Browse Tag: accessories

The Wow! Business Look

franklymandressWho says business professional has to be boring black suits?! Check out this fabulous look I put together for a local business expo one of my employers took part in! I have owned this dress for a few years, made some alterations to it back in the day (took up the hem so it sits above the knee) but never found an opportunity to wear it.

I wanted to look professional but sophisticated and stylish at the same time. I just hate the solid black dress and blazer that most women resort to for these events! What’s wrong with a splash of colour? I do not recall if this is a Joseph Ribkoff or Frank Lyman, regardless its stunning and feels like a tshirt when it’s on.

Paired with a 3/4 sleeve blazer and point toe pumps, and vibrant aqua jewellery of course!
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Affordable Jewellery

jewelleryebay I know my claim to fame is thrift and all things second hand, but on the rare occasion, sometimes finding a bargain can be found in “real” stores, or in this case online. I am above all else bound by a budgeted lifestyle.

I go a few months forgetting all about the wonders of eBay. It can be wonderful and deadly at the same time. If you are looking for bright statement jewellery for a fraction of the retail price you might as well go direct to the source and skip the middle man. When using eBay, you can set your search parametres so that you can’t accidentally agree to pay a price you are not comfortable with.

My search criteria is strictly based on price and free shipping. I absolutely will not pay for shipping (there are thousands of sellers overseas that offer free shipping to Canada) as Canadian shipping is completely outrageous. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever tried to ship something here or order from a Canadian retailer. My maximum price range is anywhere from $3 to $5. To be safe I set it at $4 usually and click my free shipping.

The next thing I do is change the sort feature to show me only items ending soon as I for one, want to know my odds of winning an auction. Yes you can “Buy It Now” but a lot of times you can get it cheaper if you chance it on an auction. I don’t necessarily win them all as a neat necklace might start at .99 cents but climb to $8. To me that isn’t worth it. I put my maximum bid at whatever I feel it is worth and am willing to pay.

Now looking at this image I had posted on Instagram, I asked my followers what piece they thought was most expensive and least expensive. There is a bangle in there that is 925 silver stamped… but believe it or not the most expensive piece was the silver rhinestone bracelet for $5 and the black triangle necklace for .99 cents. The rest were roughly between $1.50 and $3.

Try Something New!

emeraldgreenwithlace Once week I have a goal for myself to re-inspire, if that’s even a word, to mix and match different items in my wardrobe. I often find pieces that I really like but can’t seem to find anything to match. The same story I hear every day from women I meet: “Its pretty but what do I wear with it??”

Women all over the world are exploring the exciting side of fashion, mixing prints and patterns, florals with stripes, poka dots with houndstooth… As much as I’d like to say “go nuts!” I myself, am reserved in this trend. I still get stuck in having the same tones, more matchy-matchy at times than these die-hard fashionistas. I saw an advertisement for a local boutique and the mish-mash of fabrics hurt my eyes, honestly it would give me anxiety to combine two wild prints in the same outfit!

Now this lace skirt was consigned at the Store a few weeks ago. No label just a unique style and a perfect fit. I had no idea what I would wear with it at the time, so for a solid week it hung there on my rack. It tormented me. Finally I sat down and looked at all the tops I had in my closet and then turned my attention to all the tank tops I had piled up on a multi-hook hanger. This rich emerald green (or Christmas green as they say) struck me instantly. I knew I had a bold necklace with a variety of greens mixed together, it just might work!

And this you see, is the final outfit. Not at all what I would normally wear, but with the same accents and finesse that I seek to incorporate into my outfits. Sometimes all you need is a thick belt and a high waist to make a look come together!

Blended Textures

lightrose I was super impressed with myself after discovering these two pieces in my closet were almost exactly the same shade of pale pink! I am trying to be more adventurous in my pattern and fabric mixing and this is a great instance of where it worked out beautifully! I adored this Antilia Femme blouse I found at Value Village some weeks ago. I am really feeling the dusty rose and gold combination this year!

The skirt is by Joe Fresh (I know right?!) consigned at the Store a couple months ago before the weather was warm enough to wear it. It certainly is a favourite of mine not only because of the colour but the lace-crochet style it has. I love dainty feminine details don’t you?

