Leather forever

Ok, so I have long been a fan of leather jackets. They are classic. I own several, all in different shades and styles depending on my mood. A military style jacket, a biker chic jacket that reminds me of Joan Jett; these are just essentials. The list goes on.

Of course, as much as I love leather, I have yet to dabble in other pieces besides the classic jacket. I’m not sure why, perhaps I am intimidated although I truly do hate admitting this.

Maybe it’s the fear of being uncomfortable. After all, I have heard some rather interesting stories concerning leather pants (and I’m sure we have all seen that one Friends episode…). 

But lately, I have been yearning for something new. And as I find myself scrolling through the internet, online shopping being my ultimate weakness, I have finally figured out what it is I have been wanting.

Leather shorts.

They come in many different styles, and range in price. Alexander Wang has left me drooling, but what’s new?

I am particularly smitten with these light tailored leather shorts, which go for about $500.

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My obsession aside, I have found some alternatives to Wang. After all, my priorities are currently to save my money, as I’m sure I would rather be spending it when I finally arrive in England in several weeks. So, here are some options that are more budget friendly. Of course, don’t expect to find any supple leather shorts for under several hundred dollars.

These faux leather shorts are from Topshop, you can find them online here.

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I am also digging these brown “leather look” shorts from River Island.

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While I do enjoy the tailored look the most, the loose fitting style are also pretty cute. These faux leather croc shorts from Glassworks Studios are also more affordable, ringing in at just over $100.

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What are your thoughts on leather shorts?

M

The plain white tee

I appreciate simplicity, especially when it comes to fashion. I love when I see someone in a great outfit that probably didn’t require a lot of effort. I guess some might just have a natural flair for this, but I think anyone can rock a plain white tee and make it look awesome. I was reminded of this just yesterday while flipping through racks of clothing at The Gap. I stumbled upon a white tee and then my head became filled with ideas.

I would definitely have to say that owning a plain white tee is essential. I really can’t live without it, so I have several, including a long sleeve, a scoop neck, a v-neck, the list goes on. My favourite place to purchase my white tees, if you haven’t already guessed, is The Gap. They are soft, cozy and of great quality. American Apparel comes at a close second, but the fabric just doesn’t quite compare.

So, once you have the plain white tee, you can do a lot with it. However, I am warning you: be careful with that red wine, pasta sauce, etc. If spillage does occur, soak immediately!

So, getting to the good stuff, how does one become simply stylish instead of simply boring in their white tee?

Here are a few suggestions.

1. Mix with a pattern

There is something I love about floral pants and printed skirts/shorts with a plain white tee. It’s cute and easy to put together when in a hurry. I also recently found myself trying on some light patterned pants, and yes, I did in fact purchase them. I was hesitant, as I had been avoiding this trend, but it felt right. Especially if you find a way to wear them that you think suits your style. I would suggest buying a cheaper pair at a store like Forever 21 before splurging on better quality, just in case you change your mind.

Forever 21

Forever 21

2. Layer it

You were waiting for this moment. I can’t help it, throwing a denim piece over a plain white tee is a favourite option of mine.  This is also a great add on to your patterned lower half, because lets face it, denim only ever enhances. So long as it’s the right wash for your outfit.

I am also a huge fan of vests, especially in the summer time. When it’s just too hot to throw on a cardigan but you want to add something extra, a vest is perfect. Striped, printed, denim, I love them all. So long as they aren’t too boxy. A great place to find vests is at vintage and thrift shops. I have found some of my greatest vests hidden in forgotten corners too many times. For example, I found this gem at Value Village a few years back.

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The layering option also coincides with adding some patterns. I love a white tee with some denim shorts and a plaid button up. You can also dress it up with a blazer.

3. Accessorize 

The best way to make your look a little more girlish, especially when you are dabbling in flannel territory.

Whether its a necklace or some arm candy, it’s a sure way to dress up your outfit. I love longer necklaces and chunky bracelets.

I’m also a big fan of scarves layered over the white tee. If you have ever bought a crazy patterned scarf like I have and then struggled to figure out what to pair it with, this is your solution!

