Showing posts with label dresses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dresses. Show all posts

What I Wore: Seeing Stripes

Monday, October 6, 2014

Stripes are a much maligned pattern in the fashion world, with every magazine and its mother (do magazines have mothers) swearing that they'll make you look wide. But regardless of what horizontal stripes will do to you (and that's debatable), diagonal stripes are always your friend. Somehow they manage to carve out the best version of your body, like real-life Photoshop. It's gotten to the point that I can't NOT buy something if it features diagonal stripes.

Dress: White House Black Market (here) (worn with an extender slip)
Shoes: Guess (similar) (similar)
Necklace: Aldo - a gift from one of my brothers, I can't remember if it was Dallin or Jonathan (and I apologize for that) (similar) (cheap!)

When I bought this dress, it was one of those shopping experiences where everyone in the store manages to become invested in whether or not you'll buy something. I felt like I was in a Saturn commercial in 1998. I had to have a sales associate zip it up because I couldn't reach and I couldn't find my mom (I'm 12, btw) and  then three other women in the fitting rooms felt like they needed to comment on the dress as well. To be honest, I don't like letting people down, so I would have bought the thing no matter how it looked. Luckily, I love what diagonal stripes do for me, so I was happy to bring it home. 

Crisis averted.

And don't worry – I eventually found my mom. 

Getting Ready for Party Season!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

So, now that Canadian Thanksgiving is over and Halloween is coming, I'm totally getting ready to kick off the holiday season around here. Now, don't get me wrong – I won't be putting up Christmas stuff until after American Thanksgiving, but to me, American Thanksgiving is part of all of the festivities. And all of this culminates in one thing:


I love 'em – a chance to get dressed up, hang with friends and family and eat really good food. And honestly, the time when I get most excited about women's fashion isn't during Fashion Week, it's when everything gets all special and sparkly and fun – like some of these fun finds from Axara Canada – during the last two months of the year. 

That being said, are you ready for party season yet? If not, I think there are a few things you need to put on your fall shopping list. Bonus? Everything is going on sale anyway, so now is a good time to snap up some party clothes. Here are my party season must-haves:

      1. A pair of pumps that you can stand in for more than five minutes. You can't go wrong with a basic black, but look for something special – a textured heel, studs, whatever. These from Axara are perfect because the heel isn't too high, but there's some extra interest.

         2. A pair of dark jeans for more casual parties. Because not every party necessitates a cocktail dress. Sometimes, you can get away with some dark skinnies, killer heels and a special top.

         3. A couple of special tops. Look for luxe details. I'm really into chiffon, leather and lace right now, but beading and anything else goes. I like to make sure my tops will go with both dark jeans and a pencil skirt so I get max use.

 photo 191258N_c_5_zpsfe2870f0.jpg

       4. A couple of fancy dresses. Here's the thing. I don't mind spending more on quality cocktail dresses. I wear them during the holidays, but I also pull them out for weddings, benefits and dress them down with blazers for a more casual look. I get a ton of wear out of them. A little black dress is always appropriate, especially if it has something that sets it apart. I just ordered this one and plan to wear it all season long.

        5. A serious jewelry piece. Statement jewelry doesn't ALWAYS have to be a big, colorful necklace. I like really ornate earrings or huge cocktail rings. If you're going to do statement necklaces, keep in mind that the holidays are more about glitz and sparkle, instead of plastic and color. And please no novelty jewelry. Like, we know that now, right?

 photo 31_092_103_e2_4_zpse164e3ed.jpg       6. A clutch! Oversized purses have no place at a festive soiree. I think it's good to at least have one basic black clutch on hand... and maybe one that's a little sparkly too. Clutches are pretty much my favorite thing ever, right after cookie butter and those commercials Ron Burgundy does for Dodge Durango.

So, how do we feel about this shopping list? Doable? In the end, I feel like the fun part about the holidays and women's clothing in general is  that it's a time when you can dress up more than usual. My family (both immediate and extended) are pretty casual people, so it's fun to get out of the rut. Whether it's a more tailored look for Thanksgiving with the fam or going all-out for a work party, the next couple of months mean shucking off the tees and jeans – just until January 2nd.

