Friday, December 5, 2014

Wish List: Saint Laurent Sac De Jour



I've tried my best to resist the siren song of the Sac De Jour, but more and more I find myself obsessively scouring the web looking for pictures of it and am inexplicably drawn to it each time I'm at Holt Renfrew. This tote in classic black would make the perfect addition to my wardrobe. A subtle statement piece that I could see myself reach for season over season.

(Available here

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Back after a coffee break...


Admittedly it's been more of extended absence than a break, but I'm back and very excited to start chronicling my style inspirations once more.  

(For those interested: recipe for cookies which are truly as delicious and decadent as they look) 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Starts with a white dress shirt...

Happy Monday!

This weekend was one filled with pleasant surprises. One was the rain holding out until Sunday evening despite forecasts of rain all weekend. The second was an impromptu dinner in the Distillery District with dear friends who were back in the city after moving overseas last Fall. There truly is nothing better than mild summer nights on a patio enjoying delicious food and even better company.

For this weekend's casual outing, I opted for a classic boyfriend-fit dress shirt . The relaxed fit is versatile, looking great tucked into skinny jeans or paired with dressy shorts for evening, like this silk cargo-inspired pair (last seen in Vegas)




The wider proportions of the shorts allow this outfit to be paired with flats (as I did here) or dressed up further with a neutral heel.


Gold details completed the look that was wonderfully comfortable for the seafood feast we enjoyed and  subsequent stroll to walk off our dinner. 


Hope you have a great week!



Top: J.Crew
Bottom: Club Monaco (old, similar here)
Shoes: Tory Burch
Jewelry: Vita Fede bangle, Hermes cuff, Marc Jacobs watch, J.Crew necklace
Accessories: Salvatore Ferragamo belt, D&G sunglasses

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Starts with draped pants...

Happy weekend! And may I add, "long time no see!". This summer has been surprisingly busy. While the upside is that there has been a great balance of work and play to keep things interesting, the downside is that time quickly passed by before I realized how long ago my last post was.

Tonight, some dear friends joined my hubby and me for dinner in Toronto's Distillery District. If you've never been, this is definitely one of my favourite places to visit in the summer. And if you're searching for a new restaurant to try, I highly recommend Cluny (their veal meatball and salmon tartar are heavenly). 

For a casual day-to-night outfit that suited both the heat of the afternoon and the breeziness of the evening, I opted for a pair of comfortable draped pants in crepe material. The thicker fabric give these pants more structure, and less of a pyjama look in my opinion.


Because the pants are voluminous, I opted to keep the pairing simple and streamlined. A long necklace and racer-back silk tank helped ensure the look didn't overwhelm my petite frame. To complement the overall softness of the ensemble, I carried a structured handbag.


The tank and subtle silver accessories were complemented by a metallic pop from the sandals. 


Hope you're having a great summer so far!

Top: Ann Taylor (old)
Bottom: J. Crew (other colours available here)
Jewellery: Gucci watch, Tiffany & Co bracelet and necklace
Shoes: J.Crew

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Starts with a blue dress shirt...

 Happy Wednesday! It's amazing how time flies when there's so much to do - between travelling for work and training for a 10k run, the long weekend couldn't have come sooner!

This long weekend was all about staying local and relaxing. My hubby and I enjoyed our first barbecue of the season, I celebrated a friend's bachelorette party, and we capped things off with a lovely patio brunch. 


I paired this season's blue dress shirt with a tweed-like jacket also in similar shades of blue. To add a bit of weekend edginess to this otherwise ladylike ensemble, I added slim black pants with leather tuxedo-stripe detailing and a croc-embossed clutch. 


Gold jewelry completed the look along with classic pointed single-soled pumps.


Hope you're having a great week!

Top: J.Crew dress shirt, J.Crew jacket
Bottom: J.Crew
Shoes: Prada
Jewelry: Vita Fede "Mini Titan" bracelet, Marc Jacobs watch
Clutch: Danier (amazing price for such a timeless leather piece!)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Starts with Inspiration: Mother's Day gifts

 photo 19-WATCHIT_SS14_SKW2135_zpsf8cadf69-1.jpg  photo HampB_LaSirena_1GRB_145_zps2daf2e92.jpg
 photo 15-HampB_LaSirena_8EA_75_zps6a17b42a.jpg < photo CANOESUEDE-EARTHRED_zpsd350eb82.jpg

Mother's Day is next week, and if your mom is similar to mine, she's impossible to shop for. Here are a few items that I think would be sure to light up her face when she opens up the gift bag at brunch. 

