Browse Category: Look Book

My Style

I was once a girl that always felt awkward and uncomfortable, trying so hard to follow these fashion trends but never actually went to the mall or paid close attention to what the magazines were showing. I just liked clothing piece by piece, not how they fit into any sort of style or trend at the time. To this day my feelings about it remain the same, each item I find is unique and it doesn’t matter if its not from this season’s collection.

This is an outfit I could never in a million years imagine putting together, but I did. This light pink furry vest came into the store and I was captivated by it. I’d never liked anything furry up until this particular day and what can I say, I had to have it. Its a soft light rosey pink which is one of my favourite colours lately so that may have everything to do with it – its not black.

“I stay true to myself and my style, and I am always pushing myself to be aware of that and be original.” – Aaliyah

The dress is one of two matching spandex numbers I thrifted together, I believe an H&M or similar brand, one dark purple the other dark green. Now they both required alteration so that I could walk freely so I put a slit in the side of each on one side. The scarf was consigned not long after and it has just the right hint of plum and pink to work with this whole look and tie it all together in a not overwhelming sort of way. I mix the look up with a different dress or jewellery sometimes to keep it interesting, but its still a favourite.

I think I enjoy it so much because of exactly how unique it is, it follows no trends, no magazine clippings and no celebrity style. Its comfortable but edgy. It makes me feel super stylish and with that, I glow when I wear it to work. Its a statement for sure, a conversation starter at the very least. I don’t feel that I have any particular look, any signature style but everything I wear has a “me” look to it because of how its styled with other pieces, with the jewellery accents or the footwear. It all sort of works together in a Pamela-sort of way.

I follow no rules, I blend colours based on my accessories and I try out all kinds of ideas. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. The bottom line is thoroughly enjoying everything I wear.

Fun with Fashion


A regular customer came into the store last week and paused, she was trying to find the right words. “You’re dressing very… ” then she skipped finding a word to fill in and went to “…lately” yes I agree I have been dressing very “…” lately! I told her I was enjoying styling new outfits lately and she agreed it was really nice to see.

Yes it is nice to see when people dress up and look put together. I enjoy being complete with accessories and matching elements. I like to look like I thought about it when I chose my look. I care about these things.

I’m most sad when women bring in their clothing for consignment and say “I’m retired now so I don’t need any of this” which would make sense if it was clearly business attire, but its their every day nice casual wear. They get rid of all their dresses, all their jewellery, their “nicer” pieces. So what that tells me is women who retire resort to wearing sweat pants? Wearing athletic wear even though you haven’t seen a gym in ten years?


Clothing is an exciting thing we can wear over our bodies, why not love and enjoy every day with something that says wow! I like to feel my best, which comes from looking my best. I rarely leave the house dressed down, even when I am people still think I’m dressed up. There’s nothing better to me than styling a new outfit and have people say “that outfit looks amazing on you!”

I like to look at my clothing and say, this is such a nice top… I wonder if this will go with this… and it does! So many women hate to shop, and I get that. I hate to sit around watching Netflix. We all have things we do that we enjoy and no one else has to understand. It just makes me feel great to leave the house looking my best. It makes me sad however when our culture is looking more and more like we rolled out of bed and didn’t bother to change out of our pajamas. There’s a time and a place and that’s at home at bedtime.

Mix ‘n Match, Street Meets Office!

With every single post lately being about Valentine’s Day, romance and mush gush that all us single gals dread this time of year – I have been springing for looks that are more “anti” rather than lovey-dovey. Check out today’s mix’n match look featuring a blend of casual street fashion with a hint of office formal. Its very different to any looks I’ve done in the past but I really wanted to pair this black and white lace print skirt by Seventy with something but its just too cold to go without sleeves!




