Pre winter storage: These boots were made for walking

Post Cleaning :)

Post Cleaning :)

In my last post I spoke about how to care for your sweaters before you store them for the season and this week is speaking about boots. I find boots to be a lot easier to manage than sweaters because you normally only have two or three types of materials used in the construction of the boot. You can have leather, synthetic leather, nylon and suede or a blend of all four materials. Leather and nylon boots can be cleaned in the same way to some extent whereas suede is a little bit more labour intensive.

Suede Boots

  1. I recommend using lukewarm water and 1 to 3 drops of dish soap detergent.

  2. Then dip a rag or a cloth into the water (water and soap) and rub small circles into the boot.

  3. Once you no longer see the white marks from the salt leave boots to air dry.

Leather Boots

  1. With the same solution dampen your cloth/rag. DO NOT SOAK WITH WATER, damp means it should be halfway to dry.

  2. Lightly wipe the boot down, do not leave the rag resting on boot.

  3. There shouldn’t be any excess water on the boot once you’ve wiped down the boot, take a dry cloth/rag and wipe away any excess water.

Mixed Material & Pleather - I would repeat the steps for the Suede boots but use the last step in the leather boots.


See my video below, on how to clean your boots. FYI if you are given specific directions on how to care for your boots please follow those directions.

I’ve had the leather boots for over 10 years and the Uggs for the last 3 years.





Sweaters and the tale of fabrics: bye-bye winter sweaters

I touched on the transitioning between winter and spring clothing this week on instagram this week. Before you start being productive and packing your things away we need to start with cleaning these items first. To preserve your clothing you want to clean them prior to packing them away. When deodorant, sweat, stains, etc. linger on your clothing and sweaters in particular they damage the fabric itself and can lead to holes, thinning, and discolouration.

Sweaters and the tale of fabrics

Wool - is notorious for shrinking whether it be 20% or 100% of the makeup of your sweater. I would advise you Dry clean any wool sweater that you love. Even on gentle/delicates cycle you run the risk that it shrinks a little bit.

Cashmere - no argument if it is a 100% cashmere sweater definitely dry clean if you want it last you for a long time. If the sweater is a cashmere and cotton blend (20% Cashmere and 80% cotton) I would advise you to wash it in the gentle/delicates cycle. Regardless of the blend definitely line dry.

photo by: Dan Gold

photo by: Dan Gold

Merino Wool - this can be washed in the gentle/delicates cycle unless the tag says otherwise. There are merino wool pullovers sold by athletic brands that may allow you to wash in the regular cycle. When in doubt gentle/delicates cycle and hang dry

Cotton - this really varies based on the company, read the tag. If you’ve cut out the tag I would wash as regular and cold water, and tumble dry. If you want to be extra cautious line dry.

Blends - polyester, acrylic, etc. honestly always wash cold and tumble dry low.  (I would say you should stay away from blends but we can talk about this another time.

When in doubt, hand wash or machine wash on delicates and line dry.

Also here is a guide to some of the images you’ll find on your clothing tags:

Clothing tag icon legend (this is not exhaustive).

Clothing tag icon legend (this is not exhaustive).

 

Fun Spring Trends - for your whimsical self

This spring has been pretty dull and wet - a standard in terms of weather but in fashion it’s been full of colour and fun! I am loving a number of things but the main stand outs at the moment are the spectrum of colour, skirts, platform sneakers, and fun nails.

Skirts

I am partial to a pleated skirt with a fun pattern or multiple colours. They are a great way to add some fun and depth to your outfits. Also, I really like the flow of a pleated skirts; when you walk it adds a whimsical vibe especially if there is a breeze. A knit skirt is a nice touch for texture and comfort. Knit skirts can also create an optical illusion and provide a great silhouette to any shape.

A rainbow of colours

I’m really enjoying the resurgence of colour in everyone’s wardrobe - from neutrals to tie die it’s nice to see the variety in people’s wardrobes and in their expression of self! An easy way to add colour to your overall look is painting your nails in a fun print or a rainbow with each nail being a different colour.

