Browse Tag: knit

Favourite Fall Looks

My favourite season is upon us it seems, after a record breaking week of scorching heat last week the temperature has shifted to 2 in the morning, 18 by the afternoon. In spring we think of it as being almost tropical… but in fall we feel chilled to the bone. This week is no exception, I’ve been frozen at work as the sun doesn’t hit the windows enough to warm the office!

I love the fabrics of autumn, the soft knits, layering styles and of course, skinny jeans with ankle booties! I am actually looking forward to the big summer to autumn transition in my closet, it’ll be a huge job when I decide to bite the bullet and do the flip! For now its still occasionally warm enough for sandals so I’ve left it as is. I do need to start the laundry prep for the new season, scarves and sweaters being the big one. There’s just something about them sitting folded up in a rubbermaid bin for 6 months that gives them a smell that is less than admirable.

Step two, start planning new exciting wardrobe changes! Figuring out what my new style will be for the upcoming season!

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.

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.

 

The Many Shades of Blush

feb5finalHow long would you hang on to a unique item in hopes of eventually finding the perfect pieces to match it? 6 months this vintage skirt has been hanging in my closet, front and centre, in hopes of one day finding a matching top. A handful of hopefuls came home but went back out as I searched for the right shade of blush to match this skirt. Sure you could put other shades with it, but every one I tried bothered me. It wasn’t quite right and for this type of skirt I felt like it had to be a certain… je ne sais quoi.

Now I don’t necessarily feel like this top is “the one” I do feel it was a close enough match to warrant a test run in real life rather than being sentenced to serve lonely days in my closet. This sleeveless crochet style top by RW&Co was brought in for consignment last week and I thought, “maybe, just maybe” this would be the right colour. Sure enough it was!

I kept the look low key with a long wrapped scarf and matching earrings (I do have the matching necklace but I thought that would be a bit much.) My nude pumps by Nine West go with everything and I am saddened to know that their time is running out. They were very worn when I got them in the summer and now your foot rolls like there is no sole left. Sigh. One day I will find another pair and you will be mine.

 

Sweater Dress Weather

bananarepublicsweaterdressI think I found one heck of a deal last week when I came across this sweater dress by Banana Republic at Value Village. Originally $12.99, minus 30% off coupon I got it for under $10. Banana Republic for under $10?! BR dresses run from $150 to $200 typically, even on sale they’re riding the fine line around $100.

As much as I can lose my faith in the pricing at VV, this one reassures me that there are still deals to be found! It had a few flaws on the arms which is common practice for sweaters they do get bally when they catch on things. Simple fix? Just snip them off!

This is the ultimate cozy winter dress, with a soft cowl style neck, long sleeves and ends just above the knee. A denim jacket adds that extra splash of colour on this overall tan palette, with a wrapped scarf for added detail.

Wearing Neutrals

neutrals2As you know, I’m not really one for neutrals despite a lot of my recent outfits. Yes there are days when I don’t want to be overly flashy – I would rather be classy yet low key. Here are two great examples of how us vibrant ladies can wear neutrals without being too bland!

Option 1 – go for a lighter palette. 

This is one of my favourite looks right now, I would say its my “go-to” for the fall season. Almost head to toe in GAP – surprise surprise! Love this light knit, large turtleneck style top paired with a multi layer chain necklace (thank you eBay!) and ripped boyfriend cut jeans. To make it more feminine I pair it with cute flats by Old Navy and large silver earrings.

neutrals1 Option 2 – lots of layers. 

This outfit was a little different when it began, as in this photo I was simply testing out a pair of boots to see if I wanted to buy them. I finally decided I didn’t want another pair of slouchy boots (they never fit over my calf).

This outfit uses contrast as a base, black jeggings with a loose fit denim shirt, grey infinity scarf and lots of layered silver jewellery. Its easy, comfortable and stylish.

Mad for Magenta

orangemagentamix I saw this top at Value Village once when shopping with my mother and a friend (whom I ran into while I was there go figure!) and as I recall its by Reitmans, a large. Unfortunately it was quite a big large in the shoulders but I began tinkering with it in the mirror at the end of an isle as my mother walks by and nods “Yup its do-able” … she knew what was going through my head.

I still find it amusing and somewhat rewarding that after 29 years I was able to teach my mother something instead of the reverse. In being gutsy and bold, I feel no risk in cutting into an item of clothing, no remorse if I start stitching this and that. Without knowing the official “rules” of sewing and alterations, I am able to do things like this. Now more and more my mother is excited to tell me she altered something thinking like I would!