Wearing skirts with my Fly London booties gives a less formal look to any outfit, I like to think a more “edgy” style. Yesterday we were dumped on with nearly a foot of snow as much as our shoppers thought we were into “spring”… haha February is hardly spring in Ontario! I am not someone that has a winter wardrobe exclusively or a summer wardrobe exclusively I like to mix and match and blend the seasons together. Lately my outfits have been darker so that I can wear a few of the statement jewellery pieces I have that only work with dark palettes.

Fun Business Looks

I’m not traditional, by any stretch of imagination. Every day I push the boundaries of fashion in my little world exploring new fabrics, layering and accessorizing. I don’t see professional as being limited to black and grey as most people come to believe. They instantly grab the black suit, white collared shirt, pumps and tiny stud earrings. Blah.

Years ago I learned that in interviews to be memorable, sometimes your presentation has to be exciting moreso than whats on the paper in front of them. I went to an interview for a small community township office reception job, at the time I had dark brown hair with pink underneath and I styled it in such a way that it looked more professional (along with the outfit of course!) and not as loud. When I was hired and arrived for my first day of work I had re-dyed my hair to be more professional and the CEO walked in and said “where did the pink go?!”

Little did I know the staff in the meeting remembered me and referred to me as the girl with pink hair… It stood out rather than “the brunette in the black suit” … hmm not so memorable. From then on I was dressing professional but in my thrifty fun way and they loved it. That office was excited to see what I wore each day. Every day is new and exciting so its more fun to dress as such!


I’ve been asked a few times about a business look for an interview or new job and to be honest my style isn’t that much different when I’m working in a “professional” environment. I’m still colourful and fun, I just add more on the accessory side and more formal footwear. I’ve put together a few of my favourite business looks I’ve worn to the studio in the last two years so you can see the array of styles that are totally office appropriate – unless your office wants a boring black suit of course!

Because of my curves I like to have bright print skirts paired with a matching blouse (usually sleeveless so my arms fit in the blazer sleeves!) and a basic solid colour blazer. Unless I’m wearing a substantial pashmina, necklaces are a must they just add that finishing touch. I’m told pointed toes are on the way out, haha, not in my world! I think a pointed toe is extremely classy and make any outfit look polished. Fitted black jeggings paired with a pointed toe heel or flat is everything. The easiest way to look office ready without trying too hard.

 

Mixing Fabrics

Today I’m trying a whole new look with some newly thrifted pieces. As you know not a fan of leggings but these I would wear more like pants because they’re super cool! I’ve always wanted pleather pants to give outfits that extra oomph! Last week this Lululemon wrap scarf-poncho was consigned at the store and it was so unique I had to have it and give styling it a whirl!

I look through the leggings at Value Village occasionally when I go but usually they are super tiny, really worn or very bright patterns. I often don’t have luck when I go thrifting specifically for an item, conveniently I was looking for a swimsuit (and found one!) and also spotted these bad boys. From Dynamite, a really nice sturdy fabric that as my employee observed, blend almost seamlessly into my boots!

Its kind of a cool look, simple and easy to style.

 

My Scarf Obsession




Its no surprise that I love scarves! Scarves of all shapes and sizes! No that’s not true I like long scarves, infinity, pashmina, knits… Although I love the flight attendant look of a small silk scarf tied at the neck, I have yet to try that style out. Long flowing pashminas in an array of colours and prints are my favourite accessory.

I sometimes thrift scarves that I only wear once or twice, because of the colour or the print. Something about them is just too difficult to blend into my wardrobe and I am past saving items for the perfect match. Sometimes that “match” never comes! Such a thing happened recently when I arrived at work and realized I hated my outfit to the point of being really uncomfortable. The scarf I just picked up the week before full of lush pinks and tans was lovely but it just doesn’t go with anything I own… and that’s okay! I don’t need a hundred scarves!




I’ve been asked recently to do a video of styling scarves, I haven’t made it yet but I was noticing a few different ways I wear them in my OOTD’s on Instagram so I thought I would share a few of my favourites recently. Scarves are an easy fun accessory that can be worn alone or with a necklace underneath. Depending on the top or the look I want to achieve, they can be wrapped, tied or hang long.

