Browse Tag: scarf

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!

Cool Fall Style

mintbluescarf There is nothing greater than a super comfy outfit featuring your favourite colour! I am naturally drawn to mint, there’s something fresh and crisp about it which is why I think this combination is such a great look for me. I’ve worn this scarf a few times with a variety of outfits, often going for the darker greys. I don’t often wear grey pants but to keep with the cool neutral tones of the look it was a softer choice than my typical denim.

I loved these earrings when they were first brought into the store, unfortunately they were missing stones so I did a little rearranging and redesigned them! They really are unique and tie this look together. I find scarves and jewellery complete any outfit, adding that little extra to dress up a simple tshirt and jeans!

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!

 

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.

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!

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.

 

 

Smart Thrifting

JANUARY8-THRIFTLOVECHALLENGEToday we are experiencing the worst parts of a Canadian winter, ice followed by snow, strong winds and a plummeting temperature of -22. For no particular reason I decided today would be the first trip I make to the local Value Village. I became one of those shoppers that I deem “crazy” for going out in such horrendous driving conditions. In my own defence, it is on my route home from work!

With the challenge idea in mind I began to practice the art of window shopping, simply walking up and down aisles not really searching just being in the moment. It was soothing just to let my eyes enjoy the array of colour, texture and pattern. The items in their home decor section were particularly interesting and plentiful today due to it being after the holidays. I’m sure much like myself, many people took their time off to clean the closets and purge to start a new year fresh. All the strange and wonderful things made it a rather exciting trip.

I spent most of my time in the footwear department as its one of the hardest things to thrift. I did find plenty of shoes and boots that fit surprisingly but trying on footwear at the end of a long day with sore feet isn’t exactly ideal. I found a pair of lace up shoes by Forever 21 that I just couldn’t leave behind as they were exactly what I had hoped to find for months!

1. Shoes Forever 21 $10
2. Slippers $3
3. Scarf SportyGirl $5
Total: $20

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.