inept

If you’re completely new to makeup, or just lazy, using it can be a little daunting. I'm one of those super impatient people who can't be bothered watching a 10 minute video telling me how to achieve the perfect winged eyeliner. Look, I'm tired in the morning, I'm rushed, so all I want are the basics.

Always Do Your Makeup in Natural Light

This is one of the most important things you’ll ever learn about makeup. It should always be done in natural light. I tend to fall into the same trap a lot: I think I'm having a fantastic makeup day at home, then I go to work, look into a mirror in the natural light there, and discover that my foundation is smudgy and barely blended.

If you have no choice but to do it in artificial light, you should invest in a mirror that mimics natural light. This is when the most flaws will show on your face, so you can properly see what you’re doing. If you do your makeup in artificial light it might look good, but the second you step outside, it could look completely different. If you do it in natural light to begin with, it’ll look good whatever light you’re in.

Find Out What Suits Your Skin Type

There are hundreds of different types of cosmetics out there, so it can be difficult picking things if you’re a newbie. The best way to go about it is to find out what your skin type is. When you know what suits your skin type, you can go about choosing products accordingly. If you choose products at random without considering whether they suit your skin, it’ll suffer. Not only that, your makeup won’t look the best that it can!

Get Used to Using Brushes and Sponges

Lots of people start off using their fingers when they begin using makeup, but brushes and sponges offer the best finish. If you can invest in a good set of brushes and a beauty blender, most of the hard work will be taken out of it for you. You can find lots of tutorials on using them on YouTube, so all you’ll need to do is practice.

Less is More

Less is more when it comes to makeup, especially if you’re just starting out. Don’t try to do anything too complicated right off the bat. Master the basic looks to start with. All you need for a simple makeup look is a little foundation, concealer, eyebrow pencil/powder, and mascara. Even if you’re wearing a lot of products, it doesn’t need to look like you’re wearing a lot of products. When you feel more confident, you can start to make a bit of a statement!

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Next to nothing

V-neck mesh top c/o New Dress / Black asymmetric skirt c/o Lovely Wholesale / Envelope clutch from Groupon

I'm really indecisive when it comes to trends. I'm trying to invest in more classic pieces, but even "classic" can get pretty subjective. Get a good pair of jeans? Well skinnies are out and mom jeans are back in. Invest in a cozy cardigan? Nothing is fitted anymore these days. The oversized look has gotta go out of style sometime, right? 

Which is why I like buying into fun trends every now and then on sites like New Dress. They have a really nice variety of products from funky purses to vintage dresses at a ridiculously low price. With low prices, you do always have to proceed with caution because it can mean that the quality isn't that great. But the quality here really isn't any worse than something you'd find at a typical mall. The best part is that every week, they have a set of items off their normal collection that sells for $0.01! Yes, that's right. What can you get for a penny these days? Well now, you can get a shirt like this. Okay, so it's a bit wrinkly when it arrives in the mail, but that's mostly my fault for not bothering to iron it.

In other news, I use this envelope clutch quite often now, but I'm a little bitter about it. I got it off Groupon for $10, which is a great deal. Except that I found this exact envelope clutch on New Dress with a wholesale price at $1.50. So some seller really cashed out by jacking up the price to offer it on Groupon. Moral of the story: Don't be afraid of $3 items. You're probably buying them anyway, but without getting the amazing savings.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to: Make a style statement

Everyone has that moment where they look back on what they used to wear and think about a trend gone wrong. Making a statement is one thing, but there's a fine line between unique and tacky. Here's what you can do to avoid those cringe-worthy memories:

Preempt Any Wardrobe Malfunctions

Making a style statement can be a risky business, especially if you plan on wearing anything revealing. Try to preempt any wardrobe malfunctions. Maybe practice wearing the outfit for a little while beforehand just to be sure. You can’t be too careful - you don’t want a wardrobe malfunction or something of that caliber!

Consider the Occasion

Think about whether your style statement is suited for the occasion or not. If you’re going to a friend's wedding, it probably not the best time ever to make a style statement. You don’t want to take any of the attention away from the bride, whether it’s for a good or a bad reason! Stick to a classy party dress like one from Missy Dresses for occasions such as that. If it’s your birthday or a big night out, feel free to wear something different and have fun with it. When it’s your time in the spotlight, it’s the perfect time to make a statement!

Make Sure You Love it

If you’re making a style statement, make sure you’re making it for the right reasons. Because you love it! If you don’t love it, it just won’t look right. You don’t want to end up looking like Lady Gaga in her Kermit the frog dress. When you love your outfit, you’ll exude confidence. This will make it look even better! If you feel uncomfortable, you shouldn’t try. Stepping out of your comfort zone is great, but not if you’re going to give off uncomfortable vibes. How would you describe yourself? Use 3 or 4 words. Would you describe your outfit the same way? If not, then you should probably consider switching it up.

Start Off With Accessories

If you’re not used to making style statement and you’re a little frightened, then start off with your accessories instead. WeWood watches are different and you’re bound to get a lot of compliments on them. You could even just go for statement shoes and bag with an understated outfit. Start off small and then build yourself up!

