Category Archives: Fashion Posts

Halloween Costumes and Being Fashionably Appropriate

For once it’s about time that people focused on clever costuming for Halloween rather than trashy or vulgar ones.  Yes, dressing up as a cat in a piece of spandex that leaves nothing to the imagination is sexy and tempting but it’s also passe.  Why not try something thought provoking or uncanny instead?  Wouldn’t you rather someone say: Wow that is the best idea for a costume I’ve ever seen! or even, Do you remember that one girl dressed as Princess Diana last night? She looked just like her!  It’s far nicer to look good AND get a compliment for your cleverness than to just have people staring at you because you’re nearly naked.

Although, as adults, trick-or-treating is not a reality – unless you are chaperoning your children – the adult Halloween party is.  In the past I have seen some amazing costumes that left me jealous and bitter because I felt incredibly unoriginal.  The costumes that have topped my list as show-stoppers were:

1. Beetlejuice – for a moment I honestly believed Michael Keaton was standing in front of me.

2. Cloudy with a Chance of Rain – A man in a blue jump suit with cotton balls stuck to it was running around the room with a squirt bottle, spritzing everyone who asked what he was suppose to be.  It was a great play on words.

3. The Scottish Duo – A man dressed as a traditional Scotsman (Kilt, viking beard and all) and his female companion was dressed as a sheep. Yes, it’s vulgar to some degree but it was incredibly funny when you discovered they had arrived together and many people needed the costumes to be explained. Even better.

A great Halloween costume can be a good way to break the ice with people and get a conversation going.  Turning a phrase like “Cloudy with a Chance of Rain” into a costume is brilliant and seven years later – I still remember it!  The more creative you get the better your chances of winning a contest or making a splash at a party.  While dressing up as C3PO or a Star Trek away team will look neat, it’s pretty common.  Think outside the box.  Consider imitating real people (past or present) or consider going as a duo or group.

Some great duos or teams you could imitate are;

  • The Scooby-Doo crew or any combination of the characters
  • A Matador and his/her Bull
  • Prince William and The Duchess (Kate Middleton)
  • The Avengers (their true selves or the superhero versions)
  • Bella and Edward
  • The Harry Potter Kids or Teachers

The options for Halloween costumes are only limited by your imagination and I think it’s time to really put those imaginations to work.  You are not five years old anymore, being a witch, cowboy, vampire, cat or zombie is no Imagelonger acceptable unless you plan to step it up a notch.  If you insist on being a vampire than you should go all out and model yourself after the Volturi (creepy red contact lenses, long hair and all) or if you insist on being a Witch then you better be going overboard in your resemblance to Angelica Houston in Witches or Michelle Pfiefer at her worst in Stardust! Make it memorable and have fun.

Halloween has become an excuse to dress inappropriately and act inappropriately – it’s lost all sense of it’s ghoulish nature and I think that is sad.  Bring Halloween back to it’s true splendor by really dressing up in a fantastical way.  Having children is no excuse either; kids like to go out and if you are going with them then you should get in the spirit and enjoy it with them.  You may think a young child who is unable to walk is a hindrance to getting costumed or taking your other kids out – this is not so.  Incorporate your infant into your costume.  If you have ever seen the original Total Recall film then you can turn yourself, your infant and a baby harness into that freaky being “Kuato” that is coming out of the man’s guys chest and whispers “Quaaaaaaaid.”  It’s really easy if you put your mind to it and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

The road map to deciding on the perfect costume.

1. Decide if you are going solo or as part of a duo/group.

2. Choose whether your goal is to be frightening, clever or funny.

3. Stipulate your budget.

4. Do some research that includes shuffling through proverbs, character lists, literary characters and figures of speech. See what you like and then run with it!

Good luck and Happy Halloween!

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Fall Dresses – Get on Board!

Dresses are the perfect everyday garment.  A lot of women associate dresses with work-wear or special occasions but in reality they are incredibly versatile.

Fall is coming up and it’s always a great time to introduce a new dress or two into your wardrobe because the selection in stores right now is huge.  Skip over picturing yourself in the classic LBD because that’s not what we’re talking about today! Great styles to consider for the fall are long-sleeve jersey dresses, either a wrap-style or fitted and sweater dresses.  Jersey dresses are amazing because they are thin but warm and you can get them in a variety of lengths with many different collar and sleeve styles.  A jersey dress can be easily paired with a big comfy sweater and stylish boots or for warmer fall days a nice scarf would be the perfect accessory.

