May 25, 2013

A Short Encounter

Well, this is uncharacteristic of me.  As much as I love fashion, I don't tend to buy a lot of things.  I'm willing to bet that over half my wardrobe consists of hand-me-downs or gifts, and when I do go on the hunt for a specific piece, the entire process can take months - I require both good quality and price, which is like finding a needle in a haystack.  But something is keeping me cheery this summer (landing a great job, perhaps?), and so here I am, having bought yet another thing from H&M:

As I mentioned before, I had wanted to buy a pair of floral pants and a pair of shorts this summer.  Looks like I accomplished both my goals earlier than I thought I would!  In terms of shorts, I had three specific designs I steadfastly avoided: denim, frayed ends, and pockets showing from under leg holes.  These three things are either so "teenager", or so tacky.  What I knew I wanted was structure, side pockets (very, very important), and a trouser-like waistband.  I found all of this - and more (floral!!) - from H&M.  Club Monaco was obviously the store with the best selection, but considering my wallet isn't bursting with money, and that these H&M shorts are essentially a shorter version of my beloved floral trousers, I'm fully satisfied with this purchase.  My parents were worried I would go on a short-shorts shopping spree, but dear mother and father, have you not realized I have more class than that?  Although these shorts are just slightly shorter than I would like, with my mom's approval, and a look at the price ($9 after a coupon...I finally found shorts that don't cost more than my trousers), it was clear that this was The One.

Image Source: H&M

May 17, 2013

Hey there, pretty lady.

Compliment me on my eyes...oh, that's so kind of you.  Compliment me on my personality...oh, thank you, thank you.  But compliment me on my shoes...that's when the angels sing.  The follies of a shoe addict and fashion fanatic - that's the story of my life.

After being complimented on my shoes during a job interview, and having even a security guard remember the dress I was wearing, I couldn't help but give an embarrassed chuckle over how compliments like these mean the world to fashion lovers.  While some girls crave attention to things, ahem, other than their outfits, there's nothing that makes a girl like me smile more than being complimented on her clothes.

I stress that this is an entirely embarrassing thing to admit; I'm aware I risk sounding like a completely shallow person.  But at the same time, is it still being shallow if I'm not judging other people, but rather the one being judged?  When I don't inflict venomous judgments on the outfits of others, and at the same time, never fish for compliments on my own attire?  Truly mindblowing stuff.  Well, anyway, in the end, I see it as an innocent matter of me just being easily humbled by something as simple as "I like your shirt!".  After all, my outfits are extensions of my personality, and being noticed for and complimented on my ability to express myself is something I am not ashamed to be flattered by.

Here's how to check if you're like me (which I almost hope you aren't, for the sake of your sanity):

Pick up an article of clothing and ask:
  1. Has someone complimented you on this item? 
  2. How many people in total have complimented it?
  3. Who were they?
  4. When were you were complimented?
  5. Where were you complimented?
  6. How did they compliment you?
If you can answer all of the questions, then - brace yourself - you're like me! 

I can go as far back as remembering the very first time I was complimented on something I wore.  It was on a pair of jeans, during Grade 7, in the change room after gym class, by a best friend.  You can pick up any piece of clothing from my closet and I can tell you all the compliments or comments it's received (if any).  I can tell you about the first time I was complimented by a stranger (Superstore employee - when I was checking out their free samples - silk Banana Republic button-up - total compliments on that item of clothing: 3), the first time I was complimented by a, I guess, "popular girl" (Grade 8 - school camping trip - by a picnic bench - said I always had the best clothes (um, what?) - Tommy Hilfiger top), my most-complimented-on item (brown leather boots from Aldo), or...ok, you get the idea.  Et cetera, et cetera.

So what have I achieved by telling you this?  Possibly I have lost a notch of your respect, or possibly I have shown you that, although it may not seem like it, what people think of the way I look isn't all that important to me.  There is a fine difference between caring about your looks, and just being thoroughly flattered when someone compliments you.  What makes me happy is when someone goes out of their way to tell me they like the way I express myself creatively: through my clothing.  But I never dress with the intent of gaining compliments; I always dress for myself.  Like an artist, my clothes are my paint.  My outfit is my masterpiece.  I'm honoured if you like it, but it doesn't matter to me if you don't.
Image Source: Photo1, 2, 3, 4, 5

May 14, 2013

Bottoms Up!