A watch for mom, symbolic of all the time she invested in raising you - and let's face it, has it stopped?

A ring for mom, with three stones representing the past, present and future - something she's helped shape and will always be a part of. 

A pair of wear-anywhere earrings is a perfect way to add some sparkle to mom's face.  Neutral-coloured stones help make these an ideal jewelry box addition.

Finally, moccasins to give mom's feet comfort after running around all day. My own mom is retired, but with her social and yoga calendar, she's even busier than before!


Happy shopping and gifting!


Clockwise from top-left: 
Skagen from WATCH IT! 
Hillberg & Berk La Sirena ring
Manitobah Mukluks Canoe Suede Moccasins
Hillberg & Berk La Sirena earrings

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wish List: Cedric Charlier Contrast V-neck dress


Simply chic and classically minimalistic. There's really no other way to describe this great version of the LWD (aka little white dress) for the summer.

Available here and here

I also picked up this top here for a similar look. 

Image credit: Barney's

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Weekend Web Round-up: April 26th edition


Happy weekend! Over the last few weeks, I've had the opportunity to attend a number of "women in business" networking events. Being relatively new in my career, it's always inspiring to hear from others about their own professional journeys. More often than not, I walk away with a few gems that I keep close and reach for, especially when work (and life) get very busy. 

This week's web inspiration comes from three different categories of women. Each are successful (and coincidentally famous) in their own right and inspired me this week. 

-1-
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen on The Ellen Show are hilarious and refreshingly human. The petite fashion moguls have come a long way since their Full House days with their Elizabeth and James and The Row lines being among my favourites for minimalistic chic. 

-2-
The Duchess of Cambridge, during her tour of New Zealand and Australia, has provided one sartorial treat after another. The WhatKateWore blog is the guide to see in detail everything that was worn. There is something so refreshingly feminine, elegant and chic about Catherine's wardrobe choices. I'm even more impressed with how at ease she looks in both "fast fashion" like her go-to Zara blazers and skinny jeans as well as her impressive collection of high-end designers. She is truly the master of restyling and re-purposing pieces for multiple occasions. 

-3-
I'm currently reading Arianna Huffington's Thrive and this interview with Julianne Moore in Harper's Bazaar offers eight key takeaways for how to elevate one's life from merely existing to thriving.

Have an amazing day!

Image sources: Ellen Show, WhatKateWore blog, Harper's Bazaar

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Starts with Inspiration: Eco-friendly Chic

Today is Earth Day, and what better way to celebrate our beautiful planet than with feel-good fashion?

Although "fast fashion" is a great way to stay on trend and try new styles, pieces that are versatile and can be re-purposed and restyled in many ways serve as the cornerstone of any well-rounded wardrobe. 

Below are three of my current favourite picks:

This Alex and Ani bangle (previously seen here) is handmade and fully adjustable. There's nothing like a darling little bird to remind you of the lovely Spring days to come. This can also be layered with other similar pieces to elevate a simple white dress like this

A durable hand-crafted pouch (similar available here) means that you'll get plenty of use and this cute chevron pattern is perfect for adding a pop of pattern to a monochrome outfit. If you're travelling, this can double as a toiletry case and simply re-purposed for a casual beach dinner. As a packing hint, I use large toiletry cases to carry bathing suites and other delicates, ensuring they arrive snag-free. 

And finally, with another wedding season quickly approaching, this Henkaa convertible dress is perfect for guests and bridesmaids alike. The tutorials on the website are endless, and this deceivingly simple-looking dress can be worn in a variety of styles ranging from halter, one-shouldered, or strapless. 

Hope you're having a great day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fashion News: Marissa Webb joins Banana Republic








Gap Inc. announced today that as of April 28th, Marissa Webb will be joining Banana Republic as its Creative Director and Executive Vice President of Design. 

Having spent time at Polo, Club Monaco, and most recently J.Crew, Ms. Webb is sure to breathe a breath of fresh air to the company.  By sheer coincidence, she happens to have influenced three of my top brands.

This, of course, is hot on the heels of Banana Republic's recent announcement of an upcoming collaboration with Roland Mouret. Perhaps this is a sign that the brand is looking to steer its direction towards higher fashion?

The first collection with Marissa Webb at the helm is Summer 2015.



