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Colour Theories for Spring & Summer

Powder blue dress & red lips. Yes please. Charlize Theron covers UK Vogue May 2012

“Whooaa, amber is the colour of your energy…” – 311

I really like that song.  It reminds me of sitting on my contemplation rock by the beach, listening to the crashing waves and letting the heat of the setting sun toast my skin.  On the subject of colour, Spring/Summer 2012 is giving us lots to celebrate – this season there are so many ways to work new hues into your wardrobe.

Here are 3 key trends that will be fun ways to up the ante on your current fashionistah stylings:

New Kid on the Colour Block – Colour blocking is not a new trend but this season, many designers are making it as easy as putting on a top or dress.  The best way to colour block is strikingly graphic or extremely saturated, inspiring coos of passerby’s, “Ooh, I would never, ev-errrr, in a million years think of combining those colours, but heck, I LIKE it!” 

This DVF Lou Dress is Colour Theory 101: Complimentary on the colour wheel and sure to elicit mad props.

Happy Accident: This Gryphon Dip Dye Dress is colour-block and high-low. 2 Trends Become 1 (to tune of Spice Girls).

NEON – Your t-shirt’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.  If like me, you had a Hypercolour sweatshirt, crimped your hair and watched the Facts of Life in the 80’s, you may hesitate to leave this trend to your too-cool for school niece (insert eye-roll).  Or you can take a tamer approach and accessorize with a neon skinny belt or wear a warm neutral to offset the stimulating bright of neon. 

Dree Hemingway sets it off in Valentino Couture. Blinding vibrant yellow meets nude. Well played.

Neon in the details: Loving the subtle pop-art pink piping on these ALDO Brimfield Wedges

Sorbet Pastels –  Seeing pastel hued clothing reminds of me of the Art Deco buildings in South Beach.  Any of the soft colours can be worn to compliment your skin tone – butter yellows, mint, cream tangerine, baby blue and cotton candy pinks.  This season we are seeing many retailers show really great skinny jeans in ice cream colours.  Pick your flavour? 

Dude. Sweet. Pastel Skinnies via Paris Vogue.

How are you going to integrate colour into your wardrobe? Do tell.

For extra tips on adding colour this Spring, read more on BlogHer and don’t forget to enter The Life Well Lived Sweepstakes.

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April 23, 2012   1 Comment

Jetset Wisdom

I love to travel and over the years have been lucky to experience many wonderful sights and sounds.  Although I procrastinate the packing process, I have amassed an arsenal of good tips for travelling abroad.  To make the most of an extended weekend away or a longer sabbatical requires research and preparation.  You jetset, therefore, you are jetset. 

  • Pack Lighter – With all the baggage restrictions and charges for overweight luggage, you don’t want to be THAT GIRL emptying out her suitcase at the check-in while agitated onlookers ‘tsk-tsk’ her lack of travel common sense.  The key is to think ahead and pre-plan your outfits.  Mix and match separates and only take shoes if you know you will need them since footwear is bulky and takes up a lot of space.  Weigh your luggage before you hit the airport and leave a few pounds allowance if you expect to shop.  I only learned this from the hard knocks because I’ve been THAT GIRL.

I swear by my DVF luggage. Different enough when it comes off the carousel, not so ostentatious like an LV that it will get swiped by an evil, mean person.

  • Tiny Spender – Booking many reservations online can save you money and headaches.  If it is a glorious sunny day, why would you want to spend hours wasting precious vacation time looking for flights or accomodations?  In my experience, there is no such thing as a last-minute deal.  As soon as you see a phenomenal price (ie. 50% off) for a flight or hotel room, book it immediately.  Try using Expedia or Flight Centre websites to compare prices.  Fun trick:  If you choose to use Hotwire to book your hotel, compare the ammenities, number of stars & reviews on TripAdvisor to determine which hotel you are booking.
  • I Don’t Do Lineups – Most airlines let you check-in in advance and select your seat.  This means you only have to drop off your luggage.  Even if you see a queue forming, do not line up unless you ask an airline rep if that’s where you are supposed to be.  Many people will line up without asking and later realize they have waited for nothing!  Random!  This costly mistake could delay your arrival at the boarding gate.  Have you ever run through an expansive airport?  It’s not fun.

Get comfy in this Ella Moss Cotton Top. If you are on a long-haul, remember to drink a glass of water for every hour you are on the plane and to take periodic yogi stretch breaks.