Platform sneakers

I tend to land on the streamlined classic sneaker end of the spectrum but these platform sneakers are definitely turning my head. Maybe it’s a Baby Spice throwback or I just like the extra height that I get without wearing heels, either way these are fun and comfortable. Bonus points when they are an Oxford platform - RIP my pair from Zara that I had to get rid of.

These are just a few of my favourite spring trends but my advice to anyone reading this is to be brave and have some fun!






Style Diary 2: EXTRA AF - Feathered Vest

“See my vest, see my vest, Made from real gorilla chest” - Mr. Burns

Do you have that one item that you bought because you just couldn’t get over how extra it was? For me my EXTRA AF item is my Pello Bello Silver Grey Vest, I bought it on sale and on a whim at Saks a randomly. I love the texture of the feathers, the pockets can hold my iPhone 8 plus, and it's surprisingly warm.  

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I’ve worn this vest on numerous occasions since I’ve bought it, I would say the trick to wearing your Extra AF item is not caring about the occasion - you wear it because you love it!

I paired this vest with oversized Diane Von Furstenberg Silk Pyjama Top (I bought the top with the purpose of wearing it out - not to bed), Uniqlo jeans distressed jeans with unfinished hem, and my go-to Frank and Oak heeled ankle boots.

 

See outfit details below (click on images to shop the look):



Friday Style tip: cropped wide-legged cotton pants

It’s Friday and I am here with a style tip to take you into the weekend. For those of us who work in a corporate setting Fridays are normally “casual Friday” -  a day that leads to a lot of pondering on what you can wear and why your closet sucks. One thing that has been irking me lately is I only have one pair of non-ripped jeans that I can wear to work, and lately I haven’t been loving that pair of jeans, so I had been looking for an alternative. I landed on some wide legged cropped cotton pants which is a style that has been trending over the last year.

Here are 3 reasons why you should consider adding these pants to your casual Friday rotation:

  1. You can wear a dress shirt or a t-shirt add a blazer and you’re ready for any last minute client meetings.

  2. Heels, flats, or sneakers are no problem - go with your mood.

  3. Comfortable, these pants are meant to be comfortable


Bonus points: these pants should work with everyone’s wardrobe and can/should be worn outside of work too!


Have a great Friday and weekend!






Style Diary 1: Wearing Neon to work

Neon Chartreuse (the colour between neon green and yellow)

Neon has been trending over the past 3 years and I’m not sure who started it but as someone who isn’t quick to jump on trends, I decided to try neon out this past month. If any of you are familiar with my blog or instagram page you know that I’m a huge fan of Aritzia, while shopping their winter sale for sweaters, I scooped up this sweater (Wilfred Free-Isabelli Sweater- Waffle-knit crewneck sweater) in neon chartreuse to try it out. Functionally, I love this sweater because its soft and warm, which really saved me for the last couple of month when it was -20 Celsius.  Now to the best part, yes I have actually worn this sweater to my corporate job (multiple times - it was really cold!). Unless you work in a company that is a very strict/formal dress code the only thing you have to fear is standing out. I will say glowing like a highlighter will garner attention because you’re literally a beacon but otherwise I’m perfectly in the parameters of my companies policy.

I’m sure you’re thinking, yes your brave and you stood out but how can I possible work neon into my work clothes? What does neon chartreuse match with? I’ve pulled together 3 looks with my neon sweater that you can wear to the office (if permitted).

Neon & Black Pants - Bonus points if you pair this with a non-black shoe. Everyone should have a pair of black pants (if you don’t please email me), this is an easy look and very comfortable for a day in the office and with a colourful shoe transitions well into an evening look.

Neon & Tan High-Waisted Pencil Skirt -  At first glance, these two colours shouldn’t work together. I personally like the contrast of the two pieces and the colour of the skirt falls into the neutral category which tones down the brightness. It creates a unique look paired with comfortable black stacked heel ankle boots. The boots aren’t too high so you can comfortable get from meeting to meeting without feeling your feet go numb.