Royal Blue

bluegreenplaidskirt I think its safe to say I have converted to the love of blue. This rich royal blue skirt by Dynamite was consigned at the Store the other week and I thought it might be a bit cutesy for me, turns out its perfect! Its the right length, has the premade loops for a belt and sits perfectly on my waist. Way to go Dynamite!

Up until recently I didn’t own much that was blue, never cared for the colour honestly but this deep rich royal blue really has me hooked. I’m currently sporting two different looks incorporating the colour, my Cleo blouse (that gets constant compliments!) and my American Eagle plaid shirt.

blueskirtdynamite I have been following tons of stylish ladies on Instagram, admiring their use of blended prints and patterns. I still do not feel that I am that adventurous, but when I wore the plaid combination to work yesterday the responses were along the lines of “now how cool is that?” It was an easy-no-brainer look I put together, letting go of my usual insistence that the colours be exact.

I know how a great selection of stackable bracelets in the same colours too!

Scarves for Spring

SCARVESValue Village has both new and donated clothing. Their new section consists of a mass amount of cheap shoes, boots, accessories and leggings. I don’t tend to give it a second glance because I find more appeal in the hunt for unique items not buying mass produced. Something this winter season did catch my eye but based on my philosophy I just didn’t feel for the thin quality that they were worth spending $12.99. These vibrant scarves, each package comes with a solid colour and a patterned one. Its quite simply the patterns and bright colours that have me hooked!

I looked at them a few times over the two months they had been displayed around the store but I just kept shrugging at the price. Did I really need more scarves? I could probably find a thrifted one that’s a better fabric… All these constant debates in my head. I always left them behind. I popped in on Thursday evening to purchase a gift certificate to add to my friend’s birthday gift and saw they had been moved to a clearance table.

In huge red letters the sign said 75% off red tagged items… I thought it couldn’t hurt to look to see what was left over. There were plenty of scarves but none that caught my eye. I decided to sift a little further into the pile and suddenly there they were. The two sets I had admired, and only those two were left at the bottom of this pile. One printed with a matching blue scarf and the second with a deep pink. The debate began in my head once more, but doing the quick math in my head – there wasn’t much left to debate over as my major hurdle was cost for quality. For $3 a set that puts each scarf at $1.50… where are you going to find such cute scarves for Spring for that price?!

Buying “new” wasn’t in my original plan for my thrift challenge, but if we are looking at budget smarts this is definitely one good move as I love my scarves!

Earring Organizing

EARRING ORGANIZERIn addition to my post Simple Ways to Organize, I decided to do a serious house cleanse in the last few days of my holidays this winter. I had always used a thrifted silver jewellery tree to hang my earrings off of, but as I collect more and more pairs, it just seems to be a mess rather than something to help me stay organized.

When you have as many earring sets as I do you need more than the cookie cutter jewellery displays you can get at the store. For this you need to be a little more innovative! I am not a big fan of the mesh or chicken wire setups that some girls have tried, but I did think the most non-intrusive way of organizing would be some sort of storage case. I had several different styles of these clear boxes at home but mostly full of sewing supplies. I didn’t have one that had just the right amount of compartments and depth I visualized.

One evening while I was killing time, I popped into the local Michael’s and had a look through their jewellery displays that were on clearance – as predicted nothing that would really do the trick. I walked further down the beading aisle and saw all their plastic storage containers, piles and piles of different styles. Although very interesting designs not all would really be that useful for me for such frequent use. I knew I wanted something relatively shallow, but deep enough to hold a larger pair of earrings.

I first found a cute circular storage container for $2.99, it would be perfect for my tiny stud earrings. It has 8 compartments each with their own snapping lids. Ideally they want you to buy the full kit which includes a stand so you can stack multiple storage units and have them spin… apparently. I just needed the one!

Further down I saw two units with very similar designs, one wouldn’t hold as much but seemed like a more stylish container – and the other cheaper ($11.99 vs $19.99) that had 24 compartments and one easy lid. I settling on the budget-wise unit and it has done wonders for me ever since!

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.

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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.

Parisian Inspired Looks

blackwhitepinstripesRight now black and white stripes are HUGE in my summer wardrobe! Anything with stripes that comes into the store I get all giggly! If you’re like me and you’ve always been afraid of stripes, fear no longer! I’ve put together three looks recently that are simple, fun and Parisian inspired that show how you can easily wear stripes – if they are the right stripes!