This post was sponsored by Axara Canada. 

Summer Dresses on a Budget

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

If it seems like I've been wearing dresses and skirts a lot, it's probably because I've been wearing dresses and skirts lot. Temps are in the triple digits here and I find pants and shorts generally insufferable, so out come the dresses! If you're still shying away from dresses, I can't see why: They're one piece, super easy, and the fastest way to look put together.

Need more reasons? Check out some of these awesome summer dresses and ideas. I did my best to keep the prices under $50 and find places that'll ship to the U.S. My apologies to your husband and your bank account.

Nautical Dresses:
Nautical Dresses

Nautical is SO summer. Navy, red, and white with graphic prints like stripes or dots is the fastest way to achieve it. Grab one of these and throw around words like "starboard" for no apparent reason. Extra points if you wear gold jewelry and constantly refer to your husband as "first mate."

Cocktail Dresses:

Cocktail Dresses

Wallis animal print dress / Dorothy Perkins floral print dress, $46 / Dorothy Perkins dress, $46 / Dorothy Perkins grey dress, $47 / Wallis black cocktail dress / Platform heels / Peep toe shoes / Wet Seal platform shoes / Charlotte Russe high heel pumps / Michael Antonio shoes

So, if you have an evening wedding to attend during the summer, the trick to hot
weather cocktail dresses is to wear fewer accessories.
Honestly, a good cocktail dress is kind of like an accessory itself.
Look for details; lace, patterns and texture all count.
Then, add some crazy awesome shoes and you're pretty much done.

Maxi Dresses:

Maxi Dresses

If you didn't notice, maxi dresses are kind of a summer staple for me.
It's like wearing pajamas to WalMart only more socially acceptable. The gold standard
for maxi dresses are wedges, but they're totally cute with flat strappy
sandals too. I bought an adorable maxi to wear tomorrow and I'm excited
in a nerdy fashion kinda way. I also like having some maxi dresses
that I can wear alone and some that look better with layers. YAY SUMMER.

Casual Dresses:
Casuual Dresses

A|Wear cap sleeve dress, $16 / Wrap dress / H&M dress, $31 / A|Wear lace cocktail dress, $47 / Dorothy Perkins cotton dress, $34 / H&M dress, $39 / Wallis print dress / Military dress / Suede boots / A|X Armani Exchange leather sandals / Oasis leopard loafer, $37 / TOMS flat / Michael Antonio gold sandals / N.Y.L.A. wedge heels / Beige shoes / Charlotte Russe glitter flat

What do I wear when grocery shopping, checking out the farmer's mark,
or ignoring my children while they play at the park?
Why, casual dresses of course ! I find them to be way cooler than shorts and hello!?
They're totally adorable. Wear 'em with flats, sandals, and boots...
TOMS too if you can handle it and don't hate them.
(I heart mine, so there you go.)

Peplum Dresses:
Peplum Dresses

Dorothy Perkins peplum dress, $23 / Dorothy Perkins peplum dress, $39 / Dorothy Perkins peplum dress, $47 / Platform heels / Platform shoes / Restricted high heels / Forever 21 beaded clutch / Clutch handbag / Clutch handbag

Peplum dresses are SO summer for two reasons.
1) It's just fun to say "peplum." Try it right now! I wasn't lying.
2) It's a fun change from the same old dresses.
Super ladylike, I love them for formal stuff and business. Add a cardi to dress one down.
How do you make sure your peplum is modern and not scary 80s?
Look for more demure peplum. A bow or just a halfsie peplum feature is more 2012 than an entire Madonna-esque half skirt from your senior prom.

In short, I'm saying that dresses are awesome for summer and
you should wear them constantly.

Which one's your fave? Are you a dress wearer or do you fear that moment
when you wear a dress somewhere outside of church and someone is
like "Why are you all dressed up?" Ugh, so annoying.

BACK! With the LBD

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So I'm finally back from my "vacation". Of course, I'm exhausted. But I couldn't leave you hanging, and I was surfing around and have been seeing the CUTEST Little Black Dresses for Fall, and I felt the need to share.