Sweater dresses are going to be a huge hit this season, the variety of styles has doubled in the last year and you can find almost any shape imaginable.  There are fitted turtle-neck styles in both cocktail and knee-lengths, fit in flare scoop necks or, my personal favorite right now, the simple elongated cable-knit sweater with a cowl neck-line that doubles as a hood.  These dresses are perfect for any boot; ankle, knee or thigh-high and when spring rolls around they are still usable and pair great with a fashionable sandal or demure heel.

I think the one aspect of dresses that gets over looked the most is how simple and easy they are. Choose the dress and your outfit is mostly complete! You don’t have to fret over mixing and matching tops and bottoms, especially for the office which can be a pain depending on your body shape.  If you select the right length and cut of dress it will flatter your figure and elongate your body with minimal effort in the planning department. All you really have to do is choose some complementary accessories; scarves, foot-wear, jewelry or bag and you are set for the day.  Dresses also translate well from day to night so if you have a function in the evening you don’t have to plan a new out fit and you’ll save a lot of time.

The places I would suggest shopping for fall dresses are Victoria’s Secret online, H&M, RW & Co and even Ricki’s.  They all have a great selection of casual dresses but Victoria’s Secret by far has the most to choose from and very reasonable prices and you don’t have to go to the mall!  If you really want to get a good deal and dip your toes into the dress pool without investing a fortune in something you may not care for – go to Walmart; I’m not kidding.  They have great quality jersey dresses for under $15 CAD; while their sweater dress selection is minimal and far from stunning what they do offer is cute and affordable.

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Fall Colors 2012

Dressing for the fall is easy and while color palettes change season after season, year after year; there are a few simple tips to remember when you begin planning your fall wardrobe.

1. Don’t assume that just because it’s cooler and the days shorter that you can’t still be colorful. Whatever the colors are that you’ve fallen in love with; you can transition them into the fall by moving down the color-palette and choosing more subdued tones.  If you love lemon yellow, consider a butter yellow or even mustard.  Gem stone purples make perfectly pretty lavenders too.

2. Black, tan, grey and white are always excellent staples but don’t limit yourself to neutrals.  If you have a hard time making the transition from bright summer time colors to the more understated fall selections, try wearing neutrals with a pop of summer time color! A camel pea coat with a vibrant scarf or hand bag is one good way and you can also dress up your day wear by pairing neutral trousers/skirt ensemble with a colorful blouse.

3. Fall is a great time to incorporate metallics into your wardrobe – if you were thinking of purchasing a pair of nude heels, consider a gold pair. If you are inclined to wear grey, consider silver or a deep gun-metal hue with some sheen.

4. Accessories are easy to showcase this season because you spend a lot of time covering your outfit with a jacket. Focus on choosing a jacket with interesting details, like a peasant hood or a high collar; even ornate buttons are a great detail choice. As well, choosing boots with great details is another way to let your style shine this fall.  You can’t always get away with rocking boots that are intricate but the fall and winter are the season to try something daring.

5. Finally, your hair! You can go one of two ways; interesting updo’s that incorporate something like a bow constructed from your hair help soften the darker side of the season. However, if you like to embrace the darker inspirations of the season then now’s the time to try a new hair color or cut. A sharp angular cut that draws attention to your features is one great option and if you are looking to change colors, consider skipping the highlights/low-lights altogether and choose a warm solid tone.

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Fall/Winter 2012/13 Collections – Fashion on the Runway

So I’ve been holding off discussing the Fall/Winter Fashion Collections, mainly because the actual shows happen in the summer and it just feels like were asking summer to “get lost” a little too early!  I realize we are in the middle of summer still but if I wait much longer this won’t really be news anymore will it? So without further ado…

Black is back this winter but really, it’s a classic that is always in style.  This season Yves Saint Laurant had a parade of women who looked eerily similar to the “Addicted to Love” Girls – in a good way of course!  Masculine inspired suits paired with vibrant red-lips and sleek hair completed the look du jour.  The most wearable aspect of this show were the suit pants and I think this will carry over to the mainstream quite well.  Highly tailored black suit pants with a masculine cut can give any outfit that dash of attitude it might be missing.  Aside from looking chic, it’s also an incredibly comfortable get-up for a day spent at the office or even if you are traveling.

