Monday, December 31, 2012

Starts with New Year's Resolutions...

Prada pointy pumps, Prada, holt renfrew boxing day

When the first of January rolls around in a few hours, there will be a collective scrambling across the world from folks promising to start anew. I'm no different. Except this year, in addition to resolving to continue to eat better and challenge myself fitness-wise, I'd like to add a few style resolutions:

1. Look in my own wardrobe first:  from restyling a thirteen year old dress to re-wearing a cherished statement necklace this year, I've realized how much potential lies in my closet. This year, I'd like to challenge myself to accessorize more and refresh existing pieces, and only purchasing new items to incorporate trends and styles I don't currently have. 

2. Embrace colour: Though I usually gravitate towards neutrals, this year I incorporated green, oxblood, and orange into my wardrobe. In the new year I'd like to continue this streak (and start with those impulse colour purchases in my closet that still have tags on them). 

3.  Continue to build and improve my blog: With six months under my belt, I've learned a lot thus far about blogging but acknowledge that I have a long way to go. I look forward to learning more and sharing more in 2013.

Happy New Year to you and all the best for 2013!

Starts with Inspiration: Year in Review

Today marks the end of 2012, and what a year it's been. Below are some of my top blogging moments of this year.


In July, Starts with Style  is born. After a year-long hiatus to allow me to plan my wedding (and get married!), I finally realize my dream to launch a refreshed and updated blog dedicated to personal style and fashion.


By sheer luck, I'm in Las Vegas during Fashion's Night Out. On this night of fashion being celebrated around the world with parties, sales, and amazing shopping, there was no better place than Las Vegas to take it all in. Champagne at Marc by Marc Jacobs, desserts at Tory Burch, and 30% off a H&M - it was the perfect way to end the trip! 


The peplum trend of 2012 was one I embraced with elation. Feminine, eye-catching, and versatile, I relished moments when I could wear my peplum tops. This was by-far one of my favourite ensembles of the year and I was so happy to wear this to a dear friend's wedding.

With the new year on its way, I look forward to sharing many more style moments with you as I continue to build my blog. What were your favourite style moments of 2012?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Fashion News: Toronto Boxing Day Shopping!

Boxing Day shopping has been a standing tradition I share with my best friend. For the last ten years, it has been a standing date that we reserve to spend the morning with each other and end with a delicious lunch celebrating our purchases. 

While there's nothing quite as exciting as scoring a coveted item on sale in-store, the online chase is equally enthralling, without the hassle of communal change rooms or long lines. Here is my list of top Boxing Day shopping locations, both in-store and online:

Holt Renfrew: Boxing Day sale currently on with up to 50% off select Fall/Winter merchandise, additional 20% on December 26th. Stores open 7am on Boxing Day, Winnipeg opens at 10am, Quebec and Montreal open at 1pm. (No online shopping available)

Aritzia: 20-50% off Fall/Winter Merchandise. Stores open 7am on Boxing day with other in-store specials. Online and in-store

The Bay: 60% off Women's Fall and Winter collection, starts December 25th. Online and in-store

Banana Republic: Up to 50% off. Online and in-store

J.Crew: Currently additional 25% off final sale items. Online only with promo code TINSEL. 

SSense: Currently 50% off select items. Online only

Intermix: 50% off sale items, 15% off regular-priced items in-store. Boxing Day only.

TNT: All sale items up to 70% off. In-store only.

Sephora: Up to 40% off select items with other select items for $12. Online and in-store ($12 items available in-store only)

Davids Footwear: Fall sale currently on. In-store only.

Happy shopping!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Starts with Inspiration: Gifts for Her

Last minute shopping for a special girl in your life? Whether it's the love of your life, your BFF, or fashionable little sis, here are three gifts that any girl is sure to love. And if the Mister is reading this - wink wink nudge nudge.

The Hudson's Bay Company Collection woven cashmere scarf is soft, cozy, practical, and a great way to add a bit of colour to a winter wardrobe. This iconic symbol of Canadian heritage is perfect for the girl who's always cold (me!) and believes in function and fashion. Available at The Bay.
Hudson's Bay Company Collection, gifts for her
Something sparkly has never failed to elicit a smile. This statement bracelet from J.Crew has been on my wish list for a few months, and is perfect for the girl that loves arm candy and layering her jewelry.

