a style blog

Sunday, July 27, 2014

OOTD: A Mixing Prints Experiment

I'm starting to get a little bit nervous about the fact that it's almost August already. How is this even possible? Before I know it, this glorious weather - and outdoor OOTD shots - will be replaced by... winter. Canadian winter. What an awful thought. And it was this awful thought passing through my mind this morning that led me to pull out these silk crepe Aritzia shorts from last summer; I'm running out of time to wear them, so I'd better get cracking! 

OOTD ft. a J. Crew blouse, Aritzia silk crepe shorts, a Zara tote, and Target sandals

I wanted to try out something different with these shorts today. Last summer I usually just tucked a plain cotton t-shirt into them and that was that. Casual and entirely boring. Here I tried my hand at mixing prints as well as fabrics, and I think it turned out pretty cool. I think the polka dots and stripes work because they're all in the same colour family - blue - meaning that aside from the patterns, there isn't too much going on. The shirt is silk as well, but it's a smooth silk as opposed to a crepe. Both pieces have that rich, luxurious look to the fabrics, but they're different enough that it doesn't look like a pyjama set or a one-piece. There's just something about wearing pieces that are the same exact fabric that looks so wrong to me. Even when I opt for the Canadian Tuxedo, my go-to "denim" top is actually a chambray - the one I paired with a lace mini skirt not too long ago. Same, but different. Fabric texture is so key, and often overlooked. 



OOTD ft. a J. Crew blouse, Aritzia silk crepe shorts, a Zara tote, and Target sandals


OOTD ft. a J. Crew blouse, Aritzia silk crepe shorts, a Zara tote, and Target sandals

The only thing I'm not so sure about here is the bag. I grabbed it because it has the same black and gold look as my sandals, so it sort of goes, but I have to say I'm not crazy about it with this outfit. I'm kind of in a weird spot right now in terms of tote bags. As in, I don't have very many, and none that I love. I have my eye on the Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM, in the damier ebene of course, so that may end up happening the next time I go to Toronto, if I start saving up now. I think the Neverfull would be a practical addition to my bag collection, as it would be fantastic as a work bag in summer and winter. If you have one, please share your thoughts! 



OOTD ft. a J. Crew blouse, Aritzia silk crepe shorts, a Zara tote, and Target sandals

I wore this outfit out to Value Village (a thrift store chain here in Canada) to get some oversized clothing, mostly shirts, to practice alterations on. In case you don't follow my Twitter or Instagram, I got a new sewing machine yesterday. I had previously been using, or trying to use, my mum's that had been made in West Germany. So, clearly an antique that would be better off in a museum than actually being used. I had been trying to do a simple alteration to a dress I bought in the Zara sale (shortening the straps) and nothing was going right and everything was going wrong. So now I'm on a bit of a sewing kick, which is excellent news for my closet and shopping habits, as I'll be able to do simple alterations myself (although I do have a great tailor). I've been using the hashtag #petiteproblems a lot lately. The struggle is indeed real. 


Outfit stuff: 


Shorts - Aritzia (old, but similar style here: http://bit.ly/1ppegMf )

Blouse - J.Crew (old)
Sandals - Target (link: http://tgt.biz/1l3zsGr)
Bag - Zara (old)
Earrings - Anthropologie
Necklace - Tiffany & Co.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the weather, if it's nice where you are! 


xo Chloë
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

UO Festival Round Sunglasses | 20 under $20

I thought I'd start a little blog series with this post - nothing too strict in terms of parameters, but a somewhat eclectic collection of 20 bits and bobs that I love that are all under $20. I think this is a reasonable endeavour, and an entirely useful one at that. Who doesn't love a great deal?

Today it's all about sunglasses. 



Urban Outfitters Festival Round Sunglasses

I first saw and tried these on while killing time in downtown Kingston one weekend. I rarely go to Urban Outfitters, as it's not really my style, but I thought I'd do a quick tour as an excuse to get out of the sun. I landed at the sunglasses rack. These spoke to me. Perhaps it was because I had recently seen Essiebutton wearing a similar pair in an Instagram photo, but I just had to try them on... and they surprised me. Really surprised me. I usually shy away from rounder frames like these, as my jawline isn't exactly angular, but somehow these worked. Perhaps it's the slight cat-eye that gives them a much-needed edge? 