Givenchy had a Matrix meets Samurai feeling about it. Once again it was all about black but Givenchy amped things up by pairing feminine blousy tops with leather jackets and loose fitting slacks.  Also keeping it girly were the bob-cut hair-do’s that made the dark color scheme seem less heavy.  The trends that I think will be catching on from this show are dark lips in shades of plum or maroon and the ever fabulous full length leather gloves.

Dolce has taken it’s own path this season with the vast majority of their pieces incorporating heavy laces. The overall feel of the show was bohemian with old-world gypsy inspire hair and hair-pieces.  Dolce chose to keep fall/winter feeling a little less cool by utilizing warm neutral makeup but on the flip-side they tried to offer a little more coverage from the cold through Victorian-inspired collars. While artistically visionary and well placed in the show, the Victorian collar has a matronly air about it.  Will it mainstream? Perhaps we will see some interesting variations on the turtle neck or even some wearable versions in wedding gown designs but I can’ say this is a likely candidate for every day attire.  I very much enjoyed that Dolce kept some whimsy about them and didn’t get too heavy or dark in the way some of the other designers did this Fall/Winter season.

Valentino portrayed a great mix on the runway encompassing the black color scheme, leather and a bit of a Victorian inspiration.  While the Valentino show was not exclusively in black, it was monochrome and black and white leather were featured predominantly.  The Victorian era permeated the hairstyles with intricate braided up-do’s and long sleeve dresses, comprised of sturdy materials but refreshed by a modest-length.  Crop trousers were a popular choice here as well and all the ladies were sporting the always in-style smokey eye.  Solid colors prevailed here with very little pattern but occasionally a splash of red would brighten the runway and it was always welcomed.  Interestingly, accessories were not that prevalent this season.  A few purses were present here and there but overall it was pretty bare.  Not to say that’s a bad thing, sometimes accessories can overshadow a look as opposed to enhance it so, I must admit, I liked seeing the purse as the star accessory!

 

 

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Fashion Reality Check – Purses for Men

We  all know that some runway fashions (typically haute couture) are too impractical to wear in the real world, right?  Well, what about stuff that is easily wearable in the real world but is…perhaps, unconventional?www.Valentino.com

Valentino’s fall/winter menswear show for 2012-2013 featured gorgeously tailored suits worn by gorgeously tailored men…carrying purses.  I believe in pushing the envelope and all but I just cannot fathom this translating to the mainstream. Can you? The accessories were not lavishly embellished the way women’s bags and purses are but they are, nonetheless, purses.  I understand that designers often try to make some sort of statement (social, political etc.) with their collections but was that Valentino’s aim? Perhaps he was speaking to sexual ambiguity? Overall I think this was an economically reckless choice because it only caters to or will appeal to a limited group of men. With the American economy still trying to repair itself, it seems a frivolous product and an irresponsible allocation of funds on behalf of the design house. I can absolutely foresee powerful men in Hollywood sporting this accessory simply to make the “I’m comfortable in my sexuality” statement, but the average male consumer likely has more pressing purchases to make – even where fashion is concerned.

Not to throw Valentino under the bus though – Burberry also included a few “man-purses” in their fall/winter collection this year. The notable difference between Burberry and Valentino was the size of the bags. Valentino’s creations were very similar to a “clutch” style purse while Burberry ramped-up the scale to something in between a purse and a shoulder-bag, something that could serve various needs.  Burberry’s selection was much more neutral in its representation and although I would NEVER dare use a Burberry bag to toss my gym clothes in, their bags definitely look as though they could be used for such a purpose.

So what do you think about this trend? Will it mainstream at all or was it simply meant to make a statement? If so, what is the statement?  Would your man use one?

www.Valentino.comwww.burberry.com

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Style is What You Make of it – Your Wedding Day

Are you in the midst of planning one of the most exhilarating days of your life?

Instead of telling you what to wear or how-to wear it on your BIG day, I’d rather inspire you to find your own style for that very special day. If you are stumped or running out of ideas for centerpieces, floral arrangements or even if you can’t decide on a theme – I can help! I’ve compiled a short list of MUST SEE sites that are sure to inspire you. Good Luck!

