Month: August 2010

Fall trends 2010

Depending on what mags you read, fall 2010 is about to bring any number of trends our way, from leopard print  to military khakis. Since I don’t exhaustively review all the collections, it’s hard to say how trends are distilled from the hundreds of looks that get paraded down the major runways – and even harder to predict if any of these trends will make the cross-over into the ‘real world’ (and, if so, reach Edmonton before the year is up). Still, I like to keep informed about these things because, if nothing else, they might inspire me to re-think items I already have in my closet – fashion is, after all, ever so cyclical. So much of it is about putting certain things together in a particular way.
Of the ‘looks’ I’ve seen for fall, these are some of my favourites:
Full skirts
My love of 50s fashion no doubt inclines me to love anything even remotely reminiscent of Dior’s New Look. Besides creating an elegant (and swishy!) silhouette, a voluminous skirt with a cinched waist flatters almost all body types. I doubt the pumped-up volume shown on the runway at Louis Vuitton is going to translate to the average Edmonton office but, oh, how I wish it did!
Nevertheless, I’m waiting to see how high-street retailers interpret this trend. I’m not a huge fan of bulky A-line skirts, so I hope they don’t veer in that direction. Realistically, though, if we do get to see this trend make its way to the mall, it probably won’t be here until next year.
Ladylike bags
I generally prefer structured, classic bags, so this is a no-brainer for me. I heard a rumour that Mulberry is about to team up with Target which, if true, makes me want to gnash my teeth some more over our lack of access up here. There is no shortage of bags that I covet (many of them eminently ladylike), but Mulberry has been cropping up, again and again, on that list.
Of course, there is also this Celine:

Although I am already at full bag-capacity, I’m keeping an eye out for a more affordable iteration of the ladylike bag, particularly one in the tobacco/tan colour of the Celine. Such a gorgeous colour — and perfect with pair of riding boots.(ahem!)

Wide-leg pants
This trend has come and gone before, and I’ve always been a little skeptical. It’s all fine and good if you’re a tall, reed-thin creature, but what about the rest of us? Is it possible to wear wide-leg pants and not look ridiculous?
I think the answer is yes … you just have to find the right ones. I find that some dress pants are cut wider than necessary, particularly at the bottom, without being actual “wide-leg pants” – they’re too floppy to be regular pants, and not wide enough to be stylish. You have to look for ones that are; it helps if they’re of a stiffer, thicker material because they seem to fall better (less floppily, as it were).  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find just the right pair this fall. Stay tuned!
This will come as no surprise – I love neutrals! The “hot” neutral for fall is touted to be camel, which is a great choice. I love the richness of the hue – it’s perfect for fall – and it’s versatility. It pairs really well with black, grey and jewel tones. For the more daring, a monochromatic head-to-toe look is so chic.

Grey nail polish
This trend has been around for a while now, but it appears to be going strong still. The key is picking the right shades – nothing too metallic, for starters. “Grey” is a bit misleading, since the hot colour is actually greige (a.k.a. grey + beige), although magazines are showing anything from taupe-y grey to green-ish pewter. I don’t use nail polish very often, but I was intrigued by the idea so a few months ago I picked up Rimmel’s deceptively named “Steel Grey” polish. It’s closer to taupe than grey, with a slight tint of mauve – and I love it! It’s soft and understated, which is not necessarily the first thing you’d think about when you hear “grey nail polish”. 

I am hoping that our local drugstores will finally get the memo, and start bringing in more shades (every brand from Revlon to Essie has jumped on the bandwagon so there should be plenty to choose from) so I can experiment with a few other shades. 

On the other hand (haha), plenty of mags are touting Chanel’s Paradoxal as the colour for fall.

Admittedly, it’s very pretty. Work-appropriate … hmm, maybe. But, at a bajillion dollars — I’m working with rough numbers here — is the trend worth it? What do you think?

These boots are made for strutting

It might still seem pleasantly far away, but fall is inching ever closer. The thought of it is a bit dispiriting, but I’m focusing on the positive — my on-again off-again search for the perfect riding boot is back on. The timing is particularly apropos, as the ‘equestrienne’ look makes its annual comeback in the fall (and this year is no exception, judging by the “how-to” article in the August issue of InStyle). The game is afoot.

Here is what I’m talking about:

There is no shortage of boots in stores these days, so you would think that finding a pair in this style would be fairly easy. Well, you’d be wrong. First of all, I have relatively large feet — anywhere from 8.5 to 9.5 (10 in European brands) and small calves; whatever fits at one end, rarely does at the other. Most boots are too wide for me around the calf, and I end up looking like I’m wearing buckets in my feet. Not the look I’m going for. A couple of years ago, I lucked out in finding a pair of low-heeled Italian leather boots that almost fit the bill; unfortunately, they’re a little more “cowboy” than “polo”: 

So, this year, I decided to bite the bullet and go to the source — a bona fide riding equipment store. There are a few around Edmonton and the surrounding area (including a consignment one in Sherwood Park), but the closest to me is the Tudor Tack Shoppe on 51st Avenue, so I started my hunt there. I had a budget of around $200 — this is high for me but I need these boots to last, so I’m willing to pay a little more for quality.

I’d never been to a specialist store like the Tudor Tack Shoppe before, so I felt a bit intimidated walking in. I also felt a little silly asking for help only to have to explain that I’m looking for style rather than function. The staff was super helpful, and not at all judgmental as I had feared, and once we got down to the brass tacks (i.e. my budget), they were able to pull out a few options for me. To put things in perspective, a semi-bespoke pair of riding boots costs somewhere in the region of $1,200 – as I overheard the salesperson tell another customer. Obviously, boots like that are for true horse riders, not dilettantes like me. The store carried a few different “pret-a-porter” styles ranging from about $200 to $1,000, as well as a super cute pair of rubber riding boots for about $45. I was tempted by these because of their super-narrow calf — plus, rubber boots would be awesome for my trips to Vancouver — but I reminded myself to stay focused on my quest.

In the end, it was a pair of Dublin Aristocrat dress boots that caught my eye … and my heart. They are almost exactly what I wanted, except that they are a little bit tall for me (they hit right on my knee); not a problem, I was assured, as they “sink down” about an inch or so with wear, which means that they will be perfect in a few months. 

Here’s a peek:

You can see why I love them — they go with everything.

Jeans …

Leggings …

Even dresses …

I am ready for you, fall. Bring it on!

Shady lady

Grandma was rocking the shades this weekend. Eighty-seven is the new 30.

I’m a sucker for hot pink. My grandma is a little more refined; her sunglasses are vintage — almost as old as me. How is that for perspective?