Neon & Navy Wide Legged Pants -  Blue and Yellow work well together, using different tones of both colours make it easy to pair the sweater and pants together. Personally, I like wide-leg pants for work because you can wear them with flats and heels and look cute in both.

The moral of the story is that you can wear neon to work! If you have something in your closet right now or you were eyeing an item, try it out!

P.S. I wasn’t joking about the black pants, if you don’t have any please email me - you’re clearly in dire need of a closet rehab!



90's Vibes

Last week I served you a red monochromatic look for a work holiday party. That look is for those of us who don’t mind standing out at work events. This week I’m bringing you something cute and sassy that will have you sashaying into the party and maybe onto the dance floor for a little one-two-step. As always, I aim to put together work looks that anyone can wear and feel amazing in!

90's Vibe Work Xmas Party look

This holiday looks is pretty simple - the two elements that give it the holiday vibes are the headband that is crown-like and the sparkly tights. I love the billowy sleeves on the Rebecca Minkoff blouse and knitted pattern around the arms and at the top. The black skirt I bought in Paris and it’s been my fun/party since I bought it. Now the tights and headband I bought from Urban Outfitters and they a really the icing on the holiday fruit cake. Headbands have also been really big this year and let's be frank, they’ve been been around since forever so definitely try one out this holiday season. If you live in a cooler climate you definitely wear stocking/nylons in the winter time. Why not make this seasonal mainstay apart of your holiday look? These tights are really sparkly, fun, and will keep your legs a little warmer.  Finally, the ankle boots with a bit of a heel give this look a bit of a 90’s girl vibe but are practical and easy to wear throughout the day.

Happy Work Partying! If you want to put this look together see links below:





Lady in Red

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December is finally here and I’m ready for all things Christmas!

*If you follow my Instastories you know I’ve been drinking all of the Starbucks holiday drinks since they came out.





Not only is it time for delicious Starbucks drinks but it's PARTY TIME!


This year I have 3 work holiday parties! That’s right 3 parties which, require 3 different outfits that will get me through the work day to the work party. I’ll be showcasing 3 different work-safe holiday looks over the coming weeks. This week, I’m sharing Lady in Red.

 

I love a monochromatic look and had been looking for the perfect moment to pull this off.


Why do I love this look for a work holiday party? Other than the shoes (which I love!), You’re wearing dress pants and a dress shirt, which are comfortable work clothes. The pants and top aren’t the same shade of red which I feel softens the overall effect. Another great thing about this look is, you can throw on a black blazer throughout the day for meetings. Shoe wise, you can wear flats during the day and change into your heels for the party or, stay in the heels the whole day to get the full effect of this killer look!  

Lastly and most importantly - this look works for everyone!


I would definitely suggest you look through your closet and see if you have pieces in the same colour scheme and match them up. Luckily for me all of these pieces were already in my closet.


See what I did there? I shopped my closet, like the “responsible” adult I am (and you are too ;) ).


*If you’re in the holiday spending mood click on images below to recreate the look:

Happy Work Partying!









Houndstooth fit for fall

One reason that I absolutely love houndstooth is that it never goes out of style. For as long as I can remember it’s always been popular.

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*A little side note - the same day I wore this skirt to work another manager was wearing her “old” (that’s how she referred to it) houndstooth blazer and it matched my skirt perfectly*

My goal when it comes to dressing for work is style that is a no-brainer. This iteration of a stylish no-brainer is my favourite red silk blouse from Équipement (I’ve had this blouse for a while) and this midi length houndstooth skirt I recently bought from Zara.

My 3 favourite things about this skirt :

  1. The timeless pattern

  2. The length - For work, I prefer skirts to be knee length or midi. In a professional setting shorter hemlines are always risky and not worth the embarrassment of someone commenting on the length of your skirt.

  3. It’s easy to style with various tops to get you through the fall/winter

*And it’s only $79.99 at Zara (a steal in my opinion)

For some extra style points add some cute shades and a leather jacket to this look and you’ll be feeling like a BOSS!

