Browse Tag: blouse

Hurry Up Spring!

feb19finalWorking in a retail setting that doesn’t follow the mall’s idea of “seasons” where they bring in the summer stock in March and Christmas stock in August… we operate based on the weather so naturally mall shoppers will walk in and assume we are taking inventory for the next season. Our shoppers like to be able to wear the item today, not a few months from now. My greatest peeve all year round is how much people complain about the weather, maybe its just in Canada where our weather fluctuates high and low but that seems to be everyone’s favourite topic. Right now with 5 foot high snowbanks and a record 45″ snow fall this week people are saying things like “well Spring is nearly here!” … sorry to be a realist but if you think Spring is nearly here I would suggest you look outside!

What is tough is following women on Instagram that live in the lower United States, as their seasons seem to look like summer all year round its only their choice of clothing colours that seem to change to define the season. Seems odd to me, if it was sunny and mild all year round you can bet I’d be wearing bright colours all the time!

feb19final2I am however, loving the pastels right now even though its not a reflection of the season. This week has been horrendous with a snow day, pipes freezing in -30 degree weather and daily snow shoveling is beyond exhausting. I wanted to try out a new look that wasn’t planned using this new scarf I picked up at The Store. I won’t go into another rant about the size the arms are being made on blouses but basically two I picked up recently that were MEDIUM I couldn’t fit my arms into – so the original outfit was spoiled – TWICE. New plan was to use another favourite that does fit.

Now matching the colour in the scarf was tricky because I wanted to wear pants (-19 you know) but black was just too stark. I picked up these jeggings by Mossimo in a mini thrift haul last week that have already been a bit of a challenge. I decided last minute to bring a belt as I haven’t worn them before and not too sure how they will stretch. Sure enough I barely got to work before they were falling down. Funny you know, how you can struggle to get these tight pants on in the morning then twenty minutes later they’re falling off your bum. It seems I just cannot win when it comes to pants. These will be the next pair that need to be taken in at the bum!

 

A Great Business Suit

jan15-final To explain professional attire we used to say, “look at what the girls at the bank are wearing” until it became a casual environment. In the last ten years, or as I would call it “the era of yoga pants and sweats” we are seeing less and less interest in our appearance. As a child I didn’t know exactly what job title I wanted, I simply wanted to have a position of status where I needed to wear a suit… to this day I love the look, so classy and professional. Any time I have walked into a bank I expect to see this but I rarely do. Financial advisers and I’m sorry to say it, any male staff are in my opinion the only ones dressed appropriately for the level of status I feel their job title has.

Everything now is worn tight, assuming spandex and stretch makes it more comfortable – forgetting the amount of rolls it creates. Dress pants are no longer a staple but rather yoga pants tucked into boots. These are meant for athletics, at home, running errands on your day off perhaps… but trying to pass them off as work attire? Seriously. There was a young hire at a job I had a few years ago and she was showing up in yoga pants and a blazer with dressy flats. The Lululemon logo was painfully bright for me to not notice. Although it was not my place to say a word about dress code I just continued to wear my dresses and business suits. The day finally came when she wore black “toe” shoes that people where for barefoot running. This is right next door to running shoes folks. I decided it was time to inform the owner of the lack of dress code – but before the words came out of my mouth he beat me to it. Thank goodness.

jan15-final2 A business suit is not hard to find, even in thrift or consignment you can get a beautiful tailored suit with no bells and whistles that matches any blouse you have – for a fraction of the cost new. This beauty fits to a T without much in the way of alteration. I am not really big on long sleeved blazers so I created a small hem to bring the arms in a little shorter to expose my wrists – great for wearing bangles! The pants were painfully long on me so I added a simple hem to the bottom so I wouldn’t be walking all over the bottoms.

Its comfortable and works well with so many blouses I already have in my closet. Easy for any style or look you want to create. Pair it up with heels or flats, jewellery and accessories and voila you have yourself a very professional suit and look the part!

