Month: September 2011

Manicure of the week: Pirate

These days, my primary means of participating in the fashion world is through nail polish. In ten minutes, I get to feel pretty, pampered and, yes, stylish. That’s a pretty good return for an initial investment of $27, which is what my polish of choice – Chanel – costs. Less than the cost of one professional manicure, especially since I don’t bother with base or top coats (a perk of having gel nails). I’ve decided to limit myself to one brand, not only because of the cost, but also because I tend to get obsessive about collecting, and I’ve learned that it’s best to set limits upfront.

[As a random aside, don’t you just hate it when you buy books in a series and then the publisher changes the cover art/design half way through, leaving you with mismatched covers, or worse, entirely different book dimensions? It drives me nuts! Consistency is all I ask for, for the love of the library gods!]

So, I’ve decided to start a new feature on the blog – a manicure of the week. Naturally, these will feature my growing Chanel collection, which has already expanded considerably thanks in large part to the remainder of my Holt’s gift card, and whenever I have time, an outfit inspired by the polish.

This week’s manicure features Pirate, Chanel’s newest red, part of its Rouge Allure Velvet collection (currently available at the Bay). It’s actually a re-release of a classic colour, which has been a favourite with nail aficionados. It’s a beautiful, deep blue-toned red – a true lipstick red – with an incredibly glossy finish.
The application was a breeze, as I have found to be the case with most Chanel nail polishes (apart from the sheers, for which I’m still working to perfect my technique). Two coats are all it takes for good, saturated coverage.

And here is the outfit inspired by the polish:

Top, Winners; jeans, Abercrombie & Fitch; belt, Tommy Hilfiger;
shoes, Nine West; earrings, Swarovski

I found this leopard-print silk top on the clearance rack at Winners, on my first visit in almost three months (practically a lifetime!). I’m not usually drawn to olives and khakis, but this caught my eye right away. I love the relaxed cut paired with dark skinny jeans – perfect for my post-baby bod – and how the colour palette makes the red nails pop!
Last but not least, my new favourite pair of earrings (courtesy of my dear husband), which – I swear – go with absolutely everything.
The pale, greenish-blue Swarovsky crystal is a chameleon, complementing almost any colour I can think of, while the design is simple, elegant and timeless. This was definitely a great investment piece for my wardrobe.

Happy Friday everyone!

Finding Neverland

It’s fair to say that, of all the new trends, the one I’m most obsessed with is the Peter Pan collar. It popped up in a few of the fall collections, most notably at Louis Vuitton, who also came out with this gorgeous necklace version:

I haven’t had a chance to find a blouse with a true Peter Pan collar just yet, so I’ve been thinking of new ways to wear the one blouse already in my closet, which has a sort of modified version of this collar. It’s a hand-me-down from my mom – a silk, sleeveless blouse from Holt Renfrew, which (I am pretty sure) my mom ‘rescued’ from a Value Village or Goodwill, and which in turn I rescued from her closet once she stopped wearing it.
The chain-link print is a little bit old fashioned, but it works if worn in a retro-ironic sort of way popular these days – paired, say, with long pearls and a pair of jeans in a sort of hat tip to the past. I wanted to try a different approach, and go for a more tomboy-ish effect with a crew-neck sweater and a pair of skinnies. Since I haven’t had any luck yet this season finding a sweater to match my requirements, I tried the look with a cardigan. I think it still works.

I also tried the same combo with my new Abercrombie and Fitch skinny jeans because, well, they’re really super comfortable, and I’ve been wearing the heck out of them lately. [Never thought I’d say that about anything related to A&F, but I am so glad I overcame my prejudices and picked up this pair at Red Pony Consignment. Lesson learned: don’t judge a pair of jeans by the obnoxious marketing.]

What do you think about the return of the collar?

Favourite things

They say that money can’t buy you love, but a little bit of money can sometimes buy you something you end up loving a lot. Take my new Joe Fresh striped knit top; for $24, I got a versatile piece that’s inspiring me to have fun with my clothes again. Every time I look at it, another outfit idea pops into my head. For real.

Check these out.

Some jeans, a pop of colour or two, and I’m ready to run some errands looking a lot more put together than you’d expect from this frazzled new mom.

Jeans, Abercrombie & Fitch; shoes, Stuart Weitzman;
earrings, Winners; scarf, consignment.

For a date night (should my husband and I be so lucky), a pair of wide-leg jeans offers a dressed-up option. [As an aside, wide-leg pants are something of a trend this season, especially with the 70s revival we saw on the fall/winter runways. I like this version because it’s a cross between a true wide-leg, palazzo-type pant, and a flare, which (together with the dark wash of the denim) makes it more flattering to my body type.]
Jeans, iT Jeans; belt, Tommy Hilfiger;
necklace, Banana Republic

And if I’m feeling a little funky, or the weather turns cold, I can always re-visit last year’s riding boots.

Jeans, American Eagle; jacket, Marc Jacobs; boots, Dublin;
necklace, Banana Republic