Figgie Shoeshttp://www.figgieshoes.com/

If you want gorgeous one of a kind Wedding Day Shoes, you must check out Figgie! You buy your shoes and Figgie will hand-paint them to fit your day. Simply stunning!

Lover.lyhttp://lover.ly/

Like Pinterest but for weddings only! The home page is enough to overwhelm you with inspiration.

Forever Yours Paper Petalswww.foreverpaperpetals.com

Paper flower bouquets, boutonnieres and decor, seriously! It’s brilliant, think about it – no limitations on size, color, time of year, overall weight or how hearty the flower is. You could have roses made from sheet music or daffodils in bright purple with filigree. The mind abounds with endless possibilities.

Blue Nilehttp://www.bluenile.ca/

Design your own ring – RIGHT NOW! No waiting on quotes or someone getting back to you. Choose your stone, it’s shape, it’s quality, the ring, the metal and the style! There is something for every price point and the prices are right in front of you. You can watch your perfect ring come to life right before your eyes. PS, they can do your wedding bands too!

Pink Cake Boxhttp://blog.pinkcakebox.com/wedding-cakes-to-inspire-2009-08-09.htm

Get inspired by cake! A huge gallery for you to peruse in order to find that flare of inspiration you need to design your own cake.

Intimate Weddingshttp://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/diy-wedding-ideas-tutorials/

A whole site dedicated to DIY Wedding Day items, from bouquets to guest favors, to kiddie table activities, invitations and programs.

Poptastic Brideshttp://poptasticbride.com/2011/08/statement-bridal-belts-and-sashes-by-make-believen/

“Funky wedding ideas for cool couples” – if you are looking for a little something to add some OOMPH! to that perfect dress you found, you have got to see some of these fun ideas!

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Fashion-forward for cheap! Stay in-Fashion on a budget.

What’s the best way to feel and be fashion forward without spending much money?

Easy-peasy lemon-squeazy! I’m glad you asked. It’s all about the details of course! One of the fastest and most apparent things you can do is get the “in” hairstyle. Luckily this season’s look is top-knots and braids, so you don’ttheberry.com need to visit your hairstylist. This means that other than investing in some pins and elastics, if you don’t already have them, it’s free! You can search online for many braid and knot demonstrations so you can achieve the look at home with a little practice.  The knots are the simplest (if you don’t mind hair headaches) and the braids (depending on which style) can be more complicated and require more practice to master – but it’s well worth the effort.  Some of the most beautiful braiding we are seeing is the Victorian inspired braided crowns, side-swept French-braids and messy beach inspired fish-tail braids.

Another easy way to get in-style is to buy some new nail polish. For less than $10.00 you can slap on the hottest color and/or design yourself! There are many trends to try this year, cool, opaque, pastel nails are really trendy and your nails are a great place to add that pop of neon to your wardrobe without investing in shoes or purses!  You can also use whatever little knick-knacks you have at home to help you create designs and patterns with the polish. Without having to purchase specialty tools you can create nail art like a pro! Use stickers, mailing labels or Washi Tape to block off areas to paint or to make straight lines. Pieces of thread dipped in polish and then briefly laid on the nail haphazardly will create unique lines and feathering effects, while toothpicks can be utilized to create polka dots or small pictures! You are only limited by your imagination.

Make up is another easy way to keep in touch with the seasonal trends and this year we are bearing it all! Natural lips and muted shadows are key, but what’s the focal point this year? EYEBROWS! That’s right, prominent and even overly-prominent brows are what’s making waves this summer. We are moving away from that tailored, over-plucked look and going back to a more Brook Shields-inspired brow.  To achieve this look you can let your brows grow in a bit and just shape them normally, while allowing for more fullness than perhaps you are use to.  Another way is to pencil them in a little more heavily but ensure that the color you use is natural looking – nothing too dark for your complexion.

Looking forward to the fall and winter for make up, we will be seeing the return of the classic smoky eye and deep dark lips in reds and plums.  What else does the coming winter hold? Leather! Oh yes, leather is back with a vengeance and it looks so good!

EXTRA EXTRA! Here is a tutorial for achieving the Fish-Tail Braid at home! http://www.beautylish.com/a/vmnza/fishtail-braid-tutorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

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