(originally published November 12th, 2012)
My shopping philosophy is that you should never spend real money on a trendy item but that wardrobe basics are worth investing in – particularly if you can get them on sale. Style comes from mixing your designer clothes with cool vintage pieces, cheap, trendy treasures, and wardrobe staples such as denims, shorts, and hoodies. As such, my closet is stocked with everything from H&M to Chanel.
Here are my favorite places to shop in the GTA (in no particular order!):
- http://truelastin.com/DlU Winners at College Park – for everything from jeans, high end designer clothing and accessories, to shoes, lingerie, and work out clothes
- http://californiafilmscompany.com/zWBegS0Nnc H&M at the Dufferin Mall or Vaughan Mills – for trendy, of-the-moment items that are still wearable as an adult (as oppose to many other locations) + great tanks
- L’Elegante on Cumberland – for high-end designer finds at a fraction of the cost
- Heel Boy on Queen W. – for cool shoes
- Rescue on 0ssington – a tiny boutique packed with a blend of vintage and new designer items, all of which totally transcend the trends
- Aritzia – for a classic take on the trends and for inspiration (their salesgirls totally rock the latest looks)
- Holt’s – because they carry “Red” by Valentino and “Rich and Skinny” jeans, and during sales + their displays are spectacular and really show-off the runway looks for the season
- Michael Kors – I love a lot of his stuff but am a sucker for his jewellery (which is surprisingly affordable)
- Yorkville – mostly for inspiration though I’ve been known to succumb during end-of-season sales
- Ugg store off Bloor St. – for great Ugg boots and shoe styles that go far beyond the suede ones everyone has + great service
- Lululemon – for sports bras and running / yoga pants (because they really stay in place and last forever!) – I rarely buy their tanks, hoodies, or jackets because they’re too expensive and many cheaper versions work just as well
- La Senza – for lingerie (their salesgirls really know what they’re talking about but the prices are reasonable) and pj’s
- Dufferin Mall – for shoes (for some reason the mall is full of shoe stores all competing for your money – you won’t find any high end brands but there are tons of cheap, trendy shoes and boots for sale, many of which are totally cute!)
- Marshall’s on John – for shoes (they have a huge selection and great brands at about 50% off) and, surprisingly, ski jackets (the rest of the clothing department is disappointing)
- Tiffany’s – for jewellery (though I love their sunglasses and bags as well!)
(originally published March 11th, 2012)
There are some clothes and accessories that every woman should own. These pieces are timeless, classic and work for everyone. They adapt to every requirement of your life, can be combined with trendier items for an of-the-moment look, and make you look polished. They are the basics of a really good wardrobe. Here’s my list of “must-haves “:
- A great pair of jeans in a dark rinse
- A well-fitting pair of trousers
- A pencil skirt
- A terrific white shirt
- A wrap dress or shirt dress in a flattering colour
- A little black dress in a go-anywhere length (knee-length or just-below-the-knee)
- A great fitted jacket
- A couple of white and grey tanks or t-shirts in a soft fabric
- A cashmere or cotton cardigan in a flattering colour
- A dressy top
- A pull-over sweater in a good colour
- A patterned top
- Good brown and black belts – 1 to 2″ is the most versatile width
- Riding boots
- Black pumps
- A pair of booties
- A cute pair of flats (look coolest in animal prints)
- A few fun scarves in flattering colours and patterns
- One special pair of earrings
- One special necklace and / or bracelet
- A leather jacket
- One beautiful purse
- A car-length coat – ideally in a bright colour to brighten up those dreary winter days
If you’re young enough I would add to that list a nice pair of shorts, a pair of cargoes, one pair of faded, worn-in, fit like a glove denims, and a denim jacket.
(originally published October 28th, 2012)
What I like best about fashion these days is that almost anything goes! There’s something for everyone… minis, maxis, A-lines, cropped pants, leather, cowboy, rock glam, equestrian, earth tones, red, cobalt, embroidery, fur… It goes on and on. It means that it’s more about what looks good on you than what every one else is wearing. It also means that it’s really easy to find a trend you can comfortably buy into to up-date your look for the new season.
If, however, there is one thing that defines this season it has to be texture. There are so many ways to add that to your existing wardrobe: leather (real or faux), waxed denim, corduroy, tweed, jeweled collars, embroidery, jewellery, or fur (whether it’s real or not). Some of these are worthy of investment – like the perfect little leather jacket or a great fur vest – and others can be had for little money at stores like H& M or Forever XXl. You can also give the illusion of texture with animal prints. Michael Kors and Louis Vuiton both do an animal print purse that is to die for and will long outlive the trend, while animal print flats or booties can be found at any price point.
Personally, I fell in love with a charcoal grey leather jacket and black waxed “Rich and Skinny” jeans last month. And I will definitely wear my faux fur vests with pretty much everything this winter. As for those purses, well… a girl can dream.
(originally published October 28th, 2012)
I may be your dream come true- a real person to help you sort through your closet and help you make sense of it. Someone who can muddle though all the stuff in magazines, on the runways, and in the stores and tell you what’s relevant for you! But also someone who lives in the real world – like you – and who understands that you have a budget, a real job, real commitments, and a real life. Someone who gets that you’re busy; that your clothes just have to work and have to make sense for you – for who you are and what you care about. Someone who understands that you have a real body and that 5″ stilettos may not fit your lifestyle even if they look hot when you’re standing still!
I’m in my forties (though I don’t like to think about that) and I have a full time job so I get where you’re coming from. But I also love clothes and fashion. Always have. My first job was in retail and it taught me about choosing the right clothes for every body, about accessorizing, and interpreting trends. I’ve been designing my own clothes since I was twelve; I learned about fabrics, cut and fit from my mom who is the best seamstress I know. I’ve been shopping with, and for, my friends since adolescence and there are few things that make me happier than organizing a closet. Sad but true!
I firmly believe that looking good makes anyone feel better about themselves, more confident, sexier, and happier. And I firmly believe that anyone can look good. It only takes a little knowledge and a little work. So now that I’ve sorted out my own closet and have helped most of my friends do the same, I’m putting all my skills to work for you. My blogs will help you make sense of what’s going on in fashion, give you helpful tips about new ways to wear the stuff you already have, and let you know about cool stores in Toronto you should check out if you’re here. If you need more personal attention – and you happen to live in the GTA – you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can come and help you sort through your closet to help you decide what really works for you and what doesn’t. I will be totally honest. I will make you a shopping list and even up-date it for you every season if you want. And if you need me to, I will take you shopping as well! When we’re done you’ll have a wardrobe that works and feels like a million bucks.Think of me as “What Not To Wear” without the embarrassing video!