Pair With Something More Understated

If you’re wearing a statement top, pair it with something understated like plain jeans so that you don’t look like you’re trying too hard. If you plan on going all out with your outfit, maybe keep your hair and makeup understated too. It all depends on where you're going.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Birthday bore

Flower cutout top c/o New Dress / Houndstooth skirt from TJ Maxx / Crystal necklace from Banana Republic

I'm not a fan of the question "what are you doing for your birthday". I kind of feel like any answer that doesn't include balloons, pretty cakes, party shenanigans, or copious amounts of alcohol is considered boring. But that's just the way I like my birthdays - relatively boring.

All I want to do is collect my birthday freebies and get a chance to wear pretty things. And that's just what I had on Saturday. I sat at a Starbucks with my Venti drink with an unnecessary amount of customizations. Then, dolled myself up, and went for dinner with the boyfriend in a nice little local restaurant where I got some free cake, and best of all, nobody sang.

Here's to another year of being older. Now get off my lawn.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

How to: Get over the feeling of having nothing to wear

How is it that we all have closets filled with dresses, drawers packed with clothes, and shelves decorated with bags, yet we have a high tendency to feel like there's nothing to wear? The reality is that things get boring. The solution isn't necessarily to buy new things, but to remix what you have and to get inspiration from unlikely places.

Try Something on You Wouldn’t Usually Consider

If ever I’m stuck in a fashion rut, I try something I wouldn’t usually consider. Whether it’s because of the color, cut, or style, I just try it on. I grab a couple of things that wouldn’t usually take my fancy and I can end up surprised. I’ve bought a few new items this way in the past! At the very least, you’ll have a good laugh in the changing rooms.

Find a New Favourite Pattern

If you’ve never worn a pattern, you’re missing out! Or, perhaps there’s always a pattern you gravitate towards. Find a new favorite. Go for stripes over spots. Pick floral rather than animal. Just do something different and see how you feel!

Play With Accessories

Your accessories can enhance an outfit and make it so much more fun. If you're not one for statement jewelry, turning a good piece into your staple can really help define your style, like with Shinola watches for women.

Go Darker/Brighter

Take a look in your wardrobe and decide whether you wear mostly colour or darks. Whichever you usually do, do the opposite. If you prefer dark colours, wear something bright for a while. If you wear brights a lot, go for a more mysterious, dark outfit.

Try Vintage Clothing

Vintage clothing is amazing! If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend you do. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s unique. It’s very unlikely you’ll find somebody else with that same piece anywhere near you, if at all. I always get compliments and questions when I wear my vintage. Just make sure the fit is good! Have it altered if you can.

Play a Game

This might help you, it might not. Either way, it’s a bit of fun! Get some big bags and fill one with tops, one with shoes, one with bottoms, etc. Then, without looking, pull an item from each bag. Lay them out on the floor and take a pic. You might find that some items you never would have paired look great together!

Ask for Help

Sometimes, fresh eyes are all you need. Ask a friend to style an outfit or two for you. Don’t get involved, just let them do their thing. You might learn a few things along the way!

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Bronze haze

Bronze statement necklace c/o Happiness Boutique / Mauve tank top from Pac Sun / Denim shorts from Forever 21

It has been a summer full of heat waves lately. Compared to the -30 degree weather we had in the winter, I am not complaining. Mostly. I do find that the heat makes me rather lazy and unmotivated, which have made easy tank tops and shorts my quick go-to outfit for casual errands and iced coffee stops on the weekend. 

Just so I'm not completely shlepping around town, I always add a statement necklace so it still looks like I tried. This particular one is perfect with simple tops and any neckline, instantly giving an outfit a bit more edge. However, I don't recommend wearing it with's a pretty intricate necklace and little bits can easily get caught on stray threads. That's something I'll worry about once the thermostat isn't scorching though.

This particular necklace is from Happiness Boutique. Aside from the great selection of unique statement necklaces, they have a great gallery with customer photos so you can see exactly how the necklace looks in person, and get great ideas about how to style it. The best part? Free shipping! 

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Accidentally in love

 Eyelash lace skirt c/o Rosegal / Knit tank top from Mendocino / Silver collar necklace c/o Rosegal / White envelope clutch / Slingback wedge sandals from Winners

"You get what you pay for". Usually, people say this when they cheap out and regret buying something of ridiculously low quality. But I prefer to use this saying as a cautionary grain of salt. 

First off, I unintentionally chopped off my hair. I've complained about my barber before, and yes, I go to a barber to get my hair cut. But he's really nice and does a decent job for the price, so I went back. This time, I showed him a picture of the style I wanted and told him "2 inches off", which would leave my hair up well below my shoulders. The good news is that he did exactly the style that I showed him. The bad news is that he took 6 inches off my hair. I wanted so much to be mad, but all things considered, he did a really good job on a short hairdo.

And now we have Rosegal. I've bought from cheap online stores before, and with prices averaging between $5-$20, my expectations were super low. I was telling myself that for that price point, I should have low expectations. But I was absolutely pleasantly surprised. The lace skirt is opaque, the eyelash lash skirt is beautifully detailed and not frayed, and the silver necklace hasn't tarnished or broken. No, the material isn't super soft or anything, but for the price, it's no worse than anything you would get from Forever 21. 

I could pay premium prices for things like haircuts and clothes, but there's something oddly addictive about being uncertain on whether or not things are going to turn out as an expected shame or as a great surprise. I know online shopping can be a gamble sometimes, but I definitely recommend taking a change on Rosegal and all their items here!

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