J.Crew classic pave link bracelet, gifts for her

The ultimate luxury gift, the Gucci 1973 top handle bag is a classic shape and in this season's hot oxblood hue. For the girl who has everything, this is surely a piece that will be admired and treasured for years to come. Available at Holt Renfrew.

Gucci 1973 top handle bag, gifts for her

Image credits from top: The Bay, J.Crew, Holt Renfrew

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Starts with a little black dress...

The Little Black Dress. It's the ubiquitous staple on every "Wardrobe Essentials" list and it never never goes out of style. I purchased this strapless dress from Club Monaco thirteen years ago. It has clean lines and almost no embellishment at all, save for the satin tuxedo stripe down the side. The simplicity of this dress provides a neutral palette for dressing-up and dressing-down and it has gone from high school semi-formal (you read that right!), to cruise ship formal, to multiple weddings, and most recently,to my company holiday party. Even though its zipper finally broke a few weeks ago, I caved and had it fixed - I just can't let this go!

holiday outfit, little black dress, Club Monaco

Dress: Club Monaco (old)
Shoes: Elie Tahari
Jewelry: Cards & Presents (Queen St. West, Toronto) necklace, Tiffany & Co bracelet
Purse: Chanel

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Starts with holiday style: Tips from Anya Sarre, Celebrity Stylist

I am truly honoured to introduce Anya Sarre, one of Hollywood’s most influential trendsetters as a guest blogger today. A nationally recognized celebrity stylist, Sarre is known for her impeccable eye and ability to tie any look together with the perfect accessory. Named “Best Television Fashion Stylist” for her appearances on Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and countless other media outlets, Sarre is the go-to fashion expert for Hollywood’s biggest celebrities.

With holiday party in full swing, there's no better time than now to start thinking about how to make an outfit pop with festive flare while still keeping warm in the chilly weather. I was so pleased that Anya agreed to share her style advice with us, read on to find out more.

Shoedazzle, Anya Sarre, celebrity style, holiday style

Sparkle at Holiday Gatherings This Year with Winter-Wonderful Styles

As the weather cools and thoughts turn toward the winter holidays, you may be wondering how to dress for those holiday parties and family gatherings on your calendar. As always, be sure your clothing is warm and comfortable. Then check the full-length mirror to make sure everything is in place before you leave the house, and you’ll be on your way to turning heads all holiday season long.

Does this sound a little too easy? It really isn’t. Top designers to the stars know that the best way to look great on the red carpet or runway is for a star or model to feel good in an outfit. When people feel comfortable and confident, their inner beauty shines through, complementing their style.

This year’s winter fashions offer something for every woman to feel cozy and comfortable wearing. A top look currently is texture layering, which offers great ways to stay warm while sporting high-end fashions in cold weather. Quilted fabrics, knits, fur or faux fur, leather looks and more feature as some of the year’s hottest textures, and pairing two or more results in hot-off-the-runway fashions perfect for the holidays.

A popular quilted jacket pairs great with a short leather skirt and opaque tights. Add a little holiday fun to the mix by pairing festive shoes with this outfit. A pair of metallic pumps will work great.

Sweaters and other knit items keep women warm and fashionable this year, and holiday time is a great time to take advantage of sweaters featuring metallic threads and embellishments. Complement the sweater with matching jewelry in similar metallic colors, and add a pair of boots with fur embellishments to maximize texture.

Layering sweaters over button-down tops or mock turtlenecks is another great way to stay warm while playing stacking textures for maximum appeal. A silk scarf in festive colors added to this combination steps the outfit up just a little for another fabulous holiday style. This outfit can be completed with a pair of jeans, tailored pants or a classic pencil skirt.

With lots of popular textures available for winter wardrobes this year, style possibilities are endless. Have fun mixing and matching articles of clothing and accessories as you dress to impress for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wishlist: Etre Guernsey sweater

I'm a fan of nautical stripes (as evidenced here and here), but the damp chill of a Toronto winter means that filmy t-shirts and tanks are no longer viable wardrobe choices. When Dan from Etre contacted me a few weeks ago and introduced the 2012 Autumn/Winter collection I was immediately drawn to this sweater. Hand-crafted in the British Isles from worsted wool, this sweater is the perfect way to keep warm. The best part is that this sweater is unisex, which is perfect for those who gift-shop like me: "one for me, and one for you". 

Image credit: Etre