This top is a beautiful long sleeved dark navy and white striped number by Jones New York – I was a sucker for the gold button detail on the shoulders! Black capris by Le Chateau, low heel wedges by American Eagle paired with red acccessories! This look was extremely flattering especially for my wide hips! Who knew?

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One of my faves lately, a long pinstripe maxi skirt with no label, white tshirt by Reitmans (again with shoulder buttons!), mini belt, new flats from ACo and mixed gold white and black bangles. Now this is everyone’s favourite new dress by La Classe Couture, although painfully short, I simply chopped a pair of black leggings into shorts and voila! I have been painting flats lately and these used to be coral but was itching for a pair of red ones. Couldn’t find any at the Ardene or thrifting so I decided to paint these up!

Thrifted Purses

I will admit I haven’t bothered to look at the purse rack at Value Village since the Kingston store rearranged their racks. I’m still not a huge fan of the layout as it messes up my “flow” if you know what I mean. I would prefer to be far away from the children’s clothing and toys if I had my way, its just too chaotic! Anywho, I happened to be rounding the corner of one of the shoe aisles and a lovely dusty turquoise bag caught my eye.

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Prep Inspired!

Preppy Banana RepublicToday I’ve decided to show you a taste of my latest interest, inspired by the lovely Sara of Sabby Style Blog. Her way of styling and daily Instagram posts have motivated me to explore the world of mixed print combinations. I have always been a matchy matchy type of girl but more and more I am starting to let go of the old rules and being more adventurous with layering, colour and mixing patterns.

My first step in this new direction was to find a suitable, “go-to” denim shirt that could be worn under a variety of cardigans or knit tops. The idea came from Sara’s Coral Me Bad post, with a basic denim shirt underneath and building up the look with vibrant layering. Although not as adventurous, I found on one thrifting trip both a simple denim shirt as well as my first (hopefully of many!) knit tops.

Banana Republic Top This is one rack I don’t have to sift through each individual item. The sweaters or knit tops simply jump out at me because I know exactly the look I want to achieve in my mind. As per the inspirational look by Sara, for instance, the leopard print cardigan. My first attempt at this new style is this unbelievably comfy yellow striped knit top by Banana Republic. Now normally I run from yellow at all costs, but this is a more subdued yellow, almost a deep mustard. What surprised me most about this was the price, only $5.99 for a Banana Republic? It was mint condition, I honestly don’t think the girl ever wore it.

I knew almost instantly it would be a great first attempt, but just to make sure, I stood smushed up against the tshirt rack and fashioned the look together pulling the sleeves of the denim shirt through the knit one. As I suspected, it was perfect. It wasn’t quite what I had envisioned but I loved the look regardless.

Navy Blue & Coral The next day I tried a similar idea but added one of my go-to 3/4 sleeve blazers. For this look I thrifted a coral and white striped top by GAP. Again in perfect condition and the right price. I skipped the denim undershirt this time as it would have been too much with the blazer on top. I finally felt confident enough to combine a bright floral with the already vibrant stripes. Both bold pieces but the colouring was perfect. After seeing Mad for Mint on Sara’s Instagram, I was in awe of how she so beautifully blended mixed prints. I realized the key for me would be in the colours.

If I could find items that were almost the same hue or same colour family, the look would be just as seamless – or on the right path to get there. This second look I feel achieved that quite successfully as the coral in the stripes is the same as the floral print in the scarf. I knew I’d find something to match that scarf sooner or later!

And finally one of my new favourite finds: the shoes! I found these loafers the other night and my goodness they are comfy and the perfect colour to match just about anything. I have tried searching for them online but they go by a variety of names such as Moccasin Flats, Loafers or as Spring calls them, Boat Shoes. Whatever name you choose to describe them, I call them fabulous!

An Old Favourite

Sheer Floral Tunic I tell you what, I have had this dress for so long I have no idea where I got it, what the label is or which way is the back or front! A one of a kind number that’s sheer but a touch short with the slip that I have presently but it works quite well with just a pair of leggings. The leggings however are probably a form of what the girls call “jeggings” these days, a thin stretchy pant with a faux denim print. Quite comfy I’m not going to lie! To make the look a little more feminine and flattering I paired it with a thick warm brown belt and light peach tank top underneath to give it some pop.

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