Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The sea was angry that day

Boxy striped blouse c/o Zaful / Denim shorts from Target / Sequin bag c/o Dresslily

My recent buys and finds lately have been quite boring. When you spend 5 days a week in a stuffy office, I get more bang for my buck when I buy work clothes over weekend clothes. Blazers in every colour, straight cut pants...boring. So when I saw this blouse, it had been the first time in a while that I had genuinely been excited about clothing. A shirt that I can tuck in and dress up during the office, then dress down for the weekend? Yes please.

Also in an effort to mix fun into my work wardrobe, I've been obsessed with accessories to add a subtle punch to my outfit. And I'm not talking about statement necklaces. When all the "how to add fun to your work wardrobe" guides suggest "bling", guess what - it's not unique anymore. This sequin bag is my new go-to for a truly unique accessory. I love how it adds a classy touch to a boring or casual outfit without being too overwhelming.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Simplicity over minimalism

"So what's your New Year's resolution?"

I've heard this question a lot lately, like most of you have. But I have the same answer as always: "Whatever, who knows - we'll see where the year takes me".

Sure, my answer is 40% laziness, 10% fear of failure, and 30% indecisiveness, but that still leaves 20% for a genuine desire to be more flexible and nonchalant. And there's definitely space to improve. After being asked what my resolution is so many times, sometimes I wonder whether I'm wrong or missing something for not wanting to make a concrete goal at the beginning of the year. But what is this weird form of peer pressure? Why do I feel the need to tell others that I'm setting objectives for myself if I already like the path that I'm on?

Let's compare this to the minimalism trend. How many times have you heard "effortlessly chic"? And how many of us know the real pain behind the scenes of using pomade, combs, and hairspray to get that Instagramable messy "I woke up like this" look. What is this obsession that we have with trying to make it look like we have it all together without putting in the effort?

So my unofficial attitude (I'm not ready to commit to a resolution yet) for 2017 is that I want to really start living with a simplified thought process. Truly going with the flow and not sweatin' the small stuff.

With that in mind, please accept these photos because I was too lazy to do my nails and I don't want to put on the facade that I did anything productive but eat over the holidays. This gorgeous bar ring from oNecklace is my new go-to piece of jewellery though. It's simple, classy, and matches everything.

The gold name necklace pictured was a gift to my mother, who loved how easy it was for this piece to transition from day to night, even to the gym! It's subtle, but poignant. And it comes in a lovely gift box that gives it an expensive feel, but at under $60, it's super affordable.

I've received a couple of oNecklace pieces before in the past and I love the quality of them all. I wouldn't give it a second thought to order from them again. Now if only I could adopt that kind of certainty in my everyday life...

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: UKYS custom shirt tailoring app

Tailor-made fashion is typically associated with a high quality fits, professional experiences, and a high price tag to match. Rarely do I see anything truly worthy of being called "fashion innovation", but UKYS has the potential to shake up the way we consume tailored clothing. UKYS has created an app that takes your photos to create precision measured fitted dress shirts for around $80! And you get to customize your shirt to fit your style preferences.

How it works:

Since UKYS specializes in men's shirts, I went through this process with my boyfriend. With the UKYS app, you start off by choosing the shirt colour you'd like. You then get to choose a series of customizations, including shirt fit, collar style, cuff style, and trim patterns.

Once you're finished your selections, the app plays a video that will guide you through the measurement process. Using a series of photos, UKYS is able to capture your body's measurements, where professional tailors are then able to create your fitted shirt. At a 10 ft distance from your iPhone or iPad, you will need to take photos for your front view, back view, and side profile. UKYS makes it clear that privacy is a priority for them, which is why your face is blurred in photos before they even reach the company. No worries if your photos aren't quite right, because a rep from UKYS will reach out to let you know that the photos need to be redone, so you don't have to worry about processing an order with poor measurements.

The result:

Blown away. I am so impressed by the results. The fit was absolutely perfect, which is especially difficult to achieve with an inverted triangle body type. The cotton material feels like great quality, however the colour was a bit off from what I expected. It looked more like a midnight blue rather than a navy. Overall, I'd order again in a heartbeat. No where else can you get a tailored shirt from the comfort of your own home, at a fraction of the price. I highly recommend UKYS.