Easy Layering for Scarves & Dresses

I love dresses. I know so many women hate them, refuse to wear them, dread them when a holiday party comes around and find every possible way not to have to wear one. Dresses are a choice. For me dresses are easy, comfortable, flowy or fitted, stretchy or sparkly… Their possibilities are endless and there is always a style that flatters every body shape. Well, except that one woman we tried every single dress in the store and none of them flattered her shape…. aside from that one time haha.

lucianmatisgreenI have found in recent years there is a designer that fits me to perfection, the right combination of ruching and stretch. Lucian Matis. You may not have heard of this brand because the price tag is quite steep for the average Joe, as I love his style, I just can’t afford it. I am a huge fan of the classic feminine styling of Michelle Obama and our own Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, I was doing some research on Lucian Matis and was even more pleased to learn he is a Toronto designer! Yay Toronto!

If you ever come across one of his dresses I would consider it a real find. This white, plum and green watercolour print is everything I could possibly want in an all season dress. Higher neckline, 3/4 sleeve and to the knee. It could be shortened if need be but I kind of like that look lately. I was looking for an edgy outfit to wear to a holiday show I was doing with a more artsy-creative customer base so I paired this beauty with my new thrifted Groundhog boots, mixed print scarf and my own jewellery from OOAK.darkgreendressscarfhat

I can wear his dresses all day and they are most flattering on my figure. The stretch easily covers and shapes my curves and hides any unwanted attention with ruching.

This is my first date look from this past week. I love “dressing up” although to me this is a normal everyday look even to buy groceries! I altered the second of my two skinny dresses, again with 3/4 sleeves, but they were hard to walk in as they come below the knee so the slit in the side opens it right up for me. I wanted to be comfortable yet stylish so I opted for a brown and green toned look with my khaki coloured Fly Londons, dark teal pashmina and matching jewellery.

 

Curvaceous Calves

14732280_975973969199075_3060862929111866196_nIf you are one of those lucky individuals that is the right height-weight-muscle ratio to fit most tall boots, stop reading this post. If you are me my calves are considered “too big” for the average tall boot width perhaps based on my 5.75 shoe size and 5’3 height. I spent 15 years of my life dancing twice a week so the muscle is certainly there hiding underneath. I hear it at the store all day long, women asking “who did they make these to fit?” then you see a tall slender woman walk by with minimal meat on her legs and the light bulb goes off.

Most are made to fit models so that it looks flattering in the magazine and on the website. It also depends on where the company is based, what their general sizing is. These Fly London boots came into the store, much more worn than what we would typically accept but I knew I was buying them regardless of the wear and tear. The issue came instantly when I realized I couldn’t get the boot on without an alteration thanks to my curvy calves. 14720622_975975602532245_6367736462522267529_n

I popped over to Fabricland and bought a thick black elastic that I hopefully could insert down the back of the boot. Fortunately the seam is straight centered down the back of the boot which made it easier to open up and insert the elastic. I stitched the elastic in place by hand and tied the laces back up. They would look better with a longer elastic so I could do up all the grommets but that’ll be for another day.

I tried them out (along with my new hairstyle) yesterday at the store and to be honest that’s the first day I didn’t have sore feet. Apparently two insoles and thick socks did the trick!

 

Boot Lust

14615851_970463813083424_4587667630100396654_oAny clothing lover like myself gets beyond excited when they come across a great pair of boots. Recently I have stumbled into three pairs of amazing boots, unique in their own way. Now in the summer I caved and spent considerable money on new Fly Londons, which are great and all but very heavy on my feet and unfortunately don’t allow me to stand the 9 hours I need to without feeling sore. I think that’s just the reality of retail, no one shoe can be comfortable for that long.

I accepted two pairs of worn boots for consignment last week because they were my size, normally they’d be too worn to sell but considering they’d be coming home with me and I will love them regardless! One pair is a brand called MAG which is not really known in Kingston, that has really unique footwear. We’ve had this brand at the store before and it hasn’t really caught on, but this particular pair I thought was really unique and had the laces I require to fit my muscular calves.