These are just a few ideas that I usually stick to. What are some of your favourite ways to dress up your plain white tee?

M

Fabulous finds: thrifting in Ottawa

One of my favourite things to do when I have a little spare time is to check out the local thrift shops. There’s something magical about the hunt, and it only gets better if you manage to find a great vintage piece. I have learned that in Ottawa, certain shops are better than others. I usually skip on the VV located in St. Laurent and take the long trek south. I am rarely disappointed, so of course the trip is always worth it.

On one of my latest trips, I stumbled upon a few things that I just couldn’t resist. One of my first discoveries was this cute little box. I wasn’t sure what I would use it for, but come on, it’s adorable. I love the colour and all of the little details, especially on the handle.

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Of course my favourite section to browse would have to be sweaters. There’s something about finding a cozy and unique knit that makes me feel less terrible about living in such a cold climate. On this particular day, I must have been having some serious thrifting luck. As I flipped casually through the sweaters looking for one that might suit my fancy, I struck gold. Well, I struck Dior. I actually had to look around and check if anyone else was seeing this. Anyone’s first reaction would be to snap it up, which I did rather quickly.

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I also found a great purse with a little bit of Scottish flair. The accessories area is always full of surprises, ones that may have been hiding in someone’s grandmother’s closet until not too long ago – but we all know that those places are gold mines for awesome vintage finds. So many great scarves to find! That’s one thing I probably don’t need more of, but I just can’t seem to stop.

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Now I am suddenly feeling as though a shopping trip is needed, stat.

There’s also some great vintage shops downtown and in Centretown. My personal favourite is Young Janes, a cute local place you can find on Dalhousie. I wrote an article about this shop last year, actually. It’s definitely one of those places I will think about and dearly miss when I am no longer living in Ottawa. But hey, I’m looking forward to some great finds while abroad! There’s a lot of great hidden gems out there, what are some of your favourite places to thrift?

M

Fall is in the air!

I can smell it! And taste it! Pumpkin beer has arrived, and the trees are turning those lovely colours again. Okay, I do admit, I am a spring and summer kind of gal. I love flowy skirts and crop tops and sandals! But one must eventually make the transition to this sweater weather. Last year’s Indian summer really spoiled me! So I’m sure you have all been flipping through your September issues for more than a month now, and that’s great. But for me, I have some simple staples I have to always go back to…but don’t we all?

Number one: the chunky sweater. In every colour, whether it’s patterned or not. I’m so obsessed!

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I just ordered this sweater yesterday. I can’t wait for it to arrive!

Up next, a killer boot. I’m very picky when it comes to this, I like something cute yet powerful that will go with both jeans and a dress. My ultimate favourites are a medium height pair from Aldo with a wingtip design on the toe. Pretty similar to these bad boys, which are also great!

Aldo

And on the days you want your feet to feel some cushion…I adore moccasins. Truly an obsession for several years now, I just can’t let them go. I enjoy the classic moccasin, but once I ordered the little booties from Get Outside Shoes, there was no turning back!

Laurentian Chief

I know I often complain about wearing pants, especially after a few months of skirts, shorts and dresses. Eventually, we have to let go, especially on the days when it is truly freezing outside. Jeans. My other obsession with denim does not always fall in the pants department. But when I do wear pants, I am picky. Favourites? BDG! I am extremely short, and their cigarette mid rise come in the perfect petite length for me. I’m also a big fan of the high waisted jeans.

BDG, Urban Outfitters

These are my top four. Of course leather jackets and denim jackets are also in the mix of favourites, but I think that’s a given!

What are some of your fall essentials?

M

Montreal Fashion Week

Exciting news! I will be heading to Montreal tomorrow morning to cover some events during Montreal Fashion Week for Canadian-Fashion.ca. I am beyond excited to see how different this will be from Ottawa Fashion Week. I think I might be seeing some edgier stuff, Montreal has some serious style. That’s one of the reasons I love going there so much, after all!