Shop my look below:

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Parisian attitude and a look

I’m so excited it’s finally Fall! I won’t lie I was over the summer humidity but not sunshine and being able to go outside with wet hair and flip flops. Now that Fall is finally here we get to have Fall fashion - lots of layering, cozy sweaters, and tights.

To kick off the new season, I’ve put together the cutest outfit that is perfect for work and after hours.

I’m giving you Parisian swag and european lewks (half of this outfit was bought in Europe - but can easily be replicated without a eurotrip price tag).

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I bought this lovely V-neck Wool dress with a ruffled hem in London at Oliver and Bonas. I knew as soon as I saw it that I needed to add to my wardrobe. The dress is a great length, an a-line cut, and it’s sleeveless so it’s great for layering. 

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The dress shirt is from Pink Tartan a Canadian brand. This is one of my favourite shirts - it was a splurge purchase from a couple years  ago but totally worth it. The cut and fit are perfect and it has some really nice details like the grosgrain trim around the cuffs and collar, and the pink stitching in the buttonhole on the cuffs. The yellow belt was a pop of colour that I bought from Uniqlo - if thrifting is up your alley then you could definitely thrift a colourful belt.

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“Raspberry Beret,the kind you buy at a second hand store” - lyric by Prince. This beret isn’t raspberry but a lovely mustard I picked up at the Notting Hill market for £8. It’s super cute but also something you can buy anywhere. It was my first purchase on my London trip this fall so it’s a special mustard beret.

I’m also wearing tights which I have a love and hate relationship with. Either I’m super irritated or slightly annoyed while wearing them. Last year I bought Wolford tights in 20 denier and honestly they are the most comfortable tights I’ve ever had. My shoes are super old as I don’t remember where or when I bought them but the best thing about this outfit is you can wear whatever shoes you like; flats, oxfords, heels, booties etc.  

Finally, I got my yellow coat on my first Euro trip in 2015. Boo (my husband) and I left warm Barcelona for cool and wet Amsterdam. With the change in temperature I got a cold and didn’t have a coat. I spent the next day searching for a coat and stumbled upon a random boutique downtown and when I saw the colour and the lining I was sold!

Me in Delft, Netherlands

Me in Delft, Netherlands

What do you think? I’m pretty sure anyone can pull off this look. I think the hardest part about pulling this look together is finding the dress for layering so, I’ve found 3 alternative options below to the Oliver Bonas dress I bought.

Happy Layering!

Looking for a dress for yet another Wedding? Try Renting

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      Most of us love dressing up once in awhile, but there are several constraints that have developed in our lives that has made this a little bit more of a challenge - social media. Social media has made it almost impossible to wear the same outfit twice. Now that isn’t to say that  you can’t put your styling skills to use but if you’re like me who likes to buy things that are bright and colourful maybe you’ll get two wears out of that fabulous dress you bought. Cost is another factor that has been a stumbling block from time immemorial, can I just say that the prices for clothing have gone up across the board. Zara, H&M, Aritzia, Club Monaco they have lovely things but it's getting to the point that buying certain items for one wear isn’t cost effective. Also the time old situation of someone showing up to the same event wearing the same dress (and looking better than you *shock and horror*)

    In comes dress rentals. I have heard about renting clothes before but didn’t really know if it was something that I could access. A lot of dress rental websites are based in the US and as a Canadian that is really annoying for obvious reasons - shipping and duties. Enter Fitzroy Boutique, I have been a loyal follower of their store for the last couple of years. They’ve always sold some amazing clothes and accessories so when they decided to start dress rentals I was excited. I recently had need for an outfit as I have a wedding I’m attending last November. It was a great experience!  

