Browse Category: Look Book

Orange Sherbet & Florals

orangesherbet Who doesn’t love a splash of colour to brighten up a dull week?! I was told wearing this outfit that I would “stop traffic” but I take that as a compliment. This lovely rich sherbet orange blouse by Joe Fresh is instantly uplifting and soft to the touch. The blazer is a recent thrift find by Forever 21, so unique I couldn’t pass it up!

Love Forever 21

FOREVER21 There are two brands that always seem to capture my eye, Forever 21 and H&M. There is something about their colours and prints that are so captivating and unique. More often than not if I’m searching through racks and engaged by a floral top, its always one of these two brands! This look is one of my new favourites. My coworker had brought in this blazer by Forever 21 for consignment, it was love at first sight. The colours, the print the intricate little bead details… just beautiful.

February Faves

februaryfaves2015 February is a difficult month in Canada, hence the nickname: the winter blues. Freezing temperatures, high utility bills and dark dreary days. Fortunately there is no law against dressing in such a way that it combats the grey blah’s that winter brings.

This month’s favourite looks were a very similar setup with decorative scarves, bold jewellery and lots of layering. Little jackets or cardigans combined with my Cougar boots and wrapping my neck with a scarf I was able to keep warm yet stylish.

Infinity Scarves

Fedora I’ve been having a lot of fun with my scarves and accessories lately. Layering is a great way to add some finesse to your outfits, although it can be tricky to know when is too much. This week I wore my new patterned infinity scarves from Value Village in two fun winter looks.

As pictured above, I decided to be a little more daring and sport my Volcom fedora to bring out the orange in my scarf. It has become apparent that this sherbet orange is my favourite colour recently! Ask me a year ago and I would have been disgusted at the thought of anything orange. It’s amazing how often my tastes can change!

Infinity Scarf Earrings

I went for a mix of patterns: floral design jeans from GAP, crochet style sweater by Garage, multi coloured infinity scarf and green vest for warmth. It was a nice splash of colour for a Canadian January. Makes me look forward to being able to wear more of my bright colours in spring!

Today’s outfit was not as bold but featuring the second patterned scarf from the set I purchased last week, complimenting my newly thrifted Fossil necklace perfectly! I wanted a more classic look that was still bright and uplifting. Basic jeans, my new Cougar boots and a crisp white blouse made it all come together nicely.

I also wanted to show a detail of my earrings as I haven’t discussed them in a while. These multi coloured posts were so cool I just couldn’t leave them behind!

A New Sleek Style

MINTBLACKSometimes I am slow to take on new trends if I even dabble with them at all. A lot of times fads are simply overdone and they become either a tight disaster or a sloppy mess compared to the original. I tend to look at the positive aspects of the upcoming trends and incorporate it into the style I already have. My mother is a petite woman and pulls off the leggings-with-tunic top very well. She has this artsy unique way of combining pieces.

I had worn leggings in the beginning when they became the latest craze, but I found people would start making remarks that suggested I was dressing like my mother. Not that it is by any means a negative, I simply do not like being compared to the style’s of others. I like to think my look is my own.

I took a long hiatus from the leggings trend and went back to wearing jeans, panty hose with skirts, that sort of thing… what I was comfortable with. I think a big part of my hiatus was from simply hearing the negative remarks that other girls around me were receiving (whether they were aware of it or not) about them being too big to be wearing those, or that their shirt wasn’t long enough to cover their bums… I think I was subconsciously afraid of having those same comments said about me.

I have recently decided to restock some fun leggings to reintroduce them into my style. I had picked up a bunch of pairs for $2.50 during an 80% off sale at Ardene. I decided to be smart this time around and go for a large size because they stretch and often in those “youth” stores their sizing is not meant for an adult. My safe size is always Medium, for these leggings I thought at least I buy too big I can take them in. I even got a pair that were XL…. lo and behold, they all fit perfectly! My repeated lesson: never go by sizes!!

For a friend’s birthday dinner I decided to dress a little more stylish but with a sleek, girl’s night meets pastel sort of feel. I tried out a pair of black reptile print leggings from my pre-xmas purchase, over top of a pair that are fleece lined for warmth! I had thrifted this top recently from Forever 21 which is a large so it has more flow than a fitted one. Instead of going dark with a black jacket I decided to punch up the mint with one of my favourite spring blazers from H&M. Adding some assorted gold and mint jewellery I felt like a million bucks ready to celebrate.