Make no mistake about it, you should have an LBD in your closet right now. If you don't, shame! Shame on you! What do you do when you need to look awesome on a tight schedule? How do you look consistently awesome at every function you go? I just don't get it.

I was once like you. I did not own a really great LBD. Until I saw her. It was on a trip back to Toronto, shopping with my mom. I even tried it on, yet did not buy it. When I flew back home, I thought about it constantly and kicked myself multiple times for not buying it. Luckily, three months later when I went for another Toronto trip, I scoured the store for it and found ONE. It was a size too big. I bought it anyways, and had it tailored back. It fits me like a glove and I've never been happier. I swear, there is nothing better than getting an invitation to a wedding, having a big work party, etc, and knowing that I have exactly the right thing to wear.

Isn't she beautiful? I put it on and immediately look like Audrey Hepburn. It's fantastic. And it's amazing how many compliments I get on this one LBD.

Your search for the perfect LBD should not be as heartbreaking as mine. When you find one you love, BUY IT. You'll be so happy you did. Check out these beauties.
I love a sheath dress like I love my mother. The silhouette is SO feminine and flattering. Try this especially if you have a boyish figure and want to create some curves.

If you're a wrap dress lovah, try something simple like this, and then dress it up with your jewelry. I'm thinking a big chunky bracelet.

If you don't love your hips, feel free to try an A-line skirt. It'll give you a little more coverage around the hip/thigh area, and make your waist look teensy.
Listen up, plus size girls! This dress is great for you, it'll cinch in the waist while drawing the eyes up to the gorgeous neckline you've got goin' on there.
Same with this one... if you like a short sleeve instead, this is perfect for you.

The LBD should totally accentuate all the best parts of you. Go ahead, right now. Pick a body part you LOVE. Then find a go-to dress that totally shows you off.

The best part about the LBD is that it's a totally blank canvas. You can accessorize like crazy, so that it never looks like the same outfit. My favourite is with the shoes. Check out these from my own collection.

I love the vintage-y rhinestone peep-toes when I want the dress to come off as super classic, and then I do the red when I am going for a little more trendy.
So have an LBD in your closet... or else. It'll solve any wardrobe emergency and you'll look hot no matter what.

For the Full Figured Gals

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

K! Story time!

So once, my father in law was out and about, and he saw an acquaintance that he'd heard was pregnant a few months back. So he went to go talk to her, and just as they parted way, he patted her belly and said, "So, aren't you going to have that baby yet?"

She had. A few months ago.


So, they both learned a valuable lesson that day. He never says anything to anyone ever about pregnancy, and she learned to rethink the way she dressed.

I have four brothers, and if there is anything I learned from them growing up is that wearing bigger clothes does nothing but draw attention to the fact that you've got something to hide. I remember them mocking relentlessly the girl who would show up to the pool in full shorts and t-shirts. It was like a big sign: INSECURITY! INSECURITY!

The truth is, you work with what you have. If you happen to be plus size, stop wishing for a smaller body and stop punishing yourself by not buying clothes until you're a size 4.

There are some ADORABLE things that I turned up, courtesy or Torrid and Lane Bryant, the latter which I don't usually love, but after some hunting, found to be pretty adorable.

I love layering, but it can be tricky if you're full figured. However, this piece was made to look like two, so you can get the effect without the bulk.

K, I covet this dress so very much. So VAMPY! And not ordinary- You'd have to have some serious curves to pull it off. Buy it.

These pants are fantastic in their fit and proportion. See that thicker tab waist too? It'll flatten out and look super svelte.

K, patterns can be tricky with plus sizes. Don't choose anything too big or too contrasting, they are going to emphasize everything you don't want them too. This linear shirt is just about perfect. The stripes are running vertically, making you look longer.

See the difference with the pattern on this shirt? It's bigger, and what's worse, the pattern is ROUND. Not good.

And you don't always have to do flowy shirts. Check out this super cute structured one. The frill down the middle detracts from any problem areas, bringing your eye right to the center instead.