     How does it work? Well you have two options you can check out their website and order your outfit on their or go in store. I use the website to check out if there were any outfits that I was intrigued to try on. I headed to their boutique 1227 Dundas Street West, 2nd Floor, no appointment is necessary. They carry numerous outfits in XS - L and some plus sizes, you can go through the racks organized by size and grab whatever you like and head to the change rooms. Can I say that I loved their change rooms! They are bright and well lit thanks to some large windows and the lighting fixtures in the space. They have heels that you can use while trying on clothes and you can buy some accessories as well. You get to play dress up, if you find a outfit you’d like to rent the rental price is on the tag attached to the outfit. You can rent items for 4 or 8 days. The time for rental includes the day you pick up and return the dress. In this case I needed the jumpsuit for Saturday November 18th, so I picked up the dress on Friday and returned it on Monday.  I believe there is a $20/day late fee for every day the dress is late. As well there is a $5 insurance fee that you can choose to pay for. This covers any reasonable damage that may occur on the outfit. I got the insurance because I would rather not worry about it. They dry-clean all of the outfits before and after use. If you have any questions please call the boutique Julie was a great help to me while there trying on clothes and getting me through the process.

    My verdict, I have another wedding to attend this July and I’ll definitely be heading back to the boutique to find an outfit. While you could be spending up to $100 on a rental in my mind it's still a great deal, you get a new outfit and you don't have to worry about it gathering dust in your closet when you realize you can’t wear it again for whatever reason. Another plus is you can spend your time on buying some cute accessories (shoes, bag, jewellery, etc.)

Update: They now have bag rentals, so you can find a matching clutch as well! 

*Reposted from November last fall

ISSA headwrap

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Growing up in a Ghanaian household one thing that was ever present was the headwrap. It’s a cultural mainstay for everyday or for when we dress up in our traditional clothes for various events such as weddings, funerals, and all holidays. This isn’t unique to Ghanaian people as our fellow Africans do it too. Recently it’s become really popular I think with the rise of the natural hair movement and also African people embracing and celebrating our culture. I’m not going to lie it’s also so convenient when I’m feeling lazy to do my hair. Luckily for me I just know how to tie a headwrap based on my upbringing but if you’re looking for some tips check out this video from OkayAfrica

Having trouble styling your headwrap? Okay Africa has a great tutorial:

 

 

The ladies of OkayAfrica show us 7 ways to tie a headwrap. Producer: Chika Okoli Video Editor: Paul Notice Song: Only Girl Artist: Adekunle Gold Download here: smarturl.it/Only.Girl

Blue Double-Breasted Blazer and a not so ordinary pencil skirt

 If I catch you in the hall during announcements you’re late for class… I’m out here channelling my inner teacher. Double Breasted blazers scream POWER and NO-NONSENSE, which is what you want to exude on a Monday to get your week rolling right.

   I’ve professed my love for blazers and this picture just reinforces my love for them. Without the blazer you have a classic work outfit - pressed white collared shirt and pencil skirt with a mini twist. Anyone can wear this outfit and look great but throwing the blazer on top in my mind really takes this outfit from uniform to personalized. The shade of blue is vibrant and works for all skin tones and hair colours (I would love to have pink hair again). Also you get another another wear out of your uniform because the blazer completely changes the look of it.

    One of thing I’ll be trying to show is that styling and interesting pieces will help you get the more wear out of your clothing. Does this mean that I never buy new things? Of course not but the key is to figure out what clothing you actually like to wear and get rid of the things you bought because they were cute, or on trend, and you only wore for that one night and never wore again. By figuring this out you’ll be able to pare down your closet and have a cohesive look - whatever you look is.

I love pleated skirts - JCrew outfit

I love pleated skirts and with my recent closet clean out I only have 2 left which sucks! 3 things I love about this skirt are the length, the lining, and the style of the pleat. It's also perfect to wear in the fall without tights, which is always a win. The colour of the skirt is a dusty rose, paired with a green tiger patterned silk shirt, and a navy blue blazer. All three pieces are from J.Crew with the most recent purchase being the silk shirt (this summer), the skirt 2 years ago, and the blazer from 4 years ago. The shoes are courtesy of Zara. This outfit is comfortable and great for the office or heading to brunch/lunch/dinner.

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