  •  Get Loco with the Locals –  Tourist traps are inevitably going to be more expensive than hidden gems and local favourites.  Pick up a few guidebooks but also go online to check out local weekly magazines for their top-rated restaurants, bars and shopping areas.  Book reservations in advance for hottt restaurants and plan visits to tourist spots during free admission or low traffic times. 

Don't miss your flight by running, not walking in these Missoni Ballet Flats

Since the Legging Renaissance, I think I've got at least a dozen pairs. Vince Stretch Leggings

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September 29, 2011   2 Comments

For FALL, I Must Have…

Darlings, thanks for sticking out my blog drought.  It was a desert.  You were thirsty.  Your lips were cracking.  You really needed a hit of Chapstick.  For you, I present a tall glass of lemonade-vodka on the rocks with a tiny pink tiki umbrella and a pot of Kiehl’s lipbalm.  Ahhhh.  So much better right?

All of a sudden, my toes are freezing and I am most inclined to reach for my 20 denier tights than freeze my legs off.  What does it all mean?  It means we need to get serious about our Fall fashion.  Friday after all, is the official start to the season.  Take stock of your rolling rack and make a list.  It’s easy to get side-tracked when so many sumptuous cashmere sweaters are folded neatly on nesting tables and shiny baubles gleam from glass cases. 

Focus is key.  Here are some fall suggestions to get your MUST HAVE list going…

Nuzzle-nuzzle into your neckline: Stay cozy in this Michael Kors Faux Fur Neck Warmer

Every Fall, treat yourself to a brand new sweater. Try a classic cable knit, a loosely woven crochet or a felted woolen blanket style. Channel Stevie Nicks in this Free People Knit Poncho

Expand your animal print repertoire by getting your Snake on. Dolce Vita Sicily python flat lets your feet do the talking.

Trade in your cherry reds for gothic dark colours. Try any of these from the OPI Touring America collection - "I Brake for Manicures"...literally.

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September 22, 2011   No Comments

Copenhagen, Birthplace of the Hipster

Postcard Perfect: Nyhaven is only a block long but it is packed with tourists from morning 'til night.

Copenhagen, Denmark.  Not a place I would necessarily put on the list of places I MUST visit in my lifetime but definitely somewhere that I was intrigued enough to travel.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I admired the city and now feel the overwhelming need to pay it forward.  A cool destination known for its numerous canals, expansive landscaped parks, historic houses, Scandinavian design, outdoorsy lifestyle, tall blondes and the birthplace of the hipster.  It very much reminded me of my beloved Toronto with its friendly inhabitants, clean streets and trendy enclaves.  I could tell you about the tourist traps but you really want the inside scoop.  Perhaps my little travel gems shall persuade you to add it to the list?  Not really, sort of, maybe, yes.

Stroget is the main shopping area, a pedestrian friendly cobblestone maze of shops from the high-end luxury (Louis Vuitton) to the fast fashion, cheap and cheerful H&M and Gina Tricot.  The department store Illum houses an impressive assortment of housewares and decor.  Wandering into its less boisterous sidestreets, you will stumble upon antique dealers and the more eclectic independent boutiques and cafes.

Bright whimsical Gronlykke with its vintage textiles and curious tchotchkes.

Pale blues: My idea of heaven is being surrounded by embellished fabrics, Eastern decor and colour blocked.

Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer – It’s a fact:  Danes like to work on their tans.  And we love them for it.  Insert *staring problem*  With many bike friendly paths, recreational parks and designated swimming areas on the canals (such as Havenholmen), many people were taking advantage of the milder than usual climates.  Locals lounge on the grassy noles, enjoy people watching, listening to live musicians or taking a refreshing dip in the clean canals. 

Locals beat the hottt, hottt heat by jumping into the canal. Not thinking it would be so scorching hot, we left our bikinis in London. I was very disappointed that we didn't get to jump off this faux boat. Moral of the story: Always pack a bikini.

Waffles & Weiners – Every day the smell of freshly made waffle cones would waft through the air like gauzy puffs of sugar and butter clouds.  Inhale deeply and feel intoxicated by the rush of endorphins.  Known for the quality and variety of their hotdogs and toppings, many carnivores indulge in the street meat offerings as a snack or meal.  So overpoweringly delicious was the scent of Frankfurters, I was HIGHLY tempted to give up my vegetarian ways.

You can't miss the scent of freshly baked waffle cones on the corner of Toldbodgage.