I’ll be seeing new collections from some amazing and talented designers based in Montreal. I’ll kick off my afternoon with Travis Taddeo – he is debuting his very first men’s footwear collection in collaboration with Aldo Rise. In case you didn’t know, I am a fan of dudes with stellar kicks. Number one thing I look at on a man…bad shoes are a no go!

And then the evening…

Betina Lou will start it all and I’ve already come to love the cute feminine pieces from her past collections. It all looks so delicate and pretty. I can’t wait to see what she has in her spring/summer collection for 2013.

Iris Setlakwe has some fabrics that I could fall in love with. Definitely looking forward to some classic and elegant styles on the runway.

I think DUY and UNTTLD might steal the show – both seem to have an edge that I will love. I really enjoy the fact that UNTTLD is a collaboration between two designers. I can sense their mystery and poetic nature just by browsing their website.

So wish me luck! I think tomorrow is going to be quite a ride, and I can’t wait to see all of the looks on and off the runway – Montreal is so diverse. I can’t help but knock on Ottawa for being so reserved, we should get a little inspiration! Loosen those ties, everyone!

Pictures and words to come on Canadian-Fashion.ca!

 

Summer shopping trip

When it’s hot out, I like to visit air conditioned places. Yesterday we thought the mall would be fitting. After a quick puppy dip with Eli in the fountain, we indulged in a little retail therapy. Summer essentials were at the top of my list, such as plain tanks for the days when you are sweating despite the fact that you are doing nothing.

I also managed to find some sweet deals on some really awesome pieces!

Find number one was a sheer gold tank at Banana Republic. I’m really feeling these colours.

Banana Republic

I then stumbled upon an awesome wallet. Now Erin and I have matching ones, but hers is purple. The only downside is when you open the change purse is spills a tiny bit. Cuteness factor overrides this.

Danier Leather

Danier Leather

My last two finds were surprising. I love maxi skirts and I saw this at Forever 21. I thought it had an odd look to it, but I ended up having that moment where I just had to have it. It has the cutest buttons all the way up the front.

Forever 21

Forever 21

And finally we entered the store that seems to suck us in every time. We hate it but we love it. Sirens. I always find something there, no matter how much we hate to admit it. I was really into this lower-back baring top. I never buy pink things, but I guess it was my day.

Sirens

Care to share any of your own sweet summer finds? The sale racks are on fire!

M

Sheer brilliance

I have recently become somewhat infatuated with sheer fabrics. It all began with an item I never really imagined myself wearing. But I had this sudden urge to own something completely see-through. Although maybe a bit ridiculous, I do love them, and rock them on occasion. Tights, shorts, or spandex are something that should be worn beneath…to be honest, I’m not one to show off my underwear.

American Apparel

Showing off your bra on the other hand…that’s a different story altogether. Sheer tops are always fun, especially in this warm weather. I’ve grown to love the light and fine material on a sunny day. The breeze goes through it so easily.

One of my greatest shopping moments was actually when I discovered this crop top. Lace in the front, sheer fabric in the back. I have recently learned that my bra is most visible when a camera flash is present…other than that, perfect!

Zinga

Zinga

Since then, my collection of sheer pieces has grown. It makes me quite happy coming home with a new translucent item to add to my closet. Maybe a little bit rebellious, too.

Here are a few of my very own favourites.

H&M (left), Exhileration (right)

The H&M top is a silk front with a light pink transparent back.

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2 hearts

I love that the upper half of the dress is sheer, but the bottom half has a solid black layer beneath.

Forever 21

Not too sheer, but ultra light and wonderful.

American Apparel

As for turning these daring when worn alone items into something G-rated, try wearing a simple tank, or even a tube top, underneath. The button ups also look great over solid or patterned dresses.

How do you feel about showing some skin?

M

Traveling in style.

As of right now I am on a train. It is one that I was not meant to be on, but thanks to VIA rail I had no choice. I missed my connection by 4 minutes.

I have been doing a lot of traveling this month, hence my lack of blog posts. I had my lovely vacation, a weekend in Niagara Falls/Sarnia for a bachelorette party, and now I am off to the home town once again for the wedding. I am extremely excited about our bridesmaid dresses because they are actually amazing and beautiful. Luckily the bride to be loves us enough to let us rock a fabulous long red strapless gown.

