Two Fave Spring Trends

I always gravitate towards stripes in the spring and summer. It’s partially due to the amount of stripe-y stuff the stores get in, partially because the warmer weather always has me thinking wistfully of that alternate universe where I’m from southern France in the 1960s. It’s not a big deal.

Stripes is a spring trend that’s pretty much guaranteed to come around, right up there with whites, florals and silks.

A trend I did see come up this year that is not as common was bight, bold red. It was all over the runway and naturally trickled down to the high-street stores. I couldn’t go into any Urban Outfitters, Topshop or Aritzia without seeing pops of red sprinkled into the denim and neutrals like freckles.

I love this trend. Red is such an eye-catching colour that looks fantastic on everyone. It’s classic, it’s modern, it’s timeless. Aside from black, it’s the colour of femme fatales around the world.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve been looking for ways to work both of these trends into my wardrobe this season. Stripes was easy because of full pieces like a striped shirtdress or a pinstripe jacket. These pants I found at Topshop are another perfect way to style stripes, and are a great summer pant to wear when wool trousers are just too constricting and heavy to survive in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I actually found the red bag before the top. It was a lucky find at Forever 21, something I thought would be perfect as a pop of colour on monochrome outfits. Imagine that bad boy accessorizing all white? Killer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On another fateful day I saw this red linen top at Oak + Fort and then rest is history. A flattering neckline and the best colour for the season.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pairing these two together was a no-brainer. Since the pants have a stripe, I’ve been wearing them with solid colours, but wearing them with straight black or white doesn’t quite cut it. Likewise with the top, tucking it into a little skirt or trouser is the perfect way to wear it. Throw in a pair of converse and the aforementioned little red bag and I’ve got a good out-on-the-town weekender vibe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sure, I’ve yet to time travel to 1960s and magically be born as a sophisticated French lady, but this outfit has me fully in my summertime mindset, you know the mindset where you magically forget all of your deadline and responsibilities and play “Island in the Sun” on repeat.

[And yes, I did dye my hair blonde!! We’re back to the light side.]

OUTFIT DETAILS

Top – Oak + Fort (Not available, but pictured here with co-ordinating pant.)

Trousers – Topshop

Shoes – Converse

Bag – Forever 21

Watch – Vintage

Sunnies – Aldo (Similar)

What the Heck is Occasionwear Anyway?

The budding trees and blooming flowers of spring coincide with another annual event that marks the foray into the warmer months. It’s not a natural phenomenon so much as it is a social one. It’s wedding season.

Working in retail, I get so many women who come in looking for something to wear to a wedding. For some, it’s a fruitless search, trying on dress after dress only to leave empty-handed and frazzled. For others, it’s a hunt and conquer operation. They find one item, try it in two sizes and leave with the correct one. Often, these customers remind of Say Yes to the Dress, except it’s guest edition. (Actually, writing that is making me think of the spinoff Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. I don’t even know if they air it anymore but if you can find an episode, watch it for the drama alone.)

No matter if you’re a world-weary wedding veteran or a nervous newbie, the task of picking something to wear to the big day can be daunting, judged usually by your relationship to the couple. Distant cousins’ wedding? Dressing appropriate only to avoid family gossip. Best friends’ wedding? The pressure is on.

Aside from weddings, spring and summer are the seasons of events. I’m not saying things just stop happening the rest of the year, but somehow there seem to be more graduations, birthdays, farewells and general gatherings of merriment than during the winter months. And most want to take advantage of the agreeable weather to look fly AF.

When choosing an outfit for these events, I’ve had my fair share of panic attacks. Like, what does business casual actually mean? How formal do I need to go here? How informal is this supposed to be? OH GOD THE PARTY IS OUTSIDE AND IT’S 35 DEGREES WHAT DO I DO.

I’m no wedding or big event veteran. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have some go-to outfits and tips for when you’re stuck on finding the right balance in occasionwear.

The Dress

Let’s start with a dress, because a lot of us start there. You want to find the right length, depending on where you’ll be. You won’t want to wear white if it’s a wedding (unless it’s specifically in the dress code.) You want something you can sit and move in. Something that won’t drive you nuts after an hour.