Image source: Banana Republic

Monday, April 7, 2014

Starts with a embellished neckline and playing with patterns...

Happy Monday! Another business casual look today that works just as perfectly for weekend brunch!
An embellished neckline is a fun alternative way to "wear" statement accessories. This sweater with its feminine floral jewel detailing instantly drew me in, and even better that it was on sale!


I also decided to play with patterns and paired leopard-print smoking slippers with the marled texture of the sweater. 



Have an absolutely lovely week!


Top: J.Crew sweater, Uniqlo blouse
Bottom: Citizens of Humanity
Shoes: Banana Republic

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Starts with a green plaid shirt...

Happy Wednesday! Continuing to indulge by current obsession with plaid I recently picked up this boyfriend plaid shirt to add to my "business casual" rotation. 



One of the perks of working in an environment that isn't overly formal is the freedom to experiment a bit more with textures and patterns. This crinkle boy shirt is made work-appropriate by layering a fitted blazer on top. This is paired with skinny jeans (not jeggings) and a statement belt. The stack-heel ankle boot is a casual alternative to the classic pump, providing height while still being comfortable. 


Admittedly, leaving a a formal workplace where shift dresses and dress pants were go-to staples took a bit of getting used to. But once I figured out the balance of looking (and feeling) too dressed-down and being overly dressed-up -- business casual became quite fun. The best part is that items previously reserved for the weekend could be re-styled to be work-appropriate for the week. Imagine the possibilities!

Hope you're having a great week!

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Top: J.Crew shirt (other colours here and here, sale items now an additional 30% off until April 6th with code "SHOPNOW")
Blazer: Banana Republic
Bottom: J.Brand
Shoes: Vince Camuto
Accessories: Tiffany & Co necklace, Ferragamo belt, Botkier bag, D&G sunglasses, Hermes bangle

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weekend Web Round-Up: March 28th Edition



Hello, hello! Hope you had a lovely weekend! I most definitely enjoyed the sunshine and mild temperatures today, and celebrated by finally being able to take pictures for an upcoming outfit post without freezing outside. I can't wait to share it with you! Here's what inspired me this week:


-1-

Bazaar's Stages of an Investment Purchase is an interesting piece. More entertaining than educational, it truly speaks to those of us who have gone through the similar "love it, must have it" versus "should I, shouldn't I" conundrum. To be honest, some of my most treasured items were acquired this way. 

-2-
I've been coveting a Burberry trench for what feels like ages, and Elle Canada's How to Wear the Burberry Trench only further fuels this fire. With a light at the end of the freezing tunnel, perhaps this Spring is the time to finally take the plunge?

-3-
Finally, Leighton Meester singing Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" alongside musician Dana Williams is heavenly. Admittedly, I'm a sucker for covers of classics, but this one is truly a lovely rendition and bettered by the fact it stars one of my favourite style icons. 

Have a great day!


Image sources: Harper's Bazaar, Elle Canada, YouTube

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Starts with a blue sequined dress...


Happy weekend! Quick outfit post from a friend's wedding today (note the amazing champagne bar behind me!). 

This sequined blue dress was first worn for my company holiday party in December. I'm obsessed with the sparkly navy colour (my go-to alternative to basic black) and the low-cut back. Because of the attention-grabbing fabric, I opted to pair this with subtle black ankle-straped sandals, a classic handbag and small rhinestone earrings. 

Dress: Mendocino (similar here and here)
Bag: Chanel
Shoes: Club Monaco

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Starts with Inspiration: Kendra's Fashion Challenge - A Trip to Disney's Epcot

Trip to Disney - Day & Night
Happy Friday! 

When Kendra Thornton, travelling guru, approached me with a fashion challenge to inspire her wardrobe for a family trip to Disney's Epcot, I was instantly intrigued. Even as an adult, Disney World remains one of my favourite places to visit, and vacation packing is always a creative exercise to look fabulous while packing light. 

My go-to trick is creating a base outfit that can easily be transitioned from day to night by swapping layers and accessories. For this particular set, I opted for a silk cami and scalloped shorts for a functional, feminine look. For daytime, this is paired with a light cashmere hoodie (it can get chilly in the air-conditioned buildings), comfortable yet stylish striped flats, and a  stainless steel menswear-inspired watch. I also added sparkly mouse ears so that she can complement her daughters' princess outfits.