Finally, this is pretty much the perfect dress for a fuller figure. Nips in at your smallest part, and then flares out in an a-line. And the square neckline adds a bit of interest using a faux shrug. LOVE.

K. Bottom line? These are not your grandma's plus sized clothes. I better not catch you in your husband's basketball shirt EVER. AGAIN.

Sweet Deals on Stuff You Should Buy

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

This is horrible. I set out looking for good deals, and I ended up buying a lot of stuff. Don't tell my husband.

I'm sticking with tops and dresses today because I don't recommend you buy pants or short over the internet. They really need to be tried on before buying.

Changing up your wardrobe shouldn't have to be expensive. There are pieces all over the place that aren't going to break your budget. All of this stuff can be found at the clothing company's corresponding websites. Happy shopping. Direct your husband's hate mail to me.
Nordstrom - $14
Venus - $10
Venus - $10 -$15 (Obviously)
Body Central - $15 (love this one an obsessive amount)
Body Central - $15
Macy's - $18
Venus - $24
Nordstrom - $12 (Oh my gosh, this with a little brown cardigan? Adorable.)

Dresses: Stepping Out of the Wrap Zone

Friday, August 1, 2008

K, so everyone knows wrap dresses are awesome and fantastic and figure flattering. But they aren't for everyone, no matter what your issue of Glamour says. Here are my major problems with wrap dresses. They definitely have their time and place, and I love a good DVF wrap dress. But people snap them up thinking that they can throw them on and look like a model, and it might not be for you. If you are long waisted, a wrap dress is going to look weird. Because it can't adjust where it wraps around, you're stuck with it like that. You want the wrap to come around where your waist is the smallest. In a perfect world, that would be your waist. In real life, its usually a tad higher. If you can find a wrap dress that perfectly accentuates you, BUY IT. But if you can't, I promise you aren't a freak of nature. You can do better.

Here is a pretty traditional wrap dress. Pretty! But see where it ties right at the waist? Great for models! Not so great for people who have had babies or people who have long torsos. Honestly, I usually like my body but this would bother me, because it would sit right above my hips, which we already know are not model proportions. I am underwhelmed.

Now, I also don't love that everyone and their mother owns these. When they first came out, they were chic and different, and now they are pretty commonplace. We can do better than that! Here are some alternative dresses I found that are going to be just as flattering, if not MORE.

Check out this one from MikaRose (and under $50!) Not sure if you can see, but the bodice ends right under the bustline, and then falls into pleats. Forgiving pleats. Not to mention, you could totally use this as a Little Black Dress, but it's just a little more interesting.

I love this fancy Shmancy one from Nordstrom. It has that nice thick band that is going to fall to the tiniest part on your body, then heads south away from the body. I would really recommend this to someone who doesn't love their hips. Plus, the color!!!

Another one from MikaRose that I loved. I actually have one like this in navy, that's a little shorter. I would actually recommend you hem this up to the knee. You CAN tailor this stuff. Why do I love it? It is kind of wrap dress-esque with that tie, but YOU have the control over where that tie goes. Cinch it right around your favourite spot (read: littlest) on your waist. Mine usually goes just a tad higher than this. I know it has belt loops on it. Cut them off and put them where you want them.

This is a gorgeous alternative from the regular Little Black Dress, and I love this because not only will it camouflage anything you don't love, look how it shows off the neck? I've never met anyone who didn't love a little cleavage action, and the rest of the dress just serves as a big arrow that says "Look up here!!" (Neiman Marcus)

And if you still want to be the tried and true wrap dress lover, at least try one like this, also from Nordstrom. It wraps across the bodice rather than your waist, then has the empire seam which makes you look little. The pattern does the rest of the work for you. See how its just a medium size? That's good, that's very good. Look at that model smiling! She is thinking wow, now no one can tell I have saddlebags! I would be smiling too.

(By the way, please notice that they are all knee-length or higher. Stick with that.)

K, so hopefully you can see that wrap dresses, although having their place in the fashion world, are not the be all end all. You can step outside of the box! Now go, go my lovelies, and buy a dress. They are pretty and feminine and unexpected and forgiving. Okay, you know what? I just talked myself into buying a new dress.


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