Fashion is definitely having a luxe moment. With designers showing designs inspired by 70s glamour, we’re seeing colours and fabrics usually reserved for night, emerging in the light of day. London-based Shrimps, for example, has been popularizing rich faux fur in every possibly colour while big brands like Burberry as long ago as spring/summer 2013 made colourful metallic trench coats the envy of the fashion crowd. Now that we’ve had a couple seasons to let it sink in metallics are in full force. From mirrored lens sunglasses to full skirts and coats, it’s time to stock up on shiny!
I love the look of a metallic pencil skirt like above. It pairs simply with a white blouse or t-shirt and can transition easily from day to night. Perhaps not office appropriate, it is nonetheless daytime friendly. Brunching, shopping, any activity that doesn’t involve a keyboard is metallic appropriate.
Another option is the metallic jacket! Not for the shy, the metallic jacket is a statement maker. My favourite pick of the pack is this amazing silver moto jacket by McQ Alexander McQueen. Maybe not a traditional “investment piece” and certainly not your average daily driver, it is a super fun splurge!
Like most trends, if it feels like a bit of a sartorial stretch start with accessories. Shoes, bags, sunglasses or little coin purse will get your feet wet. My favourite metallic accessory of the moment is the silver leather tote from local dream girls, Fitzroy Boutique. I use mine all the time and my grocery trips have never looked better!
And although I’ve never particularly been a sequins girl, this new trend is making me re-think my prejudice. Find something shiny and let your look speak volumes!
This season I’m not so concerned with the length of my skirt as much as I am the length of my coat. Long, floor dusting overcoats are making a comeback. Forget the mid-length coats we’ve been wearing for the last couple seasons, this year it’s all about a draping trench coat.
Look for a solid colour and let the coat naturally lengthen your frame. If you’re a tall gal, roll the cuff of your pant, show a little ankle and wear flats or heels as the mood takes you. If you are a petite woman, pay close attention to proportions and always, always wear a heel. A long coat can shorten your silhouette making you look like you’ve stolen your father’s jacket. Ideally you want your trench to fall somewhere around mid-calf. If it veers too close to the ankle your outfit can lose it’s sophisticated air and read as sloppy.
The great part about creating a look with your new long coat is that it can go with literally anything, from jeans and a t-shirt to a high-fashion culottes/turtleneck combo. As for colour, think what works best with your wardrobe or what colour your outerwear collection is missing. For me, I’m shopping for a pale neutral that will pair nicely with the monochrome looks I’m currently wearing.
And when it comes to shape you have two options: tailored or relaxed. A tailored trench will sit snuggly at the shoulder and fall down close the the body giving you a very lean look. If you’re looking for something with a little more play, go for something loosely structured with a dropped shoulder and more give through the body. Roll the sleeves of your slouchy trench and you’ll look the part of the cool girl you are.
Winter is in full effect in Toronto which means my layering is no longer restricted to cute sweater/scarf combinations. Sometimes you can feel like your style takes a nose dive in the colder months – putting function over fashion. But there are a couple tricks to update even a tired parka.
1. Try adding a fur collar. Faux or no, the soft, rich texture of a fur collar worn over your wool coat adds some cozy and ups your fashion quotient. Vintage stores have heaps of furs in lots of different shades and sizes and if faux is your vice – the possibilities are endless! Colourful or calm, add a dash of sophistication with a swish collar.
2. Swap your winter toque for a fancy topper. Although the current sportswear trend means that your winter hat is on-trend, by wearing a brimmed hat instead you can change your whole look. When choosing a hat keep in mind a couple things. One, if the brim is too wide it will get in the way of your layering and may make it difficult for you to have a full range of motion without losing your hat. A close second is how you’ll be styling your hat. lf you like to wear a chunky scarf a brimmed hat is out. You’ll look top heavy, and suffer the aforementioned losing one’s hat business. It’s best to let your hat be the focus and keep your other accessories to a minimum. Something in felt or wool with a narrow brim is best.
3. Sunglasses. My favourite (and easiest!) way to update your outwear is with sunglasses! Worn with your favourite old toque and scarf, a swish pair of sunnies can transform your look from plain to pow! Mirrored sunglasses have been seen on all the street style stars and are showing up everywhere. If you’re unsure if a sunglass trend is for you (which happens to the best of us) you can test out the trend inexpensively. I will often pick up a cheap pair of sunglasses in a colour and shape I like. If after a couple wears I decide the look is not for me, no harm done. At least I tried! More often, however, I fall in love. When I do, I’ll upgrade my sunglasses to a better quality pair to make sure I look good and my eyes are properly protected. Try on a bunch and find your favourite! Sunglasses are a quick, fun and inexpensive way to make your outerwear pop.
Pick a tip and breathe a little life into your tired winter wear.
If there’s one fond memory of the early 90s fashion, for me it’s crochet. I remember my school uniform consisting of little crochet vests, cardigans and dresses. Imagine my excitement when they started showing up on street style stars! Reliving the past – everyone’s dream/nightmare.
The timing is great, though! I have still to find a suitable bathing suit coverup that doesn’t make me feel like some sort of multi-coloured balloon so this summer I’ve been wearing a little vintage crochet dress. It hints at the colourful bathing suit underneath while keeping me conveniently covered for afternoon bar-b-qs.