Now on Kickstarter, UKYS is looking for backing! At only $76, you can get your own tailored shirt (or get it as a gift) and be part of this revolutionary experience. Seriously, do it. It's so worth it.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Light packing tips for a functional and stylish travel wardrobe

Whether you're looking to pack light for the sheer ease of it or packing light to shop your way through a trip, you don't want to start your vacation with a heavy luggage full of clothes and shoes. Packing for a multi-country vacation with varying temperatures can be tough, but all you need are a few key layering pieces to make it through.

Travelling through Paris, Rome, and Barcelona in two weeks, I was bracing for rain, chilliness, heat, and general touring around. Here are key items that I packed in my medium-sized suitcase (with room to spare):

1. Outerwear: Leather jacket, blazer
A leather jacket is always great because it keeps you dry, warm, and trendy. but for those days where it was warmer or I wanted to be dressier, a boyfriend blazer goes with anything and acts as a great layering piece under or over other items.

2. Shoes: Ankle boots, canvas sneakers
Ankle boots are really the best because they can be worn in rain, dressed down, and dressed up. Touring around with soggy feet isn't fun for anyone. And there's really no question that you'll be doing a lot of walking, so be prepared for it. I packed a pair of lightweight canvas sneakers that easily fit into my luggage and don't bog me down while I walk.

3. Bottoms: Jeans, tights/leggings, skirt
I opted for boyfriend jeans because I wanted to eat my way through Europe with maximum comfort. I also packed a pair of dark jeans for a more polished casual look. Leggings also allow for comfort while touring around and go great with a tunic and those ankle boots mentioned above. Also, have a skirt on hand in case you want to go extra dressy or if you run into an unseasonably warm day.

4. Tops: Lightweight sweater, heavy sweater, t-shirt, blouse
Bearing in mind that I was travelling during the autumn when weather can be rather unpredictable, I wanted good layering pieces for a cozy chic look. As I mentioned with the other pieces, a dressier item is always great to pack, especially because it can always be dressed down if you're not going anywhere fancy.

5. Accessories: Scarves, hat
Leave your wide-brimmed floppy hat at home if you don't want it to lose shape in your suitcase. I'm talking about a cozy beanie here that you can smush into a corner of your suitcase if it isn't necessary. Scarves are always super trendy, so I brought a silk one for style and a knit one for warmth. Both pair effortlessly with the other items that I brought.

Pack light without looking like a tourist. And buy everything else along the way. Happy travels!

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Friday, November 11, 2016

What to pack on a winter getaway

It's winter. We can't keep saying that we're in fall or autumn anymore because it's just too darn cold! The red cups have gone into Starbucks store, and the heavy winter coat is well and truly out. As great as wintertime can be, there's something truly special about a sunshine getaway when you're cold. Just the thought of lying on a sun-soaked beach, listening to the waves crashing makes me feel a bit warmer. They do say you have to think warm to feel warmer! If the thought of it just isn't enough for you, it could be time for you to escape to warmer climates. A winter holiday can really help remove the darkness that winter sometimes encourages. Having a break to look forward to can just lift you up and give you life! With the shops full to the brim with warm winter coats and sweaters, it's important you start shopping smart for your winter sun break...

Choose shoes wisely

Shoes are one of the heaviest things that you can pack into a suitcase. If you are only going on vacation for a week you don't need to take every pair of shoes you own with you. Think about it logically. You're going to need some nice sandals to wear with dresses in the evening. You'll need flip flops for lounging by the poor and a pair of sneakers to travel in. You honestly don't need more than that. You certainly won't need your favorite black boots!

Look for versatility

When you go on holiday bikinis are an essential part of your daily wardrobe. It's essentially ALL you're going to be wearing throughout the daytime! Pick a bikini that can be worn with other styles. Long gone are the days of only wearing matchy-matchy styles. These days you can mix and match your bikinis as much as you like! Just have fun with the look.

Day-to-night dresses

These are a lifesaver on holiday! A long and floaty maxi dress can easily be thrown over a cute bikini to act as a beach cover-up. Alternatively, it can also be worn at night. A floaty maxi dress is such a luxurious item to wear on holiday and it can be accessories with fun bags and pretty sandals. Gold jewelry will also compliment skin-kissed skin.

Protect yourself

It's a really good idea to keep yourself completely out of the sun's direct rays when you're on holiday. Of course, you're probably going to want to lay out and get that glow, though. Make sure you build up a tan slowly by wearing a high sun factor. No one wants to burn their skin! As well wearing sunscreen you should protect your eyes with safety approved sunglasses and wear a hat or sun visor when possible. You won't regret it when you're showing no sign of wrinkles and sun damage!

