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!






Hair Accessories: Hair pins and clips

Hair Pins by  The Loved One

Hair Pins by The Loved One

When Solange released the album art for A Seat At The Table with her wearing all of those roller hair pins it sparked a hair trend with everyone and their grandmother wearing tons of hair pins. Since then, we seen a revival of hair accessories across the Spectrum from velvet scrunchies to padded headbands.

Part of my dive into the hair accessories trend is - jewelled hair pins and clips. Hair Pins and clips are a great way to dress up a look, they are easy to apply and work well in multiple types of hair. With wedding season around the corner, I definitely consider them to be a great accessory. Personally I used gorgeous hair pins to style my short hair on my wedding day and they looked amazing.

The pins below are great for everyday looks and the pearl clip I think would be your go-to to add an elegant touch to a little black dress or jeans.

I have linked to the stores that I bought the pins from but you can also check out Urban Outfitters or Amazon!



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!






Beauty Experience: Bite Beauty Lip Lab

If you live in Toronto and hangout on Queen Street West, I’m sure you’ve walked by the Bite Beauty Lip Lab numerous times. I was always curious and this curiosity came to fruition this month.

As a lipstick lover who is friends’ with another lipstick lover, I was struggling to figure out what to get her for Christmas. We both spent too much at Sephora last year but what do you get for a makeup/beauty lover who already has everything they want at the moment (this is always a short moment). I figured an experience would be the best way to go and our shared love for lipstick lead me to Bite Beauty Lip Lab on January 6.

I chose the Bespoke service where you create 2 custom lip colours. The process is pretty straight forward, you sit with one of the Bite Beauty’s Colour Artists they ask you what colour you have in mind. Once you’ve decide on a colour the Colour Artist will mix the lip pigments, until you find your colour of choice. I created two different shades, a nude in the sheer finish and a raspberry-orange in a matte finish, it took about 3 or 4 pigment mixes to find each of these colours.

My 2 Bespoke Lipsticks

My 2 Bespoke Lipsticks

The colourful jars are the lipstick pigments that the Colour Artist mixes together to create your bespoke lipstick and the tiny jars with liquid in them are scents that you can choose to add to your lipstick as well.

The colourful jars are the lipstick pigments that the Colour Artist mixes together to create your bespoke lipstick and the tiny jars with liquid in them are scents that you can choose to add to your lipstick as well.

Rating: 💄💄💄💄💄(for experience and product)

If you want to make your own lip colour I would highly suggest this service! Austen was our Colour Artist and he was great. Very knowledgable about what looks good on your skin tone but also narrowing down to the colour you desire. Further, I hadn’t used Bite Beauty lip products other than their agave lip balm. Can I say that the formulas are amazing! The matte was very moisturizing and not drying, while the sheer formula still have great colour payoff and is fairly long-wearing. Also have you ever chosen a scent for you lipstick? I had never noticed any of my other lipsticks have a obvious scent. For my raspberry-orange colour I chose the citrus scent because I plan to wear this colour out summer 2019. I believe I selected wild-berry for my nude colour scent.

 

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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