Urban Outfitters Festival Round Sunglasses


Urban Outfitters Festival Round Sunglasses

Five minutes and $18 later, they (and a pretty bralette) were mine and I was happy as a clam. Super chic and funky, and super cheap. Can't get much better than this, can it? Of course, I'm still very loyal to my vintage Ray-Ban Wayfarers and my oversized Chloé sunglasses, but it's always fun and incredibly useful to have a chic and inexpensive pair that I can just toss in my purse. They even came with a little cotton bag, so that makes the purse-tossing-into even easier.


Bonus: looks like these are in the UO sale right now. Go! Go! Go!


Link! Urban Outfitters Festival Round Sunglasses 


What are some of your favourite cheap yet cheerful sunglasses? I bought a pair at Target for $1 not too long ago and they've held up pretty well. Nowhere near as chic as these, though :)


xo Chloë
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

OOTD: Weekend Style | Crop Top & Midi Skirt

 I wanted to get this OOTD post up before the work-week begins again, as it will be nice to look at it and imagine it's still the weekend (for a fleeting moment) while cooped up in my cubicle and office-friendly attire. We went on a little road-trip today to a charming little town just outside the city. The weather was being a bit "will it or won't it", so that made it kind of difficult to decide what to wear... so I ended up with a midi skirt and a crop top, which tends to be one of my go-to looks lately. 


Summer OOTD ft. my H&M midi skirt, American Apparel crop top, and Zara floppy hat

I brought along my massive sunhat as well, just in case. It's wonderful for protecting my shoulders, face, and neck from the sun; definitely an excellent purchase. This time, though, it ended up being a great shield against some pesky raindrops that decided to test the waters. Luckily it never turned into a full-on rain, so I was able to get a few shots of my outfit :)


You've seen this skirt recently - it's H&M and cheap as chips. It's really quite fabulous. I'm trying to restrain myself from buying it in the black as well, but this blush/taupe colour is so versatile I may not even need the black as a neutral. Here I paired it with a tight bra-top-esque crop from American Apparel. I have this in white as well and love them both. Great fit, great style, and surprisingly versatile. Highly recommend if you're in the market for something like this! 



Summer OOTD ft. my H&M midi skirt, American Apparel crop top, and Zara floppy hat

I'm a little bit embarrassed by my shoe game here. When putting on this outfit I realized that my only pair of "nice" sandals are my rose gold Gigi sandals by Sam Edelman. I've had them for ages and definitely need something new. I didn't think they'd go very well with this outfit, so I threw on my old faithfuls, the Zara ballet flats. They're falling apart and are absolutely ragged, but go with almost everything... so on they went. 


On the beauty front, my lip product addiction knows no bounds. To be fair, some of these were free ("free", as in, I've spent a ridiculous amount of money at Sephora and this is what they gave me) but I really do have a problem. The 1000 point VIB Rouge reward happened, so I'm now the (very) proud owner of Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Lip Gel in Cabaret and the Lust for Lacquer in Shooting Stars. Both are stunning and were very much worth the huge point redemption. I'd been hoarding points for a very long time, so when this came along I was all over it. My other recent purchase is another Laura Mercier Lip Glace, this one in Bare Beige. It's more of a nude-brown than I'm used to, but the texture is on-point and it looks really nice on my lips, so I'm overall very pleased. 



Marc Jacobs beauty Sephora VIB Cabaret Shooting Stars Laura Mercier Nude Beige

Will try/endeavour to have some updates on these either here on the blog or on my YouTube channel. I'll try not to leave you hanging.