But all of this traveling got me thinking about some serious staples when it comes to boarding all those planes, trains and automobiles. What do I need to look great while on the move? Well, I just couldn’t give in to sweats…or looking sweaty. I haven’t hit that low just yet…and I hope I never do.

First of all…keeping yourself fresh:

Call me a sucker but I love this stuff. A cool blast for a dewy look. Avene also makes travel size facial sprays.

As for keeping  matte look, clinique is my tried and true. I usually have one at home and one stashed in my purse.

Then there is the concern of what to wear. Comfort is key. What works best for me lately has been a flowy dress with a knit cardigan, or dark coloured shorts paired with a loose fitting knit top.

Urban Outfitters

American Eagle

Forever 21

Forever 21

And I always need my medium size satchel with me. It fits just enough…book, wallet, shades, etc. I really love this one below so so much, although it it out of my price range.

Proenzea Schouler

I have opted for a cute leather brown satchel by Mondani New York. I happened to stumble upon it at Winners just last year. It has a drawstring and can even be converted into a back pack. Amazing.

Finally we get to shoes. I prefer something simple and not too high. Such as flats or gladiators. My classic choice will forever be my white keds, although they aren’t exactly white anymore.

These were my choice just last week as I made my journey back to the capital!

Shoes from aldo

That concludes my time here for now. But I have some rather awesome purchases that I would care to share with you all in coming weeks.

-M

Mad hatter

It’s that time of year again…when we rake through the newest spring and summer fashions at our local shops and malls. We cringe and swoon, unable to decide what dress best compliments our skin tone.

This was me just yesterday. I was in a picky mood, leaving Montreal with nothing more than two small bags of goodies. Most of this included some hair product and a simple pair of blue flats. I was feeling apathetic about fashion. Like there was no hope for me quite yet. I couldn’t put my finger on it, because as you all know, I had a grand time just a few short weeks ago.

Then I realized, on a day like this…I am good for nothing more than hat shopping. You don’t have to wait for a changing room, and there are loads to choose from! I found my calling on that particular day…and with this new found ideology, I found a great hat!

This is very fitting, since I will be heading down south next month. I need to protect my baby blues, and shades won’t cut it! I happened upon a lovely straw fedora by Calvin Klein. It fades from the brim to the top, a dark blonde shade to an almost bleached shade.

So there you have it…my fashion crisis averted. Just remember…when you’re feeling a bit mad, hit the hat section…or whatever other accessories get you excited.

M

Lace me up

One material I can’t seem to get enough of. Lace!

I can’t get enough of it lately, and if you were paying attention to runways this season, it’s obviously a given. Oh, lace, how I love you so. Lacey bras, lace shirts, and even lace-patterned shoes!

This past week was my birthday, and my sweet boyfriend surprised me with a beautiful little lace number!

Urban Outfitters

He has wonderful taste.

Of course, I tend to love lace in black, so it brings me back into that dark hole that I so desperately love. Luckily, I recently found myself a WHITE lace top, which I posted earlier in a post about spring!  I also found a nice flowy white top with lace details on the back. Perfect with coral coloured pants and a light jacket.

I also have some shoes similar to these puppies that I will be rocking for one last season. It looks as though their time has almost come, so I may have to purchase new ones in the near future. But I have a need for them in cream, nothing else!

Urban Outfitters

I have also been eyeing lace shorts, but I think I need to put this obsession on hold. Too much lace doesn’t exist I guess, but you definitely shouldn’t be mixing two lace piece together! Sorry, ladies.

As for tonight, I will be rocking the lace, at least I hope to. I have an amazing crop top by Zinga, lace in the front and sheer silk in the back. So beautiful and delicate, I’m almost afraid of ripping it in a sweaty dance session.

I think I’m going to go play dress up now! I’ll also be cleaning out my closet sometime in the coming weeks, so I may be posting long lost treasures, or items I am parting with. Justine gets first dibs, of course.

Happy Friday!

-M