Sweater Weather

GREY WHITE PRINT CARDIGANMy goal here was not to be so monochromatic but sometimes its hard to get through winter in an all bright palette! In Kingston, Ontario (Canada) we experience a wide range of temperatures and forms of weather. In the winter, such as right now in January, we experience flip-flop weather. One day it will be +2 degrees and rainy, the next -22 wind and snow. Today for instance, is a snow day. A day that city workers dread because the snow is not manageable no matter how many ploughs are on the road they just can’t keep the roads clear.

The store I work in was originally built to house a bank, so our back room where we take in consignments has next to no heat ventilation. In past years I have just frozen and worn a million layers under my clothing, but this year I became more intelligent and brought a space heater with me! As much as we all hate to feel like we are wearing snow suits around – these outfits I find to be not only light weight but very warm for these cold spells.

The first look pictured above, features a blazer/cardigan mix by Skies Are Blue that was consigned at our store in December. I fell in love with it instantly because of its great use of monochromatic colour and print. The smile on my face must have been huge when I tried it on! Now added to my wardrobe as one of my favourite staple pieces for winter – I keep the look rather simple with an infinity scarf, cotton blouse and doubled up leggings. From the picture it may seem odd but in reality the grey tones are almost brown, so for my boots and accessories I stick to the more earthy colours.

BLACK CARDIGAN This second outfit was a happy accident to discover. Shortly after I returned from my trip to Australia I was desperately trying to get my body temperature in line with the season. Coming from +30 degrees to +10 my body wasn’t adjusting well. While I was away this lovely flowing cardigan overtop was consigned – not something I would normally be attracted to mind you… but I was freezing and desperately needed more of a winter wardrobe! To my surprise heads turned when I tried it on casually in the store, not to mention one of the most cozy stylish cardigans I own!

Much like the previous cardigan, it has a lot of colour variations in it so its very easy to style. I had previously worn solid black under it, but you know me, I feel instantly depressed in too much black! This latest look however features a dark grey rather than black, with printed leggings and gold tone jewellery.

 

 

Bringing Back Blazers

Mario Serrani BlazerIn working at a women’s consignment clothing store, one of the most popular items that are brought in for potential consignment are business suits, skirts and blazers. Although there are many cities where businesswear is booming and in high fashion, heck even mandatory! In Kingston, we are a university and retirement city, with not much in between.

We are a city that more and more has adopted the casual lifestyle and we have somehow made that lifestyle expand into the workplace. As you can imagine, I’m not one of these people, I will not leave the house in yoga pants unless I am on my way to the gym or to yoga class! We have a few blended trends that in my opinion have been completely overdone to the point of being lazy and sloppy. Let me give you an example.

The first celebrity images that surfaced of Pamela Anderson wearing UGGs several years ago. She now regrets having promoted them while on Baywatch (to keep her barefeet warm on the beach) after learning they were made of animal product. In Kingston, with our Canadian winter, the trend was misappropriated and considered to be a “Winter” boot, when in fact, it is not. It is being worn in this city with sloppy sweat pants or yoga pants, a padded bomber coat with a hoodie hanging out. I can understand if you are cold at home and you want to wear your “warm and fuzzies” but this is not where we are seeing this “look”. It’s everyday shopping, it’s off to work at Starbucks, it’s going to class.

As I said, one of the most popular things people try to consign at the store is a business suit or a blazer. Unfortunately, in our store, the more formal it is – the less likely it is to sell. Usually consignors have the initial shock expression when we decline these items even if they are gorgeous and in pristine condition. But when we then ask them why they aren’t wearing it, the answer is always the same: “I don’t dress up anymore.” Surprise, surprise. We like to use the bank as a great example of what “women” are wearing these days. They’re skin tight, low cut, belly roll hanging over the side of their yoga pants – claiming that anything black on one’s legs is a “dress pant”.