Outfit stuff:


Skirt - H&M (in black here: http://bit.ly/1k3sbpH)

Top - American Apparel (link: http://bit.ly/1k7t5qP)
Shoes - Zara (very old, but similar here: http://bit.ly/1zVrglb)
Necklace - Zara (link: http://bit.ly/1wOmD81)
Bag - Coach Phoebe (in black, here: http://bit.ly/1sCc0ra)
Hat - Zara (no longer available)

And with that, I wish you all a lovely (or tolerable) start to the work week. I can already taste my 7 a.m coffee...


xo Chloë
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

OOTD: Lace & Chambray, and More #Zarasale

I feel like if someone were to describe this outfit to me without any visuals, it would sound so strange and awful. A lace mini skirt with a... button down chambray shirt tied into a crop top?! Add some passé rose-gold sandals (rose gold is done now, right?), a fancy bag, and some hipster glasses, and I wouldn't have been surprised to find this on ManRepeller. Or something less couture. Much less.

So, in theory this shouldn't work. But in practice, I would beg to differ. 

Weekend OOTD ft. a lace Zara skirt, a chambray blouse from The Gap, and my Phillip Lim Pashli bag

I think a big part of why it works is how soft and casual the button down shirt is. It's not stiff and fussy, so it doesn't look awkward or Daisy Duke-inspired when it's tied up to be shorter. The sleeves roll up really nicely and its overall slouchiness makes it so easy to wear. I've had it for ages and I'd say hands-down it's my favourite purchase ever from The Gap. Normally I would pair it with a pair of jean shorts for a nice classic Canadian Tuxedo look, or some black skinny pants, but it was threatening to hit 30C so I thought I'd better keep it light and airy with a cotton mini skirt. This one I've had for quite a while too - definitely from a Zara sale of the past, possibly (totally) influenced by Laura Farrant from Buy Now/Blog Later. She's still my major girlcrush. 

Weekend OOTD ft. a lace Zara skirt, a chambray blouse from The Gap, and my Phillip Lim Pashli bag

I only wish this skirt were a few inches longer, then I could wear it to the office. Then, it would be the perfect summer skirt. But it's not, so it is now and forever relegated to the weekend-wear section of my closet, currently populated by minidresses/skirts, crop tops, and faux leather leggings. All fabulous, but fantastically work-inappropriate. 

My reason for this gussying up (if you can call it that) was a quick jaunt to the mall with my mum. She had some things to return to Banana Republic so I thought I'd tag along. As it goes, one cannot go to the mall without doing at least one lap around Zara. Especially at the tail-end of the sale, when all that's left are random and sometimes amazing finds, scraping the bottom of the #Zarasale bucket and coming away with surprisingly great things... I'm sure you know where this is going. 

Last Zara sale purchase, I promise. At least, until the winter sale. Then all bets are off.




So this blue/purple coat. Originally $180, down to $80 - one left, size small... Yes. Yes, yes, yes. It's a really lovely fabric, it's lined, and the patch pockets add a really cute detail. The fit is lovely and sleek and chic and I adore it. Except for the sad fact that it cannot be worn in the summer, as I would probably fall over from heatstroke. This coat and my beautiful Wilfred cashmere/wool coat with leather sleeves will be my staples in the fall, until the sad, sad day when it's Canada Goose parka or bust. I love coats, so finding this one was so fun and thrilling! 


Outfit details - 


Blouse - The Gap (similar here: http://bit.ly/U8r6FP)

Skirt - Zara (too many seasons ago. Sort of similar from Forever 21 (but much shorter): http://bit.ly/1jNHjwN 
Sandals - Sam Edelman (similar here: http://bit.ly/1reZPjU)
Bag - 3.1 Phillip Lim (similar here*)
Necklace - Etsy - PetiteCo (link: http://etsy.me/1r715Tu)
Glasses - Warby Parker (link: http://bit.ly/1tkQ8lG)


What are some of your "mismatched on paper but actually awesome" outfits? Do you ever go full on ManRepeller?

xo Chloë
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Sunday, July 13, 2014

On Warby Parker and Some Spectacular Spectacles

The following, my dear readers, is a story about love at first sight, perseverance, and the satisfaction of ultimately getting what you want. Meaning, it finally happened. I got new glasses. And not just any glasses; I got large, "hipster-esque" glasses from Warby Parker, a company whom I now love rather unconditionally and obsessively... 