At night, the hoodie is swapped out for a cardigan in a hot-for-Spring floral pattern, glamorous pointed flats, and oversized hoops. The pièce de résistance is a match-everything cross-body bag that can be used as a clutch for dinner by simply tucking in the strap while leaving one hands-free for day. 

For more information about Kendra's Fashion Challenge, check out her message below!

I want to take this time to introduce my latest project, "Kendra's Fashion 
Challenge." I am Kendra Thornton a well-known travel expert! I need some 
fashion advice from some of the best expertise fashion bloggers! I'm currently 
planning a trip to Orlando with my family and I'm particularly concerned 
about what I'm going to wear for a day visiting Epcot! I want to look trendy 
and chic with a princess theme! I am letting my girls wear their Disney attire 
and I would like to match along but in a mature way. We will be attending the 
Princess Storybook Breakfast in the morning then off to see Beauty & the Beast 
in the World Showcase France Pavilion! I’m sure we will enjoy some delicious 
French food later when we meet up with my son and my husband. We will then 
take off to the heart of Paris at a charming café! Chefs de France has high 
ceilings, intricate mosaic flooring and expansive windows looking out onto the 
promenade! I can’t wait to try some innovative French cuisine! I was able to 
plan this day with a new booking website that gives great first hand reviews. 
I checked out the website Gogobot and there were endless options offered for Walt 
Disney World hotels and excursions! I am really looking forward to my trip to 
Orlando. Once I figure out what I'm going to wear, I'll be all ready to go! This is a 
destination that's perfect for families with children! I know with StartWithStyle’s help I 
will have the perfect outfit for my day at Epcot!

Details:
Top: J.Crew hoodie,  Dolce & Gabbana cardigan, Equipment camisole, 
Bottom: TopShop shorts
Shoes: Gap flats, Valentino "Rockstud" flats
Jewelry: Michael by Michael Kors watch, Kate Spade hoops
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff "Mini MAC" bag

Image source: Polyvore

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wish List: Nicole Miller Maze Sequin Dress



They say that love sometimes makes people do crazy things. I'm considering throwing myself a party just to have a reason to purchase and wear this gorgeous creation. Pictures don't do the detailing and texture justice, it really is that amazing in real life. 

Available here.

Image source: Nicole Miller

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekend Web Round-up: March 21st Edition




Happy weekend! It was an especially exhausting week that was prefaced by a lively weekend celebrating at a friend's wedding. The silver lining was that despite the hectic schedule, the temperatures were slightly warming up (could it be that Spring could finally be starting?).

Here's what inspired me this week:

-1-
WhoWhatWear's The Key to Showing The Right Amount of Skin is a great reference tool for subtly (and age-appropriately) wearing Spring's less coverage-heavy looks. The trick? If you're going to showcase one body part, keep the others modestly covered. 

-2- 
Elle's 10 Must-Have Items to Revamp Your Spring Wardrobe is another great list to inspire shopping for the upcoming season. The highlight is that there's not too much here that you don't already likely have - it's just a matter of restyling to suit the warmer weather.

-3- 
Harper's Bazaar's Jean Queens: Inspiring Celebrity Denim is especially interesting for me. I'm fortunate to work in an office where jeans are considered okay for everyday wear. However, I'm always on the lookout for new ways to wear my denim while still being work-appropriate. The caveat here is that not every look is right for the office, so pick and choose your look according to your company dress code. 

Have a lovely weekend!



Image credits: WhoWhatWear, Elle.com, Harper's Bazaar 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Wish List: Christian Louboutin Decollete 554



The search for the perfect nude pump has finally led me to Christian Louboutin's Decollete 554. Alas, these beauties have eluded me in the most frustrating ways (the store only having them in a half size too large, or the sales associate telling me they had my size only to crush my hopes shortly thereafter by realizing he was wrong). I can't seem to find these in my size anywhere, and stores aren't able to special order them. And because I can't have them, I want them even more. They say there's nothing like the chase, but in my case, there would be nothing better than a sweet promenade with these lovely shoes on my feet.



Image credit: Christian Louboutin

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Weekend Web Round-up: March 8th Edition



Happy weekend! After a truly exhausting week, these links provided a breath of fresh air. Admittedly, I'd much rather think about fashion and accessories and my next wardrobe addition than deadlines and business trips. 