These requirements aren’t actually too tall an order. Most summer dresses are comfortable when the sizing is correct and there are so many gorgeous minis or maxis for whatever hemline you need.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With this dress, I liked how it was a mini-maxi. The long outer layer is contrasted by a short slip, with eyefuls of leg balanced by cutouts in the dress.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I found the minty green colour perfect for spring and summer events. It’s a popular shade at the moment and looks good on every skin tone.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I paired this dress with some neutral heeled mules and simple gold jewellery. Since the dress itself is such a statement piece, I wouldn’t want to overload it with accessories. The mules are a perfect summer party shoe. It’s a heel, but it’s comfortable enough to wear all night.

Outfit Details

Dress – Anthropologie

Shoes – H&M (Similar)

The Jumpsuit

If you don’t want to mess around with colour, if neutrals are really more your style, then basic black is your friend. It’s a classic for a reason, even in the summertime.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Instead of a black dress, though, I picked a jumpsuit. I’m a real jumpsuit gal. I love wearing wide-leg trousers this time of year and I think a jumpsuit is a really fun alternative to a dress. You’ll be comfortable, you won’t have to worry about sudden gusts of wind and you’ll definitely stand out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This jumpsuit is a classic colour and shape, but the back cutouts give it a little something extra and make it more event-worthy and memorable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I paired this piece with a simple white shoe and silver jewellery. Again, it’s a low block heel because that’s just my style and I want to be able to walk home after dancing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Even if you don’t go with the black, I’d recommend trying out a jumpsuit if you never have before. It’s the perfect gateway to that “effortless chic” gal you’ve always wanted to be.

Outfit Details

Jumpsuit – Topshop (Similar)

Shoes – Zara

Watch – Daniel Wellington

The Other Dress

So, we have our long formal dress, a good choice for a wedding maybe. But what about a garden party? What about a more laid-back outdoor event where the sun is hot and the drinks are free-flowing?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love this short linen-blend dress for moments like that. The neutral colour is perfect for summer and so easy to style. Some would argue this isn’t the most flattering silhouette. Maybe, but I’m also set if there’s a buffet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To style this dress, I went with some very low, casual mules and more gold jewellery. However I do think this is one where you could wear a pair of colourful earrings or a statement bracelet to dress it up a bit more.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I tend to prefer a looser silhouette in dresses, but I also believe in the summer months it’s more comfortable to have something that doesn’t cling too much to the body. And having a cute, short flow dress in your wardrobe will be a godsend when you need something last minute for a family barbecue or a day out at the park with friends.

Outfit Details

Dress – Aritzia (Not quite similar, but other suggestions here and here.)

Shoes – H&M

Gold Bracelet – Oak + Fort

Another Brunch Date

I’ve said it before, ya girl loves a good brunch.

What I love even more is when that brunch coincides with Mother’s Day, and I’m able to spend the day gallivanting around town with my older sister and mom in tow.

Last weekend was a whirlwind of food, art and wine. Just the right side of luxurious. Aside from all of that, I love my mom dearly and my family is very close. Spending the weekend together was the best part.

IMG_3955

My mom, my sister and myself.

And, yes, our extravagant girls’ weekend did include a Mother’s Day buffet brunch at Epic in Toronto, and let me tell you I am still thinking about their Belgian waffles.

While deciding on an outfit for this occasion, I had two things in mind. Firstly, I wanted to look nice for my mom. Secondly, I wanted to be comfortable, as we had plans to traipse around the city that day.

IMG_3961

The median found with this look is decent, especially with the added bonus that these trousers have an elastic waist, so I was good to go to town on the buffet.

IMG_3967

It was a gorgeously sunny day on Sunday and to honour that I really wanted to stick with a light colour palette. As much as I love wearing black, there are some days that call for pastels and creams.

IMG_3970

I felt terribly spring-like and entirely prepared for mom day activities, which included walking to the AGO and making us stop so my sister could take these pictures of me.

IMG_3958

But, really, my true outfit validation came, naturally, from my mom, when she saw me and said,”You look so nice.” That was good enough for me.

OUTFIT DETAILS

Blouse – Aritzia

Trousers – Oak + Fort (Similar)

Shoes – Urban Outfitters (very, very old, definitely not available anymore)

Sunnies – Black Market Vintage

Denim Jacket – Topshop

Bag – Urban Outfitters (Similar)

Latest Faves: Spring Edition

Now that it’s the end of April and we’re finally getting some sunshine and days where a jacket isn’t a requirement, I thought it was a good time to do another round of what I’ve been discovering and rediscovering the last couple of months.

Fashion

For my clothing pieces this time around, I decided to style an overall look with the things mentioned in my favourites, since they’re all more general than specific things. Think of it as conceptual faves.