Wherefore art thou Hipsters?  Maybe you would expect more gentlemen of the Sprockets variety (see/ Mike Myers SNL circa 90’s) but I would classify the gents as ‘Modern Dandies’ with their perfectly coiffed pompadours, trimmed facial hair, v-neck cotton t-shirts, walking shorts and deck shoes.  Could you expect any less from the city that brings you the most accessible street fashion?  Vesterbro is the up and coming sketchy area you will find them and the street where they are most likely to congregate is on Istedgade.  Is your curiosity piqued?  See/ The Copenhagen Report

Wherever there are artsy types, you will find Hipsters in the hood. A small pocket of hip in Norrebro (aka Norre Bronx).

OMG, this outfit! Sasha working a 70's vibe in the H&M Fall Campaign. I mean, those burgundy boots paired with coral! Photo courtesy H&M

I tried to find the best representation of the 'Hipster Pompadour' and it really is based on the Elvis model (who btw, is looking super hottt in this picture taken before he started on the banana, bacon, fried peanut butter sandwich diet). Run-on sentence.

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August 8, 2011   No Comments

Breaking News: Polka Dot Is The New Pink

Black & White & Spotted: No slip required at Gucci Fall 2011

…Or should I say, the new stripe?  Hrmm, the first title has a much zippier zing.  It’s the alliteration of the p’s.

I have always been a major fan of the polka dot, from the charming, darling miniscule to the very retro oversize.  Much like the saturation of the stripe of Spring/Summer, you will begin to see the print take over this Fall like a game of connect the dots come to life.  This will be an easy trend to incorporate into your wardrobe as it can be integrated into the fabric of your most flattering silhouette or thrown under your blazer as a basic t-shirt.  One thing is for sure, if you don’t get spotted, you will find yourself among a sea of fashionistahs asking, “Um, I didn’t get the memo.  Is it Polka Dot Day?”

Channel Brigitte Bardot: Oh yes, polka dot capris. So relevant.

The polka dot is retro in spirit but interpretation is what makes it fresh and modern.  If you plan to go black and white with no pop of colour or irony, I have fallen asleep on this trend, comatose with boredom.  Sounds like, “ZZZZZzzzzz”  But I want your name to be the first to go into the snap box (see/ Legally Blonde 2), get complimented by a stranger on the elevator/subway or reach your 3 compliment a day quota.

Colourful Blaze of Glory – Let your colour palette do the talking.  Why not choose a deep navy with a coral dot or pair your black & white dotted chiffon blouse with a cobalt blue mini?  Now, you’re outfit is speaking to me!  Tip:  While black and white dots will likely permeate the stores, opt for a vibrant bright top to go with a black background or choose a paler shade to go with white.

Polka Dot of the Times: The bright hue of this Forever 21 dotted blouse feels right now.

You know what would make this outfit major? A giant Wilma Flinstone coral necklace! Juicy Couture Polka Dot Keyhole dress

My Girlcrush Emma Stone working a serious look in her Marc Jacobs top hat. Convinced yet?

Reminds me of a Mushroom: Marc by Marc Jacobs cocktail ring

Stripes vs. Dots Mashup – Do you dare?  Wearing last season’s stripes with this season’s dots is very French Vogue.  This is for the fashionistah adventuress who unabashedly defies convention, who trusts her instincts when pairing the right stripe with the exact dot…and even if it’s a bit off, she doesn’t care because she’s cool and aloof and you wish you were her.  Wear with confidence.

French Vogue spread Les Peches with Lara Stone. Trust.

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July 27, 2011   1 Comment

Be Like The Country

Rachel Bilson in a pink gingham top and Current/Elliot cut off shorts. It doesn't get more country than this.

As a child, I often spent entire summers with my aunts in suburban Chicago.  For weekend getaways, we travelled to their trailer tucked in secluded farm country.  While I am very much a city girl at heart, I have accumulated many fond memories of picking up fresh corn from farmers on the side of the road, roasting marshmallows over the bonfire and waking up to the smell of burning logs.  And when in the country… it is always best to unwind and ‘be like the country.’ (Think when in Rome…)

Take Some Shade: Always protect the face in this Aqua Straw Crochet Hat

When I was younger, I used to wear skorts. I would skip or spin around but you weren't really seeing my undies. Forever 21 Floral Skort Romper

My roomie swears by checking out the consignment shops in small towns. She often scores the best treasures. Kick about a sleepy town in these polka dot Steve Madden ballet flats.

Gimme Gimme: A fun tip on making the best S'mores. Wrap the graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow in tin foil and insert into the fire for a few minutes. An ooey gooey treat that melts without being burnt.

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July 13, 2011   No Comments