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tell it to my visions and my mind

Faux leather jacket c/o Dresslily / Double sided plaid scarf c/o Dresslily / Black combat boots

It went from an unseasonably pleasant 20 degrees to just above freezing in just under a week. Which means that despite being bundled up, I still managed to get sick. So unfortunately, this means no nice outdoor photos while I recover. Because it ain't fun sitting through a meeting trying to be professional with a red nose and phlegmy voice.

The upside of my week was that someone said that my jacket looked "fly". Now I don't know how much of the hip general population is still using that term, but that's a win in my books. So I know that retailers like Dresslily have gotten a bit of a bad rep lately for being poorly sized. I'll admit that this jacket is definitely not my normal size - I ordered a Large. I'm normally a Small or Medium. But my normal measurements showed up in the sizing chart under Large, so I took a chance. And the size is exactly what I expected.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Consider covering these costs for your bridesmaids

Becoming a bridesmaid is kind of an emotional roller coaster. It starts off with being super excited for your bestie, gushing over all the gorgeous details you'll help her plan, then a bit of a crushing sinking feeling when you realize that the cost of being a bridesmaid is more than you spend on rent. So to make your special day a little easier on your bridal party, here are a few costs that you should cover:


The bridesmaid’s dresses are probably one of the main things that a bride will usually purchase. Since it’s unlikely that many bridesmaids will be wearing their dress again after the big day – unless, of course, you opt for a style of dress that they’ll be able to re-wear for a range of other occasions- it can often seem a little unfair to ask bridesmaids to buy their own dresses when you’ve asked them to be a part of your bridal party. If you’re hoping to save money on bridesmaid’s dresses, there are plenty of ways to do this, from dress rental to second-hand dresses or even choosing different styles for each girl.

Travel Expenses

If your wedding ceremony is being held some distance away from home or perhaps you are even getting married abroad, it’s often nice to pay all or at least some of the travel expenses for your bridesmaids. If you’re unable to afford to pay for plane tickets or other transportation for all of your bridesmaids, you may want to come to a compromise by giving all of them a set amount of cash to put towards their tickets, for example if you pay half for them. However, this isn’t an expense that you always have to cover – have a talk with your bridesmaids first, as you may find that they’re perfectly ok with getting themselves to your wedding.

Hair and Makeup

If you want your girls to look their best for the big day and want them to have their hair and makeup professionally done, it’s a good idea to pay for this yourself as some bridesmaids might think that it’s a little bit much to ask them to pay for it, especially if they wouldn’t have booked themselves in at a salon if you hadn’t requested it. If you don’t have enough in your budget to pay for your bridesmaids to visit a salon on the big day, you should make sure that they know that it’s optional. If you want UK wedding savings, online shopping and directories are a must to scoop the best deal.

Working out what and what not to pay for your bridesmaids can be tricky, but by talking with them, it can be easier than you think to figure it out.

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Lazy long weekends

Welcome to my new view. After a busy month of moving into the heart of downtown Toronto, I'm finally at a place where I can relax and just take in my surroundings. There's just something about waking up on a Saturday morning, grabbing a cup of green tea, and curling up in front of some terrible weekend TV. It's strangely calming knowing that I could be bustling around town, but I've got my little sanctuary with the best seats in the city.

I'm all about taking it easy on weekends. I'd like to think I'm productive enough during the weekdays, so the less effort on my days off, the better. This means things like soup, because who wants to waste energy on chewing. It means throwing on a t-shirt and a pair of shorts with an inconspicuous hole in it, because forget looking put together all the time. It means cozying up in koala slippers, because adulting all the time is exhausting.

That being said, I wouldn't mind some better sleepwear. I thought I was okay with inconspicuous holes, then I browsed around Adore Me, and their collection convinced me that maybe I could step it up just a bit.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fashion trends that have withstood the tests of time

Everyone has their own impression of what glamour means. We all know, more or less, what it refers to. But it's very much a matter of personal taste and style. For example, for one person, glamor might refer to a dress that couldn't be bought for less than a four-figure sum. To another person, that may be decadent and wasteful. They in turn might see glamor as being something simple, inexpensive and refined. Neither person is wrong - glamor is what you make it.

Everyone, therefore, has people that they see as style icons. Modern day icons are very much a subjective thing. In the 40s and 50s, it was straightforward. Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Judy Garland... you know the drill. These days, some people won't wear anything that hasn't been given the nod by a Kardashian. Others wouldn't be seen dead in anything that has.