Camo Print

camoprintThis outfit is iconic, as many of you probably don’t know, I abhor camo print. I don’t like hunting, I don’t like camouflage, I dislike it being worn as normal clothing. I was drawn to this blouse however, despite my dislike of the print – in this particular piece it doesn’t bother me at all in fact I was drawn to it because I love green.

Like almost every small blouse I try on lately, this one is no different, I couldn’t get my bicep into the sleeve. Without hesitation I chopped the sleeve off this one too and wouldn’t you know it, instantly fits perfect. Everything is easier in sleeveless!

This blouse was fun to play up with jewellery as I have a few stackable bracelets in turquoise, green and brown tones as well as a matching necklace I made a few years back.

Neutrals & Denim

denimivorymixTo be perfectly honest, sometimes I just find the outfit to match the jewellery! I have often suggested this to our customers at the Store. They love a necklace but they have no idea what they would wear with it, same goes for a pair of boots. Yes they are a statement, but there is always a ton of different outfits that can match!

This outfit I put together for an evening holiday show I was participating in with my new line of jewellery OOAK. I wore it to a previous show with a royal blue dress and oatmeal coloured blazer – but I didn’t want to repeat in case we had return shoppers. So this style is more casual, but made to look dressy with the belted waist and pumps.

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Modern Business Wear

businesswear2My least favourite term is “business casual” as really this could mean a lot of things to different people. For me the typical dress pant, fitted solid colour shirt and blazer makes for one heck of a boring outfit. So I’d like to show you my twist on the business look!

My philosophy is, if you have the basics – all you need is a variety of beautiful blouses! A simple long sleeve black blazer that fits to a “t” should be a staple in your wardrobe. For me, I go for a skinny leg dark black jegging instead of a wider leg dress pant based on my shape. It creates a more flattering look for my wide hips and bum if I go narrow toward my ankle. Continue Reading

I Heart Coral!

coralfloralskirt One of my new favourite outfits that is just so easy and beautiful… months in the making! Who knew it would be so challenging to find the right shade of coral meets sherbert or orange with a hint of peach… Whatever colour you choose to call it, it was a challenge to find the right style top to work with the high waisted elastic of the skirt.

The skirt was a few sizes too large, and I wasn’t about to wear elastic on my hips, so I altered it by taking it in about 2 inches at the waistband so it would sit nicely on my waist. The look is finished by tucking in the blouse and adding a thick belt. I think what is most fun about this look is the blend of statement jewellery including this adjustable fashion ring (made up of a ton of little hearts!) and necklace.

Blue Bayou

bluecleo Ok new favourite outfit! Haha I’m sure I say that all the time, but this outfit has been in the making for the better part of a year. In working at a women’s consignment store I see a phenomenal amount of clothing in a day, in a week, in a year. Our shoppers often ask if we ever have paycheques because we must buy up all the “good stuff” right when it comes in. The response we have is typical, no it doesn’t always fit – but more importantly – why buy it if it isn’t WOW?! Now this blouse has come and gone in the store at least once or twice in the last year or so. It’s Cleo, not sure what season but I absolutely loved it the first time I saw it.

Sadly the first time around it was a plus size and at the time I wasn’t doing my own clothing alterations. That would have been a difficult job for just a simple blouse too. But my motto with the consignment store is: there will always be another one or something better. I said goodbye to the first blouse as it came and went. To my delight another blouse came in recently, probably larger than I would have chosen if I had bought it new, but wow what a blouse. I’m not particularly a blue person, but this blouse makes me convert!

All the mixed blue jewellery I had waiting for the perfect match are finally put to use with this blouse. It also has other tones, white and peach so I can mix and match! Love love love everything about the whole outfit!

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!

Discovering Endeavour

Navy Lace DressAs you may have noticed I have been away for most of October this year, an exciting adventure fell into my lap and it was simply an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I spent two weeks touring Cairns, Australia! Now for those of you in Ontario like myself, you can imagine its a long haul – 4 full days of flying and transfers as you can imagine.