I did it!  I finally bought a pair of floral trousers.  After years of wearing stuffy (and boring) jeans, I finally have a pair of pants that I can wear when I want to dress up a little.  Floral trousers have been sold in every imaginable print these past two years, and the choice is endless.  There are probably a million different prints out there that I could drool over (searching "floral trousers" on Google is practically an hour-long pastime for that is filled with me wailing over the size of my bank account), but this pair from H&M hit the nail on the head in terms of price:

$15 for a pair of trousers.  I'm well aware that the floral pant craze will end eventually, so I'm glad I haven't spent too much on a trendy item.  The other thing I love about this pair is the fit.  Trousers tend to be too baggy or too long on me, but this pair has a nice tapered leg (with two back ankle slits) and fits smoothly around the zipper area.  Although it is a bit too long - hitting at the ankles instead of slightly above - I'm just overjoyed I don't need any hemming.

I've already tried pairing my trousers with my black pumps, and I feel so modern and chic.  The great thing about trousers is that they are meant for tucking your shirts in, thus making your legs look longer.  Tucking into jeans can sometimes look outdated, and I find that denim has all sorts of unflattering wrinkling around the zipper area.  Also, the SIDE POCKETS.  Adore.  Endlessly.  They make me one step closer to all those fashion editors walking to haute couture shows with one hand holding a Blackberry, one elbow clasping a neon envelope clutch, and the other hand casually in their trouser pocket.

Image Source: eBay

May 5, 2013

Hudson's Bay: A Sea of Potential

I am so in love with The Bay right now.  Or, should I say, Hudson's Bay.  For years it was known as the large, deserted department store that only had humble families and elders to count as its customers (which in itself isn't a problem; the problem is that Hudson's Bay actually targets a much wider audience). But now, with its rebranding efforts and retail growth plans, Hudson's Bay is reasserting the fact that it is Canada's oldest department store and, as it should be, among the most respected. In the past year, I have noticed a significant improvement in Hudson's Bay's flyers. While its old flyers were printed on flimsy paper and organized in a very practical, utilitarian fashion, its new flyers are presented as posh catalogues. The products themselves have improved, too. An inflow of younger, international labels has brought a spark to the newly renovated space that just calms my mood as I walk through it. If you ask me, Hudson's Bay has made a very admirable and effective change. I recently flipped through its newest flyer, and was extremely impressed (but excuse my blurry, unprofessional photos).

There is perceptibly greater care for the products by presenting them in a light worthy of their value. Besides that, there are just so many pieces I adore. Here are some of the pieces I would like to highlight:

Michael Kors Orange Leather Strap Watch

I know that Michael Kors' link watches are incredibly popular, but I am always one for well-made, traditional leather straps. The Michael Kors Orange Leather Strap Watch (centre) is just stunning in its simplicity, to which my Dad wholeheartedly agreed.  The face is smooth, uncluttered, and stands out among the sea of messy face designs. The strap, being a thin band of orange leather, doesn't scream class, but rather quietly exudes it. I like my watches clean, and while they will knock the wind out of you with their beauty, they knock you out gently.

Lord & Taylor Cable Sweater and Shorts

The entire Lord & Taylor outfit (right) is hands down perfect. I would wear the entire look head-to-toe without hesitation. I've recently started experimenting with the popular look of sweaters over collared shirts, and have fallen in love with how it tricks onlookers into thinking you've mastered the art of layering. Not only do I adore the tropical green of the sweater, pairing it with those printed blue shorts is a heavenly combination. I'm on the hunt for both printed bottoms and shorts this summer, and this Lord & Taylor pair satisfies both requirements. With those practical side pockets, looking cool and fresh could not be easier. Lastly, a quick word on that watch!  Sadly, it's not credited in the flyer, but that light blue oh my, Hudson's Bay has me entirely sold on this look.

Paper Label Lounge Legging

I'm sorry, but when did lounging look so good?  Especially in university, everyone wears sweatpants when they're feeling in the mood for comfort. I actually feel the most uncomfortable in ill-fitting clothes like that. Jeans are, admittedly, too tight to move around the house, but these Paper Label leggings (left) are a great compromise between comfort and style. Tight enough to give you a figure in case someone comes knocking on the door, but loose enough around the thighs and knees to allow for mobility when you do your chores. I also like the cinched ankles: there's no chance of your pant legs riding up as you sleep.

There are a few more comments I have about the flyer (ahem, Chanel nailpolish!), but perhaps it would be better if you checked out the flyer for yourself here. The only page I can't help but give a laugh at is the one featuring Guess watches (page 13). I have never liked Guess. Guess is overt without realizing that a certain level of restraint is what intrigues. Basically, it's cheap - both in quality and style. Looking at Guess' page in the flyer, the difference is evident. The watches are excessive, flowery (literally), and even if they aren't, look poorly made. But other than that, I would like to applaud Hudson's Bay for so successfully reinventing itself, both to the benefit of the company, and its customers.

Image Source: Hudson's Bay