White & Black Blazer
White Blazer

I had a student work along side me at one of my former jobs, a high end photography studio with very business-oriented clients. She showed up day one in a cheap black blazer from Stitches (I can’t criticize too much as she did make an attempt!), a white spandex tshirt with a pair of black yoga pants and dressy flats. Okay, number one – you did make an attempt at business attire with the blazer and sticking to neutrals; number two – who in their right mind thinks that yoga pants are appropriate for the office?!

I thoroughly enjoy listening to customers on a regular basis complaining that they don’t own anything dressy – usually for tonight’s formal event such as the Ballet. While sitting in the Grand Theatre this past Saturday evening I observed a very casual crowd, a mix of jeans and hoodies, a few sequined dresses and a couple tucked in shirts. Far superior in a formal wardrobe, the 6 year old girls out-shined 90% of the adults in attendance. All in all it is very sad.

When I go to work, I usually add a blazer to complete my outfit in the cooler weather seasons. Not only are they easy to match up in an outfit, they feel great and they instantly improve your outfit. Throw on a necklace or a scarf and I’m done! Granted, I am wearing jeans with my blazers to tone down the “business” look, but only because I work in a fashion environment where I want to show customers that blazers can be fun!

The blazers I am featuring in these three images were all under $15 secondhand. You can’t tell me blazers are expensive, I’m living proof that you can look amazing and well dressed on even the smallest budget!

Dress For Yourself

Kismet DressThere are days when we try very hard to get dressed, be fashionable and feel confident but it simply doesn’t work. I have these every now and again, usually due to the realization the outfit will be too warm or too cold, which then sets me into a frustrated state trying to come up with something more appropriate. On this particular morning, I had let some negative remarks made by others (jealous perhaps) get to me and it completely brought me down. I had curled my hair, then heard their negative opinion regarding my hair in my head – I ended up washing it out. I styled up my outfit, then heard the negative comments about the jeans not being their favourite. All these road blocks just from hearing other people’s opinions that were not my own.

I try to promote dressing well in general. I’m not trying to say what you should or shouldn’t wear, but rather help those that need inspiration on how to style the pieces you have or clothing you like. Maybe the jeans you’re wearing aren’t your friend’s favourite, but the point is, they’re yours. They don’t realize you like them, you like the colour, you like the way they feel and how you feel when you wear them. People are very opinionated.

This outfit came from a morning of tears and frustration, negative remarks I overcame with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I was given this green and light pink print dress by Kismet a few months ago in hopes I would be able to create something with it. I decided to try it on and wouldn’t you know it – aside from the length it was actually a very flattering dress! To my surprise I instantly felt more slim, the lumps and bumps were minimized by the wild print… I plunked down at the sewing machine and took it up a few inches to a more flattering length and voila!

I had not worn my pink Danier leather jacket since last spring but I would need a warmer layer for at the store. It really did wonders to pull the pink out from the dress! Styled up with a cozy knit scarf and my DIY leg warmers! I had this American Eagle sweater for a few years – I tried wearing it a few times but ultimately it was too short and probably shrunk. I hung on to it for no particular reason, maybe thinking one day I’d be a size 3 again – but in a matter of seconds, the decision was made and leg warmers were made! A quick stitch around the edge to hold the yarn together and chopped the sleeve away from the sweater. Done and done!

Timeless Denim

denimlook2Only recently have I discovered how denim jackets can one’s life so much easier! Take these two outfits for instance, great for work or play and very easy to style! A great 3/4 sleeve jacket is all you need for that extra layer of warmth and to break up a lot of one colour.

Now to the budget-savvy part of the post, these two sweaters cost under $5 each. Tell me where would you find a better deal for your fashion budget?! Albeit they aren’t by any fancy label, they are a little pilly when you look up close – but hey, if you’re that close you are seriously in my personal space!

This mint coloured cable knit sweater I snatched up originally had a black ribbon bow at the back of the neck. Leave it to Streetwear Society to add something totally unnecessary! Luckily it was an easy snip to remove leaving a very cozy and quite lovely sweater that was far better without! For me simple is better! If I had left it, I would have felt obligated to wear black to match, this way the possibilities are endless.