In case you don't recall, I fell in love with a certain pair way back in December... the Mallory. Except, my hopes were dashed when I learned that a valid eyeglasses prescription was required to order glasses from Warby Parker. Mine had expired. Harumph. Needless to say, eye exams are expensive and extremely easy to put off... so I only just got around to getting one. And that same evening, I rushed home and ordered my Mallorys. 



Warby Parker Mallory glasses in Gimlet Tortoise

It was extremely easy to enter my prescription, and I ended up having to use their online pupillary distance tool, which was a rather interesting (but very easy!) experience. I happily ponied up the $130 CDN Warby Parker charges for the whole kit and caboodle, which is ridiculously inexpensive in the rather lucrative business of spectacles. Then, I waited. It took about a week and a half for my glasses to arrive (and a day later than I had been expecting, due to the rather poor choice in shipping carrier WP uses in Canada, but that's a whole other rant). I immediately tore open the box and cautiously put them on. A few of the things I noticed were a) I can see! Not that this was a surprise, but it would have been just my luck that the order somehow got bungled b) these have a nice quality feel to them. They're not just cheap plastic, and feel just like my much pricier Ray Bans! c) my goodness are they ever large. Very, very large. These, my friends, are hipster glasses. No ifs ands or buts about it. And I'm probably one of the least hipster people I know, so this creates quite the paradox. Sometimes when I'm wearing them out in public I feel like I'm a master of disguise. Or Clark Kent. 



Wearing Warby Parker Mallory glasses in Gimlet Tortoise


Wearing Warby Parker Mallory glasses in Gimlet Tortoise

Kidding aside, I love these. They're exactly what I had hoped they would be, and I'm 100% going to be ordering at least one more pair - different frame, naturally - from Warby Parker in the very near future. Finding which frame will be the tough part - I've never had multiple pairs of glasses before, so this whole "not having to commit to one frame for the rest of eternity" thing is an odd one to get used to. You mean I can have multiple pairs of glasses and use them as fashion accessories as well as much-needed vision correction!? I was immediately taken by the Mallory the first time I laid eyes on them, so none of the other frames really got any consideration. Now I can leisurely poke around the site, using the virtual try-on tool... ah, what a ridiculous and wonderful way to buy eyeglasses! 



Wearing Warby Parker Mallory glasses in Gimlet Tortoise

Also, rest assured that silly faces can still be pulled in these frames. That was one of my main concerns. Obviously. This must also be taken into account for the next pair I purchase, but any and all recommendations are welcome! 


Warby Parker Mallory in Gimlet Tortoise - link! 


Another thing I just want to mention briefly is Warby Parker's "Buy a pair, give a pair" program. You can read more about it here, but in a sentence (or two), for every pair of glasses they sell, they donate a pair of glasses to a person in need through a variety of non-profits. Honestly, I would have bought these glasses regardless, but it's very nice to know that I'm supporting such a charitable and socially-conscious company :)

xo Chloë
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

OOTD: A Midi Skirt & Pink, Pink, Pink

My most recent trip to the mall had a very specific purpose - tracking down a certain floral midi skirt from H&M that has been making the rounds on blogs lately. I'm pretty much obsessed with it, and full midi skirts in general. They're a little bit retro, a lot ladylike... and very "me". Alas, the skirt of my dreams was not to be found at my local store... But some other pretty pieces caught my eye and ended up coming home with me!

OOTD ft. my H&M midi skirt, an H&M blouse, Chinese Laundry heels, and an Express purse

OOTD ft. my H&M midi skirt, an H&M blouse, Chinese Laundry heels, and an Express purse

Something about this skirt caught my eye immediately. Or maybe it was a lot of somethings - the colour, the shape, the texture, the pockets, the price... all of the above. I took a bit of a gamble and didn't try it on before buying, but it ended up being perfect on me. The top was a bit of an afterthought, but I think it worked out really nicely. It's a very subtle light blue, with little birds all over it. Very cute!

