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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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Make it personal

Now that I'm done Black Friday shopping for myself, I've calmed down enough to realize that we have less than a month to gather Christmas presents. We all have that person on our list: That person who claims that they're the easiest person in the world to buy for, but you really have no idea what to get them.

Say hello to Onecklace.

Whether it's your mother, sister, aunt, or daughter, personalized jewelry is a great gift anyone will appreciate. Today, I'm featuring two items from their sterling silver collection: A monogram name bracelet and an engraved initials bar necklace.

Both items are very timeless and dainty. They're one of those pieces you could wear everyday to match everything - subtle, but since it's personal to the wearer, it makes a statement. Both the necklace and the bracelet I ordered were in the company's "child size" chain length. However, I found that there was still enough room to slide the bracelet off my hand without using the clasp.

Overall, I found the quality to be well worth the price. I really love my buys and would recommend Onecklace in a heartbeat. A big plus is that their standard shipping is free everywhere! We need more of that. I hate when shipping ends up costing more than the actual item.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Seeing green

Green scarf / Navy windbreaker / Brown tweed skirt from H&M / Faux leather backpack from Target

Let me tell you a story I like to call, "The best worst job interview ever".

I had just come back from 2 weeks in Europe. I'm terrible jetlagged. I want to cancel my job interview, but I decide to drag myself to it. My plan is to slip out of work to the interview during my lunch hour without anyone noticing. Should be easy right? It would have been, but my office decided to have an impromptu pizza party. So I had to say, "Sorry guys, I'm not going to eat free pizza" by lying that I had a chiropractor appointment. 

Pizza-less, I hopped onto the subway. But thanks to good ol' reliable Toronto subway delays, I arrived downtown already 5 minutes late for my interview. I dashed up to the 29th floor, only to find the name of a different company on the door. I called the interviewer and discovered that HR had actually given me the wrong address. The wrong address?? You have got to be kidding me.

So there I was, dashing from building to building in heels, trying to find the right "tall black building" that people were trying to direct me to. Have you seen Toronto? It's not exactly easy. Finally, now half an hour late, I breathlessly arrived at the right office. "I said I wanted to make a lasting impression, not a good one."

After such a crazy experience, at least I can say that I have a new job! Haven't started yet, but I'm pretty pumped. 

Oh, I also got a little lesson in karma. Remember how I lied and said that I had a chiropractor appointment to get out of work? Well while running in heels, I messed up my hip and really did need a chiropractor to stop the pain. And that kids, is why you shouldn't lie.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Adjusting my fashion for fall

It's starting to get just a little cold. We haven't hit super low temperatures just yet, but I'm already dreading the thought of blizzards and frostbite. Even though I prefer the weather to be a bit warmer, I do love swapping my wardrobe around. I've already started wearing some comfy boots for fall, and the rest of my outfits have begun to get a little warmer too. I like to be comfortable (not too cold), but style is still a focus too. Although I'm not too worried about looking...shall we say "casual", as long as I'm warm. Here's how I like to choose my look once the leaves start falling.

Summer Dresses for Fall

One of my favourite things about fall is getting to find new ways to wear my summer clothes. Some people put them away when they feel the first hint of a chill in the air, but not me. Why shun summer clothes to a corner of your closet once the temperature starts dropping? A chunky pair of tights or some leggings and a think sweater are perfect for making use of your summer dresses all year. You can wear an extra layer underneath them and some practical shoes, and they're good for fall and winter.


What's one of the best things about fall and winter? That's right, wearing scarves. In the past, I have been known to turn a scarf into a shirt occasionally. But in the fall, they serve their primary purpose really well. You can wear a scarf all year round, but colder weather gives you an excuse to have a large collection of them. If you own lots of scarves, it's time to start getting them out and switching them up. And if it's time for some new ones, find a reputable supplier of 100 pure silk scarves for a classic staple of quality. If you buy a silk scarf, you can wear it around your neck, on your head, or even around your wrist or waist.

Fall Boots

Fall is the perfect time to give heels a rest and get some comfortable shoes on. Comfortable doesn't have to mean ugly, and you can get some gorgeous boots. I love wearing a pair of stylish ankle boots, maybe paired with a dress, some tights and a chunky knit cardigan. They're much more practical, and not to mention safer, once it starts to get a bit frosty, then snowy and icy. I much prefer being steady on my feet!


I always carry a bag with me, but in the fall I often find I need an extra big one. Or I need one that's easier to organize. There are so many things I find myself needing to carry around, from chapstick to tissues. Plus, the weather can be all over the place. One minute I might be wearing gloves, a hat and a scarf and the next I'm too warm. I need somewhere to put those accessories when I take them off. So an oversized bag is always a good addition to my outfit.

Getting out my fall outfits has been fun so far. I just hope I don't have to start bundling up too much anytime soon.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A little too little

Chunky sweater from Forever 21 / Lace slip dress from Smart Set

I'm gonna keep this post short.

I'm jetting off to Paris to Rome to Barcelona in less than a week, so if you have restaurants or must-see sights/shops, definitely let me know!

I bought this slip dress because I thought the lace and print was absolutely demure, but decided that it was a little too close to a nighty. Thank goodness for big sweaters and easy return policies. Relax, I just wore the dress to take these photos, it's not like I wore it outside before returning it.

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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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