Back to Basics

In the summer, and for a portion of autumn, I went through a style rut; one of those periods when you suddenly hate everything in your closet and everything looks terrible on you and maybe you should move to a remote patch of forest in Germany and wear the same track pants and t-shirt for the rest of your life because who cares.

Maybe that last part was too specific. But you can catch my drift.

There is no immediate cure to a spot of low self-esteem. I encounter them frequently, and while I do have my go-to quick fixes (listening to 80s music, going for a run, watching a good action movie) there is no true solution for it. It takes a bit of time and a dash of inspiration.

For me, that was found in returning to the simple stuff – going back to basics. And I mean that both in a “go back to what you know” way and a “wearing plain basics is awesome” way.

Once you find that space to return to, the inspiration and creativity comes back bit by bit. I’ve become excited about getting dressed again, about planning outfits the night before and putting together looks from head to toe.

It’s the same with this blog. Since I’m working full-time and writing occasionally for Novella, there is little time to come back to the blog, despite how much I love it. But I wanted to, and to come back for the third or fourth time, I decided to go back to the beginning with a simple outfit post on a simple outfit.

Simple, but effective. (I think, at least.)

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I love creating a look based entirely in neutrals, either warm earthy-tones or stark black and white. I matched the outfit almost entirely except for my blue jeans, which add some colour and depth to the outfit. Not to mention, a turtleneck and pair of mom jeans is a classic fall/winter look. Do I look like a 70s ski mom? Maybe. Am I okay with that? Definitely.

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While I definitely love my more outlandish looks (and of course, “outlandish” is a sliding scale dependent on the person) I also love donning my more subtle creations.

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This is a look I would wear absolutely anywhere: shopping, a coffee date, lunch, dinner, work. You name it, this is the go-to I have for it.

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And with the cold weather coming, we have to keep coats in mind. This long coat from Monki goes with everything in my wardrobe and is perfect to chuck on before speeding out the door. I do always love a good outerwear moment, and am impatiently awaiting opportunities to bust out some other coats in my collection.

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Sure, this look isn’t going to go on a Top 10 list. It’s something I feel good in: comfortable and confident, something that puts me in the mindset to create other, more exciting outfits. It’s something that, frankly, works, when nothing else does.

OUTFIT DETAILS

Coat – Monki via ASOS (Similar)

Turtleneck – Anthropologie (Similar)

Jeans – American Apparel (Similar)

Belt – Free People

Boots – Urban Outiftters

Bag – Urban Outfitters

 

Three Winter Coats

Winter dressing is hard.

It’s hard to feel enthusiastic when all you want is to pile another blanket on top of yourself and retreat further into your character study of an aging king in the midst of the harshest winter the kingdom has seen in generations, etc.

It’s hard to feel cute when you’re wearing at least three layers and you’re simultaneously cold and sweating a little bit.

It’s hard to look ~winter aesthetic~, like the tumblr version, when there are snow drifts up to your thighs and winds gusting to 60 km/h.

I’ve spent every winter of my life in Canada, and one thing that has remained the same, save for the snow and cold, is the combined mood of every bus stop in every city, the looks on everyone’s faces saying: as soon as I can afford it, I’m moving to California.

And when the weather gets bad, generally, we have one coat. We have that one parka that could survive Hoth, the one that turns us from a fully-formed humanoid into a shapeless amoeba just floating through time and space. I have one of these coats, and as much as I like to try and be ~winter aesthetic~, I whip that thing out all the time.

That being said, I have amassed a small collection of coats and jackets because I do, in fact, like winter dressing when it’s not extreme winter dressing. Think the kids from the show SKAM: lots of grey, burgundy and olive with scarves expertly layered.

I have a couple of “spring and fall” jackets that see the outside world only a couple of times a year, only when the weather is exactly right for that week-and-a-half in April or October. But I also have a few non-parka winter jackets that are surprisingly warm and wearable in Toronto right now. (I feel like as I write this we’re on the verge of a snow storm, so I may eat these words.)

Once again, shout out to my beautiful friend Emily for taking these pictures! Check out her Instagram and show her a bit of love!

Coat One

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Half inspired by Twin Peaks, half envious of every woman I know who has a long peacoat, I found this particular coat at ASOS and didn’t stop thinking about it for three days before I decided to get it.

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It’s not black, which went against peacoat tradition for me,  and it has gorgeous wide lapels and a loose fit. It’s the 80s power woman coat of my dreams, basically.

Coat Two

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I have wanted a faux fur coat for years, but it was one of those things that was a pipe dream. I would probably never wear it, and it would be so expensive for nothing. I mean, who the hell did I think I was, Katherine Hepburn?

When this navy faux fur jacket went majorly on sale at Anthropologie, I lost my damn mind. It’s so luxurious on that it feels a little indulgent, like wearing the equivalent of buying yourself a slice of cake just because.

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I will also say this: this jacket is hella warm, to the point where I was genuinely surprised by how much so. I won’t put it to the test or anything, this is definitely more of a going-out piece, but it did stand up to an extremely windy and cold day. Who says you can’t look glam and warm at the same time?

Coat Three

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A biker-style lined coat was something else I’d had my eye on for a while. Naturally, I was looking for one that wasn’t real shearling because firstly, I wouldn’t buy real shearling and secondly, I would so not be able to afford that.

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I came across this guy in the sale at ZARA and was intrigued at first but hesitant about the colour. Once I tried it on crammed behind a rail in front of one of the store mirrors, I loved it. It feels like a bear hug when you wear it. So warm and cozy. Initially I wanted it in black, but the more I looked at the white, the more I liked it. It stands out, and it’s different than anything I’ve ever had before. All I have to do is try my hardest not to spill coffee on it and we’re good.

 

 

Shooting Star

Sometimes, all it takes is one piece. You can find a single item that inspires an entire look, an entire aesthetic.

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This happened to me recently and the item in question was a scarf. The scarf was from Zara, a store I can be dubious about the majority of the time based on a combination of bad press and chaotic business. What I will say is they do good scarves – every time I’ve bought one from there, I’ve lived in it. They’re soft, warm and can easily be converted to a blanket when the moment calls for it.

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On a wandering trip into Zara with Selena, I saw this star-patterned scarf and fell a little bit in love. There’s something awfully whimsical about it, and maybe it’s because I was in a particularly Christmas-y mood despite the fact it was the end of October, but as soon as I saw it, I thought, “This will be the holiday scarf.”

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Other than the classic outfits I see pairing with this guy (i.e. jeans and a tee, black jacket, the usual suspects) I got inspired to create a look with black and gold touches, to correspond with the scarf’s stars and navy.

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A little gold can take a gal a long way, and in this top from Anthropologie, I feel a little badass, a little glam and a little like a shooting star. Throw in a cute skirt and some sparkly eyeshadow, and it’s all golden-holiday ready.

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And yes, I am talking about holiday looks in November, when the high was 11 degrees celsius today but THAT’S JUST HOW I DO THINGS.

Please be advised that this humble blog with becoming increasingly Christmas-y as the month of November continues, culminating in an explosion of holiday cheer and festivity come December.

This has been a PSA. Thank you.

OUTFIT DETAILS

Scarf – Zara

Top – Anthropologie (Similar!)

Skirt – American Apparel

Boots – Shoe the Bear

Tights – American Apparel