Once settled I realized on day one that my summer dresses suitable for Ontario were not going to cut it here due to the powerful 30+ degree sunshine as their season changes to spring. It was something I did not even consider, the fact that our temperatures (although Ontario does get up to that warm in the summer) would be a completely different type of heat. I spent a fair amount of solo exploring time on the trip, excited to see if there were any nearby local markets or thrift shops I could check out.

On my first venture out I found Vinnie’s which in Kingston is known as St. Vincent de Paul Society. Although a very small shop with the expected thrift shop scent, I did find some neat items that were priced under $6.00 with no tax. On that note, one of my favourite things about being in Cairns was not having to calculate tax on every purchase!

EndeavourI popped into a local travel shop to ask about other possible shops in the area to which they responded with two. One block down was a boutique supporting individuals with disabilities called Endeavour and another a few more blocks down the street called Lifeline. I instantly fell in love with Endeavour, not only the size of the store, but the modern signage making it easy to find.

I spent most of my spending cash in this store I will admit. The prices were excellent, the clothing was unique and it was clean! Although the staff informed me that most of their product is purchased from last season’s stock from stores in Europe, the US and Canada, I was still thoroughly impressed at the variety. They had a couple racks dedicated to brand new Zara stock, priced at about a third of the retail tag.

On my first trip I picked up this navy blue lace dress. In typical Pam-fashion, I didn’t try it on in the store but man is it comfortable! What I didn’t realize about the dress, due to the lack of full length mirror in our hotel room, how short it was! But fear not, I’m on holiday and I don’t care! I wore it to one of our excursions called the Ultimate Party Bus – and no we only made it half way through before decided 10:00pm was bedtime!

Zara BlouseThe shimmery gold clutch I picked up from a cute shop named Red Ginger (and yes I wanted to buy something from them based on the name!) went perfectly with my outfit for the evening. On my last available shopping day in Cairns I popped back in to thank the ladies for having such a great shop and how I will certainly miss it when I leave. They had just put out new stock including this blue silky print top by Zara that I couldn’t pass up. It was an extra large, but I never pay attention to labels or sizes, and could wear it easily as a dress. It instantly became my favourite find of the trip. Sadly now that I’m heading into winter in Canada I won’t see much of it until the warm weather returns.

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 😉

Grey Linen Pants

Grey Linen PantsTGIF to all the thrift lovers out there! Today’s look is a repeat but I altered these NOA linen pants into capris because the length bothered me. I simply rolled them up to a length I was happy with, tacked with a few pins and then machine sewed the cuffs in place. I felt like adding a cuff made it a little more exciting than a straight hem.

I paired the new capri with an H&M floral blouse which I also altered in a similar way. Often I find our shoppers at the store are rolling their sleeves up, which gets me to thinking about any time I’ve worn a long sleeved top or jacket. I recently altered all of my blazers to be 3/4 length in the sleeve – for this very reason. They are much lighter and more flattering with a shorter sleeve. For this blouse, the long sleeve didn’t roll due to its light silky nature – so I finally decided to chop off the excess and add a hem.

And lastly, finished this fun outfit with a mini belt, flip flops and statement necklace!

Pink Saturday!

20140719-224932.jpgToday once again I felt very feminine and wanted uplifting colours to go with the white denim shorts I had just altered – stay tuned for the tutorial! I opted for a light weight pink blouse by Joe Fresh, combined with a floral cardigan by St. John’s Bay.

This I so far the first floral cardi I’ve been able to thrift that is modern but trendy at the same time. I haven’t worn hot pink in quite some time! I was just running errands today so I didn’t put too much thought into the outfit, although sometimes I think that’s when looks are most successful!

I received quite a few compliments on my outfit today from complete strangers! It’s so uplifting when someone goes out of their way to tell you something positive. It stays with you for the rest of the day! It has always been a goal of mine, call it good karma if you will, to compliment one person every day. Share the love!