14691311_971299892999816_6497213829281078253_oAlthough my tiny feet require several insoles and thick socks to pull them off comfortably, I feel like these bad boys could be a nice addition to my fall wardrobe. The other pair were dark plum coloured Fly London boots which I took home as they were in need of major love. Seeing as I had spent serious cash on the shoe version months prior I thought it’d be worth it to give these taller boots a good home. There is some serious distressing going on around the toe and ankle areas (the previous owner was rough on her boots!) but I thought maybe one day I’d find a polish to touch them up. I also couldn’t get them done up at the back, so I opened them up down the seam and inserted black elastic so they would fit over my calves. Surprisingly it worked out quite well! I will need to find new laces as the ones they came with are too small based on the size I had to expand to.

The third pair of boots I found recently were at Value Village, where lately everything is priced at $15.99 for no apparent reason… these western ankle boots by Lucky Brand however are worth considerably more. I honestly didn’t expect them to be comfortable but they really are.

 

 

That Girl at the Office

s94 Some days I miss being in an office! But I was never that “typical” girl in the office, I have always been a vibrant colour palette full of prints and colourful heels. You won’t often find me in a traditional black suit, but if you do there’s going to be a pop of colour to accent it. I enjoy wearing clothing that I would call business casual, some would think its more business professional, but its fun and tasteful. Who said that business and “professional” meant boring?!

s93 For me the brighter the better! I am thrilled by loud prints and vibrant palette. Bold jewellery even more so! I often hear at the store women say “its too loud for me” and they walk out wearing the same neutrals or blacks that they came in in. There are so many amazing dresses out there in so many shapes and styles, but women are so afraid of them! Either you love them or you run the other way. For me they are so easy to style but the fit has to be right. I almost always have to take them up an inch in the shoulders and often the hem as well because below the knee is less flattering on my 5’2 height.

s92 “Normal” shoppers often have the idea that I must be good at thrift shopping, they whine that they never find anything, that there must be a trick to it or I am just lucky. They think I must go every single day in order to “find the good stuff”. Which is completely not true. Its not easy, its not a walk in and walk out type shopping experience. You have to be able to envision the look, it has to fit, and it has to be the right price. You wouldn’t believe how many times I said goodbye to pieces I loved because I thought they were priced ridiculously high for what they are. We all have a price we are willing to pay for things and when it comes to thrifting, my price is low and that’s the truth of it.

s91 I also am not above taking chances or risks. I’m willing to cut open a dress to make it fit better, most would not. I’m willing to chance that the item will fit me when I get home if I don’t feel like trying it on. Thrifting is a gamble, but a financially sound one. People would never believe the price I pay for what I wear every day, they can’t believe they spend $180 on the same type of dress at the mall and only wore it once. If I spend $10 and only wear it once I’m content with that… I see women every day consigning brand new $400 purses that they decided they didn’t like afterward. I have no words.


How to dress, when you’ve gained weight

kimchibluedressIts not easy to say those words is it? That word “weight” combined in the same sentence as “gain” just doesn’t feel good to say. Not that weight gain is bad or should be frowned upon, it is just ingrained in us, especially as women, that weight gain is negative and therefore fills us with disgust.

I have, for the most part, always been the same size and same average weight – but more and more as my work consumes most of my spare time, I find myself having less and less energy to do any sort of physical activity. Combined of course with the stress of searching for your new home and all the wonderful goodies that come along with buying your first home… I’m sure there’s a few stress pounds in there too.

Regardless of the reasons why we gain, we need to be able to dress regardless of our size. By all means don’t go throwing out all your clothing that suddenly no longer fits. For all you know this could be a fluctuation which happens in women’s bodies. Sometimes I wake up and can’t fit into a pair of shorts, by the afternoon those same shorts are falling down. This could be just me, but my weight shifts over the course of the day. Continue Reading