And so, with so many competing views of what style and glamor actually are, it is sometimes wise to step back from trying to fit any mold. Wearing something that a lot of people might not consider stylish is a style statement in itself.

As long as you can look in the mirror and say "Yes, I'm rocking this and you know I am", then that's all you need. Carrying it off with confidence is the key. Look at Lady Gaga. You may not like what she wears, but she has zero doubt about it.

So, with that in mind, there are some items you may have put on the banned list as not being stylish. But it's down to how you wear them, and believe it or not, you can make pretty much anything look great.

1. Anything In Tweed

For a long time, tweed was viewed as being for old men and no-one else. Unless you were going grouse shooting or teaching geography in a boys' boarding school, you didn't go near it. And it is a look that can still take some pulling off. However, things have changed in recent years, and tweed's hard-wearing, moneyed look is now worn more freely.

While a few years ago it may have still been just hipster boys wearing it, now the girls can get in on the fun. A belted tweed jacket can look great paired with the right pants (but those pants should be light in colour). With a refined hat to finish the look off, this can be a very strong fashion statement. Just don't accessorize it with a shotgun. That's taking the country gentleman thing too far.

2. Bandanas

We all have our own associations with bandanas and, to be fair, some of them are a little sensitive. It can be difficult to wear them without tipping over into cultural appropriation. No matter how much you like a certain look, appropriation is something to be avoided.

However, bandanas have been around for some time in a range of ways. I'll be honest, even I didn't know about some of the crazy uses they used to have. Saying that, you can make a bandana work in so many ways. Because of the size and the versatility of the item, they can be worn as a cravat, an armband, or you can go for the Rosie the Riveter look. This last has become hugely popular recently.

3. The 80s Power Look

Yes, you've seen the photos and maybe you lived through the decade. And there's no doubt that some of the worst excesses of the 80s should stay back there in the 80s. Ideally in a cave, on the moon and, with a little luck, on fire. Look, some of the colors and the cuts were amazing. But shoulder pads? Let's just look back on those as a lesson from history. Women can do anything and be anything, but we don’t have to look like that to do it.

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Easy Tips To Help You Spend Less On Clothing

Shopping can be one of our biggest vices. We do it when we're stressed, we do it when we're happy, we do it when we need a pick me up. In fact, for many people, it becomes something of a habit. It can be near impossible to walk past the mall on your way home from work, and not pop in. You're not planning on getting anything of course - it's just for a browse. Or at least, that's what we tell ourselves! It comes as no surprise that we revamp our wardrobes way more than is needed. The average American woman is said to spend around $125,000 on clothes in her lifetime. So if your spending on shopping is getting out of control, see if any of these tips would help you cut back.

Set an aim

Finding yourself out of pocket with all your money going on clothes? If there's a holiday you're desperate to go on but you still find yourself buying more in the mall, it's time to get focused. Stick a picture of your dream destination everywhere: on your fridge, next to your bed, as your phone background - everything! Then, when you are tempted to pay Topshop a little visit, you might think twice.

Get brutal with your closet

It's pretty likely that you have some items in your closet that you've actually never even worn. Set aside an afternoon to go through all your clothes and decide what you really need. You'll have to be pretty cut throat for this, and it's true that some clothes do hold emotional ties. But if all they're doing is taking up space in your wardrobe, then unfortunately they will have to go. Give it a shot - you may feel refreshed afterwards, like a weight has been lifted.

Look out for discounts

If you're a designer lover, chances are you'll be spending a small fortune on clothes every month. Try and tear yourself away from your love of labels by shopping more at high street stores. Many of these stores also offer discounts, so keep your eyes peeled for things such as Bealls Coupon Codes. You could find yourself saving a lot of money and still coming out with a fab new outfit.

Hold a swap shop with your friends

If you and your girlfriends constantly talk about how swamped down you are with all your clothes - do something about it! Suggest holding a swap shop where you can try on each others clothes and take stuff the other person no longer wants. If you've had your eye on a certain dress for a while, this could be your perfect opportunity to snatch it, and give something back in return.

Try thrift shops

Initially, you might be put off by the idea of a thrift store. Granted, not everything in there is going to be a vintage gem. But, if you have a certain degree of patience, digging through the rails for an hour or so could end up paying off. You will certainly end up with something unique, and thrift stores often have designer brands hiding amongst the rails too.

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