-1-
PurseBlog's Ten Reasons to Own a Chanel Flap Bag: As if you actually needed more convincing, I think of these more as reasons to justify my first (and so far only) Chanel bag purchase years ago. Even with other bag additions throughout the years, my Classic Flap is absolutely still one of my favorite and cherished items (close-ups here and here). 

-2-
WhoWhatWear's 9 Secrets to Making Your Outfit Look Expensive is a list of tips that don't require an investment in themselves to elevate an outfit and give it that extra oomph. Many of the items I already own in my wardrobe but simply needed some inspiration to reinvent.

-3-
The Best Wedding Photos on Vogue.com is a guilty pleasure. Though it's been two years since my wedding, I still find myself drawn to pictures of wedding dresses and still feel those butterflies in my stomach when I spy an especially beautiful one. This link is filled with gorgeous visions of white dresses in every silhouette and tons of venue and decor inspiration.

Image credits: PurseBlog, WhoWhatWear, Vogue.com

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Starts with red plaid and fur...


There is something so unequivocally winter (and stereotypically Canadian) about plaid and fur. Since winter has no plans on leaving anytime soon, I've adapted the age old adage, "if you can't beat them, join them".


This fun plaid top is elevated by edgy detials like a leather trimmed neckline and side zippers. It's the perfect complement to an otherwise more conservative (faux) fur scarf.

Add a sleek pair of over-the-knee boots to the equation, and I was ready to brave the icy sidewalks this past weekend.


Hope you're staying warm!

Top: Zara
Coat: Babaton Howell Coat (from Aritzia, currently on sale)
Bottom: Zara
Boots: Michael by Michael Kors
Bag: Prada
Sunglasses: D&G
Gloves: Holt Renfrew

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Starts with Inspiration: 2014 Oscars

Happy Oscars! This year's red carpet was undeniably awash with shades of blush, blue, and classic black. While dresses were formal and subdued with pops of detail, the hairstyles were romantic, loose, and unquestionably feminine. 

Without further adieu here are my faves for the night:

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen. Loving the side-swept train perfectly complemented with side-swept curls. A perfect example of how navy blue can be a great alternative to classic black.

Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace. I adore the cape detailing and the plunging neckline and the subtle shimmer on the fabric makes Ms. Hudson quite literally glow.

Anne Hathaway in Gucci. The metallic details on the torso create an armour-like look that is the perfect juxtaposition to the body-skimming dress. Her edgy hair just further solidifies this power-woman look.

Cate Blanchett looking every bit an ethereal fairy queen in Armani Prive.

Kristen Bell in Roberto Cavalli is my "wedding inspiration" choice this year. The corseted top is the ideal topper for the soft details on the skirt and train. 

Lupita Nyong'o in Prada continues her red-hot streak as fashion's current "it" girl. This simple duck egg blue gown is my absolute favourite tonight. The plunging neckline leading to a soft flowing A-line skirt with subtle pleats is just perfection.

Charlize Theron in Dior. The sheer overlay and the nude straps on this dress elevate this dress from being simply classic to being simply chic.

Jennifer Lawrence in red Dior is proof that the peplum trend is staying a bit longer. To me, this evokes images of Old Hollywood, which is undoubtedly modernized by Ms. Lawrence's diamond necklace (worn backwards, draping down the back) and slicked hair.

Naomi Watts in Calvin Klein Collection is proof that when a dress is this gorgeous, no other accessories are required. A simple beaded sheath topped by a sparkly statement necklace that appears almost like it's the collar of the dress - fabulous!

Amy Adams in Gucci Premiere perfectly epitomizes minimalistic chic. Another great example of how amazing navy blue looks on the red carpet.

Camilla McConaugheyy in Gabriela Cadena is another favourite of mine. The simple sheath offset by the cascading side cape/train is so elegant and regal that it requires no other adornment other than a perfectly matched clutch in the same soft blush hue.

Julia Roberts in Givenchy is wearing one of my coveted necklines of the moment. I'm loving the plunging neckline subtly offset by the lace overlay. This simple dress is elevated by lace details and ultra-feminine peplum - amazing!

Jessica Biel in Chanel Haute Couture. The soft shimmery details and simple side-swept hair again. However, the silvery sparkle on blush offers a certain "pop" resulting in an eye-catching effect. 

Finally, Emma Watson in a Vera Wang top and skirt. The picture doesn't do this look justice, but if you see video footage of Ms. Watson walking, the skirt has the most amazing sway and the light hits the metallic top perfectly. 

Which was your favourite?

Image source: Just Jared