Once I paired the top and skirt together, I shopped my own closet for ways to accessorize... and it turned out to be a bit of an experiment in tone-on-tone, in this case pink. I happily pulled out my new-ish Express purse and some Chinese Laundry shoes I bought super cheap at Century21 in NYC.  They're one of my most comfortable pairs of heels, but being hot pink, I've been a bit hesitant to wear them. I think they add a fun and modern touch to the outfit, so I guess it's better late than never to finally wear them :) 

OOTD ft. my H&M midi skirt, an H&M blouse, Chinese Laundry heels, and an Express purse


OOTD ft. my H&M midi skirt, an H&M blouse, Chinese Laundry heels, and an Express purse

I'm also pretty excited that I've actually been able to wear midi/longer skirts like this one. It's a tricky business at 5'4, with legs on the shorter side. But I think it's all about fit and proportion. Fitted in the waist, not too big of a top, and a hemline that hits just below the knee rather than mid-shin. Wearing heels always helps too, but it's not always practical. Running for the bus requires flats, no ifs ands or buts. 

Top - H&M (similar here: http://bit.ly/1jcuKKN)
Skirt - H&M (in black here: http://bit.ly/1k3sbpH)
Bag - Express (link: http://bit.ly/VWeOlZ)
Shoes - Chinese Laundry via Century21 (very similar here: http://bit.ly/1mGttMY)
Necklace - Etsy - PetiteCo (link: http://etsy.me/1r715Tu)
Glasses - Warby Parker (link: http://bit.ly/1tkQ8lG)

And so you can see the beauty, the skirt I was after in the first place: http://bit.ly/VWdMX0

I'm so stoked now that it's summer and I can take proper OOTD photos. Outside is so much better, for scenery and light. If only weather like this lasted longer!

xo Chloë
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Friday, July 4, 2014

Clothing Rack Inspiration: Accessories Edition

I love the way clothing racks look - when properly arranged and curated, of course. Last month I finally took the plunge and shelled out a whopping $13 for a rack from IKEA. It's now nestled nicely in a corner of my bedroom and is home to the pieces that are inspiring me the most right now. 

My most inspirational piece at this very moment? A new handbag. I am fully aware that I just posted a video about my handbag collection, but here I am with a new one already... Granted, it's majorly budget-friendly, so I don't feel too guilty about it. Or guilty at all, for that matter. It's lovely, inexpensive, and I regret nothing. 



Express handbag chanel quilted chain strap shoulder bag haul fashion

So you may be noticing the same thing I did when I first laid eyes on this beauty while poking around in Express: my goodness, is this bag ever Chanel-inspired. My dream bag is a black caviar Medium Classic Flap by Chanel, but I am years and a few thousand dollars away from that... so this will definitely fill that void for now, especially for a price tag of only $50. I opted for the blush colour, because I have nothing like it already, and the hardware is silver, which is my preference. I'm very pleasantly surprised by how nice this bag is, and being my first ever purchase from Express, I'd say it has earned them some repeat shopping trips!

ootd Express handbag chanel quilted chain strap shoulder bag haul fashion

See how fancy I look? It totally ups the game of any outfit. My dress is Forever 21 and my shoes are Target, but I think I look like a million bucks ;) Not that you can't look "expensive" while on a budget, but it certainly is more of a challenge! 

My other most-inspiring piece right now is a necklace from Zara. I have had my eye on this for months, and finally snagged it... about a week before the big sale started. So I'm a little ticked off about that, but it wasn't all that expensive to begin with so it could have been worse.



Zara chain chunky necklace gold silver sale

I love the half and half of the metals, and it's great for people like me who love the way gold jewelry looks on other people, but are a little bit iffy about wearing it themselves. I'm pretty strictly silver, so this is a great opportunity to play around a bit while still having my silver security blanket ;) 


Are there any pieces you're inspired by right now? If you have a clothing rack, how do you organize it?

xo Chloë
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