Denim Jackets, Mom Jeans and Vintage.

The perfect transition weather piece, right? And in Canada, transition weather essentially lasts until July and then it’s so hot you have trouble even thinking about putting on clothes, so it’s wise to invest in some ~light jackets~.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Denim is really big right now, and I used to be so steadfastly against the denim-on-denim Canadian tuxedo trend that has risen from its early-2000s grave. Now that it’s back, I gotta say, I’m kinda into it. (And yeah I’m probably just a trend sheep. A treep.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I unearthed these American Apparel (RIP) mom jeans that are a perfect light wash for summer, and actually paired them with a vintage denim jacket. I’ve been wearing these jeans all the time lately. They are by far the most comfortable pair I own and there’s something a bit nostalgic about the wash and fit of them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My last fashion favourite is, again, a bit general. I’ve always liked wearing vintage, but lately I’ve been on a huge vintage kick. Browsing packed racks full of weird stuff and finding items that are magically able to fit me is my favourite hobby. I love the treasure-hunting aspect of it, especially if you dedicate the proper time sometimes required to find the good stuff. I’ve found pieces in my hunting like this button-up that are a bit strange. This top I found in the $5 bin at Mama Loves You, for example, has a car pattern on it and, inexplicably, blue heart buttons. I like the humour in a piece like this and I like the uniqueness it adds to my wardrobe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And anyway, who doesn’t like being able to say “it’s vintage” when someone asks you where you got something?

Converse

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the spring and summertime, I live in my sneakers. I tend to walk everywhere in the warm weather, so I need something comfortable. More than that, I just feel like they go with everything. My only lament is how much I love the white converse and how easily I get them dirty.

Mules

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s a blessing that these types of shoes are everywhere right now, because ya girl cannot do a stiletto heel to save her life. I love the lower, block heels of these shoes. I love their simplicity and how easy they are to style. I am here for the mules.

These ones are from H&M, but I’ve seen similar ones in almost every store.

Mini Backpack

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And yet another 90s comeback trend I caved for. But, come on, this backpack from Urban Outfitters is so cute. Also I can fit a surprising amount of stuff in it.

Beauty

Milk Makeup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve only tried three products from Milk Makeup, but I love what I’ve tried. This is a brand I’ve heard a lot of hype about in the blogosphere and I was so excited to try it. Firstly, I’m a fan of the concept: makeup that you can apply with your fingers on the go. I also love the simple packaging and the products themselves, or at least the ones I’ve tried, have more than met my expectations. Catch me at Sephora raiding their selection the next time they get a restock.

The items pictured are (L to R): Eye Vinyl in “Bridge,” Liquid Strobe in “Ultraviolet,” Eye Pigment in “After Party.”

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in “Moonlight Pink”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m not going to lie to you, I bought this product years ago with straight Optimum points. If you’re not Canadian/don’t know about Shoppers Drug Mart, just know it’s a point system at a drug store chain than be redeemed on almost anything they have available. Naturally I went straight for the pricy makeup. I rather doubt I would have this product if I didn’t get it for free, because you can similar items from MAC and Maybelline, but I will say, since I do have it, I love it. The colour is beautiful and it works really well all over the eye or faintly as a highlighter. Since I’ve been favouring more simple makeup lately, my go-to is slathering this all over my eye and piling on mascara. It’s glam.

Too Faced “Papa Don’t Peach” Blush

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I raved about the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette in my last favourites post, I believe, and here I am back with the blush. Honestly, I love everything from this collection. I like the smell of peaches and I’m easy prey for cute, gimmicky stuff. The thing about this blush is it’s ridiculously pretty on. I love it. Lately I’ve just been wearing this blush without a highlighter because it has a bit of shimmer in it. I already know this will be my ride or die through the summer.

Books

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ross King – Mad Enchantment

I received this book as a Christmas present from my parents but had a huge delay in reading it, not because I didn’t want to, but because I got caught up in other reading material on my list. Now that I’ve properly dived into it, I can say I think it is just the most wonderful book. Monet is my fave historic painter, and this book shows him to be the sassy mofo he truly is.

V.E. Schwab – The Shades of Magic Trilogy

I had, in the tail end of winter, been looking for some transportive fiction I could really sink my teeth into. On a recommendation from a Chapters employee, I tried the first book in this trilogy and was immediately hooked. It’s got a lot of magic, action and some really interesting characters with a lot of depth. Highly recommended to anyone looking to be sucked into another world.