The scarf featured in this minty-fresh look is actually a clearance buy from Claire’s! Most people are fascinated by it, thinking it is high end or handmade perhaps. But no, the big secret exposed, it was a splurge for $3 in January.

denimlookdenimcloseup

The second look features a dusty rose, almost fleshtone pink sweater with a huge cowl neckline. What’s great about this one is the fact that it has short sleeves, so a jacket can easily fit over top! To style this up nice I mixed tones with an aztec-meets-geometry scarf and necklace from Endeavour.

Orange and Blue

orangeblueThis is the year I have finally started enjoying sweaters and winter clothing. Normally I find winter to be rather frustrating, all those dark greys and blacks, things that completely depress me. As per my philosophy, thrift is the way to go to find vibrant colours to wear all year round.

These three pieces featured in this vibrant look, are all product of The Revolving Door, a women’s consignment store in Kingston, Ontario. I was instantly attracted to this rich royal blue sweater because of the colour, but it is actually a very nicely designed top, with 3/4 sleeves too! I find that length of sleeve so much more flattering and easy to work with.

Although I’m not the biggest fan of Style & Co, TanJay, Cleo – lately I’ve been noticing their line has shifted to a much younger, more modern style – that I completely love! Now this isn’t to say all their items have a younger feel, but this knit top is one of the few great ones I’ve recently discovered. Naturally I had a scarf to match the blue, but I also have been excited about orange lately, so I opted for this short GAP skirt instead of my typical jeans.

Such an easy look to throw together using contrasting colours that really pop. Did you know orange and blue are the most frequently used colours in movies due to the vibrant contrast between them? Check out an action movie poster next time you’re at the theatre, there’s typically fire and sky because they vibrate and intrigue the eye.


orangeblue1
To finish off the look I redesigned a recently thrifted orange and gold chain necklace, from a shorter multi strand to a long triple strand – and my refashioned bracelet. A great DIY tip: snatch up “broken” bracelets at the thrift store and pop off some of the stones for a unique design. This one pictured was missing two beads, but for only .99 cents, I took it home and popped off a few more to make it a pattern! Very cool and easy idea I’ve done several times!

Orange Sherbet

Zara BlazerI am known for my love of scarves and pashminas, rarely am I seen without them! Lately I have been loving this pale sherbet orange colour, it keeps popping up during my thrifting adventures! Last week this beautiful scarf came into the store – it didn’t get far!

I picked up an Old Navy shift dress for less than $10 at Value Village last week, but even at a size medium, my curves were just too much for it. I loved the print regardless and decided to shorten it into a top. That was easy enough to alter, but something was still wrong in the chest area. It was pulling, but not in a way that would suggest it was too small – but in the shoulder and arm area. I cannot understand why but more and more tops are being made with exceptionally small sleeves!
Old Navy Alteration
The easy fix to this conundrum was simply to chop the sleeves off! No problem at all and now I have a really cute cami to wear under cardigans and blazers!

Another great find is this sequined jacket by Zara! I spent more than I typically do on this sort of thing, but knowing how expensive the brand is, I decided it was unique enough to be worth the whopping $15 🙂 I paired it today with a super soft denim shirt by GAP, my sherbet orange pashmina and new thrifted GAP jeans! Wouldn’t you know it, the new Nine West flats were an excellent match to the blue in the jacket!

Denim Fever

Sexy Boyfriend JeansDenim is one of those magical things that is always in style, it changes colour, it develops, it improves in many ways with new technology. I can honestly say I am not a fan of the latest trend or rather last year’s trend of skinny jeans, as quite frankly, they only look good on girls with slender legs and no bum. I am neither.

I am very curvaceous: I have both hips, thighs and substantial bottom. Skinny, spandex based jeans or “jeggings” are worn across the board and its a style that is not suitable for everyone. In fact, some of the most fit women I know will not wear them due to their unflattering nature. If you are a person that can wear long tunic style shirts, skinny is fine. For someone like me that needs layering or shorter shirts to minimize the wide section, these jeans just don’t cut it.

Last week a pair of jeans came into the store that were not stretchy and not skinny. I took a chance that they might work and was completely overwhelmed to discover they fit perfectly and sat comfortably on my hips. These magic jeans “Sexy Boyfriend” by GAP, is my ideal fit. The look may not be for everyone, but for someone as shapely as I am in the leg, you might like these!

I naturally had to make the joke that now I too, had a sexy boyfriend to go home with 😉