Browse Tag: blazer

Blazers Rock My World

brightcherryblazer All year round blazers are a staple in my wardrobe. They are so easy to wear whether you leave it open or buttoned, cuffs long or rolled. I really enjoy layering accessories when it comes to my outfits combining scarves with long beaded necklaces with a bright blazer over top. At The Store we find blazers to be a difficult sell. The customers seem to like them when they see me wearing them with a pair of skinny jeans and scarves, but they just don’t know how to style them on their own.

This bright coral pink blazer by Mexx is my latest addition to my collection. Brand new brought in for consignment, with its adorable grey and white poka dot interior adds that little something extra. Its vibrant colours like this that make me feel bright all year round – even after the rest of society converts to black and grey, I’m still strutting around with bright pinks, corals and turquoise!

Although I can’t wear them all day long, these Nine West nude pumps are a sexy addition to a casual outfit like this. Its amazing how stylish an outfit can become with a little heel and pointed toe!

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.

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!

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!

The Sign of Defeat

White BlazerI say this at least once a day, women need to dress better. I love this quote I recently found by Karl Lagerfeld and I think it basically sums up my feelings about our society’s love of Lululemon.

“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”

Yoga pants, athletic wear, sports wear, warm up pants, running shoes… what do all these things have in common? Fitness! Are the women wearing these things every day for work, for shopping, for errands – doing what you would classify as “fitness”? Sadly we are now a society that is lazy, too busy and sloppy. At least when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. Continue Reading

The Mint Obsession

The Mint ObsessionLast year if you asked me what I thought of this colour I probably would have shrugged and said “well I’d prefer a dark turquoise personally.” But recently, any time I see this pastel hue my eyes bulge and the item is instantly in my hand. I know my style and interests change frequently so I’m sure in a few months there will be another colour that is a have-to-have. I find so often that women stick to black and only black, thinking it makes them look smaller or maybe its just an “easy” colour.



Aldo Flats I beg to differ. A pop of colour such as this mint that I obsess over, not only brightens your spirits but can give a rather simple outfit that perfect pop! Today’s outfit is a super fun mint blazer by H&M (naturally!), a striped camisole by Cleo, the most comfy jeans I’ve ever owned by Jones New York and my ALDO Cyphers Tassel Ballet Flats. Now some might say this look is a bit too matchy-matchy and I would almost agree, but some days you need something that doesn’t take a lot of thought but makes you feel great. For me this was a no-brainer, as although they are different shades of mint, blue, navy and aqua – they are the same colour family and work quite nicely side by side.

The Mint Blues A few days later I had another day that I wanted to go more simple but still put together well and again mint was my go-to colour. With a comfy pair of Guess jeggings paired with a fun floral blouse by Jessica (I know I was baffled by the brand too!) I felt casual but fun.

Once again the flats I’m wearing in this photo are a cute ballet style flat for only $3.99 at Value Village, in the kids section! Sigh!

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!

H&M Bow Print Skirt

H&M Bow SkirtH&M Bow Skirt

I was completely thrilled with how today’s outfit turned out! I had mentioned being frustrated with trying to match the navy in the skirt I had thrifted recently – I’m sure you know the feeling if you’ve ever tried to match blue before. There are just too many shades! Quite randomly this little short sleeve blazer was brought into the Store and is just about a perfect match. I was thinking over the course of that week that I’d have to wait for an H&M navy blue blazer to come in as their colours tend to stay consistent. But this little number is by Dynamite.

Now it took some work to get the details right as I need layers for work (I work where there are no windows and it stays quite cool). The blazer is short sleeved and the blouse by Zara I wanted to wear is sleeveless – with some quick thinking and a stroke of luck, my go-to cream coloured blouse blended flawlessly underneath!

In typical Pamela-fashion, I wanted the skirt to be longer and more flattering to my figure. This lace my mom and I found at Fabricland works perfectly on so many outfits! The bow print is white, but the lace is cream coloured and happens to pull the look together quite nicely.

Happy Accidents

Le Chateau DressTo the untrained eye, this is just an adorable pleated skirt. Now let me fill you in with the story behind it.

I am guilty of not often bothering to try outfits on at the store, usually the reason I do spend the time is because I think the price might not be worth it. This particular dress by Le Chateau I did take the time to try on. I was instantly in love with the bottom of the dress with the three rows of adorable pleats.


Le Chateau DressLe Chateau Dress


Well the dress fit just fine in the store but I wasn’t too crazy about how the sleeves felt. I get home try it on again and decide that the sleeves needed to be redesigned. I spent about an hour first thing in the morning adjusting the sleeves, essentially removing them altogether and adding the design elements back on afterward.

Once the sleeves were complete I tried it on ready to wear to work. It was like the top half had doubled in size. A thought occurred: I had tried it on wearing two tank tops and a thicker padded bra. If this was to fit I’d need a pair of DD’s which isn’t happening any time soon! But I was still infatuated with the bottom, so in typical Pam style, I grabbed the scissors and make a drastic design decision.

Le Chateau Dress Le Chateau Dress

Within moments I had created the beginning of a vest and skirt both cute but in a whole new way. At this point I was going to be late for work if I didn’t sort this out so my quick and easy solution for this new skirt was to pin the unfinished-freshly-cut top to a thick belt. Voila! Totally cute and one of a kind pleated skirt.

You’ll never guess how many compliments I received all day long. Now when anyone comments I have a great story to go along with it!

Black & White Bow Print Dress!

Lipsy Dress Happy Friday! Today’s super cute outfit brought to you by Value Village and The Revolving Door! I found this adorable Lipsy dress this week – totally thrilled that it fit perfectly. Bows are quite the trend right now and this dress just screamed cuteness. To add another classy detail to the look, I chose black pantyhose with a stylish line down the backs. Those got the most compliments of all!

I googled the dress online and didn’t find it but I did see plenty of similar styles by the London based company. This style retails for about $140 Canadian! Scored this gem for $14.99 🙂