Music

Jay Som – Everybody Works

Okay, I learned that Jay Som (real name Melina Duterte) not only played all of the instruments on this album, but she recorded it in her bedroom. That blew my mind. It took an already cool album to ridiculous levels of coolness. Her sound is a bit like if the sun-bleached guitars of Real Estate had a baby with femme garage rock. You get me?

Fave tracks: Baybee, 1 Billion Dogs, Take It

Khalid – American Teen

This album kinda makes me wish I was a teenager again, but then I remember what being a teenager was like and I’m like ‘nah.’ Still love this whole album, though. Khalid’s sound is really laid-back with a touch of 80s inspiration. Summer soundtrack for sure.

Fave tracks: American Teen, Young Dumb & Broke, 8TEEN

Gorillaz – Humanz

GUESS WHO’S BACK. I just about lost it when I heard Gorillaz was putting a new album out on the 28th and I’ve been obsessively playing their early release tracks since. It’s always been difficult to pin down Gorillaz’ sound and this record is looking to be no different. Their songs can be so different from one another but somehow I’m into every one??? Magic.

Fave tracks: Andromeda, Saturnz Barz, Ascension

Miscellaneous

SKAM

Speaking of things that are back… I have most definitely talked about SKAM in a favourites post before and now it’s back for another season and I’m still obsessed with it, so here I am talking about it again. Each season focuses on a different main character in the same friend group and the one for this season is Sana, a Norwegian Muslim girl trying to make sense of her religion, herself, her friends and boyyyyys. All I can say about this show is its painfully relevant and relatable.

Chewing Gum

 

This show is just so goddam funny. If you haven’t seen it yet (it’s on Netflix) please consider giving it a go. Really, I laugh out loud at least twice an episode and some really interesting topics are covered in really hilarious ways.

Terrible, Thanks for Asking Podcast

I discovered this gem on a recommendation from my friend Clare. Hosted by author Nora McInery, this podcast that aims to talk honestly about pain, awkwardness and other uncomfortable human topics. The last episode I listened to, I cried. In the middle of Queen St. This is such an amazing podcast with the potential to help a lot of people.

 

Brunch Date

I have never, in my life, turned down a brunch invitation.

Going out for dinner is one thing: it’s dark, everyone is more well-dressed, the menu is more expensive and a much more extensive and pretentious drink list is involved. Dinner, I could take or leave, but going out for brunch is my jam. (There’s a breakfast pun in there somewhere. Laugh with me.)

Coffee. Hash browns. Eggs. Six dollar mimosas. Honestly, how could I refuse?

When I got an invite to go to lunch with three of my friends, I was excited for the whole week leading up to it. A little pathetic? Maybe, but I mean business when I say I love going out for brunch.

This post is quickly turning into a game of how often I can write the word “brunch” in 400 words.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The four of us met up at Lola’s Kitchen on Church Street, and we had our six-dollar drinks and consumed copious amounts of breakfast foods. Bliss.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In anyone is wondering, I had the curry tofu scramble.

Naturally, when I’m planning a brunch date, I’m automatically thinking about what I’m going to wear. My first thought was to go casual, to wear something low-key for a Saturday morning breakfast outing. My second thought was I still needed to look cool. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but since I became interested in fashion I feel like I’ve built this reputation for myself around my friends, where they always expect me to be dressed to the nines, or to have some painfully cool look put together.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It should be noted, since I am currently writing this wearing grey sweat shorts and a sweater with a bear on it, that I am not always put together. I don’t always looking like I put any effort in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This train of thought nagged on me while I was getting dressed, but it got to the point where I was running late and I realized I was being ridiculous.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I decide to go understated: high-waisted jeans, cream shirt and converse. It was gloriously warm and spring-like that day, a truly luxurious weekend, so I put on a long sweater. Since the look was so casual, I went heavy on the gold jewellery but the overall effect (I hope) was easy-breezy-weekend-brunch-esque.

IMG_3574

IMG_3570

If I pulled that off, great. If I didn’t, well, I enjoyed a cheap mimosa and ate my weight in hash browns, so either way I count that day as a win.

IMG_3571

OUTFIT DETAILS

Sweater: Aritzia

Top: Black Market Vintage

Jeans: Urban Outfitters

Sneakers: Converse

Bag: Urban Outfitters (Similar)

All rings from Urban Outfitters & Forever 21