Just the other day she was fussing with a dress, one of these fabulous multi print – mixed fabric numbers by Desigual – unfortunately with our 5’2 height they can be very hard to pull off without looking even shorter. I came over and started analyzing it after she gave me the few thoughts she had. I grabbed it on both sides below the waist and hemmed it with pins temporarily. “Just needs to go up here so you don’t lose all the bottom details”… “Ha!” she says, “I knew you’d know how to fix it.”

This top wasn’t all that complicated to alter. Yes its a knit, and we don’t “alter” sweaters… this girl does.

Based on having very narrow shoulders and a small frame, I simply put somewhat of a dart down the back of the shoulder equally on both sides. When I wore it to work no one even realized that changes had been made. Yes looking at this photo you can see that the original seams don’t line up the way a normal shoulder does, but its something that only I would notice. Paired with this fun infinity scarf and my favourite bright orange GAP skirt – couldn’t help but wear my magenta pumps to be super matchy-matchy!

Neutrals for Fall

ericalexandreskirt As you are well aware, I’m not often one for neutrals or dark palettes. When this skirt caught my eye I think it was more of the fabric than colour, the soft texture and the feel of it on my body. In the fall and winter seasons I do add a blend of neutral outfits into my wardrobe as some days you just don’t feel like being too bold but rather more focused on comfort and warmth.

This particular day wasn’t overly warm in late September so I thought I would embrace the season everyone was pushing on me and styled up this Eric Alexandre skirt. To give it some punch I paired it with my stone 3/4 sleeve blazer, Nine West pumps and my own one of a kind jewellery.

Ladies have often commented on this particular set and no, I will never sell it. It was one of the first complicated-time-consuming-ready to rip your hair out – pieces I ever made. Each brushed coin is hand wrapped to dangle from the chain. It has all three pieces to match, bracelet, earrings and necklace. It truly is unique and is the perfect colouring for this outfit.

Neon Pink

hotpinkblackscarf I think I say this every day, but this colour is my new favourite! In fact, anything neon, much like my latest purse thrift! Although my skin tone is not exactly natural (thank you bronzer!) anything fluorescent or neon really pops against it. I received a ton of compliments on this outfit because of its bold colour.

To all the women that feel you need to go dark in the winter, I give you this outfit! I expect all year long I will be promoting thrilling colour and bold statement pieces. Why go dark when you can go bright?!

Last week I picked up this neon knit top by Gap at the Store, which I had just brought with me in case I was cold – but it ended up being a great addition to this outfit! Underneath it all is a half price white blouse by Banana Republic (from Value Village’s half price sale this month) and a simple black pencil skirt. This super fun scarf was also in my bag of goodies from the half price sale, only $2!

 

Sweater Re-Design

STREETWEARALTERATION I ventured into Urban Planet a store I generally stay far away from, but I was on the hunt for warm patterned leggings. I had no luck in the leggings department but I did find myself looking through all the discounted sweaters. I saw this sweater dress-tunic on for under $10… It was just the sort of style I had been hoping to find in my thrift adventures but have not yet discovered one. I wasn’t sure about the length but perhaps it would be good with leggings.

The day came when I decided to wear it – all I could think was: “Wow I’m so glad they didn’t have a medium!” It was a large so I figured it would be on the big side and was the only thing I didn’t bother to try on. My arms barely fit in the sleeve! I’d hate to be any bigger than my current size or this “large” would be super snug! The spacious area is actually only in the neckline, assuming I had a larger canvas to fill it out with.

STREETWEAR SWEATER In trying it on in front of my mirror I decided there was nothing flattering about the length, it almost went to my knees and was just a solid tight grey knit with nothing forgiving about it. I’ve never been afraid to chop up clothing so I pinned the length I decided would be most flattering – half way down the bum but covering the hip. And because I liked the bottom pattern so much I decided instead of a simple hem I would bring up the bottom pattern and minimize the solid grey.

I did not take step by step photographs of this process as quite honestly I was expecting it to be a bust! Apparently I should have a lot more faith in my re-constructive skills! It wasn’t an overly complicated process, folding most of the grey over to bring up the bottom trim. Doing a straight stitch on the sewing machine to attach the bottom section to the top section. Once complete I had (on the inside) a several inch long folded section of solid grey knit.

To remove the excess I simply cut the folded extra fabric and removed it from the sweater altogether. On the outside it looks like a planned hemline…. if you actually analyze it you’d know a sweater like this shouldn’t have a hem! I like to be sneaky like that.

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.

 

 

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!