Crochet, however, needn’t be limited to the beach. Paired with a pair of denim cut-offs it’s totally street style appropriate. Worn over a white tank, of just a bra if you’re feeling hot it’s a perfectly fresh summer look! A crochet dress over a white tank and skirt can feel very fresh and breezy. Paired with white or cream accessories the look is very chic.
It can, though, easily slip into a “Hey I’m just on my way to a music festival” look when paired with combat boots, aviators and a fringe bag. If that’s your look – go for it. If not, start with a crochet skirt or lace shorts paired with a roomy denim shirt. You’ll still be getting a similar look without fear of slipping into hippie territory.
If you like the style but don’t know where to start, I like to do a search on Polyvore and see what strikes me and go from there.
It’s by no means a revolutionary combination but black and white is definitely having a moment – especially graphic black and white pieces. Playing with monotone prints is actually a super easy way to try your hand at print mixing. You don’t have to worry about colours clashing so you can dabble without fear of looking like a toddler’s barbie.
The graphic black and white look gives a playful nod to 60s mod so, like we saw in the 60s, the shape of the garments can also add an interesting visual element. A full skirt or oversized cocoon jacket, for instance, will play up the pattern and create an interesting silhouette. Add a striking bag like the image above and you’ll look like you’ve walked off the pages of your favourite mag.
If playing with shape is a bit too far out, stick to the trend basics and start with one graphic print. Even a simple black and white print blazer on it’s own will do the trick. Test the trend by pairing your one splurge graphic print piece with existing neutral basics already in your closet. To keep the look fresh and not just a 60s re-hash, avoid using any colour at all in your outfit. Several years ago we would pair black and white looks with a colourful shoe or bag but this season the trend flows head to toe. It may sound boring to ban colour but the visual effect is stunning.
Photo: The Daily Edit
As with all trends, it’s important to go at your own pace. If you’re not used to wearing print head to toe try pairing a graphic blouse with a simple white and black outlined skirt as above. Even adding a graphic bag to your standard striped shirt and leather skirt combo will work! Throw on your favourite black flat and you’re totally up to date. Stores are filled with black and white everything. Pick a couple and make an entrance!
Summertime means cut-offs. Easy to make, easy to wear!
But are they so easy to wear? We can all throw on a pair with our fave tee for a super causal vibe but there are some major no-no’s that follow cut-off culture. If you’re 16 – sure, do what you want, show as much bum cleave as your mama allows. For anyone over 21 there are some definite rules.
1. Length. Crop ‘em, roll ‘em, wear ‘em almost see-through from rips, just make sure your bottom is covered (amen?). The boys may love ‘em but your fellow womanfolk are holding their collective breath with every step, fearful something more than bum cheek may fall out.
You can get the illusion of short-shorts in a couple easy steps. First, wear your cut-offs slim fit and sitting at your natural waist. This gives you a “vintage” silhouette and will build the illusion of a super short hem. Also, you can cut the legs on a angle (as at the left) so they’re longer in the middle, shorter at the outer thigh. This will help lengthen the leg without compromising your modesty.
2. Pockets. Not all short shorts are created equal! Pocket shape and position make a huge difference to the overall look. Get yourself some cut-offs from the late 80s and you’re looking at some small pockets that sit almost at your waist and make your bottom look miles long. Choose shorts with bigger pockets that sit nicely on your bottom. Pockets that sit too high emphasize the curve of your bum and can end up making your assets look much larger than they are.
Pockets that sit too far to the side will also have unwanted side effects. A perfectly positioned pocket is a make or break. Find a pair that sit perfectly (see right) to make sure your shorts keep you looking fit.
Pair your shorts with a simple tee, a tank or a fitted crop top for super comfortable summer wear. Just remember to inspect the length (an inseam of one to two inches should do the trick), pocket shape and position and you’re on your way! Fitted or slouchy, a good pair of cut-offs will make your summer casual cool.
This is a quickie but a post very near and dear to my heart: coat vents. Coat vents? Yes! Those tricky little cuts of fabric at the back of your favourite trench or new bright pink blazer are a cryptic wee creature!
Trench coats, or any over coat with a vent really, comes with the vents loosely sewn shut usually in the form of an oversized X. These delicate stitched X’s are applied before the coat leaves the factory to aid in shipping. Just like you’ll find the pockets sewn shut in your winter coat, or your IKEA furniture neatly stacked in an impossibly small and flat box, vents are sewn shut to make sure your new trench arrives to the consumer intact and in line. It is not a sartorial detail, no, not a quirky fashion statement at all, merely a utilitarian stitch to keep your coat looking fresh.
You, dear reader, already know this (of course!) but please tell your friends. There is much pain in passing a still sewn shut vent. Let them move! Let the vents breathe. We’ll all feel better.
In similar fashion, when next winter arrives and your brilliant cashmere (we might as well dream, no?) coat comes with that informative little contents tag at the cuff, read it carefully, commit to memory its sale pitch, and gently take it off. Your coat will look better and your informed colleagues on the subway will appreciate your attention to detail.
Simple! Your informed way of dressing will do me proud. Happy dressing!